Author Update with Mara Purnhagen

*Looking for a chilling, spine-tingling, scary read? Come back tomorrow for your chance to win Mara’s sequel, One Hundred Candles!

Mara Purnhagen is the fabulous Young Adult author of the Harlequin Teen novels, Tagged and the Past Midnight Series. During the day, Mara is a full-time mom to three beautiful boys. At night, she’s a YA author in charge of spunky main characters and ghosts. Past Midnight is the first book in a paranormal series surrounding a young, teenage girl Charlotte Silver. She joined us last November to talk all about that first ghostly novel, Past Midnight. Here’s a little bit of my review of it…just to remind you of the story and chacracters:

Charlotte Silver is trying desperately hard to be a normal, teenage girl….which is difficult when your parents have their own ghost-hunting reality show. Normally, Charlotte tries to distance herself from her parents work even if she serves as a back up crewmember from time to time. In fact, it’s her older sister, Annalise,  who is the one that’s sensitive to energies. Not Charlotte. But when her parents visit a haunted Courtyard Café in Charleston, everything her family knows about ghosts or debunking haunting myths is about to change.

Mara’s back to give us all the juicy details and hints on what’s in store for Book #2 in the series, One Hundred Candles:

1) You left off at Past Midnight with teen Charlotte Silver on her way to Homecoming with “friend” Noah, her paranormal parents establishing a home base, and Charlotte finally being able to attend the same high school for more than 6 months at a time. She also stopped being haunted by a few ghosts that had been hanging around town…after she helped them moved on that is. Tell me where the sequel, One Hundred Candles starts off:

One Hundred Candles begins a few months after the events of Past Midnight, at Christmas. Here’s the blurb:

It’s taken a long time for Charlotte Silver to feel like a normal teenager. But now that she’s settled in a new school, where she’s made friends who know about her parent’s infamous paranormal investigations, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with the popular Harris Abbott? After all, it’s not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….

But Charlotte’s new life takes a disturbing detour when Harris takes her to a party where they play a game called One Hundred Candles. It all seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until the spirits supposedly unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now, Charlotte, her friends and her family are in very real danger, and the door that she’s opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.

2) Wow. That sounds intense. I’ve read that Charlotte goes out with Harris Abbot, a popular football player instead of her crush Noah this time. Tell me it isn’t so. What happened to Noah? What is wrong with boys at that age anyway?!

Noah had his chance, but something held him back from getting close to Charlotte. His hesitation is explained later. What’s wrong with boys? I wish I knew. I think girls intimidate them more than they want to admit, especially the ones they like. Maybe it’s a fear of rejection.

3) Too true. In the sequel, does Charlotte encounter similar friendly ghosts like last time?

No—everything is new. I really wanted Past Midnight to stand alone, with everything wrapped up. I don’t like books that keep me hanging too much—I need resolution! But having said that, there are a couple plot lines in One Hundred Candles that are not concluded entirely. They finish in Beyond the Grave, though—everything is resolved.

4) Ok, now I’m totally sucked in! So what was it like continuing the story of Charlotte? 

I liked continuing the story of the entire Silver family, and I really wanted to give them all closure. I also wanted to complete the story of Bliss Reynolds. I have had a plan for her since I first began writing the series, and that plan comes to fruition in Beyond the Grave. She was always intended to be a vital piece to the puzzle, and I loved bringing her story out.

5) Really? Bliss Reynolds so far has been a side character. She’s the power-mad “anchorwoman” at the High School who’s been defensive with Charlotte from day one convinced she’s a threat to her spotlight…despite sweet Charlotte’s insistence that she hates the spotlight. I can’t wait to hear that story told. So how did you come up with the story line and idea for this novel? Is there really a game called One Hundred Candles?

Yes, there is a very obscure game called One Hundred Candles.  It requires a group of people to sit in a circle and reveal their personal ghost stories. After each story, a candle is lit. When all one hundred stories have been told and all one hundred candles are glowing, one hundred spirits will join the group. That’s when the game really begins. Participants claim that weird things begin to happen, from doors opening to clocks chiming. It will continue (supposedly) until the circle is broken.

6) That’s super creepy! You mentioned Beyond The Grave—a third book in the series?

Beyond the Grave is the final book in the Past Midnight series. It takes place four months after the events of One Hundred Candles. The book will come out in August 2011. Here’s the description from the back cover:

I can’t move forward with my life

Until I know my demons are confined to the past…

Being Charlotte Silver, the daughter of famous paranormal investigators, means my life isn’t like other girls. Especially after what happened to my parents. Things changed. I missed prom and deferred my big college plans. But while my future is on hold, everyone else around me is moving on. At least I’m not alone. Noah is everything I could want in a boyfriend—if I can figure out what’s going on with him.

I feel like Noah’s hiding something from me, and I’m sure it has to do with what happened to us three months ago. The bruise he suffered during a paranormal attack has never completely faded. It’s a constant reminder of what a vicious entity whispered to Noah: You’re interesting.

Now Noah is researching demons and won’t talk about it. And when he disappears, it’s up to me to find him—before something else does.

**Come back tomorrow to read my review of One Hundred Candles and enter for your chance to win a Prize Pack!

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One thought on “Author Update with Mara Purnhagen

  1. Kelly says:

    Awesome! I love a spooky story once in a while! Sounds like a great read.

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