THE SHAPE OF MY SOUL
Young Adult Sweet Paranormal Romance
A past she knows nothing about is back to bite her.
In a time before Bradley broke her heart, even before she felt there was no hope he would ever like her, she arrived at a secluded castle on the most northern borders of the Scottish Highlands.
Just after she turns seventeen, her uncle sends her to live in Edinburgh, without telling her the reason, but Amber hopes the fresh start will help her get over her going-nowhere crush on Bradley Windsor.
Bradley has managed to keep the family secret, but now nobody is safe, especially Amber and when she discovers her clan's ancient secret, she discovers she is a girl who can change her body to fit the shape of her soul.
The Shape of My Soul is a young adult novel that will appeal to readers of clean romance, shape shifter fantasy and a feel-good ending.
In a time before Bradley broke my heart, even before I felt there was no hope he would ever like me, I arrived at a secluded castle at the most northern borders of the Scottish Highlands.
It was so far removed from everything, it would take a person a day to reach the nearest other living, breathing human being.
Strange then, the way I arrived. A bundle wrapped up in a tattered blanket, ensconced in a basket. There was no note, no farewell letter from a grieving mother, no goodbye, no explanation.
The castle in which I lived, stood majestically on a cliff and below it the ocean crashed into the rock face continuously, day and night. There was never a moment of utter silence, the sound of the ocean was the backdrop of my youth.
Sometimes, on particularly stormy days, the white spray from the waves would cascade over the high precipice and I loved standing under the spray. When I stretched my little arms up into the sky, it felt as if I was like the golden eagle flying in circles in the sky high above my head, and I too could fly to wherever the breeze took me. I could escape the confines of the castle grounds and see a world hidden away from me. A world where the sun’s bright spark lit up the always dreary sky surrounding me.
Grey clouds usually sat closely around the castle walls and it was as if my world was restricted to the area surrounding my home.
On the rarest of occasions, the sun would find a gap between the clouds, and then sunlight would radiate down to the earth in long glowing stripes, but never for too long.
As a young girl, I spent many days sitting in the wide stone window seat in my bedroom, overlooking the stormy grey sea. With my legs pulled up to my chest and my chin resting on my knees, I would anticipate moving away and living somewhere where the sun always shined. Where the sky would be that elusive blue they talked about in books.
In my own perception, I grew up quite normal, even though I had no mother or father, and absolutely no idea where I came from. However, I could not miss something I never knew, and so in my mind everything was as it was supposed to be.
I was home schooled and my tutor, Mr. Glenfiddich always made sure I was shoulder high in reading material. Every Thursday he travelled to his home on the other side of the mist, which might as well have been in another universe, and then he would return on a Sunday evening with new books for me to read.
Often, I wished, he would invite me with him.
On weekends, when Mr. Glenfiddich went home, I would while my days away under the shade beneath the spreading limbs of chestnuts and oaks in the hidden hideout and watch the squirrels, rabbits and hedgehogs play.
When I sat really, really still, sometimes I would even see foxes leap and frolic. I fed them scraps of bread and fruit and imagined myself to be a friend to all the animals in the forest.
My most favourite times growing up was school holidays. Although school holidays never applied to me, this was the time when the servant’s children came to visit their parents, and I looked forward to the few days every couple of months when I could play with them.
We would play hide-and-seek in the vast sparsely furnished rooms. Often, we played catch or dared each other to see who could stand the closest to the cliff edge until one of the servants stopped us and we were all shepherded back to safety behind the walls of the castle. In winter, we built snowmen.
We pretended to be kings and queens, to hunt and slay dragons, and to be blood thirsty Vikings coming to conquer a country.
After each holiday, I said goodbye to them sadly, and then the countdown started to the next holiday when they would come back again.
The servant’s children were of varying ages, and as I got older, so they got older, and my circle of friends dwindled every year, as they stopped coming home as frequently as they did when they were little.
Bradley was only two years older than me, so by my fourteenth year he was the only one still coming home every holiday.
As he got older, it was as if time forgot about me. I still wanted to run outside, build snowmen, and dance in crazy circles on the wet grass in front of the walls of our castle, but Bradley did not want to play with me anymore. That was when loneliness started to settle even heavier on my shoulders and I had nothing to look forward to anymore.
Recently, when Bradley was home for the holidays, it felt as if he was avoiding me, as if the carefree happiness we used to have as children had been stolen from us.
Sometimes, I found him looking at me intensely and I would smile at him, hoping he would talk to me or offer to spend time with me, but he would only look away and then pretend as if I did not exist.
The Shape of My Soul by Lynette Ferreira is a wonderfully sweet paranormal romance that does not allow the paranormal to overshadow the romantic intrigue in any way. Ferreira remembers the number one rule for romance novels, and that is the romance comes first! (Not everyone remembers that.) In her story, Amber is a young woman, just seventeen, who has been sequestered in a castle in Scotland all her life, with only the staff at her home to act as family. Estranged from her parents under strange circumstances that have been kept from her, she does the best she can to enjoy her life. That couldn’t happen though if not for Bradley, the son of one of the staff, who, as a child, visited regularly and then only on holidays as they grew up together. The best romantic partner, of course, is one you can call best friend. But things don’t go quite that smoothly—especially when everyone is not on the same page. Suddenly, and without anyone preparing her, Amber is sent away to school—for her own good (where have we heard that before?!). Still, coincidences (Do we believe in them? No we do not!) bring the two “friends” back together to solve a family mystery – one that “shifts” as quickly as the snap of fingers. The Shape of a Soul has a literal meaning, an honest to goodness connection within Amber and the decisions she will need to make on her eighteenth birthday.
The strength of characters is brought to the forefront gently by Ferreira, and I found myself really, really caring about Amber and hoping that Bradley would turn into someone worth loving. The scenes are very well written and the setting is dazzling. The Shape of My Soul by Lynette Ferreira will give you a satisfying feeling, both as you read and once you finish, as well as a desire to know more—much more—about Amber and her clan and how she will survive in the future. Trust me, it won’t be easy. “Oh. My. Effing. Snowball.” I think I have found a new expletive!