Blog Tour: Holding Smoke Guest Post and Giveaway

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to have a Guest Post on the Blog Today! Please give a warm welcome to Elle Cosimano, who I asked about what inspired her to write "Holding Smoke."

I’ve always been fascinated by astral projection. I’d been reading a lot of books, feeling out the subject for a possible book idea, which inevitably led me to other books about near-death experiences. A lot of people who have died, or come very close to death, reported out-of-body experiences that mirrored the self-described journeys of people who reported they could leave their physical body and travel to another astral plane at will. This planted the seed of an idea inside me. What if a person experienced an NDE, and was able to then “travel” out of their body whenever they wanted… go wherever they wanted… wherever they could imagine themselves?

Then I got to thinking about who this character might be. And it struck me, how poignant a story like this could be if this character were physically unable to leave a terrible situation, but their soul was free. The juxtaposition of a physical prison and a free mind struck a chord with me.

I was immediately taken back to a night when I was about eight years old, and my father, a maximum security prison warden, brought an inmate home for Thanksgiving dinner. (You can read more about that night here… .) I remembered how uncomfortable this man looked at our table, dining with silverware and glassware and wearing regular clothes. I remember the long, awkward silence when our extended family asked him what he did at the prison (assuming he worked there with my father) and he told them he was doing twenty to life for Murder One. I started to wonder if a character in his position – resigned to a life behind prison walls – would embrace small freedoms, or shy away from them. If he felt like he didn’t deserve them or if he longed for them. I began to wonder, if he had the chance to start over, what kind of life would he imagine for himself.

And from this soup of right and wrong, free or fated, good and bad, and alive or dead, Smoke’s story was born.

Thanks for the insightful post!
And now the details for the book...


John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home and the only one he believes he deserves.

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they're asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn't care that the "threads" that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name. 

Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink's help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he's willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.

Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook 

3 Finished Copies of HOLDING SMOKE (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading! 


  1. I love thie story about how this author created this character. Her dad must have been an amazing person and have the ability to read people well.

    1. Agreed! It gives you a whole new perspective on the situation! :)