Corona, CA: Author weaves hometown 'magic' into novels

Within the first few pages, Lani Woodland, 35, mentions the setting of her teen fiction books -- Corona, her very familiar hometown.

Its citrus origins, avocado groves and shopping centers are just the background scenery in Woodland's first book, "Intrinsical," which was published last year.

In the sequel, "Indelible," which is set to release Sept. 27, Woodland makes Corona more prominent by weaving stories of the city's past into her teen ghost story.

The facts are intertwined, though, with fictionalized aspects.

Woodland differentiates them in her author's note.

Corona's Grand Boulevard used to be the site of a three-mile race track. Bob Burman, the man who died during one of the international races on Grand Boulevard in 1916, resurfaces in "Indelible."

He is tied to a mystery concerning one of the ghosts haunting 17-year-old Yara Silva, who is one of the few people in Woodland's book to see ghosts.

The book's plot centers on Silva as she attempts to live a normal life while trying to follow her calling to help the supernatural.

More modern features of Corona appear in the book. There are backdrops of Miguel's Jr, the fast-food restaurant that started in Corona in the 1970s, and the Dos Lagos shopping center. Even the cover girl on both books, Stephanie Boyes, 19, is a Corona native.

"I didn't overload it so it's not an ode to Corona," Woodland said. "There's just enough in there to make it real and give it substance."

Woodland's childhood friend Melonie Piper, 33, helped with the brainstorming of "Indelible." Piper loved the concept of including her hometown in the novel.

"The reason history becomes important is because someone says that it is ... Why not do that here?" Piper asked. "We're taking this place and saying (it) has just as much of stories. Let us introduce you to them."

Since Woodland's first book came out, a few Corona residents have shared with Woodland the ghost stories they have encountered in the city.

Piper said people are also suggesting other local spots for Woodland to feature in her next book, the last of the Yara Silva trilogy.

"The whole paranormal market right now is really large," Woodland said. "I'm really excited to have been a part of it."

Woodland's first book can be checked out at El Cerrito Library in Corona and both books can be purchased on

There will be a launch party for "Indelible" on Sept. 28 at El Cerrito Library at 5 p.m.

Even though Woodland and Piper say they have always been Corona girls, they never knew much about their city's history.

After a great deal of researching and editing, Woodland says she is especially excited to share her newest book with Corona residents.

"It's just fun to have your place be a part of a story," Piper said. "It puts a little bit of magic in the area."

Launch Party

What: Celebrating the release of Lani Woodland's book

Where: El Cerrito Library, 7581 Rudell Road, Corona

When: Sept. 28, 5-6:30 p.m.

Information: 951-270-5012

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