Paranormal Party Guest – Shea Berkley

Halloween’s looming and my book is about a lonely ghost, so I thought it’d be fun to invite some of my most brilliant YA writer friends to help me celebrate the release of This Is Your Afterlife. 

Today’s victim…er, brilliant YA writer friend is Shea Berkley. You’ve heard of kick-butt heroines? Well, Shea is a kick-butt, kick-boxing author and my hero…ine.

I’m especially grateful to Shea for spending two days in a row with me — yesterday she challenged me to a game of Question or Dare at our group blog, the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. Shea and I were finalists in the 2009 and 2010 Golden Heart contest. We bonded over Vegemite. She hates it. I love it. Shea writes fantasy YA for Entangled. Her books are heart-stopping and full of emotional depth. At RWA conferences, you’ll usually find us hanging out together. Inseparable. (Because of the Vegemite bond, you see. It’s like super glue.)  Read an excerpt for The Marked Son, book 1 in her Keepers of Life series, here. Follow her on Twitter, visit her website (currently undergoing reconstruction surgery) and, finally, check out her faery nice post below!

Shea Berkley

If Tinkerbell were real…

I’ve always been a sucker for faery stories. They’re fun. I mean, who doesn’t like Tinkerbell with all that emotion spilling out of her causing trouble?

As a writer, my job is to create a sense of reality. I mainly do that with words, but sometimes I get a spark of madness and create little fun things to entertain my children. One year, I decided to make a faery house. As I spun stories about faeries, my children helped me collect various objects from nature such as leaves and twigs used to construct the house and other bits and pieces we found to create the furnishings. It took all afternoon, but when we were done, the tiny house was perfect, a cute, fragile shelter any faery would love to call home. As twilight descended, we nestled the house under a huge pecan tree in our back yard, and before it got too dark, we raided our refrigerator and set out a healthy meal for the faeries before going inside.

My kids watched the house, waiting to catch a glimpse of a faery until the sun set and it was time for bed. We had fun and I have no doubt their dreams that night were filled with faeries. Me being me, I decided to take the illusion to the next level. I took a flashlight and went back out to the faery house with a doll no bigger than my thumb and poked tiny footprints into the dirt. I mashed up the berries we’d put on the table we made and ruffled the scraps of cloth I’d sewn for bedcoverings. I put water in a pecan shell and rearranged a few other things to give the house a lived-in look and then went inside.

The next morning the children raced outside to examine the house and squealed when they found evidence their home had been used. Faeries existed. Breakfast that morning was abuzz with the news. I sat down with them to eat and we all had a laugh at how much fun it was to create the house and delve into the illusion of faeries.

Over the years, we’ve done some pretty fun projects, but that faery house is still one of their favorite memories.

It’s not surprising, all these years later, when I asked my children what kind of story they’d like me to write for them, they chose one that dealt with Fae people. I gave them a new mythology and called them the Firsts, but in essence, they are a type of Fae that keep nature in balance.

In the Keepers of Life trilogy, intermingling with humans upset that delicate balance, and Dylan and Kera, my hero and heroine, suffer greatly to restore it. Madness, monsters and magic threaten to destroy the fae and human worlds. Dylan must risk his life for those he loves the most, and all he has to help him are a few friends, more than his fair share of uncontrollable magic and Kera’s belief that he is the only one who can save them all.


Book one: The Marked Son
Book two: The Fallen Prince
Book three: The Rising King
Kim MacCarron, Shea Berkley, Vanessa Barneveld

Thanks, Shea! It must have a been so much fun growing up in the Berkley house! I’d like to ask our readers, when you were a child did you believe faeries lived at the bottom of your garden?


Click HERE to enter my Rafflecopter for your chance to nab your very own Kindle copy of This Is Your Afterlife plus a $50 Amazon e-gift card! 

Good luck!

~ Vanessa


Meet the very superstitious Sara Hantz!

Nb. This post originally appeared on my old blog.


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