YA Romance Reviews

SECOND VERSE by Jennifer Walkup — YA Jersey Author

Image from amazon.com

Next in my series of New Jersey author’s, I’m pleased to present Jennifer Walkup whose romantic YA thriller SECOND VERSE will draw you into the shadows.

When Lange moves with her mom to a 200-year-old farmhouse, she has no clue what chilling history awaits her.  A séance puts Lange in touch with Ginny, a girl who was murdered.  Vaughn, a cute musician from her high school, was holding her hand during the séance.  He, too heard the whispered warning of the ghost, words that will haunt Lange through the rest of the book.

As Lange and Vaughn work to solve the mystery behind who killed Ginny, they draw closer and closer together.  But someone is watching them, a killer bent on using their love against them.  Is possible that the same person who murdered Ginny all those years ago is now after Lange?  Will she be able to outsmart him…or will history repeat itself?

I absolutely loved Walkup’s authentic teen voice which is clear from the banter between Lange and her friends in the very first scene and holds until the end of the book.  Walkup creates a fine web of tension as Lange discovers clue after grizzly clue.  One of the most intriguing things about the book was the title which I believe is a reference to the saying: “Second verse, same as the first.”  This theme ties in not only with the spiritual connection between Lange and Ginny’s characters but also blends in with the presence of music in the book as Vaughn is a talented songwriter.  Don’t miss this eerie YA romance!

Visit Jennifer Walkup’s site for more about SECOND VERSE and news on her new, upcoming title, THIS ORDINARY LIFE!


Michelle Joyce Bond

Stick Figures

We Spin Out Like Galaxies

imageThere is likely a point in your life when you were alone under the night sky, and you felt its pull.  You were on a roof, in a pool of water, or simply looking out a window.  Regardless, you can put yourself back there because that was a moment you felt…something.  That underlying buzz.  Personally, I was always a window-watcher, but when the weather was right, I’d go out and bounce on the trampoline in the moonlight.  As an adult, it’s harder to find time to get to that reflective place where my mind spins out into the twinkling darkness.  If I can find the time to stargaze, I listen to music.  Atmospheric songs like “Bulletproof” by Radiohead ignite my memories and take me back to age thirteen when my brain was more plastic and forming its own thoughts about the complexity of everything.

I’m curious–where you or are you still a stargazer?  How do you get back to that place–with music?  If so, what are you listening to?  Does it help to inspire your writing?

Michelle Joyce Bond

Stick Figures

Scene in a Song: How Fiction Explodes from My Head

imageHopefully, you’re one of the lucky ones whose imagination explodes into vivid motion picture when you hear good music.  Everyone has their own kind of music with which this “works,” so if you’re one of these fortunate souls, please tell me what you’re listening to in the comments section below.

Music is an integral part of my process.  When I hear it, especially songs with a lot of atmosphere, I see disconnected scenes.  I call these scenes set pieces because they are emotionally charged  whirlwinds of narration that accelerate the plot.  Here, I become my characters for the first time and then build a story around them including an immersive setting and conflict.

Well, these are the first steps at least.  By the time I’m finished with a story, it may look a bit different than the original idea (rewritten and revised TO DEATH), but the spirit of these set pieces stays in tact.  I keep in touch with a handful of anchor songs as I write, and it’s fun to return to them when I’m finished, reflecting on how much the narrative changed after being stapled down by details.

Does your imagination that move to music?

Michelle Joyce Bond