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Review by Anniek
Cee only knows the small town she grew up in. Everyone belongs to a clan outside of this town, but they stay with their foster parents until their transformation. During this Relinquishing they'll morph into the animal of their clan and then they will live with their people, leaving their friends and the only life they've ever known behind. Their change is supposed to happen somewhere around their 18th birthday. Some clans are more feared than others and some are even extinct. If they don't change they'll stay in the village and will be getting a job and/or become a foster parent.
Cee has a secret crush on her best friend Marcus. Marcus is gay, so the chance of him loving her back on a romantic level is not in the cards. Cee is dreading the day that she and Marcus will change because the chances of them belonging to the same clan are minimal. This means that they'll probably never see each other again. When Marcus has a school assignment with a boy named Rand, Cee and Rand's best friend Guin also join their newfound friendship. All of them discover that they have unique and exceptional gifts. The Draconas are claimed to be extinct, but when Cee finds out that she's sharing her body with a dragon named Livian she has to make a decision about what to do. Being the only one means that Cee doesn't have a clan to fall back on, so she and her friends go on a journey to the Magi to see if Livian can be removed from her body.
During their journey Cee starts to question herself. She grows attached to Livian, even if he's not always the nicest dragon. I felt sorry for Cee to be in love with someone who will never return her feelings. Living in a small town kept her a bit naïve and it was fascinating to read about the way she deals with her struggles and how she's growing as a person. Cee is kind and honest towards her friends, but she's also confident and sure of what she's feeling. She is open minded towards Livian and towards what is happening in her body. The internal dialogue Cee has with Livian was fascinating to read. I found myself wishing for her to find a solution that would work for both her and Livian.
Manifesting Destiny is a fantastic story about a new and interesting world. I loved the idea of a young girl who has a dragon living inside of her. The fact that she is the only one made the story even more exciting. I liked the interactions between the teens very much. While they are changing and are belonging to different clans they are still determined to keep their friendship intact. They are all struggling with their own issues and the vivid writing about them makes them believable characters. I had no troubles at all to connect to their personalities and the story itself. M. Pepper Langlinais writes about a world that grabbed my attention straight away and she manages to keep the story interesting and intriguing until the very end.
Manifesting Destiny is the perfect book for readers who love enchanting stories about dragons, magical clans and a beautifully created journey full of mystery.
About M. Pepper Langlinais
M. Pepper Langlinais is an award-winning screenwriter whose short script St. Peter in Chains won the Table Read My Screenplay in 2013. Her play “Warm Bodies” has been produced both on stage and as the short film Adverse Possession by Lavender/Hassan Productions, and her Sherlock Holmes stories have been bestsellers on Amazon.
M earned an undergraduate in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, with an emphasis on critical media studies and screenwriting, and a Master of Arts in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College. M was also a participant in the Shakespeare at Winedale program. She has worked on film sets and for major publishing houses. She now devotes her full time to writing.
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1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I was born and raised in Texas, but most of my family is in Southern Louisiana, so I grew up steeped in French Creole culture (and food!). I also grew up speaking both English and Cajun French. I'm an only child and taught myself to read and write when I was three. I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and while there interned on the set of the movie "Hope Floats" starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr. Then I moved to Boston to get my graduate degree at Emerson College. I didn't love the cold, but I met and married my husband, got publishing jobs, and ended up living in Massachusetts for 12 years. When I could no longer stand the snow, we moved to California. We've lived in the San Francisco area a little over four years now--me, my husband, our three kids, a hamster, and two cats.
2. You're a fan of Shakespeare. What's your favorite story/poem written by him and why?
"Hamlet." It feels like such a cliché answer, but it's so damn quotable. I've acted in and taught "Hamlet" more than any other of Shakespeare's works, and so I just feel bonded to it.
3. You have written Sherlock Holmes stories. If you could pick one quest to go on yourself. Which one would you chose?
You mean one Sherlock Holmes story to participate in? Are we talking just the Doyle stories, or any Sherlock Holmes story? Michael Dibdin wrote a great book called "The Last Sherlock Holmes Story" about Holmes and Jack the Ripper, and Robert Lee Hall wrote another interesting one called "Exit Sherlock Holmes"--I'd like to have assisted in either of those. But it we're talking canon, then I'd maybe want to be involved in "The Dancing Men." I always like having to break codes.
4. If you had a crystal ball. What would you like to see in it?
Me living in a nice house in the English countryside. I'd love to settle and write there someday.
5. You have worked on film sets. If you could choose any movie or TV-series to work on, which one will that be and why?
I'd be curious to see how things roll on the "Sherlock" set. UK filming is a bit different from the way things run in the US, and I'd like to experience those differences.
6. Could you name some of your favorite writers?
I go through cycles. I had a time when I devoured all of Michael Crichton's books, then Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman . . . Lately I've enjoyed Ben Aaronovitch, Tana French, Alison Weir, and Kate Morton.
7. What do you like to do when you're not writing or reading?
I like to take walks while listening to podcasts. In the right season, I like to swim laps at the pool. When I'm stuck on something I'm writing, I pull out a puzzle or a LEGO project to work on. I find focusing on something like that allows my subconscious to work out the kinks in the story.
8. Do you have a favorite reading spot?
Outside on my chaise when it's warm enough. I have a little couch in my office, too, that's under the window and gets a nice sunbeam to sit in every mid-morning. I think I'm part cat because I always want to be in a sunbeam.
9. If you wouldn't have become a writer which profession would you be doing right now?
I might still be an editor, working on other people's books. When I was younger I thought for sure I was either going to be a magazine editor or a film director. Writing didn't really occur to me. I'd still maybe like to work in the film industry in some capacity. Ah, well. Can't do everything.
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now I'm working on the sequel to "Manifesting Destiny"--the second book will be called "The Great Divide." I'm also finishing up a Regency romance, and I'd like to go back to my updated version of "Hamlet" and also write more Sherlock Holmes stories. Plus, I've had requests for more Peter Stoller books. And I'm working with a director on one of my screenplays. I've got quite the list of projects!