Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shea Berkley

Keepers of Life, #1
Entangled Publishing, LLC
ISBN: 1937044017

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…

A drug.
~ ~ ~
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.

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 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.

LEAVE A COMMENT for a chance to win an electronic copy of Shea’s MARKED SON. (remember to keep your answers PG13 please)

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

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  1. GOOD MORNING SHEA and welcome to GLIAS. We're so glad to have a fellow Unsinkable sister here with us today.

    My favorite LOVE word... hmmm... I don't think for me LOVE = a word either. It's more of a 'show me' thing. Follow through, respect, learn and morph habits.

    But if I have to choose words it would be an entire sentence from my hubby: "Kissing you,!"


  2. I don't think I have a favorite love word, because to me, love is a feeling. It's that hush when I'm sitting next to my husband watching TV at the end of the day and he's stroking my hair and neither of us has to say a word, we just both know we don't want to be anywhere else but right beside each other. Wow, that's a run on sentence. But it's kind of a run on feeling.

    So...hmm...maybe my love word is 'hush'. It encompasses all those quiet, tender feelings that speak of love.

  3. This whole "favorite Love word" is totally stumping me. Does that mean, like, a synonym for love? or does that mean the way fresh flowers have come to mean love to me? Then again, given the way things are going, I'm totally with the love=vacuum thing. If you vacuum for me, that's true love. which also might mean cook=love. and laundry=love. So I think this all boils down to caring=love. Wow! I have an answer. cool

    Great interview, Angi and Shea!! Best of luck on THE MARKED SON!!

  4. Oh, Shea! Thanks for letting us torture you today, and please, please come out of your fetal position. Bad, Angi, Bad asking all those questions that made Shea reach for her blankie! BTW, I think your husband and my husband might have been separated at birth, either that or your vacuum cleaner is related to my crock pot!

    Your excerpt and your blurb are fabulous. I'm so happy and proud of your success.

    Favorite love word. "Music." Taken from an old Mac Davis song... Music is the universal language and love is the key. People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen...

    Best wishes on The Marked Son!!!

  5. Loved the blurb Shea! :)

    And my love word would probably be music too... "If music be the food of love, play on!" <--- that's a line form an art song I had to sing in college, but food = love to my hubby and music = love to me so we all win! LOL

    Great blog!

    Lisa :)

  6. Great Interview Shea! I need to read this Grandma/Grandpa scene, I think I would be a laughing too!
    I am like the others, the love word is hard for me. I love when we have nothing to do but we find time to sit together and laugh. Those are the best!

  7. Hello Shea!

    Nice to see you here on GLIAS. My that scene between Dylan and Kera (did I get that right?) sizzles! Apparently, I don't read enough YA. Lol!

    Is THE MARKED SON a prequel to your other FANTASY books, or the first of its own series?

    Good news, I think: I am told that small indie bookstores are making a comeback! In San Diego we have a great bookstore called Mysterious Galaxy. I will definitely leave them a message about your books! ;)

  8. Great interview ladies. Shea your writing style and voice are so wonderful.
    I thought I was the only one who doesn't like to talk about what I'm writing. It throws me off somehow.

  9. Angi: Thanks for having me on your site, and thanks for the questions. They were fun!

    Cynthia: Oh my gosh, that is so sweet! I don't do sweet typically, I'm not very mushy, but sometimes I wish I were.

    Jennifer: Great answer and I hope I can pull off a miracle and get tons sold. I have to feed and clothe my fallen angels somehow.

  10. Donnell: I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! Music is a wonderful choice. Too bad my husband and I have completely opposite tastes in music otherwise I might have chosen that one too.

    Lisa: Food and music. Yum to both. You must have an amazing home. Combining those two makes for a wonderful time.

    Sherie: I love to laugh as well. One of the sweetest sounds is hearing a loved one laugh. I can't help but smile.

  11. GJillian: Hey! I'm glad you liked the scene. They're a sweet hormonal-raging teen couple. (weren't we all?) The Marked Son and Torrein aren't related. They're two differnt series with two different publishers. You're very sweet to refer me to your local bookstore. I really appreciate your support.

    Rita: You are not alone in the not talking about books in progress. It's like the magic will disappear if I talk too much about it.

  12. Shea, GREAT cover on The Marked Son and fabulous excerpt. I enjoyed meeting you at RomCon! Wishing you many sales on The Marked Son and Torrein.

  13. Welcome Shea! So excited that your book's finally out.

    I agree about fairy tales and action adventures not being mutually exclusive. Um, my two books are action adventures based on fairy tales. :)

    Fav love word... First one that comes to mind is "adore". It even sounds nice.

  14. msullivan: Oh, I had a wonderful time at RomCon. I hope you did too. Thank you for the good wishes.

    Maureen: It seems like it took forever, huh? Adore is just gorgeous word. Say it with a french accent and I'm yours. But then it kinda sounds like you're saying "shut the door" if you're not careful or really drunk, but still, that can be a good thing, right?

  15. Congratulations on the release of your book Shea. I have been eyeing The Marked Son since it's recent debut.

    My favourite love word is "mine". It's a wonderful feeling to know you belong to someone and they cherish (another great love word) you for who you are :)

  16. Na: Thank you. "Mine" can be pretty possessive, but when said in love, it's all about belonging. Love it.

  17. Hi! Great interview. My favorite love word is an endearment: darling. It just sounds nice, sort of seasoned, old and reliable. :)

  18. Shea, congratulations on the release!!

    My favorite words of endearment come from the language that couples sort of make up together. So mine would be "meshum." (Wow, writing it out is hard!) Best used when snuggling under the covers.

  19. Kara: I'm glad you liked the interview. Saying darlin' with a soft Southern drawl can melt butter. It's one of my favorites.

    Abigail: Thank you! I've never made up a name before. Sounds fun. Thanks for dropping by.

  20. OOOPS..forgot to hit Random.Org last week to choose Shea's winner.

    TA DA... CONGRATULATIONS KARA ASHLEY DEY, you've won an electronic copy of THE MARKED SON.

    Send an email to and we'll get you set up.

    Thanks for stopping by,