EVOKE is a character driven YA story that is a little mystery, a little paranormal, and a little romance. It is about a girl, Laney, who wakes up as the sole survivor of a crash that has claimed the lives of three of her friends, and the journey she goes on after her world has been turned upside down by an accident that has changed her life irrevocably. It takes place in the fictional town of Lake Haven, Maine.
About the setting, Lake Haven, Maine
Nestled among the rocky coastline of Northern Maine, Lake Haven is not a lake as its name suggests, but a seaside community along a peaceful cove halfway between Bar Harbor and Eastport. In the fall, the town is swathed in the red and gold leaves of the state’s notorious maple trees, and in the summer, flooded with tourists craving the beauty of New England. It was founded over three hundred years ago by a textiles merchant that stumbled upon the area by accident, Lake Haven’s sapphire waters and remote location had captivated visitors for decades. It is a quaint town with lovely people, its history celebrated during the annual Founders Day Festival in October.
The importance of memory
Memories are to me, one of the greatest gifts we can ever possess, and that’s where the idea for EVOKE came from. The power of my childhood memories – the experience of friendships in a small town and the impact losing a friend at an early age can have one’s heart – and wanting to put that to words in a story that may connect with others was what encouraged me to write EVOKE. I am also fascinated by the human brain and how it can be a protector of sorts, in blocking out memories that may be too much for us to handle. In EVOKE I use the power of childhood memories, to show us more about Laney’s life and the friends she loved, to better understand the impact that loss might have on a young woman of her age. I know memory loss can be a troupe in YA novels, but I am really hoping readers don’t hold it against Laney and fall in love with the story.
Mental health and veterans
One of the characters in EVOKE is a military veteran who came home slightly broken from that experience. This character is in no way a charactecture. He was created with a lot of care and consideration -- and his character arc is being developed through the series with the same care and consideration. As the daughter and daughter-in-law of a veteran, and with many friends that have served, I have a lot of respect for men and women in uniform and want to lend my support in helping to change this statistic. 1 in 3 service members live with PTSD and also feel they don’t get the mental health care they need. This is not acceptable. The Wounded Warrior Project helps vets overcome mental health challenges, and relies on donations to help thousands of veterans each year. I support Wounded Warrior and encourage you to support their efforts as well. And...please, know there are great things in store for this character. He is/was/could be a friend or classmate we once knew who, and still is. He will be honored in this series the way a vet should.
EVOKE was an award-winning debut
EVOKE won a Gold Medal in the 2019 Readers Favorite International Book Awards in the YA Mystery category, and Top Shelf honors.
What people are saying
I continue to hear from readers about how much they loved the story. How it was lush and atmospheric, yet compelling and heartfelt. I love to hear from readers! I've shared a few of my favorite quites below, but you can read more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
"Atmospheric, deeply moving, and emotionally intense."
"I didn't just read this book, I devoured it!"
"An absorbing story ... the sort that you can lose yourself within."
"I couldn't help myself from turning page after page. I needed to know more."
"An intimate view of what it is to look through the eyes of another, and how maybe, deep down, we all know our best and worst selves."
"It is rare for an author to be able to establish a mood in the opening words of a novel that asks the reader to visit a tragedy, but Danielle has already mastered this skill."
EVOKE is set in the fictional seaside town of Lake Haven, Maine. It has love, loss, friendship, baseball, beaches, sailing, and more! This aesthetic was designed to capture the mood of the atmospheric, paranormal read for YA lovers.