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Sharon Shinn
Young Adult
Safe-Keeper's Secret

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The Safe-Keeper’s Secret
In a world where Safe-Keepers guard secrets, Truth-Tellers proclaim the truth, and the Dream-Maker can grant wishes, Fiona and Reed grow up knowing their own lives are full of mystery. Is Reed the illegitimate son of the king? Will Fiona become a Safe-Keeper like her mother? Both of them have secret desires, but not until the Dream-Maker comes to town do their wishes begin to come true.

Publishing history: Hardcover published in 2004, paperback in 2005. Named to the ALA list of Best Books for Young Adults.

Interesting tidbit: One of my nephews was spending the night with me when he was pretty young, and he got scared after I put him to bed. I gave him "magical sleeping kisses" to help him fall asleep—and then for days I was haunted by that phrase and that image. How might those be turned around when the caregiver was old and close to death? Both situations make it into the book.

My favorite scene: The final chapters of the book are like the finale of a fireworks display with one bright revelation after another. But I probably like the opening chapter as much as any I’ve ever written.

Truth-Teller's Tale

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The Truth Teller’s Tale
Not only are innkeeper’s daughters Adele and Eleda mirror twins in appearance, but one is a Safe-Keeper, and one is a Truth-Teller. They use their skills to keep themselves and their friend Roelynn out of trouble—until one summer when a dancing instructor and his apprentice come to town, and secrets and truths get all mixed up with dreams and romance.

Publishing history: Hardcover published in 2005, paperback in 2006. It was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age and made it onto the 2006 Bank Street Children’s Book List.

Interesting tidbit: I cannot tell you how many hours I spent trying to create palindromic names for my main characters. Try it yourself—it’s really difficult to come up with something that sounds realistic but fantastical both backward and forward.

My favorite scene: The one in Roelyn’s kitchen when Eleda speaks that heart-stopping truth. Although I also very much like the Summermoon Festival with Gregory.

Dream-Maker's Magic

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The Dream-Maker’s Magic
Kellen is a girl whose mother has raised her as a boy. Gryffin is a crippled young man living in an abusive house. Their friendship helps them both escape their difficult situations—but not until a new Dream-Maker for the kingdom is revealed do they uncover the secrets and truths that will shape their lives.

Publishing history: Hardcover published in 2006, paperback in 2008.

Interesting tidbit: The lawyer Raymond Lemkey is based, at least in part, on my father. My grandfather was adopted by his stepfather; his original name was Raymond Lempke, which would have been my father’s name as well had the adoption not taken place.

My favorite scene: Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen, when so much happiness comes to the Parmer Arms—and they finally realize why.

Move your mouse over the image to the left to see the alternate cover.

 

General Winston's Daughter

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General Winston’s Daughter
Heiress Averie Winston has traveled to Chiarrin, where her father is leading the army that has just invaded this exotic land. She is delighted to be reunited with her fiancé, who is an officer in the army, and she is fascinated by Chiarrin, so different from her home country. But as she falls under the spell of this colorful new land, she begins to question the ethics of imperialism—and she finds herself attracted to a soldier named Ket Du’kai, a man so different from anyone else she knows that he is changing the way she views the world.

Publishing history: Hardback published October 2007.

Interesting tidbit: The whole time I was writing this book, I was picturing actor Naveen Andrews as Ket Du’kai.

Favorite scene: The party in Chapter Ten…particularly Averie’s dance with Lieutenant Du’kai.

Gateway

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Gateway
Adopted from China and raised in St. Louis, Daiyu is a teenage girl who one day steps under the Arch—and finds herself in an alternate version of her familiar city where almost everyone is Chinese. She has been brought here by mysterious strangers to help them bring down the corrupt ruling government, but to do so, she must play a dangerous part among the elite members of this society. Very quickly she learns to trust no one except a young man named Kalen. He will help her carry out her plans and then find her way back home—but she is not so sure that, when her task is over, she’ll be able to leave Kalen behind.

Publishing history: Hardcover published in October 2009.

Interesting tidbit: I was about halfway through the first draft when I heard Van Halen’s “Love Comes Walking In” on the radio. It is the absolutely perfect soundtrack for this story. Although the other perfect soundtrack is fireworks, which a friend of mine discovered when she read the manuscript over Fourth of July.

My favorite scene: The final chapter. Every single detail from the entire book was included just so I could write those last few pages.

Firebirds Rising

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"Wintermoon Wish"
"Wintermoon Wish" was published in the young adult anthology Firebirds Rising. It’s set in the same world as the Safe-Keeper trilogy and features Eleda’s daughter as the main character, but you don’t have to have read any of the YA novels to read this story.

© 2010 Sharon Shinn, All Rights Reserved