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No Hiding or Judgement

McKenzie Stark
McKenzie Stark Author Interview

Divide & Conquer follows a young woman who’s forced to stay at an academy for delinquents and meets someone that will change her life forever. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My inspiration to write this story was strongly built on a number of different reasons. I, myself, am a part of the LGBTQ+ community and the idea to showcase a story that both dives into the world that I feel is not talked about nearly enough, while obtaining and showing challenges that any ordinary person could experience was something I strongly believed in creating.

Your characters were intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I found that in developing my characters motivations and ideals, that I connected with some part of myself in a way. I wanted to take Freya’s grief and show that sometimes even in your darkest moments, there is always something that can pull you from the realm that lies between grief and recovery. That is where Lexa comes into play. She may have been the hot new roommate, but it’s her straightforwardness and own experience from her past that helped lead Freya back into the light. Of course the rest of the delinquents were a huge impact as well. Sometimes all you need in the world is for someone to take your hand and say, “Everything’s going to be okay,” and so long as they were together, everything was.

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

One of the main themes is that the story resolve around the LGBTQ + community, and being able to explore apart of myself in such a fun and creative way was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. There was no hiding or judgement, but for that of my characters who welcomed each other with open hands.

Another important theme would be guilt and grief, both in which played a huge role in this story, as those two emotions shaped Freya into the woman she later became.

And lastly, the thing that transpired between the pages and flowed from the words whole writing this story was forgiveness. I wanted to show that everyone is worth being forgiven and that everyone is capable of giving forgiveness because it’s not who you use to be, or what you’ve done in the past that defines you. It’s what you do with the experiences you’ve been dealt with that truly shape you as a person.

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

I just released a new LGBTQ+ novel, titled “Untangled Devotion”, this novel revolved around a woman who ran away from her entire life because of reasons I will leave unsaid as to not spoil it; but, having returned to face those issues head on, including a lost love she left behind. It’s full of unbreakable bonds, comedy, friendship, love, and a twist that will leave you hanging onto your seats.

But that’s not all! I have another LGBTQ + novel that I am hoping to release sometime the beginning of next year. That’s going without saying that I have multiple none LGBTQ + novels planned to release this year, some of which consist of Vikings, vampires, or even demonic beings.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Where does friendship come to a rest and love commence?

At just 18, Freya Sawyer’s life was anything but perfect, with the weight of the world on her shoulders, she ran with the wrong crowd and got pulled into a vicious cycle. That all changed when one night forced her into a court ordered stay at Arkadia Academy for troubled delinquents.

Lexa Forester just so happens to be her new brooding and sexy roommate. Together they dance around their attraction for each other until there is nothing else standing in their way of falling heart first into what could either be the best or the worst thing for them.

Each other.

Together they can conquer the world and change the unraveling past that they both desperately latch onto to survive. Can true love prevail or will they scare away from the only thing that’s ever made them feel alive?

Find out in this steamy and thrill filled lesbian friends to lovers romance.

Divide & Conquer

Divide & Conquer by [McKenzie Stark]

McKenzie Stark’s Divide and Conquer is a beautiful story of love and healing. It follows the life of teenager Freya Sawyer after the tragic death of her father. Overwhelmed by grief, she goes down a destructive path that eventually lands her in Arkadia Academy – a school full of delinquents.

But while she is originally irritated by this turn of events, joining the academy marks the start of her journey of healing, self-actualization, and love. She meets new friends, revisits long-abandoned talents, and finds love in the most unexpected of places. By the time the story ends, you can’t help but be proud of how far she has come.

Like in many love stories, Freya is challenged by betrayals and outright abandonment. However, she keeps going forward and eventually pulls herself together to build a meaningful life– a strong marker of how much she has learned to love herself. In this regard, the author does a good job in avoiding the cliché narrative of a heartbroken protagonist whose entire life falls apart at the loss of a romantic interest.

It is also quite heart warming how the author addresses the issue of Freya’s grief, how it has affected her decisions and how her healing correlates with a better sense of self. Coupled with how she ties this all up with Freya’s use of art for expression, this creates a holistic view of who Freya is and who she is capable of becoming.

Author McKenzie Stark has written an emotionally-charged romance novel with a solid plot and a riveting premise. While I enjoyed this novel, I thought the switch in perspectives sometimes made it hard to follow. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if it kept one perspective throughout the book. The author infuses their own voice into the story, guiding readers and telling us what will happen.

Divide and Conquer is an impassioned romance novel that is punctuated by suspenseful moments and filled with intriguing characters. Recommended for readers who want to read a rousing and sentimental love story between two alluring characters.

Pages: 289 | ASIN: B08R6PR5RT

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