Samantha (Sam) Shields is a ballet major with a difference, she has the ability to see auras, plagued with strange visions and dreams, and under duress she's able to influence objects. Sam however, doesn't understand why or how she's able to do any of it. The book opens with Sam in ballet rehearsal and unable to concentrate due to disturbing images that she's been having all day. After rehearsal she has a terrifying experience and the story is off . Sam's best friends Anna and Vig try to support her and make her feel safe, but they can't give her the help that she is really in need of.
Enter Trin Kosolov, the Olympic swimmer and school celebrity with powers no one in their collegiate world knows about. Trin is a Russian born Veduny, a group of people with honed psychic abilities in charge of protecting humanity from evil. The Veduny (the knowing ones) are made up of Keepers and are determined to see their new Oracle protected and brought into the fold to hone and understand the skills needed to fill the role. After sensing Sam in a club Trin recognizes her and her abilities and promises to help her understand and hone them. Shine explores the concept that good and evil are not always being black and white but has varying shades of grey.
This read has a little of everything; paranormal, time travel, fight against evil, and a budding romance. Young Adult/New Adult is not a genre that I am usually interested in, but Shine is a good example why you shouldn't close yourself off completely and look in different directions every once in a while. I enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. This is a book that I will be recommending to my 18 year old to read, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to a 12 or 13 year old, 15 may be a good starting age for this one. I'm a little on the conservative side when it comes to the kiddos. But if yours have read books like Twilight or Beautiful Creatures then the content in this book is just fine. There are no real sex scenes, just kissing and thoughts of sex, and the subject matter is in the wheel house of paranormal interest. This is definitely a book that I as an adult enjoyed and at $0.99 for the eBook it is definitely worth the trip outside of the adult fiction section.
A Visit with Author Amy Freeman:
How old were you when you first began writing?
I remember writing stories as young as age five, but the first “real attempt” to do anything came at age ten when I decided I was Steven Spielberg. I wrote a screen play titled “Death Island” and forced my friends to participate. Needless to say without a film crew, or an island, the project failed. :0)
What work did you do before becoming a writer?
My degree is actually in Criminal Justice. I wanted to help needy and troubled youth, but I never ended up working in the field. I have worked in the airline industry, I have been a lunch lady, I have worked in a chiropractor’s office as a massage therapist (got licensed in that too!) I have become marginally acceptable in quite a few areas! Through it all I always wrote. I just never considered it as a career choice because it wasn’t “work” for me. It was my escape.
What are your interests outside of being a writer?
I love music and dance. I studied ballet growing up, all through school and into college. My sister and I performed in musical theater often as kids. I love the arts.
What encouraged you to make the leap from writing as a hobby to pursuing publication?
I considered it at age nineteen after completing two children’s books (for fun) but never actually did anything. Life became complicated and writing fell to the back burner for years. In 2009 I had a dream of two individuals shrouded in white-blue light followed by a book cover titled SHINE. I woke up and started writing again. I have been at it ever since. I guess it was then that I really knew I wanted to do this and nothing else.
What influences your writing the most?
Dreams and nature. My stories usually begin with one or the other. Either I have had a truly bizarre or creepy dream, or I have seen some mysterious, ghostly site while driving somewhere. I have been lucky to live in some beautiful places throughout my life- all of which have inspired stories. If I need a push, I hop in my car, pop in my favorite music and go for a drive through the forests or up a canyon or whatever sparsely inhabited area is available to me at the time!
What made you pursue the New Adult/Paranormal genre?
I have always been fascinated by the ghostly, the unknown and the unexplained. I do believe we as human being have much to discover about life, the world and ourselves.
Even though Shine was just published in July do you have your next project in the works?
I do! Shine is a series so I am deeply invested in book two at the moment. I also have a completed draft of a ghost story to polish and publish next year.
Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?
Never quit. Writing is not an easy task and must be continually fostered. I work at it constantly and learn continually. There is always room for improvement and it takes time, so be gentle to yourself and keep writing. Write, read and study the craft! Writing and critique groups are an excellent addition to the process as well!
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