Whisper of Darkness by Kristen Braddock #giveaway

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Whisper of Darkness (Banshee’s Curse Book 1) by Kristen Braddock

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Cara Winters is cursed.

Loss has haunted her through life. A fun night out with her sister ends in disaster when she learns she’s a banshee. With a chance encounter and life debt owed, she’s coerced into a deadly competition in the far realm. To survive she finds an unlikely ally in Killian, a mysterious and prickly dark fae. 

The only way to win and get back to Earth is using her powers, but doing so may unravel her to the point of no return.

Perfect for fans of fated mates, enemies to lovers, complicated & diverse characters, slow burn romance, and celtic folklore. Suggested for ages 15+ due to some language and violence.

Goodreads * Amazon

Characters and their worlds have inundated Kristen’s mind since she was a kid. Traveling to far off places and having words on a piece of paper transform into entire scenes pulling at her emotions is an obsession.

Her goal as a fantasy author isn’t solely to relish in her imagination, but to bring representation to this genre. She wants stories with characters who are diverse inside and out. Their differences are not the focal point of the story, but rather a natural part of their being. Due to this, you will often not only find characters of varying ethnicities, but of the LGBTQ+ community, who battle diseases, are neuroatypical, and plenty of other areas that make us all so different from each other. These are not their defining qualities. It’s simply a part of who they are. To further support these communities, Kristen donates 10% of her profits to various organizations.

When Kristen isn’t cooped up on her computer or curled up with a book, she is often outdoors– hiking, snorkeling, diving, camping, etc. 

Currently, she resides in California with her husband and fur babies (two dogs and a cat). 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a Signed paperback + Swag Pack, a $15 Amazon gift card, or an eBook of Whisper of Darkness? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about

Meet Author Kristen Braddock!

Characters and their worlds have inundated Kristen’s mind since she was a kid. Traveling to far off places and having words on a piece of paper transform into entire scenes pulling at her emotions is an obsession.

Her goal as a fantasy author isn’t solely to relish in her imagination, but to bring representation to this genre. She wants stories with characters who are diverse inside and out. Their differences are not the focal point of the story, but rather a natural part of their being. Due to this, you will often not only find characters of varying ethnicities, but of the LGBTQ+ community, who battle diseases, are neuroatypical, and plenty of other areas that make us all so different from each other. These are not their defining qualities. It’s simply a part of who they are. To further support these communities, Kristen donates 10% of her profits to various organizations.

When Kristen isn’t cooped up on her computer or curled up with a book, she is often outdoors– hiking, snorkeling, diving, camping, etc. 

Currently, she resides in California with her husband and fur babies (two dogs and a cat). 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads


Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author? I have written since I was six years old, which I feel many authors find their initial interest at a young age. My two passions in life have always been writing stories and the ocean. I became a SCUBA instructor and work as a Marine Science teacher, so I figured it was time to pursue my other passion in life. Last year, I finished a novel I started in college, and after falling down an indie author rabbit hole during 2020, I committed to becoming an author. I don’t want to live my life with a “what if” hanging over my head. I have always made choices based on what I will regret the least, and I knew if I never pursued publishing a book it would be something I’d regret. So, voila! An author I became! I don’t have expectations to make millions as an author, but I know when all is said and done I will have given it my all. Talking with my readers about moments they love, characters they enjoy, or fan theories is so unbelievably exciting and something I truly relish.

What is something unique/quirky about you? After college, I sold everything I owned, paid off my student loans, and left the United States to live abroad for two years, including England, Indonesia, and Belize. The last is where I met my partner, and he loved me enough to move back to states while I attended graduate school. Also, if you were to add all my scuba dives together, I will have spent roughly 3.5-4 months of my life underwater.

Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you! Any of my “interesting” things will probably be ocean based. How about one of the many times I got to dive with wild dolphins? Or one of the times an octopus reached out its tentacle to touch my finger like a perfect rendition of E.T.? I’ve had to kick a shark in the nose before because it got a little too aggressive, but I don’t like telling this story because I already hate how fearful of sharks people are, which has led us to slaughtering 90% of them. So, perhaps the times I’ve pet sharks while they swam by me or were asleep in the sand? Sea turtles have startled me more than anything because they will swim right into you without a care in the world. Honestly, I can talk about the ocean and my experiences for hours. Feel free to find me on any social media (facebook, instagram, tiktok) and I will happily tell you all the fun stories!

Where were you born/grew up at? I was born in California, but moved to the East coast near my 2ns birthday. I spent my childhood in a rural town in Maryland with five and a half acres, horses, and running through the woods playing with the fairies that lived there. I moved back to Southern California one week before high school started, and have been on the West Coast ever since (more less, if we disclude my travel years and when I lived on Kauai), so I consider myself “bi-coastal.”

If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day? SCUBA diving, spending time with loved ones, and binging on all my favorite foods.

Who is your hero and why? Sylvia Earle because she is one of the first female marine scientists who helped change the game with deep sea diving. Also, she’s a huge proponent for ocean conservation and is a general bad a**. (Am I allowed to say that?) In terms of writing, Annette Marie is an absolutely amazing indie fantasy author who creates such intricate and realistic worlds that I’m blown away by her books every time. OR Audrey Grey, another amazing indie fantasy author, and I’m obsessed with her morally grey characters, and character development is **chefs kiss**.

What kind of world ruler would you be? A terrible one, I’m sure. I have no interest in being a world ruler. I am NOT the chosen one and I’m perfectly fine with that.

What are you passionate about these days? Writing, teaching, the ocean, traveling. Not much has changed since I was a kid it seems. When it comes to pure passion, to where I feel it deep in my gut of something I want to do…

For writing, it’s bringing diversity to the fantasy genre. I’m not only talking about racial diversity, but neurodiveristy, gender diversity, physical diversity, sexual orientation diversity. We live in a complex world where humans greatly differ from one another in so many ways, so why should a fantasy world be any different? On top of that, I want to give back to these communities I aim to represent in my novels, so not only do I hire sensitivity readers for narratives I am not familiar with, but I donate 10% of my profits to various non-profits. For Banshee’s Curse, since one of the main side characters has autism, I am donating to Foundations of Divergent Minds. It’s run by autistic people, not parents of autistic people, and has a staff highly composed of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people too.

In teaching, my other profession when I’m not writing books, I’m passionate about getting teachers training beyond the subjects they teach or classroom management. I truly believe teachers are not only there to teach a topic, but often wind up as mentors and are on the forefront if a student is having a rough time. I want to know teachers have the right tools to handle those difficult situations in order to best support students, and I want to be sure students are getting the correct initial support too.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Read. Watch movies/tv shows/anime. Anything that is story telling I love. Otherwise I’m fairly outdoorsy. Hiking with my pups, camping, fishing, diving are all activities I love too.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less! Empathetic. Driven. Oddball. Loyal. Mermaid.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? Probably in college. I was initially a Creative Writing major before I changed to a Biology major. Sometimes it can be hard to consider yourself a writer, but I made a distinction between “writer” and “author”, and it helped me embrace the former.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie? Any of them! Although, my YA mermaid novel may be difficult without the entire thing being CGI. But you never know with today’s technology!

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? First, I wouldn’t use the word ‘spirit animal’ due to cultural appropriation and I’m not Native. However, my mascot/avatar would most likely be a dolphin. It sounds cliche with my love for the ocean, but I’m generally energetic, I would fight for my family/loved ones, and my brain is always running on full power. These are all characteristics I associate with dolphins. Fun fact! Dolphins sleep with only half of their brain at a time. In Hawaii, if you find spinner dolphins close to shore, with only a couple of dolphins spinning on the outskirts of the pod, they are actually sleeping and the ones jumping out of the water are trying to herd the others. Also, they’ll twist to the side to watch underneath them with the side that’s “on” in order to look for predators, and being over sandy bottoms it’s easier to do this because the predators will stick out more. I worked as a SCUBA instructor in Kauai before moving back to California to teach high school science, thus the random knowledge.

What inspired you to write this book? I love fantasy, all subgenres, and there’s common mythical beings who get written about (vampires, shifters, fae, witches to name a few), and I was trying to think of a “darker” fantasy character to write about, and a banshee popped into my mind. Researching it more, I found out banshees stem from Irish/Celtic folklore, and it was a slippery slope from there, leading me to all the other characters like druids, pucas, and other Celtilc fae.

What can we expect from you in the future? **Chants** More books! More books! More books! I wish I could write as fast as my novel ideas sprout in my brain. I plan for Banshee’s Curse to be a 4 or 5 book series. Plus, I have the first book of my YA mermaid series written, and I hope for that to be a 4 book series. That one is really fun because I essentially thought, “I have a lot of knowledge about the ocean, so how can I take real ocean phenomena and create a mer-community?” I still take creative license plenty of times, but most of what I write is grounded in something factual, so in a way it hinges on sci-fi too. Also, I already have a witch-familiar trilogy loosely plotted, dragon shifters, and incubi/demon ideas. Different representations I will have across these will be more LGBTQ+ characters, cancer survivor, and epilepsy to name a few. Also, in my mermaid series I have a main character who lost an arm. I am so excited with how all these diversities wind into these fantasy worlds I’m creating. Again, I wish I could write faster. I want to get books out to readers as soon as I can, which is one of the many reasons I decided to go an indie instead of the traditional publishing route.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? I do have a prequel novella out called Losing The Light. It’s short and sweet, about five chapters, and written from the perspective of the main love interest about six years prior to when the main series takes place. What happens in this novella is so pivotal to why certain characters are certain ways in the main series, I couldn’t help but dive into the day that changed everything a little bit more.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Whisper of Darkness? Cara is the main character who has spent her life thinking she is cursed due to a ringing that occurs in her head before someone around her dies. Surprise! She’s not cursed, she’s a banshee! Other fun facts, she loves animals and makes inappropriate sounds when eating something delicious or has coffee. Also, she struggles with her mental health, which is to be expected when you have lived life with death haunt you.

Shay is a druid, and kind of a prick. He’s also the reason Cara ends up being taken away to another realm.

Killian can make a person’s worst nightmares come to life, but broody and hot despite the scars maring the left side of his body. Oh, and he loves crumble. Shay and Killian have a complex history, but I can’t tell you too much more because that’s part of the story!

I’d say these are the main three, at least for Book 1.

Where did you come up with the names in the story? Googling Irish/Celtic names until I found ones I liked. Sorry, it’s not more interesting than that.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? I really love complex characters. Creating their backstories was so wonderful, and really letting my mind fly when it comes to magic.

How did you come up with the title of your first novel? Darkness is a theme for both Cara and Killian, something they bond over, both with their powers and the darkness they fight mentally. Whisper of Darkness makes me think of those evil voices in the back of your mind. You know the ones. The ones who say you’re fat, not worthy of love, that you’ll never accomplish anything, and whatever other terrible things that make you question yourself and your life. Cara is haunted in many ways, and I feel it’s a darkness always whispering in her mind, in her soul, dragging her to a darker place.

Who designed your book covers? A very talented friend and coworker designed Book 1, and I am using Miblart to design the others. My talented friend has 3 kids and is moving soon, so I didn’t want to make him commit to a 5 book series and figured it was better to find someone to finish out the series covers sooner rather than later.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Don’t ask a writer that! We are our own worst critics! We will never be fully happy with our books, and we will always question things, even down to the “should I use the word ‘excited’ or ‘ecstatic’. So, needless to say I’ll say ‘no’ because if I think about it, I’ll question myself too much and start to stress out. See! Those little evil voices! Totally a thing. (Note: The end of this answer will only work if coupled with the ‘Title of your first novel’ question).

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? So much! I learned so much about Irish and Celtic folklore. It was all wildly fascinating and so much fun to find ways to incorporate it. However, what I was most excited to learn about was more about autism for my character, Cadan. I did tons and tons of research as it is not a personal identity. However, I ended up hiring this absolutely amazing sensitivity reader who is not only autistic, but has a BA in creative writing and is currently working on a Master’s in Critical Theory with an emphasis on environmentalism, postcolonialism, race, gender and disability. They, also, identify as Black, an immigrant, trans, and indigenous. So, their scope both personally and academically/professionally was astounding. This made it so not only did they provide me feedback on Cadan, but often would explain more on the “why” behind including a specific characteristic. I wasn’t only being told what I did well or needed to work on, but learned why that is too. I am so immensely appreciative of them, and finding them was a complete blessing.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? Lily Collins would be perfect.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers? Find me on social media and say ‘Hi’! I love creating worlds, my mind creates worlds even if I don’t write them down, but it’s the readers that keep the steam in my engine. Hearing what you love, fan theories, seeing fan art, or just connecting about our mutual love for fantasy is such a huge driving force and will make my entire day.

What is your favorite part of this book and why? I love the Korrigan! A small water sprite who can see the past, present, and future. I make her a little devilish and wildly beautiful. It’s one chapter encompassing one of the trials in the competition that Cara is a part of, but I love it so much!

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? 100% from my imagination. Well, I guess certain qualities of my main character was inspired by my alpha reader, like her love for animals.

Have you written any other books that are not published? My YA mermaid series, but I plan to publish Book 1 soon!

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be? “First Rain.” The smell of a first rain is so distinct, and that would 100% be my book. You’ll completely understand why if you decide to read it.

Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why? Any fantasy writer! I want all the author friends! Annette Marie, Sara J Maas, Laura Thalassa, Audrey Grey, Annette Marie, Leia Stone, Jaymin Eve, Jennifer L Armentrout, Holly Black, this list could go on forever! They are so amazing with their world building, character development, story flow. They are all icons in their own way, and it would be hard not to fangirl around any of them. I would do my best to play it cool though because I want more author friends. I adore the best friendship between Leia Stone and Jaymin Eve, and totally hope to find my author BFF one day.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write? They definitely come to me as I write. That’s part of the fun! Although, I usually start out with a solid main 3, but my favorite characters always end up being the ones I discover later. Cadan is my favorite character in Banshee’s Curse and Aadya is my favorite in Changing Tides, my YA mermaid book which will be released soon.

Do you see writing as a career? 1000%, yes. Honestly, I don’t think I fully comprehended how much I’d have to do as a writer. The idea of “I’m here to write and that’s all” feels completely absurd to me now. Definitely how I used to think, how the author wrote and others did everything else, but that’s not the case for 90% of authors, especially in today’s publishing world.

What do you think about the current publishing market? It’s evolving and oversaturated. With social media and the transformation of indie publishing over the past ten years, it’s wild… and exciting, stressful, overwhelming, inspiring. I am able to accomplish things I would’ve never thought possible fifteen years ago. However, this does make it very difficult for authors to gain recognition in the current market. The best marketing will and always has been the readers. Authoring is the equivalent to running a small business, so all your readers out there, please know that reviews really help us out. So whatever author you love, definitely give them a shout out on Amazon, Goodreads, Social Media, or wherever you feel most comfortable. I promise you, they will be immensely grateful for it.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why? It depends, I’d prefer silence because music can distract me. However, if I’m at home, and my husband is watching TV in the other room, it can be more distracting for me. So, I made a Spotify writing playlist with various film scores from movies such as Narnia, Hunger Games, LOTR, Maleficent, Star Wars, etc. Recently, I found a Dark Academia Instrumental playlist I enjoy too. I’d be happy to share these playlists with any readers who are interested!

A day in the life of the author? My day is a little nuts since I’m a teacher as well. Usually, I wake up and will get to school about 1.5 hours before school starts, so I can spend the first 45-60 minutes in a structured environment writing. Once school begins, I focus on teaching, grading, and the other parts of my job. If there’s spare moments to write, such as my prep period, I will, but that’s not my priority when the kiddos are around. When the school day is done, I’ll go home, spend time with my pups, start prepping/cooking dinner. My husband will come home, and we’ll have a meal together, maybe watch a show, and then I’ll spend another 1-2 hours writing at the end of my day. My aim is always a minimum of half a chapter per day when I’m in the midst of the writing process. With editing, my goal is to complete one chapter per day at minimum. Also, in between these stretches, I am managing all my author social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok) and marketing. I am conversing with authors, attending meetings, running my New Adult and College Fantasy facebook group, critiquing other writer’s novels, conversing with my cover designer or beta readers, and plenty of other pieces of my small business (aka being an indie author). I am a one woman show right now, but I’m passionate and driven to give it my all.

Advice they would give new authors? I have plenty of advice, I could write a whole book on it. However, what I’ve been doing instead is making informational Tiktoks. So, that’s a great place to learn some advice or ask me questions if I don’t cover something you’re curious about.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? I don’t try to do either. I try to envision what I enjoy in a novel or what I want to read, and I write it. Don’t get me wrong, I totally want my readers to enjoy the book.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Just write. And when they say the best way to become a better writer is to read and write, it’s true. But reading doesn’t need to be “the classics”, it can be books you love within the genre you want to write, and getting better with writing over time is a given because ‘practice makes perfect.’

How long on average does it take you to write a book? Changing Tides, my YA mermaid book, I wrote on and off for nine years. Whisper of Darkness took me about six months, and Beyond The Mist (Banshee’s Curse Book 2) took me about five months. I’m getting better all the time. It’s difficult since I’m a full time teacher too and cannot commit to writing at the same level other indie authors can. I truly feel I work two jobs, one of them being the equivalent to a small business.

Do you believe in writer’s block? I had no idea it was a ‘belief’, definitely thought it was a given. Absolutely, I believe in creative/writer’s block. However, what you decide to do when it occurs is what really matters. If I waited for inspiration every single time to write, it would take me years to finish a novel. Nanowrimo helps keep me on track, and forcing words out even if it’s only a page or two. My mantra when this occurs is “You can’t edit a blank page.” I don’t expect my first draft to be perfect, and believe the first draft’s purpose is to help the story exist outside of your head. I will often force out a chapter when I’m not feeling it, and then leave a comment of “expand” for when I go to edit it later. Oftentimes, I will have the inspiration at some point and I can go back and make the chapter better, and I never worry I’m not making any headway at all.

Would you like a chance to win a Signed paperback + Swag Pack, a $15 Amazon gift card, or an eBook copy of Whisper of Darkness? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.


Meet Author Jayme Phelps!

What inspired you to write this book? I really wanted a piece of pie from a specific restaurant and jokingly told my husband “I would give anything for a piece of that pie.” That made me wonder if I would really give anything in that moment and what other people might consider important enough to give their soul for.

What can we expect from you in the future? A lot more books! I didn’t realize how many story ideas I had until I wrote the first one, and now they really don’t stop.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? Yes!!! I am working on a sort of “spinoff” series that follows some of the character form the same universe. I’m super excited about it because the two series together form an origin sort of story.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Devil’s Intern? Well…Anna is a sort of bitter and spiteful character. She feels like she got the short end of the stick and wants to blame everyone except herself in the beginning. Stephan is her mentor and he wants Anna to do anything except what she’s doing. Silas, who is the Devil is only after one thing, souls. And Rachel is the friend that Anna didn’t want but ends up with anyway.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book? I’m fascinated with the idea of what people are willing to give in order to get what they want. The characters on the other had just developed as I needed them. It’s almost like my characters pop into the story fully formed and I just give them obstacles and see how they react.

Where did you come up with the names in the story? Truly I think that’s the worst part. Once I have a character they usually get a generic name and then once I know their personality I can give them something permanent.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Watching the characters come to life and make decisions that even I didn’t see coming. I feel like most of the time I’m just a conduit. I just write down the movie as it’s playing in my mind.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick? Anna wants her life back, she wants to go back to the way things were and pretend that the world she’s in now is just a bad dream. Stephan wants as little to do with Anna as possible because he knows things that she does not and Rachel wants to take advantage of any situation that comes her way.

How did you come up with the title of your first novel? It’s just seemed logical for the direction of the novel.

Who designed your book covers? David Collins from DC cover creations.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I don’t think so. I feel like it ended up exactly how it was supposed to be.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? That writing a book is about a lot more than just putting words on a page. There’s an art to writing a novel that I think can only be learned from actually doing it.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? Emma Stone or Isla Fischer

Anything specific you want to tell your readers? Thank you! I hope you enjoy reading my book as much as I enjoyed writing it. It’s still crazy to me that people I don’t know personally are reading my story and enjoying it.

What is your favorite part of this book and why? Surprisingly the Devil, Silas, is my favorite part. He’s sensible and funnier than I expected him to be, especially for who he is. Even when he’s stern and serious he’s still fair and witty.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? They’re entirely from my imagination though I’m sure they have have characteristics from people I know in real life.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story? Convince us why you feel your book is a must read. My characters are definitely in control. I know where they will start and have a pretty good idea where they’ll end up, but they give the story life and direction. I just put the words on paper. I think that shows when you read the story, these characters are their own people, they’re as real as I am on this page. That’s what I love so much about them.

Have you written any other books that are not published? Yes, I have book two for this series written and it’s in the beta stage right now. I have also written book one of a series that runs parallel to this one that features some of the more minor characters from this series. 

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be? Cinnamon, because it’s spicy like my characters, their adventures, and the alcohol they drink.

What did you edit out of this book? Nothing. I write pretty concisely so if anything there have been additions, but I didn’t have to edit anything out.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why? No, because I talk to other writers on a regular basis and I find that most are more than willing to talk about writing because it’s something we’re all passionate about, so we can talk forever about anything to do with it.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know? Devil’s Intern was requested by multiple publishers after just it’s first draft. Also, I like to write during Nanowrimo because my friends and I challenge each other to see how many words we can write each day. Book 2 of this series was written in 3 weeks because I’m competitive and I wanted to reach my goal before my friends did.

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors? Definitely Meghan Ciana Doidge, Rachel Caine, Kim Harrison, Genevieve Cogman, Cassandra Clare, Gina Lamanna, Shannon Mayer, Ransom Riggs, Mary Janice Davidson and Charlaine Harris

What book do you think everyone should read? If you want Urban Fantasy I would say Cupcakes, Trinkets, and other Deadly Magic.

How long have you been writing? A little over a year.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write? They all come as I write. I like to think that I am a plotter because I like an outline, but truthfully most of it just comes out on the page, including the characters. They sort of just pop up as I need them, kind of like watching a movie unfold in my head.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book? Honestly, none. Not yet anyway. I think that new writers typically tend to write what they’re familiar with, so I didn’t really research for the first book. Though for book 2 I researched a few different places that my character had connections with before she died.

Do you see writing as a career? Not yet. I think mainly because I love my job. I’m a full-time educational sign language interpreter and this was just something I did on a whim. Though now that my book is being published and I have so many ideas for more stories I could see it quickly becoming a second career.

What do you think about the current publishing market? I think the current publishing market is interesting. I didn’t really know anything about writing books or publishing before 2020, so I’m still learning, but there’s so much more to the whole process than I ever would have thought.

I had no idea that there are multiple “paths to publishing.” I just thought that you had to query publishers or agents and you would get published or not. I think that it’s pretty cool to have so many different ways to publish a book. But for me personally, I didn’t want to self-publish because I wanted someone else to think that my work was worthy too. It’s weird how much I value that validation.

Crazy thing is that I pitched my book on Twitter just to see if someone would be interested in the idea the day after I finished the first draft. I had no idea that it would be something that people would want and get me a publishing deal. I think really, I just feel lucky that my book got picked up so quickly by a publisher. 

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre? Ummm yes!!! I have been a reader my entire life, in fact I read at least 2 books a month and my favorite genre is the one I write in, Urban Fantasy.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why? Both. I think that there’s something to be said about the emotion that music evokes and when I’m listening to music I find myself writing full scenes based solely on how the song made me feel. However, most of the time I write in silence because I need my fingers to keep up with my thoughts as the story flows. 

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time? Well, right now I’m writing one at a time, though I do have two series that I’m working on, both of them part of the same universe.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose? Hmmmm, that’s a tough question. I guess I would say Harry Potter. Mainly because it has really impacted so many people on such a broad scale from all different age levels. It’s one of those books I think will sort of transcend time.

Pen or type writer or computer? Computer all the way. I am very technologically connected and really my hand can’t keep up with my brain if I’m physically putting pen to paper. I also like the convenience of a laptop with all of it’s awesome word processing and editing software because I can work on things in multiple different places, whether it’s at my desk or on my phone.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book. A favorite character in general would have to be Jade from the Dowser series, I think I just felt like she’s really relatable and she has her own cupcake bakery for crying out loud. I mean I feel that on a whole other level. If you ask anyone that knows me they will tell you that my favorite cake is a cupcake, because it’s your very own personal slice of heaven that you don’t have to share. Plus I was a cake decorator for a lot of years so I relate to that too.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision? Well, I have some serious imposter syndrome because even though my book is being published, I don’t really think of myself as an author. I just have stories to tell, and I think it’s the right decision to share any kind of creativity that might bring other people joy.

A day in the life of the author? It definitely varies. Right now I’m sort of between projects as my first book launches and my second book is in the beta stage. So, I would say, I spend a lot of time on putting together book teasers and posts, Then I spend time on social media doing “marketing”, and finally I work on editing or new projects like the outline for book 3.

Advice you would give new authors? Write a full draft as quickly as possible. I know that it’s tempting to want to edit as you go but a lot of times that leads to more editing than actual writing, so finish the first draft and then edit. Also put your work out there. It’s scary and not everyone is going to like it, but it’s truly the best way to get better.

Describe your writing style. I have no idea! Again. I’m still really new to this whole writing thing so it’s hard to say. I know that I prefer to write first person, because I love to experience a story through the eyes of the character. Plus, I like the idea of not knowing everything. With first person the reader only knows what the character knows, and a lot of times, that’s not a whole lot.

What makes a good story? For me as a reader I would say the ability to pull me in and make me forget that I’m not actually the character. I love to feel what each character feels and live their life with them. I love series for that reason and it’s always heartbreaking for me when the series ends and there are no more adventures to follow.

What are they currently reading? Right now I’m reading Magic Julep, book 7 in the Magic and Mixology series by Gina Lamanna. But, I’m also listening to Midlife Fairy Hunter By Shannon Mayer.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?

I definitely start my stories with an outline. I think that it makes the process go faster.  Though I don’t give it a lot of details, I know where the story starts and I have a good idea of how it will end, so I like to just put down the big events in the order I see them happening. Then I connect the dots so to speak, moving from on event to the next using as many chapter as it takes to get there.

I think that one common trap for aspiring writers is to never finish a full draft or to keep doing the same thing again and again even if it’s not working. Some people need an outline but don’t use on and some people don’t need one but put one together and try to force themselves to follow it anyway. I think that it’s important to remember that you will always find something that needs to be edited, but if you never finish the book then you can’t publish it, and it’s important to remember that it’s okay to try something different.

What is your writing Kryptonite? My own negative self-talk. It’s hard to get past that sometimes, and I have to be wary of falling into the trap of putting myself down until I can’t write at all.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? I try to be original; I think. Really, I just write what I would want to read and hope that others will want to read it too.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Just because you’ve read a ton of books, doesn’t mean you know how to write a book. There’s an art to writing and it takes practice and knowledge to get it right. There are definitely people that are more natural writers than others, but it still takes time and hard work. So don’t give up.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex? I think it’s getting their mannerisms or speech patterns right. It’s hard to describe some things clearly because they’re not natural for me, like how a guy would speak to a woman vs another man, or their facial expressions.

How long on average does it take you to write a book? It takes me around 2-3 days to outline a book and then 3-4 weeks to write a first draft of the story. Then I use another week to do content edits and spelling and grammar checks before I send it out to beta readers for their initial thoughts.

Do you believe in writer’s block? I guess it depends on the person. Though I don’t believe in writers block for me. But that’s only because I learned quickly what would cause me to be blocked. Personally, if I come to a point where I can’t go any further I know that it’s because I forced a character to do something that they wouldn’t actually do and then I come up against a wall.

Because I let my characters take control of their story, they become a sort of living entity and I get to live sort of vicariously through them. So, if the story flow stops suddenly, or I can’t see the next scene in my mind, then I have to go back and figure out where it was that I stepped in as the writer. From there I let the character take the reins again and make that decision organically. That always seems to fix it for me. That’s why my outlines are sort of vague, I don’t want to get so caught up in what I want my characters to do that I end up having to backtrack a hundred time.

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or a Swag pack that includes T-shirt, stickers, poster & book marks? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.


Devil’s Intern by Jayme Phelps #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Devil’s Intern by Jayme Phelps ~ Genre: Urban Fantasy

Anna Westfall is in her own personal Hell on Earth. After making a deal with the Devil she was sentenced to a place where she is loathed by Witches and Warlocks for being a soulless. So, when she then ends up on house arrest for beating up magical law enforcement, she’s had enough.

Now, all she wants to do is go back to her old life, and when her boyfriend tells her that there’s a way out she goes in search of answers. However, without any guidance she ends up messing the whole thing up. To make matters worse the Devil himself shows up with a new deal for freedom.

It all seems like smooth sailing until her new roommate decides to trade her own soul. Now Anna has to decide whether to save her friend or save herself. With new power comes new opportunity.

Add to Goodreads * Amazon * Fyresyde Publishing

Jayme Phelps is a wife and a mother of three boys who works as a full time Educational Sign Language Interpreter. In her spare time she enjoys baking (specifically cupcakes), painting, and of course writing books!

She lives in Albuquerque New Mexico where the best time of year is the first week of October when the sky is filled with hundreds of hot air balloons, and the best food is smothered in Green chile.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

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Spectacle Stealing Supernatural by Gretchen S.B. #giveaway

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Spectacle Stealing Supernatural (Jas Bond Book 2) by Gretchen S.B. ~ Genre: Urban Fantasy

Magical break-ins abound…

The two nearby stores owned by supernaturals are broken into. The Fix ‘n’ Find, my store, is not. What I have instead are suspicious magical handprints on the front windows. Combine that with a weird set of glasses that let the wearer see every type of magic and we have a serious conundrum. Luckily, my ex-fiancé Violetta, is a powerful witch and willing to help me figure out what could possibly be going on.

Find out what some magical items and good old-fashioned spell work can uncover in the Spectacle Stealing Supernatural

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Gretchen spawned in the Puget Sound region. After some wandering she returned there and now lives with her husband and the daintiest Rottweiler on the planet. When not drowning herself in coffee, as is custom in the Greater Seattle Area, Gretchen can be found at her day job or sitting at her desk in the home office, flailing her arms as she dictates to her computer.

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Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or an eBook? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about

Meet Author Gretchen S.B.

Gretchen, can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I have been writing and telling stories since I was very, very little. I didn’t think seriously about writing and publishing my stories until I was in college. But this was before the Kindle and all that, so I sent out query letters to agents and publishers and no one was interested in publishing my work. Then in 2013 a friend of mine, who published his book independently via Kindle publishing, told me about Kindle publishing and how easy it had been for him and after weeks and months of talking about this I finally published Lady of the Dead.

What is something unique/quirky about you?

Something quirky about me, oh man, one of the funnier ones is that I volunteered in different positions, at haunted houses for about 10 or 11 years in my late teens and early 20s. I love working at haunted houses. I was the casting director for a while and it was so much fun. I love it so much! It was such a large part of my life for those years. The quirky bit, the really funny part, is that one of the haunted houses the group I worked with was, is actually where I met my husband. It took 2 or 3 years before we started dating. When we started dating we spent that whole season dating in secret, which looking back, was pretty entertaining. I was the casting director and he was the pirate captain for the ghostly pirate ship.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Halloween loving, world creating, kook

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a writer around the time I was working on my fifth or sixth book. My first three books were across three different series and I had them mostly, if not all, written by the time I got around to publishing them. My fourth book I wrote from scratch and my fifth one I think had a few thousand words in it when I settled down to publish it. Once I published those two books I proved to myself that I wasn’t a one book wonder, could write across multiple genres: at that point I had paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and wholesome romance. I considered myself a writer because it wasn’t just books I already had finished that I was publishing. I was writing them expressly to publish them and I remember thinking that I wasn’t a writer when someone called me one and then one day after or during the fifth book that mentality changed. It was a really gradual process for me.

Do you have a favorite movie?

Oh man, I switch between the Saint with Val Kilmer, Ghostbusters one and two, Brotherhood of the Wolf which is a French film that takes place in 1700s rural France, and Bride and Prejudice which is a Bollywood/British hybrid of Pride and Prejudice. Those are my tried-and-true favorite movies and they jockey for first place depending on what mood I’m in.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

I think it’s a tie between the Jas Bond series, I think Jas would make a really good TV show. As well as the Anthony Hollownton series, a homicide detective who gets an un-Orthodox introduction, via a murderer, into the supernatural world. I could definitely see Tony being made into movies but I would be super excited if any of my books got made into TV shows or movies

What inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration for this book is a little funny. I wanted to write a supernatural book about my husband and his job. My husband is a retail manager and our Rottweiler goes with him to work. The stories he comes home and tells me are hilarious and ridiculous and sometimes you think he’s making it up even though I know for a fact he’s not. So I wanted to have a very self-deprecating, version of my husband, a store owner that I could throw into a paranormal world and see what happened. Jas bond definitely moved away from that initial caricature of my husband once I was really writing the first book but my husband was definitely the inspiration for this story. When I read it to him he tells me that the Rottweiler Bailey is a much better representation of our Rottweiler then Jas is of him.

What can we expect from you in the future?

All the things! I’m just kidding, I do an author podcast titled Exceptionally Average Authors Explain it All, with an author friend of mine Stevie Ray Causey. In that podcast we talk about how I jump from project to project really easily and struggle with setting goals and sticking to them. But you’ll definitely see the second season of our podcast, we’re currently at the midseason break. I am also releasing the first four books of the Jas Bond series between now and the end of July. Right now I’m thinking there are eight books in the series total and I’m hoping to have all of those out by the end of the year. I am also hoping to have some other books out this year but I’m not sure what other titles there will be or what genre, it will all depend on what I can fit around Jas Bond’s schedule.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?

I do not have any publishable side stories about the characters right now. That could change later, but as of right now I don’t. I do however know things like how Jas started working with Sven, I have that whole scene played out in my head. Or why Jas broke up with his fiancée and the story behind that. But I don’t think any of those side stories will end up getting published, they might be in some small capacity in one of the main series, but as of right now no publishable side stories.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in this book?

Sure, there are a cast of characters in the Jas Bond world. There’s Jas who is a magic-less son of a witch who owns a magical antiques store. His mother owned it before him and his grandmother before her and they are both witches so running the store was a lot easier for them than it is him. He has a rambunctious young Rottweiler named Bailey who is very opinionated and what she wants and when she wants it. He has a best friend Blake who is a werewolf, paranormal police detective who Bailey likes more than Jas. There is also Sven who is a dwarf that works at the antique shop he works in the back fixing objects that come into the shop that are broken. Though his name is Sven he is actually Scottish and very old but we don’t know his exact age. There is also Violetta who is Jas’s ex-fiancé. She is a very powerful witch and a very free spirit, she travels a lot she’s very no-nonsense she and Jas are on very good terms and are still friends even though sometimes they bicker a little bit and there’s a little bit of stress between them from time to time.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoy writing Snark so anytime someone was snarky I enjoyed it. I enjoy writing Sven a lot because he wants no part of what’s happening in about three quarters of the stories and sometimes he just gets dragged in reluctantly and I really love that. I also really love writing Bailey the Rottweiler. I personally love my Rottweiler. She’s fantastic! She’s a great dog. I can’t say enough weirdly adoring things about her. So giving the Rottweiler in the story personality was a big thing for me and anytime Bailey is doing something that displays that personality I’m usually enjoying myself immensely writing that personality into the book.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

The main character in this book Jas Bond owns a magical antiques store. There’s all kinds of magical objects in it and it’s the business his mother owned and his grandmother before that. He was basically raised to take over the store. So he is doing what’s basically expected of him even though he himself does not possess any magical abilities like his mother and grandmother do. What makes him tick as he is just trying to live his life as best he can while being supernatural world adjacent. He doesn’t have a lot of ambition to do anything else. He’s good at his job. He has a comfortable life and that is enough for him. He just wants to maintain his current level of lifestyle and what happens over the course of the stories ends up making that increasingly difficult.

Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or an eBook? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.


Oh I Wish… #WritingWednesday

WELCOME TO #WRITINGWEDNESDAY

#WritingWednesday is all about using #WRITINGPROMPTS to spark creativity. Did you participate in the last #WritingWednesday challenge? If you haven’t posted your response, click HERE so you can do that now. Then, make sure you check in here ~ every Wednesday ~ for the latest #WritingWednesday #WritingPrompt! Now, back to today’s regularly scheduled post…

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT! (I know this one is hard for a lot of writers, but when we edit as we go, we can reduce creativity.)

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today, I’m writing in my own voice!

Today’s writing prompt:

What talent or skill do you wish you had?

I used to draw, a lot. We’re talking as a kid and even into college. For some reason, I stopped drawing. Its been years since I put pencil to paper for that purpose. I’m not even sure I could do it any more. Maybe that’s why I don’t do it… fear. Fear that I won’t be any good. Fear that it will be a disappointment, to myself. Fear that I’ve lost that skill I used to be so proud of.

I guess, I wish I had the talent or skill… or ability… to just just believe in myself. Believe 100% in myself and not to be afraid to fail.

© 2021 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s #WritingPrompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 


Looking for daily writing inspiration? Check out my author tool: #WRITINGPROMPTS

Who Can Benefit from Using #WritingPrompts? Everyone! Whether you’re an avid writer or just someone who is interested in the creative and/or therapeutic art of writing, #WritingPrompts is for you. Studies show that maintaining a daily handwritten journal, or creative writing notebook, can: 1. improve memory, 2. enhance creative expression, 3. lower stress, 4. build self-discipline, 5. eliminate writer’s block, and so much more! Writer’s Block Got You Down? Eliminate It, One Day at a Time! When it comes to writer’s block, the struggle is real! If you’ve ever sat at your computer, typewriter, or with pen in hand, but couldn’t get a single word on paper, then you know what writer’s block feels like. #WritingPrompts is the solution you’ve been looking for! Within the pages of #WritingPrompts, you will find over 700 writing prompts that you can use in order or at random, the choice is yours. Jump-Start Your Creativity with over 700 Unique Writing Prompts! Good writing takes time, practice, and unique ideas. Why not jump-start your imagination with these unique writing prompts and watch as you find your voice and become a more confident writer in just one year.


The Girl Who Was Forgotten by Amy Vasant #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

The Girl Who Was Forgotten (The Shee McQueen Series Book 2) by Amy Vasant

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

“If thrills, twists, turns, suspense, fast-paced books, and humor are your cup of tea, this series is for you!”

Action-adventure from USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Amy Vansant – a novel packed with thrills, fun, romance and heartfelt family intrigue.

Life was supposed to start feeling like a permanent vacation.

After years on the run from a vengeful killer, Shee McQueen is home at her father’s beach hotel. The Loggerhead Inn doubles as a retreat for sunburned tourists and a haven for recovering ex-military — men and women who help right wrongs for people in need of their particular skills.

What could be more relaxing?

Unless…

…Shee’s estranged boyfriend — the only man she’s ever loved — has discovered her darkest secret and the reason she left him so many years ago…

…or her first job for her father has ended in a double homicide…

…or that her very presence is driving the hotel’s regulars to prove their worth by starting dangerous covert missions of their own…

Wait. It couldn’t be a botched kidnapping is started looking more like the work of a deranged serial killer?

Hm.

Maybe hold the tanning lotion.

This might take a minute.

The Girl Who Was Forgotten is the second explosive mystery-thriller in the Shee McQueen series, but can be read as a standalone. While the book has all the pulse-pounding action of a thriller, language, romance and violence is rated PG.

The unique female lead’s funny, irreverent and all-too-human asides will have you rooting for her — and her whole pack of wild, wonderful misfit friends — until the breathless end.

Fans of Harlan Coban, Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, Sue Grafton, Kathy Reichs and Janet Evanovich will love this exhilarating page-turner.

Readers love Amy Vansant & Shee McQueen:


Great book. I could not put it down until finished with THE END. Highly recommended!” – Amazon Reader ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I find it hard to express how much this book affected me, not only the story line, but the mastery of the writing itself.” – Amazon Reader ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Well written and a certain must-read for any thriller/suspense lover. I can hardly wait for the next book. Amy Vansant nailed it!” – Amazon Reader ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This book was absolutely spellbinding. As a fan of Vansant, I pre-order and read everything she writes.” – Goodreads Reader ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

**On Sale Now! Only $2.99 for June!!**

Goodreads * Amazon

USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Amy Vansant has written over 20 books, including the fun, thrilling Shee McQueen series, the rollicking, twisty Pineapple Port Mysteries, and the action-packed Kilty urban fantasies. Throw in a couple romances and a YA fantasy for her nieces… Amy specializes in fun, exciting reads with plenty of laughs and action — she tried to write serious books, but they always ended up full of jokes, so she gave up.
Amy lives in Jupiter, Florida with her muse/husband a goony Bordoodle named Archer.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a Kindle Reader? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Girl Who Was Forgotten by Amy Vasant.

Meet Marc R. Micciola, author of Ascension!

Hello readers and writers! My name is Marc R Micciola and I am a self-published author from Brampton, Ontario, Canada. I always enjoyed stories, soaking them in through any format possible. My favourite way to tell my own stories is through writing, and it took me a while to fully embrace that. Writing isn’t exactly the most practical career, especially fiction writing, so I was discouraged from becoming an author most of my life. My mental health hasn’t always been the greatest either, so I had to deal with anxieties and depressive thoughts too. Thankfully, I finally got into a place where I said “Screw it” and decided to really work on writing a book. It was during a time in my life where I was really working on myself, and I truly believe this book got me to where I am today. My two dogs, Rielly and Ace, keep me grounded and happy while my best friend Mackenzie keeps me motivated and positive. Oh! Silly me. I just realized I haven’t even mentioned the name of my debut novel! My very first book is named Ascension, and is the first book in a series named The Age of Shadow Saga.

Ascension is my baby. I’ve had ideas for books before, even managed to write out a bit of them too, but Ascension is my first full fledged novel that I have written and published. The story that I plan to stretch out over three books is very character driven, and it’s one of the reasons why I love it so much. The world Ascension takes place in is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but the characters are what makes the book shine. All these characters have grown and changed over the near four years of creating this story and the world surrounding it. Hell, I’m still working on the world! I’ve invested so much time and work into the worldbuilding of The Age of Shadow Saga that I could do countless books based on stories taking place hundreds and even thousands of years before Ascension. I tried to give the reader a glimpse of just how dense the history of this world is by describing relationships between nations and name dropping important moments in history. The entire story of Ascension is told in first person, via the point of view of five characters. Those character’s names are Iver, Einar, Otti, Elouera, and Sigurd. I’ve done my best to make each character unique in how they see the world and how they respond to certain events throughout the story. One thing I know I did well was having every character at the end of the novel be somewhere different than where they were when we are first introduced to them; emotionally, physically, and mentally.

I got my love for character chapters from George RR Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. The love and appreciation for writing in a first person point of view came from Mark Lawrence’s series The Broken Empire. I had learned to tell stories in third person, but as the years went on I began to truly fall in love with first person and the intimacy it brought to stories. Being inside a character’s head allowed me to really connect with them, experiencing the story in a more intimate way. This is why I went with first person for Ascension. I did a lot of research when it came to worldbuilding, but I also did some research for my characters. I wanted my characters to react to certain events in a genuine way, and I wanted to know what effect those events would have on their psyche. The search I went on actually helped me learn some things about myself too, so it was very worthwhile work. I really think that great characters make a great story, so I worked really hard to develop even secondary and tertiary characters that seemed as real as possible. When I write, I aim for a grounded experience without losing out of the wonder of a fantasy world. I think I did a really good job at bringing that goal to life with Ascension, and I can’t wait for you to let me know what you think. Enjoy your next read, enjoy the next story you write and always be true to who you are!


Amy Vasant ~ Author Interview & Giveaway

USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Amy Vansant has written over 20 books, including the fun, thrilling Shee McQueen series, the rollicking, twisty Pineapple Port Mysteries, and the action-packed Kilty urban fantasies. Throw in a couple romances and a YA fantasy for her nieces… Amy specializes in fun, exciting reads with plenty of laughs and action — she tried to write serious books, but they always ended up full of jokes, so she gave up.
Amy lives in Jupiter, Florida with her muse/husband a goony Bordoodle named Archer.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


Author Interview

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

When I was very little I wrote Winnie-the-Pooh — complete with original drawings. I didn’t know much about copyright infringement then. But I’ve been writing since I could. I was East Coast Editor of Surfer Magazine and freelanced… then I quit for a while because it was easier to buy food working at my web development firm at the beginning of the Internet, but I came back! (About three years too late to really enjoy the beginning of Indie publishing. Grr!)

What is something unique/quirky about you?

Like my character Shee McQueen, I see the days of the week in colors and calendars as shapes in my head. Doesn’t do much for me but I was surprised to find out others don’t see it that way!

Where were you born/grew up at?

I grew up in Sea Isle City NJ, a tiny beach town a little north of Cape May. Graduating eight grade class of 12!

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

All of them. PLEASE?? 😊

What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write a new series that was a little more intense than my more “cozy” Pineapple Port mysteries and took place in Jupiter, Florida, where I recently moved.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

I often have my readers pick names for me by running giveaways on my site at https://AmyVansant.com – or I just Google baby names.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

Shee McQueen had her whole life interrupted by a man out to kill her. Now that she’s back on track and free to live again, she feels a little lost — unsure how to proceed with her life. The fact that her young love has come back into her life only complicates things — she can’t just start fresh because she also desperately wants to get back all the things she lost.

Who designed your book covers?

Lance Buckley https://www.lancebuckley.com/  Gorgeous, aren’t they? He did a GREAT job! The photo on the cover of The Girl Who Was Forgotten I took down at the end of my street!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I just released it. Please don’t even say that out loud!

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I’m always learning little bits and facts as I research my books. Most of it horrific. Never look at my browser history. If Dateline ever got hold of that…

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Sandra Bullock. She definitely has that tough, smart and yet likable and silly thing working for her!

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

There is a passionate scene of longing and regret between Shee and her leading man, Mason. I tear up when I read it!

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

My husband is a little piece of all the leading men. Mariska in the Pineapple Port series is my mother-in-law. Seamus in that series is loosely my brother-in-law… there’s no end to the people whose lives I’ve stolen…

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

They tell me what to write. I just type.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

The Shee McQueen series is the perfect blend of thrills, action, mystery, humor and romance. I can’t seem to ever write in one genre! Thrillers with a sense of humor are my favorite, so I decided I’d write one.

Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

I started AuthorsXP.com, a website for readers and authors, and through that I’ve gotten to meet and befriend a lot of great authors. I pick their brains all the time!

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

None. Often I start a book with no idea where it is going. Mostly, I think of great scenes and then figure out how they all stitch together. The plot comes to me in the process and changes 1000 times.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

Silence. I’m easily distracted.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

Usually one, but once or twice I’ve gotten stuck and wrote a few scenes for another in the meantime.

Pen or type writer or computer?

Someone writes with a pen??

Advice they would give new authors?

Keep writing. The only thing wrong you can do is to give up. The more you do it, the better you get, whether you mean to or not!

Describe your writing style.

Fun, fast and creative. I like making up unusual metaphors and similes that make people laugh or snort.

What makes a good story?

Make sure something is always happening. Don’t take whole chapters just to move people from one place to the other without any action or secrets!

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Not listening to feedback. You can’t listen to everything but if the same feedback keeps coming, chances are it is true.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

About two months.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

No, but it occasionally believes in me…

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