Blog Tour: Mystery Falls -Author Interview & Review

Mystery Falls by Marilyn Phillips

Secrets. Lies. Deception. For the past six years, Samantha Hunt has lived with the belief that the untimely death of her parents was the result of an unfortunate accident—that by the cruel hand of fate, she had been left an orphan. But it was a lie, a terrible lie told to her by those who wanted to keep her in the dark.  And the truth… when revealed, will change her life and haunt her forever.

Suddenly plagued by a series of events which find her in danger and in need of a savior, Samantha is repeatedly rescued by the mysterious and elusive Shadow—a stranger who seems to know more about her past and the tragedy which befell her family, than she does. Drawn to him despite the antagonism she feels whenever in his presence, Samantha soon discovers that Shadow is not what he appears to be.  Determined to learn his true identity and why he has come to Mystery Falls, the small town in which she has spent all of her seventeen years, Samantha not only uncovers the secrets he refuses to share, but also the truth about her own past.  A truth which forces her to acknowledge that things are not always as they seem, and sometimes, not even those close to you can be trusted.

Resolved to seeking justice for the unwarranted death of her parents, Samantha embarks on
a journey which brings her perilously close to her own demise. Can Shadow use his angel powers to save her yet again, or this time, will he be too late.

Review (3 stars)

The mystery is what I really enjoyed in this novel.  Admittedly, it was a little slow at the beginning and it took a while before things came to a head however I don’t think the mystery is the ‘main’ attraction to this novel so the slowness was acceptable because of…

Shadow = Yum!  I love Shadow and I love the type of angel he is.  I have to confess of having been avoiding any ‘angelic’ paranormal type of books because I have a certain preconception of angels and am afraid that I would hate the book.  Whilst I don’t hate this book, I quite enjoyed reading the mystery & romance, I am such a stick in the mud that I was slightly disappointed with some of the angel business.  I’m not sure if any other readers will feel the same way as I really do think it’s just me and my preconception getting in the way of total enjoyment of this book.

The romance was quite sweet as Samantha’s faith in Shadow was really quite astounding. Shadow’s protective nature was really endearing but…

The love triangle – or what looks like a love triangle from the outside / the beginning.  I just didn’t particularly like this approach (well, you know me and my view of love triangles: **blearrgh**).  In addition, it all worked out way too easily.

Don’t expect too much sparks but it is a tingly sweet romance – recommended for a relaxing beachy read.

Author Interview

Quick Qs to warm up with –

White or Dark Chocolate? Dark Chocolate

White or Red Wine?  White Wine

Vegemite or Nutella? Nutella, I can’t go past anything with Chocolate.

Cats or Dogs?  Dogs.

Beach or Bush? This is difficult. I like both. It really depends on the mood I’m in.

I have to admit to curiosity, what did you teach?  And do you miss teaching?

I taught Maths, Science and Biology to High School students for thirteen years before becoming a mum and devoting my time to raising a family. Busy with being a wife, a mother and now, a published author, I can’t say I miss teaching. I probably should mention here, that on occasion, I do some relief teaching. This keeps me in touch enough so that I don’t really have the opportunity to miss it in a big way.

Did you make up stories for your children too (as bedtime stories)?  If so, would you share one of the most fantastical with us, please?

Yes. I do make up stories for my children, but probably not so much now as I did when they were younger. Rather than telling one story which would take too long, I will just give you a brief scenario of the kinds of tales I would make up. To start, they (my son and daughter) would always be the central characters. The setting would always be some magical place with magnificent castles, a dark forest and flowing water. And of course, no fantasy story is complete without a dragon, unicorn, fairy or other mystical creature to either befriend them or wreak havoc. My children love that they are part of these stories and I hope they will always treasure them in their memories.

How did you decide to write a series instead of a stand-alone novel?

When I started to write, I didn’t think about whether the book would be a series or a stand-alone novel. I just wrote. It was while I was creating Mystery Falls, that ideas for a sequel began to form. A similar process is happening now as I write Mystery Rises, so there will be a third. As to a fourth, who can say?

Why YA?

Good question. I’m not sure. I guess it comes from my preference to read YA novels. I like revisiting the idea of first love and all the angst which comes with that. The purity, the innocence, the intensity, It’s kind of fascinating to me.

How did the idea of Mystery Falls first come to you?

Lying in bed one lazy Sunday morning, I was allowing my thoughts to wander freely as I often do, when Samantha just appeared. She was standing by a stream, angry and alone. Curious to know why, I became lost in her world, and slowly, her story began to unfold. By the time I returned to reality and rose from the bed, the first chapter was written.

What is your writing process like?  I understand it’s quite different for each book but in general, do you write the opening lines first / last?  Do you usually know the ending earlier on & therefore, planned, or do you just go with the flow?  Have you drawn diagrams / flow charts to make sure that you’ve got the ‘facts’ straight?

Hmm… the writing process – I don’t really have a process per say. I just start to write. As to whether the first line remains the first, or if it is changed, depends on what happens as the story unfolds. The ending – I have no idea what that is until I am almost there. It might be easier if I explain it this way. As I go through the normal duties of my life, scenes and dialogues appear at random in my imagination. Then when I sit down to write, I piece them together like a jigsaw puzzle. I love being creative, but I can’t say that it’s a planned process. I simply allow my own daydreaming to naturally unfold and I take what I like from there.

Please do share your best reads of 2012 to date.

The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The Premonition series by Amy A. Bartol. And of course, Finale, the conclusion to Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush Hush series.

Marilyn lives on the outskirts of Melbourne (Australia) with her wonderfully supportive husband and two beautiful children. When not writing, she likes spending time with her family, taking long walks in dark forests and reading (anything involving paranormal romance / urban fantasy). Her favorite authors include Becca Fitzpatrick, Stephenie Meyer,Claudia Gray and Amanda Hocking. Mystery Falls is her debut novel and the first in a series.

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