Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Ericka Shanniak

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Ericka Shanniak! Her book, Opening Danger: Dangerous Ties Book 1 – Paranormal Romance released on October 31st 2021.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a junior in high-school back in 2008, haha. After I had both my kiddos, I decided to take the leap of faith and write my first ever book Piercing Jordie (formerly Jordie In Charge) and sent it to a small press publisher. She accepted me, the book (it needed a lot of work) and invested in me. If it wasn’t for her, for Teresa, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I owe her everything. I’ve since paid her back for the series and got my publishing rights back. We stay in touch.

Describe a typical writing day.

Oh goodness, I write when I have a moment. I will write on the toilet taking a poop, feeding the chickens, out fishing, I will even wake from a dead sleep and write about a scene that came to me. But usually, since I work in 911 dispatch, I will write when things are uneventful and I can squeeze it in. Writing at home with kids is hard.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

From everyday living like from an encounter with someone at the grocery store, messages or emails, or phone calls I take in dispatch. For example, back in June of this year, I got a call from a guy looking for his booty call who was a no show. I said sorry I’m not it, but please feel free to use protection and call back when you have an emergency since we’re here to assist. The guy called back 15 minutes later and asked if I wanted to be his booty call… I’m damn serious… So, things like that give me inspiration for characters then I just add in whatever like magic or sexy wolves and voila, I pulled a book outta my butt because I literally pants the entire thing.

What gave you that push to press the publish button?

My former small press publisher, Teresa, said I was a dang good writer and she believed in me. Her believing in me, gave me the confidence I never had. And it means everything to me. So, her taking me under her wing and guiding me gave me the courage to just go for it. Teresa is an amazing woman.

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

Well… If it’s a sex scene, I go to my husband for a quickie just to make sure what I wanna do works bahaha! And if it’s something else, I just tap into that part of my memories I repressed as a kid (I had a hard childhood) and just go into what I felt during that moment and write it. It takes me a few days after writing a scene that’s so draining to get back into the groove and feel like myself again. My husband has to help me come down from those emotions because I will spiral like I did in Uplifting Irie. I went too far deep and he had to pull me out. I later deleted a lot of what I wrote because I went too dark. My husband is an amazing man.

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

Direct, humorous, and unapologetic.

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

First, I shake off the nerves. Then I take a shot and shake off the rest of the nerves. I pump myself up and tell myself that I got this and whatever I am writing is not real (if it deals with my trauma because I got to remind myself that I’m okay and safe). Then I just plunge right in, get it written then tell my editor Tiffany what page and what chapter might need some TLC if I go too far deep into that.

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

I just wrapped up my second book to my Alien RH series. It’s the 30th book I’ve written. I just sent it to my amazing editor Tiffany Purdon. Next I will be working on a contemporary mafia romance set in my small town of Coldwater Kansas. (I changed the name to Coldriver) but I kept the people and their jobs the same, just changed a few vowels of their names. And at the same time, I will be working on a new fantasy romance series. I have no idea where I’m going with that one yet. I am a pantser.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Don’t read reviews. Just work on putting the next book out there and make it better than the last. Don’t get discouraged, easier said than done, I get it, but keep grinding. If you’re going to spend money on an edit, do developmental because with your friends and writing tools, you can do a pretty good line edit yourself but you’re too close to the story to figure out if there’s a plot hole. And get yourself a funny, honest, sarcastic friend to read your book, their advice is helpful whereas everyone else will just be like “it’s good.”

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

Golly… I want people to know that I try my best. I do my best to put out fun, entertaining and unique books with diverse characters. If you pick up one of my books and like it, badass, and if you read it and are like eww, then badass. But I want ya to know that I did my best and stayed true to myself. I have no reeegurtz lol.

 

Thank you Ericka Shanniak for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Opening Danger today!

~Synopsis~

I wanted the quiet life – coffee on the front porch reading a good book – kind of life. And when it came to danger, or any type of confrontation, whether from former boyfriends or nasty pink faeries, I tried to avoid it. This time though? I couldn’t escape it. I’m being dragged toward danger by a handsome, jerk of a werewolf who calls himself Evander.

It doesn’t matter what I say to Evander, what I have or haven’t done, it only matters what I have in my possession – a key. And because this stupid hunk of metal, my death awaits me.

In order to bring an end to this bullshit, I must convince Evander to help me. With his help, I can absolve my name. If not, then death for me is certain.

Opening Danger is an enemy to lovers slow burn paranormal romance where descsex is guaranteed in books 2 & 3.
*** WARNING – this book contains scenes and language that some readers may find disturbing and or triggering. ***

E.A. (Ericka Ashlee) Shanniak is the author of several successful series – A Castre World Novel – Whitman Series Western Romance – Dangerous Ties Series. She is hobbit-sized, barely reaching over five feet tall on a good day. When she wears her Ariat boots, not only does she gain an inch, she is then able to reach the kitchen cabinets to get all the snacks. When not in her fox den for a few hours (writing cave), Ericka loves to spend time with her family – outside having campfires, fishing, camping, or zooming in a car to another midwest adventure. Ericka loves all the animals her kids bring home including numerous barn cats and their newfound bantam chicken named Strip.

Ericka is an emergency 911 dispatcher (used to do medical billing) residing in the small town of Coldwater, Kansas with her supportive, wonderful husband, two amazingly loving kids, and whatever animals her kids bring home this week. So far, it has been her husband who decided she needed ducks. You’re welcome to follow her on her Kansas adventures with these social media platforms listed below.

FACEBOOK

AMAZON

INSTAGRAM

TIK-TOK

or at her Facebook group – Shanniak Shenanigans

Website: http://www.eashanniak.com/

email: erickashanniak@gmail.com

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Billie Jade Kermack

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Billie Jade Kermack! Her debut book, Awoken: A Paranormal Romance Murder Mystery Book One release on January 3rd 2016.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Some of my earliest memories are of reading, devouring anything and everything that I could get my hands on. I created poems and stories of my own over the years but it wasn’t until I was about 13 when I realised I could actually do what all the authors I loved had done. I had a fantastic teacher at school who encouraged me to pursue my dreams.

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

So my first completed trilogy are paranormal romances with a murder mystery twist. I am a massive horror fan and have always been fascinated with the supernatural. It gave me the opportunity to explore a world that has far more questions than answers, it offered me a freedom of sorts to create a fictional world based on my ideas without too much intrusion from real life. My current book for release is friends-lovers romance with a non-traditional HEA, I’ve loved lending my own brand of humour to the story with this one, as it is intended for a more adult audience than my first series I have been able to play with the characters a little more freely.

Haunted house or corn maze?

Haunted house every day of the week.

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

When I say all the time it is an understatement. For me my imagination plans out an idea as though it is fluid. I have no idea where it is going until I get there, which is part of the fun. I do have an off switch, that little voice in my head that screams at me if I go too far down the wrong current with an idea that maybe isn’t right for my audience or maybe it’s a decision that doesn’t fit the characters personality. Life has a tendency to bleed into fiction so my writing can change with my mood.

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

My favourite character that I have created is the villain in my paranormal romance series. I am a sucker for true crime so putting pen to paper and creating Glen Havers; the serial killer spirit who haunts our protagonist was a dream. The intricacies of building a character I couldn’t possibly relate to on any level meant definitely kept the process interesting.

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

I try to research as much as possible but usually it is for an existing idea. Thankfully I’m not yet short of ideas, some that will probably never see the light of day but are there if I ever want to change it up. The smallest of details can help to make the story more enjoyable for the reader, that really bring it to life and make it relatable.

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

I definitely think I insert a part of myself into everything I write. My paranormal romance series was a cathartic expression of loss that I feel like I needed to write in order to heal from a childhood experience that is at the core of the protagonists story, it allowed me to relate with my character and I think my writing benefited from that first hand experience. I always have a notebook and pen beside my bed, my dreams and nightmares are very vivid, sometimes too vivid, so I will always note it down when I wake up if I find it interesting enough. The male lead characters, as I predominantly write MF romances, has qualities I would like in a partner, I think that is relatively normal for an author though.

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

Fun Halloween stories, where to start. My birthday falls on the day before Halloween so every year we have a costume party, they are always fun experiences. Another one of my jobs is as a makeup and SFX artist so I get to play with all things bloody and gory all year round but especially closer to Halloween. It is for sure my favourite time of year.

What advice would you give to other authors?

What advice would I give to other authors? Firstly, there is comfort in numbers, I have some amazing author buddies and we share what we have learnt with each other and offer support to one another if it is needed. It can be lonely being an author so reach out and build your author circle with likeminded people. Secondly – Marketing is not easy, but it is necessary. There are so many great tools online to give you ideas on what, when and where to share your work. And lastly it doesn’t matter if you’ve written the next worldwide phenomenon, not everyone is going to like your book and that’s okay. Side note – Try to shake off the bad reviews because you will get them, your book is for the people that love it, just remember that.

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

One thing I would like people to know about my books is that I have loved creating worlds that people have fallen in love with and I adore getting to know my readers.

 

Thank you Billie Jade Kermack for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her paranormal romance murder mystery series today!

~Synopsis~

Awoken is book one in this paranormal romance, murder mystery series.It’s a modern-day love story that’s more Grimm than Disney; if singing mice and dancing crabs are what you were looking for, this is not the book for you. Seances, time travel, and torture, however – if that’s your thing, you just might fit right in.
Twilight vibes with a splash of horror and some ghost hunting. Perfect for your next young adult read.

Grace didn’t believe in ghosts or demons, she thought magic was something that only lived in the pages of fairy tales.

How very wrong she was.

Hidden away most of his life, Beau had successfully managed to mask his gift from the world. Having the ability to commune with the dead wasn’t exactly the best conversation starter, and that was okay, he didn’t much like people anyway, until he walked back into Gallows Wood and into Grace’s life.

Struggling with the incessant onslaught of nightmares about her father’s untimely death, Grace had accepted that maybe she just wasn’t destined for a happily ever after.

Fate however had a skewed sense of humor. The deeper Grace delves into Beau’s world, the further she wanders from the safety of her own. Plagued by the spirit of a sadistic serial killer long dead, Grace must harness what power she can to defeat him and stay alive. Awakening family secrets that Grace could never have imagined to be true begs the question: Had she been surrounded by magic longer than she had thought?

How far into a world plagued by evil would you go to save the soul of the one you love?

Billie Jade Kermack is an author who lives in London with her family and their crazy dog Gus. As well as being an author Billie Jade is a makeup & SFX artist for TV and film and runs her doll company SIDS DOLL EMPORIUM. She is currently working on a contemporary romance series & has a completed paranormal romance series already published.

https://linktr.ee/billiejadekermack

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

Interview with an Author featuring S.A. Mackenzie

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is S.A. Mackenzie! Her upcoming release, Possessing Greed: A Sons of Satan Novel releases September 13th 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

 I am an avid video game player and reader. I spend most of my time inside, hiding away from the world because it’s my happy place. My son is my favourite person in the world next to my husband and I would spend all of my time with them if I could. My favourite activity with friends is playing board and card games. I love to laugh, I cry way too easily, and I’m very apologetically me (it’s the Canadian in me, we apologize for everything!)

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No, actually. I’ve always been an avid reader, but sitting down and writing out stories was never something that interested me until I had my son. After my son was born, I was desperate to find a purpose for me, especially as a stay at home mom. For almost a year, I spent so much time daydreaming while idly rocking my baby and those daydreams turned into full stories in my head. So, I just picked up my laptop and started writing one day. I’ve never looked back since then.

What time of the day do you usually write?

I fit it in when I can! As the needs of my child change, so does my writing schedule. Right now, it’s mostly the morning and early afternoon, though I do write in the evenings when I have a deadline coming up.

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

I’m a pantser for the most part. From the time an idea sprouts, I normally do a lot of vague large world building. Once writing actually starts, I try to have a basic outline of point a to point b, but I give my characters and creativity the reigns. Sometimes we get off track, but it all comes together in the end. The journey is a lot of fun when all you have is the destination in mind. 

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

Hmm, that’s a hard one. The most enjoyable was probably the one releasing mid-September, Possessing Greed. It’s a shared world so the world building was so much fun and then the main character was an absolute blast to give the reins to.

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

My husband and my alpha reader team. Both my husband and those beautiful women are my rock. They’ve given me the drive, confidence, and support to publish my first and every other book since. 

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

 I do! It’s normally around a release that I hear from them the most. It’s always the sweetest compliments and encouragement from all of them. I’m a very awkward person, but hearing from them puts a smile on my face every time. 

Favorite book when you were a kid?

A kid kid? Probably the Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen mystery books. As a teen it would have been Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.

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

Chaotic, clumsy, silly.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s, it will never look the same. You need to add in time for yourself and work within your limits or you’ll hit your burn out and after that it can be hard to find your love for writing again.

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

Each one is a part of me, yet none of them are the same. Some are the darker parts that I mostly keep hidden, others are the sweet, surface level stuff I show the world. The dark and light, the sweet and the sad, these books tell a story of me and who I was, who I am, and who I want to be.

 

Thank you S.A. Mackenzie for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her upcoming release, Possessing Greed today!

~Synopsis~

Nothing in this world is free. The sooner you realize that, the better.

As a woman in a man’s world, I have to work twice as hard to bring home half as much as my male counterparts. Time is money, and apparently having tits makes my time worth less.

Being a woman doesn’t stop me from out performing and destroying them all as the top corporate lawyer in my city. I’ve worked my ass off to be the best, so I can afford every luxury my heart desires. Diamonds? Check. Emeralds? Check. The sweet smell of a new leather purse dripping in 24-karat gold? Drool, and double check!

That is until a gorgeous man in a stunning suit rips it all away from me with a one-way ticket to Hell. As in, actual Hell. And that one-way ticket? A knife through my heart.

This demon is going to regret making me the Queen of Greed. Possessing Greed may have been my greatest sin, but it’s also going to be my strongest asset in the sparkling, frozen tundra of Hell’s first Circle.

Possessing Greed is a novel in the multi-author shared world, Sons of Satan. Be sure to read all seven books for a hellish good time! This book is for audiences 18 and over due to mature language and content. Possessing Greed is a reverse harem romantic stand-alone with an HEA.

S.A. Mackenzie is a Canadian why choose author that writes everything from contemporary to paranormal romance. S.A. loves all things spicy, from food to books. She spends her days chasing around her child as a stay at home mom and writing. Her evenings are spent with her big, bearded husband watching movies and playing video games.

Author Links: https://linktr.ee/samackenzieauthor

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
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

Interview with an Author featuring Kristy Brown

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Kristy Brown! Author of The Summer Solstice series.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

When I was a teen, I wrote lots of poetry and short stories, but I ended up falling in love with drama. I studied acting at university. After having my first child I started writing again. A short story turned into my first book, KIERA’S QUEST, a Middle Grade fantasy series. I haven’t stopped writing since. 

What time of the day do you usually write? 

I usually write when the husband and kids are at work/ school/ college. I need total silence. Normally I try to fit in two to three hours a day. 

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

If I’m to be honest the characters usually come first and I build the world around them. There was lots of world building in Kiera’s Quest as it happens across different magical realms. 

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?  

All my books are special to me for different reasons. I love Summer, Alex and Andi in Summer’s End. I love the magical romance in Cinderfella, a modern-day retelling with all roles reversed. Kiera’s Quest was an adventure as I could go mad with my imagination creating new creatures and worlds. Just Sam was the easiest to write as there’s a lot of my personality in it. For instance, Sam loves tennis, as do I (watching, not playing!) She loves Disney and I love a bit of that! My problem is that I can’t seem to stick to a genre. I write whatever may pop into my head. 

What book is currently by your bedside table? 

Flock by Kate Stewart. 

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

Yes, I love talking to them. Mostly it’s positive asking me to continue with a series etc. 

Favorite book when you were a kid? 

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl because I have fond memories of my grandad reading it to me and chuckling all the way through. 

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

Honest. Caring. Creative. 

What advice would you give to other authors? 

Read as much as possible. Edit as much as possible. Get a thick skin because not every reader will like your work. 

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

That I love writing each one and hope that the reader finds something to love too. 

I’m currently writing a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet…watch this space 😊 

 

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

~Synopsis~

YA Paranormal Romance

She wakes up in the hospital, badly burned with no identity.
He’s been trained to kill her before she burns the world to ashes.
When they finally meet, will he be able to take her life now that he’s started to feel for her?
His fate is already written.
The prophecy is already set.
Love between them is forbidden.

Hi I’m Kristy and I live in the U.K. I have always written short stories and poetry. I went to university to study acting which I loved, but my real passion has always been writing. So, now I write the kind of stories I would have wanted to read as a teen. “Kiera’s Quest- part one & two,” a Middle-grade/ teen fantasy series, is now available on e-book and paperback. If you like shape shifters, magical realms and a chosen one, then this may be for you!
My YA contemporary romance book, “Just Sam,” about a young tennis star who loses someone important and has to trust in life and love again, is available on Amazon in print & on Kindle, as is my YA/NA fairy-tale retelling, “Cinderfella.”​ Cinderfella has all roles reversed and is aimed slightly older, as there is a little passion and darkness to this tale, but still keeps the magic of the original.
I also have a YA Paranormal Romance trilogy, ‘The Summer Solstice series.’ “Summer’s End,” book one, “Summer’s Lost” (2) and “Summer’s Time,” are all available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited, as are all my titles. I love reading of course. I have lots of new projects in mind, and I’m currently working on a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

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

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3nAKk7O

Author Spotlight · Coming Soon · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Ariel Dawn

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Ariel Dawn! Her upcoming release, Hecate (Speed Dating with the Denizens of the Underworld Book 6) is releasing June 28th 2022.

Congrats on hitting the USA Today best selling list!!

What inspired you to start writing?

I’d always wanted to be an author. I can remember being younger and thinking one day I’ll write a book. Even then I was inspired by love and love stories, and some of my first writings were love poems and fanfiction. I’ve always been a dreamer, and always constructed stories and epic daydreams in my head. It just took me 35 years to put those stories on paper and realize they could be published, and that I had the drive to actually finish a story and see it through to publication.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I write on my couch. I have a desk, in fact I have a studio downstairs in my house that is a stocked art studio, with shelves and great lighting…but I write on my couch under a blanket, usually with a big cup of coffee beside me.

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

It’s almost a little impossible for me to NOT soak up some of the characters I write. Especially the ones that I feel a connection to, like Ava, Jade, or Ketra. Those 3 are probably the most vivd to me, and writing them can sometimes be very taxing on me emotionally, and when I find myself soaking up too much of those moments, too much of their drama, I usually take a break or hop into another book, or read someone else’s book to reroute my brain a bit.

But for me I think what impacts me the most, if when I’m in the zone, I tend to hyperfixate. When I was writing Blood & Lust, I wrote for nearly 5 days straight. I slept, but not well because my mind was racing with the next chapter almost non-stop. When I get like that, I build in breaks to my schedule for rest. Shut my phone off and zone out with some Netflix, take a nap.

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

I wrote and published 8 books in 2021. So far in 2022, I have published 3, but I’ve written quite a few. I’m on track to publish 15 books for 2022 total, and I’m going to be starting work on my 2023 books soon, and there is a lot for 2023 as well.

If I had to pick ONE, I’d say In The Blood (or literally ANY of the Ava Crowley books) is my favorite, but Hollow’s Sunset (well, the whole Shifters of Starfall Creek Series, really) is a really close second.

In The Blood gets the number 1 spot because I’m a vampire girl at heart, and In The Blood is inspired by a lot of my favorite vampires ad vampire media. It’s the one I am most proud of, and Ava & Cas are my favorite to write because they really come so naturally and easily to me, and they are really great characters on their own as well as together.

Hollow’s Sunset is the second book in my co-written Shifters of Starfall Creek Series with Quell T. Fox, and the series was a milestone series for me for a number of reasons. It was my first shifter story, my first reverse harem story, my first crack at writing steamier material, my first time writing spicy m/m scenes (and group scenes). Hollow’s Sunset is my favorite out of the series because I really started to explore more m/m romance, and was much more confident in writing steam, plus there is a lot of really great character development and action in it. Even though I didn’t write him, Dustin is my favorite, and he really opens up in the second book, which I loved!

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

First off, Quell T. Fox. If I hadn’t met Quell and started co-writing with her, I would never have gotten so comfortable writing steam and spice this fast, that I know. Before I started writing with her, I could barely write the word cock, and I’d never written anything other than M/F. Writing with her really helped me learn firsthand where my strengths and weaknesses were, and her support as I found my footing and got more comfortable writing reverse harem, steam, spice, and conflict has definitely made a huge impact on my writing.

I also have to shout out C. Rochelle and AJ Mullican for their constant support and the role they play when it comes to my writing. Especially when I hit those roadblocks in the steam and conflict department. Both of them were authors I started reading in the very beginning of my author career and they continue to be two of my favorite authors, and are both amazing writers as well as amazing people.

What was the highlight of writing your latest book?

The latest book coming out, Hecate which comes out in just a few days- the highlight of that book had to be the steam for me. It’s my first book in a shared world, and I was writing it while I wrote the Shifters of Starfall Creek with Quell, and I got to really explore writing an alphahole and writing something on the steamier side solo.

The latest book I WROTE- was A Dark & Stormy Night, and the highlight of that for me was writing my first F/F romance. Dark & Stormy is a menage romance with f/f romance in it, and after writing m/m romance I was really excited to tackle a MFF pairing.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I have a literal STACK of books my bedside table, on my coffee table, on the floor in front of my bookshelves… but the NEWEST book to my coffee table stash is New Orleans Vampires by Marita Woywod Crandle. I picked it up on my recent trip to New Orleans after learning about some of the local vampire legends.

Do you have any new series planned?

I have many!

This year I am releasing Heaven Knows, which is the first book in my Lost Souls Series, and Voices In The Dark which is the first book in my Monsters of Ashwood Series.

Next year I plan on releasing my Lunar Mates Series, as well as my Merciless Gods Series, and I have another Ava Crowley spinoff series in the works which follows the male hunters from the Ava Crowley Vampire Slayer Series!

What advice would you give to other authors?

Just write. Don’t worry about polishing or making it perfect on the first go around. Just write. You can always go in after you finish to clean everything up and revise, but getting the words out is the most important thing. And even if you don’t like it after you’ve polished, revised, edited- that doesn’t mean your readers won’t love it. In fact, I guarantee that even if you can’t stand the book and see all its flaws they will still love it and think it’s amazing. Because YOU wrote it, and they love what you write!

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

I love love. I write and will always continue to write inclusive, diverse characters in my stories and represent all the facets of love I can. Whether that be F/F, M/M, MFM, MMMF, and others. I will always feature characters with complex backgrounds and plots, and will continue to write all steam levels. I will always write strong female characters as well as vulnerable and strong male characters and build the most vivid worlds I can for you to escape into.

Thank you Ariel Dawn for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Preorder her upcoming release, Hecate today!

~Synopsis~

Sometimes you need to unleash the beast inside…

Cate’s solitary life as a goddess is turned upside down when she agrees to attend a speed dating event with her mortal friend. When she’s paired with Gunner—a shifter with an attitude—sparks fly, and she soon finds herself entangled in a fate she cannot fight. The night will not last forever, and she must find a way to set Gunner’s caged spirit free.

Can Cate fulfill her duty and link her destiny with his—before time runs out?

Hecate is book six in the Speed Dating with the Denizens of the Underworld shared world, filled with badass witchy goddesses, broody shifters, and more.

It’s always darkest before the dawn…

USA Today Bestselling Author Ariel Dawn grew up as an avid reader and is a creative soul.

Ariel writes plot driven paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and reverse harem and hopes to venture into many other genres in the future. When she isn’t writing, she can be found cosplaying, attending conventions, swimming with her mermaid tail, creating all sorts of artwork in her studio, or editing photos for her photography business. A self-professed geek and foodie, she loves hanging out with family and friends and playing video games and board games with her retro gamer husband.

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Shari Nichols

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Shari Nichols! Her series, Ravens Hollow Coven is available now.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

First off, thank you so much for having me here, Laura. 

I live in NJ with my husband near a beautiful 50,000 acre park. We’re now empty nesters so we enjoy going there whenever we can. It’s my sanctuary. We do a lot of weekend trips with friends now. Take me out for a nice dinner and a glass of wine and I’m good to go. I can’t wait to start traveling again.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes and no. I’ve always loved to create stories, but I never imagined I could have a career as a writer. I wrote for the school newspaper in both high school and college. But I went to school for business. It wasn’t until I took some time off from work to raise my family that I decided I wanted to write.

What time of the day do you usually write?

I like to start first thing in the morning, but when I’m deep into the story, it’s whenever I can get the words on the page. I like to do sprints.

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

Quite a bit. Okay, Laura, I may be breaking the fourth wall, but here goes. The first thing I do is create character charts to find out more about who my characters are, when and where they were born. Their sun signs, what they look like, their personality traits. I also ask what they want. What’s their conflict? What happened in their childhood and what wounds did they endure? What about past loves? Then I tie their wounds into the plot and do a short chapter by chapter outline. I include turning points like the first time they kiss, when they learn to trust each other, when they realize they’re in love. I include the black moment and the climax that leads to the HEA. 

I change as I go because sometimes things come up. I never stick one hundred percent to the outline. And when I get stuck, I call a writing friend and ask for help, which is more often than not.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

Wow, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. I can’t! I loved writing each book for different reasons. My first book, HAUNTED is loosely based on my friend’s real life experience with a ghost. I was riveted by the story and found it compelling, I knew I had to write about it someday. I did quite a bit of research for that book and learned so much about the spirit world. As for my Raven’s Hollow series, it’s all about the witches, the vampires and he demons. Think Practical Magic meets Supernatural. I love anything to do with magic. I’m a huge HP fan so these books have been thrilling to write.

Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

Do I have to name just one? I love Kresley Cole. She’s a genius world builder. I got to meet her at an RWA conference in NYC. She was absolutely lovely. I also love Christine Feehan. She’s an amazing writer. I love Nora Roberts. I also got to meet her at an NJRW meeting and loved her humor!

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

I do hear from my readers, but of course I’d love to hear more! Maybe you can help me out with this, Laura! ☺I’m humbled beyond words when I get an email or a FB message from a reader that says they loved a book or a character and want to know about my next release.

Favorite book when you were a kid.

I loved all of the Nancy Drew books. I read everything from Judy Blume. Her books are honest and raw. They got me through those awkward middle school years.

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

Curious, goofy, passionate.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I’d say join a critique group. Send your work out to beta readers. Submit to publishers, agents and contests. Get feedback. Don’t reinvent the wheel by creating a genre that no one has ever heard of. You always want another set of eyes on your work before you submit. You want to make sure you’re putting out the very best work you can. Go to writer’s conferences and meetings. Talk to other writers and network. Enter contests. Read books about writing and read everything in your genre. Keep striving to get better and try not to compare yourself to anyone else. You’re on your own journey. Be consistent. Try to write every day and put the distractions aside. Use a timer and have fun.

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

All of my books are loosely based on real events and inspired by real people. Book one in my RH series, MIDNIGHT DESIRE is loosely based on a chilling crime story that took place in London, England in the nineties. I set it in a paranormal world, made my heroine a witch and turned the story into a romance. In book two, MIDNIGHT TEMPTATION, my hero’s a vampire and was inspired by my grandfather’s struggle to get out of Europe after he awoke from his funeral and climbed out of his coffin. In book three, MIDNIGHT CRAVING, (out this July), my heroine’s backstory is based on a childhood friend who suffered sexual abuse. Book four in the series, AFTER MIDNIGHT (out in October) is a novella, and the only book in the series that doesn’t have a suspense element. It’s just a light, whimsical, sexy read. 

As for me, I’m starting an MA program in creative writing this summer and looking forward to this new adventure. I’ve outlined a three book contemporary series, Love in the City about three best friends from college navigating friendships, careers and love while living in the Big Apple. I’m excited to get started on book one. 

Thank you for having me, Laura! This was so much fun!

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


~Synopsis~

When tarot card reader Gillian Howe hosts a supernatural speed dating event, she’s hopeful to discover her chance at love.

Making the perfect match is her passion. Too bad she can’t find one for herself.

A chance encounter with a wealthy vampire soon finds her plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds, and human escort rings. She’ll need help to survive, but the vampire detective is the last person she wants…even if he is scorching hot.

Garrett Mulroney has dealt with his share of the supernatural. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law.

The fact that the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation doesn’t bode well. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case.

But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness.

Now they’re forced to put their differences aside and go undercover by pretending to be a couple. The more time they spend together, the more Garrett wants her in his life—and in his bed.

Will they be able to develop the love and trust needed to take down the Brotherhood or become its next victim?

If you like Hailey Edwards, Lisa Edmonds, BR Kingsolver, or Jennifer Blackstream, you’ll love this paranormal romance with mystery, magic, and suspense!

BookBub | Goodreads

Shari Nichols grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common places, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, going to the gym, or hanging out with family and friends. 

Shari’s a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers. Shari’s new series,   Ravens’ Hollow Coven, is an urban fantasy with City Owl Press. 

Awards:  New York Book Festival Honorable Mention, Reviewers Choice Award for Best Book, Reviewers Choice Award for Best Series, Beverley Award, Golden Leaf Finalist For Best Book, Golden Leaf Finalist For Best Book by a New Jersey Author, HOLT Medallion Finalist, Literary Titan Silver Medal Winner.

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/shari_nichols/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/shari_nich

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9851324.Shari_Nichols

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/shari-nichols

Website – http://sharinicholsauthor.com/contact.html

New Release · Review

Dark Gods: A Limited Edition Paranormal Romance Anthology – My Review

Title: Dark Gods: A Limited Edition Paranormal Romance Anthology

Author: Various Authors

Release Date: March 1st 2022

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

Dark…delicious…devilish and ready to be worshiped

Be seduced in a world of angels and demons, monsters and men, and above them all, the gods that rule them.

Grab this kindle-melting set of stories about the darkest of men and the hottest of gods, where all males are alpha and where angels are fallen. Choose your bookish fated mate among these pages where everyone is a sinner and no one is a saint.

If you enjoy dark spicy romance, enemies-to-lovers, fated mates, hot gods, and the women that worship them, pick up Dark Gods today and give into temptation

Holy hotness!! *fans self*

This collection has some pretty great reads! My favorite by far is Love and War by Ariel Dawn & Terisa Johnson. Loved the tension between Imogen, Ares, and Colton. These me are hot! Like how do you choose? 

I highly recommend this collection. There’s something for everyone! I give it 5 stars.