Hi guys, today we have J.E. Birk stopping by to introduce us to her upcoming release The Worst Best Thing, J.E. chats about the inspiration and setting of the story and there’s a very tempting excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
The Worst Best Thing
Iceland, Stonehenge, London, Paris….
To the casual observer, it looks like a dream trip. For Tate O’Reilly, it’s anything but. He’s a man on a mission to rectify a critical mistake, and there’s nothing to hold him back—certainly not friends or family. For Tate, it all comes down to one simple thing—he must fix what he has broken.
What he doesn’t count on is meeting Gabriel Carillo. Gabriel is kind, mysterious, and seems to be on his own mission to ensure their paths keep crossing. But Tate’s hiding an awfully big secret—one he’s certain even Gabriel can’t forgive.
Does a man’s past have to determine his future? In the middle of cities filled with history, Tate is going to find out.
About that pile of rocks in England…
You might have noticed there’s a giant pile of rocks on the cover of my new book, The Worst Bad Thing.
Or, as a less crass traveler might refer to it, Stonehenge.
So how did this famous pile of well-arranged granite end up on the cover of my book? It all started when I finally visited England a few years ago. I was standing in the middle of Stonehenge, trying to grasp the magnitude of that strange and beautiful place, and I remember thinking: someday I will write this into a book.
And then, for many months and years, I didn’t. It never felt right. I always knew that when Stonehenge finally became a part of one of my stories, it would be its own character as much as it would be a setting. The perfect plot requiring such a place and such a character eluded me, so Stonehenge and my keyboard avoided each other.
Then one day a horrible, horrible thing happened within a community I love. I needed to write about it, because I didn’t know what else to do. I wrote through my community’s struggle and all of those emotions became the book The Worst Bad Thing…and I finally found the moment where I needed my characters to visit Stonehenge.
The Stonehenge scene ended up becoming, not surprisingly, a pivotal scene in The Worst Bad Thing. It ended up becoming a scene that matters deeply to the development of Tate and Gabriel, the main characters in the novel. And then it ended up becoming the cover of the book.
Below you’ll find a short excerpt of the Stonehenge scene from The Worst Bad Thing. Stonehenge is still one of the most magical and important places I’ve ever visited, and I’m glad it became that for my characters as well.
We disembark the bus and follow the tour guide through the entrance and onto a wide stretch of grass that’s almost neon. For someone from Colorado, grass that color is impressive anytime of the year, let alone in November. I’m used to a lot more brown in my fields.
The only thing more impressive than the color of the grass is what lies beyond it. Far ahead of us in the field stands a wide array of stones—tall, wide, and in the well-known circular position they’re so famous for.
Eddie Izzard also has a joke about what Stonehenge feels like—something about how the best way to describe it is to listen to a choir singing—which is funnier than it sounds. For me? Nothing could better describe what I feel as I look across that field.
Stonehenge is as peaceful as the Blue Lagoon, but not in the same way. The Blue Lagoon brought me a sort of personal peace, an easing of tension that had been building up for months and months. Standing in front of Stonehenge brings me a much larger peace—assurance that the world is much larger than I am. Much larger, in fact, than the events and people before me. Assurance that there is much more to come and there is some kind of order at play, however unlikely that seems.
I start the trek down a long pathway toward the stones. I feel Gabriel’s hand lightly touching my lower back, and the feeling of peace and order surrounding me grows.
We stop along the path and read plaques about the mysteries of Stonehenge—who might have created it and who probably didn’t. Gabriel takes pictures and repeats one or two of Eddie Izzard’s jokes about the Druids helping with Stonehenge. He asks me to take a picture of him in front of one of the largest rocks.
“Let’s ask someone to get a picture of us,” he says, glancing around the crowd of tourists nearby.
I can feel bile start to rise in my throat. “No thanks,” I tell him quickly. Too quickly. He eyes me suspiciously.
“I just don’t like having my picture taken,” I add hastily.
He still looks suspicious, but he doesn’t say anything else.
Soon there’s only thirty minutes left before the bus is scheduled to depart. While most of our tour companions gather in the gift shop to purchase souvenirs, Gabriel and I find a bench that looks back over the scenery.
“You’re so quiet,” Gabriel says. “You were like this at the Blue Lagoon.”
I know he’s right. I’m thinking about her blog and the pictures she posted of this. Bet this place is COOL was her caption.
“Do you believe in hell?” I ask Gabriel abruptly.
J.E. Birk has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them since she was introduced to the alphabet. She hails from Colorado, where you can usually find her skiing, training for a 5K she won’t end up running, or watching grown men run into each other on football fields and in hockey rinks. You can follow her ramblings on Twitter by looking for @jebirkwrites. She’s also been known to ramble on Facebook as J Elisabeth Birk.