Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Blogtour: Rage To Live by Shirley Anne Edwards

Please welcome Shirley Anne Edwards with 

Rage To Live 

Finding The Strength #1


Can a young woman reveal her traumatic past to the woman who wants her to release the bubbling rage inside… her rage to live?

An act of violence tore Charlie’s existence, and her family, apart. In an effort to reclaim something like the life she enjoyed before, Charlie moves in with relatives in a different state. Charlie might be damaged, but she isn’t going down without a fight. With the help of her cousins, who attend the local college, she steels herself to repeat her final year of high school. On the university campus, she meets Arielle Forest, president of a popular sorority, daughter of the dean, and bisexual. Charlie is drawn to Arielle’s sunny outlook, but she can’t banish her doubts as romance blossoms. Does Arielle know what she’s getting into with Charlie and her unhealed wounds? Will she want to deal with the complications?

When Charlie’s past catches up to her, will she find the strength to keep fighting… or succumb to the call to escape all her pain for good?

Get the book:

It All Began with Nancy Drew.

Authors love to talk about their influences. My path to writing started with reading, which I imagine is the case for most writers. My love for books didn’t happen until I hit middle school when I discovered The Secret of the Old Clock, the first book in the Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene. I admired Nancy so much because she was smart, kind, outgoing and had a great group of friends who always had her back. Nancy is probably one of the most beloved characters in fiction, mainly in the teen fiction genre, or what some would say is young adult. Nancy Drew is the reason I wanted to be a writer. She also was one of the influences in writing Rage to Live, my fourth book published, and my first LGBTQ book, a lesbian young adult/ new adult romance.

You may find it strange that Nancy Drew is one of my muses for Rage to Live since Rage to Live begins as a tragedy because of what happens to my heroine, Charlie. The story at times is dark, but there is also triumph, which comes in the form of Arielle, a young woman who helps Charlie recover and heal from a horrible trauma. But Arielle isn’t the only character who helps Charlie. There is a small group of friends who lend comfort and support for Charlie, much like Nancy’s group who helped her solved mysteries. Nancy has her “besties”- her cousin Bess and best friend George, along with her boyfriend Ned to turn to for insight. The same goes for Charlie, who has her cousins, including some new friends she makes at her new high school she attends her senior year. This small knit group helps Charlie find some things she has lost, exactly like Nancy, who always saves the day in some form or another.
When I came up with the idea of Rage to Live, I knew it would be a tear-jerker. I also knew the main protagonist would be gay. Charlie has been in my head for years, and I wanted to do right by her, but I also knew she would go through some tough times. I made her suffer, but I wanted to give her hope, which comes in the form of Arielle, the very popular president of a sorority at the local college Charlie’s cousins attend. Charlie and Arielle’s relationship is very endearing. This was done on purpose because their relationship is an ode to what I feel is one of the greatest young adult contemporary novels of all time- Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. Published in 1982, it’s the first LGBTQ young adult novel I read, which has had last effects, especially in my writing to this very day. Annie and Liza from Annie on My Mind are the perfect couple full of love and optimism. Their relationship is extremely sweet and poignant. Their portrayal is full of hope. I tried to show that with Charlie and Arielle, who turn to one another in ways that will make readers cheer for.

Nancy, Annie and Liza are three female protagonists who made such an impression on me, which started as a pre-teen and has remained as an adult. My creation of Charlie and Arielle are an ode to these amazing characters, and to the two women who created them- Carolyn Keene and Nancy Garden. They are my literary author idols I thank every day for writing because without them I would have never written Rage to Live, and the push to write more books that will always have one main theme in whatever story I come up with- hope.

About the author:

Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who discovered her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age and, since then, has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head. Shirley is also a brownie addict who loves to bake when she’s not busy writing. Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.

Shirley loves to hear from readers! You can email her at shirlwriteredwards[at]gmail[dot]com or tweet her at @shirlawriter.

Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.

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