The Story is About + Saundra Mitchell

Guest Post: Saundra Mitchell

Saundra Mitchell


  • Shadowed Summer

    (PB release: June 8, 2010!)


Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared.

His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind "The Incident With the Landry Boy."

Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette's latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.

What she doesn't realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.


One of the great things about a blog like The Story is finding new books to pine for. And since Kristi was kind enough to let me guest blog here, I thought I'd make some recommendations.

Depending whom you ask, my book, SHADOWED SUMMER, is a southern gothic ghost story, a mystery, a paranormal coming of age story, or a horror novel. Some of these elements fit nicely; others, not so much. But I think if you liked my book, you'll like these:

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. At first glance, these books couldn't be more different from mine. They're long, sprawling epics, with a star-crossed romance right at the heart of them. But it's the simmering heat and accent of them that make them kin- two flavors of southern gothic that go great together.

GIVE UP THE GHOST by Megan Crewe is perfect if you're looking for multiple haunting, and a YA book that doesn't focus on the romance. Cass is the only one who can see the ghosts lingering everywhere- and she uses them to find out her tormentors' secrets. Armed with otherworldly gossip, Cass exposes the hypocrites around her- but when one of the popular students at school asks for her help, things get confusing for Cass.

PEMBA'S SONG by Marilyn Nelson and Tanya C. Hegamin is another ghost story, but this time, it's the unusual connection between the main character- Pemba- and the ghost, Phyllis, that brings this book and my book together. When rap lyrics flow into poetry that flow into a haze between the modern day and the 18th century, something special happens. It's a slim novel, but amazing.

THE FOREST OF HANDS & TEETH and THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES by Carrie Ryan. On the face, southern contemporary ghost story and dystopian forest primeval don't have a lot in common. But Carrie and I ask a lot of the same kinds of questions in our writing, and we pare through the answers in thick, language-fascinated prose. These two generations of women surviving in a world that's dying are mesmerizing; I read them again and again.

THE CLEARING by Heather Davis. A speculative novel about a girl escaping her past, to find love with a boy who is literally trapped in his, THE CLEARING is a quiet novel. Like mine, there are no explosions, no shootings, no sudden, violent wrenching to disturb the contemplation- this is a novel about people, who they are, what they fear, and how far they'll go for love.

THE MORGUE & ME by John C. Ford. This is a straight-up mystery- when Christopher Newell gets a job at the morgue, he accidentally uncovers evidence of a murder. Teaming up with an unlikely ally- a half-crazy reporter at the local newspaper- the two unravel the mystery of Mitch Blaylock's death in a story that's still intensely about the people doing the solving. Plus, we both have city population signs to introduce our towns, and that makes me smile.

I really do think if you liked my book, you'll enjoy these- or vice versa. And I thank Kristi for the chance to offer up some suggestions for her readers. The Story is one of my favorite review sites, and it's an honor to be a part of it!

Buy the book: Indiebound|Book Depository|Powell's|Amazon

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Guest Post: Saundra Mitchell + Saundra Mitchell