Book Tour

Locked Out of Heaven (Birth of the Fae Book 1) by Danielle M. Orsino – Book Tour

Locked Out of Heaven (Birth of the Fae Book 1) by Danielle M. Orsino is now available!

~Synopsis~

Ride on the backs of fire-breathing dragons with the Dark Fae and watch the Light Fae play in the shadows of primitive humanity as they build their magical world.

Abandoned by their creator, two factions of powerful angels remain on earth after the Great War with Lucifer. They struggle to comprehend their Creator’s plan while their angel wings, a symbol of their angelic lineage, slowly and painfully decay. With no hope of returning to the Shining Kingdom, two groups of angels denounce their angelic lineage and develop into separate factions – the Court of Light, led by Queen Aurora, a former Virtue Angel, and the Court of Dark, ruled by King Jarvok, a former Power Brigade Angel. The two monarchs have opposing views on how to govern their kin, but the one belief they agree on is that human worship equals power.

Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven is an epic-fantasy adventure of heartbreak, rebirth, and hope that examines the bonds of family, friendship, and love. It is a fantastic tale of good versus evil in a beautiful world, where the Light Fae and their potent elemental magick are tested by the raw power of the dragon-riding Dark Fae warriors.

They are their own beings and masters of their own destiny. They are the Fae.

~

Quarterfinalist, ScreenCraft Animation Competition 2022
with BIRTH OF THE FAE: LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN (PILOT)
Locked Out of Heaven made September’s Screen Crafts Red List For Fantasy Projects
From the Ashes Distinguished Favorite in Fantasy  From NYC Big Book Award 2022

Danielle M. Orsino is a fantasy novelist whose lifelong vision to create whimsical realms that her readers can escape to. Her compelling word-weaving pays homage to a multitude of personal muses, from Chris Claremont and George Pérez (both famous comic book writers), to Anne Rice and Wonder Woman.

The creative spark of storytelling has been with Danielle ever since she was a child, but martial arts and her nursing career took center stage into adulthood. Then, on a day like any other, it was reignited during the most unexpected of moments: while treating one of her patients. Seeing that they longed for a distraction during their arduous treatments, the floodgates of inspiration soon burst forth. So, Danielle took it upon herself to tell them a story; a fantastical narrative that would leave the confines of that IV room’s walls and land upon a page. Before she knew it, what started as an imaginative tale to pass the time, turned into book, followed by an entire series: The Birth of Fae. This awe-inspiring series includes Locked out of Heaven (Book One), Thine Eyes of Mercy (Book Two), and From The Ashes (Book Three), all of which are published by 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc. And with an unwavering passion for cosplay and comics, it was a unanimous decision to place her on the cover of each book in all her Fae cosplay glory. The Birth of Fae also features Los, an affable chameleon dragon inspired by her fun-loving Yorkie named Carlos.

When writing wasn’t at the forefront of her mind, Danielle was a successful Martial Artist. Some of her achievements include “1999 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee”, “Female Martial Artist of the Year”, “WKA World Champion Silver Medalist 2008”, and numerous more. She has also garnered hundreds of martial art tournament wins, various other national and world titles, and features on big-name channels like TLC and CBS. She even had the rare opportunity to perform for former U.S. President Bill Clinton and collaborate alongside Vincent Lyn and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. From there, she pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and she is now a Licensed Practical Nurse who focuses on Lyme disease research.

This “New Queen of the Fae’s” unmatched world-building and masterful Fae-origin retellings have led to an ever-growing queendom of “Fae-natics”.

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

My books are just that- books, a form of escapism. I am honored every time someone reaches out and says they picked up my book. I think the art of storytelling is the oldest form of entertainment and I love that I get to be a part of that tradition. My books are high fantasy twisted with some dark humor, political intrigue and great fight scenes. They also aren’t long books. I did that on purpose, I don’t think reading should be chore. Sometime fantasy can be overwhelming with all the worldbuilding, magical systems and stuff, readers can run from it. Yes, there is worldbuilding, especially in book one but mine are not 400-page books they are gateway books into the fantasy genre if you haven’t read fantasy before. If you like it then you can read my books back-to-back for that binge feel. I also put two books out a year. So, no waiting years for my endings (George we are all looking at you… )

Book available in print, Kindle and Audiobook at bookshop.org, Target & Walmart.

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*

Review

How to Date a Fury (Syn City Shifters Book 1) by Luna Joya – My Review


Title: How to Date a Fury (Syn City Shifters Book 1)

Author: Luna Joya

Release Date: September 22nd 2022

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

Who knew dying would be the easy part of my day?

It all started the night Chase, my mountain lion shifter ex, reappeared. We’d had a whole good girl/bad boy romance going until he abandoned me a decade ago. I’d gone to Syn City for a little fun before being trapped in my hometown forever.

Then I was murdered by a maniac and my night really fell apart.

But somehow, Chase managed to strike a deal on a blood oath and bring me back as a Fury. He wants a second chance at romance, claiming we’re fated mates.

Now, I have to deal with the guy I thought I’d never see again, find and punish my murderer, and participate in a giant supernatural roller derby (long story)—all while trying to earn my wings.

And if I fail? I’ll end up dead. Again…only this time, it’ll be permanent.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing hell hath no fury like, well, an actual Fury.

How to Date a Fury, the first book in the Syn City Shifters Series, is a dark, sexy, paranormal romance featuring a reluctant Fury and the shifter who broke her heart but wants a shot at mending it. Happily ever after (and plenty of snarky fun) guaranteed. Perfect for fans of Linsey Hall, Jaymin Eve, and Amelia Hutchins.

Luna Joya is coming in hot with a brand new series!

How to Date a Fury exceeded all my expectations! A fantastic engaging story with some pretty unique characters. What’s a Luna Joya story without some heat? She definitely brought that and more!

A wonderful start to a series. I look forward to reading more! If you like fantasy romance with some heat, look no further. Go ahead and binge read this book! You deserve it. I give this 5 stars.

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 · Coming Soon · Interview with an Author · New Release · Pre-Order

Interview with an Author featuring Angelina J. Steffort

The Literary Vixen presents…

Welcoming back, Angelina J. Steffort! Her upcoming release, The Quarter Mage is set to release August 31st 2022.

How do you handle writer’s block?

Honestly, I rarely run into writer’s block. Usually my characters are quite chatty throughout the writing process. My life is determined by family life, so I have natural breaks during writing that allow me to come up with the next plot point or the next book idea. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by a team of wonderful creatives to bounce ideas off if needed. That helps in some of the cases when I reach a fork in the road and need to decide which way to go with a story.

What inspired you to write The Quarter Mage?

The idea for The Quarter Mage has been brewing for over 3 years. I commissioned the covers for the entire series in 2020, the map in 2021, and have been anxiously waiting to fill the world with life.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I sincerely believe that there is no one right answer to this question. While craft is important, craft is nothing without the ability to create intriguing worlds and settings. Adorable characters are nothing without proper plot and clean prose. From a writing perspective, I can only say what I find most enjoyable, and that highly depends on the day and the mood. Sometimes I will obsess about grammar and sentence structures, on other days I will question every plot point and story line, and there will be days where I simply hang out with my characters and let them chat. So what is important depends on the phase in the process of creating a book. 

From a reader’s perspective, the characters are what hooks me first.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

In my books, usually the book title, then a premise. Once I have those, the characters spring to life on their own.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

In a lot of cases, I don’t have the characters ready when I write the first sentence. They simply awaken word by word. The same is true for the plot. As a pantser I write into the dark and follow where the characters lead. The Quarter Mage was the first book I had thoroughly plotted before starting. But it pantsed me from the first line—and the outcome is so much better than the intended version. I guess, I learned my lesson.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

The book titles are usually what comes first, long before I ever think up a character or a potential plot. Usually, they just pop up in my head while I’m trying to focus on finishing a book. I have a list of over forty titles that are waiting to be written.

Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?

Over the past six years I’ve written twenty-three books in five different series, and I still can’t tell you what terrifies me more, a first in a series, the sequels, or finishing up the last in a series. Each has its perks and its daunting properties. The Quarter Mage as a first in a series was difficult for me, since it pantsed me from line one. Now I’m dreading what The Hour Mage and the other two in the series have in store for me.

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

There’s so much I’m learning on a daily basis. What surprised me was that this is something I can see myself doing when I’m 92.

Describe your perfect book hero or heroine.

The best heroes or heroines are unexpected ones.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Know your genre and what readers love. Don’t worry about a perfect first draft. You can do revisions later, and that’s why authors work with experienced editors. If you want to write a book—really write one and not just dream about it—sit down and write. It’s not going to write itself.

 

Thank you Angelina J. Steffort for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her upcoming release, The Quarter Mage today!

~Synopsis~

Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

WHEN DESTINY FAILS YOU, WHO WILL YOU BECOME?

A forgotten princess. A cruel realm. A Mage who might be her salvation.

Sanja is a princess on the run. And when she flees her father’s court to escape an arranged marriage to a tyrant, the one thing she doesn’t expect, is to be killed for her throne.

But magic that shouldn’t exist in her kingdom saves her, and Sanja is thrust into the daunting fairylands where, as a human, she’s prey…

Fighting to survive, Sanja signs herself into the service of the most powerful Mages in the fairylands, determined to master the magic to save her kingdom—and finds herself stuck with a brooding Mage with a knack for keeping secrets.

As Sanja’s feelings for Tristan turn from dread to attraction, she learns that she isn’t the only thing the fairies are after. And Sanja must risk her life and her heart, or she will lose both him and her kingdom forever.

Dive into Angelina J. Steffort’s latest heart-wrenching upper YA fantasy romance and find out what makes the world of The Quarter Mage so special.

“Chocolate fanatic, milk-foam enthusiast and huge friend of the southern sting-ray. Writing is an unexpected career-path for me.”

Angelina J. Steffort is an Austrian novelist, best known for her Wings series, a young adult paranormal romance series about the impossible love between a girl and an angel. The bestselling Wings series has been ranked among calibers such as the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and Lauren Kate’s Fallen, and has been top listed among angel books for teens by bloggers and readers. Her young adult epic fantasy series Shattered Kingdom is already being compared to Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series by readers and fans. Angelina has multiple educational backgrounds including engineering, business, music, and acting, and lives in Vienna, Austria with her husband and her son.

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Evelyn Shine

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Evelyn Shine! Her newest release, Dancing with the Moon: Vargree Shifters Book One released on March 23rd 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m an author of fantasy romance writing under the pen name Evelyn Shine and I work as a private chef. When I’m not writing or cooking, I keep company with my three crazy Australian cattle dogs and my indulgent husband.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing in fall 2019 after three months of insomnia. It began with fanfic to entertain my brain, then moved on to original works in winter 2020. A year later I had a dozen 80k word first drafts written, and at the urging of my bestie, I picked a few to polish up for publication. The other drafts are waiting patiently for rewrites.

Do you have a writing quirk or ritual?

My brain never stops. The plotlines to at least six new books are always percolating away. My ideas kick me awake around 4am every day. I make my cup of tea and curl up on the couch with my laptop to write for a few hours–or all day–depending on my schedule. On nice days, I sit outside in my hammock with my dogs to write. I’m very focused, but my thoughts are so loud when I’m working that I need absolute silence to write.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Everywhere really. I’ve lived a really full life, so some of it is from experience. A great cover or a piece of art will spin an entire story in my head. An old Rumi poem I saw on Tumblr inspired Dancing With the Moon. The entire story downloaded into my brain and I started writing. That poem is at the beginning of the book.

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

I’m attached to all my characters so it’s hard to pick just one. I love really strong but flawed FMCs. Kiara is the star of Dancing with the Moon and was so fun to write. She struggles with her addiction to the venom in a vampire’s bite but still tries to hold her life together and be independent. I’m a big fan of the heroine rescuing herself, so women fighting to come out on top will always have a place in my heart.

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

I love the highs and lows of writing a new story. It unfolds like a movie in my head and I try to type fast enough to keep up. My housekeeping and other mundane tasks wait until I hit the editing phase because everything else just gets forgotten. My wonderful husband is accustomed to this intensity, and usually makes sure I remember to do things like eat. He claims coffee is not a meal. He’s wrong, but I still love him.

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

Genre related covers have been my kryptonite and I’ve found the process frustrating. I’ve been reading for decades and have literally never picked a book for its cover. Usually when picking out a book, I’d open it to a random page and start reading. If I liked the writing style, I bought it. I had a rocky start with my first covers, but after swapping them, the series has done better.

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

The overall story is already in my head, so each book takes the reader a step closer to the conclusion and reveals a little more of the overall plot. I never actually get “writer’s block” but if I get hung up on something I will go to the beginning of the story and start editing. Usually something will trigger a thought and I can move on again.

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

I just finished a “romancing the fairy tale villain” novella for an anthology that was super fun to write. I have a sensual retelling of the goddess Inanna that I’m working on for an anthology next spring.

My current big pet project is an epic fantasy why choose series. I’m 140k words into what will be a 4 or 5 books. The main character Skadi shows up in book 2 and 3 of my Dawnchild Series as the Queen of the Vargree wolf shifters. She appears again as a side character in book 1 and 2 of my Vargree series. She’s this fabulous archetypal badass queen with five mates. How could I not give her the rags to riches origin story she deserves? Currently, I plan to write the complete series then release a book every three months. With all the time it takes for beta reading, editing, and covers, I’m probably looking at a summer 2023 release for book 1.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Lift each other up and be kind. Everyone is made of stories and will tell theirs in their own way and time.

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

I still don’t sleep much and I probably drink more coffee than I should. It’s an endless loop.

My worlds are rich and all the characters intertwine, so there are cameos and Easter eggs in every book for stories I have yet to publish. I love leaving little presents that someone can come back later to read and discover.

 

Thank you Evelyn Shine for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release,  Dancing with the Moon today!


~Synopsis~

A singular moment could change centuries of hatred.

I can’t stop thinking about her. Kiara saved my life by giving me her blood. It tasted like every fond memory I’ve ever had. And now, no matter how much I’ve tried to stay away, I’m drawn even closer. As if all I’ve ever needed is her.

But she’s a Vargree. The wolf-shifters and my kind have been at war for centuries and my hands are stained with the blood of her people.

I should let her go. Especially now that she’s found a prospective mate with her pack. But seeing her with him only makes me strive to win her over, to show her that singular moment wasn’t enough for me.

Can my love for her end the wars between our kind?

Dancing with the Moon is an epic fantasy romance about family ties, forbidden love, and the secrets that could shatter them. It’s a spin-off novel from the Dawnchild series, but can be read as a stand-alone.

Evelyn Shine is the author of fantasy romance books for anyone that enjoys steamy myths and fantastical species mixed with their adventure filled love. No matter what stories she’s writing—vampires or shifters—they all share a common thread of love, heart, and action. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn enjoys playing with her three crazy Australian cattle dogs, riding her Vespa through the countryside, or spending time with her indulgent spouse.

Website: www.evelynshine.com
Insta: @evelynshineauthor
TikTok: @evelynshine_author
FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/419458819756653
Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Danielle M. Orsino

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Danielle M. Orsino! Her newest release, Kingdom Come (Birth of the Fae Book 4) release on May 30th 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Danielle M. Orsino, I am a competitive martial artist and Nurse. However, I have left that all behind to write the Birth of the Fae series. I have two rescue pups Carlos which anyone who has read the Birth of the Fae series, may know him as “Los” the dragon.  Penelope my other little dog the readers will meet later in the series as “Lady Penelope” a member of the Aubane Faction.

What inspired you to start writing?

I am not a “Classically trained writer” the entire process was a huge learning experience. Overall writing the book was joyful. It came from an organic place, inspired by a patient who had been undergoing long IV treatments for a chronic illness and needed a distraction. I told him a story, that tale was the spark for the Birth of the Fae series. It was born from those sessions with him.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I go with the flow, I handwrite the books and begin the real editing work when I sit at the computer to type it out that is the first real edit. When I handwrite it is just to get it out of my head, I build the skeleton first, the first edit on the computer places the organs and I go from there.

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

Not sure I really deal with it, I tend to carry it with me this way as I write the next one I hold those feelings and work them out on paper.  I also make a playlist which mimics the emotional crescendo of the book that I listen to over and over as I write. The emotions are always flowing through me so I can call them back up.

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

My characters are living inside of me at all times and they have their opinions about EVERYTHING!

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

The Characters, they will pop into my head with a voice and they are ready to go. I am there just to put their voice to paper that is my job, wherever it goes is anyone’s guess- and it makes it the journey a lot more fun. 

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

I do research based upon the character or creature, for example my dragons took months of research and illustration before they were ready to become the creatures ready for the Veil. I consulted with engineers, physics professors and veterinarians. I knew I wanted realistic dragons but I built them from the inside out, physiology and anatomy first, once I had that I did a deeper dive into their society, religion and built their world. However, first the dragons had to be real to me.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

“Queen of the Damned” by Anne Rice- first edition paperback one of my absolute favorites and “Wonder Woman- The Hiketia” by Greg Rucka.

Do you have any new series planned?

I am finishing up book 6 of Birth of the Fae which will be the last book in this Volume, we will then move onto Volume two which begins a new chapter for the Fae- Birth of a Succubus, Volume two.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Find a great editor, and write for yourself, write the books you want to read, it will come from an authentic place.

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

My books are just that- books, a form of escapism. I am honored every time someone reaches out and says they picked up my book. I think the art of storytelling is the oldest form of entertainment and I love that I get to be a part of that tradition. My books are high fantasy twisted with some dark humor, political intrigue and great fight scenes. They also aren’t long books. I did that on purpose, I don’t think reading should be chore. Sometime fantasy can be overwhelming with all the worldbuilding, magical systems and stuff, readers can run from it. Yes, there is worldbuilding, especially in book one but mine are not 400-page books they are gateway books into the fantasy genre if you haven’t read fantasy before. If you like it then you can read my books back-to-back for that binge feel. I also put two books out a year. So, no waiting years for my endings (George we are all looking at you… )

Thank you Danielle M. Orsino for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Kingdom Come today!

~Synopsis~

All is peaceful in the Veil, which is usually when everything falls apart…

Queen Aurora of the Court of Light and King Jarvok of the Court of Dark have fallen in love despite all odds. A relationship of political convenience has turned into something real and tangible for the two monarchs. After centuries of conflict and mistrust, the two Courts are about to unite as one: the Court of the Fae. But not every Fae is happy about the impending union.

Queen Aurora’s most trusted advisors have never lost touch with their old Angelic ways. These bishops still believe that Virtues and Power Angels were never meant to mix. According to them, Queen Aurora is no longer suitable to rule. As they mount a complex coup d’état to grasp the throne, a new threat to the monarchy makes their move.

Will the entire foundation of peace crumble with one last act of betrayal? Or will the bond between Court of Light and Dark prevail in the face of danger?

Danielle M. Orsino is a fantasy novelist whose lifelong vision to create whimsical realms that her readers can escape to. Her compelling word-weaving pays homage to a multitude of personal muses, from Chris Claremont and George Pérez (both famous comic book writers), to Anne Rice and Wonder Woman. 

The creative spark of storytelling has been with Danielle ever since she was a child, but martial arts and her nursing career took center stage into adulthood. Then, on a day like any other, it was reignited during the most unexpected of moments: while treating one of her patients. Seeing that they longed for a distraction during their arduous treatments, the floodgates of inspiration soon burst forth. So, Danielle took it upon herself to tell them a story; a fantastical narrative that would leave the confines of that IV room’s walls and land upon a page. Before she knew it, what started as an imaginative tale to pass the time, turned into book, followed by an entire series: The Birth of Fae. This awe-inspiring series includes Locked out of Heaven (Book One), Thine Eyes of Mercy (Book Two), and From The Ashes (Book Three), all of which are published by 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc. And with an unwavering passion for cosplay and comics, it was a unanimous decision to place her on the cover of each book in all her Fae cosplay glory. The Birth of Fae also features Los, an affable chameleon dragon inspired by her fun-loving Yorkie named Carlos.  

When writing wasn’t at the forefront of her mind, Danielle was a successful Martial Artist. Some of her achievements include “1999 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee”, “Female Martial Artist of the Year”, “WKA World Champion Silver Medalist 2008”, and numerous more. She has also garnered hundreds of martial art tournament wins, various other national and world titles, and features on big-name channels like TLC and CBS. She even had the rare opportunity to perform for former U.S. President Bill Clinton and collaborate alongside Vincent Lyn and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. From there, she pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and she is now a Licensed Practical Nurse who focuses on Lyme disease research.

This “New Queen of the Fae’s” unmatched world-building and masterful Fae-origin retellings have led to an ever-growing queendom of “Fae-natics”. 

To begin embarking upon a quest in an epic world unlike any other, visit Danielle M. Orsino’s official website at http://www.BirthOfTheFae.com. You can also connect with her on Instagram (@BirthOfTheFae_Novel) and Twitter (@BirthOfTheFae).

Review

Rowan: The Lochlann Feuds Complete Series – My Review


Title: Rowan: The Lochlann Feuds Complete Series

Author: Robin D. Mahle & Elle Madison

Release Date: June 9th 2022

Genre: Historical Romance

A Reckless Princess. An Enemy Kingdom. And a mistake that could cost her everything.

Rowan never wanted the kind of love you go to war for — the kind of love that could break you.

But when a harmless adventure lands her in the dungeons of her enemy, she’ll realize that’s just one of many things that’s beyond her control. Between Socairan politics, blood debts, and arseling lords with perilously gray morality, Rowan is forced to learn more than she ever wanted to about herself, about the kinds of choices she is capable of making.

And about how much she’s willing to risk for a love she never wanted to begin with.

**The Lochlann Feuds takes place after the events of The Lochlann Treaty Series, but it can be devoured and enjoyed all on its own.**

A fantastic and exciting series!

From beginning to end, these stories will captivate you and then leave you wanting more! It was great to read and watch Rowan change from that very first page to the end. Nothing went like I thought it would and it was glorious! The characters were a fun bunch and very well written. Well, some weren’t as fun. You’ll see what I mean once you dive in. I had my favorites for sure. Secrets, lies, and revenge made for some really great reading. Was I irrationally angry when I had to put the book down? Yes but in my defense I REALLY wanted to stay in this world!

If you love adventure, witty characters, and more, this collection is for you! I’m a fan of this writing duo and will highly recommend their books to anyone who will listen. 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 S.C. Grayson

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is S.C. Grayson! Her debut, Spears and Shadows (Defenders of the Light Book 1) released June 16th 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

 Hi! I’m S.C. Grayson, and I’m a fantasy romance author. My first book, Spears and Shadows, released on June 16th. I was born and raised in Chicago (and I show my love for my hometown in my books), but I now live in Pittsburgh with my husband and our two adorable cats. When I’m not writing, I’m a registered nurse and a breast cancer researcher.

Congrats on your debut release! How was that experience for you?

It’s been great! My debut has been out for about a month now, and I’m still waiting for the day it will really sink in that I’m a published author now. It still doesn’t feel real. I don’t even know what to do with my personal copy of Spears and Shadows. It’s sitting laying sideways across other books on my shelf, haphazardly shoved in there because I’m out of room. I should make a place of honor for it I suppose, but I just haven’t gotten there.

How long have you been writing?

Fiction? This book is my first foray into fiction, and I started writing it back in 2018. After I finished drafting it, the story sat on my computer untouched for almost a whole year, since I didn’t know if I was going to publish it. At first, I started writing it just for myself, so when I realized I wanted to share it with the world, it took me a while to figure out how I wanted to do that.

In terms of writing in general though, I’ve been at that for quite a while! I’m currently a nurse researcher working towards my PhD, so I’ve written a good number of scientific publications regarding my research of breast cancer genetics. I even wrote a chapter in a genetics textbook that is being published in September! It feels extra special to publish fiction and nonfiction in the same year.

Describe a typical writing day.

I’m not sure I have a “typical” day, considering I don’t really have a writing routine. I tend to write huge chunks at a time, followed by a period of days with no (fiction) writing when I get busy with science. When I am dedicating a day to my writing though, I walk to my favorite local coffee shop and camp out with an iced americano and one of their homemade rice krispie treats. I think I wrote at least 75% of Spears and Shadows while sitting in that coffee shop!

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

This is one of the questions I get asked the most and still is one of the hardest for me to answer. I’m not always sure where my ideas come from when they pop into my head. I do know that what makes me sit down and write is the need to make the kind of stories I would like to read. I started by first book because I had been reading a lot for a period, and I still felt like I was looking for a specific story that I wasn’t able to find. I decided that I owned a laptop, so I might as well fix the problem by creating it myself!

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

First and foremost, I want my readers to be entertained. Especially in this day and age, I feel like we could all use a little escapism. If I offer readers a chance to spend an afternoon engrossed in another world, then I will have done my job.

What is the significance of the title?

To be transparent, the title wasn’t settled on until well after I had signed a publishing contract, much closer to publication. For me, the spear was really important as it symbolizes the start of the adventure. The weapon is what draws Nora, the main character, into the whole new world she discovers. The Shadow is the evil in the story, and while it is a dark and mysterious force, it isn’t the traditional characterization of evil. The concept of an evil that is born from the good, just like light casts a shadow, is a central tenant of the story. So, Spears and Shadows refers to two of the most important aspects of the story. Plus, who doesn’t like a little alliteration?

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

Enthusiastic, unconventional, compassionate.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Sharing my book with my sister and my husband for the first time was incredible. They are the first people to read everything I write. My sister and I have been reading fantasy and discussing it since I could read, so being able to talk with her about a story I wrote was really special. This book really wouldn’t exist without my husband’s support, so handing him the first copy and having him open it to see the dedication to him in the front was a teary moment for me.

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

Yes! I have the first book in another series scheduled to release in January. It is called Beauty and the Blade and is a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast taking place in a dystopian version of Victorian London that is being overrun by magical street gangs. Spears and Shadows is also getting not one, but two sequels! So all the reviewers who have been saying they want to know more about the side characters, your time is coming.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Write the story you want to tell. You can figure the rest out later.

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

I write because I love telling stories! I have a job outside of writing that I wouldn’t leave even if I sold a million copies. So for me, this is about sharing books and connecting with people through the characters I create. With that in mind, I don’t think I’ll ever be tired of hearing from readers. I genuinely love to connect with all of you!

 

Thank you S.C. Grayson for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her latest release, Spears and Shadows today!

~Synopsis~

Nora struggled with work-life balance even before an immortal sorcerer showed up and turned her career-and her love life, upside down.

Historian Nora Zvezda is gunning for a promotion at The Chicago Field Museum. The discovery of two ancient Greek weapons unlike any she’s seen before might be her big break-but the artifacts are more than they seem.

Trying to uncover their secrets, Nora enlists the help of professor of ancient languages, Dr. Adam Scott, an undeniably handsome man of intrigue. Nora has been too busy to worry about romance, but Adam seems to be overflowing with charm-and secrets, the biggest being his rank among the Eteria, a secret society of powerful sorcerers who’ve been in hiding since the days of the Greek empire.

When Nora’s work with the ancient and mystical weapons draws the attention of the Shadow, a powerful force that feeds off fear and negative emotions, she finds herself thrust in the middle of a perilous, age-old war between good and evil.

To protect herself, she must join the Eteria in their fight, all while struggling not to sacrifice the life she’s worked so hard for. Complicating things further is her undeniable desire for Adam and the feeling that he may be hiding more than his status as an immortal sorcerer.

S.C. Grayson has been reading fantasy novels since she was a little girl stealing books from her older sister’s shelves, and that has developed into a love of writing and storytelling. Her writing is currently focused on fantasy and paranormal romance. When she is not sitting in a local coffee shop writing and consuming an iced americano, Grayson is a nurse working towards a PhD in nursing with a focus on breast cancer genetics. She lives in Pittsburgh with her loving husband and their two cats, who enjoy contributing to her work by walking across her keyboard at inopportune moments (the cats, not the husband).

Website/newsletter sign up: https://www.scgrayson.com/
Spears and Shadows on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1CJF65W
New Release · Review

Bad Girls Drink Blood (Blood Fae Druid Book 1) by S.L. Choi – My Review


Title: Bad Girls Drink Blood (Blood Fae Druid Book 1)

Author: S.L. Choi

Release Date: May 17th 2022

Genre: Paranormal Suspense, Fantasy

Part sun fae, part blood fae, all abomination.

After a life spent dodging slurs, threats, and assassination attempts, Lane Callaghan gave her past the one finger salute and ditched her former fae home for good.

The detective agency she and her sisters run on the edge of Las Vegas continues to limp along, with Lane doing more debt collecting and intimidating than investigating, but anything to pay the bills. Between working for low-lifes to bring down even lower-lifes, eating cheesy poofs by the bucket, and flirting with the criminally attractive bartender where she conducts business, life is good.

That ends when a routine job goes sideways leaving Lane with a sack full of stolen sun shards—the source of sun fae power. Without the shards, the sun fae face giving up their magic completely, or risk death if they use their power.

As far as Lane’s concerned, good riddance, considering they would rather see her dead—except her father and adopted sister are sun fae. Lane must choose to return home to save the fae bastards that almost killed her…or let them burn.

“With tantalizing hints of a wolfy blood tryst, a heavy dose of sisterly love, and plot twists to make the ride a surprise, S.L. Choi’s, Bad Girls Drink Blood is too much fun. If you like the Hollows, you will love this.” — Kim Harrison, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Hollows series

Bad Girls Drink Blood has the heroine we didn’t know we needed and may not deserve! Lane is one tough cookie. She doesn’t back down from a fight and she always gets the job done. 

What an entertaining ride this book was! You get a front seat into the adventures and shenanigans that Lane seems to find herself in. Her humor is on point, which had me laughing. Action and humor. A great combo! Teddy is dreamy! New book boyfriend? I think so! The banter between the characters was great. It made this a fun read. Oh there were plenty of moments that got you right in your feels too. That ending left me longing for the next book. I needs it!! 

A fantastic debut for S.L. Choi! The book is well written and the world building is impressive. This witty, action packed paranormal goodness will have you on one crazy ride. A ride that you won’t want to get off any time soon! I give this 5 stars. 

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