Castle in the Air by Jennifer Tressen
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: July 25, 2015
Amazon ♥ B & N
The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been called "America's Most Haunted Hotel" largely because of the events of the 1930s when Dr. Norman Baker ran a "cancer treatment hospital" which he called his "Castle in the Air."
Follow the fictionalized story of Clara, the young, unwed pregnant niece of Dr. Baker who comes to help at the cancer center in exchange for room and board and finds things aren't quite what they appear to be.
Caring for an ill young boy at the center she feels her maternal instincts kick in - something is definitely not right at her uncle's hospital. But what? Will she be able to piece together the clues in time to save herself and the boy? Or will be forever be doomed to reside in the Castle in the Air, where once you check in...you never leave.
Clara had been lucky to not experience morning sickness in the way many mothers did. Besides a constant state of tiredness and some nausea her pregnancy hadn’t been terribly bad thus far.
Making it back to her bedroom the small mattress had never looked so inviting. Clara curled up on a ball and fell fast asleep. In the middle of the night a hand reached up and grabbed her throat. Clara tried to pull it away but couldn’t. The hand wrapped itself around her narrow neck and began its clutch.
“You’re killing me,” a voice said.
Clara gasped for air. She couldn’t breathe.
Clara’s eyes searched for a face.
“Medicine. I need…”
The hand squeezed tighter. Clara’s eyes bulged as she looked and saw it belonged to…
“Theodora.” Clara sat up in bed, covered in sweat. She looked around. The room was dark and empty. Touching her neck she found it was still soft and supple. No one was trying to strangle her.
“A dream. Just a bad dream,” she said in a near whisper of relieved realization. The image of Theodora remained with her as she lay back down. The woman had not been herself during the afternoon treatment session and in her recent nightmare her grip of death had been all too real. What does it all mean?
Wiping the beads of sweat from her forehead she considered leaving. What if she did leave? No one would miss her. In fact, her uncle would likely be happier.
Such a grump.
What she would do for medical attention or money she hadn’t the faintest idea. She could always go back and live with her grandmother despite the old woman’s failing health and slipping mind. Surely her grandmother wouldn’t shut her out, especially with a new life blossoming.
Maybe I should go. This is place isn’t a place for me. I don’t want to be here. There is nothing here for me. No purpose. I can have this baby elsewhere. It will be fine. Everything will be fine.
Convincing herself of all these things, Clara closed her eyes and fell back asleep. In the morning she would tell Susan or Lily her intentions and pack her things.
Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University.
Although she entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder.
After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.
Jennifer attributes her love of reading and writing to her mother who always reminded her of the power of literacy. Besides telling her and her siblings that they could do anything they wanted if they knew how to read and write, she said, "You can go anywhere in a book. You can be anyone."