Welcome to my stop on the Affinity book tour. Brought to you by Bewitching Book Tours. Here you can read a synopsis of the book, my review, and Expert and a Guest Post! I also have a bio of author Mary E. Merrel. Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on this tour for more information and other reviews about this book and author
Affinity Book #1
Mary E. Merrell
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Morningglory Publishers
Cover Artist: Dara England
The crows followed Talon around. Everywhere. When he graduated from high school, Talon moved to Sacramento to work with his Uncle Nate. The birds were there. He recognized the same straggly-tailed old crow that had followed him since junior high. Iris Yorita, who lived in his mother's neighborhood called their ability an AFFINITY, claimed it was a gift from God, and they should use it to help people. Iris' animal was the snake. Talon thought she was out of her mind. How could a bunch of mangy crows or slimy snakes help anyone?
When a thief targeted the people in his uncle's neighborhood, Talon became the main suspect. It was time to put Iris' theory to the test. Find out who was robbing their neighbors and clear his name. As Talon learned to communicate with his crows, it became clear that something more sinister than mere robbery was going on. It would take Talon, Iris, and their new friend Chloe, who communicated with raccoons, to discover what really was happening in Talon's new neighborhood.
Talon would discover how strong his ability was and how complete communicating with his chosen animal made him feel. He would meet more people with an affinity like him, each with a chosen animal of their own. By the time the mystery was solved, Talon would forge new friendships, learn not all was what it seemed and risk his life to save his friends.
About the Author:
Mary E. Merrell lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, two dogs and four cats. She has two grown sons, Everette Merrell and Richard Mickelson who is married to a great girl, Brooke. Mary has worked at various jobs, selling furniture, a meat company and a manufacturing company. It wasn’t until she started selling real estate that her Real Estate Paranormal Mystery Series came to life in that old, vacant home. She enjoys reading all types of genres and writes Paranormal Mysteries and YA Urban Fantasies. When she’s not writing, she’s working on her decorative planter business LivingCreations with her husband, gardening and playing soccer. Please visit her website to see what she’s working on next. www.maryemerrell.com, or contact her through Facebook and Twitter.
I was quite happy with this book, it was interesting, the communication with the animals, the main character Talon, he can communicate with crows, and that affinity grows to touch other types of birds too. He has a few other friends who also have the affinity, Chloe, hers is with raccoon's Iris, to talons dismay, its snakes. Then we have Chen who has the affinity with rats, then spreads to rodents.
We have some adventure, and crime solving going one, using the animals, and some twist and turns. It keeps you engaged, and you don't want to put the book down.
I found it weird at times, being inside a 17 year old boys head, as I am not used to that. It was interesting though, lol.
It was well written, and was different than many books I have read. It was refreshing.
I highly recommend it if you like reading any paranormal books, or even like animals.
I also want to add, I really like the underlying message that the author has put in this story, in a way we can relate, but in an interesting story. It still gets the message through, loud and clear. I learned something, and hope you will too.
5 out of 5 stars for me.
Guest Post By Mary E. Merrel
How I came up with the novel, Affinity-Bird in a Gilded Cage
I see crows everywhere. Like Talon Corvus in my Young Adult Novel, Affinity-Bird in a Gilded Cage, the crows seem to be following me. Wherever I go, there they are. Even right now, as I’m topping off my coffee, I hear the raucous and recognizable cawing of a crow. The bird is sitting on the very top of an Italian Cypress in our neighbor’s yard, the pointed branch bowing under the bird’s weight as it squawks to the world.
When I was planning this novel, I wanted to write something very different from my Real Estate Paranormal Mystery Series, something with a little meaning and with a bit of a message. Sounds kind of corny, I know, but this was important to me. The Real Estate Paranormal Mystery Series is in first person and involves, vampires, real estate agents and ghosts, oh my! My guilty pleasure.
I came up with the idea for a story about Talon, a young man who realizes he can communicate with the crows that follow him around. This Young Adult Urban Fantasy is written in third person and in the point of view of an eighteen year old boy. Writing in the point of view of a young man was a challenge but a lot of fun as Talon and his friends use their talents with the animals to discover who is robbing their neighbors. I enjoyed discovering each character’s unique personality through their Affinity animal. I hope you will like them as well.
I also wanted to make aware a problem that seems to get little attention from the media. It’s a local and worldwide, and growing. I can’t say too much or it will spoil the mystery. So, if you’re curious, Affinity-Bird in a Gilded Cage comes out on Amazon kindle on October 24th and in print through Amazon shortly after.
All my books have humor, and Affinity is no different. I enjoyed writing about these characters as they unravel the mystery in their neighborhood, and I hope you enjoy reading about them as well. You can find all my available novels on my website, www.maryemerrell.com. Find me on Facebook and Twitter - @MaryMerrell7.
Thank you so much.
Affinity - Bird in a Gilded Cage – Excerpt
Talon took his usual seat on the couch. The television was on but the sound muted. When his uncle returned, he held an old, jacked-up photo album, the cover propped open by yellowed papers. He stopped in front of Talon.
“Uncle Nate. Listen.” Talon stood up and met his uncle’s blue gaze and braced himself to be made fun of, for his uncle to laugh his ass off. “I can communicate with crows.” Okay. There. He had said it. First time ever.
“What?” Talon dropped back onto the couch, sinking into the cushion as he cradled Scraggy close to his chest.
“Well, I didn’t exactly know you’ve been talking with them, but I’ve known you’ve got some kind of weird relationship with them. I’ve been waiting for you to spill it, kid. I’ve seen those black buzzards following you around like they was waiting for you to croak or something.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Talon felt...disappointed. As if everyone knew except him. Like he was a big joke or something.
“Don’t get all butt-hurt. I figured you’d tell me when you were ready.”
Uncle Nate plopped down next to Talon like nothing bizarre was happening. “Look at this.” He put the photo album on his knees, opened the worn cover and carefully put the papers and news clippings on the end table. Sticky paper held old black and white photographs in place as Uncle Nate flipped the pages.
“Do you know what our last name means?” he asked.
When Talon didn’t answer, Uncle Nate put the book on Talon’s legs, keeping far from the crow’s sharp beak and pointed to an old picture. He tapped his finger on the man standing there. Behind the man was a big, black bird perched on a fence.
“Our last name means crow or raven. It’s the genus for large black birds.”
Talon swallowed and took back all the crappy things he had just thought about his uncle.
“Your great-grandfather claimed he could talk to these birds. Everyone thought he was nuts. Our grandmother, your great-grandmother told us the family secret when we were in grade school. Your father and I. Of course, we were warned if we ever said anything the crows would come and peck our eyeballs right out of our heads.” He widened his eyes at Talon, took on a spooky voice and waggled both his hands next to his head. “Or you’d be driven crazy by the birds, oouuuuweee aaahhh.”
Scraggy cawed and struggled a little.
When Talon didn’t laugh or smile at his joke, he continued, “Your father and I used to imagine what it was like if we could control the birds,” he said in a soft voice.
“You don’t really control them.” Talon ran his finger across the picture of his great-grandfather. “It’s more like a connection with them.” He let his mind touch briefly with Scraggy, sending comforting thoughts. The bird quieted down.
“Right on. When did it start?”
“In middle-school.” Talon turned the page, looking for more pictures with a strange black bird.
“You won’t find anymore pictures of the bird. Believe me. We searched through this many-a-time. But you might be interested in this.” He handed Talon a small black leather-bound book. “Your great-grandfather’s journal. It sounded like a lot of rambling to me, but maybe you’d understand. With your ability and all.”
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received this book free from the author as part of Bewitching Book Tours. Although payment may have been received by Bewitching Book Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”