Author Interviews

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce the author of Wedding of The Torn Rose, Brian Mendonca

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

Symphony of Crowns and Gods (as a series) started as a video game that I was programming on my computer. Programming an RPG (role-playing-game) takes a lot of time and effort, especially as a solo developer, and my ideas were growing faster than I could create the game. Long story short, ~500 hours later, I decided novelization was the next best route to take since it would probably take me half a century to create the game I had originally imagined. The scale of all the characters, locations, and storylines in my head would need a dedicated and experienced team to develop and, by shifting to book format, I felt as though more people could experience the essence of the SoCG universe.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I keep a neat desk—Otherwise, random, useless clutter tends to subtly stress me out.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I don’t have a specific writing routine, but I visit something related to my books every day. Consistency is key, no matter what I’m working on, whether it be creating marketing ads, collaborating with other authors, designing graphics, or writing. Projects themselves comes with different seasons—depending on where I’m at with each, I spend my time outlining, writing, or self-developmental editing.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

Any scene involving a main character death is always tough, because I know that character could have had potential to do something more. Still, if situations in the series calls for it, nobody has “plot armor” or is invulnerable from death.

What are you working on next?

My “ideas notebook” for the Symphony of Crowns and Gods series still has a lot of content. I can’t say definitively how many volumes it will go, but there’s enough for at least five books so far without anything running dry or feeling bare.

What inspired your book/series?

I grew up a huge Star Wars fan, but I felt there was more (creatively) I could do within the sword and sorcery realms. That said, I wouldn’t rule futuristic type stories out in the future.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

E.E. Holmes, author of World of the Gateway is one I can name off the top of my head. J.K. Rowling is perhaps the most well-known. Carissa Andrews is another one that I’ve drawn inspiration from, and Tracy Lawson’s Resistance Series, is perhaps the biggest influence theme-wise.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

What’s the monthly rent to live in a Hobbit-hole?

How do you come up with the title to your books?

I aim to capture a central idea or theme relevant to that particular book in the series.

What is your favorite meal?

It really depends on my mood, but I would never turn down Taiwanese style beef noodle soup or Vietnamese Pho.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee is my lifeblood, but I enjoy tea more so when I want to relax. If I feel I’ve had enough caffeine for the day, then I break out the wine.

About The Author

Brian Mendonça is a writer, reader, and tech geek at heart. He’s always looking for new ways to get better at his craft, and he has traveled the world to see how the world is a melting pot of stories and cultures around us. He feels most at home when sitting in front of his computer, with a cup of coffee, and writing stories. When he’s not writing, he’ll be relaxing at home with his video games or watching re-runs of Friends or the Big Bang Theory. He often takes long walks outside while listening to podcasts. Brian is laid back, easy-going, and he loves helping people out. Brian is a native resident of the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Saving the princess was only the start of events that would change his life forever…

Kaine was down on his luck. The former merchant struggled with losing his job and now must make ends meet. Too bad he doesn’t know how. Frustrated, he sets off into the nearby forest to gather mushrooms. The woman’s screams were the last thing he expected. Kaine must act quickly to rescue the young woman before a monster that should not exist kills her.

His life only gets crazier from there. Kaine returns with Lydia, the daughter of the king, to her father’s castle where he unexpectedly finds himself in the king’s good graces. Confused and leery, Kaine reluctantly agrees to remain and help with Lydia’s younger siblings. Life could not have thrown him more.

Kaine is plunged into a world of magical intrigue, unrest, and political maneuvering. Each new event leaves him feeling out of place and, worse, dangerously exposed to a growing threat. The Darian Kingdom stands at the crossroads. Lydia’s upcoming wedding to the prince of the Throatian Kingdom will soon become the defining moment in Kaine’s life.

With the threat of war looming on the horizon, it is going to take every ounce of guile, cunning, and willpower for Kaine to survive, and, if he is fortunate, prevent the fast approaching storm from burning his world to the ground.

Wedding of the Torn Rose is a fast-paced fantasy adventure with mystery, action, and magic. Journey with Kaine as he attempts to prevent a war and save a kingdom in the first volume of the Symphony of Crowns and Gods series.

Posted in Blog

Today, I’d like to introduce the author of Wind Wielder, TC Marti

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’m a proud West Virginian and a die-hard fan of Arizona sports. Both of which I make references to in some of my books. Writing became a good way for me to escape into other worlds and pass the time. Where I live, there isn’t much to do other than to workout and go hiking, unless you’re willing to venture 45 minutes east into Pittsburgh. And since I’m a homebody, writing became a way to both relax and to be productive.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I actually write from a recliner chair, with my left elbow always resting on the chair arm – This is important because it tends to ache if I don’t keep it planted. Beside me is an end table, consisting of a Kindle in case I need to take a break and look for some inspiration, a copy of Blackpink: The Unofficial Biography, and a Ravenclaw House-inspired shaker bottle full of my favorite caffeinated beverages.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

Definitely a writing routine. I’m a creature of habit, so every morning, seven days a week, no days off, I like to edit what I had written the day before then, write 2,000 words before I kick off the day’s activities. I also freelance write for a living, so between assignments, I’ll engage in more creative writing and edits throughout the day. 

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

In Wind Wielder, there are two chapters that comprise entire scenes and I knew they would make or break the plot not just in it, but for the entire series. I couldn’t tell you how many revisions I made just to ensure there were no plot errors for both the book and subsequent books affected by those chapters. My favorite scenes were the thrashball scenes, which served as Wind Wielder’s subplot. The sport walked into my mind back when I was in high school during the late-2000s and it’s a mixture between American football, rugby, and Australian football, to name a few.

What are you working on next?

I actually have at least two more series set in the same universe that feature the same magical systems at work. In fact, they will even cross over with characters found in Wind Wielder and the Elementals of Nordica Series at some point – that’s the Marvel Cinematics inspiration at work there! 

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

E.E. Holmes, author of World of the Gateway is one I can name off the top of my head. J.K. Rowling is perhaps the most well-known. Carissa Andrews is another one that I’ve drawn inspiration from, and Tracy Lawson’s Resistance Series, is perhaps the biggest influence theme-wise.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

None of the above. I often sip on a pre-workout (Beyond Raw Lit is my favorite) during my morning and evening writing sessions, and fruit-flavored caffeinated energy sticks throughout the day. 

What inspired your book/series?

Wind Wielder and the entire Elementals of Nordica Series is a crossover of my favorite books, television shows, movies, and even video games I’d come across since grade school. Some of its biggest inspirations include books like Harry Potter, TV shows like Lost and Avatar: The Last Airbender, and even movies like Star Wars and the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you cross them into one, you get Wind Wielder.

Who is your favorite character from your book and would you get along?

My main character, Sion Zona, is my favorite in Wind Wielder. I based him on myself from when I was in my early 20s, so he was easy to create. However, my 30-year-old self would grow annoyed with Sion’s character flaws, which mirror my own back when I was his age. Brash, overconfident, and thinking he’s a cut above the world are just a few ways to describe Sion in Wind Wielder. There were times that while designing his character, I’d ask myself, “Was I really that bad?” The answer was always an unfortunate yes, just ask anyone who knew me between 2011 and 2019. That said, given the magnitude of the series, Sion has a lot of growing up to do, just as I did at one time. 

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I’m actually a huge fan of the hills, valleys, and backwoods of West Virginia. Especially in the fall. However, I’ve always fantasized about living in Prescott, Arizona, or even western North Carolina. But if there’s one place I’d love to live, internationally, it’d be a tiny nation called Estonia.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

I like to make a list of prospective titles, then ask myself would I read a book if I saw it with those prospective titles on Amazon. If the answer is no, then I eliminate it. I continue to repeat this process, even adding more prospective titles until one jumps out at me. Sometimes, I’ll even have a title picked out until something better walks into my mind. For example, my debut novel, Wind Wielder, was going to be called Declaration until well into 2021, when I felt the former would appeal more to my target audience. 

What is your favorite meal?

There is a Greek Restaurant right across the highway from where I live and they serve the best Greek salads. I order from there at least twice a week to the point every host/hostess knows exactly what I’m getting. I actually mention it in passing in a prequel novella of a different series. 

Describe yourself in three words.

Hardworking, inspiring, disciplined. 

About The Author

A secret censored throughout the modern age…

…A cataclysmic riot leaves the fate of the world hanging by a thread

There are a lot of things Wind Wielder Sion Zona wished he had taken seriously. But the following facts he neglected display his sheer ignorance. 

One, an ancient tribe within his Elemental race wiped from the pages of time still exists. 

Two, Sion and a band of eight other Elementals are the final descendants from that ancient tribe and hold the key to preventing the masses from falling victim to a one-world government foretold in a banned set of ancient texts. 

Three, the global superpower wants nothing more than to destroy Sion and the others before they discover their importance to humanity.      

So yeah, there’s no pressure in taking on a raging dictatorship.

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce the author of the A Girl From Forever, Yolanda McCarthy

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I always loved books. When I was ten, the family rules on reading were:

  1. Do not read when crossing the road.
  2. Do not read at the dining table.
  3. Do not read on escalators.

Looking back, it seems strange that we needed these rules, but at the time I actually found them quite hard to keep. I got addicted to stories very easily and preferred to read from beginning to end without a pause, so I usually had a book in hand when I walked down the street. I didn’t see why I shouldn’t read at the dining table, and often tried to sneak a book onto my lap.

Anyway, as I loved books so much, I was keen to write them, but my early attempts weren’t very good and I put them away and became a lawyer instead. It wasn’t until after the birth of my son that I began having story ideas I felt excited about, and started writing A Girl From Forever. It was many years before it was finished, and longer still before publication happened!

Describe your desk / writing space.

A Girl From Forever was written in the spare bedroom, which at the time comprised an old card table and a chair, overlooking the street and railway line. It was a somewhat bleak space with peeling wallpaper and about five different colors of paint on the wall (we’d bought a house to renovate, and hadn’t then started). This strange space had zero distractions and was absolutely perfect for writing fiction!

The house renovation is finished now, but another thing that’s changed is that my husband works from home. He needs the spare bedroom for zoom calls, so I write from the living room sofa, trying to ignore the lure of the tv, the mewing of the cats (who always want a snack) and the constant drone from the spare bedroom above…

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I would love to have a writing routine, but it only exists in my imagination. But I don’t wait for inspiration either! Inspiration has a way of wandering off halfway through a manuscript…

Mostly what happens is that when the house is empty, I have a double expresso, turn on some very loud music (usually Muse’s Uprising), bounce around the kitchen clearing up until the song is done, then sit down and write for 3-4 hours. Some weeks this happens every day, other weeks it doesn’t happen at all.

I am not one of those writers who writers every day, my life isn’t organized enough for that. I usually write when the house is quiet. If there’s a long spell when the house isn’t quiet, I’ll write at night.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

In Forever A Villain, we look back over Charles’ life to understand the events that made him the evil person he is and how he discovered the secret of eternal life. We begin in Victorian London, which was fun to write, but when we move into the 1940s, Charles takes a job in a concentration camp in order to get funding for his scientific research. This part of the story was difficult to write because I wanted to keep the book light enough that it remained suitable for young teenagers, and I didn’t want to write detailed scenes about life in Nazi Germany because that is a very serious subject and I am not expert enough to write on it. That said, a character like Charles would in that time and place have got involved in some very dark events. So I tried to hint at what he had done without writing graphic detail, and let the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks.

The most fun scene to write in A Girl From Forever, it’s a fight scene that takes place on the roof of a burning building. The characters fighting each other care deeply about each other, but both have been lied to, neither is certain at this point who the good guys are, and each believes the other is on the wrong side. Meanwhile the ground under them is starting to burn, their friends can’t get close enough to help, and there’s smoke everywhere. It was so vivid to me. It was also my editor’s favorite scene!

What are you working on next?

A sequel! The Flaw in Forever will be out in Spring 2022.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

So. Many. Particularly Tamora Pierce, Frank Herbert, Poul Anderson, and Veronica Roth.

What is your favorite meal?

Ohhhhh you shouldn’t ask me this just before lunchtime! Pizza with pepperoni, goats cheese, and roast Mediterranean veg.

Or steak with peppercorn sauce and roast potatoes.

Or puff pastry tart with caramelized onions!

I’d better stop thinking about this because what is in my cupboard for lunch is crusty rolls and cheese.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee! Preferably a double expresso poured over lots of ice cubes and topped up with milk…

Wine. Red wine…

Describe yourself in three words.

Loyal, mischievous, kind.

What inspired your book/series?

A Girl From Forever began in 2014, when my son was tiny and my husband was working overseas. I was listening to so much music, all kinds, just to hear words! I noticed the lyrics to Fall For Anything by The Script, and it made me a little sad, the way the song blames the girl for getting her heart broken. It’s a beautiful song but still – blaming the girl for believing her lover’s lies – that’s harsh.

Later the same day, I heard Fifteen by Taylor Swift, which I had somehow missed out on before. That song felt very redeeming for the girl in Fall For Anything. Of course we trust the things people say, I thought! We have to do that most of the time, or the world couldn’t function. If someone is lying and things go bad, that’s not on the victim. Then I thought – wow – these are two songs I just listened to randomly on the same day, but they have such similar themes, this scenario must be so common… Yet, when I was a teenager, I thought I was the only girl to be gullible.

So then I got to thinking about a character like that, the teenage girl who gets her heart broken by someone who’s willing to tell her any lie to get what he wants. And, from a writer’s point of view, I got curious about the male character. It’s easy to say he’s a bad guy, but… What if he’s not? What if this situation happened in a dystopian thriller because the guy did what he felt he had to, but they would actually be the perfect couple, and he just doesn’t know it yet? Are there any circumstances in which she can forgive him?

From there, I decided that if they’d been together physically, it was all just too unforgiveable. But… What if they’d only been together in mind, but not in body? What if the male character was telepathic? So then I had Fern and Rehan, and I started thinking about why he would lie to her, and why she wouldn’t be able to meet up with him. She’d have to be an almost Rapunzel-like figure, I decided. Why? Why is she locked up?

The answer to that question came from a screenplay I’d written years before, Starsong, which was a Romeo & Juliet retelling on a shipwrecked spaceship. In my screenplay, the ship belonged to the last surviving warriors in an empire ruled by an immortal elite. (Starsong had itself started as a thought experiment: what would Romeo & Juliet look like in space?) The screenplay never got made into a movie, and I shelved it, but there were elements I loved. As I started working on A Girl From Forever, I couldn’t resist stealing the immortal imperial elite from Starsong and winding them back millennia in time, to when they were just a cult on Earth, only a few years from now… Fern was born into that cult.

Who is your favorite character from your book and would you get along?

I love Fern, the main character of my first book. She’s born into an Institute and raised by people who couldn’t care less about her, but she manages to stay an optimist and maintain a kind of innocence. I felt quite protective of her! I hope we’d get along…

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Lake Garda, Italy. In a villa halfway up a mountain, with a pool, a roof garden, and some seriously good views…

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Usually they just pop into my head, and I love it when that happens. When it doesn’t… I brainstorm words associated with my story, then go through Amazon looking at books aimed at the same target audience as mine, trying to work out what their titles have in common, so that I can decide how best to signal to potential readers what kind of book I’m offering them. For example, books with the word ‘girl’ in are giving a hint to readers that this is a young adult book. (Stories with ‘wife’ in the title are often psychological thrillers). I also use this research to try to ensure that no book has the exact same title as mine – although I can’t control what happens after publication!

I was a bit nervous about the title of my second book, Forever A Villain. This is the sequel to A Girl from Forever, and it’s the villain’s origin story. I was concerned that it might sound like a horror story, which it definitely isn’t. But this was one of those titles that just popped into my head and felt right, and it was hard to imagine the story with any other title, so I followed my instincts and went with it.

About The Author

Yolanda grew up in London, where she worked as a lawyer, a supermarket assistant, a civil servant, and at a cat shelter. Her work took her to California, Serbia, and Dubai, but her fondest memories are of Bermuda. (She’s still homesick for Bermuda. Especially the pink sands of Elbow Beach…)

She now lives in a village just outside London, with her husband and son, two suspicious cats and some very ungrateful fish. Sometimes she climbs mountains.

Would you choose loyalty or love?

The secretive Forever Institute towers over London. Some say it’s a cult, others call it mafia. To seventeen-year-old Fern, Forever is simply home, run by the scientists who created her. A home she’s never been allowed to leave…

Forever gave Fern everything, a body that will never age, psychic abilities (if she can work out how to access them) and a purpose: Fern will be part of a new dawn for humanity, although she’s never been told exactly how.

Then Fern is contacted by a cryptic telepath from outside the Institute, and learns some dark truths: children are being murdered, and Fern is in danger. But Fern’s new friend has secrets of his own…

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce the author of the Sentinals series, Helen Garraway

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I am a fantasy author from the south of England, living in the royal borough of Berkshire. I live with my cat Alfie and immerse myself in my wonderful worlds, of which I have quite a few now, though only one is currently published. I had ideas brewing for a book for many years, and I had been writing notes and ideas, very different from what I finally wrote, but that was the beginning.

My mum dying was my catalyst, and once she passed and my daughter flew the nest when she went to university, I suddenly had time and I started writing the Sentinal series and out came seven books. I wrote them over a period of two years between 2016-2018 and then I went back and started to edit them, and learning about the world of self-publishing and what that entailed. I published my first book, Sentinals Awaken in October 2020, and went on to publish three books in a year. Still not sure how I managed that!

Describe your desk / writing space.

I work from home, so my desk is associated with work. I tend to write, seated on the sofa, laptop on my lap, my cat Alfie asleep by my legs, just as I am now, answering your questions!

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I work full time, so usually writing has to fit around when I am not working, ie evenings and weekends. I have had to take time off work when I am in the throes of an idea though. Sometimes the muse just takes over and you can’t do anything else until you’ve written it.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

Hmm, hard question. I don’t know. I am rather a haphazard writer. I can write chapters in isolation as I have an idea and then fit it in later like a jigsaw puzzle. I usually write the beginning and the end first. I know where I’m starting and I know where I want to end, it’s the middle and how they get there that can be tortuous!

I often have to walk away and noodle on the plot, let the back brain figure out what the next piece is and then return to writing it, but once I start writing it just flows, until I get interrupted, usually my cat, Alfie demanding dinner!

What inspired your book/series?

I didn’t start writing until late in life, though I have had ideas bubbling, I never put pen to paper. I live near an ancient woodland, where there are trees that are hundreds of years old. I wished that they could speak, what tales they could tell! That planted the seed for the Sentinal series.

The Sentinal series is an epic fantasy series, and even though they are quite long books, I am told they are easy to read (Thank goodness!) and once you start reading them, they don’t seem as long. Jerrol Haven, a King’s Ranger discovers treason at the highest levels, but before he can do anything about it, he is attacked. He accidentally awakens a Lady’s Sentinal,  not that he realises he has, after all, who expects a man to be sleeping in a tree for thousands of years? And so begins an adventure to discover who is trying to overthrow the king and take over the world.

Jerrol has to face many obstacles and challenges, not least to figure out how to wake the other Sentinals scattered across Remargaren.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Black coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and lots of wine in the evening!

Describe yourself in three words.

Voracious Fantasy Reader

Who is your favorite character from your book and would you get along?

Birlerion is my favourite character. He is the first Sentinal who Jerrol awakes. He is such a joy to write, because he has so many layers and so many secrets. I am definitely Team Sentinal and I would love to take him home!

When we first meet him, he is withdrawn and reserved, a silent assassin protecting the Captain. Compared to the happy go lucky Jennery, he seems quite dangerous and we question whether we can trust him. As the books evolve I think Birlerion has the most interesting character arc. This makes Sentinals Recovery even more exciting, as it really focuses on Birlerion. The first three books, Jerrol is the main character, so this is the first time we really get to meet him properly, and I think a lot of readers will go Ah! in enlightenment. (If they read the first three books!) Sentinals Recovery is a complete story, but you will appreciate it more if you read the first three books.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I would choose to live in the leafy Watches of Vespiri in my world of Remargaren, and visit Birtoli for a holiday. Birtoli is the setting for book four of the Sentinal series, and is an island archipelago, with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. I would love to relax on a nice sandy beach with a cocktail or two. I will have to make sure they have a stock of them!

How do you come up with the title to your books?

It was actually one of my beta readers who suggested I use Sentinal in the title. And once I had the word Sentinal it was quite easy to Awaken them to begin with. The Second book, Sentinals Rising, was a nod to the Sentinals adjusting to the new world and the Ascendants upping their game to take over the world. The third book was the culmination of the opening trilogy and it made sense for it be Sentinals Justice.

What are you working on next?

I am currently preparing to release book 3.5, Sentinals Recovery, on December 2nd, 2021. Sentinals Recovery is a novella which follows straight after Sentinals Justice. I hadn’t planned on writing it, but I couldn’t fit the story into book three, it just wouldn’t physically fit, but it had to be written. This novella focuses in on Birlerion, and we learn more about him as he recovers from his near fatal injuries from the final confrontation in Book 3.

I’m editing book four of the Sentinal Series due out next year, and writing a brand new book in a new series. SoulBreather is book one of the SoulMist series, and is more of a paranormal romance, though there is plenty of worldbuilding and political intrigue. I signed up to the Realm of Darkness Anthology and I have to have SoulBreather written by August of next year, I am currently 60k words in so all is on track. This is the first time I have had an external deadline to hit, but all is going well, and I just got the first draft of the cover back, and it looks amazing. It is going to be so difficult to sit on it until next year!

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I have loved reading all my life, my mother used read any genre going and she got me hooked on thrillers, mysteries, romances and then we discovered David Eddings’ Belgarion and Mallorean series and Anne McCaffrey’s world of Pern. I love Lois McMaster Bujold’s world of the five gods and her Sharing knife series, and she was definitely an influence on my writing, I think, as I try and inject a bit humour as she did and I absolutely love world building.

What is your favorite meal?

My favourite meal is a roast dinner. I love roast potatoes (well I love potatoes any which way), but a roast dinner is just so satisfying, and reminds me of family dinners, followed by apple crumble with custard, if I can fit it in!

About The Author

Helen Garraway lives in the UK and has been writing about the world of Remargaren, a fantasy world of her creation since 2016. 

Sentinals Awaken was Helen’s debut fantasy novel published in 2020. The second installment, Sentinals Rising was published March 17th, 2021; Sentinals Justice which published September 7th, 2021 and Sentinals Recovery due December 2nd 2021.

An avid reader of many different fiction genres, a love she inherited from her mother, Helen writes fantasy novels and also enjoys paper crafting and scrapbooking as an escape from the pressure of working as a Product Manager.

Having graduated from the University of Southampton with a Degree in Politics and International Relations, she remains an active member of their alumni.

A Monstrous Light blurb

What do you do when the person who’s your whole word vanishes in a monstrous light?
You hunt him down, of course. Across continents, to the edge of the Waste, through death and deception all the way to the corpse of the creature who would have killed you both.
And when you find him? Well.
You do what you have to to keep him. Anything you have to. Even killing.

Even dying.

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce Cari Z. author of A Monstrous Light

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

Thanks so much for having me, Katie! I’m always happy to talk about writing—or in this case, why I write. The truth is, I’ve been writing for a long time and published since 2008, but it’s only since 2017, when I had my daughter and quit my day job, that I buckled down and decided to pursue it full-time. Three cheers for no maternity leave, I guess, because it’s worked out so far! (Just kidding, not getting maternity leave was awful and I’m not cheering it, but it did make me buckle down.)

Describe your desk / writing space.

I do most of my writing in a chair in my living room, which gets the best natural light in the house. Sometimes I write downstairs in what is ostensibly the office, but it’s so dark down there (and so cold, omg) that I can never stay for long.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I’m one of those weird people who needs to work on half a dozen projects at once to stay motivated. I almost always write at least 3-4k a day, and I almost never write more than 1k on the same project at once. I don’t bank on inspiration, lol. Inspiration bows down before my yearly planner!

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

I’m terrible at interpersonal conflict, so writing emotional fight scenes is awful for me. I also hate humiliation in stories, I can barely read it—writing it is next to impossible. Physical fight scenes, though, I could write all day. I love a good dust-up.

What inspired your book/series?

Cover art, in this case! I bought the cover before I knew what the heck I’d be writing about.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening! And beer for me, the darker the better.

Describe yourself in three words.

Dedicated, fun, flexible

Who is your favorite character from your book and would you get along?

Oh gosh, from this particular book? I like Korran, because he’s a nice guy who just happened to be pushed into doing something hideously horrific. It worked out for him…kind of. Least worst of all bad options, I’d say. The main POV character, Beniel, is a little harder to love *coughASSHOLEcough* but he’s also a pretty good guy 😉

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Is “the room with a portal that leads to all the places I love” an option? Because I’d totally live there and then travel when I needed something or wanted to go skiing or scuba diving or, I don’t know, visit a dragon or something.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Hardest part, right there. I honestly think I’m not so great at titles. I tend to prefer single words, but occasionally a line from my book will grab me and I’ll use that. Mostly, though, I just pray I think of something before I finish writing the darn thing.

What are you working on next?

I’ve got so much going on, lol! Next up will be a re-release of my novella The Solstice Gift, with updated edits and gorgeous new cover art just in time for the holidays.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

So many. Almost everyone I read influences my writing in some way, even if it’s just “Oh, that’s a great line,” or “Wow, I love that character dynamic, awesome.”

What is your favorite meal?

It’s coming up. Thanksgiving, baby. Gimme all the turkey.

About The Author

Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes. Cari has published short stories, novellas and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on her blog and on AO3 as CariZee. Follow her blog, join her Patreon, or sign up for her newsletter to read her serial stories! New chapters post on a weekly/monthly basis.

Sign up for her newsletter here: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/x1x1m4

You can also contact Cari at carizabeth@hotmail.com. In fact, please do. She’d love to hear from you.

A Monstrous Light blurb

What do you do when the person who’s your whole word vanishes in a monstrous light?
You hunt him down, of course. Across continents, to the edge of the Waste, through death and deception all the way to the corpse of the creature who would have killed you both.
And when you find him? Well.
You do what you have to to keep him. Anything you have to. Even killing.

Even dying.

Posted in Blog

A Five Star Review from B. Sinsational

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

💞Unputdowneable Delightful Masterpiece 💞

This Book is without a doubt uniquely exceptional, and a phenomenal treasure to find and read.
It is a genuine treat that hides in these pages. With a style to the writing that is hard to pinpoint, but that makes it feel almost as if your reading someone’s diary. “Unputdownable” is the best way I can find to describe it by.
That statement is not just due to one or a few strong suits or aspects but for so many reasons, or in all honesty; I can’t find any flaws or areas that is not perfect.

It has all the “mysterious IT factors” that makes a book epic.

Examples of this divine level of perfection penetrates and saturates everything and examples can easily be seen in the fully loaded storyline, perfected with increasingly intensifying thrilling events, whipping up a unprecedented crescendo. So perfectly penned one doesn’t notice that it is hooking the reader, and reeling them in, cleverly it’s very subtle, but still clearly in a divine way.

Even the buildup of scenery, person galleries , timeline, and main characters that one can swear must be alive because they are so skillfully vivid and multifaceted. Not a single aspect of this book can be said to be anything but a masterly created luscious treat❣️
As if that was not enough it’s jam packed packed with all the supernatural types and elements anyone one can dream and wish for.
If you want a unforgettable read, then this book is for you!

This book was sent to me for review purposes, the choice of if I would read and review was still mine.
But with much delight I decided to give it a go.
So regardless those circumstances it does not influence or change my opinion. So it is in all parts my very own opinion, untainted and honest that is written above.

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce Peter Mansebridge author of Feyworld

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I always wanted to write a book since I was a little kid. Eragon came out when I was four years old and it was a big deal at the time because the author, Christopher Paolini, was only eighteen years old. One of my earliest clear memories is laying down on a beach chair and reading Eldest (the sequel) and getting cheeto dust all over the pages. Since I was just learning to read when the series was making waves it inspired me somewhat as a young student to want to write a book because if he could do it so young, why couldn’t I? I remember my first ‘attempt’ at writing a ‘book’ was unapologetically an Eragon ripoff. I was nine at the time and would write in pencil at recess. To me writing was like reading, because I often had no idea where the story was going, but I got to make it up by myself. And even today that’s the most exciting part.

Describe your desk / writing space.

My monitor is a 15 year old Dell that somehow still works and to the left of it is a webcam that barely looks over the small crowd of 3-D printed miniatures I designed and painted. Three of them are characters from my novel, Feyworld and two are D&D characters. I also have two origami tarantulas that I don’t remember how to fold anymore, air fresheners, a bunch of laser cut art I made in college and a magic the gathering deck that was so overpowered I now only use it as a weight to keep the headset cord out of my way. The right side of my desk harbors my mouse, a folder full of half-drawn maps, a teapot and a ton of napkins for when I inevitably make this whole thing even more of a mess.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

Whenever I feel like some writing needs to get done, I just brew a pot of tea and put on a playlist of music. This often happens in the middle of the night. That said, I think about my stories all the time when I am not writing so it’s less a matter of feeling inspired and more a matter of overcoming laziness or fatigue. 

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

I don’t mind answering this question, but to do so I would have to reveal some major spoilers for the book, which I would rather not do.

What inspired your book/series?

The answer to this might seem like it contains spoilers, but it’s so tangential, few will understand the connections even if they have read the book. I once had a Dungeons and Dragons character that was this archfey warlock who was cursed by his patron, a spiteful fey princess, to be ruled by a trio of dangerous split personalities due to a pact he made with her that he wouldn’t sleep with anyone else. And then broke. (he was chaotic evil). D&D has a feature warlocks can take that lets them have a magical familiar, which can be a fairy called a ‘Sprite’. And recently there had been this weird claymation TV commercial with Lebron James advertising a new kind of Cranberry flavored Sprite, which became a popular meme. So as a joke I named his familiar Cranberry. A Sprite named Cranberry. Geddit haha…  Anyway that one character managed to inspire an entire series of novels, though it should be noted that the resemblance died extremely quickly even though the names stayed the same.

Who is your favorite character from your book and would you get along?

Writing Cranberry was incredibly fun. She’s a small, energetic fairy that helps the main characters throughout much of their journey, and the first person Asher encounters upon entering Feyworld. Most scenes with her involve some kind of adorable histrionics. Overall she’s one of the most likeable characters in the book, and a lot of readers I’ve talked to felt the same way.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I genuinely hold the belief that modern technology has generally grown more powerful and dangerous than the magic in most stories was ever imagined to be. I’ve also made peace with the fact that I will never live in a world other than the one I do, so I try not to think about that. Also most of the fiction I consume is set in absolutely horrible places, since I like dark stories. For those reasons, I’d like to get out of the highly populated area I currently inhabit to somewhere stars are visible at night, if I can. I do plan on moving eventually, I just haven’t decided where.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

As it stands, I only have one book and a second one in the works, although I have plans for a second series already. In the beginning, Feyworld: Shards of the Solarie was just “Feyworld”, it didn’t get the subtitle until I realized it was going to be a series, and even then the second book (which isn’t finished yet) got its subtitle before I could come up with “Shards of the Solarie”, although readers of the first book will eventually see why that name fits.

What are you working on next?

Feyworld: Shards of the Solarie will have at least two sequels on the horizon, the names of which I’ve yet to announce. After that, I’ve already written the prologue to an unrelated series called Hollow Hearts about a group of people with reality-altering and mind reading powers that form a secret organization dedicated to preventing individuals with the same capabilities from wreaking havoc. 

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I am a huge Warhammer 40k fan and so I loved Dan Abnett when I was a teenager. His talent for action is so great that in certain scenes you can practically count the seconds as they pass in certain scenes. My favorite one of his books, which I keep coming back to, is Know No Fear. Multiple people have also said that my book resembles Tad Williams, but I’ve only read one of his stories, it was after I started writing Feyworld, and honestly I think we have a lot of differences in our writing style. The similarity between Cranberry and Applecore, who is a character in The War of the Flowers is kind of undeniable though.

What is your favorite meal?

This answer is kinda boring I know, but strip steak is really good. And I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t my favorite. 

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

I literally consume like six large cups of tea every day, but I will not touch coffee. I haven’t found a kind of wine I like enough, and if reading this interview hasn’t revealed it yet, I lack class entirely. So my alcohol of choice is a vodka lemonade, and I would drink it more if it didn’t make my teeth hurt.

Describe yourself in three words.

Need more tea. Hnnngh.

Author Bio:

Hi, I am Peter Mansebridge, a young (for now) self published author from the Chicago suburbs. Time I spend not writing is often time I spend thinking about it. My true passion is stories, both real life and fiction, and I strive to bring my best story ideas to my readers. I also like tea. 

Haunted by the death of his lover, twenty three year old hockey player Asher Michelsen finds himself one of many humans stranded in the magical dimension of Feyworld.


To survive, he’ll have to face down hulking monsters, vicious plant life and murderous tyrants.
Trapped in Feyworld for two years, Émilia LaFlamme has her own demons. When the village that sheltered her is massacred by a mysterious group of doomsayers, she’ll have to look for help in unexpected places…


As Asher’s dark past rapidly catches up with him, devious Fey scheme to manipulate them both as pawns in a secret war… a conflict that threatens to wipe humanity out.

Posted in Uncategorized

DNA Demons N Angels is $.99! Get it today!

Kim P. Review Five Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love love love how this story is written. I love the idea, the concept and I’m just here begging for more Lucas! The main character, Evie though is great- she’s ruthless, curious and I couldn’t help but to relate in the way she was throughout this book. Author did a great job with the descriptions of everything down to every last detail which I loved picturing and it kept me captivated! I don’t usually write reviews on books but I couldn’t help but share and mostly say Lucas is totally all mine in my dreams. 

It’s weird how every woman reacts differently. How each pregnancy differs.

Mine is definitely unique.

My sense of smell became stronger, picking up the faintest odors, and my stomach was in constant turmoil. Those were the first signs.

And then I started eating. And eating. If I don’t, I get a migraine and people’s faces become blurry. Electronics seem to malfunction in my presence. And the nightmares—they don’t stop.

Something is changing my body.

Something that should have never happened.

Something that my husband and I had prevented from happening.

Something people say is miraculous.

The bigger I get, the more frequently I encounter people who become possessed. And the more often I wind up questioning if I am carrying a miracle baby.

The closer I get to the due date, the more I love this child and the more confident I am that I will protect my baby from anything.

Even its fate.

DNA Demons N Angels contains violence, swearing, and sex scenes. If you are looking for a clean, curse free book, this isn’t it.

Posted in Blog

Today I’m doing something different. I’m doing a character interview for my friend, Laura Winters’ amazing new book, The Curse of Broken Shadows.

Where are you from, and what do you do?

Elias: Rooke, the earth kingdom. Assassin and thief.
Farrah: Same.
Brela: Assassin from everywhere and nowhere.
Cason: You can just say you’re from Valisea, the former shadow kingdom. We all know.
Brela: *sticks tongue out at Cason*
Cason: *rolls eyes* I’m from Anfroy, the sun kingdom, and I’m Captain of Serill’s Guard.
Serill: I’m the Crown Prince of Severina, the moon kingdom.

What magic do you have? Did you study for it?

Farrah: I’m earth and moon blessed. Water, with a special affinity for ice, and a smidge of healing magic. I only ever attended the earth temple, but not for long.
Cason: Fire and enhanced senses from the sun god, lightning from the moon god. I trained at both the sun and moon temple and have the tattoos for the highest graduation marks.
Brela: They should have created a new graduation level for you. Those tattoos aren’t even close to showing your real strength. And, for the record, neither of you are ‘tainted’ for your multiple gods-blessed magics.
Elias: Yeah, I don’t care about my earth temple tattoos. I skipped all the graduation inks for my herbal affinity and only got the strength ones. But look at what Brela drew for me. *proudly shows off his shoulder ink that blends strength and herbal magic marks* I made her tattoo it on me.
Serill: I just have healing magic.
Brela: And a brain. That’s stronger than any magic. I would know, because I can kick all of your asses and I don’t have magic. *casually hides the fact that she possesses a cursed shadow magic from Serill and Cason*

What was your childhood like?

Brela: I spent ages 3 to 9 hiding from soldiers who were trying to kill me because I honor the shadow god and was cursed with her magic. Then, after I escaped Valisea, trained as an assassin in Rooke.
Farrah: I don’t talk about anything that happened before I was 19 and met Brela.
Elias: Can’t complain. I did my own thing, got into trouble, and didn’t really care about anything until I was 20 and met these two *points to Farrah and Brela*
Cason: I spent my early years training at the sun temple in Anfroy, then left to study at the moon temple in Severina. Most people are afraid of my magic so I didn’t really have friends until I met Serill.
Serill: I’m the Crown Prince of Severina. Even though the king would rather have my brother on the throne over me because he has lightning magic instead of my weaker healing magic, it was pretty easy-going until recently.
Cason: You mean until we met Brela?
Brela: I’m sorry, dragon. Are you really complaining about some of the things we’ve–
Serill: Oh, gods. I don’t need to hear you two flirt this early in the morning.

What is your biggest wish/goal/desire?

Serill: To unite all the kingdoms again. Yes, including Valisea and the shadow-kind.
Farrah: Oh. I just want to see the moon temple. I’ve heard it’s the most beautiful sight on the continent.
Elias: I’m simple. A bed big enough to share with Farrah and Brela and for them to be safe.
Cason: For people to not see my magic as something destructive.
Brela: Same. And for my people to no longer be hunted.

What is your greatest fear?

Cason: Losing control of my power and emotions. Being seen as weak for having those emotions.
Serill: Not being respected because I have a weaker magic and don’t care for violence.
Farrah: Being seen as weak or broken because of my scars.
Elias: Heights.
Brela: Small spaces. Someone using my family against me.

Do you have any pets?

Brela: Does a mythical shadow wolf that is now very real and stalking me count?
Farrah: As long as you don’t bring it in the house, sure.

Do you have a crush on / love someone?

*Brela and Cason avoid eye contact*
Elias: It’s no secret that Brela, Farrah, and I are a thing.
Farrah: Brela and Elias. Easy.
Serill: Can we add a sixth member to this group? I’m lonely.

Describe the others with one word.

Brela: Surprising (Serill), Wild (Elias), Heart (Farrah), Dragon (Cason)
Cason: Incorrigible (Brela), Kind (Serill), Protective (Elias), Fierce (Farrah)
Serill: Inspirational (Brela), Misunderstood (Cason), Beautiful (Farrah), Caring (Elias)
Farrah: Civilized (Serill), Loyal (Elias), Stubborn (Cason), Hope (Brela)
Elias: Queen (Farrah), Revolutionary (Serill), Uptight (Cason), Tenacious (Brela)

Favorite color:

Farrah: Black or dark colors.
Brela: Purple, but more blue than black. No, maybe emerald green, like Elias’s eyes.
Serill: I’ve always liked Severina’s colors. Midnight blue and silver.
Elias: Blue or purple. Green, too. Honestly, Brela and I change our answer daily.
Cason: Blue.
Brela: *looks into Cason’s eyes* Nevermind, it’s steel blue.

What’s something to look forward to in The Curse of Broken Shadows?

Farrah: Badass women kicking butt.
Elias: I also look forward to that. Found family is my favorite.
Cason: A lot of magic and new monsters and beasts.
Serill: Adventure and growing friendships.
Brela: Flirting, banter, swords, and knives… often at the same time.

An assassin, a powerful dagger, and a magic that shouldn’t exist.

Shadow magic is extinct. The Veil Worshippers who honor the shadow god’s wall are hunted for their artifacts, including the Veil shards that break off the wall in Valisea.

Brela vows to steal it all back. With the dagger of her people and a Veil shard embedded in her collarbone that has infected her with shadow-cursed magic, she is determined to keep her secrets or suffer a fate worse than death. That was a lot easier when the uptight and infuriatingly handsome Captain Cason Valkip wasn’t hunting her.

Cason has spent his entire life hiding—from the raids on Valisea, from his emotions, and from his multiple gods-blessed magics that everyone is afraid of… everyone except Brela. The chaotic, non-magic wielding assassin who drives him insane is also the only person who has never looked at his tainted magic without any ounce of fear. Which is why being forced to work with her to discover the source of the breaking wall sets his already uncontrollable fire magic ablaze.

With tension growing in the remaining kingdoms and mythical beasts threatening her at every turn, Brela’s secrets might not remain hidden for much longer. To survive, she will have to work with the one man who could burn her.

Because if shadow hell is released, no one will be safe.

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce Ashely Caggiano author of The Weary Traveler

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I didn’t start speaking for an abnormally long time after I should have according to all the developmental books. My mom says it was because I was just listening, and while it was much more likely because of some pretty intense anxiety, she wasn’t necessarily wrong: I was listening too. I’ve always enjoyed observing the world and the people in it, figuring out why things are how they are and making up reasons when there wasn’t an answer. That’s where stories come in—the intersection of “why,” “I don’t know,” and “what if?” I found that I liked telling stories, but that whole being quiet thing ended up counter to ever being listened to, so writing became the best way to express myself without being interrupted. See, you just read this whole paragraph, didn’t you?

I turned to fantasy fairly early and never left because it always has more to give. Magic can be terrible, but it’s also fun and ridiculous, and its ability to cut a reader off from the “real world” while still representing actual struggles people have is a great tool for storytelling. Plus, I love love, and isn’t that the most magical thing of all? Ew, gross, I know, but that’s the other part: fantasy lets you be corny and get away with it. Sometimes readers even like it.

While I’ve always liked observing, I’ve also always wanted to fix things and help people. I don’t really have the ability or the tools to do that in most cases, but I know for myself, stories have always been a place of escape, healing, and ultimately growth. So if I can give that to anyone else, then maybe I am capable of doing a tiny bit of that fixing after all.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I’m a nomadic writer, but I do have my favorite spots, depending on what stage I’m in. I brainstorm and plot from a desk with a whiteboard beside it, every surface covered in notebooks and sticky notes and colored pens. I do first drafts from a big, comfy armchair or couch, nested in blankets, an oversized sweatshirt, and noise-cancelling headphones to discourage me from getting up. Most of my rewrites and edits are ping-ponging between those two, though lately I’ve been using a very small standing desk so I can do a lap of the room while I fill in plot holes and sort out dialogue. The necessities for any of these spots is a very hot or very cold drink, the ability to talk to myself without looking crazy, and at least one cat.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I’m very lucky in that writing is my fulltime job, so it’s essentially what I do for the entire day. I find I’m most productive in the morning and late in the evening, so I start my day with a cup of coffee or tea and a short session of reading to get me in the right headspace, and then I use timed sprints to draft or hour-long blocks to edit. My afternoons are much of the same, but with more business tasks interspersed like writing emails or blogs. In the evening, after chores and dinner, I’ll pull my laptop out again and review what I thought was good that morning and either applaud myself or leave scathing notes for my future self to fix.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

I’ve been finding lately that utilizing details from my real life, even when I add a fictional twist on them, has been hard. Write what you know, it’s true, but that doesn’t make it emotionally easy, yet those scenes are usually a lot more satisfying in the end. Lorelei goes on a tirade to the hearth sprites in The Weary Traveler about why she ended up at Moonlit Shores Manor, it’s very much stream-of-consciousness, rambley nonsense, but it’s meant as exposition and to give the reader a sense of who Lorelei is early on. While I only rewrote it once or twice, conceptualizing it and figuring out how to get it right was a real struggle.

My favorite scenes to write in the Vacancy series seem to be when Lorelei gets overwhelmed and has an outburst, like in the third act of book two when she confronts Mr. Carr (not a spoiler, it’s inevitable). It’s very cathartic to just let her unload on somebody and to say the things she’s had pent up for so long. I also love a good romance scene, but I end up rewriting them a lot to turn up or down the steaminess like at the Valentine’s Day party in The Wayward Deed.

Also, dirty jokes. If I manage to sneak one in, my cockiness knows no bounds.

What inspired your book/series?

I’ve always felt television was the perfect medium for storytelling, and I used to dream up this sitcom with a supernatural vibe that was a mix of Charmed, Fawlty Towers, and Friends. That’s Vacancy. It was originally a serial on my blog, but I knew I would reach more readers (and actually finish the dang thing) by novelizing it. I wanted to see a group of people with individual struggles come together to solve their genuine problems while constantly being interrupted by “real life,” and I wanted that “real life” to be full of absurd magic and campy situations.

Who is your favorite character from your book and would you get along?

From the Vacancy series, I have to say Bridgette just might be my favorite character, but she’s objectively awful, so we would absolutely not get along. In early iterations of this story, she was pretty one-dimensional and easy to dispassionately hate, but in novelizing the story I didn’t want her to be a caricature of a “mean girl” who just fulfilled “the other woman” role, so I fleshed her out and then fell in love with how she sees the world. Her view is grossly solipsistic and shallow, but in a twisted way she thinks she’s doing the right thing, and while her actions aren’t exactly justifiable, she ended up being complex in a way that I really hope translates to the page by the end of the trilogy. All that said, she does absolutely despicable things, but her snotty, valley girl lines are a lot of fun to write!

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I fear I would get killed off in most of the fantasy worlds I love, or at the very least couldn’t stand them without daily access to a hot shower. The world of Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle is just so bright and magical and lovely though, it’s like a fairy tale and it has a bathtub, so it might be tolerable! In our world, I’d like to live on a secluded beach where I can sit in the sand and listen to the waves and the gulls while I type away endlessly. I’d just need a laptop that can handle sand and sunshine.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Only after realizing I hate every single word and every possible mixture of them?? Titles are the worst, but I’ve come up with an okay method: make a list of important words, phrases, and concepts that convey the ambiance and theme of the book, then rewrite the list by combining words over and over in different orders while keeping the genre in mind. I try to write all my ideas down, even if I hate them (for a long time book two of Vacancy was called Occupancy), because it either gets the bad ideas out of my head, or leaves them there for future me to look back at and realize they weren’t so bad after all. (Spoiler: the latter is extremely rare and even more delightful!)

What are you working on next?

After Vacancy’s third and final book, The Willful Inheritor, is published this fall, I have a one-off sword and sorcery romcom in the works (working title Bad Blood, but you know how I feel about titles). I’m playing around with villain tropes and classic Halloween monsters and a more traditional, medieval setting for this one. It’s lighthearted while attempting to ask the question “what is evil, really?” I’m restricting that story to a standalone novel for my own sanity.

I’ve also got a vampire romance called Creatures and Covens on Kindle Vella that needs to be finished and then brought to ebook, and a weird, holiday horror/black comedy novella that I keep just failing to complete in time for December, so we’ll see if I can pull it off this year or if it’s fated for Christmas 2022. After that, I have a trilogy for 2022 called Blightwood that’s my first stab at a more serious fantasy epic with a slightly darker romantic subplot. Knowing me, that dark romance will morph into something a bit brighter, but the world revolves around a blighted forest, “dark” elves, and conflict between what is essentially heaven and hell, so it won’t be too bright.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Obligatory Harry Potter mention, of course. I look to Neil Gaiman when I’m trying to understand beautiful prose and how to submerge a reader into a world, and I read Gillian Flynn for a how-to on punching a reader right in the gut and crafting an unputdownable story (all stuff I’ll forever be a student of). If I could emulate even one percent of the joy and laughter I get from Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, I’d consider my life fulfilled, and Diana Wynne Jones is the culmination of everything I want to inject in my writing: fantasy, comedy, heart, and the tiniest bit of good sense in the face of ridiculousness.

What is your favorite meal?

A box of generic-labeled mac n cheese and a diet soda. I don’t think I need to explain why.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

I’m boring and don’t drink alcohol (my bitter receptors work overtime), but I love both coffee and tea! Of course, some people would say I’m not drinking either since I add lots of creamer and milk to a medium roast cold brew or hot chai, but if you dump a scoop of protein powder in either you’ve got a pretty good breakfast going, and the perfect way to wake your brain up for some writing!

Describe yourself in three words.

Really likes cats.

Author Bio:

Ashley is a self-published author who likes to write silly little stories that hopefully bring readers joy. She likes cats, guacamole, feminism, and the internet.

Lorelei Fischer desperately needed somewhere to spend the night, and, as if by magic, Moonlit Shores Manor appeared.

But there’s a cost for everything, magic included.

More than willing to escape her old life and fill the open position at the bizarre bed and breakfast, Lorelei quickly learns of the dangers waiting for her. She’s only human, after all, and casting spells, shifting into wild animals, and caring for mythical creatures aren’t exactly in the wheelhouse of a former barista and art school failure. At the manor, faeries might pull tricks on you while washing linens, werewolves might try to rough up your bellboy, and a shadowy presence in the woods might be your undoing if you ask too many questions.

With the help of her supernatural, live-in coworkers, Moonlit Shores Manor could be Lorelei’s sanctuary from her past mistakes. Though as the truth of the manor’s history unravels, it could just as likely become another place Lorelei must flee to save not just her reputation but her life.

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce the author of Awakening, G. Clatworthy

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’ve always loved creating stories, and it was during the first lockdown last year that I went back to writing as a way to get some time just for me. I started out with children’ books as a catharsis for my lockdown experience – my first book was called ‘The Girl Who Lost Her Listening Ears’ so that gives you some idea of my experience. Then I started to write books I wanted to read, hence my new urban fantasy series.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I work in our games room most of the time, I have a sit / standing desk so I don’t spend all day hunched over and I’ve personalized it with stickers as it was far too grey and office-like when I bought it. My favourite bit of stationery is my to do list pad, I love a list and it helps me focus. I also have several notebooks on the go with all my ideas for future books.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I am very rigid with my schedule as I don’t have a lot of free time to write in, so I make sure I do at least an hour every day.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

The hardest scene for me to write so far was in Solstice of Dragons – Book 2 of my Rise of Dragons series – it involved huge spider-like creatures with ten legs, many eyes and graphic descriptions. I wouldn’t say I scared myself writing it but I didn’t want to go to sleep with it still in my head!

My favourite scenes are the ones where the characters have the opportunity to react with a bit of sass or snark – I enjoy irreverent humour so when that works and a reader reaches out to me to say they loved one of those scenes in my book, I love that.

What inspired your book/series?

I was thinking about typical urban fantasy books and this idea for a half-dwarf lead character who just wants a quiet life came into my head and so Amethyst was born! She has her own jewellery shop but then her best friend gets kidnapped and she’s thrown into a world of cults and dragons!

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

In this world, I love Japan and would really love to live there, just outside a city. I think it’s got a really cool culture that mixes modern and old and the people are lovely. In a fantasy world, I think the Discworld would be fun to live in, anywhere with magic really.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

This is the part I find hardest! I have ideas while I’m writing, but I wait until after I’ve finished the book before choosing the final title.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I’m finishing up my Rise of Dragons series. I want to finish the six books before I move onto another series. I’m currently finishing book 3 – Equinox Betrayal – which is about a dragon egg being stolen.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I think there’s too many here to mention. I’m a massive Terry Pratchett fan, Tolkien, Lyndsey Buroker to name a few, but I read really widely so I hope I bring in good elements from a number of authors.

What is your favorite meal?

This is tough because I love food…I think a prosciutto pizza followed by a chocolate fudge cake, accompanied by a rich red wine.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Tea (hey I’m British!), no milk or sugar and preferably Earl Grey or something like that. I don’t drink coffee. And definitely wine over beer – a prosecco or a rich red.

Describe yourself in three words.

Curious, organized, creative.  

Bio:

Gemma started writing during the 2020 lockdown and loves fantasy fiction and dragons in particular. She lives in Wiltshire with her family and two cats and also enjoys crafts of all kinds. You can get a free prequel to her Rise of Dragons series here and check out Book 1 in the series on Amazon.

Join the conversation at Gemma’s book wyrms readers’ group on Facebook.

She also writes children’s books. You can find out more on her website www.gemmaclatworthy.com or follow her on Instagram (www.instagram.com/gemmaclatworthy) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/gemmaclatworthy).

She wants a quiet life.

They want to awaken a slumbering dragon. Can she rescue her friend and survive an encounter with a dragon or will it end in fire and blood?

Amethyst is a half-dwarf jeweller and weaponsmith who just wants to improve sales in her shop in a popular Cardiff arcade. When her best friend gets kidnapped, she’s dragged into a world of cults and dragons. Not to mention hate at first sight with an arrogant elf.

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce the author of The King of Kishar, Timothy Scott Currey

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I have always had a lot of creative and artistic hobbies, and through my childhood I dabbled a bit with everything. Music, acting, singing, you name it. I was a very daydreamy kid as well, always off in my own worlds, always with my nose in a book. If I liked a story or a movie, I tended to become obsessed, and just read/watch it over and over.

Writing books was just a natural extension of those tendencies, and my desire to just replicate in some small way the stories I grew up loving.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I write on a computer that had once been for games, which is on top of a fairly beaten-up second-hand white desk. There’s a little turtle-shaped lamp, and the light shines out through a mosaic of stained-glass pieces that make up its shell. I also have a couple fidget toys on hand to help when my brain is idling.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I definitely try to be strict with myself, but I know that the inspiration comes in waves. When the inspiration comes, there’s no problem, but I work hard to try and let myself back off a bit when it feels like the creative juice is drying up. It can sometimes be hard to keep from being disappointed during those lulls!

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

Hardest scene to write: There was a scene which amounted to being a philosophical showdown between the protagonist and the antagonist. I wanted to make it an interesting, climactic back-and-forth that had all the stakes of a sword fight. As tough as I found it to carry out a conversation as though it had all the excitement of a life-or-death battle, I think I did the best I could and I hope it comes across well.

Favorite scene to write: There was a chariot chase through the streets of a Mesopotamian-inspired city, and I just found it super exciting to write, which also made it easy to write. You just don’t see chariot chases much outside of old sword & sandal movies!

What inspired your book/series?

I became really excited about the idea of writing in an ancient, Mesopotamian-inspired setting like the one in The King & Kishar.  I had been spending time reading about the Epic of Gilgamesh and leafing through old encyclopedias about the Sumerians, and the idea just really took hold of me. I thought a lot about how the invention of writing was such a crucial turning point in those days, and that’s reflected in the writing-based magic system.

Who is your favorite character from your book and would you get along?

My favorite character was Sannan, who was a little bit of a side character to be honest. She is a bit of an outcast, and has a quite sad backstory. I am sure we would get along, because she has a good heart, but she is also perceptive and brutally honest at times. Hard truths, even those delivered by a friend, can still sting.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

It would have to be Bag End. I’m quite tall, and would have to crouch to avoid constantly bumping my head on the ceiling.

Still worth it!

How do you come up with the title to your books?

It’s different for every book, and I honestly don’t think I have a process down yet. Sometimes it’s the setting or situation, sometimes it’s a character’s name. It’s something I’m actively working on getting better at, because after all, the title is one of the first things a reader will see.

What are you working on next?

Next I’m going way the other way in terms of historical settings, and I’m writing a trilogy that has flintlock technology, humans and elves, and telepathic magic. It will be different in pretty much every way, especially in terms of its much larger scope.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Garth Nix, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ernest Hemingway, JRR Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, John Steinbeck, David Gemmell, Weis & Hickman, Neil Gaiman, Brian Jacques, Josiah Bancroft, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many more. 

What is your favorite meal?

For me, nothing beats chicken vindaloo with fresh naan.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee over tea, wine over beer. In both cases, that’s only a 60/40 preference.

Describe yourself in three words.

Creative, inquisitive, indecisive.  

Bio:

“I am a fantasy author living in Bunbury in Western Australia. 

It’s a city in a region with amazing biodiversity and criss-crossed all over with hiking trails, so you can bet nature is an inspiration in a lot of my stories. The wineries are killer, too. 

I have a thousand hobbies, some big and some little. They wax and wane over time. Right now I’m super into gardening, gaming, re-watching The Office twice a year, squash (the sport not the veg), and staring blankly at walls while I figure plot points out.”

Every word King Adzi Akkatha writes on sacred stones is binding, and lasts for all eternity. 

But how can he rule when he has been cursed to forget everything?

His city is in chaos. Hinatsi rebels clash with his soldiers, and their mysterious leaders try to capture the King.

With the help of High Priestess Idza and General Qanatha, he must relearn their laws and customs, and who he was as a King. His former self seemed cruel and cold, and he is plagued with doubts. He is an imposter in King’s clothing—do they even have the right man? 

They must flee to the great Temple of Mesopos where the King’s memory might be restored. The rebels are never far behind, and day by day the curse progresses. 

There is little hope they will reach the temple in time. 

Even if they do, will the King want to continue ruling as a cold tyrant?

Posted in Uncategorized

DNA has Arrived!

It’s been a hectic few months, but finally DNA Demons N Angels is on sale.

Get your copy today!

And don’t forget to leave a review!

It’s weird how every woman reacts differently. How each pregnancy differs.

Mine is definitely unique.

My sense of smell became stronger, picking up the faintest odors, and my stomach was in constant turmoil. Those were the first signs.

And then I started eating. And eating. If I don’t, I get a migraine and people’s faces become blurry. Electronics seem to malfunction in my presence. And the nightmares—they don’t stop.

Something is changing my body.

Something that should have never happened.

Something that my husband and I had prevented from happening.

Something people say is miraculous.

The bigger I get, the more frequently I encounter people who become possessed. And the more often I wind up questioning if I am carrying a miracle baby.

The closer I get to the due date, the more I love this child and the more confident I am that I will protect my baby from anything.

Even its fate.

DNA Demons N Angels contains violence, swearing, and sex scenes. If you are looking for a clean, curse free book, this isn’t it.

Posted in Blog

YouTube Interview

DNA Demons N Angels comes out today! To celebrate I did an interview with author A.J. Park.

It was a ton of fun, even if there were internet gremlins. 😉

Click here to find out my about A.J. Park

Enjoy the short interview!

Posted in Blog

Today I’d like to introduce T.E. Kessler, author of Holding Out For A Hero, book one of the Jelvia: Not Human series

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

My pen name is T E Kessler, but under my real name (Louise Wise), I started my journey writing shorts for women’s magazines. I’d written many books before then, but like most authors, I could never strike lucky with a publishing deal and became disheartened.

Then one day, I had a rejection letter from an agent who’d sent my typescript off to Simon & Schuster, and S & S left their notes tucked inside the typescript. To this day, I don’t know if the agent left them in on purpose because, although the notes were rejecting the book, they were full of praise, labelling me as ‘up and coming’.

Anyway, those notes urged me to continue publishing as an independent author. Today, EDEN (written under my real name) is one of my best sellers.

What is HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO all about?

Imagine a world where humanity is threatened by another species. But it’s still the 21st century, we still go out to work, enjoy vacations and watch Netflix on the TV. But in this world, living alongside us is a species called Jelvia. They are disease resistant, stronger, larger and venomous.

It’s believed that the essence of a Jelvia is to kill humans to become the supreme being, but it later comes out that they are following orders from a hierarchy. This hierarchy is simply called ‘the committee’, which deploys instructions straight into the Jelvia’s head.

But a group of Jelvias have turned against this committee. Instead of killing to order, they kill human criminals, which controls the urge to kill. It’s a small step to guard against the annihilation of humanity.

Then there are us—humans—who are too frightened to question the whys and hows of the Jelvian world and carry on as normal. Yet some of us recognise that something isn’t right with the world, but their voice is unheard so far.

The series is called Jelvia: Not Human and will be a total of six books. The genre is sci-fi romance for over 18s (there are between-the-sheets scenes that aren’t suitable for minors).

Describe your desk / writing space.

My office is the smallest room at the back of the house. Its only window is a skylight, but it’s quiet, and I like it. I have pictures of nebules and all things ‘outer space’ on my wall, and a doll from the movie ET has pride of place on my desk. So yup, I’m a bit of an astronomy geek!

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

No, routine. Luckily, I haven’t experienced writers’ block, and I can quickly jump in and out of my writing. I prefer to write in the afternoons or evenings. I’m not a morning person, and my thoughts are barely intelligible until after lunch!

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

The hardest scene is turning Narcifer (Jelvia hero) into the baddie.

Shock crossed his face, rapidly followed by a revulsion. It was an emotion she never wanted to see on his face while looking at her. But before she could react, that same strange light she’d seen before danced in his eyes.

She watched it a moment but then he bent down and hauled her up. He tossed her over his shoulder as if she weighed nothing, then carried her up the stairs and almost threw her onto the bed.

She twisted to the side and tried to get away from him, but he grabbed her hip and pulled her around on her back. He held her down with one hand while his other hand tugged out of his jeans.

Freed from his constraints, he crawled onto the bed and moved over her on all fours. His body wasn’t touching her; his hands were on either side of her head, his knees on either side of her thighs. His eyes were filled with white electric, and they were focused on her breasts; his breath was ragged. She felt exposed, vulnerable.

‘Stop!’

They stared at one another, and she raised a hand to touch his face. The strange lights in his eyes danced. She remembered asking if an angry Jelvia was the safest kind, and he’d replied, ‘and one making love.’

Then the moment was gone, and his knee roughly parted her legs, and before she had a chance to take a breath, he thrust into her hard. It was without emotion. There was no tenderness.

It actually hurt to write that scene. I think he redeemed himself, though. My favourite scenes are the funnies between Macy and her bestie, Courtney. It’s where I can unleash my sarcastic British humour to its maximum! Luckily, I have an American editor to keep me in check.

What inspired your book/series?

I wanted to write an alien/human contact series that’s original, so I came up with the idea of not having the alien know he is an alien! But the inspiration came from years and years ago when EDEN (my book written under Louise Wise) was a mere dream of an astronaut stranded on the moon. This was looooong before the movies Gravity and Stranded (inferior to my series, if you ask me!)

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Wales. On top of a mountain. I don’t like heat, so Britain is my country of choice (England is my home), but where I live it’s flat with no hills or rugged mountain ranges and although the countryside is beautiful with its thatched-roof cottages and ancient churches, rolling fields and hedgerows, the rugged mountain ranges in Wales are breathtaking. And it’s only three hours away from where I live!

But oh, I’ve been to Venice and that’s fabulous, too. And the Balearic islands, with Minorca in particular, is beautiful. So many places, but the heat will devour me, so GB is the only place, I guess, and as they say, home is where the heart is!

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Macy (main character), in Holding out for a Hero, mother was murdered. Macy, at the time, was only a child but could never come to terms with her mum’s death and subconsciously is looking for a ‘hero’ to fight the injustices in the world. That she falls in love with an assassin is the cusp of the story. Is he a good assassin or bad? With Jelvias you can never tell!

What are you working on next?

Next in the Jelvia: Not Human series is Surviving her Dominant, where I bring out the ‘brain injury’ suffered by the Jelvia, Aldarn.

Here, I hope the reader is beginning to realise that there is something more to Jelvias than just ‘another species of human’. I never tell the reader the Jelivas are aliens in the first book (or second or third, come to that), and like the human characters, it’s something they gradually figure out themselves.

It isn’t a spoiler, don’t worry. And readers who have read Eden and Hunted by Louise Wise will already know where the Jelvias originate from.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I love Dean Koontz. He can terrorise without resorting to gutter language and smutty scenes (my books have both). And on the other side of the book coin, I enjoy a good rom-com by Matt Dunn or Sophie Kinsella.

What is your favorite meal?

If the scene has the right ambience: music, lighting, convo, company, all food will be my favourite. I love eating out, and I’m no cook—in fact, I’m dire. My family cheer when I order food.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Everything is in its place. Coffee in the morning, a cup of tea at any other time, and wine if my day requires it (which is most of the time!) But you didn’t mention cocktails… hmmmmm

Describe yourself in three words.

Loner. Empathic. Worrier.

Who says your boyfriend has to be human?

Macy’s life changed forever when, as a child, her mother was murdered. The killers were never found, and Macy grew up looking for injustices and making them right.

She became a journalist, interviewing celebrities but lately found stardom shallow and pretentious.

There was just no putting right a teen-idol rockstar.

Things changed when her best friend was attacked but rescued by an unlikely hero.

The hero was a Jelvia.

Humans lived in fear of the Jelvia.

The Jelvia killed humans for fun.

Macy just saw a hero that she’d been looking for all her life.

This sci-fi romance contains some mature scenes, but if you’re looking for a hero, drop right in!

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce, Randi Rayl author of the series The Bone Gathers

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I have always been a storyteller.  While waiting for the next episode in a TV series to air, I would imagine the possible scenarios. And to the chagrin of my family, speak the anticipated dialogue aloud while in house and in public. Nothing to see here…just a girl talking to people who aren’t there! I had written so many stories that I never finished because grammar and I are not on the best of terms.  But then a friend of mine explained you hire people to edit your work. It was like a light bulb.  I could actually finish a book.  So, I did! And my first novel (The Split) under my other penname, Randi Harvey, was published in 2018. 

Describe your desk / writing space.

YIKES!  I am sitting beside my sewing machine covered in string and knick-knacks: a two-dollar bill, Santa pictures, straight pins, a bank ledger, surrounded by hundreds of books on the shelves, my first agent rejection letter taped to the wall, and a myriad of other this-and-that’s.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

If I have an editing deadline, I am inspired to not lose my deposit, and I write to hit it.  Right now, I am in between series so I have been taking my time promoting the most recent one (The Bone Gatherers).

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

I hate connecting scenes.  But what I like and what I am good at seem to be at odds. Love describing characters and their outfits.  But it has come to my attention I am a quite proficient at writing a “damn good sex scene” as my content editor put it.  And before you ask, I’ll fill you in.  No, my sex life is not as colorful as my characters’.  I’m a mom of two young boys.  My husband and I are lucky to hide behind a locked bedroom door while avoiding eye contact with a curious dog and cat for five minutes while my kids are rocking out to Story Bot songs in the next room.

What inspired your book/series?

I wanted to write stories that align with existing folklore and so many mythologies have already been done.  When I came across the Aztec folklore, I knew it was fresh and new, so I ran with it.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

We have moved a lot so I would like to change it every few years.  But I love Thailand.  I love Mexico and I can’t wait for COVID to be over so I can start exploring other places in the world. And obviously, I’d love to live in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  #teamgryffindor

How do you come up with the title to your books?

I try a few out on the tongue and then google them to make sure they haven’t been “taken” already. But titles have always come easy to me.  Writing the book blurbs are a nightmare!

What are you working on next?

I have a new thriller book I have written a bit of an outline for and several scenes about old Hollywood actresses.  I have also delved into Sato’s (a b character in the Bone Gatherer series) story.  It’s a different series with new characters following the Fae of the Norse (as the series is named).

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I love Sarah J Maas, the Gears couple, Diana Gabaldon.  I just started reading Harry Potter (don’t judge).

What is your favorite meal?

Sushi or Thai food

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Wine or beer? Coffee & Wine…no question

Describe yourself in three words.

Creative – honest – boss-bitch (the hyphen counts 😊)

Anything other thoughts? 

My second book, Choosing Fire, (SCROLL DOWN TO GET YOUR COPY) will be available on amazon for FREE August 17th through the 21st.  Links provided. And if you liked the book, please leave me a review.  If you didn’t, then I have disabled the review feature for these novels 😉 

Last, I am currently under quarantine recovering from COVID.  I am vaccinated and, thankfully, didn’t have to be hospitalized.  Please please please don’t go through what I, my husband, and two small boys are going through right now.  Get your shot, wear a mask, and be kind to one another.  We love you!

Sofia thought she had her life figured out, but death had other plans…


A dedicated nurse, Sofia lives for helping her patients and their families. She doesn’t mind the long hours and tedious work. She has a loving boyfriend, a cute apartment, and a paid-off car. Life is perfect. Until her patients begin to die at an alarming rate, and almost always when the new tall, dark, and handsome nurse is on duty. Growing suspicious of her new co-worker, Sofia decides to take matters into her own hands and catch Eztlie in the act when she stumbles upon the real demonic killer, instead. Before she can become the creature’s next victim, Eztlie kills the monster and saves her life.

The elusive Eztlie isn’t a real nurse, he’s an ancient Aztec warrior from another time. Upon his death, the King of the Dead made Eztlie part of an elite team of demon hunters, sworn to protect mankind and rid the world of monsters that want to steal the souls of the living. It’s the kind of life that doesn’t give him much time for commitments or relationships of any kind, and that’s just fine with him.

But as Eztlie and Sofia get closer to finding the māpach wreaking havoc on her patients, they also find themselves getting closer to one another. But can Sofia trust the aloof immortal whose mere touch sets her body on fire? Or will that same fire consume her, body and soul, until there’s nothing left?

For centuries, Xel has loved her fellow warrior, Xi. Always aloof, Xi may give Xel his time, but he has never given her his heart. To make matters worse, Xel has been harboring a secret. 

She has the power of flames. A power that if discovered by the king of the underworld can lead to a life of servitude by his command. Xel thought her life was as good as she could hope for. That is until a stranger crashes into her world. 

Teya is a Sentinel, a leader of the earthbound warriors, and he’s tasked to collect information from the Bone Gatherers on the demon infestation. But when he meets Xel, his mission changes. Engrossed by her beauty, he discovers her secret and begs her to join him in the underworld to train with the other Sentinels. 

Leaving her family and Xi behind, Xel embarks on a new journey with the mysterious Teya, who worships her in ways she never knew possible. 

But when Xel suspects there is more to the underworld than meets the eye, she longs for home and the man who has held her heart for centuries. 

Torn, Xel must choose between the man who adores her or the one who has stoked the flames within her for centuries. The wrong choice could mean not just her death, but the destruction of everyone, and everything, she’s ever loved.

Posted in Blog

Book Spotlight

Holding Out For A Hero By T.E. Kessler @TE_Kessler

Who says your boyfriend has to be human?

Macy’s life changed forever when, as a child, her mother was murdered. The killers were never found, and Macy grew up looking for injustices and making them right.

She became a journalist, interviewing celebrities but lately found stardom shallow and pretentious.

There was just no putting right a teen-idol rockstar.

Things changed when her best friend was attacked but rescued by an unlikely hero.

The hero was a Jelvia.

Humans lived in fear of the Jelvia.

The Jelvia killed humans for fun.

Macy just saw a hero that she’d been looking for all her life.

This sci-fi romance contains some mature scenes, but if you’re looking for a hero, drop right in!

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce the author of the Kingdom of Wind & Fire, R.A. Lewis.

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’ve always wanted to write, and often wrote as a child. My stories back then rarely had a coherent plot, and the characters often changed genders part way through but I loved telling stories even then. My mother says that I was telling stories as soon as I could speak. It grew from there. A few years ago after ending a creatively draining job, I decided to stop putting off my dream of writing and dive in head first. Ten books later and here we are!

I am often inspired by every day things, but I’ve always had a wild imagination, as well as I’ve always been a big book worm. I love writing about trauma and emotion in my stories, and I strive to make realistic characters that you can identify with. Writing for me is part therapy, part desire to tell a compelling story.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I write in my tiny office, surrounded by all my nerdy things and a TON of books. I desperately need new book shelves as my current ones are overflowing and double stacked. It’s a bit chaotic but I love it. I also have a reading chair in my office, and usually at least one dog and a few cats around for company. Sometimes the whole crew of two dogs and four cats comes in, and it feels crowded but comfy. I write on a desktop with double monitors which is nice for being able to go back and forth between research and writing.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I don’t have much of a specific writing routine, although I probably should. I wear headphones with ambient sounds every time I write because it helps block out external stimuli. Sometimes when I’m struggling to focus I have a mini ritual: I do some light meditation, put on my headphones and play some sort of ambient sound (usually wind in the trees or falling snow), then light a pretty candle and get to writing. I have ADHD and struggle with focus so sometimes all it takes it shutting off social media and doing a ritual to get me back on track. If that doesn’t work, then I take a walk. And if THAT doesn’t work, I usually give up for the day and come back later.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

I would say the first scenes and the last ones are equally difficult to write. Perhaps even the middle of the book can be tough, because my brain is often ten steps ahead of my fingers. But I also think that the last scene and the first scene are also my favorite. The first scene holds all the excitement of starting a new story, and the last scene holds the satisfaction of a finished one.

What inspired your book/series?

Well, each book is different and I have a few series out. Usually I draw inspiration from movies or tv shows I’ve watched, past books I’ve read, my own personal experiences, previous work/jobs/friends/clients/family, or nature. Occasionally music inspires me, as it did for The Elemental Kingdoms Series. The very first scene was inspired by a Celtic song, and the books blossomed from there. My Valdir Chronicles started out as a writing prompt from a friend who told me to write a virgin obsessed wyvern. Suddenly I was 9 chapters deep with a whole series blooming before me. My newest series, Crowe Trials, was inspired by my love of Celtic Mythology as well as the Fae trend in fantasy these days.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

In this world? Scotland. Just outside Edinburgh or on the Isle of Skye. In the US? Northern California in the mountains near Shasta and Lassen. In a fantasy world? Tortall or the Wizarding World or maybe Middle Earth.).

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Usually they just come to me. Sometimes I go off popular title naming, and sometimes I search title lists of similar books, and then use a thesaurus to come up with themes/ideas from my book. I try to boil down what my book is about/represents before I move forward with a title.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on the main part of the Crowe Trials series. I have three books planned beyond the novella which released last month. I’m well into book one, Rook & Lion, now. This first book is a mix of The Selection, Cruel Prince, and Hunger Games mixed with Dark Fantasy Romance. I’m excited to get this out!

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Oh man. Asking a book worm who their favorite author is, or favorite book, is so dangerous! Here are a few that I ADORE and would love to write similarly to: Tamora Pierce, Garth Nix, Cinda Williams Chima, Sherwood Smith, Jaqueline Carey, Scott Lynch, Pierce Brown, V.E. Schwab… the list goes on! But every book I read usually influences my writing in some way.

What is your favorite meal?

I don’t think I have just one. I recently had bariatric surgery, so my meals have drastically changed, but I’d have to say Mexican food. I love tacos and burritos and fajitas. I love shrimp or fish or steak. I mostly stick to protein and veggies, but beans and cheese are a guilty pleasure of mine. That, and a poached egg on avocado toast. So yummy!

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

I rarely drink alcohol, and usually it’s a hard cider, a Moscow mule, or a gin and tonic. And as much as I adore coffee, I don’t drink it often due to it hurting my stomach (although I do drink cold brew on occasion). I much prefer tea, and my go to drink is a london fog.

Describe yourself in three words.

Imaginative, loyal, emotional.

Blood is magic. Magic is everything. And it can get you killed.

Twins Brianna and Brayden have had to hide their volatile elemental powers all their lives. But now they must use them if they want to survive.

After fifteen years apart, Brayden escapes enslavement to a SpiritSinger who controls his every move. No sooner has he reunited with his family when the twins’ mother is captured by the same enemy.

The twins must make an impossible choice: to rescue her or follow her last wish. With the help of a snarky smuggler and his crew, Brayden and Brianna embark on a quest to hone their magical skills and save their mother.

But evil is brewing on the horizon, and it’s coming for anyone with power.

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce the author of the Dingo & Sister, Nikky Lee.

Click on, Dingo & Sister at the bottom of the page to get a FREE COPY!!!!

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

Kia ora, I’m a New Zealand-based author of fantasy, science fiction and horror for adults and older teens. While I now call New Zealand home, I originally hail from sunny Perth on the west coast of Australia, a city with two claims of fame: the most isolated capital city in the world and its “shark infested” waters. (Fun fact: between May and December 2017, Surf Life Saving Western Australia had 1400 shark reports.) 

Growing up, my TV idols were the SG-1 team from Stargate and Max from Dark Angel (I guess that says a lot about me!) Book wise: not so surprisingly, Harry Potter was a main go-to, along withTamora Pierce’s The Immortals, K. A. Applegate’s Animorphs, anything by Paul Jennings, and the occasional Goosebumps book. I also real a tonneof Japanese manga, too many to list here. 

I began writing when I was about 13 after drawing a character during the summer holiday break. Over a few weeks, the story of this character grew and grew inside my head. I’d tell it to myself whenever I had a spare moment—doing the chores, waiting for the bus, during TV ad breaks—until it got to the point where I couldn’t hold all the details of the story in my head. And as I struggled to keep hold of it all I stopped being able to tell myself new parts of the story. At last, exasperated, I started writing it down so I could clear some mental real estate to figure the next bit of the story out. 

Fast forward nearly 20 years and here I am, still writing stories out of my head. 

Describe your desk / writing space.

I have a desk, but I only use it while I’m editing so I can have a second screen. When in drafting mode I’m on the sofa, usually typing around a cat who’s squeezed herself in between the laptop and me. In winter, there are blankets and slippers in the mix too.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I work full-time and am a natural night owl, so I write late in the evenings, usually while my husband watches TV (I have a really good set of headphones!). Since I work to deadlines (usually my own) I’ve learned that I can’t wait for the muse to arrive—I have to coax it out as I go. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t, but I can always go back and edit those bits.

I try to write most days as I’ve found it harder to get the words flowing again when I take too long a break, particularly when I’m in the middle of something long and complex.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

100% the ending. I cried while writing it. I won’t give too much away (other than to say no, the dingo doesn’t die). But I had to walk away from the keyboard after writing it I was so emotionally rung. 

What inspired your book/series?

Dingo & Sister was actually a challenge to myself to prove I could write characters. Up until then, I had this belief that I wrote great plots but my characters were so-so. What’s more, I often needed a lot of words to bring them to life. The goal for Dingo & Sister was to create compelling characters in as fewer word as possible.

In terms of inspiration, much of it came from a train trip I did across the Nullabor—a desert plain that runs across the Great Australian Bite. It’s a two-day trip; you go to sleep one night seeing bushland and scrub outside the window then wake up the next morning to vast, utterly flat red desert. It’s quite surreal. We took the trip right in the middle of summer and the heat was something else, floating around 45C (113F) when we got out of the train at its midway stop.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Given many fantasies and sci-fis are either war-torn kingdoms (or on the brink of it) or have gross social, political and/or environmental problems, I think I’ll stick with New Zealand (but maybe somewhere in the South Island near the mountains, preferably with a good coffee shop nearby).

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Oddly, the title for Dingo & Sister was one of the earliest elements of the story I decided on. Normally I umm and ahh over titles, often workshopping them in my online and local writing groups. Some years ago there was a manga called Lone Wolf and Cub—I never got around to reading it (another one for the TBR pile!) but the title always stuck with me. When I started writing this story, I figured why not use a similar naming convention since the ‘wolf and cub’ title was so memorable for me. 

What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on the second book of my debut trilogy—an epic fantasy about a girl bound in a blood pact to a monster. Think The Witcher meets Shadow and Bone. I recently revealed the cover of the first book, The Rarkyn’s Familiar, which comes out in April next year (and is available for pre-order!).

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

A lot! I’m something of a chameleon writer and my style will vary a little depending on the type of story I’m telling. I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with style and voice in my short fiction, taking elements from the voices of Peter McLean and Madeline Miller and combining it with the weirdness of Paul Jennings. 

For my longer works, one of my most significant fantasy influences is Robin Hobb—she writes some of the most vivid characters in the genre (imo). On the science fiction front, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Vonda McIntyre’s Dreamsnake come to mind. On the manga side, seminal works such as Princess Mononoke, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Berserk have been hugely influential.

What is your favorite meal?

Oo, tough choice. I love tacos, curries and stir-fries, but I think my grandmother’s mac and cheese recipe is my favorite. Quick and easy too (but not very healthy).

All right…prime grade ribeye steak, sous vide’d and grilled medium rare.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

I love a good coffee, but I’m sensitive to caffeine so I’ve had to cut back. These days it’s a coffee in the morning to get me going then fruit teas after that. One of my local tea shops does a nougat flavored tea that is AMAZING. I much prefer wine or cider over beer, Pino Gris is my go-to.

Describe yourself in three words.

Persistent (some might say stubborn). Curious. Loyal.  

Nikky Lee is an award-winning author who grew up as a barefoot 90s kid in Perth, Western Australia on Whadjuk Noongar Country. She now lives in Aotearoa New Zealand with a husband, a dog and a couch potato cat. In her free time she writes speculative fiction, often burning the candle at both ends to explore fantastic worlds, mine asteroids and meet wizards. She’s had over two dozen stories published in magazines, anthologies and on radio. Her debut novel, The Rarkyn’s Familiar—an epic tale of a girl bonded to a monster—will be published by Parliament House Press in 2022.

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce the author of the series Forensics and Fantasy, Michael Angel.

Click on, Forensics and Dragon Fire at the bottom of the page to get a FREE COPY!!!!

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’ve been writing short stories since I was in fourth grade! Later in life, I decided to enter the field writing non-fiction books. I wrote four of the For Dummies books, which put me on the map. Then I moved over into fiction writing after studying under the great Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch and haven’t looked back.

Describe your desk / writing space.

LOL, it’s a standard computer desk, laid out without too much clutter. The big issues for any writer are ergonomics – if you compromise your wrist posture or seating, you’ll pay for it down the line! About the one luxury I’ll admit to is a mesh-seat and backed chair that lets air circulate around you so you don’t get overheated.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I wish I had a more consistent writing routine, but sometimes life interferes. However, I put in some good hours in front of the screen every day. You need to practice writing at speed for long stretches to get things done.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

I literally cried when I had to write the death scene of one of the major characters. It’s one of those oddities of this profession…that you grieve over the death of a person who’ll never exist outside of your own head.

It’s even more amazing when you make other people cry over this, too.

On the other hand, you can feel the exhilaration of whenever the main character pulls themselves out of a hopeless scrape. When they come out a little ahead of where they started.

What inspired your book/series?

I have the exact moment on audio tape! I was listening to a lecture by Kris Rusch about how you can come up with new ideas by smashing together unlikely combinations. One example she gave was ‘How about writing like C.S. Lewis on speed?’

I thought: “Hm, how about C.S. Lewis meets C.S.I.?”

And that’s how the 10-book Fantasy & Forensics series was born!

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Aside from Kris Rusch and Dean Smith, there’s a bunch: Roger Zelazny, Jack Chalker, JRR Tolkien, David Eddings, Clive Cussler, David Preston, and Michael Critchton. How’s that for a start?

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Ideally, a title should instantly tell the reader the book’s genre, and maybe give a clue as to what the book’s about. For the first book in my Fantasy & Forensics series, you have centaurs, and a crime they’re supposed to have committed: Centaur of the Crime. Or the free novella featured here, which involves a dragon and the use of forensics to solve a crime: Forensics and Dragon Fire.

What are you working on next?

I’m finishing up another book in the Plague Walker Medical Thriller series, and then I’ll be swinging back to fantasy again!

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I love Texas Hill Country, which is close to where I already live. Perhaps in a hilltop villa surrounded by gnarled valley oaks, with views overlooking the vineyards of a local winery.

On the other hand, I believe one of the perks of living in Tolkien’s land of Númenor was immortality, along with a nice Mediterranean climate. So…yeah, I’d at least rent a condo there.

What is your favorite meal?

Good lord, I’m a total foodie…you’d make me choose ONE meal?

All right…prime grade ribeye steak, sous vide’d and grilled medium rare.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Diet Cola with a lot of ice, please. I like my caffeine cold.

Describe yourself in three words.

Ignores instructions to a fault. 😊

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce, Lorin Petrazilka author of the Vale Born.

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

One of my favorite book series is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I had such an emotional reaction to it. I had started writing a book long before that, but put it aside after some time, I just wasn’t ready to write it. After reading those books, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to write a great fantasy adventure with characters that made you feel something, I wanted to evoke that same response from readers. I was so thrilled when those were the comments that I got back from readers. When inspiration finally struck for what my book would be, I was visiting my family ranch in San Diego, which itself feels like a magical place. There is a grouping of cliff rocks far to the east of their ranch. Close enough to see, but too far to really hike to. They always felt forbidden. I have grown up looking at them, wanting to go. I thought, what if I were drawn there for a reason much bigger than anything I could have guessed? The story evolved from there in a very big way.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I have two, one is my standing desk, which has crystals and a salt lamp, as well as various little charms I’m convinced bring me luck. I also have a light-up colorful mechanical keyboard which I adore. But sometimes I need to be mobile, so I write on my ipad with a keyboard cover, which also lights up with pretty colors, because everything has to be colorful for me.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

Both. I tend to write early in the mornings, when the house is quiet and I’m just waking from dreams. I find that kind of magical. I also write whenever I can, if I can find little pockets of time to make some progress, or if an idea strikes for what will happen next, I can’t help but think about it until I get it written. Once I have an idea like that, it kind of demands to be on the page.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

There was a really dark cave scene which was so emotionally difficult for me. It was very much like the hero’s journey stage of death and rebirth , both for my character and for myself. I had to face a lot of my own past in order to finish it. My favorite scene to write was an epic battle, I had a flurry of creative ideas during that time, and the visuals turned out really stunning.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

With a lot of thought! And advice from those familiar with what I’m writing. I get a lot of feedback before I settle on a title. The title for my first novel changed three times.

What are you working on next?

I am just finishing up the draft for book 3 of the Vale Born series, July 1st I’ll be launching a novella set with my writing partner Laura L. Hohman. It’s going to be totally different from what we usually write: a set of three romantic Christmas novellas with a fantasy twist!

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

In this world, Austria, I absolutely love it there. Fantasy, I would love to live in Velaris, and write or paint by the shores of the Sidra (location from A Court of Mist and Fury)

What is your favorite meal?

Sushi: Baked Scallops with California rolls, it’s what I want to eat anytime I celebrate something!

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Definitely coffee Red wine

Describe yourself in three words.

Prolific Creative Unicorn

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce Day Leitao, author of The Prince and The Cup.

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’ve always had stories in my mind, so writing them was a way to get them out and give them life.

Describe your desk / writing space.

It’s in my kitchen because my apartment is dark, and that’s the most illuminated place. It’s a tiny desk because I don’t have a lot of room, but I still manage to make it messy.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I try to write every day unless I’m plotting or revising. 

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

For the Cup and the Prince, everything flowed very smoothly and  was easy to write. I enjoyed writing the Zora and Griffin scenes.

What is your favorite meal?

Sushi.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee. Tea for me is when I’m sick or want something to help me sleep. Wine.

Describe yourself in three words.

Short, introvert, hardworking.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Sometimes they come to me, sometimes I have to think.

What inspired your book/series?

Kingdom of Curses and Shadows has some inspiration from Minecraft. I just started to wonder what it would be like to live in a place where creatures spawn in the dark.

What are you working on next?

Great question! I’m brainstorming and still not sure about my next project.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Pedro Bandeira (Brazilian YA author), Alexandre Dumas, Isaac Asimov, Jane Austen, Cassandra Clare. It’s a weird salad.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I like Montreal, but I would like to live in a bigger and lighter apartment.

Throne of Glass meets Minecraft in this fast-paced YA romantic fantasy.

One prince wants her out.
Another wants her as a pawn.
Someone wants her dead.
Zora wants to win the cup and tell them all to screw themselves.

17-year-old Zora was born in the Dark Valley, a cursed land where shadow creatures spawn in the dark and survive in daylight. She’s trained to fight since before she could walk.

Yes, she cheated her way into the Royal Games, but it was for a very good reason. Her ex-boyfriend thought she couldn’t attain glory on her own. Just because she was a girl. And he was the real cheater. So she took his place.

Now she’s competing for the legendary Blood Cup, representing the Dark Valley. It’s her chance to prove her worth and bring glory for her people. If she wins, of course.

But winning is far from easy. The younger prince thinks she’s a fragile damsel who doesn’t belong in the competition. Determined to eliminate her at all costs, he’s stacking the challenges against her. Zora hates him and will do anything to prove him wrong.

The older prince is helping her, but the cost is getting Zora entangled in dangerous flirting games. Flirting, the last thing she wanted.

And then there’s someone trying to kill her.

The Cup and the Prince is a YA fantasy with romance, magic, action, and intrigue, for readers 15 and older. It’s book 1 in the series Kingdom of Curses and Shadows.

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce Kristin Ward, author of The Girl of Dorcha Wood.

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

My seventh grade English teacher was my conduit to the world of poetry and narratives. It was in her class that I truly began to appreciate the written word and writing craft. One assignment was the true catalyst to any internal belief I had regarding an inherent writing ability. We had read the short story, The Interlopers by Saki, and I had composed an essay based upon the theme of the narrative. The feedback I received compared my writing to the author of the story and that was it! My teacher had engendered a positive self-fulfilling prophecy and I ran with it. From that point on, I truly began to think deeply about my writing. Of course, much of my early days were spent writing terrible, angst-ridden poetry, but eventually I began to branch out into bigger projects.

My first published piece of writing was actually curriculum for a zoo exhibit. It was after that event that I my aspirations of authorship truly began. There have been numerous story starts over the years and lots of poetry (yes, they have improved since high school and can be found on Twitter and Instagram!). However, writing is currently a passion, not a profession. My hope is to write full time someday and my ultimate goal is to write someone’s favorite book.

Describe your desk / writing space.

My writing spot is my grandmother’s chair, situated in the living room next to the wood stove that provides warmth and ambience in the winter. It’s a worn, upholstered recliner that tilts at just the right angle, enabling me to prop my laptop on my legs in the perfect typing position. The room itself is by no means quiet. There is little quietude in a house with three boys, four if you count my husband!

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

When it comes to writing, I’m a classic ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ girl. The idea of creating a detailed chapter outline or story map makes me wrinkle my nose and immediately change the subject. It may be how I was taught to write in the good ol’ classroom, but my creativity doesn’t flow through Roman numerals and bullet points. Those things would strangle my thoughts before I even had time to write them. 

A pantser to the core, that’s me.  An exciting outcome of this approach is that my characters often surprise me. Yes, I know that may sound strange. To put that into perspective, as I write I am creating storylines and characters that all become pieces of the world that was born out of my mind (I know. That’s kind of scary.). Since I am developing this entire world and narrative as I go, while aligning it to a prominent theme, new characters and events are woven into this tapestry of thought and, eventually, into a complete novel. 

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

Killing off one of my characters can be emotional. These scenes are not challenging to write, but often elicit tears as I grow so attached my characters and try to write gripping scenes that tug at a reader’s emotions. My favorite scene to write was the last scene from Burden of Truth. I actually wrote that scene first and then crafted the book to reach that scene. It is a powerful culmination of the story.

What is your favorite meal?

I love Mexican food. Having grown up in San Diego, I enjoyed fabulous Mexican dishes and am always looking for a good restaurant in CT. At home, I like to make tacos – Taco Tuesday! – and enchiladas. Oh, and there is never enough guacamole!

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

My current drink of choice in the morning is Chai Tea with vanilla creamer. In the evenings, organic pinot noir always hits the spot!

Describe yourself in three words.

Unicorn geek girl 🙂

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Titles are so challenging! I always have a working title and struggle to come up with a title that I am happy with. A title often develops along with the story as it’s influenced by the plot. My current dark fantasy series throws a bit of a wrench in this process as I am marketing and putting the books up for preorder before they are finished. This requires me to come up with titles prior to writing the book. For this process, I have used my story framework which is a brief paragraph of my idea for each book as an influence for each title.

What inspired your book/series?

I’ll dive into my dystopian duology which has an interesting history. I was inspired to write After the Green Withered and the sequel, Burden of Truth, while completing research for a graduate course I wrote in environmental education. My course included concepts regarding earth’s history and, within this, I learned a great deal about the impact humans have had on the planet. As I studied and composed the course, an idea began to germinate.

What if there was a global drought due to the impact humans have had on the planet?  What if water became the global currency?

That seedling idea sat with me for a year or so as I finished my course writing and began to teach a few graduate courses. Eventually, I began to write the story but it took a whopping five years to get it from draft to publish! The final push actually came about after I read an article about Cape Town’s water crisis. At the time of the article, it was predicted that Cape Town’s water supply would run dry in April of 2018, not tens of years in the future. Reading this, I knew the story I wanted to tell was incredibly relevant so I buckled down and finished the first book.

What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on book three of my young adult dark fantasy series that infuses Celtic mythology. I am deeply influenced by Celtic culture and have integrated various elements into all my books in some way.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Aside from my wonderful English teacher who inspired me many, many years ago, I am heavily influenced by what I read. I love reading a wide range of genres and am always inspired by the characters and storylines. I also get many of my ideas from my own interests and research I do along the way. Like all authors, the characters that I write always have pieces of my personality within them.

As a teenager, I read and fell in love with The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. This book hooked me and was a catalyst for my passion for poetry (I memorized the Robert Frost poem that Ponyboy recites). The fact that the author was a teenager herself when she wrote the book was eye-opening.

In the realm of dystopian fiction, The Giver by Lois Lowry was the book that launched my love of the genre. Her story introduced a society that strove to smother human nature. The characterization was phenomenal and as I read, I felt a strong connection to Jonas. I also really enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hunger Games. I find myself gravitating to books that have powerful themes and this is evident in my own work.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Scotland. I love Scotland and long to go back! As a child I visited that beautiful country and have the fondest memories of the people, history, and geography. Someday I hope to take my three sons.

Treacherous. Evil. Dark. Dorcha Wood is all of these things. And none of them.

The people of Felmore talk of Dorcha Wood in whispers, if they speak of it at all. There is danger in the dark forest. Monstrous things, remnants of the Aos Sí, lurk in the shadows, hunting the unwary should one be careless enough to cross those borders.

But to seventeen-year-old Fiadh, Dorcha Wood is home. A haven. It speaks to her in the rustle of the wind through the leaves, in the wild things that come to her hand. It is a forest whose secrets become known only when it chooses to reveal them.

Hers is a simple life until the outside world shatters it.

Gideon, a warrior whose memory is as lost as his strength, finds his way to Fiadh’s healing hands. With his arrival comes the wrath of Lord Darragh, the ruler of Felmore. A man whose violence rivals that of the nightmarish beings of Dorcha Wood.

Fiadh finds herself thrust into a world brimming with suspicion and cruelty, seething with hatred and vengeance.

Hunted.

Desperate.

She turns to Gideon. Setting herself on a new path where she will confront the reality of old hatred, the consequences of things hidden, and the truth of who she is.

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce Wayne Meyers, author of the Peacekeepers Passage.

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’ve loved to read since I was ten years old, mostly science fiction and fantasy but other genres made their way in there too. I remember starting this spy script that I wrote with pen on paper and stored underneath my bed. The cat must have gotten to it at some point, because when I retrieved it one day (amongst other important items like lost socks and schoolbooks) the papers were totally shredded.

As far as the inspiration behind it, reading books written by other authors opened the gates to my own imagination and I wanted to put my thoughts down on paper. I simply loved to write. My series “Peacekeeper’s Passage” started that way when I was a teenager, in a spiral notebook that I still have. (Learned my lesson from the spy script!) It’s changed quite a bit over the years until I published it as you see it today, but it started all the way back then.

Describe your desk / writing space.

Messy. I know, I know. Clutter stifles creativity. But I practically live at my desk between writing and my day job. You will see a stack of bills, coffee mug on warmer my daughter gave me, Asian style dragon pencil holder my brother gave me, “thinking of you” cube from my wife…I guess I am surrounded by reminders from those I love and who love me, now that I think about it. Um, not the bills, though. There is no love lost there.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?


I try to write whenever I have the free time to do so, inspired or not. Finding free time is always a challenge, so I don’t have the luxury of waiting.

What is your favorite meal?

My wife is an amazing cook, so I have quite a few favorites. Taking home cooked meals off the table (no pun intended!), my favorite food is pizza, but not just any pizza. Growing up in Brooklyn spoiled me here. The crust needs to be thin and crispy, the sauce robust, and the cheese plentiful.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Both, and both. They all fulfill different cravings or needs and are not mutually exclusive. Why limit yourself?

Describe yourself in three words.

Thoughtful. Curious. Imaginative.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Luckily, titles have always just come to me, just like chapter names. I may toss a few ideas around in my head, but it doesn’t take me long to finalize what I want.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

I can’t really answer this without giving away spoilers, but overall it’s difficult to write a scene where bad things happen to the protagonist as I’ve become emotionally invested in them. My favorites are usually the fighting scenes.

What inspired your book/series?

“Peacekeeper’s Passage” was inspired by two books, oddly enough. One was “Shadow of the Torturer” by Gene Wolfe, and the other was “How Green Was My Valley” by Richard Llewellyn. I love the latter’s writing style and the coming-of-age boy’s POV, and the former’s skill at submerging us into an entirely different world. The world itself came from my imagination, and my love of martial arts.

What are you working on next?

I’m finishing up Book Five in the “Peacekeeper’s Passage” series, “Peacekeeper’s Peril”.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

In addition to the two already mentioned, definitely Isaac Asimov for making it look so easy, Robert Heinlein for his gift of character, and so many others.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Such an interesting question! My response would be, why pick just one? There is so much beauty in reality and imagination, I’d love to see everything and travel everywhere.

BIO: 

Wayne discovered his love for writing at ten years old when he wrote a story about the flowers from his bed sheets coming to life. With a voracious appetite for science-fiction and fantasy, it was only natural he turned his pen toward these genres, creating bold new worlds filled with exciting, interesting characters doing incredible things.

In addition to reading and writing science fiction and fantasy, Wayne enjoys spending time with his family, walking, helping aspiring authors, and volunteering in his community.

A Brooklyn native, Wayne currently lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with his family and cats, realizing his dreams one story at a time. He’d love to hear from you at WayneMeyers.com, where you can find his social media links and sign up for his mailing list. His next story is just around the corner!

Everyone seems to be against him. Can a boy no one wants become the hero the world needs?

Hofen Heimstatten can’t take much more. Abused by his stepfather and bullied by his classmates, the twelve-year-old loner yearns for a place to belong. So when he’s adopted into the justice-enforcing Peacekeepers Guild a year early, he believes he’s at last found a home.

Prohibited from learning the special martial arts skills until he’s thirteen, Hofen is stunned when the older apprentices treat him just as poorly as his former peers. But when he stumbles across dark forces plotting to disrupt their idyllic society, the friendless youth resolves to teach himself the forbidden lore to protect himself and his people… even if it risks expulsion.

Has Hofen got what it takes to rise to the moment?

Peacekeeper’s Passage is the exciting first book in the Peacekeeper’s Passage young adult fantasy series. If you like underdogs taking charge, cool new worlds, and gripping action, then you’ll love Wayne Meyers’ coming-of-age adventure.

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce Erynn Lehtonen, author of the Yokai Calling series.

Do you love dragons? I’ll let you in on a secret…I love dragons!
And I also love a complete series!
Click here now to get the first book, Spirit Dragon for FREE!

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

When I was young, I devoured fantasy books, eager to go to adventures to far-off places and fantastical worlds. I quickly wanted to create my own worlds, and started my first short stories in elementary school, and then my first novel in grade six. Ever since, I’ve wanted to be an author, and now I am! 😊

Describe your desk / writing space.

It fluctuates between being a disaster or as tidy as can be depending on how close I am to my deadlines, heh. I’ve got my laptop and my diffuser (or candles) for nice scents while I write, as well as handy access to all my writing-related books! 

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?


I tend to have a pretty strict routine—I write full time, so I have to! I wake up and write for as long as possible, usually several hours. But I admit, I have my bouts of inspiration, too! I’m not shy about staying up late into the night because an idea struck me.

**FREE!!!**

How do you come up with the title to your books?

They are always related to the themes or events in the books. For example, in my first book, Spirit of the Dragon, there’s a dragon spirit that plays a role in the plot. For this series I kept with a dragon theme in all the titles!

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

Definitely the final battle sequence in my most recent book, Blood of Dragons. It’s not a single scene, but it was an epic battle that spanned several chapters and multiple perspectives! Getting it just right had me running around in circles.

As for my favourite? It’s so hard to choose, there are so many that I loved writing. In general although I love writing epic battle scenes, my favourites to write actually end up being where my characters connect with each other again after being upset with each other for various reasons! (There was a lot of that in my latest book, too, haha!) These scenes can get very emotional, but in ways that are really rewarding to write/read because they always feel so inevitable, and it’s satisfying for so many story threads to finally come back together.

What inspired your book/series?

I’m a huge fan of history and mythology, so the Yokai Calling series was heavily inspired by Japanese mythology and history. I especially drew from myths about the creation of Japan, dragons, as well as various folklores. I love dragons, so it’s pretty safe to say that’s a driving influence in all of my stories. 

What are you working on next?

Since I just finished this series, I’m actually taking a short breather to plan what’s coming next. I have a few ideas—what I’ll most likely end up doing is work on multiple projects at once. I’m writing in a much larger universe, so while I want to write another series that’s a continuation of the one I finished, I’d also like to start some smaller projects exploring different parts of the world.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Ah! There are so many, but I’ll stick to saying that I love Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, The Sixth World by Rebecca Roanhorse, and Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I would honestly really love to live in my own world haha! It would be the best of both worlds, because I’d definitely love to live somewhere with magic and mythical creatures, but I’ve also always wanted to live in Japan. 

What is your favorite meal?

I’m a sucker for some good ramen! Nothing like some soul food to warm up a rainy day, literally or otherwise. 😛

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Tea for sure, I have a whole hoard of it hiding in the cabinet. Green, black, chai, you name it! But I still love me a good cup of coffee in the morning.

I’m definitely a wine girl—never been a huge fan of beer.

Describe yourself in three words.

Reflective, creative, analytical.

BIO: 

New release!

Book 4 in the Yokai Calling series: $1.99 for a limited time.

BLOOD DEFINES WHAT MADE US. ACTION DEFINES WHAT MAKES US.

Secrets forge families. Secrets forge empires. Secrets tear lives apart. Will the dark histories dug up by Aihi, Hidekazu, and Masanori liberate them, or are they doomed to repeat past mistakes?

Aihi’s enemies torched villages and killed innocents. They believed her youth and inexperience made her weak Shōgun—they were wrong. Now, it’s up to her to decide how far she’s willing to go to maintain the peace her mother established, and if peace is still a worthwhile dream at all.

Masanori knows his existence is a threat to everyone he cares about, but to reunite with his loved ones, he’ll travel back into the depths Nightmare that broke him in the first place. To free himself from the Nightmare shard that haunts him, he’ll need to prove himself to an elusive kami. Otherwise, he may never see his family again. But how much is a broken man worth?

To atone for the Genshu family’s past atrocities, Hidekazu attempts to undo one of the Warlock Empire’s oldest crimes, an act committed by the Dragon Goddess herself. To succeed, Hidekazu must accept his true nature… and the dark power that comes with it. 

When war threatens the trio’s homeland, the twins must face the choices that set them on different paths, or this time, they will be pulled apart for good.

Posted in Blog

Today, I’m happy to introduce my friend Laura Winter, author of Star Collapsed.

Today, I’m happy to introduce my friend Laura Winter, author of Star Collapsed. 
Superpowers, outer space, love hate relationships, what’s not to love?
Preorder now! Star Collapsed comes out on May 25th.
Guess who has access to the

FREE Prequel! 

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I somewhat accidentally stumbled upon writing. I’ve spent most of my life on the softball field (I actually played professionally after my pitching career at Notre Dame). In 2018, I was going to grad school and coaching when I discovered NaNoWriMo, but it was the middle of summer. Instead of waiting for November to write my book, I decided to do a trial run to see if I could actually do it… and I wrote my book in 10 days! Absolutely no writing background, but a whole lot of determination to get better and to tell the stories that were stuck in my head. After that, I couldn’t stop.

Describe your desk / writing space.

My writing area itself is pretty much clear – keyboard in front of me, podcast/audio equipment to the left, and my planner to the right. What’s happening on the shelf above me is another story… I have about twenty notebooks and loose stickers and decorations. I swear I’m actually a minimalist (unless it comes to notebooks and shiny pens).

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I thrive on routine! I have set plans for when I sit down to write – whether that’s chapter notes, a plan of attack for editing, or just general writing-adjacent tasks (like social media and marketing or cover design). If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I write best in the mornings (I was once an early bird), but lately I’ve been really cranking out the words after lunch and even at night!

How do you come up with the title to your books?

That one really varies. For my high fantasy Warrior Series, I tied the titles to the identity of my characters (there are 3 main characters, each with their own books), so with each new title, you can see how each character grows and changes based on the events of the series.

My YA/NA fantasy Soul Series titles come from the main conflict for my characters and that journey from forgotten memories, remembered pasts, and obscured souls. The main focus is on the good and evil of the Blue and Cold Soul, hence the Soul part of the title. We have powers based on space events like supernovas, black holes, and blue stars!

And, with my brand new Star Series (which happens to be a spin off of the Soul Series), I based the titles off of those space events! This series happens 18 years later and we get to follow Kiya, the daughter of the supernova and black hole from the Soul Series. If you’re familiar with space events, the titles of the Star Series are going to follow the life cycle of a star… starting with Star Collapsed!

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

One of the hardest scenes I’ve ever written was the big plot twist in Soul Remembered. Without giving too much away since it’s the second book in the series, I had to write that scene through my own tears because I quite literally broke my own heart in the process of writing it. It had to happen, but wow I didn’t realize it would hurt so much.

I love myself a good fight scene. I have been known to actually act out those scenes in my living room, especially if I want to make sure movements are actually possible. I have quite a few that I’ve written in the last few books, and between sword fighting (Warrior Series) and superpowered fighting (Soul and Star Series), I’m not sure I can pick just one.

What inspired your book/series?

Seeing as I’m now back into the superpowered Blue Star world, it’s pretty easy to attribute that to my love of space and superpowers. I’m always interested in telling stories of strong women who come in and save the day, and when you add a little flavor with superpowers and magic, you’re in for a real treat.

What are you working on next?

More Star Series! I have a few ideas brewing in the back of my mind, two of which are nearly functional, and I’ll start those when the plots sort themselves out. For now, I have a plan for two more Star books!

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I’ve always been inspired by magic and fantasy worlds. The book that really pushed me into writing was The Magicians by Lev Grossman. With the crazy that has been 2020 and 2021, I’ve been able to broaden my reading list and I have to say that S.M. Gaither’s Shadows and Crowns series really got me excited to jump back into a fantasy world.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Fantasy world, no question. Selfishly, I’d love to live in the worlds I’ve created, but I would never pass up an opportunity to go to Narnia.

What is your favorite meal?

Can Reese’s candy be my meal?

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

If it has caffeine, I’ll drink it.

Describe yourself in three words.

passionate, dreamer, crazy

BIO: Laura Winter is a passionate creator, minimalist, and van life dreamer. She’s dedicated to writing character-driven stories with intricate plots that will keep you engaged until the last page. Explore new worlds, fall in love with characters, and enjoy an escape.

BLURB – Star Collapsed:

Is it possible to hate someone at first sight?

I’ve been around the power community my entire life. I have a special bond with the famous Blue Star; the combination of Finnley’s telekinetic explosions and Nate’s shadow manipulation.

You see, I’m their daughter.

Let me rephrase that. I’m their powerless daughter.

On the night of my Trials, I passed every test except the most important one – getting powers from a power source – and now I’m stuck with the constant reminder that I failed to be something great. While my family and friends go out and save others who can’t control their powers, I’m left on the sidelines.

Which is why I’m furious when Ryder shows up, claiming he doesn’t want those incredible powers he possesses. It sparks some deep fire inside me to think that he’s throwing away a gift I so desperately want. No, it really sparked something, and now that anger is getting worse. He might not have a choice about getting involved, because his presence has triggered something in me that I’m not sure is going to end in anything but destruction.

Because what good can come from a stellar collision?

If you loved the Soul trilogy following Finnley, Nate, and Glitch, you’ll love the extension of the Blue Star story in the Star trilogy. Not required to read the Soul trilogy to follow this series.

Posted in Blog

Interview With Suzanna J. Linton

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I started writing as a coping mechanism for domestic violence happening in my home. But as I grew older, I realized that I love telling stories and building worlds, which is why I continue to write fantasy today.

Describe your desk / writing space.


I have an adjustable desk on top of a wooden desk in my own office. Theoretically, the adjustable desk is so I can stand but it never works out that way. I write on a laptop with a mechanical keyboard attached to it. To one side of my laptop is a bed for my cat Elvira and pictures that inspire me on the wall behind the laptop.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?


Ideally, I write in the afternoon after making a cup of tea or coffee.

How do you come up with the title to your books?


Usually, my editor helps me pick one because I am awful at choosing titles. Sometimes, though, the title is just obvious.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?


Action scenes are always difficult to write. I usually have to map it out and research fighting styles and weapons before I write it. My favorite scene to write are any involving an argument.

Clara

Clara will have to see through both the fog of war, and the fog of her own heart, to save a nation…

Sold into slavery as a child, and rendered mute by the horrors she suffered, Clara’s life extends no further than the castle kitchens and their garden. Those who know about her just think of her as the dull mute girl who may be a little soft in the head, not knowing that she carries within herself a precious gift: the ability to see the future. This is a gift she keeps secret, though, for fear of persecution.

However, a vision prompts her to prevent a murder, shoving her not only into the intrigues and gilded life of the nobility, but also into a civil war brewing in her country. As events unfold, and she is drawn deeper into the conflict, she meets an old friend, makes a new one, and begins to unearth secrets better left buried.

Driven to learn the truth about the war, and about her friends, Clara embarks on a journey that takes her from her beloved mountains to the very Capital itself, Bertrand, where she is confronted by an evil both ancient and twisted. The only problem is, her own anger and prejudices are the catalysts her enemy needs to complete its plans.

If she is not careful, not only will the entire nation be lost, but her own soul as well.

Author Bio

Suzanna J. Linton grew up in the swamps of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. She used writing and reading as a way to escape the violence and drug use occurring in her home. It wasn’t until she read the Dragonriders of Pern books in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer.

However, after many, many rejection letters, she decided to reject traditional publishing. She self-published her first novel, Clara, in 2013. In 2014, she quit her job at a library to write full time. Today, she continues to live and write in South Carolina with her husband and assorted pets.

What inspired your book/series?

My first novel, Clara, is a novel I have rewritten many times over the years. It first began as a novel about a girl finding her voice and power because, at that time in my life, I had neither. But as I grew older, I was able to explore that more objectively and now the series has become this ongoing conversation about whether knowing the future is actually helpful.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I am taking a break from editing the next novel of Stories of Lorst, House of the Seer. I am dealing with a bad case of burnout and am trying to refill the well with good books.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?


Robin McKinley’s Chalice and Sunshine; Charles de Lint; Ann McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Peron

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Out in the middle of nowhere, preferably. I’ve always wanted to know what mountain living would be like.

What is your favorite meal?


I thought way too much about this question because I’m not sure I have a favorite food anymore. There’s a teashop in my town that makes an amazing artichoke grilled cheese sandwich and I love to have it with tomato soup.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?


Yes.

Describe yourself in three words.


Creative, slow, thoughtful

Posted in Blog

Interview With David Wind

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

As a pre-teen, I found reading enabled me to escape from the bonds of my surroundings, and be transported to other places and other worlds, as I grew older, everything around me was that inspiration.

Describe your desk / writing space.


I don’t want to sound flippant, but my desk is a trash pile where no-one but I can find things. Seriously, my desk is always a mess, and after I clean it up and organize it, within a day, it’s back to where it was.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?


I follow the write every day routine. It works! Inspiration comes as I write, and for those looking to write, the rule of a thousand words a day becomes an easy habit to follow.

How do you come up with the title to your books?


They usually present themselves as I write. Every once in a while, I get a title in my head, and then write the book. One of those title first books was Born to Magic. The title hit me as I was first contemplating a world after an apocalypse; not a fully dystopian world, but one with an unimaginably dark side born of the disaster their ancestors created, and opposing them is a hopeful side, whose ancestors were the few survivors of the apocalypse.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?


After 43 books, it’s not a fair question; but, if I must answer it, let me say the prologue to Queen of Knights, was my favorite scene.  The hardest? Somehow, like pain, there’s a memory of something, but no real connection.


Where Weavers Daire

Ten years after the last war, Melinda Scott discovers something in deep space and is dragged back into a world her family was banished from. Now with Necromancers to her left, Liches to her right and humanity in the middle it’s up to her to figure out why someone is trying to kill her. Where Weavers Daire is the first book in a new rip-roaring space opera series in the same vein as Babylon 5, Firefly, Farscape and Star Wars!

Author Bio

R. K. Bentley was raised in New England on a steady diet of 80’s Cartoons, Tom Baker Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Star Trek, Star Wars, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, comics books & movies. He is member and Social Media Director for the Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA). Where Weavers Daire is his first novel, when not writing he enjoys photography, traveling and reading books.

What inspired your book/series?

Everything and everyone inspires my books. For example, the Hyte Maneuver was born aboard an airplane by  people watching: There was a nice senior couple in two seats, and a darker Mediterranean appearing man in another, I pictured him as a terrorist, and a hijacker, and went from there. In my Tales of Nevaeh Series, I envisioned a world, 3000 years from now, as the results of what was started in the authoritarian, political,  and terrorist movements during the period from 2014 to now, and then extrapolated from there.

What are you working on next?

Combining my two favorite genres, Mystery and Sci-Fi.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?


Edgar Rice Burroughs, Frank Yerby, Rafael Sabatini, Andre (Mary Alice) Norton, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Robert Ludlum, Arthur C. Clark, Alexandre Dumas, Raymond Chandler— I’ll stop here.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

In this world—In Montepulciano,  Italy, on top of the mountain overseeing Tuscany; in my Fantasy world of Nevaeh, Tolemac, the capitol of Nevaeh.

What is your favorite meal?


Eating a great meal out! 40 odd years ago, when my wife and I first married, she admitted cooking was not her greatest skill. (truth be told, cooking wasn’t my mother’s best skill either, so, as an only child, I learned to cook early on.) My wife and I made a deal. I would cook and she would clean. Now you know why my favorite meals are eaten out. (Another truth—strong women abound in my family, which is probably why both my male and female protagonists are so strong! )

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?


Coffee- strong!  Wine, red and good!

Describe yourself in three words.


Impossible to describe. OR I write stories  Both are accurate.

Posted in Blog

Interview With Paul L. Arvidson

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

51, Husband, Carer, Father of two girls 12 and 13. I used to be a Theatrical Lighting Designer but when the kids got older we discovered that the youngest has a genetic condition that needs a lot of care. A life on the road is incompatible with a role as a carer so, I needed something to keep the creative bit of my mind going so I didn’t go crazy.
When both of the kids were little, I had all kinds of crazy thoughts in those late night and early morning feeding shifts. Those eventually became my Sci-Fi series Dark.

Describe your desk / writing space.

My favourite place to work is with my laptop on my knee on the sofa.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I’m a big believer in ‘write every day, even if it’s garbage, and fix it in the edit.’

Dark Blurb

IN THE STRANGE labyrinth of pipes on the planet called Dark, things are falling apart. Dun doesn’t want to be a hero, he just wants to find an answer to the terrifying dreams he’s been having. But the answers, the real answers, are going to take him places he’s never imagined and tear him from the only home he’s ever known.

With a half finished map from his missing father, an old friend, a new friend and the mysterious Myrch to guide him, he journeys through parts of his world he’s never imagined. Are his dreams real foretellings? Who can he trust to be who they say there are? What are the strange forces that seem to be literally pulling their world apart?

As he travels through a world that is much bigger than he thought it was, what he won’t know will kill him. And everyone he knows.

Author Bio

Paul Arvidson is a forty-something ex lighting designer, now SFF author who lives in rural Somerset, UK. He spends his non-author time bringing up his children, fighting against being sucked in to his wife’s chicken breeding business and preventing Morris the Dashund contributing to his typing. His SFF works form ‘The Dark Trilogy’. Dark is the first book in the trilogy and came out in 2017. The sequel Darker came out in 2018 and the series will be completed by a final book in 2019. There will not be a prize for guessing it’s title.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Dark was easy, the colony planet the characters live on has no light! Then I just needed a a comparative and a superlative and I was set. My problem now is there needs to be a fourth book to finish the story! What am I gonna call that?

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

Any of the books set in the dark have no visual descriptors at all (the characters wouldn’t understand them). It’s pretty hard to weed out how often we use those phrases in everyday life. (Oh, I see what you mean. Look at it this way… etc.)
My favourite bits are writing dialogue. I love a character with a smart mouth!

What inspired your book / series?

Many things really, but I couldn’t shake this idea of whether you could be a hero in a lightless world (spoiler, yes you can!). Then I needed to work out if the idea was feasible in real scientific terms, so I spent a lot of time researching creatures that live in the ‘Midnight Zone’ of the ocean, where whole eco-systems function with no light at all.

What are you working on next?

Darkest is released on the 28th of May, then I start on Book 2 of my mystery series.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I’m a big fan of Ursula Le Guin, all of her stuff is amazing and she writes fantasy, Sci-Fi and things that are a little bit in between. I also love writers like David Brin, Vernor Vinge and Phil Dick where the world is quite odd but interesting.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Where I live is pretty beautiful (Somerset, SW of the UK)

What is your favorite meal?

Anything containing cheese

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

All of the above? If I had to choose, I’d go Tea & Beer

Describe yourself in three words.

Am Always Learning.

Posted in Blog

Interview with Derrick Smythe

How do you come up with the title to your books?

My title actually came after the first book was written. I had a title before, but it just didn’t feel right. The rest of the titles in the series fell into place with the completion of the outline I had written. Each attempts to align to the central focus of the story while remaining true to the series as a whole.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

Any scene that begins a new chapter seems to be a major challenge for me! I have to write and rewrite my openings multiple times before I am able to get them right and then I often just delete the first few paragraphs and find that I like it much better.

I particularly enjoy writing action/fight scenes. I love putting myself into the body and mind of my characters as they live out fight sequences, especially without having to personally experience any of the bruises, bleeding, etc.

What inspired your book/series?

A hand drawn map, an idea, and a God.

What are you working on next?

I’m finalizing the second book in my Passage to Dawn series, as well as another short-story for one of my ancillary characters who doesn’t necessarily get a lot of screen time, but is one of my personal favorites.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Robert Jordan, Michael J Sullivan, Michael Wisehart, Robin Hobb, Raymond E. Feist, Edward Robertson, Brandon Sanderson, and of course, J.R.R. Tolkien.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I think I would especially enjoy living among the elves of either Feist, Sullivan, or Tolkien.

What is your favorite meal?

I’m a simple man. I like a good burger or steak, no side necessary.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

One cup of coffee is about all I need to be happy.

Describe yourself in three words.

Aspiring, calm, calculating.

Today I’m happy to introduce Derrick Smythe, author of the book, The Other Magic

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

In the summer and fall, I’m a bit of an outdoorsman, seeking trails for hiking, parks for camping, or both. During the winter I’m stuck inside to resume my day job as a high school history teacher. I’m also a wrestling enthusiast—not WWE (no offense if you enjoy that!). I wrestled throughout high school and college then transitioned into officiating years back; it’s a lot better on my joints than competing. Of course, my big passion is writing, a passion reinforced in recent years with the success of my debut epic fantasy novel, “The Other Magic.” I was inspired to write out of a combination of extreme boredom while working a summer job in college, and an itch to do something more than simply enjoy the worlds created by others. Don’t get me wrong, I love immersing myself in the created worlds of others, but the more fantasy I read, the more I knew I had a world and story of my own to create and share. 

Describe your desk / writing space.

My desk exists within a state of heightened tension between neatness and disrepair. At my core is the inner OCD desire to have everything neatly stacked and put away, but on the other side is my need to have instant access to my notes and doodles, of which there are many, and they are always being added to. My computer monitor also has sticky notes all around it though every once in a while I’ll go through them and eliminate the ones that have since been resolved. I could argue that I just need a bigger desk, but I’m quite certain that this would not ultimately solve the issue.

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

I write primarily in the mornings before my wife and daughters wake up. My alarm goes off at precisely 4:30AM, I get my coffee and oats, then head up to my office to work until around 6:30AM when it’s time to get dressed and help rush the kids, wife, and myself out the door to begin the day.

Author Bio

Derrick Smythe has been fascinated with all things elvish, dwarvish, and magical since his days of running through the woods with sharpened sticks in defense of whatever fortification he and his brothers had built that summer. After consuming nearly every fantasy book he could find, he was driven to begin work on one of his own. When he isn’t dreaming up new stories, he can be spotted hiking the Adirondack Mountains or traveling the world. He currently resides near his hometown in upstate New York with his enchanting wife, ethereal daughters, and his faithful-if-neurotic Australian Shepherd, Magnus.

Posted in Blog

Author Interview With Amanda Fleet

I’m very excited to introduce Amanda Fleet, author of the Guardians of the Realm series.

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’ve written since I was young, though none of that teenage angst rubbish will ever see the light of day. I suppose I wrote more seriously much later in life, writing my first book (which will also possibly never see the light of day!) in 2007. I know this will sound terribly cliched, but there were stories and characters in my head and they wouldn’t shut up unless I wrote about them.

Describe your desk / writing space.

It’s a large, wooden desk, with drawers down either side – antique style, though not actually an antique. It faces the window that looks out over part of the garden. There’s my laptop on it, plus an external monitor, and the edges are cluttered with notebooks, pens, more pens, scraps of paper, and some more pens. I really need to tame it!

Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?

A bit of both. I write most days, and apart from a time where I was close to having a breakdown, have never run out of ideas, so inspiration always seems to flow. When I was close to a breakdown, I had zero inspiration and that was horrible.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Great question! My first published book “The Wrong Kind of Clouds” got its title via my husband who is a keen photographer (as is the main character in the book). I have spent so many hours of my life waiting for “the right kind of clouds” for his photographs – clear blue skies aren’t great; small, fluffy white clouds aren’t great… menacing, stormy skies with lots of light and shade are what hubby is always after! It’s linked to in the book (though I can’t say more without giving away spoilers).

For other books, the titles spring from the books more directly. “Aegyir Rises”, “Aeron Returns”, “War” and “Invasion” all describe what happens in the book.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

The hardest scenes for me to write are death scenes and sex scenes! Death scenes because I cry so much while I’m writing them; sex scenes because they are difficult and embarrassing to write.

My favourite scene to write was in “Aeron Returns”, when Aeron and Faran have come to Earth (from The Realm) and he is a total fish out of water. He’s incredibly fond of honey (a scarce resource in The Realm) and Aeron buys a jar for him. It’s the first time he thinks she might love him again.

What inspired your series, Guardians of the Realm?

Ah. A trickier question. Often the ideas for a book come from just a single question that then grows and grows until it becomes a book (or a series). A lot of the things I think about writing involve people being in the wrong place somehow. It started out with wondering if there were portals to other worlds and grew from there, really. Landscape can be a great trigger – rocky outcrops or slabs of craggy rock… who wouldn’t wonder if they led somewhere exciting?

What are you working on next?

I’ve just published the 4th book of the series – “Invasion” and once all the dust has settled from launching that, I’ll start to edit my next book – something completely different for me: a time-travel romance set in Scotland, near to where the battle of Culloden took place.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Sarah Fine was definitely a big inspiration for the Guardians of The Realm series. I adored her Guardians of The Shadowlands series. Patrick Ness is another huge favourite. I don’t think I’ve read a book of his that I haven’t thought was amazing, but the Chaos Walking trilogy is outstanding.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Ooh. You know, it’s a tight race between Scotland and Italy. Since I speak almost zero Italian, I might be better off staying in Scotland, though not where I currently am. It’s a tough one as I normally crave the countryside and wide-open spaces, but I’m also getting older so the sensible bit of my head wants a big hospital nearby! And I hate midgies (small, biting insects that are very common in the west of Scotland). Scotland-wise, I suppose somewhere up near Inverness would tick most of the boxes – open and rugged, yet Inverness is a city with a decent hospital and the east has far fewer midgies. Near the sea too. Italy? Somewhere in the north, near the coast.

What is your favorite meal?

Stir-fry and noodles.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Tea; wine.

Describe yourself in three words.

Introvert; loyal; perfectionist.

Author bio:

Amanda Fleet is a physiologist by training and a writer at heart. She spent 18 years teaching science and medicine undergraduates at St Andrews University, but now uses her knowledge to work out how to kill people (in her books!). She completed her first degree at St Andrews University and her doctorate at University College, London.

She has been an inveterate stationery addict since a child, amassing a considerable stash of fountain pens, ink and notebooks during her lifetime. These have thankfully come in useful, as she tends to write rather than type, at least in the early stages of writing a book.

During her time at St Andrews, she worked with the College of Medicine in Blantyre, Malawi. While in Malawi, she learned about the plight of the many street children there and helped to set up a Community Based Organisation that works with homeless Malawian children to support them through education and training – Chimwemwe Children’s Centre. It was this experience that helped to inspire the Malawian aspects in her novel “The Wrong Kind of Clouds” (briefly released as “The Call”), though, of course, the book is entirely fictional.

She is the author of the urban fantasy series: “The Guardians of The Realm”, the crime novel “The Wrong Kind of Clouds”, and the psychological thriller “Lies That Poison”.

Amanda lives in Scotland with her husband, where she can be found writing, walking and running.