The Suffering Tree
by Elle Cosimano
Release Date: June 13th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
“It’s dark magic brings him back.”
Tori Burns and her family left D.C. for claustrophobic Chaptico, Maryland, after suddenly inheriting a house under mysterious circumstances. That inheritance puts her at odds with the entire town, especially Jesse Slaughter and his family—it’s their generations-old land the Burns have “stolen.” But none of that seems to matter after Tori witnesses a young man claw his way out of a grave under the gnarled oak in her new backyard.
Nathaniel Bishop may not understand what brought him back, but it’s clear to Tori that he hates the Slaughters for what they did to him centuries ago. Wary yet drawn to him by a shared sense of loss, she gives him shelter. But in the wake of his arrival comes a string of troubling events—including the disappearance of Jesse Slaughter’s cousin—that seem to point back to Nathaniel.
As Tori digs for the truth—and slowly begins to fall for Nathaniel—she uncovers something much darker in the tangled branches of the Slaughter family tree. In order to break the centuries-old curse that binds Nathaniel there and discover the true nature of her inheritance, Tori must unravel the Slaughter family’s oldest and most guarded secrets. But the Slaughters want to keep them buried… at any cost.
From award-winning author Elle Cosimano comes a haunting, atmospheric thriller perfect to hand to readers of the Mara Dyer trilogy and Bone Gap.
Hello Elle! We are super excited for THE SUFFERING TREE and to have you in our FFBC tours.
My “stranded on a desert island what book would you take with you” book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Favorite TV show?
Right now? I’m completely obsessed with TURN: Washington’s Spies.
Grosse Pointe Blank
I have to choose?! Ugh, that’s really unfair. Okay. For today, let’s go with Ghosts That We Knew by Mumford & Sons.
Bacon-wrapped smoked gouda-stuffed grilled jalapenos
Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.
Hogwarts (Gryffindor House), Neverland (growing up is highly overrated), and the Millenium Falcon (assuming Han and Chewie are at the helm).
What were your favorite books growing up?
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. In high school, I devoured everything by S. E. Hinton.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda
What are your fandoms?
I’m a total Potterhead. Always.
Who is your favorite fictional boyfriend (or girlfriend)?
James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. Hands down.
Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THE SUFFERING TREE?
The Suffering Tree is the story of a deeply troubled teen, struggling with grief and questions over her own identity, who literally unearths the past when she discovers the body of a 18th century indentured servant buried under a cursed tree in her new backyard, land her family inherited under mysterious circumstances. Only the boy isn’t dead. He has a story to tell—the story of his own murder. And the family who owned the land before is determined to keep the past buried at any cost.
It’s part historical, part modern-day thriller–two mysteries interconnected, three hundred years apart. It’s a love story. And a ghost story. Both romantic and creepy.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books says it’s “deliciously unpredictable… a compelling exploration of how roots twisted in cruelty affect a family tree for generations to come.”
What are your favorite mystery/suspense/thriller movies and/or TV shows?
The Blacklist and Dexter are two of my favorite TV thrillers. I love stories in which the lines between hero and villain are blurred–when a deeply flawed hero is both human and monster, sympathetic and relatable because within them, we see the terrifying bits of our own selves. I can’t get enough of them.
What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of THE SUFFERING TREE.)
#theremustbesalt #lovewithoutfear #whoiamisinmyblood
How did you come up with the story?
The story of The Suffering Tree came to me during my son’s kindergarten field trip to a local farm. As the bus went rolling down a scenic country road in Virginia, we passed miles and miles of lush green fields, and somewhere in the middle of them, a very peculiar tree. It was old and long dead, its bark bleached white and peeling from the sun. At its base was a cluster of very old headstones. They were thin and leaning, heaving up around the tree’s roots and so covered in moss they were impossible to read. I began wondering why no one was caring for the cemetery. I began wondering why the tree was dead and who might be buried beneath it, and if it was haunted. I knew the history of the early colonies in the area, and I began to imagine a tale of two children, thrust into a seven-year indenture, and what might have become of them when they finally came of age. I wondered what they would say if they could tell their own stories.
You can see pictures of the tree that inspired the story here.
Tell us your favorite quote from THE SUFFERING TREE.
“We try to hide things, to bury our own shame. But it ain’t the nature of secrets to lay down quiet. Shame’s gonna find its way to the surface. It don’t matter. . . You can cover secrets in more secrets. . . You can bury ’em deep. But the more you try to hold ’em down, the harder they’re gonna fight to come out. And the Slaughters got a lot of history to wrestle with. They got a lot of shame scratching at their back door. And they’re not gonna let no one open it and let it all come rushin’ in.”
Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?
I think all of Nathaniel’s memories were my favorite scenes to write. This was my first time writing about a historical time period, and it was really fun (and challenging) to translate my research to the page!
If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THE SUFFERING TREE– Which one would you pick?
Work Song by Hozier
Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THE SUFFERING TREE (specific music, snacks…)?
Warm apple cider, roasted peanuts, and a warm wooly blanket around your shoulders. Crack a window and listen to the wind rustle the trees sometime just after dark.
What’s next for you?
That remains to be seen. I’m drafting my first adult suspense novel and I’m really excited about how it’s coming together. I’m also in the drafting stages of two new YA novels–a YA urban fantasy and a YA contemporary crime thriller. I guess you could say my attention is divided between three projects at the moment. I’m curious to see which one finds its way into the world first!
Thank you so much for everything, Elle!
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Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.
The following giveaway is a GENERAL giveaway hosted by the FFBC Tours and Disney Hyperion:
The following giveaway is an INDIVIDUAL giveaway and you can find more like this in every participating blog on this tour. Each blog will be giving away independently the same ‘THE SUFFERING TREE’ bundle. Want to increase your chances at winning? Visit all the tour websites!