New Release · Review

The Sylvan and the Sand: A Standalone Enemies to Lovers Fantasy Romance (The Book of All Things (Kingdom of the White Sea) by Sarah M. Cradit – My Review


Title: The Sylvan and the Sand: A Standalone Enemies to Lovers Fantasy Romance (The Book of All Things (Kingdom of the White Sea)

Author: Sarah M. Cradit

Release Date: May 10th 2022

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Marry your enemy. Dare to survive.

From the USA Today Bestselling Author of Kingdom of the White Sea comes a new series of standalone fantasy romance tales set in the same vibrant world: The Book of All Things. Disappear into this scintillating tale of mortal enemies forced into a perilous, passionate marriage.

Yesenia Warwick artfully dodges her father’s talks of marriage, set on proving she is just as capable as her brothers. Her three loves—kin, homeland, and independence—are all she needs.

Corin Quinlanden suffers under the cruel contempt of his ruthless father and brother as they scheme and plot from their castle in the trees. He’s given up wishing for happiness. A strategic marriage, far from home, is as high as he dare dream.

But the king of this realm has his own plan.

Everything the gilded Quinlandens have “earned” was stolen from the Warwicks. So when all the leaders of the realm are summoned to a celebration with the king, both houses approach this fete balancing on a sharp blade’s edge.

But the king’s celebration quickly turns to horror. The lords and ladies can only watch, helpless, as the devious king masterminds a series of marriages between their children, spinning the kingdom into chaos.

Brash, fearless Yesenia Warwick is now the unwilling bride of tender-hearted Corin Quinlanden. Neither her silver-tongued wit, nor her unmatched skill with daggers, can erase what has been done.

The choice ahead of her is simple, but impossible.

Embrace her dangerous new life in the den of her enemy, or send the kingdom to war.

Just when I think Miss Cradit has broken me for the last time, she writes a new book and the process happens all over again. This book captivated me from the start. I knew after reading the prologue and first chapter, I wouldn’t be the same.

So many events, both tragic and harmonious happen in this tale of enemies to lovers. There is a certain event that happens and the author has given you a first row seat. As it unfolds, you’re powerless to stop what’s happening. The characters are very well written. They always feel like old friends. The emotional rollercoaster that is this book is enchanting and entertaining.

If you enjoy epic fantasy tales that make you feel your feels and want to learn how to sword fight, this book is for you. A tale packed with action, intrigue, betrayal, murder, and hope, this book is a must read! Skip adding it your TBR and read it today! I give it 5 stars.

 

Coming Soon · Cover Reveal · Pre-Order

Cover Reveal for She Conquers by Caitlin Denman

 Cover reveal for She Conquers by Caitlin Denman!

Cover Artist: @darkwishdesigns

Releasing on June 14th 2022!

~Synopsis~

Her new powers have risen but can she conquer them in time to take on Henrik and become the reigning Fae queen?

Attina’s new powers have risen since her Awakening. Now she must battle to conquer them and call them at will. Can she master her powers and defeat Henrik in time to take the throne which is rightfully hers?

Hazel, a strange and mysterious companion shows up to help Allister and Attina dive into the past. They soon figure out, the only way to see their future is to face the hidden darkness of the past.

As Attina’s powers unveil themselves, she finds some hidden wounds difficult to overcome. She quickly learns not all injuries are skin deep. She realizes sometimes the invisible scars are the ones which change us the most. And not always for the better.

The group decides to make their way to the Eastern Fae. When they finally reach them, Attina finds out not everything is what it seems. Secrets are uncovered and battle lines are drawn.

Where you can preorder: https://books2read.com/u/4NjRBG

 

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring D.S. Fisichella

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is D.S. Fisichella! Her debut book Dreamer, released on August 1st 2021.

How long have you been writing?

Eighteen years if you count my first poem written in the fourth grade. At the time I’d only been in the USA for a little over a year and, with English being my second language, I suppose that would make my first shot at poetry somewhat significant. My teacher typed it up and printed it out. I felt so validated. I’ve chased that high ever since.

What gave you that final push to publish your book?

I think it was the timing of everything. From my first draft to the publication date it was a four year process for me. Silly me, I thought it would take me a year. *Rolls eyes.* It started out as a hobby to pass the time and get my mind off my morning sickness when I got too pregnant to work, but it turned into a passion, and… well, a dream. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That I could do it! Up until I wrote Dreamer, the longest thing I ever wrote was a research paper in college. It was ten pages double spaced. I’d published poems and short pieces but never in a million years did I think I had it in me (the patience and otherwise) to take on such a massive project! I learned to evoke emotion, to inspire, to make laugh, or even cry. An author friend of mine confessed that he cried while writing a death scene and he said something like, “it’s strange, isn’t it? To become so attached to something that’s not really real?” To which I replied, “No, it’s not. It’s real to us.”

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

When my readers reach the end of my book, I want them to suspire and make the inner connection that, no matter what they’re going through, there is always hope because their story is not over; 

Also, I want them to know there’s nothing they can ever do to disqualify them from being fully loved, accepted and forgiven by God.

What is the significance of the title?

The title of my book is “Dreamer,” and really, you’ll spend the whole book finding out what it means to the MC, and then you can decide what it means to you. 

The title holds a special significance for me because for twenty years, I identified as a DACA Dreamer, the undocumented child of immigrant parents. 

I won’t give you the long story, but I did eventually get my paperwork in order and became legal through all the right channels, but my life prior to doing so left deep seated scars that went on to sculpt my mental health, and even contributed to trauma and PTSD.

I pulled from all of those things to craft my main character, Elleni Salgado. I also pulled from my support system and healthy coping habits to help her out and set a good example for my reader. For personal reasons, I didn’t meddle in the immigration topic with Dreamer. When people read the story I didn’t want them to see it as the story of an immigrant. I wanted them to just see a girl. A girl like me. Worthy of love, acceptance, and friendship no matter how she got to where she was. 

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

Creative, Loving and Intense. Haha! 

But seriously. Ask anyone who’s known me more than a day. 

What was the highlight of writing this book?

The response! To put something out into the world, namely, your whole heart and soul, you wrap it inside some binding and hand it over to be published… *exhale* is such a vulnerable but rewarding experience. To see that my art has made people think, has made them laugh, or cry, or get healing! Man! What an amazing privilege that is. What a freaking honor! You could say that writing Dreamer was a ruse to get to meet people. Especially young and hurting people like my MC. If I could, I would hand deliver every copy and give each recipient a big hug and gift basket!

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I can’t say much, but the Dreamer story will  pick up and continue! I’m already having mini panic attacks about the subjects I’m being led to write. God and I have exchanged some words. But anyway… that’s how I know it’s going to be good.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Stay true to your vision. You need to believe in your own dream before anyone else can do it for you.

Be patient. Anything worth doing is worth doing well! 

Find your place in the writing community and hang on for dear life! 

When it’s time, publish the thing! Don’t delay! (Just make sure you get a professional edit and cover before you do.)

Finally,

Grow thick skin! ‘Nuff said.

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

I don’t want people to make the same mistakes I’ve made. Be it in my relationships, in my writing journey, or with my mental health, I am always looking to grow, to improve, and to teach others to be better than me.

Everything I wrote in Dreamer, everything I write in my articles, everything I ever write comes from a place of love.

 I am crazy about you!

You are a soul with a body… a mind, a will, emotions all beautifully crafted and marked by the fingerprint of God. 

To those who struggle with their mental health: 

You are worth being well, darling. The stars deserve to see your eyes. If anything I say or do can help you understand how truly amazing you are, how cherished, even in the midst of your imperfections, then I’ve done my job! 

 

Thank you D.D. Fisichella for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Dreamer today!

~Synopsis~

On her thirteenth birthday, Elleni Salgado lost her childhood friend to a devastating tragedy. The years have passed and despite the gaping hole of loss in her heart, Elleni seems to have found comfort in her hilarious Hispanic family, a wacky southern counselor, and her faith in Christ.

Now a talented songwriter on the verge of seventeen, Elleni is plagued by nightmares which send her running to “The Spot,” her childhood haven. It is there that she unexpectedly meets the handsome Julian Rossi, a young drug dealer convinced he has no reason to live.

When Elleni’s youth group makes plans to embark on a road trip to Grace Place Camp, one state away, she thinks it the perfect place for Julian to find the answers he’s been looking for. But she will have her own truth to dig up, a secret that, until now, she thought had been buried four years ago…along with her best friend.

D.S. Fisichella is an award-winning poet and bestselling author of the Young Adult Christian Fiction Novel, “Dreamer” and a member of the Saint Pete Arts Alliance. D.S. writes articles about faith, dating, and mental health, and she’s a mentor to teens and young adults. When she’s not singing, writing, or attending her home church, she can be found making memories with her husband and their two adorable children. D.S. reads all of her reviews and she loves connecting with readers!

(Website, Articles, Dreamer on Amazon and more)

https://dsfwrites.carrd.co/

Website: dsfwriter.com

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Joanna Reeder

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Joanna Reeder! Author of Imitating a Fae Queen (Raven Court Book 1) and the Kindle Vella series, Courting Fae Thieves and Crowns.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Born and raised in Utah. I live with my husband, three littles and a cat named after one of my characters. I love leisure bike rides, kayaking, playing my guitar and Dr. Pepper.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was in the 4th grade, my teacher encouraged me to enter a story in the Reflections Contest. So I wrote and submitted and won first place in my school. I’ve loved to write ever since!

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I know I’m not alone in it, but I’ve trained myself to write in short 15-20 minute bursts. I’ve had to with little kids. I know some authors need huge blocks of time to write. My best writing time is also in the afternoon. Not the early morning or late at night. I haven’t found many writers with that schedule.

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

I step away. I go on a walk or for a bike ride. I give myself space from it so that when I come back to it, I can look at it through an objective eye as I edit.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

The constant back and forth between being proud and surprised at the books I wrote, but also the imposter syndrome that can hit at any time and feeling that I’m not good enough or that I’m “pretending” to be an author.

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?

The characters. Once I’ve gotten to know my characters and their quirks and backstories, the plot comes together from it. A lot of times, the characters determine the plot.

Let’s talk about Kindle Vella. Tell me about your experience with it.

I have loved kindle vella. I think the thing I love the most is that my readers get to experience the story in almost real-time as I do. Sometimes I write a bit ahead, but I’m rarely more than an episode or two ahead of what is currently live. With books, I experience the story all by myself for weeks and weeks, then after tons of edits, etc, etc, and the final book launch, by the time my readers get to experience my book, it’s already “in the past” for me. 

My story Courting Fae Thieves and Crowns on Kindle Vella has also been my favorite story I’ve written so far. Of course all of my stories are my babies, but this one has a lot of my heart in it!

Describe yourself in three words.

Loyal, Spiritual, Kind

Do you have any new series planned?

I’m still finishing up my Raven Court series (3 books and a novella are out and I’m working on #4) After that, I’m not sure. Part of me is watching and waiting to see how Kindle Vella goes. I have several stories running through my head that could work well with Kindle Vella.

What advice would you give to other authors?

No writing is wasted. Even that scene you cut because it doesn’t work, or those first few drafts of anything. Every word counts because it helps you learn to be a better writer. And as with anything, practice makes you better.

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

I love storytelling and I want my stories to be accessible to anyone. So all of my books are 100% recommendable. I don’t write steamy, or gore, or foul language, so you can recommend my books to your daughters, co-workers and grandmas.

 

Thank you Joanna Reeder for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her books today!

~Synopsis~

They say I look just like her.

They say I could save the realm if I pretend to be her.

But I’m just a human girl and refuse to leave my life to save their precious Raven Court. 

My boyfriend, Sterling, might be a fae, but I want nothing to do with Faerie. Luckily, he promised never to take me. But when his painfully gorgeous brother, Tien, shows up and says I look identical to their missing High Queen, I’m asked to go with him to prevent Faerie from sinking into chaos.

When I refuse, I’m kidnapped.

As I’m forced through the portal to Faerie by the brooding Tien, he promises my captivity is only temporary. If I can convince the Raven Court their beloved queen is alive and well, he’ll take me back home. But while I’m pretending to be her, dark secrets surface. I try not to care, but realize I might have the power to change an injustice that suddenly means so much to me… even as a fake queen.

Faerie is magical and cruel, full of wonder and madness. But it isn’t my home. And yet, it feels so familiar…

Torn between two different worlds, I’m forced to consider: where do I truly belong?

Imitating a Fae Queen is perfect for fans of The Iron King and The Vampire Diaries. If you love brooding fae captains, terrifying water horses, and best-friend romance, you’ll love this page-turning fae fantasy.

Imitating a Fae Queen is Book One in the Raven Court Series by USA Today bestselling author, Joanna Reeder.

Joanna Reeder is a USA Today Bestselling author who takes readers time traveling through dreams, shifting into fantastical creatures, and tossed into Faerie. Her fantasy stories always have a dash of romance, leave readers turning pages long into the night, and eager to recommend them to their daughters and grandmas and coworkers!

When Joanna isn’t writing, she enjoys bike rides and kayaking with her hubby and kids, vacations at the beach (with a book to read, of course!) and learning new songs on her blue electric guitar.

She’s a believer in the paranormal (seriously, she has stories) and her motto is, “A Dr. Pepper a day keeps insanity away!”

Three FREE stories by signing up for my NL: https://joannareeder.com/getmyfreebies

My kindle vella story is also on my patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/Joannareeder

https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B07B2CK51M

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17736350.Joanna_Reeder

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/joanna-reeder

https://facebook.com/joannareederauthor

https://facebook.com/groups/joannasdreamreeders

https://instagram.com/joanna_reeder

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring D.L. Boyles

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is D.L. Boyles! Author of the Twisted Tales: Crown of Roses.

What inspired you to start writing?

Honestly, I have always enjoyed writing, and anyone who knows me will agree that I’ve always liked to tell stories or even just retell events with a bit of extra-ness. I have had a lot of friends over the years tell me I should write a book, but I blew them off. Then, when our daughter, kid number three of four, started having bad nightmares, her counselor told me we should turn them into stories and change the ending. Suddenly, I found myself creating these elaborate retellings of her nightmares which could have absolutely been fairytales of their own. When I had a whole collection of stories, I wrote them down and used pictures of our kids as “illustrations” for a homemade storybook. My oldest daughter said I should turn some of the stories into an actual story for other people to read. It was a good idea, but I had no idea how to go about that. The idea kept rolling around in my head, though. Finally, my grandma was sick and we knew she didn’t have much time left. For most of my life, my grandma sang her praises of my ability to write, and I thought, “I need to do it while she’s around to know.” Thus, I reached out to an author I admire greatly for some advice, researched more on my own, and I sat down one day and started writing. I had my first book published in time for my grandma to at least know and tell me how “tickled” she was that I’d done it. Sadly, she didn’t get a chance to read it, but I will never forget the little squeal she had when I told her it was a tangible thing. Now, my husband inspires me to keep going, so I am continuing to write.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I don’t start with an outline. Instead, I just start telling my story to my kids during van rides, and I decide that it is either way too ridiculous to be any good, or I come home and write it out on a legal notepad, scribbling and crossing out things as I go. Most of it is me writing down questions like, “Why would he do that?” “This is not smart.” “Confusing.” “Ugh.” Then, I sit on my exercise bike and really hash it out. By the time I’ve ‘ridden’ fifteen miles, my thighs are a little tight, but I’ve got the basics for a decent scene in a story. Just one scene. Then…Yes, then, I make an outline. It is a bit backwards, and I’m sure it may not work for everyone, but in my mind, it’s the only way to begin. Also…I must have coconut water or water—or both—and a glass of hot tea in order to sit at my computer and feel ready to be productive.

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

Well, in my Twisted Tales:  Crown of Roses series, I was dealing with a lot of emotional stuff, and I really took it out on my characters. I figured if real life wasn’t going to give me that final saving grace which made everything turn out perfectly fine, my fantasy characters needed to have a bit of turmoil even they couldn’t get out of. I put Eira through the emotional ringer, for sure, and she lived out as much of my emotions as I did hers. Some of my readers have cried over the series while others said they saw it coming. My editor, Lisa, refused to speak to me for about a day because I made her ‘ugly cry.’ To let out my emotions, I listened to music while I was doing my final edits, and I found myself feeling. To this day, “A Little Bit Yours” by J.P. Saxe makes me think of Phillip and Eira. They have a whole playlist, to be honest. So, I poured my emotions into my book, its characters, and had a bit of an outlet through music which went along with it. Sometimes I tell the cat just how ridiculous things are, to which she replies with lots of purring, or I have to take my mutt for a walk to get any residual emotional moments out.

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

I have four books published so far. One trilogy is complete and the second is in the works. Honestly, my favorite is the second book of the series, Twisted Tales:  Crown of Roses, titled “Broken Curse.” It is my favorite because of The Wilds, Balthoron, and Lord Colden. Balthoron and Lord Colden are two of my favorite characters in the series, but Balthoron is my fave just because he is a drow and that’s a fantasy race which doesn’t get a lot of attention in romantic fantasy. His personality is so different from mine, I am still shocked by how he evolved from my own brain. When I reread the book, I couldn’t help be impressed with him…and, by default, me, which is something I have posted on my website…lol

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Oh, I definitely have to give some credit to a few authors, honestly, and they’re a surprising list. First, I delved into the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon long before Sam Heughan brought Jamie Fraser to life. While I would never put myself on par with the literary genius of Diana Gabaldon, her dedication to perfecting the story has always inspired me. I’m also a serious fan of Scott O’Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins) and Jack London (Call of the Wild) who took realistic events and turned them into fiction. During college, I was studying mythology, and the book World Mythology by Donna Rosenberg introduced me to a world of myths and legends I hadn’t experienced before. Those works have inspired me to look at the reality of life and consider how those realities could translate into a story or to even consider how people with limited technology could seek to form answers within the confines of their own understanding. Blows my mind. Then, one day, I found a book by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison with a map—which I’m a sucker for—and they drew me more firmly into Romantic Fantasy, and I’ve been a fan ever since. While I’m more in line with fae and magic wielders than they are, they were still a huge influence on me, and Robin was the author I reached out to when I started considering my options for writing. Sylvia Mercedes rocks my world. I don’t know how that woman cranks books out the way she does, but man, I’d like to drink from whatever well she’s drawing from.

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

I love when the readers post things on my Facebook page like pictures of their copy of my book with comments about how much they’re liking it. The fact they took the time to not only comment but to take an artsy, pretty picture makes me feel amazing. Some readers send me private messages and want to talk about specifics of the characters which is super fun for me. Those characters took up residency in my brain for a long time and still live on in my head, so I am all in when it comes to talking about them with readers. I also have a few local fans who I see periodically, and when I do, I get really amped up by their excitement to tell people about me and my books. Literally, my face gets stuck in a permanent grin that actually starts to hurt. Some of my favorite comments, though, are from people who say they didn’t consider my genre as something they wanted to read, but that they really enjoyed my book and couldn’t stop reading the series. To know that I impacted them in such a way that they were able to enjoy something they had reservations about, makes me feel like I did it right in the storytelling arena. I love interacting with my readers, and I ask my readers questions and for their input on my Facebook author page. In the series I am currently writing, I had a lot of readers who gave me ideas for a character name. I was only looking for one name, but I got so much feedback, I felt I had to utilize it all. Thus, in the Twisted Tales:  Kingdom of Stones series, I am putting every single one of those name suggestions into the books. Whether it be the name of a trusty steed, a main character, or a simple soldier, it went into the series somewhere. I want my readers to know that I appreciate them and their interaction with me, so I felt it was important to utilize all of their name suggestions. I even gave them a shout-out in the first book of the series’ dedication page. Some of them really thought that was cool.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

Literal book? There isn’t just one. Diana Gabladon’s Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone is sitting there next to the bed along with Joy:  A Study of Philippians by Deb Burma and A House with Four Rooms by Rumer Godden. However, I’m on my Kindle app so much that I don’t get very many hardcopy books anymore. I am addicted to huffing books, though, like a deranged junkie, so don’t think I’ve gone too tech and won’t go back to the good stuff. My current read via Kindle is Lisette Marshall’s Velvet, and I just finished up reading an ARC for Meredith Hart’s Heart’s Rescue. Meredith Hart is another one of my faves who inspires me to try a little bit harder.

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

Oh, wow. That would be so fun. Beyond fun, really, and I honestly picture the story in my head as a movie, so…here goes. Eira, the lead female in the Crown of Roses series is spunky, powerful, humble, and a bit sad. I’d cast the role with Sophia Bush who could definitely put some power behind it with that extra touch of emotionally detached feminism. Audora is a very young, pampered princess who discovers life in a harsh way, and I’d peg Halston Sage as someone who could pull it off rather well. The three male leads are a bit more challenging. I’d pick Chris Wood (Vampire Diaries) as Prince Phillip just because he has that overall look of a polished royal with a potential dark side. Patrick Flueger could definitely pull of the cocky but reserved Lord Colden. Balthoron would be a hard one for me because I’d be really picky about who portrayed him. If I had to narrow it down, though, Henry Cavill or Christian Bale could pull the look off rather well. To be honest, however, I’m certain there’s a not-so-well-known male actor out there who could bring Balthoron to life better. Maybe more people will have to read the books and let me know what they think.

What advice would you give to other authors?

To other authors? Wow. I feel like so many authors are out there doing better than me, so I have very little advice for them, and I’d be afraid to sound full of myself if I tried. For those new authors, though, or the aspiring ones, I would say…write it down. That scene, that moment, that interaction between characters that you’ve been picturing for days, weeks, months, years…write it down. And don’t just outline it, but actually write it and give life to the characters who live it. Then, build your story around that moment, because when you realize that your characters are ‘real,’ you can much more easily picture who they are, how they got to that moment you wrote about, and how they’re going to move past it.

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

I have no qualms telling people things outright, but I don’t usually tell them my honest, deep-down feelings unless they very specifically ask. I’m a broken, emotionally withdrawn person, so when I write, it is my way of expressing my softer, more vulnerable emotions. In real life, I don’t share that side of me easily. So, the thing I want people to know about my books is that when I write, I put self-expression into characters or into the overall story, because it is something I’ve never told someone before but wish they knew. When readers open one of my books, they’re getting some secret part of me that I’ve never spoken outright, but each person will be left to discover something different than the next. Thus, I enjoy writing and get personal satisfaction out of being ‘understood’ when someone notices little nuances here or there or when they look deeper at a character and what that character didn’t do or say. Readers will find me in each book, a new something about me even in the tropes and common threads.

 

Thank you D.L. Boyles for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her series, Twisted Tales: Crown of Roses today!

~Synopsis~

A sleeping princess, the Crown of Roses upon her head, will rise up and unite the faerie courts against a common foe, and by her side, the warrior of renown…And in her wake…a child of fire and of ice will rise, spelling the end of all others. All of Shadoria will bow to the child of fire and of ice, living peaceably for ten thousand years.

That’s what the legends say.

But what happens when no one remembers the legend?

Outcast and cursed from even uttering her own name, Snow flees her kingdom and The Hunter sent to kill her, to find refuge amongst the mountain dwarfs. She spends years forming a plan to save her kingdom from the curse the evil queen, Isadora, has plagued them with–one which makes them forget the truth. Yet, The Hunter who once pursued her finds her again and thwarts all of her well-laid plans…until she develops a new plan which involves kidnapping the prince of the Summer Court. What Snow didn’t expect, however, was that the prince she intended to kidnap is The Hunter she was trying to avoid…or was she?

Oblivious to the danger she lives with, Audora believes her human life as the princess of Wessix to be idyllic if not for that ridiculous curse the fae prince, Malecinth of the Autumn Court, placed upon her when she was a baby. Thankfully, Merriweather had enough power to at least give her some hope – true love’s kiss could break the spell. Except that means that her mother continually throws parties and thrusts every eligible bachelor within the Human Kingdoms in her direction. When that fails to reveal Audora’s true love, Queen Isadora schemes with the fae, but Isadora has her own plans for finding true love. Thwarted by her mother’s plans to secure true love’s kiss in an ‘acceptable’ match, Audora loses her chance at love and faces a betrayal she never saw coming…and the reality of her curse in endless sleep.Snow White wasn’t helpless against The Hunter and Sleeping Beauty was never meant to be a sleeping princess waiting for the handsome prince in shining armor to come along.

You’ve heard the stories of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, destined to fall asleep and never wake until they received true love’s kiss.

What you didn’t know was that their stories were intertwined and their fates bound together – and their princes were not so shiny, their kisses not so sweet.

D.L. Boyles lives in the Cranberry Capital of the Midwest with her husband, three of their four children (their oldest being a wife and mom, herself), six fish, two fully aquatic frogs, the fastest aquatic snail there ever was, and a cat-dog duo. She spent twelve years in the military where she met a lot of exciting people and visited a lot of interesting places. D. L. holds a degree in Religious Studies with a minor in History. In addition to writing, some of her favorite things are hot tea, coconut water, gardening, taking long walks in nature, planting trees, entertaining friends in her back yard when it isn’t buried in snow or ice, creating fun projects for her husband and son to build (they love that), learning about different cultures, and going on endless reading adventures.

She loves romantic fantasy which is why she writes it, but she also has an ongoing relationship with historical fiction, Westerns, regency romance, medieval fiction, and some contemporary romance. One of her most rewarding things about writing is hearing from readers, so never hesitate to reach out.

Check out the D.L. Boyles Author Website www.dlboylesauthor.com where you can sign up for the monthly newsletter.

Readers can hang out with D. L. Boyles on Facebook on the D.L. Boyles – Author Page www.facebook.com/groups/1404384686572534

Instagram  www.instagram.com/dlboylesauthor/

BookBub  www.bookbub.com/profile/d-l-boyles

Goodreads  www.goodreads.com/author/show/21284258.D_L_Boyles

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/dlboylesauthor

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Ophelia Lockheart

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Ophelia Lockheart! Her debut book, Songbird in a Storm: A captivating 1920s time travel romance (Songbird Series Book 1) released on February 27th 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Ophelia Lockheart, a British author from the south coast of England. I write suspenseful, angsty time travel romance set in 1920’s London, and my debut novel: Songbird in a Storm has just released!

Congrats on your new debut release! How has the new release been going for you?

It has been so incredibly exciting! I’ve been engaging with the writing community and they’ve been so welcoming! I’ve made a bunch of new friends (here’s looking at you Vixen 😉) and I’ve also received a ton of great reviews. Life is so good right now and I can see releasing books becoming very addictive!

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since childhood. My mum was an avid reader and while she’d sit in her reading nook, I’d compile stories to read to her.

Describe a typical writing day.

I start everyday tending to my three completely bonkers children and then while they’re at school I write. I tend to write most of my words in the morning while my brain is at its most creative and then spend the afternoon researching, reading and learning about craft, and also indulging in way too much social media—it’s my vice lol!

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Songbird in a Storm is set in the 1920s and I’ve loved this period since a school GCSE art deco project I did way back in… (well, a very long time ago 😉   

I draw inspiration from everywhere. Songbird has been likened to Outlander and Peaky Blinders which are both shows I love (though my youngest watches a lot of Peppa Pig so I’m really hoping that annoying piglet doesn’t infiltrate my creative brain lol!). 

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

The importance of family and community is a thread that runs deeply throughout Songbird in a Storm. When Roseanna finds herself thrown back to 1921she is something of a lone wolf but, as was common in the 1920s, she learns that community can become family. There is a strength in togetherness that runs deeper than only blood.

What is the significance of the title?

Roseanna becomes a pub singer in one of Daniel Alderman’s businesses. The idea is that she’ll help him look for his brother’s killer, and this will place her where she might be able to identify the person responsible. Danny ends up nicknaming her Songbird. Roses is caught up in a storm as soon as she arrives in 1921. She witnesses Danny’s brother’s murder and there are other problems that were prolific at the time such as drugs and organised crime. Not to mention Danny is London’s most ruthless gangster.

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

Introvert, caring and a bit morbid!

What was the highlight of writing this book?

I just loved learning about the customs and details of this period. Like, where the saying ‘piss poor’ came from. Funeral customs… did you know a person would actually watch over the dead until they were buried? Or, as a self confessed foodie, the things people  would eat. Tongue sandwich anyone? Lol! I feel like I’ve learned so much and have tried to make this book as richly detailed as possible while still delivering a romance that will make your heart swell.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I just finished the second book in this series, Captive Songbird, which will release next month 🙂

What advice would you give to other authors?

Keep going! Holding the finished book in your hands is like no other feeling.

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

They’re angsty! This book is crammed full of tension on every page. If you have a heart condition… don’t say you weren’t warned 😉

Thank you Ophelia Lockheart for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Songbird in a Storm today!

~Synopsis~

“If you loved Peaky Blinders and Outlander then you’re in the right place.”

Enemies become lovers when a modern woman is ripped from her life and thrown back to the roaring twenties where she must learn to navigate gangsters and organised crime if she is to survive.

London paramedic, Roseanna Chapman, has her hands full. But when she is cast back in time and witnesses a murder, she finds herself stranded and in danger.

In 1921, Daniel Alderman’s a feared and ruthless gangster. He must rely on Roseanna to find his brother’s killer, but with her hiding so many secrets, can he trust her?

The two connect as a race against time ensues, but as their feelings intensify, so does the threat against Roseanna’s life.

Can they navigate time and tragedy together or will their love become another cautionary tale of days gone by?

** A perfect book for fans of Diana Gabaldon, Mariah Stone, Trinity Dunn, and Diana Knightley. **

One click now to enter a riveting world of romance, secrets and the quest for home.

Ophelia Lockheart lives in south England with her two dogs, husband and three children.

She’s a huge fan of powerful, cranky men with hearts-of-gold and chivalrous values who’ll do anything for the sassy, independent women who own their hearts.

With plenty of suspense, swoon-worthy storylines, and enough sizzle to set your hearts on fire, you can rest assured that if you’re reading one of Ophelia’s books, you’re putting your time into just the right tale!

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Feature · New Release

Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence – New Release

 

Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence is now available!

~Synopsis~

A journalist in nineteenth-century New York matches wits with a serial killer in a gripping thriller by the prizewinning author of the Ian Hamilton Mysteries.

New York, 1880. Elizabeth van den Broek is the only female reporter at the Herald, the city’s most popular newspaper. Then she and her bohemian friend Carlotta Ackerman find a woman’s body wrapped like a mummy in a freshly dug hole in Central Park—the intended site of an obelisk called Cleopatra’s Needle. The macabre discovery takes Elizabeth away from the society pages to follow an investigation into New York City’s darkest shadows.

When more bodies turn up, each tied to Egyptian lore, Elizabeth is onto a headline-making scoop more sinister than she could have imagined. Her reporting has readers spellbound, and each new clue implicates New York’s richest and most powerful citizens. And a serial killer is watching every headline.

Now a madman with an indecipherable motive is coming after Elizabeth and everyone she loves. She wants a good story? She may have to die to get it.

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Shari Nichols

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Shari Nichols! Her series, Ravens Hollow Coven is available now.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

First off, thank you so much for having me here, Laura. 

I live in NJ with my husband near a beautiful 50,000 acre park. We’re now empty nesters so we enjoy going there whenever we can. It’s my sanctuary. We do a lot of weekend trips with friends now. Take me out for a nice dinner and a glass of wine and I’m good to go. I can’t wait to start traveling again.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes and no. I’ve always loved to create stories, but I never imagined I could have a career as a writer. I wrote for the school newspaper in both high school and college. But I went to school for business. It wasn’t until I took some time off from work to raise my family that I decided I wanted to write.

What time of the day do you usually write?

I like to start first thing in the morning, but when I’m deep into the story, it’s whenever I can get the words on the page. I like to do sprints.

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

Quite a bit. Okay, Laura, I may be breaking the fourth wall, but here goes. The first thing I do is create character charts to find out more about who my characters are, when and where they were born. Their sun signs, what they look like, their personality traits. I also ask what they want. What’s their conflict? What happened in their childhood and what wounds did they endure? What about past loves? Then I tie their wounds into the plot and do a short chapter by chapter outline. I include turning points like the first time they kiss, when they learn to trust each other, when they realize they’re in love. I include the black moment and the climax that leads to the HEA. 

I change as I go because sometimes things come up. I never stick one hundred percent to the outline. And when I get stuck, I call a writing friend and ask for help, which is more often than not.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

Wow, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. I can’t! I loved writing each book for different reasons. My first book, HAUNTED is loosely based on my friend’s real life experience with a ghost. I was riveted by the story and found it compelling, I knew I had to write about it someday. I did quite a bit of research for that book and learned so much about the spirit world. As for my Raven’s Hollow series, it’s all about the witches, the vampires and he demons. Think Practical Magic meets Supernatural. I love anything to do with magic. I’m a huge HP fan so these books have been thrilling to write.

Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

Do I have to name just one? I love Kresley Cole. She’s a genius world builder. I got to meet her at an RWA conference in NYC. She was absolutely lovely. I also love Christine Feehan. She’s an amazing writer. I love Nora Roberts. I also got to meet her at an NJRW meeting and loved her humor!

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

I do hear from my readers, but of course I’d love to hear more! Maybe you can help me out with this, Laura! ☺I’m humbled beyond words when I get an email or a FB message from a reader that says they loved a book or a character and want to know about my next release.

Favorite book when you were a kid.

I loved all of the Nancy Drew books. I read everything from Judy Blume. Her books are honest and raw. They got me through those awkward middle school years.

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

Curious, goofy, passionate.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I’d say join a critique group. Send your work out to beta readers. Submit to publishers, agents and contests. Get feedback. Don’t reinvent the wheel by creating a genre that no one has ever heard of. You always want another set of eyes on your work before you submit. You want to make sure you’re putting out the very best work you can. Go to writer’s conferences and meetings. Talk to other writers and network. Enter contests. Read books about writing and read everything in your genre. Keep striving to get better and try not to compare yourself to anyone else. You’re on your own journey. Be consistent. Try to write every day and put the distractions aside. Use a timer and have fun.

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

All of my books are loosely based on real events and inspired by real people. Book one in my RH series, MIDNIGHT DESIRE is loosely based on a chilling crime story that took place in London, England in the nineties. I set it in a paranormal world, made my heroine a witch and turned the story into a romance. In book two, MIDNIGHT TEMPTATION, my hero’s a vampire and was inspired by my grandfather’s struggle to get out of Europe after he awoke from his funeral and climbed out of his coffin. In book three, MIDNIGHT CRAVING, (out this July), my heroine’s backstory is based on a childhood friend who suffered sexual abuse. Book four in the series, AFTER MIDNIGHT (out in October) is a novella, and the only book in the series that doesn’t have a suspense element. It’s just a light, whimsical, sexy read. 

As for me, I’m starting an MA program in creative writing this summer and looking forward to this new adventure. I’ve outlined a three book contemporary series, Love in the City about three best friends from college navigating friendships, careers and love while living in the Big Apple. I’m excited to get started on book one. 

Thank you for having me, Laura! This was so much fun!

Thank you Shari Nichols for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her series today!


~Synopsis~

When tarot card reader Gillian Howe hosts a supernatural speed dating event, she’s hopeful to discover her chance at love.

Making the perfect match is her passion. Too bad she can’t find one for herself.

A chance encounter with a wealthy vampire soon finds her plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds, and human escort rings. She’ll need help to survive, but the vampire detective is the last person she wants…even if he is scorching hot.

Garrett Mulroney has dealt with his share of the supernatural. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law.

The fact that the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation doesn’t bode well. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case.

But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness.

Now they’re forced to put their differences aside and go undercover by pretending to be a couple. The more time they spend together, the more Garrett wants her in his life—and in his bed.

Will they be able to develop the love and trust needed to take down the Brotherhood or become its next victim?

If you like Hailey Edwards, Lisa Edmonds, BR Kingsolver, or Jennifer Blackstream, you’ll love this paranormal romance with mystery, magic, and suspense!

BookBub | Goodreads

Shari Nichols grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common places, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, going to the gym, or hanging out with family and friends. 

Shari’s a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers. Shari’s new series,   Ravens’ Hollow Coven, is an urban fantasy with City Owl Press. 

Awards:  New York Book Festival Honorable Mention, Reviewers Choice Award for Best Book, Reviewers Choice Award for Best Series, Beverley Award, Golden Leaf Finalist For Best Book, Golden Leaf Finalist For Best Book by a New Jersey Author, HOLT Medallion Finalist, Literary Titan Silver Medal Winner.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sharinich

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/shari_nichols/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/shari_nich

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9851324.Shari_Nichols

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/shari-nichols

Website – http://sharinicholsauthor.com/contact.html

Review

The Midnight Lie (Forgotten Gods Book 1) by Marie Rutkoski – My Review

Title: The Midnight Lie (Forgotten Gods Book 1)

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Release Date: March 3rd 2020

Genre: LGBTQ+, Fantasy, Romance

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski’s The Midnight Lie is an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves.

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down, and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away, who whispers rumors that the High Kith possess magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

This is one of those reads where you’re unexpectedly surprised at how much you end up loving it. The beginning of the story you meet Nirrim. The story is slow moving, along with a feeling of despair. Nirrim lives a life that is hard. No dreams or even hope can change that. Then one night everything starts to change for her. At that point the story slowly blossoms into one of adventure and curiosity with a slight hint of danger. Vivid scenery and debauchery was easily pictured in my mind, thanks to the incredible writing talent of the author. There are some twists and secrets. None of which I saw coming and I loved that. I wasn’t expecting that ending. Mind blown. 

This book was unputdownable! The story was fascinating and refreshing. It left me wanting more! Marie Rutkowski is a new to me author. I can’t wait to read the next book or any of her future works. I highly recommend this book! I give this 5 stars.

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

Coming Soon · Review

Remember Me: A Novel by Estelle – My Review

Title: Remember Me: A Novel

Author: Estelle Laure

Release Date: March 22nd 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age

Remember Me is an astonishingly bold young adult novel from Estelle Laure, the critically acclaimed author of This Raging Light and Mayhem

If you could erase all of your painful memories, would you?

Blue Owens wakes up one day with the strangest feeling that something is very wrong. Everyone’s acting weird and she’s found a note in her closet telling her to get on the Little Blue Bus at 7:45, which she does, meeting up with the exact person she was supposed to avoid: Adam Mendoza. Even though she has no idea who he is, something about him is so familiar.

When she confronts him, the truth is revealed—Blue has paid to have her memories removed, and Adam is one of those memories. As Blue struggles to piece together her history, she is torn between her desire to know why she would do something so drastic and her fear of what she will find.

Remember Me is the bold and beautiful story of a girl who must find the courage to face the demons of her past and reclaim her loved ones—even if it ruins her.

This was a different and interesting read. It’s starts off with Blue heading to school. Yet something feels off. She finds a note and has no clue who could have written it. From there the story progresses as Blue sets out to find out what happened to her. My heart did hurt for her. There’s a lot of heavy moments. If only it were that simple to simply forget. While there’s a lot of deep scenes, there’s some lighter ones which gives you a sense of hope. Like the sun coming out after a cloudy day. 

After finishing, I took some time to sort out my feelings. On one hand, I enjoyed it. There’s a really good twist and of course that ending. On the other hand, I had mixed feelings on how certain things played out for Blue. I won’t spoil anything. All I have to say is read it for yourself. I give this 3 stars.

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