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Sunday, September 25, 2011

MG/YA Blog-A-Thon Continues with Guest Author Meradeth Houston

The whirlwind of the MG/YA Blog-A-Thon is coming to a close, but we still have some great guests planned for the next week. Today I welcome Muse author, Meradeth Houston, whose YA novel Colors Like Memories will be released May, 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing.

Hi Meradeth and welcome to my blog. Here is a little bit about Meradeth:

Meradeth Houston is finishing her degree-to-end-all-degrees in anthropology. Don’t ask her how long she’s been in school:). She is also an instructor at her university, and spends most of her time working in a laboratory. Please drop by her blog or website!

Meradeth, I used to love anthropology.

Now what is your book all about? I love the title.

Colors Like Memories


Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of. In order to save her best friend's life, she's going to have to face her past, but her ghosts won't make it easy. Especially his.

Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.

When Edison arrives at school, Julia's plan to focus on her work is thrown into chaos. Somehow, he knows way too much about her past. To make matter worse, Edison sparks more than just her curiosity. But he's one more distraction, and Julia has no time, especially when she accidentally reveals her true identity to her assignment. To help her grieving friend, she'll have to face her past—it’s the only way she, and her best friend, will heal. But to do so she’s going to have to return to the scene of crime and relive every vivid detail of what happened the day of the accident. If she can’t accept what happened, she’ll be forced to leave the Sary and lose any chance she had at saving her assignment’s life. It’ll take learning to trust Edison, and herself, to face the true color of her memories.


(a little further into chapter 1, where we first meet Marcy):
Marcy’s house was the only one on the block that already had its Christmas lights up. That was how she described it, at least. No one had taken them down last year. Or the year before. Last Christmas, I’d helped her replace the busted bulbs so the strands would work over the holidays, but neither of us was up to the job of removing them. Neither was her father.

The front of her house looked just like the one across the street. The faded sign on the door, proclaiming a cheerful welcome to all who entered, was the only thing that distinguished it. Marcy left the sign up, even though it had obviously seen better days, because her mother had put it there two days before she had been killed.

On the sidewalk, I stared up at the dark windows of the brown stucco house, the blinds on the second story half shut, making the whole place look like a half-asleep giant. Standing this close to the house made the tiny hairs across my back—where my wings were when I was in my Sary form—stand at attention.

Oh, so she is a kind of angel! Sounds like a really cool book to read. I can't wait until its release.

Meradeth has brought Julia with her and she is going to ask her a few questions. I am looking forward to learning more about this unusual character.

Interview with Julia, the main character in Colors Like Memories:
Julia: First off, let me make sure of one thing: anything I say here is under strict confidentiality. References to the Sary, or anything else aren't to be passed around. I could get into way too much trouble for saying anything! But, I’ll do my best to answer some questions. Just don’t get mad if I plead the 5th, okay?

1) What's your name?
-Right now, it’s Julia. I like the name. But I have to change it when I’m in other countries. Or if it gets out of style. Have you ever tried to answer to another name? Not so easy. But not changing it can lead to a whole lot of complications if I’m not careful.

2) How old are you?
-Old enough. Seriously. It’s rude to ask.

3) Who do you live with?
-Currently, I live alone. I didn’t always, but right now, I’m by myself. Next question.

4) What's the best day of your life?
-Without going into way too much detail: it’s the day Derek and I had between assignments in Paris. I can’t even remember what year—sometime around the turn of the century? Anyhow, I’ll spare you the sappiness. It was great though.

5) When have you had to act strongest when it hurt?
-When Derek died. I don’t want to talk about it.

6) Are you in a relationship?
-Not currently, no.

7) What's your favorite color?
-Green. Dark green.

8) What's your favorite animal?
-I’m going to go with birds. Honestly, I’ve never really thought about it!

9) Do you have any pets?
-Nope. As much as I move around, it would be impossible. 

10) Do you have a job?
-My life is my real ‘job’ if you want to call it that. But other than that, I work at the small bookstore in town where I sell too much caffeine to people and make handmade signs for the windows. I like doing that.

11) What is your relationship with your parents like?
-Going for all the sore spots, aren’t you? Well, I never knew my parents. I used to wonder about them, sometimes, but now, they’ve been dead so long that they hardly ever cross my thoughts.

12) Are you human? If not, what are you?
-Haha! That’s rich. Nope, not human. I once was, in a way. I’m a Sary. I can’t give more details than that.

13) What's your favorite song?
-I’ve always been partial to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. If I had to go with something more modern, I’d say most anything by Linkin Park.

14) What do you do in your spare time?
-Fly. Any chance I have to get up in the sky, that’s where I’ll be.

15) When is your birthday?
-Don’t know. Really. Derek and I used to sometimes pick dates and go out, pretending to celebrate. But if you look at my license today, it would say January 1st. Creative, I know.

Thank you so much for coming, Julia. We all look forward to learning more about you when Colors Like Memories is published in May, 2012.

Thank you, Meradeth and did you say you had a contest? I love to give away free books here.

If you’re interested in a copy of Colors Like Memories when it comes out, please leave a comment here or any of the other blogs I’ll be visiting this month. Or leave a comment at each of the blogs, for more entry chances! I’ll draw a winner from comments and announce it on my blog at the end of the month. Please leave me a way to get in contact with you!

Until the next time, thank you to all who continue to follow me. I am still not quite over our party last Friday for my book's release, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor.  I want to thank all the people who congratulated me and please, if you do read it, leave me a review on amazon or the Muse Bookstore. Also if you can, listen to the show from yesterday with guests C.K. Volnek and Sameena Bachmeier on Blog Talk Radio. Here is the link:


  1. Good questions, Barbara! May I steal some for my Q&A.

    Meradeth is Sary this is all happening? I'll bet she's not.

  2. Hi Marva! You do get around! Thank you for visiting.

    These were Meradeth's questions, but thank you for thinking I asked them.:) She interviewed her own character. You can imagine she knows her pretty well. I am also not so sure about a Sary. I guess we will have to read it to find out.

  3. I love the Q and A with Julia, very creative. And I love Julia's voice - very appropriate for a YA novel and for her character. I would love to read the novel some time.

  4. Thanks so much for hosting me, Barbara! I had fun trying to come up with this interview, though it was a little tricky. Hopefully it makes some sense! :)

  5. Wonderful character interview Meradeth. Julia sounds like a very ineresting character. Great job. enjoyed the post.
    C.K. Volnek

  6. Hi Barbara and Meradeth, another wonderful interview. Being a Sary is complicated, but you'll have to read Meradeth's book to find out why. :~)


  7. Barbara, thanks for hosting Meradeth today.
    Thanks Meradeth for this excerpt. It's funny, but I guess there are people all over who never take down their Christmas lights.

  8. It's neat that the character interviewed herself. She gives us good insight into her life and story.

  9. Julia,
    I had neighbors in college from Brazil. When we first met the couple the husband called her Linda. A friend of ours thought that was her name. It wasn't. Her name was Flavia. When my friend called her Linda, her hubby got offended a stranger was calling his wife beautiful (Linda).
    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer & Speaker
    Children's Author of Stella the Fire Farting Dragon (April 2010)


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