Author Candace Wondrake #interview

Please give a warm welcome to

Tell us a bit about yourself

Oh, God. I suck talking about myself. Well, let’s start off with the basics! My name is Candace Wondrak, and I’m an author, a wife, a mother of 5 fur babies, and a lot of other stuff. My husband and I flip houses in addition to our full time jobs, so I have a lot on my plate! Eventually, though, I’d like to focus on writing.

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Have you always wanted to become an author?

Yes! I’ve written ever since middle school. I used to sit with my mom and read my stories out loud to her. She had written a book years ago, too, but she never followed up on it or tried to get it published. I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted other people to read my stories.

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

Spite released on the first, and it was my take on a contemporary bully reverse harem. It’s a standalone, so things happen fast. When I was younger, I was the bully, and in a lot of these bully books now, the guys always have some deep, secret meaning to why they’re jerks. In Spite, they were all kids when the majority of the bullying happens…and we all know kids don’t always think through what they’re saying or doing. In Spite, Alec, Xander and Christian were mean pretty much just because they could be. I know some readers don’t like that reasoning, but sometimes that’s all there is to it. Kids can be cruel for pointless reasons.

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What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on finishing up a standalone academy book with some bully elements and a bit of a murder mystery. I’m hoping to release it on my birthday, which is July 6th!

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

I don’t think so, but I do need no distractions. I can zip through books if I sit down and focus, so that’s what I try to do.

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What are your hopes for the future?

I hope to eventually make enough money steadily every month through writing that I can afford to quit my full time day job and really focus on my writing. And soon I hope my husband and I flip enough houses that we land in our forever home and have no mortgage!

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

Keep trying. When you finish a book, don’t keep coming back to it. Sometimes new ideas are better. And always write every day, even if it’s only for a few hundred words. It really does make a difference!

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

Uh, what else besides thank you and I love you! I’m a teeny author still, so every reader means a lot to me. Without you guys, I’d just be writing for myself, and there’s no fun in that!

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Candace’s Cult of Captivation

Author Wendy Potocki #interview

Please give a war welcome to author Wendy Potocki

Have you always wanted to become an author?

Yup, sure did!

It was a secret desire and I never told anyone because I never thought I would never be good enough—or have the ideas that spark good stories. Since I was a booklover, I thought authors were magical in their ability to keep me spellbound. So for more than half of my life, it remained a dream … something tickling my fancy … but nothing more. Then one day, my muse whispered an idea in my ear. Once started, I’ve never stopped.

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

Okay, so this is actually kind of interesting. I wrote a short story for a writing competition hosted by J. Ellington Ashton Press. The short was entitled “Fate Worse than Death,” and was about zombies. The lead character was a teenager who had to write a story for her English class using stream of consciousness. That method of writing has always fascinated me as there’s no filter on what comes out. One night, the concept got the better of me, and I decided to give it a try. I sat down and just wrote the first thing that came into my head. It was:

A liquid night.

A lucid dream.

A one-eyed girl buried in the rain.

I loved the words and the mood struck, and before I knew it, the three lines burst into an entire novel. It’s what I’m working on now and I hope it’ll be finished by Halloween. At least, that’s the plan.

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

I don’t think so. I do like to write in the daytime which is always a surprise to me given that I’m such a night owl. I guess the only things that would pass for quirks are: (1) I do not like to talk about ideas I’m working on, and (2) I design covers for any new work I’m about to write. The cover allows me to establish a mood and feeling. It also helps consolidate or ground the visualization so there’s a tangible representation of the creative process going on in my head. I suppose one could liken it to a mood board, but for me, it’s designing covers.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

My main advice is: WRITE. In personal training, there’s a concept known as “ exercise specificity.” What it means is that if you want to swim, at some point, you have to get in the water and swim! Running, lifting weights, eating healthy all might contribute to conditioning the body to swim, but swimming is the key in learning to swim. And it’s the same with writing.

Just write. Write anything, everywhere, and anything. If you write novels, try a short story … or poetry. If a friend needs to write a letter, write it for them. Also, write for blogs or other outlets that require you meeting a deadline. It’s the only way you’ll get good at firing out a paragraph or two. It comes in handy when you get an opportunity—like this one, for instance.

The next piece of advice would be to continue to hone your craft. Don’t get stuck in the notion that you can’t improve or that there’s a limitation on what you do. The best way to accomplish this is to distance yourself from what you’re doing, and be as objective as you can about your work. It may require putting your work away for a few weeks or months and looking at it with a fresh eye, but stagnation is the worst sin so don’t stay where you are. Continue to flex your muscle—and wings. Yes, they’re there waiting for you to use. Never be afraid to fail; it’s in the failing you’ll learn and eventually transform.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

Yes, thank you so much for supporting me and my work. I love writing so much and I hope that it always shows.

I’m also very happy to announce that, after a long absence on the horror scene, I am coming out with two new chiller-dillers so please look for it them this fall. In the meantime, love to you all.

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Author Tessa Tempest #interview

Please give a warm welcome to

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, I’m Tessa and I write fantasy romance and sexy gothic folklore filled with poison flowers, dark forests, and princesses who can save themselves. My first book under this name is Poison Garden, the first book in The Beautiful and the Deadly saga.

When I’m not writing, I teach college English and run a small business with my husband designing journals, notebooks, blank comic books, and totes at Wayfarer Journals. I have two boys, 6 and 9, who like to get in on the designing action too.

I’m also a huge TV junkie. TV is just another medium of storytelling, after all. So much of what I’ve learned about dialogue and where to cut scenes to leave readers wanting more comes from watching my favorite shows with a notebook at the ready. Some of my faves include Gilmore Girls, Doctor Who (though I’m behind), Umbrella Academy, the OA, and pre-Neagan Walking Dead. It totally counts as research, right? Right now I’m bingeing How to Get Away With Murder.

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Have you always wanted to become an author?

Yes, probably since I was around seven or eight. I love stories. When I was in third grade, I made my own (cardboard) boxed set of these mini books I wrote about Sweet Tooth the blue dinosaur because all the books I loved at that age were part of a series, so of course mine had to be too.

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

The first nugget of an idea for Poison Garden came years ago from a picture and article I found on Pinterest about a real poison garden. I’m not sure if the one at Alnwick in the UK still exists as the link I saved is now broken, but it said: “ There is a garden in England where behind closed doors only poisonous plants will grow. The guides warn, ‘Do not touch the plants. Do not even smell them.’ “

What a cool setting for a story, right? The idea captured my imagination so fully that I tucked it away until I could find the right place for it. When I started crafting Astrid’s story, all of the pieces fell into place.

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What are you working on now?

I’m deep into the world of Poisoned Paradise, the sequel to Poison Garden. You’ll see Valkyries, more of Astrid’s powers and her hot Viking warriors, more vengeful gods, an impossible journey, and a race to the underworld to retrieve a vial for Loki and save Drysi, Astrid’s best friend, before she evanesces.

On top of that, I’m finishing up a Poison Garden coloring book that should be out this summer.

I’ve also got a few other projects I’m adding ideas to. The first is a series planned for next year set in a world where fairy tales repeat themselves and Poppy, who has just learned she’s a Sleeping Beauty, must team up with the most unlikely allies: the brooding and possibly very dangerous Blue Beard, the flighty Eternal Boy, and womanizing Prince Charming to try and stop their stories and save all of their kingdoms.

I’m also kicking around ideas for a funny witchy Academy series and a horror romance.

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

With my sensory processing issues, it’s very difficult for me to focus and write with any distracting sounds. So no music for me. No background noise if I can help it.

I also handwrite about 85% of my first drafts.

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What are your hopes for the future?

I want to keep telling stories as long as people want to read them.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

Finish things. Start stories and write them all the way through to the end. Also, keep in mind that a “great writer” is not something you ever are or are not. Telling great stories is something all writers continually work toward.

Also, embrace the suck of your first efforts. Sticking with it until you develop your skills is so important when though it’s so uncomfortable.

There is a great video floating around from Ira Glass of This American Life with so many nuggets of wisdom on this subject.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

I’m so grateful to every single person who reads my books and gets to know the people who live inside my head. If you liked Poison Garden, I think you will LOVE what comes next for Astrid and her guys in Poisoned Paradise, which I hope to have out late August or early fall.

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Tessa’s Ravenous Readers

Author Briana Michaels #interview

Please give a warm welcome to author Briana Michaels

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Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m Briana Michaels, lover of all the dark, sinful, and sexy things. I also have a serious taco addiction.

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Have you always wanted to become an author?

No, but I was always great at telling stories – at least that’s what I’ve been told. I was an event planner in Baltimore, MD for many, many years because creativity was always something that bubbled out of me. After moving to PA, I gave up events and became a preschool art teacher – so fun!

One day, after going out to dinner with my husband, we were driving home and I stared out the window and felt… I don’t know… like I needed to do something more. I’d had a character in my head for a while and decided to bite the bullet, so I said to my hubs, “I’m going to write a book.” He wasn’t at all shocked that I would do something like that out of the blue (have I mentioned how impulsive I can be?) Sooooo, I sat down and started writing. I haven’t stopped since. Now I can’t NOT write. I think I’d suffocate without it.

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

Hmmmm, which series!? I have two! Hell Hounds Harem is a reverse harem dark paranormal romance and I also write the Sins of the Sidhe series, which is a paranormal romance with urban fantasy elements (not RH).

In both, I take a lot of lessons I’ve learned in my life and stitch them into each character. And music drives my writing BIG TIME. Hozier, Shinedown, and Dorothy are just a few that fuel my muse. I’m a major Hozier fan though. Each book in my Sins of the Sidhe series was inspired by a song of his. Shinedown is a biggie for my Hell Hounds Harem series. I even have unofficial playlists for all my books – you can see them here: http://www.BrianaMichaels.com

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What are you working on now?

I just finished the final edits for the Second Trilogy in my Hell Hounds Harem series! Wooo hooo! And I’m currently working on the third draft of book 8 for the Sins of the Sidhe series. Once that is complete, I’ll jump back to the Hell Hounds Harem again, because the Third Trilogy is mapped out and those characters are roaring for my attention.

Side Note: With the Hell Hounds Harem series, I drop all three books in the trilogy on the same day. I binge write them so you can binge read them. 😊

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

I sit like Gollum. Does that count? I literally perch on the seat and stay that way until my legs cramp and scream. I don’t even know why I do this. *Pets the keyboard and whispers, “My precious.”*

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What are your hopes for the future?

Personally: That I grow my reader base and get to travel around to meet people more. I love having conversations with book lovers, and it would be wonderful to attend more book cons and meet readers that I only get to talk to online. I want to write a few new series and one thriller book, too. I’m trying to figure out a writing schedule that will allow all that I want to do.

Book World: I hope that Reverse Harem continues to grow in readership and also that the paranormal romance community gets more love and attention. Come on, folks, the dark side is amazing and magical af. You’ll love it!

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

Dive in. Seriously, don’t pussy foot around about it. JUMP. IN. I’ve never met an author who regretted their decision to write a book.

Once you write your book, go over it a million times and then once more before you hit that publish button!

Don’t read reviews. You’re going to want to and it’s completely understandable. When you have high ratings, it’s easy to be tempted. But once you see a bad rating, be prepared. If you feel the need to know what readers are saying, ask a friend or family member to look for you and soften the blow a little – only allow them to tell you the constructive criticism that’s embedded in the reviews. Trust me, we all think we can handle “that one-star review” but it fucking crushes your mojo. For whatever reason, it can derail you faster than anything else. SO, DON’T LOOK!

The most important piece of advice, though, is this: Write what you want. Follow your gut. Your instincts and characters will never steer you wrong, so put your trust in them and yourself and stay TRUE to them and you.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

I love you. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it until I’m six feet under. I. LOVE. YOU. The support you give me has been so tremendous, there are days you steal my breath. My mornings begin with emails and messages from readers, and my evenings end the same way. I’m the luckiest writer in the world to have each and every one of you in my life. I can’t wait to take you on the next journey with me.

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Hell Hounds Harem Pack Members

Kamayama Designs #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Kamayama Design

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Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Melody and I’m originally from Hawai’i. I’ve bounced back and forth between Washington and the islands many times since most of my family resides there. My favorite color is red and favorite animal is a shark—yes, I’m serious. I got to see a baby one in the wild and Kamaole 3. It’s one of my favorite memories to date.

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Have you always wanted to become a designer/artist?

Yes and no. I’ve always loved drawing and the arts. I do chibi commissions on the side because regular commissions are a ton of work and I want to be a in a better spot before I offer those. After a low spot in my life, I focused in on writing and was graced to become part of a community that also wanted my chibis. I then branched into designing out of necessity for my own covers. Immediately, I got positive responses from people. So, I continued and, since I had a very minor background in graphic design, it helped.

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Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Most times, I look through unsplash.com. I know the ins and outs of licenses and I know what I can and can’t use free and paid images for. Mainly, most of my stock comes from Adobe. I don’t use shutterstock because of how restrictive they are for what you can use it for.

But back to the main question, my inspiration comes from just browsing. Sometimes and idea pops into my head and I have to search for all the components, but it’s mainly from beautiful photography.

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What are you working on now?

TONS. A lot of the ones I have revolve around magic. There’s a shamaness. I have a couple fairy and fae ones. And if I’m being honest, I have a lot of ones on the backburner. Like…main image but nothing to go with it.

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Do you have any quirks while working?

I either, and this goes with writing, have to have complete silence or non-stop pumped up music. Preferably no words.

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What are your hopes for the futur?

I would like to have all my premades that I’ve already made, sold. Then, once that’s done, I would like to possibly open up customs to everyone. It all hinges upon my writing and the demand for the covers. If more people want customs from me, I’ll consider it. Right now, they’re on a case by case basis. I think Jodie Lynne is the only one who’s been approved.

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Do you have anything to say to your followers?

Thanks guys! I didn’t realize I had any out there, but hi! I appreciate the support!

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⬆️ Made for Jade Waltz ⬆️

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Author M.J. Marstens #interview

Please give a warm welcome to author M.J. Marstens

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a homeschooling mom of three wonderful kids. I used to teach foreign languages at the collegiate level, but now own a private practice in a yoga studio called Bright Light Therapy where I am a holistic psychotherapist. In my free time, I write, lol.

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Have you always wanted to become a writer?

Yes and no. I have always loved to write and I might have thought about it as a kid, but not really as an adult.

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

Actually, it was a dream, haha. A very inappropriate dream that evolved into something more.

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What are you working on now?

Total Lunar Eclipse is the third and final book in The Afflicted Zodiac series and will come out the end of August. I am also working on a dark menage standalone and an RH retake of Swan Lake called the Swan Empress, both to come out this year.

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

My youngest is just 2 and still breastfeeds, so I have a lot of time holding him and just thinking. . . I get a lot of ideas and keep my iPod next to me to record anything. Sometimes this happens 2 or 3 in the morning and I have to whisper. When I listen to myself the next day, I sound like someone from the Blair Witch Project, lol.

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What are your hopes for the future?

To be happy. I’m a really simple gal.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

I’m really glad you asked this question because I definitely came into this business blind. Firstly, I did not have FB of any kind, so I was behind the ball in this regard. Since most people already have FB, use this to grow your readers. Make a FB page and reading group and join similar genre groups to add friends and meet other like-minded authors and readers. Do Take-overs at release parties and offer giveaways and interesting posts to keep members engaged in your author group/page. Next: get your cover professionally done! And make sure your book is edited. I was so excited to publish my book, I did my own cover and self-edited. I am very well-spoken, but I missed A LOT. I finally had my cover redone and my book edited professionally and since then, my sales have soared. The truth is, you are going to have put a little money out up-front in self-promotions and polishing if you really want a well-done product. Learn from my mistakes because I probably wasted a lot of money I could have been putting towards my book instead, lol.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

Yes: THANK YOU! If it weren’t for you guys, I really wouldn’t be much of an author. You inspire me to keep writing. And that means the world to me.

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Buy links

Virgo Rising

Retrograde

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M.J. Marstens Naughty Readers

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Virgo Rising review

Retrograde review

Author Robyn Peterman #interview

Please give a warm welcome to author Robyn Peterman

NYT and USA Today best selling author, Robyn Peterman writes because the people inside her head won’t leave her alone until she gives them life on paper. She writes snarky, sexy, funny paranormal and snarky, sexy, funny contemporaries.

Her addictions include laughing really hard with friends, shoes (the expensive kind), Target, Coke Zero Cherry with extra ice in a styrofoam cup, bejeweled reading glasses, her kids, her super-hot hubby and collecting stray animals.

A former professional actress, with Broadway, film and T.V. credits, she now lives in the south with her family and too many animals to count. Writing gives her peace and makes her whole, plus having a job where she can work in her underpants works really well for her.

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Have you always wanted to become an author?

I have always written. However, the first half of my grownup life I was a professional actress!

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

My life. My family. Overheard conversations and my warped imagination!

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What are you working on now?

A Fashionably Fiasco. Book 12 in theHot Damned Series. (Mother Nature’s Book)

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

I like to write outside. LOL

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What are your hopes for the future?

Happy and healthy family.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

Write a good book and then write another and another etc. Great titles and covers are important. GET GOOD EDITING!!!

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

I adore my readers. Thanks for playing in my sandbox!

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Free books

Ready To Were

Fashionably Dead

Switching Hour

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Sea Shenanigans Collection One

BLURB

Come for the vacation. Stay for the shenanigans!

Mermaids. Check.

Pirates, Selkies, and Demi-Gods.

Check. Check. Check.

Come on an adventure with my Mermaids and their unlikely heroes. Get 3 hilarious stories all in 1 big book!

The Sea Shenanigans Series has been a delight to write and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

xoxo Robyn

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Book 1 – Tallulah’s Temptation

Running a tourist trap for humans in the Bermuda Triangle had sounded like a fine plan—until it wasn’t. With the Sea Hags gunning for our island, I did what any desperate Mermaid would do. I called for backup.

Unfortunately, they sent Pirate Doug, the scoundrel that pillaged our treasure along with my heart.

What in the Chicken of the Sea was I thinking?

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Book 2 – Ariel’s Antics

What in a clam shell does a Mermaid have to do to find true love?

Saving my island home is a must. However, the mission is to seek out the very Selkie who stole my heart, the same asshat whose Johnson I’d tried to truncate.

Ask any tuna you happen to see. Who’s the craziest Mermaid? That would be me.

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Book 3 – Misty’s Mayhem

What’s love got to do with it? If you’re Cupid, everything. If you’re me, not a thing in the sea.

I don’t believe in love. Poseidon is smoking some bad seaweed if he expects me to take the one job I’m obviously not qualified for… The God of Love.

Stay tuned because I’m about to give love a bad name.

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Book 4 – Madison’s Mess

What could possibly go wrong when a Mermaid and a Werewolf are sent on a dangerous mission by the drunken, diaper-wearing God of the Sea?

Better question. What could possibly go right?

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Author links

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Authors Karpov Kinrade #interview @KarpovKinrade

Please give a warm welcome to authors Karpov Kinrade

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Tell us a bit about yourself

We are Lux and Dmytry Karpov Kinrade. A married couple co-writing under our shared last name. We met on twitter while Dmytry lived on the east coast of Canada and Lux lived on the west coast of the United States. We were writing partners who fell in love and we are now living our HEA in California with our three kids, seven cats and a lot of love. We have written over 38 books, a few screenplays and several songs, with plans for many more!

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Have you always wanted to become an author?

Yes. We both started writing stories when we were children.

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

The Night Firm is our most current series and was inspired by our love for new vampire lore, romance, and fantasy. The main character’s backstory was also largely inspired by Lux’s life and the loss of her brother to suicide.

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What are you working on now?

We are working on book 2 of The Night Firm, as well as a standalone vampire romance, Forever Bound, launching at the end of May.

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

We listen to the same song on repeat until our children hate all music and want to smash our computers. LOL

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What are your hopes for the future?

To write more books, and to ultimately write and direct movies and awesome tv.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

Learn your genre, study the market, hone your craft, practice-practice-practice, and don’t give up!

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

We love you. You’re the reason we get to make up stories for a living. Thanks for reading them. ❤

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Buy links

Amazon US

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Amazon AU

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Author links

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KK Coven

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The Night Firm

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Karpov Kinrade

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The Vampire Girl

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Of Dreams And Dragons

Authors C L Raven #interview @clraven

Please give a creepy welcome to C L Raven

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Tell us a bit about yourself

We’re identical twins from Cardiff, Wales and we write horror novels and short stories. We’ve just started writing comics and film scripts and are enjoying the change. Most of our time is spent looking after our animal army, who are all rescue or rehomed pets. There is currently 15 of them. In our spare time, we love doing polefit and are training to become instructors. We also do gymnastics, but the less we say about that, the better. We somehow ended up with lead roles in our friend’s horror film, School Hall Slaughter, so we’ve been rehearsing stunts for that. We’re hoping to start directing our own short horror film after summer. We love travelling and find the creepiest places to visit. We’ve just returned from a book signing in Sweden.

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Have you always wanted to become authors?

Originally, we were obsessed with horses and wanted to be either professional showjumpers, or riding instructors. But not being able to afford a horse was quite an obstacle. We started writing novels when we were 12, so as we became teenagers, we decided we wanted to become authors and nothing else. By then, our depression had forced us to give up horse riding so we needed a new career plan! Our teachers were less than happy, and we often got detention for not doing our homework – we were too busy writing!

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

Our most recent release, Empty Graves, is about the body snatchers in Edinburgh in 1828. We love history, and learning about body snatchers Burke and Hare (they were really murderers, not body snatchers) made us interested in Edinburgh. We were fascinated that it’s two cities in one – Old Town and New Town. We fell in love with it before we visited. Now we go back every year and get inspired by each visit. We now have three historical books set in Edinburgh. The Malignant Dead is about the plague in 1645, and The Devil’s Servants is about the witch trials in 1649. They are a series, in a way, as they’re linked by minor characters, or descendants, and are all set in Edinburgh. Edinburgh itself inspired them, as all three are based on true events. We have plans for a fourth one, based on the legend of Sawney Bean and his cannibal family.

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What are you working on now?

We’re currently writing a new novel about a woman who gets possessed by a demon, but she likes the effect the demon has, so allows it to stay. Her demon is after an object that will give it ultimate power, but it’s not the only demon that wants it, so together, they exorcise other peoples’ demons to stop them from getting the object first. We’ve just finished writing a gothic novella about a cursed castle that drives people to insanity, and we’re editing a novel about a necromancer who helps the police by resurrecting murder victims to interview them. Our first comic is due to be published at the end of the year.

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

Does falling asleep at the laptop count? If not, then no. We usually have the company of a cat, Theo. He’s not ours, but every time his owner collects him, he returns after a few days. Before Theo arrived, our tortie, Mina, would sit on our laps. She also isn’t ours but has been living here for a year now. Before Mina arrived, our youngest cat, Ripley was our writing buddy. So we guess having a feline writing buddy is our quirk. The other cats. Storm and Phoenix have no interest in helping us.

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What are your hopes for the future?

To be successful, and to make a proper living from our writing, so people will stop telling us to get a ‘proper job’. Not sure they think teaching polefitness counts as a proper job either! Neil Gaiman is our inspiration and we’d like to switch between books, comics, and other projects with the same success that he has. We once tweeted him to tell him it was his fault his publisher turned our book down (they loved but it didn’t want another funny apocalypse book). Neil tweeted us back, apologising.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

Don’t expect overnight success. It’s incredible tough to get success in writing. You have to have the courage to keep submitting work, despite all the rejections. (We’re nearing 500 with our short stories/novels/articles). We often feel like giving up, particularly when our depression is bad, and at times we wish we could quit. But we can’t. You’ll always see writers posting about their success and it will feel like you’re the only one failing. You’re not. They’re only showing you the highlights. Nobody likes to look like a failure, so nobody posts about their rejections. We do, because we want people to know how hard it is. Plus only posting about your success is like a kick in the boobs to someone getting nothing but rejections. But you have to keep going. If you don’t put your work out there then it can’t be accepted. It’s terrifying, but it’s worth it. And if someone tells you to get a proper job, punch them in the teeth. Seriously. Punch them hard. Then hit them with a book. Those same people would be the first to complain if there were no books, no comics, no TV shows, no films. For those things to exist, you need writers. Also, things change so quickly. A couple of weeks ago, we did a signing in Sweden’s oldest book shop and were on the front page of two newspapers and a large spread in a third. People came up to us in random places, recognising us and came to the shop just to meet us. This week, we’ve had nothing but rejections from publishers! It’s a fickle world.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

Thank you so much for reading our work, and making what we do matter. It often feels like nobody cares, but then we’ll get a message from a reader, saying they loved one of our books, and it makes all the heartache worth it. So thank you. You’re the reason we keep fighting.

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Authors Athena Phoenix & Caia Daniels #interview

Please give a warm welcome to authors Athena Phoenix & Caia Daniels

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Tell us a bit about yourself

CaiAthena is an ambitious word whorder who loves to flirt with deadlines. That aside, I’m also a hopeless romantic. Daniel is also a hopeless romantic, who knows that Love is the way for everything. I also love flirting with deadlines, because look how sexy they are, would you? (See? Daniel’s got a much better sense of humor than me! -CaiAthena. I can be a bit too serious at times, and Daniel knows how to lighten me up! Together, we use our own ‘second chance love story,’ inspiring us to give HEA’s to our characters. We love writing urban fantasy and especially contemporary erotic romance like our ongoing Boys of Summer series which includes all standalone stories that do not need to be read together, although if you do read them all, you get more insight into Madame Summerlan West!

Most importantly, Daniel and I write love stories that celebrate love, so we take pride in writing with a pro-feminist message, and creating badass leading ladies who never need to be saved and who have the power to heal and to save the world all by themselves. We also love writing outside the box relationships such as Poly, Ménage and RH, as well as featuring diverse characters including LGBTQ, characters of color and those with rich or diverse backstories to tell. #LoveIsLove, and only love can save the world, as Wonder Woman once said, therefore all our stories at their core are about how love heals us in whatever shape it takes in our lives.

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Have you always wanted to become an author?

CaiAthena: I’ve always been a storyteller, but I came into authorhood a little late. I started out wanting to write for magazines, then looked into working in acquisitions for a publishing houses. Eventually, I had this story idea that just wouldn’t go away. That’s when my entire life changed. My story was finally ready to be written, so I wrote it. Coincidentally, it’s also when Daniel and I were reunited… he read my book, flew across the country to visit me again for the first time in 20 years, and the rest is history. Daniel: I’ve found that I tend to teach people things, often without realizing it. For me, it’s about relating things I know to others in a way they can comprehend, and hopefully with heart. I started flirting with writing (I’m such a flirt!) a couple of years before I found CaiAthena again, but never really buckled down to finish anything. Mostly because I didn’t know how. She taught me many things about writing and convinced me to start co-writing with her. The rest is history. And our future! ♡

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

I’m currently writing the Clash of Queens series. My inspiration was a combination of my disgust with the current state of the world and the greediness of some humans. As a former teacher, we taught ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ about an ex-military man who got bored with hunting large game, so he moved on to hunting people. My ‘what if’ came when I got into the Fated Mates set and was charged with writing a shifter book. I thought ‘what if these trophy hunters got bored and started hunting shifters? It seemed like the ultimate game to me, and that’s where the premise of Clash of Queens was born. I also am saddened by the state of female relationships in the world. We should be lifting each other up but instead, most woman consider each other ‘competition’ and that’s where the title, ‘Clash of Queens’ plays in. What if multiple women were all queens in their own right, but had differing agendas and thoughts on what it means to lead an army or a species of people? That led into creating Arcadia, the heroine of my story. And I love her!

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What are you working on now?

As I’m a habitual word whorder, so I always have multiple projects in progress. In addition to writing as Athena Phoenix, I also co-write with my husband Daniel as Caia Daniels. We’re co-writing quite a few projects in the coming year, and those are all in the planning stages. They include an Urban Fantasy dystopian series called NOLA Wars with April Canavan, a series that’s dear to my heart about an extinct line of wolf shifters to be co-written with the amazing Carmen Fox, and of course, Daniel and I are always writing Boys of Summer stories as well as our PNR series about the mother of all humanity. That series will be our career shaker, and I cannot wait to get it all written and published… so stay tuned!

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

CaiAthena: Lately, I have to ‘go under’ as I say by jamming out to music with my headphones in. And I have to have a drink, or I’ll die. Other than that, trying to fend off needy children (I have two teenagers and a 9-year old with Autism) is my side job. Daniel: I bring her many drinks!

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What are your hopes for the future?

CaiAthena: I hope to be writing full time by the time my youngest daughter graduates HS. My bucket list is to find an agent, a publisher, and maybe become a spec writer for a publisher. And to make the NYT bestseller list with a solo title. Other than that, I ‘might’ pursue an MFA in creative writing so I can teach college or perhaps just offer writing courses and seminars online somehow. Maybe write craft books, too. Daniel: I hope to become good enough to only need light editing, instead of hoping CaiAthena doesn’t hate me by the end of each first draft. That, and I plan on writing a few solo novels of my own someday soon.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

CaiAthena: 1 – Write an entire series before publishing it. I made the mistake of writing first in series books and got surprisingly busy trying to market them, then got even more busy writing other first in series stories. Many readers won’t even touch a series until it’s complete. 2 – Hire an editor, no matter how good you think you are. When I published my first book, I already had a Master’s in English Ed yet my editor then was invaluable. I had no idea I had done so many things wrong. They’re def. worth the money. 3 – Keep writing. We get better the more we write, so don’t think if the first few books don’t do well that it means you should stop. Writing is more than a talent, it’s a skill that gets better with time. Keep going. You’ll learn something new with every book you write. Daniel: Listen to CaiAthena. That, and make sure you put heart into your writing, not just technique. Anyone can paint-by-numbers, but true artists bleed for their craft. Do the same, it heals eventually.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

We love you. We truly, honestly do. You’re a huge reason why we do what we do, and why we’ll keep writing until they bury our moldy corpses. Maybe even after. They have Word in Heaven, don’t they?

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Fated Mates Box Set: Clash of Queens, Book 1 in the Clash of Queens Series

Chasing Tigers by Athena Phoenix, featured in Fate’s Call, a FREE anthology

Prophecy of Magic Box Set: Of Magic and Lies, Book 1 in the NOLA Wars, Resurgence Series by Caia Daniels & April Canavan

Merlot: A Boys of Summer MMF Ménage Short Story

Something Wicked: A Boys of Summer RH Short Story

The Naughty List: A Boys of Summer RH Short Story

Tempting the Huntress

Cursed

Athena Phoenix & Caia Daniels

Authors Caia Daniels and Athena Phoenix, AKA CaiAthena, is a blissfully married writing team living their very own second chance romance. After growing up in the same small town where neither really fit, even having dated for a week, these soul mates followed their own paths, but eventually, the universe propelled them back together. Both lovers of fictional realms, they discovered a mutual passion in penning socially conscious love stories that often inspire and sometimes scintillate their reader’s wildest fantasies.

CaiAthena strongly believes in the feminist agenda, and their writing reflects that. Every story features strong female characters that never need to be saved and always deserve to be worshiped – both out in the world and behind closed playroom doors. Strongly believing that only love can save the world, CaiAthena strives to represent all types of relationships including Polyamory, Ménage, Reverse Harem, LGBTQ, and BDSM dynamics. Their favorite genres to write include true-to-life Contemporary Erotic Romance & Urban Fantasy.

Welcome to our playground… where playing pretend never felt so naughty.