So when Laura found me on Twitter, my first reaction was to gush like a rabid fan-girl. SQUEEEE!!!! She handled it/me most graciously.
And then, I found out she had a scary YA release, THE HALLOWED ONES, and invited her to the blog...so I could introduce y'all to a fabulous writer and her new story. In Publishers Marketplace The Hallowed Ones is described as “Witness” meets “28 Days Later” in which an Amish girl must protect her family from a violent contagion, even as fear and denial threaten to erode her community from within.
Wow, original and cool. Check out the cover!
I'm giving away a Kindle edition of THE HALLOWED ONES to one lucky blog reader...but, you'll have to read to the bottom of the post to find out how to enter. :D
Thanks for being here Laura! What inspired you to write an Amish YA?
Laura: I live not too far from a large Amish settlement. When I was a child, my parents would take me to visit, and I was fascinated by a world very different than the one I lived in. I’d see Amish girls my age over the fence and wonder what their lives were like.
For THE HALLOWED ONES, I was thinking about doing a dystopian book. I was wondering who would be best-equipped to survive a large-scale disaster, and occurred to me that the Amish would be uniquely equipped to survive. They are incredibly self-sufficient and are not dependent upon things we take for granted in our world, things like electricity and cars.
As an adult, it was fun to go back there and see how my perceptions of that world changed and how they stayed the same.
So what's the story about?
Temptation happens to all of us, in large and small ways.
The heroine of THE HALLOWED ONES is Katie, a young woman who has grown up in a peaceful Amish settlement. She lives with her parents and sister in the house where she was born. Church services take place in members’ backyards. She knows every other person in the settlement and expects to marry the boy next door. Her home has been a safe nest, familiar and comforting.
Maybe just a bit too safe.
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the Amish church. Katie has every intention of being baptized in her church and assuming her responsibilities as an adult Amish woman. She simply wants to see a bit of the world Outside before she makes her choice and commits to the Amish lifestyle forever. She looks forward to testing the rules -- going to the city to see movies, perhaps wearing jeans, experimenting with makeup.
Before she can explore in earnest, Katie’s safe world starts to disintegrate. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields near her house, followed by rumors of violence and the disappearance of large numbers of people Outside. Unsure why they haven’t been attacked and fearing contamination, the Amish Elders make a rule: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in.
When Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of Amish land, she refuses to leave him to die. She defies the Elders’ decree, secretly bringing the stranger in to her community and hiding him. But what else is she bringing in with him?
Author Bio: Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science, and when she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs (she also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams). Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and a herd of mostly-reformed feral cats. THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Get the latest updates on her work at www.laurabickle.com.
TO WIN LAURA'S BOOK: Share who is your favorite YA heroine and why in the comments section, and leave your email (so I can contact you if you win!).
Oh! Don't forget to check out my The #DjinnsDilemma Birthday Bash post for more fantabulous surPrizes!
Thanks for visiting!