The last thing sixteen-year-old Cassie Foster needs is trouble, but that doesn’t stop him from finding her.
Nine months after the tragic accident that killed her mother and sister, this high school junior just wants a fresh start. Settling down in the quiet town of New Haven, Maine, she’s found peace at last…until the new resident bad boy, Jackson Matthews, comes into the picture. Arrogant, sarcastic, and devastatingly sexy, he’s the very last thing Cassie wants to entertain. Romance was never part of the plan. But when terrifying circumstances drive these two together, she finds herself in over her head and drawn in by his allure. As local girls begin disappearing, Cassie can’t help but wonder if it’s just a coincidence that everything started when this blue-eyed Casanova strolled into town. Will falling into Jackson’s arms mean she’ll be falling victim to a real lady-killer…or worse?
The answer will open the door to a world she never thought possible.
1) Where did you get the idea for the novel?
The initial inspiration for the book really came from a feeling I wanted to invoke within the reader. I love plot twists, and a particular one always resonated with me.
The first time I saw Wes Craven’s 2005 film Red Eye, I hadn’t heard anything about it before going to the theater. The movie starts with Rachel McAdams’ character meeting a handsome stranger (Cillian Murphy) while boarding a late night flight. Murphy’s character exudes such natural charm that it’s hard not to like him. Just as you let your guard down, you find out that he’s actually there to terrorize McAdams. I’ll never forget that pang in my gut as he started to flip the switch on her. I love that delicate balance of attraction and suspicion, and I wanted that feeling suspended throughout the whole novel between the two main characters of Divine Vices.
2) Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
It was once said that, “love is giving someone the ability to destroy you, and trusting them not to.” We essentially become vulnerable to the other person when we start falling for someone, and this book takes that subject to the extreme!
3) Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I wouldn’t label the book as any one particular genre really. It’s an equal balance of romance, mystery, paranormal, humor, and contemporary. I chose this approach, because I love what each genre has to offer, and it allows the plot to be unpredictable. I think the readers will really enjoy the twists Divine Vices delivers.
4) Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
It would definitely be holding the first printed paperback of my novel. Only when your words are printed and bound with your cover art does it feel real. I honestly started jumping up and down in pure fan-girl glory when I got the package in the mail.
5) What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long, but I just started reading Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. I’d only read the first fifty pages of book one before I ran out and bought the second! It’s that good. I’m also reading Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Forever With You, and it’s not the least bit shocking that I love it. I don’t even have to read the blurb to any of her books. I just buy them. The woman is an ingenious storyteller, and she never lets me down.
6) At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
I’m an avid reader myself, and there’s nothing better than knowing that one of my favorite authors took the time to address me. Because of that, I always like the personal touch of adding a note. Signing the book to someone specific is my favorite. Anyone can receive a standard signed copy, so it feels special addressing it to an individual reader. I also love incorporating humor in my added message.
7) What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Growing up, I had a variety of different career paths I wanted to pursue. When I was six, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Perfectly normal, right? Yeah, well, things got a bit…unusual from there. The list of things that followed varied from stuntwoman, professional daredevil, Black Ops member, ninja assassin, FBI agent, and spy. I blame my father for that. We binge-watched every Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, and Bruce Willis movie we could get our hands on.
When I was eight, I was given a class assignment to compose a list of my favorite things. While my classmates wrote about stuff like Titanic, Sammy Sosa, and Leonardo DiCaprio, my twisted mind took a different approach. Needless to say when my teacher saw that I listed 1987’s Predator as “My Favorite Movie,” she looked at me with an expression that said, “I’m looking at a future serial killer!”
Thankfully, she was wrong. That career option never made the cut.
8) How do you react to a bad review?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so you can’t take things personally. Some observations are constructive and the others are just personal taste. It’s really just a matter of knowing what to take away from the review. Plus, some Ben & Jerry’s always helps cushion the blow.
9) What are you currently working on?
I’m writing the sequel to Divine Vices, along with another paranormal romance that should be coming out in the late spring.
10) How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
As soon as my book hit the Amazon Kindle Store, I admittedly stalked my sales page. When I found out someone bought it, I honestly started doing my very own Snoopy Dance…despite the fact that I was in the middle of the grocery store!
Author Bio: Melissa Parkin is a Chicagoland native who feels weird referring to herself in the third person. When she's not binge reading, taking photographs, breaking the first rule of Fight Club, or playing music too loud, she's writing young adult paranormal romances.
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