I'm super excited to introduce you to a fabulous new middle-grade author--Morgan Keyes! Her first book, Darkbeast
, features a strong heroine who defies her society's conventions to stay true to her lifelong companion, who happens to be a none other than a raven. I had the privilege of reading Darkbeast
last month, and I fell in love with Keara and Caw and their fascinating story.
Though it's a middle-grade, it's also most certainly a book for those who love my Aspect of Crow
fantasy series. The world-building is top-notch, the main characters have to make hard choices, and of course: there are animals!
Morgan is giving away a copy of Darkbeast
to one lucky reader today (US and Canada addresses only), so please welcome her to the blog!
Many thanks to Jeri, for allowing me to visit and tell you
about my middle grade fantasy novel, Darkbeast
. Due to the generosity of my publisher, Simon
& Schuster, I will give away a copy of Darkbeast
to one commenter chosen at random from all the comments made to this post by
11:59 p.m. EDT Monday night.
twelve-year-old Keara runs away from home rather than sacrifice Caw, the raven darkbeast
that she has been magically bound to all her life. Pursued by Inquisitors who would punish her
for heresy, Keara joins a performing troupe of Travelers and tries to find a
safe haven for herself and her companion.
In many ways, Darkbeast
is the exact same story as Jeri's Shade
is about tweens, not
teens. And Darkbeast
is set in an imaginary land, one that has only the
faintest resemblance to the world we live in. And Darkbeast
ghosts, or cool bands, or hot Scottish guys, or, or, or…
But both Darkbeast
and the Shade
series are about ways
of seeing the world. Aura and all the
other teens born after the Shift literally see the world differently than
adults do – they see ghosts that are invisible to older people.
Similarly, my heroine Keara sees the world in a way that
sets her apart from her mother (and from her sisters and from just about
everyone else she knows.) Keara sees a
world where she loves her darkbeast, even though her bonded raven companion
knows the absolute worst things about her – her most evil thoughts, her
absolute worst deeds.
Most people shy away from bad memories, from the
confirmation that they could have acted better, they could have done more. Most people struggle to fit into their
society, doing everything they can to be a happy, healthy, integrated part of
But where's the fun in that? More to the point, where's the fun in reading
Keara breaks the rules – the very first section of Darkbeast
"Rebellion". Keara's rebellion
costs her a lot – family, friends, the comfort of living and working in a familiar
But in exchange, Keara gains an entire new world. She travels to new places and sees new things
that she only has only imagined in the past. And if her unique vision, her special understanding of the facts places
her directly in harm's way, then maybe – just maybe – it also gives her the keys
to her own salvation. All of her
adventures grow out of the different
way that Keara sees the world around her.
What about you? Are
there things that you see completely differently from other people in your
(For me, I have to say it's texting. Almost everyone around me – family and
friends – live and die by their cell phones. Me? Not so much. Actually, almost not at all! Half the time, my phone is floating in the
bottom of my purse, having run out of power because I forgot to recharge
it. And now you probably think I'm as
strange as Keara must seem to her people!)
Morgan can be found online at:
sale in bricks-and-mortar and online bookstores, including: Amazon
Morgan Keyes grew up in California, Texas, Georgia, and
Minnesota, accompanied by parents, a brother, a dog, and a cat. Also,
there were books. Lots and lots of books. Morgan now lives near
Washington, D.C. In between trips to the Natural History Museum and the
National Gallery of Art, she reads, travels, reads, writes, reads, cooks,
reads, wrestles with cats, and reads. Because there are still
books. Lots and lots of books.