The Next Big Thing – Week 12: SKIN DEEP

Thank you to Leigh K Hunt for tagging me – these kinds of posts are always so much fun!

The timing was perfect as I wanted to do my formal cover reveal for my next novel.

SKIN DEEP is the first in the HUNTER series, a YA Urban Fantasy set to be released 26th NOV 2012.


“The cold cocking of guns set my body on fire.

It also did something worse. With mortal fear gripping me, my imminent Change wasn’t taking second place anymore. My body churned the fear and my Panther grasped at the visceral power of the adrenalin in my veins.

I ran.

A gunshot echoed around the garden, the sound ping-ponging off the aging brick walls of the surrounding apartment buildings.

I gasped as a blast of searing pain slammed into me.

As a bullet buried itself deep within my shoulder.”


 Panther Shape-shifter Kailin Odel just wants to be normal. Leaving her clan, and her Alpha responsibilities, to live with her grandmother in Chicago had been the best thing for her. Only then did she discover her ability to track and kill the soul sucking undead creatures called Wraiths. Now she protected the humans, and had something to be proud of.

But, when she discovers the body of a murdered shape shifter, Kailin has to come to terms with the reality that her own kind are just as vulnerable as the humans.

The closer Kailin gets to the killer the more she has to face the intricacies of her people. When the time comes can she accept who and what her real purpose is?




What is the working title of your book?

The working title for this now was SECOND SKIN, but after a bit of series plotting and outlining it became clear that the title needed a change. It’s now SKIN DEEP, with book 2 called Lost Soul, and book 3 called Second Chance.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve always been a fan of shapeshifter fiction, especially dragons. (sorry, not a huge werewolf fan). After reading a few shapeshifter series I ended up wanting more, not just the romance element. I wanted mystery and suspense, and I wanted something I could share with my teens. I left off reading these type of paranormals for a while until one day, while outlining another novel and watching Tru Calling the idea of a YA with a shifter as the MC began to nudge me and I said ‘Why not?’ and quickly jotted down a few ideas. And then it grew from there.

What genre does your book fall under?

Urban Fantasy Young Adult (YA), probably more upper YA.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Even in the beginning the character of Tru in the TV series Tru Calling fit nicely with my MC, from looks to attitude to sass – the whole package. Kailin is a 17 year old panther shapeshifter who struggles with her destiny. Within that struggle she discovers she has Mage power – in particular the ability to track and kill soul-sucking Wraiths. Thinking she has found a whole new purpose in life, she soon runs into a whole new set of problems that make her start to question whether being a shapeshifter isn’t such a bad deal in life.

Justin Hartley from his Smallville days made a huge impact on me- he’s been Logan through and through. Just the right amount of hot, with a good undertow of intensity, and dash of sensitivity. Yes, very much Logan. Logan, just turned 18, is a Fire Mage, struggling to come to terms with the destruction that his power has had on the people in his life. He’s trying to make amends, is part of an elite Paranormal Investigative Agency and finds that everything was going well until he runs into the enigmatic Kailin Odel.

Josh Hutcherson is the perfect 15 year old Anjelo Alvarez. Kailin’s side-kick and friend, he is devoted to his Alpha despite his girlfriend Lily’s dislike of Kailin. Anjelo is always there for Kailin, but as with all panther shapeshifters, Anjelo is not a fan of humans. Just the way he’s been raised, which doesn’t make it any easier that Kailin is off in the city despatching Wraiths back to their Dark-World, and saving a bunch of humans in the process.

And, Vanessa Hudgens as Tara, Metal-singer and best friend of Kailin. As with all Salamanders or Fire-Mages, Tara can read metal- she senses where its been through the thoughts and emotions of those who touch the metal. Tara is a loner, who creates the most amazing weapons for Kailin. When the murder of a close friend of Kailin threatens to tear the friends apart, each has to hold on to what they believe in most to ensure their friendship endures.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Though panther shapeshifter Kailin Odel has found solace in her power to track and despatch the evil Wraiths preying on humans, the murder of one of her own people forces her to realise that the shapeshifters are vulnerable and may need her more than she had ever expected.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

SKIN DEEP, along with Lost Soul and Second Chance, will be published by my publisher Evolved Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me 7 months to write Skin Deep, and another 4 to polish and repolish and chop and change. There were times when I didn’t much like this book, but being the first novel I ever completed it did give me sense of accomplishment. Only when the MS (known at the time as Second Skin) received a Commendation in the RWNZ Clendon Award in 2011 did I believe that it had any potential at all. Now it’s on its way to being published – very exciting.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Probably the closes would be Rachel Vincent’s SHIFTER’s series.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Just the idea of a young shapeshifter MC really. I thought it would be fun to have younger readers enjoying the paranormal elements of Adult Paranormal.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

SKIN DEEP offers an alternative history to shapeshifters, blending werewolf history with other animals. If werewolves, then why not were-cats? THe opportunity to allow the reader to imagine the possibility, and of course Murder, Mystery, Magic with a dash of romance. Who can say no to that?

And now I would like to tag the following authors because I know that they have some incredible fiction in the mix.

Patti Larsen – author of THE HAYLE COVEN NOVELS and tonnes of other books – go check her out

Kimberly Kinrade – author of the FORBIDDEN SERIES and one of the EP Crazies

Micheal Dadich – author of THE SILVER SPHERE releasing 26th NOV 2012 and one of the EP Crazies

Angela Scott – Author of zombie YA WANTED: DEAD OR UNDEAD, and one of the EP Crazies

Jessie Harrell – author of DESTINED, a Greek YA tale


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Ohh Tee, its sounds incredible, and Justin Hartley for inspiration – hello 🙂
    Now I’m REALLY eager to read it!!


    1. Tee G Ayer says:

      Yup Cath, ready for that ARC???


      1. I’m ready whenever you are!!


  2. Paula Beavan says:

    Another one to look forward too, thanks Tee 🙂


    1. Tee G Ayer says:

      Thanks Paula, you will have to let me know what you think of the story 😉


  3. Love the cover and the story sounds amazing!


    1. Tee G Ayer says:

      Thanks Kelly 🙂 I’m quite looking forward to the release… Let’s hope the readers like it *cross fingers


  4. Skin Deep sounds fabulous and the cover is awesome. Congrats all around! Thanks for tagging me. I’ll try my best to carry on the post, but for now, my “next big thing” is Beneath the Surface. It a modern day mythology/paranormal blend with ancient curses and a love that refuses to die.


    1. Tee G Ayer says:

      Ooh Jessie, that does sound intriguing. I’d love to read that so I’m looking forward to your next big thing now xoxo


  5. Natasja says:

    Great cover and I like the description, so I will definitely check it out.


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