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Author Interview: Sydney Paige Richardson + Excerpt

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Twin Sisters: one destined to rule, one cursed to destroy.

Some say blood is thicker than water. But for twin sisters, Adie and Aura, their connection runs even deeper than blood.
After investigating a surprise attack carried out by dark souls controlled by the Wicked Willow, an evil  residing in a neighboring region, Aura uncovers a family secret: she is the fulfillment of a curse placed upon her family centuries ago.

While Aura is destined to destroy their planet, Thindoral, Adie is fated to follow in their mother’s footsteps and become Ruler, but even Adie’s path comes with revelations. Dangerous premonitions plague her dreams, all depicting Thindoral’s demise at the hand of her sister.

As darkness takes control of her mind, Aura must determine whether defying fate and time is the choice that will seal her destruction, or if self-sacrifice will save all she holds dear. Meanwhile, Adie is faced with an impossible decision: save her sister, or protect their world?

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Pre-order on Amazon

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Author Interview:

What gave you the idea for The Halves of Us?

Honestly, it came from my dreams. I have suffered from night terrors since I was a little girl. I was going through a super stressful time in my early twenties, which makes the night terrors worse and come more often. I started to write them down because it felt like I could have some sort of control over the situation. Slowly, on the advice of a dear friend of mine, I started to merge them together and build a story.

I know there’s twins in the story, do you have a favorite?

Oh my goodness! I don’t think I can choose. I relate to them each so much. Adie has night terrors and loves whole heartedly, and Aura is headstrong and fights for what she wants and those that she loves. There are pieces of me in each of them. I can relate to them both so much.

When you write, do you outline or just go with the flow?

I think it’s a mixture. With book 1, it really was about just merging all these dreams into a story. And then I realized this was going to be more than one book. With book 2 and book 3, I outlined some of my ideas. But when I started writing book 2 of the series it really took off in a direction I wasn’t expecting in some areas (including the death of a character I didn’t even know was coming – and resulted in my crying in my cubicle on my lunch break). So, I think I do both.

If you could describe The Halves of Us in three words what would they be?

Sisterhood, choice, and darkness.

When did you first start writing?

When I was a child. I wrote my first ‘book’ in second grade called Girls. My second grade teacher laminated it for me! It was when I knew I wanted to write stories. I kept a diary/journal and mostly did terrible poetry in those in my teenage years. I always knew I wanted to write – but I needed time to grow into my voice and aesthetic. I think I am still growing and learning every day from myself and the writing community– but I am so excited about sharing my stories with the world! I think that is my next step in continuing to mature as a writer.

Did you always know where the story would go for The Halves of Us?

With this book (part one of the trilogy), I definitely knew where most of it was going. Many of the scenes are based on my actual dreams/night terrors. But just like when you are dreaming, you start in one place and then go to another – and forget how you got there, I had to fill in the blanks and build the story. I felt that I always knew how it had to end, but it didn’t really hit me how the end would play out until I was in my car listening to Pandora. This song came on called In Reverence by David Tolk. It has no words to it, but the entire music just filled me and I began crying in my car because I knew exactly what I had to write.

What’s the hardest part about writing?

I think that changes from day to day. Some days it’s self-doubt. Some days it’s finding time. Some days your creativity leaves you and you feel stuck. Some days it’s forgetting where you saved that last file and having a panic attack. I think my main struggle now is really just self-doubt and worrying that no one will love it as much as I do.

If you could become any book character for a day, who would it be and why?

Any book character EVER? Oh man I am giving two answers. Maybe three…ahh crap. This is a tough question! Here is two, a new one I just met and an old one I have loved for a while:

NEW character I have just met: Well, I just finished reading Blinding Night by Chantal Gadoury, and it was such as beautiful story – and I find myself still thinking about it. I would love to be Summer for a day. Mostly because Darce and Morpheus, but also because I love the story. ;]

OLD character I love so much: Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter because she’s weird and says random things, but she’s oddly smart and compassionate – and I think we have that in common, plus HOGWARTS.

What’s your favorite color?

I love black. It is a majority of my wardrobe. But I also love purple, various shades of blue, and emerald green [basically just all the jewel tones ever].

What other books do you have planned next?

Well book 2 and 3 of The Halves of Us trilogy come out next year through Parliament House! I hope everyone continues to follow Adie and Aura’s journey.

I am also working on another YA fantasy called The Chains that Bind about djinn that live in a parallel world to Earth and a girl that gets stuck there after a wish goes wrong. It has a few re-telling factors of old fairy tales, but has the story stands on its own.

I have a two other WIPs that are top secret! ;]

Do you have any advice for other writers?

To just keep at it. It’s tough. Some days suck. The best thing you can do is find like-minded writers who help build you up and also offer you constructive criticism. Take it all in, listen to their advice – it’s the only way you can grow.

 

Excerpt:

[Scene in Adie’s perspective] Twin sisters Adie and Aura, along with the other final year students, are being escorted down to the Room of Papers by their Uncle Gossamer. There, in the Room of Papers, they will each discover their Fates…

“We’re headed down to the former dungeon area. It hasn’t been used as a prison in hundreds of years. It’s more of an archive area now, deep inside the mountain connected to the Dome.”

Adie turned to speak to Aura, but she was no longer by her side. How does she always disappear like that? We were supposed to do this together. They reached a large door she’d never been through but had always made her curious. Or more, it had always made Aura curious.

Don’t tell Aura not to touch something, because then all she wants to do is touch it.

The Forbidden Door.

It remained locked at all times. Long, thick bars of brass bolted the silver door, crisscrossing at different angles, making the door impenetrable. Adie shuddered as she heard her mother’s voice in her head. Behind this door lies the Fates of our people, guarded by a creature most foul.

Years ago, when she and Aura would sneak through the Dome and find all the secret tunnels, no matter how hard they searched, they couldn’t find another way past this door. The only ones allowed to enter were those in their final year of Teachings. They’d always discussed going through this door together.

Gossamer shuffled with his keys, but Adie’s eyes caught a quick slide of his hand as he pulled a key from his pocket she’d never seen before. The pale key had a soft glow. Adie gazed around, wondering if anyone else had noticed.

As Gossamer turned the key, he took a step back, and they watched the brass bars shift around the door, clicking as they each moved to the side. The door shuddered as it eased open. Following Gossamer’s lead, the students shuffled in, forcing Adie forward without Aura. The dark tunnel had white vines trembling along the walls and creeping beside them as they walked through.

As they reached a spacious open room, Gossamer fumbled through his array of keys until he reached a wooden one with an elongated and bent torso. He inserted the key in the only door in the room and turned it with ease. The door creaked, and all the students watched with wide eyes.

A humpback creature unlike any Adie had seen on Thindoral, stood in the doorway, towering over Gossamer. Peachy rugged skin covered him except for the tousled hair on his large round head. A sharp beak protruded from his face, and a thin opening stretched across it, creating what Adie assumed was a smile. Sharp, silver teeth lined his grin in multiple rows, and a foul rotten smell filled the air around him as he panted breathlessly.

Gossamer faced the students. “This is Mister Dilip. He will escort you, one at a time, into the Room of Papers.”

Mister Dilip looked about the main room of the dungeon with his beady pink eyes. He clasped his hands in front of him, revealing three wrinkly fingers on each hand, and sighed with anticipation. Adie stepped forward to get a better look and listened to his gruff voice.

“You will each enter individually. It’ll seem but an instant to those who remain waiting out here, but remember, time doesn’t bind this room. There are rows. There are stacks. There are thousands of papers.” His eyes grew wider with excitement as he gazed at the students surrounding him. In a deep, raspy voice, he continued, “You’re searching for one sheet of paper. The one that’s not blank. That one will reveal your Fate. Your destiny. Welcome to the Room of Papers.”

The students peered behind him, but all they saw was darkness. “Who’s first?” he asked as one eye spun around in its socket, making his pink iris vanish. All the students stepped back in a hushed gasp, except one.

Aura.

Her distraction was obvious. Her eyes remained glued to the floor and her hands were in fists. Her gaze broke when Voke croaked loudly. An Ogre next to him grunted and hunched his shoulders, trying to disappear into the crowd.

Mister Dilip’s three fingers motioned her forward. Adie watched as Aura held her head high as she walked toward the dark room. She paused only momentarily and glanced over her shoulder. Adie forced a smile and prayed Aura would come back with a pleasing Fate. Gossamer motioned for Aura to continue, and she entered the room, disappearing into darkness as he shut the door behind her.

What seemed like only thirty seconds later, a pale-faced Aura walked out of the room. Within her trembling hands, she held a large, rectangular white sheet of paper. She walked toward Adie quickly and stood next to her sister.

“How long was I gone?”

“About thirty seconds or so,” Adie whispered.

“Seemed like an hour.” Aura said, showing Adie her paper.

“I don’t see anything.”

“And you won’t,” Mister Dilip interjected. His eye rotated again. “You alone will see the image on your own paper. You alone will see your Fate. You can’t see the Fate of others. You may only share your Fate with those it involves.” He looked around at the crowd, all the students hesitant to be next.

Adie stepped forward, nominating herself.

“Come. Come, Future Ruler.”

Adie took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. She walked forward and into the dark room, stealing a quick glance behind her to get reassurance from Aura, but the door had disappeared. Mister Dilip, Gossamer, Aura . . . everyone was gone.

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Author bio:

Even before I could hold a pencil in my hand, I was making up stories in my head. I wrote my first book in the second grade, Girls [sorry Lena Dunham], about me and my best friends in college [because college was super cool when you were 8] who went on treasure hunts and fought bad guys with our super powers. My second grade teacher was so impressed with me, she laminated a cover and bound it. That will forever be the moment I dreamed of holding a copy of my own book and placing it on a shelf.

Now all grown up, my head still stays in the fantasy world, fashioning worlds where the power of a star can be harnessed and used for time travel, flying is just as easy as walking here on earth – and my best friends are fairies. My characters are dark and lost individuals, but your love for them will grow when you realize not everything is black and white. I am represented by Rebecca Angus at Golden Wheat Literary.

Connect with Sydney:

Facebook: @sydneypaigeauthor

Instagram: @sydneypaigedecides

Twitter: @sydsayingthings

Website: sydneypaigerichardson.com

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October Reads 2018

What I’m reading this month:

These are my two for sure reads this month. I’m still going to be working on second draft of my book, so I’m not sure what ARCs I’m going to try and read.

Other October Releases:

 

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What are you reading this month?

Dream Keeper: Review + Author Interview

Title: Dream Keeper

Author: Amber R. Duell

Date of Publication: January 29th, 2019

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The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

My Review:

Right off the bat, I was extremely intrigued by this book. I’ve read three other stories by Duell, so I knew the writing was going to be flawless and the story would be unique. I was not disappointed!

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First off, I’m going to say I don’t get scared or need a blanket when reading a dark or creepy book. Instead, I’m more like, heck yes that was awesome! And there was a whole bunch of fist pumping with the nightmare descriptions!

The book is told in dual POV, and I already knew Sandman would be my favorite chapters—which they were. But Nora’s were great too—she was a strong character that made choices for heself. Now, let’s get down to swoony business, the Sandman was sweet and can I just keep him in my pocket? Also, I want to go to my own private sand beach like now, have a sand whip, and kapow it against the sand, just because!

So far, this is my favorite book by the author, fab-ab-ab writing and especially the world, which was such a cool concept. Loved it! Give me the next one, now!

 

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write Dream Keeper?

When I lived in Maine, we would drive back home to NY a lot to visit my family. We got in pretty late once, and my oldest was wired at midnight because we just spent 6 hours in the car so I told him if he didn’t try to go to sleep that I would call the Sandman. (It worked, by the way! haha) Then I was sitting on the couch the day after we went back home and it hit me. I wanted to write a Sandman book. Everything stemmed from that moment.

Did you have to do any research when writing Dream Keeper?

Yes! And it was really fun. I read up on the different legends that dealt with dreams or dreaming. (The Sandman isn’t the only one in the Dark Dreamer trilogy!) Also, I researched facts about dreams and REM sleep.

Who’s your favorite character in Dream Keeper, and why?

The Sandman. He’s such a kind, genuine person. Plus cool tattoos, starlit eyes, and magic!

When you write, do you outline or just wing it?

Both. I have a vague outline with things I know need to happen, but I fill in the blanks as I go.

What’s your favorite book ever?

The Winner’s Curse! (Technically, the whole trilogy.)

What inspired you to be a writer?

My mother used to make up stories for us at bedtime and it always seemed like fun.

What’s your least favorite thing about writing?

Can I say writing? lol After the vague outline, I do an incredibly sparse draft (20-30k words) and it’s so bad. I hate everything about it, but it’s necessary since my process involved adding a bunch of layers to that base.

What other future books do you have planned?

There are two new ideas that I’m trying to decide between—a high fantasy and a contemporary fantasy.

What’s your favorite color?

Purple

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Finally back in NY! With any luck, still writing stories to share.

Did you already know from the beginning that Dream Keeper would expand into a series?

It was originally a duology instead of a trilogy, but as I got into planning the second book, I realized it needed another.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t think there was ever a time that I didn’t want to.

What future books do you have planned next?

There are two new ideas that I’m trying to decide between, but first I have to write the 2nd and 3rd Dark Dreamer books.

If you could live in any fantasy world where would it be?

Any that had fairies!

What advice do you have for other writers?

Don’t get discouraged! Keep working at your craft and bringing new stories to life.

 

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Amber R. Duell is a native of Central New York but currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two sons. She survives on caffeine and baked goods. When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, staying up way too late to research genealogy, and discovering real-life adventures.

Stalk Amber:

Website: http://amberrduell.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmberR_Duell
Instagram: http://instagram.com/amberrduell/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmberRDuellAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15857372.Amber_R_Duell

 

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Do you remember your dreams?

 

Just: Excerpt + Giveaway

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Publication Date: June 14th, 2018

Genre: Romantic Thriller

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea.

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.

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Available on Amazon UK and Amazon

Excerpt

Scott Langbrook is in love with Fiyori Maziq, his team leader at Reach (a health organisation in the Mediterranean). In this abridged scene, he declares himself. – Jenny Morton Potts

Scott bought a bag of khubzit howsh and followed Fiyori along the streets as they become narrower and the buildings changed from concrete to mud. The doctor walked very fast, her loose clothing pulled tightly across her chest, till she reached a dark alley and stood before an exquisitely painted door.

Scott called softly to Fiyori and she turned, the key not yet in the lock.

He walked up to her. “What an incredibly beautiful door. The craftsmanship is stunn—”

“You think I don’t notice someone following me? You think I’d last more than five minutes?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—”

“What do you want?”

“I want…”

“You see this door, Langbrook? All the details, the intricate carving, the hand-mixed paint colours, the care? The sheet art of it?”

“Like I said, it’s incredible.”

“My friend made it. They saw how different it was, oh yeah. And they killed him for it. They dragged him along the streets to the Ahmi Sayeed Memorial. You know it?”

“Yes, I, it’s the one with the seahorse.”

“They kissed him, by the Memorial. They hugged my friend. They put their hands on his genitals. They laughed and told him they loved him. Then they sawed his head off. In broad daylight, cars going by, children walking home from school.”

“Oh my God, Dr Maziq. I’m sorry. I… really, I’m so sorry I followed you. I only wanted—”

“You wanted, you wanted, you wanted. To what? To fuck me?”

Scott took a deep breath. “I’ve made my apologies. Now I’ll say goodnight.”

Fiyori wrenched open the door. “Get in here, Langbrook.”

Inside there was just a bed with a crumpled white sheet on top and a rudimentary fireplace with a cast iron tripod. Beside that there was a pot on a trivet with an airline magazine covering the contents. Electric cable was gaffer taped to palm beams in the low ceiling. In the corner, there were a couple of small suitcases at various levels of packing or unpacking and an enormous wooden sideboard whose surface accommodated ablutions and food preparation.

“I’ve got cognac. Well, cooking brandy.” Fiyori switched on a light.

“Ideal.”

Scott found himself holding his breath as he watched her move around this dark, perfect, little hovel. Fiyori pulled her shirt off and wore nothing beneath. Scott’s lips were sticking together. Fiyori shook her dark hair around her shoulders. She poured water from a terracotta jug into a bowl and began soaping her body and splashing. Scott watched her intently and she showed no signs of objecting. Within seconds, she’d done enough and walked over to a suitcase and pulled out a white t-shirt to put on.

Fiyori poured brandy into two china cups. “I keep thinking I’m about to die.”

“Me too. Be strange to think anything else, round here.” Scott sat down next to her and took his cup.

Fiyori threw back her brandy and took off her socks. “Should I wash these?” She nodded at her feet.

Scott leaned towards her feet, taking a sniff. “There’s much worse feet than these. For instance.” He took off his own shoes and socks and wiggled his toes. As he watched her move her legs languidly on the bed, he was concerned that his erection would pop the buttons of his cargo pants.

“Listen, Langbrook, I’m quite tired and there is just an outside chance that I’ll fall asleep. Don’t take it personally. Condoms in the zippy bit of the suitcase. Could you? No, not that zip, one on the front pouch.”

“What’s this?” Scott held up – as if his opposable thumb and index finger were tweezers – a semi-automatic pistol.

“It’s known in common parlance as a gun.”

“You never got this through airport security.”

“Correct.”

“So… you bought it here?”

“I’ve had it for a very long time, Langbrook. I have it posted to me, kind of. Shipped. Place to place. Not through a letterbox, you understand. What do you carry?”

“Me? I don’t carry anything. What sort is it?”

“It’s a point two two Beretta. Hopeless in a crowd, but ideal for something intimate, like a close range head shot. I should get something new, but we’ve been together for many years and it would be disloyal to replace her. You know?”

Scott knew nothing, nothing at all, he was well aware of that. He set the Beretta down in the case and backed away. Now then, where was he. Completely nude, he let her have a good, long look and said, “I will take it very personally, if you fall asleep.”

“God, but you are lovely, aren’t you. Can we do it really quickly please. I know that’s not something you’ll hear from women generally, but you and I know how short life is.”

“And what is expected of us tomorrow.”

He stood in front of her and she came to the edge of the bed, reaching out very slowly to caress him; so intricate, like she was blind, and doing the exact lingering opposite of what she’d just said.

“Do you think of me, Langbrook? Do you close your eyes in the shower? You don’t have to close them now. Look at me. Do you wait for the others to wash first, so that you can be alone? So that you can imagine this?” Fiyori ran her tongue along the ridge of vein on his hard cock, back and forth, her hands tenderly cupping his balls, until her mouth finally took him in. She looked up into his face and he gathered her hair in his fingers as she gripped his buttock in one hand. When he felt the mildest graze of her teeth, he came, and she held him gently then, finally returning his smile.

About the Author

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Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.

Jenny Morton Potts | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Jenny is giving away 5 digital copies of Just in your preferred format, so be sure to enter the giveaway!

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What’s your favorite thriller?

Review: Angels: Moon and Sun

Read for free on Wattpad

Title: Angels: Moon and Sun

Author: Sarah Lampkin

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Hekate was living a normal teenage life. She was attending a private Baptist high school with her best friend, Marcia. Life was pretty average and she liked it that way. But one night, a mysterious wolf corners her, spiriting her away to the doors guarding the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their Guardian, Selene.

Having been given lesser powers of an angel, Hekate must try to survive not only high school but also the demons who are now after her. She must find a way to return the escaped Horseman, Death, while going to school at the same time. She will meet demons, Death, and danger at every turn with only her new power and instincts to protect her.

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My Review:

I’m super picky when it comes to angel books unless they have a really cool concept—this one had just that! It’s not  corny either, plus talk of the apocalyptic horsemen had me seriously intrigued! I read these chapters that are free on Wattpad, and they are addicting! I breezed through right through it, wondering what the heck was going to happen next!

First off, the MC, Hekate, has got to be one of the awesomest names ever. But what I liked about her was she was relatable, likeable, and got herself some wings!

Right off the bat, I loved the side characters—Marcia and Moro were my two faves! There’s a bit of a romance starting to brew between Hekate and a new boy named Caleb, and I’m really in love with their chemistry. So I need to know what’s going to happen!

I also read another book by Sarah titled, The Child Dreamer, and I think I’m seriously falling in love with her writing!!

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About Sarah:

I’m Sarah [Code Name: Sassy]. Self proclaimed gym rat, book addict, and whiskey lover. By day, I work as a Technical Writer/Editor and by night…I play video games. Okay, I’ll be honest. I write, and THEN I play video games. When I’m not writing or gaming, you can usually find me on the floor, burrowed under a blanket with a cat in my lap, and a research book in my hand. Other than writing, research is my second passion and its how I’ve been able to expand the lore of Dead Dreamer to what it is today.

Connect with Sarah:

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If you had wings, what color would you pick them to be?

September Reads 2018

This month I’m going to be working on the sequel to my upcoming book, Clouded by Envy. But I’m going to try to read at least one book a week. These are the four I have. An ARC of The Antidote that I will buddy read with Melany. I’m also super excited to read the ARC of The Darkest Star!

 

September Releases

 

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What are you reading this month?

Author Interview: Kathryn Lee Martin

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Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes in an unmarked grave.

But when the Kingdom strikes back, kills Rags’s best friend, and sends its second-in-command to destroy Rondo in four days, Rags must make a choice: seek revenge, or save her loved ones who are trapped in a town bound for slaughter broadcast Kingdom-wide. With little more than a stolen dream to guide her, and a growing attraction to a sly Kingdom informant, Rags is about to give the Kingdom four days it’ll never forget—if the bounty on her head doesn’t get her killed first.

Pre-order on Amazon

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It’s the one place no rustler ever wants to end up.

Having survived Rondo’s destruction, sixteen-year-old Rags has been taken captive by the Kingdom and sentenced to ‘rehabilitation’ at the Kingdom’s Threshing Floor, a notorious prison camp for hardened criminals. Those who refuse to serve the Kingdom go in…no one comes out.

Faced with this nightmarish reality, Rags is forced to use everything she knows as a rustler to survive against starvation, a cruel ward master, and torture at the hands of the Kingdom’s ruler, Hyperion. Given only two options—death, or conformation to the Kingdom’s ways—she’s forced to play the Kingdom’s twisted game.

With the help of the Kingdom’s second-in-command, Henrick Oreson, and its charismatic luresman, Colton Caelan Fieldson, Rags must find a way to play a convincingly false role she was never meant to play and show the Kingdom she can be ‘rehabilitated’ to its standards. But with the deciding evaluation rigged in the Kingdom’s favor, failure is imminent…unless she can find a way to turn lies into truth and achieve the impossible: actually, escape the Threshing Floor.

Pre-order on Amazon

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Author Interview:

What gave you the idea to write The Bone Roses?

I’ve always been a fan of futuristic “what if” stories which led to my love of wanting to write one of my own. I tend to favor underdogs and rebels in most of my works and wanted to put myself in the shoes of a young outlaw who might be struggling in a grim future where the law has gotten out of hand to the point where every day is a test of survival. I also have a love affair with the Yellowstone supervolcano, which lead me to base the story on the “what if” aftermath of such an eruption should one ever take place. I grew up with fantasy stories and in a small town and have always loved westerns so I decided to combine elements of them to create a dark world reflective of that. What I ended up with was The Bone Roses.

Who is your favorite character in The Bone Roses?

Even though I adore writing the stories from Rags’s perspective and I have so many favorites in the story, if I have to pick one, it would have to be Henny. Henny is such a versatile character to write and he’s got a lot of secrets to explore. He has two sides to him, the soldier capable of commanding the Kingdom Corps, and a much softer, rarely seen human side to him. He has a lot of personality for a young man who plays a mostly villain role in The Bone Roses, but as the series unfolds, you see a different side to his motives for being the way he is. He’s also just fun to write, especially his interactions with Rags and Colton.

Did you always know The Bone Roses would be a series?

No. Originally The Bone Roses was supposed to be a stand-alone story with a very different ending than the one it currently has. As I sat down to actually write it though, things just sort of got out of hand and the characters wouldn’t cooperate so it sort of took on a life of its own and became a series. In a way I’m glad that it worked out that way as I adore these characters, but it was unexpected at the time.

Do you outline before you write or just go for it?

A little bit of both actually. I’ll start with a reasonably long, fairly detailed outline, but that usually ends up getting away from me because of my characters doing what they want to do in the story. I do keep an outline of the entire series overview to stick to as much as possible so I know where I am at any given point and how to get to the next arc in the story, giving it some structure, but when it comes to each individual book, it’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen since some parts I just go for and they work.

Garden of Ashes, the sequel to The Bone Roses is about to release, do you have a favorite between the two?

Between the two of them, I prefer Garden of Ashes. Not that The Bone Roses isn’t a good book, because it is in its own right, but when it comes to character development, a few key characters take the spotlight in Garden of Ashes and we get a more in-depth view into their personal lives. Henny and Colton are good examples of this and the stakes are considerably higher in Garden of Ashes than they were in The Bone Roses. It changes the perspective of how Rags views them from how they were portrayed in The Bone Roses. We also see Rags mature quite a bit in Garden of Ashes.

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I have a few. I tend a small hobby farm with a goat, donkey, border collie, and four cats. I also enjoy gardening, especially with my rose bushes. When I’m not doing that, on my limited free time, I can be found playing video games.

What’s your favorite color?

I have quite a few favorite colors (lavender purple, sage green, cyan blue, and silver) but if I have to pick one, I love the color cyan blue. It’s just one of those cool colors that I’ve always liked.

What other upcoming books do you have planned?

There are two more books in the Snow Spark Saga planned. They are Stars Over Zephyr and Count the Rain. I also have another super-secret, special project I’m ultra-excited about and have been working on called Phirestag. It’s a higher level of steampunk fantasy and the first in a series known as the TimeFeather Chronicles that I’m hoping to share with the world relatively soon. Beyond that, there are a few other projects in the works, but right now my focus is on the Snow Spark Saga and TimeFeather Chronicles.

If you could re-read one book forever, which one would it be?

Quite honestly, this was a tough one because I haven’t really found that one special book yet that I’d want to re-read forever. One of these days I’ll find it but for now, I’m just enjoying the wide variety of amazing works that many amazing writers are putting out there into the world.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Practice your craft as much as you can and don’t let the bad parts about it discourage you from writing. It’s tough out there in the publishing world and not everyone is going to like your work, accept it, want to read it, etc. Many people will love it of course, so don’t think it’s all doom and gloom because it isn’t but writing is not for the faint of heart. You will have days where you feel like giving up, aren’t good enough, and so on. Just remember during those times that you’re writing, you’re creating something amazing, and it’s all being done by you. Enjoy the journey. Learn to dance with the words you’re writing. Embrace your craft and realize that no matter what, you’re a writer and one way or another, you’re going to make it. You have something only you can write to share with the world and that makes it all the more special.

Author Photo Kathryn

Author Bio:

Kathryn Lee Martin, known as ‘Ryn’ by friends and colleagues, spends her days saddling up the literary horse and hitting the “what if” trails on a quest to tell the outlaws’ and underdogs’ stories. Not one to shy away from the darker side of stories for the older young adult audience, her works often explore impossible odds and dire futures, falling into a fusion of post-apocalyptic science fiction meets the gritty lawlessness of the old west with a dash of fantasy and steampunk. Putting her unfortunate characters in situations where faith and fighting often go hand in hand, she’s not afraid to make things difficult for them and when she’s not corrupting society on paper, she’s usually leading the rebellion to save it.

Connect with Kathryn:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RynSageQuill

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

Website: https://www.rynleewrites.com/

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What kind of world would you want the future to have?