13 million hits for “Dark Hope.” I told you about Dunwoody’s Monica McGurk’s quest to become a published author early in the process of her young adult series novels about fallen angels, but there have been great strides since my first report.

Originally titled, “Locked,” the story is that of a young girl, Hope Carmichael, who was kidnapped as a child and branded with an ominous mark on her neck. The story opens in her home town of Dunwoody, Ga.

And originally planned as a trilogy, the first two books have since been combined and published with Greenleaf Book Group as “Dark Hope,” the debut story of “The Archangel Prophecies.”

The book hit the streets in June and quickly gained ground for its intense pace and unique urban/paranormal genre as well as its background theme related to the barbarity of human trafficking.

As a means of marketing, the publisher collaborated with a network of selected female bloggers called Clever Girls Collective. Each blogger was given a copy of the book in exchange for their agreement to read it, rate it and blog about her opinions.

Not only were the reviews largely wonderful, but the idea estimated to reach 1.2 million people has thus far garnered audience impressions of 13.4 million. Seventy-five blog posts yielded more than 95,300 blog impressions, 12 million Twitter mentions and 435,000 Facebook impressions, plus website and Pinterest.

And this is where we come in: These kinds of numbers are grand enough to soon spark the interests of Amazon and Good Reads, who can push “Dark Hope” into the stratosphere by recommending it to their Young Adult readers.

I’m positive it will be the Dunwoody community that will get behind our newest local author and push her project to the next level. You can help in any of many ways: 1. Visit her website — monicamcgurk.com — where you can read about her book and mission, subscribe for a “behind the scenes” newsletter; 2. Click on the Amazon site to purchase and rate and review the book; and 3. Follow Monica via any of her social media platforms to help boost her numbers and share with your friends. Search for Monica McGurk/Dark Hope on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

And when you find her on each platform, message her that you saw the story in the Dunwody Crier. For each new platfom follower, she will enter your name into a drawing for a free copy of “Dark Hope” through Oct. 22.

A Dunwoody mother of three and the VP of Strategy and eCommerce for the Coca-Cola Company, Monica is also the current co-president of the Dunwoody Preservation Trust. A portion of each book’s sales benefits Street Grace and ECPAT USA, two organizations fighting human trafficking.

Let’s show Amazon and others what one community can do to support its own!

Two-day Festival this weekend. Plan to be a part of the fun this Friday and Saturday for the Fall Festival at All Saints Catholic Church.

Open to the community, the festival will feature food trucks, live music, a kid’s fun run, arts and crafts vendors, inflatables, face painting, games, a cakewalk, fencing demonstrations and college football game watching.

Friday hours are 5-8 p.m. Registration for the fun run opens at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday and activities are planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Live music will continue Saturday night from 6:30 - 9 p.m. with a Chastain-style free concert where you are invited to bring your own picnic.

For more information, email marytrantow@gmail.com.

SMES students following the winged migration. Early childhood students at St. Martin’s Episcopal School are joining 60,000 other students in North America in the 19th annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration project.

The students created butterflies and wrote letters that have been sent to children in Mexico as a symbol of migration as they track monarch butterflies’ actual migration via a website dedicated to the annual occurance.

In the spring, as the butterflies return to the United States and Canada, the children will receive handcrafted butterflies created by children in Mexico.

A romp through the ‘50s and ‘60s. Fans of music, television and movies during these decades will love “Tan Shoes & Pink Shoelaces,” a musical and theatrical experience scheduled at Kingwood United Methodist Church stage next weekend.

Written by Atlantan Tom Edwards and produced by Fishworks, Inc., a local theater troupe, the show explores how the culture of the day influenced the teens of the day.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call Kingswood United Methodist Church at 770-457-1317 or contact Chick Durrett-Smith at chickdurrettsmith@gmail.com.

HIES students and faculty lend a hand throughout city. The upper school at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School took the day off from school Oct. 2 and fanned out across metro Atlanta to do service.

During the annual “Great Day of Service.” students and faculty members volunteered at 15 non-profit locations including Foster Care Support, Furkids, the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Covenant House, Books for Africa, the South View Cemetery, Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army.

“They were really good workers, had a positive attitude, and were willing to help with anything,” said Kristie Wood of the Salvation Army who asked the HIES group to work in the kitchen and do some maintenance. “We really appreciated the students coming out, and they can come back anytime.”

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