Cat Moon, the first book in The Were Children series by Jennifer Gadd, releases this Friday, July 24 through Distinguished Press. I was fortunate to have read an advanced copy, and I cannot recommend this book enough! Get it here, now!
Gadd builds her characters so that they become a part of the reader’s life. The children in the story could be one’s own (or one's best friends), and although the book is written for a middle school to young adult audience, this thirty-six year old man absolutely fell in love with the story. I cheered along with the characters’ victories, and I cursed at the villains. There are multiple mysteries, and you’ll find yourself thinking of dozens of possibilities. In the end, Gadd gives readers an incredibly rewarding conclusion while simultaneously building a ravenous hunger for the next book in the series.
More than a thrilling story, Gadd tackles themes of acceptance and chasing one's dreams in uniquely powerful ways. It's a great read for all audiences.
Check out this synopsis of Cat Moon:
Emma has big problems. She has no family and no home. She wanders the streets of The Warren, scavenging for her next meal and trying to keep warm. Haunted by the memory of a mother she barely recalls, Emma dreams of being a part of a real family. She is helped in her search for belonging by an assortment of eccentric characters: a friendly shopkeeper and his cranky uncle, the nice woman who runs the local mission, a ditzy cat lady, and a good-natured prostitute with a drinking problem.
Her biggest obstacle, however, is that every full moon, she turns into a feral cat! Emma is one of the Were. She and those like her are ruthlessly hunted by the captain of the Were-Guard, whose religious zealotry makes him especially dangerous. When the sinister Bram Fitzwilliam enters the picture to assist the Guard, Emma is in more danger than ever. Before she finds what she’s looking for, Emma must find a strength and courage she never knew she had. Her journey will teach her that dreams don’t always come true the way you want them to, that people aren’t always what they seem, and that real families can be chosen.
At the time of this post, you can get it for just $0.99 on Amazon!
At the time of this post, you can get it for just $0.99 on Amazon!
Give Jennifer's Facebook page a like! She has some exciting giveaways and news related to the release of Cat Moon. Be sure to check it out!
Gadd made a terrific book trailer for Cat Moon. Check it out below!
Excerpt from the beginning of Cat Moon:
She’d had no idea what was happening to her when the first shift came. She remembered screaming, and she remembered watching in terror as the bones in her arms and legs began to change shape under her stretched skin, as chocolate-brown fur itched its way out of her very pores. She remembered the burning in her eyes as her pupils opened and became vertical slits. She remembered how her vision had sharpened in the moonlight. She even remembered the prickling on her face as the sensitive whiskers sprouted and the intense pain in her lower back where the tailbones had started growing. She had never in her whole life experienced such excruciating pain before, but she certainly would again — again and again and again.
She remembered something else, too. As she’d started screaming, someone had grabbed her, covered her mouth with a rough, hairy hand, and dragged her down into an alley and deep into the Warren. A voice had growled in her ear, “Shut up, you stupid girl, or they’ll find you!” The growling intensified, then there was an injured whimper, and Emma had been thrown aside. She’d landed on soft paws with a hiss that was a shock to her new fur-lined ears. Then the animal mind took over. The next thing she knew, it was morning, she hurt all over, and she had a suspicious taste coating her tongue that she desperately hoped wasn’t rat.
Join Jennifer, me, the Distinguished Press team, and several guest authors this Saturday, July 25 for an online celebration here of Cat Moon. We'll be playing games and giving away prizes!
Quotes from Cat Moon:
There was nothing between her and the pavement, and if the banister were to collapse, she would surely plummet to her death. It would be the simplest way to solve a lot of problems.
She stopped abruptly as she surveyed the scene. “Mother, is there a problem?” she asked.
“Yes, Margaret. There is indeed a very grave problem. These . . . these—”
If her mind later blurred many of the images unrecognizable, what Margaret remembered most clearly were the sounds: bones cracking like kindling, sinews snapping like whips and wrapping themselves around the new structure with a hiss, skin tearing and raw, and Emma’s hideous and helpless screams.”
The old man sat up, challenging. “Tell her what, Giles?” he said flatly. “Tell her that I killed her mother?”
As she walked out of the sitting room, she turned back to see if he was still watching her. The fire reflecting in his hard eyes glowed red and demonic. He never even blinked.
Jennifer L. Gadd is a life-long reader and writer who holds a deep interest in writing quality literature for children and young adults. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, as well as hi-lo books for struggling readers. Her favorite authors are Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie, Candace M. Robb, Ellis Peters, and Anne Perry. She has lived in Texas, Illinois, and Alaska, and currently resides in Kansas City, Kansas, where she is a reading interventionist at an urban middle school.
Five Facts about this Book, by Jennifer Gadd:
1. I got the idea for the book when all the vampire books exploded onto YA fiction, and I wanted to do something different.
2. I finished the rough draft at a Borders in Overland Park, Kansas. I hope that’s not the reason they went bankrupt.
3. The story was initially vetted by my younger daughter and her best friend, and after they read it, they created a role play game based on it.
4. All of the herbal medicine lore in the first book is researched and accurate (but not intended to take the place of advice from your medical practitioner.)
5. My own daughters’ names are Rachel and Margaret.
Five Things About Emma
1. She isn’t sure, but she thinks she’s about twelve years old.
2. She learned to read a very early age. She can’t really remember not ever knowing how to read.
3. The shift back and forth from human to animal mind causes sporadic memory losses, so she doesn’t know if her memories are real or imagined.
4. She has a deep moral conscience, but homelessness has made her do things of which she is ashamed.
5. For all her street smarts, she is essentially naïve and innocent.
Five Things About Margaret Spencer
1. She misses her sister terribly.
2. She has always felt she was second-best in her mother’s heart.
3. She deeply and truly loves Stephen Devlin and tries to see only the best in him and his actions.
4. She chafes against the religious faith in which she was brought up.
5. She is a terrible cook.
Five Things About Stephen Devlin
1. He has a terrible temper and has a compulsive need to be in control.
2. His actions are the result of deeply-held religious beliefs.
3. He is an expert archer.
4. He feels as if he had always been a failure in the eyes of his deceased father.
5. He deeply and genuinely loves his sister and brother.