Wednesday 15 August 2012

Book Promotion/Guest Post - The Messenger

The Messenger
Alex Forsyth thought her new life in Washington would be boring and safe. That was until she met the skinwalker.

When Alex meets her new friend, Cougar “Coug” MountainScreamer, she becomes the first outsider to learn of the skinwalker curse. It’s bad enough that Coug has trouble controlling his own shapeshifting and supernatural abilities, but that’s not to mention that Cougar isn’t the only skinwalker in his tribe. And his new friendship with Alex doesn’t sit well with Dante Beran, the spirit of the grizzly bear.

Naturally ambitious and charismatic, Dante is the son of Benjamin Beran, the badger-skinwalker “chief” of the Puyallup Tribe. Dante is also one of four skinwalkers living on the Puyallup Reservation, and considered the “leader” in his father’s absence. He’s the tallest, known to be the brawn of the team, and is very comfortable in his own skin. What he’s not comfortable with is seeing an outsider meddling in the secret world she doesn’t belong in.

Because of his skinwalker abilities and the connection he has to the grizzly bear’s spirit, Dante is naturally protective of those he loves. Like a mother bear, he wants to protect his “brothers” Cougar and Caleb from anything that could be considered a threat, including Alex. Dante is very in-control of his abilities, but his morality does not appeal to the same ideals as Cougar’s does. In other words: he’s a better skinwalker than Cougar, and by comparison, much more willing to kill.

In The Messenger, Dante goes through his own journey in discovering what being a skinwalker really is. Is it really just the hatred, which has defined those cursed for a hundred and more years? While Cougar tries to get through to Dante to convey the message that there’s something more, it already may be too late to make a difference. The hard-headed bear isn’t quite ready to listen, and that puts Cougar and Alex in terrible danger.

·      The bear’s symbolism is leadership, protectiveness, and the power of dreams.
·      Out of the three skinwalker boys of the Puyallup Tribe, Dante is the only one who has actually met either of his parents.
·      Dante was the first one who started using his shapeshifting as a way of getting around fishing laws in the Puyallup River without getting caught. Cougar and Caleb only followed his lead.
·      Dante slept away his entire sixth year of life after his father explained how his mother died. It was the first time he used “hibernation” as a way to cope with pain.
·      He actually has the healthiest eating habits of the four Puyallup skinwalkers. Apples are his favorite foods.
·      Although he’s very comfortable the way he is, Dante admires Caleb Dorado, the golden eagle skinwalker, a lot. He’d keep it a secret for his own pride, but secrets are hard to keep from each other when you’re connected at the mind.
·      His birthday is October 12th.
·      Dante mastered lucid dreaming at the age of four. All he has to do is go to sleep thinking about it, and when he closes his eyes he remembers he’s dreaming.
·      His late mother’s name was Ella Jamieson, but he never got to meet her.
·      Dante has a very double-sided personality, being gentle and caring to those he approves of and devastatingly violent to those he doesn’t.


When Cougar fails to listen, Dante pulls Alex aside instead, giving her one chance to stop spending time around the skinwalkers…

“He’s my brother,” Dante spat at me, his lip curling to reveal a tooth so large I wouldn’t be surprised if he could break bones with it alone. “And we may not have the same parents, but we have the same mind. We may not be the same pedigree, but he’ll always be blood to me. To you…” he said, sounding nothing less than disgusted. I stared at him as he collected his words, scowling in my face. “He’ll always be nothing more than a pet.”
I knew it wasn’t true, everything he was saying. I knew it wasn’t true, or at least I forced myself to believe it wasn’t true. And I refused to think that Cougar meant any less to me than the very best friend I had. I refused to think I could ever think of him the way Dante accused me of.
“Cougar,” I said, lifting my eyes to stare into the eyes of the beast. Dante’s almond eyes narrowed at me, the menacing maroon around his irises looking like ripples in a pool of blood. He clenched his teeth at me, but my eyes remained steady, relying on my understanding of Dante’s self-control. I lifted my chin at him, taking a deep breath before continuing. “Cougar…hates me with every cell in his body. And I’m scared of him.”
“Then back off.
I stared at him, trying to look so much stronger than I was.
And while my words, my eyes, my stomach were all so strong, in the back of my mind I was crying tears I knew I would never be able to cry. Stop it, I begged him in my mind. Stop making me feel like this.
What did you say?” he asked, stepping forward and leaning down so close our faces almost touched. “Say that again.”

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