*Book Blitz* The Road to You by Marilyn Brant ~Author Q&A, Excerpt & Giveaways

 Title: The Road to You
Author: Marilyn Brant
Genre: New Adult Mystery Romance
Publication Date: October 3, 2013
Purchase Link:

Synopsis:

Sometimes the only road to the truth...is one you’ve never taken.

Until I found Gideon’s journal in the tool shed—locked in the cedar box where I’d once hidden my old diary—I’d been led to believe my brother was dead. But the contents of his journal changed all that.

The Road to Discovery...
Two years ago, Aurora Gray’s world turned upside down when her big brother Gideon and his best friend Jeremy disappeared. Now, during the summer of her 18th birthday, she unexpectedly finds her brother’s journal and sees that it’s been written in again. Recently. By him.

The Road to Danger...
There are secret messages coded within the journal’s pages. Aurora, who’s unusually perceptive and a natural puzzle solver, is hell bent on following where they lead, no matter what the cost. She confides in the only person she feels can help her interpret the clues: Donovan McCafferty, Jeremy’s older brother and a guy she’s always been drawn to—even against her better judgment.

The Road to You...
Reluctantly, Donovan agrees to go with her and, together, they set out on a road trip of discovery and danger, hoping to find their lost brothers and the answers to questions they’ve never dared to ask aloud.

In that expectant space between silence and melody, our trip began...


Excerpt

I could count on one hand the things I knew were true about Donovan McCafferty:
He was twenty-three—just over five years older than I was.
He’d escaped into the Army at age eighteen and, except for a few quick but memorable visits, hadn’t returned to Minnesota until this past winter.
He had an excellent mechanical mind.
And he made me very nervous.
Underneath my skin, every nerve fiber was fast twitching. Just thinking about Donovan always did that to me...
It was 7:05 p.m. by the time I got to the auto-body shop where he worked. They closed at seven, but the light in the back was on and I knew he was in there. Not because I’d caught even one glimpse of Mr. Tall, Dark and Intense yet, but because the only other car in the lot was a crimson Trans Am with the giant Firebird decal in black and gold across the hood. His, of course.
I pushed open my car door, grabbed my tote bag with Gideon’s journal tucked safely inside and inhaled several lungfuls of the cloying summer air.
I didn’t make it more than five steps before Donovan came out. A solid, broad-shouldered, six-foot-two mass of frequently impenetrable emotions. Not impenetrable enough this time, though.
Even at a distance of half a parking lot, I detected two powerful sensations that crashed, one after the other, into my awareness:
One, he was hugely curious about why I was here.
And, two, he very much wished I hadn’t been.
He walked up to me and cleared his throat. “Car trouble, Aurora?” He glanced at my hand-me-down Buick, which had done nothing but purr contentedly during my drives around town. Donovan was the type to have noticed this, so I could tell he knew it wasn’t the car.
I shook my head. “I need to show you something,” I told him. “Privately.”
A small flash of amusement quirked one corner of his mouth upward. I was surprised he allowed me to read this, especially since he knew I could. Surprised he was letting me see that one of his possible explanations for my presence was flirtatious in origin—even as he immediately dismissed the idea.
I rolled my eyes. “It’s not like that.”
He pressed his lips together, but the amusement still simmered just beneath the surface. “Too bad. ‘We’re both young and inconspicuous,’” he said, parroting the hideously embarrassing words I’d said to him two years ago at our brothers’ secret high-school graduation party..
I fought a blush. “We’re not that young,” I told him, trying to stand straighter and look older. “And we’re not inconspicuous here.”
“Ain’t that the truth.” He turned and motioned for me to follow him inside. Led me into the back office and ushered me in. “You want me to close this door, too? Snap the blinds shut?”
He was mocking me, but there was a layer of concern beneath it. He knew something serious was up. In a town of 2,485 people, where you’d run into the majority of the residents a handful of times each week, I’d spoken with Donovan McCafferty in private exactly six times in the past five years.
Here’s to lucky number seven.

~Giveaways~

Author Q&A

Q: Where do you find inspiration for your work and what, exactly, inspired you to write THE ROAD TO YOU?
A: I find inspiration everywhere, really. From conversations I overhear, things my friends tell me, funny/sad/scary stuff that happened in my family, incidents I’ve observed out in public, stories I’ve read in books or seen on TV, as well as those endless “what if?” questions writers always ask themselves. For this new novel specifically, my husband and son and I took a driving trip down Route 66 (some of it on the actual road and most along the Interstates that cut through the areas where it used to be), and I was really intrigued by its history, the little towns that developed as a result and some of the unusual attractions. I found myself thinking, “There’s a mystery somewhere in this journey...and a love story.” Plus, I’ve kept some kind of diary or journal since the middle of 7th grade and, when I was younger, I’d sometimes write in code. I’ve wondered often what it might be like to have to interpret clues that were found in someone else’s... In fact, the first thing I needed to do in drafting this novel was to actually write out all of Gideon’s journal, which turned out to be more complicated than I’d first imagined!

Q: Tell us about the main characters in this story. Who are Aurora and Donovan?
A: At the start of the novel, Aurora Gray has just graduated from high school and is one month from turning 18. This isn’t a paranormal story—she’s not psychic or telepathic—but she is unusually perceptive, particularly for her age. She’s kind of a natural “mentalist,” who’s used to reading people’s reactions and has a history of being pretty accurate. So when she finds the journal of her missing brother, she’s able to make some connections that those around her would never think to make. It gives her both a determined and a stubborn streak when it comes to thinking she might actually figure out what happened that summer two years ago. Donovan McCafferty, on the other hand, is extremely practical, realistic and not especially bookish. He’s 23, has an Army background and is brilliant with mechanical things. He’s also very loyal, very protective of those he cares about and not remotely inclined to take flying leaps of intuition like Aurora. To use a character parallel from “The X-Files,” Aurora would be a bit like Mulder (“I Want to Believe/The Truth is Out There”), but without that whole alien thing, LOL, and Donovan would be the more skeptical Scully type. 

Q: Did you draw your characters from real people in your life? 

A: Some of my characters have a smattering of qualities and personality traits drawn from people I know, but I do a LOT of blending. It’s incredibly important to me to make my characters unique. To do that, I feel I need to give them a range of quirks and some very distinctive behavior/thought/speaking patterns. The real people in my life are certainly interesting, but none of us (myself included) are entirely “fiction-worthy.” And, boy, am I glad! I wouldn’t want to be a real-life character. I wouldn’t want to be oddly specific enough for fiction. And I sure wouldn’t want those closest to me to be riddled with the stresses and insecurities prominently featured in the characters I’ve created. So, while I’ll happily pluck a trait or two from someone I know to add to the character mix I’m making, I have to do much more to any character to make him/her novel-ready than merely copy someone from my everyday life.

Author Bio:

Marilyn Brant is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She wrote the new adult/humorous paranormal novel ACCORDING TO JANE (2009), the women’s fiction relationship drama FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE (2010), and the romantic travel adventure A SUMMER IN EUROPE (2011), all published by Kensington Books. She's also a #1 Kindle and #1 Nook bestseller and has written a series of fun and flirty romantic comedies, including ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAE (2011) and PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH (2013). Her coming-of-age romantic mystery, THE ROAD TO YOU, will be available in October 2013.
Marilyn is a lifelong music lover and a travel junkie. She’s visited 46 states and over 30 countries (so far—she's not done yet!), but she now lives in the Chicago suburbs with her family. When she isn't rereading Jane Austen's books or enjoying the latest releases by her writer friends, she's working on her next novel, eating chocolate indiscriminately and hiding from the laundry.
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