Monday, February 3, 2014

The Road To You Week One Discussion




The Road To You
Week One
Well fellow travelers here we are on the first stop of our journey. Theres already a lot to take in and still many things left unanswered.
So lets not delay!

So what do you think so far?


Do you like Marilyns timeline?


What do you think of our stars?


Have you tried to decipher any of the journal notes?



And if you have questions for Marilyn she's here!!


40 comments:

  1. *waving!*
    I'm definitely here ;).
    Deb, thank you again for inviting me and many thanks to everyone who shows up during the month of February to chat about the book. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

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    1. Marilyn it is my honor and pleasure to sponsor this wonderful read.
      I've been excitedly waiting for it for months LOL

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  2. Will try again. Google just ate my first attempt to post. :-(
    I love that the story is told through the eyes of a 17 year old senior in high school who is going through all the angst of life, plus the horrid realities of loss and grief of losing her brother and his best friend two years prior.... poof disappear.
    Then, just as she is starting to get on an even keep and start coping with it, a MEGATON BOMB explodes in her life and she can't share it with anyone (except the older, hot, sexy brother of her missing brother's friend).
    Marilyn, you are once again leading us down a merry path of adventure with lots of exciting exploits. But this time they have bullets and BOOMS.
    I've heard of leaving a trail of bodies in your wake as you go through hot steamy novels, but DEAD bodies? LOL The direction of this novel was a delightful surprise . I never took you for a mystery sleuth. I am enjoying every turn of the page.
    Question, are you going to be able to keep "hot and steamy" on the straight and narrow all the way through this fast paced book that keeps the fire turned up in more ways that one? wink

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    1. AH Karen, sorry about google's appetite for your post. I usually try to print my response on a doc of some kind then copy and paste to the response section because at a whim poof it can be gone. But we're use to B&N gremlins too. I'm so glad you're enjoying Marilyn's foray into her darker self. I have to admit I was taken aback at my first reading of the novel, not in a bad way but wow I was not expecting the dead bodies either.

      So do you like solving mysteries?

      So glad you're on this trip with us :)

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    2. I love mysteries. I grew up cutting my teeth on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and moved on to Agatha Christie and many of the great Sleuths since that time. It is a lot of fun to dodge bullets with Marilyn and still wonder where her romantic interest is going to take us. There is always a hot steamy romantic interest (ahhhhh).
      The big questions and battle of brains (and the fun) is can she keep me guessing to the end. Marilyn, you've got me stumped so far. The only thing I know for sure is WHERE you will be going, and then only because you went to a lot of my old home places this summer while you were writing the book and we had a lot of fun talking about some of those places..... Now to see how many of them make the book Hee Hee.

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    3. LOL, Deb! I love how you talk about this foray into my "darker self"!! It almost makes me want to insist that it's a frequent thing. That I'm always just a moment away from lurching headfirst into the dark underbelly of existence (when, really, I'm usually pretty happy with life's lighter side...) Reminds me of that scene from the movie "When Harry Met Sally" when optimistic Meg Ryan/Sally is trying so hard to convince grouchy Billy Crystal/Harry that she "has just as much of a dark side" as anyone, but he keeps shaking his head until she finally admits that, yes, she's actually a pretty happy person ;).

      I'm actually a pretty happy person...but, you know, I have just as much of a dark side as the next gal, LOL.

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    4. Karen!!!
      First of all, thank you SO much for being here <3. You're wonderful!
      And I know all about Google eating my posts. There are so many hoops to jump through on blog sites these days to stop the spammers that, sometimes, I think the automated filters just short-circuit themselves from trying to process all the information... Thanks for taking the time to write all your comments out again!

      Anyway, I'm so glad you're enjoying the start of the story (yay!!) and that the mystery element took you by surprise. I'll admit, I've never been quite sure how to label this book so the genre would be clear. I still struggle with it! Mostly because it's really a mix of at least 4 different genres: a lot of mystery/suspense, some romance, coming-of-age, *and* historical (apparently, much as I want to argue vehemently against it, many readers -- like my teenage son -- consider the 1970s to be "the distant past" :-).

      So, I think it's fair to say that a reader should expect less romantic steam in this book, at least initially, because there's real danger to be dealt with...real bullets...real crime, which I did, in part, pull from the headlines of the past... I've always found it hard to imagine that any believable character would carry on overly much with physical displays of affection in the face of genuine peril, so I knew I needed to limit that at the beginning.

      As for Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys -- I LOVED those mysteries as a kid, too!! I'm glad we share that and I look forward to talking with you more about the road trip, too!

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    5. LOL!!!! Romance and danger not mixing??? You haven't watched many Bourne movies lately. The mix is good. BTW, I agree, the 70's aren't that far removed, or am I really that old? My grandkids actually asked me if we had TV back in the olden days. I thought I would roll on the floor. I did have to admit that it was black and white till I got in to high school (my dad wouldn't buy a color one.)
      I would put this straight into the adventure/mystery/coming of age/romance(there's always romance) and we'll see where it goes from here. But you have to admit, the heroine definitely has the crush on the hunk, even in the midst of lost brother, mystery phrases, and puzzles to solve. I sure would have at that age.
      Karen

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    6. Karen,
      Ha!! I can still remember back to when I was little and we had just a black-n-white TV, too... :)
      And, hey, I didn't say romance and danger never mixed, LOL -- I loved those Bourne movies and the books, too!! -- but it drives me crazy when bullets are being fired at some heroine and her entire internal monologue consists of something like, "When we get out of this mess, I'm gonna kiss him and rip off his t-shirt and run my fingers across his sinewy muscles and..." WHAT?!! I just want to scream, "Lady, someone's trying to kill you! Daydream about his muscles later." *grin*
      And, of course, you're totally right about Aurora's crush on Donovan! Can't be denied ;). xo

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  3. Oh, I think I grabbed this, if I did I will try and catch up!

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    1. Yay!!! Oh, I hope you will, Kim! I know you're a mystery reader, and I'd love to get to hear your thoughts on this one :).

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    2. Kim that would be FANTASTIC!!! :)

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  4. Hi Deb, Marilyn, Muse,
    You know, you’d think with a month off that I’d be caught up – but as usual, I’m frantically reading to get through the ‘assignment’. Maybe frantic isn’t really describing anxiety; I’m just dying to know what’s going to happen to our ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’, so I want to catch up – and read on! Great story, Marilyn, it’s taking some turns that I wouldn’t have anticipated. (And fortunately, since I’m reading it on my nook, it’s a little more effort to peek at the end, so I can’t try and find out early how this all ties up at the end… ;-) )

    So – our stars. My first reaction is that I love Aurora, not crazy about Donovan, and I’m so angry at their brothers, assuming that they’re still alive out there. Even at their young age, how could they be so inconsiderate? If it does turn out that they’re alive, they’ve got ‘some splainin’ to do. I guess we’re not seeing all of the journal notes, because I’d like to see more of the information they mention is between the chemical listings. Maybe we’ll see more of that journal??

    Ah, Nancy Drew. How I loved that spunky young detective! I have to confess that the one thing that would make my heart go pitter pat on Christmas morning was to see a stack of book-shaped wrapped gifts waiting for me. I still have my old ones!
    Elaine

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    1. I know Elaine when I first read this last year I was BLOWN AWAY and did not expect half of the things that were going on and to consider that the protagonists were practically just kids

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    2. Debbie, :-) !!!

      Elaine, thank you so much for being here and for sharing your first impressions! I'm really glad to know that the story is holding your attention so far and keeping you guessing ;). It's been so interesting for me, as the author, to gather reactions about Aurora and Donovan. So far, most people seem to be fairly in sync with Aurora and sympathetic to her plight...but Donovan hasn't been so easy to pin down, LOL. He's definitely divided readers into two camps -- those who fall for him and those who are ticked off at him! I've even had a few requests to see scenes from the book from his point of view because they wanted to know what, exactly, he was thinking :). I'll be curious to know if your opinions of him change -- for good or bad -- as the story goes on. And then, of course, there's Gideon and Jeremy... LOTS still ahead in regards to them!
      And yay! Another Nancy Drew fan!! I still have a few of my original ND mysteries from my childhood, but a few months ago I was at an antique shop and snagged a copy of #21 The Secret in the Old Attic. Was so fun to reread it!

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    3. I have 25 of my old Nancy Drews, but #21 isn't one of them. Sadly. As a young me, I would have given my eye teeth to have them all, but even then it seemed like an impossible mission.

      I hope I change my mind about Donovan, I'm sure that he'll wind up playing a key role in this story. But right now his abrasive personality just gets in the way. There must be a soft underbelly in there somewhere.
      Elaine

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    4. We'll see what you end up thinking about Donovan! Don't worry, though...you don't have to try to be gentle on my account. I'm interested in your real reactions ;).

      As for all of the Nancy Drew books you've collected -- wow!! I remember checking out most of the ones I read from the library, so I only owned a handful, about 6 or 7. I'm envious! You're right, though -- it would be hard to collect them all -- there are dozens!!

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    5. Donovan!!!! I love Donovan. But then I have always been a push over for the strong silent type. Ha Ha. Marilyn, I love the care with which you built his character. This is a man that served at the end of the Vietnam War era. Did he serve overseas? His quiet withdraw from the family and the references that Gideon and Jeremy made to his serving his country in the video in Chapter 6 led me to believe he did. If so, that says a lot about him and his character. In many ways, he makes me think of a young Gibbs (NCIS). Sigh. Honor, integrity, silence, observant, never know just what is going on in that mind of his....
      I loved when they checked into the hotel in chapter two and he pulls the fake wedding ring out of his pocket and checks them in as Mr. and Mrs. I about choked. Just the incredulous look on Aurora's face would have been a dead give away.... lol But then the sleeping arrangements... oh boy. "If it had been math class there would have been a line intersecting the bed longitudinally, dividing it into halves, he would not have been charged with crossing over the midpoint." ... Even with the breath holding and mystery, the comedic scenes are so REAL!!!!.... (I kept getting these rude looks from the hubby at my sudden outbursts of laughter.) Sleep anyone?
      And the show continued. Our poor hero continues to be steamrolled by this little spitfire and even though he spits and sputters, he follows and lends the protective hand and additional brain power as she sets out to unravel the journal, with his help. Nancy Drew --- move over.

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    6. LOL!! Wow, you called it right, Karen -- Donovan is the epitome of the "strong and silent type" :). That was exactly how I mentally defined him!!! As for the Vietnam War, in regards to Donovan's service, he wasn't actually sent overseas because it was nearing the end of direct U.S. military involvement when he enlisted...but he was *prepared* to go fight abroad, and had expected to when he left home at 18. He had made some friends that were sent overseas, and lost a few, so that left a mark. And I *love* that you mentioned Gibbs from NCIS!! I watched that show and NCIS: Los Angeles almost obsessively last year as I was polishing this book. (And I still watch them -- I got hooked. :)
      Anyway, thank you for these additional comments. It's so fun to read your thoughts! And after all the math I used in A Summer in Europe, you probably knew I couldn't help but slip some math references into this story, too!! Glad that one about the bed/midpoint made you laugh! xoxo

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    7. Karen, I loved your description of Donovan, he is definitely the strong silent type. And it's not that I didn't like him at first but we only had inside Aurora's head to tell us what was going on and she was definitely feeling the mixed signals.
      I love this conversation :)

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    8. Me too!! BTW, I will have to tell you the story some time about when one of my kids brought the boyfriend home from college and informed us of the sleeping arrangements. Mom 1 boyfriend 0 and I didn't say a word or tell them they couldn't. B-);-). Lol.

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    9. Deb ~ I think you're totally right about Donovan's mixed signals! You're not alone, btw -- Aurora can't figure him out either ;).

      And Karen ~ LOL! I'm most definitely going to want to hear that story!!!!!

      This weekend, my brother and I are getting together for a concert, so I'll be out of town for a couple of days. I'll check back in here as soon as I return...I'm already looking forward to our continued conversation next week!! <3

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    10. Marilyn have a great time with your brother.
      I can't wait for the next leg in our journey either
      to all my book club peeps have a great weekend and I'll be back on Monday with some fresh questions xoxo
      deb

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  5. Hi everyone! It's great to see you all again. I'm loving this read. We're getting snow here and with the wind gusts, the internet has been cutting out all day, so I'll post my answers separately.

    So what do you think so far?

    This book has kept me on my toes so far. In the beginning I never would have guessed the search for Gideon and Jeremy would have lead us to two deaths or just how dangerous it would get. I'll admit at the beginning I felt more like Donovan, in the sense that I was skeptical that Gideon and Jeremy could actually still be alive. Aurora never once wavered in her belief once she found Gideon's journal and I think some of her determination to convince Donovan that the boys were still alive began to rub off on me. The more I read, the more convinced I became that it could be true. I love the way the reader is given clues in the journal and then taken along on this road trip searching new towns and meeting new people all of which are tied together. I'm excited to see where we'll end up next.

    -April

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    1. April, hello!! Wonderful to see you here!
      I'm *thrilled* to know that the story is keeping you on your toes, by the way -- thank you! And I'm really glad that you're enjoying the journal clues... I'll admit, I really had to work on those throughout the entire time I was writing the novel! At one point, I knew I wouldn't be able to continue drafting the book until after I'd written out ALL of Gideon's journal, so figuring out the clues became a pretty major project for me, LOL.

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    2. April, Hi!!! How's the wee one, not so wee anymore is she. Growing like a week I suspect.

      Thanks for joining in, it's like old home week from B&N :)

      and thanks for your responses.

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    3. Deb, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. I can't believe how fast time flies. Olivia has grown so much already and she just started rolling, so she's keeping me on my toes. I'm so glad you chose this book to discuss. It's a great read and I'm looking forward to see how it ends.

      -April

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    4. April no apology necessary! I'm glad everyone is doing well! I'm glad you're enjoying the read!

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  6. Do you like Marilyn’s timeline?

    I liked that this book took place before we had all the technology we are so accustomed to today. I think it has made this book more fun to read. The reader is taken along on the adventure and shares the excitement of finding yet another piece to the puzzle. Instead of Aurora and Donovan being able to search online from home to find answers, they are forced to go out into the world and seek out places and people to help aid them in their search. This has made me a much more invested reader, eagerly awaiting where the clues will take us next.

    -April

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    1. I'm so glad that the setting and time frame of the story works for you, April!
      When I first started writing the book (it was a 3-year project ;), I was told that I should make it modern day -- that most readers wouldn't be able to relate to a '70s setting. But, given the modern forensic advancements and the computer technology we have now, the journal idea either wouldn't work in the present day or I would've had to turn it into some super high-tech digital thing, and that wasn't what I was after at all! So, I'm delighted you've found it fun and gotten invested in the road-trip adventure. Honestly, that was what I'd most hoped would happen ;).

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    2. I agree with April. back dating this book to the 70s has been a lot of fun... Remembering phones tied to walls, no email, no computers, card catalogs (oh I loved those), and tape decks..... heaven. What is even more fun was watching someone go through the process and art of cracking a puzzle and mystery themselves, without googling and FBing everyone for their input and instant answers. A whole lot more fun.
      Hi April!!!!!

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    3. Karen,
      Oh, the memories of phones being tied to walls! And I loved card catalogs at the library, too... Teens (like my son) totally take for granted that they can look up anything they want on their phones. It was such a different world before the Internet, wasn't it?!

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  7. What do you think of our stars?

    I think Aurora and Donovan make a great sleuthing team. Donovan knows when to turn up the charm to get the answers he's looking for and Aurora is able to read people's faces and gestures to gauge whether or not they're telling her everything they know. Aurora also has the ability to sense how she should act like to make other people feel more comfortable with her. Together, they're a perfect match. We know Aurora has a crush on Donovan (who wouldn't in her situation?) but I get the sense that he's into her too. I can't wait to see what happens between them.

    -April

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    1. :) :)
      They were a fun team to write -- kind of a reverse Mulder and Scully (only without the aliens!), in that Aurora is the one who knows "the truth is out there" and Donovan is more of the skeptic. And you're definitely right about that crush...

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  8. Have you tried to decipher any of the journal notes?

    I've found myself trying to figure out Gideon's journal along with Aurora and Donovan, but they're much better sleuths than I'll ever be. I have tons of questions still unanswered and I can't wait to keep on reading to find the answers.

    -April

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  9. Ha!! They're much better sleuths than *I'll* ever be, too! My characters are faster at figuring out the clues than I'd be in their situation ;). So glad you've got questions ahead that keep you turning the pages!! xo

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  10. I love reading all your responses.
    and now to answer my own questions

    I was taken right away with Marilyn's storyline, hook, line and sinker. First because it was out of my knowledge of her writing and so I was immediately swept up into this mystery.

    One of the reasons I don't read a lot of past novels from the 60's, 70's and 80's is because of the antiquated technology and in reality to be honest our tastes as readers are much different now from then.

    But I LOVE reading about past time lines when the story is written in the present so I loved her timeline too!

    Our Stars to me were a conundrum of teenaged angst and having to grow up too fast for ugly reasons.
    Aurora I loved right away
    Donovan, not so much because the romantic in me didn't like the mixed signals he was giving.

    I did not try to decipher the journal, I was never accused of being Nancy Drew only enjoying the stories and honestly some of the equations are over my head so I tend to stick to the narrative for all the clues I need.

    Thank you all for your comments and Marilyn you're a doll to be here with us!!!

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  11. Deb, you ask absolutely wonderful questions! It's always so fun for me to read the responses, too ;). And it's truly MY pleasure to get to be here this month!!

    In regards to your observations, first and foremost, thank you! I'm still so delighted that you enjoyed this novel, particularly since you're such a voracious reader and have read many, many mysteries! And I completely understand about Donovan being more difficult to like, esp. at the beginning...and, maybe, for some, throughout the book... I know you already know the whole story and everything that happens, so I'm really curious about your thoughts on him in the later chapters, too :).

    HUGE thanks to everyone who's visited and commented so far!! I'll be checking in on this thread often this week and periodically throughout all of February, so if someone sees this Week One post later in the month and would like to jump in with a few thoughts, I'll be back to respond for sure!

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  12. Deb, you are the best. The book is wonderful and a lot of fun to read with everyone.

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