Hello! Welcome to my stop along the Owlet tour, hosted by Tribute Books! If you’re here for the readlong, say no more. Your excerpt is right here! Also, it’s my pleasure to have Emma on my blog today. After the excerpt, read on to find her thoughts on Elena’s garden. Finally, make sure to enter the giveaway to win your own copy of Owlet, the first book in the Society of Feathers series.
Summary: Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.
Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.
She started to land and closed her eyes, not wanting to spoil that very first glimpse. She was so familiar with this dream that she didn’t need to see the ground to be able to land properly; she could just let herself drift and the wind would set her down. She waited until her feet were planted firmly in the snow and as it melted between her toes she opened her eyes. It was like magic each time she saw it. The snow falling like white feathers of all shapes and sizes before turning into the cold semi-liquid beneath her feet. It was perfect. The trees parted to reveal a road that would lead to the rest of her Never-Never, and revealed the view she knew so well.
A plain white house with many quirks sat before her; shingles from the roof were missing, black shutters framed the windows making them look like wide-open eyes, and empty planter boxes were attached to every window. When she saw the house she ran, placing her hand flat against the dark red door.
“Let me in. You are MY Never-Never—this is MY dream! Let me IN!” Iris gave the doorknob a sharp turn but it wouldn’t budge. She felt like a child throwing a fit and willed herself to calm down. She closed her eyes and when she opened them again she spoke.
The Author: Emma Michaels
Emma Michaels is the author of the ‘A Sense of Truth’ and ‘Society of Feathers’ series. Her goal with her latest YA novel ‘Owlet’ is to give others what she did not have growing up; a strong female protagonist with asthma. While her previous aspiration was to be a lady knight she realized that not being able to run more than a few feet might become a hindrance so turned to writing instead. Her day jobs include being a cover artist, marketing consultant and silk screen designer.
Elena’s Garden from Emma Michaels
While I don’t bring a focus point on Elena’s garden in the novel, it is one of the clearest settings in the novel in terms of how I imagine it in my mind. The island was Elena’s favorite place in the world because of her bedroom, her garden and the privacy/safety that is offered. The garden was her ‘special place’. You know when you are a child and you go somewhere and every time you leave you feel like you are leaving a part of you there because you belong there? Somewhere that feels more like magic than reality to you? That is what her garden is for her.
So while the book doesn’t give an in-depth description, if you want to know more about Elena that is the one place that could show you. The island is naturally covered in trees, especially alders, maple and pine but she had that section that had once been her mother’s garden cleared away and created from scratch. She knew she wanted her mother’s favorite birds, humming birds to visit so started by adding nectar plants like red sage and birds of paradise.
From there she realized why she wanted to create the garden anew, because it could be a paradise for birds. So keeping track of what birds could live in harmony she started compiling a list of what she wanted and found Joseph to help her out. She ended up with wild strawberry plants creeping along the sides of the path, manzanitas, dogwood and hemlock trees, madrone, holly, lilacs, sugar bushes, butterfly bushes, sunflowers, carnations, lavender and Irises. The one thing she had left untouched were the apple trees, she didn’t mind having them in her sanctuary because they fed the deer and were great for birds to nest in.
Her garden ended up attracting a wide variety of birds, though some of them she had imported to the island from rescue bird sanctuaries with her father’s help. Now in her garden you can find flickers, sparrows, waxwings, buntings, thrush, finch, thrasher, hermit thrush, wrens, hummingbirds, the amazing Lyre birds and more.
At the end of all of her hard work you have the garden that Iris got to see a portion of. Over time Elena had decided to add a pond with rose water lilies and koi (since koi go dormant in the winter but stay alive even with the cold temperatures) creating the garden you can read the description of in Owlet. I hope you enjoyed reading this little behind the scenes peak at Elena’s garden! If you haven’t read the novel yet, just wait and see what other wonders await!