BOOK TOUR GUEST POST: For Ever by CJ Valles
by CJ Valles
The Ever Series, Book One
Sixteen-year-old Wren Sullivan doesn’t want to know what other people are thinking about her, because most of the time it sucks. Too bad, since that’s what happens every time she looks into someone’s eyes.
When she moves to Portland, Oregon, after her parents’ divorce, Wren’s just hoping to get through the rest of her junior year unscathed. Instead, before the end of her second day in school, she wakes up in the hospital after her very own freaky demonic-possession incident. Wren can’t remember much. But soon she finds out that her “episode” happened right after she locked eyes with the one classmate who happens to have gone missing.
Wren starts digging through people’s heads for the truth about him, and finds nothing. Godlike hotness? Yep. But nobody knows who Ever Casey really is. Even weirder, they don’t seem to care that he just disappeared. So, when he randomly shows up again in her first period class, she’s determined to get some answers. He may be perfect on the outside, but with one look into his eyes, Wren discovers his mind is also perfect– perfectly empty.
Or is there something he doesn’t want her to see there that will put her and anyone near her in danger?
Why Wren must look into a person’s eyes to read their thoughts–in other words, why are the eyes specifically so important to the story?
In For Ever, I think eyes became a really important part of the story very early on while I was writing. In the first chapter, my main character Wren recalls her mom saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and that’s kind of the setup for the entire story. For whatever reason–I don’t have a concrete answer for why Wren can read minds–she can catch passing thoughts or images from people’s minds. However, I didn’t want her to be able to pick up thoughts all the time. And that old saying came to mind, which ended up carrying the story in a lot of different ways. For instance, when Wren first sees Ever Casey, their eye contact triggers an event that really sets things in motion. Something in that moment–just a brief exchange through eye contact–was very powerful.
Eye contact tells us a lot, and when Wren has that reaction, it really forces us to ask questions: What’s the deal with this guy? Is he good? Bad? Somewhere in between? Is he hiding something? Having eye contact as the catalyst for Wren’s mind-reading was really the starting point. Likewise, eyes were really important when it came to Ever’s character development. Wren can’t see anything in his mind, with a couple of notable exceptions during the story, but he has these really bright, preternaturally captivating eyes–with nothing behind them. I thought there was a lot of room for symbolism. And using eye contact allowed for some moments in the story that I don’t think would have existed if Wren just picked up thoughts out of the air or had to have physical contact.
About the Author:
I grew up in Southern California before moving to Northern California for college, where I majored in English and psychology. I’ve been a professional writer for more than a decade, but I just finished my first novel in 2008 — for fun and practice. Then I wrote the second one — For Ever — which is for sale on Amazon. When I’m not writing fiction, I work as a freelance public relations writer. I live in Portland, Ore., with my husband, the saint who spent an entire weekend reading For Ever.