Durrant ‘peels away the layers’ to reveal tantalising climax

Ash & Cher croppedYoung Adult readers are raving about my debut novel, The Blood She Betrayed, but it’s a lot more daunting when critics review your book, especially those not familiar with my genre.

Fortunately, I was delighted to receive a promising review from Bundaberg NewsMail Editor Christina Ongley (now on maternity leave) for my first Hearts Hunters novel.

Ongley writes:  “With The Blood She Betrayed, former journalist and debut author Cheryse Durrant has created a book bursting with complex and likeable characters as she deftly fuses modern-day and centuries-old worlds in a classic good-versus-evil action story.

“Durrant brings us the story of Shahkara, a warrior princess from another world who travels to Earth to carry out a mission to destroy the evil Taloners, the long-time enemy of her people. To do this, she needs to find the magical Elnara death lantern but must rely on a handful of strangers to help her, in particular young Max McCalden, a teenager who shows a lack of commitment and focus towards just about every other facet of his life.

Christina Ongley. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Christina Ongley

“As Shahkara and Max navigate a series of life-threatening challenges on their quest, she is constantly torn between her need to protect the seemingly hapless young man and her dangerous attraction to him – for it is the raw human heart that fuels the strength of the Taloners and she, a half-Taloner herself, is not immune to this deadly desire.

“The book is not without its lighter moments as Shahkara’s old-world language and her efforts to grapple with modern technology bring regular amusement, but at the heart of this story is her steely resolve to carry out her mission to destroy, regardless of the huge personal cost she risks.

The Blood She Betrayed front cover“As the plot continues to thicken and delve into unexpected territories, readers will constantly be plagued by one question: who can Max and Shahkara really trust, including each other? Seeking the answer to that will make readers hungrily turn the pages of this novel as Durrant peels away the layers to reveal a tantalising climax.” – Christina Ongley, Bundaberg NewsMail

Thank you, Christina, for reviewing my book, and for your lovely words. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my next media reviewer is as kind. No emerging author can taste success without receiving contrary and often negative reviews, even the world’s greatest authors receive those, but I’m hoping I’ll have a few more positive ones in the bag before the bigger critics cut me down to size.

PS: Thanks to the NewsMail and photographer Max Fleet for this lovely photograph of Christina Ongley.

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