UPDATE to this post! A new short story in the ARCADIA series is now available for FREE on Amazon. It’s called The End of the Line, and it’s from Cane’s point of view. . .it’s seriously good, folks. If you enjoyed this interview with Cane, you’ll love his story. Go get it here!
By Jesi Lea Ryan
Most people who experience death don’t live to tell about it.
When sixteen year old Arcadia “Cady” Day wakes in a hospital after experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, she finds her family in tatters. With her twin sister gone, her dad moved out, her mom’s spiraling depression and her sister’s boyfriend, Cane, barely able to look at her, the only bright spot in her life is Bryan Sullivan, the new guy in school. When Bryan’s around, Cady can almost pretend she’s a regular girl, living a regular life; when he’s not, she’s wracked with wild, inexplicable mood swings. As her home life crumbles and her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…
Think high school sucks? Try being an empath who has to experience everyone else’s suckage on top of your own. (Literally.)
In the months since her family life imploded and her psychic gifts began to arise, Cady has struggled to figure out how she can fit into her normal life without going crazy from the constant presence of emotional energy. Her grades have tanked. Her best friend is afraid of her. And she begins to have doubts about why her boyfriend, Bryan, is really keeping her around. But a chance meeting with another gifted girl online opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Unfortunately, this new world comes at an awful price.
Find The Arcadia Novels here:
Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA. She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two exceptionally naughty kitties.
Stalk Jesi Lea here:
Follow the Book Tour
Our interview: I have loved these books since I read the first one. It made me smile, and it made me cry. . .and I fell in love with the characters. Truthfully, I was a fan of Bryan in the first book, but as I edited book 2, I realized that my heart was moving into Camp Cane. And I never looked back.
So I’m happy to introduce you to Cane, one of my favorite characters from the ARCADIA books. He kindly sat down for an interview with me, though I don’t think he likes to talk about himself. Cane, I’m so happy that at last we have a few minutes to chat. I have so much I would like to ask you! Come. . .sit next to me.
You dated Lony, Cady’s sister. Tell me a little about her, what made her special, and what you miss about her.
Lony was…fun, I guess. She was the girl who liked to be in the middle of everything. If there was a party or whatever, she wanted to be involved. I guess I miss her enthusiasm.
But then, there’s a part of me that’s really conflicted. I mean, if she hadn’t died, and she was just some girl I used to date, I probably wouldn’t give her any thought at all. But it didn’t happen like that for us. We broke up, and she died. You can’t say anything bad about a dead teenager, but I think people forget that Lony could be selfish and jealous and argumentative…not the easiest person to get along with. But I can’t talk about those things because it would make me a jerk, right?
Since we’ve talked before, I know that your feelings toward Cady have always been somewhat, um, complicated. Care to talk a little about that? You’re among friends here.
*squirms in his chair* Well, I met Cady first, a long time ago. She doesn’t even remember it. I guess I had a crush on her. When we got to high school, we didn’t exactly travel in the same circles. Not that I care about popularity or status, but all my friends were in sports, so it was easy to hang out with the cheerleaders like Lony. When I realized Lony liked me, and Cady didn’t know I was alive, I thought…this is going to sound stupid, but I thought I might be meant to be with Lony instead. It was a dumb decision. I should’ve never even dated her, because now my feelings for Cady just seem weird. How can I be falling in love with my dead ex-girlfriend’s sister?
Tell me how you feel about Bryan Sullivan. We’ve only seen him through Cady’s eyes. I’d like your take on him.
I don’t know. He’s nice enough to me. I just don’t like the way he treats Cady. I sort of see Bryan…I don’t know, as a metal spring maybe? If you let a compressed spring loose, it will fly all over the place, and it’s hard to compress it again. Bryan’s like that. He’s been cooped up and protected his whole life because of his blood thing, so I get that he’s all excited now that he can be a reckless idiot, because Cady will heal him when he gets hurt. But he’s so freakin’ wrapped up in himself and all this new stuff he gets to do that he doesn’t even notice that healing him hurts Cady. And that just makes me hate him. He’s got this great girl, a perfect girl, and he doesn’t even see her anymore.
In the last months, Cady has been living out of town. How has that worked out for you, and what has been happening in your life since she’s lived in Chicago?
I hate that I don’t get to see her every day at school. We never really talked at school, but I used to make sure I could pass her in the halls between classes. Pathetic, right? I know she has a boyfriend, but it was important for me to know she was okay. I don’t miss seeing her with Bryan, though. Watching him touch her and hold her hand was torture.
Since Cady left…well, really since Lony died…I don’t have the energy to be social. I’m not sleeping well, so when I’m not at school, or at practice, I just want to hang out in my bedroom and listen to music. I’ve been working with a new pitching coach, and that’s going well. College and pro scouts have been coming to my games. Pretty soon, I’ll have to decide whether to go to college or enter the draft and go pro. Concentrating on baseball helps me push Cady to the back of my mind, and that’s what I need right now.
Tell us how you learned about Cady’s special abilities and what you think of her new powers.
*chuckles* I found out about her gifts when Bryan and I were both busted up and bleeding, and she healed us. If it hadn’t happened to me personally, I wouldn’t have believed it. Nah, that’s not true. Cady doesn’t lie. I’d probably believe anything she told me.
I’m not sure what I think about her gifts. On one hand, I see Cady could do a lot of good in the world, if she learns how to use them better. But from what I’ve seen, they do more damage to her than good. You should see her after she heals Bryan. She gets all weak and pale and clumsy. She gets horrible headaches and numbness. I don’t get why Bryan doesn’t notice. Or maybe he does, but doesn’t want to admit it. I just hope her doctor in Chicago can help her control her abilities.
If you could write your own happy ending. . .what would it look like?
I’d be a bazillionaire, and Cady and I would sail off into the sunset on my yacht. *smiles* Kidding. I don’t know. I guess the most important thing right now is that Cady’s happy and healthy. I hope she’d be happy with me, but I don’t think that’s going to work out. I think the most I can hope for is to stay friends. I can’t imagine not knowing her.
There you have it: this is why I adore Cane. I’m counting the days until we are able to read the next chapter in Cady’s story. . .which I have it on good authority also features this wonderful young man. <winks>