Friday, February 2, 2018

New Young Adult from Susan Miura

Healer by Susan Miura
Young Adult Christian paranormal
Releasing January 31, 2018
330 pp
Print $16.99
Ebook a42.99

Buy on Amazon US
Publisher, Vinspire Publishing

Read my review below.

About the Book:
Hovering just below the surface of Shilo Giannelli’s average existence lays an amazing spiritual power. Late one night, her world erupts with the revelation that, like her great-grandmother, she has The Gift. But the power to heal isn’t something she can share with the soccer team, her genius little sister, or her boyfriend, Kenji. Definitely not Kenji.

Deep beneath Misty Morning’s tough fa├žade is a lifetime of abandonment, foster homes and broken dreams. When her two-year-old son is abused by her boyfriend, her fragile world shatters…until Shilo prays for Tyler, and he is healed, leaving Misty grateful but incredibly curious.
Shilo can’t give Misty the answers she needs; she only knows she has a God-given destiny, and despite facing strained relationships, impossible decisions, and the threat of being hounded day and night for her abilities, she will fulfill it.

The journey Misty and Shilo take together unites them as friends but invites danger into their lives. And it will take a miracle for these unlikely friends to elude a gang bent on revenge, keep The Gift a secret, trust God in extraordinary circumstances, and hold on to the people they love.

Susan, what do you love about this book?
The growth in the characters, the unlikely friendship that blooms between Shilo and Misty, the romance between Shilo and Kenji, the relationship between Shilo and her little sister, and Shilo’s determination to use the amazing gift God gave her despite the challenges and heartache inherent in doing so. 

Introduce us to your quirkiest character.
That would be Julia, Shilo’s little sister. She’s a genius and vegetarian who loves astronomy and geology. She does not have an athletic bone in her body, unlike Shilo. In short, she’s everything Shilo isn’t, and even though she drives Shilo crazy, they have a very close bond. Julia provides a little comic relief from time to time.
~I agree--I loved her, too!

Share two things you learned either about the era/genre or about publishing while writing this book.
Regarding the genre, you really have to make yourself go back in time and remember the thoughts and feelings you had as a teen, while keeping the setting and social scene current. As for publishing, the actual writing part is only half of what it takes to be a published author. At least, it feels that way to me. Marketing makes up the rest. It would be great to just write and not promote, but that would be a career killer.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on Healer Book 2, though I don’t know yet if that’s definitely happening.  I’m also writing my first young adult sci/fi and trying to get a contract for a women’s fiction manuscript that has always been special to me. It’s about a woman who accidentally kills her best friend’s five-year-old daughter, so it starts out with a pretty hard tug on the reader’s heart.

How do you overcome your biggest challenge to publication?

Prayer and walking is my way of overcoming any challenge. I’m also blessed with a great support system of family and friends. If I’m having a tough time with something, I take it to Jesus first, usually while I’m walking by the lake. I figure, if he can make a way for sinners to get into Heaven, he can help resolve my little challenges. Then I move on to people with skin. 

My review:
A young lady on the verge of adulthood is thrust into a lifestyle of secrets at a vulnerable time. Just when she can see an inviting future filled with college, music, faith, and especially a wonderful, almost too-good-to-be-true boyfriend, Kenji, Shilo learns of a fearsome and awe-inspiring family secret that’s been passed down through the generations. Under dire warning from her mother, Shilo must never, ever tell anyone. But it’s a secret Shilo can’t hide.

Sixteen, ready for the best summer of her life, Shilo experiences her second use of a God-given Gift when she accidentally heals a child. She learns early on, though, that the Gift cannot be taken lightly or for granted. Despite her mother’s warnings of becoming a media frenzy or even delusional with power, Shilo is put in an uncompromising position when her boyfriend’s life is at stake. Under the influence of enormous family stress, Shilo has pushed Kenji away, something that’s tearing her apart. Their reunion and subsequent revelations may not result in all that she or her family wish, but the words and actions cannot be undone.

Miura’s story is a nicely shaped and paced young adult story that’s well defined. The real angst of teenagers and tweens is lovingly created with a cast of characters that will leave a mark on the reader. Told through multiple first-person viewpoints, Shilo’s appeal as a young lady in love, mature, yet vulnerable, is a great story to share with young people. This is a lengthy book for young adult, so although I recommend for seventh grade and up, younger readers should be good readers. Younger readers should have parental supervision regarding some mature situations (teenage pregnancy, abuse, drug running, some violence, and serious injury).

The theme of obedience running through the story, speaking to trust, conscience, responsibility, obedience to authority figures such as teachers and pastor, parents, and especially to faith in God and acting on that faith, is wonderfully illustrated.

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