Catrin Russell

🖤 Write, read, review, repeat 🖤

Author Interview: S. G. Minae

Check out this author spotlight for SG Minae!

You can find all the links for where to find her furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Hello everyone! I’m S.G Minae, and I write steamy love stories that just happen to involve aliens, the supernatural, and romantic, far-away planets. Whether my books take place on Earth or in another world, I aim to depict a diverse collection of deep relationships and realistic characters. Because love is love…everywhere in the universe.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Cat or dog?
Dog. I’ve always had dogs. Unlike cats, they cuddle when YOU want, not just when they’re in the mood LOL. Actually, I really love all animals!

Tea or coffee?
Coffee. I didn’t used to like the taste of coffee, then I bought a coffee house! I admit I still prefer sweetened foo-foo drinks, and when possible iced rather than hot. Now that we no longer have our business, we keep a steady supply of cold brewed coffee in the fridge, which I flavor with one or more of the 6 sugar-free syrups we keep on hand.

Morning or evening?
Morning. I’ve always been a morning person, which is why I was the one to open the coffee house at 5:30am every day. It’s still my most productive time. My teenage daughter and husband are night owls, so now I stay up late as well, often until 1-2am. That means either I survive on little sleep, or I crash in mid-afternoon!

Plotter or pantser?
Plotter. Which is weird, because I always considered myself a pantser. When I wrote my first book, I would dream a scene and wake up and write it. Once I learned more about story structure, I organized the scenes and created additional ones needed to fill in the gaps. I found myself getting lost, so I used Excel to create a timeline, and used that to outline each storyline, character, romance and conflict, side-by-side as I laid out the scenes. So I guess all that work makes me a plotter.

Standalone or series?
Series. My original book was a standalone with plans for a trilogy. But I love the universe I created, and now I’m writing another series in the same world that takes place 10 thousand years in the future. I have also planned a Marvel-type series of duets/trilogies that would cover the time in between, plus prequels and spin-offs. I still need to finish the original trilogy so everything can tie together. I don’t write as fast as I’d like, but I keep plugging along.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

I’m a very eclectic reader. I love science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, legal thrillers, and an romance with assorted heat levels from clean to erotic. I don’t usually seek out horror or non-fiction, but when I read those (and same with watching TV/movies) I find I enjoy those as well. I just wish I was a faster reader, although since I took a speed-reading course in college I am quite a bit faster than I was.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I write SciFi-Romance, with Fantasy, Paranormal, and Metaphysical elements. My focus is on developing the individuals and the relationships. I use humans and aliens, both on Earth and on faraway planets, to build exciting, sometimes angst-filled stories.

I love strong women and men with emotions. For example, in my first book, Taeryn: The Awakening, Taeryn is a naïve human girl who becomes powerful both mentally and physically, while the main male character, alien Tristan, is empathic yet has trouble accepting his own emotions. My new series, Fantasy Planet, takes place on a faraway resort in the distant future. Three alluring, ageless hosts — a powerful Triptych made of three joined energy-beings — are responsible for protecting a very special planet. They cater to hand-selected clientele, helping their dreams come true…just not the way you might expect. Along the way, guests have exciting adventures in the Oasis Spa (Sexercise, erotic couple’s massage, and more to come!) and every book has two complete romance stories that intertwine and have happily-ever-afters.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

The first book in my Fantasy Planet series came out in January. Beauty In The Beast features lesbian tigress Kaleeah who is frustrated the humans she works with judge her by her beastly exterior. What she really disires is for her sweet friend Casea to see the beauty within. Meanwhile Marni, on the run from her violent, rich husband, falls for her Sexercise instructor. Can their love protect her from the most powerful man in the galaxy?

Fantasy Planet, an exotic resort in a distant galaxy where dreams come true…just not the way you might expect!

https://books2read.com/FP1  has links to all your favorite retailers.

Episode 2: Prince Charming is coming soon!

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

I wrote Taeryn: The Awakening because I read and enjoyed Twilight, but craved more intimacy. 50 Shades of Gray promised to be Twilight for Grownups, but there were no supernatural elements. I had a dream about the characters I wanted to see, so I wrote my own book. Basically an intimate version of Twilight with aliens instead of vampires and werewolves!

Fantasy Planet is a take on the old TV show Fantasy Island, combined with the sexy planet resort Risa from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Fun and sensual, with deep characters and exciting stories!

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I’m definitely not as consistent as I should be. My most effective days are when I get up early and write before anyone else is up. It’s hard to focus once there are distractions. I also enjoy the ambiance of writing late at night, when the world is quiet and the atmosphere is filled with mystery.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to become an author, what would it be?

I’d tell myself to set more goals, and try to stick to them. It’s amazing how fast time goes by when you don’t have hard deadlines.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

I’m all over! Goodreads, Bookbub, AllAuthor, plus:

Facebook: SG Minae, Author  https://www.facebook.com/SgMinae

Twitter: @SgMinae  https://twitter.com/SgMinae

Instagram: @sg_minae  https://www.instagram.com/sg_minae/

Website:  https://sgminae.com

Newsletter:  https://mailchi.mp/7880c7f76942/newsletter-subscription

Author Interview: Leslie Swartz

Check out this author spotlight for Leslie Swartz!

You can find all the links for where to find her furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Leslie Swartz is a 40-year-old urban fantasy author and mother of three. She’s loud, funny, and prefers the term “eccentric”.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Cat or dog?
Dogs. I’m allergic to cats.

Tea or coffee?
Tea. Too much caffeine gives me tachycardia.

Morning or evening?
Evening. I’m exhausted until at least 5 PM.

Library or museums?
Sophie’s choice! I love museums. I’m a huge history buff, but I’ll say libraries because I can take things home with me.

Witches or wizards?
Witches. I have several in The Seventh Day Series. I just find them more interesting.

Plotter or pantser?
Hardcore plotter. I’m a hard type-A with OCD. Doing anything without a plan gives me anxiety.

Pen and paper or computer/phone?
Pen and paper for plotting/outlining and computer for actual writing.

Standalone or series?
Both. Seventh Day came to me long. It was seven books of story. But, I have notebooks full of ideas for standalones, one of which is fully outlined.

Book or ebook?
Both. I love books I can hold in my hands but there are so many awesome Kindle Unlimited books.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

I like stories with a lot of twists. If something’s too predictable, I’ll get bored.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I mostly write urban fantasy. I recently released the final book in The Seventh Day Series and I’m working on a horror standalone ghost story. I’m also plotting out a new urban fantasy trilogy and I’m toying with a superhero idea. To be honest, I’m having a hard time focusing on any of those projects because my head is still preoccupied with The Seventh Day.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

Sinclair is the seventh/final book in The Seventh Day Series. It wraps everything up and readers see how everything in the previous books puzzle-piece together. As always, there are lots of twists and surprises.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RMM984D

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

The movie, Legend was a huge inspiration for me as a kid. I was five when I first saw it and that’s when I decided my goal in life would be to write something Ridley Scott would want to direct. Aside from Poe, Shakespeare, Stephen King, and Anne Rice, my biggest writing inspirations are songwriters, most notably Don McLean. “Vincent” and “Empty Chairs” are so powerful and immersive. That’s how I aspire to write. I want the reader to feel something.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I make a playlist of songs that remind me of characters or scenes I have in my head. I’ll listen to it while I write out ideas. Then, I make a scene by scene, chapter by chapter outline. From there, it’s just getting it written. Self-editing/revisions, then I send it off to the editor.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to become an author, what would it be?

Edit. Edit, edit again, then edit some more. Vet your editor. My first editor for Seraphim turned out to be a con artist, fake name and all. I trusted he knew better than me. Hundreds of people bought it looking like trash before I got a new editor and fixed it. It still haunts me.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

https://www.facebook.com/LeslieSwartz333

https://twitter.com/leslieswartz333

https://www.instagram.com/saffie138/?hl=en

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/89742.Leslie_Swartz

Author Interview: Suzanna J Linton

Check out this author spotlight for Suzanna J Linton!

You can find all the links for where to find her furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Hello! My name is Suzanna J. Linton and I am an indie fantasy author. I grew up in Holly Hill, SC and moved to Florence to attend Francis Marion University. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Professional Writing, I stayed in Florence because I was too poor to go anywhere else. Eventually, I met the man who would be my husband and we married in 2010. I published my first book, Clara, three years later. We don’t have any children (yet) but we do have a fluctuating number of pets.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Tea or coffee? I usually drink coffee because it gives me the caffeine hit I need. I also enjoy the taste of it, usually black. But I do get into moods where I want tea. Then, it’s usually black tea with milk and sometimes sugar (depending on the tea).

Morning or evening? I hate early mornings but there’s beauty in the quiet. Evenings are fun for winding down. But, honestly? I prefer afternoons because that’s when I can write.

Plotter or pantser? Why not a bit of both? I don’t start a novel until I have an idea of the beginning and the climax. I’ll usually work out the world in a rough sketch, then I’ll start writing. I like to let the characters form as I go, leaving room for my plans to change with the flow.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? I used to be a pen and paper gal, mostly because I grew up without a computer (shocker, I know). But a combination of having to type on a computer for college and carpal tunnel has left me writing exclusively on a computer.

Book or ebook? I’ll read an ebook if I can’t afford the physical book or I don’t think I’ll like it enough to want the physical book. But I generally prefer to read the physical copy.

Hero or anti-hero? This is a tough one. I like the idea of an anti-hero and it certainly makes a change of pace. But I think anti-hero is a guy on his way to being a full fledged hero. I think an anti-hero is someone trying to live in both worlds and, realistically, that’s not possible.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

I love a good redemption story, where the ‘bad boy’ ends up becoming the hero, whether he likes it or not.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I tend to write fantasy. Right now, I’m taking a break from writing the fourth book of my series, Stories of Lorst. It’s called House of the Seer and I’ve been working on for about two years now. I can’t stand the sight of the poor thing at the moment, so I’m going to try to write the redemption story I’ve always wanted to read.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

My most recent release is Calculated Magic. It is a novella set in my Stories of Lorst series, after the third book, Secret Burdens.  

Bruin, exiled to Arvent, starts life over as a simple charm-seller. That is, until he learns of Emmerich’s plan to meet Precene in a historic summit of kings.

In this game of secrets and alliances, the one wildcard is Galeen. The small coastal kingdom is dying under the stranglehold of Tier. The actions of the Crown Prince Gentius could be the difference between peace and war. Bruin decides to go to Gentius and offer his services in the hope of preventing disaster. However, only smugglers can pass through Tier’s blockade. He buys passage on one such ship for himself and his newly acquired apprentice.

During the voyage, Bruin discovers the ship carries precious cargo stolen from Lorst. It’s destined for persons unknown—a person that might be Gentius. Caught out in the ocean with nowhere to go, Bruin must choose between what is convenient for his mission and what is right

Here is a landing page with all the links of where you can find it: https://books2read.com/u/bw2aQ0

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

I don’t know if I have any real-life inspiration. I do make observations of the world that I like to express in my fiction. As for primary sources, I’m inspired by Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern (the original trilogy), Robin McKinley, and Dean Koontz. The latest Star Wars trilogy has certainly inspired me to be a better, more cohesive storyteller. I have a widerange in musical tastes, so there’s rarely a one song or band. I tend to make playlists geared toward a particular book I’m working on.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I like to do any work online (e.g., checking email, updating my website) in the morning and save the afternoons for writing. Also, by the afternoon, I’m fairly awake and caffeinated and able to string words into a sentence.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to become an author, what would it be?

Get an editor and cover artist right away! I wasted way too much time trying to do it all by myself and not coming off as professional.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

https://suzannalinton.com

https://instagram.com/suzannajlinton

Redrafting is the way to go!

🌸 I’m super close to finishing the second draft of my fifth book, part of The Light of Darkness series 🖤

🌸 So far, I’ve added a couple of thousand words, but not too bad considering the size of this thing. It makes me wonder if I missed something, or if my first draft was actually decent?! 😂

Author Interview: Mandi Oyster

Check out this author spotlight for Mandi Oyster!

You can find all the links for where to find her furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Mandi Oyster dreams of living in a world where dragons and unicorns abound. For now, she lives in Southwest Iowa with her husband, two children, four cats, and two chinchillas. By day, she works as a Digital Prepress Supervisor for a local printshop. By night, she makes stories come to life.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Winter, spring, summer or autumn? I like all the seasons in equal parts. I’ve always lived in the Midwest, and I wouldn’t know how to get along without all of the seasons.

Cat or dog? Cats. I’m allergic to dogs, but even if I wasn’t, dogs just seem awful needy to me.
Tea or coffee? Neither. Milk, Water, and Dr. Pepper are all I drink.
Morning or evening? Evening. I’m not a morning person at all. I get my second wind at night, and if I didn’t have to get up at 5 am for work, I would stay up until 2 or 3 most nights.
Witches or wizards? Both. I have always loved magic. When I was younger, I played D&D, and I never played a character that couldn’t cast spells of some sort.
Mountains or beaches? Mountains. If I don’t get to see the mountains at least once a year, you don’t want to be around me.
Plotter or pantser? Pantser. I tried plotting, but my characters wouldn’t have anything to do with it. They went off on their own paths, and I was stuck following them, waving my outline in the air, telling them to follow it. When they didn’t come back, I decided plotting wasn’t for me.
Pen and paper or computer/phone? I start out with pen and paper. Then I type it on my pc, fleshing it out as I do.
Standalone or series? Series. I love seeing the characters grow.
Book or ebook? Hardcover please
Hero or anti-hero? Hero. I realize most villains believe they are heroes, but I need morals and ethics.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

I really like YA Fantasy. Magic is my go-to, and there needs to be a little romance in there, not too much to take over the story, though.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I write YA Fantasy. My books are all Magical Realism. I have 5 books published in my Dacia Wolf series, and the 6th book, Dacia Wolf & the Wings of Change, comes out March 31st.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

Dacia Wolf & the Wings of Change will release on March 31, 2021.

The ebook can be pre-ordered from Amazon. Hardcover & Paperback editions will be available from your favorite bookstores.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08W6V81SJ

Imprisoned …

     Powerless …

          Alone …

Dacia Wolf has has saved the world twice and freed the dragons from an eternity of servitude. Her sacrifices have earned her a one-way ticket to prison at the hands of the Nephilim.

Without her magic, the chances of escaping before being taken to their sanctuary are dismal at best.

The only light in her endless darkness is Liam. Even though Dacia believes the Nephilim are using him to gain her confidence, she can’t help being drawn in by his kindness.

Will misplaced trust seal her fate, or will she win him over and gain her freedom?

Don’t miss the newest adventure in the Dacia Wolf series!

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

The settings in my books are based on my favorite place to camp in the mountains of Wyoming. I got the urge to start writing after reading the first 4 books of Harry Potter. JK Rowling, Melissa Marr, Becca Fitzpatrick, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J Maas, and John Flanagan are all authors who have inspired me.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I write when I can. Sometimes, it happens on my breaks and lunch at work. Sometimes, in the car on the ride home. (I carpool, and my hubby usually drives.) Sitting on the couch with the TV making background noise.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to become an author, what would it be?

Research everything before you release the first book. I wish I would have known about ARCs.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

www.MandiOyster.com

https://www.facebook.com/MandiOysterAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/MandiOyster

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