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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pitch Green Blog Tour--Guest Post and Review

Hello All! Today I'm happy to host fellow JFP authors, The Brothers Washburn, who are promoting their fantastic new YA horror novel, Pitch Green. I've recently read this in preparation for the tour and LOVED it!

Trona is a small, smoggy,  insignificant town in Colorado. Besides a booming chemical plant, the only thing that characterizes this dismal town is dirt, sagebrush, and an enormous abandoned mansion.
Seven years ago, as Camm herded a pack of trick-or-treaters past the mansion, her young neighbor Hugh disappeared, becoming just one of many children who have vanished  from Trona over the years . Now a senior in high school, Camm is still haunted by the tragedy and is sure the answer to the mysterious disappearances lies hidden in the decaying mansion. Joining forces with her best friend, Cal, who also happens to be Hugh’s older brother, Camm naively begins a perilous search for the truth.
As things spiral out of control, and others die, Camm and Cal discover it will take all their combined ingenuity to stay alive. An unseen creature, lurking deep within the bowels of the mansion, seems to have supernatural powers and is now hunting them. Unless they can make sense out of the few pieces of the puzzle they manage to unearth, the monster will certainly destroy them, and like so many others before them, they will be gone without a trace.


I received a copy of Pitch Green through my publisher, Jolly Fish Press for review. I read it in preparation for the tour, but I confess, I didn't really know what it was about. Because of that, I picked it up with no expectations whatsoever. What I found was a delightful, well-written, YA horror story. I breezed through this novel with no trouble at all, and always excited to read more.

Camm is a typical teenage girl, dreaming of life at a big Unversity to, in part, escape her small town. Children have been disappearing inexplicably for years, including the younger brother of her best friend and boyfriend, Cal. When things get interesting and mysterious, Camm takes it on herself to investigate what never seems to have been investigated. What she finds is a twenty-year-old secret, separably entwined with her small town's history.

Both Camm and Cal are great characters. They come across as real kids--and real smart ones--with real problems. They made me smile and root for them constantly. The mystery was well-written, making me turn pages, and the pacing was perfect.

The book would be a bit scary for younger readers--even I shivered a few times--but it's not at all explicit. PG-13 rating in my book.  I never read much YA horror in my day, so I can't say for sure that it's comparable to something like Fear Street, but it seems to me this would be a good comparison. Overall, I found it to be delightful and would recommend it to anyone who wants a fun, creepy read!  Hats off to the Brothers Washburn! I look forward to their next novel with great eagerness. 

Smoldering Inspiration

By The Brothers Washburn

            Berk and I have been asked several times to say what inspired us to write Pitch Green, our scary young adult novel about two teenagers hunted by a fearsome creature that lives in an immense and bizarre mansion that is located in their desolate, desert town.  This is a hard question.  I sometimes feel that the most inspiring thing I come across anymore is a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies, accompanied by a tall glass of cold milk.
            Not the stuff of novels, scary or otherwise.  We have reached this point in our lives where we have seen and done, well, not “it all”; but all of it that we have wanted to see and do.  It is not so much that we are beyond inspiration, but that inspiration has moved on to influence younger, better-looking people than us.
            Perhaps that is the secret of Pitch Green.  It takes place in the deep desert in the real-life mining town of Trona, California.  This is the town of our youth, where we grew up, on the doorstep of Death Valley.  The novel is based on a scary late-night story that has been a part of our lives since we were children.  It is a story we told on scout outings.  We told it to our friends, girlfriends, cousins and even to a few people we didn’t like.  We told it around campfires, on road trips and even in a school class.  This was a story we loved.  And, we loved to use it to scare the crap out of each other.
The Brothers Washburn
            So, while inspiration may evade us now in our white-hair days; we were able reach back, (way freaking back) to those days of yore, (I think it is federal law that says you are not allowed to have “days of yore” until you reach at least 50 years of age) when inspiration was an everyday event--back when inspiration came in a box of cereal, when inspiration was always just around the corner.  It was in the last book I read, in the latest episode of Star Trek or Lost in Space, or in the simple smile of the pretty girl next door.  Oh, to be so inspired again.
            But, I wax sickenly philosophic.  Sorry.  I guess we really were inspired to write this book; but it just so happens that the inspiration came to us a very long time ago--over forty years ago.  It has been sitting, smoldering inside us, waiting to burst into flame when we were all done growing up (if that’s possible), when we could look back and see more clearly.  Some things do get better with age.  In a way, that is kind of inspiring in and of itself.

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