by Carissa Miller
September 10th 2017
When Elle Christiansen’s rebellion leads to her father’s expulsion from a parsonage in small-town Ohio, the forlorn pair is forced to move to Oklahoma to live with an aunt neither of them has ever met. Here she encounters her aunt’s neighbor—Maverick Mason, the quietly confident son of a wealthy oil tycoon who infuriates her as much as he inexplicably draws her in…
Maverick slowly gains Elle’s trust and coaxes her out from the seemingly impenetrable walls of self-protection she erected around her heart when her mother was murdered. He convinces Elle to confide the secrets of her tortured past: that she saw her mother’s murder before it took place, and she was the one who found her, bleeding to death at the end of a lonely dirt road. Together the unlikely pair begins to unlock the secrets of not only Elle’s sordid past, but her mother’s and grandmother’s as well, to uncover decades of greed, corporate corruption, lies, and murder. Quickly, the sobering realization hits: if they do not solve her mother’s murder, Elle will undoubtedly suffer the same fate. As she continues her journey toward truth alongside the boy she is magnetically drawn to in a way both frightening and uncontrollable, Elle finds the road she is most afraid of going down—that one lane dirt road where her mother was murdered—just might be the only place she can truly find redemption.
Magnetic tells of the enduring pain of living with unsolved violent crime. Inspired by debut author Carissa Miller’s true-life events, it’s a haunting account of a young girl’s struggle in the aftermath of shattering loss. With an unraveling love story, puzzling mystery, unexpected twists and turns, and a gripping pace that will keep you turning pages, our heroine takes you on her journey as she learns one of life’s great lessons: facing your fears instead of running from them, is the only way to truly find freedom.
She held my gaze and in her eyes, I saw heartbreak. I wanted to walk over and comfort her, which was unexpected. We shared the same pain, Cordelia and I, and whether I wanted it to or not, the shared connection was forging a bond between the two of us. We both knew the excruciating pain of loving someone more than life itself, then losing them. As much as I wanted to deny what I was feeling for this stranger I had just met, I could deny it no longer.
My body moved of its own volition, walking across the room toward my aunt. I stopped in front of her rocking chair, then silently reached out my hand to her. She dropped her knitting needle and grasped onto it with an obvious desperation. We didn’t look at one another. Perhaps we both knew it would be too much for the other to take. Instead, we stayed there in silence—two women who had suffered the same unbearable loss. We were unified in a similar grief that only we could truly understand. In complete silence, we comforted one another, telling each other in our own unspoken language of pain—you’re not alone.
It was my aunt who broke the silence first. She reached her hand up and stroked my face with affection and I let her.
“You look just like her.” Then she stood and walked out of the room, turning to me before she shut the door behind her. “Go to sleep now, Elle.”
Those were her only words but I heard what was implied—no more questions, Elle, not tonight. She couldn’t handle questions about the sister she had lost; the sister she was never able to say goodbye to; the sister who crawled out of their bedroom window when she was seventeen years old, and never returned home. Although I had thousands of questions I needed to ask, I respected her request and remained silent as she walked out the door.
Our eyes met one last time as she shut the door and in that moment, I saw my mother. I allowed myself to remember instead of pushing the memories away like I usually did. I saw her in the kitchen, her red-and-white checkered apron on, Christmas music blaring and the smell of sugar cookies wafting through the air. I jumped up onto the countertop as she smiled that smile of hers—the one that reached out and touched the depths of your soul and made you feel so happy and full of life; then she took a huge scoop of cookie dough and held it out for me to enjoy as she placed her index finger over her mouth as if to say, “Shhhh…this is our little secret,” as she glanced knowingly at my father in the next room.
The memory ended abruptly and I was back in my aunt’s cottage in Oklahoma. I took a deep breath and remembered one last thing before I stuffed everything back into my little black box—that was the last Christmas I ever saw my mother. I crawled into my bed and exhaustion overtook me; I quickly drifted off to sleep.
And here she is. . .
Carissa Miller writes a lifestyle and design blog called CC and Mike, where she and her husband blog about their experiences designing, building, and flipping houses in the Midwest. She was inspired to write her debut novel–Magnetic—because of her firsthand experience living with the trauma of an unsolved violent crime, her mother’s attempted murder. When she’s not writing, blogging, or designing, Carissa loves Oklahoma summers on the lake with her husband and three children, going to Oklahoma State sporting events and cheering on the Cowboys, and traveling cross country with her family in the RV she and her husband renovated. Carissa laughs loudly, loves with her whole heart, tells it how it is to a fault, and enjoys living life to the fullest, every moment of every day.
You can follow along with Carissa and her family on Instagram – ccandmikecreative, Facebook – CC and Mike, Pinterest – CC and Mike, Twitter, or by subscribing to their blog – http://www.ccandmike.com/.
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