April 13, 2014

Blog Tour: Ask Me by Kimberly Pauley - Guest Post

Today I'm very excited to host a stop on the blog tour for Ask Me by Kimberly Pauley.  
You can catch my review of the book HERE.  

She is here with a guest post on The Heat in Florida.  Ask Me takes place in Florida, and I remember the heat being a big part of the main characters thoughts.

About Kimberly Pauley
Kimberly Pauley is the award-winning author of Sucks to Be Me, which was honored on the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list, and a paranormal mystery starring an oracle, called Ask Me. Born in California, she has lived everywhere from Florida to Chicago and has now gone international to live in London with her husband and son. She is also the founder of YA Books Central, one of the first and largest teen book websites in the world. 

Welcome Kimberly!

The Heat of Florida
I lived in Florida from the ages of 6 to 16, then came back for college at 18 and stayed until I was mumble-something-mumble years old. So I feel like Florida is part of me. I’ve lived in the complete boondocks of the Ocala National Forest, in the hot mess that is Miami, and in the sleepy retirement communities of St. Petersburg. But, I live in London now (the UK one, not the Canadian one) and Florida feels like it is a long, long way away.

It felt very strange to be writing about the heat of almost-summer in Florida while sitting in front of a fireplace in a pub in London. Surreal, even. But there’s definitely something about the memories you make when you are growing up that stay with you throughout your whole life.

Like Aria, the main character in ASK ME, my family was pretty darn poor. We lived in a hunting cabin that had been converted (sort of) into a house. There was no such thing as central air or heat; just one ancient wheezing window unit that only cooled about a square foot of the living room. The sound of oscillating fans was the background music of my life.

Like Aria, I wandered the woods alone for hours. I practiced my silent walk over crunchy dead leaves and followed deer trails. I got caught in the sudden thunderstorms and would come home drenched to the skin.

Here’s a secret -- my original impulse was to set the book in Maine or somewhere cold. Northern. The image that was stuck in my head was of a lonely girl with long hair blowing in the wind, hiding behind it. I liked the idea of the cold, how it can inhabit your body until you feel frozen inside and out. But then someone (a writer friend) asked me if that’s really where I saw Aria and as I came to understand her better, I knew she lived where I had lived. Old Florida. Arguably, real Florida. Not the postcard Florida, but the inside of the state...the places the tourists pass through only briefly. And I’m so glad that’s where Aria wound up. Because writing ASK ME felt a little bit like coming home.

If you want to know more about Kimberly Pauley or Ask Me, check out the links below.

About Ask ME
Ask Aria Morse anything, and she must answer with the truth. Yet she rarely understands the cryptic words she‘s compelled to utter. Blessed—or cursed—with the power of an Oracle who cannot decipher her own predictions, she does her best to avoid anyone and everyone. 

But Aria can no longer hide when Jade, one of the few girls at school who ever showed her any kindness, disappears. Any time Aria overhears a question about Jade, she inadvertently reveals something new, a clue or hint as to why Jade vanished. But like stray pieces from different puzzles, her words never present a clear picture.

Then there’s Alex, damaged and dangerous, but the first person other than Jade to stand up for her. And Will, who offers a bond that seems impossible for a girl who’s always been alone. Both were involved with Jade. Aria may be the only one who can find out what happened, but the closer she gets to solving the crime, the more she becomes a target. Not everyone wants the truth to come out.

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