Publication date: September 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
When Elle Christiansen’s rebellion leads to her father’s expulsion from a parsonage in small-town Ohio, the forlorn pair is forced to move to Oklahoma to live with an aunt neither of them has ever met. Here she encounters her aunt’s neighbor—Maverick Mason, the quietly confident son of a wealthy oil tycoon who infuriates her as much as he inexplicably draws her in…
Maverick slowly gains Elle’s trust and coaxes her out from the seemingly impenetrable walls of self-protection she erected around her heart when her mother was murdered. He convinces Elle to confide the secrets of her tortured past: that she saw her mother’s murder before it took place, and she was the one who found her, bleeding to death at the end of a lonely dirt road. Together the unlikely pair begins to unlock the secrets of not only Elle’s sordid past, but her mother’s and grandmother’s as well, to uncover decades of greed, corporate corruption, lies, and murder.
Quickly, the sobering realization hits: if they do not solve her mother’s murder, Elle will undoubtedly suffer the same fate. As she continues her journey toward truth alongside the boy she is magnetically drawn to in a way both frightening and uncontrollable, Elle finds the road she is most afraid of going down—that one lane dirt road where her mother was murdered—just might be the only place she can truly find redemption.
Magnetic tells of the enduring pain of living with unsolved violent crime. Inspired by debut author Carissa Miller’s true-life events, it’s a haunting account of a young girl’s struggle in the aftermath of shattering loss. With an unraveling love story, puzzling mystery, unexpected twists and turns, and a gripping pace that will keep you turning pages, our heroine takes you on her journey as she learns one of life’s great lessons: facing your fears instead of running from them, is the only way to truly find freedom.
I was scared, terrified to open up after years of closing myself off and running away, but when I looked into Maverick’s blue eyes, I wanted to do what I had never done before—tell someone the truth. Plus, the pain meds seemed to be hindering my inhibitions. I wanted to tell Maverick Mason all my secrets.
“I have dreams.” I had still been undecided on what I was going to do when suddenly the words spilled forth. He had a power over me that I couldn’t comprehend, and I had no choice but to open myself up to him. “I guess I should call them nightmares or visions. Honestly, I don’t really know what they are.” I shook my head back and forth. How could I explain what I didn’t even understand myself? My throat started to close off and my heartbeat increased. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply and as I did, he stroked my arm gently, soothing me. “I’ve had these dreams or nightmares ever since the night my mom died.”
I never dared to speak of that night, not to anyone, and as I sat in a hospital bed staring into the enigmatic eyes of a boy I hardly knew, I realized I was going to do what I had never done before, for him. I lacked the strength to fight, to build a wall high enough and strong enough to keep him out. Maverick Mason—he was everywhere. I had no choice but to let him in. The lid of that little black box in the depths of my soul slowly cracked open; and for the first time ever, I welcomed it.
“She died when I was ten. Days before my eleventh birthday, actually.” The words were freeing as they slipped from my tongue. “I was sitting on the couch watching TV, waiting for her to get home from the women’s retreat she had gone to, when I had my first dream. It was more like a vision, really. It was like I was actually there. Everything went dark and all of a sudden I was on that one-lane road where she died.” I paused, feeling vulnerable.
He probably thinks I’m certifiably insane.
He sensed my insecurities. “Elle, it’s OK. You can do this,” he coaxed.
“I don’t know how but I was there. I saw my mom and she was terrified. She was running away from something, and she was covered in blood.” I shook my head, desperate to rid myself of the vision of my mother trembling with fear. “When I woke up, I got on my bike and went looking for her. I found her less than a mile from our house on the exact same dirt road I had seen in my vision. I heard her scream.” I looked away and fixed my eyes to look out the window of the hospital room, no longer able to speak as the sound of her blood-curdling scream resonated in my ears. Still all these years later, it chilled me to the core. I took several deep breaths, regaining my composure. “I turned down the road and ran toward her but when I got there it was too late. She bled to death in my arms, Maverick. I couldn’t save her.”
I dropped my head, exhausted yet relieved. By allowing my wall to come down, I realized how all-consuming it had been to hold it in place for all those years. My entire body sagged out of emotional and physical exhaustion; then he was there, enveloping me in his strong arms. He rocked me back and forth as cleansing tears fell silently down my cheeks. He brushed my hair gently away from my face and consoled me by repeating the same words, over and over. “I’m here, Elle. I’m here.” For the first time since that night she left me, I didn’t feel utterly alone.
Carissa Miller writes a lifestyle and design blog called CC and Mike, where she and her husband blog about their experiences designing, building, and flipping houses in the Midwest. She was inspired to write her debut novel–Magnetic—because of her firsthand experience living with the trauma of an unsolved violent crime, her mother’s attempted murder. When she’s not writing, blogging, or designing, Carissa loves Oklahoma summers on the lake with her husband and three children, going to Oklahoma State sporting events and cheering on the Cowboys, and traveling cross country with her family in the RV she and her husband renovated. Carissa laughs loudly, loves with her whole heart, tells it how it is to a fault, and enjoys living life to the fullest, every moment of every day.
You can follow along with Carissa and her family on Instagram – ccandmikecreative, Facebook – CC and Mike, Pinterest – CC and Mike, Twitter, or by subscribing to their blog – http://www.ccandmike.com/.
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