Monday, 11 February 2019

The Sign of the Serpent by Majanka Verstraete + #Giveaway + Author Interview

The Sign of the Serpent (The Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #2) by Majanka Verstraete
Published by Firefly Hill Press tomorrow, the 12th February 2019.

Add The Sign of the Serpent to your Goodreads

Meet Marisol Holmes: High School Student, jaguar shifter, and great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes. She's solved countless supernatural cases, but her next one's the hardest yet. Why? Marisol is about to lose her heart.

Two days ago, terrible events shattered the very foundation of the Conclave. Now, Marisol Holmes swears she'll stop at nothing to destroy the man she once loved: her arch nemesis, Mannix. But when a cryptic clue left by Mannix leads Marisol to a secret room that once belonged to her father, she realizes that hunting down Mannix won't be that easy. If she wants to catch him, she'll have to retrace the steps of her own past and discovers secrets that might have been best left buried.

When the hunt for Mannix brings Marisol to London, she teams up again with Roan and Wyatt on a quest for the truth that leads her through the dark alleys of London, to shady shifter pubs, to libraries cloaked in magic, and eventually to an abandoned castle in Scotland that once belonged to her family. But Mannix is as sadistic as he's smart. At every turn, Marisol and her friends face harsh truths and deadly puzzles, and risk their lives to uncover a past that should stay buried. With the stakes getting higher and Marisol's attraction to Roan growing, can Marisol deny what she truly wants, even if it puts her new love on a collision course with her villainous ex?  

Author Interview

I think transposing the Sherlock Holmes model into a shape-shifter protagonist is a great idea. What inspired you to write your Marisol Holmes stories in this way? Did you encounter any particular challenges?

Having majored in law and criminology, I’ve always had a particular passion for murder mysteries. At the same time, though, paranormal is one of my favorite genres to write and read. So, why not combine both of these? And when I realized I wanted to write about shifters – mostly because I hadn’t written about shifters before – the idea soon arose of a descendant of Sherlock Holmes, with the famous detective’s wit and intellect, but a shifter. And not just any shifter, but the heir to the shifter throne. 

From there, I decided to create characters that will remind Sherlock Holmes’ readers of the characters from the original story – a bad guy, Mannix, who is reminiscent of Sherlock’s nemesis, Moriarty; a sidekick, Wyatt, who was inspired by the character of Watson, and much more. This was a bit challenging too, because despite being able to take inspiration from the original story, I couldn’t make the characters exactly similar: I had to give them an unique touch that made them stand out yet made readers recognize them at the same time. 

An additional challenge came when related to Sherlock Holmes’ mind palace: Sherlock Holmes uses his so-called ‘mind palace’ to solve crimes and remember every single detail. I had to mimic this for Marisol, yet also add an unique touch: in the first book, Marisol locks her jaguar-self away in this mind palace because she no longer trusts her jaguar. 

Combining a vast paranormal world with royals and secret societies with murder mysteries that needed to be solved in realistic ways, was quite a challenge too, but this was the aspect I enjoyed writing the most! It was an unique opportunity for me to be able to combine two of my greatest passions, and I loved every minute of writing The Adventures of Marisol Holmes so far. 

Meet the Author 

Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka's novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels.

Author links:
WebsiteFacebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

Win an Alex & Ani Serpent Rose Gold Bracelet and a Sign Of The Serpent ebook.
Open Internationally until the 28th February.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Majanka Verstraete / Fantasy fiction / Books from Belgium


  1. I was just commenting on someone's Goodreads about another retelling of Sherlock Holmes. Does shifter mean like she changes into a jaguar? That's interesting. I wonder what the context behind that is. I do worry about potential romance conflicts. Have you read the first book?

    1. Yes, Marisol is a jaguar shapeshifter. I haven't read this series myself yet, but think the idea looks fun!

  2. Thank you so much for hosting my book, Stephanie!

  3. Thanks for being on the tour! :)

  4. Ooh, I really like the sound of a supernatural mystery kind of book. Sounds so fun!

    1. These Marisol Holmes mysteries do look like a fun idea!