At the age of ten, Jennifer Archer made up her mind to become a writer. Then she grew up, became “sensible,” and earned a business degree with a minor in accounting instead. After years of trying to find her way through a confusing maze of debits and credits she realized that, for her, accounting was no more sensible than becoming a World Federation wrestler. So in 1993, she enrolled in a creative writing class, and five years later, sold her first novel. Since then, Jennifer has published several novels for adults, as well as numerous non-fiction works.
Jennifer has been a finalist twice for RWA’s Golden Heart award and in 2006 was a finalist for the prestigious Rita Award and a nominee for a Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award. Her debut Young Adult novel, THROUGH HER EYES, was an April, 2011 release from Harper Teen. She has taught creative writing and has presented numerous talks and workshops for educators, students, writers’ organizations and bookstores.
The mother of two grown sons, Jennifer lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, Marge and Harry
Jennifer Archer THE SHADOW GIRL Blog Tour
In The Shadow Girl, Lily Winston lives in a remote mountain setting that I based on the Spanish Peaks area of Southeastern Colorado. My husband and I own property and a log cabin in this location, and setting the story there allowed me to share fictional versions of some of my favorite spots with my readers. One of those places is a small lake that’s within walking distance of our cabin. It’s called Sabrina Lake, but because it’s really more of a pond than a lake, in the novel I called it “Ponderosa Pond.” Sabrina Lake is surrounded on all sides by trees and has a very secluded feel. I could easily imagine Lily and her best friend, Wyatt, making it their “secret place,” while growing up – a spot to go to get away from adults where they could talk in private or just hang out. Here’s an excerpt from the book that tells more about Ponderosa Pond and what it means to Lily and Wyatt.
I grab my jacket off the hook by the door and slip it on. Wyatt follows me outside. The dawn is milky gray, the sky streaked with tenuous light. We take the steps down into the yard and walk in the same direction without even discussing where to go. I know we’ll end up at Ponderosa Pond, our spot, the place where we learned to swim and skip stones across the water, where we shared secrets about broken rules, first beers, and first crushes – Wyatt’s on Kelsey Redgrave in fourth grade, mine on Zac Efron, who I’d crushed on after seeing him in High School Musical. I’ve never told Wyatt by biggest secret, though. Today I’m finally going to.
Wyatt and I reach the pond in ten minutes. I stare across the murky green water, smelling a faint scent of fish in the air. My eyes are so tired my lids scrape like sandpaper each time I blink. “I can’t believe how stupid I’ve been,” I say. “I should’ve listened to you.”
Everyone should have a friend like Wyatt. Lily knows she can tell him anything and that even if he doesn’t believe it – or doesn’t like it – he will keep her secret and help and support her. When I was in school, I had just such a group of friends, and we had a saying: Let’s go make a memory. Lily and Wyatt have made many memories together since Wyatt moved down the road when they were small. I loved discovering and sharing those memories, and setting them in fictional locations that closely resemble real places I love in the Spanish Peaks of Colorado, such as Sabrina Lake, otherwise known as Ponderosa Pond.
Here’s a short video of Sabrina Lake, a.k.a. “Ponderosa Pond,” that I made on my last visit to the Spanish Peaks. Watch for another friend of mine toward the end of the video. Marge is the four-legged kind of friend, and she knows how to have fun!
Sometimes I forget for an hour or two that she’s with me. Sometimes I convince myself that she was only a dream. Or that I’m crazy.
For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily’s movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always—but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily’s secret.
But when Lily’s father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily’s mother have been keeping secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris . . . and Lily’s own identity.
1. Kindle Paperwhite with cover
2. Silver violin/heart pendant w/silver necklace chain and round case
3. Autographed copy of The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
4. Autographed copy of Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer