Category Archives: Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring C.C. Solomon

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is C.C. Solomon! Her newest release, Dark Hauntings: A Paranormal Times Novel released on July 20th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

 I’ve been seriously writing for about ten years but I first started when I was in middle school.

Describe a typical writing day.

You know, I don’t think I have a writing day. Since I work full time, I fit it in where I can get it in. Usually writing on my laptop on the couch or bed, listening to music or with cartoons on in the background.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Everywhere. I am a daydreamer. Certain situations can inspire me. Also I love anime and k dramas so I get inspired by those as well. And I’m a big time reader so I get inspired by other authors. If you want to learn how to be a better writer, reading works like Stephen King can be not only good entertainment but educational.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

I think Fran has become my favorite. My latest release, Dark Hauntings, is the second time she’s featured, although she’s done some cameos in other books in my Paranormal World universe. She’s tough, says what’s on her mind and is fearless. However, she is also able to self reflect and course correct should she fail.

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

I’m not sure I have a special way of dealing. The emotional impact is part of the ride of it all. I try not to make negative events in my books without a bigger purpose but going for “the feels” is part of the fun! And I love it as a reader.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

Yep, I’ve provided you with the links. I’m mostly on Facebook and Instagram. Right now I’m just on stalker status on Tik Tok lol.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

I’d like to think I have a unique perspective. Growing up, there were no books in urban fantasy with BIPOC as the leads. Usually such characters were written as “the other” and were one note. I’m glad to write in something culturally different, including certain lesser known folklores like I did in Dark Hauntings, to a degree and incorporate my love of super hero shows, anime and K dramas as a unique mix.

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

Right now I’m in the middle of writing the sequel to Mystic Realms. So we are going back to the world of faeries and elves but still in this post apocalyptic world.  It’s more paranormal romance than urban fantasy but that’s also a favorite genre of mine.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Keep writing. You can go back to fix things but finish the novel first.

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

That I’m passionate about it and I like to write what I want to read and I hope that shows.

 

 

Thank you C.C. Solomon for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Dark Hauntings today!

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~Synopsis~

In a post-apocalyptic world full of monsters and demons, living without a memory is a dangerous thing.

Hi, my name is Francesca Ross and my life sucks right now. I’m a faerie who doesn’t remember her life beyond five years ago. I used to be a top-ranking warrior faerie but now I’ve become a homeless, unemployed loser with no plans for the future. I was supposed to be a big-time faerie queen with my own unseelie court by now. However, my approval ratings in the fae world aren’t the greatest due to some past infighting, so I’m forced to agree to a ‘special arrangement’ with a popular faerie if I want any chance at winning the throne.

When I get an offer from an arch angel to investigate angel disappearances in a small vacation town in exchange for help recovering my lost memories, I can’t say no. I need all the help I can get. Also, I could use a little vacation from doing nothing. I enlist the help of my friend who I may or may not have had a romance with in my past, half angel/half demon, Felix Gonzalez, along with a not so angelic guardian angel and a temperamental succubus. But of course, nothing is as easy as the deceiving angels explained. Now I’m stuck in a town with a mystery more gruesome than I could have imagined and I’m being stalked by several demonic forces, one of whom could have the answers to my hidden past.

Can I save the day, regain my memories, and win a throne? A girl can try.

Fans of Supernatural and the Kate Daniel’s series may like this new paranormal tale.

C.C. is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and has actively written fiction since the age of eleven. She’s an avid “chick lit” reader and urban fantasy fan. During her days, she works in Civil Rights for the federal government. In her free time, she sings karaoke, travels the globe and watches too much TV… when she’s not writing of course.

Website:    www.ccsolomon.com 

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Facebook page/group:   https://www.facebook.com/authorccsolomon

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Interview with an Author featuring Megan Lowe

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Megan Lowe! Her latest release, Bad Boy: An MM Bully romance (Good Boy/Bad Boy Duet Book 2) released on July 17th 2021.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a massive bookworm, wannabe booktoker, sometimes author, avid sports fan, tea drinker, pin collector, good music advocate, and admirer of good-looking men!

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

Thank you! It’s called Bad Boy and is the second half of my Good Boy/Bad Boy duet. It’s an MM bully romance, set in Chicago, with fast cars, and hopeless boys!

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

Bad Boy is number 11, which is crazy!! I never thought I’d have one published, let alone 11!

My favourite has to be Royal Blue (Sovereigns of Savannah, book 1). It’s my first self-published book, which was a mountain of stress, but it’s 100% the book I wanted to write, exactly as I pictured it in my head. It was probably the easiest book I’ve written, and the one I’m most sure of.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always been a writer. When I was little I used to make up my own newsletter, and distribute it to my parents. I never, ever dreamed I could actually be an actual writer. 

I’m a trained journalist, but never got a “proper” job in that field. It was when I finally gave up on that path, that I started writing fiction. It was about seven years ago that I probably actually realised I could publish a book, either by myself, or through a publisher.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I don’t know about a particular scene, but I can tell you Good Boy was my hardest book to write! The whole thing! I wrote it during covid and my head was all over the place. I didn’t know where I wanted the book to go, who I wanted the characters to be. It was a mess. It’s not a mess anymore, though!

Have you done any book events/cons?

I’ve done a few, both in the US, and in Australia. I did have a few on the books for this year, but I’m unsure if they’re going to go ahead, and who knows when I’ll ever get back to the States, but I’m hopeful things will get better soon!

What is one of your guilty pleasure reads?

I don’t feel guilty about anything that I read, but I will re-read The Deal by Elle Kennedy at least twice a year! And every now and then I think you need a good, crammed full of smut book! Something where you don’t need to think to read it, you just need to enjoy!

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Oh God! Right now I just want to get out of my state! I haven’t left Queensland since March last year! I was supposed to go to Melbourne in three weeks, but that doesn’t look like it will be happening. I also had a big trip to Dallas, New York, Boston, and New Orleans planned last year, but obviously that didn’t happen either!

So, for my sanity, I’d just like to get out of Queensland, but my usual answer would always be New York. It’s my favourite city in the world, closely followed by Nashville.

I’ve also been watching the Tour de France, and the scenery is just stunning! So I wouldn’t mind going back to Paris. But yeah, we’ll start with just going over the border!

What are you currently working on?

Right now, nothing! Self publishing is so hard, and stressful! I’m a worrier by nature, so I always blow everything up to like, a million times worse than it is! So once I’ve put a book to bed, I kind of crash!

In my line-up though I want to tackle the second Sovereigns of Savannah book, Regal Purple. I wrote it the end of 2019 and was about to send it to my editor, but I hated it, so I shelved it! But I think I’m ready to tackle it again.

I also want to write the third book in that series, Majestic Pink. I finally know who Magenta is and she’s slowly starting to talk to me, so I’m kind of excited to see where that goes.

I’ve also got an idea for either a mature YA or NA ménage, and a single-father romance.

I have a lot of ideas, but a love of being lazy and procrastinating! I also hand-write, so everything takes me like, three times as long.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Don’t hand write your books! Lol.

Besides that, read a lot. See what’s out there, how people do their stories, what their stories are about. Figure out what you like, what you don’t like, what you want your characters to be. You need a very clear voice.

In publishing terms? You will need an editor. I don’t care how many times you read your manuscript, or how good at grammar you are, you need an editor.

You also need a good cover designer. People do judge a book by it’s cover. Spend the money, on both things, because they are vitally important.

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

That I always try to put a spin on things. Whether it’s a combination you’ve never seen before, or a sport you’ve never heard of, I always try to be a little bit different!

Thank you Megan Lowe for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest series, GoodBoy/Bad Boy Duet today!

bad boy

~Synopsis~

Cavanugh McLaughlin is a bad boy. He’s tried to be the good boy, the good son, but it’s not him.

Then Connor Siddell came into his world and changed everything.

For a chance to be with Connor, Cav is willing to change.

But in the wake of a life-threatening accident, Cav is forced to face his truths.

Is the accident enough to turn this bad boy good?

Or is it too late, for both of them?

*Bad Boy is book two of the Good Boy/Bad Boy duet and must be read in order.

Bad Boy contains a depiction of suicide. Reader caution is advised.

Megan Lowe is a lost journalism graduate who after many painful years searching for a job in that field, decided if she couldn’t write news stories, she would start listening to the characters whispering stories to her and decided to write them down.  She writes Mature YA, New Adult/Contemporary Romance stories with a difference. She is based on the Gold Coast but her heart belongs to New York City. When she’s not writing she’s either curled up with a good book, travelling or screaming at the TV willing her sporting teams to pull out the win.

Facebook – www.facebook.com/MeganLoweAuthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/meganlowereads

Amazon – www.amazon.com/author/meganlowe 

BookBub – www.bookbub.com/authors/megan-lowe

Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/140185513347307/

Blog – http://2rsblog.blogspot.com

Twitter – www.twitter.com/meganloweauthor

Instagram – www.instagram.com/meganloweauthor

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/meganlowe87

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Interview with an Author featuring Eva Finley

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Eva Finley! Her debut novel, The Sun Daughter’s Gift released November 15th 2020.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m thirty-five, I live in Michigan, which is the ninth state I’ve lived in. I work a full time job and I’m currently taking online classesto get my associates degree in paralegal studies.

How long have you been writing?

I’d like to say since I was fifteen, which was twenty years ago, because that’s the short answer lol, but I realized when I thought about it, I started writing when I was 9. I had this puppet show stand that I set up for the kids in my neighborhood. I sold small bags of popcorn and told a story that I’d made up on the spot. At 11 I wrote a story in middle school based on an idea I got from the shape of someone’s ears, and I mean that in a good way. It wasn’t until I was fifteen though that my writing really took off and hasn’t stopped.

Describe a typical writing day.

I like to pull out all my notebooks and binders that contain information about the book I’m working on. Then I pull out my USB that holds all my stories and pull up my folder specifically for that story. Sometimes I know what I’m going to work on, and others I don’t know until I have everything laid out in front of me. One day I might work on the outline if I’ve got an idea for a new scene, write a scene, go through my story bible and work on my worldbuilding, or type up what I’ve written in my notebooks. I’m usually so focused on writing that I’ll forget to eat something, because I don’t want to stop.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

From everything, everyone, and everywhere. This is not an exaggeration. The first series that I ever wrote, I got the idea when I looked at a skeleton key lock on our old basement door when I was fifteen. A simple word someone says can spark an idea, something I read could spark an idea, like it did for my current book The Sun Daughter’s Gift.

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

That even though you’re afraid of something, because let’s face it, we’re all afraid of something, you shouldn’t let that fear stop you from doing what’s right, or from doing something you want to do.

What is the significance of the title?

Besides the fact this is the first story I’ve written where the title never changed. The title itself is what helps set the story in motion. It’s what the main character receives, I don’t want to give it away, and what she decides to do with the gift that decides what happens.

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

Imaginative, passionate, and a little crazy in a good way, I do write fantasy after all.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Believe it or not, the highlight was when I was completely done with it, I realized that if I added twelve of more scenes that are told from the future, it would make it even better. I knew it was bound to drive me crazy in the process, but if I could pull it off it would be amazing.

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

I’m currently working on a YA magical realism trilogy called The Academy of Elements.

What advice would you give to other authors?

No matter how many people tell you to stop writing, DON’T STOP WRITING. Even if you get rejected over and over again DON’T STOP WRITING. I always tell myself I’ll keep trying until the day I die. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me no, I only need one to say yes.

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

If I keep getting ideas, I’ll keep writing. If someone were to ask me to stop writing it would be like asking me to stop breathing. About my books, that’s a hard one. The one thing the majority, if not all, of my books have in common is that I like to take the world we live in and make it magical, and not necessarily wizards or witches. They make you believe that anything magical could easily be happening right outside your door, you just haven’t seen it yet.

Thank you Eva Finley for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her release, The Sun Daughter’s Gift today!

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BUY LINK

~Synopsis~

One choice, can save the past.

One choice, can alter the future.

Pure light was all thirteen-year-old Claretta Arbogast had to fight the shadows that threatened to take over the Earth. It was the Earth’s misfortune she also happened to be afraid of the dark. Thrust into a battle against Shadow People from the dark side of the moon, she must use the power to create pure light, a gift she received from the Sun’s youngest daughter, to defeat them. With help from Daijon, who has a secret power, Claretta races to light the town against the dark, and save the Sun’s daughters.

Eva Finley’s journey began when she was born in Harvey, Illinois. At the age of eleven she got her first taste of writing. At the age of fifteen it became a passion, and she hasn’t stopped yet. She is the author of The Sun Daughter’s Gift, and has more stories to come.

When she’s not writing you can find her at her full time job. On her days off besides writing, you can find Eva reading, drawing, painting, taking online classes, teaching herself French, or hanging out with friends.

After moving most of her life, Eva has finally found her home in Michigan, though Hogwarts will always be her home, where she’s a proud Hufflepuff.

Official site  www.evafinley.wordpress.com

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/Eva-Finley-Next-New-York-Times-Bestseller

Instagram @thatwritinglife


Interview with an Author featuring K.L. Garrison

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is the husband/wife writing duo, K.L. Garrison! Their debut novel, Almost King: The Rise of Jerik released on February 4th 2021.

Tell us a bit about yourselves.

Well, we live in Texas, have a horde of children, spend as much time as possible in the woods or on the lake. K.L. is Comanche and is actually a tattoo artist as a day job. I’m an editor and publisher and SAHM.

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

Only two so far. Almost King: The Rise of Jerik and its sequel, out in August, Jerik the Unsteady.

K.L.: I don’t think I have a favorite, really. I think maybe Almost King— developing the characters was fun and gave me the inspiration to keep going.

Karmin: I refuse to choose.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

K.L.: When my wife challenged me to write a story… though, when I was younger, I would write stories here and there. I’ve always had the imagination. But, honestly, I probably wouldn’t have written anything without Karmin’s poking and prodding.

Karmin: I write small things here and there— once I wrote a huge 300k dark fantasy and lost the entire file (remember to extra backup your stuff, folks)— but writing has never been my dream. I like the other side of book stuff which is why I’m an editor and publisher.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Can’t tell you that— spoilers. 

K.L.: Spoilers (but really anything dealing with Jerik).

Karmin: Reading what he wrote and then filling in extras almost broke my heart, especially at the end of Almost King.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

K.L.: That’s hard to answer… I’ve always loved history, particularly where there’s not a written history but more oral so we don’t truly know everything like the viking and indigenous histories. It gives more room to build into stories… like, we know Vikings did come to North America and I wanted to see what could have possibly happened between them and those of my culture.

Karmin: *points at K.L.* I do have a short in an antho coming out later this year and that inspiration was just being mad as hell.

What does your family think of your writing?

K.L. & Karmin: They love it. Everyone has been so supportive and it gives greater motivation. The kids think it’s the coolest thing that we both work with or write books. They’re all little bookworms themselves. 

What is one of your guilty pleasure reads?

K.L.: Honestly, I don’t read much fiction. It’s mostly historical biographies and such.

Karmin: I have SO MANY! But I wouldn’t call them guilty pleasures. I just like stories, especially dark ones where the villain has the upper hand. BUT, to name some favorites, All the Ways You Never Loved Me by Rue Volley, House of Deceit by Julie McCord, Being Mrs Dracula by Faith Marlow, Dragon’s Call and Raven Daughter by A.D. Trosper, JackRabbit7 by Sarah Jayne Carr, DragonLance by Weis & Hickman… I feel like I’m doing a disservice to many by not listing more.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

K.L.: I don’t know, really.

Karmin: I like where I am. But if we’re talking vacations, I’d be happy as all get out to just road trip around the country and then visit some friends up in Canada.

What are you currently working on?

K.L.: We just finished up Jerik the Unsteady. I’ve already started formulating the third (unnamed) book for the Tale of Two Nations series.

Karmin: So so many things. Aside from Jerik the Unsteady, I’ve got Indomitable Ink and all the things going on there. Art books, books in indigenous languages, horror, some anthologies… I’m never not busy, honestly.

What is advice would you give to other authors?

K.L.: I guess it would be to try not to overthink it. It seems to play out better if you just write whatever comes first and clean it up later. It may even piss your editor off (*glances at Karmin*) but you’ll get a less forced-feeling, more authentic story if you just roll with the emotions.

Karmin: Be bold but don’t be a jerk. You should absolutely be proud of the work you put out but to ignore the help given you along the way, the opportunities that get you where you’re going, and the people that were just there for you is really gross. There’s no need to act better than others when being grateful and humble will get you where you want to be. And for the love of books, listen to advice given when asked for and take it with a grain of salt.

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

K.L.: That’s a hard one. I always wanted to write something that people would enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Even though it’s a historical fiction, it’s always been my hope that people would read it and think, “This could have happened.” I want people to feel it’s authentic with just enough wiggle room to leave the rest to their imagination. About me? I never wrote and thought to go anywhere big… I only wrote it because it was a story I found hidden in myself and thought “others might enjoy this, too.”

Karmin: I mean, I may be biased but, the books are pretty great… how often do you see something written about natives by a native?! But also… if the only thing you know about Norsemen/Vikings is the show Vikings… maybe don’t use that as a comparison because this is based off actual mythology and history.

 

Thank you K.L. Garrison for chatting with me! I will include their information down below. Check out their release, Almost King today!

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~Synopsis~

Raid.
Plunder.
Take what they want.
They are Austmenn.

Thrive.
Protect.
Live in harmony.
They are Waterfall People.

For these two nations to find peace, all hell must break loose.

 

Growing up as one of the few indigenous children in his town, K.L. always looked for ways to share his culture and heritage with those around him and learn from them in return. Sharing stories has been a way of life for many and to be able to share his stories with the world has been a lifelong dream. He deeply believes that teaching and sharing cultures breaks down stereotypes and brings the world together, often telling children, “Although you may all look and speak different, you’re who your god made you and you should not be afraid to be yourself.” 

K.L. lives in east Texas with his family. When not writing, he spends his time with his children- the most important people in his life. Being outdoors is close to K.L.’s heart and walking through the forest, hunting, fishing, working with horses, or building a new project are favorite hobbies of his, though K.L. has never been one to turn down a good video game, either.

IG: a_tale_of_two_nations_series
IG: runs_from_bears_tattoo
IG: the_real_editor_chick


Interview with an Author Featuring A.D. Trosper

The Literary Vixen presents…

 

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Joining us today is A.D. Trosper! Her latest release. Chosen: A Mature Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance (Raven Daughter Book 3) release on April 27th 2021

Have you always wanted to be a writer? 

I’ve always written stuff, but I don’t think I ever really saw myself as a writer until I actually published my first book. And even then, I don’t think I really felt that way for a long time. Maybe not until my second or third book. It’s complicated. I mean, I was a person who wrote stuff, but was I actually a writer, could really call myself that. Wasn’t that reserved for names like Robert Jordan, Steven King, Nora Roberts, and the like. Now I’m generally okay with thinking of myself as a writer, but I still come down with Imposter Syndrome on occasion.

What time of the day do you usually write?

At night. I’m a total night owl. I don’t mind mornings, as long as I’ve been awake all night when it gets here. But I am so not waking up to see it unless there is no way around it. And then I will grump about it.

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

I’m a total pantser, so there is no before I start writing. The story rolls around in my head until some sort of a somewhat cohesive ball forms and then I take that and throw it at the wall. Some of it sticks, most of it morphs into something different, and I’m constantly surprised by what happens and what my characters encounter. 

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

I don’t know, all of them in their time. But if I had to choose, it would be a toss up between Bound by Legend and Betrayed. Both are second books, so the world was mostly set by then, and both came pretty easy to the page. Tears was also a second book but it broke my heart to write that one, I literally cried while typing at one point. 

Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

I have two that run head to head, Sarah J Maas and Karen Lynch. I think they are phenomenal writers and I love all of their books. 

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

I do. Mostly they ask for the next the book and they often tell me they enjoyed one of my books or series’, which is always nice to hear.

Favorite book when you were a kid?

The Heavenly Horse from the Outermost West by Mary Stanton, and also the Drizzt Du’Urden trilogy by R.A. Salvatore, Monster by Christopher Pike, and Remember Me by Christopher Pike. I can’t narrow it down any further. 

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

Weird, goofy, loyal.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Write. In the end, no matter what happens with sales, advertising, etc, the words we put down on the page are the only thing we have control over. Too often we get caught up in all of that forget the love of words that drove us to create stories in the first place. So write, and never forget the passion for creation that started you on this path. 

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

I never know what to say to this kind of question. This is where my introverted self feels like she is suddenly in a spotlight and my ability to answer gets all messed up. About me and my books? I have a real soft spot for soulmates and all of my books feature them in someway or another, even my epic fantasy has them. Let’s see, what else… Um, I like words and my books have them. Lots of them. Which is good because that tends to be the main ingredient in books.

 

 

Thank you A.D. Trosper for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her Raven Daughter series today!

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~Synopsis~

***Raven Daughter is a completed series of three books.

I’m Jo and the death of my mother revealed a whole lot of secrets she was keeping. Like the fact that my sperm-donor father was a freaking angel who couldn’t keep it in his pants and slept with a woman he should never have been with. Or the fact I’m not mortal and would one day be a reaper of souls.

Reaping souls, now there is something I never dreamed I would do, but here I am doing just that. Or at least I was, until souls started becoming Lost. And that’s when things went south.

When I stupidly agreed to help discover what was causing the Lost without reading the fine print first. Now a lot of immortals would like to see me dead because of what I might become. To top it off, I ended up blood bound to a powerful half-demon who is supposed to be a reaper’s sworn enemy. Funny thing is he may be the only one I can trust.

Warning: Although this series deals with angels and demons, there is nothing religious about them. Anyone looking for that within the pages of these books will be disappointed.

**This book is part of a series and ends on a cliffhanger.

 

Writer, mother, ruler of the world inside my head…mostly. I currently work and live on the plains of central Kansas with its gorgeous skies and fantastic storms. I have two sweet dogs and I’m owned by a cat who thinks she is a goddess that should be worshipped. When not reading or writing, I game and garden, I also take care of my large flock of incredibly spoiled chickens who in return, give me rather expensive free eggs.

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

Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/674681856512070

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Twitter – https://twitter.com/adtrosper

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-d-trosper

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Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6104410.A_D_Trosper

Website – https://adtrosper.com

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Interview with an Author Featuring Stacy Bennett

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Stacy Bennett! Her newest release, Call of the Huntress: Corthan Legacy Book 2 released on May 11th 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I was always a reader and a day-dreamer. I’m not a big fan of large parties and day-long exhausting trips. But I do like to spend time alone walking in parks and as I walk I tell myself stories, flesh out characters and their dilemmas. And fall in love with them. Eventually the stories began to want to be told so one day I just started typing.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I don’t make notes about my stories. I mean hardly ever. Not on paper or napkins or receipts or even in notebooks. I just keep it all in my head. I repeat scenes over and over like a favorite trailer until I get them right and they feel like a movie I’ve already seen. At those times, when I’m really getting a lot of good info too fast to remember, I will relent and turn on the recorder on my phone. Then I narrate to myself the scenes and notes and histories. But I don’t generally return to them to listen and type them out. The act of telling myself seems to help keep it in my brain.

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

I always have a box of tissues on hand. 

To be honest, it’s easier for me to deal with the emotions the story itself brings up than the emotions that come from being an “author.” Handing my words, my darlings, to strangers is terrifying. The insecurity is real and very uncomfortable. I’ve always been thin-skinned.  When the anxiety hits, the first thing I do is remind myself why I’m even publishing. I mean I could write the stories and leave them in a drawer. But that wouldn’t be right. The stories want to be told, not hoarded. 

Then I comfort myself about the vulnerability that putting a piece of art out into the world brings up. It’s normal, I tell myself. Lots of writers feel this way, I say. It’s survivable, I conclude. And it is the price of admission to this game of art that seems to have gotten under my skin. So I keep writing and keep putting it out there. Fearfully, bravely, hopefully out there.

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

As of right now I have published two novels, two novellas and one short story. I also have three more full length novels waiting in the wings with two more rough ideas behind them. I don’t know which is my favorite. They all have something I love in them. I have a scary feeling that my favorite book is not yet written. Probably one of my standalones will be it, but for now, like a good mom I will say – they are all my favorite.

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

World-building is a constant thing for me. Especially because it is fantasy, world-building is often essential to the original concept of the story and plot. I know for a fact that a certain plot element in Dreamwalker was the reason I decided I had to write it as a fantasy book. I needed magic to get where I wanted to start. But as I go along, every place my characters go, everyone they meet has a spirit all their own, a unique imprint based on each individual history. World-building is the only way to determine that history, necessary but ubiquitous and subservient to the characters’ needs.

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

Not a lot. I’m on social media but I’m not really forward on social media. 

I have heard from some new fans lately with the launch of Call of the Huntress. And I’m ashamed to admit that when they say they love my stories, it tickles me to no end. It makes me want to quit my day job, sit down and do another 15000 words right then. And not just any old words, but words that will thrill my readers again. That’s what I love most, knowing that they enjoy being in the world I opened a door to.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

Whatever book it is, it has been there for a while. I have found that the best way to “read” a book is to use audiobooks. Because if I have time to physically pick up a book, I should be picking up a pen and writing my sequel. I have a timeline for my next book, and I don’t want to miss it. I know Gravebriar is on the list, A Beast So Beautiful (since I have a definite thing for beauty and the beast stories), and a re-read of Leigh Bardugo’s Storm and Siege.

Describe yourself in three words.

Rebellious 

People-pleasing

Soul-diver

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

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Cara – Emilie de Ravin

Capt Mason Khoury – Ben Barnes

Falin – Chloe Grace Moretz

Archer Tarhill – Liam Hemsworth

Maura O’Mara – Eleanor Tomlinson

Sidonius – Terence Stamp

Bradan O’Mara – John Rhys-Davies

Sorchia – Rosario Dawson

Rebeka – Kristin Ortega

What advice would you give to other authors?

Be aware of your “why.”  Really think about it. Get comfy with the knowledge of what you’re shooting for and why you want to go there, even if it isn’t something you want to share with the world. In fact, sometimes it’s better if you keep that stuff to yourself. Once you do that, everything else will fall into place.

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

I write for my characters, not really for my readers (sorry folks). My stories want to be shared. It’s hard to explain but they want to be out in the world. Like a romantic meet-cute, hanging out on Amazon for someone to stumble upon them, and maybe fall in love with them. Isn’t that what we all want?

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

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~Synopsis~

A scarred soldier, a soul-broken girl and a defiant huntress. Three lives thrown together by fate, bound by destiny, hunted by magic. But time is running out.

Cara is a prisoner. The sorcerer Sidonius crippled her soul so he could one day steal her magic. Secluded in the Black Keep, she knows nothing except obedience and duty. She doesn’t have the strength to leave the sorcerer until she meets the captain.

Captain Khoury is a mercenary kidnapped by Sidonius as food for the sorcerer’s fading magic. An exile with his own dark secret, the captain uses Cara to escape only to find himself bound to her. Is it just her magic calling to his, or something more?

Falin is not yet a Huntress of Foresthaven. Brutal and cold, she is sworn to kill any man who trespasses that sacred forest. When the Mothers give her a task that will mark her as a traitor, she must choose between her old life and a new destiny.

As the three outcasts flee south, Sidonius chases them from the frozen tundra through Foresthaven to the mountain city of Iolair. It will take all three of them to defeat Sidnoius and stop his final spell.

Stacy lives in an apartment in New Jersey, but she’s a nomad at heart. And even though she’s stuck in the hectic wilds of suburbia, she manages to find time to wander the wooded trails and sandy beaches that soothe the soul and spark the imagination. After a challenging few years of financial stress, she is back to writing when she can find the time. Her guilty pleasure is binging Netflix with her daughter. Although she is still chained to a desk for her day job, she aspires to a day when she can spend more of her time writing new tales for her readers.

https://linktr.ee/stacybennettauthor


Interview with an Author Featuring Belle Manuel

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Belle Manuel! Her new release, Of Blades and Shadows (Soul Stealer Saga Book 1) released on June 5th 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve been writing since middle school. I struggled really hard with depression and it was suggested to me that writing might help me. I wrote my first little story for classmates, and then they started paying me to print it out and put it in little notebooks. Then it was passed around the school and became a thing all throughout middle and high school. I don’t know how not to write, now.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have to have my AirPods in. I literally cannot write without them in. When they die, I don’t know what to do and just sit there, waiting for them to charge back up so I can dive in.

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

I’m always very invested in my books. Some of the deaths I’ve had to write really made me tear up while I was typing them. What I usually have to do is have a funny TV show ready and queued up for when I finish the harder scenes so that I can keep from getting too attached or consumed with the story.

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

Officially, I’ve written three complete books: Books one and two of my Twisted Fates trilogy and one book in my Soul Stealer Saga. I would have to say Of Blades and Shadows has been my favorite thus far. I’m sure that will change once I have more under my belt, but right now Arayna’s story is my favorite to dive into.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo are by far the biggest influences on my writing. Maas I have been reading for years, and Bardugo I discovered shortly thereafter. I love Maas’ world building and Bardugo’s beautifully designed characters.

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

Not that much, honestly. I wouldn’t mind readers reaching out, but I’m still early in my career. I’m sure that’ll come as more books are released and more people find my work. I used to get a lot of feedback on my old Wattpad stories, but I’ve since pulled those down as I’m putting more polished work out.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

Nothing right now. I’m in between books. I intend to re-read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo soon.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Sarcastic, apathetic, creative

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

Oh, gosh, I’m so bad at these. I don’t know any modern actors anymore. Uh, I do love Kit Young for my character Zad in Of Blades and Shadows. I think his personality matches Zad’s well. Sujaya Dasgupta would be great for Arayna, too.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Keep honing your craft. Keep reading and perfecting and hustling. It’ll be worth it.

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

I put a lot of Easter eggs in there for readers. Like, a lot. So I’m anxious to see people find them as the series unfold. I also really put a lot of myself into my work. Arayna has my claustrophobia, Evolet has my stubbornness. Other characters have other attributes of mine, and I find that this helps me connect to my stories more easily.

Thank you Belle Manuel for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Of Blades and Shadows today!

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~Synopsis~

After sixteen years of living under the thumb of a brutal slaver, Arayna Gamon is given the chance to be a part of an elite group of assassins—Soul Stealers. Serving only the Dark Throne, Arayna must learn how to use her burgeoning magic to ferry souls to the Underworld.

Raised in the Deep South, Belle is a Sci-Fi and Fantasy author that revels in creating new worlds. She recently moved cross-country to be closer to the publishing world and is an editor for independently published writers. The Twisted Fates trilogy continues with A Reign So Wicked, released in April 2021. 

June 2021, Of Blades and Shadows, the first book in the Soul Stealer Saga, was released! Follow social media to stay up to date on the latest news!

https://linktr.ee/BelleManuel


Interview with an Author Featuring Sherry D. Ficklin

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Sherry D. Ficklin! Her newest release, Kingdom of Shadows and Dust released on June 1st 2021.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a reader. I think it’s an important distinction. I became a writer because I wanted to control the story I was reading. Writing was the natural progression of that.

What time of the day do you usually write?

I try to keep somewhat normal office hours, M-F 9 am to 4pm. But often life has other plans. I try to write at least a little every day.

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

It depends on the story and the genre. I have worksheets that help me flesh out my world, they are especially useful for fantasy/paranormal. Historical is easier.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

Losing Logan was the most fun I’ve ever had writing. Partly because the story and characters are so personal to me, partly because Zoe is so funny. I laughed out loud a LOT.

What book is currently by your bedside table?

The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare. I’m in love with everything she writes.

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

It depends. I don’t get a ton of personal emails/letters, feedback is usually in review form. And honestly, it runs the spectrum from “I loved this so much” to “Wow, you really suck.” That’s kind of the deal when you write. Some people will love it, and some will hate it. You have to have a very thick skin.

Favorite book when you were a kid.

My Antonia. It was one of those read-for-school books, and I thought I’d hate it, but it was really transformative.

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

Rebel.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Just write. Write for yourself. Finish the story. Tell it your way. If you love it, that’s really all that matters.

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

My books are an escape. Writing them is my escape and reading them is yours. It’s not about making a point or conveying some bigger truth. It’s entertainment. That’s all I’m trying to bring to the table.

Thank you Sherry D. Ficklin for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Kingdom of Shadows and Dust today!

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~Synopsis~

A spellbinding fantasy story… and a fascinating world to escape to! ~InD’tale Magazine

As the king’s only daughter, Ava was supposed to be many things; meek, submissive, and above all, silent. While she dreams of fighting alongside the armies of Ankara, she’s forced to hide her identity behind a veil. It seems her prayers are answered when fate intervenes, allowing Ava to sneak away and join the battle. Yet the tides of war turn on her, leaving the young beauty defeated… her hopes shattered. Her only chance at salvation is Callan, a mysterious black wolf willing to risk everything by hiding her away among his kind. But there are some dangers far more ominous than the snapping jaws of a wolf. Ripped away from the brave Turnskins, Ava is imprisoned by the beguiling Shadow King who fills her head with promises of peace and a haze of passion. Forced to choose between her family, the bond she shares with Callan, and the handsome king’s striking proposal, Ava finds herself torn between duty and desire. When an unthinkable sacrifice is required to save all she holds dear, will Ava accept the crushing demands of taking the crown? Or follow her heart to the forbidden touch she desperately craves?

Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

Official website: www.sherryficklin.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.


Interview with an Author Featuring Kala Merseal

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Kala Merseal! Her upcoming release, The Dark Realm (The Guardians of Atlanta Book 4) releases on June 29th 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always loved stories (as I think is every writer’s go-to answer) but I started writing when I was in third grade. I also enjoyed drawing, so I illustrated a little book for my class to read about a dragon that could only blow bubbles in a family of fire-breathers, and in the end saved their home from fire-proof but water-vulnerable goblins! My childhood was filled with trips between my divorced parents, and my mother often moved. I wasn’t able to settle into a home and make permanent friends until my early teens, so I think that came out with my stories as a child. They were often about the hero/heroine finding a way to fit into the world despite some kind of disability or different-ness. Through my teens and into early adulthood, writing and drawing had always been a hobby for me, and I often said that I would find the time or motivation to publish eventually. I didn’t follow through until after my mom passed away in 2019, and I discovered that she had been reading the little journals I used to scribble in as a kid. We were fighting beforehand for about a year, so we weren’t in contact—my stories were the only way to reach me, even if that was the me from years ago. I published first so that I could tell her (or the heavens, whoever was listening, wherever they were) that I did, like I told her I would. I told my husband that I would just be happy to see how readers react to my stories, so that I could imagine how my mother would. Then it became a mission to make it a career.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I’m not sure if it’s interesting, but I have to listen to music while I’m writing! I get the emotions and scenes painted by the mood of the songs, so I often put very specific songs on repeat. Also, coffee. All the time. Though I think this only speaks to my habits while writing. I also struggle writing out of the chronology of the story or multitasking between writing more than one story.

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

Writing is an emotional relief for me, actually. I don’t walk away from the story with their emotions piled up in the corner of my mind—it’s more like they’re dumped with mine. So, when I’m dealing with some particularly dark scene or thoughts of a character, we’re sharing those burdens together. Often, I’m rolling around afterward just thinking about what they’re feeling or experiencing, and I’m always drawn back to the document to continue to spill out more hell. I feel much better afterward and even though my characters might not get relief in the immediate events, I consolidate it with the fact that I’ll resolve their issues in the end. As I love to quote Ron from Prisoner of Azkaban: “You’re gonna suffer, but you’re gonna be happy about it.”

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

I have tons of journals that have stories; some not finished, others not worthy for eyes at all. I’ve probably written near twenty stories. But novels or full-length books, I think only within ten. Most were just ramblings that happened on the fly with no clear ending but they definitely became more coherent as I continued to write (and as I grew up). I think my most favorite (thus far) is The Shadow Curse. I’ve been developing that story for about four years now and only finished the first book last year. It started from a mash-up of a dream and an amalgamation of some story I wrote when I was a kid and evolved from there. The characters are all deep aspects of my inner turmoil.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Cassandra Clare, and (dare I say it) Stephanie Meyer were all huge influences on me in my teens. I used to obsessively read Twilight as a tween (now can’t stand the books or the movies) and that led me to wanting to write my own. Before I hit twelve though, movies like Eragon and Harry Potter influenced my stories and drawings. I think most recently, I’m more influenced by Tolkien and Elder Scrolls lore (a game franchise but they’ve developed the hell out of their stories).

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

I do! I have some hardcore fans that are in frequent contact with me. I’ve been lucky to make a few friends from my readers and I’m so thankful for them. I have such a great response from my readers that I think without them, I wouldn’t have gotten this far in publishing. I think readers really underestimate how much power they have in influencing their authors. It’s hard to create if we don’t have feedback on how well the creation is looking.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I’ve had Six of Crows sitting beside my bed for a while! I mostly read on my phone though. The last book I read earlier this week was Heat by Aprilynne Pike. She was always an influence on my writing, though lesser known to some readers.

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

That would be cool, but I’d rather my book be made into an animation or a comic! That would be amazing. I love illustration and animation and seeing my stories come to life the way I imagine it in my head would be perfect. A dream come true.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Have a thicker skin, keep your pen to the page, and keep writing. I’ve had to remind myself of this often. I think out of all the advice someone could give about the craft of writing, endurance is key. No matter where you’re starting out or how great (or not) you are with writing, if you have the passion for it, you can get better. No one should give up on a passion just because someone else says they suck. People are fickle and careless, and most don’t understand the impact of their words. Most walk away and forget they even said anything to you. If there’s something wrong with your story, dissect it, find the problem, hit ctrl+alt+delete, then move on. Life’s too temporary to get hung up and stuck on minor details.

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

I get so invested in my books. Looking back on The Guardians of Altana, my first finished series as of late this coming June, I think Ara really embodies me. She is every emotion and tragedy I’ve experienced the last few years, so if you want to get to know me, meet Ara. I also learned how to write longer fiction with this first series. I know it’s a little rocky in the beginning. I developed the world as I wrote The Guardians of Altana, so even after Ara’s and Raethin’s story is finished, there will be more to come. I’ve Silmarillion-ed the world and I plan to have many prequel and sequel series to this one.

Thank you Kala Merseal for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out and pre-order her newest release, The Dark Realm today!

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~Synopsis~

They must destroy the last gate—no matter the cost.

Separated after the destruction of the second gate, Ara, Raethin, Cirith, and Zira must find their way back to one another before Aeskrius can cut them down one by one.

The will of the primordial gods lead Raethin to Ara and together, they trek the vast Kava Sil landscape to find the rest of their team. With the help of the foreign guardian of the god of fire, Cirith and Zira regroup with the princess and her commander

The final hours draw near as they race against the Void King’s champion to the final gate. The fate of Thraes depends on them to stop Aeskrius before he rips open the realms.

Kala Merseal is an author of High and Urban Fantasy. Since her childhood, she’s loved writing about fantastical worlds, deep mythologies, epic adventures, and star-crossed love.

https://www.kalamerseal.com/links/


Interview with an Author Featuring A.R. Hadley

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is A.R. Hadley! Her newest release, Moonlight Drive released on May 18th.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I won first place in my fourth-grade class, creating a mystery-themed fictional story, penned poetry as an angst-filled teenager, and even wrote for a local paper for a short time in the early 2000s. However, it was in 2014 that I once again tried my hand at fiction. The inspiration came in the form of years of suppression of my voice — it would no longer accept the silencing it had endured. The two stories themselves, the ones I drafted in 2014, started with two dreams, literal dreams. Cal and Jack were both dreams. Funny, isn’t it? The universe knows what it’s doing. The writing was therapeutic in ways I hadn’t dreamed (lol) it would be. And I loved every minute of it! Even days when I threw my phone across the room in a panic!

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I’ve written all my first drafts on my iPhone notepad using my right index finger — and I’m left-handed. *snort*

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

This is a great question. Everything I write impacts me heavily. I’m not sure I’ve come up with a perfect solution –- or that it’s actually a problem. The draft, rewrites, and editing are the love affair stage of the process: feeling everything, drowning in it, and allowing the experience to heal the places that need love and light. I enjoy meditation. That practice certainly helps ground me. And talking with my friends in the business is also a source of great comfort.

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

I’m about to publish my seventh book, but I’ve written more. My favorite, though… My current WIP is probably my favorite. The Ocean in His Veins. The character, Cal Prescott from my South Beach Connection Trilogy, has his own story — one I originally drafted in 2015. Soon, he will finally see the light of day! He’s certainly my favorite character. However, Moonlight Drive is also at the top of my list because of the amazing experience I had writing it and doing research for it. Books can be compared to children — only in the sense that we don’t pick favorites. But Cal is my favorite … just don’t tell the others. Lol.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Ernest Hemingway, I hope, has influenced me the most. The way he writes men. The way he uses a subtle tempo, leading the reader to a beautiful climax. His dialogue. The way he understands and conveys human emotion. Everything. The Garden of Eden is my favorite Hemingway book. The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls. So many. I also love the short stories The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Hills Like White Elephants.

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

I love hearing from readers. I’m a reader and have reached out to authors so I know what it’s like to be on both ends. Reading and finishing a book can be a religious experience. It’s personal. I love the quote: “Books are like mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

What book is currently on your bedside table?

Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza

Do you have any new series planned?

I’ve not written a series and have no plans to write one right now. The Ocean in His Veins is my current WIP, and it will hopefully be released before the start of fall.

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

Well … Nikki Sixx was the muse for my character Nick in Moonlight Drive. The actor who played Nikki in The Dirt did a fabulous job! I’m not sure who could play Dani. I’m not really up to speed on younger actors. Someone who can sing. Has presence. Can be vulnerable.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Follow your intuition. Read books. Break rules. And have fun!

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

One thing. You’re tough… Right now, I’m loving the quote: “She believed she could … so she did.” I want my kids to see that I did that. That I am doing that! Anything is possible! 

One thing about my books… To “expect the unexpected” — as one reviewer said about one of my novels. Every book I write is different from the next. They all showcase my voice and style but are completely unique stories, sometimes with interchanging POVs. I write soul connections. Love. Sex. Not romance. Expect the unexpected.

Thank you A.R. Hadley for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Moonlight Drive today!

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~Synopsis~

The magazines didn’t do him justice.

Not long after running away from home, Dani Isabella joins Moonlight Drive’s 1985 Live and Wired tour, hoping her long-lost friend, Nick, will remember her.

He’s finally made it — just like he promised. He’s the bassist for one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

Only, he’s reinvented himself and doesn’t recognize his childhood sweetheart. Nicki Quick has been seduced by the decadent lifestyle of the music scene of the eighties, lost in a haze of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. And to Nicki, Daniela is just another chick in a long line of groupies.

He soon finds she isn’t like the other girls, though. Music runs through her veins — it’s part of her soul. She’s a songwriter. A dreamer. A girl determined to make it in a boys’ world.

This is the story of two musicians. A boy and a girl. A man and a woman.

Two people who learn that being lost is sometimes the same as being found.

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A.R. Hadley writes imperfectly perfect sentences by the light of her iPhone.

She loves the ocean.

Chocolate.

Her children.

And Cary Grant.

She annoys those darling little children by quoting lines from Back to the Future, but despite her knowledge of eighties and nineties pop culture, she was actually meant to live alongside the Lost Generation after the Great War and write a mediocre novel while drinking absinthe with Hemingway. Instead, find her sipping unsweet tea near a beautiful garden as she weaves fictional tales of love and connection amid reality.

https://www.arhadley.com

https://www.instagram.com/arhadleywriter/

https://www.facebook.com/arhadleywriter/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCci6BJx_5ZvVkUEqNBswYmw

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMexn8oDb/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/a-r-hadley

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15517905.A_R_Hadley