Monday, May 13, 2013

CLP Blog Tour: Identity Break by Stifyn Emrys

Follow the tour HERE

How far would you go to find yourself?

Imagine everything you thought you knew about yourself turned out to be a lie, and you didn’t know who was telling the truth. Imagine you possessed a secret so dangerous that, if it were exposed, it would reshape the entire world.
What would you do if that secret were your very identity?

In almost every way, Palo Vista seems like a typical California city, with office buildings, schools, and homes sprawled out across suburbia, filled with families making a life for themselves at the dawn of the new millennium. 
But two seniors at Mt. MacMurray High are about to find out that nothing is as it seems. Jason Nix is a star athlete and honors student who can’t seem to remember anything about his childhood. Elyse Van Auten is a budding artist from a broken home whose father left her mother two years ago - or so she’s been led to believe.

Like most teens entering adulthood, Elyse and Jason just want to find out who they really are. For them, however, the stakes go far beyond their own personal quest. Join them on a journey of self-discovery that becomes a desperate fight for survival against enemies determined to conceal the truth … and find out what happens when that fight becomes personal.

So much for my Friday afternoon, eh? I had just spent wasted three hours on a blustery fall day sitting on a cold, hard, metal bench watching 22 boys beat each other up for the sake of a stupid ball. Run around for a couple of seconds. Stop. Wait half a minute and repeat. It sounded like those inane philosophies my mom got out of her favorite book, Wisdom on the Head of a Pin.
I didn’t like philosophy, so I wasn’t a thinker. I didn’t like football, so I wasn’t a tomboy. And I didn’t like dresses, so I wasn’t a proper lady. What did that make me?
“You’re an arteest!” Cherie crowed as she came bounding up to me like the Easter bunny in heat. Come to think of it, Cherie almost always acted like she was in heat. I shivered. The word “heat,” however it might be used, somehow seemed absurd on a 40-degree day.
“Yes, I am,” I said without smiling. Why wouldn’t she just go away?
That was one thing about Cherie. She was oblivious. But at least she wasn’t a snob like some of the other girls.
“What you working on today?”
I turned over the sketch pad to let her see. I wasn’t one of those people who cared if people saw my art before I finished it. I knew it was garbage, anyway, so why should I care if someone else said it was garbage? At least it was honest … unlike Cherie, who promptly ooohed and ahhhhed over it as though it had come from the paintbrush of Picasso.
“That’s really good!” she crowed. “And will you look at that? You drew my boyfriend!”
She pointed to a figure on the pad, which was really nothing more than a blur with the barely discernible number 24 on the back. If I had to wait around after school for Mom to pick me up, at least I could make the most of it and practice capturing motion in my art.
“Your boyfriend?” I said. “Jason Nix is your boyfriend?”
“Mmm-hmm,” she said, nodding triumphantly. “He just doesn’t know it yet. Some of the other guys call him Runt, but he’s the best player on the team. Who else would I go out with? Certainly not Chaz Haney. And not that big Samoan guy, Fail-toesy or Purple Haze or whatever.”
“Carlton’s a nice guy,” I said, more to be contradictory than anything else. The truth? I didn’t know him any better than she did. But I hated it when someone just dismissed people as though they weren’t worth a second thought. Maybe Carlton Haze was a nice guy? Cherie sure had no way of knowing.
“Nice guy?” she said, the words accompanied by an odd sound that fell somewhere between a laugh and a snort. “He’s a nice guy because he wants to … well, I don’t have to explain it to you. I’m sure you understand these things.”
I could tell she meant that sarcastically.
I looked back down at my sketchpad. At least she hadn’t been sarcastic about my art. It was nice to have the compliment, even if it did come from a grade-A airhead who wouldn’t know art if her name were Mona Lisa.

About the author: Stifyn Emrys is a journalist and educator who has written on subjects as diverse as history, religion, politics and language. He has served as an editor for fiction and non-fiction projects, and his first book, “The Gospel of the Phoenix,” was published in the summer of 2012. He has published four other books, including three non-fiction works and the children's fairy tale “Feathercap.” “Identity Break” is his first novel. He lives on California’s Central Coast with his wife (also an author), stepson, cat and dog. 


  1. Loved this book, thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for sharing this excerpt from "Identity Break"! I had a difficult time picking out something to share, but I decided to go with something close to the beginning. The story evolves slowly from a seemingly "normal" setting to a situation that's anything but normal. I don't want to give any of the twists away, but the narrative is designed to gather momentum from a routine beginning to a wild climax. Thanks again for hosting this! :-)

  3. I've read it, and this book is awesome!!!

  4. Stifyn thanks for being on my blog! Samaire and Samantha...thanks for the comments and for stopping by!!!


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