Welcome to the 2-week blog tour for Goth Girl, Virgin Queen by JoAnne Keltner.
Follow the tour and connect with bloggers, read reviews of the book, and meet the author.
Title: Goth Girl, Virgin Queen
Title: Goth Girl, Virgin Queen
Author Name: JoAnne Keltner
Genre(s): Young Adult Paranormal
Length: Approx. 298 pages
Release Date: December 3, 2015
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
About Goth Girl, Virgin Queen:
Calling Jackie Turov psychic makes her cringe. But Jackie’s no normal seventeen-year-old. She picks up emotions from people and objects like a freak. The emotions make her sick, and the guilt she feels for lying to her church when she was twelve causes her to deny her psychic abilities.
So Jackie goes goth to make others stay away from her and forget her past. But her past is soon resurrected when her jealous friend Trish invites a demon, a persecutor of healers, to steal away Jason’s love for Jackie. The demon causes Jackie to be bullied for the lie she told and puts her best friend, Jason, in danger.
Jackie must learn how to use her gift to protect Jason and herself and to heal the negative energies of those around her. To do so means she must overcome her guilt and accept who she is before the demon claims her soul.
Enter the Goodreads Giveaway:
Enter the Goodreads Giveaway:
Read an Excerpt:
The medicine cabinet mirror—dotted with rust and turning gray—made the powder foundation on Jackie’s face look ashen and her jet-black hair, blurry. She looked like a shadow of a girl. She smeared black lipstick on her lips and shook out her shoulder-length hair. Her straight-cut bangs veiled her mascara-lined eyes, and the layered ends of her hair stuck out in defiant wisps.
Some of the kids at school—the ones she didn’t hang out with—called her Goth Girl. Some, whose memories wouldn’t die, called her VQ for Virgin Queen.
Jackie preferred Goth Girl, to be one of the living dead, to be numb to the emotions that plagued her. But this was what she wanted, not what she got.
Goth Girl or Virgin Queen, she was a freak, absorbing the emotions around her like a sponge. Sometimes the emotions made her sick. Sometimes they made her see things.
Because of this, she kept to a tight-knit group of goth friends—Jason, Zeta, and Trish—and avoided social activities. She attended high school only because Mom wouldn’t let her homeschool. Mom was afraid she’d hang with Babu all day, making piroshki and doing needlepoint instead of studying. Jackie, afraid of what life offered a freak like her beyond high school, had to admit that hanging with Babu all day was tempting.
Typically, Fridays were movie nights for Jason and her, but tonight would be different. Tonight, she’d subject herself to a hodgepodge of emotions from crowds and rides and the very ground she’d walk on to protect Jason. For this, she would need physical and spiritual strength, which she sought from Babu these days.
Babu’s door was cracked, and Jackie slowly pushed the door open. “Babu?”
The room smelled of beeswax and down. A candle burned on the shrine on the dresser. The flickering flame animated the icon of the Virgin of Vladimir and cast shadows across the picture of Babu, Grandma, Mom, and Jackie. Although Babu didn’t speak English, and Jackie didn’t understand much Russian, Jackie knew Babu kept that picture on her shrine to pray for Grandma, who passed away several years ago; for Mom, who divorced Dad; and for the girl who saw the Virgin when she was twelve—for the girl she had become as a teen.
Babu sat in bed, a country quilt spread over her legs, her thumb pressed against a knot of her prayer rope, her head bowed sleepily, and her lips wording prayers.
“I wanted to say goodbye,” Jackie whispered.
Babu crossed herself and then smiled at Jackie, her gold eyetooth shining from the light of the bed-stand lamp. She patted the empty space beside her. “Sadees.”
Jackie sat down beside Babu at the edge of the bed and took Babu’s hand in hers. Babu’s hand was warm and knotted with arthritis. Jackie rubbed her thumb over the bumps on Babu’s knuckles; her black fingernails were a sharp contrast to Babu’s flour-white skin.
She wasn’t afraid to touch Babu’s hands and absorb her emotions. Jackie got a good feeling from her. Babu filled Jackie’s inner vision with white light. She renewed her spirit. And this is what Jackie needed for the commitment she had made for tonight.
“Kooda eedyosh?” Babu asked.
“I’m going out,” Jackie said as if Babu understood her. This is how they communicated: Babu telling her stuff she couldn’t understand, Jackie telling Babu stuff she couldn’t understand. Somehow they carried on fine this way.
“I’m going with Jason.”
Babu rubbed the top of Jackie’s hand and ran her thumb over black fingernails. “Fsyevo kharoshevuh,” she said in a comforting tone and gently squeezed Jackie’s hand. Then she cupped her hands around Jackie’s jaws and pulled her forehead to her lips. Jackie imagined Babu’s kiss imprinted on her forehead and carrying Babu’s blessings and love with her tonight.
Solstice Publishing: http://solsticepublishing.com/goth-girl-virgin-queen
Meet the Author:
JoAnne Keltner is the author of Goth Girl, Virgin Queen (Solstice Publishing, 2015) and Obsession (Musa Publishing, 2013 ed.). As an only child and avid daydreamer, she spent hours alone in her backyard on the South Side of Chicago, which she imagined to be everything from an alien planet to the Antarctic. She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, four dogs, cat, and three chickens. When she isn't writing or freelance editing, she's obsessively streaming popular TV shows.
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Interview with JoAnne Keltner
- Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Inspiration for my stories always comes from images in my dreams. For example, Goth Girl Virgin Queen was inspired by various dreams: a psychic operating out of her apartment on Main Street in a small town; an iconostasis in a church on fire; someone picking up emotions through touch and healing the negative energies in a house; attending a carnival in a rural area and being followed by a fortune teller. Obsession, although also based on my experience from living in Wisconsin in an unfinished house, was inspired by reoccurring dreams in which I was obsessed with finishing the house and in an elaborate way, even though it was in the woods—installing glass tiles on the floor, painting murals on the walls—and that something evil was keeping the house from being finished. I was also inspired by dreams of a ghost living in the outbuilding and of running through the grassy field and woods to get away from something evil. Of course, these dreams didn’t transfer exactly as they were into these novels. It takes a lot of work building an actual story from snippets of dreams. And once I establish who the main character is and what they want, the story is different. Just the imagery and mood of the dreams remain.
- How did you do research for your book?
For every book I write, I first do research on the Internet. I save links to websites, bits of information, and pictures of characters and setting in a digital folder on my computer. For Obsession and a book I’m currently working on, I’ve used Google Maps and virtually walked up and down streets to get a feel for location. If I need to learn more about a subject than what’s present on the Internet, I’ll buy a book. For example, for Goth Girl Virgin Queen, I bought a book that described the Russian Orthodox iconostasis and the meaning of the pictures in it and also a book that described the Russian Orthodox mass. For a book I’m working on now, I bought a book on fostering children and on astral projection. When I need to double check facts, I’ll contact an expert. For example, for Goth Girl Virgin Queen, I had two translators check the bits of Russian dialog.
- Do you have another profession besides writing?
Yes, I’m an editor. From 2002 to 2010, I worked as a technical editor in the computer/electronics/electricity product line for a textbook publishing company. Since semi-retiring in 2010, I’ve worked from home, picking up editing jobs here and there. I also volunteer as a copyeditor for Newfound.org, an online literary magazine.
- If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Wow, that’s a hard question. I’m pretty much a “here and now” kind of person. Maybe, though, I’d go back to somewhere between1905 to the 1940s in the Back of the Yards Chicago—just for a while though—to see how my great aunt and great grandparents on my father’s side lived. My great grandparents came to America from Poland in 1904 (great grandfather) and 1905 (great grandmother). They raised five kids in a two-bedroom flat and worked in a meat packing house. Some of the kids did too when they were old enough to work. The house they lived in was built in 1895 and was at first built on stilts so that animals could be kept under it. Later, they added a basement apartment, turning the building into a two-flat. ( I lived in that basement apartment until I was about 11.) It would be interesting to see how my great grandparents acclimated to America, what their concerns were, what they cooked, how they dressed. My great aunt always talked about riding a street car to work. I would like to travel with her on that street car. But then, I’d like to come home to 2016, check my email and stream something good from Netflix!
- What is your next project?
Without giving too much away, I can say that I’m working on a fantasy about a twelve-year-old girl who can astral project and that I’m having fun writing it!