Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Tour: Guest Post from Jennifer Archer + Giveaway!

Tour Schedule

Today I am super excited to have Jennifer Archer on the blog as part of the blog tour for The Shadow Girl.  Read on for a guest post and awesome giveaway!

In my novel The Shadow Girl, Lily Winston lives in a cabin in the mountains outside of the fictional town of Silver Lake, Colorado. I based Silver Lake on a mountain town called Trinidad in southeastern Colorado.

Trinidad is tucked into the mountains.
The purgatory river runs through town.

My husband and I own a cabin in the Spanish Peaks of Colorado, about a 40 minute drive away from Trinidad, and whenever we pass through, I’m always captivated by the very old feel of the town. Trinidad was settled by Mexicans, Indians, and Italians and the influence of that mixed heritage is still very much apparent in the architecture, the colorful houses, and the narrow, bumpy brick streets.

Trinidad’s narrow, bumpy brick streets.
Downtown Trinidad.
Colorful houses.

Those features, as well as Trinidad’s unique, remote setting in the shadow of Fisher Peak, capture the isolated and somewhat eerie tone that I wanted for Lily’s story, and I when I started writing, I quickly realized that Trinidad should be my model for Silver Lake.

Trinidad sits in the shadow of flat-topped Fisher Peak.

Here’s part of a scene from the book that might give you an idea of what Silver Lake is like (and Trinidad!) through Lily’s eyes:

We’re both silent as Wyatt turns onto the two-lane highway that runs through town. I lean my head back and stare out the window. Silver Lake sits in the shadow of the mountains. Red-roofed houses lie scattered haphazardly up the sides of the tree-studded slopes. I love the Gothic feel of the town, the familiar dark sweep of scrub oak, faded houses and old stone buildings.

Soon, Wyatt exits the highway and makes his way along Silver Lake’s red-bricked streets. We stop at a light, and Wyatt clears his throat. His knee is bouncing up and down.

“Are you okay?” he asks almost warily.

“Would you please stop that?” I say, tensing up.

Wyatt flinches. “What did I do?”

“Stop being so weird around me.”

“I’m sorry. I just – I don’t know what to say, I guess. You know. To help you. To make things better.

“You can’t make this better, Wyatt!” I say, more sharply than I intend to.

He shifts uncomfortably, an expression of helpless confusion shadowing his face. The light turns green, and he takes off again.

“Nobody can make this better,” I tell him, my voice shrill and wobbly. “It’s never going to be better.”

As you can see, more than Silver Lake’s appearance occupies Lily’s mind in that scene, but I hope it gives you a feel for the setting. Fictional versions of certain Trinidad establishments also show up in the story. For instance, Silver Lake Community College, where Lily attends Wyatt’s senior party, is based on Trinidad State Junior College.

Trinidad State Junior College

So, that’s a glimpse of Trinidad, my inspiration for the fictional town of Silver Lake in The Shadow Girl. If you ever pass through, I hope you’ll think of Lily and Iris, especially when you see the twin peaks in the distance.

View of the twin peaks that symbolize Lily & Iris.

(Seen driving from Trinidad, “Silver Lake,” to Lily’s house)

About the author:

Jennifer Archer is the author of Through Her Eyes, as well as several novels for adults. Jennifer lives in Amarillo, Texas. You can visit her online at

At the age of ten, Jennifer Archer made up her mind to become a writer. Then she grew up, became “sensible,” and earned a business degree with a minor in accounting instead. After years of trying to find her way through a confusing maze of debits and credits she realized that, for her, accounting was no more sensible than becoming a World Federation wrestler. So in 1993, she enrolled in a creative writing class, and five years later, sold her first novel. Since then, Jennifer has published several novels for adults, as well as numerous non-fiction works.

Jennifer has been a finalist twice for RWA’s Golden Heart award and in 2006 was a finalist for the prestigious Rita Award and a nominee for a Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award. Her debut Young Adult novel, THROUGH HER EYES, was an April, 2011 release from Harper Teen. She has taught creative writing and has presented numerous talks and workshops for educators, students, writers’ organizations and bookstores.

The mother of two grown sons, Jennifer lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, Marge and Harry.

For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily’s movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always — but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily’s secret. But when Lily’s father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily’s mother have been hiding secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris — and Lily’s own identity.

The Shadow Girl is a chilling, mind-bending mystery filled with stunning twists, haunting reveals, and a realistic setting with a supernatural touch that’s perfect for fans of Before I Fall and If I Stay.


Here’s what the prize pack includes:

1. Kindle Paperwhite with cover
2. Silver violin/heart pendant w/silver necklace chain and round case
3. Autographed copy of The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
4. Autographed copy of Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Will be given as 4 separate gifts to 4 different winners.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Maji Bookshelf

    wow Trinidad looks FABULOUS!! It’s really bautiful, and I can’t wait to connect the book with those photos when reading it! As for my shadow girl… I seriously have no idea. lol! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    – Farah @Majibookshelf

  2. Lisa Bretherick

    Hmm, shadow girl, well I am going to get silly here for a second. When I was a child I had pretend friends, but the one who I would pretend to be my best friend would be the complete opposite of who I am. I guess what I am saying is that my shadow would always be something I am not, but maybe wish I could be

  3. Hoot

    There was a time when I was the shadow girl. To afraid of my opinion and being not liked. I got past that and now I try to make the shadow girls be more brave.

  4. Kai

    My shadow girl was my Siamese Cat. She would follow me everywhere I go. Even outside the house, she made sure I was within her sight. We were inseparateable.

  5. Christina Kit.

    I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about this book, and how unique it is.

    These are my favorite types of posts, when authors share the real life locations that inspired their fictional towns! Also it adds to the list of places to visit 🙂

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