Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Giveaway and Book Review of Shifted Perspective: Tails of Change Book One

Giveaway and Book Review of Shifted Perspective: Tails of Change Book One
Sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours

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Shifted Perspective
Tails of Change Book One
By J. Bridger

Genre: paranormal young adult

Number of pages: 192 (as a word doc/.PDF)
Word Count: 69, 977

Cover Artist: Rebecca Weaver

Blurb : 
Caleb Byrne is a bright high school senior who has enough to deal with between college choices, taking care of his single dad, and dealing with his headstrong girlfriend Joanna and an eccentric set of cousins in California. He was managing to get by until the day he woke up a Cocker Spaniel. Even if it only happens monthly and is more embarrassing than painful, the so-called ability is something that he's anxious to be rid of.

He didn't realize his transformations would drag him into a hidden society of canine and lupine shape shifters as well as a family legacy he hates. To make matters worse, after moving to Los Angeles to learn more about his heritage from his Aunt Moira and his cousin Kalista, Caleb now struggles through life-and-death matters. He keeps angering the werewolves in charge of the shifter world, especially Kalista's boyfriend Peter, the Southern California alpha's son, who also happens to be grade-A sociopath. Worse, Caleb's floundering to keep his secret from Joanna.

While his family offers him some support, they may not be enough as Caleb realizes that the rules in shifter society---number one being don't kill humans---are not so ironclad. Some werewolf out there is leaving a blood-soaked trail across the Midwest and it might just be with the alpha's blessing...

About the Author:

J. Bridger has had an eclectic life. She’s worked in the psychiatric ward in a hospital in La Paz, Bolivia, been a veterinary intern giving all sorts of better-left-to-the-imagination exams to dogs and cats, and had her own spate in creating and running a television ad campaign. Currently, in her day job, she is getting her certification as a medical Spanish interpreter in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.

By night, she’s a fledgling author, who has just penned her debut novel, Shifted Perspective; she is currently working on its sequel, the next installment of The Tails of Change Series. J.’s always loved things that go bump (or that howl) in the night and devoured Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker starting in middle school. Her favorite shows are no less preternatural and include Big Wolf on Campus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Teen Wolf. While she’s been writing fiction for eight years and been published in several academic journals for her psychological research, this is her first venture into published original fiction.

J. Bridger lives in Raleigh with two Yorkies, a beagle, and a Schnauzer-Yorkie mix (as well as far too many dust bunnies).



Things were good for a while.

School got back to session, I exchanged a few polite emails with Kalista, and Joanna and I went back to keeping The Gazette afloat even if it was far from popular. It was also a great relief and thrill to be able to send my uncle's check to my new alma mater. Duke class of 2016 that was me.

Then, about a month after finals, maybe the sixteenth of January or so, my hearing got worse. It was so bad that when I woke up in the morning, it felt like the morning news dad was watching over coffee was going to kill me. That or someone was taking a railroad spike to my skull every time the anchor talked. Rolling over, I pulled the pillow over my head and hoped I'd die. I'd never had a migraine so severe before that I was seeing auras; I wondered if something was wrong with me like a tumor.

When dad knocked on my door, I shuddered. "I can't go to school today," I said under my nest of pillows.

"Son, look up at me."

I did as I was asked, even if it was reluctant about it. "My head is staging a revolt. I have a migraine."

My dad came to sit at the chair by my bed and frowned. "Your pupils aren't the same size and your eyes are pretty bloodshot." He reached up and put the back of his hand to my forehead. "Do you have a fever?"

"Do I feel like it?"

"A little warm. You haven't missed since a cold in September, so I think it's alright. You're not exactly pulling a Ferris Bueller. I want to give you a day to get better, but if you don’t, you’ll have to go to Dr. Seiberman."

I shuddered. “No, I’m not that bad off, just hurts. Besides, that's great. A day off from the school grind and I just want to curl into a ball and die. hearing is awful. Everything's too loud, like a throbbing all over. Can you not have the TV on for a while?"

He blinked back at me, dumbfounded. "It wasn't that loud downstairs."

"It was bad enough, definitely. I just think I'm going to pass out with the curtains drawn and see how it goes from there."
I guess sometimes pillows can be good for more than comfort because after my dad left, being careful not to stomp his boots on the way out, I managed to fall to sleep, my dreams odd for me, about running through the woods by Pilot Mountain, chasing something that remained mysterious throughout the day and night.

Even now, I have no idea what it was, can only guess.

When I woke, I knew something was off. The sun was just rising over the horizon and I had no idea how I'd managed to sleep almost for twenty-four hours. My hearing didn't pound in my head, but that wasn't reassuring. Shaking my head, I shivered with the cold. I'd slept walked again and of all things come to rest on the sofa downstairs.

This was getting ridiculous but at least it didn't involve waking up tangled in drying deer hide. Thank God for small favors.

"Christ this is pathetic," I said to no one in particular. Then I froze, everything muscle in my body taught.

I hadn't heard my voice, not at all.

But I had heard a series of plaintive barks.

What in the world?

Scared, I started just trying something simple, starting into the alphabet, but it was just more barking. I gulped and braced myself. Looking down, all I saw were four modest-sized black paws.

I could only hope I was hallucinating.

Excerpt #2 (960 words):
"Uh, hi," I said, shifting from foot to foot at the booth in front of me. My cousin had taken me back to my uncle's restaurant, Artemis, off Rodeo Drive. It wasn't a place with the fondest memories but the food was good. Also, without my uncle there I had hoped we'd have a better time.

This was a mistake.

My cousin had set me up. Sitting in the far corner of the booth I was supposed to sit in was a girl maybe about 5'9 with thick black hair pulled into two braided pigtails and bright, coffee colored eyes. She was fairly attractive, I guess. Her skin was an almost flawless, striking shade of mahogany. Still, I had a feeling this was all about trying to take my mind off of Joanna with any old shifter girl. Kalista practically pushing me into the seat next to her confirmed my suspicions.

"Penny, so glad you could make it! Caleb Byrne, my cousin,” my cousin said, gesturing to me theatrically. “Caleb, Penny Spencer, one of my besties.”

Kalista was the type of person to whom that was an actual noun.

I sniffed the air just to be sure. My cousin said she was only taking me to meet other shifters, but I hadn't been one hundred percent sure. A quick inhale gave that odd mixed scent that was neither human nor canine but a faint mix of both. It also wasn’t my scent or Kalista’s. Clearly Penny was in the club.
Penny chuckled and patted the table top before her. "I don't bite."


She sighed. "There are twenty-five thousand of us in this region’s pack besides you. Don't act completely shocked or think we're all going to take your head off."

"Oh I wasn't," I said, squinting at her. If I'd practiced more with my senses, then I'd at least be able to tell what she was when she had four paws. As it was, I couldn't tell a Dachshund from St. Bernard. Wolves were different, from what I could remember vaguely of the Morettis, now that I knew what I’d smelled at Christmas. Still, telling one canine shifter from another? Way beyond my skill set. Penny could be anything.

"Is it rude?" I started.

She quirked her head at me, smiling a little. "To ask what I am? No, it's not considered impolite to ask each other. Cocker, right? Like Kalista?"

I nodded. “I guess you could say that."

Weird to admit out loud even in a corner booth of a restaurant.

"Beagle," she replied. "Best sense of smell this side of a bloodhound. You need a fox found, call me."

I blanched. "Oh, I don't."

She shook her head. "Not like that. I was kidding. I moonlight once in a while for the L.A.P.D. as a bomb sniffer."

"Yeah, right."

"Actually," Kalista said, picking up a menu as if she hadn't memorized it by heart. "She does. It's not her main job, but she has a hobby."

"How do you even---"

"More of us in the force than you'd think, and I have a better sense for sniffing than even a German Shepard. But that's not my full roster."


"You're not too talkative," she said. "No, I sort of skipped the college route. I rent myself out by day and actually make a salary by being a 'consultant' for the same people who use me at night in the airport. Not many of them know, obviously, that I'm the same individual. Most just think I'm a bit kooky and that I'm clairvoyant."

"But we're not."

"No, but I can pick up a scent and, technically, I have that same fabulous sense of direction we all have but can't fully explain. I can get trails and clues humans can't. At night, I see a ton better, so it's easier to let them think I'm eccentric."

"Than furry, gotcha."

She was at least interesting. I had to give her credit for that much. It still didn't keep me from giving my cousin a swift kick under the table. I was going to get her later for even trying to set me up. Yes, I hadn't officially dated Joanna in months, but I didn't think I had anything else in common with Penny but a species thing.


Kalista just smiled back at me.


"Caleb's very smart. He got into Duke and likes all the engineering stuff. He'll be going to UCLA with me instead and I figure doing nerd things."

I blushed. Some Yoda she was. "Well, I was thinking at least of going pre-med. I wasn't sure if UCLA had a good enough set of programs for what I had wanted. I...Aunt Moira suggested pre-vet. It's the same set of classes and I figured, why not, as long as I can avoid cats."

"Yeah they're not big fans," Penny said.

"It might be interesting," Kalista added.

"And I might get a leg up being able to talk to my clients, explain the reasoning. Maybe."

"Sure, telling a Doberman you're going to stick something sharp in its leg is going to make it happy," my cousin deadpanned.

"It's not a perfect plan but if I'm stuck like this, I might at least make more use of it. Besides, vet schools are more exclusive."

Penny smirked. "So you're telling me that the fact vet schools reject more is a plus?"

I shrugged. "I'm competitive."

"And into using what you got. Good choice. I get some of my best leads from dogs on the street. Being able to talk to individuals the rest overlook comes in handy."

"Exactly, Penny's a regular Sam Spade," Kalista said, drumming her fingers on the table. "Now if certain people would just show up."

Book Review:

This story was charming, sort of a charming blend of “The Shaggy DA” and  “Murder She Wrote.”  Caleb isn’t happy when he wakes up as a dog.  He’s even less happy when he finds out his family secret.  But maybe, just maybe Caleb is the key.

Funny, cute, sweet, and just what I needed after the long week last week.  Definitely worth picking up for a pick-me-up.

I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.   

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
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