Touch of Death (Touch of Death, #1)
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: January 15, 2013
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Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.
After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.
Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.
I write for children of all ages from picture books up to young adult. I am proudly represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. My debut YA, TOUCH OF DEATH, releases January 15, 2013 through Spencer Hill Press. Also look for my other upcoming YA novels: STALKED BY DEATH (Spencer Hill Press, July 23, 2013), THE MONSTER WITHIN (Spencer Hill Press, April 2014), THE DARKNESS WITHIN (Spencer Hill Press, TBA), and INTO THE FIRE (Month9Books, spring 2014). My debut MG series CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE releases in 2016 through Month9Books.
Hi, Kelly! Welcome to Sparkles and Lightning! We’re all so happy to have you here!
Thanks for having me. I’m happy to be here.
Tell us something about yourself that you haven’t shared with any other blogs yet.
I’m kind of an open book (no pun intended). I actually love to embarrass myself. Weird, I know, but I like to make people laugh and let’s face it, embarrassment is a great way to accomplish that.
Can you tell us about a place that influenced you while you were writing Touch of Death?
I’ve always been obsessed with cemeteries. I think they’re beautiful and have such history. In college, I’d go for walks through cemeteries and just read all the headstones.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, tell us a little bit about your playlist for Touch of Death.
I like to listen to music before I write. While I’m writing, I need quiet. Some of my favorite songs from the Touch of Death play list are:
- “Poison” by Alice Cooper
- “Zombie” by The Pretty Reckless
- “Hero” by Skillet
- “Dance with the Devil” by Breaking Benjamin
- “Get Out Alive” by Three Days Grace
- “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park
Where did the original idea for Touch of Death come from?
I was researching for another book at the time and came across a lesser-known myth about Ophiuchus and Medusa. According to the myth, Ophiuchus was given two vials of Medusa's blood. Being Gorgon, the blood on the right side of Medusa's body could bring back the dead and the blood on the left side of her body could kill. I knew immediately that I wanted to have a cast of characters who could do the same thing.
In Greek mythology, Medusa is typically portrayed as a monster, something to fear. What drew you to her, and what about her made you decide to use her as a maternal figure?
I researched Medusa a lot, and I prefer the myths where she was cursed by Athena because of her relationship with Poseidon. After reading into it, I thought she was wrongfully cursed. Many myths say Poseidon forced the relationship (I’m putting this mildly), but even if he didn’t, Athena had no claim to him. I think she acted out of jealousy. Medusa was once very beautiful. That’s how I wanted her to be. And going along with the idea of her being cursed for loving Poseidon, I thought she would make a great maternal, loving figure in the book.
How does Greek mythology in general play out in Touch of Death and the series as a whole?
Medusa and Hades will both have major roles throughout the series. Jodi and the other Ophi are tied to both of them in so many ways. I don’t want to give any spoilers for the next two books, but you can expect even more mythology as the story continues.
Were there any real-life experiences that influenced you when writing Touch of Death? Additionally, how much of yourself can you find in Jodi?
Jodi and I do have a few things in common. We share the same birthday, December 8. We’re both born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. We drink our hot tea in one or two gulps so it can’t get cool at all. And we love steaming hot showers to calm us down. I think a lot of my emotions from high school also came through in this book. While none of the events were based on real experiences, the emotions were.
You did something completely unexpected with Jodi at the end. I didn’t think it would happen so soon, but I’m glad it did. Still, it was a major plot point that must have taken guts! What made you realize that was the moment to do it?
It was not in my planning. It was one of those moments when my characters took control and told me what had to happen. And it did have to happen. Jodi knew herself better than I did, and I let her take over. I remember writing the climax and saying, “Whoa! I didn’t see that coming!”
Can we expect certain characters that met a fate I will not say (since it’s spoilery) to show up again?
All I’ll say is that when your characters are necromancers, no one is really gone for good.
What can you tell us about Stalked by Death? Any spoilers you’d like to share with us? ;)
I’ll just say that if you thought the end of Touch of Death was unexpected, look out for what’s going to happen in Stalked by Death. You haven’t seen anything yet.
Thank you, Kelly! It was absolutely awesome having you here!
Thanks again for having me. That was a lot of fun.
So, darlings, I was right, wasn't I? Doesn't she have such a wonderful personality? Touch of Death is awesome, and you should seriously consider preordering it. I plan to put my review up next month, and it's gonna be so much fun!
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In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I am required to state that no payments are received in return for reviews, promotions and endorsements. All books are received at no cost from publishers or purchased by myself. I receive no monetary compensations for anything that appears on Sparkles and Lightning.