Friday, May 6, 2016

Spirit of the Northwoods by Auria Jourdain @goddessfish @AuriaJourdain

Spirit of the Northwoods
by Auria Jourdain

GENRE: Young Adult


Struggling to settle into a new school, junior Shannon Colfax finds herself entangled in a feud with popular football jock Brent Duray after he bullies her autistic twin brother, Shane. After an unlikely savior comes to her rescue—Brent’s friend, Cody Williams—the jock and his entourage devise an immediate retaliation plan: Duray promises to leave Shane alone if Shannon and Cody survive the infamous Paulding Light Challenge on Halloween night. Desperate for vindication, they take the dare...but are the local legends truly paranormal, or are they dealing with something more sinister?


“Bye Shanna!” Shane yelled again, looking at the ground as he waved at his sister.

“Bye, Shanna!”

 Shannon whipped around, ready to throttle the sarcastic bully that dared mock her brother.

“What an idiot! Who the hell would tease an autistic boy?” Christa stood on her toes, her lips lifting into a sneer. “Idiot is right. Look who it is!”

 As the culprit emerged from the crowd, Shannon glared at Brent Duray, the school’s most popular jock. His girlfriend, a petite cheerleader with blonde, blown out hair and a toothpick waist, walked next to him, smirking at Brent’s teasing. As usual, the arrogant football player’s entire entourage followed close behind—mostly members of the football team. Shannon balled up her fists and cursed under her breath.

Christa tossed her head, scoffing in derision. “Duray’s a jerk. Let it go, Shannon.”

The tall, blond boy sneered. “Yeah, Shanna, let it go.”

Shannon’s face flushed with anger as she glared at Brent menacingly. She and Brent had been oil and water from day one when she overheard him teasing her twin. The senior linebacker refused to back down, and they’d been mincing words ever since.

“Leave them alone, Brent. You are acting like an idiot.”

Glancing over Brent’s head, Shannon frowned, unable to recognize the voice that had called out from the back of the crowd. “Who is that?”

“Cody Williams!” Christa’s face lit up as Duray turned toward the dissenting voice, her excited whisper echoing in Shannon’s ear.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

An avid reader from an early age, Auria Jourdain has fond childhood memories of spending quiet afternoons with a book in her hand. She loved the "happily ever after" sweet teen romances, and when she came of age, she plunged into the world of historical romance with fervor, transporting herself to a bygone time. Her favorites were Regency, but as a girl brought up in a common home, she was disheartened that most of the novels of this era focus on the nobility and wealth. Auria set out to write her own romance, encompassing her passion for French Revolutionary history and her innate sense of goodwill for the common man. An idealist at heart, she writes heroes and heroines that struggle to find acceptance in their world.

To go along with this theme, two years ago, Auria wrote a Young Adult novel during NaNoWriMo for her 17 year old autistic son who is struggling to make his own way in the world. Looking to educate people about this mysterious disorder, she wrote Spirit of the Northwoods for him and set it in their hometown in the Upper Peninsula. Her release coincides with Autism Awareness month, April 2016, and all proceeds for this novel will be donated to the Autism Society of America. Auria hopes that someday we can break down the social barriers and forgo stereotypical judgments that harm our world so that people like her son can form positive relationships with others.

Auria lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband of twenty years, her four children (ages eight to eighteen), and two golden retrievers. A rather new transplant to the area, she loves the changing of the seasons, and she is currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense trilogy set in her rough and rugged homeland. Silence the Northwoods is set at a local ski resort in her hometown of Ironwood, Michigan—the ski capital of the Midwest. Silence the Waters takes place during the summer on the dangerous river ways that flow into Lake Superior in the Keweenaw Peninsula; and Silence the Birchwoods is an autumn tale set on Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Marquette, Michigan. All three involve murder, mystery, and romance, of course.

Auria spends her the long winters plotting and scheming her next book, and in the mild summers, she and her husband devote every waking moment hiking and kayaking the Northwoods. An amateur photographer, she lives fifteen miles from the shores of Lake Superior, and her muse has been piqued by the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds her. Although she hasn’t officially acquired “Yooper” status yet, she can’t envision living anywhere else.

Find me here!


Auria Jourdain will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Auria Jourdain said...

Good morning! Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I'd love to answer any questions about Spirit of the Northwoods, a novel near and dear to my heart. I wrote it for my autistic son in honor of Autism Awareness Month. The Paulding Light is infamous where I live, and depending on who you talk to, the mysterious lights that flash in the night sky come from an old train engineer that fell to his death in the late 19th century during the height of the copper mining days. Or, perhaps it's an old Ojibwa chief dancing on the vast power lines, angry that the white man stole their lands (the road leading to the lights butts up to the Lac Vieux Desert Chippewa (Ojibwa) Reservation. A group of skeptical engineering students from nearby MTU say they debunked the legends and claim the flashing phenomenon is nothing more than an optical illusion--headlights from a Michigan highway. Honestly, I'm not sure what I believe...I'm too chicken to go stand out there and see them for myself:D But this legend gave me a wonderful plot for my three characters, Shane, Shannon, and Cody, and I ran with it. This story is a mixture of murder/mystery, teen problems, and adventure with paranormal thrown in! Please feel free to ask me anything...I'd love to chat about it!


Victoria Alexander said...

Great excerpt! Sounds like a book I'll enjoy, thanks for sharing :)

James Robert said...

Thank you once again for the giveaway and have a fun Friday!

MomJane said...

I really enjoyed the blurb and then I read the excerpt, This really sounds like a fascinating and sensitive story.

James Robert said...

Have an amazing fun filled Saturday and thank you for this giveaway

Ally Swanson said...

I enjoyed reading the excerpt. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book.

Sharon E said...

Really liked the excerpt. Will be reading to find out what happens. Thanks for hosting.

Brooke Banks said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

The inspiration and commitment behind your story is amazing. I hope it gets better for you and your son.

Q: Have you ever thought of writing a book from a person with autism's POV? What are some resources about Autism that you'd like to share with readers?

James Robert said...

Happy Mother's Day to all the terrific moms out there and thank YOU for this giveaway

Ally Swanson said...

Where is your favorite spot to read?

Auria Jourdain said...

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I was MIA this weekend...lots of fun with my children and hubby along with fresh air--I couldn't pass it up! We have some terrific questions here. Brooke--what a fantastic question...thanks so much! in this book, I wrote certain scenes from an autistic person's POV--Shane is my son's doppelganger:D My son can talk, but in Spirit, I wanted to challenge myself, so I made Shane nonverbal. He uses a tablet to communicate, but the scenes in his POV are mostly internal, and I hope I convey how much he struggles to communicate with others. A lot of his frustrations were ones I noted when my son was little and his ability to communicate effectively was hindered. Oftentimes, he didn't know how to express how he was feeling--mainly because he didn't understand the emotions. He'd pull his hair and rock back and forth...and I use a lot of these for Shane during his POV scenes. Shane's scenes were definitely my favorites to write! Ally--because I write most of the year, the only time I really get to read is on vacation:D I just got a hammock for mother's day, so I'm hoping to get some serious reading done this summer;) Thank you all for stopping by! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!