EYE OF THE NINJA
by D. M. Marlowe
Blink—and you’ll miss her.
Mei Barrett has been hiding all of her life. Raised in solitude by her beloved father, she’s been trained to fight, to adapt, to defend. She couldn’t prevent his death, however, when it comes at the hands of a mysterious creature straight out of legend. She could only run—and learn how to hide in plain sight.
For four long years Mei has lived alone on the fringes of a society still recovering from the devastation of quakes and disasters along the infamous Ring of Fire. Mei’s concerns are more immediate however. She must hide her eyes and their despised mutation, and she must stay one step ahead of the strange wind demon that continues to hunt her.
Detection was inevitable. But Mei begins to make some discoveries of her own. For it seems that her old enemy is not the only mythical creature on the loose. Nor is she the only one fighting them.
And perhaps her own tragedies are not as far removed from those the world is facing, after all.
I vaulted over a low wall, shook my head over Ben’s tumble pass between buildings, and managed a halfway decent copy of Alan’s wall spin. It felt good to move, to train. I’d been more tense than usual lately. On edge. Fighting to not look over my shoulder. But the first rule, when you are being hunted, is not to look like prey. So I carry on with my usual routine. And now I allow myself to relax, just the smallest bit. No judgment here, no prying, insistent curiosity. I let the tightness in my chest ease and tried to remember what it felt like to be at ease and happy instead of wary, bitter and sad.
The group spread out when we hit the Stoneyard. I took up a position on the edge and watched a kid named Chris make a complicated, spinning double cork look easy.
“You’ve got to teach me how to do that,” I breathed.
It looks like a nice way to dodge an arrow, or a thrown dart.
I froze. Though the thought had been my own, I’d heard it in my father’s distinctive accent and thoughtful tone.
I clenched my fist hard, welcomed the bite of nails into the flesh of my palm. That is not the thought of a normal teenaged girl.
I was in no way a normal teenaged girl—but I had to appear as one. At all costs. Chris just grinned. “You’ve already got your cheat gainer. All you need to do is tighten up and get some more pull.”
We worked on it a bit.
“Do you want to try it without the extra weight?” He gestured toward my backpack.
I shook my head. I always kept my pack close.
He shrugged and didn’t seem to mind the normal stance I took when I was in contact with people; cap pulled low and tight, eyes down, but ear cocked to show I was paying attention. I knew the guys wondered about me. I’d once heard someone speculate that I was vision impaired, but had highly developed other senses, like a real life comic book character. I didn’t think that any of them had guessed the truth—that I was a real life freak.
~Buy EYE OF THE NINJA:
AN INTERVIEW WITH D. M.
-What inspired you to become a writer?
Like every writer, I started out a reader. I’ve been a voracious reader since I first figured out I could handle The Giant Jam Sandwich on my own. I’ve spent so many lovely hours inside other worlds, transported by the pages of countless lovely books.
Writing is an extension of that experience. It’s the escape, multiplied exponentially. Now, not only am I escaping to other worlds, but I am creating them.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
I would visit the village of Ryu. I would sit in the Temple Garden, eat at Ken Sato’s house, visit with all of the fascinating characters that live there, see a show at Sho’s theater and tackle the kick-butt obstacle course in the training grounds.
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
I’ve had so much fun researching the different aspects of Japanese folklore. The yokai are my favorite. There are so many varied supernatural creatures, from the great Tengu—powerful bird/men creatures who were the inventors of the martial arts, to the akaname, which spend their time licking the bathroom surfaces of those who do not keep the room clean—and everything in between!
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
I would hang out with Mei Barrett any day! She’s smart and funny, determined and disciplined. She has a really good eye for reading people—plus she deserves a fun night out! I think she would be a hoot if she let her hair down.
-If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Write faster if you can. But also, don’t let family time be what is sacrificed. I think I made some difficult choices, but I put the family first and I wouldn’t want that to change.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Well, I’m not a big fan of gore or horror, so I think that I would prefer not to write it. I do think I could write it, but I wouldn’t enjoy it—and it would probably show.
ABOUT D. M.
D. M. Marlowe lives in North Carolina with her family and two cats. When she is not spoiling them all, she is probably writing. Failing that, she's likely lost in a book or movie, on a long walk, gardening or hanging with her friends.
In her other life, she is a USA Today Bestselling author of Historical Romance.
Find her online:
D.M. Marlowe will be awarding handcrafted jewelry representing character/theme of her book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and handcrafted jewelry representing character/theme of her book to a randomly drawn host. Prize is available for international shipping.
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