Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review & Interview - Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth #ya #paranormal

Welcome to my review of Escape from Witchwood Hollow. The author, Jordan Elizabeth, was kind enough to answer a few questions and provide a fun video associated with the book. Check them out below!

~~About Escape from Witchwood Hollow ~~

Everyone in Arnn - a small farming town with more legends than residents - knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees.

After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid.

Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises.

To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness.

How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?

~~ My Review ~~
I was honored when Jordan Elizabeth asked if I’d be interested in reviewing her book. After a quick read of the summary, I promised I would, but that it might take a month or more because of other commitments. It took two days.

Wow, I was instantly pulled into her world of rural New York where Escape from Witchwood Hollow takes place over multiple timelines spanning centuries.

Honoria comes to the town of Arnn after the death of her parents in 2001. She meets some locals with a historical interest in the town, and over time, she finds her connections to the past are more than curiosity. Skillfully woven between Honoria’s chapters, we meet others from 1670, 1850, and other points who are all tied, literally, to Witchwood Hollow, the woods rumored of a resident witch who captures any who wander in.

Through the ties from the past to Honoria, she holds the key to release them all.

Jordan’s writing is clean and evoking. Tension is built quickly and it pulls the reader through. I felt the need to return to the characters whenever I stepped away for a break. The world-building is rich and colorful. No major grammar issues although I prefer a few more commas. I would have preferred the ending to be a little more drawn out, but it was certainly impactful and satisfying.

Well done and highly recommended! 4.5 of 5 stars.

~~ Author interview ~~
1. Where/how did you come up with the idea for your story? Did it suddenly pop into your head or were you brainstorming?  This idea came to me years ago when I used to make movies with my friends and cousins.  We lived in the country, so I wanted to do something set in the woods.  There are tons of stone fences and old foundations. 

2. Did you start with the main character, the world or the overarching concept?  I usually start with a concept.  "I want to write about a haunted wood."  The characters develop from there, then the setting.  Sometimes I write down the idea and come back to it a year or so later. 

3. Panster or Plotter? Or in between?  Definitely a panster.  I never know where a story will take me until I am typing "The End." 

4. Are you a fan of writing contests?  I used to be, but not so much anymore.  I entered quite a few in my day and most of them were more depressing than helpful.  Writing is always subjective, but I found that with writing contests, a lot of them make you feel like you're worthless if you don't win. 

I do, however, want to say that I entered the Utica Writers Club short story contest shortly after graduating from high school.  I won first place and joined the club.  I am now the president and have made great, lasting friendships with fellow writers. 

5. How did you find your agent? How many query letters did you send?  I sent over 4,000 query letters!  I have 24 manuscripts written, so they weren't all for one novel.  I kept track of them in a spreadsheet.  People kept telling me to give up, but my family told me to keep going. 

6. What's the best marketing tool you've found so far?  Every month I give away a different signed paperback on my author facebook page.  I feel that is a great way to get people to take notice of my writing and to form friendships. 

7. What do you like best about your mc?  ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW follows three girls who live in different time periods, but I will focus on Honoria.  She lost her parents during the World Trade Center attacks.  I like how she doesn't allow grief to define her, while still respecting her parents and honoring her past. 

8. What do you like best about your main antagonist?  The "witch" has a troubled past, but she only wants love.  She can justify her actions, even if they only make sense to her.  I have a soft spot in my heart for the bad guys because no one is ever truly "bad."

9. Anything else you like to share about your journey or your upcoming launch, including links to giveaways or ways people can help spread the word?  My website features videos, reviews, the chance to purchased signed paperbacks, bonus scenes, and contests!  I like to think it is a fun place to visit.  

~~ Video! (Jordan imagined this as a movie before it haunted her to write the book)~~

And BONUS! Here's a link to read an extra scene and to find Jordan online.

~~ About the Author ~~
Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams.

With an eclectic job history of working as a college professor, historic costumed interpreter at Fort Stanwix, Victorian Leisure Fair, and Mayfaire on the Green, office specialist, sales clerk, election inspector, and trainer, she is now diving in the world of author. It happens to be  her most favorite one yet.

When she’s not creating are or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog, Kissed by Literature.

Jordan is the president of the Utica Writers Club and maintains She roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. A great deal of time has been spent in a rural town very similar to Arnn.

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