Every Friday, we here @ Del Rey Spectra will place a 50 page excerpt of a selected title on Unbound Worlds. Whether it is science fiction, epic fantasy, alternate history, horror, urban fantasy, paranormal, the possibilities are endless.
This week we bring you an excerpt from KEPT, the second book in Shawntelle Madison’s Coveted series, about Natalya Stravinsky, the OCD werewolf. Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Nat is looking forward to some downtime, but then her father is captured by the the Russian werewolf mafia. The series features a giant cast of unforgettable characters, and the author tells us more about why she chose to create such a large web of secondary characters for her books.
“I thought I’d help introduce you to the Coveted series, and all the zany characters in the story. Not only do we have our hero, Thorn Grantham, but I had to toss in Natalya’s family: her brother, mother, father, and her relatives. Add in Nat’s best friend Aggie (who has an obsession of her own), Bill, her goblin boss, and more.
Why such a large cast? When reading a book or watching movies, I love a big cast—especially in a romantic comedy. Do you remember the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? I love that movie! I feel the same way about Coveted–only it’s more of a My Big Fat Werewolf Family…with goblins, zombies, wizards, succubi, mermaids, and much more. It’s that family dynamic in My Big Fat Greek Wedding that makes the heroine’s (Toula’s) journey all the more fun and interesting. As Toula tackles meeting a new guy and improving her life, the story unfolds with her family in tow. Take the scene where all of Toula’s family members get together so her beau, Ian, can meet Toula’s parents. We didn’t get a long and drawn out introduction to each member. Only a taste so you got to know the important ones. Just little snippets. Like Toula’s Aunt Voula asking Ian’s parents to drink more and more liquor to celebrate the occasion. Her aunt was so likeable and added flavor to the movie. Didn’t you feel like you want to be a member of Toula’s family? (Minus being a bridesmaid–cause those blue dresses were crazy!) But jokes aside, I loved how through the scenes you got to know each of the family members. Their quirks, their personalities. I loved how I could relate to having relatives like Toula’s and how Toula’s relatives made such an impact on her life. It made the movie all the more enjoyable in the end when she got the hero, the house, and a new baby in the end.
I wanted similar relationships in place in my books. Nat’s fight against the Long Island pack and later, the Russian mafia, is just a part of the whole story. She is also an outcast among her pack due to her OCD. She wants to be a normal werewolf—to have a place with not only her pack, but her family as well. It’s the development of these relationships through Nat’s journey, with a healthy dose of humor, that made this story a joy to write. Nat also develops new friendships through her supernatural therapy group which includes more zany characters: a mermaid who is afraid of the ocean, a Muse who is scared of her authors, and even more.”
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Please enjoy this excerpt of KEPT by Shawntelle Madison, on sale wherever books are sold!