Review

Of Thieves and Shadows (Twisted Pages Book 4) by Elle Madison & Robin D. Mahle – My Review


Title: Of Thieves and Shadows (Twisted Pages Book 4)

Author: Elle Madison & Robin D. Mahle

Release Date: September 23rd 2022

Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy

A marriage that could save them both. A truth that might destroy them.

And a choice that will break her heart.

All Aika ever wanted was a family — until hers was standing on opposite ends of a war. Trapped between her loyalty to a monster and her love for a man who despises her, she must decide who she’s willing to lose.

And who she’s willing to betray.

Don’t miss this dark Cinderella retelling, where the stroke of midnight could mean the end of everything.

*The Twisted Pages Series wraps up Aika’s story in book four, but don’t worry, Zaina and Einar have their scenes as well! This series does need to be read in order, beginning with Of Thorns and Beauty.

**Content Warning**
Please be aware that this series is intended for adult readers.
Although there is no explicit language, violence, or sexual content, we do tackle dark themes, including history of child abuse and childhood sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, and torture.
While we make every effort to handle these situations in a delicate and non-graphic manner, our priority is and will always be the mental health of our readers.
So please mind your triggers and proceed with any necessary caution. ❤

Oh how I waited for this book! It did not disappoint!

You already know I’m a huge fan of this series. It picks up right where we left off. The danger, plotting, and secrecy leaped off the pages. SO much happens! My emotions were high. My heart was racing towards the end. I had to see it through even though I didn’t want the book to end. I tried reading slowly but when it comes to this series, I always fail. I can’t wait for the next book! I highly recommend this series! Skip adding it to your TBR and just one click them. You won’t be disappointed. Addicted but not disappointed. I give this 5 stars.

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

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring K.D. Miller

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is K.D. Miller! Her book, Dark Burning: A Veracity of the Gods Novel released on November 23rd 2021.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing (English was always my favorite subject in school for as long as I can remember), but never ever thought I could ever write my own stories. About three years ago, a story popped in my head and just would not leave (like I was literally hearing dialogue in my head while I was trying to sleep every night), so I figured maybe if I wrote it down, that would be that and I could get a break from the constant nagging of these characters in my head. But then, I made the mistake of telling a couple of friends I was sort-of-kind-of writing a book—or something that might pass as an excuse for one—and they demanded to see it. They convinced me that it wasn’t complete garbage and that maybe other people would want to read it too and then it just snowballed from there.

What about the genre you currently write in, interests you most?

One of my (way too many) WIPs that has its hooks in me right now is an adult fantasy – think a bit like Harry Potter but for the grown-ups who like…ahem…grown up things. Fantasy has always been one of my favorite genres, no matter what type or what age. I think just the ability to completely escape the real world for a while and be fully immersed in something completely new and unknown and magical really draws me to fantasy over and over again. Writing wise, fantasy is so fun and interesting because there are no rules. Anything can happen, anything goes. There is so much freedom in it and you can really let your imagination run wild.

Haunted house or corn maze?

Haunted house!

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

Oh yeah! In one of my series, the MC has an insane number of powers. Coming up with the variety of ways she could destroy people with said powers and actually writing the scenes down had me questioning the amount of horror movies and true crime shows I watch lol My best friend even commented on a particularly gruesome scene: “How in the hell did your brain come up with this? No, really, I’m concerned…JK (sort of…)”

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

Ahhh this is so hard! I love them all in so many different ways, but one of my favorites is actually a side character from my first trilogy named Bryce. He is definitely not one of the good guys when we first meet him, but something about him just stuck with me and I ended up finding a place for him as the story went on and writing him became so fun. He is such a complicated character and I love exploring his history and seeing how things are never black and white. Things are messy and people are never just good or bad. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good redemption arc.

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

Definitely! I’m always looking into legends and myths for inspiration. I like to put my own spin on things, but I definitely go there for ideas and starting points, especially when I get stuck on the same old creatures you’ve read about a million times (looking at you, fae and vampires…though I do still love them dearly of course).

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

There is always a lot of myself in everything I write (which I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not? lol), but I definitely transfer a lot of my own fears, experiences, etc. into my characters and they are jumping off points of story ideas for sure. Sometimes it’s a big thing, like a fundamental fear of not being good enough (did I mention that I have INSANELY BAD imposter syndrome? Send help…) that becomes a core element to a story and character, and sometimes it’s smaller things, like my fear of snakes or Mr. Clean (Yes, it’s real. Yes, it’s dumb. Yes, it made it into one of my books).

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

For my baby shower we actually did a Halloween costume party (my daughter was born in November, so we had the shower just before Halloween). I went as Juno and my husband was Bleeker from the movie Juno. We have a picture where we recreated the movie cover and, not to toot my own horn, but it’s pretty awesome!

What advice would you give to other authors?

I have no idea what I’m doing and am by no means anything close to an expert, but my biggest advice is just to write. There are so many extra things that go along with having a story to tell these days, but remember that telling the story is the most important part! You can’t do any of the other stuff until you do that, so focus on that first and foremost. Get that word vomit first draft down and then go back and start fine tuning and tweaking to make it something spectacular. After that, start thinking about all the other stuff. 

Also: grow thick skin, don’t take things personally, try to be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem, and lastly, hydrate.

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

I act goofy and tough most of the time, but every time anyone reaches out to tell me they read and enjoyed one of my books my little black heart grows three sizes. It’s just like the Grinch over here, y’all. Seriously, it makes me so happy to hear from readers. So, if you ever read one of my books and are thinking about reaching out DO IT! Please! I love chatting with readers about books…or dogs…or tacos. Just about anything actually. So, come say hi!

Thank you K.D. Miller for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Dark Burning today!

~Synopsis~

You know the story of Hades and Persephone…or do you?

Happily ever after had not been in the cards for Hades and his bride. Persephone, resentful of being trapped in the Underworld, betrayed Hades to his greatest enemy…and wound up murdered in the process. But an ancient prophecy foretold her return, and only then could Hades hope to finally win the war for the Underworld. He’s been patiently waiting for thousands of years, biding his time until her return, dying for the chance to defeat his foes at last…and get a little revenge on his former wife while he’s at it…

Now, he’s finally found her reincarnate in the stunning and deadly Skylar Pembroke. Highly trained, exceptionally stubborn, and oblivious to her past life, Skylar does not take well to being kidnapped by a God…no matter how brutally handsome he may be or how often she’s dreamt of him in the past. Determined to fight fate, Skylar will make life anything but easy for the God of the Underworld.

Now Hades must push aside thousands of years’ worth of anger, forget past wrongs, convince the femme fatale to marry him once more…and stop himself from falling for her all over again in the process…

What could possibly go wrong?

K.D. Miller is a paralegal from South Carolina who finally decided to put all the stories in her head down on paper. She is a self-proclaimed nerd, loves the beach, and truly believes most problems can be made better with tacos. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter, and two crazy rescue dogs. 

https://linktr.ee/kdmillerauthor

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

Review

Of Glass and Ashes (Twisted Pages Book 3) by Elle Madison & Robin D. Mahle – My Review

Title: Of Glass and Ashes (Twisted Pages Book 3)

Author: Elle Madison & Robin D. Mahle

Release Date: July 23rd 2021

Genre: Fairytale, Romance

They say a dream is a wish your heart makes, but what happens when you’re trapped in nightmares?

Aika is playing a dangerous game.

Torn between the loyalties she thought she had and revelations she wishes she didn’t, she will burn the city down to get the answers she needs.

To get the vengeance she craves.

But when the boy from her past starts asking questions that could get them both killed, she is forced to choose between the people she needs to die and those she wants to save.

Even if it costs her the only thing true in a lifetime of lies.

Even if it costs her him.

A Cinderella retelling unlike any you’ve read before, where the stroke of midnight is just the beginning.

*The Twisted Pages Series continues with Aika’s story for books three and four, but don’t worry, Zaina and Einar have their scenes as well! This series does need to be read in order, beginning with Of Thorns and Beauty.

**Please note: This is book three in a series of six books. This story will take you right up to the edge of a cliff, but we promise not to leave you there for long!

This series is truly spellbinding. I was entranced from the first book. Reading Aika’s story was both intriguing and heartbreaking. These authors know how to get you all in your feels. I went through so many emotions while reading. The vivid storytelling and the characters, made for a stellar story. That ending!! I knew to expect it but once I got there, I was like noooo!! 

There’s time to catch up before the next book releases! I’m telling you, this series is a must read. Skip adding it to your TBR and just grab them today. Fall in love with a new series today! You’re welcome. I give this 5 stars.

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

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring K. Rose

The Literary Vixen presents…

 

Joining us today is K. Rose! Her debut, The Prophecy of the Water Sprite released on August 5th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

I literally started writing my first story ever (The prophecy of the Water Sprite) as an April Fool’s Day Joke 2021. I never wrote stories short, long, poems, anything before that. Even in High School when the English teacher asked for a 1,000-word story I drew a picture and turned it in, since pictures are worth 1,000 words. She gave me a C for a grade, but I still consider it a win.

Describe a typical writing day.

I don’t have typical anything days. When I write it is whatever the muse wants me to write, which is why I don’t set pre-orders or deadlines for myself until I am in the editing stages.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I am not sure where all of the inspiration comes from exactly, I just have these ideas that pop in my brain and I run with them. If they come from reading other people’s books, or watching TV shows, or even listening to music; I couldn’t be too sure.

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

I have 2 published books, my Debut The prophecy of the Water Sprite is a Reverse Harem Fantasy standalone, and my second book is a series starter that ended up being a YA Adventure Fantasy, that will Glacially burn its way to an RH eventually. 

I really hate choosing favorites, and I love them both for different reasons, probably since they are so different themselves.

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

I do use a template to plot out my story. I would say that most of the world building and character development happens as I write.

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

Oooof, that’s hard… just three? 

Creative . . . Caring . . . Smart

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

So far my stories have been more light and not too emotional with the sadder or darker side of things. Though I would admit that I cry easily, and did find myself crying at times.

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

I am always working on something. Currently I have a short story that is part of a charity anthology with all the proceeds going to Breast Cancer research, it is a friends to Lovers M/F NA Romance. I have a satirical children’s book about diversity that has a LOT of innuendo. These two projects will be out in the next couple/few months. 

I have a secret shared world project that is mostly outlined and I am ready to start putting words down for that. It will be a PNR Urban Fantasy Academy NA Bully RH … Yeah I know that’s a mouthful. 

My newest release the Elven Prince (released FEB 3rd) will have at least 2 more books in the series, and each can be read as a standalone, or at least that’s the plan. The oracle is the title of the next book, and the third’s working title is “The Dragon” 

I have a SCiFi PNR RH that I have started, and also have a 6K prequel ready to go out into an anthology later this year. 

I also have an RH PNR rom-com that I have started that I hope to get done before the end of the year as well… and I do have at least a half dozen other stories that have partial outlines, that will be pushed out into next year or later depending on how much time I get this year. 

I also have some low content journals and diaries that I made up, just to alleviate my need to be creative, those are on the ‘zon now, and I have a few more that I haven’t finished yet too. But the best of them all is the 24 month reader’s journal that I created for people that like to keep track of things like reviews and quotes…and when there is just a need to meditate or zone out there are coloring pages mixed in as well.

What advice would you give to other authors?

The best thing I can say is “You are good enough” 

And it may have a bad connotation to it when others say Shameless Self Promotion … but do it! Everywhere you can and don’t be ashamed, because its that one more reader that finds your promo that tells everyone … or that one more promo that starts a viral trend . . . you never know when or if it will happen but you will NEVER know if you don’t try.

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

I write what comes to mind. I will not write what the market wants. I will not be apologetic with what I write or change it to fit what the genre or trope is “supposed” to be. This is Fiction, and as such my creativity is what feeds it. If I make things up, or bend the supposed rules that’s all in my originality, and I hope you end up liking me more for it rather than opposing the differences. Also, I will not be a single trope author. I will write in Reverse Harem, Male female, menage, Young adult, bordering on erotica (but probably never erotica), children’s books with silly rhymes, and whatever else my creative mind wants to spill out. So come along for an epic ride!

 

Thank you K. Rose for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her release, The Prophecy of the Water Sprite today!

~Synopsis~

Our kind has been enslaved by the Fae for as long as this kingdom remembers. They need us to keep water in their kingdom flowing, without it, their kind would surely all perish, as not even the powerful Fae have control over the waters that feed life to everything. Somewhere along the line, they all lost that ability, as if that element revolted against them.

For over twenty-one years I’ve been kept in the dark about my true heritage, being raised as a witch, like my auntie, that can wield water with spells. Soon I would be old enough to leave my childhood home and go beyond the protection spell that has kept me safe all these years to seek out my destiny.

A vision—perhaps even a prophecy, in the castle where I was born caused my parents to secret me away under the cover of darkness. I was saved by an unlikely partnership.

For the first time in thousands of years, the elements are set to combine into the greatest power ever known, and somehow I am the center of it all.

The power of the elements are told to bring about peace in the lands and restore life in the realm to a greatness more than it has ever been before.

No more struggles for food, no more starvation. No more taxation with penalties of death. No more hatred and fear of the rulers of the kingdom. Only prosperity, health, and maybe even something more?

Please note: This is a Reverse Harem Novel. It contains explicit content intended for adults only. 18+

K. Rose has been a part of the Indie Author Community for years. Getting her start as a reader, her keen eye led to a wonderful career in Beta and ARC (Advance Reader Copy) reading. As a joke to her fellow Beta colleagues, she created a spoofed blurb and cover for a story and the feedback was so positive that it sparked her to run with it.

That stoked a fire that has her racing down a multi-genre freeway with no off-ramp in sight. K. doesn’t write to “market” and she is fairly certain that her humor and use of puns may cause an eye roll or two, but as she likes to say, “That’s how I roll.” and “Jokes are always welcome!”

She has traveled the USA extensively, including Alaska, and lived in thirty-eight of the fifty states. Home is now the beautiful state of Wisconsin, where she dreams up her stories in the company of her guy of nearly twenty years, and their menagerie of furbabies, including five puppies, three rescue kitties, eighteen chickens, ruled by a Rooster named Chicken Parm, plus eight ducks, a ninety-gallon tropical fish tank and a chatty nineteen-year-old Cherry Headed Conure!

Life will always be interesting for K. Rose, which will fuel her works, and keep her muses singing, come join the chorus.

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Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring L.W. Lowe

The Literary Vixen presents…

 

Joining us today is L.W. Lowe! Her book, Deal With Cupid (When Muses Misbehave Book 1) released on June 1st 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I wish I could say there was this one sparkling moment of inspiration. It actually was a slow and rebellious journey. There was seven year old me who directed my friends to re-enact the story of Beauty and the Beast in our backyard. I’d change the ending or re-assign the roles of Beauty or Beast to different kids. Then eleven year old me who got an old mint-colored typewriter from my parents, who didn’t realize what they started or how much paper and white out I would end up costing them. (Boy, doesn’t that date me!) For years, I had the compulsion to write. I would do it just to get the stories out of my head because everyone knows about the starving author. I never took it seriously until many years later; I was married and pregnant with my first child. My mom sent me a box of stuff where I found an old vocabulary assignment from my high school senior year. My English teacher had written in the corner that she enjoyed how I turned each vocabulary word into a story, and I should seriously consider being an author. It wasn’t so much a light bulb moment as getting hit upside the head with a sledgehammer.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

My first drafts start with outlines. When I get to the second draft, those outlines get rearranged, replaced, or thrown out by the end. The story always changes on me the closer I get to the end. I blame the characters!

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

I have to take a moment and step away to decide if an emotional scene is worth keeping to advance the story or for my catharsis.

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

In my early writing years, I wrote several long ‘books’ for fanfiction, but officially I have self-pubbed two books. So far Deal with Cupid is the favorite, but that could change to Book Three in the series because the outline introduces a Greek goddess that I feel doesn’t get enough attention. (Yes, I have the sequels outlined, all the way to Book Ten.)

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

Lots! So much bounces around in my head from the music playlists to the characters’ voices and their environments. I envision their happy places whether it’s their bedroom, office, garden spot, or coffee shop. I develop whole pages about these characters and their world order before I set up a plot, drop them in the middle of it, then document what happens.

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

It’s still early, so not much. Some like the crazy, nerdy quirkiness in massive quantities. Some not so much. It’s cool. Better for the readers to figure out how they feel about the series before investing too much of their time and energy.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I have a kindle tablet full of ebooks and five feet away a shelf full of books. So on my tablet, I am currently reading Bride of the Crimson Queen by Keri Moore. But the latest print book that I’m reading is The Author Estate Handbook by M. L. Ronn.

Describe yourself in three words.

Quiet. Loyal. Daydreamer.

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

So I’m weird in that I wouldn’t want any A-list actors. I want to see fresh faces, definitely actresses with Hellenic/Greek backgrounds, talent for comedic timing, and a genuine appreciation for all the arts, not just music.

What advice would you give to other authors?

That’s a very uncomfortable question for me because I’m still looking for advice. I guess the best I got is… Beta readers and editors are awesome, but remember the author has the last word.

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

The series When Muses Misbehave has an ensemble cast, aka multiple point of view and I tend to write long chapters. Can’t help it. That’s how my brain works. While there are romantic pairings being set up in Book One, Deal with Cupid reads more like a Galentine urban fantasy featuring more on the sisters of inspiration and how they survive and support each other, despite their differences.

 

Thank you L.W. Lowe for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Deal With Cupid today!

~Synopsis~

Sisters. Inspirations. Legends. Meet… The Muses.In between juggling their own dramas and romances, the nine sisters are paid to motivate souls and reignite passions. But never before have they faced a job like this. Hedone, The Goddess of Pleasure, hires the sisters to save the marriage of her parents, Eros and Psyche. Yet one misstep could provoke the wrath of Aphrodite. Join the Muses as they figure out how to clean up Cupid’s mess without causing one of their own!The first book has a cliffhanger ending and the entire series is intended for readers age 18+.

LW Lowe is the author of the mythic fantasy series When Muses Misbehave.

As a kid, she consumed all kinds of sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal entertainment from books to movies. Then she was gifted a dog-eared copy of The Return of Rafe Mackade, and romance had a new superfan. She currently lives in central Ohio with her husband, wrangling five kids, a cowardly guard dog, and two cats, one named Fluffy Evil and the other Vicious Little Panther. She wishes Eureka’s Global Dynamics was real, thinks Red Dwarf deserves all the fancy-schmancy awards provided they’re presented at a wine bar, and prefers her coffee with hot chocolate bombs.

https://www.lwlowe.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/l-w-lowe

https://www.instagram.com/lwlowe.lwl

https://www.facebook.com/TheMusesMythicalVilla

Review

Of Beasts and Vengeance (Twisted Pages Book 2) by Elle Madison & Robin D. Mahle – My Review

Title: Of Beasts and Vengeance (Twisted Pages Book 2)

Author: Elle Madison & Robin D. Mahle

Release Date: January 22nd 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale

Zaina thought she could run from her secrets, but they have finally caught up to her.
She’s willing to risk her life for those she loves, but even that might not be enough to stop what’s coming.

Einar has finally let down his guard, but when the woman he trusts takes off in the middle of the night with his people’s only hope for a cure, he realizes what a mistake that was.

They have been living under the shadow of the same monster for longer than either of them realize. But it’s up to them to decide whether that makes them enemies or allies.

You’ve heard it asked, who could ever learn to love a beast? But this time, the question is, could a beast ever learn to love?

The exciting story of Zaira and Einar continue in Of Beasts and Vengeance!

The danger is very real. The secrets each keep may end up helping or causing more danger to arrive at their doorstep. I jumped right into the story! I was whisked back into this magical world and side by side with Zaira. I was on the edge of my seat the entire book. The twists and turns had me gripping my kindle tightly. Yes it is still intact. I got chills and went through so many emotions. Adventure, danger, and action oh my! That ending…..again I am not ok!

This has fast become one of my favorite series. The storytelling and amazing world building these authors have created will enchant any reader. If you’re like me and like a bit of darkness with your story, this book is definitely for you. Skip adding this to your TBR and just grab it. You’re welcome! I give this 5 stars.

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

Review

Helen’s Surrender by Ciara Skye – My Review

Title: Helen’s Surrender

Author: Ciara Skye

Release Date: June 10th 2021

Genre: Mythology, Fairytale

Three sexy gods. One ancient prophecy. And the face that launched a thousand ships.

***

Washing up on the shore of an ancient Greek Isle after her cruise ship sank into the Mediterranean, Helen awakes before the crumbling remains of a forgotten temple. Life saved by three mysterious men, she struggles with their belief that she is the direct descendent of the famous beauty, and her namesake, Helen of Troy.

Convinced she is the one who can restore these ancient immortals to their ancestral powers, she quickly becomes swept into a sizzling tale of ancient temptations and irresistible seductions, even as she struggles to protect her heart from the gods seeking to claim it.

As Helen slowly surrenders to a world she once believed existed only in legends, another power lurks in the shadows. One determined to ensure Helen fails in her quest, bringing those intent on claiming her heart to the same ruin as the mythic heroes who fell long ago before the ashen gates of Troy.

*Helen’s Surrender is a stand-alone novel in a shared paranormal romance world*

Helen’s Surrender is a delightfully and tantalizing read. Fantastic world building. I loved the author’s twist on the tale of Helen of Troy. A bit of adventure. A bit of folktale and a whole lot of sexy to get your pulse racing! Each man is alluring and desirable in their own way. Which made them prime book boyfriend material. This is one of those guilty pleasure reads. Heavy on the pleasure with none of the guilt.

As a whole, this book is entertaining and guaranteed to heat up your night! Highly recommend! I give this 5 stars.

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

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author Featuring Charissa Weaks

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Charissa Weaks! Her newest release, The Witch Collector (Witch Walk Book 1) released on November 2nd 2021.

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

It’s going amazingly, honestly. Readers have been so wonderful, which is extremely motivating.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was a kid. Back then I mostly wrote poems and song lyrics. I didn’t tackle novel writing until about 12 years ago.

Describe a typical writing day.

A typical writing day would be waking up, getting coffee, sitting down with my laptop (and my doggies), and trying for the rest of the day to draft or edit a complete chapter. If the story is hot and my fingers are flying, I can work for 12-14 hours and knock out two chapters. I tend to put in long days in the editing phase.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

 I wish I had a better answer for this, but the truth is that stories just come to me. It can be due to a museum exhibit or an image I saw or a dream I had, but most of the time, stories just land in my mind out of nowhere. I usually get titles first, though not always. Then the characters arrive. There’s typically one voice that stands out and decides to tell me the tale. I just have to tune in and listen. Music inspires me once I have a story started and helps me stay in the story’s mood.

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

Hmmm. That’s a great question. I really wanted to provide an escape, one of those stories you just fall into, the kind that makes you forget for a little while. I would also hope they take away a little of Raina’s resilience and heart and a touch of Alexus’s vulnerability. He was honest with Raina about his darkness. She looked beyond his past and mistakes and saw the goodness in the man that he’d become.

What is the significance of the title?

The Witch Collector stands for Alexus (the hero), of course, but more importantly, it stands for the biggest obstacle Raina has to face in the story. There’s a terrible villain and an enchanted wood, yes, but Raina has suffered such devastating loss and been irrevocably changed by it–which makes Alexus territory that scares her. It would be easier to avoid anything she’s feeling for the Witch Collector than to chance that kind of pain again.

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

Persistent, hard-working, compassionate.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

The highlight was when I realized The Witch Collector couldn’t be a novella and the publisher said that was okay. I’d been trying to force this big story into limited page space (the three books originally sold as novellas). But they needed to be novels. Getting the Go Ahead from the publisher was a great day.

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

I have a lot of things in the pipeline. I’m working on City of Ruin, book two in The Witch Walker Trilogy, of course. I also have two other fantasy tales I’m toying with and a historical fantasy that I hope to query to literary agents next year. It’s a Count of Monte Cristo retelling set in 1901 Marseille and…beyond.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I’m not big on giving advice because most of it isn’t universal. Every author journey truly is different. I would simply say—believe in yourself, trust your intuition, and accept rejection.

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

About Me: I LOVE chatting with readers on social media. I want to talk about Alexus and Raina and BOOKS in general. Hit me up!

About my books: There will always be a fantasy/magick element, romance, and strong atmosphere. I love a setting and story that makes me feel immersed, so I try to write that type of book.

 

Thank you Charissa Weaks for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, The Witch Collector today!

~Synopsis~

Every harvest moon, the Witch Collector rides into our valley and leads one of us to the home of the immortal Frost King, to remain forever.

Today is that day—Collecting Day.

But he will not come for me. I, Raina Bloodgood, have lived in this village for twenty-four years, and for all that time he has passed me by.

His mistake.

Raina Bloodgood has one desire: kill the Frost King and the Witch Collector who stole her sister. On Collecting Day, she means to exact murderous revenge, but a more sinister threat sets fire to her world. Rising from the ashes is the Collector, Alexus Thibault, the man she vowed to slay and the only person who can help save her sister.

Thrust into an age-old story of ice, fire, and ancient gods, Raina must abandon vengeance and aid the Witch Collector or let their empire—and her sister—fall into enemy hands. But the lines between good and evil blur, and Raina has more to lose than she imagined. What is she to do when the Witch Collector is no longer the villain who stole her sister, but the hero who’s stealing her heart?

The Witch Collector is book one in a thrilling romantic fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Sarah J. Maas, and Jennifer L. Armentrout.

CHARISSA WEAKS is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and speculative fiction. She crafts stories with fantasy, magic, time travel, romance, and history, and the occasional apocalyptic quest.

Charissa resides just south of Nashville with her family, two wrinkly English Bulldogs, and the sweetest German Shepherd in existence. To keep up with her writing endeavors, and to gain access to writing freebies and book giveaways, join her newsletter, The Monthly Courant.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/charissaweaks

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/charissaweaks

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/charissaweaks

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/charissa-weaks

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.