Saturday, May 16, 2015

That Old Argument Again - Paper vs Ebook

There lots of ways to spark the ire of readers. A common one of late: physical books vs ebooks. Everyone seems to have a strong preference and a monumental list of arguments to support their case. After this last month, I'm more confused than ever...

We are in the process of downsizing from a large house to a smaller, more manageable size. In order to sell our house, we needed to rent another while it was on the market... three dogs and all that doesn't help a house sell. So I packed up the huge house and the belongings that seemed to multiply to fit the large space.

In our old house, we had an extra room that we used as a library. It had ten bookcases filled with hundreds of books collected lovingly through the years. We made a decision to donate most of the books and bookcases because there wouldn't be room in the rental house for them. Simple. Easy. *snort* Yeah right...

I didn't count the books, but my husband and I have been major readers since we were kids and have amassed quite the collection. So many wonderful reading moments were being packed away in boxes. I got through rather easily by imagining someone else discovering a book I held so dear. Hubby... well not so much. I have no shortage of amazing books available for review at any given moment, so the idea of re-reading a favorite isn't as spellbinding to me as it was to him.

Long story short, the books were boxed and ready to donate-- but it's very hard to let go of 1500 pieces of our lives. So the boxes were all moved to our rental house (much to the chagrin of the poor movers) and put in the garage. I bet they'll be moved to whatever house we end up buying within the next year as well. Letting go of something you love is hard.

My 550 ebooks are on my laptop and my Kindle. They were moved in a computer backpack and can be carried with me anywhere I go. I never have that moment on a vacation or at the doctor's office where I realize that I brought the wrong book-- or God forbid-- forgot books altogether. Any book I want to read is right there at my fingertips anytime I want it. Wonderful. Not to mention, the Kindle Paperwhite has a screen that looks a lot like a real paperback book. It doesn't aggravate my migraines or cause reading headaches any faster than paper. I absolutely adore my Kindle.

That said, I would be devastated to see physical books disappear. There's nothing like walking into a library or bookstore and seeing shelf after shelf filled with potential wonder. And that book smell--what reader isn't a book sniffer. There's little satisfaction in hugging my Kindle to my chest when I finish an awesome book. It's just not the same.

So here I am stuck at the crossroads between print and ebook-- between past and future, wondering if the next generation will even know what a print book looks like-- then wondering if that's really such a bad thing for the environment.

My head belongs to ebooks, but my heart will always long for a paper copy to hold in my hands.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Secret Worlds Anthology

Limited Edition Paranormal Romance Boxed Set

From Twenty-One USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Authors 

Professionally Edited and Formatted for Quality Assurance. Limited Edition. Sale Ends Soon! 

~ BLURB ~  
Secret Worlds, a best-selling boxed set of spicy paranormal reads, is brought to you by twenty-one USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Authors! 

With twenty-one stories and over a million enchanting words of fiction, this paranormal romance boxed set will keep you spellbound. 

Dive through Secret Worlds and into the arms of heroes who will steal your heart and leave you hot. 

Ready to Turn Up the Heat? Whether you love paranormal romance that warms you up or sets you on fire, this boxed set will have something to entice your preternatural sensibilities. 

Supernaturally thrilling and engaging, this boxed set has it all: ghosts, vampires, mind-readers, shapeshifters, demons, faeries, werewolves, and more. 

For a limited time, you can enjoy books from today's USA Today and Amazon Bestselling authors, including titles that are slated for the big screen! 

When purchased separately, these books cost over $50! But they are yours today for less than $1. Every selection in this rare, limited edition paranormal romance boxed set are full-length novels and novellas! 

Save over $50! This set is only available at this price for a limited time, so order your copy before it's gone!


From USA Today Bestselling Authors

Taken by the Beast by Conner Kressley and Rebecca Hamilton
Women are going missing. Women who look a lot like Charisse. And the man this beauty is falling for may be the beast responsible.

The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton
Sophia's ancestor's body went missing during the Salem Witch Trials, and the only one able to help solve the mystery is a shapeshifter Sophia is afraid to trust.

Summoned by Rainy Kaye
Dimitri can't reveal the paranormal bond controlling him, and Syd won't tolerate his secrets.

Purgatory by Susan Stec
A sex-hungry myth with no name, no flesh, and no identity ...unless it wears one of you.

The Pandora Principle by Noree Cosper
As a descendant of Pandora, Cassi must discover if her lover is one of the evil spirits she hunts before all her friends die.

Heart Song by Samantha LaFantasie
When incredibly handsome Marren frees Relena, there's a catch.

From Amazon Bestselling Authors

Changeling by Debbie Herbert
As a changeling and a witch work together to restore order in Fairy, they discover that love, like magic, casts its own spell of enchantment.

Shiftless by Aimee Easterling
After years of suppressing her inner predator, Terra meets a shifter who forces her to reclaim her wilder side.

The Black Parade by Kyoko M.
Poltergeist Michael is the key to saving Jordan's soul from hell, but can she handle the cost of her salvation?

Haunting Echoes by Caethes Faron
Will Amaia's vampire clan kill her ex-fiance before she learns whether he returned from the grave for love or revenge?

Braving Fate by Linsey Hall
Diana and Cadan fight demonic forces and a deadly passion that has lasted centuries.

Trinity Rising by J.E. Taylor
Damian and Naomi are desperate for victory against the devil, but one wrong step couldtrigger Armageddon.

Moonlight by Katie Salidas
Good girls don't wear fur, fight over men, or run around naked, howling at the moon. But Fallon's not a good girl.

Lash by L.G. Castillo
Lash, a fallen angel, must choose where to place his trust--in a home he fought so hard to regain or in a forbidden love he can't bear to lose.

Between by Lisa Swallow
Alek could kill Rose with a kiss. Finn, with a touch. Pulled into an intense affair with Alek, Rose discovers her connection to Finn threatens them all.

The Devil's Fool by Rachel McClellan
When vampire Boaz gives Eve the one thing she never had--love--she falls into a world of greed and seduction.

Spark Rising by Kate Corcino
A runaway Spark and the agent arresting her ignite a revolution to end their people's enslavement while resisting the electricity between them.

Ruby's Fire by Catherine Stine
On the run from a desert cult, Ruby must choose which handsome stranger to trust with her heart and her darkest secret: Armonk or Blane.

Cursed by Lucy Leroux
Governess Isobel Sterling has been hiding an uncanny ability her whole life--until she has to use it to save herself from a madman.

Hunted by A.J. Colby
With Agent Holbrook's help, Riley races time to stay ahead of a crazed werewolf killer.

Vigilant by Angel Lawson
Ari stumbles into a world of crime and vigilantism while discovering the one man that sets her heart on fire.

~ Tour Host ~
HEA Book Tours, PR & More:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

7 Fictional Places We Want to Visit by Isabella Fontaine & Ken Brosky

 I love fairy tale retellings, and I'm so excited to share The Complete Grimm Chronicles release with you. To celebrate the release, authors Isabella Fontaine & Ken Brosky share some fictional places they would like to visit.

7 Fictional Places We Want to Visit

By Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine
#7: Middle Earth. This one seems pretty obvious, but I think it’s an important stop on a fictional setting tour. Now, of course you’d want to choose the right time to visit … ideally a period when Orcs and the such aren’t rampaging around killing everyone who moves … but that’s what travel agents are for.

#6: Dracula’s Castle. One of the first things you notice when you visit Europe (and you really should visit Europe) is that the castles still standing tend to have really, really good reasons for still standing. Namely, they’re located in places that are easy to defend. Dracula’s Castle has always been portrayed as something whose sinister foreboding was ample enough to keep would-be invaders away. A tour through the castle would no doubt deliver on its promise.

#5: The Citadel. This one is from the video game Mass Effect. It’s a giant space station that also functions as a United Nations of sorts for all the various space-faring races. It represents the best of sentient life, the idea that different races of creatures can co-exist in harmony for a greater good. But behind the Citadel is also a mystery: who are the mysterious “keepers” who maintain it, and what was its original purpose? Only time will tell …

#4: The Wall. You can keep King’s Landing and Dorn and all the other cities in George R.R. Martin’s smash-hit series A Song of Ice and Fire. Give me the wall. The TV show does it no justice. I want to see this giant thing in person. I want to climb to the top and peer out and watch the White Walkers approach.

#3: Dreamworld. Neil Gaiman’s imagination may have been inspired by a multitude of people and places, but the creative world that belonged to the Sandman is wholly unique. Tread carefully, and don’t forget to stop off at Dream’s home to see if his siblings are visiting … you never know what they’re scheming next.

#2: Shin-Tethys. This water-world really isn’t for humans. I mean, by the time author Charles Stross has begun telling its story in Neptune’s Brood, the human race has already gone extinct four times. But the descriptions Stross provides of this beautiful world and its underwater infrastructure makes it a must-see destination. Just download your consciousness into a body waiting planetside and enjoy your tour.

#1: The House of Leaves. Imagine a home whose interior is simply too big. No, I’m not talking about an extra bedroom here. I’m talking about something much more sinister. Imagine finding a home with a door that leads to a dark, immeasurably large maze. Imagine lying awake at night and hearing the house groan and whisper. Imagine waking up the next day, opening the mysterious door, and finding the dark world inside has changed. Culled from the mind of Mark Z. Danielewski, this house is the type of place you want to visit, take a picture, and then promptly leave before the house decides it wants to keep you forever!

I'd like to visit Wonderland or maybe the Star Wars universe. *sigh* I think my list would be too long to even consider writing.
How about you? What fictional places would you like to visit? 

The Complete Grimm Chronicles

Isabella Fontaine & Ken Brosky

YA Urban Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Brew City Press
April 28, 2015

This is the COMPLETE collection of the award-winning Young Adult adventure series!

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. With the stroke of a magic pen and a deal with a malevolent force of evil, they forever changed humanity's fate. 

Now the characters of the Grimms' fairy tales walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them. 

This is the story of Alice Goodenough, the last in a long line of heroes who have bravely given their lives to snuff out the evil force that does not belong in this planet. Her story begins during summer vacation, when she happens upon a magic pen and an invisible rabbit named Br'er who is tasked with teaching her the ways of the hero. With the help of the magic pen, Alice must vanquish the terrible creations of the Brothers Grimm, relying on her dreams to guide her to her next target. Cinderella. Fundevogel. A fisherman. An evil wizard. A trio of dwarves hellbent on controlling the world. But to become a great hero, Alice must give up her old life so that she may protect those she loves most. Otherwise, evil will find her.

And evil will kill her.

This book contains all 12 episodes of the series, as well as the bonus "Lost diaries" of previous heroes and all of the collected Grimm's Fairy Tales ... over 2,000 pages collected in one edition! 

Book 1: Prince Charming Must Die! 
Book 2: Happily Never After 
Book 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats 
Book 4: The Orphanage of Doom 
Book 5: Blood and Thunder 
Book 6: The Order of the Golden Dragon 
Book 7: The Giant Slayer 
Book 8: Darkness Rising 
Book 9: Malevolence 
Book 10: The Black Towers 
Book 11: A Dance With Death, Part One 
Book 12: A Dance With Death, Part Two 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Interview with Elle Christensen, Author of Protecting Shaylee + Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Elle Christensen, author of Protecting Shaylee to the blog today to answer some questions about her new novel. Protecting Shaylee is an urban fantasy romance and book one in The Fae Guard series.

Describe Protecting Shaylee in a few sentences. 
The first book in an urban fantasy romance about my version of the Fae. Shaylee was in love with Aden but it isn’t the right time, so he took off without a word. Now, she is being hunted by dark Fae, The Fallen, and Aden is back to teach her how to protect herself and convince her to give him another chance.

Tell us about the main characters in Protecting Shaylee. Who are Shaylee and Aden? 
Shaylee is half Fae. She’s smart, strong, and pretty sassy. She doesn’t put up with Aden’s bullshit and is very independent. However, she is also logical enough to know when she needs help and not one of those girls who go running headlong into the danger because she wants to prove she can do it alone.

According to the cover, Protecting Shaylee is part of The Fae Guard Series. How many books do you have planned? When can we expect the next installment? 
As of now, there will four books and a novella that wraps up the series. The next book Loving Ean is scheduled to be released the first week of July.

What inspired the series? Did you do any special research? 
I’ve always loved the idea of the Fae, but I was struggling with how to make it unique. I didn’t want it to cast into the “just another book about the Fae” pile. Haha. So, one day I sat down and spent all day researching faery folklore. I took the ones that stood out to me and twisted them to give them an explanation that was as realistic as possible. I wanted people to read the book and think, “Wow. I could almost believe this is real.”

What is your favorite fairy tale? 
Tough question. Narrowing down my list is always a struggle. J Most of the time I like original stories rather than the Disney versions. I love Beauty and the Beast because Belle isn’t a wimp. Lol. She saves the prince, not the other way around.
If you want to know my favorite adaptations though, The Crimson Knight and Saphyre Snow by Marcia Lynn McClure are amazing. I’ve read them both of them five or six times.

If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would you entertain? What would you serve? 
Wow, what a fun question! Well, my favorite book of all time is The Scarlet Pimpernel. I think it would be amazing to spend time with Percy and Marguerite. Marguerite was a professional singer (so was I for most of my life), so we would have a lot to talk about on that front. But, with both of them being spies, who wouldn’t want to listen to their adventures??? As for what I’d serve, I don’t have decent culinary skills, so I’d probably bring in a French chef. Lol.

When did you begin writing? 
I started my first novel when I was twelve. It was historical fiction, because I’m history nut, but that was biting off a lot more than I could chew. It involves a TON of research and I’m pretty anal about details. I wanted everything to be completely correct. Also, I’d always written above my age level, but just the same, whenever I’d come back to it over the years, I had to rewrite it. After about a decade, I decided I needed to just let it go and move on to new stories. I dabbled around but never took the leap to finishing a project and getting it published.
Last November, an author friend and I were discussing how books are co-written. She had read some of my WIP and she suggested that we give it a shot. We wrote Erased in 10 days and the next thing I knew, I was a published author. It was the first book I ever completed and it gave me the confidence to write one on my own.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you or your novel? 
First of all, I should probably warn you that this is an ADULT romance. I started reading romance at 11, so I don’t care how old my readers are. I just want them to be aware before they start it.
As I said before, I wanted to take another road with fantasy and give it as realistic a spin as possible, so even if you aren’t a fan of fantasy or paranormal, you might want to give it a try. A few of my beta readers were hesitant to read it because it isn’t a genre they enjoyed. However, they ended up loving it. So, just be open minded to something outside your box and give it a shot. ;)

Where can readers find you online?

You can always get the scoop on my projects by joining my reader group, Elle’s Cupcakes (the name makes sense if you’ve read Erased).

These are all of my links, <3

Protecting Shaylee
The Fae Guard #1

Elle Christensen

Urban Fantasy Romance
April 24, 2015

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

As a child, I believed in the fairytales my father told me.
Until he was gone and with him, that belief.
As a girl, I believed in the friendship and protection of Aden.
He made me begin to believe again.
As a woman, I believed in the possibility of love and passion between myself and Aden.
Until he was gone and with him, my belief in magic and happy endings. 

When she was a child, I was tasked with her protection.
As a girl, I became her friend.
As a woman, I could no longer see the child I knew and was forced to fight a growing attraction.
Unable to lie and unable to tell the truth, I left.
Now I’ve returned to give the knowledge I couldn’t before, that she is half Fae.
The darkness is stalking her and I am desperate to teach her what she needs to know to protect herself.
And determined to make her mine.

About the Author

I'm a lover of all things books, I've been an obsessive reader since I learned how to spell! I've been writing novels and short stories since I was twelve, but they say to write the genre you love the most, so as an adult, I fell easily into writing romance. My husband is my biggest supporter and he's a great sport when it comes to fighting the people in my imagination for my attention. I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them! 
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dreamscape: Saving Alex by Kirstin Pulioff

Saving Alex

Kirstin Pulioff

YA Fantasy
April 12, 2015

Amazon | Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Alexis Stone is used to getting away from life’s frustration with Dreamscape, a video game she's loved since childhood. As her family prepares to move, a sleepy night of gaming pulls her into the world like never before. Trapped in Dreamscape’s realm, Alex is about to learn that being a hero has consequences… and this time, the stakes are deadly. Will helping the rebellion cost her everything she knows and loves? Or will she betray them to save her own life?

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

When I read the blurb for Dreamscape, I knew I had to read it. I'm a video game addict, have been for years, and as a kid I dreamed of being sucked into my favorite game. This is one of the fastest paced novels I've read in a long time, which is great for those with shorter attention spans. I always appreciate a fast pace, but sometimes I felt like I jumped on a rollercoaster and didn't have time to fasten my seatbelt before it took off.

Alex started off as an angry, petulant teenager. Really who could blame her. Her parents moved up the date of their move by several months, making Alex miss Homecoming with her dream guy. Of course, he sounded like a real loser, so no loss there. One of the things I enjoyed most about the novel was Alex's growth through the course of the story. I'm on the fence about the romance between Alex and Arrow. You'll have to read it for yourself and form your own opinion.

I think Ms. Pulioff did a wonderful job with the imagery in her fantasy world. Though I was a bit confused when Alex landed in her favorite game and was completely lost. She and her friend comment about how they know the game by heart, but Alex is so lost. I can only assume that the game world she landed in was more complex than the actual game. Perhaps the author was thinking old school games, back when there wasn't as much backstory and character development. It just struck me as odd.

If you enjoy a fast-paced YA fantasy with lots of action-- especially if you're a gamer-- I think you'll enjoy Dreamscape.

About the Author

Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in the foothills of Colorado, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing an adventure, she’s busy living one.
She loves to hear from readers and fans. Please connect with her on any of her sites:
Webpage | Facebook | Twitter @KirstinPulioff | Goodreads

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New Release Alert: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I wanted to share this new release, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. This looks like it will be a fascinating story, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copies of the book and some beautiful book inspired scarves, courtesy of Renée, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

A letter from Renée Ahdieh.

There are not enough words to express how thrilled I am to share THE WRATH AND THE DAWN with you! From the moment I typed the first word, I felt connected to Shahrzad and her world in a way that carried me through the long process of publication to where we are today. 

Everything about this process has been a dream come true, and hope you love my book half as much as I enjoyed writing it. In celebration of release day, I'll be giving away a signed, first edition hardcover of the book, as well as a gorgeous scarf . . . or two!

Always remember to make it a story worthy of you!



Renée Ahdieh

Pub. Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 388

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all. 

About Renée:

Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.

She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of theScience Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a hardcover of THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and a beautiful book inspired scarf (IMAGES BELOW)! US Only.

Ends on May 22nd at Midnight EST!

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Guest Post by Sarah Brownlee, Author of How the Wolf Lost Her Heart

I'm quite excited to welcome Sarah Brownlee to the blog today. She is the author of How the Wolf Lost Her Heart, a YA paranormal romance set in dystopian London.
Take it away, Sarah.

Sarah Brownlee is the author of YA Paranormal Romance ‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’. She wrote this story after time-warping herself into the future and witnessing the extraordinary events in London, England, that unfolded two centuries from now. Here, she explains the near-demise of a once highly-populated, flourishing city and interviews a young man she met by chance three days after her arrival.

It is the year 2217. London has crumbled. What was once a thriving metropolis for tourists, business and leisure has become a playground for thugs and criminals. Law and order slowly disintegrated over the course of two centuries; there were reasons for this. The widespread epidemic that hit in 2101, the decline in social stability, the dreadful mess that politicians of the 21st century left us in … each one of these factors contributed to the city’s demise. But no one would have ever guessed it got as bad as it is now.

We still function, of course. There are jobs. Education. Bars. The kids learn about what happened in school; they are supposed to learn from past mistakes, but it’s a bit strange learning about it when it doesn’t seem like there’s any solution to get out of it. There is still a government, but they have no real power. Instead, two families from either side of London pretty much rule the roost.

In West London, there’s Lord Renzo and his family. I like this guy. He’s pretty much seen by the rest of us as a protector against the thugs. Notting Hill Meadows (once known as the famed Notting Hill; I used to go to the annual carnival there, but it’s abolished now) is his stronghold and in this area it’s relatively safe to walk around at night. He’s also got some very handsome sons!

In East London resides Lord Pearson and his clan. I wouldn’t step foot here even if I was being chased by a hoard of rabid aliens. The Pearsons are the rulers of most thugs and criminals inside the city; their sole aim is to terrorize others. The Renzos and the Pearsons have been at loggerheads for as long as anyone can remember. Apparently, twelve years ago there were these devastating riots – the thugs rampaged throughout the city, killing thousands. It didn’t escalate into all-out war; but I heard that, ever since that day, there’s been a very shaky truce between the two families. I get the impression that a lot of people feel there’s a risk of civil war, but they are very evasive when it comes to talking about it. Not exactly the type of thing they like to discuss. Oh, I almost forgot to add – the media has been abolished! Now that was a shocking discovery. I’m still not entirely sure why this was; the reasons they gave for it don’t seem to add up, but, to be honest, it’s hard to extract this type of information from people.

Aside from the appalling state of the city, the feuding families and the media termination, there’s one other significant difference – one that I found the most fascinating. There are Morphers.

Now this is something I never would have imagined in a million years. Apparently, in 2012 (I was 25 at the time) a man called Professor Philopias Polgas conducted an experiment that 42 people took part in. I’d never heard of him myself – but I do remember hearing about an explosion in Covent Garden, and S.U.P (Studies for Unparalleled Phenomena) being mentioned, which is the company that Professor Polgas worked for. It was on BBC News. Nasty business. Anyway, this professor gave these people some kind of liquid, which gave them an incredible ability: the ability to transform into their spirit animal at will! Suddenly, there were ‘Morphers’ (as they became known later on) existing on Earth, people who could shape-shift from human to animal upon command. It was kept secret by the government at the time, but, as the years passed, these Morphers who had children then passed the “Morphing Gene” onto their own children – and their children’s children after that, though I hear it sometimes skips a few generations. So, to this day, there are still people who can turn into their spirit animals, scattered all over the world. An extraordinary evolution, if you ask me!

And now, I’m very excited to introduce you to a Morpher that I met a few days ago. I met him while I was taking a stroll around the city (well, not so much a stroll. It’s always important to watch your back to make sure you don’t get attacked). I came to a sudden halt because on the other side of the street a girl was being harassed by a gang of thugs. Seconds later, this man with jet-black hair and almond green eyes came flying out of nowhere and rescued the girl. Heated words were said between the thugs and the man; I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but the thugs backed off. It was pretty impressive how this one guy managed to fend off an entire gang without lifting a finger. After the gang left, the guy and girl exchanged a few words before separating. Being nosy as I am, I was intrigued to find out what exactly he had said to get rid of them and, as the girl was walking in my direction, I excitedly approached her and asked if I could chat to her about what happened. But she just glared at me, before storming off. Not the most friendly person clearly – or maybe she was just shaken because she’d almost been attacked by thugs. That’s when I ran forwards to catch up with the man with jet-black hair and green eyes. He was much friendlier and said he would be happy to talk to me. He told me his name was Raphael Renzo. From what I had already heard from the Londoners, this was no doubt one of the famous Lord Renzo’s sons; I felt it would be fascinating to interview him. Raphael was very kind and gracious, happy to answer all my questions.

So here it is – An Interview with Raphael Renzo!

Me: Hi Raphael, thanks for agreeing to speak to me! So, I’m really curious to know, what happened back there? You and those thugs looked like you were about to kill each other. Then they backed off after you had a word with them – from what I hear, the thugs aren’t the type to surrender easily! How did that happen?

Raphael: Hi Sarah, it’s my pleasure. Right, well, first of all, the leader of that gang is Finn Pearson – not sure if you’ve heard of him, but he’s the son of Lord Pearson who runs the majority of East London. Our families hate each other – Finn especially hates me. But there’s a pact between our families and we’re meant to stay out of each other’s way. That’s why it was easier than it should have been to get him to back off.

Me: Ah, I see! So Finn’s not allowed to attack you, then?

Raphael: Something like that. But I don’t think he would attempt it, anyway, not out in the open. All the thugs have an automatic respect for Morphers; they tend to admire them. Not that it’s something to be proud of, having thugs admire you. But it does keep them at bay.

Me: Wait – so you’re a Morpher?!

Raphael: That’s right.

Me: Wow! What’s your spirit animal?

Raphael: A tiger.

Me: That’s so cool! Are the rest of your family Morphers too?

Raphael: My father is. His spirit animal is a tiger aswell. But my brothers are normal – it’s kind of a good thing. Two of my brothers would cause total chaos if they had this ability!

Me: Wow, so you and your dad can both transform into tigers! Are there any other Morphers in London?

Raphael: As a matter of fact, I just met one. That girl who was being harassed … I couldn’t believe it when she told me … I’ve never met another Morpher in this city before.

Me: What a coincidence! What’s her spirit animal?

Raphael: I’m not sure, forgot to ask. *Looks uncomfortable*. Actually, it’s probably best to keep that information to yourself. She seemed very guarded about her ability and probably doesn’t want anyone to know. No idea why any Morpher would want to hide their gift, but maybe that’s just me …

Me: Cool. Do you think you’ll see her again?

Raphael: *smiles* I’d like to. She doesn’t seem to feel the same way though; couldn’t wait to get rid of me. Still, I’m going to enjoy trying to convince her otherwise – we tigers love the thrill of the chase, you know!

Me: Hehehe! So, if I may ask, what do you do with yourself when you’re not fighting the bad guys?

Raphael: I work in an art shop. Painting’s a hobby of mine. I also volunteer at a dog’s home in South London – I love animals so it helps keep me sane in this crazy city!

Me: Art and animals – sounds great! How do you think the city can improve, Raphael? Things seem really bad … I’m amazed at the levels of crime …

Raphael: In my personal opinion, we need to destroy each and every scumbag thug out there. That’s the only way to improve things. Whether this results in all-out war, I don’t know. We just have to wait and see.

Me: I see. OK, Raphael, one last thing. Do you have a girlfriend?

Raphael: *laughs* Nope.

Me: I’m shocked to hear that!

Raphael: Haha, thanks for the compliment! But yeah … I guess I just haven’t found the right girl for me yet.

Me: I’m sure she’ll come along when you least suspect!

Raphael: Hehe, maybe. Given my track record with unpredictability, she’s probably lurking right round the corner.

Me: Yep, maybe! Alright, Raphael, thanks so much for speaking with me. It was a real honour!

Raphael: You’re welcome. It was a pleasure to speak to you.

Me: Thank you – and best of luck with everything!

Raphael: You too, Sarah. Take care.

So that was Raphael Renzo. He seems like a genuinely decent guy and it looks like he’s really passionate about bringing down the tyrannical Pearson regime. I wonder if he did see that girl again, the other Morpher. Still, maybe I’ll bump into him again. I’m going to be in this city quite a while. It really is a fascinating place now. Fascinating – but dangerous. I have a feeling things are going to kick off some time soon … Who knows, I might even write a book about it when I get back!

How the Wolf Lost Her Heart

Sarah Brownlee

YA Paranormal Romance
September 17, 2014

Amazon | Amazon UK

Set against the backdrop of a dystopian London where thugs and criminals run rife, Skye Archer possesses a rare gift, the ability to transform into her spirit animal at will. Widely regarding her morphing ability as a curse, Skye's aim is to keep it a secret at all costs. But one day she meets the intriguing and affluent, Raphael Renzo, who soon proves to have a secret of his own, one that could heal the downtrodden city and affect Skye in ways she never thought possible . . . 

This debut novel from Sarah Brownlee is a compelling and gripping read, taking the reader into a world where both the heart of a city and the heart of a girl are simultaneously pierced by one man.