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4.01.2012


SHAYLA WITHERWOOD: A Half-Faerie Tale
By Tamra Torero

Shayla Witherwood is about to start her first day at Jasper Jenkins High.  After being home-schooled through the tenth grade her nerves get the better of her and she uses her Faerie magic to become invisible.  After Grandpa's death, Grandma and Shayla stop traveling around the country and settle down.  Grandma decides that going to school and being around other people is just what Shayla needs.  But now Shayla has to figure out how to become visible without anyone seeing it happen.  

During her first class she has Mr. Digby for science class. As class ends he warns Shayla to be careful out there!  As her first day progresses Shayla meets Daniel Cluff, Jace Peterson, and Josi Wright. 

But as school progresses Shayla starts using more magic against her Grandma's advice.  When Josi figures out that Shayla is a faerie, she helps Shayla hide some of her faerie traits and to discover some of her powers.  But someone or something knows what Shayla is and is sending her threatening messages and whispers on the wind.  Is Shayla truly being hunted or is it someone just trying to scare her?     

As her circle of friends grows Shayla's fear of discovery grows with it, especially when she accidentally causes enchantments that bring visions of butterflies, gardens, and faeries whenever she moves quickly.   

High school is hard on almost everyone, but Shayla has more on her plate than any other teenager as she tries to fit in with full humans.  Can she survive the riggers of high school, or will her faerie magic ruin everything, including her growing friendship with Jace?  

On Halloween night Shayla comes face to face with her nightmares and everything she holds dear is in danger.  Will Shayla survive the night or will her hunter destroy her because she is a threat to Tovalaurah?

I received a Digital ARC of this title for the purpose of the this review.


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First off Tamra, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to give us a little inside look at Shayla Witherwood: a half-faerie tale.
1)      How did you come up with the idea for Shayla Witherwood?
Okay, I’ll be honest—I wanted to write a book with “magic” in it. Everything I’d written up to this point was reality based and I was ready to explore new avenues in my writing. So I did a mental checklist of magical creatures: Witches—done. Vampires—done. Werewolves—done with vampires! Faeries—ah-ha! Keep in mind that I started writing this book over 5 years ago. Now there are many more faeries stories out there, but they seem to either be of the Tinkerbelle/animated variety, or a darker variation found in the paranormal YA lit. I’d venture to say that Shayla Witherwood: A Half-Faerie Tale is unique. I tried to combine Shayla’s magic with high school life, humor, suspense/mystery, adventure and even a little romance.
2)      How did you come up with the title, Shayla Witherwood: a half-faerie tale? Reading the book the title makes sense, but how did you come up with it?  Did you have several that you were toying with, or was this the only one that ever seemed to fit?
The working title was Shayla Witherwood: Tales of a High School Faerie. When my author/son, Preston Norton was reading through the manuscript, he said, “Mom, I have a better title.” And he did. The minute he said, “A Half-Faerie Tale” I know this was it!
3)      Do you have a favorite character? And if so who is it and why this character?
As much as I love Shayla, aside from her faerie tendencies, she’s a little too much…me. I’ve personally always wanted to be Josi—independent, quirky, I-don’t-care-if-you-think-I’m-weird-because-who-cares-anyway wonderful and self-assured! That’s the fun part of creating stories—you can explore the minds of these characters and live vicariously through them…of only in print. Saves tons on therapy, I suppose! J
4)      Are any of the characters or scenes based on anything in your life?
Jasper Jenkins High School is most definitely based on my high school, Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, California. I’ve even named some of the faculty after the educators of my past—Principal Adriani, Coach Zhender, Mrs. Gressens, Mrs. Pinkerton—all remarkable role models who left a definite impression in the mind of a reluctant reader who miraculously morphed into an author one day.
5)      In Shayla Witherwood: a half-faerie tale, what is your favorite scene?
The scene out on the football field (which is also highlighted on the back cover of the book) has got to be my favorite simply because it involves Shayla’s first kiss. What girl doesn’t daydream for years over the possibilities revolving around her first kiss? But, just as many milestones in life, Shayla’s first kiss doesn’t quite turn out as she’s always dreamed it might be.
6)      Are you planning a sequel?
Yes—we have a trilogy in the works for Shayla Witherwood. The release date for book two is tentatively set for May 2013.
7)      As a writer is there a question that you have never been asked about your writing that you wish someone would ask you?  If so how would you answer them?
Wow… Well, I’ve been asked a lot of questions over the years as I’ve talked to thousands of kids and adults throughout the United States in more than 50 schools, and at writer’s conferences. I’m always trying to encourage and inspire kids to read and write, because I know first-hand how it can positively affect a life on so many levels. When kids tell me they don’t like to read, I tell them they just haven’t found the right book yet. There’s something out there for everyone. And when they tell me they don’t like to write, I ask them if they write email, text messages, instant messages, or on Facebook? This is writing. This is a start.
But back to your question… Actually, I’ve never been asked this question before, and can’t seem to think of an intelligent response. But there is one thing every prospective writer should know—don’t wait for inspiration to come before you sit down to write. Just sit down first, and eventually the words will come. Either that or you’ll end up with a productive Facebook session. And after all, Facebook is writing, right?
Again Tamra, thank you for providing an in-depth behind the scene peek at Shayla Witherwood: a half-faerie tale.  I’m sure your answers will whet reader’s appetites for a weekend visit with Shayla Witherwood!
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