May 26th, 2010

A Pocket Full of Murder

Meet Amy Brecount White, author of FORGET-HER-NOTS!

Last year when my debut Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter came out, my fellow author Amy Brecount White gave me a lovely interview, and now that her debut novel is in stores I'm returning the favor!

Amy's book is called Forget-Her-Nots, and it's the story of a teenaged girl named Laurel who discovers that she has a special, subtle gift of magic which expresses itself through flowers. When Laurel makes a bouquet for herself or one of her friends, she must choose carefully, because the flowers she chooses influence the recipient's perceptions and emotions. Laurel's magic can bring joy and romance into the hearts of those she loves, but she can also create havoc if she does not choose her flowers wisely and carefully!

When I first heard about this premise for a book, I loved it -- it's so fresh and original. I was familiar with the Victorian idea that flowers are their own "language" and that each plant or herb sends its own particular message to the receiver, because I'd referred to that language myself when choosing plant names for the female faeries in Spell Hunter and sequels. I knew, for instance, that white bryony (Bryony being Knife's original faery name) is poisonous, an irritating purgative, and that the herbalist Culpepper described it as a "furious martial plant" -- how fitting for my fierce faery heroine! But in Forget-Her-Nots the language of flowers is a kind of magic in itself, which Laurel must discover and learn to use.

Forget-Her-Nots is a sweet, thoughtful book ideal for older tweens or young teens who are just beginning to be interested in romance but don't want anything too heavy yet; who like the idea of magic operating subtly in the midst of ordinary, everyday life; who appreciate the beauty of the natural world in general and flowers in particular. It also touches upon Laurel's strained relationship with her father after her beloved mother's death, and the grieving process they must both go through -- but it's gently and thoughtfully handled, rather than oppressive.

Another thing I appreciated about Amy's book is that (to me anyway) the most attractive boy in the book, the one that I instantly liked and was hoping would get together with Laurel in the end, is Asian. And it's not made into some big deal that takes over the plot, he just is, and he's a real, believable character and not a stereotype, which I loved.

So please say hello to Amy Brecount White!

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If you're interested in learning more about Forget-Her-Nots, you can Browse Inside the front cover, flap copy and first few chapters at the HarperTeen site. You can also visit Amy's personal website, friend her at amybre_white, or check out some of her many other interviews.