Author Guest Post
If I had to choose a single word to describe the process by which The Memory Thief came into existence, this would be the one. From start to finish, writing the book was colored by something beyond my reach - call it coincidence, fate or something more.
The very first clue I had that I wasn't alone in this endeavor fell into place the day I set out to find a mountain climber who'd summited South American peaks. (Back then, I'd intended to stage the avalanche that took Aidan's life somewhere below the equator, rather than in Alaska.) As quickly as this thought came into my mind, I dismissed it; I was on my way to a small neighborhood park in coastal North Carolina with my son, and the chance of finding such a human being amidst the cypress trees and Spanish moss seemed minimal.
So off we went to the park, where we met a man and his son. All of us started chatting, and I discovered that not only was my companion a climber; he owned the lone local climbing gym, led climbing trips, and had just returned from a climbing trip to (you guessed it) South America.
Needless to say, I was floored, and immediately asked him if he'd be willing to lend a hand with the research for my book. Not only did he say yes, he ultimately became the consultant who reviewed every climbing scene in The Memory Thief for accuracy, lending me invaluable assistance - and he lived just around the corner from me.
A few days later, having decided that my main characters would live in Colorado - where I'd never been - I'd determined that I needed to take a research trip across the country. I was driving my son to a play date, with a friend of mine who had, as far as I knew, grown up in Arkansas. It was cold; I was wearing a fleece and the type of hat that, in the South, is called a toboggan.
My son and I pulled into the driveway and parked. My friend threw the door wide, and the first words out of her mouth were these: "You look like Colorado today. We should take a trip there, want to?"
I stared at her, completely bemused. I hadn't mentioned the specifics of my manuscript to anyone, much less the place where I planned that many of my characters would call home. In fact, I'd just made the choice a few hours before. I looked at my friend, standing there wearing an expectant expression, and I said, "But why?"
She shrugged. "I don't know, it just came to me. Do you want to?"
"Why Colorado?" I said again.
"Well," she said, regarding me as if I were just a bit slow, "I grew up there. You know that, right?"
"I thought you grew up in Arkansas," I said, more bemused than ever.
"I did," she said. "But then I moved to Colorado. I lived there for years. Do you want to go, or not? Why are you looking at me that way?"
There, in the doorway of her ranch house on a perfectly prosaic day, I felt a chill wash over me. "I do," I said with perfect confidence. "And let me tell you why."
My friend and I did indeed travel to Colorado - a trip that proceeded so seamlessly, both for research purposes and otherwise, that long after we'd come back home, we referred to that brief interlude as 'the Colorado bubble.' I think of the entire experience of writing The Memory Thief as a bit of a bubble - a world inside a world., where things went just as they should ... although never quite as I expected. I could tell you many more stories like the two I've shared here - people and places that found their way into my life just as I needed them, tidbits of information that fell into my lap at the crucial time. Serendipitous stories. But in truth, I think that Nicholas Sullivan, my amnesiac character, said it best:
"When you're doing what you're supposed to do, the universe will help you out. It mat throw you a few curve balls, but they're all in the name of a good cause. Once you leave your path behind, that's when you start swimming upstream."
About The Author
Emily Colin ~ The Memory Thief ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ JKSCommunications
The Memory Thief Book Trailer
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Format: Paperback - 432 pages / Kindle - 1993 KB / Nook - 2 MB
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Paranormal Romance / Women's Fiction
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by JKSCommunications.
In Emily Colin’s exquisite debut novel, perfect for the fans of Kristin Hannah, one man’s vow to his wife sparks a remarkable journey that tests the pull of memory and reaffirms the bonds of love.
Before Madeleine Kimble’s mountaineer husband, Aidan, climbs Mount McKinley’s south face, he makes her a solemn vow: I will come back to you. But late one night, Maddie gets the devastating news that Aidan has died in an avalanche, leaving her to care for their son—a small boy with a very big secret. The call comes from J.C., Aidan’s best friend and fellow climber, whose grief is seasoned with survivor’s guilt . . . and something more. J.C. has loved Maddie for years, but he never wanted his chance with her to come at so terrible a cost.
Across the country, Nicholas Sullivan wakes from a motorcycle crash with his memory wiped clean. Yet his dreams are haunted by visions of a mysterious woman and a young boy, neither of whom he has ever met. Convinced that these strangers hold the answers he seeks, Nicholas leaves everything behind to find them. What he discovers will require a leap of faith that will change all of their lives forever.
My Book Review:
Love lost, love found ... memories made, memories lost ... the continuity of life ...
Mountain climbing enthusiast Aidan Kimble informs his wife Maddie that he is leaving their Colorado home for a climbing expedition on Mt. McKinley in Alaska. Maddie has bad premonitions and pleads with Aidan not to go, but he promises her that he will come back to her and their four year old son Gabe. Unfortunately the climbing expedition has disastrous results, Aidan is killed in an avalanche, leaving his best friend J.C. to inform the news to the grieving widow and son.
J.C. is consumed with survivor's guilt and grief, he questions whether he could have prevented Aidan's death. To add to his angst, J.C. has been in love with Maddie for years, but he never wanted his chance to be with her to come in this way. He vows to be always be there for Maddie and Gabe.
Meanwhile in North Carolina, Nicholas Sullivan wakes from a coma, he learns that he had been in a motorcycle accident and suffers amnesia. He has vivid dreams of falling down a mountain and is haunted by a vision of a sad dark haired woman named Maddie and her preschooler son. Haunted by his dreams of a woman whom he has never met, he yearns to search for them, unaware that he is the instrument of fulfilling a husband's promise to his wife.
The Memory Thief is a hauntingly poignant story of love lost and found, memories made and lost, and life's renewal. In her debut novel, author Emily Colin weaves a bittersweet tale told in the first person narrative with alternating perspectives of Aidan, Maddie and Nicholas. Reminiscent of the movie Ghost, this story has a paranormal twist mixed in with adventure and romance that draws the reader into the lives of Aidan, Maddie, Nicholas and J.C., it is a story that will keep the reader captivated as the story unfolds. Rich in detail and vivid descriptions of the climbing expedition and the emotional pull of the characters, this story will take the reader on a journey that will make you laugh, cry and sigh with contentment.
The cast of characters are realistic with complexities and flaws that the reader can easily relate to. The character development is phenomenal: a larger than life Aidan; the steady and kind J.C.; the haunted searcher Nicholas; the grieving, conflicted Maddie and her adorable young son Gabe. Each must learn to find their way through a tangled web of intense emotions and deep connections that binds them together through the continuity of life. With an engaging dialogue and intriguing interactions; and a storyline filled with adventure, romance, drama and emotional intensity; The Memory Thief is a powerfully compelling story that will resonate with you long after the last page has been read.
Author Emily Colin has created a wonderful story that captures the beauty of the human spirit and what it means to live a life full of passion. She weaves a tale of loss, love, grief, promises, memories, and the serendipity and continuity of life that will simply touch your heart and soul.
RATING: 5 STARS *****