Deadly Destinations: Marta Acosta & win DARK COMPANION

August 4, 2012 Deadly Destinations 46

Today’s Deadly Destination is from Marta Acosta‘s Mary Violet Holiday on Birch Grove Academy from DARK COMPANION (published on July 3, 2012 from Tor Teen). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.

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Marta Acosta’s Mary Violet Holiday on Birch Grove Academy from DARK COMPANION

Dark CompanionHi, I’m Mary Violet Holiday, and I’m ecstatic that the headmistress has asked me to show you around. Have you been to Birch Grove Academy for Girls before? No – well, I’m sure you’ll adore it even though the weather is always tremendously gloomy. People think all of California is sunny, but these hills trap our town in a fog belt. Doesn’t that sound fun? Like a belt made of mist. If I had one, it would be a soft glowing violet mist, because violet is my trademark color.

The fog is why students are so deplorably pale. Well, Constance isn’t pale because she’s from Barbados, and Jane isn’t pale because she’s an enigmatic mix of things, which is a metaphor for her personality, too. Jane’s a foster kid from the ‘hood and on full scholarship, but she’s adjusted marvelously to our school.

I’m a lovely golden hue because my grand mere took me with her to Hawaii over break. All she did was lecture me on deportment and complain about the scarcity of amuse bouche — – that’s French for cocktail wieners – at the hotel’s Happy Hour.

Perhaps I was hasty in saying that everyone is pale. Isn’t hasty a good word? I am fanatical about words, which is why I’m so fond of Jane, who studies incessantly for her SATs. Jane is a science and math brainiac and very rational, which is why she doesn’t get frightened living alone in the old groundskeeper’s cottage in the ancient birch grove.

The girl who lived in the cottage before said it was a little scary. She was a foster girl, too, and she left very suddenly. She’s never contacted any of her old friends, including moi, which I think is very hurtful. It’s like she vanished off the face of the earth.

I don’t believe the stories about the birch trees pulling up their roots and walking at night, but I’ve seen lights in the grove at night and heard voices. I think it’s probably just the headmistress’s gorgeous sons and their friends partying. I’m not interested in any of the boys here though, because I’ve known them all my life.

The cafeteria is over there across the way. The food isn’t as odious as it is at most school. The PTA are extremists about organic and nutritious food. That’s why there are no fast-food restaurants in Greenwood. Juniors and seniors have off-campus privileges and we usually go down the hill to the Free-Pop – that’s what we call the Tea-Stop Cafe – a few times a week. You’ll always get a free drink when you’re wearing your uniform.

It will take you five minutes to see everything in town – Greenwood is just that small and if you do anything wrong, your parents will be sure to hear about it by the time you get home and say, “It wasn’t me, and I have a perfectly good explanation.” Jane was disconcerted by the scrutiny because she said, “Everyone here is all up in my business.” Exactly, and that’s another reason for me not to date a Greenwood boy. Jane’s never known spoiled rich boys before and she’s as dazzled by them as I would be if amusing aliens landed on back campus and began speaking in Elizabethan verse. Well, a girl can dream!

I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting Birch Grove Academy! Don’t feel bad if your application is rejected. There are many other very good schools…though not quite as good as Birch Grove.


Giveaway provided by Tor Teen

One copy of DARK COMPANION by Marta Acosta


Published on July 3, 2012 from Tor Teen


When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She’s even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper’s cottage in the center of the birch grove.

Something’s not quite right about the school — or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She’s also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.

The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school…and be bound to Birch Grove forever?

Read an excerpt | View book trailer

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46 Responses to “Deadly Destinations: Marta Acosta & win DARK COMPANION”

  1. A.H.

    What a lovely book cover. I’ve had this on the to read list for a while. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Caty R

    the book cover reminds me of the UK cover for Crave by Darnell but this book looks interesting.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Melissa B

    Have had this on my list for a while. Can’t wait to read it!

  4. Chelsea Foust

    Love the cover looks great, def made me stop and look!

  5. nightcomesclean

    I want that cover as a photo on my wall. Also the widget isn’t working for me. I clicked on the link so no biggie, but thought you should know.

  6. Marta Acosta

    Hi, everyone! Good luck winning my book, which has been described as dark, twisted, dreamy… The lovely cover photo is by Yolande de Kort, whose photos appear on many books. This same photo has been used on Crave by Melissa Darnell in Australia and Incubus by Carol Goodman in the UK. Tor Teen has exclusive US rights. In the US, Incubus is better known as The Demon Lover, written under Carol’s pen name Juliet Dark. Both Melissa and Carol have amazing cover karma!

    Thanks, Abigail, for having me here at ATUF!

  7. Barb P

    Hi Marta! Long time fan of yours and your VW Blog!! Can’t wait to read the new book. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  8. Marie-Claude Rajotte

    The cover is sooooo pretty and the book sound interesting!!!!

  9. Natasha

    Thanks for the chance to win! I can’t wait to read Dark Companion!

  10. Vivien

    I’ve been excited to read this novel for a few months. The reviews have been mixed but I’m still really intrigued!

  11. Carl

    Thanks for the tour Mary. There are more interesting aspects to this place than one might think to begin with. I’m sure I’ll get used to the trees walking around at night, maybe. See you at the Free Pop.

  12. Victoria Zumbrum

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Please enter me in contest. I really want to read this book.

  13. Erika

    Thanks for the great giveaway! This looks very intriguing and I love the cover design!

  14. 3monstersmom

    I’m a huge fan of Marta Acosta! I’ve been dying to get my hands on a copy of Dark Companion. 😀

  15. Viki S.

    I haven’t read any of Marta’s work but this looks like a good read. Thank you.

  16. Kai W.

    Thanks for the book excerpt. Book sounds interesting. Thanks for the contest.

  17. Danielle D

    Thank you so much for this giveaway, I’ve had this book on my wish list for a while now

  18. Rain Maiden

    I’ve read some good reviews on Dark Companion, thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  19. CCAM

    I put this book on my “to read list” for some time now and I think it’s time to actually read it.
    I really liked the final: “I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting Birch Grove Academy! Don’t feel bad if your application is rejected. There are many other very good schools…though not quite as good as Birch Grove.” :))

  20. Marta Acosta

    Hello, all!
    -Barb, so nice to see you here! Abigail’s site has been a longtime fave site and I’ve been amazed at how it’s developed over the years.
    -Marie-Claude, I wish I could take photos like this!
    -Vivien, the reviews are either love it or WTF? I’m not one of those writers who appeals to everyone and people who expect a paranormal romance will be disappointed. I hope you’ll try my gothic!
    -Carl, nice to meet you! If you go to the Free Pop, be sure to ignore the menu. Only newbies try to order from that. I recommend the crab salad sandwich.
    -Emily, Victoria, Erica, Donnas, thanks for visiting, and best of luck in the contest! Donnas, you always win on my blog.
    -3MonsterMom, ah, thanks! It’s so nice to hear that you enjoy my books. I’ve just posted the first three Casa Dracula novels as audiobooks on Audible.
    -Vicki S., Susan, and Kai, if you like comedy, you may want to try the Casa Dracula series. This is a decidedly darker tale, but I loved writing it.
    -Maghon, Danielle, Cyn and Rain Maiden, good luck in the contest!
    -CCAM, I went to snobby schools. You would be appalled at the things we said about kids who didn’t get in. That said, Mary Violet is actually very sweet and affectionate in the book.
    -Kt., everyone says the book is eerie! I thought that living in a cottage alone in a grove would be really spooky and I tried to capture that in my story.

  21. Lili

    This cover is so gorgeous! What inspired you to create one like this?

  22. Brandy

    I actually have a two-parter question. In an earlier response you said you went to snobby schools. Did you also grow up in a nice neighborhood? If so how hard was it to relate to your own characters situation?

  23. whitewolfreads

    I always like a good mystery and this one sounds interesting. Was it a big adjustment writing for a YA audinece?

  24. HollyB

    Thanks for this great giveaway!! I have really been enjoying this Deadly Destinations tour – what a great idea it is! And I’ve had my eye on this book for a while, I’d love to read it 🙂 I’ve read some great reviews from book bloggers and I would really like to read it for myself!

  25. Danielle B!

    Thanks for the giveaway! The book sounds very mysterious and a bit creepy with the gloomy foggy atmosphere.

  26. Alyssa Susanna

    Yay I just checked this out from the public library in my town! It looks so good! Marta – the book cover. Is that what you wanted on there? It’s gorgeous. Is that what you had in mind? 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  27. Stephanie Ziegler

    Finally at a stable environment only to be surrounded by mystery. What’s more important: Stablity or finding out the truth? Interesting!

  28. Jean S.

    I love books set in schools (especially boarding schools). Like everyone else, I love the cover! Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. DeeDee Griffin

    I hadn’t heard of this book before, but now I’m really excited to read it!

  30. S.A.

    I’m really fascinated with this book! I hope I’m one of the lucky winners because I would love to read this!