Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chasing Amanda by Melissa Foster

Welcome Reading Tourists to a WOW (Women on Writing) 
Blog Stop

 Today, I'm featuring Chasing Amanda by Melissa Foster
Melissa will be checking in throughout the day so I encourage readers to leave comments or questions.  Thanks!

Thought You Should Know:
Melissa Foster is the award winning author of two novels, Megan’s Way and Chasing Amanda. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and is currently collaborating in the film production of Megan’s Way. Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she's written a column featured in Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa is currently working on her next novel, and lives in Maryland with her family. Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Chasing AmandaChasing Amanda
Author Melissa Foster

Nine years ago, Molly Tanner witnessed a young girl’s abduction in the busy city of Philadelphia, shifting her occasional clairvoyance into overdrive. Two days later, the girl’s body was found, and Molly’s life fell apart. Consumed by guilt for not acting upon her visions, and on the brink of losing her family, Molly escaped the torturous reminders in the city, fleeing to the safety of the close-knit rural community of Boyds, Maryland.

Molly’s life is back on track, her son has begun college, and she and her husband have finally rekindled their relationship. Their fresh start is shattered when a seven-year-old girl disappears from a local park near Molly’s home. Unable to turn her back on another child and troubled by memories of the past, Molly sets out to find her, jeopardizing the marriage she’d fought so hard to hold together. While unearthing clues and struggling to decipher her visions, Molly discovers another side of Boyds, where the residents--and the land itself--hold potentially lethal secrets, and exposes another side of her husband, one that threatens to tear them apart.

Gems: After reading Chasing Amanda I had to ask Melissa Foster if she was a fan of any paranormal shows (see Q&A) because the main character, Molly Tanner, and the tone of the overall story reminded me of the hit television show Medium. I've been tossing around whether to mention that or not because I don't want readers to think it is a spin off of sorts. Chasing Amanda definitely has it own original voice, characters, and plot. However, for me the comparison to Medium is a bonus and a compliment because I love these types of shows and books. The main character is persistent, but not overly confident and despite doubt from others, she embraces her intuition (take the quiz below) and connection to the universe. Whether this is spiritual or not, it's 'some thing' that can't be ignored. Also, the guilt of a previous inaction drives Molly Tanner, which makes her susceptible and well, human. A past misstep or what she may deem as a terrible mistake is the catalyst for her future determination. Lastly, I thought it was important that the female character ultimately trusts herself even when those closest to her waver. Often we tend to second-guess the person we should listen to the most, our self.

Flaws: Lately, I've noticed a trend in writing, redundancy. This may be a stylistic approach or develops from feedback received through beta readers and editors, but it is something I've noted in several 2011 releases. The reiteration of details can appeal to or annoy the reader. This is going to come down to personal preference. I like to think I'm a fairly astute reader, so I get edgy when details are repeated and events are over-thought and explained.  In other words, you don't need to tell me the character took a step in order to move forward. I can figure that out. Although not overly obvious, and readers may appreciate the detailing in this particular story, I felt there was some redundant telling that I would have red-marked and cut out. Then again, some boobie book reviewer (like me) might type, 'wasn't really explained.' Ha, probably can't win on this one. Like I mentioned, it is a personal stylistic taste and by know means a huge deterrent.
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For a chance to win a Kindle click HERE for details and entry
I caught up Melissa and got the chance to ask her some questions. Here's a few that popped up after reading Chasing Amanda.  

Q: Do you believe in intuition?  Has it worked for you?

Melissa: I do believe in intuition. I believe we all get “gut” feelings about things, and some of us choose to pursue them while others choose to ignore them. I also believe that some people are more open to the higher powers of intuition, like Molly Tanner, in CHASING AMANDA, and those people are very lucky, indeed. Intuition has served me well on many occasions.

Q: If you could have a superpower what would it be?

Melissa: I think I’d like the power to heal. How wonderful would it be to help others find their way out from the claws of an illness?

There are several shows on television that include psychics, mediums, and intuition, ghost-hunting ect. Like many people, I’m a fan of these shows because I’m truly curious and open to the possibility of the paranormal.  Do you watch fiction or reality shows about the paranormal?  If so, what are your favorites?

I actually don’t watch any of those shows. I know it seems silly, since both of my books involve paranormal and spiritual connections, but I truly don’t watch much television. I like to watch television that involves puzzles or movies that involve family or personal drama. When you’ve experienced anything that is beyond the norm, sometimes watching it feels voyeuristic (to me).

Q: In Chasing Amanda, certain details come through dreams.  Have you ever had a recurring dream?  If so, what important messages do you think were being communicated?  Did you listen?

Melissa: I have never had a recurring dream, but I have had the types of dreams that Molly has endured. I listened, yes, but was never given the details to know exactly where they might take place. I find them frightening and very disturbing. I listened carefully, but in the end, could not stop what was to come.

Just for fun I have an "Intuition Test" that everyone is welcome to take.  I asked Melissa if she was game, and being the great sport she is, she took the test and passed with flying colors!  

I (Charlie) received 177/200 - Extremely intuitive! 
Melissa received 192/200 – Extremely intuitive!

Want to find out how Intuitive you are?  Click on the link for a quick quiz.  I'd love it if you came back and share your results in the comments. Let us know!  http://www.intuitiontest.com/intuitiontest.html

AUTHOR WEBSITE:  Melissa Foster
Melissa Foster is also the Founder of The Women's Nest, a social and support site for women.  The site has been featured in a monthly column in Women Business Owners Magazine
Other books by Melissa Foster
Megan's Way
Megan's Way is currently being adapted for film!  For more details about the book and upcoming movie visit: MEGAN'S WAY at Melissa Foster's site

1 comment :

  1. Hey All! Melissa's blogger/google is acting up today so she is having some trouble commenting. Hopefully the glitch will hiccup out of her way soon. I'm posting this on her behalf. Don't forget, if you're also having trouble with comments on blogger -- feel free to ask ?'s or leave comments through Twitter.

    "Thank you so much for the nice review! I truly love your blog and enjoyed our interview very much. I'll check in often to reply to comments!
    XO, Melissa