When in Gnome
Gnome Sweet Gnome
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: September 28, 2015
Number of pages: 355
Word Count: 90,674
Evangeline Black quickly becomes entangled in the magic that thrives in Gnome, Mississippi, when she spontaneously shifts into a wolf only hours after arriving.
Her life is out of control, and she has to rely on the kindness of strangers: the psychic caretaker of the lovely antebellum home where her mother was born, the sheriff who practices his own version of Native American-inspired magic, and a rocker werewolf. While she struggles at the bottom of the magical learning curve, it becomes apparent that someone is stalking her.
Evangeline quickly learns two things about Gnome. The first is that anything is possible. The second is that magical creatures are much less enchanting when they want you dead.
Ben never showed as he had promised, and when I shifted in my sleep, I was apprehensive at the thought of facing the night alone. As I flew past Daniel in the living room, I noticed a look of concern on his face, and the words “be careful” were stretched into a long, low mournful sound.
Once I hit the outskirts of the yard and had officially entered the woods, I had the strong sensation of being followed. There were shadows slipping in and out of my peripheral vision, and birds and small animals burst out of their hiding places around me for no apparent reason. I tried to outrun the feeling, but it stayed with me.
The moon above me was full, and I raced across a landscape of brightly contrasting moonlight and shadows. I knew I was being followed by something Other, shrouded in the shadows of the trees, and I left the woods and bounded toward the meadow in hopes of losing it. However, the sensation of being followed did not dissipate. Rather, it seemed as if the Other merely took another form and took to the sky. My eyes could not detect it, but I knew it with every ounce of my being, and my fur was crawling up my spine.
I crossed the meadow and entered another part of the woods. My energy was waning, but I was afraid to turn back since I was certain that I was being followed. I began to wonder if the Other following was my father. I also wondered what happened to Ben to prevent him from coming. While I was pondering all of these things and running blindly, another figure stepped directly into my path.
I skidded to an abrupt halt. A shard of moonlight slashed through the trees and cast the figure half in light and half in shadow, and the half in light was definitely not human. His skin was lumpy and blotchy. His face was distorted like a hairless animal with black eyes deeply recessed in pits and a lipless grin that revealed an irregular row of jagged teeth.
I did not bother trying to read his aura.
Slowly and deliberately, the figure brought up his arm, and my fur stood up as I realized that he was holding a gun and about to shoot me. With my heart pounding, I was trying to decide my next move when the shadow that had been following me came barreling over my head. I saw nothing more than a black blur topped by a streak of gold as the Other launched into the other Other. The arm holding the gun was thrust straight up, and the tree limbs exploded as the gun when off. The two figures fell in a tangle, and both were soon swallowed in darkness. I heard a series of growls, but I could see nothing. I decided that right then was a good time to make a hasty exit while they were both distracted.
I raced back across the meadow toward familiar woods, but I must have veered too far left, for I once again found myself in the strange woods where I had been two night ago. Recognizing the trees and the heaviness of the air, I tried to turn right to compensate for my error, but soon I was facing an unfamiliar stream that cut through the woods. I approached the stream, which seemed clean and clear, and was taking a tentative sip when I heard a growl and realized I had company.
I looked up to find myself facing two other wolves. Real wolves. I had no idea we actually had wolves in Mississippi. Their teeth were bared as they inched closer.
This so reminds me of high school, I thought, but the funny thought was of little comfort as they continued to close in on me. I was considering making a break and running when I heard another growl coming up from behind me.
When I turned, I realized that not only was the third wolf baring his teeth at the first two, but he was so much bigger. He stalked past me and put himself between me and the two wolves. As I backed away, he charged across the stream. All three wolves became entangled and rolled in a moment of snapping and growling, but the first two broke away and, quickly determining that they were overpowered, beat a retreat away from the stream.
The large wolf turned toward me, and I was poised to run again when I realized that he was less wolf than they were and more Other. As he walked slowly toward me, he looked at me with eyes that seemed almost human in their expression, as if asking if I was okay.
Thanks. I projected the thought toward him, but he gave no acknowledgment.
For a long moment, we stood contemplating each other. Eventually, I gave up trying to communicate and turned to make my way back to the house. It had been a long and tiring night, and I was already looking forward to the legendary bathtub and maybe even a light midnight snack before crawling back into bed. I realized the Other wolf was following me, although he kept his distance and didn’t seem to pose a threat. I stopped occasionally and turned to regard him, but he stood there, tongue hanging out, reminding me of those persistent guys with every lame pickup line you’ve ever heard—usually freshmen. Just sayin’.
Look, thanks for saving me back there, but I’m just heading home now, okay?
He closed his mouth, and his eyes were wide and quizzical.
I turned back and continued trotting toward home with my new buddy close on my heels. I climbed the porch steps, pawed open the door, and turned back to look at the wolf. I hoped he didn’t expect me to invite him in.
For a moment, he watched me, and then he climbed the steps and walked over to a spot close to the door. He circled and lay down, then looked back at me. I could already imagine Daniel fussing about me bringing home a new pet.
What can I say? I thought to myself. He followed me home. Can we keep it?
I absolutely have fallen in love with this book. I thought it was cute, funny, fun, sexy, full of adventure and mystery, and most of all, it was satisfying to see Evie come into herself and make friends and want a life in Gnome. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. I know that sounds bad, but when I read the blurb, it was intriguing, but I didn't have a major reaction to it. However, by the second chapter, I couldn't put this book down. I fell in love with so many characters. Starting with Evie.
Evie is a sweet girl, but she is naive, and a little sheltered as well. She knew she was adopted, but when she gets a message that her biological mother died and left her an inheritance, she travels to a little town in the middle of nothing. She's had a good life, with love and honesty, and she's getting her education. But then she has a crazy awakening when she gets to Gnome. She finds she not only that she has a house she inherited, but a live in helper, and magical powers.
She also meets some wonderful people. Sherriff Ben, Daniel, the wonderful and sexy Kieran- I can't wait to see what he's going to be as part of Evie's life, and the magnificent werewolf that I won't name. I am of course all for Team Wolf :) LOL I am trying to to name names and positions as to not spoil too much. And as Evie meets them, learns about them, and becomes a part of their lives, she grows into something more as well. I totally love the mystery of Kieran. I look forward to seeing how he is going to play out things, especially since I think he has a thing for Evie. And another secret, Evie learns who her father is. And woah is he something special!
I loved the writing and the story and everything about it. It kept me captivated and I cheered for Evie! I wanted her to be ok with herself and her new friends and I wanted her to be ok, because someone is after her. Well by the end it's more than one someone LOL And I see in the future that there's going to be some serious confrontations coming. And for a debut, this is a fantastic story!! I would absolutely recommend this, because it has something for everyone! I can't wait for book two to come out so I can read it ASAP!! 5 PAWS!!!!
First, tell me a little about your book ☺….
When in Gnome is a paranormal romance, but a lot more than that, too. Evangeline Black is a college graduate who is trying to find herself. Because she was adopted, her family’s past is a mystery that she is trying to uncover, which is what brings her to the place where her mother was born. Gnome is magical, and Evie gets tangled up in the magic when she learns that she inherited some of her birth parents’ abilities. In her first venture into the real world, she quickly gets into trouble. There’s a rich setting, quirky characters, mystery, and magic, but romance, too.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
It started in the fourth grade when I had to write a story for English class. I loved ghost stories, so I wrote a story called “The Haunted Go-Cart”. It was full of jokes and sarcasm, and the other kids loved it. I used to make up my own newspaper on pages from Steno pads. Later, after reading Little Women, I decided I wanted to write novels.
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
When in Gnome is the first book I’ve polished and published, but it’s not the first one I’ve written. My first attempt at a book was an upper middle grade/young adult book I wrote called My Best Friend Hates My Guts. It was about a girl dealing with the fact that she and her best friend are growing apart and first love at the same time. I was processing things that had happened and trying to understand them and put them into words.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I don’t normally shapeshift, but some events in the book are based on reality. In a writing course I once took, my teacher was trying to explain how to tell something that is emotionally true and have the story still qualify as fiction. I didn’t really grasp it at the time, but I’ve since learned how to write about something without dragging a single skeleton out of anyone’s closet and being sued. So, in When in Gnome, for example, I was able to talk about friends growing apart without having anything in the story that actually happened the way it does in the book.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
I loved Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist for the language, the characters, the setting, and the writing in general. I also love Patricia A. McKillip’s fairy tales. Her words are so poetic. I love the way Charles Dickens characterizes and how Stephen King gets inside a character’s head and ties different elements of a story together. I love J. K. Rowling’s imagination, Patricia Cornwell’s precise and clinical method of describing cases, and Jim Butcher’s intricately layered plots in the Dresden Files. I also like Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, Emily Bronte, and Daphne du Maurier.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
No. At one point I questioned if I should have made Evie more of that “strong female lead” character type. However, I didn’t want to turn Evie into some Buffy the Vampire Slayer cliche. Her strength is a quiet strength. She doesn’t have tattoos or piercings, but she is adventurous, optimistic, and understanding. Her world is new and full of opportunity, and, in spite of growing up know that she was adopted, she isn’t jaded or bitter. Her weakness is that she’s naive and nice. She hasn’t learned how to deal with mean people.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes. Rewriting. You’ve already imagined that this is how the story is told, but something isn’t working. You go over it a million times before you finally find the flaw in the plot. Then you have to reimagine the resolution. Because the original story is so ingrained in your thoughts that you’ve already accepted that’s what the story is, it’s like trying to make a river run a different course. It hurts my brain.
What book are you reading now?
In Kindle, I’m reading a Young Adult novel called Cursed by Jennifer Armentrout, and I’ve just started House of Leaves, a horror novel by Mark. Z. Danielewski, in print.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
I designed the cover myself. I always knew that it was going to have a garden gnome on the front with flowers growing up around it, and that the house would be in the background. I was going for a naive, folk-artsy look.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
I think Evie’s father, Conlaoch. Not that I want to be a man or anything. He’s more powerful than his queen, and he has to keep his power hidden and the people he cares about far from himself to protect them. He doesn’t make choices out of ego. This tells me that he’s very wise, patient, and puts others before himself.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
Patricia McKillip’s The Book of Atrix Wolf and Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Both are fantasies. If you watched the animated film Howl’s Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki, you should still read the book. They’re a little different, but they are both great. I watched the movie first, and I’m glad I read the book because it has more depth. Also, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It made me cry.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes. I would like to say thank you.
I would like to say thank you for hanging out with me today! I am so excited for the next book in the Gnome Sweet Gnome series!!
About the Author:
Emily Night grew up in a series of small towns in Mississippi. The youngest of four children, she dreamed of being a writer from the moment she wrote her first story in the fourth grade. At the age of twelve, she rode her bike up to the square of a small town and asked the editor to publish one of her stories. While the editor did not, he was very kind and encouraging. She graduated magna cum laude from Mississippi College and later obtained a Master's from Belhaven University. She prefers reading and writing fantasy because fantasy allows her to test the modern-day limits of what is possible.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Emily-Night/e/B01602KWWW/
5 signed copies When In Gnome