Tuesday, April 24, 2018

{Excerpt} "Magnetic" by Carissa Miller

by: Carissa Miller
Publication date: September 10th 2017 
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

When Elle Christiansen’s rebellion leads to her father’s expulsion from a parsonage in small-town Ohio, the forlorn pair is forced to move to Oklahoma to live with an aunt neither of them has ever met. Here she encounters her aunt’s neighbor—Maverick Mason, the quietly confident son of a wealthy oil tycoon who infuriates her as much as he inexplicably draws her in…
Maverick slowly gains Elle’s trust and coaxes her out from the seemingly impenetrable walls of self-protection she erected around her heart when her mother was murdered. He convinces Elle to confide the secrets of her tortured past: that she saw her mother’s murder before it took place, and she was the one who found her, bleeding to death at the end of a lonely dirt road. Together the unlikely pair begins to unlock the secrets of not only Elle’s sordid past, but her mother’s and grandmother’s as well, to uncover decades of greed, corporate corruption, lies, and murder. Quickly, the sobering realization hits: if they do not solve her mother’s murder, Elle will undoubtedly suffer the same fate. As she continues her journey toward truth alongside the boy she is magnetically drawn to in a way both frightening and uncontrollable, Elle finds the road she is most afraid of going down—that one lane dirt road where her mother was murdered—just might be the only place she can truly find redemption.
Magnetic tells of the enduring pain of living with unsolved violent crime. Inspired by debut author Carissa Miller’s true-life events, it’s a haunting account of a young girl’s struggle in the aftermath of shattering loss. With an unraveling love story, puzzling mystery, unexpected twists and turns, and a gripping pace that will keep you turning pages, our heroine takes you on her journey as she learns one of life’s great lessons: facing your fears instead of running from them, is the only way to truly find freedom.


I walked into the bathroom and heard the girls giggling and laughing to one another, discussing the atrocity that was Janie Jackson’s Pepto-Bismol pink dress. I stood there and watched them for a minute—just taking it all in—wanting to stop for a moment and remember these friends and their simple laughter and teenage angst; these girls—my new friends—who had nothing else to talk about or consider in this moment other than homecoming dresses.
I smiled at them longingly, wanting to escape to their world and bring Maverick with me. I wanted to live in a place where my biggest problem was the accessories I needed for my dress and the only pressing matter I had to talk about was Janie Jackson’s atrocious homecoming attire. My phone beeped. I knew it was Maverick and my five minutes was up.
“Hey girls. So here’s the deal. I kinda told my dad I was staying the night with you but I’m not going to—” I trailed off, awaiting their response with nervous anticipation. There was nothing but silence for several seconds, then I heard a ripple of screams come from all of them simultaneously.
“Are you going somewhere with Maverick? You little slut! OMG you are the luckiest!” They were all speaking at once and I couldn’t even decipher all their words. I quickly shut them down.
“It’s not what you think you guys. We’re leaving tonight and he’s driving me back to Ohio. I have some things I have to take care of back home and I can’t tell my dad because he won’t let me go if I do.” The girls were still stuck on the fact that I was going somewhere overnight with Maverick Mason. No one cared about any of the details after they heard that juicy little detail.
I knew it was hopeless trying to convince them otherwise. I gave them all hugs and said goodbye. “Listen, if my dad comes looking for me, just tell him the truth. I don’t want you guys getting in trouble or having to lie for me.”
“Don’t worry girl, we got your back.” They hugged me and continued their assault of catcalls and whistles as I walked out of the bathroom, pausing to look over my shoulder and give them an exaggerated eye-roll before I left.
I made my way back out to the corridor and took one last glance at the dance that I was leaving behind. I saw Maverick’s truck sitting outside and realized he had someone bring it to him to switch out so we didn’t have to drive the sports car to Ohio; I was transfixed by how thorough and calculated he was. He never missed a single detail.
I sighed sadly as I allowed the acceptance of my reality to wash over me, then I turned away from the throng of high-school students dancing carelessly, realizing that I could never be one of them. With one last glance, I walked away from my dream world, the one where I got to be a carefree student at a dance with the man of her dreams, and walked toward my reality, the one full of nightmares and dreams and murder and darkness. Forlorn, I stepped toward the black truck.
When I saw Maverick sitting with his arm around the back of his seat, an inviting smile playing around his lips and a twinkle in his captivating blue eyes, I couldn’t help but smile. I stepped away from my dream world and toward him, realizing that reality was perfectly fine with me because I was with the boy who captivated my soul. I would go back to Brookville, to the place my mother was murdered. I would go to that one-lane dirt road and confront my past, but this time I wouldn’t go alone.


About Carissa Miller:
Carissa Miller writes a lifestyle and design blog called CC and Mike, where she and her husband blog about their experiences designing, building, and flipping houses in the Midwest. She was inspired to write her debut novel–Magnetic—because of her firsthand experience living with the trauma of an unsolved violent crime, her mother’s attempted murder. When she’s not writing, blogging, or designing, Carissa loves Oklahoma summers on the lake with her husband and three children, going to Oklahoma State sporting events and cheering on the Cowboys, and traveling cross country with her family in the RV she and her husband renovated. Carissa laughs loudly, loves with her whole heart, tells it how it is to a fault, and enjoys living life to the fullest, every moment of every day.

You can follow along with Carissa and her family on Instagram – ccandmikecreative, Facebook – CC and Mike, Pinterest – CC and Mike, Twitter, or by subscribing to their blog –