Can you tell us a little about your books? Where can we get them?
I have a series out about time travel. Linked Through Time and Lost Through Time are available now. As of right now, Destroyed In Time will be the next title. Linked Through Time and Lost Through Time are on Solstice, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords and Kobo.
Is there anything that prompted your books? Anything that inspired you?
I grew up with a large family. My Dad was one of eleven children, so I have endless tales of cousins and extended family. My Dad’s stories always stuck with me because he grew up with nothing. Absolutely nothing! He did not have indoor plumbing until high school- in Northern Minnesota! I admire him and wanted to keep his stories alive. A lot of what happens to Kate in “Linked” are true events from my dad’s childhood. Lost Through Time mentions a disaster that actually occurred in my home town in 1910. I guess I just really like to keep the stories of our ancestors from dying out. They were true, hard core Americans fighting just to make a living.
So, when did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?
I didn’t really start writing books until a few years ago, but I have always loved writing and reading. They go hand in hand, I think.
Do you have any favorite authors?
Do you write in a specific place? Time of day?
Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers. Any advice?
I would definitely say to reread your story many times, and to put it away for a week or two before taking it out to read it once more before submission. It’s easy to get burnt out on something you’ve written and lose sight of what the goal is. I also try not to look at bad reviews, unless they offer a critique that is genuine instead of just an opinion. You can’t please everyone out there and sometimes people can be just plain mean. If it is your passion and something you believe in, then it’s golden.
Here is the blurb for Linked Through Time.
Fifteen year old Kate Christenson is pretty sure she’s about to experience the worst possible summer at her grandparent’s farm in rural Baudette, Minnesota. Without cable, cell phones, or computers, Kate is headed for total isolation and six tedious weeks of boredom. Until the storm.
A freak lightning accident has Kate waking up in 1960. But she is not herself. She is the aunt she never met, but has eerily resembled her entire life. Thrust into living a dirt poor, rural farm life, Kate struggles to make sense of her situation- a boyfriend with a dark side, a “townie” who steals her heart, and the knowledge that 1960 is the very summer her aunt drowns in the local river.
Even with every precaution, Kate cannot stop fate, and an unexpected twist adds to her dilemma. To her horror, Kate finds out firsthand her aunt’s death was not an accident or a suicide, but something much, much worse.
Here is an excerpt from Linked Through Time.
Steering carefully into the gravel drive of the Rapid River parking lot, I swore under my breath as the bike’s rear wheel slid on loose gravel. Trying to right the bike too quickly, I ended up swerving sharply to the left and crashing into the brush at the side of the gravel lot. Flying over the handlebars, I landed in a patch of overgrown weeds, my knee striking a rock hidden in the ground. Pain radiated from my knee, paralyzing me for a moment. I lay sprawled face first in the grass, breathing in the smell of earth and dry grass, cursing myself and everything on the planet.
Emotions overwhelmed my frazzled, fragile mind and I let loose with a string of profanities that would have definitely earned me a whipping. Rubbing my throbbing knee, I groaned.
Lightning flashed and the breeze picked up as if on cue, sending the cattails above my head into an agitated dance.
With great effort, I stood and flexed my leg. I could feel the slightest trickle of blood dripping a warm path down my shin. Perfect, I grimaced. Can anything else possibly go wrong tonight?
My vision had adjusted slightly to the moonless night, but I still had to partly feel my way to the place Travis and I spent the evening. Pushing through the brush, I couldn’t help but sense that uneasy, creepy feeling that comes from wandering in the dark, as though eyes watched you and monster hands waited to grab at your feet. My heart pounded loudly in my ears, the tingling creep of fear working its way from my head down through my limbs. I forced myself to keep my eyes forward, ignoring the nagging feeling that someone or something watched me from the shadows of the rocky shore.
Limbs of the interlocking pines poked and prodded my bare arms as I threaded my way through the trees. The pounding of the rapids had increased with the coming of the storm; the wind tossed the water upon the rocks, sending spray high into the air.
When I broke through the tree line, I stood mesmerized by the awesome power of the roaring water. It looked as if the rapids were fighting to break free of their rocky channel, its watery fingers washing over the rocks, reaching far down the wall, only to withdraw and try again.
Above the churning waters, a simple two-lane bridge hung defiantly in the air, its thick concrete arches planted firmly around the dangerous rocks. Suddenly, a semi loaded with logs thundered across the bridge overhead; its headlights lighting up the darkness for a matter of seconds. I used the momentary help to break my gaze from the water and search the outer banks for my sweater.
A flicker of movement amidst the trees caught my line of sight, and I focused in on a ring of pines to my right; the very place Travis and I had been a few hours earlier.
“Travis?” I called out hopefully, thinking he had remembered to retrieve my sweater.
Here is the blurb for Lost Through Time.
“There never was a body, you know.”
Such is the bizarre statement from Gran only weeks after Kate has returned from an accidental time traveling incident, surviving certain death…twice. Capturing Sarah’s killer seemed to be the reason for Kate’s disappearance, but Gran believes otherwise.
Learning of Kate’s power to time travel loosens memories and desires Gran has long since buried. Gran is set on finding Sarah, who she believes never died the night Dave Slater threw her in the river, but instead, went back in time through the Rapid River portal. With rudimentary research and analysis, Gran thinks she has unlocked the secrets to controlling the time traveling link that she and Kate share with their ancestors and she plans to use Kate to bring Sarah back.
When Kate agrees, she is shocked to find out that in the more aggressive form of time travel, she doesn’t become Sarah, but trades places with her, sending Kate to Baudette, Minnesota in the year of 1910, and Sarah ahead to the year 2000.
Baudette’s catastrophic 1910 fire and typhoid epidemic are the least of Kate’s worries once she discovers what has happened. Her chances of a return trip are thwarted with the struggle just to survive, and Sarah, reliving her lost childhood in the ease of current day life, decides to never return to the past, leaving Kate to suffer the life she has left behind.
Gran is torn- get rid of the daughter she has dreamed of finding for four decades, or rescue the precious granddaughter who risked everything for her selfish dream? And to what lengths will Sarah go to destroy any chances of Kate coming back? Will Sarah succeed in severing the link?
Here is an excerpt from Lost Through Time.
I felt the exact moment my heart stopped beating in my chest.
“Where’s Mary?” I said, trying to keep the alarm from rising in my voice. The group looked around, stunned.
Vivie handed Gracie to James. “She was just here. I swear it.”
Frantic, we strained to see across the wagon bridge into Spooner. The brilliant blond tresses of Mary’s head were nowhere to be seen.
Ruth spoke up. “That man took her to the depot.”
I stared hard at Ruth, trying to process the words, but not understanding. “What man?” I said, confused. There were dozens of people crossing the bridge rushing in all directions. Like ants on a collapsing anthill, the twin towns were alive with chaos, the people coming and going with what looked like little purpose. “What man?” I said again, the panic seizing my voice and pushing it another octave higher. I grasped Ruth’s arms in a painful, panicked grip.
Ruth shrank away, afraid I might lash out. “I don’t know. I was watching John. Aunt Vivie told me to watch John.” Her eyes welled with tears. “I had John,” she insisted again, afraid of taking the blame.
“What did the man look like? What was he doing?” I demanded.
“He was that man from the backyard. The big man who touched Mary’s hair. I heard him say he could help her run faster. For her to take his hand.”
Sickness heaved inside and I clenched my jaw.
“You were getting sick over the bridge,” Ruth accused. “You weren’t helping at all! Mary couldn’t keep up and she was crying!”
Vivie reached out and gripped my shoulders. Without saying a word, we stared hard into each other’s eyes, the truth of the situation passing between us as though we were speaking aloud. McGraw had bided his time, watched us from afar and waited for a weak moment. He couldn’t possibly know the danger he faced. Was it a ploy? Would he really take Mary? Or was he just trying to get me alone to give chase and play his twisted game of revenge?
“I’ll go,” Vivie said, the sacrifice evident in the firm line of her mouth. “You can’t fall for his trap, Kate. He won’t do anything to me.”
“No,” I argued. “Too dangerous. If something happens to you, then Gran will never be born, and then, neither will I.”
Jessica was recently voted Solstice Publishing’s 2012 Author of the Year!
Jessica Tornese’s debut novel, Linked Through Time, was inspired by her home town Baudette, MN. She graduated from high school there and continued her education at Minnesota State University – Moorhead where she earned a degree in education. She spent several years coaching in the Junior Olympic volleyball program in Minnesota as well as the junior varsity team for Lake of the Woods High School in 2010.
Her favorite hobbies include reading, scrapbooking, playing volleyball, and extreme outdoor sports like caving, ziplining and white water rafting. Jessica is also active in her church and has run several Vacation Bible School programs and Sunday school programs. She enjoys working with kids of all ages!
She hopes to finish her Linked trilogy soon, and continue writing. Recently, she self-published her first juvenile fiction book for kids online. (see M&M Twins cover below)
Jessica is married and has three children. Her family recently relocated to a small town in south Florida.