It is my pleasure to introduce author Melissa Groeling to you all today!
Hi Stacey! Thanks for having me as a guest! It’s great to be here!
So! My name is Melissa Groeling *waves* and I’ve been writing for what feels like ages. I don’t really have a set genre that I like to write for because I like dabbling in everything---a young adult here, a romance there, a suspense/thriller back here…I know, I know, people tell me all the time that I should pick a genre and stick to it but when you’re my brain, you don’t like restraints. You don’t like boundaries. My brain, as you’ve read in earlier blogs, is out to get me. See how I’m babbling now? That’s my brain.
Okay. Now focus.
So we have Traffic Jam coming out at the end of May, something that I am so stoked about. It’s a young adult novel about human trafficking. I saw a special about it on the news one night and I was shocked to learn that it prevails everywhere around the world, even in this country, in our own suburbs! Now you think of human trafficking and images come to mind of poor, third-world countries where young women are promised a job, money and security only to get caught up in the dark world of sex, drugs and nothing that resembles rock-and-roll. Well, that’s not always the case as Val (the main character in Traffic Jam) comes to find out---the hard way. And not only does she get a first-hand glimpse of it but also a rude awakening about her sister, Sam, who is unfortunately the trafficking victim. The two sisters have a very rocky relationship and as much as they can’t stand each other, there’s also a deep-rooted love that neither one of them will ever say out loud.
There’s also a slight crush that Val has on Sam’s friend, John. Now John, to me, was so much fun to write. He’s that quiet type of person who manages somehow to draw people’s attention even when he doesn’t say anything. He’s the type of friend that I think everyone should have---fiercely loyal, non-judgmental and who doesn’t bulls*** anyone. He’s also really cute. At least, in my head he is.
Then again, my head is where my brain lives and that can be truly frightening. Enter at your own risk.
Excerpt from Traffic Jam:
The thought barely finished crossing Val’s mind when a boot buried itself in her stomach. She gagged, curling up on her side. From above her, came rage-filled obscenities and spit that rained down on her face.
“Bitch! Fucking bitch, fucking with my man,” the girl was seething. “You and your fucking slut of a sister...”
Her diatribe faded away as she blasted her fist into Val’s face again. Val cried out as her head snapped back. Scrambling, she struggled to push herself to her feet but her balance was shot as she was shoved and kicked back down to the floor like a dog.
“Stop it! Stop!” she tried to say, tried to get her hands up, to push the girl away.
This crazy girl who she didn’t even know!
But the girl came at her ferociously. She dodged and weaved, moving past Val’s poor, breathless defenses and grabbed two tight fistfuls of her hair. Val howled in pain, deliriously wondering when mall security was going to show up. She cried out again as her head was wrenched forward then shoved back, connecting with the floor.
The world echoed, faded, then went dark.
Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Traffic Jam is her first young adult novel.
Visit Melissa's blog, follower her on Twitter, and find her on Facebook.
I can't thank you enough for being my guest today Melissa. I am confident that Traffic Jam will be a raving success!