Welcome, Erica Keifer! Congrats on the release of VANISHING ACT. Find out more about her novel after this AWESOME guest post where Erica talks about the books that inspire her! Plus there's a brief excerpt.
Books that have inspired you
I used to devour books as a kid. From second grade through fifth grade when I attended an international school in Bangkok, Thailand, the bus commute was a good forty-five minutes. Sometimes much longer, depending on the notorious Bangkok traffic. Most of the time, I didn’t mind. I gladly accepted the title of a book worm and would settle into my seat reading one after the other during that spare time on the bus. Books that inspired my love for reading as a kid:
The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (First set of books I was given)
Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene (Loved mystery so much as a kid and perhaps that’s why I include a little mystery in my own novels!)
As an adult, although it’s a children’s book, my favorite inspirational book is Far Flutterby written by Karen Kingsbury. The illustrations are beautiful as is the storyline. While not a unique concept to use butterflies as a metaphor for overcoming adversity, this story takes it a step further by returning to the place of struggle and offering hope to others. (You can read more about my love for this book and what it truly means to be a butterfly at this blog post from my website: http://ericakieferbooks.com/?p=1005)
Two other books that inspired and guided me through tough times include:
Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing after Loss by Pat Schwiebert
The Message by Lance Richardson
Both of those books offer encouragement and hope, both things I needed when going through my own grief and healing after a personal loss. The Message in particular is so intriguing, reading how the author describes his near-death experience and the knowledge he gained by visiting “the other side”.
On a lighter note, I hesitate to type the title of this next one but… yes, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer is on my list! (*cringe!) I hate that mentioning Twilight often wins an eye roll or look of skepticism. I can’t help doing it myself! Yet, before the movies came out and split Twilight fans into two categories (obsessed versus embarrassed), the series did motivate me to write. I loved all the excitement surrounding the series and enjoyed the love triangle and unique spin on vampires, and I couldn’t help but want to produce something that might stir an audience like that. Thus, Lingering Echoes was born and became my first published novel a year and a half ago.
Thanks so much for letting me visit your blog!
Title: Vanishing Act
Series: Lingering Echoes #3 (Standalone)
Author: Erica Kiefer
Published: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Content Warning: Violence, drug usage, abuse
Recommended Age: 14+
Synopsis: A fresh start at college is exactly what Kate needs to ease the burden of her family secrets. When she meets the confident and charming Aaron Jackson, she weaves a new history for herself to fit into his seemingly perfect life. But the past refuses to stay where it belongs, causing a rift between their contrasting worlds.
When Ben reappears in Kate’s life, she is only pulled deeper into the childhood that she’s tried to forget. Driven by the abuse and pain that still lingers within him, Ben seeks Kate’s help in making a change. But in this journey for retribution, lines blur between courage, justice, and revenge.
Bound by their shared and damaged youth, Kate is forced to choose sides, and fast. The final act is almost here, and time is running out.
Vanishing Act is a Lingering Echoes novel that can be read as part of the series or as a stand alone story. Fueled by the scars from an experience in foster care that no child should have to endure, Vanishing Act touches on serious issues that can continue to impact abuse victims well into their adult lives. Vanishing Act is an emotional drama with a sweet romance mixed in.
Excerpt from Vanishing Act by Erica Kiefer:
My vision blurred like I was walking outside in the rain. It may as well have been raining, with how emotionally drenched and defeated I felt as I marched out of my neighborhood. I didn’t know where I was going. Despite the familiar street, I felt lost and confused. I just knew I needed to keep moving, afraid that if I stood still, the storm of emotions would drown me.
Aaron became a silent companion at my side, keeping fast pace with my hurried steps. My thoughts stewed inside my head, a dangerous concoction of fear, hurt, and fury. My whole life I had worked to salvage this family. My entire purpose for going to college was to help us survive, even if our heads were barely above water. But it seemed the minute I’d left the house, both father and son were falling apart, sabotaging my efforts.
Aaron seemed to sense I was about to boil over because he eventually took my hand and pulled me onto the grass. He stood in front of me with both hands on my shoulders, trying to look into my eyes. I shook my head, knowing if I spoke one word that too many more would spew out of my mouth—bitter and resentful—and I’d never be able to take them back. Aaron’s hands moved to my back and he wrapped me in his arms, pulling my face against his chest. His strong hands pressed into my shoulder blades, holding me together like fractured porcelain.
I let the warm tears fall, one by one. I hoped that by keeping my eyes pulled tightly shut, that the tears wouldn’t find an exit. But they did—streaming one after the other until each droplet became a river, a driving current of emotion merging together. It would have felt dangerous without Aaron’s embrace, but I felt safe anchored in his arms.
About the Author:
Erica Kiefer was born on Christmas Eve in Southern California to an American father whose ancestors arrived from Europe during colonial times and a Thai mother who moved to the US during high school. Adding to her rich and varied heritage, Erica grew up living abroad in Asia, including Taiwan, Fiji, Thailand and Indonesia. She gained a great respect for the beautiful mosaic of cultures found in various parts of the world. After graduating from International School Bangkok, she attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a degree in Recreation Therapy. Her career as a Recreation Therapist has allowed her to work with at-risk youth since 2007. Erica made the best decision of her life by marrying her husband in 2005 and is currently a mother of three, one of whom awaits her in heaven. Erica also loves singing, reading, writing, and satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies. Playing collegiate rugby was one of the most memorable experiences of her life, thus far. Erica’s first book, Lingering Echoes, was signed by Clean Teen Publishing and released in early November 2013.
Clean Teen Publishing Links: