Tag Archive | author interview

Natalia Jaster: Author Interview + Giveaway

 

I’m extremely happy to have this interview with Natalia Jaster for you guys to read today. I absolutely adore her books!

Author Interview with Natalia Jaster:

What made you want to become a writer?

Well, my brother used to tell me stories when I was little, and some of the tales had to do with magical worlds, so I think that played a big part in planting the roots—which is why I dedicated Touch to him.

But it wasn’t until university that I realized fiction was my thing. Classes allowed me to explore genres and writing techniques, and that became the place where I searched for the right character voice, the one that I’d click with.

The first time I wrote a short story from an older teen’s point-of-view, I knew. I knew.

What was your inspiration for Touch?

It started out as fanfiction, actually. Before my novels, I was active in the Hunger Games community, writing AU stories (alternative universe). In one of them, I turned Katniss Everdeen into a well-known mythological matchmaker.

As a writer, I naturally gravitate toward swapping gender roles and subverting expectations, so I was drawn to the premise of a love deity being clueless about love. A deity who’s forced to pair up the mortal she loves with someone else. There couldn’t be a worse challenge for Eros!

The premise stuck with me long after I’d finished the fic, so I decided to rewrite it into an original novel, pushing the tale even further.

What was your inspiration for Trick?

That book didn’t take off until I decided the hero was going to be a court jester. I’d wanted to write a castle story, and for me, it always begins with figuring out who the main characters are. I struggled at first, but once the idea for a jester landed in my heart, the story bloomed.

Questions piled up: Why is the hero a “trained fool”? Does he like/dislike being one? What does it mean to be a fool, and how it is defined in this story?

That last question inspired the world building and main conflict of Trick.

What was your inspiration for Dare?

A few things. Some readers had mentioned that they wanted to know more about the other season kingdoms, so I began to wonder. I’d written about Spring & Autumn. What about Summer & Winter?

Also, I realized that in order for the world to be grounded, for the mindset of this landscape to be fully explored, we needed to read the POVs of the oppressor and sufferer. The intolerant Royal and the “born fool.”

Plus, I’d been interested in doing a dark reimagining of The Blue Lagoon. When I combined all those things, I knew it would be my next novel, despite how scared I was to write it.

I love all three of your books, which one is your favorite and why?

Thank you! All my books are dear to me, but if I had to pick, it would be Trick. For Poet reasons.

Poet is definitely my favorite character of all time. How did you come up with him?

Ah, I had such a blast creating him. Making a jester alluring, in spite of it being the un-sexiest trade I could have assigned a hero, was such an exciting prospect.

I wanted to subvert the vision people have about jesters—most of what I found on Pinterest was either creepy or ridiculous—while also magnifying their best skills. There’s not much research on jesters, but from what learned, they were popular figures in their time. Clever, sharp-tongued, intelligent, beloved by their sovereigns, and possessing their own degree of power and admirers.

I envisioned someone magnetic. Someone with a tendency toward verse, who wore eye makeup like nobody’s business, who had a flamboyant wardrobe (but not an absurd one), and who’d be widely desired. A vain but selfless character, amusing but passionate, who can work a dance floor and handle a dagger. Also, someone who kept a dangerous secret, and it’s that very secret I’m most proud of.

For anyone interested in reading more about him, I wrote a post on creating Poet’s character. You can find it here on my website, or here on Tumblr.

I loved the setting for Dare, and I especially loved Jeryn (who is my second favorite character you have written). Was he a hard character to write?

YES! I mean, every character is hard to write for different reasons, but the deal with him was, how could I create a villain who starts out vicious but remains intriguing enough that readers to stick with him? And how do I redeem him organically and convincingly—staying true to who he is?

Flawed and complex characters interest me the most because they have the greatest capacity for change. Jeryn is cold and calculating, not only a prince but a scientist; he’s a curator of facts, yet those facts are filtered through a narrow-minded lens. His intolerance stems a lot from his fears, not just his upbringing. I spent months scrutinizing every part of his journey; every single thought and piece of dialogue was carefully considered, interpreted from different angles. Basically, I edited and revised the entire book with a magnifying glass.

That said, Jeryn’s voice came pretty easily. I latched onto it quick, whereas it took some time with Flare. I’d say she was the more difficult of the pair to write.

What are you working on next?

Alas, that’s a secret. I promised my newsletter subscribers they’d be the first to know the details, but I will say that it’s a whole new setting for me.

Do you have any advice for future writers?

There’s endless inspiration in the world. In fiction and nonfiction. Wandering museums and flea markets. Watching a dance performance or a documentary. Hiking a forest trail, strolling through an old village, or visiting a lighthouse. Listening to the hum of a cello, or a favorite song, or a podcast, or a poetry reading.

Inspiration is everywhere. Just keep looking and listening, and then write what you care about. Tell the story that matters to you.

What’s your favorite color and why?

In the spring & summer, it’s green. In the fall & winter, it’s blue. It’s always about nature and the seasons with me, I guess!

 

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Title: Dare

Subtitle: A Dangerous Love Story

Series: Foolish Kingdoms #2

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, dark fantasy romance, fantasy historical, fantasy medieval, historical romance, historical fantasy, historical medieval, royalty romance

One-line description:

Stranded on a mysterious island, a coldhearted prince and his maddened prisoner fight to survive the rainforest—and each other.

 

Summary:

A Hotheaded Prisoner

They say she’s mad—made of madness, made of fire. In a cage by the sea, Flare dreams of escape. She yearns for the day when she’ll flee to a place only she knows, a hidden world of mystical waters and gilded sands.

The island is calling to her. And she won’t let anyone keep her from it.

Especially not him.

A Coldhearted Prince

They say he’s cruel—crowned of cruelty, as cold as ice. A prince whose gaze cuts like the incisions he administers within his lab. Jeryn has sailed beyond his kingdom for the Trade, to bargain for those wild, imprisoned fools that make his skin crawl.

By law, they’re subjects meant for experimentation. And easy to despise.

One in particular. A girl seething at him from behind bars, with burning eyes and ready fists.

A Mythical Shipwreck

But on the cusp of transport, the tide rages. That uncharted island awaits, a dark tangle of foliage where creatures slither in the mist and poisons lurk in the flora.

Stranded, the prince and prisoner must fight to survive. In this mysterious rainforest, they must band together…if they don’t slay one another first. Or become something more to each other.

Something just as dangerous.

*Foolish Kingdoms, Book #2. Can also be read as a standalone, though it’s recommended to read “Trick” first.*

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

 

Book quotes:

The evil world expected me to curl up in the corner like a seashell—silent and small and breakable—forgetting that a seashell held the roar of an entire ocean inside it.

I’d rather be wild in a forest than mad in a castle.

In the daylight, you’re bold. By the firelight, you’re brilliant. Under the night light, you’re enduring. Always, you’re lasting.

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

Trick Cover_preview

 

 

 

 

Title: Trick

Subtitle: A Foolish Love Story

Series: Foolish Kingdoms #1

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, fantasy historical, fantasy medieval, historical romance, historical fantasy, historical medieval, royalty romance

One-line description:

The forbidden love between a righteous princess and a rakish court jester.

 

Summary:

There is a rule amongst his kind: A jester doesn’t lie.

In the kingdom of Whimtany, Poet is renowned. He’s young and pretty, a lover of men and women. He performs for the court, kisses like a scoundrel, and mocks with a silver tongue.

Yet allow him this: It’s only the most cunning, most manipulative soul who can play the fool. For Poet guards a secret. One the Crown would shackle him for. One that he’ll risk everything to protect.

Alas, it will take more than clever words to deceive Princess Briar. Convinced that he’s juggling lies as well as verse, this righteous nuisance of a girl is determined to expose him.

But not all falsehoods are fiendish. Poet’s secret is delicate, binding the jester to the princess in an unlikely alliance—and kindling a breathless attraction, as alluring as it is forbidden.

*Foolish Kingdoms, Book #1. Can also be read as a standalone.*

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

Book quotes:

“Broken hearts made faults and fools of us all.”

“A fool is a man who believes glory can be found at the tip of a sword instead of on the tip of his tongue. That is life’s cruel trick.”

“The greatest courage a person can have is to love another, for there are only two outcomes. Either the love lasts, and our lives are compromised, or it doesn’t, and our lives are emptied. Either way, we suffer more than we celebrate. I’ve enjoyed suffering with you. We are a tale for campfires. That is all. That is everything.”

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

Touch Cover_preview

 

Title: Touch

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, mythology romance, mythology retellings

One-line description:

A female Eros named Love, who’s destined to match the mortal boy she loves with another mortal girl.

On the cover: She’s a myth. He’s a mortal. Fate is tempted.

Summary:

The myth of Eros isn’t the truth. Her story is the truth…

Love is an immortal bad girl. With a strike of her arrow and a smirk on her face, she pins human hearts together against their will. It’s for their own good, of course—silly, clueless creatures that they are.

But Love has never loved. Not until the Fates parcel her off to a small, frostbitten town littered with needy souls. Not until she crosses paths with Andrew, a boy whose gaze locks onto hers. Yet how can this be? Mortals don’t have the power to see deities.

The longer they’re friends, the more Love wishes she could touch Andrew. In gentle ways. In other tempting and reckless ways as well.

It’s impossible. She isn’t a true part of his world. She’s an outsider whose fingers will only ever sweep through him. A mischievous, invisible goddess who’s destined to be alone. And he’s destined for someone else. By order of the Fates, it’s Love’s duty to betray his trust. To seal his heart while ignoring the gash in her own.

Or she could become human. For there is one very tricky, very dangerous way to do so.

If only Andrew felt the same about her, it might be worth the risk.

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

Book quotes:

“Who are you?” he whispers.

The glossy darkness surrounds them, snow collects on their shoulders, and the far-from-innocent question hangs by a thread in the air.

Don’t tell him, she warns herself. Then she does the opposite.

Pulling her hand away from his, she gives a mocking bow and flashes a devious grin. “My name is Love.”

 

She watches him for hours. She wants to be the sheets that cover his toes. She wants to be the ceiling separating him from the sky: above him, the first thing he sees before and after dreams. She wants to be the open window letting in the light for him.

If she could explore and heal his injuries with her fingers, it would be another type of magic, her skin making contact with his. Putting her mind to it, Love would become familiar with his body. She would know him from top to bottom, from beginning to end. 

Touching this boy would be the death, and life, of her.

She falls into his lips, thinking that maybe kisses have a bottom. Maybe she can find it, and if she does, that’s where she will hide.

 

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

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Natalia Jaster

andshewaits@gmail.com

Bio:

My kindergarten teacher told my mom that I stared out the window too much, daydreaming instead of paying attention in class. It’s true. Eventually I learned to focus more in school (and to love it), but the daydreaming never stopped. So after earning my master’s in creative writing and spending a bunch of fun years as a magazine editor, I became a storyteller.

I’m really into opposites attracting and romances between characters from different worlds. I like to dream up settings that are real yet mystical. I love when raw angst collides with lyrical beauty, sweetness escalates to hotness. And I definitely love treading the line between YA and NA.

I’m also a total fool for first-kiss scenes, fanfiction, libraries, and starry nights.

Social:

Website: www.nataliajaster.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/nataliajaster

Instagram: www.instagram.com/nataliajaster

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NataliaJasterAuthor

Tumblr: www.andshewaits.tumblr.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/andshewaits

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Natalia-Jaster/e/B00OEZHIQ6

 

Giveaway!

Natalia will be doing a giveaway on her Instagram, (10/27 – 10/30), to celebrate Touch’s book birthday. https://www.instagram.com/nataliajaster/

 

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The Divinity Bureau: Author Interview + Excerpt

Title: The Divinity Bureau

Author: Tessa Clare

Date of Publication: September 21st, 2017

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Summary:

The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has lead to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he’s accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity… until he meets April McIntyre.

April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. But he’s also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they’re thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all…

 

THE DIVINITY BUREAU – Excerpt

I take the elevator to the third floor, where April’s bedroom is. There are only two rooms on that floor, and April’s room is the one with a door that’s been slammed shut. I give it a knock. “April?”

No answer. I try again.

“April, it’s Roman.”

My only response is silence.

“Listen, I know you’re upset. I know you probably don’t want to talk about it right now…” I pause, listening for a sound from the other side of the door. “But I was hoping that I could change your mind. Or at least get you to talk to me.”

I wait for a response, but none comes.

“Could you at least open the door?”

The door doesn’t bulge. I sigh and slide to the floor. I’m ready to give up when I hear a voice from the other side of the door: “Can you answer one question for me?”

I press my ears against the door, afraid that I might miss something if I stop paying attention for a split second. “Of course,” I answer softly.

April’s voice is so soft that it sounds like a whisper. “Why didn’t you do anything to stop it?”

My mouth falls open. “What?”

“You heard me,” April says, her voice growing louder with newfound determination. “Why didn’t you stop my mother from being elected?”

I press my forehead against the door, wincing at her words.

“You work for The Divinity Bureau,” April continues on. “You have a part in deciding who lives and who dies.”

“April, there wasn’t anything that I could do to stop it.”

“You could have tried,” she hisses.

I don’t know what to say.‘She’s hurting,’ I tell myself. People say awful things when they’re upset. Still, my reasoning doesn’t heal the sting from her words.

“Trust me,” I say, pressing my brows together. “I never wanted this to happen. The last thing I ever wanted was for you – or your family – to get hurt.”

“It’s not just about my family.”

“Then what is this about?” I ask, my voice growing desperate. “Please – tell me, what do I need to do to make this better?”

“How many people have died since you started working for the bureau?”

I’m taken aback by her question. “I…”

I don’t know what to say.

Unfortunately, my silence is the only answer that April needs. “I knew it.”

“Knew what?”

“You sit behind a computer all day,” April says bitterly. “You see a name on your screen – not realizing that this is a person with a life, a family, hopes, and dreams. Then you destroy that life by electing them to die!”

Her words hurt. I wish she’d open the damn door so that she could see.

“I get it,” she continues. “There’s only so much you can do. But once the day is over, you go home, collect a paycheck, and forget about it. That’s what I can’t seem to understand.”

I slam a fist against the door. “It’s not like that! Trust me, April, there is so much that you don’t know – things that I want to tell you…”

I want to tell her everything: the election report, seeing her name on the list, coming to her work, the ruined hack job on her father’s computer, and the research that I had done on her family. I let out a breath. “I’ll tell you everything if you’ll please open the door.”

I press an ear against the door, not caring if I fall over. But I never do.

The last thing I hear from April is a solid, “No.”

 

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Author Interview:

What inspired you to write The Divinity Bureau?

It’s a crazy story! When I was nineteen years old, I was in an unfortunate situation where I was homeless and living in my car. I remember thinking, “There’s no room for me in this world” and just blaming everything I could for my situation, including overpopulation.

During that time, I was also spending a lot of time in the library. The place was the perfect place to be during that period in my life. It was open late, it had heat, but most importantly, it had books to keep me entertained. I was reading a lot of dystopian books. I had also just watched An Inconvenient Truth. On top of that, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. All of those elements came together to form The Divinity Bureau.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

My favorite character is April. Interestingly enough, I had a tough time connecting with her at first. When I started writing The Divinity Bureau, I would skim over writing her parts. She’s the daughter of a wealthy politician, so she’s a brat at times. I also couldn’t relate to some of the problems that she faces throughout the novel.

To make her more relatable to me, I created the storyline of her being cut off from her trust fund. I also gave her a job as a barista, because that’s the job that I was working at the time. And as I started writing more of her scenes, I began to see more of myself in her – from her stubbornness to her innate desire to make an impact on the world. So far, the feedback I’ve gotten is that people like Roman more; but April will always have a special spot in my heart.

What made you want to become a writer?

I started writing when I was seven. I think it’s just something that I was born with. I even attempted to write my first chapter book when I was nine! (I made it to three chapters)

I think I was just born with an expressive personality, and writing is my way of making sense of the world.

What book are you currently reading?

Your book, actually! Just started reading The Bride of Glass!

How many books do you plan to have in this series?

Roman and April’s story is going to be a trilogy, but I’ve had a couple of ideas swirling around for prequels. The world of The Divinity Bureau has so much history, and I’d love to explore the stories behind them.

Do you have a favorite scene in the book?

My favorite scene is Roman and April’s first fight as a couple. I don’t want to spoil it by giving away the reason for it, but April asks Roman how many people have died since he started working for the bureau. At first, he’s flabbergasted. He doesn’t know because he’s never thought about it. To him, it’s a job. He does his work and collects a paycheck at the end of the day, not thinking about the implications of his work. But people die under his watch. And you can see his mindset shift in that moment and throughout the rest of the story.

What challenges do you face while writing?

I think the biggest challenge is not letting life get in the way of my dreams. I mentioned earlier that I was living in my car when I started writing this story, but I soon began to move up in my career. By the time I was 23, I was promoted to a corporate manager. But I always came back to writing – it was my dream since I was a kid to write a novel, and I didn’t want to leave that behind.

Still, it was challenging when I’d watch people my age spend their weekends at the bar while I was holed up in my apartment working on this book. They’d come back and tell me these crazy stories that I missed out on, and I felt like I was missing out. When the book was done and I finally had time to come out with them, I started to realize that those nights, while fun, didn’t compare to the feeling of accomplishment after a period of hard work.

Favorite color.

Black. Half of my closet is black. If I could, I’d probably even make my book covers black!

What advice do you have for future writers?

As cliché as this might sound, the best advice is to keep writing and to follow your dreams. I listened to Gary Vaynerchuk give a talk about what it means to become an “overnight success.” When he started making it big, he would have friends email him and tell him that he got lucky and became an overnight success. But he spent every weekend from the time he was fifteen until he was thirty honing his craft. And I think writers need to do the same. We hear these stories about new authors debuting on the New York Times Bestseller list and think about how we’ll never get there – but there are two factors here: 1) you don’t need a movie deal and to be on the bestseller list to be a success. I have a friend with an email list of 10,000 subscribers who makes her living writing romance novels. And 2) “overnight success” doesn’t happen overnight. You still have to keep working on your craft, working on your marketing, and learn and grow along the way.

What do you like about dystopian books?

Honestly, the world is constantly evolving. New technology comes out every day. New trends emerge. Cultures shift. All of these things have an impact on the world. What I like about dystopian books is the way authors interpret the things happening today and the impact that they might have in the future – whether it’s the discovery of immortality (as in The Divinity Bureau) or an atomic war (such as in 1984).

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About Tessa:

Tessa Clare is the author of The Divinity Bureau. When she’s not writing, she’s an entrepreneur, an activist, a speaker, and the Managing Director of Asset Creative House.

Born in 1992, she started her early career as a concession stand attendant, a busgirl, a barista, a player’s club representative for a casino, and an administrative assistant. She also spent years working as a corporate manager, where the groundwork for Asset Creative House was inspired.

The Divinity Bureau is Tessa’s debut novel about a forbidden love between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau, set in a dystopian world.

Link (including Buy links): www.divinitybureau.com

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

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

 

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How does this book sound to you?

Summerlypse: Author Interview + Excerpt

First off, I really liked the style of writing the author used when I read this book. Second off, the teens felt like actual teens.

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Summary:

After his crush rejects him, seventeen-year-old Colton catches a plane to Mexico, hoping to forget all about girls. But a night out at a dance club crowded with long legs in miniskirts doesn’t help, especially when he meets the club’s beautiful DJ, Alex.

In awe of her mixing skills, Colton finds it hard to believe Alex is deaf. As they bond, she asks him to help her win a DJ contest behind her rich, estranged father’s back.

Colton’s not a wimp or anything, but millionaires with armed bodyguards are not his ideal vacation buddies. The only problem—if he helps her, he may fly back home in a body bag.

Excerpt:
 
“Who’s the other girl?” Martin asks.
“Does it matter?”
He puts a hand on my shoulder. “In the matter of beautiful women it matters.”
I roll my eyes. “Chloe,” I say reluctantly, and he’s like, “The…?” and I’m like, “Yup.” And he draws a guitar-shaped girl in the air. “The one with…?” And I point at the imaginary girl. “That’s the one.” He gives me a WTF look. “No way.” And I’m like, “Sí way.”
He does his eyebrow wiggling thing. “I still think you should connect with them, and I mean connect at the metaphysical level without the meta. And—”
“Stop. Can’t you see Miranda broke my heart?”
“Broke your heart? That’s so lame. Sometimes I think you’re the girliest dude friend I’ve ever had.”
“And sometimes I think you’re…you’re…the Mexicanest friend I’ve ever had.”

Continue reading

Author Interview: Bailey Ordiway

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Summary for Blackout:

In the future, after the world has succumbed to war. The government we know has collapsed, and the power has been turned off. A new government reigns supreme that wants nothing but control, and to hide the truth. Who will be able to stop us from being held down in a life before freedom or technology? Who will reveal the secrets and get the lights turned back on?

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Summary for Entertainment 100:

Entertainment 100 is a collectors edition. A compilation of posts featured on Baileybee.me

In March of 2015 Bailey had a realization. If he started an entertainment review site than he would be able to write on a daily basis, even when he is having writers block for his next novel… Bailey’s critiques have been described as personable, conversational, and honest. So, open it up and share his taste in Everyday Entertainment.

Actor, Book, Documentary, Game, Movie, Music, Stand-up, Trailer, TV and YouTube reviews. Along with Lists, and Articles.

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Add to Goodreads

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Summary for American Holdovers:

Contraband, fraternizing, fight clubs, and a hurricane.

In the military there is a group of people known as holdovers. A holdover is someone that was seen unfit for duty once they arrived for basic training. They then wait around, sometimes months on end doing the dirty work on base till they get to go home. This is the untold story of just a few of them.

Based on a true story.

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Award winning blogger/critic and established self-published author.

Author Interview:

What made you want to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing, ever since I was a little kid. I have always wanted to see my name on bookshelves though. I wanted to be able to walk in a bookstore and sneakily sign a couple of my books.

Continue reading

Alexa Whitewolf: Author Interview + Excerpt

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Summary:

“It was impossible they had met before – of that she was certain. Yet his hold on her was undisputable, an irrational pull to the utmost recesses of her soul.”

Vivienne du Lac has everything she could wish for – a normal, peaceful life, a good job, cushy nest egg, and a semi-social nightlife. The only problem? She’s clueless to being the reincarnation of the Lady of the Lake, Merlin’s apprentice.

Sebastien Dubois is the bad boy you wouldn’t take home to mom and dad – quite the opposite. The sexual chemistry between them is sizzling from the start – but there’s more to the tall, dark and handsome stranger. When a magical past tumbles into her orderly reality, he is Vivienne’s only hope at survival.

Caught between darkness and light, a battle she has no intention to fight – let alone the knowledge to win – Vivienne quickly finds out not even closest allies can be trusted.

Can she look within and become the enchantress Merlin meant her to be… Or will she lose it all over love, for Sebastien’s salvation? This is a battle between good and evil you don’t want to miss.

Purchase Avalon Dreams on Amazon

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Excerpt from Avalon Wishes

As he walked down the stairs in the tower, Merlin glanced out to the forest, before continuing on his journey.

He passed through the last of the barriers, and out the servants’ exit, finally entering the peace and quiet of the gardens. They were rectangular, about the size of his room, with flowers of every type sparsely across. An oak tree, older than the castle itself, stood in the middle.

It was towards it that Merlin headed, his hands tingling at the prospect of touching magic again. In these three days, he had not had as much time as he wanted, and it was akin to breathing: a need, potent and inquisitive.

He took a seat by the oak, hidden in the tree’s shadow, and pressed both hands to the earth by his side. Imbued by the power of the nature surrounding him, Merlin breathed in deeply. On his second exhale, his hands began glowing, and a faint vibration animated them.

Soon, Merlin was lost in the magic, the back and forth between him and the earth. It felt as though his entire body was re-energizing, replenishing with an elixir far more potent than any human beverage.

He could feel himself reverting back to primal needs, carnal desires, to a part of himself that wished to be freed.

“You must be the new advisor.”

The soft, melodic voice penetrated Merlin’s haze, and he blinked. As he came to, her scent assaulted his senses: sweet, almost overtly so, like a nectar he craved to sample.

Merlin caught the woman’s presence out of the corner of his eyes, and turned his head slowly to the side.

Morgana.

She had not introduced herself, but every fiber of his being felt it. Her alabaster skin was almost translucent in the early morning. Long, straight black hair fell to her waist, cinched by a belt. Her soft blue gown did little to hide the curves of her body, something his eyes lingered on.

“I did not mean to interrupt,” Morgana spoke again, and his eyes settled on her rosebud mouth, and the lips moving ever so softly.

Merlin gulped, then looked away. He could not, would not. A promise had been made, one he had to keep. Something within was emphasizing that he really needed to uphold it.

“You did not interrupt,” he replied hoarsely. His throat felt as though it had been force-fed sand.

Extinguishing the magic, Merlin reluctantly let go of the earth and stood. He had no choice, now, but to turn towards Morgana.

The princess moved a few steps closer, as though pulled closer by the same force he was fighting against. This is not good.Merlin could sense the unseen atmosphere literally yanking him forward, like a magnet unwilling to let go.

Their eyes met – and held – cerulean blue to silver. Then Morgana’s gaze roamed over the wizard in a way that did nothing to appease his unsettled body.

What is this!? Merlin fumed internally.

Such weakness had never struck him around a woman – especially not one as young as her. For though Morgana was very much of age at her two decades of life, there was an innocence still within her eyes that drew him in like a moth to a flame.

“I am Merlin,” he cleared his throat, bowing in greeting. “The new advisor, you are correct. And I presume you are Lady Morgana?”

There was a brief hesitation, as though she wanted to try lying, then Morgana inclined her head in assent. “I am.”

Their gazes locked again and Merlin cursed the fates for putting him on the path of this temptress. Her eyes were not so innocent now. Instead, a burning look shone within, one he very well recognized, for it was surely the same one reflected in his own.

Lust, pure and simple.

“I was surprised,” Morgana spoke again, drawing his gaze to hers, “to hear my father sought you out. Apparently, tales of your exploits reached him from afar.”

Merlin was silent, unsure of how to answer. Morgana peered at him for a few moments longer, before smiling briefly. “At ease, Merlin. I shall leave you to your secrets.”

As she turned to leave, the mage could not help his eyes from roaming her form. He turned away, cursing against his own impulses.

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Author Interview:

What made you want to become a writer?

Growing up, I didn’t have the easiest childhood. I think we all struggle with issues with at least one parent, and for me that was my dad. Writing was a way of escaping the limits he imposed on my life. At the time, everything I was reading in young adult had heroines that always needed saving. I came up with my own, women that are proud, and strong and yes incredibly stubborn, but there is more to them than simply falling in love and living happily ever after (not that there’s anything wrong with that! I love HEAs ). What I mean is, writing started as an escape, maybe even a form of therapy, but it became a lot more. The fact that after years of taking a break from it, and moving forward in my life, I rediscovered the passion for words was enough to decide me that I wanted to make my passion my life’s work. That’s when I truly decided to become a writer.

What do you find the hardest about being an author?

Shutting up the characters in my head? Oops, that wasn’t meant to be a question. But seriously, it’s hard sometimes. Like now, I’m technically done writing for the year. So I should be focusing on marketing, networking, etc. But instead I go and start writing again, because the characters won’t leave me alone. They’re not all like that, honest. Mainly Alistair and Merlin, they bicker a lot… Sorry, rambling probably wasn’t part of this, eh? Marketing! My final answer.

What is your favorite character you have written and why?

That’s HARD. And I mean trying to push a Transformer out of way with puny human hands, hard.

My husband would disagree, but up until recently I would have said my version of Merlin from Avalon Wishes. There’s something about writing him as a younger Mage, and all the crap he gets into… Too much fun. Of course, half the fun of it is Alistair, I mean they’re really two peas in a pod!

But currently, I would have to say Freya, my young heroine from The Sage’s Legacy series. There’s a lot of the younger me in her, and as I re-edited the second novel in the series, I found myself bonding with her all over again.

What is your favorite color?

Green! Not neon, but emerald like the beautiful Ireland I’m about to visit in less than 2 weeks!!! 

What is your writing process?

It’s a mess. And I mean, no heads or tails kind of mess… I get an idea, write it down. It’s usually a sentence or two. At some point, a scene will pop in my head. It could be the beginning, middle or end of the novel, and I write it down. Then keep writing from there. I end up with scenes all over the place, notebooks, napkins, you name it…. Then finally type it all up into a semblance of a rough. That’s when the fun really begins! I dig into the meat of the story, fill in plot holes, dialogue, descriptions. Go through five or six edits, then send to my beta, make changes, and after send to my editor.

What book are you currently reading?

Singularity, by Eldon Farrell.

What’s your favorite book genre?

Thriller. I’m a huge James Patterson and James Rollins fan! 

What kind of scenes do you find hardest to write?

Love scenes? I always wonder if my mom will end up reading them

What are you writing next?

I have Avalon Nightmares and Relics of the Underworld (the last instalments of my two series Avalon Chronicles and Sage’s Legacy) planned for release early 2018, so those are my major projects.

But lately (last 2 weeks) I’ve gotten annoyingly distracted by working on a standalone novel (at least I hope it will be!), hesitantly titled “Blazing in a Storm of Ashes”.

Here’s a little excerpt from the young heroine, Corinna:

“I’m not crazy. But when I start getting these bloody migraines and hearing voices, I’m fairly certain I lost it.

And then they turn out to be two hot-as-hell guardians, here to guide me on my quest to purge the world of evil. Because apparently, that’s my job.

I guess it’s just as well I’m willing to play into their delusional game. Until, of course, I find out it’s no delusion at all.

It’s all the more real, and the Phoenix in me rises to the surface, unbidden, unchallenged… And un-allied with either Light or Darkness.

Like I said, I’m not crazy. But read if you dare, and you can judge for yourself.”

What message do you have for future authors?

Never stop writing. If it makes you happy, do it. But don’t write into the genre and way you think your audience will like. Write what you are passionate about, and the rest will follow!

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About Alexa Whitewolf:

I was born in Romania originally, moved to Canada in my teens and then pretty much all over the place in this vast country. Growing up, writing was an escape, a fun way to get away from the reality of the world around me. I always felt different, and though I fit in almost everywhere, I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere.

That changed when I moved to Ottawa for university, at least for a while. But writing was my constant, my always-there escape.

I started writing around 14, The Sage’s Legacy series. I had both book I and II finished by the time I was 16. With university and life getting in the way, I took a break from writing, only dabbling in the occasional contract or fun short stories for my own amusement. It wasn’t until my then-fiancé, now-husband, found one of my notebooks scribbled with scenes from a story, that I got back into it. Avalon Dreams was the product of that long year, followed by its sequel Avalon Wishes this year. My two series, The Avalon Chronicles and The Sage’s Legacy both have strong, stubborn heroines.

Though so far I’ve been writing mainly fantasy/romance/adventure mixes, I have a few projects that will dabble in the paranormal and pure romance coming up J

When I’m not writing, I’m at home with my pups, Zeus and Achilles, out hiking with my husband, or just at my local Starbucks sipping that godly caramel macchiato!

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Website: https://www.alexawhitewolf.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexa_whitewolf

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alexawhitewolf/

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Author Interview: A.H. Richardson

Hazlitt Brandon MM'S

The Hazlitt/Brandon Series of Murder Mystery Novels by A. H. Richardson

The Hazlitt/Brandon series of murder mystery novels follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths – Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon – as they scratch their heads searching for clues to figure out whodunit.

The first book in the series, Murder in Little Shendon, is a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two.

Picture, if you will, a picturesque village called Little Shendon, suddenly caught up in dealing with a murder of one of its citizens — not a particularly well-liked one at that. Which makes it all the more intriguing because the list of suspects becomes very long. This tantalizing tale unfolds with twists and turns to find out whodunit to Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, the murdered shopkeeper.

Fear grips the community as the investigation slowly progresses. Everyone is interviewed; everyone is suspect! From his housekeeper to Lady Armstrong and her household staff. Or could it be the shy librarian new in town? Or the defiant retired army major and his ladyfriend, the post mistress? Or perhaps the weird sisters who live on the edge of town? Then there is the couple who own the local inn and pub, along with the two Americans who are staying there? Even the vicar and his wife fall under the gloom of suspicion.

Uncertainty, wariness, and terror reign as neighbors watch neighbors to discover the evil that permeates their upturned lives. No one feels safe in this charming little village. Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community?

A murder mystery that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon. The three sift methodically through the Alibis and life stories of the suspects until they uncover…

You are challenged to discover the culprit before the last few pages. And no fair looking ahead — it’s the journey that proves the most enticing.

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What gave you the idea for this book?

I think it started with Mr. Fynche, who is the first victim in this tale of suspicion, mistrust and disguises. Years ago, my father, the late great British composer Clive Richardson, had a friend who owned a little old bric-a-brac store, antiques and fun junk basically. As an eight-year-old child, I was fascinated by this rather wizened wrinkled up bald little man, who, to my childlike thinking, was rather creepy.  He was probably a nice fellow, but I thought he was sinister, so years later, many years later, I made him my ‘bad guy’ – and built the story around his murder.  The other characters in my head jostled for position to join in and be a part of it … but that’s how it started.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I have always enjoyed writing, essays and compositions, since a small child, but never wrote seriously until I turned sixty-five –  so all you would-be writers, there is no statute of limitations on writing – write whenever you want to!

What is your favorite murder mystery book?

My favorite murder mystery?  There are many, but I loved Agatha Christie’s ‘Death Comes as the End’ – this brilliant lady set her murder in ancient Egypt, I was thirteen when I read it, and found it fascinating!

What’s your next project?

My next project, I am working on it as I write to you, is a fourth in the Hazlitt/Brandon mysteries, titled ‘Murder on Baringo Island’ which is proving to be challenging… but fun.

Is any part of this book based on actual events?

Is any part of the book factual?   I lived in the British West Indies for three years, so a knowledge of island life is proving really helpful – some of the characters, their traits and idiosyncracies, have definitely come from people that I met, the good the bad and ugly!

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

My favorite character is Lady Armstrong, and she has wiggled her way into all the other books – pushy lady!   She is very much the ‘grande dame’ – an aristocrat, compassionate, eccentric, very funny, expansive, generous, and colourful – a force to be reckoned with, and oh yes! — she is very rich.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to be an author?

Advice to other would be authors?  I say this from the bottom of my heart… if you want to write … then do it.  Jump in and do it… and don’t listen to negative comments about how difficult it is… everything worth doing calls for some hard work – read, study, learn composition of sentences, and try to keep your readers fascinated, no matter what the subject, that is definitely number one!

 

A. H. Richardson

About The Author:

A.H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.

She published her debut novel Jorie and the Magic Stones, a children’s chapter book, in December 2014. At the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story, Richardson has written a sequel titled Jorie and the Gold Key, and she is currently working on the third book in the series.

A.H. Richardson also enjoys writing murder mysteries and who-dun-its. She is the author of the Hazlitt/Brandon series of murder mystery novels. The series follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths – Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon. The series includes Murder in Little Shendon, Act One, Scene One – Murder, and Murder at Serenity Farm.

A.H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to https://ahrichardson.com/

 

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Author Interview: Jacob Stull for The King’s Locket

Title: The King’s Locket

Publication Date: April 27th, 2017

Summary:

After adopting orphans Thomas and Anna at birth and giving them mysterious heart-shaped lockets, King Pador, Queen Sonya, and Prince Verdon must find a way to rescue the children from the sinister plans of a dreadful creature that has imprisoned them in the Outerlands. The Royal Family’s magical bond, the children they love dearly, and their entire kingdom are all at stake.

Children and adults will enjoy and benefit from this beautiful story of betrayal, forgiveness, and unconditional love. This classic fairy tale includes fourteen full-page, hand-drawn illustrations that bring the story’s vivid imagery to life.

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Author Interview:

1. What gave you the idea for this book?

It all started with a story I made up for my 5-year-old daughter, Ivy. I would share bits of it at bedtime or when we were driving in the car together. She loved it, so I began writing it down. It eventually grew into a short fairy tale, similar to the classic fairy tales many of us grew up reading.

2. What is your favorite part of the book?

Well, besides the ending, my favorite part of the book comes in Chapter 5 of 6. There is a rescue mission that takes place, and the entire story pretty much hinges on the success or failure of that mission. At first glance people may think this is a “simple” or “cute” story, but it reads as an allegory and invites the reader to engage in its various possible meanings.

3. How long have you been writing?

I’ve always loved to write, as far back as I can remember. I really began to enjoy creative writing in middle school and high school. I’m 36 now, so a pretty long time.

4. Tell us a little about your favorite character.

That’s a difficult question to answer because I love Prince Verdon, but I’d have to say Queen Sonya if pressed. I’m married and have two daughters, so I’m surrounded by a lot of strong women. Queen Sonya’s character is a symbol for the strength and beauty of true femininity. She is awesome!

5. Three words to describe this book

Betrayal. Forgiveness. Love.

 

About the Author:

Author Photo - Jacob Stull

Jacob Stull lives in Atlanta with his wife, Katie, and two daughters, Ivy and Penny. When he’s not writing, he’s playing a supporting role in Ivy’s make-believe world or cleaning glitter out of his car.

Connect with Jacob:

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

Website: https://www.TheKingsLocket.com

Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16614486.Jacob_Stull

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