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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

VBT, EXCERPT, GUEST POST & #GIVEAWAY - Shifter School (Shifter School, #1) by Gwendolyn Druyor


Urban Fantasy



She’s gonna get them all killed.

So they locked her away.

Laylea has been hiding her entire life. She’s never been to school. She’s never had a friend her own age. She’s never known anyone else like her.

All that is about to change. 

In a world hidden from wyrdos and humans alike, shifters are still recovering from a vicious plot to destroy them all. They have two laws they live by now:

1) Hide 

2) Protect the children at all costs.

Laylea has just broken rule number one. But she’s only fourteen. So they’re sending her to school. Where she’s going to learn . . .

Anyplace can be a prison.

The Lincoln Park Shifter School is not your grandma’s uber-secret, underground academy.

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She ran from the dorm before they started laughing again. Laylea left her pod open. She didn’t care. Everything she owned was either on her neck or in school storage. She’d never had friends before, she didn’t need them now. She shoved through the little crowd at the curtains and didn’t look into any of the faces gathered outside the girls’ door. She couldn’t have seen them through her tears anyway.

She wanted to shift and run. A good long run through the city would feel good. Her mind would have to focus on cars, pedestrians, uneven sidewalks, shop doors, guard dogs, and dangerous litter. She’d have no room in her head for all her worries. She wouldn’t be able to think about how KC and Oscar hated her for nearly getting them killed, how if she’d run when Oscar wanted to, he wouldn’t have been here to get hurt. Her mind would be focused on her own survival rather than concerns for Oscar’s mom, the kids in ST, and her family’s safety now that she’d spilled all their secrets in front of Jase Batka.

But she couldn’t shift because she was defective. It took her eleven years to figure out she even could shift and now she was going to die without ever figuring out how. Or why.

Universal Link

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

Gwendolyn Druyor will be awarding $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you have a day job as well?
I have always had a bazillion jobs. My taxes are lots of fun. These days, when I am not writing, I can typically be found in my Sound Cave narrating audiobooks. I started narrating after my friend Henry Ong came out to the lobby of the theater HIS play was debuting in that night and handed me a copy of my first book, Hardt’s Tale. He turned to the rest of the audience in the lobby and announced that I would be reading an excerpt.
I didn’t really have much choice, so I turned to face the elites of the Los Angeles theatre community and read. For the rest of the evening, during intermission and at the after party, people kept coming up to me and asking (demanding) “You’re going to narrate your own audiobook, right?” Well, based on their tone, the only acceptable answer was “Yes.” So, I went home and learned audio engineering. I’ve now narrated all of my books plus about 150 others.
I’m also a tour guide at Universal Studios Hollywood on occasion because, insurance. And I get to go hide in sets like the courthouse from To Kill a Mockingbird and write. Also, it’s FUN. I once got a tram of 200 people to wave and take pictures of my friend Larry whose only credit is writing the check for the original Fast and Furious cars for Universal.

What was your favourite book as a child?
Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman  I don’t know why it has such a strong impact on me. But I recognized it in The Odyssey when I had to read that in Junior High. It was the first journey fiction I ever read, I guess. And I love travelling. Maybe Eastman is why.


When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing Geoffrey’s Queen the summer before my senior year of college. I was in a relationship that I clearly knew was going to blow up and I needed to write a love story, but I didn’t so much believe in real love right then. That is one reason it took me twenty years to get the manuscript finished. Another reason is that when I was robbed in Amsterdam, the thief got my computer, my backup discs, and the printout of Geoffrey’s Queen. I got to start over from scratch. It was a painful lesson. But I learned that I can do it. Whenever I doubt, I remember that I lost half a book and came back. If I can do that, anybody can. You just have to always get up.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I love reading fantasy. I adore the idea that there really is magic all around us. Urban fantasy lets me create the world I wish I lived in.

Where do you get your ideas?
I get ideas absolutely everywhere and all the time. If I don’t know where the idea fits into what I’m currently working on, I’ll write the idea down on a slip of paper and toss it into a giant vase I have. It’s my collection of paper pills and when I’m stuck, I’ll dip a hand in and pull out an idea.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Anne McCaffrey. My older cousin, Vicky, got to stay in my room once when she visited. My mom made me to clean my room in preparation. Of course, I shoved all of the trash and dirty laundry and books under my bed. Vicky’s dog spent all night revealing my lazy cleaning technique. I got into a lot of trouble. But, in apology, Vicky changed my life. She’d finished her book while her dog uncleaned my room. She left Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsinger under my bed. It was my first fantasy novel. I finished it that night and ran to the library to get the rest.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Laylea, the weredog who prefers to think of herself as a werehuman, introduced herself to me in the short story, Dee. She hasn’t let go of me since. She demanded I write the story of her puppyhood. That became WereHuman – The Witch’s Daughter. Then she asked me to write what happens to her in Chicago, after she helps Team Wyrdos defeat the demon Onioka.
In Shifter School, Laylea is still working with Team Wyrdos to make the city a safer place for supernatural beings. On one mission, she risks the boogeyman’s life by shifting in front of humans. Unbeknownst to her, the number one Shifter rule is NEVER SHIFT IN FRONT OF HUMANS. She is condemned to the super-secret shifter academy under the Lincoln Park Zoo where she will remain until she learns how to control her shift.
Of course, not all is as it seems in LPSS. The teachers have as many secrets as the students. And why do they keep taking kids off to Special Testing in the medical wing?
Laylea’s in for another adventure because she won’t let the bad guys win.

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Our three heroes go underneath the school. (Yes, there is an underneath to my underground shifter school.) There is so much magic amassed there that they can see it. It was really fun to imagine what the working areas of the school would be like and to figure out how to encapsulate the pools that are scattered about the school’s version of a gym.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Justice vs. Fairness
I know (and when I forget, I reread The Princess Bride) that life isn’t fair. But I cannot suffer injustice. I’d like to explore the difference more as Laylea grows up in the Shifter School series. I’ve also been thinking about how this theme relates to this fabulous Will Smith clip I just saw where he discusses fault vs. Responsibilty.  Laylea’s life has been out of control because the Consortium is after her. That’s not fair. That’s not her fault. But she is such a naturally optimistic creature, she naturally recognizes her responsibility to her own happiness and her family. She doesn’t waste much time moping over what the Consortium has done to them. And yet, she loves working with Team Wyrdos to make Chicago, at least, more just. I’m hoping she’ll teach me how to live as optimistically.

Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the others? 
Laylea will not ever shut up. She’s talked me into two separated series for her and her family in addition to her Wyrdos Tale. I feel like she has so much to learn and to teach me.

Do you have any strange writing habits? Like writing in the shower?
I love writing on busses and in theaters. I feel like stories fill the air like magic in theaters. Busses are filled with characters and movement and there’s no distractions. I can really focus on a city bus. It would be helpful if I felt the same about planes. But no. I just barf on planes. (which is why Laylea does too!)

Answered by my MC, Laylea

What are you keeping a secret?
Pfff. What isn’t a secret? My name is Laylea Hillen. But everyone in school thinks I’m Lee Woodford. My best friend is a werewolf. She told everyone she’s a coyote.
My adopted mom is a witch. My adopted dad is a genetically-altered super-soldier. My brother is their biological son. Our parents left us to go hunt down the evil scientists who want to study us. I told the other kids I’m an orphan.
Plus, there’s the secret that I’ve never told anyone. I just found out myself. Twelve-pound terriers only live about fifteen years. I just turned fourteen.

In what situation is your self esteem most at risk?
I have never had a problem with self esteem. I am one of a kind. I know I have a mother and four brothers out there in the world somewhere but in my world, I am the only dog shifter anyone has ever met. I was raised as a dog, and let me tell you, if reincarnation is a thing, you want to come back as a dog. A human would never go up to another human on the street and tell them how beautiful and smart they are and scratch their ears. But I got that all the time. Of course I’m going to have a healthy ego.
But the other kids in the Lincoln Park Shifter School don’t have a really high opinion of dogs. And I don’t know anything about the shifter world so I keep saying really dumb things. It’s a challenge. But I’m up for it!

How do you decide if you can trust someone?
I always trust everyone until they show me I shouldn’t. Although, cat people, I don’t know.

If you could change anything about your life what would it be?
I’d lengthen it first. And then I’d like to stop hiding. I want my parents back. I want to find my Mama and my brothers. And I want my human brother Bailey to find his happy again. He’s lost it. I love him. Okay, that’s what I want to change about my life; I want to know how to make Bailey happy again.

Gwendolyn Druyor was born at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station Hospital, North Kingston, RI. The ID bracelet wrapped three times around her little wrist. She could swim before she could walk and read before she started school.

She has traveled the world telling stories. After a year in Amsterdam writing and performing sketch comedy at Boom Chicago, she toured North America with Shenandoah Shakespeare and with the incredible educational show Sex Signals. From Paris, FR to William’s Bay, WI, you’ll find her gypsy life reflected in her books. If you met her on the road, read her closely, you may find yourself in there.

For now, Gwendolyn lives in Hollywood with her Irish Jack Russell, Josh Lyman Zyrga, who is still pouting over the fact that she didn’t put him on the cover of WereHuman.

For more information on Gwendolyn and her projects sign up for her newsletter at


Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you :)

  2. I really enjoyed reading your interviews, thank you!

    1. Thanks for joining the tour, Nikolina. The librarians here asked some really fun questions!

  3. I enjoyed reading both interviews today. Thanks

    1. Thanks, Karen. It's all in the questions. I hope you love Shifter School.

  4. Thanks for hosting the tour today, Archaeolibrarians! The Laylea interview was super fun!

  5. Thanks for sharing the great post, I enjoyed reading it!

    1. Thanks, Victoria. I loved the questions they had for Laylea.

  6. Congratulations on the book. Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Thanks, Bernie. Make sure you get your copy of Shifter School while it's still only .99c!

  7. Such fun interviews!


    1. I've met some amazing book bloggers on this tour! Good to see you, Trix.

  8. I love the sound of this story.

    1. Well, the audiobook version just dropped this week, so you can literally hear the story now!