Ember’s Road Trip

Hiya! So sorry for the radio silence. I went on a super fantastic road trip and returned to brave the dangers of Revisionland. The good news is that edits are in for book 3, which, in case you haven’t heard, is called THREE (real original, I know, I know, but it makes sense if you’ve read BREAKING POINT, ok?). Anyway, I’m SUPER EXCITED those are off my plate and really happy with the finished (for now) product.

A couple quick announcements:

1. The audio version of BREAKING POINT is up on audible.com. Thank you for your patience. The narrator is fabulous, and I hope you really enjoy it.

2. THREE is available for pre-order. Thanks for checking it out!

3. ARTICLE 5, or rather ARTIKEL 5, is out in Germany! WOO HOO!

But back to the road trip. The hubs and I decided we should take baby face for a bit of a drive this summer, and what better places to go to inspire me to finish revisions than Ember’s home! Louisville! And after that, we continued on, hitting a few more crucial places in her ARTICLE 5 – BREAKING POINT – THREE journey. It was so great to see these places again, I can’t even tell you. I did work some on the trip…

And when I came home I was absolutely ready to jump back into Ember’s world.

So first, we visited the street where it all began…

My knees gave way. I barely registered the hard feel of
the floor beneath me. Chase was as pale as death itself. He
was right to be. He knew that place all too well.
Fourteen- fifty Ewing Avenue was my address.



Then we continued on, to a place where things had been pretty ugly for our heroine: The Girls’ Reformatory and Rehabilitation Center, otherwise known as the campus of West Virginia University.

From outside the bus, I had a better view. We stood before
an old building, like the kind you see in history books surrounded
by men wearing ruffled shirts and curly wigs. It was
red brick, but some of the bricks had faded to gray, giving the
illusion that its flat face was potholed. The front doors were
tall and freshly painted white and bordered on both sides by
stout columns supporting a triangular overhang. My eyes
wandered up six floors, squinting in the fresh morning sun.
A copper bell hung dormant in a tower on the roof.

-ARTICLE 5, pg. 39

Across the street behind me was a clover- patched knoll,
and on it a long set of stairs that descended to an open pavilion
and a more modern, glass-plated building. Another set of
stairs disappeared below this level down the hill. It looked
like one of the old college campuses that had been shut down
during the War.

-ARTICLE 5, pgs. 39-40


We drove through a huge split in the mountains on the way to Maryland…

“SORT of makes you feel short, doesn’t it?” I said as the highway approached an enormous wedge cut into the mountainside. The mustard- colored walls stretched up over three hundred feet on either side, so that only a band of silver sky was visible overhead. Trees and vines, in various states of maturity, reached their crooked fingers toward us, having been long without the care of city maintenance workers. Chase was forced to reduce our speed as we jostled over a mudslide that had spewed out onto the road.
A large sign on my right that read SIDELING HILL VISITOR’S
CENTER, NEXT EXIT, had been tampered with: Just below the words, a cross and a flag had been spray- painted with a big neon green X through it.

-ARTICLE 5, pg. 138

…and visited a sporting goods store where Ember learned just how far Chase was going to go to keep her safe.

We passed through the gap of Sideling Hill and continued
on toward Hagerstown. Thirty- three more miles, the sign said.
It was evacuated so quickly that most stores had been abandoned, full of merchandise. We’d see how intact that merchandise still was, eight years later, then catch the connecting highway south to Harrisonburg.

-ARTICLE 5, pg. 139

We did pass the ranch Chase and Ember barely escaped as well.

We had no choice but to stay the night— or at least make
them think we were staying the night— unless we wanted to
risk them contacting the MM for a curfew violation.

-ARTICLE 5, pg. 233

So many other stops as well – Knoxville, a crucial point in books 1 and 2; Chattanooga, a stop in book 3; Atlanta, also visited in book 3, various places on the South Carolina coast that are addressed in the third book; and others. I don’t want to give too much away about the conclusion of Ember’s story, but I will say this place, in South Carolina, perfectly fit one of the scenes that takes place in THREE. Ok, here’s a teensy spoiler:

The intersection before the minimart was empty. The gas pumps still stood, but their hoses were ripped away. In the sun outside the entrance a man in street clothes was seated on a metal chair. He was slumped forward, asleep, his hands on his lap, his chin on his chest.


You’re like, yeah, it’s a gas station, big whoop. But it’s one of my favorite parts of the book.

Now that revisions on THREE are in, things are going to be picking up speed as we head toward publication. That means the reveal of the cover (WOO HOO!), ARC’s, and well…probably giveaways. I do love a good giveaway.

Have a great week.

17 Responses to Ember’s Road Trip

  1. How fun! Brings the books back vividly. Way to go!

  2. Christina says:

    I love the pictures! Its great when you can see the things you picture when you read the books! Super excited about Three! I think I have reread Article 5 & Breaking point like 4 times! Lol :-) If you want, you can always send me a copy of Three! ;-) I absolutly love the books!! Amazing job! :-)

  3. Christina martinez says:

    I love the pictures! Its great when you can see the things you picture when you read the books! Super excited about Three! I think I have reread Article 5 & Breaking point like 4 times! Lol :-) If you want, you can always send me a copy of Three! ;-) I absolutly love the books!! Amazing job! :-)

    • Kristen says:

      I’m so glad you like the books – thank you for reading! I hope you like Three too…I would love to see a copy of it myself! Soon!

  4. Dana Benn says:

    First off, let me say what an inspiration you have been to me personally. I am also a social worker, but I have had the desire to write for many years. Since I was young, my nose has constantly been buried in a book, and I have always dreamed of writing one. Fear of failure has kept me from fulfilling that dream, though. When I read your biography, then began reading your blog, you became my hero. Whether anything ever comes of it or not, I decided to write the book whose idea has been in my mind. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I want to thank you for your writing! You have created books which are so incredible, that it is like you know the people and places contained in them! These books are certainly among my favorites, which is saying quite a lot, as my nose is always in a book. Thank you so much for creating the world of Ember and Chase…what an amazing story!!! I can’t wait for “Three!”

    • Kristen says:

      Thank you Dana! I’m so glad to hear that I could be of some help to you, both in your writing and as a social worker (go social work!!). Thank you for the wonderful work you do. I’m so glad you enjoyed the books and I hope that you like THREE as well!
      Take care!

  5. Scarlet says:

    I’m so excited for Three!!! And the pictures bring back great memories from reading the first two books!!!

  6. Missy says:

    I live in Morgantown, and totally pictured WVU campus as the Reformatory! I get so excited when my hometown gets featured in my favorite books.

    • Kristen says:

      Oh that’s awesome! I love Morgantown! I went to college there for a little while. Such a beautiful campus.
      Thanks for writing Missy!

  7. Karina says:

    I love your books and I cannot wait for Three! I just wanted to say that I would absolutely love it if I could see Chases’s side of the story in even more detail sometime (just like the extra scenes)! He is one of my favorite characters and I would love to know more about him and his thoughts that he learns to hide so well especially in Article 5!!!

  8. sara says:

    so excited to keep reading about the journey in the books, fun reading about yours here :)

  9. Rebecca says:

    Currently listening to breaking point. The whiskey toast is the first time a book has ever made me cry. How alive the characters are! This road trip was real treat after a good cry. I’m glad my imagination has an even better foothold in this moving world now! Thank you, Kristen. Please don’t stop writing or giving us these special treats (I.e. the road trip & a good cry)

    • Kristen says:

      Oh I’m so glad it did! It made me cry too! Thank you so much for these wonderful compliments. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the books. Hope you like THREE as well, Rebecca!

  10. kyle says:

    I feel lame because im the only guy that reads this it looks like.But I like your books cant wait for the 3!

    • Kristen says:

      Don’t feel lame! You’re not the only guy. Maybe the only who has commented, to which I give you a huge high-five. Thanks for commenting! Glad you like the books!

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