Tag Archives: The Literary Vixen

Interview with an Author Featuring Stacy Bennett

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Stacy Bennett! Her newest release, Call of the Huntress: Corthan Legacy Book 2 released on May 11th 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I was always a reader and a day-dreamer. I’m not a big fan of large parties and day-long exhausting trips. But I do like to spend time alone walking in parks and as I walk I tell myself stories, flesh out characters and their dilemmas. And fall in love with them. Eventually the stories began to want to be told so one day I just started typing.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I don’t make notes about my stories. I mean hardly ever. Not on paper or napkins or receipts or even in notebooks. I just keep it all in my head. I repeat scenes over and over like a favorite trailer until I get them right and they feel like a movie I’ve already seen. At those times, when I’m really getting a lot of good info too fast to remember, I will relent and turn on the recorder on my phone. Then I narrate to myself the scenes and notes and histories. But I don’t generally return to them to listen and type them out. The act of telling myself seems to help keep it in my brain.

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

I always have a box of tissues on hand. 

To be honest, it’s easier for me to deal with the emotions the story itself brings up than the emotions that come from being an “author.” Handing my words, my darlings, to strangers is terrifying. The insecurity is real and very uncomfortable. I’ve always been thin-skinned.  When the anxiety hits, the first thing I do is remind myself why I’m even publishing. I mean I could write the stories and leave them in a drawer. But that wouldn’t be right. The stories want to be told, not hoarded. 

Then I comfort myself about the vulnerability that putting a piece of art out into the world brings up. It’s normal, I tell myself. Lots of writers feel this way, I say. It’s survivable, I conclude. And it is the price of admission to this game of art that seems to have gotten under my skin. So I keep writing and keep putting it out there. Fearfully, bravely, hopefully out there.

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

As of right now I have published two novels, two novellas and one short story. I also have three more full length novels waiting in the wings with two more rough ideas behind them. I don’t know which is my favorite. They all have something I love in them. I have a scary feeling that my favorite book is not yet written. Probably one of my standalones will be it, but for now, like a good mom I will say – they are all my favorite.

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

World-building is a constant thing for me. Especially because it is fantasy, world-building is often essential to the original concept of the story and plot. I know for a fact that a certain plot element in Dreamwalker was the reason I decided I had to write it as a fantasy book. I needed magic to get where I wanted to start. But as I go along, every place my characters go, everyone they meet has a spirit all their own, a unique imprint based on each individual history. World-building is the only way to determine that history, necessary but ubiquitous and subservient to the characters’ needs.

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

Not a lot. I’m on social media but I’m not really forward on social media. 

I have heard from some new fans lately with the launch of Call of the Huntress. And I’m ashamed to admit that when they say they love my stories, it tickles me to no end. It makes me want to quit my day job, sit down and do another 15000 words right then. And not just any old words, but words that will thrill my readers again. That’s what I love most, knowing that they enjoy being in the world I opened a door to.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

Whatever book it is, it has been there for a while. I have found that the best way to “read” a book is to use audiobooks. Because if I have time to physically pick up a book, I should be picking up a pen and writing my sequel. I have a timeline for my next book, and I don’t want to miss it. I know Gravebriar is on the list, A Beast So Beautiful (since I have a definite thing for beauty and the beast stories), and a re-read of Leigh Bardugo’s Storm and Siege.

Describe yourself in three words.

Rebellious 

People-pleasing

Soul-diver

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

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Cara – Emilie de Ravin

Capt Mason Khoury – Ben Barnes

Falin – Chloe Grace Moretz

Archer Tarhill – Liam Hemsworth

Maura O’Mara – Eleanor Tomlinson

Sidonius – Terence Stamp

Bradan O’Mara – John Rhys-Davies

Sorchia – Rosario Dawson

Rebeka – Kristin Ortega

What advice would you give to other authors?

Be aware of your “why.”  Really think about it. Get comfy with the knowledge of what you’re shooting for and why you want to go there, even if it isn’t something you want to share with the world. In fact, sometimes it’s better if you keep that stuff to yourself. Once you do that, everything else will fall into place.

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

I write for my characters, not really for my readers (sorry folks). My stories want to be shared. It’s hard to explain but they want to be out in the world. Like a romantic meet-cute, hanging out on Amazon for someone to stumble upon them, and maybe fall in love with them. Isn’t that what we all want?

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

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~Synopsis~

A scarred soldier, a soul-broken girl and a defiant huntress. Three lives thrown together by fate, bound by destiny, hunted by magic. But time is running out.

Cara is a prisoner. The sorcerer Sidonius crippled her soul so he could one day steal her magic. Secluded in the Black Keep, she knows nothing except obedience and duty. She doesn’t have the strength to leave the sorcerer until she meets the captain.

Captain Khoury is a mercenary kidnapped by Sidonius as food for the sorcerer’s fading magic. An exile with his own dark secret, the captain uses Cara to escape only to find himself bound to her. Is it just her magic calling to his, or something more?

Falin is not yet a Huntress of Foresthaven. Brutal and cold, she is sworn to kill any man who trespasses that sacred forest. When the Mothers give her a task that will mark her as a traitor, she must choose between her old life and a new destiny.

As the three outcasts flee south, Sidonius chases them from the frozen tundra through Foresthaven to the mountain city of Iolair. It will take all three of them to defeat Sidnoius and stop his final spell.

Stacy lives in an apartment in New Jersey, but she’s a nomad at heart. And even though she’s stuck in the hectic wilds of suburbia, she manages to find time to wander the wooded trails and sandy beaches that soothe the soul and spark the imagination. After a challenging few years of financial stress, she is back to writing when she can find the time. Her guilty pleasure is binging Netflix with her daughter. Although she is still chained to a desk for her day job, she aspires to a day when she can spend more of her time writing new tales for her readers.

https://linktr.ee/stacybennettauthor


Interview with an Author Featuring Belle Manuel

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Belle Manuel! Her new release, Of Blades and Shadows (Soul Stealer Saga Book 1) released on June 5th 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve been writing since middle school. I struggled really hard with depression and it was suggested to me that writing might help me. I wrote my first little story for classmates, and then they started paying me to print it out and put it in little notebooks. Then it was passed around the school and became a thing all throughout middle and high school. I don’t know how not to write, now.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have to have my AirPods in. I literally cannot write without them in. When they die, I don’t know what to do and just sit there, waiting for them to charge back up so I can dive in.

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

I’m always very invested in my books. Some of the deaths I’ve had to write really made me tear up while I was typing them. What I usually have to do is have a funny TV show ready and queued up for when I finish the harder scenes so that I can keep from getting too attached or consumed with the story.

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

Officially, I’ve written three complete books: Books one and two of my Twisted Fates trilogy and one book in my Soul Stealer Saga. I would have to say Of Blades and Shadows has been my favorite thus far. I’m sure that will change once I have more under my belt, but right now Arayna’s story is my favorite to dive into.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo are by far the biggest influences on my writing. Maas I have been reading for years, and Bardugo I discovered shortly thereafter. I love Maas’ world building and Bardugo’s beautifully designed characters.

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

Not that much, honestly. I wouldn’t mind readers reaching out, but I’m still early in my career. I’m sure that’ll come as more books are released and more people find my work. I used to get a lot of feedback on my old Wattpad stories, but I’ve since pulled those down as I’m putting more polished work out.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

Nothing right now. I’m in between books. I intend to re-read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo soon.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Sarcastic, apathetic, creative

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

Oh, gosh, I’m so bad at these. I don’t know any modern actors anymore. Uh, I do love Kit Young for my character Zad in Of Blades and Shadows. I think his personality matches Zad’s well. Sujaya Dasgupta would be great for Arayna, too.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Keep honing your craft. Keep reading and perfecting and hustling. It’ll be worth it.

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

I put a lot of Easter eggs in there for readers. Like, a lot. So I’m anxious to see people find them as the series unfold. I also really put a lot of myself into my work. Arayna has my claustrophobia, Evolet has my stubbornness. Other characters have other attributes of mine, and I find that this helps me connect to my stories more easily.

Thank you Belle Manuel for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Of Blades and Shadows today!

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~Synopsis~

After sixteen years of living under the thumb of a brutal slaver, Arayna Gamon is given the chance to be a part of an elite group of assassins—Soul Stealers. Serving only the Dark Throne, Arayna must learn how to use her burgeoning magic to ferry souls to the Underworld.

Raised in the Deep South, Belle is a Sci-Fi and Fantasy author that revels in creating new worlds. She recently moved cross-country to be closer to the publishing world and is an editor for independently published writers. The Twisted Fates trilogy continues with A Reign So Wicked, released in April 2021. 

June 2021, Of Blades and Shadows, the first book in the Soul Stealer Saga, was released! Follow social media to stay up to date on the latest news!

https://linktr.ee/BelleManuel


Interview with an Author Featuring Sherry D. Ficklin

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Sherry D. Ficklin! Her newest release, Kingdom of Shadows and Dust released on June 1st 2021.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a reader. I think it’s an important distinction. I became a writer because I wanted to control the story I was reading. Writing was the natural progression of that.

What time of the day do you usually write?

I try to keep somewhat normal office hours, M-F 9 am to 4pm. But often life has other plans. I try to write at least a little every day.

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

It depends on the story and the genre. I have worksheets that help me flesh out my world, they are especially useful for fantasy/paranormal. Historical is easier.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

Losing Logan was the most fun I’ve ever had writing. Partly because the story and characters are so personal to me, partly because Zoe is so funny. I laughed out loud a LOT.

What book is currently by your bedside table?

The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare. I’m in love with everything she writes.

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

It depends. I don’t get a ton of personal emails/letters, feedback is usually in review form. And honestly, it runs the spectrum from “I loved this so much” to “Wow, you really suck.” That’s kind of the deal when you write. Some people will love it, and some will hate it. You have to have a very thick skin.

Favorite book when you were a kid.

My Antonia. It was one of those read-for-school books, and I thought I’d hate it, but it was really transformative.

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

Rebel.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Just write. Write for yourself. Finish the story. Tell it your way. If you love it, that’s really all that matters.

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

My books are an escape. Writing them is my escape and reading them is yours. It’s not about making a point or conveying some bigger truth. It’s entertainment. That’s all I’m trying to bring to the table.

Thank you Sherry D. Ficklin for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Kingdom of Shadows and Dust today!

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~Synopsis~

A spellbinding fantasy story… and a fascinating world to escape to! ~InD’tale Magazine

As the king’s only daughter, Ava was supposed to be many things; meek, submissive, and above all, silent. While she dreams of fighting alongside the armies of Ankara, she’s forced to hide her identity behind a veil. It seems her prayers are answered when fate intervenes, allowing Ava to sneak away and join the battle. Yet the tides of war turn on her, leaving the young beauty defeated… her hopes shattered. Her only chance at salvation is Callan, a mysterious black wolf willing to risk everything by hiding her away among his kind. But there are some dangers far more ominous than the snapping jaws of a wolf. Ripped away from the brave Turnskins, Ava is imprisoned by the beguiling Shadow King who fills her head with promises of peace and a haze of passion. Forced to choose between her family, the bond she shares with Callan, and the handsome king’s striking proposal, Ava finds herself torn between duty and desire. When an unthinkable sacrifice is required to save all she holds dear, will Ava accept the crushing demands of taking the crown? Or follow her heart to the forbidden touch she desperately craves?

Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

Official website: www.sherryficklin.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.


Kingdom of Shadows and Dust by Sherry D. Ficklin – My Review

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Title: Kingdom of Shadows and Dust

Author: Sherry D. Ficklin

Release Date: June 1st 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

A spellbinding fantasy story… and a fascinating world to escape to! ~InD’tale Magazine

As the king’s only daughter, Ava was supposed to be many things; meek, submissive, and above all, silent. While she dreams of fighting alongside the armies of Ankara, she’s forced to hide her identity behind a veil. It seems her prayers are answered when fate intervenes, allowing Ava to sneak away and join the battle. Yet the tides of war turn on her, leaving the young beauty defeated… her hopes shattered. Her only chance at salvation is Callan, a mysterious black wolf willing to risk everything by hiding her away among his kind. But there are some dangers far more ominous than the snapping jaws of a wolf. Ripped away from the brave Turnskins, Ava is imprisoned by the beguiling Shadow King who fills her head with promises of peace and a haze of passion. Forced to choose between her family, the bond she shares with Callan, and the handsome king’s striking proposal, Ava finds herself torn between duty and desire. When an unthinkable sacrifice is required to save all she holds dear, will Ava accept the crushing demands of taking the crown? Or follow her heart to the forbidden touch she desperately craves?

5-gold-stars

Sherry’s first book in a fantastic young adult fantasy series is astounding! This is not the first book I have read by her and I patiently await the next.

If you like kingdoms, a badass princess, bad boys and a whole bunch of royal intrigue. This is the book for you!!

Enjoy it as I did. 5 stars goes to Sherry!

I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. FOR. MORE.


Interview with an Author Featuring Kala Merseal

The Literary Vixen presents…

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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/


After I Break (Immortal Billionaires Book 2): A Billionaire Romance by Melissa Sercia – My Review

NEW RELEASE

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Title: After I Break (Immortal Billionaires Book 2): A Billionaire Romance

Author: Melissa Sercia

Release Date: May 25th 2021

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Boy meets girl. They fall in love. The end… This is not one of those stories.

Not exactly.

★★★★★

Piper

Broken. Cold. Ice princess.

Hunting magical artifacts leaves little time for love. And I prefer it that way. Love never did me any favors. I have a great career, a million dollar apartment in downtown Manhattan, and the freedom to do whatever I want. Until I meet Lux. He’s sexy, mysterious, and the most arrogant man I’ve ever met. And now we are being forced to work together. With both my career and my heart on the line, I could lose everything if I give in to his seduction.

Lux

Demon. Liar. Dangerous.

I’m an immortal incubus who feeds off sexual energy. Love is just a nightmare disguised as a fairytale. I learned that hard lesson a long time ago. Until I meet Piper. She’s spoiled, self-absorbed, and one of the most stunning women I’ve ever seen. Which will only complicate things. Her very presence is a distraction. I should be focused on the artifact but all I can think about is breaking her and making her mine.

As Lux and Piper fly all over the world in search of the missing artifact, their hunger for each other grows, but so do their secrets. And they aren’t the only hunters after the prize. With danger lurking around every corner, Lux and Piper must rely on each other more than ever. But how can a demon and a mortal woman learn to trust again when both of their pasts have left them broken? And when Lux’s old rival resurfaces, putting their lives in even more danger, Lux will have to make a choice—preserve the artifact or protect Piper.

When hate turns into desire, can it ever become love?

After I Break is a standalone book in the Immortal Billionaires series, a steamy enemies to lovers romance with possessive alpha males, a strong female heroine, dark romance, and a HEA.

WARNING: This book contains graphic content and is meant for 18+ readers only.

5-gold-stars

Electrifying! Slow burn! Page turner! 

I was ecstatic when I found out Lux was getting his own book AND that Piper would be in it!!! I just knew it was going to be fire. I loved the banter between the two of them. Both of them broken in a way and using words to protect themselves. The chemistry between Lux and Piper is electrifying! I couldn’t get enough of their story. The world of immortals is a secret one and very dangerous to a human. That mix of danger and sexy, makes for a very unputdownable read! 

This book and series is entertaining and addicting as well as steamy. You also have a bit of action. It’s the perfect read for anyone who loves paranormal romance reads. Skip adding it to your TBR and immediately start reading this series today! You won’t be disappointed. I give this 5 stars.

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


Moonlight Drive by A.R. Hadley – My Review

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Title: Moonlight Drive

Author: A.R. Hadley

Release Date: May 18th 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

The magazines didn’t do him justice.

Not long after running away from home, Dani Isabella joins Moonlight Drive’s 1985 Live and Wired tour, hoping her long-lost friend, Nick, will remember her.

He’s finally made it — just like he promised. He’s the bassist for one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

Only, he’s reinvented himself and doesn’t recognize his childhood sweetheart. Nicki Quick has been seduced by the decadent lifestyle of the music scene of the eighties, lost in a haze of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. And to Nicki, Daniela is just another chick in a long line of groupies.

He soon finds she isn’t like the other girls, though. Music runs through her veins — it’s part of her soul. She’s a songwriter. A dreamer. A girl determined to make it in a boys’ world.

This is the story of two musicians. A boy and a girl. A man and a woman.

Two people who learn that being lost is sometimes the same as being found.

5-gold-stars

Two souls. Breathless. Poetic. Stardust. 

The journey of two souls passing each other like ships but connected deeply for all of eternity. Nick and Dani. There is no one without the other. 

I felt their energy throughout the book. I felt all of it. The heartbreak. The loss. The love. Everything. The author’s story telling style is magnificent. She makes you feel things deeply. My heart went out to both of them. I could relate to a lot of what Dani went through. I’ve known quite a few “Nicki’s” in my lifetime. This story hit home in a few ways. The story is well written. I found it very hard to put down. I devoured it!

Once I finished the book, I laid on my bed for a long time. My heart felt full. I felt like I had gained something special by reading this book. I am suffering from the most wicked book hangover I’ve ever had but I’d do it all over again. If you’re a fan of the muse the author used and love those one of kind romances, this book is for you. Do yourself a favor and read it today! I give it 5 stars.

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


Interview with an Author Featuring A.R. Hadley

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is A.R. Hadley! Her newest release, Moonlight Drive released on May 18th.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I won first place in my fourth-grade class, creating a mystery-themed fictional story, penned poetry as an angst-filled teenager, and even wrote for a local paper for a short time in the early 2000s. However, it was in 2014 that I once again tried my hand at fiction. The inspiration came in the form of years of suppression of my voice — it would no longer accept the silencing it had endured. The two stories themselves, the ones I drafted in 2014, started with two dreams, literal dreams. Cal and Jack were both dreams. Funny, isn’t it? The universe knows what it’s doing. The writing was therapeutic in ways I hadn’t dreamed (lol) it would be. And I loved every minute of it! Even days when I threw my phone across the room in a panic!

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I’ve written all my first drafts on my iPhone notepad using my right index finger — and I’m left-handed. *snort*

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

This is a great question. Everything I write impacts me heavily. I’m not sure I’ve come up with a perfect solution –- or that it’s actually a problem. The draft, rewrites, and editing are the love affair stage of the process: feeling everything, drowning in it, and allowing the experience to heal the places that need love and light. I enjoy meditation. That practice certainly helps ground me. And talking with my friends in the business is also a source of great comfort.

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

I’m about to publish my seventh book, but I’ve written more. My favorite, though… My current WIP is probably my favorite. The Ocean in His Veins. The character, Cal Prescott from my South Beach Connection Trilogy, has his own story — one I originally drafted in 2015. Soon, he will finally see the light of day! He’s certainly my favorite character. However, Moonlight Drive is also at the top of my list because of the amazing experience I had writing it and doing research for it. Books can be compared to children — only in the sense that we don’t pick favorites. But Cal is my favorite … just don’t tell the others. Lol.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Ernest Hemingway, I hope, has influenced me the most. The way he writes men. The way he uses a subtle tempo, leading the reader to a beautiful climax. His dialogue. The way he understands and conveys human emotion. Everything. The Garden of Eden is my favorite Hemingway book. The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls. So many. I also love the short stories The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Hills Like White Elephants.

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

I love hearing from readers. I’m a reader and have reached out to authors so I know what it’s like to be on both ends. Reading and finishing a book can be a religious experience. It’s personal. I love the quote: “Books are like mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

What book is currently on your bedside table?

Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza

Do you have any new series planned?

I’ve not written a series and have no plans to write one right now. The Ocean in His Veins is my current WIP, and it will hopefully be released before the start of fall.

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

Well … Nikki Sixx was the muse for my character Nick in Moonlight Drive. The actor who played Nikki in The Dirt did a fabulous job! I’m not sure who could play Dani. I’m not really up to speed on younger actors. Someone who can sing. Has presence. Can be vulnerable.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Follow your intuition. Read books. Break rules. And have fun!

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

One thing. You’re tough… Right now, I’m loving the quote: “She believed she could … so she did.” I want my kids to see that I did that. That I am doing that! Anything is possible! 

One thing about my books… To “expect the unexpected” — as one reviewer said about one of my novels. Every book I write is different from the next. They all showcase my voice and style but are completely unique stories, sometimes with interchanging POVs. I write soul connections. Love. Sex. Not romance. Expect the unexpected.

Thank you A.R. Hadley for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Moonlight Drive today!

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~Synopsis~

The magazines didn’t do him justice.

Not long after running away from home, Dani Isabella joins Moonlight Drive’s 1985 Live and Wired tour, hoping her long-lost friend, Nick, will remember her.

He’s finally made it — just like he promised. He’s the bassist for one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

Only, he’s reinvented himself and doesn’t recognize his childhood sweetheart. Nicki Quick has been seduced by the decadent lifestyle of the music scene of the eighties, lost in a haze of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. And to Nicki, Daniela is just another chick in a long line of groupies.

He soon finds she isn’t like the other girls, though. Music runs through her veins — it’s part of her soul. She’s a songwriter. A dreamer. A girl determined to make it in a boys’ world.

This is the story of two musicians. A boy and a girl. A man and a woman.

Two people who learn that being lost is sometimes the same as being found.

MD graphic ebooks sold purple-2

A.R. Hadley writes imperfectly perfect sentences by the light of her iPhone.

She loves the ocean.

Chocolate.

Her children.

And Cary Grant.

She annoys those darling little children by quoting lines from Back to the Future, but despite her knowledge of eighties and nineties pop culture, she was actually meant to live alongside the Lost Generation after the Great War and write a mediocre novel while drinking absinthe with Hemingway. Instead, find her sipping unsweet tea near a beautiful garden as she weaves fictional tales of love and connection amid reality.

https://www.arhadley.com

https://www.instagram.com/arhadleywriter/

https://www.facebook.com/arhadleywriter/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCci6BJx_5ZvVkUEqNBswYmw

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMexn8oDb/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/a-r-hadley

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15517905.A_R_Hadley


The Chronicles of Benjamin Bright: The Cursed Blood (Darkling Rising Book 1) by J.S. Craig – My Review

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Title: The Chronicles of Benjamin Bright: The Cursed Blood (Darkling Rising Book 1)

Author: J.S. Craig

Release Date: June 16th 2020

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tale

This is the beginning of the story of the life and adventures of Benjamin Bright, a young darkling hunter of legendary lineage haunted by ancient prophecy in the world of Feydom. A place of wonders and terrors, where fairytales, magic, and mythology bends and warps reality in unexpected ways. And the plots and schemes of wizards, warlocks, and demons cut a swath of terror with blood, treachery, and arcane power. Setting young Ben down a dark path of epic adventure full of monsters and the supernatural as he reluctantly takes up the mantle he was born into, and dives into the deadliest depths of betrayal, love, madness, murder, and mayhem to discover the truth of his destiny.

The Cursed Blood © is the debut of a bold modern reimagining of Arthurian legend that begins a fresh new series in the worlds of Feydom.

5-gold-stars

Phenomenal world building! Fantastic! Exhilarating! Unputdownable!

The world building this book has is phenomenal! From the story to the characters, I was in awe. Right from the beginning I was pulled into a different world, where magic and mystical creatures actually exist. The characters range from grey to evil and I love that. This is truly a dark fantasy read, which made my little black heart sing with joy! Some of the scenes are not for the faint of heart. The author has an incredible ability to describe something so nightmarish, that will give you the chills. Maybe even haunt your dreams. I was there for it! Bring on the horror! The journey you begin at the start of the book will have twisted and changed so much, that you’ll find yourself at a loss and heading to your next destination. Book hangover town here I come!

This is a fantastic debut from this author. His storytelling and writing is superb and I highly anticipate what comes next from him. If you’re a fan of fantasy with that touch of darkness, this book is for YOU! Skip adding this to your TBR and one click it today! You won’t be disappointed. I give this 5 stars.


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