Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous

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Today we are excited to introduce you to Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous.

Sparked Author Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous


Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy.

Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.

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Sparked Excerpt From Chapter 3: First Encounter With The Mean Girls:

When the novel opens, Laurel wakes up to find her sister Ivy missing from her bed. Their mom is sure that she must have stayed out all night to try to teach her a lesson—because of a fight they had the night before—and that Laurel will see her at school. When Ivy isn’t there, Laurel becomes increasingly convinced that something terrible must have happened to her. At lunch, she isn’t sure who to sit with, because usually she eats with Ivy. Trying to avoid Peyton and Mei, two “mean girls” who’ve bullied her since grade school, she goes to the library, to see if Ivy has left any social media posts. But unfortunately, while she’s there, she gets cornered by the two girls she’d hoped to avoid.

The bell rang and I ducked out of my study pod, hoping I could slip past without them noticing. But no such luck. As I barreled toward the library exit, Peyton stepped directly in front of me. “Laurel! Ooh, I love your outfit. And what is that—yogurt?” She pointed at a smear on my sweater. “It adds a nice splash of beige.” When I didn’t answer, she shook her head at me disapprovingly. “How is it even possible that you’re Ivy’s sister?”

I opened my mouth, but as usual a snappy comeback failed me. This was one reason I liked writing: it gave me time to find the perfect words.

Mei took over the attack. “Where do you get your style inspiration—Mrs. Bennett? Since she’s, like, your best friend, do you get to raid her closet?”

Peyton squinted at me. “That sweater actually does look familiar. Wait—was that my mom’s? No, seriously—she always gives stuff she’s throwing out to the maid! She must have given it to your mom before she fired her!”

Suddenly it felt like my skin was crawling with fire ants. The worst part was, Peyton wasn’t imaginative enough to make this up. Mom did used to clean the Andersen house, and I had taken this particular sweater from her closet. I’d just assumed Mom had scored it at the Goodwill. I was dying to rip it off and throw it in the trash, but I couldn’t give Peyton the satisfaction of seeing how much she’d bothered me.

All I could do was march out of the library to the soundtrack of their laughter.

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About the Author: Hello! We are both novelists, but if you’ve ever tried to write anything, you know that writing can be a lonely, angst-filled business. So one night over a cocktail or two, we came up with a solution: write our next book together. Malena already had an idea: a girl’s sister is kidnapped and she has to rely on mean girls with superpowers to get her sister back. We couldn’t resist seeing where that story would take us – a wild ride that includes a loner girl who wants to be a writer and a gorgeous boy who can shoot fire from his eyes but also loves to talk about books. And an ancient Zoroastrian prophecy. And pie shakes. (OK, so maybe we got a little carried away.)

We’ve both published solo novels (check them out here and here) and had no idea how co-writing would work out, but we pounded out the first draft in a white-hot frenzy of inspiration we called “the Vortex.” One of us would write a scene and send it to the other with a note: “My apartment is a pigsty and I haven’t eaten all day. #inthevortex.” We wrote the book we wanted to read as teenagers: a supernatural thriller with healthy doses of horror and humor. Oh, and of course there’s romance. You have to wait a long time for the only kiss in the book, but isn’t that the case with all the best kisses in books?

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Sparked Author Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous

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