Thursday, 4 December 2014

Spotlight & Interview: The Marked Ones series by Cathi Shaw

Five Corners (The Marked Ones #1)
Released: May 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ink Smith Publishing
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
Growing up in a sleepy village untouched by distant wars and political conflicts, it was easy for Thia, Mina and Kiara to forget such horrors existed in the Five Corners. That is until the dead child is found; a child that bears the same strange birthmark that all three sisters possess. A Mark their mother had always told them was unique to the girls.
Kiara’s suspicions grow as their Inn is soon overrun with outsiders from all walks of life. Strangers, soldiers and Elders who all seem to know more about what is happening than the girls do.

After Mina barely survives an attack in the forest, the sisters are faced with a shattering secret their mother has kept from them for years. As danger closes in around them, the sisters are forced from their home and must put their trust in the hands of strangers.  With more questions than answers, Kiara finds herself separated from everyone she loves and reliant on an Outlander who has spent too much time in army. She doesn’t trust Caedmon but she needs him if she has any hope of being reunited with her sisters and learning what the Mark might mean.
Finding Refuge (The Marked Ones #2)
Released: 4 December 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ink Smith Publishing
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
After successfully escaping Séreméla, Thia, Kiara and Mina agree to meet in the newly created safe haven of The Refuge. As a precaution they take different paths to their destination, only to discover those paths force them even farther away from one another. As one pitfall and danger after another emerges, they are once again left to wonder if there is anyone they can trust and if they will ever uncover the secrets of the Prophecy.

Kiara’s lungs burned as she ran through the dusty landscape, her arms aching with the weight of the small child she clutched to her chest.
“Shhhh,” Kiara hissed as the child whimpered, the noise carrying over the rocky terrain. She glanced over her shoulder, looking for signs of pursuit. In the distance she could just barely make out the black blur that indicated a Hunter was there. One at least. She kept running. There was no time to see if there were more. 
Suddenly the girl in her arms twisted and wriggled violently. Kiara clutched her closer but lost her footing and they both fell hard at the top of the steep incline. The child began to scream and before Kiara could do anything she heard the sibilant voice of the Hunter.
“Give me the child.” 
Kiara pushed herself to sitting, tucking the now silent girl behind her. “No,” she said firmly, forcing herself to make eye contact with the vile creature in front of her.
The Hunter’s hood was pulled low but she could still see the eerie glow from its red eyes. She knew that beneath the dark robes lay a creature with skin as translucent as glass, its blue veins clearly visible. The idyll thought that sun would not be kind to such skin floated through her mind.
“Fine,” the creature almost shrugged, “I will take you first.”
It advanced toward Kiara. She reached for her sword before remembering that she’d left it at the camp. A broadsword, even one crafted in Séreméla, was far too heavy to carry on a rescue mission. She reached for the dagger in her boot but it was too late. The Hunter moved with a speed that would have been shocking if Kiara hadn’t seen it before. As its gloved hand closed around her throat, Kiara forced herself to look into its eyes, where she saw all hope for the Marked Ones being devoured.
Spots clouded her vision and Kiara felt a searing heat radiating from where the Hunter grasped her throat. She watched as the blackness reflected in the red eyes turned to pure white energy. As darkness began closing in on the edges of her vision, she could see the Hunter’s eyes, feasting on whatever it saw in her own eyes.
“You never had a chance at saving them. You should have saved yourself,” it hissed softly as the blackness began to overtake her.

Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children.  She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she teaches rhetoric and professional writing in the Department of Communications at Okanagan College and is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today.

Find Cathi:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
My first book, Five Corners, was released by Ink Smith Publishing in January of this year. I’m also the co-author of the textbook Writing Today (Canada) which a lot of first year university and college students use in their academic writing classes.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
It’s really interesting writing a book. For years you’ve wanted to be a writer and then finally you finish a book! Then it gets published!! Then it comes out in print (happy dance & yay!). And that’s when the hard work of marketing starts. I was completely surprised at how much marketing is involved when Five Corners was released. I would say I was under prepared and uneducated in how to get the book out there for readers to see. Fast forward one year and I get that for readers to pick up my book, they have to know about it! So after the first week of release, I’m looking for ways to connect with and interact with my readers.

3. What inspired you to write these novels?
Since this is the second book in the series, I would have to say the readers of the first book! They were absolutely amazing and so supportive. I got so many nice messages begging me for more of Thia, Kiara and Mina’s stories. So it was easy to be motivated when you know there are others out there who love your book as much as you do!

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
Negative reviews should be used as learning tools. Often they have a kernel of truth in them. So when I get a negative review, I try to understand where the reviewer was coming from. The most negative remark about Five Corners was that there was a lot of back story and that’s true – there usually is in the first book of a fantasy series. But I was lucky because pretty much all of the reviews for Book 1 were positive. ☺

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
Well, the planning process was about 5 years (haha!) I had an idea but never could find the time to sit down and write it. The writing process was remarkably fast. For both Book 1 and Book 2 I spent about one month getting the first draft down on the computer. The editing process takes much longer (70% of writing is, sadly, rewriting).

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
I love the cover art for my books. But for the first edition of Book 1 I underestimated the important of cover art. My daughter (who is a great artist) worked with my mum (also a great artist) and came up with a design but none of us had any experience with book cover art (which is very different than other forms of art). So the first edition cover looks pretty amateur. We released Book 1 in May of this year with a brand new cover designed by Chris Arlidge from Cheeky Monkey Media. He did an AMAZING job. I’m not a very visual person but when I saw the cover he designed I was blown away. Book 2 cover is even better, I think!

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
I’m actually working on a ton of projects right now. I have a Dystopian novel that I’ve been working on, a historical YA fantasy novel and a true story book about a climbing expedition gone wrong.

8. Top 5 books

  • Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • LOTR – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  • The Fifth Wave – Rick Yancey

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
Harry Potter! Really Rowling came up with such an original and inspiring series. I love love love it!

10. Why read your novel?

Because it’s awesome! No, really, if you are a reader who falls in love with characters, mystery and adventure, I think you will love The Marked Ones series.


  1. Thanks so much for featuring Finding Refuge today, Gina! For those of you interested in winning some awesome prizes, check out my Facebook release party tonight (Dec 4th) from 6-9 PST:

    1. No problem! It was great chating with you, and getting to share your books :)


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