Blog Archives

From This Breaking Point

Tayvia Pierce
Tayvia Pierce Author Interview

The Twisting Flame follows Carys who faces unimaginable horrors as she fights corruption, gets abducted, and gets taken to Azkaelom where she’s pushed to the limits of her strength. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Initially, it began with a fascination with “What makes a villain tick?” The idea of “good guys” and “bad guys” became fascinating the more I realized that everyone (the best heroes and the greatest villains) all believe they are the ones doing the right thing, but..what IS the right thing, really? It’s all about the lens you view events through. The Rise of The Phoenix series explores the many perspectives of good versus evil, and that it’s not always so easy to know which is which.

The basic idea of the inter-relationships and conflict between Daon, Malik, Barak, and Eilam was suggested by my Muse years ago as an interesting dynamic that we found interesting, and finally I couldn’t help but wonder “What if we tossed an enterprising and clever young aristocrat from the opposite side into the mix?” I knew I had to write that series, and it quickly took on a life of its own, and in ways I didn’t expect!

“A Single Spark” (Book 1) showed the foundations of her belief system and family dynamics. The adage “history is written by the victors” comes into play in “The Twisting Flame” (Book 2). It’s only when she is brought to the point of mentally and emotionally breaking, only then fully introduced to the truths of the other side. From this breaking point, she begins to grow into a new version of herself, hence the symbolism of the Phoenix.

Carys is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted a strong female character who was no damsel in distress, but rather, someone who could be feminine and yet on equal footing as the men in the story. Yes, she needs saving on occasion, but not so much in the way that many females are portrayed. I love diving into Carys’s mind and watching her grow and change as the story goes on. She is learning so much, growing more clever, resourceful, and independent. Is it strange to say she is someone I admire, despite her faults? Watching the belief system that she has always accepted as “truth” completely unravel was thrilling as she was introduced to new ways of thinking, seeing both sides, and having the ability to make the choice which truth she wished to support.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I’m not sure how to answer that without saying “All of them!” I really wanted to explore how villains are created, but more than that, how there isn’t really “Good vs Evil” as much as “People of one belief vs People of another.” It’s also a story about courage and finding one’s purpose and destiny, love and family, loyalty and perseverance. At its heart, it’s about truth, but not like you might think. The truth of one person is not the truth of another, but if that’s the case, what is truth? It’s about seeing both sides and then discovering which truth you support for yourself.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on “The Crimson Blaze”, Book 3 in the Rise of the Phoenix series. It will hopefully be available by summer, 2023! It continues Carys’s journey as she strikes out on her own after sending her family into hiding, and is determined to rescue Barak while trying to stay hidden from those who seek to use her for their own ends.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In “The Twisting Flame”, Carys must survive unimaginable horrors as she fights the corruption of the enemy. Abducted by a mysterious and brutal stranger, Carys is taken to Azkaelom and pushed to the very limits of her strength and endurance as she longs for freedom and fights for her very survival. As she faces the Lord of Azkaelom, she begins to understand the truth behind her abduction and comprehend the significance of the storm she must endure.
In “A Single Spark”, Lady Carys and her family were forced to abandon their aristocratic life in Taurova, creating a new life in the western land of Lund. They quickly became the target of dangerous people, and Carys was finally forced to hire the mysterious Ben to help protect them. As their friendship blossomed into more and her family’s circumstances began to spiral, she no longer knew whom she can trust. When the unthinkable occurred and everything she believed was ripped away, it was too late — she had been caught in the dark net of their enemies.

“The Twisting Flame” is a masterful work of fiction and as the sequel in the Rise of the Phoenix Series, it shares an exciting story that readers of fantasy will love.

“I longed to be the woman I had once been, ignorant and foolish, but there is no going back…The spark that had flashed to life had become a flame, twisting my fate into its own form and life as I knew it was over.” – Carys

KARRIN: Warrior Child

KARRIN: Warrior Child: A Paranormal / Sci-Fi Adventure (Excalibur Saga Book 3) by [Sahara Foley]

Sahara Foley’s Karrin Warrior Child is an enchanting urban fantasy novel. It follows the life of Karrin, a young girl who was abandoned at a home for unwanted children. With little memory of her real family and where she is from, she still maintains her dignity and courage. At the home, she meets a terrible matron, guards, and girls. But despite the hardships of living in the home, she experiences kindness from the facility cook, aptly named “Cook”. Not only does Cook allow her to help in the kitchen, but she also ensures that she always has something to eat and a comfortable place to sleep. Over time, a beautiful relationship develops between them, climaxing in a series of sacrificial decisions. Eventually, we discover that Karrin is not your ordinary child. In fact, she is so extraordinary that she is being hunted down by those who see her as a threat.

As you read from page to page, it is hard not to root for Karrin and even learn to care for her because she’s captivating but also feels authentic. If there is one thing the author did well, it is maintaining the fast pace of the narrative. From the first to the last chapter, she captures our imagination with riveting prose and dialogue. This makes it easy to get a clear picture of what is happening at all times. Moreover, the author is adept at covering the perceptions of different characters throughout the narrative.

This is the first book in the epic Excalibur Saga series, but I think it can still be read as a stand only story. With an fascinating protagonist and a storyline infused with intrigue, science fiction fans will heartily enjoy this action-packed adventure novel. KARRIN: Warrior Child is a thrilling must read that will have you guessing to the very last page.

Pages: 189 | ASIN: B07JFNML14

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Penitent: Part I – Book Trailer

A baby is born and placed in his dead mother’s arms. When the funeral shroud is cast over her, his father decides to name his son Pall. It will soon become a name that strikes a shiver into the hearts of those who hear it in combat. A lone survivor on a battlefield many years later, Pall dazedly recovers from the wounds of war. Despite the dead cast about him, everything he looks upon is unfamiliar to him. Wandering away from this scene of carnage, he encounters John Savage, a giant of a man who puts Pall within the sight of Savage’s seven-foot, nocked longbow. What ensues from this deadly encounter is an elusive journey for truth. Yet, it is haunted not just by a ravening demon that is out to destroy Pall and John, but by the vision of a startling beautiful young woman protecting Pall from afar.

Buy Now From B&N.com

What Life Throws At Us

A.G. Flitcher Author Interview

A.G. Flitcher Author Interview

Boone and Jacque: Saddleton Haunting follows three kids who set out on a perilous quest to restore order and peace to their haunted town. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

This installment of the series concludes the three characters youth. In which I explore their mental growth. As for inspiration, I thought about my own troubles as a teen and child. Feeling like I had to grow up by myself. My father and mother taught me a lot, but I learned a lot about myself through my own reflection.

Secondly, I wanted to show how a person can learn about themselves throughout life without the influence of peers and parents. Sure we take lessons from all people, strangers or those we know well, but ultimately, it’s what life throws at us that makes us grow.

Boone, Shammy, and Jacque are interesting characters that are fun to follow. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Boone’s development had to do with untethering himself from the bad memories of his parents. Specifically when they started drinking and becoming neglectful. In addition, he had to learn how to deal with grief even though no one taught him how to do it in a healthy way.

Luckily Shammy was there to help him. However, she had her doubts about him because he wasn’t really showing any emotion until he decided to put his guard down and let the grieving process take over him.

Because she wasn’t meant to be a central character, I kept her development a little more internal. That way the readers can still her growing without overshadowing Boone and Jacque. She was unsure of her sexuality due to feeling distant from Boone. But once he started opening up, she realised it wasn’t her sexuality she wasn’t sure of. It was her trust and bond to Boone.

Jacque was unsure of his sexuality because he, nor the others, was taught about sexuality. He could be seen as gay at first, but he’s actually pansexual.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Sexuality, Greed, Power, Grief, Love, Feminism, Trauma, and Fear.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on the fourth installment of Boone and Jacque.

The subtitle was originally The Arnaud Murder, but I decided to change the title.

The story focuses on a murder of Jacque’s uncle, but the story runs far deeper than the mystery of a murder.

It will be out late 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

A strange being looms over Saddleton. Boone, Shammy, and Jacque must restore the balance in power and peace in this haunted town. However, just like in the beginning, there is no telling what will become of them in the end. Not even those in power and the sheep that follow them.

Buy Now From B&N.com

We Go On A Journey

Christopher St. John
Christopher St. John Author Interview

War Bunny follows a young bunny who’s banished from her warren and must face a dangerous post-apocalyptic world alone. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

When my partner and I first started collecting rescue bunnies ten years ago, I knew nothing about rabbits. Like most people, I had been acculturated to think of rabbits as living plush toys: 24/7 snugglers created to be pets for tween girls.

I was surprised to discover how complex their lives were. How territorial they were. And how fierce.

We were bringing home rabbits one or two at a time from rescue organizations, and we gave them free run of the house. We did not know then that rabbits who don’t know each other may be highly suspicious on first meeting, and very protective of their perquisites.

We attempted to make them all one big happy family (called “bonding” in rabbit parlance) and were shocked to learn they had minds of their own.

The rabbits eventually organized themselves into two opposing gangs, each with its own leader. They competed for territory. They competed to control food, even though there was plenty for everyone. And they competed to monopolize the petting that came from the two amiable herb-dispensers and litter-box attendants who hovered over their world. Watching this, I was amazed at how “human” they were. 

Anastasia is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideas behind your character’s development?

Making any change in the world also means making changes in yourself. We go on a journey with Anastasia and she struggles to find her way out of the maze of beliefs she has been taught. The innermost kernel of herself is her guide. That is the thing that she will not give up. It’s her foundation in terms of judging what to do next.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Often the “truths” about the world are drummed into us at a very young age. In our own lives, we see enormous evils that we are taught cannot be changed because “they have always been this way.” Acquiescing is what the predators want you to do. If a rabbit can take on a world that assigns her the role of “victim,” so can you.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

War Bunny is the first book in a series. The next book, Summerday, picks up right where War Bunny leaves off. I’m working on it now and it will be published in 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

War Bunny: Book 1 in the War Bunny Chronicles by [Christopher St. John]

A young rabbit fights back against a world that assigns her the role of “victim.”

In a post-apocalyptic world where humans are extinct and animals thrive, rabbits believe their god, Yah, has decreed that they must be Glorified by a Blessed One. That means becoming a predator’s meal, accepting their fate in a surrender called the Giving.

But Anastasia, a brown yearling doe living in Bloody Thorn Warren, is different from the other rabbits. She starts asking pointed questions of the warren elders and gets exiled for it.

Without a warren, she’s enormously vulnerable, but she reaches out to others in desperate straits. Soon, she’s leading a group of outcasts in a ferocious battle for survival—and maybe even freedom. It’s a fast-paced story about friendship, honor, love, and coming of age.

A great adventure read for teens and adults! (Fantasy, 13+)

Summerday, Book 2 in the War Bunny Chronicles, will be published in 2022.

Buy Now From B&N.com

Literary Titan Book Awards October 2021

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Award Winners

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

 

A Fan of Dragons

Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait
Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait Author Interview

The Spires of Dasny: 3 finds a new and unexpected enemy threatening the alliance. What inspired the conflict driving book three in your series?

The antagonist, Belinda, has shone her dislike of Seyra throughout the books and given the right opportunity, has the ability to get rid of her competition, even if the competition is only in Belinda’s mind.

I enjoyed the characters in this story. What aspect of character development do you find the most satisfying as a writer?

I like to make the characters distinct, complete with their own and varied personalities. When their emotions begin to show it gives the reader a fuller value of the character.

Are you a fan of the sword and sorcery genre? What books do you think most influenced your work?

I’m mostly a fan of dragons, and along with them, sword and sorcery often comes into play. Believe it or not, I can’t say any particular dragon books influenced my writing. The book that stands out in my mind because I was completely immersed in it was The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. I couldn’t get the books of this series quick enough. She had a wonderful way of writing a prehistoric earth and the characters leapt from the pages. The greatest compliment I have ever received is when a reader compared my writing to hers in my Legend of the Dragon Child series.

What can readers expect in book four of The Spires of Dasny series?

Book 4 will give the reader a deeper understanding of what really drives the antagonist to behave the way she does. It will come with a huge twist in the story which, I hope, will have the readers gobbling up the pages. I expect this book will give us a new hero to root for, and clutch at our hearts over what occurs.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

Continue the award-winning, epic adventures of the best-selling series, The Spires of Dasny, with the next in the series, The Spires of Dasny: 3 If you love Pern, you’ll enjoy this series!
The Spires hold onto a tenuous alliance with another kingdom. Fresh trials await when Belinda flees from home prior to a planned visit as an ambassador to the Kingdom of Stone Dragons. She jeopardizes not only herself and her dragon, but those searching for her.
What would you do to save one that you love? Belinda risks it all and her life is forever changed in ways no one could have guessed. Will this spell disaster for the Spires?

The Spires of Dasny: 3

The Spires of Dasny: 3: Three Kingdoms - The Kingdom of the Spires by [Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait]

Fresh from the battle with the Xi and stone dragons, the Kingdom of the Spires is enjoying a deserved period of peace. The stone dragons have become allies, the dragon school has tripled in size and the land is flourishing. All seems well till a piece of alarming news spurs the Spires to send ambassadors to the stone dragons. Little do they know that one of their ambassadors wants to do more than strengthen the kingdom’s ties with its new allies. The actions of this devious dragon rider threaten the newfound alliance between the Spires and the stone dragons. From diplomacy to help from the gods, Seyra, Queen of the Spires and her loyal companions must use all they have to save the kingdom from an onslaught led by one of its own.

Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait returns with her charming brilliance in this third sequel in the Spires of Dasny series. The tale of dragons, magic, and humans is entertaining and deeply compelling.

It’s never easy to craft an engaging plot, but Cheryl makes light work of this task. Using writing that teases, she gives you hints that something is up without revealing so many details too soon. This, coupled with genuine characters bubbling with personality, will definitely keep anyone invested in the story.

With expert pacing, the tale draws you in and gradually tightens its hold as it races to the anticipated climax. What you find is Cheryl speeding things up at just the right time.

It also helps that the story is easy to read and devoid of fluff which can get tedious to handle. So, it’s perfect for anyone looking to get lost in a book and lose track of time.

Also, writing fiction requires you to think in pictures. But it’s one thing to have a vivid imagination, and it’s another to find the right words to transport people into the lucid world in your head. Cheryl is brilliant at both.

And as if to say, “now you have no choice but to come back for more,” Cheryl ends with a tantalizing cliffhanger she promises to resolve in book four. That’s one book I’ll definitely be reading.

The Spires of Dasny: 3 continues the deep and intriguing story that fans have come to expect and adds a unique and unexpected enemy to the story that takes the suspense to the next level in this action packed sword and sorcery adventure.

Pages: 180 | ASIN: B098YYQSBP

Buy Now From B&N.com

%d bloggers like this: