Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey
Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.
After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.
To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.
Today, Trey Lansing is stopping by to give us a peek at his college application essay -- and to tell us a little bit about himself and the Lansing family, one of the players in an age-old blood feud.
"Tell us about where you grew up, and how it helped shape you into the kind of person you are today."
-Washington State University essay prompt
My name is Trey Lansing, and I was born and raised in a town called Belle Dam in Washington state. Don't be surprised if you haven't heard of it, we're a quiet city on the Sound and we keep to ourselves. Belle Dam is the kind of place you go when you need a fresh start: a community that welcomes you whether you sit on the right or the left; where secrets stay buried like they belong.
My family has always been a part of Belle Dam. We were some of the first founders when the city was nothing more than a fishing outpost on the Sound. There has always been a Lansing to help shape the city, like a captain at the helm of a ship. My grandfather, and his father before him, was the mayor for nearly twenty years. Family's always been important to the Lansings - though we've gone through generations of adversity, we always persevere.
Most of what I know about my community, I learned from my mother. A lifetime advocate of education, she sits on the school board, while also running her own restaurant in town. In her spare time, she volunteers and organizes charity events, and yet still somehow managed to make every swim meet or tennis match I had growing up. My mother's dedication to her family, and to preserving our legacy, is one of the core tenets she taught me, growing up.
In a small town like ours, there's always something that needs to be done. There are always people to talk to, issues that need to be put to rest, problems that need to be removed. The thing is, people don't always ask when they need help, and sometimes, you have to provide it for them anyway. You have to go beyond what people tell you what they want, and give them what they need instead.
But it's not all positive.
Most people who aren't from a small town think it's cute, or quaint, the way everyone seems to know your name, and the way that idle gossip travels faster than sound. In some ways it's nice - I still do volunteer work through one of the organizations my grandfather helped to create as Mayor. But there's also a flip side.
People assume that I share all of my mother's opinions and beliefs. Now, I was raised to support my family no matter what, but it's hard to stretch out on your own when everyone looks at you as your mother's shadow. And to be something different, something that fits outside the mold of what people expect you to be, isn't easy. When I came out as gay, my mother was cautious, but accepting. But not everyone in a small town is so open-minded.
It's hard, living in a place where people gossip as second-nature. It teaches you to keep things close to the vest, to develop defenses so that their words pass over you. A small town is like an elephant. Any excuse, any weakness, and they will never forget.
Finally, when my sister was attacked last year, I could have lost sight of the issues. I could have forgotten my commitment to my family and what's important in life. Bad things happen, even in small towns. But living here has also taught me to keep my focus, to know who my friends are, and the best way to eliminate bad situations from my life, and the life of those closest to me.
Thanks Trey for giving us a look at life in Belle Dam!
Part of Teen Book Scene tours.
Scott Tracey lived on a Greyhound for a month, wrote his illustrated autobiography at the age of six, and barely survived Catholic school (and definitely not for the reasons you might think).
His career highlights include: accidentally tripping a panic alarm and nearly being shot by the police, being attacked in a drive-thru window by a woman wielding a baked potato, and sending the health department after his (very brief) place of employment.
His gifts can be used for good or evil, but rather than picking a side, he strives for BOTH (in alternating capacity) for his own amusement.
Thanks to Flux, one lucky reader will win a copy of Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey!
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