Welcome readers & please give a warm welcome to the wonderful heroine from Gray Island, Cadi Sinclair!
She's joined us today to answer a few questions.
Don't forget she's also giving away a gift certificate to her favorite publisher, Evernight Teen. You can enter below !!
What word best describes true love? Scary!
© Finish this sentence: Then I think of love, I think of _______ Something I need to find on my own, rather have someone arrange it for me.
© What’s your ideal romantic evening?
I’d love to have a nice dinner in a restaurant (with my boyfriend Sage of course) and then maybe see a movie in a theater—two things I’ve never done since we don’t have restaurants or theaters on Gray Island! I’m hoping that one day Sage and I can catch the ferry to the mainland and he can show me what the outside world is like. That would be amazing as far as I am concerned.
© What’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift?
We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on Gray Island, so I have to admit I’m not really sure. I think it should be about showing your commitment to the other person, though. Maybe jewelry or some kind of handmade craft—something that comes from the heart.
© Did you ever think you’d found that perfect love? What happened?
Ever since I was a little girl, my parents have been telling me that Ivar Ragnor, our community leader’s son, was destined to be my friend, then my boyfriend, and finally my husband as soon as we were both old enough. For years, I tried to convince myself that I wanted that, too, and that Ivar was someone I could love easily because I knew him so well. For a while I got myself to believe it. Then I met Sage Murdock and everything changed in a heartbeat. I knew what love really felt like—and I knew I’d never experienced anything close to it with Ivar.
© What song title best describes your relationship track record: “Nothing but a Good Time,” “Turn Me Loose,” “Shot Through the Heart (You Give Love a Bad Name)”, “Money Talks/Material Girl”, “Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places”?
I’d have to say “Mad World”—if you had to spend even a day either on Gray Island or in the compound where I grew up, you’d know why!
© Why are you still single?
Believe me, if it were up to my parents I would be engaged to Ivar right now—even though I’m only 17! Just being Sage’s girlfriend—no pressure to even think about marriage—is a huge relief. Even better, it feels right. Hopefully Ivar will find someone else and forget about me, though I’ll be his friend if it’s possible. Right now I’m not sure.
© What was your first opinion of each other?
The first evening Sage arrived on Gray Island, I saw him getting off the ferry and into the car with his father. His father doesn’t have the best reputation in my community, for various reasons I won’t go into here. I was still too naïve about a lot of things to question that, though now I know we were all being unfair to Jeremy, Sage’s father. Anyway, I figured Sage would be a lot like him—wild, unpredictable, and a little on the barbaric side. What I didn’t expect was that I would find all that kind of appealing. Sage was so different from everyone else I had ever been friends with, and that made me want to know more about him right away.
As for what he thought of me, I don’t really know—but I figure his father had the same bad impression of me that I had of him. So probably he didn’t know what to make of me, either, and I doubted he trusted me much in the beginning.
© What kept you from acting on that attraction?
One word—Ivar. He sensed that Sage and I were drawn to each other and it made him angry. As our leader’s son, he’s used to getting his own way. But this time, as it turned out, he didn’t.
© Who made the first move and what was it?
I would have to say I did. I had a feeling Sage would be a little out of place when he first arrived on Gray Island, so I decided to help him adjust. I made it a point to seek him out in places where I knew he’d be—the town library, the wharf, even the woods around his cabin. Every time, I found him waiting for me. It was like we were already thinking with one mind—though now I know why that was the case. It was intense. He was new to the island, so I knew he’d need someone to talk to—and of course, I did too. In the end, it worked out perfectly. We fit.
© What are you most looking forward to as a couple?
Because of some stuff I recently found out—stuff my family kept from me but shouldn’t have—I’m in a position now where I have to rebuild my whole life and look at my future in a whole new way. In some ways, that’s amazing and awesome, and in some ways it’s really terrifying. I’m so glad Sage is there to help me find my way again. I want him to be part of the new identity I’m about to take on.
© What could stand in your way?
Frankly, I’m a little afraid Ivar and my parents can’t let past expectations go. Even though a lot has changed recently, and some old secrets have finally come out into the open and made everything different, I can’t help think they’re going to try and prevent me from being happy with Sage. It’s just a feeling I have. I hope I’m wrong.
Sage Murdock has always felt different from the other students at his high school in Boston, and being bullied and ostracized has become a way of life he accepts…but at the same time, he worries that the whispers are true and that he is, in fact, mentally abnormal.
After a bullying incident at school provokes Sage to violence, his mother and stepfather tell him he is being sent to live with his biological father on Gray Island, a small weather-beaten island off the coast of Maine. There, Sage encounters many strange people who all seem to be hiding something.
A single bright spot is Cadi, a free-spirited girl about his own age. Unfortunately, Cadi is a member of a strange cult-like group that lives on the opposite side of Gray Island. Before long, Sage learns that his relationship with Cadi must end or the consequences will be catastrophic.
“I was out walking,” she answered, to his relief. She shook her head, sending a cascade of glistening raindrops from her honey-brown hair. The droplets seemed to descend in slow motion, twinkling like stardust.
“In the rain?”
“It isn’t raining anymore. Besides, I don’t mind. Rain is part of nature. We’re part of nature. It all fits, right?”
“I guess. I prefer to stay dry.”
“Oh? I can’t help but notice you’re out here, same as I am.”
“I…uh, yeah. I couldn’t sleep. And then I spotted you from my window.” He paused, fumbling for his next few words. “I…um…I saw Ivar tonight.”
Her rosy lips thinned. “I heard. I’m sorry he tormented you.”
Sage shrugged self-consciously. “It’s a public place. I guess he had a right to be there, same as I did.”
“Stuff like that happens because we have only one restaurant on the island. I know he goes there with his friends once in a while.”
“Do you ever go with him?” Sage asked hopefully.
“No. My parents won’t let me go anywhere that serves alcohol… besides, that place is a little noisy for my tastes.”
“I know what you mean.”
They fell into step together as they trudged through the sodden forest. The water dripping on her skin didn’t seem to bother her at all, nor did the chilly air. She was used to it, Sage supposed. Maybe he’d get used to it one day, too. But, no—he had no idea of staying that long.
Cadi did make it tempting to stick around a while, though.
“What’s the deal with you and Ivar, anyway?” he finally asked, unable to keep a note of strain from his voice. “You said once he wasn’t your boyfriend. But is he…I mean, are you and he…?”
She didn’t wait for him to finish. “I don’t like labels, personally. Do you?”
“I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to tell what’s inside the can without one.”
She laughed, a genuine and easy sort of laugh that banished the cold from his body. He smiled too. They walked on, side by side, not touching but enjoying the moment. At least, he was. And she seemed happy enough to stay beside him.
“I’m glad you have a sense of humor,” Cadi said. “Not many people around here do.”
“The weather makes them that way, maybe. No sun. I’ve been feeling kind of strange myself.”
“Not because of the weather. Haven’t you figured that out yet?” She stopped and looked at him intently.
“No. What do you mean? Figured what out?”
“Sage…you don’t know your father very well, do you? Or much about his life here?”
“Nah. Why would I? My parents split up and he took off when I was less than a year old. I haven’t had much contact with him since. Then, all of a sudden, my mother got this bright idea to send me out here to live with him.”
“She didn’t tell you why?” Cadi seemed genuinely concerned.
“Not in so many words. I figure she couldn’t handle me anymore. You know, hormones, bad temper, the usual teenage stuff.”
“No, Sage. It wasn’t the normal teenaged stuff. Trust me.”
“What do you mean?” He scowled and started walking again. “Are you trying to tell me my father is a serial killer or something?”
“No! No, Jeremy’s all right. I admit, my parents aren’t crazy about him, but they live on the other side of the island, so that’s to be expected.”
Sage scowled. “Don’t you come over to this side for school?”
“No. We have private lessons in the compound. Ivar’s father, Laurent—he’s sort of like our governor—appoints teachers for us. Sometimes he lectures to us, too. We can study at our own pace. I kind of like it that way. I don’t think I’d do well in your kind of school.”
“You’re kidding. That sounds like something from another century!”
“No, it’s modern enough. We have electricity and everything.” Her sardonic laugh ended in a sigh. “There’s a lot about this place you don’t understand, Sage.”
“I’ll be the first to admit that.”
She took his hand. He squeezed back. “You’ll find out a lot, soon enough. Too soon, and I hate thinking about it. I want to remember you like this: just a normal guy from Boston, taking an innocent walk with me through the forest. I wish it could stay like that.”
“What are you talking about? What do you mean? I’m lost.” He looked around at the dark trees that hemmed them in on all sides. Nothing looked familiar. “In more ways than one.”
“Don’t worry. You won’t be for long. Don’t try to answer these questions too soon. Let some things be a mystery. Once you look for answers, everything gets complicated.”
“I guess so. But I’d still like to know the truth.”
“And I like mystery. Maybe we’re not so compatible after all.”
“Don’t say that.”
“Then let some things stay unsaid. Don’t ask me things. Let’s just spend time together and enjoy it.”
“Okay. If that’s what you want.”
“I do, and I want things between us to be special. Like magic.” She grasped his hand, pulling him to a stop. Then she leaned up and kissed him on the mouth. Startled, Sage responded awkwardly at first. Despite what he’d seen in movies and TV shows, he wasn’t quite sure which way to tilt his lips, and at one point his front teeth knocked against hers. When she didn’t move away, though, he decided to let instinct guide him. That worked out better, as their mouths began to slide together in a balanced and highly enjoyable rhythm.
Magic was an understatement.
About the Author:
J.C. Aster is a teacher and freelance writer who is a huge fan of young adult fiction, especially stories with a paranormal twist (they sure didn’t have cool books like that when she was a kid or she might have had a more exciting childhood!). GRAY ISLAND started as a National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) project and quickly took on a life of its own. She is currently at work on new projects and hopes to visit the magical shores of Gray Island again soon.
Giveaway: $10 Evernight Teen Gift Card