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The Shapeshifter's Secret ~ Review and Author Interview

The Shapeshifter's Secret
By Heather Ostler

Julia is finally discovering WHAT – not who – SHE IS...

Caleb Glyndor is the talk of all the girls, but to Julia he is a mystery. Somehow he is familiar to her, but she's not exactly how.
Julia's father Lancer Levesque insists on taking her to and from school every day and he doesn’t want Julia out at night.
One day Julia comes home from school to find bars across her bedroom window.  She gets angrier at her father than she has ever been and she feels a growl come out of her. When her anger subsides she and her father just stare at each other. Julia knows something strange just happened to her though she has no idea what.  Julia suspects Caleb of telling her father that she was planning to sneak out and go to Sierra’s house.  Caleb denied it.
Julia begins having trouble controlling her anger. After an outburst at school her father, Liam, and Caleb speak to her about the secrets that have been hidden from her. She is from Ossai and she is being hunted.  But before the whole truth comes out the Guild attacks her home and Caleb and Julia escape from the house while Liam and Lancer give them time to escape. But during their escape through the portal that will take them from this world to Ossai Caleb and Julia are injured.
For her protection Julia is being sent to Lockham Castle and here she might learn to control her new emerging abilities. When she arrives her father e the reason that she is in danger and why she was raised outside Ossai. Her mother was and is her greatest enemy!
When Julia meets Terrence Daniels she is drawn to him and he seems attracted to her too. When Terrence visits Lockham Castle as part of his duties he gives Julia tips on transforming. But the next day Mr. Knightly informs Julia that he saw her out walking with Terrence and he's reported it to the head of security – Mr. Azure. To her relief, Mr. Azure tells her he won't report her friendship with Terrence to her father and he tells her to just make sure that the teachers don't see her if goes for a walk with Terrence in the future.
When Julia finds an old yearbook she sees a picture of her mother Alexis Blythe, she is surprised at how much she looks like her mother. Julia tells Sierra about it and promises to show her the pictures. But the next day the yearbook is gone and all records of its existence have been removed. But the S she saw carved into the wall of one of the pictures becomes an obsession for Julia, she has to see the S that her mother stood by. So one night after curfew Julia decided to sneak down to the ballroom and crawl in through a broken window. But during her search Julia was injured. When she finds the S Julia touches it and stains it with her blood. Suddenly the ballroom is filled with a shriek and Julia makes her escape, but as she leaves she sees a dark hooded figure standing in the ballroom.
But Julia is being threatened. But who is trying to kill her and is the threat closer than anyone suspects?
Everything comes to a head at the annual masquerade ball. When Julia meets her mother their reunion is unlike anything she had hoped for!  
I received a Digital copy of this title for the purpose of this review. 
First off Heather I'd like to thank you for agreeing to this interview.  I really enjoyed The Shapeshifter's Secret, it was not what I was expecting.

1) The Shapeshifter's Secret how did you come up with the idea for this book and how
long did you work on it?

Over the years the ideas for this novel sort of found me. I’d been writing short stories
about Julia for years, and eventually those stories began fusing together with each other
and turned into The Shapeshifter’s Secret.

Once I began to write seriously, it took me a full year to write the manuscript and then
another six months to edit it.

2) Is there one of the character's that you empathize with more than another and why this

I empathize with Lancer, Julia’s father, because he comes from such a rough past. After
being betrayed by his wife, he’s forced to leave the life he knows and raise a daughter
single-handedly. He keeps his past a secret from Julia, to protect her, but she often rebels
against him, unaware of the dangers that surround her.

3) What is your favorite scene?

I love the Masquerade scene. I always had this mesmerizing vision in my head of a grand
ballroom, filled with dancing guests in elaborate gowns and masks. It was really fun to
bring to life.

4) Is there anyone or any event in The Shapeshifter's Secret that is based (even loosely)
on anyone or anything from your life?

I think I naturally make mental notes in my head about interesting people and events in
my life. I’ll write a new character or scene and then realize that I incorporated an actual
incident from my life into the story.

There is one character named Ms. Finnary that is definitely based off someone I knew. In
high school I had a very old and extremely strict substitute teacher. One day I was caught
talking to a friend and the substitute made a huge deal out of it. He walked me into the
classroom next door where he loudly announced to everyone that I was out of control
(and something in my memory says he compared me to a wild animal, haha). I had a
friend in there that couldn’t stop laughing.

5) The Shapeshifter's Secret deals with betrayals. Some real and some
only perceived, why did you have this as a reoccurring element throughout Julia's life?

Betrayal is such a powerful statement and it’s shocking when committed by someone you
know and love. I liked writing characters that had the ultimate dilemma of deciding what
was most important to them. They could choose what was right, or let their greed take

Once betrayal is committed all trust is broken. I feel that it marks the passage between
good and evil, or in this case, between good and the corrupted Guild of Ossai.

6) Will there be a sequel to The Shapeshifter's Secret? If so how soon can we expect to
see it?

Yes, probably around June 2013.

7) Do you have a favorite genre? In reading and writing?

I love reading Young Adult novels, but fantasy is my favorite genre for both reading and

8) What is one question you have always wanted to be asked about your writing but never
have been? How would you answer this unasked question?

What songs helped inspire The Shapeshifter’s Secret?

I’m ever so glad you asked. Three songs that inspired important scenes are Winter by
Tori Amos, She wolf by Shakira, and Say by John Mayer.

Again Heather thank you for taking the time to provide some insight into your writing andThe Shapeshifter's Secret.  
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Tour runs May 1 - May 26th!