By Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer
Local author, Meredith Mawr, has written the first in a young adult series of six books that will be released on Friday, December 13. That’s right, its release date is no coincidence. The date, Friday the 13th, is known to many in the superstitious Western world as a day to fear. Mawr is excited about the date’s metaphoric relationship with trepidation, and she hopes the attention to the date attracts a crowd of curious young readers eager to delve into a fictitious world of paranormal activity.
“Summon” is the first in “The Summoner Series,” and it is sure to captivate a young audience as well as an adult female fan base. Similar to the “Twilight” series, its target market are those readers looking for suspense and romance. And, for those who live in Beaufort, “Summon” acquaints us with a local teenager whose logical, rational world begins to change in strange and frightening ways.
Electra Vance, a smart, small-town, Beaufort teen, receives an invitation to complete her senior year at elite Killewycke Academy, far from home. She’s excited to go, but almost immediately, unusual things begin to happen, including the onset of dark, ominous dreams. She meets Sam, a beautiful but mysterious boy who seems unexpectedly attracted to her. Though she struggles to understand his strange ways, Elle and Sam forge a friendship that develops into much more after he saves her life during an ill-fated rafting trip with friends Alex, Bowen and Camden.
The Killewycke workload is rigorous and Elle works hard despite the continuing dark dreams, often involving Headmaster Augustus Cyril and the particularly sinister history instructor, Marcello Solis. One day, her eccentric art teacher, Georg von Ruell, suggests that a decorative metal box, belonging to Elle’s deceased father, might be a mysterious “summoner’s box.” Logical, rational Elle dismisses his bizarre ideas. But scofflaw Sam gently coaxes her from her orderly, well-defined comfort zone, questioning her perceptions of the world, encouraging her to be more open-minded. He seems protective, shielding Elle from her fears and as they fall deeper in love, he confesses to some unusual abilities. With Sam’s assistance, she uncovers surprising information about her father’s past and a strange ability she may have inherited from him — and Elle hates surprises! Her well-ordered life is crumbling in frightening and chaotic ways.
The disturbing nightmares that seem to come true and menacing faculty encounters continue. Stress and academic pressure begin to take their toll on Elle. As threatening behavior from Mr. Solis escalates, she is forced to consider that her experiences might be beyond coincidental, that, as von Ruell suggests, there might be more to her box, her world and even herself than she’d realized.
In the story’s fast-paced culmination, Elle, with Sam’s help, uses her newfound knowledge and strength to escape Killewycke’s sinister forces, whose true identities have been revealed But, her biggest challenge comes in accepting her own identity as a summoner and in the shocking revelation of Sam’s.
Local author Meredith Mawr is enthusiastic about the book’s release.
“I’m so excited to be able to bring a character from Beaufort to life, to introduce her and the Lowcountry’s unique beauty to young adult readers,” says Mawr.
The launch party for “Summon” is by invitation only on Friday, December 13. However, a public book signing will be held at Monkey’s Uncle, at 808 Bay Street in Downtown Beaufort on Friday, December 20, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
“Summon” is the perfect gift this holiday season for your tween or teen or romance-loving adult, and also the perfect opportunity to begin the camaraderie of book clubs. If you’re interested in offering “Summon” at a book club with your school or in your neighborhood, please contact Lorri Engle at 912-257-3971 or email email@example.com.