Hello again! For the past couple of weeks, I have had the privilege of featuring all of the 2021 The Christy Award Finalists! Be sure to register for the FREE winners gala webcast tonight so you can cheer on your faves! Today I’m featuring Sandra Fernandez Rhoads and her young adult fiction Christy Award finalist book Mortal Sight! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
SERIES: The Colliding Line #1
GENRE: Inspirational Young Adult Fantasy
PUBLISHER: Enclave Escape
RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2020
When Worlds Collide, Shadow Wrestles Light
Seventeen-year-old Cera Marlowe wants a normal life; one where she and her mom can stop skipping town every time a disturbing vision strikes. But when a girl she knows is murdered by a monster she can’t explain, Cera’s world turns upside down.
Suddenly thrown into an ancient supernatural battle, Cera discovers she’s not alone in her gifting and vows to use her visions to save lives. But why does John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost keep interrupting her thoughts?
In a race against time and a war against unearthly creatures, will decoding messages embedded in the works of classic literature be enough to stop the bloodshed and protect those she loves?
I asked the author for a peek inside….
Some girls want to change the world. Others want to rule it. Me? I’d be happy if fall never came. Weird, I know. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty I’d like to change—a lot of things, in fact, but as soon as the autumn wind blasts through town and the leaves turn aspen yellow, I know what’s coming.
I open the front door as quietly as I can so Mom doesn’t wake and slip onto the front porch. A sleepy haze lingers in the soggy air the way it does before the sun burns away the morning dew. Not fully awake, but no longer dreaming.
I step over the creaky board, tiptoeing to the front steps. As soon as I reach the splintered rail, a quiet voice greets me. “Hi Cera.” Jess, the neighbor kid from the duplex attached to ours, sits on the bottom plank in her school uniform. Her dirty tights stretch at the knees as she crosses her legs. Her windblown ponytail tilts sideways as if she’s attempted to braid her own hair. If she wasn’t so proud to be seven, and, in her own mind, old enough to take care of herself, I’d offer to smooth it out.
“Hey, Jess.” I keep my voice low so the sound doesn’t carry through the cracked windows. “Waiting on your aunt to take you to school?”
Jess slumps her shoulders and rests her freckled cheeks in her hands. “Aunt K is still sleeping. She gets real mad when I wake her. Can you take me?”
“Always.” I hold out my hand. Jess’s tiny fingers, sticky with day-old syrup, grab mine. She stands and scoops up her tattered backpack. “I’ll patch your bag later, if you want.” I lift mine to show her the edges sealed with silver duct tape.
Jess gives a big nod. Hand in hand we walk down the sidewalk under a canopy of oak trees. “I’m working on a new art project.” Jess hops over tree roots buckling the concrete.
“Yeah? What is it?” I check over my shoulder with the eerie feeling of being watched. Trees sway as the wind picks up, and cars pass along the main road, but there’s nothing unusual.
“We rip up tiny pieces of paper and glue them down to make a picture.” Jess swings my hand as we turn the corner and walk along the creepy woods with gnarled trees. Ghostly fog hovers three feet above the forest floor. I shiver.
“A mosaic? Nice. What’s it gonna be?”
Jess’s eyes brighten the way they always do when I ask her about her art. “I wanted to do a dragon, but the boys took all the black paper. I got stuck with light blue and brown. So I took scraps off the floor and tried to make a giant white flower like the ones you showed me in that art book.”
“O’Keeffe?” I smile and glance at the overcast sky. “Impressive. I’m sure it’ll look amazing.”
Jess beams. When the brisk wind kicks up, she wipes a lock of hair out of her face. “I’m naming this piece The Fate Flower.”
“Ooh. Sounds ominous. Can’t wait to see it.” Out of the corner of my eye, a lethargic shadow moves through the dense mist hovering in the woods. When I turn to look, it’s gone. It’s probably a bird, or a squirrel. Or some other random animal. Regardless, I pick up my pace.
Sandra Fernandez Rhoads is the Carol Award winning, young adult fantasy author of the Colliding Line Series: MORTAL SIGHT and REALMS OF LIGHT. She was born in Queens, New York to Cuban-Colombian parents, but grew up in Texas with a love for classical art and literature, specifically Renaissance artists and Late Romantic poets. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a degree in English, and then went on to earn an MA in her “seventeenth century crush,” John Milton.
Sandra’s past experience also includes a background in acting, directing, as well as script writing for stage and short film. She has a deep love for the artist community and the arts, and enjoys venturing out and trying new art forms. Currently, she is learning to play the cello she’s named Lysander, and one day hopes to play the theme to Jurassic Park. When she’s not dreaming up fantastical worlds or challenging her characters to overcome impossible obstacles, she loves seeking new adventures to fuel her imagination.
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What about you? What makes you want to read the young adult fiction Christy Award finalist Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads? Or, if you’ve read it already, what did you love about it?