Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Blitz - Martina Boone's Compulsion....

Release Date: 10/28/14
ISBN: 1481411225
Simon Pulse, Simon Teen
448 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

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Compulsion is available anywhere books are sold. Signed copies are available from One More Page Books. You can also order with the special “I have a Compulsion for reading” bookplate from Eight Cousins.

Barrie turned back to the French doors and the view. The small boat had crossed the river and pulled alongside the Beaufort dock. Eight jumped out to tie it off while his father hurried toward the house. After meeting Eight with a wagging tail, a dropped ball, and a silent bark, the Labrador bounded away in invitation. Eight picked up the ball from the wooden planks and threw it.

He used a pitcher’s throw, arm and leg coming up, his whole body fluid. The dog ran an impossibly long distance before retrieving the ball. Eight meanwhile kicked off his flip-flops and stripped off his shirt. Barrie caught her breath. Eight Beaufort would make any girl catch her breath.

Almost as if he’d heard her thoughts, he looked toward her window. Could he see her all the way from there? Guiltily, as if he’d caught her spying, Barrie ducked back behind the curtains and kept watching.

With the dog at his heels, Eight sprang into a run. He pounded down the dock toward the river, but the dog reached the water first and jumped in with a splash. Eight launched into the air, knees clutched to his chest. Barrie didn’t breathe until both he and the dog had bobbed back to the surface. She could almost hear Mark giving that beautiful body a nine on a scale of ten. But only because Mark didn’t believe in giving tens.

“Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, you’ll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series.” — #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout

"Skillfully blends rich magic and folklore with adventure, sweeping romance, and hidden treasure . . . An impressive start to the Heirs of Watson Island series." — Publishers Weekly

The C O M P U L S I O N Dream Cast

Before I get to the human characters, I have to say that setting is very definitely a
character in the HEIRS OF WATSON ISLAND trilogy. Watson Island is loosely based
on Edisto Island, and I borrowed from actual Charleston area plantation history to create
the three plantations that shaped who the three families became. There was tons of
material to work with-I mean, pirate treasure, ancient spirit witches, blood feuds, lonely,
demented characters, curses, forbidden romance . . . How could I resist?

My dream cast of plantations would include Boone Hall Plantation, with bits of Magnolia
Plantation and Drayton Hall thrown in. For the ruins of Colesworth Place, I’d love to use
part of the columns that are all that’s left of the Windsor Plantation in Port Gibson,
Mississippi. There is a Windsor Plantation on Edisto Island, too, but it doesn’t have the
same level of drama and echoing sadness.

Okay, and now on to the fun part. Human characters.

Barrie first. I’d love to Jennifer Lawrence play Barrie, of course, but basically, I’d like
Jennifer Lawrence to play the main character in every movie, so that may not tell you
much. I might go with Nicola Peltz.

Eight (Charles Robert Beaufort, VIII)
Liam Hemsworth, I think, although Alex Pettyfer is probably the default here for most
readers, and of course I wouldn’t turn him down. J

Barrie’s cousin Cassie.
Rooney Mara. This one’s a no-brainer for me. She could do Scarlett/Vivien Leigh, and I
think she’d pull off the various sides of Cassie with the complexity that Cassie needs.

Barrie’s godfather Mark.
Idris Elba. I can picture him ROCKING a pink Chanel suit and heels and shaking his
booty and singing along with Whoopie Goldberg in Sister Act doing “Hail Holy Queen.” I
wonder if he’d be willing to shave?

Barrie’s Aunt Pru.
Hard to believe that Reese Witherspoon is about the right age, but she is. And she
would do a fabulous job.

Eight’s father Seven (Charles Robert Beaufort, VII).
If they cast Patrick Dempsey as Seven, then McDreamy might finally get the girl he
missed in Sweet Home Alabama. Maybe. Eventually. By the end of the series—if I
decide that Seven is truly good enough for Pru.


Q. What’s your favorite thing about Compulsion?
I secretly love Gothic novels. There was a point where Daphne du Maurier's
REBECCA and Mary Stewart's AIRS ABOVE THE GROUND were among my favorite
novels. I've always adored books with exotically dangerous settings, quirky characters,
and elements of mystery and suspense. Since I'm from Prague, one of the most
magical, broodingly beautiful cities in the world, the bar for magical locations is set
pretty high. But the South. Ah, there I have all the elements I love—a haunted past,
regret, anger, continuing conflict, and questions of morality galore. Southern plantations
are the closest thing to moldering abbeys and decaying castles that we have in the
United States. I'm grateful to Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl for reminding me of how
much I love all the elements they included in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, because their
series got me thinking about the possibilities of Spanish moss and crumbling Southern
mansions. My favorite thing about Compulsion, hands down, is the setting and how it
shaped (and twisted) the characters and families who live there.

Q: What do you want readers to take away from COMPULSION?
That you can pick your family, the people you love. And that you need to do more than just survive your life. You have to go out and live your life.

Q. Is there a one sentence pitch for COMPULSION?
Someone the School Library Journal recently said it’s a bit Gone with the Wind and a bit Romeo and Juliet with a dose of paranormal all wrapped up in an engrossing mystery. I’ll take that! :) Really it’s a Southern Gothic romance about teens from three South Carolina plantations whose ancestors bargained with an ancient spirit and received two magical gifts and a curse that has passed down through the generations so that the current generations are faced with dangerous situations and family feuds, and have to unravel the mystery of the curse to save themselves.

Q: Can you sum up COMPULSION in one word?
Sure. The title: Compulsion. I think my editor nailed it coming up with that.

Q: So COMPULSION wasn't the original title?
The book has had three titles, and I love them all. My working title was FIRE
CARRIER, and when you read the book, you'll get that. My brilliant acquiring editor,
Annette Pollert, who edited the book all the way up to copyedits, came up with
BEHOLDEN, which everyone loved, and that also suits the book perfectly. But the
bottom line is that COMPULSION fits several themes in the book and also conveys a
sense of energy that I hope I've achieved in the plot. It's by far my favorite, and it carries
through into the rest of the series.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for COMPULSION?
I wrote a short story for an anthology that ended up having some of the same
characters in it, and I knew I wasn't done with the place or the characters yet. But it
wasn't until I dreamed about a ball of fire drifting through the woods and setting a river aflame that I had the anchoring visual for the book. The rest all came from asking why
and doing a lot of research and brainstorming, which did include two separate research
trips to the Charleston area.

Q: Why did you want to tell this story?
Pirates, ghosts, witches, voodoo, treasure, forbidden love, mystery, murder . . . Who wouldn't want to tell this story? Seriously, it's the loneliness of the characters, their
quest to find each other, and ultimately their ability to save each other or destroy each
other. The characters became as real for me as my own family, and I wanted to share
them to make them live for other people, too.

Q. What is the weirdest piece of research you had to do when writing
I researched a LOT of off the wall things for this book: pirates, shipwrecks, ghosts, witches, voodoo, hoodoo, Cherokee witchcraft, slavery, drug running, lost treasures of the Civil War, Confederate privateering, the Red Sea Gold, indigo production, drag queens/drag shows, secret rooms, furniture with hidden drawers, ball lightning . . . The thing that fascinated me the most on a research level was the various forms of magic that were present in the South with the confluence of belief systems brought there by slaves from different regions and religions intersecting with Native American belief systems. I spent a lot of time Googling specific spells and curses and trying to work out how the interpretation of them might have changed over three hundred years.

Q. Were there any scenes that had to be cut that you wish would have stayed in?
I honestly can’t think of a single scene I cut out fully. There were pieces of scenes that I took out, and the majority of those were ghost scenes. There’s a particular one that I can’t share, but I fully intend to make it the foundation of a whole book someday. :)

Q: COMPULSION is part of a trilogy. Did you already have the series written when
you submitted the manuscript?
I never meant to write a series, but I knew I wasn't done with Watson Island yet, so after I'd written the second draft, I gave both Eight and Cassie little sisters. I intended to let them help me explore the magical aspects of those families in companion novels.
When my agent and I were getting ready to submit COMPULSION to publishers, I very
quickly wrote synopses for the novels. Just quick sketches. And then I immediately went
to work writing the second book to keep from going crazy while I was waiting to see if
COMPULSION would sell. We already had a phone call scheduled with a publisher for a
Monday, and my agent called me at five o'clock on Thursday night to tell me that
Annette, my future editor, wanted to talk to me the next day, and did I have time. Um,
does McDonalds sell hamburgers? Also, he said, Annette wanted to know if I would
consider making the other two books a series. Sure, I said. Of course. And then I had
until ten-thirty the next morning to come up with ideas: plot and character arcs for the
series, a plot that was progressive instead of episodic, themes that would carry across
the books. All that. So I called my critique partners and begged for brainstorming help.
We were all focusing on plot at first, and then when I was just talking things through, I finally realized what the character progressions had to be. Instead of crying about the
loss of what I'd already written in Book Two, I got excited about the series idea instead,
and I also realized that I could use what I'd done for Book Two. Just in a different way.

Q. Did anything change in the story as you were writing COMPULSION?
Besides me, you mean? Um. There was a character who was meant to be a very
minor character who kind of took over the book. But also there were things that changed
in every draft: motivation, or past history, or character, or plot. I got to know my
characters better each time, and the more I knew them, the more something changed.

Q: What was the most surprising part of writing COMPULSION?
How it turned out. People who read my blog, may
know that I used to think of myself as a plotter. I wrote outlines. Long outlines. Thirty or
forty thousand word outlines. And if someone asked me to write a synopsis of a book, I
had to first write the outline – at which point, I eventually realized that I wasn't writing an
outline at all; I was writing a first draft. I don't know where I first heard the word, but
someone somewhere mentioned doing something they called a discovery draft. Coming
across that term was one of the biggest AHA! moments of my life. So yeah. It turns out
I'm not a plotter, but I'm also not completely a pantser. I'm a plantser. With
COMPULSION, I knew where I was going – I had that draft to use as a roadmap, but
things kept changing. I was constantly surprised.

Q: What do you think will shock readers the most in COMPULSION?
There are a lot of surprises—I hope. At least I hear from readers that there are
surprises. And several of them are meant to be shocking, but they are shocking in
different ways. I'd love to hear from readers (privately or at least in a non-spoilery way
☺) what they think shocked them the most.

Q: Which character in COMPULSION is the most fun to write?
That one is super easy. Mark. He was meant to be a tiny part of the story—really, he was originally a ficelle, a character who is really just there to deliver information. But his personality took over my heart.

Q: If you could hang out with one of the characters from COMPULSION, who
would you pick?
Well, I'm married. And I'm old. Er. Older. So I shouldn't say Eight, right? Okay, yeah. Definitely not Eight. And if we take Eight out of the picture, then I'd have to say Mark, because anyone would have a blast hanging out with Mark.

Q: I've heard that readers, especially men, are fascinated by Cassie. Why?
Well, Cassie's kind of Scarlett O'Hara-ish, so I can see that. But I didn't realize just how intrigued men would be by the bad girl edge she has to her. I'm curious to see what people think after Book Two.

Q. What happens in PERSUASION, the second book of the trilogy?
I can't share that yet, but it's kind of epic. And heartbreaking. Really, really
heartbreaking and also healing.

Q: Some of the characters in COMPULSION are a bit extreme. Do you feel like
that's realistic?
I think that junior high and high school aren't very realistic. They can be horrible, terrible places where people do things to each other than I can't even imagine putting into a book. Schools are all about finding who you are, and that's what books are about. I feel like sometimes writers need to make things a little bigger in a book to give readers the chance to let themselves feel like what's happening is removed from them, even while it is speaking directly to them. I mean, are there going to be Hunger Games in the near future? Man, I hope not. But that doesn't make Katniss' feelings resonate with me any less.

Q: Is there really a Watson Island?
In some parallel universe, Watson Island is somewhere near Edisto Island, South Carolina. The plantations are loosely based on plantations I've visited, and I'll admit that Boone Plantation figured heavily into the mix. It's beautiful. If you haven’t been there, go visit when you get a chance.

Q. How would you describe Watson Island?
Watson Island is the sort of sleepy, close-knit, gossipy town that most people who have visited the South will recognize, with a bit of a difference. The town is well aware of the magic that surrounds the three founding families, and particularly the plantation at Watson’s Landing. They keep the secret. In that way, the book begins like magical realism, but the magic is part of the mystery that Barrie Watson has to uncover when she arrives.

The truly magical place is Watson’s Landing. There, the spirit of a Cherokee witch sets the river surrounding the property on fire each night at midnight in a ceremony he has performed for longer than anyone remembers in order to keep the land protected and to keep the yunwi, the mischievous and magical little people confined to the island. As
Barrie comes to find out, she is bound to this land, both physically and spiritually, and uncovering what that means and why the island exists is part of what I am having a
blast exploring in the course of the trilogy.

The gifts (and the curse) that belong to the Watsons, Beauforts, and Colesworths, all tie into this magic, but not necessarily for the reasons the families think.

Q. Watson Island is really a character in the book, did you do that intentionally?
Up to a point, yes. That’s part of Southern Gothic fiction, but I think that it happened very organically because it all had a history and an atmosphere that I saw very clearly. I did try to use that to highlight certain themes and plot elements, but I would have been crazy not to do that.

Q: What was one of your favorite scenes to write?
I have a lot of favorite scenes, but I love the first beach scene with the turtle nests and that first big jump in the romance between Eight and Barrie. That's followed closely by the fountain scene. And the sandbar scene where Barrie first gets a hint of her strength. And Mark. Any scene with Mark is my favorite. I have a few that I wish I could have put in the book. I may write them someday, just for fun.

Q. There's a lot of Southern Gothic fiction hitting the marketplace lately. What
sets COMPULSION apart?
At its essence, the Southern Gothic fiction I really love is about haunted families and the kind of tradition that passes down from one generation to another whether the next generation wants it or not. It's about haunting settings, quirky characters, and dangerous situations, but it's also about epic love. COMPULSION is about all of that in equal measure, but it's also a coming of age story, a story about finding your place, your family, yourself. There are definitely weird, memorable characters. Someone I really respect once described it as MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL meets ROMEO AND JULIET meets THE SIXTH SENSE. I hope that's kind of different.

Q: Which character refused to stick to your script?
Mark. He was meant to have a small part in the first couple of chapters, but he kept sticking his size fourteen Louboutins into the book at every opportunity.

Q: What's the best scene you've ever written?
A scene in the companion novel I meant to write from Cassie's point of view. That became the foundation for Persuasion, but seen from Barrie’s point of view it’s not the same. The original was heartbreaking. I'm hoping to put it into a novella sometime soon.

Q: What is the core thing in your book? The one thing you would never in a
million years have given up no matter how much money someone paid you?
Mark and the Fire Carrier. And having Watson's Landing as a character.

Q: If you could pull one thing from your series world to have in real life, what
would it be?
Watson's Landing. I'd move there in a heartbeat.

Q. Why did you decide to write a Southern Gothic novel?
I love Gothics. There was a point where Daphne du Maurier's REBECCA and Mary Stewart's AIRS ABOVE THE GROUND were among my favorite novels. I've always
adored books with exotically dangerous settings, quirky characters, and elements of
mystery and suspense. Since I'm from Prague, one of the most magical, broodingly
beautiful cities in the world, the settings in the Los Angeles and even D.C. fell short. But
the South. Ah, there I have all the elements I love—a haunted past, regret, anger,
continuing conflict, and questions of morality galore. Southern plantations are the
closest thing to moldering abbeys and decaying castles that we have in the United
States. I'm grateful to Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl for reminding me of how much I
love all the elements they included in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, because their series
got me thinking about the possibilities of Spanish moss and crumbling Southern

Q: What’s the coolest part of COMPULSION's journey to publication so far?
Talking to readers about my characters as if they are real. Hearing the excitement in my agent's voice and in my editor's voice when they talk about my characters. That's
fabulous, because to me Eight and Barrie and all the others are very real. But also
seeing the incredible amount of love and support that everyone at Simon Pulse has
given to this book. I'm awed and overwhelmed by that. Ask me what the most humbling
and the most inspiring part of COMPULSION's journey has been so far, and my answer
will be identical to this one. : )

There was also a moment four days after I got the electronic version of the copyedited pages hot off the press. I noticed a line from a book in my Twitter notifications. I frequently tweet quotes I like from my Tumblr account, but while the quote looked familiar, I didn’t remember posting it. The bookstore that tweeted it used hashtag #mynewfavoritequote, though, and I stared at it for like thirty seconds before I realized it was from my book, which I hadn't even realized was out in the world anywhere. That was a jaw-dropping and immeasurably cool moment I will remember forever. (Thank you Sara Hines from Eight Cousins Bookstore!)

"Flawless, a true gem! With fluid writing that brings the southern setting to life and maintains a colorful cast of characters, this is a must-read for fans looking for a refreshing and addicting young adult paranormal read." — RT Book Reviews

About the Author
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them.

She’s the founder of, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all this YA Series.
From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

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