Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Summer of Letting Go - Karmic Countdown (Elana Johnson)

SKIP, skip, skip this intro if you've read it five times before! 

As some of you may know, THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, my second novel for young adults comes out March 25th from Algonquin Young Readers.

THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO tells the story of almost-16-yr-old Francesca “Beans” “Frankie” Schnell who, four years ago witnessed her baby brother, Simon, drown. Guilty and broken, Francesca has hunkered down in the shadows of her life, resolved to play second fiddle to her dead brother’s memory and to her best friend Lisette, a blonde bubbly beauty Francesca lives vicariously through. That is, until she meets a young boy named Frankie Sky who bears an uncanny resemblance to her brother. Frankie brings humor and hope to Francesca’s life, but are all the similarities between Frankie and Simon merely wishful coincidences, or could he be Simon’s reincarnation?

Curious coincidences abound in THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO not only the overlaps between Simon and Frankie Skybut also Bradley’s gift to Francesca, Bradley’s bird sighting, and the ties to the statue of  Saint Florian (you'll have to read to know what these are ;)). Midway through the story Francesca starts to think these events can’t really all be coincidences, “but something bigger and magical at work.”

Have you ever experienced strange events that seemed like more than coincidence and made you wonder if fate was at work or that soul and or reincarnation exist?

Throughout the month, I've decided to pose that question to friends, some writers, others bearing other artistic talents, for a brief account of their own experience with karma, kismet or a mystical connection. I leave you to answer the question, “Random or something magical at work?” 

I hope you find these stories as intriguing and lovely as I do.

- gae

Today I have Elana Johnson, author of Possession, Surrender and Abandon, and a brand new contemporary, Elevated, released for Kindle, February 18th.  

Here's the write-up for the story, which I think sort of fits the whole karma or coincidence theme:

The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator--let alone get stuck with--is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn't told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly's worried she won't be able to contain her secrets for long. She's terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can't bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.

Here's Elana, with a lovely, simple moment triggered by a celestial view:

I definitely do not think our lives are random. I do believe there is “something bigger and magical at work.” I have had many experiences in my life that strengthen my belief in this, but one happened when I was a teenager. I grew up in a very rural community (not even a gas station in town!), and the night sky was brilliant.

I had just attended a youth activity for a church I was not a member of. I was riding my bike home, admiring the stars and moon in the deep black sky that you can only find in parts of the world where there are no city lights to mar it.

I wasn’t sure about the youth group, or if I would go back, but as I rode home that night, I realized how happy I was, and how there was something out there – I remember thinking, In the universe, maybe? – that was bigger (and more magical) than me. I felt small and insignificant, but I knew going to the youth group would be good for me. So I continued to attend. 

- Elana

Please check out Elevated and all of Elana's books, and, of course, THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, which should be popping up on shelves everywhere any day now. :) 

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