Love is something everyone longs for at the deepest level—but for some, love is a curse. This is most certainly true for Asher Lake, the Keeper of an unknown group of people called ani-shifts. Ani-shifts, those with the ability to shift into animal forms, compose a secretive body of individuals known simply as the Union.
A wolf in shifter form, Asher lives with a curse placed upon him and his predecessors by the elusive Raven—a dark entity whose identity remains a mystery. According to the ancient archives, the Raven’s curse is conditional and set in motion by one fatal decision: if a Keeper ever allows himself to fall in love, he will die.
Choosing to live in isolation within the walls of Lake Manor, a private estate concealed by the dense woods of Brokenridge, Asher has vowed never to love or to fall in love with anyone believing it to be the only way to survive the curse. However, after ten years of neglecting his people and the protégés left in his care, along with the impending threats of an uprising, Asher learns the only way to break the Raven’s curse on future Keepers, thereby preventing them from suffering the same fate, is to accept his.
This becomes Asher’s biggest challenge of all when he encounters Elle Ison, the woman of his dreams. Does Elle hold the key? Can she help Asher change his fate?
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I build worlds that are different than ours, often weird and strange, but I add all the real things we go through as humans.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
To keep writing and never quit, and believe in yourself.
When it seemed like I was only an F away from flunking out of the sixth grade, a retired school teacher took me under her wing. After some tutoring and testing, she informed my parents that the reason I was having trouble in school wasn’t because I was dumb but instead dyslexic.
When my stepfather heard this, he decided to take me to a used bookstore with the belief that the best way to improve my reading skills were to read. Some of the books were hard to get through at first, but with his encouragement I refused to give up. We made many trips to that bookstore, and I especially loved the science fiction and fantasy sections.
Then one day, after complaining about the ending of a particular book, he told me that if I didn’t like the books that I had been reading, then to write one myself—so I did. My first attempt resulted in a horribly written western when I was fourteen, staring a cocky gun slinging cowboy by the name Curt Calhoun. Curt along with his seven brothers, who all shared C names in common, may never have seen the pages of a book, but that was the day I stared writing, and never stopped.
Shawn Reilly lives in Mt. Comfort Indiana with her husband, and three daughters. She is the author of ‘The Union’ series. She writes in various genres, which include paranormal romance/urban legend, science fiction, dystopian, fantasy, suspense, and dramedy.
Eight years ago, after spending eleven days in the hospital, I was recovering on the couch when my daughter put on an anime and took me hostage. At first I hated it, because it seemed like all the characters did was yell at each other, but after a while I was looking forward to the next episode. In the end, when she told me this particular anime only had one season, I got a little mad. Since I couldn’t do much else I started brainstorming ideals. I came up with plots, characters, and setting. I decided to write a series but with real characters, not Japanese cartoons. However, like the characters in the anime, my characters would change into animals.
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