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 · 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 · 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.

Coming Soon · Cover Reveal · Pre-Order

Cover Reveal for She Conquers by Caitlin Denman

 Cover reveal for She Conquers by Caitlin Denman!

Cover Artist: @darkwishdesigns

Releasing on June 14th 2022!

~Synopsis~

Her new powers have risen but can she conquer them in time to take on Henrik and become the reigning Fae queen?

Attina’s new powers have risen since her Awakening. Now she must battle to conquer them and call them at will. Can she master her powers and defeat Henrik in time to take the throne which is rightfully hers?

Hazel, a strange and mysterious companion shows up to help Allister and Attina dive into the past. They soon figure out, the only way to see their future is to face the hidden darkness of the past.

As Attina’s powers unveil themselves, she finds some hidden wounds difficult to overcome. She quickly learns not all injuries are skin deep. She realizes sometimes the invisible scars are the ones which change us the most. And not always for the better.

The group decides to make their way to the Eastern Fae. When they finally reach them, Attina finds out not everything is what it seems. Secrets are uncovered and battle lines are drawn.

Where you can preorder: https://books2read.com/u/4NjRBG

 

Coming Soon · Review

Remember Me: A Novel by Estelle – My Review

Title: Remember Me: A Novel

Author: Estelle Laure

Release Date: March 22nd 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age

Remember Me is an astonishingly bold young adult novel from Estelle Laure, the critically acclaimed author of This Raging Light and Mayhem

If you could erase all of your painful memories, would you?

Blue Owens wakes up one day with the strangest feeling that something is very wrong. Everyone’s acting weird and she’s found a note in her closet telling her to get on the Little Blue Bus at 7:45, which she does, meeting up with the exact person she was supposed to avoid: Adam Mendoza. Even though she has no idea who he is, something about him is so familiar.

When she confronts him, the truth is revealed—Blue has paid to have her memories removed, and Adam is one of those memories. As Blue struggles to piece together her history, she is torn between her desire to know why she would do something so drastic and her fear of what she will find.

Remember Me is the bold and beautiful story of a girl who must find the courage to face the demons of her past and reclaim her loved ones—even if it ruins her.

This was a different and interesting read. It’s starts off with Blue heading to school. Yet something feels off. She finds a note and has no clue who could have written it. From there the story progresses as Blue sets out to find out what happened to her. My heart did hurt for her. There’s a lot of heavy moments. If only it were that simple to simply forget. While there’s a lot of deep scenes, there’s some lighter ones which gives you a sense of hope. Like the sun coming out after a cloudy day. 

After finishing, I took some time to sort out my feelings. On one hand, I enjoyed it. There’s a really good twist and of course that ending. On the other hand, I had mixed feelings on how certain things played out for Blue. I won’t spoil anything. All I have to say is read it for yourself. I give this 3 stars.

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

Coming Soon · Pre-Order · Review

The Golden Couple: A Novel by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen – My Review

Title: The Golden Couple: A Novel

Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Release Date: March 8th 2022

Genre: Domestic Thrillers

Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter Avery Chambers.

Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn’t stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they have to adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate.
When they glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.

You’ve seen those couples. You know which ones I’m talking about. The ones who have the perfect life. Or so it seems…..

I never really know what to expect when I pick up a Hendricks/Pekkanen book. I was intrigued by the description and was excited to dive in. The story begins and you meet the characters. Right off the bat, I don’t like any of them. I know I’m supposed to feel that way but I couldn’t help feeling irked. Yet it’s not enough to turn me off from the book. More like, let’s see where this is going. The story unravels lots of suspense and turns. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, it’s a dead end. LOVED THAT! What an ending! Totally satisfying. It felt like the sun came out after being hidden by the clouds. Very nice.

This is a great read! You have suspense and that thrilling feeling like something bad is going to happen but you’ll get all your answers. I highly recommend this book! I give it 4 stars.

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

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

Interview with an Author Featuring Shae Coon

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Shae Coon! Her latest release, Her Broken Pieces (Marron House Romance Series Book 4) will release on December 26th 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I had all these movie-like scenes playing in my head, and I just decided to write them down. Then one day, I said, “what the hell,” and started putting together my 1st book from the remnants of scratch paper with my thoughts written down.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I don’t plot! I get an idea and just let my fingers fly. The scene may change a million times, but I just keep writing.

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

Honestly? I don’t. I let myself feel sadness, joyfulness, or frustration. If I try to control it or suppress it, then when the words start to flow, they will fall flat. I have to feel so that my characters can.

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

Five total. For His Own Protection has become my favorite. I love a badass woman with a heart of gold and a smart-ass mouth.

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

None. Ouch, I know. But again, I play the scene in my head, and as I build the scene, the world begins to develop.

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

I hear from readers a lot. They are my sounding board and my saving grace. So far, they love the books. They are completely honest with me and tell me if they feel something could have been done better or offer up storylines they would like to see me write.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

The Enigma by Jodi Ellen Malpas. She is one that got me hooked on dark romance all those years ago.

Describe yourself in three words.

Loyal, fierce, stubborn

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

Andrew Biernat as Caleb Marron, most definitely. For the female lead, Talia Stone, that would be hard to say. She would need to be a fierce CEO type, with demons that keep her a bit unsure of herself.

What advice would you give to other authors?

As a very wise woman (https://www.instagram.com/me_myself_and_romance_books/) once screamed at me, “HASHTAGS.” It’s insane how important those little things are in marketing your work.

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

Each book has a bit of my life or the history of my ancestry in it. Which parts? You’ll never know.

 

Thank you Shae Coon for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out and preorder her newest release, Her Broken Pieces today!

~Synopsis~

Gerry

Five years ago, Jax Townsend saved me from a fate worse than death. I was sold to a prince by a man who claimed to love me, then tortured and enslaved by another. That’s why I decided if that was love, then I wanted no part in it.
Now, I work for Marron House Security. Hired by the same man who shot a Sheikh to save me. The same man that haunts my dreams with the promise of a happily ever after. Jax sees my broken pieces, and it scares me. Because for all he sees, I see more.
I see his desire for me, and it heats my blood with untold need. I hide my body’s reaction to his innocent touches. I’ve never desired a man the way I desire Jax Townsend, but if I allow myself to embrace this passion, then I allow him a piece of my heart. And I just can’t do that.

Jax

She carved her name into my heart the moment our eyes locked five years ago on that yacht belonging to a prince. I killed for her, then left her in the hands of my best friend’s mother and went back to fight another battle.
Now, I’m co-founder of Marron House Security, and I’ve hired Gerry as our office manager. Her bright smiles and scent of wildflowers have me fantasizing about all sorts of naughty, after-hours escapades.
I want Gerry. Body, soul, but above all else…heart. And that’s the shit of it all. Because Gerry doesn’t believe love comes without cruelity, and I’m not sure I’m enough to prove her wrong.

I am a native Texan, wife, and mother. I started writing soon after my daughter was born in 2012 but only recently decided to publish my work. I hadn’t been into any particular genre until I took on a well-known romance title and fell in love.

Since then, different scenes have played out in my head, and I couldn’t help but jot down my ideas with any available scrap of paper. I never thought I would actually take the leap to put my work out there for all to see. It took me four years to finish my first manuscript because I kept putting it down and picking it back up. But with the support of family and friends, I finished it and am now able to live my dream of taking others to a world of seduction and romance through my writing.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shae.coonauthor/

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shae-Coon/e/B09582JXSK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/shae-coon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20973171.Shae_Coon

TikTok: https://shaecoon.com/https://www.tiktok.com/@shaecoon_author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CoonShae

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author Featuring Kala Merseal

The Literary Vixen presents…

KalaMerseal-AuthorPic

Joining us today is Kala Merseal! Her upcoming release, The Dark Realm (The Guardians of Atlanta Book 4) releases on June 29th 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always loved stories (as I think is every writer’s go-to answer) but I started writing when I was in third grade. I also enjoyed drawing, so I illustrated a little book for my class to read about a dragon that could only blow bubbles in a family of fire-breathers, and in the end saved their home from fire-proof but water-vulnerable goblins! My childhood was filled with trips between my divorced parents, and my mother often moved. I wasn’t able to settle into a home and make permanent friends until my early teens, so I think that came out with my stories as a child. They were often about the hero/heroine finding a way to fit into the world despite some kind of disability or different-ness. Through my teens and into early adulthood, writing and drawing had always been a hobby for me, and I often said that I would find the time or motivation to publish eventually. I didn’t follow through until after my mom passed away in 2019, and I discovered that she had been reading the little journals I used to scribble in as a kid. We were fighting beforehand for about a year, so we weren’t in contact—my stories were the only way to reach me, even if that was the me from years ago. I published first so that I could tell her (or the heavens, whoever was listening, wherever they were) that I did, like I told her I would. I told my husband that I would just be happy to see how readers react to my stories, so that I could imagine how my mother would. Then it became a mission to make it a career.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I’m not sure if it’s interesting, but I have to listen to music while I’m writing! I get the emotions and scenes painted by the mood of the songs, so I often put very specific songs on repeat. Also, coffee. All the time. Though I think this only speaks to my habits while writing. I also struggle writing out of the chronology of the story or multitasking between writing more than one story.

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

Writing is an emotional relief for me, actually. I don’t walk away from the story with their emotions piled up in the corner of my mind—it’s more like they’re dumped with mine. So, when I’m dealing with some particularly dark scene or thoughts of a character, we’re sharing those burdens together. Often, I’m rolling around afterward just thinking about what they’re feeling or experiencing, and I’m always drawn back to the document to continue to spill out more hell. I feel much better afterward and even though my characters might not get relief in the immediate events, I consolidate it with the fact that I’ll resolve their issues in the end. As I love to quote Ron from Prisoner of Azkaban: “You’re gonna suffer, but you’re gonna be happy about it.”

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

I have tons of journals that have stories; some not finished, others not worthy for eyes at all. I’ve probably written near twenty stories. But novels or full-length books, I think only within ten. Most were just ramblings that happened on the fly with no clear ending but they definitely became more coherent as I continued to write (and as I grew up). I think my most favorite (thus far) is The Shadow Curse. I’ve been developing that story for about four years now and only finished the first book last year. It started from a mash-up of a dream and an amalgamation of some story I wrote when I was a kid and evolved from there. The characters are all deep aspects of my inner turmoil.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Cassandra Clare, and (dare I say it) Stephanie Meyer were all huge influences on me in my teens. I used to obsessively read Twilight as a tween (now can’t stand the books or the movies) and that led me to wanting to write my own. Before I hit twelve though, movies like Eragon and Harry Potter influenced my stories and drawings. I think most recently, I’m more influenced by Tolkien and Elder Scrolls lore (a game franchise but they’ve developed the hell out of their stories).

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

I do! I have some hardcore fans that are in frequent contact with me. I’ve been lucky to make a few friends from my readers and I’m so thankful for them. I have such a great response from my readers that I think without them, I wouldn’t have gotten this far in publishing. I think readers really underestimate how much power they have in influencing their authors. It’s hard to create if we don’t have feedback on how well the creation is looking.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I’ve had Six of Crows sitting beside my bed for a while! I mostly read on my phone though. The last book I read earlier this week was Heat by Aprilynne Pike. She was always an influence on my writing, though lesser known to some readers.

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

That would be cool, but I’d rather my book be made into an animation or a comic! That would be amazing. I love illustration and animation and seeing my stories come to life the way I imagine it in my head would be perfect. A dream come true.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Have a thicker skin, keep your pen to the page, and keep writing. I’ve had to remind myself of this often. I think out of all the advice someone could give about the craft of writing, endurance is key. No matter where you’re starting out or how great (or not) you are with writing, if you have the passion for it, you can get better. No one should give up on a passion just because someone else says they suck. People are fickle and careless, and most don’t understand the impact of their words. Most walk away and forget they even said anything to you. If there’s something wrong with your story, dissect it, find the problem, hit ctrl+alt+delete, then move on. Life’s too temporary to get hung up and stuck on minor details.

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

I get so invested in my books. Looking back on The Guardians of Altana, my first finished series as of late this coming June, I think Ara really embodies me. She is every emotion and tragedy I’ve experienced the last few years, so if you want to get to know me, meet Ara. I also learned how to write longer fiction with this first series. I know it’s a little rocky in the beginning. I developed the world as I wrote The Guardians of Altana, so even after Ara’s and Raethin’s story is finished, there will be more to come. I’ve Silmarillion-ed the world and I plan to have many prequel and sequel series to this one.

Thank you Kala Merseal for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out and pre-order her newest release, The Dark Realm today!

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~Synopsis~

They must destroy the last gate—no matter the cost.

Separated after the destruction of the second gate, Ara, Raethin, Cirith, and Zira must find their way back to one another before Aeskrius can cut them down one by one.

The will of the primordial gods lead Raethin to Ara and together, they trek the vast Kava Sil landscape to find the rest of their team. With the help of the foreign guardian of the god of fire, Cirith and Zira regroup with the princess and her commander

The final hours draw near as they race against the Void King’s champion to the final gate. The fate of Thraes depends on them to stop Aeskrius before he rips open the realms.

Kala Merseal is an author of High and Urban Fantasy. Since her childhood, she’s loved writing about fantastical worlds, deep mythologies, epic adventures, and star-crossed love.

https://www.kalamerseal.com/links/

Author Spotlight · Coming Soon · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author Featuring M.K. Hall

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is M.K. Hall! Her newest release, Empyrean Queen (Origins Book 2) releases May 23rd.

How long have you been writing?

I’ll preface this question by saying that I didn’t discover the power books hold over a reader and how they can provide an escape from reality until my late twenties. That was when the fuse was lit and I made my first attempt to write. It failed miserably and thankfully only my sister-in-law knows just how terribly that went. (I’m still not convinced she forgives me for that). After another twelve years of reading and battling excuses and debilitating self-doubt, I finally mustered the courage to try again.

Describe a typical writing day.

Weekends are easy. I usually write from the time I get up until dinnertime. I have a full time job, so during the week I’m usually up by 6am, writing by 6:30am. I clock in for work at 8 and then write over my hour lunch break. When I clock out around 5-6pm, it’s back to writing until bedtime. (Somewhere in there, I manage to eat and say hello to my family.) Whether weekends or weekdays, rest assured there are copious amounts of coffee involved.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

My first published series, Origins, which features just two books (Empyrean Born and Empyrean Queen), stemmed from a conversation between my younger daughter, then 18, and myself. We were watching tv and there was yet another odd weather event or something and I just looked at her and said, “I should write about 2020. Maybe make up some race of people who are responsible for all this craziness.” Thus, the Empyreans were born. As far as the other irons in the fire, those ideas just randomly hit me. I use Pinterest a lot and am one of those authors who needs the FBI to know those Google searches are for research, I swear.

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

I actually really enjoyed writing one particular type of character in Empyrean Queen. Without giving too much away, it was oddly fascinating how much fun I had writing from the bad guys’ POV. I guess we all have a darker side just waiting to be tapped into.

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

In general, I’m someone who likes quiet. I can’t write with music playing or when there are other distractions and this is especially true during an emotional scene. I usually have a woodwick candle burning (I get hypnotized by the sounds of the crackling wick). I simply reread the previous scene or chapter for that character and get myself into the moment. I’ll be honest, sometimes it doesn’t work and I just have to write out some of the action and go back to tweak it, add detail or dialogue at a later time.

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

Oh boy. I’m not good with these types of questions. (See? Already broke the rules.) I guess I’d have to say considerate, trustworthy, introvert.

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

 I find that delving more into other characters’ lives and history, building that foundation and making it relevant to the current storyline works from my perspective. In the Origins series, the second book has several chapters from other characters’ POVs, characters that were secondary and one that wasn’t even mentioned in the first book.

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

Yes! I’m very excited about my current project. I actually finished the first book last year and then walked away from it while I wrote the Origins series. The break proved to be just what I needed. Now that I’m nearly done with a total rewrite, the story has become much larger and far more complex. I feel I’ve finally found the true voice of these characters and I’m so excited to get this one out. Without sharing too much detail, I’m comparing it to a Lord of the Rings style epic fantasy but with a rather intense romantic theme. I’m not quite ready to reveal the name of the series just yet. You’ll have to join my Facebook reader group – Books, Cats, and Tatts – for more information.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Haha, well honestly, I’m still in a place where I’m the one looking for advice! I will say this, though, never stop writing. If writing is your passion but you’re going through a slump of writer’s block, take a break but do NOT give up. This was proven to me with my current project. I wasn’t 100% happy with it but I kept going. As it turns out, that first draft gave me the foundation I needed to make the story something I’m truly proud of.

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

What I hope for more than anything, is to create worlds readers can get lost in. I envision them so vividly in my mind and I wish for nothing more than others to see what I see. Life and reality are hard enough. We all need an escape, even for a little while. I truly think this is what most authors strive to achieve and if even one person enjoys the escape I’m attempting to provide, I’ll consider myself a success.

Thank you M.K. Hall for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out and preorder her newest release, Empyrean Queen today!

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~Synopsis~

The year 2020 may be over, but that doesn’t mean things have gotten any easier. With mixed feelings about no longer carrying the secret title of being the Empyreans’ Chosen, Val returns to her realm and her people only to find more danger lurking in the deepest, darkest shadows and threatening to destroy the Empyreal world.

Everywhere she turns, betrayal isn’t far behind, and with an ever-growing list of bad guys, trust is a precious commodity. Yet allies from unlikely places come forth as more mysteries about her life are brought to light. Val will be tested and forced to confront the truth of her past and the unknown future, all while attempting to save the soul of the man she loves.

With demons of all kinds on the loose, the looming threat of war with Purgatory, and Gabe’s eternal damnation hanging in the balance, will Val ever learn who she really is and where she came from? Will she ever be crowned Empyrean Queen, or will deeply buried secrets be her undoing?

Empyrean Queen is the final book in the Origins duology.

Origins

CHECK OUT BOOK ONE!

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M. K. Hall is a fantasy author living in a small Midwestern town with her husband, kids, and furbabies. She loves cats above all else, but coming in at a close second are coffee, craft beer, birthday cake, and virtually anything flavored with lemon and blueberry. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cross stitching (mostly naughty sayings), binge watching tv shows, or camping with her hubby of nearly 24 years.

https://linktr.ee/MKHall_Author

Coming Soon · Pre-Order · Review

The Sky Above Us by Natalie Lund – My Review

Title: The Sky Above Us

Author: Natalie Lund

Release Date: April 13th 2021

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

From the author of We Speak in Storms comes a twisty, psychological thriller about three friends searching for the truth in the aftermath of a plane crash.

The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally recovered, they are identified as Izzy’s twin brother, Israel, Cass’s ex-boyfriend, Shane, and Janie’s best friend, Nate. But Izzy can feel when her brother is in pain, and she knows he’s not really dead. So she, Cass, and Janie set out to discover what actually happened that day–and why the boys were on the plane.

Told in alternating timelines and points of view, this powerful and captivating novel follows the three boys in the weeks leading up to that fateful flight, and the girls they left behind as they try to piece together the truth about the boys they loved and thought they knew. A spellbinding story about the ripple effects of tragedy, the questions we leave unanswered, and the enduring power of friendship.

Loss. Grief. 

It’s never easy losing a loved one. The pain that comes from the emptiness you feel, is very hard to bear. Three deaths. No answers.

I was not expecting such a heavy story. I didn’t feel like this story was a thriller. A lot happens within each person’s life and we get a peek into what each person is dealing with. The choices they make/made and how they affected everyone around them. Mental illness is mentioned and I liked that. Too many shy away from that topic but it is a real thing affecting many people every day. While I enjoyed the story, I felt like there was too much going on. Too many characters. I didn’t connect with many of them. 

This is a good YA story and while I expected a thriller, I got a different kind of story and I enjoyed it. This is my first Natalie Lund book and I enjoyed her writing. I will look for more works by her. I give this 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

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