Thursday, September 27, 2012

{Blog Tour} 2:32 AM by Emily Ford: Cat Townsend Character Guest Post on Destiny

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2:32 A.M.

The Djinn Master's Legacy #1
by Emily Ford
Publication Date: February 2012
Pages/Format: 329; ebook & paperback
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

What if you suddenly discover you have magical powers? That the unknown, sometimes freaky people you dream about are real? And the new, ordinary life you're building with your family in Savannah Georgia is a lie? Or that everything you've worked towards is a joke? But what if you have a choice to accept this magical life -- or not. Do you choose this awesome power to change your life, and the life of those around you? What if it means giving up everything you cherish; family, friends, the love of your life? And imagine you're only seventeen.... Now you're Cat Townsend. What will she do?  Read 2:32 a.m.  -- the time everything happens.
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Hey, Cat Townsend here! 

        So the question of the day is:  Do I believe in Destiny? 

        Hmm, destiny is odd to contemplate if you think too deeply about it.  But it’s a no-brainer for me actually. How else can I understand or accept the weird course my life has taken…
        Take my love life for example. How is it possible that I could spend my childhood years having a major crush on a boy, move three thousand miles away from him for nearly eight years, then move back cross country, only to find he lives four blocks away?
        Has to be fate, huh? 
        And what about the fact that I had dreams for as long as I can remember about some tall, blond, amazingly handsome guy that I don’t know. And then learn he’s not only a magical mentor, but my life partner as well?
        Don’t get me started on the magic. 
        It’s difficult for my head to wraparound at times. Yet I’ve come to believe that everything we face in life is part of a greater, well thought-out plan. Call it divine intervention, the fates, destiny, whatever! I’m a believer.
        Even if there’s a little magic thrown in…
        Bye for now!

Thank you so much, Cat, for sharing your feeling on destiny! Curious about Cat's story? Read the whole first chapter!

Chapter 1:  Reality

Sixteen-year-old Cat moaned as she opened her bleary eyes and glanced around the unfamiliar bedroom. 
What a dream,” she grimaced.  She was remembering the unsettling images of the black man, the scary woman and the handsome Todd Wilkinson.  However, it was the powerful sense of being out of her body, astral projection -- that made her skin crawl.  Sitting up abruptly in bed, Cat attempted to shake off an icy feeling.  Something had happened to her last night.  She didn’t know how she knew this or what it meant, but she was certain it was true.  
Her thoughts wandered to Todd.  She hadn’t seen or heard from him in ten years, since her family moved from Florida to Colorado.  As of yesterday, that was officially two moves back.  She pulled the covers tightly under her chin and sighed; that felt like a lifetime ago. 
So why dream of him now?  She couldn’t answer that.  But, knowing he was real made her wonder if the hideous lady was too.  And, what about the black man, was it possible he had actually been here?
 She shook her head trying to rid herself of the image and glanced at the piles of unpacked boxes cluttering her room.  She thought perhaps she dreamt of Todd because they’d moved again.  Another night in a new bed, a new town, a new life….”
  “Cat, get up!” Hayden bellowed from downstairs.  Hayden was her eighteen-year-old brother.  His voice jolted her back to reality.  She flew from bed as he again hollered, “Cat, get down here, quick!”   
She glanced at the clock.  11:43 a.m.  “Just a minute!” she called and jumped out of bed.  She pulled out fresh shorts and a t-shirt from a nearby box and, quickly, detoured to her bathroom before bolting down the stairs.  “Easy Hay, what’s up?”  
He just smirked.
“Uh-oh, you’re up to something, I can tell.”
“I’m not sayin.  But, you have to come with me right now!” 
“Where the…?” She mumbled and followed him to the car.  She shrugged.  “We might as well get a look at Savannah.  I haven’t been out of this house since we rolled up.”
Her brother said nothing as his smile turned to an all-out grin.  It wasn’t like him to keep her in suspense; secrets just weren’t his thing. 
Just seventeen months apart they were practically twins and the best of friends.  As he drove down the driveway, Cat pulled down the sun guard and glanced in the mirror.  She frowned.  Her long, chestnut-brown hair was a mess so she pulled it up in a ponytail.
  In the mirror, she glanced back at their new house.  She liked the regal, two-story white Colonial with black shutters and trim.  The porch was an expansive wrap-around with a nice swing.  The front yard was large with lush green grass.  And, majestic oak trees stood in a line as if protecting a slice of southern history.  
There were five additional houses on their street.  Each one set back on its own lot.  It was difficult to see some of the homes, especially, the house next door at the end of the cul-de-sac.  It looked like something out of Gone With The Wind.  
“Feels like a sauna here,” Cat said.  She wiped her brow.  “I’m literally soaked.”
“Yep…” Hayden agreed, “It’s a far cry from the cool summers of Colorado.  But I like it here.  The music scene is amazing.”
“Really, already…?  We’ve been here less than twenty-four hours and you’ve had time to check out the music?” 
“Of course,” he laughed.  Cat glanced at her oldest brother and knew he was destined to be a rock-star.  He had the look, the voice, and the charisma to be great.  Perhaps, he would be a superstar!
 “Look Cat.”  He pointed toward City Market in the historic section of downtown Savannah.  It was already packed with shoppers and diners.  There was also a stage set up for a band.  The port town of Savannah was huge compared to the small sleepy mining town they’d come from. 
“Whoa, check out that group of kids hanging out in front of that ice cream parlor. 
Hayden, let’s stop!  I want to get out and walk around.”
 “Not yet, there’s someone I want you to see first.”
 “See?” she asked.  She starred at his smug expression.  “Who in the world could I possibly want to see?  Have you already found someone you know?”
“I’m not telling.  It’s a surprise!”
He turned up the radio and music blared from the open windows.
 They turned away from the river and Cat saw the entrance to Savannah Hills High School.  Catherine Ann Townsend would be starting her junior year there in just days.  Catherine was a name she never used.
“Here we are,” Hayden said.  They pulled into the parking lot of the football stadium.  Practice was in session. 
Cat looked curiously at her brother.  “So why exactly are we here?” 
Hayden grinned, broadly, and said nothing.
“Great!” Cat muttered.  She got out of the car and followed him to the bleachers. 
Hayden waved at a player at mid-field.  The person turned toward them.     
Curiosity and nerves hit her.  “Quick, so I don’t make a complete ass out of myself who is that?”
“Nope, you’ve got to guess.”
Cat peered toward the field and mumbled, “Freak.”
The guy came closer pulling at his helmet.  Cat noticed his size.  He was well over six feet tall, seriously sweating, and undeniably cute.  He got to the bleachers, shook out his wet hair, and flashed an enormous smile.  His two mammoth dimples were a dead giveaway. 

Cat froze.  It was--Todd Wilkinson!  Although, he was much cuter in person, the uncanny resemblance to the Todd in her dream made her shiver.  She wondered what he was doing here. 
“Hey Kitty Cat it’s been awhile!”  Todd’s deep voice rang out.
Cat blushed hard.  It was impossible to keep her emotions from hijacking her confident self away.  She heard her voice speak, but had no idea what she was saying.  “Todd Wilkinson-- who’d have thought it?”
Cat continued her internal gaping.  The accuracy of her dream was unnerving.  Wow, I can’t believe it’s him and he’s here.”
Cat couldn’t tear her gaze from him.  More words spewed from her mouth.  “You were a kid with a geeky buzz cut, big ears, and a big mouth when I last saw you.”
“Yeah, and you were a skinny little runt with a permanent layer of dirt all over your face.”
She giggled.  Goose bumps rose like mountains on her arms even in the extreme heat.  Seeing Todd was shocking.  It was nearly impossible to believe her family had moved halfway across the country and then landed next door to the Wilkinson’s.
Her mind could process nothing but the big brown eyes that danced in delight as he gazed at her.  Todd glanced anxiously at Hayden who still looked elated.  Cat couldn’t focus.  Memories of the three of them came to her.  They spent long lazy afternoons together at the beach, fished with string, throw sand at each other, and would dig to China and collecting shells from the beach. 
Todd and Hayden had been best friends then.  And, even though she was young, and Todd had teased her unmercifully, she’d had a total crush on him.  It had been horrible to say goodbye when they’d moved to Colorado.  Hayden talked about Todd for years after they left.  Whatever she imagined happened to him, she never dreamed a kid so geeky could grow up to look so great.  
She couldn’t stop from staring.
Todd laughed and said, “Take a picture it’ll last longer!”
 Cat turned away her face was growing crimson again.  Todd and Hayden howled in delight. 
Embarrassed, she stammered, “You-you know what?  You may look different but you haven’t changed a bit.  You’re still a creep Todd Wilkinson!”  
She looked away and her heart pumped, furiously.  Todd’s laugh rang out as he put his helmet on and headed back to the field.  He turned to face her and shouted, “But, you’ve changed Cat Townsend!  And, you look really good all grown up.  See ya, Hayden.”  He waved goodbye and was off.
On the outside, Cat appeared calm, cool, and collected as she followed Hayden back to the car.  But on the inside she was mush.  Her legs felt wobbly.  Wiping her sweaty hands on her shorts she muttered, “Can’t believe he’s here, in Savannah.  What are the odds?” 
“Yep, it’s pretty cool, isn’t it?”  Her brother beamed.
“Really…?”  She rolled her eyes.  “He’s still an ass.”
Hayden burst out laughing.  “No he’s not and you know it!  That’s why your face is still beet red.”
In the car Cat felt strange.  Her body trembled from the inside out.  It wasn’t just her attraction to Todd getting to her.  It was the awareness somewhere in the back of her mind that seeing Todd was no accident.  “Listen, Hayden…I need to tell you…I had another one of those dreams last night.  You know the one’s I’ve told you about where it feels 3D, like I’m a freak of nature?” 
“Ye-ah,” he said with some hesitation.
“Yeah, well…last night I dreamt of Todd -- twice.”  She glanced sideways at her brother.  His smile faded away.  “One was more of a memory -- we were kids again.  We were playing on the beach and he was teasing me.  The other was weird and horrible – impossible to describe really.  Anyway, then he shows up here?  I think that’s more than a coincidence, don’t you?”
He shrugged.  “I don’t know Cat.  These dreams of yours have always been creepy to me.  They don’t make sense.  It’s probably nothing.” 
“It’s nothing?” Cat countered, sarcastically.  She stared at her brother.
His quick glance silenced her all the way home.
They walked up the steps of the front porch and opened the door.  “Hey Momma,” Cat called out.  She was overly enthusiastic trying to shake off the ominous feeling she had.  Both, she and Hayden, carefully made their way around their mother’s petite frame and the unpacked boxes that littered the hardwood floors. 
“Where have you two been?” she asked.  She was standing knee deep in Styrofoam peanuts and crumpled newspapers.  She stopped flattening boxes to gaze at them with her sparkling emerald green eyes.
“Here, let me help you,” Cat offered.
“No dear, that’s alright, you know I need to do this myself.  It helps me acclimate.” 
At that moment, Rex Cat’s younger brother by eighteen months, walked in from the kitchen.  He was holding a family-sized bag of Fritos.  And Drew, her fourteen-year-old brother was just one step behind him.
“Hey where’d ya go?  And, why’d you leave us here?” Rex asked. He had his mouth full.  Cat glanced at Rex and marveled at the dirty blond curls that bounced across his forehead.  She constantly thought how amazing it was.  Rex, alone, had inherited his blond hair and brown eyes from their father, while the rest of them got their mother’s brown hair and green eyes.
Taking a few chips from the bag, Hayden grinned at Rex.  “Wouldn’t you like to know?” he teased.
Cat huffed.
Her mother looked up in surprise.  “Well?” 
“You’re never going to guess who lives here,” Hayden blurted out.
“Who,” she asked.  She stopped folding tissue.
“Todd Wilkinson!” Hayden beamed.  Cat rolled her eyes again.  Her father stumbled from his office to join them.  His laughter filled the room.
“You’re kidding!” exclaimed her mother as she looked up.  “The Wilkinson’s live here…in Savannah?  I’ll have to call Susanna.  I haven’t spoken with her in years.  So, what’s Todd like these days?”
Cat glanced at her father; his dirty blond hair was hidden under a baseball cap and his glasses were perched on his nose.
“That’s the kid from Florida, right?” Rex interrupted.  He stuffed another handful of Fritos into his mouth.  “Even though I was young, I remember he was cool.”
“He’s still a jerk,” Cat said.  She picked up some trash from the table and took it toward the kitchen. 
“You are so full of shit Cat!” Hayden teased.  “You totally think he’s hot, it’s written all over your face!”  She heard his boisterous laugh behind her  as she escaped into the kitchen.
 “Hey- watch your language!” scolded her father.  Then he returned to his office.
“Didn’t he have a sister named Allison, or something like that?” Rex asked.  Putting down the Frito’s bag and licked the salt from his fingers.
“Anna,” Cat called out from inside the refrigerator.  Another icy chill pierced her spine as she thought of Todd’s family living so close to them.

Stay tuned for my review of Emily Ford's 2:32 A.M. and a chance to win a physical copy!

Debut novelist Emily Ford has always been a storyteller. As a kid at summer camp in Maine, she’d make up ghost stories at bedtime for her fellow bunkmates.

Her Djinn Master’s Legacy trilogy also began as a simple bedtime story, intended for Ford’s then adolescent children to have in writing and use to tell their own kids one day. By the time she finished writing, she had three very full books.

2:32 a.m., Ford’s first installment of her young adult series, caught early readers’ attention as a fiction book minus the typical vampire and werewolf characters.

The Texas writer interned each summer with KHOU-TV in Houston while gaining her bachelor’s degree in radio and television at The University of Arizona. She worked on the copy desk at The Dallas Morning News, and eventually started the marketing company KapsMark, Inc.
Connect with Emily: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



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