Title: The Elementalist
Series: The Ransomed Souls Series #2
Author: Melissa J. Cunningham
Published: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Content Warning: Violence and minor language
Recommended Age: 14+
Synopsis: Deceased Alisa Callahan thinks nothing could be worse than watching the boy she loves move on in his life without her… until she is ripped from her less-than-peaceful existence in Elysium to be trapped… in someone’s else’s body.
Seventeen-year-old Claire Balister wants only one thing. To master the art of Elementalism. To accomplish this, she must learn to control a damned soul. Her old classmate and suicide victim, Alisa Callahan, is the perfect candidate. But when the spell goes wrong, Claire finds herself in the worst possible situation… sharing her body with an unwanted guest.
Everything swirls out of control when Alisa learns the terrifying truth about her entrapment. Her only hope rests with a boy who can’t remember her, his past, or more importantly, who he really is…
One of the bad guys.
She cursed under her breath. It could only be one person, she chose to ignore him, but the banging continued. She glanced at the clock. Five minutes left. She had time to quickly tell Jamie to leave.
Claire hurried across the hall and into her room. Unlatching the window she let it swing open.
“Jamie, I can’t talk right now.” She tried to shut the window, but he blocked her efforts with his arm.
“Wait. You don’t even know why I’m here.”
“It doesn’t matter. You have to go.” She pushed on the window harder, but instead of backing away like he would have in the past, Jamie climbed inside. He stood in her room as she stared him down, her jaw clenching.
“I don’t have time for this!” she yelled, and ran back into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her and locking it.
Three minutes were left on the timer.
“Are you okay?” Jamie asked from the other side of the door.
“Damn it, Jamie. I need you to go away!”
“Are you sick?”
“Argg!” She refused to explain. It was none of his business. Why wouldn’t he just leave? She could hear him on the other side, his feet shuffling.
“I’ll just wait in your room then. I want to tell you something important.”
“Just go home!” she yelled, counting down the seconds. Thirty, twenty-nine, twenty-eight…
“I saw that guy come over here. I saw him come into your house, Claire. I have a right to know why he’s here. I know he’s not here for your mom. I saw her leave.”
Claire gritted her teeth, refusing to be baited by his jealousy. He was watching her house now? She’d known he would be like this if they got too serious, and now she regretted their budding romance.
“After the other night, I have the right to know if you like him. I mean—”
“Oh my gosh, Jamie!” she screeched. “I don’t. Have. Time!” Fourteen, thirteen, twelve.
Jamie’s fist banged against the door in frustration, and Claire jumped, startled, her heart racing from more than just this intrusion and the timer flew from her fingers into the bathwater with Brecken. Face up, it continued to count down, even under the water. Five, four, three.
“Is he in there with you? Oh hell, Claire. Please tell me he’s not in there with you.” The defeat in Jamie’s voice was almost her undoing. She was already two seconds over the limit.
With shaking hands, she grabbed Brecken by his T-shirt and tried to pull him up, but he was much heavier than she’d anticipated, due either to dead weight or the water in his clothes, maybe both, and he fell back under the water causing waves to spill over the side of the tub and drench her shoes.
She screamed in fright, because the spell only protected him for exactly ten minutes.
“Claire? What’s going on? What happened? Water just came under the door!” Jamie pounded on the other side, his hammering like thunder in her ears, her complementing shrieks producing the perfect storm.
Grabbing Brecken behind the head, she sat him up in the tub, but he was slippery and hard to hold. His head lolled forward and water spilled from his mouth and nose. “Brecken! Wake up!” she screamed, trying to slap him to awareness, but the only thing her struggles did was make him slip out of her grasp and back under the water.
“Jamie!” she screeched. “Help me!”
The door burst open one second later.
What was the inspiration for your story?
Honestly? My publisher wanted a sequel for Reluctant Guardian! I didn’t plan on the book being part of a sequel. I had to really brainstorm to wrap my mind around the fact that the story must continue!!
What kept you going throughout the writing process?
This one was tough. I was very sick with Lyme disease the whole time I wrote this. It took me a very long while to get this one done and submitted. A year and a half! I had to do quite a few re-writes as the Lyme had made me stupid. LOL
Who is your most meaningful character and why?
In this book, I would said Claire. She goes through the biggest metamorphoses. She has to completely change the way she thinks and ends up being a key player in the success of the outcome.
Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?
I just started the third book which will be called, The Undoer, and yes, these characters may make an appearance, but it will mostly be Brecken’s story. I am really excited about this one, and hopefully, it won’t take as long to write!
How has this story touched your life?
I went through a spiritual epiphany while I wrote this story. It wasn’t because of the story, but because of the Lyme. This story is a result of that, of my own growth. In that, I guess you could say this book played a large part in my own personal growth.
What motivated you to start writing?
In the beginning, it was like an itch I couldn’t scratch. I just had to do it. I had to write. I still feel it, even though at times it’s harder now. I’m still healing from the Lyme damage, and there are days when I still feel ditzy and fogy and can’t get my brain to work, but getting excited about a story helps. I still love to write. It never gets old for me and I have a ton of ideas swimming around in my mind, and not enough energy and time to get them all down! LOL
About the Author:
Melissa J. Cunningham began writing five years ago when she decided, out of the blue, to enter a community writing contest and won first place. From that moment on she had a new love: Writing. Melissa is a member of the League of Utah Writers. Her past publication experience includes a recurring opinion column called Writing Reality, for her local newspaper: The Leader
Melissa’s first novel: Reluctant Guardian, was accepted for publication through Clean Teen Publishing in August 2013.
When Melissa is not writing you can find her spending time with her family and her horses, cats, dogs and chickens or reading. Melissa is also a local music teacher.
Clean Teen Publishing Links:
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