Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Magaidh Dunbroch

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Magaidh Dunbroch! Her debut book, A Voice like Shadow and Brimstone (The Vermilion Witches Series Book 1) released on March 23rd 2022.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have always wanted to be an author. I would write stories from a young age that my parents would plaster all over the fridge haha

What about the genre you write in interests you most?

I love the world building. I write Fantasy and having a fantastical world is crucial to the story so that you feel transported to that place and can immerse yourself into it.

What was the first fantasy/story you remember reading?

I really remember my mum every night would read us Harry Potter. We would wait all year long for each new book release and every night she would read us 1 or 2 chapters before bed. She would also make us read 1 chapter outlaid to help us with our reading skills and that is my favorite memory.

Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?

My favorite thing about being a fantasy author is that I get to create creatures that most people have never heard of. An upcoming creature from my second book of A Voice like Shadow and Brimstone is a Slitherbeast. Its kinda like a snake, but comes from the Underworld. So yes, I write myself scared frequently!

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

My favorite character is Gaelyn. He is everything I wished my true love to be. He’s the perfect mix of brooding bad ass and love addled romantic. He is the God of the Underworld and has a petty cool job he takes very seriously.

Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?

My books are based on Greek myths. They are re-imaginings but I twist them. They end up featuring women who have been wronged and become stronger for it.

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies? 

I think every writer at one point or another writes from experiences they know. I have put quite a few of my experiences into my books that range from sexual assault, to confidence issues, body dysmorphia, things that most readers can identify with in one way or another.

Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can share with us?

So we’re from Scotland and when we were younger my mum would take us all over to different graveyards and we would play and take spooky pics. We would always play a game of who could find the oldest headstone and that person would win. Not really a Halloween story since everyday is spooky for us hahaha

What advice would you give to other authors?

Just write. Write one sentence that is in the genre you want to write and build off of that. Sometimes we get so scared, or over-research ideas that we get lost on those things. While they’re important, actually writing is the only thing that is going to get you going. Set a timer or calendar reminder and write for one or two minutes. That is great progress and from there you will probably write even more than you were hoping.

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

My debut novel, A Voice like Shadow and Brimstone features a twisted reimagining of Hades and Persephone. All of the future books I will publish feature characters in this novel and every book after it is a little piece of a bigger puzzle. There are Easter eggs in each book that give an overall bigger picture to the world I built, The Faedoroth. If you like strong women, handsome men. Capricious Gods, adventure and spicy interactions then books by Magaidh Dunbroch will not disappoint!

Thank you Magaidh Dunbroch for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her debut release, A Voice like Shadows and Brimstone today!

~Synopsis~

Andraste has always been content to wander the Faedoroth in loneliness, helping her fellow Mortals. One thing she has never had is companionship, no matter how hard she tries to form bonds. Being the only known Mortal to harness magick has set her apart and created a dangerous reputation for her in the eyes of the Fae Gods.
When the Fae Gods descend on her home, she is thrust unwillingly into a world of intrigue and danger that she has never experienced or had to navigate through before. She must find out how to overcome the shackles of her past to save their future before the Fae Gods use her as a pawn in their deadly games.

Magaidh Dunbroch is an amazingly well aged witch of 536 years. It’s surprising she looks as youthful as she does considering she lives on sarcasm and pop tarts and since bathing in the blood of enemies is frowned upon. There is speculation that she indeed invented the weave of magic but for now she is immensely content being a fantasy author. She lives with her handsome devil and wee beasties in Alaska, haunting the woods with her shadowborn creatures and scaring polite society.


Amazon: https://amzn.to/3e3FWN9

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-voice-like-shadow-and-brimstone-magaidh-dunbroch/1141401034?ean=9798201167974

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/books/search/term/a+voice+like+shadow+and+brimstone

New Release · Review

Faded (Starbound Book 2) by K.L. Bone and Greg Wilkey – My Review


Title: Faded (Starbound Book 2)

Author: K.L. Bone & Greg Wilkey

Release Date: April 28th 2022

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Stars dim, darkness rises, starlight shines anew.

***

Heartbroken after the events of Fallen, Rosalind returns to Oxford, unaware of the dangers which stalk her. Cloaked in shadows, secrets hidden in her unrelenting dreams hint at a perilous destiny to come.

Haunted by the same nightmares—and determined to reclaim Rosalind’s heart—Zeke embarks on his own journey to England. But the journey is rampant with danger as those who serve the faded are determined to keep them apart at any cost. And Zeke is not the only one vying for Rosalind’s hand.

Meanwhile, Ursula continues to unfold her sinister plot, one which may see darkness conquer all.

A tale of stars, destiny, and darkness.

Once again, I was wowed by the fascinating storytelling of K.L. Bone and Greg Wilkey. As soon as I started reading, the real world melted away and soon I was in Zeke and Rosalind’s world. The chemistry between the two is scorching and magnetic. One of my favorite characters from the first book is back and we learn a lot more about her and her past. Lots of things are put into motion and when the ending finally came, I was left speechless and heartbroken. These are good things, trust me. Once you read these books, you can join me in my book hangover.

I look forward to and not so patiently for the third book. This is a highly must read and should be added to your TBR today! I give this 5 stars.

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.

 

New Release

Of Shadows and Crows (The Blood Assassin Book 1) by Aimee Shaye – New Release

Of Shadows and Crows (The Blood Assassin Book 1) by Aimee Shaye is now available!

~Synopsis~

To be a Sister of the Assembly is a birthright, but to be an elite assassin is a legacy.

Bria Allen is not an ordinary vampire. She is a Sister of the Assembly of Shadows, a coven of vampire assassins who hunt rogue vampires and leave the crows to feast on their dead bodies. It is Bria’s dream to become an elite assassin and walk in her parents’ shoes. Until one day, she discovers the truth.

The Assembly of Shadows isn’t what it seems.

Sava Herstoj, High Priest of the Assembly of Shadows, is the real rogue vampire. He has been plaguing the minds of assassins for years, trying to create a world where humans are mindless thralls and ritualistic sacrifices, instead of living in harmony.

It becomes Bria’s personal mission to stop him at all costs and face the hardest decision of her life: standing up to Sava Herstoj and bringing shame to her family or keeping her secrets to herself. No matter which one she chooses, everyone has something to lose.

Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, and other retailers: https://books2read.com/u/4DR8ke

 

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Candace Robinson

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Candace Robinson! Her newest release, The Bone Valley: A Romantic Dark Fantasy released on October 13th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

I started actually writing stories in 2016, but I always knew I wanted to write. It was just a matter of actually getting the words down! Sometimes it takes a life-altering even to get someone in gear which was my case.

Describe a typical writing day.

Oh boy! So, I normally do my writing during the week when my daughter is at school and I’m a morning writer by nature. At night, I can edit, but it’s harder for me to try and fish out creative things from inside my brain. When I’m working on a book, my goal is to get a minimum of two thousand words a day down. If there is more than that, then that is a bonus!

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

So for my dark fantasy things, I draw a lot of inspiration from old horror movies like Bride of Frankenstein or Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro. And then I love romance so anything from Ten Things I Hate About You to Pride & Prejudice, then merge all these things together in on big witchy cauldron lol.

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

Another toughy but a goody! I have so many but out of my published books, probably Lark from Lyrics & Curses. I just really love her snark and the fact that it’s 80s and she likes all the cool things. Plus, she is just so there for her love interest, Auden—in all the ways he needs.

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

I’m generally okay with fantasy, so I think maybe the hardest scenes I’ve ever had to write was in one of my contemporaries because in Avocado Bliss, it deals with diabetes which my husband has. And in Hearts Are Like Balloons, the MC lost her dad, the same way I did. But even then, I loved writing those because they felt real.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco which I seriously hope to read soon because I loved the first book so much!

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

Here’s where I’m totally bad! I haven’t technically written a direct sequel with the same MC throughout. Most are companion sequels. I take that back because Bride of Glass and Shadowed By Despair did have a same MC, but new MCs were also introduced! However, I would love to write a long series with the MC if I could! So I guess I keep my series fresh by having new MCs.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Anxious. Creative. Nostalgic.

What advice would you give to other authors?

You can’t work with a blank page. So put some words down!

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

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

 

Thank you Candace Robinson for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, The Bone Valley today!

~Synopsis~

An unexpected and addictive NA Stand-Alone Fantasy Romance.

He’s a lover. She’s a thief. A magic like no other will bind them together.

After the death of his parents, Anton Bereza works hard to provide for his younger siblings. Love has never been in the cards for him, especially after desperation forces Anton to sell himself for coin. And he has no idea that, beneath the city of Kedaf, lies a place called the Bone Valley.

When Anton’s jealous client plots against him, he is cursed to spend eternity in a world where all that remains are broken bones. There, Anton meets Nahli Yan—a spirited woman who once tried to steal from him—and his cards begin to change. But as the spark between them ignites, so does their desire to escape. All that stands in their way is the deceitful Queen of the Dead, who is determined to wield her vicious magic to break Anton and Nahli apart. Forever.

Perfect for fans of Kingdom of the Wicked, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The Bone Valley is one delicious romantic fantasy filled with swoon, enemies to lovers, and unique magic that you won’t want to miss!

Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words and hoping to one day find her own DeLorean time machine. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, watching classic movies, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas—where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next.

Website: http://authorcandacerobinson.wordpress.com

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/candace-robinson

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/literarydust/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/literarydust

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16541001.Candace_Robinson

Review

Of Shadow And Ember (The Heirs Of Elaerys Book 1) by Shana Vernon – My Review

Title: Of Shadow And Ember (The Heirs Of Elaerys Book 1)

Author: Shana Vernon

Release Date: September 15th 2021

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror

Murder. Vengeance. Betrayal.

Fire is in their blood.

Three sisters torn apart by grief, centuries-long war, impossible choices, marriage, and death.

Survival is the only way forward, and to save their kingdom, they must unite with unlikely allies, put aside differences, accept the parts of them they kept hidden deep within, and find their way back to each other.

Or be vanquished by their enemies.

Aish protects the brave.

If you like books by Sarah. J. Maas, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Laura Thalassa, and Holly Black, you’ll love this adult fae series.

Shana Vernon’s debut into the epic fantasy genre is utterly seamless. Of Shadow and Ember sparkles with energy that grabs you the minute you enter the new world. Bravo!!! Please take a royal bow!

I give this 5 stars!

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

New Release · Review

The Hidden Kingdom: Kingdom of the White Sea Book 3 by Sarah M. Cradit – My Review

 

Title: The Hidden Kingdom: Kingdom of the White Sea Book 3

Author: Sarah M. Cradit

Release Date: July 27th 2021

Genre: High Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

The perilous and provocative world of Kingdom of the White Sea, by USA Today bestselling fantasy author Sarah M. Cradit, comes to a startling conclusion in The Hidden Kingdom.

A kingless crown will fall. A crownless kingdom will rise.

It all began with a desperate demand from a broken crown. Four brides. Four Reaches. Unquestionable and absolute fealty from the mothers and fathers who were given no choice but to comply. A startling sequence of events followed, with stunning repercussions that reached across the entire realm.

Now, the king is dead. The would-be brides have forged their own destinies—some for the better, others for worse. Not all who started this dance will finish it. Those left will wear the lingering scars with a mix of pride and remorse.

From his stolen throne, Oldwin rules with a hand that grows shakier by the hour, as his once unparalleled magic dwindles. His grasp on power is reliant upon his truths remaining hidden by the shadows, just beyond the reach of the fraught kingdom.

But Oldwin is not the only powerful sorcerer in the kingdom. There are others who would see the terrible circle of their traitorous past come to a decisive end. Their moonlight maneuvering saved the life of Dain Rhiagain, and from his line the last sprig of hope remains: a chance to save the kingdom… to save all the worlds.

Dain’s three children, each raised in obliviousness, must now prepare to confront the staggering truth of why they were born, and what they must now do, if the kingdom is to survive the final days ahead.

But theirs is not the only sacrifice required. The dying words of an old man will stir one man and his Reach toward a new destiny, one that will decide the fate of all the worlds…

Sarah Cradit masterfully crafts a series that has changed the expressive style of epic fantasy! Weaving magical words and worlds, leaving readers spellbound.

This tragic, haunting, alluring, and magical series has come to an end and its bittersweet.

What a journey this series has been! I’m not ready to let go. I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters who have become friends. We have been through so much! The roads traveled, horrors endured, death, most of all, survival. All of that has led us to the end.

This series is addicting! I highly recommend it. Skip adding it to your TBR and read it NOW! I give this 5 stars.

New Release

The Hidden Kingdom: Kingdom of the White Sea Book 3 by Sarah M. Cradit – New Release

The Hidden Kingdom: Kingdom of the White Sea Book 3 is now available!

~Synopsis~

The perilous and provocative world of Kingdom of the White Sea, by USA Today bestselling fantasy author Sarah M. Cradit, comes to a startling conclusion in The Hidden Kingdom.

A kingless crown will fall. A crownless kingdom will rise.

It all began with a desperate demand from a broken crown. Four brides. Four Reaches. Unquestionable and absolute fealty from the mothers and fathers who were given no choice but to comply. A startling sequence of events followed, with stunning repercussions that reached across the entire realm.

Now, the king is dead. The would-be brides have forged their own destinies—some for the better, others for worse. Not all who started this dance will finish it. Those left will wear the lingering scars with a mix of pride and remorse.

From his stolen throne, Oldwin rules with a hand that grows shakier by the hour, as his once unparalleled magic dwindles. His grasp on power is reliant upon his truths remaining hidden by the shadows, just beyond the reach of the fraught kingdom.

But Oldwin is not the only powerful sorcerer in the kingdom. There are others who would see the terrible circle of their traitorous past come to a decisive end. Their moonlight maneuvering saved the life of Dain Rhiagain, and from his line the last sprig of hope remains: a chance to save the kingdom… to save all the worlds.

Dain’s three children, each raised in obliviousness, must now prepare to confront the staggering truth of why they were born, and what they must now do, if the kingdom is to survive the final days ahead.

But theirs is not the only sacrifice required. The dying words of an old man will stir one man and his Reach toward a new destiny, one that will decide the fate of all the worlds…

Books2Read.com/TheKinglessCrown

Sarah is the USA Today and International Bestselling Author of over forty contemporary and epic fantasy stories, and the creator of the Kingdom of the White Sea and Saga of Crimson & Clover universes. 

Born a geek, Sarah spends her time crafting rich and multilayered worlds, obsessing over history, playing her retribution paladin (and sometimes destruction warlock), and settling provocative Tolkien debates, such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf’s personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, she’s been to over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration, and is always planning her next adventure.

Sarah and her husband live in a beautiful corner of SE Pennsylvania with their three tiny benevolent pug dictators.

https://linktr.ee/sarahmcradit

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

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!

paintcover.2

~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

Review

The Chronicles of Benjamin Bright: The Cursed Blood (Darkling Rising Book 1) by J.S. Craig – My Review

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Title: The Chronicles of Benjamin Bright: The Cursed Blood (Darkling Rising Book 1)

Author: J.S. Craig

Release Date: June 16th 2020

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tale

This is the beginning of the story of the life and adventures of Benjamin Bright, a young darkling hunter of legendary lineage haunted by ancient prophecy in the world of Feydom. A place of wonders and terrors, where fairytales, magic, and mythology bends and warps reality in unexpected ways. And the plots and schemes of wizards, warlocks, and demons cut a swath of terror with blood, treachery, and arcane power. Setting young Ben down a dark path of epic adventure full of monsters and the supernatural as he reluctantly takes up the mantle he was born into, and dives into the deadliest depths of betrayal, love, madness, murder, and mayhem to discover the truth of his destiny.

The Cursed Blood © is the debut of a bold modern reimagining of Arthurian legend that begins a fresh new series in the worlds of Feydom.

5-gold-stars

Phenomenal world building! Fantastic! Exhilarating! Unputdownable!

The world building this book has is phenomenal! From the story to the characters, I was in awe. Right from the beginning I was pulled into a different world, where magic and mystical creatures actually exist. The characters range from grey to evil and I love that. This is truly a dark fantasy read, which made my little black heart sing with joy! Some of the scenes are not for the faint of heart. The author has an incredible ability to describe something so nightmarish, that will give you the chills. Maybe even haunt your dreams. I was there for it! Bring on the horror! The journey you begin at the start of the book will have twisted and changed so much, that you’ll find yourself at a loss and heading to your next destination. Book hangover town here I come!

This is a fantastic debut from this author. His storytelling and writing is superb and I highly anticipate what comes next from him. If you’re a fan of fantasy with that touch of darkness, this book is for YOU! Skip adding this to your TBR and one click it today! You won’t be disappointed. I give this 5 stars.