Saturday, June 18, 2011


Here's the new trailer for all three books! It's way cool. Michael and Leesie in a nutshell. If you share my YouTube link to it on FaceBook or Twitter, I'll give you an extra entry in the M+L FOREVER CONTEST.  If you post (embed) the trailer on your blog, that's good for THREE extra entries. 


Here's the link and code.

Embed code for new trailer: <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> 

And now for those pictures I promised last post. This is the farmhouse I grew up in. This is what it looked like when we lived there. 

My family had to sell the farm--oh, it was so sad--but the man who owns the house now has made it the work of his retirement to totally restore the house and barn. Here's the house now. It's even more beautiful than when we lived there.

Isn't the barn gorgeous? This is the barn Leesie says was built by her grandfather. It was built by our grandfather. The roof used to be wooden shingles. This isn't the icky sow barn that is the setting for those pivotal scenes in TAKEN BY STORM.  That barn used to be beside this pond. It was ugly, made of corrugated metal, and smelled bad, but I'm sad that it's gone.

On Monday, the tour goes to Bloggin 'Bout Books for a review of UNBROKEN CONNECTION and CAYMAN SUMMER plus a new interview. It always amazes me how a good interviewer can get new stuff out of me. Tune in for this one. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Inner Truths and Outer Beauties

TAKEN BY STORM was a huge experiment. At Vermont College, I was challenged to write about an LDS girl. Most of my audience there was not LDS. (Most of my audience is still non-LDS.) I made a lot of mistakes in my early drafts but learned so much studying other writers. Today the tour is back at Rachelle Christensen's blog. Rachelle asked me to write a post about what I learned about writing from my inner truth in my research and through Michael and Leesie's journey. I hope you enjoy it. 

My brother, David, is as passionate about photography as I am about writing. When my editor at Razorbill hinted strongly that I try to make a trailer (are you kidding me? was my knee-jerk reaction) to promote TAKEN BY STORM, I was living in Switzerland and needed pictures. Dave and Jen gave up their romantic getaway from the kids time to drive six hours across Washington State to take these beautiful pictures for me. They also let me stay at their house, Jen went with me on my first school visits, and they drove their family from Olympia to Spokane to take pictures and video my visit to Tekoa High School when TAKEN BY STORM launched.

Jen writes, too. She's now Jennifer Shaw Wolf! I like to claim that I'm her mentor because she's such a brilliant storyteller, but all I did was point her in the right direction. I did get her hooked on YA. You'll all thank me next year when her debut YA novel, BREAKING BEAUTIFUL, comes out. It kept me gripping my chair and clutching my heart from page one to the end. And get this. When Walker needed just the right photo for the cover, Jen volunteered Dave, and he took that gorgeous cover photo. Jen's a broadcast major and makes video book trailers, too. She made the trailer for SING ME TO SLEEP, but that's another story.

First up, Gram's house. This is my grandmother's house in Tekoa, WA. When she lived there, she had flower gardens growing all around it like Michael's Gram does in the book. After I killed Michael's parents and all his dive club friends, I decided I didn't want to let him go back to Phoenix and his old high school, friends, and Caroleena. Too easy. Too much support. Not much story sending him back to the arms of Caroleena. (Actually, Caroleena didn't exist until I much later draft.) I made him go live in my home town in my grandmother's tiny sugar cube house and created his Gram.

That placed Michael in my home town, Tekoa, WA. I was living thousands of miles away in London, Ontario, Canada at the time. I'm sure I chose to send Michael home because I couldn't go there. But I could make the journey every day in my imagination. Here's Tekoa! Tomorrow I'll post the pictures Dave took of the farm we grew up on.

Welcome to Tekoa, WA!
The town from a distance. This is the railroad trestle Leesie wanted to drop Troy off of!

Welcome to Tekoa High School!
I went to school here from 7th to 12th grade, and Leesie first laid eyes on Michael in physics class!

This is the back of the school. The swimming pool is just across the road.
The school's front door Michael went through that first day.

Michael walked across this lawn to get to the front door his first day.
Here's the town swimming pool. They built a new fancier one. I imagined the old pool when I wrote the scene where Michael goes free diving and Leesie saves him. That's still one of my favorite scenes.
Loads more pictures to come. Tune in tomorrow to see Leesie's farm.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bee's Visions in Ink

We return to Bee's DREAMCATCHER'S LAIR for her review today. She writes so beautifully that I love to savor her posts. I hope to enjoy Bee's own "visions in ink" someday soon. She's been an incredible support, especially this past year through UNBROKEN CONNECTION's independent release and the CAYMAN SUMMER journey. She was there every day, post by post, cheering me on and loving my characters. Thank you, Bee. You're fantastic. If I can EVER do anything for you, just ask. You've been there for me. I'd love to be there for you.

Here's today's scrapbook photos. This is my hubby and I on the trip to Cozumel where I heard about the real accident that took the lives of a boat full of divers. I went home and looked it all up, followed the tributes and news stories online, and started asking myself, "What if?"

Can you make this out? This is the actual boat we dove on. It's a doctored up photo I copied from Scubadu's website, so it doesn't have great res, but it gives you the feel.

Once Michael emerged during my freewrite at Vermont College, I decided he was going to be from Phoenix. I was living in London, Ontario, Canada at the time and missed cactus and ocotillo. I knew enough about Phoenix high schools to make it believable.

Watch for tomorrow's post. I'm going to share my baby brother's photos of Tekoa that he and his wife drove clear across Washington to take for me when I needed good pictures for a trailer. Dave and Jen have also been amazing support throughout this journey. Jen, who you'll soon know as Jennifer Shaw Wolf is a incredible storyteller and I can't wait to introduce you all to her. Her novel, BREAKING BEAUTY, will be out next spring. It's gripping. I got to work with her on it--mostly cheering section--and she had five agents fighting over it. You're all going to want to read it for sure.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Today,  the blog tour journey's to author Rachelle J. Christensen's beautiful pink blog, Rachellewrites.  Wow! Such a lovely review. Rachelle is the very first blogger to review CAYMAN SUMMER. I'm honored to visit her blog. Check out her review. She's a Michael and Leesie addict, too! She also reviewed TAKEN BY STORM and UNBROKEN CONNECTION. You'll enjoy those reviews, too. Thanks, Rachelle. 

I'm guest posting on her blog Friday. And, of course, I'm way behind on that! I better get busy. My trailer maker has been ill, so the new trailer featuring all the books I was going to debut on my YouTube channel, AngelaTheAuthor, yesterday is late. I hope to have it up tomorrow.  (Maybe tonight if we're lucky!)

Thanks for your patience. I'm traveling and miss my high-speed internet at home.

I've wanted to create a Michael and Leesie scrapbook since TAKEN BY STORM came out and never got around to it, so I'm going to include a picture or two in every post throughout the tour so you can all see the places that inspired me.

Here's one of the very first sights and memories that became TAKEN BY STORM! This is Vermont College. This is where Michael first made it out of my head and onto the page during a freewrite. Did you read all about it in my interview with Bee on Dreamcatcher's Lair? I hope so. I also found Leesie during that MFA in Writing for Children's and YA residency. I wrote the poem about her grandmother after a profound experience I had one night alone in my dorm room with my own grandmother. So, even though there's no mention of this wonderful place in Montpelier, VT where I found my voice as a writer and enjoyed amazing, amazing mentors and made lifelong friends and colleagues, it played a pivotal role in the birth of TAKEN BY STORM!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Good morning everybody! We're kicking off a blog tour and contest to celebrate CAYMAN SUMMER and reminisce together about Michael and Leesie's journey. The first stop is an interview with Michael, Leesie and me at Bee's beautiful blog, DREAMCATCHER's LAIR. Go check it out. It's really fun. And you'll get to read Michael's very first words on paper--the free write that became TAKEN BY STORM! 

Here's your formal invitation to M+L FOREVER Tour and Contest. The blog tour calendar is still a work in progress--like everything in my writing life right now--so if you'd like to join, just let me know. We'll be debuting new trailers this week, and I'll be posting background pictures from Michael and Leesie's journey from their first conversation to CAYMAN SUMMER's epilogue. All your questions and comments are always welcome!


Angela Morrison
author and creator of
Michael Walden
Leesie Hunt
proudly announces the
Michael and Leesie Forever
Contest and Blog Tour
June 13th   Dreamcatcher's Lair Interview with Michael, Leesie, and Angela
June 15th   Rachellewrites Review of CAYMAN SUMMER
June 16th   
Dreamcatcher's Lair Review of CAYMAN SUMMER

June 17th   
Rachellewrites Guestpost, Inner Truth

June 20th   Bloggin 'Bout Books, Reviews and Interview

June 22nd  Starcrossed Book Reviews, Review and Interview

June 25th   Nyra Escribiendo (Venezuela!), Interview 

June 27th   AngelaTheAuthor's YouTube Site, CAYMAN SUMMER Trailer debut!

July 15th 

And now, drum roll please, what you've all been waiting for . . . 

The M+L Forever Contest

The first 30 people to enter will receive an organza drawstring bag full of Michael and Leesie M&Ms. Coolest swag ever, right?
Aren't they cute? These were the favors at my son's recent wedding, and I decided I had to get them for Michael and Leesie, too. Colors will be different. I'll post a picture of the actual M&Ms with Michael and Leesie's faces on them as soon as I get them. 

I'll also be giving away 3 complete sets of TAKEN BY STORM, UNBROKEN CONNECTION, and CAYMAN SUMMER!

One signed first edition hardcover of TAKEN BY STORM


All you have to do to enter is make a comment below. If you FaceBook, tweet, blog, Goodreads comment, tell a friend or a bookclub, about the contest, you will get an extra entry for each place you promote the contest. Bloggers who host me on their blogs as part of the tour will receive 5 extra entries. More opportunities for extra entries will arise over the course of the tour. 


And, yes, as always, the contest is open to my wonderful international readers.