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The Bonds Between Women

Patricia Bossano Author Interview

Herencia Encantada follows a 17-year-old orphan girl who is stuck between the human and fairy world and struggles to avenge the death of her parents? What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Beyond the fantasy, adventure, and the dash of romance in “Herencia Encantada” you’ll find that it explores and highlights the bonds between women in a hybrid faery-human family, a clan very much like my own. And although this story is physically set in the western Pyrenees, on the border between France and Spain, the faerie realm depicted is inspired by scenery familiar to me, like the Andes mountains, in South America where I grew up, and beautiful Bear, Lake in Utah, where I lived for twenty years.

Celeste faces the challenges of being a teenager, an orphan and part of the fairy world. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

PB: Celeste’s character arc is a beautiful one because throughout her growing pains, she chooses to follow her heart. She has a stubborn streak, a competitive nature, and she can be impulsive and selfish at times, but as her story progressed, the negativity in those traits was flushed away, laying bare the fulfilled, loving, bright individual she became. I hope Celeste’s story and her choices inspire readers of “Herencia Encantada” to always follow their hearts.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this coming of age and fantasy book?

Two things for sure: believing in ourselves, and the importance of family.

As the foundation of her future self, family influence is a critical aspect of this philosophical fantasy in which confidence allows our heroine to acknowledge and appreciate her family ties, while improving them and moving forward. When Celeste’s dual familyship is threatened, and when, at seventeen, her future seems muddled, she counts on her heart (full of human-faery love and wisdom) not to lead her astray.

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

Although I’m not writing a new novel, I do have two ongoing projects: I’m translating book 2 of the Faerie Legacy Series, Cradle Gift, into Spanish, and publication is slated for Summer 2023.

I am also evaluating cover and interior art for a children’s picture book, also in Spanish. I’m hoping to release this stardusted little treasure, “Polvo de Estrellas,” in time for Christmas 2022.

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A los diecisiete años, La Soberanía de las Hadas es el único mundo que Celeste conoce. En su corazón, atesora el sueño de convertirse, algún día, en una de ellas.
Pero los hechos revelados por su madre antes de morir desvían sus ilusiones.
Huérfana y ansiosa por tomar las riendas de su destino, Celeste vacila entre sus certezas de antaño y las nuevas.
¿Es la princesa humana que su madre formó o es el hada-humana que anhela ser?
¿Va a vengar a sus padres y honrar el compromiso de matrimonio que la espera en el mundo mortal o debe obedecer a su corazón y permanecer junto al extraño que acaba de entrar en su vida?
Celeste elige vengar la muerte de sus padres, incluso si eso significa reconocer el lugar que le corresponde en la dimensión humana.
Motivada por la princesa de las hadas, Nahia, y amparada por la Corte Luminosa y por su verdadero amor, Celeste se propone desenmascarar a la insidiosa hechicera Arantxa.
Confía en que nada impedirá su regreso triunfal a la Soberanía de las Hadas… Nada hasta que la identidad de su prometido es revelada.

The Magic Involved

GJ Scherzinger Author Interview

The Masque of Count Milado follows a man from Earth who sets off on a quest to retrieve the missing masque before it goes missing forever. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to reprise characters introduced in “The House on Chambers Court”, though the challenge I set for myself was to write a traditional murder mystery. This book was an attempt to do that, and of course it’s a lot harder than it seems, the challenges of exposing the clues to both the characters and the reader in such a way as to move the story and keep everyone guessing.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?

Many of the characters in my book are based on people I know personally or in the public eye. Villains are easy to spot in the political and corporate spectrum. At least that is the root of their creation. It gives me a ‘face’ to work from, though once the book is under way, they really take on their own personalities.

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

Each book I write represents a particular challenge for me, in this case writing a murder mystery. I don’t want my books to be carbon copies of each other, though some themes run through each. A subtle part of the book is taking on animal perspectives and how they may be different from our own. Add to that, Xavier Gaines is faced with an additional perspective, the differences between men and women. Empathy is an important element of the magic involved.

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

“The Wizard of Grimmer’s Wharf” has just been released (another mystery) and I’m well into the next book, “The Rift of Brande”. I’ve a great deal of experience sailing and so I wanted to write a ‘sea story’ involving adventure and lost treasure. I’ve reprised characters introduced in “Grimmer’s Wharf” and “The Henna Witch”. It looks to be a bigger book, perhaps rivaling “The Deck of the Numinon” in size. Of course magic is involved, which is also a great way to introduce some metaphysics into the story. Speaking of “the Deck of the Numinon”, which is wonderfully illustrated, I’m working with the artist to create an entire deck, providing the guide book to supplement her work. Fundamental excerpts were included as an addendum in “the Deck of the Numinon”. With a little perseverance on my part, both will be ready by the end of ’23.

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A long lost Masque created by ancient majics comes to light, one capable of transforming the wearer into the identity of another. Xavier Gaines is employed by the Sybellines to steal it before harm can come from its use, though he never gets the chance. It’s owner, Count Milado, dies in mysterious circumstances and the Masque has disappeared once again.
While the surviving royals struggle for control of the Milado estates, a troop of mercenaries and a lone wizard find their way into the intrigue. As Xavier struggles to discover the whereabouts of the Masque, deeper plots are uncovered that prove the Masque hasn’t vanished at all, but central to a plot involving kingdoms.
Nothing and no one is as it seems.

Herencia Encantada (Spanish Edition)

Herencia Encantada es una novela de fantasía, y su protagonista es Celeste. Ella es una huérfana de diecisiete años y está atrapada entre dos mundos: el mundo humano y el mundo de las hadas. Ansiosa por vengar la muerte de sus padres, sabe que debe reconocer el lugar que le corresponde en el mundo de los mortales. Con la ayuda de la princesa de las hadas, Nahia, la Corte Luminosa y su verdadero amor, Celeste se propone derrotar a la hechicera Arantxa.

La autora Patricia Bossano brinda a sus lectores una historia encantadora, llena de escenas vívidas que encienden la imaginación del lector. La creatividad dentro de este mundo es impresionante y fue una de las razones por las cuales volví, una y otra vez, a visitar esta fascinante fantasía juvenil. Pude imaginar claramente el mundo en el cual Celeste vive, y el mundo de las hadas es un deleite.

La historia fluye bien, disfruté de la fluidez de los diálogos, y las descripciones ayudan a desarrollar una trama exuberante y creíble. El desarrollo de los personajes es algo que de verdad disfruté, la evolución de la personalidad de Celeste sorprende y fascina por la forma sutil en la que se ejecuta en la historia. Pude conectarme con ella y me gustó verla crecer mientras superaba los obstáculos que encontraba en su camino. En una historia de fantasía como ésta, el diálogo sólido y auténtico hace que los personajes sean creíbles.

Esta es una aventura muy entretenida, con giros sorprendentes, uno en especial que realmente me asombró.

Herencia Encantada es una novela obligatoria para adultos jóvenes que buscan una fantasía visionaria que utilice la magia de maneras ingeniosas. La transición entre el mundo de los mortales y el de los inmortales es creativa, y los lectores quedarán encantados con el mundo que descubrirán ahí.

Pages: 382 | ASIN: B0B3S2JYM9

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The Masque of Count Milado

The Masque of Count Milado by GJ Scherzinger is a fantasy mystery centered around a powerful masque thought to be long lost. Xavier Gaines, a man from Earth who found his way to the magical world of Terranovae, has been asked by a friend to use his magical and physical abilities to retrieve this mask from Count Milado, who has acquired it. So Xavier sets off to infiltrate the count’s court with his wife and daughter in tow. Shortly after arriving, the count is found mysteriously dead, and the race is on to locate the missing masque before it’s lost forever.

This was a fantastic story. This world had excellent story building. There was some nicely done backstory that really brought the characters to life and made them richer. The magic was beautifully described. I love how each transformed state was kind of its own being and not the magic user in just a different form. They each had their own personality and were treated as such, complete with different pronouns. There was a beautiful mystery that I wanted to solve. There were twists I wasn’t expecting that kept me guessing how the story would play out. I got excited when things were revealed to me, making the story more engrossing. This kept me reading on, captivated.

The beginning has a slow burn as things get set up but really picked up as the plot progresses. I felt that it was redundant that every time Xavier became a tiger, the beast was described to us. Seeing as how it was the same tiger each time, I feel the initial description was enough to give us a clear picture of what it would look like from then on.

The Masque of Count Milado is a fascinating new fantasy novel with mythology and folklore elements. A world filled with magic, mystery, and mischief to keep readers engaged. I definitely want to read more of this world.

Pages: 267 | ASIN : B0B1P9YDW3

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I Had The Most Amazing Dream

Angie Bailey Author Interview

Believe follows a 13-year-old girl who is transported to the land of believers and magic, where she meets new friends and embarks on a great new adventure. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My inspiration actually came from a dream I had. After previously self-publishing two books relating to my time during the COVID pandemic, a friend asked me if I’d ever thought about writing a novel. Having only written the diaries, poems, and short stories before, I didn’t believe I had the ability to write a novel.

Then, one night I had the most amazing dream about a crazy holographic professor who ate sticky, sparkly-green Christmas tree marshmallows, and Professor Mortley was born. I sat down to write about him, and my mind was flooded with all the characters from Believe and their stories. My fingers couldn’t type fast enough.

I felt that kids everywhere had had such a tough time with the pandemic and all the other horrors and difficulties going on in the world today, that I just wanted to write a world for children and adults to escape to and warm their hearts. Believe was written to bring big, beautiful smiles to all its readers.

Abigale starts off life in the world of grayness and non-belief and becomes one of the believers. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I want to convey to the reader that it does not matter where you come from or what you were before, if you believe in yourself, you can do anything and achieve anything. Having grown up and loved Disney my whole life, I wanted the characters to emulate the Disney feel. I wanted the good to be very good but be floored enough to be tempted by the bad, and the bad to be bad enough to dislike, but still, show signs of hope that one day they will change.

It was really important to me that the characters displayed real feelings. For example, how even the best of friends can sometimes be envious of each other and that we can all make bad decisions for the right reasons.

Abigale, especially, needed to hold the driving ideal that even though she was born a Never-Believer, that deep within her if she believed in herself and believed in her friends, one day she would find where she truly belonged.

I think when writing family, magical fantasy books, as Believe is, there is a delicate dance between including enough reality for readers to relate to and enough magic for them to escape and be wistful about. I hope that Believe has achieved all these ideals.

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

The power of friendship and its many forms was an important theme for me, as well as the ability for friends to feel like family. I want to convey that friendship is a powerful and beautiful relationship for both the young and old, even if the relationships are not always smooth sailing. I wanted to show that friends forgive, love, lie, share, and cry, they catch you when you fall, surprise you and inspire you. And those relationships that have the peaks and the troughs, are the ones that are the strongest.

I also want to share that you should never judge a person until you have walked in their shoes. Aunt Violet goes through a massive transformation throughout the story and is miles from where her character first starts out. People can change and people hide very well what was always there from the beginning. You just have to look hard enough.

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

I have just finished the first draft of the second book in the Believe series. I am hoping that it could possibly be ready for release by Christmas, but I see where the editing takes me. I am super excited as it has taken the characters on an amazing journey, and I have included some twists and turns that hopefully no one will see coming!

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‘Believe’ is an utterly captivating first novel in a series that will lead you on an irresistible journey into the magical world of Believers and Never-Believers.
Abigale Johnson was born a Never-Believer, in a world full of greyness: no Christmases, no birthdays, no smiling and most definitely, no magic. That all changes with a fateful train journey when Abigale is catapulted into the world of the Believer Fae. A crazy, holographic professor, an enchanted train, and new magical best friends, combined with the tinkering of first love, a wicked queen and a host of lost family secrets all await you, in a story that is likely to become part of your heart forever.

A Few Hidden Messages

Anne E. Beall Author Interview

Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After, is an in-depth analysis of fairytales and how women are portrayed and treated in comparison to men. Why was this an important book for you to write? 

It’s an important topic because fairy tales are among some of the first stories we learn as children, and these stories are told and re-told in many books and movies. Even modern novels sometimes put forward versions of these fairy tales where the female heroine finally gets her “prince”—the high-status man who has wealth and status. Because these tales are so ubiquitous, it’s important to unpack them and really understand what they’re saying.  They have quite a few hidden messages.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

One thing that I wanted to get across was that male characters are largely powerful, active, good people. In contrast, female characters tend to be weak, passive, and powerless. And when female characters are powerful, they are often evil. This idea of a powerful woman generally being evil concerns me because it may set us up to be wary of women who have ascended to powerful positions in our society. 

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from reading your book?

I want people to really question whether the fairy tale life is desirable. I found that female royalty has very little power and are the most unhappy. Queens cry more than any other character, and princesses are terribly treated—imprisoned, kidnapped, etc. Marrying the prince or king has some tremendous disadvantages in fairy tale land, but that is put forward as the ultimate goal.

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

My next book is called Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules: Gender and Rule Violation in Fairy Tales and Life. It’s an analysis of fairy tales and folktales from around the world and I learned in my research that male and female characters are treated differently when they break rules in stories. Men are often rewarded or unpunished, whereas women are punished very severely. In fact, one-third of them are executed! I draw parallels with modern life where I found that men and women are treated differently when they break rules. For example, men and women in the legal, financial, and medical fields are given very different punishments for the same behaviors. I hope to have that published later this year or early next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Did Cinderella live happily ever after? One might think so until you look more closely at the hidden messages in beloved fairy tales. In Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After, fairy tales are analyzed in terms of the underlying messages about marriage, agency, power, suffering, and good versus evil, with a focus on how male and female characters differ in each of these areas. The analysis is a data-driven approach that provides clear evidence for the hidden messages in these beloved tales. The end conclusion is not whether fairy tales are good or bad but rather what messages they deliver about life, even if unintentionally.

Azaron

Neera lives a peaceful and untroubled existence with her aunt, until one day she discovers her own extraordinary powers. Due to her druid heritage, Neera’s abilities are the stuff of fairy tales; romance and adventure abounds as she sets off on a quest to fulfil her destiny. There is danger in store, however; the current Unseelie Queen, Visha, desires that Neera be brought to her, and has sent a mercenary to do her bidding. Pursued for her gifts, Neera must undergo great sacrifice and risk to her life – all while finding out who she truly is, and uncovering love in the most unexpected of places.

Set in a medieval-esque fantasy universe, Jennifer Creighton’s Azaron follows a young woman’s riveting journey that sets her on the path to self-discovery. Neera’s magic filled adventure allows her not only to realize where she comes from, but also what she desires out of life. The different versions of Neera, as viewed by Tristan and Caleb, demonstrate how far she has grown over the course of the story; she is no longer the timid, uncertain girl who left her aunt’s village, but a capable and decisive woman in control of her abilities.

While I heartily enjoyed this fresh fantasy story, I felt that certain characters felt somewhat one-dimensional, with Tristan’s distinguishing characteristic being his love and devotion for Neera. Nevertheless, this is a dynamic and action-filled story that fantasy and romance readers alike can appreciate.

Neera’s development as a character is the linchpin that holds this steamy fantasy together and makes it successful. Her growing preference for Caleb, who teaches her to fight and encourages her to harness her abilities, rather than Tristan, who still sees her as vulnerable and in need of protection, reflects the significant changes she has undergone.

The magical elements of this novel also make it an enjoyable read, as we watch Neera traverse a richly-imagined world while also exploring her own identity. Azaron is a spellbinding romantic fantasy that is highly entertaining.

Pages: 324 | ASIN: B09W8XSX7H

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Take A Closer Look

Nikki Minty
Nikki Minty Author Interview

Pastel Pink follows a girl who was murdered on Earth and reincarnated on Zadok, but when her human spirit is drawn back to Earth she’s plunged into a world of intrigue on both planets. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My son Randall Jackson, AKA RJ, helped to inspire The Zadok Series.

We were sitting in the library waiting for his sister to finish her art class when the question “I wonder what happens after you die” came up.

RJ said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if every time we died, we regenerated onto a different Planet?”

Of course, I jumped on this idea and together we discussed what the different races on the next planet would look like and what new capabilities/powers they would have.

As a tribute, I’ve modelled a character after my son RJ. He has Aspergers/Autism and is quirky with a brain like an encyclopaedia.

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

I wanted Harlow to be different to Ruby even though they are theoretically the same Zeek/person. Ruby is confident and outspoken whereas Harlow’s confidence has been crushed due to years of being told she is worthless. Harlow starts meeker and milder and then builds into someone much stronger. She learns to stand up against the haters.

I thought the color caste system was creative and intriguing. Where did this idea come from and how did it evolve as you wrote?

The overall message of The Zadok Series is one of acceptance. Just like here on Earth with humans, Zeeks face prejudice characters who are intent on making their lives a living hell.

Not only that, there are different Zadonian races, and they feud with one another. Not everything is as it seems. Sometimes there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Don’t let others force you into believing a certain race, colour, or way of living is wrong. Take a closer look and let yourself be the decider.

This is book one in your Zadok Series. What can readers expect in book two?

Expect to see more of the Drakes and Vallons and discover how they live in the following two books of the series.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website | Instagram

From one ending comes a new beginning…Ruby was murdered on Earth eighteen years ago and reincarnated on Zadok as a Pastel Zeek named Harlow. To be born at the bottom of her race’s caste colour system to a middle-class family of Magentas has made Harlow a source of conflict amongst the ruling Purples, and a source of derision from all three colours.When Harlow is attacked by a fuegor on Zadok, the effects of its slow reacting venom triggers an unforeseen phenomenon, and due to the strong connection she had with her former twin sister Jade, her human spirit is unexpectedly drawn back to Earth. Now living a double life, she has plunged into a world of intrigue on both planets.On earth, she watches on in horror as Jade reconnects with Lucas, the man who murdered her and got away with it. And to complicate things further, she’s being pursued by Alex, the ghost of Lucas’ twin. On Zadok, she becomes embroiled with Jax, the son of the Commanding family. He’s determined to bring about change to the colony’s colour system, but it’ll come at a cost.As Harlow mixes with the political intrigue of the Zeeks, will she become a victim of those trying to rigidly maintain the status quo or will she usher in a revolution? And will ghost Ruby resist the temptation of the handsome Alex or pursue an impossible relationship that could have dire consequences on both planets?
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