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Guest blogger: Vanessa Barneveld

15 August 2021

Greetings, ARRA readers!

I’m so thrilled to be here with you today. My latest paranormal YA, Under the Milky Way, is hot off the presses. We’ve got UFOs. We’ve got aliens. We’ve got nefarious black-ops projects. Best of all, we’ve got romance. It’s Veronica Mars meets the X-Files when Cassidy Roekiem tries to get to the bottom of spooky, unexplained lights in the Colorado sky. Seems UFOs are cruising the planet. And the one person who can help is hiding an out-of-this-world secret.

I’m often asked, ‘What on earth inspired you to write this book?’ I love this question. Inspiration is everywhere, if you look closely. And it’s not just about what you see around you. It’s what you hear, smell, taste, read, wring out from memories … or other people’s memories. I could talk all day about where exactly I get my ideas. Don’t worry, I’ll restrain myself for this post!

One major source of inspiration came from a real-life UFO experience. Yep, you read right that right. My late mother—to whom this book is dedicated—was a magnet for all things spooky. She shared with me dozens of stories about her ghost encounters, and that’s one reason why I write paranormal books. But even I was surprised when she told me about a run-in with UFOs when she was a young girl living in Indonesia.

Mum claimed she was frolicking in a field, as you do when you’re a kid. She happened to look up and spied not one but two unidentified flying objects coming toward her. They were spherical in shape, gliding silently over the land, moving like nothing she’d ever seen before. The objects didn’t have any lights or windows. There were no markings to indicate that they were from this world. So she could only conclude that they were UFOs.

Of course, there were no other witnesses to this sighting. To Mum’s chagrin, no-one believed her fantastical tale at the time. I’m sure she would feel vindicated by the CIA’s recent admission that UFOs are a thing!

I’d love to know, do you believe UFOs and beings from other worlds exist? Have you ever had a close encounter?

Vanessa Barneveld lives in a 19th-century house in inner-city Sydney, Australia, with a 21st-century husband, two eccentric cats and one ghost—all of whom provide inspiration for her spirited novels. She’s part of a crack team that produces closed captions for deaf TV viewers and audio descriptions for the blind. And, yes, that means she gets to watch TV all. day. long. Her debut YA, This is Your Afterlife, was a finalist in the 2014 ARRA Awards.

You can find Vanessa here: Website | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub

Under the Milky Way

Nothing ever happens in Dawson, Colorado.

Until high school senior Cassidy Roekiem’s mom checks into a “wellness center,” but nothing is wrong with her.

Then people start seeing lights in the sky and missing chunks of time, but the town insists nothing is going on.

And now Hayden, the new boy at school who keeps to himself and is more than a little mysterious, starts to notice her like it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Suddenly, “nothing” is starting to feel a whole lot like something. And everything leads back to Hayden. The boy she’s starting to fall for. The boy with too many dark secrets for his kind heart. The boy she’s pretty sure isn’t human …

Under the Milky Way is out now in paperback and ebook from Entangled Teen.

Buy it here: Amazon | Amazon AU | Kobo | Book Depository | iBooks | B&N

6 Comments
  1. anniewest permalink
    16 August 2021 7:51 am

    Hi Vanessa. Huge congratulations on your new book! I’m so looking forward to reading this one.No extra terrestrial encounters for me, though just last week I was looking at the night sky and there were unfamiliar lights that had me intrigued. I’m sure they were satellites, but it did make the back of my neck prickle…

    • 16 August 2021 5:05 pm

      Ooh, I’m sure there was a logical explanation for those lights, Annie! But I still can’t help but wonder if that was ET’s space ship – ha ha! Thank you so much for stopping by. x

  2. 15 August 2021 12:04 pm

    Hi Vanessa! Congratulations on the release of Under the Milky Way and thanks for giving me a sneak peek at your latest masterpiece. I just loved it and the romance in it is just luscious. I hope it’s racing off the shelves faster than a flying saucer races across out skies.

    • 15 August 2021 12:20 pm

      Thank you for zooming over to the blog at warp speed, Anna! I’m super happy to hear you loved Under the Milky Way. I’ve always been such a huge fan of yours, so that’s a massive compliment. Have a safe and happy weekend! x

  3. Kandy Shepherd permalink
    15 August 2021 10:47 am

    Hi Vanessa, congratulations on your new book, it sounds very intriguing. I haven’t had a UFO experience, but the universe is so vast I believe we couldn’t be the only intelligent life in it. Who knows when they will discover us, or vice versa!

    • 15 August 2021 10:56 am

      Kandy, I feel the same way — we can’t possibly be alone in this universe. If aliens do discover us on this little rock called Earth, let’s hope they’re friendly! Thank *you* so much for visiting me here. Stay safe! x

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