Shiny New Cover!

I was very happy with the wonderful cover courtesy of John Lewis, it was clean, clear, striking and looked great in a thumbnail. It was never intended to be the permanent cover though. So, without further ado, here is, the final cover!

Wyrd Calling-400x600

Wyrd Calling blurb:

No one escapes the Wyrd Sisters. Thalia gave it her best shot. She ran away and devoted her life to tricking black market traders out of their money. She could only run for so long. They always catch up with you, one way or another.

Thalia is a hot-headed, stubborn, wild-child shifter who happens to be Wyrd Bound. She finds herself dragged back to her role where she must bring her new pack into line and stop a serial killer. She’d rather not have a pack and isn’t that worried about stopping the killer, but that was what she was made for. There’s only one thing Thalia really wants.

Freedom.

How I chose the artist.

I spent a solid 6 months researching cover artists. I looked at far more than I care to even try and remember. Reese Dante caught my eye and so I bookmarked her and kept looking. After a couple more months of looking, no one had come close to comparing to her art. I knew that she was the artist I wanted to do my cover art, no one else would do.

My experiences with her.

Reese is an absolute professional. She’s prompt in her responses and prepares thoroughly. Her turnaround with the art is fantastic and she kept me up to date throughout the entire process without cluttering my inbox with millions of questions. She’s polite, thorough, and an absolute star and pleasure to work with. I can’t recommend her highly enough and I’m very glad that I’ve hired her to do the entire Wyrd Bound series.

You can find her here:

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If you’re looking for a fantastic cover artist then I very highly recommend Reese.

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Wyrd Calling Is Published!

Wyrd Calling is now up on Amazon and available for pre-order! I spent the last 24 hours bouncing and dancing around like a thing possessed. I didn’t know I was capable of such glee and excitement!

There’s been a change of plans with the cover art. I’m still using the fabulous Reese but due to unforseen circumstances she can’t have the cover to me by November 7th. So, I, being the ingenius soul that I am, made up a temporary cover. Well actually a friend did, and I love it! It’s bold, striking, and wonderful.

This is the cover by John Lewis and I love it!

This is the cover by John Lewis and I love it!

So where can you find my wonderful, amazing, début novel? You can pre-order it for the very reasonable price of $3.99 right here on Amazon.

Official blurb:

No one escapes the Wyrd Sisters. Thalia gave it her best shot. She ran away and devoted her life to tricking black market traders out of their money. She could only run for so long. They always catch up with you, one way or another.

If you’re not entirely if it’s for you, then you can read the opening chapter hereIf you’re still really not sure, and I can’t imagine how that would possibly be the case 😉 Then you can read the latest review:

I was provided a free advanced release copy of  Wyrd Calling by Shen Hart, an author I know, in exchange for an unbiased review.

Wyrd Calling is a powerful and complex tale about a female shifter named Thalia who is bound by the Wyrd Sisters to solve a series of murders in a distant city.  She is ordered to assume co-leadership of a group of shifters, unwittingly paired with a partner from her dark (or should I say “even darker?”) past.  The book explores Thalia’s ambivalence about her life situation and her personal growth in the context of the pack and their mission.

Most striking to me is the author’s ability to develop characters that are complex and interesting, slowly and indirectly revealing bits and pieces until a fully relatable (or hateable, in some cases) character emerges.  There is something really unique about the way that the animalistic traits of the protagonist and her pack are conveyed.  Elements of the peaceful but distractible raven, the intimidating jaguar, and the predatory red wolf are interwoven to form Thalia, a head-strong, sensual, and sometimes brutal woman who repeatedly struggles for freedom from the Sisters as she leads her unruly pack of cubs.  And each character of the book is as thoughtfully developed as the main one.

The vivid imagery in Wyrd Calling, not only of landscape and cityscape, but of the subtleties of shape shifting itself – how the characters’ moods were reflected in the shifts of tails, ears, teeth, or jaws – was captivating.   There is also amazing imagery surrounding shadow dancing and the other energies.

I must admit, urban fantasy is not a genre I’ve read before.  I was afraid that I would be left in the cold by my lack of knowledge of the shifters, faes, elves, and other assorted beings found there.  Fortunately, all I needed to understand was woven into the story without disruption to the flow or pace of the book.

As I understand it, this is the first volume of a series.  I can’t wait for the next, not only because I’m left wondering what happens next, but because I want to fill in some of the hinted-at but not quite revealed back-story of Thalia (or is it Suriel?)!

Catherine.

Don’t forget, you can pre-order it here. 

Thank you to everyone for the love and support.

Latest Review!

I was reading Wyrd Calling on my kindle, which is a very weird experience, when the latest (very positive) review of Wyrd Calling came through from one of my advanced readers!

I was provided a free advanced release copy of  Wyrd Calling by Shen Hart, an author I know, in exchange for an unbiased review.

Wyrd Calling is a powerful and complex tale about a female shifter named Thalia who is bound by the Wyrd Sisters to solve a series of murders in a distant city.  She is ordered to assume co-leadership of a group of shifters, unwittingly paired with a partner from her dark (or should I say “even darker?”) past.  The book explores Thalia’s ambivalence about her life situation and her personal growth in the context of the pack and their mission.

Most striking to me is the author’s ability to develop characters that are complex and interesting, slowly and indirectly revealing bits and pieces until a fully relatable (or hateable, in some cases) character emerges.  There is something really unique about the way that the animalistic traits of the protagonist and her pack are conveyed.  Elements of the peaceful but distractible raven, the intimidating jaguar, and the predatory red wolf are interwoven to form Thalia, a head-strong, sensual, and sometimes brutal woman who repeatedly struggles for freedom from the Sisters as she leads her unruly pack of cubs.  And each character of the book is as thoughtfully developed as the main one.

The vivid imagery in Wyrd Calling, not only of landscape and cityscape, but of the subtleties of shape shifting itself – how the characters’ moods were reflected in the shifts of tails, ears, teeth, or jaws – was captivating.   There is also amazing imagery surrounding shadow dancing and the other energies.

I must admit, urban fantasy is not a genre I’ve read before.  I was afraid that I would be left in the cold by my lack of knowledge of the shifters, faes, elves, and other assorted beings found there.  Fortunately, all I needed to understand was woven into the story without disruption to the flow or pace of the book.

As I understand it, this is the first volume of a series.  I can’t wait for the next, not only because I’m left wondering what happens next, but because I want to fill in some of the hinted-at but not quite revealed back-story of Thalia (or is it Suriel?)!

Catherine. 

Reviews!

I sent out my ARCs (Advanced Reviewer Copies) at the weekend and I have three positive reviews back! I am so amazingly happy and over the moon about this. Of course you want to know what they said don’t you?

You can read the first one I received from Benjamin Beaulieu here.

Then SloopJonB sent over this one:

The official blurb: 

No one escapes the Wyrd Sisters. Thalia gave it her best shot. She ran away and devoted her life to tricking black market traders out of their money. She could only run for so long. They always catch up with you, one way or another.

Wyrd Calling is a dark urban fantasy, the first in a projected series, Wyrd Bound, concerning the trials and tribulations of a shifter, Thalia. Thalia is bound to the Wyrd Sisters (the three Norns of Norse myth) to perform such tasks as they might assign her. Wyrd Calling opens as she is re-assigned to her fate again after some considerable time on the lam. Somebody – or something – has been killing sirens in the city, and the Sisters would like it stopped. One way or another.

Two things to say here before the review proper. First, full disclosure, I was provided with a free advanced review copy for the purposes of this review, as I am acquainted with the author. I promised an honest review, though, and that I will try to deliver. Second, dark urban fantasy isn’t really my thing, so I’m not really very well up on the conventions and tropes of the sub-genre. All I have to compare it with is a read of a couple of Harry Dresden books some while ago. So, DUF fans, excuse any naivety here.

OK, this is as I say the first volume in a series, so readers expecting to have every T crossed and i dotted will be disappointed. We do discover a lot about Thalia and her backstory as the book progresses, but by no means all, and there are a lot of loose ends left over to carry forward into the next book. There is, necessarily, a lot of set-up as we are introduced to Thalia and her pack, and the plot thus takes some while to get going, but the material on the lives of shifters and the dynamics of the pack is interesting. Suppose there really were people who were part wolf (amongst other things); how would they live? How would they interact? What would drive them? These questions are quite thoroughly explored and the answers require very little disbelief to be suspended to be convincing. These shifters are neither cuddly nor sparkly … these dudes are dangerous, and Thalia is quite possibly the most dangerous of the lot.

Thalia comes across (despite many hints of her great age) as a bit of a wild child; she likes dancing, drinking, flirting, stealing and hunting down victims ruthlessly. Unlike most werebeings in fantasy fiction Thalia has three aspects, and the interplay of these is a fascinating character study. (While the psychology of shifting is explored in some depth, the mechanics aren’t, and I really, really wanted to know what happened to her clothes each time). We also get to see some of – or rather some of the aftermath of – Thalia’s complicated love life, and her two … or is it three? … maybe four … love interests present something of a contrast to one another; the emotional and tormented Alex, the cool and enigmatic Lee (who always calls her Suriel, for reasons presently mysterious) … and then there’s Kit the fae, and I for one don’t believe her protestations that she’s not interested in Dan. Much more to come on this front, clearly.

In summary, fans of dark urban fantasy will find much to interest and fascinate in this story, with a lot of world-building and revelation yet to come, and the question left in their minds after reading will be what happens next?

Wyrd Calling  will be published in e-book form in November 2014, and the sequel,Feathered Touch is already in preparation.

SloopJonB 

To finish the trio, I had Matthew Cloke give me this one:

I don’t normally write reviews for books but Wyrd Calling certainly deserves one. I absolutely adore this book, I couldn’t put it down! Shen Hart has managed to create a dark and interesting urban fantasy world in which she tells the tale of a reluctant anti-hero Thalia. Shen does a great job of teasing bits of information about Thalia, the wyrd-bound shifter, without giving away too much, this certainly left me wanting more! I enjoyed reading the interactions between Thalia and her new pack, as well as the other characters, which you can tell have all been thoroughly planned. You can tell as you get deeper into the story that Thalia, although somewhat reluctant is dedicated to doing what she feels is right, and sometimes that isn’t to everyone else’s liking.  I really like the direction this story is taking and I can’t wait to read the next in the series to find out more about Thalia and her allies.

I have to extend a huge thank you to all of my advanced readers, they’re all stars and I’m eternally grateful for the time and effort they’ve put into reading and reviewing Wyrd Calling. I can’t wait to release it in November!

First Review!

I sent out the ARCs (Advanced Reviewer Copies) of Wyrd Calling at the weekend and I got my first review back earlier!

A quick book review! I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Wyrd Calling by +Shen Hart . You can’t find this for sale yet, but when it goes up, you may want to get a copy!

Do you enjoy reading books with shallow characters and a barely realized setting? If that’s the case… don’t pick this up. This thing goes deep. From the very beginning, it’s clear that both the characters and the world have been given considerable thought. I read the book and knew that we had just barely skimmed the surface of what there was to see. The main character is not a shallow bimbo or a straw dummy used to advance a story. She is someone with a long, complicated history and an actual personality. We get glimpses of her past as the story unfolds, but we don’t need to have everything spelled out. You don’t get your hand held with the cliché “history of everything told by a third party”. You experience the story and touch its history as you go along. The relationships between the characters are just as deep and intricate as the world is. The people in the world (Is “people” the right word? You’ll see what I mean!) don’t all have the same voice (something new writers seem to have a problem with), wants, skills, or personalities. They aren’t just static pieces that dance to the author’s tune (Dance, my pretties!). They grow and change and the entire experience is better for it. I don’t want to give away the story, but it’s a magical adventure from the very first word and leaves you crying out for more.

This genre (urban fantasy) is not my usual fare, but I’m almost sad I’m reading the book now. If I was reading this a few years from now I could keep reading the next books, which is exactly what I want to do!

Benjamin Beaulieu

To say I’m happy is a huge understatement! I am grinning like a Cheshire cat and bouncing around like a fool. To see people enjoying my work is an absolutely incredible feeling.

I have thanked them a number of times before but I have to do it again – thank you to all of my advanced reviewers, you’re all absolute stars and godsends.

Shen.

Scenes From The Wyrd!

I have not one, but two scenes from Wyrd Calling characters to share with you today! They’re not directly from the book, but they are from characters. They’ll add a little bit of something to the story and your understanding of the characters.

Poor Ryan…

Nik had been sceptical at first, but that was his reaction to most things; I knew he’d come around. It was an amazing opportunity; we were going to be working with the Wyrd Sisters, man! My sister was off on the other side of the world saving some selkie colony or something, while I was going to make areal difference. I would finally show everyone that I did have value and a place in the world. I was going to prove them all wrong and prove that I could do more than wander aimlessly. Wasn’t I? I mean, that’s a big job, they’re the Wyrd Sisters. They control the fates of every being, or at least I thought they did. That’s a lot of pressure, I mean, what if I screw it up? Will I accidentally wipe out a country or something? Fuck. Maybe this wasn’t such a good plan after all…

What if poor Ryan really does wipe out a country? Is that possible…? 

There’s so much more to Lee than first meets the eye.

I didn’t know why they had insisted that I approach her this way. There were far more… fun methods, but I wasn’t in a position to argue, much to my chagrin. My heart skipped a beat every time the image of her face came to mind. I wanted nothing more than to hold her close, to run my fingers over her pale skin. I glanced over to the clock, it seemed to be moving agonisingly slowly. I had some ten minutes before I would leave to meet the draconics. They were thick-skulled idiots, but they would allow me close to her. I wondered if she would remember me, if she’d be able to tell who I was through the disguise. My heart skipped a beat again when I thought back over the times I had hidden my form and watched her from afar. She carried such sadness during those days.  I hoped it had lifted. I had wanted to brush my finger over her lips and feel her smile beneath my fingertips, to whisk her away to our sanctuary. To lose ourselves in each other again, but I couldn’t. As they kept reminding me, she wasn’t mine to have. If I was very lucky, I might get to snatch some precious time with her, but she would never be mine. Not truly.
Why can’t Lee ever call her his own? Why must he settle for glances and brief moments?
Read Wyrd Calling to find the answers to those questions and more!
ARCs are going out very soon!