Author Jamie Haden had the opportunity to interview some of the characters from her novel, Illuminate-Alive, She Cried.
Talisa Santiago's life is in grave danger. The tricksters from her past have found her and want her dead. Only one place can keep her safe—a remote Indian reservation deep within the Great Smokey Mountains. Talisa doesn't know what to expect. The only thing she clearly understands is that she must leave her island home, depart from her mother, and stay hidden from society for one year. Yet, she isn't afraid; her closest friends stand by her side and promise protection.
I'd like to welcome Talisa Santiago and her three friends—Jag, Dakota, and Miguel—to the blog this afternoon. It is clear you'll have a very special relationship. How long have you been friends?
The gang is on the couch together. Talisa sits between Jag and Dakota. Miguel relaxes on the arm of the sofa and taps his hand against his knee as if trying to catch a beat.
Talisa looks at Dakota and smiles. "Seems like forever," she says. Dakota blushes. Jag takes her right hand and entwines her fingers with his.
Miguel clears his throat. "I grew up with Dakota and Jag, they're like my brothers. As for Talisa, we'd do anything for her. It's as if we've known her our whole lives."
Perhaps, but you haven't, when did you meet?
"I came to Silence Island last year," Talisa says. "And my life hasn't been the same since."
FIRST QUESTION: TALISA, WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
"My grandfather is a shaman, and I was born in the desert. My mother took me away when I was seven, I really don't remember my childhood."
Jag leans over and kisses her cheek. "That was then," he replies, "and this is now. The past is the past, baby."
Miguel interrupts. "As for me, I was born in Jamaica." Miguel is wearing a red and black crochet cap. He winks, rips it off, and releases a heap of knotty dreads.
BOYS, I'VE HEARD THE THREE OF YOU ARE GOING TO ACCOMPANY TALISA TO THE RESERVATION. LEAVING YOUR FAMILY AND ISLAND HOME FOR ONE YEAR TO GO INTO HIDING WITH HER IS QUITE A SACRIFICE.
"Nah, not really," Miguel says. I was at the reservation as a kid. I made some good friends there. In fact, I never said good-bye because I knew one day, I'd be back."
WHAT WAS THE RESERVATION LIKE? CAN YOU GIVE US A SNEAK PREVIEW?
Miguel shrugs, shakes his head.
Why ruin the surprise. All I'm gonna say it will blow their freaking minds.
FAIR ENOUGH. NOW, QUICK, EVERYONE HAS TO ANSWER THE NEXT SERIES OF QUESTIONS. READY?
"Shoot," Miguel says.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS?
Dakota answers first. "Doesn't exist."
"Talisa," Jag says. "She is perfect happiness."
"Girls," Miguel blurts out.
Talisa swallows hard. "Peace of mind," she responds.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JOURNEY?
"The one within," Dakota says.
Jag laughs. "Hell yeah."
"Same," Miguel agrees.
"Same," Talisa says.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIE?"
"Been there and done that," Dakota replies.
Miguel nods. "Happened to me in Africa," he states.
"I drown when I was ten," Jag offers.
"Drowning would be a terrible way to die," Talisa says. "Silent."
"WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE? WHAT DO YOU VALUE THE MOST?"
Talisa looks at the boys. "My friends," she says. "They are all I have."
Dakota and Jag flash her a smile.
"Come on girl, we gotta get going," Miguel says. "We have a long road ahead." He jumps off the sofa and flashes the peace sign.
Wilmington, NC August 2012
Illuminate-Alive, She Cried, a novel by Jamie Haden
Some say the concept of rebirth is simply a metaphor for living a better life, a holier life. For seventeen-year old Talisa Santiago, such a resurrection is anything but a metaphor. It is her reality.
Talisa knows she can communicate with the spiritual world. She is the granddaughter of a shaman and going between two different worldly dimensions is something she realizes she is destined to do. However, what she doesn’t count on is what fate has in store for her.
After surviving the first hurricane of the season on the island where she lives, Talisa learns that her life is in grave danger. She must leave immediately and retreat to live with a secretive clan of Indians on a remote reservation deep within the Great Smokey Mountains.
Her blood brothers, three shifters who have the desires of both man and animal surround her, promising everlasting friendship and protection. Now, Talisa will put her life in their hands, depart from her mother, and begin the journey of a lifetime. However, the majestic mountains hold many secrets and danger lurks in the night. There are evil tricksters everywhere that want her dead. As Talisa falls prey to the confusion of her own sexuality, she unleashes an untamed passion that may get them all killed.
Jamie Leigh Haden is the author of Spirit Seeker, a young adult fantasy. Jamie lives and writes near the seashore in North Carolina. She has a Bachelor's degree in philosophy. Jamie is currently working on An Unimagined Life, the sequel to Illuminate-Alive, She Cried.
Get Illuminate-Alive, She Cried on Kindle here: http://goo.gl/g6qKF or in paperback here: http://goo.gl/3V4Of
Jamie Haden www.jamiehaden.com
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