Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book Spotlight + Guest Post: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

Happy Sunday friends! It seems like a good time for a guest post, specifically a guest post all about the love of books. If you haven't already heard of Paige McKenzie and her YouTube channel, you're in for a treat! I'm pleased as punch to give our blog over to her, and her creative soul, for today.

Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother Kat move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. Though Sunshine is adopted, she and her mother have always been close, sharing a special bond filled with laughter and inside jokes. But from the moment they arrive, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn’t recognize it, Sunshine knows that something about their new house is just ... creepy.

In the days that follow, things only get stranger. Sunshine is followed around the house by an icy breeze, phantom wind slams her bedroom door shut, and eventually, the laughter Sunshine hears on her first night evolves into sobs. She can hardly believe it, but as the spirits haunting her house become more frightening—and it becomes clear that Kat is in danger—Sunshine must accept what she is, pass the test before her, and save her mother from a fate worse than death.
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I've always liked books. I mean LOVED books! 

I love strolling through old, musty bookstores on the rainy Oregon coast (and there are many amazing ones!) looking for that next hidden gem to take me away, just as much as I love searching the labyrinth that is Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon for the latest big release. And even though I got an A in Advanced English, I never really considered becoming an author. I hope you won't hold that against me though! Life is crazy and sometimes inspiration hits you in a way you never expected and that's what happened to me.

A few years ago I started a YouTube channel about a girl whose house was haunted and I was that girl, Sunshine. Why YouTube? I thought it would be fun, exciting, and even challenging.  And boy was I right! It also gave me the possibility of creating my own stuff in a way that was really relatable to me. You see, my mom is a working actress. While she isn't famous to anyone but me, she's done some movies and TV shows and a lot of commercials and voice-over work. I've grown up around sets and productions. So as much as I love reading, I didn't grow up around writers or the publishing industry.  It first made sense to me to create something on video because I understood how the process worked.

I settled on a ghost story. I got a couple friends involved and we brainstormed about how I would be able to tell a ghost story on YouTube on a consistent basis. The obvious choice was to make it like a vlog (video blog) and tell the story of Sunshine's haunting from that perspective. And it was fun, exciting, and even challenging just like I thought it would be. But what I didn't expect was how big it would get and how much I would fall in love with Sunshine's story. And once that happened I knew that I couldn't tell the story I wanted to tell on Youtube. It would just be too complicated. Even just making videos on YouTube takes a lot of time and money.

That's when I went back to my first love. BOOKS. I was lucky in that I had built up a big enough following on YouTube that it was able to open some very cool doors for me in the publishing world. Before long, the story I had worked on and pondered over for years, in front of all those many fans, on YouTube was now being transformed into a better version of that story in book form thanks to a wonderful, supportive publisher who understood what I was trying to do. And now, with a proud grin stretching from ear to ear, I am happy to share with the world THE HAUNTING OF SUNSHINE GIRL, book one. (and wait until you see what's NEXT!) 

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Thank you Paige for sharing your bookish story!

Don't forget to add The Haunting of Sunshine Girl to your reading list, stat! I'll be reviewing it for you soon too :).



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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