When paranormal is done “normal” then you have a story like Cornerstone by Misty Provencher. I am not partial to the genre that’s held YA captive for the last decade, save a few vampires and angels here and there. But with Cornerstone I got something different. What starts as the story of an awkward girl with a mother who hordes paper, ends up with a heroine named Nalena who holds the key to change within the secret society she is a part of (but never knew it until it came after her).
Nali, as she is referred to, is stronger than she knows. Born into a special family of memory-keepers (hence all the paper), it is expected she will also become one of those who pick up a pen and keep the memories of the departed going. Aye, herein lies the rub. She is anything put a pencil pusher, instead taking on the branding of a protector. Thing is, she doesn’t know any of this until people try to pummel her and an unfounded strength takes hold and shows people a thing or two about who they’re messing with.
As for being called “The Waste,” Nali is anything but that. Even she doesn’t believe it. I suggest you just get Cornerstone and read it.
While you wait for Cornerstone to download, check out this interview I did with Misty! Enjoy!
Where did you come up with the idea for Cornerstone?
Cornerstone is written backward! I had a dream a long, long time ago and it was crazy vivid and stuck with me like it was thumb-tacked to my brain, but I didn’t know what to do with it. It took years of the dream cooking in my mental computer before I realized that it was the outcome of a story, not the beginning of one. So, I kind of traced the idea backward to find out how the characters got to the dream and the actual dream is the last book.
Was that the original title?
Nurp. Cornerstone was first sent out as The Memory Keeper and I hated the title. I was on the phone with my mom (yes, she actually did manage to call me even before she had the added excitement of calling with every. single. review. that is posted – just gotta love her) and we were brainstorming. She can be a brilliant brainstormer because she asks questions instead of suggesting answers. But I was frustrated that day and kept shooting down every idea I threw out and saying, “It’s got to say something about the stone…the Cornerstone…” And…kabloom! Cornerstone felt right.
Nali’s mom is into paper – we find out why later in the story. However, as the piles grow miles high, what does she eventually do with them? Is there an archive shed somewhere to store the memories? Or does she recycle (green power!)? Oh yes, the paper. In Cornerstone, Nali mentions early on that her mom keeps several storage sheds and their old house was so full that the paper forced them out into the apartment. That’s why they are broke. All the money goes to paying the taxes on the old house (Nali’s grandfather’s house that Evangeline inherited) and all the storage sheds. BUT, what happens to the piles of paper…ohhh, spoilers. I can’t say very much here, but you’ll definitely find out what happens to the paper and how the Ianua manage the enormous pile ups in Keystone!
Garrett has a personal, vested interest in Nali. Is it part destiny, part natural attraction? What suddenly causes him to take notice? SPOILERS: Poor Garrett. He was crazy about Nali from the moment she transferred to Simon Valley, but he was forbidden to speak to her. Evangeline had insisted on distance from the community. He also assumed Nali was either going to be Simple or Alo, which was even more depressing for him, since he’s Contego. You see, the blood lines don’t cross or mix. If you’re Alo, you’ll marry Alo. If you’re Contego, you’ll marry Contego. There isn’t much star-crossed lover stuff, because even though Alo and Contego may date one another, when they truly get serious about a relationship, the attraction just dissolves. It’s a biological phenomenon. And, if they want children, it would be impossible. The blood lines can not reproduce with each other. And there’s even more to it…but those secrets are locked up in Keystone.
The fact that Garrett found himself so drawn to Nali depressed and confused him from the start. But then, when he was informed that Evangeline had separated herself from the community, he was devastated. If a member chooses to disassociate with the community, then their choice must be honored. The community is not allowed to pursue or even make contact them. The only exception is if the Addo feels that the separated member is in serious danger. Garrett’s not only responsible, but he is honorable and he tries to follow the rules even when they torture him. He saw Nali being teased and taunted, but he had to step aside. However, he did intervene discreetly many, many, many times, but I’m not at liberty to talk about those instances, as it could get him in major trouble with the Addo.
However, the Addo did intervene on Evangeline’s desire for separation because Roger had resurfaced and made contact with the Addo, threatening that he not counsel Nali for membership in the Ianua community. The Addo asked that the Reese’s keep an eye on Evangeline and Garrett took a little liberty in keeping a close eye on Nali too, even though she wasn’t in the community, any harm that came to her would directly effect Evangeline. It was a stretch, but Garrett ran with it.
And yeah, there’s something more than just a little attraction between these two. Their tea mugs say a great deal about their relationship.
Do you think Nali will marry Garrett? Or are they already “spiritually married” by their destinies?
Hmmm- I am sworn to secrecy here!
If you could have powers like Nali, would you want them?
Hells to the no. Nali’s abilities came from a really bugger life that no one should ever have to experience. Also, it’s incredibly hard work to learn how the responsibilities of the community all work and oh man…just wait. You’ll see how flipping hard it is in Keystone.
Nali has to spend a good deal of time with the cornerstone in her hand in order to be impressioned. Where did you get the idea for this?
The cornerstone is a symbol of the constant cycle of life. It is a piece of the first place of worship. Nali’s holding a piece of a first (that continues through all of our history) right in her hand. Hmmm.
Where do you see Nali and Garrett going from here? Tell us about the next book, Keystone… please? Sneaky pete! Cornerstone has just introduced you to Nali and the crazy sauce that just splattered all over her life, but Keystone is giving you a wider view of what and how much is on the girl’s plate. You’ll have a broader idea of how the Ianua work, how The Fury works, what is really at stake.
I meant for these books to open up in a natural way, so the reader learns about the new world Nali has entered in the same time that Nali learns about it. In short, we only know as much as she does. And if Nali doesn’t know at the end of Cornerstone what her future is in Keystone, it wouldn’t be right for me to tell you. (boogies around question)
However, I can tell you that you’ll be seeing more of Garrett and Nali, more of the Addo and Sean and the Reese clan, and you’ll be meeting some new, colorful personalities that I hope you enjoy. But that’s it! That’s all I’m saying!
Get your Cornerstone today!