Interview with COMPULSION Author Martina Boone + Pick Any YA Novel Giveaway


I am so excited to welcome Author Martina Boone to the blog for an interview in which she talks about COMPULSION, the first book in her Heirs of Watson Island series which is releasing on October 28th, and shares a very awesome scene from the book. She also answered a few Quickie “This or That” Questions in which she cleverly managed to avoid choosing either this or that for one or two…or more… of her answers.

I am also super thrilled to be sharing an amazing “PICK ANY YA Novel Giveaway” the author is hosting this month in anticipation of her books’s launch, which includes an entry into a Grand Prize Giveaway for some lovely signed books and swag. All details are below and on the author’s website.

I cannot wait for COMPULSION’s release next month – I’ve been anxiously awaiting its release ever since I first saw its cover and read the description. And now, after reading the author’s responses to the interview questions and devouring that totally delectable scene, I am even more stoked that I’ll soon be able to get my hands on a copy.

Some information about the book, places to find it online and places to pre-order signed copies follows immediately below. I’ve also included the book’s trailer and some information about the author and places to find her online. But if you want to know even more about COMPULSION, be sure to check out the interview.

And if you scroll down just a bit more after that, you can find the details for the giveaway and the Rafflecopter form to enter.


About Compulsion


Add to Goodreads

COMPULSION (The Heirs of Watson Island #1) by Martina Boone
Release date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
Pages: 448
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.


“Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, you’ll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series.” — #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic — haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing.” — Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU and the Evernight and Spellcaster series

“Compulsion is a stunningly magical debut with a delicious slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!” — Wendy Higgins, USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil Trilogy from HarperTeen

More Early Praise

Pre-order Compulsion

Signed copies are available for pre-order from One More Page Books. You can also pre-order with the special “I have a Compulsion for reading” bookplate from Eight Cousins. And be sure to see the Pre-Order Giveaway information at

Or order anywhere, some easy links include:


The Trailer

About Martina Boone

Martina Jacket-sm

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the founder of, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all this YA Series.

From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.


The Interview

Q. You call the setting a “magical place” on your website. Could you paint us a picture of Watson Island?

Watson Island is the sort of sleepy, close-knit, gossipy town that most people who have visited the South will recognize, with a bit of a difference. The town is well aware of the magic that surrounds the three founding families, and particularly the plantation at Watson’s Landing. They keep the secret. In that way, the book begins like magical realism, but the magic is part of the mystery that Barrie Watson has to uncover when she arrives.

The truly magical place is Watson’s Landing. There, the spirit of a Cherokee witch sets the river surrounding the property on fire each night at midnight in a ceremony he has performed for longer than anyone remembers in order to keep the land protected and to keep the yunwi, the mischievous and magical little people, confined to the island. As Barrie comes to find out, she is bound to this land, both physically and spiritually, and uncovering what that means and why the island exists is part of what I am having a blast exploring in the course of the trilogy.

The gifts (and the curse) that belong to the Watsons, Beauforts, and Colesworths, all tie into this magic, but not necessarily for the reasons the families think.

Q. Had you always planned for your story to be a trilogy? If so, what makes a trilogy the best way to tell the tale? If not, have you had to make any significant changes to it?

My acquiring editor is very smart. I had planned three companion novels to tell this story, one from the perspective of a member of each family, but she saw that not only was the romance between Eight and Barrie the heart of the story, but that the magic of Watson’s Landing was the story itself. I didn’t have to change much except the point of view, but I’m so glad that I’m having the chance to explore what is happening at Watson’s Landing in greater detail.

Q. What was your favorite scene to write in COMPULSION (and why)? And can you share a teaser from that scene?

I love the beach scene where Barrie and Eight finally get to really kiss — there are a lot of other things going on in that scene, but I can still see it so clearly in my mind:

Drained by the aftereffects of anger and adrenaline, Barrie found herself breathing in Eight’s recklessness, swept up in it, and suddenly it didn’t matter where they were going or what he planned to do. His moods were contagious, dangerous to her equilibrium.

He stopped at the beach, the same beach where they’d seen the turtle nest. Neither of them said a word while Eight retrieved a musty-smelling towel from his trunk and caught Barrie’s hand, lacing their fingers like they were made to fit.

They ran barefoot over the dunes and through a break in the pickets that held back the sea oats. The moon turned the white sand to diamond dust, and Eight laid the towel down above the hide-tide marker of shells and seaweed and damp, dark sand. He sat down and drew her against him, her back against his chest.

His arms wrapped around her, and she leaned into the solidness of him. His heartbeat washed through her like the waves, until she didn’t know whether the pounding of it was hers or his.

When she sighed and relaxed, he eased her down and leaned over and finally kissed her until she felt like she was going to fall. She reached for him, kissing him more deeply. His lips were scalding on hers, leaving her tingling and whole instead of so, so alone. She wanted the feeling, the moment, to never stop.

Only when she came up for air did the word “love” enter her thoughts. She pushed it away, but maybe by the time any girl thought about protecting herself, keeping herself from falling for a guy who was going to leave her brokenhearted, it was already too late. Maybe it had been like that for Lula with Wade, and instead of being Prince Charming, Wade had turned out to be like Wyatt.

“Why do you suppose my mother was afraid of Wyatt?” Barrie rolled and rested on one elbow to look at Eight.

“Apart from what we saw tonight, you mean?”

“I assumed it was about the feud. Because she was a Watson and she’d run off with Wyatt’s brother. But it felt more personal.”

“Feuds are always personal. That’s what makes it hard to break the cycle. Everyone lives locked inside their own anger until someone is finally brave enough to step outside themselves to see the view from the other side. It’s why I need to get away from this place.”

“But you’re not stepping out for a different view.” Barrie tipped her face up to the stars so she wouldn’t have to look at him. “You’re stepping out to run away.”

He was silent, and she was suddenly afraid. Afraid that she had said too much, presumed too much, hoped too much. She rolled her capris as high as they would go, then ran toward the water. She didn’t look back until she was knee deep, which was as far as she dared. He was right behind her, his face gleaming in the kind of light that turned beautiful boys into gods. He caught her, and held her, his skin so warm and alive, she couldn’t help but melt.

“Why did you run?” he asked.

“To see if you’d come after me.”

“It scares me how willing I am to run after you. We’re both doing too much running.”

“So kiss me again.”

Her hands crept around his neck, tangling in his hair to keep him closer, even though she knew that beautiful boys with expiration dates couldn’t be held, only borrowed for a time.

Q. Your Goodreads bio mentions that COMPULSION has romance, mystery, mayhem and magic. Which component was your favorite to write about? And can you tell us just a little bit more about the mayhem?

Compulsion is a Southern Gothic, so there is definitely the “setting as character” aspect to the story, which I’ve outlined a bit in the previous question about the magic. But it also introduces elements of narrative that are unique to the South—the sense of a place remaining static as history eddies around it the way water flows around a rock, the way social position and family determine not only how a person is viewed but also who they become, the desire to both embrace and run away from the past. There are also the characters, who, as is requisite in a Southern Gothic, are weird and fantastic and often “grotesque.” Apart from the romance, that’s my favorite aspect.

Where I departed from the Southern Gothic is that I pushed the paranormal elements and the romance further than usual. The School Library Journal calls it a “little bit Gone with the Wind and a little bit Romeo and Juliet” and it is like that, which I love. I also took the typical macabre and fantastical situation and made them related to the wishes and the curse that tie the three families together. That results in things that went very wrong on three different timelines, each of which place Barrie into danger as she starts to connect the pieces.

All of that makes the book a bit of a hybrid. It starts out sleepy in the way of a Southern Gothic, and along the way, the romance is building between Eight and Barrie, and between Barrie and Watson’s Landing. Walking in Barrie’s footsteps, the reader is following a protagonist who has led a very sheltered life and has no idea that a place like Watson’s Landing could exist. She has little experience with people, or with family, so she has to figure out who to trust and how far to trust them. Mostly, she has to learn to trust herself as she grows into her own strength. But as she gets stronger, she pushes other people more to get the answers she needs, and that results in the “mayhem” I mentioned. Careful readers will see things building in the beginning that others, including Barrie, might have missed. They won’t be surprised when it turns into a thriller by the end. 🙂

Q. COMPULSION comes out on October 28th, what has it been like waiting for its release day? And do you plan on waiting at the bookstore for it to hit shelves on the 28th?

I’m lucky to be part of an AMAZING tour, which we’re calling Compelling Reads ( There are eleven stops on the tour and eighteen incredible authors. The way things worked out, we’re actually starting events on the tour on the 26th with a presentation at the Arlington Library, and my actual launch party will be on the 27th with a Book Dating Gameshow at One More Page Books including Melissa Marr, Wendy Higgins, Leah Cypess, and Kimberley Griffiths Little. These are literally some of my favorite authors on the planet, and I am beyond honored that they’ve read the book and are willing to come hang out with me and celebrate their own books as well as mine. I guess that means technically I’ll be waiting at the bookstore BEFORE the 28th, and honestly, between putting that tour together, working on Persuasion (Book Two), putting together the massive book-trailer celebration and pre-order giveaways (, I’ve had very little time to feel like I’m “waiting” for release day. I’m so happy and grateful to have the opportunity to share this book with bloggers and readers, and it’s truly bewildering how kind everyone has been!

Quickie Questions

Q. Happily ever after or happily never after?

  • HEA. No doubt.

Q. Insta love or insta hate?

  • Insta love with a caveat. (It isn’t always what it seems.)

Q. Eternal love or love for now?

  • What’s longer than eternal?

Q. Passion: Fiery or slow burning?

  • Slow burn to third-book FIRES, baby.

Q. Mystery or mayhem?

  • LOL! Mystery TO mayhem.

Q. Free will or fate?

  • Free will responding to fate.

Q. Standalones or series?

  • Whatever works best for the book and characters.

Q. Secretive or an open book?

  • Secrets RULE.

Q. Dark magic or white magic?

  • Gray.

Q. Bad boys or bad girls?

  • Bad girls and excellent boys.

The Giveaway


Enter to win a YA novel of your choice and get an entry into the September Grand Prize Giveaway for a signed set of Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky series, a signed ARC of COMPULSION and a Tiffany-style Key Necklace.

For more details click the image above to visit the author’s website.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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