Today's before/after is Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty's "Ashlyn's Radio," a bang-up YA supernatural. Heather and Norah are putting the book out in paperback and took the opportunity to spruce up the blurb.
Here's what Wilson/Doherty and I did.
When her mother is hospitalized after a mental breakdown, Ashlyn is crushed to have to leave Toronto to go live with her grandmother in Prescott Junction, Maine, where nothing happens. Nothing except for the ghost train that rolls through on the rusted lines on dark nights – the one the townsfolk pretend not to hear as it comes to claim troubled, lost souls. Ashlyn scoffs at the idea ... until she witnesses it herself, with its evil, seductive conductor and the wailing of souls trapped on board. The string of unexplained deaths by the tracks throughout the village's history (Ashlyn's father included, before she was even born) lends credence to the tale. As frightened as she is at the conductor’s pull, more terror awaits when the antique radio in her grandmother’s basement comes to life. Ashlyn’s grandmother tells her the radio is a Caverhill curse, and can’t be destroyed or discarded. It keeps coming back, and it keeps broadcasting "reports" of events yet to happen. Her grandmother begs her to stay away from the radio, but Ashlyn cannot help but listen. And to her horror, it tells her she is bound to board the ghost train. Ashlyn will need the help of her newfound friends – the troubled Rachel and the very sexy Caden – if she is going to get through the coming horrors with her sanity intact and her soul unclaimed.
Ashlyn Caverhill has left behind her senior year of high school to live with her grandmother, and she's not happy about it. Small-town Maine has nothing on Toronto. But her mother is ill, and there's nowhere else to go. Even though it contains one Caden Williams--the hottest guy she's ever seen--Ashlyn thinks Prescott Junction is the deadest place ever.
She may be right. A lot of people seem to die mysteriously down by the long-abandoned train tracks. Her own father died there before she was born. The townspeople whisper about a ghost train that comes for the souls of Prescott Junction's most troubled and vulnerable. Ashlyn scoffs until one night she sees the train and its ghoulish conductor, who nearly coaxes her on board.
Ashlyn's fear grows when she finds an old radio that haunts the Caverhill family. They've thrown it out. It comes back. They've buried it. It comes back. They've sunk it in the lake, and still it comes back. Even though it's never plugged in, the radio broadcasts stories of future events that always come to pass. Imagine Ashlyn's horror when the radio's top story is "Ashlyn Caverhill boards the ghost train." Now she must rely on the help of Caden and her new friend Rachel to escape the radio's curse and stop the ghost train before she's forced to ride it forever.
Want me to help with your blurb? I can do that.