Title: In Harmony
Author: Emma Scott
Release Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Tagline: “The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…”
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2EiRh97
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/InHarmony
In Harmony Blurb
The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…
At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet…
Isaac Pierce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood, and leave Harmony behind for good.
No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they
are truly meant to be.
In Harmony is a standalone NEW ADULT love story, and is intended for readers 18 and up.
PLEASE NOTE, this book contains sensitive material such as physical abuse, and the aftermath of sexual assault (off the page).
Reader discretion is advised.
How does a teenage girl move passed an incident that unequivocally changed EVERY aspect of her life? That redefined her in ways that will constantly haunt her and force her to remain at a distance from everyone. How does she conceal the truth, carrying the heavy burden alone, never facing it…never having an outlet or a shoulder to cry on when the pain and darkness overwhelm her?
How does a teenage boy live each day under an overwhelming amount of pressure and neglect and still manage to get up in the morning and do what needs to be done? How does he found moments of happiness amidst the swirling maelstrom that is his life?
“When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!”
And the ‘sorrows’ that Willow Holloway and Isaac Pearce face as young adults prove just how debilitating and life changing desolation can be, especially when the circumstances are due to someone else’s actions, having no choice but to weather the storm, lamenting their lives and wishing that they could free themselves from the albatross that inhibits them from moving on.
It makes sense that both Willow and Isaac would be attracted to the stage…because it’s an environment that allows them to be someone else…to free themselves of their reality and recreate fictional scenes and be fictional characters, offering them a place where reality can blend with fiction and pieces of their grief and rage find an outlet in a rather unconventional but useful way.
Emma Scott chose the perfect Shakespearean tragedy for Willow and Isaac to act out, and while Willow and Isaac’s ending most definitely will not be the same as their characters’ resolutions, it’s more than obvious the similarities that exist between Willow and Ophelia and Isaac and Hamlet. And while it’s not necessarily art imitating life, Willow and Isaac’s respective characters allude to their own emotional torment – feelings of madness, of grief, of rage, of loneliness, of despair.
As Willow and Isaac’s lives intertwine, they find the person who ‘gets’ them without even needing to share their pasts. The events that have shaped them both tether them together and refuse to untangle, even when outside forces don’t hesitate to end what these two teens are building.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”
Emma Scott’s writing gives voice to the hellish circumstances that some teens must endure…to their inability to make their own decisions while they remain in their parents’ homes…to the despondent feelings that exist because the things that weigh them down are not entirely self-created…to the pressures of growing up compounded by issues out of their control. Being a teenager in today’s society is not an easy path to journey, especially when the dips and curves of that road become too complex and too brutal to not be scarred by it. Scott takes care when illustrating the extraordinarily difficult situations/incidences that redefine who Willow and Isaac are and while it’s challenging to deal with on their own, Scott explains why that is sometimes the only way to cope until the right person comes along to help share the pain and anguish.
“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
Like attracts like…like senses like…whether it be due to painful pasts or the current pressures that surround them, and it’s clear from Willow and Isaac’s moving story that the only way these two characters can cope with everything they’ve endured and continue to battle is if they act as each other’s guiding light and comforting place to land when everything gets too overwhelming and draining.
This was my first read from Emma Scott even though I have a number of her books on my kindle, and I can assuredly say that everything I’ve read about her writing and her storytelling is beyond accurate, and I’m so glad that I signed up for In Harmony’s Blog Tour because reading it was as beautifully heartbreaking as it was thought provoking and emotionally overwhelming.
4.5 Poison Apples
In Harmony Excerpt by Emma Scott
“I’m so…not into being with someone right now,” Willow said with a nervous lilt to her words. “Not for a while, anyway.”
I heard a whisper on the breeze, or ever again. A heaviness in her eyes hinted she had lost something and had almost given up trying to find it.
She hasn’t given up, I thought, a fierce admiration welling in me. That’s why she’s doing the play. To find it again.
In that moment, I vowed to try to cut out all the egotistical bullshit and jealousy over Justin.
The dance was out of range now anyway. I couldn’t ask her to go even if I wanted to. Which I didn’t. My job was to help her find what she was looking for in Hamlet, however I could. Even as it dented my eagerness to get the hell out of Harmony.
Willow shielded her eyes from the sun and squinted at me. “So what about you?”
“What about me?”
“Do you like anyone?” she asked, her voice a half tone higher than usual. She laughed.
“That’s such a high school thing to ask.”
“No,” I said. “If all goes to plan, I’m leaving Harmony, remember? Stupid to start something now.”
“Sure. Makes sense.”
A silence fell.
“Yeah, so I probably won’t go to the dance,” Willow said. “I’m not good in that kind of situation anymore.”
“What kind of situation?”
She shook her head. “Never mind. I should get back.”
Willow started to scoot down off the block. I held my hand out to her to help. She hesitated for a fraction of a second and then took it. I held my other hand out and she took that too. I steadied her as she hopped down and then we were standing face to face. Close enough I could see her pale blue eyes had lighter shards of blue in them, like a topaz. Close enough to smell the sweetness of her breath—coffee tinged with sugar. Close enough to dance if we wanted.
“Thanks,” Willow said, gazing up at me.
“Sure,” I said.
I still held her hands. She didn’t let go.
“So,” she breathed, still not moving.
I glanced down at our hands. I hadn’t touched something this soft and good in ages.
The sleeve of her coat bunched up and I spied a black mark on the inside of her forearm, close to her wrist. Willow drew in a breath as I turned her hand over. An X, about the size of a quarter, was stark on her pale skin.
She tugged her hands away. “I really need to get back.”
Every instinct cried out to take her hand again, to ask her what the X meant. To lick my thumb and erase it off her skin. I didn’t know what it meant but the sight of it made my stomach feel heavy.
“I doodle when I’m bored. I told you that.” Her voice was sharp but her smile wobbled.
We walked the short distance back to town wordlessly. Back in front of the theater, Willow shouldered her bag and glanced around. “Thanks for today. I think Martin would be happy with our progress.”
“I do too.”
God, would he, I thought.
“So, I guess I’ll see you Monday?” she said.
“You have a ride home?”
“Oh, uh…” She still wouldn’t meet my eyes. “I was thinking of walking.”
“To Emerson Hills?” I said. “That’s a mile and a half and it’s getting dark soon.”
She raised her brows. “I’m not allowed to walk in the dark?”
“You’re allowed,” I said, “but I don’t want you to.”
Emma Scott writes romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. And love always wins. Always.
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