Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring E A Porter

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is E A Porter! Her latest release, War Pony (Native Warrior Series) released on December 1st 2022.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first story at age 11, and I really haven’t stopped since. I knew what I wanted to be, and, because of my wonderful readers, I’ve been lucky enough to have a career doing what I love.

Do you have a writing quirk or ritual?

My only quirk (as far as writing goes) is that I will not end my writing day until the goal is reached (normally the end of a current chapter).

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Inside my head (as I suppose the case is with many writers) are characters demanding to be heard. It’s a scary place but I’m getting used to it.

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

Every story, every character, every situation is different. It’s not so much about what “I” think but more so about how the story plays out in my head.

I love the covers to your Native Warrior series. What made you decide to use Indigenous men on your covers?

Thank you! I just seemed like the thing to do. My Native Warrior Series is all about Indigenous people (well, save the heroine of the tale, in most cases) so it was only proper to match my covers to the stories.

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

Reviews are for the readers – not the author. I’ve ceased reading my reviews because, while most of them are glowing, one “bad” review will have me tied in knots for a long time. Once I release the book to the wild, I’m certain that I’ve done all I can to make it as correct and entertaining as possible. I don’t believe there is anything I can do with a published story to make the negative reviewer happy. Good reviews make me feel wonderful – but a bad review can crush me. So, again, reviews are for the potential readers.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

Ok. I’m gonna let everyone in on a little forbidden secret here (in the spirit of honesty). The book I most enjoyed writing, the characters that made me smile, the worlds I would have loved to visit… well, they are all in books which are no longer published. They were fantasy, vampiric, paranormal, etc. I really enjoyed writing those books, but it seemed no one was interested in reading them. A decision has been made to combine my love of paranormal/supernatural with my love of the Native culture. The characters are running circles in my head trying to tell me their story. I’ve just gotta pay attention and get it on paper.

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

Yes. My newest series is based in Native mythos (combining, as I stated before, my loves of Native culture and the supernatural).

What advice would you give to other authors?

Reconsider, as this one is 90+% frustrating. I joke, of course, but it can be hard on the psyche. The only real advice I can offer is to know your characters and subject. If you have any doubt, research (then research from another angle or three!). It’s a shame to lose readers over small incorrect details in an otherwise great story. Oh, and don’t be afraid to publish. Get it right first but then, publish. Readers cannot read a book that isn’t out there.

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

I’ve put everything I have into these stories. The historical aspect of my stories is spot-on, and the stories have very little “sugar-coating” when it comes to the Native way of life at the time of the story. Life was hard (from our modern-day perspective) and I try to portray that in the best way possible. Sure, the pairings of lovers may seem a little fantastic but, hey, they are meant to take you away from the real world and swallow you, keeping your attention and entertaining you all the way through to the last page. They are my heart and soul, my blood, sweat, and tears. I’d like my readers to know how much I appreciate their support. Without them, there’d be no reason to continue writing.

 

Thank you E A Porter for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, War Pony today!

~Synopsis~

War Pony had everything he could have hoped for in life – his beautiful wife, Pretty Raven, and their unborn child. However, Pretty Raven’s death at the hands of the white man destroyed his future. Instead of following his desire to seek revenge, the Warrior did as his wife would have wanted. He remained in the village to help his people.
Many seasons passed, and the Warrior found himself desiring companionship. Welcoming the company of the most willing woman in the village did not fill the void in his heart.
After being informed that his wife had been taken from the village alive, War Pony, with renewed hope, will risk everything to find her. Will his determination and love be enough to free her from her abductors? Or will it end in tragedy, the Warrior left once again broken-hearted and devastated?

Elizabeth Anne Porter was born in Ruislip, in the London borough of Hillingdon. She currently lives in Oklahoma with her pedantic husband and two literary cats.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/E-A-Porter/author/B01LA5JNA6

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1870418326359699

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

 

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Cerynn McCain

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Cerynn McCain! Her newest release, Shattered (The Abandoned Crown Series Book 4) releases on December 29th 2022.

Congrats on your latest release! How has it been? Does it get easier with each release?

The release went well. Small since it’s book 4 in the series and hard to promote. 

No it gets so much harder. Every book I get more and more anxious about them and overthink them way more. I’m hoping one day it gets easier though.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing Inhibited when I was 13. I wrote a few little goof off stories as a kid, but Inhibited was my start into actually seriously writing.

Describe a typical writing day.

Oh gosh do I have to… 

A typical writing day for me looks like: Coffee first. Most important. I try to get up around 7:30 but I’m not successful all the time. I spend the morning with my husband and sit down to write after he goes to work (around 9:30 or 10 depending on how busy he is that day). But I have a terrible attention span, so I set an alarm on my phone for 30 min. I have to write for that 30 min. Then I take a break. Normally I play minecraft for the next 30 min, or do laundry, or the dishes or someother domestic thing. Then it’s writing again for 30 min. Rinse and repeat until like 9pm. Some days I’m at work so I’ll just write when it’s slow there.

Where do you get inspiration for your books?

Hard question. Boredom? I daydream while I drive. I plot things while I play minecraft. I love browsing Pinterest and sometimes I’ll see a picture and think “oh, I should do something like that in my story!” But a lot of it just comes from daydreaming.

What are some challenges that have come up during your writing and publishing journey?

Marketing! I can write all day long. I love it. I love formatting. I love all the “behind the scenes” stuff. But when it comes to getting word out? I have a hard time even remembering to post, and when I do I’m either scared I’ll give away too much of the story, can’t think of anything interesting or “hooking” to make into an ad, or scared my stories are too dark and no one will like them.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

The emotional scenes fuel me! Give me the intense, the sad, the torture, the sexy, I love it all!

Regular normal life happy stuff? Yeah… I have a hard time writing that. That’s like pulling teeth and I still don’t know how to get in the mood. I’m always in the mood for emotions though.

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

Odd, Quiet, Creative

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

I only write for 30 min and then I take a brain break! No, but really… sometimes I’ll take a long bath after a particularly hard scene. Or I’ll watch a funny movie. Or cry in the shower. My poor husband just gets to look on and shake his head.

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

Right now I’m working on book 5 in the Abandoned Crown Series. I’m also slowly working on a prequel series for one of my characters. I switch to that one when I get really stuck.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

Join writing groups on facebook (some are really toxic but there are a few gems out there). And find at least one person that loves your writing and believes in you. Even if it’s just an online friend. I can write all day long. But I get really discouraged some days and I’ll text my friend and tell her that I’m thinking of giving up and she rallies right behind me and pushes me to keep going. I wouldn’t still be writing without her and I’m so grateful for all the pushing.

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

My books are really dark but I promise I’m nice!

Thank you Cerynn McCain for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Shattered today!

~Synopsis~

The madness is calling

After a prisoner begs for their life and is granted mercy by The General, his queen is forced to confront her rising jealousy.
Jealousy over this prisoner lying for his favor.
Jealousy over the Mistress he obsesses over.
Jealousy that everyone is more powerful than she is.
The mounting need to prove her worth distorts the world around her, and blinds her to the powerful position her husband has given her.
While the young queen grapples with this urgency to secure the crown upon her head, another kingdom slowly falls into decay waiting for their own ruler to step up and fight for them.
Caught in a battle of wit and will, no life is safe, no step secure, and no plan is exactly as it seems.

Cerynn McCain has been writing since she was a child, weaving as many stories as she can from the tales her imaginary friends tell her. She grew up curled in a nest of art supplies and yarn, and has always found a creative answer to every challenge thrown at her. Right now she lives on the beautiful Lake Chelan with her husband and two cat babies, writing her stories and moonlighting as a librarian in her spare time. Her love of creative arts follows her through every aspect of her life, and her husband constantly has to pull her back to earth when her daydreams take over.

And, when all is said and done, she’d have it no other way.

https://linktr.ee/cerynnmccain

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Felicity Brandon

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Felicity Brandon! Her latest release, Haunted By Desire: A Gothic Dark Romance (Wild Iris Book 1) releases on October 4th 2022.

How long have you been writing?

I have written since I was a child, but I started publishing my stories in 2012 when I finished my family and quit my 9 to 5. I’ve never looked back!

Describe a typical writing day.

I write everyday Monday to Friday, but honestly, I’m not complaining. It’s my passion! I usually write about 5000 words a day and try to enjoy every one of them.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Inspiration is everywhere! I once based a character on a woman I met in my gym changing room. That said, most of my antiheroes come to me in my dreams. I usually see specific scenes and wake up desperate to write them! 

What are some challenges that have come up during your writing and publishing journey?

Imposter syndrome has been my biggest challenge. For the longest time, I didn’t believe it when readers told me that they loved my books. It has taken me years to know that I am worthy. This is where I deserve to be.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

I actually love those deep and intense scenes. I’m normally frantic to write them! When my characters speak to me, I’m already in the right headspace. Music also helps though. It sets the emotional tone.

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

Fierce AF (which is also the name of my reader group).

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

I totally immerse myself in my stories and want to create that same experience for my readers. I weep, pant and prance while I create, and then head out into nature to work off those emotions.

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

I’ve just finished the fourth book in my sexy and super dark Beautiful Deceit series. Enveloped By The Darkness releases February of next year.

I also completed my second pen name, Elodie Crowe’s first series! Shards Of Justice releases on December 31st.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

I love this question. It resonates! I’d say, believe, believe, believe. Write a little every day (or as often as you can) and don’t take reviews personally. If you receive a bad review (and you will) accept that person’s energy and don’t let criticism hold you back.

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

I write what I want to read and l always fall in love with my fiendish antiheroes!

Thank you Felicity Brandon for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Haunted By Desire today!

~Synopsis~

Lost in the wilderness and desperate for sanctuary,
Iris Parsons stumbles into the mysterious Aidan.
Brooding and enigmatic, he offers her security,
But Aidan’s help comes at a terrible price.
As she struggles with her growing feelings for her dark protector,
Iris realizes it could already be too late.
She might never find her way back to civilization,
But worse, she may not want to.

Haunted By Desire is the first in a new gothic dark romance series.

Felicity is a USA Today Bestselling writer that Writes about the dark, delicious chemistry that develops between alpha males, and their feisty, willful women! Think romance with bondage, submission and good old-fashioned, over-the-knee spankings!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Felicity-Brandon/e/B00CV873JK

Felicity’s Website: About – Felicity Brandon (felicitybrandonauthor.com)

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Gabby Skeldon

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Gabby Skledon! Her debut, Found: Merlin’s Heir released on November 18th 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Gabby (obviously) and I’m celebrating the release of my debut novel (and my 30th Birthday!). I love anything fantasy, reading allll the books, exploring the outdoors and hanging out with my friends and family. I still work full time at a university, and my job is to deliver employability skills and training to students.

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

Thank you! Found only came out on Friday, but I managed to get quite a few pre-orders of e-books and signed copies. My family, friends and colleagues are really supportive and are always telling people about my book, which is amazing. I’ve also made some great friends on BookTok which has definitely helped me gain lots of visibility. I’ve been excited for the release for months and gave myself lots of time to make sure I could get everything ready, really it couldn’t have been better.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember (I used to copy out books that were already written when I was about 5 so I could pretend I was an author). As I started to get older I moved over into writing like, novels of dialogue, kind of like a play I guess? And when I was about 13 I had a go at my first novel. From then I’ve just written all the time! Between 13-16 I hand wrote everything and still have stacks of ancient notebooks full of those old stories. I decided to get serious about trying to publish something in 2019 and that’s when I came up with the idea for Found.

Describe a typical writing day.

Because I work, I usually have to divide my time between that and writing so I don’t have a ‘typical’ day. But when I sit down to write I normally make sure I have lots of coffee on hand. I write in my bedroom and usually have music or TV on. I do lots of daydreaming when I’m plotting so I like to have background noise on. I usually try to write in chronological order, but will skip to more fun bits if I get stuck. I’m a Puzzler in terms of plotting (a new term I found out about recently which means I like a basic outline but also like to problem solve along the way), but I do use a plot grid for main points and to help me stay motivated.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Found is inspired by a lot of Arthurian legend and Merlin stories. I’ve always found it really interesting, ever since me and my sisters saw the film Merlin (1998, Sam Neil). It was such a great story with so many themes and characters. I just wanted to see what I could do with the legends myself and bring some of the more obscure stories back onto the public’s radar.

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

I honestly just hope they enjoy it. It’s supposed to be a lighthearted easy read (with lots of twists and turns) to introduce you to the beginning of an epic fantasy adventure. I hope that people can connect to the diverse cast of characters and maybe see themselves represented in the world of British Myth and Legend that has previously (wrongly) excluded them.

What is the significance of the title?

Hahaha honestly, I’m not great at thinking up cool titles. All the books in the series (5 in total) will have 1-word titles all relating to the theme of the book. As this book is the start of Merle and the gang’s journey and all about self-discovery, Found seemed like an appropriate way to go!

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

Positive. Helpful. Thoughtful.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

I loved editing it a lot more than I should have! But I really enjoyed that process. I liked getting to know my characters better and figuring out the plot. I also learnt a lot of important lessons about writing craft that I’m going to be able to use throughout my career.

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

I’m currently working on book 2 of the Merlin’s Heir series which I’m hoping to release in Spring/Summer of 2023!

What advice would you give to other authors?

That Indie Publishing is a lot more doable than you think, and that you are a lot more capable, adaptable, and resilient than you think! A lot of people get put off from indie publishing because it is a lot of work (especially for one person!) but it is absolutely doable! You also don’t need to break the bank. Practice your craft! Learn how to edit and format and design. There are so many resources and a whole community of indie’s out there to help you! If you’re thinking about writing a book, give it a go. You’ll truly be amazed at what you can accomplish with a YouTube tutorial and a positive mindset!

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

I’d like them to know that Found is dedicated to my dad who sadly passed away in 2021 after a short battle with Stage 4 Liver and Bone cancer. He was a wonderful man and a great dad. We miss him every day, but I hope he’d be proud of my work and above all, enjoy the story!

 

Thank you Gabby Skeldon for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Found today!

~Synopsis~

Mysterious Shadows. Arthurian legend. Dangerous magic.

Ten years after her father’s disappearance, Merle Wilde has lost hope she’ll ever find answers. Her Mum is convinced he was taken by the Shadows she sees, and that they’re coming back for Merle. In a last ditch attempt to save herself, Merle makes a blood wish. Will she find the answers she seeks?

The Knights Templar faces extinction. For hundreds of years the knights have protected the true heirs to Camelot from evil, but faery Queen Morgwese is determined to claim the throne for herself . As her power threatens to overwhelm them, the knights must start the search for Merlin’s Heir, the only sorcerer who can banish her for good.

When the mysterious Ren enters Merle’s life, claiming she’s the lost heir of the great wizard Merlin, and that the Shadows are not what they seem, Merle is catapulted into a world of magic, adventure, and legend. Tasked with protecting the Pendragon’s and with time running out, Merle must convince the Knights of the Round Table that she can claim Merlin’s magic and defeat Morgwese, before the fae bring ruin to them all.

Gabby is a YA Fantasy author based in Yorkshire. Gabby has grown up reading adventure stories and heading out into the woods, daydreaming about one day creating her own magical worlds and sharing this passion with others. When she’s not writing, Gabby works at the University of Huddersfield as a Global professional Award Trainer, delivering employability and skills training to young people. She spends most of her free time reading, cooking, going to the gym and spending time with her loved ones.

Website: www.authorgabskeldon.com

Email: gab@authorgabskeldon.com

IG/TikTok: @authorgabskeldon

Amazon:https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B7P2CNYY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ET777FXPXALJ&keywords=found+gabby+skeldon&qid=1658848898&s=digital-text&sprefix=found+gabby+skeldon%2Cdigital-text%2C44&sr=1-1

Etsy (signed copies): https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AuthorGabSkeldon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22723773.Gabby_Skeldon

New Release · Release Blitz

Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Annette Chavez Macias – New Release

 

Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Annette Chavez Macias is now available!

~Synopsis~

Four cousins navigate love, loss, and the meaning of family over the course of one memorable year in this heartfelt family drama.

Cousins Mari, Erica, Selena, and Gracie are inseparable. They aren’t just family but best friends—sharing secrets, traditions, and a fierce love for their abuelita. But their idyllic childhood ends when Mari’s parents divorce, forcing her to move away. With Mari gone, the girls’ tight-knit bond unravels.

Fifteen years later, Mari’s got the big house and handsome husband, but her life is in shambles. Erica’s boyfriend just dumped her, and her new boss hates her. Selena can’t seem to find her place in the world—not Mexican enough for her family, not white enough for her colleagues. And Gracie is a Catholic school teacher with an all-consuming crush, but she can’t trust herself when it comes to romance.

As rocky as the cousins’ lives have become, nothing can prepare them for the heartbreaking loss of a loved one. When tragedy reunites them, will they remember their abuelita’s lessons about family and forgiveness—or are fifteen years of separation too much to overcome?


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).

New Release · Review

Wicked Crown (The Wicked Book 1) by Luna Joya – My Review


Title: Wicked Crown (The Wicked Book 1)

Author: Luna Joya

Release Date: July 5th 2022

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy


She’s not who-or what-she appears to be. Neither is he.

Supermodel Vori would be happy to stay in the human world, blissfully ignoring her true nature. But no. The blood vow she once made requires her to return to the Goblin Court. And since going alone would mean consenting to an arranged marriage, she needs a fake husband. Someone no one would miss if there was an unfortunate…accident. Vori knows the perfect villain for the job.

Witch Perry used to be a hotshot lawyer. But that was before he made all the wrong choices, wound up in league with a demon, and was left to rot in prison. Now, he has a second chance. He can finally earn his redemption. Too bad his last hope is the woman he ghosted two years ago.

It’s not long before Vori and Perry realize they aren’t as different as they thought-and that the line between enemies and lovers can be razor thin. But if they want their happily ever after, they’ll first have to stop a supernatural killer and survive a royal smackdown. Should be easy for a goblin princess and her dashing antihero, right?

If only.

Wicked Crown is a fierce alluring read that will leave you wanting more!

Ever since I was introduced to Vori, I wanted to know more about her. She intrigued me from that first intro and I was thrilled she got her very own book! Can we take a moment to admire that fire cover?

Right away, I was pulled into the book. This story was everything I wanted. Action, intrigue, steam, and most of all, Vori’s story. I was already invested because I’m a huge fan and follower of The Legacy Series. Vori is much more that what she portrays herself to be.

I can’t recommend this book enough! If you love paranormal romance with steam and action, this book is for you. Skip adding this to your TBR and one click it today! 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 Kris Calvin

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Kris Calvin! Her latest release, Under a Broken Sky: A Novel release on July 12th 2022.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

When I was little, I didn’t feel safe in my own home. Sadly, I’m far from the only child who has endured those circumstances. But my particular response to having a frightening reality was to also fear what my imagination might hold—I didn’t play make-believe, and I didn’t originally have much interest in “telling stories”. Fortunately, I discovered the local public library, where the librarians and staff were unfailingly kind and the children facing peril in my books had happy endings. 

For my career, I worked in an analytical and unimaginative, but fulfilling policy job advocating for children’s well-being in the state legislature. In the process, I wrote a lot of dry policy memos and letters. It wasn’t until I was in my 50s that I felt “safe” enough to  explore my creative side and write fiction.

What time of the day do you usually write?

5am to 9am.

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

Before I start writing, none–I don’t make outlines. But as I write, I pause frequently to envision everything. I need to be able to see a scene in my mind to transform the scene into words, so every sound, color, and texture matters.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

I am always most enamored with what I am currently working on. What’s already written and out there has to be “forgotten” for my new ideas to feel fresh. Right now that means a dual timeline story with two strong women protagonists set 100 years apart.

What gave you that final push to press publish on your first book?

When I shared my first manuscript for my first book, a “whodunnit” mystery called One Murder More, with a developmental editor, to my horror she pronounced it “terrible”. She said from my years working in policy I wrote clearly, but that what I’d produced was dull and dry. My characters only “saw” things; they didn’t touch or hear or smell. I spent a year in workshops and read countless books on writing fiction, gaining what I could from those who had already done it. I contracted with a hybrid publisher, they set a deadline, and I was ready. For my second book, the first in the Emma & Alibi series, I did 17 drafts before I submitted it to a traditional publisher, who gave me a 2-book contract. For that one, I was “ready” when I was done!

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

I know a lot of authors don’t read their Goodreads and Amazon reviews. I read each one. I don’t expect a book of mine to be a good fit for everyone, so it doesn’t bother me when that happens (unless the reader is flat out mean and calls me names, which has only happened once). I learn from what people like best and what they struggled with and do my best to use that to improve my writing. The most common positive comment is that people like Emma, my 32-yr-old ethics investigator, and Alibi my homicide cop. They also seem to like the dynamic between Emma and her best friend, Kate, and Kate’s teen son. 

Negatives have included a few people saying I describe clothing too much (which as a result I dialed down in my later books 🙂 and that the names are “weird”. (I didn’t change that. I like weird names.)

Favorite book when you were a kid?

Black Stallion.

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

I love this question! I used to play this game with my kids and their friends. 

For me? 

(1) Responsible. Ugh, I was once on a 3rd date with a man who I thought was about to tell me how fabulous I was and instead he said, “If I could sum you up in one word, it would be ‘responsible’.” No 4th date for him! 

(2) Kind. Not always and not perfectly, but one plus side of having lived in fear is I have no interest in making anyone feel anything other than respected and safe.

(3) Creative! This is a new one, late-in-life, but being creative is now a big part of who I am.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Write every day, and don’t share what you’ve written until you are very far along.

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

I write thrillers where no harm comes to children. They may be in danger, and we may worry for them, but every child you come to know in my books will be safe.

Thank you Kris Calvin for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Under a Broken Sky today!

~Synopsis~

In this Sacramento-set thriller perfect for fans of Meg Gardiner, Emma Lawson uncovers greed and deception for a living, but this time is different. If only she knew this killer can hear her.

He can see her.

One year into her prized role as the youngest ethics investigator in California’s history, Emma suspects corruption in the state’s billion dollar expansion to train travel. That unwittingly puts her on a killer’s trail – a killer who will do anything to reach his illicit million dollar payday, including personally eliminating Emma Lawson as a threat.

Detective Alibi Morning Sun sees connections where no one else does. For him, a drowning at a lake, a fire in a storage facility and a murder by the river carry a thread soaked in blood.

As Emma follows the money and Alibi traces bullets and bodies, the killer counts down to his grand finale. With each mounting danger, it quickly becomes apparent that the corruption Emma has been digging for is real— and it’s deadly.

Three days. Two days. Now only one…

Kris Calvin’s latest novel, UNDER A BROKEN SKY (July 12, 2021; Crooked Lane Books) is the second in her Emma & Alibi mystery-thriller series. Kris served for more than 20 years as the CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics in California, and was honored for her leadership in advocacy for children by the California Legislature. You can visit Kris online at kriscalvin.com.

kriscalvin.com