Uniquely Unwelcome (The Shadow World #1)
Published September 20th 2012 (first published June 1st 2012)
Being unique isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
After searching all over the world for someone as unique as she is, Racquel finds herself back in her home town where she’s treated like a monster ready to kill. Racquel is one of the most unique beings ever created. Four of the most powerful beings in the Shadow World are intertwined within her, making up her unique DNA. But no matter how unique her bloodline is, she’s considered an outcast by the entire Shadow World.
Once arriving home, Racquel finds that greater evils exist and that the person she cares for most in this world, her half-sister Addie, has been kidnapped along with other Shadow World beings. Racquel finds herself facing horrible odds with those who would rather see her dead than alive.
As her journey continues, Racquel learns more about herself, what she is capable of, and that not every being looks at her as an abomination. Coy, a human captive that Racquel saves from the Vampires, starts showing kindness toward her. Racquel tries putting distance between her and the human boy but as they spend more time together it becomes harder and harder for Racquel to fight the affection she wants and needs.
But will Coy’s friendship and her new found discoveries be enough to help Racquel unravel the strangest mystery that has ever plagued the Shadow World?
Uniquely Unwelcome Review
Wow, what a great book, I was so captivated by this unique paranormal story. But besides the paranormal elements there is an underlying message in this story, which really touches your heart. Below is a few parts that show how she feels as an outcast that is different:
My appearance is no different from any human girl. My face is framed with long black hair. I look like your average hundred and twenty pound girl but my eyes give me away. Unlike most of the other Shadows, whose eyes are a natural color, mine are pearly silver, outlined by darker silver. My pupils are dark purple, which really sets my silver off. The problem of course is that it’s not normal.I sigh. I didn’t want to walk through my hometown just yet. I wanted to go home, gather my courage, and then set out into the town. My presence wasn’t going to be that appreciated.
I keep my head high as I walk down the streets. Humans just look the other way, afraid of conflict and attention. But the Shadows, they glare. A shifter jumps back out of my way, afraid of my touch. It doesn’t stop him from glaring at me.I want to use my speed to hurry up and get home. But the streets are too crowded with humans. Instead, I walk at a normal human pace. Once I round the corner to my street, I stop.A few Witches are out in their yards but once they sense me they hurry inside. I never understood why they agreed to let my family live on their block if they were afraid of me.
I just felt so badly for Raquel, (her first name is Harmony, but she goes by her middle name) She has 4 different Shadows blood (a witch had helped her Grandparents conceive when it should not have been possible, and again her mother) She has Shifter, Werewolf, Vampire, and Witch coursing through her, which makes her different and powerful, and misunderstood. She is shunned for being “mixed” and its just really sad. It’s forbidden for a Lycan (werewolf) to be with a witch for instance, or any others for that matter.
Anyway, we get taken on this very important journey with Raquel, where there are many Shadows that have to overcome their feelings, and someone has been kidnapping shadows from all the different ones, the 4 I mentioned plus the fairies too.
During this journey that Raquel has set out on to find her half-sister who is full Witch, she has others join her, and she finally makes some real friends, who she finds out most are more curious of her, and some just scared as they do not know what power she holds.
There are many witty funny parts to this story too, that I enjoyed immensely. Raquel is a strong minded person, and I really liked her a lot. I was glad to see she does have a forgiving heart too, even though the lycan, Ethan, whom she is traveling with, and who has always ridiculed her growing up, she has learned to get along with him, and he also gets a taste of what it was like for her. He feels the stares as they walk into the main residence of the Witches, and it gives him a taste of what her life was like for Raquel.
I liked the touching relationship that comes up between Raquel and Coy, the human that escapes the Vampire lair where they meet with the head of them, he was a slave for his whole life, and wants to escape and also find his brother, who was also taken along with all those Shadows. Micah is one that I see playing a big role in upcoming books, which I can’t wait to read now.
We have a few steamy parts too, I just have to share, with Raquel and Coy, here is a good one:
He leans down, asking permission before bringing our lips together in a soft sweet kiss. His lips softly brush over mine.The kiss slowly becomes more passionate. His lips push hard and swiftly against mine, intoxicating me. He places his hands around my waist pulling me onto his lap. Now I’m cradled over him, my lips working and moving passionately against his. His hands wander up and down my back, down my legs, over my arms. He keeps pulling me closer like he can’t get enough of me.I run my hands under his shirt, feeling his skin burn against my palms. I want to rip his shirt completely off of him. Go where I never thought I would. The desire to feel alive and wanted overwhelms me. His touch brings my lonely emotions to the surface. A part of me tries showing reason, reminding me that this is a little fast, that he could hurt me in a matter of seconds. The other part of me lashes out at my reasoning. I could be dead in a few hours, and if not I still want him, still want his touch.
I can’t say enough at how much I love this story, and the meanings behind it as well as the action and excitement within it too. I highly recommend this to all ages, YA and adult alike. Its touching, fun, action, suspense, all of that with a little clean steamy parts. I will be reading book 2, as soon as I can, as the bit of a cliffhanger has me intrigued. It’s the good kind of cliffhanger, not the type that makes you want to through the book across the room like many others I won’t mention here, lol.
Go get this book, its amazing, and so worth your time to read, and written so well too.
I highly recommend it. 5 big stars out of 5 for me.
I was provided a copy of this book for my honest review for my honest review.
If you like my review, would love some support at Amazon, Here (mark as helpful) or Here at Goodreads, thanks
You can read Chapter One at my original Review post, Here for book 1
At the bottom of this post is another short excerpt for you.
Where you can find Uniquely Unwelcome and more of Brandy Nacole’s Books
Buy Links for Uniquely Unwelcome
Buy Links for Blood Burdens (Book 2)
Brandy Nacole resides in Arkansas where her imagination runs wild. Reading is her passion and writing is her obsession. Whenever she's not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, and laughing through the crazy moments. She is the author of the Shadow World Series and the Spiritual Discord Series.
What Brandy Nacole writes about:
I’m a 26 year old mother of three and married to my best friend, who supports all my crazy ideas. When I tell people I’m a writer the first question they ask of course is, what do you write about? When I tell them I write Paranormal Fiction most respond with, “Ah, another stay at home author want-to-be.” My response, “Uh, no.”
The truth is I have been a writer ever since I could write. Sure, my first story was about an alligator and a boy named Sam. They were the best of friends and the alligator followed Sam around just like a puppy would. But as I grew up, my interest started growing in the paranormal genre. If you ask me why, I would ask you, what’s not to like? There’s magic, strength, forever love, special powers, immortality, shifting into a new being, and so much more. I know that a lot of people don’t like the paranormal, just like some may not like westerns or mysteries, but paranormal fiction has had me in its grasp from a young age.
So yes, I stay at home with my children, write paranormal fiction, and dream of being a great author, but this is not a recent development. This has been my dream since I was a little girl. I am not a stay at home mother, who decided to start writing. I am a mother, who decided to stay home to write. And that is the truth behind every indie author. We write because it’s our passion, our dream. We want to share our stories, and passion with the world. And that’s exactly what I thought when I started writing Uniquely Unwelcome, I want to share this.
I wanted to share the story of a unique girl, who was an outcast in both the Shadow World and the Human World. I wanted to share her uniqueness and the struggles she faces as she tries to help those that don’t trust her. I had to share the lonely life that girl faced and still faces, and how she handles someone actually noticing her for something other than a freak. And that’s exactly what I got to share in Uniquely Unwelcome. Then I got to continue that story in Blood Burdens.
So to answer the question, what do you write about? I write about stories I want to share.
Where you can find out more about Brandy Nacole and her books:
Blood Burdens (The Shadow World #2)
Published December 18th 2012
My Review for Blood Burdens Here
As someone with four Shadow bloodlines, Racquel is uniquely unwelcome even among her fellow werewolves, shape-shifters, vampires, and witches. Growing up, she was bullied and tormented for being a “hybrid,” a condition frowned upon by Shadow society. After saving her sister and a number of other kidnapped Shadows from a diabolical plot to create a Shadow army, many have found a new respect for Racquel, but she is far from accepted in Shadow society, and the evil is far from over.
To complicate matters, Racquel now finds herself torn between two brothers. Coy is caring and has helped Racquel through her struggles, and Micah, who Racquel has only met once but who is somehow, having dream conversations with him. Racquel becomes torn between following her heart while breaking it at the same time.
In the second installment of the Shadow World series, Racquel and her sister Addie face off with the Shadow leaders against a threat that could bring the world to its knees. Power will be pushed to its limit, hearts will be broken, and some will pay the ultimate price as Racquel and her group of Shadows fight against an ancient evil that is determined to make the earth bleed and Racquel with it.
Guest Post by Brandy Nacole
Why book covers are so important.
There’s this saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ but let’s face it, it happens. When searching for a book the first thing someone is going to notice is the cover. The cover can then draw that person into reading the synopsis. If the synopsis and the cover draw the reader in, they could possibly buy it or put it on their to-be-read list.
My own personal experience with a cover design came with Uniquely Unwelcome. The first edition cover was a hand drawing of a girl looking up at an eagle. While it was a nice drawing, it just wasn’t up to par with other Fantasy covers. It became very apparent to me, especially after a few readers recommended that I change the cover, that a change was indeed needed.
Why did I decide to use a hand drawing? Well it was kind of a dream of mine. My husband is a great artist. He’s also my support system. Whenever I’m frustrated, stuck on an idea, or just at a complete loss, he’s there. I wanted to pay some tribute to his support and so I thought I would have him do my first cover. From there, I would go with the “traditional covers” but for my first publication I wanted to incorporate him in some way.
My lesson from that, sometimes we have to let go of the smaller dreams/goals to reach the bigger ones. I felt guilty I guess you could say when I told him I thought it was best if we changed the cover. Being a great supporter like he is, he agreed. He was honored that I had tried and that I had even used his art to begin with. So together we picked out the cover for Uniquely Unwelcome and then again with Blood Burdens.
So yes, books are judged by their covers. I’m not saying that every person does this, but most probably do. I’m happy with the new cover for Uniquely Unwelcome and have a paperback edition of both the first edition with my husband’s cover design and the newer edition so I at least have a small token of my little dream.
Excerpt from book one
We turn the corner onto a bridge and I finally see it. The clock tower or as everyone else calls it, Big Ben. It’s absolutely stunning, especially at night. The clock towers over London showing its massive height and beauty as it proclaims the time for everyone to see.
As we’re walking across the bridge I notice Coy getting a little winded and sweaty. “You okay?”
“Yeah, but we may have to hail that ride back.” He’s winded but it doesn’t keep him from looking up in awe at Big Ben. I’m worried though, he looks like he’s about to pass out. Honestly what was I thinking? Making him walk forever, knowing he hasn’t had any strenuous exercise his whole life. But from the expression on his face I can tell he thinks it was worth it.
I wish I could get excited over something the way he is right now. See the world in a new way. Erase the memory of the past. I envy Coy for his look of astonishment and wonder. All I ever feel is dread and loneliness. I’m glad that someone has a chance to see the wonder and magic of the world. It does hold some amazing things.
We arrive at the base of the tower and its enormous beauty. The structure is like a huge piece of art work. There are angels and gargoyles all over the towers surface. The clock bell starts to chime, ringing loud for everyone to hear as its bright light shines through the night.
Once the chiming stops, I contemplate on going up for a quick view. But I can’t leave Coy behind. He might get attacked or feel left out. I go to discard the thought when Coy says something that gives me permission to take him with me.
“Wow. This is amazing.” Coy says, “I wish we could see the view from up top.”
I shrug my shoulders, “Okay.” Before he even knows what I’m doing, I have a tight hold on him. My hands are encircled under his arms and around his chest. Locking my hands I give a slight warning, “Hang on tight,” before launching us off the ground.
He tries to protest but it dies as we land on the roof of the adjoining Westminster Palace. Without pause I keep jumping. I grab hold of outcroppings along the tower to keep my momentum. In a matter of seconds I’m up the tower and sitting Coy on the ledge just above the clock.
I couldn’t see his face while we were scaling the tower but looking at him now, I have a pretty good idea of what his face looked like. His face is pale as are his knuckles, from the death grip he has on the railings. His eyes are practically jumping out of their sockets.
“What the hell was that?” He asks as he takes a shaky breath.
“What?” I ask innocently.
“That,” he shouts, waving his hand through the air to emphasize.
“Oh, well you wanted to see the view. That was the only way I could think of getting us up here.” I take a seat on a gargoyle, straddling it like I’m riding a horse, and lean back against the tower.
“A little warning would have been nice. You scared the hell out of me you know.” He still looks a little rattled but seems to calming a bit.
I laugh to myself. I had expected his response but it’s still funny. “Would you have gone?”
“Exactly! I knew you wanted to come up here but if I had asked you probably wouldn’t have been too giddy about it. Now will you quit complaining? It’s over and done. So just enjoy the view,” I say, taking in the view myself.
He doesn’t say anything more and finally looks around him. His expression is the same as it was before when he saw Big Ben on the bridge, awed with all smiles.
It really is beautiful. The moon is reflecting off the water. I don’t know what it is about the moon reflecting on the water but it’s comforting. The street lights below stretch out illuminating the city. From up here there doesn’t seem to be a care in the world. No differences, no fighting, just total blissfulness.
An urge hits me so hard that I don’t think I will be able to hold it back. Without even questioning myself, I stand on top of the gargoyle and look over at Coy. “Will you be okay up here for a few minutes?”
“I guess.” He looks at me cautiously. “What are you going to do?” Without answering him, I jump.
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