Escape from Eden
by Elisa Nader
Release Date: 08/18/13
Publisher: Merit Press
Summary from Goodreads:
Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.
But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s façade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?
“The chemistry between Mia and Gabriel is palpable in their teasing dialogue and sizzling moments of physical connection. Its rewards … are many: fast-moving action, a capable heroine and a resolution that leaves plenty of room for a sequel.” – Kirkus Reviews [STARRED REVIEW]
“Debut author Elisa Nader hits a strong note with her ESCAPE FROM EDEN… At-times swoony, at-times extremely dangerous, and at-other times completely shocking.” – Examiner.com
“Nader has done something amazing: written a really original novel, one full of characters you’ll care about; smart, witty dialog; and plenty of shocks and thrills. A wonderful balance of light and dark.” —Michael Grant, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Gone Series
“An exciting, terrifying, page-turning thrill ride you will not be able to put down.” – Gretchen McNeil, Author of POSSESS, TEN and 3:59
About the Author
Hi. I’m Elisa. I like cheese and reading and TV show marathons. Writing is scary, but not as scary as, say, Civil War amputations. I’m an Aquarius. Uh… let’s see… I’m not very good at writing my own biography. Or autobiography. I guess this is reading more like a slightly incoherent personal ad.
Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Escape From Eden
First, here’s a little description of the book:
Since the age of ten, Mia has rebelled against the iron fist of a fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join a fanatical family of followers. At “Edenton,” a supposed Garden of Eden deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the reverend’s strict and arbitrary rules–even about whom they can marry. Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in and the curious out. When the rebellious Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees her chance to escape and to free her family. But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s facade are more shocking than anything they imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friend and freedom fighters. But there’s no time to think about love as they race against time to stop the reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock–but not himself–from this corrupt world. Can two kids crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman whose only concern is his own secrets?
10. I got the idea to write ESCAPE FROM EDEN after watching this music video.
9. Sometimes, in my head, I picture the Reverend looking like Zach Galifianakis and I have to stop because Zach Galifianakis is a comic genius and the Reverend is an evil genius (or is he?).
8. The “Bright Nights” in ESCAPE FROM EDEN came from research I’d done on Jonestown. The Reverend Jim Jones would preach to his congregation all night, creating the term “White Night.”
7. Mia’s name was originally Maia, but my editor had asked me to change it to something more “timeless.” I still call her “Maia” in my head.
6. The character Bridgette was inspired by Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie.
5. The idea for Gabriel’s backstory—the death of his brother—came from an actual event about a couple playing a game with a loaded gun.
4. Doc Gladstone is my favorite character in the book.
3. I typed the first draft of most of the sexy scenes with my eyes closed. I get embarrassed because I’m a complete and total dork (I have no problem reading other writers sexy scenes though! Go figure).
2. Originally, I’d planned a sequel to ESCAPE FROM EDEN. The hospital at the end of book isn’t what it seems. **evil laugh**
1. Gabriel’s tattoo, the one very low on his abdomen, was part of the story in an early draft. The tattoo read “Thank you,” and was inspired by the rumor that Alex Pettyfer had the word inked above his man parts in case he may “forget to say it” after an intimate moment. After my agent Danielle Chiotti read it, she told me to take it out of the story — it made Gabriel seem really douche-y. Gabriel did regret getting the tattoo and I wanted to show how he’d changed since coming to Edenton and meeting Mia, it just didn’t work.
(2) Sets of Moleskine Sketchbook, set of Le Pen colored fine tip pens, a copy of Otherkin and Othermoon by Elisa’s crit partner Nina Berry, and a personalized copy of Escape from Eden