Welcome to the 2-week blog tour for Goth Girl, Virgin Queen by JoAnne Keltner.
Follow the tour and connect with bloggers, read reviews of the book, and meet the author.
Title: Goth Girl, Virgin Queen
Author Name: JoAnne Keltner
Genre(s): Young Adult Paranormal
Length: Approx. 298 pages
Release Date: December 3, 2015
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from Sapphyria’s Book Reviews, and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
About Goth Girl, Virgin Queen:
Calling Jackie Turov psychic makes her cringe. But Jackie’s no normal seventeen-year-old. She picks up emotions from people and objects like a freak. The emotions make her sick, and the guilt she feels for lying to her church when she was twelve causes her to deny her psychic abilities.
So Jackie goes goth to make others stay away from her and forget her past. But her past is soon resurrected when her jealous friend Trish invites a demon, a persecutor of healers, to steal away Jason’s love for Jackie. The demon causes Jackie to be bullied for the lie she told and puts her best friend, Jason, in danger.
Jackie must learn how to use her gift to protect Jason and herself and to heal the negative energies of those around her. To do so means she must overcome her guilt and accept who she is before the demon claims her soul.
Solstice Publishing: http://solsticepublishing.com/goth-girl-virgin-queen
Jackie Turov has an experience that I can say in all certainty that I’ve never had and you probably haven’t either. I always thought how interesting it would be to have a small amount of the ability she’s been “fortunate” to have but after reading her story I’m glad I don’t. You see how hard it is for her and those around her. People think of you differently. Jason seems like a really good friend and that’s something she needs. But then strange things start to happen. And Jackie finds herself having to stick up for her friend.
This story mixes the believable with the unbelievable. It’s the perfect time of year to read this story with Halloween just around the corner. The only thing missing for me is the eerie music. What impressed me was even though Jackie is a very unique young lady she won’t let that stop her from going out and trying to live some kind of normal life. One thing the author had me wishing was that I knew Russian. Her grandmother speaks it and I would love to hear it spoken as I re-read this tale. It also had me wishing to sample some Russian delicacies as I’m reading – just to give you a heads-up in case that’s what you’d like to do.
It’s a story that makes you feel sorry for our main character because no one seems to understand how special she really is. And we all know how people treat those things that they don’t understand. Her talent can also be considered scary and this is all people see. She’s had no one to nurture her so you can see that she internalizes a lot of what she feels. And that makes it hard for her to deal with other people. As you follow the story, one of her friends asks the perfect question and you may realize the same thing when you read the scene. And speaking of scenes – they seemed to flow very well from one to the next. I never seemed to get lost or confused. The ending did leave me a little perplexed because I couldn’t tell if we were going to see these characters again. It seemed a little unfinished.
Read an Excerpt:
Some of the kids at school—the ones she didn’t hang out with—called her Goth Girl. Some, whose memories wouldn’t die, called her VQ for Virgin Queen.
Jackie preferred Goth Girl, to be one of the living dead, to be numb to the emotions that plagued her. But this was what she wanted, not what she got.
Goth Girl or Virgin Queen, she was a freak, absorbing the emotions around her like a sponge. Sometimes the emotions made her sick. Sometimes they made her see things.
Because of this, she kept to a tight-knit group of goth friends—Jason, Zeta, and Trish—and avoided social activities. She attended high school only because Mom wouldn’t let her homeschool. Mom was afraid she’d hang with Babu all day, making piroshki and doing needlepoint instead of studying. Jackie, afraid of what life offered a freak like her beyond high school, had to admit that hanging with Babu all day was tempting.
Typically, Fridays were movie nights for Jason and her, but tonight would be different. Tonight, she’d subject herself to a hodgepodge of emotions from crowds and rides and the very ground she’d walk on to protect Jason. For this, she would need physical and spiritual strength, which she sought from Babu these days.
Babu’s door was cracked, and Jackie slowly pushed the door open. “Babu?”
The room smelled of beeswax and down. A candle burned on the shrine on the dresser. The flickering flame animated the icon of the Virgin of Vladimir and cast shadows across the picture of Babu, Grandma, Mom, and Jackie. Although Babu didn’t speak English, and Jackie didn’t understand much Russian, Jackie knew Babu kept that picture on her shrine to pray for Grandma, who passed away several years ago; for Mom, who divorced Dad; and for the girl who saw the Virgin when she was twelve—for the girl she had become as a teen.
Babu sat in bed, a country quilt spread over her legs, her thumb pressed against a knot of her prayer rope, her head bowed sleepily, and her lips wording prayers.
“I wanted to say goodbye,” Jackie whispered.
Babu crossed herself and then smiled at Jackie, her gold eyetooth shining from the light of the bed-stand lamp. She patted the empty space beside her. “Sadees.”
Jackie sat down beside Babu at the edge of the bed and took Babu’s hand in hers. Babu’s hand was warm and knotted with arthritis. Jackie rubbed her thumb over the bumps on Babu’s knuckles; her black fingernails were a sharp contrast to Babu’s flour-white skin.
She wasn’t afraid to touch Babu’s hands and absorb her emotions. Jackie got a good feeling from her. Babu filled Jackie’s inner vision with white light. She renewed her spirit. And this is what Jackie needed for the commitment she had made for tonight.
“Kooda eedyosh?” Babu asked.
“I’m going out,” Jackie said as if Babu understood her. This is how they communicated: Babu telling her stuff she couldn’t understand, Jackie telling Babu stuff she couldn’t understand. Somehow they carried on fine this way.
“I’m going with Jason.”
Babu rubbed the top of Jackie’s hand and ran her thumb over black fingernails. “Fsyevo kharoshevuh,” she said in a comforting tone and gently squeezed Jackie’s hand. Then she cupped her hands around Jackie’s jaws and pulled her forehead to her lips. Jackie imagined Babu’s kiss imprinted on her forehead and carrying Babu’s blessings and love with her tonight.
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