Genre: YA/Paranormal Romance
Medium: Available in eBook and paperback
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Narrative: Written in first person. The majority of the chapters are through Sophia's eyes, but we also get a glimpse of Caspian, Alexander, Ebony, and Danika.
GoodReads Summary: Sophia Pierce has suffered since her brother left, and is unsure if she will ever get over it. That is until her family decided to move to Wenham, Massachusetts. Her and her siblings have been ordered to protect their little sister, and must return to High school. This is where Sophia finds her soul mate Nathanial and life as she knows it is about to change.
As a vampire, Sophia has always kept to herself, but as a high school student will she learn to step out of her comfort zone a little? Sophia has found a best friend in a powerful witch and a love to call her own. That is until something tragic happens and blood is spilled. Will Sophia be able to resist the sweet scent of her beloved’s blood?
This is Sophia’s story, a story of a girl who finds herself, love and everlasting friendship. The excitement of this story wraps mortals, vampires, witches, and shape shifters all into a romantic tale of young love, friendship, the meaning of family. The story of a girl who tries to finds herself when she thought it was all lost.
I was pulled into this story from the very first chapter by the enticing characters Blackwell created and the world she built around them.
Sophia Pierce is devastated by her vampire brother, Caspian, abandonment of the family after he accidentally killed his human girlfriend. Fast forward thirty years later and we find her still experiencing the same pain.
As Sophia takes on high school with the family's newest vampire, Danika, the last thing she was looking for was her soul mate. That is exactly what she found in Nate.
Blackwell takes the epic struggle of “I love you, but I know I'm so bad for you” to another level. She pushes Nate away, but he inherently knows that she is the only one for him and doesn't give up. Her family ultimately convinces her that there is no fighting her feelings for Nate, as it is seen he will be one of them someday. She's is terrified to share her secret with Nate, but he surprises her with his loving reaction.
The way Blackwell weaves the story around Sophia with a glimpse or two into other character's minds is something I had not read before and was immensely beneficial. I was suspicious of Danika and her motives from the very beginning, as was Sophia. It was nice to get at peek into Danika's mind to see if Sophia's suspicions were true.
Blackwell gives the reader a detailed foundation for the series with the development of Sophia and Nate's love story, the explanation of the Pierce family history, and the friendship the family shares with a line of Salem witches.
I found the story a very easy read and once I got started I could stop. I'm anxious to get started on the second book of the series, “Forbidden Embrace”, to find what evil is lurking around the bend for the Pierce family and all those they are determined to protect.
For extra info on the series and Blackwell, check out her blog
I got a chance to get some of my questions answered by Charlotte Blackwell herself. Here are some of the questions I had and she so graciously answered.
LG: Since you write mainly from the perspective of Sophia Pierce, what part of her came first, her physical appearance or her personality traits?
CB: It was all at the same time really. Sophia is based on both my 12 year old daughter and me. We are so much alike and I thought our traits would make a good character. Right down to the massive insecurities Sophia deals with and the freckles on her face. It is just us.
LG: Are there any perspectives that weren't included in the novel that you would have liked to include?
CB: Well there Sophia, Caspian, Ebony and Danika (honestly I can’t remember is Danika’s POV is in book 1, but it is in book 2). I think Nate might be a good one to look at and am considering doing an entire book on Drake, the guy Danika meets in the school yard.
LG: Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
CB: That’s hard, I love them all. Each character is named after or has traits of those I love. Nate is based so much off my husband that my daughter gets mad at me. She said it is wrong to base Sophia off her and then have her boyfriend based off her dad. I guess if I had to pick though it would be Ebony, she is so strong even if she doesn’t always realize it.
LG: Will Sophia and Alexander's past human life in Italy have any bearing on their future?
CB: Not too sure where that will lead us to yet. It should come into play at some point otherwise it’s just pointless information.
LG: As the series becomes more popular, would you consider making a line of day crystal jewelry/rings and accessories?
CB: It is already an option that is being looked at. My friend and fellow author Kathi Barton has a daughter that is very talented at making jewelry and we have purchased various crystals for her to work with in an attempt to replicate the jewelry for the series.
LG: How did the idea for the novel/series come about?
CB: My daughter, she struggles with friendships, mostly because she is home school. Her friends tease her about it and she has a hard time trusting others because she’s been hurt in the past. I wanted her to see that everyone has their own internal struggles, but amazing things can happen once you let the right people in to your life.
LG: What parts of your life have influenced the series? Ie character's past, the setting, or character's names.
CB: Matilda and Florence were my grandmothers names, Florence the character also is very similar personality wise to my grandma. Also the family names Triggs and Williams (book 2) are my ancestor’s family names. Other names from the series that I have taken from my friends and family are Ashley, Nikole, Arthur, Shawn, Paige, Kathi, Mel, Danika is also a name I wanted to name a daughter if we had another. As well as the family names Suvanto and Barton(book 3) are from friends of mine. Names and characters continue on like this throughout the series. As for settings I researched for houses and towns I liked. I knew I wanted it to be close to Salem, and found an amazing house similar to the Pierce’s for sale just on the out skirts of Wenham, it was once a B&B, just like in the story. Now Banff, Canada is only an hour and a half drive from where I live, so I had to have a bit of where I’m from in the story.
LG: What other writers would you compare to your style of writing? Ie if you like Him/Her you will like my books.
CB: Kelley Armstrong, PC Cast, Stephenie Meyers, LJ Smith. These are all similar genres and if you enjoy their stories, it would be a good assumption you could enjoy mine. A big difference about my writing is I do first person, present tense. Not many authors do this; it can be difficult to stay in character and tense. I also like to toss in chapters that are done in another characters voice, to change things a little.
LG: Young Adult fiction is a very popular genre today. What made you decide to write Young Adult as opposed to any other genre?
CB: Again mostly my daughter, but young adult is what I like to read. My book shelves and e-reader is filled not only with YA, but also paranormal. It is what I love, so I don’t know if there is much other choice for me.
LG: The series is planned for 3 novels as I understand. Do you see yourself extending the series or beginning another in the Paranormal YA genre?
CB: There are 3 books in the series already written, yes. My publisher has requested a fourth book and I do have plans for even more. I also am planning a Book of Shadows like the witches use. This will be similar to a companion book and will have character bios, spells, and potions they use in the book. I’m not sure how long the series will be, I guess we’ll know when they have finished telling it to us. I do know some exciting things are going to happen and maybe even some hate mail when we lose characters.
Thanks so much to Charlotte for giving me a bit of her time to answer my questions and sharing this wonderful story.