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#111: The Marked Son - Shea Berkley (With Guest Post & Giveaway)

Synopsis & Book Info:
Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what.
When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. He’s felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.
Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death

Paperback: 334 Pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
ISBN: 9781937044015
Purchase at Barnes & Noble

Connect with Shea: Facebook / / Goodreads /

I’d like to thank Freda for allowing me on her blog. I’m under strict orders to behave myself.

When I was asked to do this blog, I thought of a thousand topics I could write on. That’s the problem with being a writer, the world is big and the possibilities are endless. I needed to narrow my scope. (that is not easy) I’ve read tons of blogs about a book’s main characters and how they developed, but what about those secondary characters? In my opinion, secondary characters are just as important to the story as the main characters. Secondary characters add depth to the story, or at least they should.
So what makes a good secondary character?
Clear as mud, huh? By relevance, a secondary character must have a reason to exist. I have two secondary characters in THE MARKED SON that fill the “best friend” role to my main character, Dylan. Now some may say that I should combine them into one, but I disagree. Each of these characters has a distinct duty to fulfill, and if I had combined them into one person, I would have lost some of the advantages each of them carry through the story.
The first friend Dylan meets is Leo. He’s a couple of years older than Dylan, laid back and has knowledgeable about the area. Leo has a direct connection to Dylan’s grandparents since his family works on their ranch. Leo is the information guy. He knows what’s up, but he also is unfailingly loyal and brings a steadiness to the craziness that’s going on around them. He’s the voice of reason.
Then there’s Jason. (shakes head) What can I say about this guy? He’s the wild one. If there’s trouble brewing, he’s the one stoking the fire. He’s the leap-before-you-look guy. He’s the one pushing you to jump out of the plane even though your chute is ripped and the rope is frayed. He’ll back Dylan up because he loves the adrenaline rush. He has issues neither Dylan nor Leo know about, and really shouldn’t be trusted to act on his own. That’s when he gets into really big trouble.
When creating secondary characters, I think of someone who will be a foil for my main character, someone to bounce ideas off of or who will reveal something about the main character through their own observations. It’s the unsung mission of the secondary character to make the main character look good.
My favorite secondary characters?
Fagan from Oliver Twist
Frodo’s hobbit friends from the Lord of the Rings
Snape from Harry Potter
Cinna from Hunger Games

I can’t imagine any of these books without these secondary characters. They each highlighted some aspect of the heroine that we wouldn’t know if they weren’t in the story. Ahh, secondary characters. They’re the hot fudge in the sundae, because without them the stories would just be plain vanilla ice cream with boring whipped cream on top.
If anyone has a burning desire to talk to me, you can find me at: Facebook / / Goodreads /

The Marked Son by Shea Berkley (AN EXCERPT):
Nothing feels better than touching Kera. I hold her close, feeling her heart beat behind her ribs. The heat of her hands on my chest is impossible to ignore as I kiss her, teasing her lips, and ultimately torturing myself until my control is almost gone. I pull away, putting my forehead to hers, and silently count to ten. Counting to a hundred wouldn’t help. Holding her intensifies my feelings of recklessness.
I can’t let go.
I pick her up. You’d think her dress, with its yards of material would be a problem, but it isn’t. Not for her. She wraps her legs around my waist and rakes her hands through my hair. I place my head on her chest and close my eyes. The rapid beat of her heart matches my own. The scent that engulfs her is as heady as the feel of her in my arms.
“You smell like summer and—” I search for the word that describes the scent pulsing under her skin. It teases me with every breath and touch. Naming it is driving me insane. It’s one I haven’t smelled on her before, yet it’s a scent that’s all too familiar to me, like summer and… “—sadness.”
She captures my lips with hers and slowly slides down my body until her feet touch the floor. Our kiss deepens, her embrace turns desperate. Her kiss fills with misery. The room turns hot, too claustrophobic. I can’t think. I try pushing her away, but she clings to me. Her breathing quickens, and she shivers within my arms. I sense real fear in her. Though she protests, I finally manage to step free. One, two, three steps back, separate but still connected. I can’t stop staring at her, wanting her. She’s like…
A drug.


My Opinion:
And I'm totally on the edge, waiting to fall into the next book... there has to be a next book.
I really want to blab off and tell you guys every thing about this story, that's how good it is. And the ending... oh my goodness!!!!
Very creative story, and awesome characters.
Shea, I admire you.


Recommend? Should you even ask... YES!!!!!

~I received an ecopy from Entangled Book Tours. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY.... Fill in the Raffecopter form.


  1. Hi Shea!

    Ah, Fagin! "What's become of the boy? Speak or I'll throttle you!"

    Heck, the entire cast of Oliver Twist! Great examples.

  2. Great post, Shea! Leo and Jason sound like wonderful characters--almost as though they're opposite halves of Dylan's conscience. :) Congrats on your book release, and I wish you tons of sales!

  3. Great post, Shea!

    And Cinna... one of the best secondary characters EVER! :D

  4. I'm about 100 pages in and my hubs had to yank my nook from me this morning and force me to get dressed. I threw a pitching fit. So freaking good! Congrats on an awesome story and I can't wait to see all the wicked good reviews to roll in. I'll be writing mine soon.

  5. Sarah,

    I know, right? Oliver Twist is total awesomeness. The characters just pop off the page.

  6. Cate,

    Yeah, pretty much. Leo is steady and Jason is wild. They're a great team of mischief-makers.

  7. Jus,

    At first, when I met Cinna, I thought, "oh, this one is so shallow," and then BAM. Not at all.

  8. SUCH a good point, Shea. It's no fun having a secondary character that's a carbon copy of the hero. Can't wait to read this!

  9. Rachel,

    I'm so glad you're liking the book. I hope you weren't late. I get that way too, so involved with a book I don't want to put it down. But life goes on, and so must I... dangit! Why can't the world leave me alone so I can read?

  10. Erica,

    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you like the book.

  11. Cinna, Rue, Gale... the entire cast of the Hunger Games. Even Effie Trinket is essential in her own way. Can't wait to read The Marked Son, Shea!

  12. I love my secondary characters as much as my main ones. They can add such spice and deepen the story so much.

    Great post! ~D~

  13. Ooh, Snape! He's such a great secondary character, because you want to hate him (heck, you do hate him), but once you find out his true motivation, you can't. At least I couldn't.

  14. Nice post, Shea. I love a good secondary character, too. My favorites are from the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series. Her whole family is crazy and I love the antics.

  15. Enjoyed your post, Shea. I love my secondary characters too, even if I really dislike them!

    They give Oscars to supporting actors, right?

    Congratualtions on the debut of THE MARKED SON!

  16. Thanks, Darynda. You're amazing at creating cool secondary characters.

  17. Hi Shea!
    I just bought "The Marked Son" for my Nook app and can't wait to start it. I love your post about secondary characters. As a writer, I love to create them and, yet, sometimes I still forget how important they are. I just added a best friend for the heroine in my WIP and re-realized how much such a person opens an entirely new way to show a main character's personality. I found a missing puzzle piece for the story and I fell in love with my new character! Secondary characters rock, and I can't wait to meet Leo and Jason!

  18. Rosalie, even though Snape is technically a secondary character, the books are a lot about his journey and character growth. I just loved it. He made those books.

  19. Melanie, Grandma is my favorite in JE books. Such a crack up!

  20. Tracy, I love all my characters. I have to. If I don't, then why would I use them in my story? Thanks. It's been a fantastic debut.

  21. Lizabeth, I'm biting my nails knowing you'll soon be reading it. I hope you like it. Realizations about writing happen to me every day. I wish I'd hurry up and understand it all, but it's gonna take me my whole life to figure this all out.

  22. Sounds terrific, but then I know it would be.
    --Gabi Stevens

  23. Great post on secondary characters. I love Cinna, too!

  24. I completely agree....secondary characters set the entire tone. Sure, main characters are what the story is centered around, but the dialogue and attitudes of the secondary characters are what set the "tone" for the entire book! P.S. Purchasing and starting The Marked Son today. Squee!

  25. Gabi, Aww, you're too sweet to say so. It's terrifying pushing my baby into the spotlight. I can see its flaws and am sure everyone else can too and will hate it. Insecurity, thy name is writer.

  26. Brooke, Absolutely! You're starting it today? I wish I had time to read. I've got to finish the second book before I can take a break and read. Waaahhaaa!

  27. This looks like a great book! I like to think I would help my child achieve his/her calling. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  28. Fabulous post, Shea! Sometimes it's a battle to keep my secondary characters from stealing the spotlight, but I do love 'em.

    Congrats on your debut!

  29. Great post. If my child was marked I would help my child achieve his/her calling.

  30. I'd be happy to help my child "be all they could be"!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com


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