Author Archives: theliteraryvixen

About theliteraryvixen

My name is Laura and I am a Makeup Junkie, Book Dragon, Blogger, Beta Reader, and PA I’ve always loved both books and makeup. I’m always reading at least two or three books at any given time. Email: theliteraryvixen@gmail.com

Mother May I: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson – My Review

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Title: Mother May I: A Novel

Author: Joshilyn Jackson

Release Date: April 6th 2021

Genre: Domestic Thrillers

The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Never Have I Ever returns with an even more addictive novel of domestic suspense in which a mother must decide how far she is willing to go to protect her child and the life she loves—an unforgettable tale of power, privilege, lies, revenge, and the choices we make, ones that transform our lives in unforeseen ways.

Revenge doesn’t wait for permission.

Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected that fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of.

Until the day she awakens and sees someone peering into her bedroom window—an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.

Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daugh­ters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly—Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow.

The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It’s her child.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price.

Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart?

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I have mixed feelings about this book. Some parts were good and twisted, which made my little black heart happy. Then on the other hand, some parts were just…not that good. I could see where the author wanted to go with it. There were some pretty good twists in there. One I didn’t see coming! Which had me saying OMG! Despite having one of twists that were really good, the rest sort of fell flat for me. I wanted to like this story more than I did. 

This is my first Joshlyn Jackson book and putting my feelings for this book aside, I will check out other works by her. Her writing is good and I enjoyed the story. I give this 3 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Chaotic Delusions: A Dark Erotic Short Story by Savvy Rose – My Review

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Title: Chaotic Delusions: A Dark Erotic Short Story

Author: Savvy Rose

Release Date: April 28th 2021

Genre: Lesbian Erotica

Devina, a girl with a dark past and unhealthy coping mechanisms, leads an unconventional lifestyle. What may seem dangerous to some, is down-right intoxicating to others.

Hyacinth, a sweet girl next door who devotes her time to her father and stressful job, generally spends her weekends shrouded in a purple haze and avoiding her boring husband.

A ‘chance encounter’ leaves Devina pining for Hyacinth, taking full advantage of Hyacinth’s unhappy marriage full of doubts.

Treading the line of betrayal lightly, the two explore their heated connection in secret.

The pair are quickly blinded by their own desires and Devina grows impatient with their twisted situation. Hyacinths reluctance to accept her true self pushes Devina over the edge and into a possessive mania that will forever change both of their lives.

Can Devina convince Hyacinth to stand by her side while she navigates a menacing illness or will Devina take both of them down with her thunderstorm of chaos?

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Oh Devina….

This series is quite addicting! In this book we get Dev’s point of view. So many chaotic thoughts. She’s sort of a survivor. I wanted to protect her! I like that she tries to be a better person. No one is perfect and she knows this, yet she still tries. I rooted for her all the way through! While there was a lot of emotional scenes, the heat factor was still there. Oh my! This book will definitely heat up your night! 

Dark and sexy, this book was everything I needed! Devoured it in one sitting! Unputdownable! I give this 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Wilted Petals: A Dark Erotic Short Story by Savvy Rose – My Review

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Title: Wilted Petals: A Dark Erotic Short Story

Author: Savvy Rose

Release Date: February 8th 2021

Genre: Lesbian Erotica

Hyacinth, a sweet girl next door who devotes her time to her father and stressful job, generally spends her weekends shrouded in a purple haze and avoiding her boring husband.

Enter Devina, a pathological liar who is
unable to accept her shrinks diagnosis, seeks Colorado’s many dispensaries for a homeopathic treatment.

A chance encounter leaves Devina pining for Hyacinth, taking full advantage of Hyacinth’s unhappy marriage full of doubts.

Treading the line of betrayal lightly, the two explore their heated connection in secret.

The pair are quickly blinded by their own desires and Devina grows impatient with their twisted situation. Hyacinths reluctance to accept her true self pushes Devina over the edge and into a possessive mania that will forever change both of their lives.

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I devoured this book in one sitting! It’s sexy and tantalizing. The chemistry between Cyn and Dev is HOT! Each of these characters have their own demons to deal with and that made me love them even more. 

This is a dark read which made my little black heart happy! I love me some dark. I enjoyed both the writing and the story telling style of the author. Savvy Rose is a new to me author and I’m already a huge fan! I can’t wait to read more! 

If you’re looking for that guilty pleasure read that will leave you wanting more, this book is for you! I give this 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Darkest Glare: A True Story of Murder, Blackmail, and Real Estate Greed in 1979 Los Angeles by Chip Jacobs – My Review

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Title: The Darkest Glare: A True Story of Murder, Blackmail, and Real Estate Greed in 1979 Los Angeles

Author: Chip Jacobs

Release Date: March 9th 2021

Genre: True Crime

Late-seventies Los Angeles was rampant with killers and shady characters, but all the go-getters at Space Matters saw was possibility. Richard Kasparov was handsome and charismatic; his younger associate, Jerry Schneiderman, brilliant and nerdy. When the pair hired a veteran contractor to oversee construction, the space planning firm they operated out of a hip mansion in LA’s Miracle Mile district appeared poised to transform the boundless skyline into their jackpot.

After the promising team imploded, however, the orderly lines on their blueprints succumbed to treachery and secrets. To get even, one of the ex-partners launched a murder-for-profit corporation using, among other peculiar sorts, a bantam-sized epileptic with a deadeye shot and a cross-dressing sidekick. The hapless criminals required a comical number of attempts to execute their first target. Once they did, on a rainy night in the San Fernando Valley, the surviving founder of Space Matters was thrown into a pressure cooker existence out of a Coen Brothers movie. Threatened for money he didn’t have, he donned a disguise, survived a heart-pounding encounter at the La Brea Tar Pits, and relied on an ex-Israeli mercenary for protection. In the end, he had to outfox a glowering murderer, while asking if you can ever really know anyone in a town where dirty deals send men to their graves.

In The Darkest Glare, Chip Jacobs recounts a spectacular, noir-ish, true-crime saga from one of the deadliest eras in American history. You’ll never gaze out windows into the dark again.

Included as a bonus is an original true crime short from the same unhinged era. In “Paul & Chuck,” a flashy, crusading attorney wages war against the messianic leader of a bloodthirsty cult determined to teach the world to stay away.

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I love me some true crime. Love it! I was excited to read The Darkest Glare. I hadn’t heard of this case before and was very interested in learning more. The story read like a script. A script for a like television series. I kept seeing episodes in my head. The author has a different story telling style and it took me awhile to get used to it. A lot of information and people are thrown at you. At times I had trouble keeping track of who was who. I admit, the level of evilness that went into everything that occurred is disturbing. I appreciate the author’s attention to detail. I felt transported to a different time and era. 

The crimes committed were both senseless and disturbing. The author takes you from beginning to the very end. All those twists and turns made for a pretty good read. I give this 3 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon – My Review

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Title: The Drowning Kind

Author: Jennifer McMahon

Release Date: April 6th 2021

Genre: Ghost Fiction

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Invited and The Winter People comes a chilling new novel about a woman who returns to the old family home after her sister mysteriously drowns in its swimming pool…but she’s not the pool’s only victim.

Be careful what you wish for.

When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.

In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.

A haunting, twisty, and compulsively readable thrill ride from the author who Chris Bohjalian has dubbed the “literary descendant of Shirley Jackson,” The Drowning Kind is a modern-day ghost story that illuminates how the past, though sometimes forgotten, is never really far behind us.

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Wow! This book was full of surprises. It had me guessing at every turn. This story is both heartbreaking and mysterious. The mystery and unexplained wonders of the springs was one of my favorite parts. I loved the relationship between Jax and Lexie. No siblings are perfect but they truly did balance each other out. Some scenes gave me the chills and there’s plenty of twists you don’t see coming. That ending had me heading towards book hangover town. 

This is a new to me author. I really enjoyed her story telling style. The book is well written and full of descriptive scenes that really brought the story to life. I will be checking out her other books! If you’re looking for a read with a little mystery that gives you the chills, this book is for you! I highly recommend this book! I give it 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Interview with an Author Featuring Caitlin Denman

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Caitlin Denman! Her debut book, She Awakens released on April 27th.

Congrats on your newest release! Tell me a bit about your book?

My book is set in a time where the Fae have taken over the world and humans are in hiding. It revolves around Attina, a human girl who knows nothing about the woman who gave birth to her. The book follows her, along with her sassy sidekick talking horse Raven, as Attina learns more about her past and who she really is. As her journey progresses she learns that she is the only person who can take on the Fae King and put an end to the Fae’s vicious reign.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

For She Awakens I drew inspiration from a dream. I had a few dreams over multiple days where the entire story played out. I’d never had dreams like that so I figured that was a sign that I should write it down. I’m also trying the question method for another work in progress. It’s in the very early stages but basically I think of a character I want to write and ask questions. For example let’s say a Fae is exiled from its people, why were they exiled? How could they get back in their people’s good graces? I just repeat that process until I find I story I would enjoy reading and write it.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Actually I haven’t always wanted to be a writer. I’ve been a voracious reader for years, reading 80-100 books a year. I  had my dream about She Awakens and decided to try my hand at writing and absolutely fell in love with it.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I absolutely LOVE Laura Thalassa, Sarah J. Mass, and Emma Hamm. I think all of their books influenced me. I look up to all of them and hope to be even half as good of an author they are someday!

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Well I based Attina off of Alexandra Daddario so I would feel so blessed if she would play my main character. The horses, Raven and Oak, are based off of horses I actually owned in my life. The best person I can think of to play Attina’s love interest, James, would be someone like Jake Abel. Attina’s father in my mind looks like an older Christian Bale and the mysterious Allister was based off of a Jason Momoa type (yes, he is my celebrity crush).

What is the best part of your day?

Even though I am a writer the best part of my day also includes my horses. I absolutely love the peace and happiness they give me. My best day would be riding and training my horses all day and writing the rest of the night.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Determined. Hard working. Compassionate.

What are you reading now?

Well I read 3 books at a time so currently I am reading:

1) The Broken Daughter by Aimee Shaye 

2) A Beast so Beautiful by Carlyle Labuschagne 

3) God Save The Child by Robert B. Parker

What advice would you give to other authors?

WRITE, WRITE, AND WRITE SOME MORE!!! Get everything you can down on paper. If things seem too daunting take it scene by scene if you have to. If you’re not feeling a scene that day, skip it for a scene you want to write. Take a notebook with you everywhere you go and if you get even five minutes to write, do it. Even if you only get a few words down a day that’s a few more words down on paper than you had the day before.

 What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

Honestly the one thing I really want people to know about my books is that I appreciate every single person that reads them. I feel so incredibly blessed that anyone at all is interested in my books. I think if my books resonate with even just one person I’ll feel like all the stress and worry was worth it.

 

 

Thank you Caitlin Denman for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, She Awakens today!

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~Synopsis~

In this Young Adult page turner, Attina finds herself in an unlikely predicament when it’s uncovered the normal, human existence she thought she lived is turned upside down. Finding out she’s half Fae not only confounds her, but in a time where the brutal Fae run the world she is suddenly tasked with bringing the Fae and humans together.

With the help of her trusty, and somewhat snarky steed Raven, Attina sets out on a mission to save the human race from extinction. As she continues on her mission, she discovers powers beyond her wildest dreams.

In a world where it’s tricky to discern who’s good and where the evil really lies, Attina finds herself in one predicament after another, not knowing who to trust except for Raven. As her journey unfolds, her strength and will are tested.

Will she ever be strong enough to bridge the gap between these two worlds?

 

Caitlin lives and grew up in Southern California with her family and her three
horses, three dogs, and a cat. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a bachelor’s in agribusiness.

Caitlin is a debut author and her first book is a YA Fantasy called She Awakens
which is available now at Amazon and is a part of kindle unlimited. She Awakens is a
coming of age story about a human girl and her journey, with her sassy talking horse Raven, to take on the Fae King.

Besides writing, she loves training and competing on horses. She has competed
in barrel racing, breakaway roping, team roping, and mounted shooting. She has owned and ridden horses since she was twelve-years-old.

Caitlin would love to connect with each and every person who loves her books.

http://bit.ly/LinktreeCaitlin


Interview with an Author Featuring Jodi Gallegos

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Jodi Gallegos! Author of The High Crown Chronicles.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve used writing as my primary form of creative expression for as long as I can remember. I was the scriptwriter for a 3rd grade play–fired because I wouldn’t compromise my story-telling for the sake of a “short play”. Sadly I never considered I could be an author until I was in my 30’s. At that point I began to study the craft and the business so I could seriously pursue being a published author.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

 I love to keep a project journal on hand. It’s a very basic notebook (sometimes a thematic appearing journal) in which I keep all my plot and character ideas and notes. I will print images from my project Pinterest boards and decoupage them on the cover of the notebook (or inside if it’s a fancy journal). That way all my images are right there with my notes. The notes inside are chaotic, but as much a I’ve tried a more organized method, this is what works best for me—and I have an awesome keepsake when the book is done.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I cry–sometimes a lot. I’ve had to kill characters that I feel deeply attached to and no matter how many times I’ve read the passage, I still cry when they die. When I’m writing, I try to stay in the emotional mood of the project, so I’ll watch very dark, moody programs and listen to angry music. When the project is over, I have to reset from the deep emotions. I’ll binge-watch The Office or Friends and crank happy music to balance myself out again.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written seven. Four are published (with another coming soon!). The High Crown Chronicles is my favorite. Maybe because it’s the book I spent the most time with. From the first word to publication was about 8 years of writing, editing, revising, and re-revising.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

I do so much world building before I even start to write. My starting point is very early on—when the story is just a thought. I’ll journal and brainstorm all the aspects of the characters, setting, and plot line. I love doing research, so I’ll spend weeks to months researching every aspect I can think of to enrich my story: location, foliage, currency, construction, diet, clothing, folklore. I like to have meaningful names for my characters and locations, so even if I don’t remember how I came to them, there was always a reason I chose them. I tend to draw from root words, Greek and Latin, and mythology/literature. I also research names to find meanings that reflect what I imagine to be core personality traits of my characters. Before I begin writing, I usually have maps, a playlist of music that keeps me in the right frame of mind, and a Pinterest board of images set up, so I have an image of the world and characters in my head. So, you see, I can really spend a lot of time—usually months—world-building!

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I don’t hear from them as much as I’d like (but I think we all feel that way!). A few have reached out to say how much they enjoyed my books or are looking forward to the next. It’s always a little rush when someone does take the time to reach out. It’s nice and nice things are growing harder to come by lately, so I always try to respond and acknowledge their messages when I get them.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I have a massive tome of Edgar Allen Poe stories and poems. It’s so big I should probably use it for bicep curls after reading.

Describe yourself in three words.

Introverted, awkward, and adventurous.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

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Zoey Deutch for Malory

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Max Irons for Jamis

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Zendaya as Isobel

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A younger, but comparatively intense Johnathon Rhys Myers type for Josef

What advice would you give to other authors?

To keep at it. Consistently work to improve your skill, keep up on what’s happening in the industry, read widely, keep writing, and above all keep believing in yourself. Making connections with others is imperative to doing all of those things. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned about the art and business of writing, I learned from being critiqued by others and chatting with them. Just because someone is still unpublished doesn’t mean their feedback isn’t insightful. And when you do become published, pay it back by helping others: do the free critiques, pimp the books of others, share their good news and celebrate it with them.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I just want everyone to know my books are really good (lol—how could I pass up that opportunity). In all honesty, I just want everyone to know that I’m passionate about my books. I’m not afraid to explore some darker emotions and ideas and each book is a reflection of some part of who I am on some level.

Thank you Jodi Gallegos for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her series, The High Crown Chronicles today!

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~Synopsis~

While the war between the kingdoms grows, the long-forgotten gods are beginning to take notice. And one of them has been waiting for this moment for a very long time…

Malory has survived betrayal, an assassination attempt, and the Battle of Allondale. But months later, with the Unified Kingdoms at war, she is a queen in name only. All she rules is in ruins and her enemies won’t stop until she and Jamis are dead and their lands claimed.

Hidden deep in the forested Argralands, Malory—along with Jamis, Kennard, Katherine, Josef, and Isobel—has been systematically raiding the resources of Roarke and his allies. As Malory and Jamis work to bolster their troops so they can finally conquer their enemies, a new threat emerges that leaves all the kingdoms at risk. But ever-shifting alliances and a broken unification leave Malory questioning loyalties—even among those closest to her. Can Malory build her armies before a devastating loss brings her to the brink of her own ruin?

Queen of the Ruins picks up seamlessly where The High Crown Chronicles left off and draws the reader more deeply into this world of stunning imagery, dynamic characters, and shifting political alliances. A blend of dark, vengeful tone and deeply emotional moments will draw readers through this action-packed novel and leave their hearts thundering until the final page.

Jodi is a YA and Adult author, black belt, and registered nurse. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.

https://linktr.ee/JodiGallegos_


Spark and Ember (Beautiful Dark Beasts Book 2) by Melissa Sercia – My Review

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Title: Spark and Ember (Beautiful Dark Beasts Book 2)

Author: Melissa Sercia

Release Date: April 20th 2021

Genre: Paranormal Romance

When the hunters become the hunted, Arya Frost’s very existence hangs in the balance.

Shortly after becoming the Aether—a witch who can control all four elements—she is running for her life again.

The gods try to curse her, the witches attempt to steal her magic, and the darkness threatens to consume her, but Arya Frost cannot be defeated.

Now the fate of her kind is at risk of extinction.

With the Crescent coven leaders still missing, an ancient society of human hunters, Coven Seekers, has waged war on all witches.

With her love and only ally, the god Chaos, Arya will have to discover how to recover the only family she has left and find a way to stop the Coven Seekers.

But before she can find her friends, and deal with the fallout from the gods determined to keep Chaos from her, Arya will have to face the dark path ahead.

Danger and betrayers lurk behind every shadow, and not all roads lead to a happily ever after.

If you like Lisa Edmonds, Michael Anderle, Hailey Edwards, and Martha Carr, you’ll love this thrilling paranormal romance!

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To say I’ve been highly anticipating this book would be an understatement! The author did not let me down!

Arya’s mission has never been more important as this. Her friends are in danger and she must face every hurdle to save them. There are some fantastic twists in there and some familiar faces. There was one that had me yelling noooo. I love the mixture of mythology and fantasy. I got chills in some parts. A perfect mix of action and magic and some steam. Easily one of my favorite escape reads! That heat between Chaos and Arya…HOT! That ending! 

This was a fabulous read. Everything I hoped for and more! Miss Sercia keeps us readers on our toes and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I highly recommend this series! Do yourself a favor and grab them today! You won’t be disappointed. I give it 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Heart and Seek (The Legacy Book 4) by Luna Joya – My Review

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Title: Heart and Seek (The Legacy Book 4)

Author: Luna Joya

Release Date: March 23rd 2021

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Is their chance encounter a witchy second shot at love? Or just another score?

Ruby Donovan is a lot of things—paramedic, single mom, Legacy witch. The one title she never wanted? Senate heir. But that’s exactly what she’ll become unless she can find a loophole fast. It’s just her luck that the man who steps in to help her is the one who crushed her heart so many years ago. There’s no way she’ll give him a second chance to do that.

Treasure hunter Diego Benitas has no interest in witch politics. But he does have a significant interest in Ruby. He always has. Keeping her safe and helping her find what she’s looking for shouldn’t be too hard. Convincing her to let him into her heart again? That might be the toughest assignment he’s ever faced.

It’s not long before Ruby and Diego realize how much danger their search has stirred up—and just how much they need each other. With enemies closing in from all sides, can they survive long enough to find their way to happily ever after? Or will the odds keep them apart forever?

If you love Michelle M. Pillow, Abigail Owen, K.F. Breene, or K.M. Shea, check out this series that readers have described as a steamy Charmed meets Lucifier with witch sisters solving murder mysteries and finding true love.

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Slow burn. Sacrifice. True love.

Ruby and Diego. These two…all the feels! 

A pull and push between these two, made their passion even steamier! I love that there is history between them. It added more to their story and even more for them to lose. Everything was put on the line. One of the things I love about a Luna Joya book is that there’s a fantastic story along with those passionate moments between characters. I am fully invested in this series! These characters have become family. Secrets and lies are unraveled. Change coming and new possible future is ahead! There are some nail biting moments which had me at the edge of my seat. 

It’s always hard to choose which book is my favorite when it comes to this series. I love all of them but this book just got me right there….you know. In the feels! A huge fan of Luna Joya;s writing as well as her storytelling. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next! I give this 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Interview with an Author Featuring Astrid V.J.

The Literary Vixen presents…

 

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Joining us today is Astrid V.J.! Author of The Apprentice Storyteller.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was twelve, I read a book that started an idea. But before I get to that, I have to acknowledge my mother’s dedication to fostering my love of the written word. By the time I was twelve, she’d already read Lord of the Rings to me. And I wanted more! However, I was also a little sad about the fantastical books I had access to. There were so many wonderful fantasy novels, but almost all the ones I’d read thus far were of white boys. As a girl growing up in multi-cultural South Africa the whiteness of fantasy really bothered me.

So, back to the idea… Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock inspired me to write an African Occult Fantasy series about a girl from Uganda in search of Atlantis. No, I have not yet finished this epic adventure. It has grown and matured as I’ve learned new things over time, and it has a ways to go yet to be ready.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I work best in absolute silence, which is hard to come by in a family with young children.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I compartmentalize  and I focus on what the situation means for the character and how it will make them grow. I often try to get through the writing of difficult scenes in a single sitting so they don’t have to linger.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Thus far, I have published four novels, two novellas and I have two more novellas and two short-stories in the pipeline for this year, as well as a whole host of novels in my two current series. That excludes the Atlantis project, which is a half-written quintet.

Just like with my children, I can’t say I have a favourite. Each of my books is unique, and the characters and their journeys have grown me and made me a better person. They truly are my book babies and I cannot choose one over another.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Are you prepared for the answer to this question? I’ll try to keep this as short as I can 😉

From Fantasy, I’ve been heavily influenced by a range of authors including Tolkien who taught me the value of worldbuilding and developing details that will never be seen in a published book. Phillip Pullman taught me that no topic is too difficult to take on as a writer. If you think its important and feel it will contribute to humanity, write itand set it in a Fantasy setting for good measure. Guy Gavriel Kay taught me the beauty of writing Fantasy and that this genre can be literary, too.

Michael Ende taught me the power of imagination and how to twist even the most mundane thing into a magical concept. J.V. Jones, J.K. Rowling and Ursula K. Le Guinn showed me that girls can, too, and that we have the power to write incredible fantasy. Their writings totally inspired me to keep on writing myself, even when I doubted my craft.

Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters taught me the value in writing about relationships and how we humans interact through society.

Neil Gaiman is my inspiration for quirky, dark twists.

Robert Rankin inspires me to find my funny side. I’m still struggling to put it into writing, but I feel I am improving thanks to this hilarious author.

Margaret Atwood is simply awesome. I love all her books and how she twists things around to make me think about the world we live in. I aspire to write books with great messages thanks to her writing.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I have a core group of die-hard fans who love my work and support me in the most incredible ways. Many have become my beta readers and give me invaluable feedback during the writing process.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

My recent publication, The Apprentice Storyteller, alongside Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart: Daily meditations on the path to freeing your soul, and Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion by Jack Zipes.

Do you have any new series planned?

I have several. One that’s taking shape nicely is The Last Vasa, an urban fantasy set in contemporary Sweden.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

I’d want up-and-coming actors from India and Africa to star in any film versions of my books.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Believe in yourself. Only you can write the book you are writing. The fact you are writing a book already makes it unique because no one else has your experiences and knowledge-set. Trust in that what you have to say is important and will reach the right people.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

All my books engage with key principles of human transformation. I love exploring our human capacity for achieving success in the face of adversity. As a transformational life coach, I love the fact that through my writing I can reach even more people with the messages I teach to my clients. I want to see people succeed and achieve their dreams. That is my calling. And if my passion for writing can help that along, then it makes me happier.

 

Thank you Astrid V.J. for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her books today!

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~Synopsis~

“Set amid an imaginative blend of sci-fi and fantasy, the novel’s fictional universe is vividly realized and will grab curious readers. The book works in thought-provoking themes that will further draw readers in.” BookLife Prize

The Alchemist meets fantasy with a splash of space opera.Viola Alerion, a renowned storyteller in the Haldrian Empire, wants to be left in peace. For years, she’s been hounded by her past, never to find a moment’s rest. Then she meets a boy who wants to become her apprentice. He refuses to take no for an answer, and she reluctantly yields, even though she knows taking him with her could endanger his life. As their journey progresses, Viola begins to understand she’s not the only teacher in the equation. The nameless boy also has something to teach, but Viola makes for a reluctant student.

Can she give way to possibility and embrace a future in alignment with what she’s always wanted? Can she find the courage to embrace the principles that will transform her life? Can she overcome her circumstances and face her past? Or will she keep on running with nowhere to hide?
And what of the boy who guards untold secrets and exhibits mysterious powers that defy belief?

The e-book of The Apprentice Storyteller also includes exclusive access to “Viola’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible”. This workbook to help guide you through the first steps towards achieving your own dream is based on key transformational principles from the DreamBuilder™ Course and is not intended for publication. The workbook is only accessible through The Apprentice Storyteller e-book. The link to Viola’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible is embedded in a concealed place. This is a treasure hunt. Good luck!

This book is accompanied by The Wordmage’s Tales, a series of novellas based on the tales the apprentice learns from Viola Alerion in this story. The Sewing Princess is exclusively available to my newsletter subscribers and The Artist and His Muse and The Last Warrior are available on pre-order.

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Also by Astrid V.J.!

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Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author, Astrid V.J. was born in South Africa. She is a trained social anthropologist and certified transformational life coach. She currently resides in Sweden with her husband and their two children. In early childhood, she showed an interest in reading and languages–interests which her family encouraged. Astrid started writing her first novel at age 12 and now writes fantasy in a variety of genres, exploring her passion for cultures and languages. When she isn’t writing, Astrid likes to read, take walks in nature, play silly games with her children, do embroidery, and play music.

Astrid writes transformation fiction: incorporating transformation principles in novels, rather than writing another self-help book. She loves exploring the human capacity for transformation and potential to achieve success in the face of adversity. Astrid is interested in minority group questions, considerations on social standards of beauty and the negative consequences these have, and would like to make the fantasy genre accessible to people of non-white, non-Christian backgrounds. Astrid feels the fantasy genre has become too restrictive with limited representations of race, ethnicity and culture. She seeks to explore other paths on this writing journey, incorporating her background in anthropology and psychology to create engaging experiences, which also provide food for thought on the diverse topics she finds most important. These include: racism, minority rights, cultural diversity, culture change, intolerance, humanity’s environmental impact, the representation of people on the autism spectrum in among the general populace, the human capacity for transformation, and much more.