The Road to You by Marilyn Brant
Publication date: October 3rd 2013
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Romance
Sometimes the only road to the truth…is one you’ve never taken.
Until I found Gideon’s journal in the tool shed — locked in the cedar box where I’d once hidden my old diary — I’d been led to believe my brother was dead. But the contents of his journal changed all that.
The Road to Discovery…
Two years ago, Aurora Gray’s world turned upside down when her big brother Gideon and his best friend Jeremy disappeared. Now, during the summer of her 18th birthday, she unexpectedly finds her brother’s journal and sees that it’s been written in again. Recently. By him.
The Road to Danger…
There are secret messages coded within the journal’s pages. Aurora, who’s unusually perceptive and a natural puzzle solver, is hell bent on following where they lead, no matter what the cost. She confides in the only person she feels can help her interpret the clues: Donovan McCafferty, Jeremy’s older brother and a guy she’s always been drawn to — even against her better judgment.
The Road to You…
Reluctantly, Donovan agrees to go with her and, together, they set out on a road trip of discovery and danger, hoping to find their lost brothers and the answers to questions they’ve never dared to ask aloud
In that expectant space between silence and melody, our trip began…
Author Interview: Marilyn Brant
Where do you find inspiration for your work and what, exactly, inspired you to write THE ROAD TO YOU?
I find inspiration everywhere, really. From conversations I overhear, things my friends tell me, funny/sad/scary stuff that happened in my family, incidents I’ve observed out in public, stories I’ve read in books or seen on TV, as well as those endless “what if?” questions writers always ask themselves. For this new novel specifically, my husband and son and I took a driving trip down Route 66 (some of it on the actual road and most along the Interstates that cut through the areas where it used to be), and I was really intrigued by its history, the little towns that developed as a result and some of the unusual attractions. I found myself thinking, “There’s a mystery somewhere in this journey…and a love story.” Plus, I’ve kept some kind of diary or journal since the middle of 7th grade and, when I was younger, I’d sometimes write in code. I’ve wondered often what it might be like to have to interpret clues that were found in someone else’s… In fact, the first thing I needed to do in drafting this novel was to actually write out all of Gideon’s journal, which turned out to be more complicated than I’d first imagined!
Tell us about the main characters in this story. Who are Aurora and Donovan?
At the start of the novel, Aurora Gray has just graduated from high school and is one month from turning 18. This isn’t a paranormal story—she’s not psychic or telepathic—but she is unusually perceptive, particularly for her age. She’s kind of a natural “mentalist,” who’s used to reading people’s reactions and has a history of being pretty accurate. So when she finds the journal of her missing brother, she’s able to make some connections that those around her would never think to make. It gives her both a determined and a stubborn streak when it comes to thinking she might actually figure out what happened that summer two years ago. Donovan McCafferty, on the other hand, is extremely practical, realistic and not especially bookish. He’s 23, has an Army background and is brilliant with mechanical things. He’s also very loyal, very protective of those he cares about and not remotely inclined to take flying leaps of intuition like Aurora. To use a character parallel from “The X-Files,” Aurora would be a bit like Mulder (“I Want to Believe/The Truth is Out There”), but without that whole alien thing, LOL, and Donovan would be the more skeptical Scully type.
What’s your secret indulgence? A certain food? A particular movie? What would you buy on a day of shopping?
Easy. Gourmet European chocolate—dark or milk, with all kinds of different fillings. I’ve tried to break myself of the habit but, really, that’s just not possible. The chocolate goes well with old movies, too, like “The Philadelphia Story” and “Roman Holiday,” which I can watch over and over again… Mmm. Cary Grant, Gregory Peck and Godiva/Ghirardelli/Cadbury!
What’s one thing no one knows about you?
That I am always watching them—LOL. I just can’t turn off the writer thing and am, at all times, collecting the quirky habits and mannerisms of the people around me. (Now they know this, of course, and will be more careful… 🙂
Do you have any phobias, like fear of spiders or enclosed spaces?
I absolutely HATE celery. That’s not an official phobia, as far as I can tell, but I think it should be. The stuff is so horrible it scares me… I’m also not a big fan of rodents. Or snakes. Or driving in downtown Chicago. But I do think celery may still be the worst of them.
In an alternative universe, what would you be doing?
Traveling. I love it. All forms—road trips, trains/boats/planes, international excursions. I’d explore everything from the alternative universe’s equivalent of The Great Wall…to their version of the Pyramids…to the place where they make the best chocolate and/or ice cream on the planet. And I’d want to people-watch and blatantly eavesdrop—at cafés, historical sites, random shops, national parks, etc. I’m pretty sure it would prove that people the world over, at their essence and in whichever universe they inhabit, are all very much the same.
We emerged into the dazzling sunlight of a hot summer Sunday and got settled in Donovan’s car. He pulled out his road atlas and plopped it into my lap. “You get to navigate on this one.”
I flipped it open in surprise. Considering his ingrained aversion to asking anyone for directions, this was a sign of great progress.
He started the engine. “If we get lost, it’s on your head, Nancy Drew.”
I glared at him. “Stop calling me that.”
“Nancy, Nancy, Nancy,” he mocked.
Oh, you’re real mature,” I said, but he continued with his mockery. I knew he needed an outlet, a little levity, something—especially after all the grave, life-changing information we’d just gotten. I was beginning to learn his patterns. He would need to munch on something, and he wouldn’t be able to discuss anything seriously for a couple of hours at least. Good thing we had snacks in the car and a five-hour drive ahead of us.
“Fine. Be that way.” I told him the first few turns, taking us past the big Sears on Irving Park Road and following the signs so we could merge onto Interstate 90/94. Eventually, since I wasn’t afraid to read a map—unlike some people—I knew we’d meet up with 55 South, which would take us all the way to Missouri.
But, as soon as Donovan looked comfortable with the roads, I dug through my purse for the cassette I’d been saving for just such an occasion, and I popped it in. As the opening strains of the Bee Gees’s hit “Stayin’ Alive” came on, I had the satisfaction of seeing Donovan make a disgusted face and reach to turn it off.
I batted his hand away from the cassette deck. “Do you really think disco is a fad?” I said, mimicking Vicky from St. Cloud. Then I started singing along with the song’s chorus. I’d heard the lyrics about, oh, sixty thousand times since the movie came out. I knew every word.
“Uh! God, stop that!” he said, half laughing.
“What’s my name?” I asked him sweetly during an instrumental moment.
He shot me a dirty look. “Just cut it out.”
I sang along with the entire second verse. Loudly.
“Hell, Aurora. Stop.”
“What did you just say my name was?” I asked. Then, more threateningly, “You do realize that ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ is coming up next, right?”
He made a gagging sound that I took as a precursor to his inevitable surrender. I was right.
“Your name is Aurora, but I will strangle you with the long threads of tape that I’m going to yank out of my deck in about ten seconds if you don’t do it first.”
I snapped the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack out of the player.
“If you call me Nancy Drew again, you can expect a full hour of disco hits,” I threatened. “I can sing ‘If I Can’t Have You’ and ‘You Should Be Dancing’ and more. All of them a cappella. And, yeah, that’s a warning. Be scared.”
The look he gave me was nothing short of scathing but, a few minutes later, when I was studying the Illinois map in the middle of the atlas, I caught him glancing at me and smothering a laugh.
“What?” I said
He grinned. “Who knew you’d grow up to be such a weirdo…Aurora.”
Marilyn Brant is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She wrote the new adult/humorous paranormal novel ACCORDING TO JANE (2009), the women’s fiction relationship drama FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE (2010), and the romantic travel adventure A SUMMER IN EUROPE (2011), all published by Kensington Books. She’s also a #1 Kindle and #1 Nook bestseller and has written a series of fun and flirty romantic comedies, including ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAE (2011) and PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH (2013). Her coming-of-age romantic mystery, THE ROAD TO YOU, will be available in October 2013.
Marilyn is a lifelong music lover and a travel junkie. She’s visited 46 states and over 30 countries (so far—she’s not done yet!), but she now lives in the Chicago suburbs with her family. When she isn’t rereading Jane Austen’s books or enjoying the latest releases by her writer friends, she’s working on her next novel, eating chocolate indiscriminately and hiding from the laundry.
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Prizes (open internationally):
-One signed trade paperback copy of According to Jane
-One signed trade paperback copy of On Any Given Sundae
-One A Summer in Europe t-shirt
-One Marilyn Brant canvas tote bag
-And one The Road to You luggage tag
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