Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Janay Harden

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Janay Harden! Her book, Forty-two Minutes (The Indigo Lewis Series Book 1) release on July 13th 2021.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello! My name is Janay Harden. I am a lover of words. I am a mental health therapist, and I believe in women’s empowerment and creating spaces where people feel heard and valued. Today those ‘spaces’ that I create are books, and I am passionate about the art of story-telling. I call myself The Storytelling Therapist, because I am able to take the stories of triumph and resilience and translate them into creative and therapeutic ways.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing just about all my life it seems. Cliche, right? It’s the truth. I have always been fascinated with the way words can be put together and invoke emotions in people. What an honor it has been to be a part of the author club!

Describe a typical writing day.

A typical writing day for me is actually lowkey. I only give myself about 1.5 hours to write every single day. I try not to stress about the words and my goal is to hit my word count for the day and not stumble about what it sounds like.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I am inspired by life. I am inspired by the stories that I read as a child that captured my attention, and I try to write stories about people that look and sound like me, and stories I always wanted to read as a teen book lover.

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

For me, the most challenging part of writing is editing. I try to not look at it as such a daunting task, but sometimes going through and editing your work for clarity and understanding can be difficult. As others have said, the writing is easy, the editing is the hard part.

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

I try to put myself in their emotions and practice being empathetic. I try to look at it from all sides. How does my character feel? How do they want to feel? What’s stopping them from getting there?

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

Intuitive, seeker, creative

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

I try to self reflect and think of the message I am trying to convey. What is the tone or impact that I am looking for?

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

Keep writing. In order for you to get better and improve your craft, you have to do it consistently. Don’t let imposter syndrome stop you.

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

I write stories for teens experiencing mental health issues. I want them to know that they are seen and heard, and I enjoy telling their stories and incorporating creative ways to manage their symptoms and behavior.

Thank you Janay Harden for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Forty-two Minutes today!

~Synopsis~

It wasn’t until she held his remains that she knew she was in big trouble.

Indigo Lewis is counting down the days until high school graduation. As editor of the high school newspaper, she’s put in her time and hopes it’s enough to get her away from her troubled family life. Her father is constantly struggling to pay the bills and her mother is locked away in a mental hospital. Even with an after school job it doesn’t seem like she will ever get enough money together to go to college.

Jaxon Green is a kid of wealth and privilege —but with a secret.

Used to gliding his way through life, he offers Indigo a simple deal: write a newspaper blog to help him get into college and he will use his family’s wealth and connections to get her into college too. He promises it will be a no-strings attached deal to get them both what they want after high school. Always used to pushing the envelope, Jaxon uses his position of power to get Indigo caught up in increasingly uncomfortable requests and eventually black mails her.

As her deal with Jaxon spirals out of control, Indigo also learns shocking secrets about her family and begins to lose her grip with reality, and with it — her mental health.

With voices inside her head growing louder by the day, can she escape the fate of her family and allure of murder?

Meet Indigo in Book 1 of the Indigo Lewis Saga!

Janay Harden, LCSW is a millennial therapist licensed in New Jersey. Janay comes with over ten years experience working in the mental health field with children, families, and schools. She promotes healing through helping break generational curses and listening more to our own intuitive voice.

She’s held many titles but her favorites are mentor, mental health advocate, and author. In addition to her work as a therapist, Janay is a full-time author, writing fictional stories centering around the lives and experiences of African American young-adults.

 If you enjoy stories about melanated characters navigating love, friendships, and family, please consider sticking around while she makes sense of the world through her collection of words.

Website: https://naywrites.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Janay-Harden/e/B08W3NPSGL

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Dani Hoots

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Dani Hoots! Her book, Revenge (City of Klaus Book 1) released on November 16th 2021.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a Capricorn and live in Arizona where I am very active in the local YA community. I also run an apothecary called Fox Craft Apothecary. In my spare time, if that is a thing, I am practicing the bagpipes, taiko, or drawing. I also do a bit of cross stitch and love to hike, sew, or find some new shiny thing to learn. If I had to pick between vampires and werewolves, I would pick vampires. If I had to pick between anything, it would be vampires even if it wasn’t a choice. My favorite books are the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlene Harris, Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn, Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely, and Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since middle school and publishing since 2014.

Describe a typical writing day.

I wake up, cuddle my cat for a bit, and get ready for the day. Then I write in the morning from about 10 to 1pm. If I have an outline done, I can typically write a chapter or two in that time, but if I don’t, then I am either outlining, researching, or worldbuilding. The rest of the day I spend writing for HerbalGram or making tea for my apothecary. I am also an artist, so there is some drawing in there, along with practicing bagpipes, taiko, and Swedish.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes it’s a photo, actor, character, dream, song… it really depends on the book.

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

Getting sales is always the biggest challenge, and with that marketing. It would be so nice to just write and not have to worry about all the marketing that comes with it, but self-publishing is practically a business, and it must be treated as such.

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

I usually find music that fits the mood or watch some anime that is in the same emotional mood.

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

Ambitious, weird, engaging.

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

Find music and anime to cheer me up.

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

I am finishing up the CITY OF KAUS series and will be having a kickstarter for a special edition version of the last book of the series (and the rest of the series if we hit those bonus goals!).

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

Just keep writing! Don’t give up and keep learning different skills from other authors and teachers. Find a circle of writer friends to keep each other going.

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

I write to entertain, for people to find a character they identify with, and to inspire!

Thank you Dani Hoots for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Revenge today!

~Synopsis~

A swashbuckling upper YA/NA LGBTQ+ sci-fi western you don’t want to miss!

It has been three years since Elvira “Ellie” Ryder was betrayed by her ex-boyfriend Cor, which caused the destruction of her people by invaders from a different Zone. Now she will do anything to find him and make him pay.

Ellie has found someone who knows where Cor is. The price—assassinate a half-human, half-Sirian who is trying to join the Society, a high-class club only for the rich. Ellie takes the job, as it wouldn’t be the first assassination job she has taken, and heads to the Human Zone. However, when she learns more about her target, the more she realizes what is going on behind the curtain, and how her people were really destroyed.

Will Ellie be able to forgive Cor after learning the truth? Or will she forever hold on to that hatred?

*Rep: Bisexual, asexual, & gay

Dani Hoots is a young adult sci-fi and fantasy author who is inspired by ancient tales. She has a background in anthropology, urban planning, herbal science, and sci-fi writing. She enjoys learning about history, astronomy, and plants, and in her spare time she is either watching anime, reading manga and books, playing the bagpipes, or drawing.

Website: www.danihoots.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/danihootsauthor

Tiktok: www.tiktok.com/@danihootsauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/danihootsauthor

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Gabby Skeldon

The Literary Vixen presents…

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

Tell us a bit about yourself.

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

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

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

How long have you been writing?

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

Describe a typical writing day.

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

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

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

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

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

What is the significance of the title?

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

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

Positive. Helpful. Thoughtful.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

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

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

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

What advice would you give to other authors?

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

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

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

 

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

~Synopsis~

Mysterious Shadows. Arthurian legend. Dangerous magic.

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

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

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

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

Website: www.authorgabskeldon.com

Email: gab@authorgabskeldon.com

IG/TikTok: @authorgabskeldon

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

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

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

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

Interview with an Author featuring Angelina J. Steffort

The Literary Vixen presents…

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

How do you handle writer’s block?

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

What inspired you to write The Quarter Mage?

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

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

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

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

What comes first, the plot or characters?

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

How do you develop your plot and characters?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Describe your perfect book hero or heroine.

The best heroes or heroines are unexpected ones.

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

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

 

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

~Synopsis~

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

WHEN DESTINY FAILS YOU, WHO WILL YOU BECOME?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring J.S. Latshaw

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is J.S. Latshaw! Author of the Brathius Legacy Series.

How long have you been writing?

I was one of those kids that was always writing, trying (and too often succeeding) to make my classmates perform my plays. I remember a Christmas play in 3rd grade where for some reason I thought making 80% of the production an intense birthing scene would be a good idea, and my teachers didn’t agree, though they expressed their horror too late, only after it was performed for an audience of visiting parents. More formally, I started writing screenplays 20 years ago, and novels 7 years ago.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I get my inspiration from living life and all the hurts and joys that come from doing that, from exploring the outdoors, from lots of reading (fiction and non-fiction), from unapologetically watching and loving movies and television, and from paying attention to what rattles around in my head and heart throughout the day.

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

For me, a whole lot. I normally do not start writing until I’ve got a ton of raw material to work with, and I can inhabit the world and hang out with the characters. I think about stories and worlds for a long time before I write, normally during long solitary hikes in the santa monica mountains. Sometimes I even try to write little almanacs and encyclopedia entries about the worlds my stories take place in, and answer a lot of those questions. I’m curious about mapping all these things out, whether I’ll use them in the books or not, it’s important for me to know. Of course, while writing more of the world will be revealed to me too. But I need to have a lot of it felt and known prior to writing pages.

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

I would hope characters are transported somewhere faraway and fantastic, and yet in that journey learn something about their everyday life and their own heart. I want people to feel like they’re reaching for the unknown and grasping enough of it to think they’ve embarked on an adventure. There’s a lot of loss and pain and joy and curiosity and strength and weakness and betrayal and heartbreak in my books, and I want people to feel those things deeply.

What is the significance of the title?

I’ve always been fascinated by the hidden dangers in this world, the creatures in the shadows, the sea monsters hidden below the surface. There’s something about an unmapped, unknown area that is both incredible attractive to me, and utterly frightening, at the same time. So with THE THREAT BELOW, to me that’s both a warning but also a siren’s call. Yes, it’s dangerous down there, but isn’t it also exciting? And don’t you want to know what’s going on exactly?

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

Curious, sensitive, active.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Finishing it! And having it exist not only in my head, but in a form where other people can experience it, live in it, interact with it, love or hate it, feel something. That’s been truly satisfying in a way I wasn’t fully aware it would be prior to writing.

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

Yes! I’ve finished the sequel to the Threat Below, and now I’m working on the third in the series. (I have 4 books planned all together.) I’m also almost finished a shorter stand alone novel which is set in this same world, but a completely different location with different characters. And I’ve completed a novel with a writing partner which I’m also very excited about and we’re pursuing traditional publishing for that one.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Oh goodness. One, write what’s exciting to you. If you’re looking at a chapter and you think I don’t want to write this because it feels boring… don’t write it! If you’re bored by it, there’s little chance someone else will enjoy it. Find another way, find something that intrigues you, characters who beguile you, stories that enfold you. And two, expect the criticism, and listen to what is useful but tune the rest out. Nobody can write something that everybody in the world loves. Accept that. There is no bullet proof book. Write something that you love, and there’s a good chance many others will love it too. And lastly, just write it! It’s scary to actually bring something that exists only in your head onto the page, because it never looks quite as good there as you’d hoped. But something on the page, that actually exists in the real world, is a thousand times better than something that lives only in your head. Accept this on faith, and press into it. You will fight yourself on this. But make the writing your goal, and tune out the naysaying.

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

If you like headstrong stubborn but lovable characters, faraway worlds that maybe could have been or could still be, mysterious monsters that aren’t quite what you think they are (but are, I promise you, still monsters – not people in masks, I will never write a scooby doo ending, my monsters are always real, and huge stories that ultimately focus on heart and relationships, you might find something you like in my work.

 

Thank you J.S. Latshaw for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out Brathius Legacy Series today!

~Synopsis~

She heard the legends. She knew the history. But nothing could have prepared her for what she found.

Three hundred years ago, a lethal and mysterious threat arose and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. Now, a small remnant – the descendants of the few survivors who escaped the massacre below – lives above the clouds, atop a mountain. When they discover their water supply is being poisoned, an expedition, including seventeen year-old Icelyn Brathius, must descend and face the horror that wiped out civilization centuries ago.

The danger is closer than you think. The shocking true nature of the Threat Below.

As Icelyn faces dangers in a world humans are not meant to survive, she learns that not everything is as it seems, uncovers an ancient revelation, and faces a choice that will change the fate of everyone above and below the clouds. Will Icelyn be strong enough to survive – and bear a terrible secret?

Read this page-turning adventure today. 

Jason was raised in Pennsylvania and now lives in Los Angeles, where he attended UCLA’s Screenwriting MFA program.

Website: https://jlatshaw.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jasonsethlatshaw/?hl=en

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Kristy Brown

The Literary Vixen presents…

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

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

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

What time of the day do you usually write? 

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

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

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

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?  

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

What book is currently by your bedside table? 

Flock by Kate Stewart. 

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

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

Favorite book when you were a kid? 

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

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

Honest. Caring. Creative. 

What advice would you give to other authors? 

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

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

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

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

 

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

~Synopsis~

YA Paranormal Romance

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

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

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

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

New Release · Review

Spellbound (From the Magic & Malice Anthology) by A.D. Luna – My Review


Title: Spellbound (From the Magic & Malice Anthology)

Author: A.D. Luna

Release Date: May 15th 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

Shayna
All my life I’ve been different. For starters, my family are vampires, and I am a human who can see and talk to the dead. I also have a natural ability for witchcraft. An ability that’s landed me at the most prestigious wizarding academy around.
But when I set foot on the ground of Aldridge Academy in the middle of the night after being whisked away, I know there’s more to the story, and I intend to figure it out.
Eli
My life has always been about the end game. A fourth-generation wizard with gifts like mine means I’m on a path not many will follow. It also means I’m an outsider, especially among the students at Aldridge. I’m used to being alone, with only my magic and mountains of paperwork to keep my company.
At least I thought I was. Until Aldridge gets a new student.

Magic & Malice is a magical collection of stories from some pretty awesome authors!

Spellbound by A.D. Luna is one of my faves! From the first couple of words, I was hooked. From the story to the characters, everything is very well written. I was digging the mysterious and slightly danger vibes the story was giving off. That ending! I can’t wait to see what comes next from A.D. Luna. A new author to watch and follow! I give this 5 stars.

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

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring A.D. Luna

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is A.D. Luna! Her debut book, Spellbound released in the Magic & Malice Anthology on May 15h 2022.

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

It’s been going great so far! I love all the excitement over Eli, Shayna and the rest of the Aldridge Crew and can’t wait to get the next book out!

How long have you been writing?

I have been publishing for 2  years, but I’ve been writing all my life. I started my author journey in 2020 and have been writing under another pen name, one that focuses more on steamy adult romance. This year I officially started releasing books under A.D. Luna as well, shifting the focus to YA and adult clean romance.

Describe a typical writing day.

I usually do a lot of administrative author things during the day, and write at night after my husband goes to bed. I sprint with other authors sometimes, and sometimes I just work solo, but either work I usually get in anywhere from 100-1500 words in whenever I sit down and write. I try to write every day, even if it is just a little bit.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I’m a fangirl at heart and an avid reader. My inspiration mostly comes from a love for fandoms and my eclectic tastes in literature, but it isn’t so much the story that comes to me first as it is the characters. I get an idea for a character, and then I figure out where they fit in the world, what kind of world it is. At the heart of my books, it’s about the characters, their emotions, relationships, their struggles and victories. Their awkward moments we can all relate to.

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

I hope readers can relate to these characters and their experiences, whether they are adults or teenagers. I hope that they find the world of Aldridge and all it’s magic entertaining.

What is the significance of the title?

Shayna is a mortal who embarks on a journey to a magic academy. While she possesses a rare kind of magic to Aldrigde (mortal magic, in which she can see and speak to the dead), there is a lot she needs to learn. Spellbound is what she ease- bound to learn how to control and wield the magic in herself, but also to see the magic in others like Eli.

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

Imaginative, Romantic, and Caffeinated.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

I loved the challenge of writing a romance without heavy steam. I really enjoyed writing Eli’s character the most.

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

I am currently working on many projects, the majority for my other pen name, but I do have some projects you should look out for!

The sequel to Spellbound! Eli, Shayna, and the Scooby Gang will return in Bewitched! It will be released early 2023.

I’m also working on another series that will debut next year, The Royal Hearts Series. It is a duology, the first book will follow Harlow, a modern day princess and her quest to find a suitor on a bachelor-esque reality show. Think the Selection meets The Bachelor and The Princess Diaries. The first book is Crown Royale.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I always used to think I couldn’t do this. There were lots of reasons why, aside from worrying about whether or not I could finish a project, or write a book. Many of the things that worried me, like if I would be good, if people liked it…all those what if’s are what held me back. Finally, I said to myself why not? I decided to try anyway, because I wanted to say that I did it. I got published, and if all I ever wrote was one short story, I’d be good. I could cross it off my bucket list.

My advice would be to take the what if’s out of it. If you want to write, write. Do it because you want to, because it makes you happy, and I guarantee you’ll never regret it. And if you love what you write, chances are others will too.

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

I will always be a fan of love, of adventure, and of perseverance, and those things will always be a part of my books. I believe in inclusion and will always feature diverse characters and worlds in my books. At the heart of all my stories, steamy and clean, it’s about connection and acceptance within ourselves as much as it is with others and the world. I want to tell stories that lift you up, give you a little bit of escape, and remind you that there is magic everywhere. Especially within yourself.

 

 

Thank you A.D. Luna for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Spellbound today!

~Synopsis~

Shayna
All my life I’ve been different. For starters, my family are vampires, and I am a human who can see and talk to the dead. I also have a natural ability for witchcraft. An ability that’s landed me at the most prestigious wizarding academy around.
But when I set foot on the ground of Aldridge Academy in the middle of the night after being whisked away, I know there’s more to the story, and I intend to figure it out.
Eli
My life has always been about the end game. A fourth-generation wizard with gifts like mine means I’m on a path not many will follow. It also means I’m an outsider, especially among the students at Aldridge. I’m used to being alone, with only my magic and mountains of paperwork to keep my company.
At least I thought I was. Until Aldridge gets a new student.

A.D. Luna writes YA Fantasy & Paranormal, Rom-Com, Cozy Mystery, and Clean Romance.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorA.D.Luna

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/authoradluna

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-d-luna

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Allison Dininger

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is aspiring author, Allison Dininger! 

How long have you been writing?

I have always created stories in my head, but I didn’t start writing novels until I was thirteen. Since then, I have written two full-length novels and a few half-started novels.

Describe a typical writing day.

I am still a student, so my days are preoccupied with schooling. Around 8 PM, I typically sit down and start writing. Sometimes I only write a few sentences; other times, I keep writing until 2 AM.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I get inspiration from real life when I see my own struggles and those of others around me. I include these in my books to try to figure out how to help others and how to help myself get through it. Sometimes, it’s not that deep, and the basics of the thought begin with a trope I like to read about or a song I love.

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

In 2021, I thought I was ready for publishing. I sent my book to beta readers, and the comments were incredibly helpful but overwhelming. My hope to be published soon went out the window as I realized how much I needed to work on. I ended up completely redrafting the whole book from scratch and changing big plot points.

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

If I am writing an emotional scene, I will start by finding a place where I won’t be disturbed. My favorite spot is my bed with only a few lights on. Then, I’ll find music that matches the mood and set sprints to keep myself going. I will explore the character’s thoughts and try to get into their heads as much as possible during these scenes.

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

I am determined, loving, and creative.

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

I try to write these when I have a time and place where I can feel everything I need to. Before writing, I will take a moment to breathe and pray. Afterward, I will do the same and let my brain relax. I might lay down and let myself feel all of the emotions before continuing.

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

I am currently working on a book called Noble. I have been working on it since 2019, and at the moment, it is being beta-read. While I wait for those responses, I have begun drafting the sequel!

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

It’s okay to struggle. Writing is a process and there will be highs and lows. Stay patient with yourself, and don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone makes mistakes. Keep going and remember to enjoy the process!

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

My books deal with mental health issues, not for entertainment but in the hope that someone will realize other people have the same thoughts and fears. You aren’t alone! I want my books to help others find a place where they have characters with similar problems. If anyone needs a friend to talk to, I would love to have those conversations and be a listening ear.

 

Thank you Allison Dininger for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Be sure to follow her!

Allison Dininger is a fantasy author. Her books will transport you to a time of love, drama, ballgowns, and castles while emphasizing raw and realistic characters that struggle with their mental health. Allison is passionate about connecting with her readers and uplifting others. Most days, you can find her cuddling with her rabbits or getting lost in fictional worlds. She hopes to one day be a bestselling YA author. Her biggest inspirations come from her life, her faith, and others around her.

Instagram: @allisondininger

Website: allisondininger.wixsite.com/mysite

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