Guest Post & Giveaway: The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney
Today I am excited to share a guest post with you all from author Katie McElhenney talking about her new book The Things They’ve Taken! Be sure to check out the post and leave a comment (see giveaway at the end) for a chance to win!
The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney
Category: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication: May 1st, 2017; Entangled Teen
All Lo Campbell wants is to be a normal teenager—to go to one high school, live in one place, and have one real friend. Instead, she travels the country with her mother, chasing the unknown, the “what else” that’s out there…
Until one day, the “what else” chases back.
Determined to rescue her mom from whatever supernatural being took her, Lo will need more help than a badly dressed demon obsessed with country music. She’s going to need a Tracker—and lucky for her, she finds one. Shaw is strong, good-looking, possibly available, and utterly infuriating. Sure, he may have secrets, and his help costs more than a brand-new car, but she’ll have to deal with him if she wants to find her mother—and get her home alive.
When people ask me to sum up my new novel, The Things They’ve Taken, I tell them it’s a young adult, supernatural, romance, road trip story. If they’ve stuck around long enough for the “road trip” part they usually ask what inspired that element of the story. It’s an easy question to answer—I’m a road trip junkie. There is something in my Manifest Destiny spirit that craves adventure in the unknown. What better way to do that than loading the car up with snacks and music and hitting the road?
I’ve driven cross country twice, explored the entity of the east coast several more times than that, and taken day trips in every conceivable direction until my map looks like a spoke and wheel. From pine trees to palm trees, I’ve toured much of this amazing country by car. My strategy is to have a plan that leaves room for unexpected overnights, roadside attractions, and the kind of weird you can’t pass up.
Here are a few of my favorite road trip adventures:
–Savannah, Georgia – Lost my rental car keys after a night of dancing. It was going to cost $175 dollars to replace it but the man at the counter and I had the same birthday and his daughter’s name was Katie. He gave me a new key for free and tossed in a cherry-scented air freshener.
–New Orleans, Louisiana – Visited a year and a half after Katrina and got to hear real stories from those who survived. In NOLA I also learned the term “go crystal”—sleeves of plastic cups by the door for your beverages on your way out. Genius!
–Essex, New York – I climbed a fire tower in mid-autumn when the leaves were at the height of their brilliance. In all directions it looked like the mountains were on fire that danced when the wind blew through. Breathtaking.
–Frostburg, Maryland – This is a very small town but there is a donut place there that I swear saved my life on a drive from Louisville to Philly.
–East Coast – On a trip from Orlando, FL to Brooklyn, NY I drove through bright sunshine, light rain, torrential downpour, flurries, and a blizzard all in a twenty-four hour span.
–Highway I-10 outside of El Paso, Texas – Driving this stretch of road at night you experience the open sky dotted with a million stars competing with the flare of fire from the oil rigs. I was pulled over twice by two different highway patrolman for a license plate light being out. The second was right by a sign that read “Prison in Area: Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers”. I was able to pop on a tap light I had in my bag (who doesn’t?) which satisfied the lawman.
–Pescadaro, California – After driving along the gorgeous coastline near Santa Cruz, this small town pops up. It’s famous for its restaurant and grocer selling artichoke soup and bread but tucked in there as well I discovered a flowery that sells cut-them-yourself dahlias. The whole area is an Instagrammers dream come true!
These are just snapshots of some amazing memories I’ve made while traveling on four wheels. The expression “the journey is its own reward” couldn’t be more true. Get out there, my friends. Your adventures await!
Katie McElhenney was born in Philadelphia into a big family of curious kids and patient adults. A voracious reader and unapologetic daydreamer, she knew she wanted to become a writer someday. With the support of an amazing family, great friends, and some truly spectacular teachers she has written short stories, poems, and novels. A solar-powered human, she now lives in Los Angeles and uses the great weather for year-round trips to the beach and long runs (where the best inspiration happens). Find out more about her at katiemcelhenney.com
Leave a meaningful comment about your favorite road trip, or if you were to plan one, where would you go? A random winner will be chosen to win a road trip snack bag from Katie McElhenney!
*US only due to shipping constraints & the giveaway will be open until 7/18/17 Midnight EST.