Blink—and you’ll miss her.
Mei Barrett has been hiding all of her life. Raised in solitude by her beloved father, she’s been trained to fight, to adapt, to defend. She couldn’t prevent his death, however, when it comes at the hands of a mysterious creature straight out of legend. She could only run—and learn how to hide in plain sight.
For four long years Mei has lived alone on the fringes of a society still recovering from the devastation of quakes and disasters along the infamous Ring of Fire. Mei’s concerns are more immediate however. She must hide her eyes and their despised mutation, and she must stay one step ahead of the strange wind demon that continues to hunt her.
Detection was inevitable. But Mei begins to make some discoveries of her own. For it seems that her old enemy is not the only mythical creature on the loose. Nor is she the only one fighting them.
And perhaps her own tragedies are not as far removed from those the world is facing, after all.
I vaulted over a low wall, shook my head over Ben’s tumble pass between buildings, and managed a halfway decent copy of Alan’s wall spin. It felt good to move, to train. I’d been more tense than usual lately. On edge. Fighting to not look over my shoulder. But the first rule, when you are being hunted, is not to look like prey. So I carry on with my usual routine. And now I allow myself to relax, just the smallest bit. No judgment here, no prying, insistent curiosity. I let the tightness in my chest ease and tried to remember what it felt like to be at ease and happy instead of wary, bitter and sad.
The group spread out when we hit the Stoneyard. I took up a position on the edge and watched a kid named Chris make a complicated, spinning double cork look easy.
“You’ve got to teach me how to do that,” I breathed.
It looks like a nice way to dodge an arrow, or a thrown dart.
I froze. Though the thought had been my own, I’d heard it in my father’s distinctive accent and thoughtful tone.
I clenched my fist hard, welcomed the bite of nails into the flesh of my palm. That is not the thought of a normal teenaged girl.
I was in no way a normal teenaged girl—but I had to appear as one. At all costs.
Chris just grinned. “You’ve already got your cheat gainer. All you need to do is tighten up and get some more pull.”
We worked on it a bit.
“Do you want to try it without the extra weight?” He gestured toward my backpack.
I shook my head. I always kept my pack close.
He shrugged and didn’t seem to mind the normal stance I took when I was in contact with people; cap pulled low and tight, eyes down, but ear cocked to show I was paying attention. I knew the guys wondered about me. I’d once heard someone speculate that I was vision impaired, but had highly developed other senses, like a real life comic book character. I didn’t think that any of them had guessed the truth—that I was a real life freak.
Interview with the Author
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Hi! Thanks for having me! My name is D.M. Marlowe. I sold my first book in 2006, and in my other author life I am a USA Today Best-Selling Author of Regency Historical Romance. I’m very excited to also be writing Young Adult Fantasy Adventure. I love changing it up between genres and I’m so excited to at last write something my kids can read. 🙂
2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?
I started writing many years ago when my first son was born. I had always wanted to write, but practical matters had to prevail. I started as a naptime writer and haven’t stopped yet. 🙂 I wrote for several years before I sold my first book, and have now written over fifteen.
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
There are so many! As most writers are, I am a huge reader and have been since i was a kid. I devoured everything I could get my hands on, from Marquerite Henry to Llyod Alexander to Anne McCaffrey. Now I don’t miss anything by John Irving, Mary Balogh, Joanna Bourne, Rae Carson or
4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
I get up, take kids to school, usually go for a walk, then I sit down to write. I write mostly in the morning and during the day, although the hours extend during deadline. I often do business or get in a few more pages in the evening while waiting on my Youngest at fencing practice.
5) How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
The usual way—in that my brain mashed up several ideas and interests into one character—which led to creating the world she lives in. I knew I wanted to explore Japanese folklore, and I added in other areas that interest both me and my kids—such as parkour, paper-making, ninja training, magic and more.
6) What do you think sets your novel apart from others current on the shelves?
I don’t think many other Young Adults have explored Japanese mythology or the legends of the ninja. I like to think that I also bring other skills from my previous writing. For example, I’m a fan of rich world building and deeply rooted characters. I hope readers will find all of that and more in the new series.
7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
Mei Barrett is the main character in Eye of the Ninja and is definitely my favorite. She’s faced a lot of hardship, but she meets it head on. I think that I am pretty tenacious and determined myself—you have to be to have a career in publishing. 🙂 Mei is also generous and kind hearted and I strive to embrace those qualities in my own life. My kids will tell you that I am sometimes successful—and sometimes a grump. LOL
I do have to say—I also greatly enjoyed creating Mei’s newfound friends in the hidden village of Ryu. Writing people who work so hard to protect the world, exploring the many different ways that their beliefs and magic might have developed was great fun.
8) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
All of the action scenes! I don’t get to write martial arts in my Regency Historicals!
9) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
As with all of my books, I hope that readers close the cover feeling good. My goal is always to take them on a journey with a flawed character, facing personal demons and hard choices, who grows and deserves the rewards of a Happy Ever After. I want readers to leave the book feeling satisfied and hopeful.
10) What are your hopes for this novel?
I hope it finds readers who love the kind of written journey that I do, that it entertains and touches and keeps readers wanting more, and wanting to find a home in the world I created.
11) What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am continuing the Eye of the Ninja Chronicles. The next book, Obsidan’s Eye will be released in December. I am also continuing on my Half Moon House series of Regency Historical Romance. There are a lot of books in my head waiting their turn. 🙂
Thank you so much for having me!
About The Author
M. Marlowe lives in North Carolina with her family and two cats. When she is not spoiling them all, she is probably writing. Failing that, she’s likely lost in a book or movie, on a long walk, gardening or hanging with her friends.
In her other life, she is a USA Today Bestselling author of Historical Romance.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
D.M. Marlowe will be awarding handcrafted jewelry representing character/theme of her book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and handcrafted jewelry representing character/theme of her book to a randomly drawn host. Prize is available for international shipping.