by Christine Potter
It\’s almost Halloween, but something a lot scarier than ghosts is on everyone\’s mind: nuclear war. After President Kennedy\’s speech to the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis, Grace Ingraham overhears her parents\’ plans to keep her safe. She\’ll be sent off to live with a wealthy uncle—in the nineteenth century.
Gracie\’s from a family of Travelers, people who can escape into time. Too bad her mom and dad haven\’t Traveled since their honeymoon trip to the Lincoln Inauguration. So Grace will have to go alone—even though taking a wrong turn can have serious consequences: like heading for 1890, and ending up …in 2018.
I heard a snoring sound in the sky then, but it was only a plane. For a moment I thought about how terrible it would be if a nuclear war started right that minute, before I could escape to the past. Then I thought about Mom and Dad. I hoped they’d come get me from the 1890s if there weren’t a war. I didn’t want them to die. I didn’t want anyone to die. I really wanted there to be a future.
Mr. Mahoney and I walked past the train station and out onto the empty platform. He looked over his shoulder to be sure no one was around. “Are you ready?” He took my hands, squeezed them, and then he let go. “It’s the right time and place! Go on back, Gracie!”
At first, I thought nothing had happened, except then it wasn’t evening anymore. It was morning—and certainly not the 1890s. Nobody named Augustus introduced himself to me.
Dad always told me that if you get confused when you Travel, you should always look at what kind of lights there are in buildings and what clothing people have on to help place yourself. But what I saw only confused me more.
A freezing wind came off the river and cut right through my corduroy jacket. People in puffy grey and brown overcoats stood in clumps, staring at what I first thought were really tiny transistor radios. I learned that same day those things are called smart phones. I’d missed the 1890s by over a hundred years—and in the wrong direction.
A sleek, silvery train roared into the station from the north and everyone got on it but me. Bingo, the future! I’d just broken one of the biggest Rules there is.
~Buy GRACIE’S TIME:
AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTINE
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I have been writing for longer than I can remember. I used to make books when I was a little girl: taped-together things with my own drawings in them, sometimes stories, sometimes poems. I still write and publish poetry beside the YA fiction, by the way. I think what turned me into a writer was my lonely high school years. I was a sad kid. And I learned early on that getting into flow writing a story made whatever it was that was bothering me go away. That\’s a powerful drug—and I guess I\’m kind of addicted!
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Gracie\’s Time\’s world is much like my own: the contemporary lower Hudson River Valley. I think I\’d like to see what the places I created look like: Stormkill Regional High School, the old cemetery next to St. Cecilia\’s church, the ruined mansion at The Brown Estate.
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
Gracie Ingraham doesn\’t have too many secrets, except the fact that she is a Traveler (a time traveler, that is). But she knows I know that. I think she\’d tell me that just once, for maybe five minutes, she would like to go back to 1962 and hug a few people goodbye. She certainly misses her family, and although she\’s made a good adjustment to the world of 2018, she\’s still a Cold War kid at heart. Who knew that active shooter drills would replace duck-and-cover air raid drills?
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
I would totally go out for drinks with Bean Donohue and her partner Zak Grant. They are crazy old hippies who know where the good pizza joint is and enjoy a glass or two of wine. And Bean\’s got some killer time travel stories!
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
I don\’t do duels! I think I\’d try to see what was bothering the little person and try to distract him by buying him another drink, preferably one strong enough to induce a nap. Martini for my friend, please—shaken, not stirred! Whatever did I do to disturb and offend the dwarf?
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Dystopic fiction. I don\’t write dystopias. I think that\’s because times are so tough in the United States right now; lots of folks are angry with one another, and the politics are ruthless. Crucial, but ruthless. I feel like I kind of LIVE in a dystopia. I want to offer my readers a cozy chair and a cozy throw around their shoulders, preferably by a crackling fire. I don\’t want to make them think about hunger games or zombies. I like smart, cozy, and funny. My books try very hard to be all three.
Christine Potter lives in a very old, haunted house, not far from Sleepy Hollow. She’s the author of the time-traveling Bean Books series, on Evernight Teen: Time Runs Away With Her, In Her Own Time, What Time Is It There? and Gracie’s Time. She’s also a poet, with several books in print (the most recent is called Unforgetting). Christine loves all kinds of music, DJ’s, and plays dulcimer and guitar.
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Christine Potter will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway