Keepers of Life, #1
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he's never met, he had no idea what.
When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents' farm, he knows he's seen her before in his dreams. He's felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.
Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he's completely insane or he's about to have the adventure of his life, because where they're going is full of creatures he's only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death.
~ ~ ~
Nothing feels better than touching Kera. I hold her close, feeling her heart beat behind her ribs. The heat of her hands on my chest is impossible to ignore as I kiss her, teasing her lips, and ultimately torturing myself until my control is almost gone. I pull away, putting my forehead to hers, and silently count to ten. Counting to a hundred wouldn’t help. Holding her intensifies my feelings of recklessness.
I can’t let go.
I pick her up. You’d think her dress, with its yards of material would be a problem, but it isn’t. Not for her. She wraps her legs around my waist and rakes her hands through my hair. I place my head on her chest and close my eyes. The rapid beat of her heart matches my own. The scent that engulfs her is as heady as the feel of her in my arms.
“You smell like summer and—” I search for the word that describes the scent pulsing under her skin. It teases me with every breath and touch. Naming it is driving me insane. It’s one I haven’t smelled on her before, yet it’s a scent that’s all too familiar to me, like summer and… “—sadness.”
She captures my lips with hers and slowly slides down my body until her feet touch the floor. Our kiss deepens, her embrace turns desperate. Her kiss fills with misery. The room turns hot, too claustrophobic. I can’t think. I try pushing her away, but she clings to me. Her breathing quickens, and she shivers within my arms. I sense real fear in her. Though she protests, I finally manage to step free. One, two, three steps back, separate but still connected. I can’t stop staring at her, wanting her. She’s like…
~ ~ ~
Shea Berkley started out writing nonfiction (not so fun!) and quickly moved into fiction (totally fun!), and knew she’d found her calling. (Her family were thrilled she’d found friends to play with, even if they weren’t technically “real”). She’s still pleasantly surprised that people are willing to pay to read her stories.
Besides writing, her many diversions include kickboxing, reading awesome books, and hanging out with her loud and rambunctious family. With five kids (all girls), her biggest job is making sure that the little darlings don’t harass the neighbors, and playing dumb when the cops come knocking on her door.
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
SHEA: Every time I pick up a new book, I’m excited and want to get lost in the story. Sadly, it doesn’t happen every time, but more times than not it does. I’d say at least 60% of the time I hit gold. I fairly fickle and I usually love the book I’m reading.
ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
SHEA: Umm, dyslexic, here. I fought reading for a long, long time. The first book I wanted to read was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. My mom threw it at me as a disciplinary measure (it’s a thick ole book) but I dodged it and then showed her. I read it.
ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
SHEA: What is this love of which you speak? My husband is not romantic. Wait, vacuum. My husband got me a vacuum for my birthday once. I’m pretty sure vacuum = love in his language.
ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
SHEA: I met Spider man outside his roller coaster in Orlando Florida. He’s real. I saw him. I kid you not.
ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
SHEA: Sleeping Beauty. Phillip is awesome, and Maleficent is just plain evil and so unapologetic about it. Who wouldn’t want to sing like Aurora and have wild creatures dance with you? Phillip fights a dragon—serious man stuff going on there, and Aurora who’s been raised without shoes finds herself a princess and dances with the man she loves in a dress that can’t decide whether it’s blue or pink. It’s awesome times a million!!
ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
SHEA: Pinky and the Brain. I know it’s two characters, but they work as a team. If you make me chose just one, then it’s Freakazoid. Yep, he’s cooler than cool. You gotta love a superhero who claims an aversion to “poo gas”. I’m not fond of poo gas either, so I’m thinking I might be a superhero. I could be. Really.
ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
SHEA: Liars and manipulators. Grrr. They make me sooo mad I want to kick them and push them into a big dirty mud puddle. Not very Christian of me, but there it is.
ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
SHEA: I know some people create playlists as they write, but honestly, that sounds like a lot of work, and seeing as how I’m lazy, that doesn’t really fit in with the slacker image I’m going for, so nope. Got nothing for ya.
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
SHEA: I read in bed. On the toilet. In my kitchen. In the car on long trips. Outside on the hammock. I’m an equal opportunity reader. If I’ve got a place to sit for more than two minutes, I’ll read… or play Angry Birds.
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
SHEA: Laughter. Who doesn’t?
ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
SHEA: Seriously? You’re gonna make me choose? That is cruel! Actually, there is such a thing as Fairy Tale Action Adventures. Tangled. Sleeping Beauty. Aladdin. Yep. It’s been done, and they all rock.
ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
SHEA: Something about a frog (I liked frogs when I was younger). The story’s a little sketchy and not worth repeating, but I thought it was pure literary gold.
ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
SHEA: Is this torture Shea day? Why are you making me chose? I need my blankie! (rub cheek with blankie…sigh)
Okay, I have a lot of favorite movies, and each are for a different reason. My favorite war movie is TEARS OF THE SUN. My favorite historical movie is THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. My favorite Sci-fi is STAR TREK (Chris Pine version). My favorite remix movie is SHERLOCK HOLMS (love Robert Downey Jr.). My favorite oh-my-gosh-this-is-an-awesome movie is GLADIATOR. My favorite Dragon movie is REIGN OF FIRE. My favorite comedy is BEST FRIENDS. My favorite odd movie is A KNIGHT’S TALE. My favorite musical is SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS. My favorite musical that is just plain weird but I love it is MOULIN ROUGE. See? I’m not even halfway through my list yet and it’s already ten movies deep… and I haven’t even hit on the animated movies that I love.
ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
SHEA: Fanny Dashwood, the sister-in-law to Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. The subtlety of her villainy is impressive. “People always live forever when there is an annuity to be paid them.” (giggle, snort) I absolutely love it.
ANGI: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
SHEA: No, sorry. I would typically make different decisions than most heroines, but I still love to read about how they get themselves into and out of trouble.
ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
SHEA: Storytelling. Being dyslexic, writing has always been a struggle, but I still enjoy it. I’m just not very fast at it. (wipe away a tear)
ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
SHEA: Being a new author, it’s difficult to get my books in the bookstores, so word of mouth is going to be the main way people know that THE MARKED SON is available. If you like the book, tell people. Go to your local bookstore and tell them about the book and ask them to carry it. I appreciate any help you all are willing to do.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: What is your favorite scene in THE MARKED SON, and can you give us some hints about the next two books in the series?
SHEA’S GOTTA ANSWER: Seriously, you all have issues! I’m curled into a fetal position now. I want my mommy. (rock back and forth, back and forth) I love all my scenes. Really.
The one that made me laugh the most when I wrote it was the scene where Grandma and Grandpa are trying to guess who Dylan’s dad is. That I find that scene funny is kinda sick, huh? They’re not trying to be cruel, they’re just being human, and getting caught red-handed playing the guessing game. It’s something I would do, and that Dylan takes it in stride makes me like him even more. He knows he’s got a sucky life, and he’s dealing the best that he can and trying his best to rise above the situation.
I don’t like talking about the books I’m writing, but I can say this, The Lost Prince is about Dylan and his fight to free Teag from those who are trying to take control after Navar’s death. The Bastard King is about Dylan trying to save those who he least cares about, and fighting against those he thought he could trust.
TODAY’S QUESTION: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LOVE WORD?
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USA Today Bestseller Angi Morgan is an 11th generation Texan who plots ways to engage her readers with complex story lines, in actual Texas locations. She shares her research and photos on her daily blog: A Picture A Day.
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