Forecast by Elise Stephens
Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 7/9/2013
Calvin isn’t a teenager, not really; instead, he’s spent his life trying to protect his mother and sister from his alcoholic father. Calvin keeps a knife close and sleeps with one eye open, even years after his father has left the family. A summer vacation spent at their late grandfather’s estate promises him and his sister the chance to leave their problems behind.
Instead of blissful freedom, they find the old house harbors secrets at every turn, like a mysterious stone door in the forest with rumored powers to give its entrants the gift of future-seeing. When Calvin faces the return of his seemingly-reformed father, he throws himself through the door to receive the gift of foresight. But the door offers more doubt than certainty, and the future he sees is riddled with disturbing confusion. With a revenge-obsessed lawyer hunting him down and a secret society out to control him, Calvin must figure out how to stop what he’s started before he loses what he holds most dear.
As he battles the legacies of his past and the shadows of his future, Calvin must accept help from unlikely sources, give trust he never thought possible, and learn that the greatest challenges lie not in the things to come, but in the present moment.
Today, Elise Stephens is stopping by Brooke Blogs. Hi Elise! 🙂 Thanks so much for being here and sharing a guest post.
Mysterious Houses: Why I’m Obsessed with Them
I was never one for ghost stories. They were too scary. However, when it came to a large house filled with mystery, that was different. To be clear, I have zero tolerance for people jumping around dark corners to make me yelp. My friends know that if they pull a prank like that on me, they’ll pay for it dearly. Yet I don’t hate the idea of the looming dark mansion, stocked with secrets. On the contrary, I’m captivated by it.
The games I played as a kid were laced with exploratory components. I was glued to my computer screen as I navigated the worlds of Myst and Riven, sraping aside dead leaves to find the trapdoor below, gingerly turning the brittle pages of an old journal to read the dramatic story scrawled inside. These games taught me that puzzles lay everywhere, begging to be discovered and deciphered. And not just brainy puzzles, but ancient accounts of lost loves, haunting regrets, and burning dreams.
It’s probably not a coincidence that my favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast, in which the heroine wanders a mysterious castle laden with magic and muted whispers, and discovers she holds the key to lifting the spell that ensnares both the castle and its master.
It seems only natural that a mysterious house would rise up in one of my stories. In Forecast, Humboldt Manor evolved into a character of its own. It is the silent witness to the strange happenings and bizarre business of Calvin’s grandfather. Its locked rooms hold clues to the temptation and the danger of these events.
Old houses are like time capsules, and this makes them irresistible to curious minds with a hunger for understanding a silent past. This is Calvin’s experience when he arrives at Humboldt Manor for his summer vacation. He can’t keep himself out of it.
Calvin is told by the manor housekeeper that his grandfather Percy ordered his study locked before he died, with instructions that nothing should be changed once he’d passed away. But this is unbearable to Calvin. He has to know what’s lying on the other side.
Forecast is an adventure with high doses of mystery, intrigue, and dramatic family ties. It wouldn’t be complete without Humboldt Manor, the mysterious house where it all began.
Thank you for sharing, Elise!
About the Author
Elise Stephens received the Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction from the University of Washington in 2007. Forecast is her second novel. Her first novel Moonlight and Oranges was a quarter-finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Her short fiction has appeared in the Unusual Stories anthology, as well as in multiple journals. She lives in Seattle with her husband where they both enjoy swing dancing, eating tiramisu, and taking in local live theater