Catrin Russell

🖤 Write, read, review, repeat 🖤

Author Interview: Tahani Nelson

Check out this author spotlight for Tahani Nelson!

You can find all her links 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!

My name is Tahani Nelson. I live and write in Billings, Montana and am best known for wearing armor to all of my events, signings, and readings. My local newspaper has referred to me as “local armored woman” on more than one occasion—which, honestly, is the best legacy someone can hope for.

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

Tea or coffee?
Tea. I love the smell of coffee, but it tastes like death. And tea has so many amazing varieties! What’s not to love?

Morning or evening? I’m a night owl. I’m often awake in the mornings, but that’s just because I haven’t gone to bed, yet.

Ninjas or pirates? Vikings. Which I guess are closer to pirates than ninjas. But also so, so much better.

Plotter or pantser? I really respect plotters. Those people are like unicorns. I, on the other hand, don’t know what’s going to happen until about 3 paragraphs after it’s over. Then it’s a surprise for everyone!

Hero or anti-hero? Heroine. One wearing armor that covers all of her body parts. Anti-heroes can be fun, too, but there’s something special about a woman standing up for the betterment of everyone.

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

I love fantasy. I love strong heroines leading armies and who have ambitions other than romance. Give me sword and sorcery with a strong, interesting protagonist who hates love triangles as much as I do and I’ll follow you anywhere.

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

I write female-led military fantasy. I started my debut series, the Faoii Chronicles, back in 2017, and now the final book is releasing on November 16!

I can’t believe how far our army has come and how much we’ve accomplished in that time. It’s been an incredible journey and such an honor.

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

Faoii Ascended is the captivating conclusion to the Faoii Chronicles.

The Old Gods have returned to Imeriel. As one of the few people who can hear Their Call, Ehryn, a simple launderer, is expected to lead Clearwall to greatness.

Along with several others—a warrior destined to rule Clearwall, a spirited child with infinite knowledge, and an enigmatic Faoii as their guide—Ehryn is sent to uncover the will of the Old Gods and act as destiny’s harbinger.

But Clearwall has always been built atop buried secrets, and as ancient beings begin to rise again, dark forces stitch the final threads of a grim Tapestry that stems from very beginning of the Faoii Order.

Can Ehryn and her companions escape a trap that’s circled Imeriel for a millennia? Or will they fall beneath the machinations of deities lost to time?

You can read the rest of the series before Faoii Ascended’s November 16 release! They are available in audiobook, ebook, paperback, and hardback formats. Check them out on TahaniNelson.com!

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’ve always been enthralled by warrior women in history and myths. The Amazons, Athena, Freyja, Skadi, Macha, onnabugeisha, Boudicca, Hua Mulan… there are so many amazing sources of inspiration out there, and young me soaked them in like a sponge. Those legends and stories built the foundations of what I sought in my role models and heroines as I grew and discovered myself, and I use what I’ve learned to craft new worlds and protagonists that the next generation of women warriors may also build upon. It’s been an amazing journey.

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

My writing routine is probably the exact opposite of what most people would expect. I used to get overwhelmed by word counts and how much I was expected to write each night as a “real” author. It seemed like everyone else in the world was writing 1,000 or 2,000 words a day and I just couldn’t keep up. It made me ashamed and exhausted, so most nights I wouldn’t write anything at all because I knew I’d never be able to hit a number that was “worthy.”

Now I write 200 words a night after everyone else has gone to bed. That’s it. 200 words. I never feel too tired or overwhelmed to hit that goal, and often just starting is enough to break the dam. Sometimes I end up writing thousands of words. Sometimes I only hit the 200. But it’s always more than the 0 I used to consistently hit.

I know that some people laugh at that number, and that’s okay with me. 200 words a night has brought me through three 100k books and an additional anthology. It works for me. I don’t think there’s any wrong writing routine as long as you put words on paper.

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

Don’t compare yourself to all the other authors you see on social media. You’re only seeing the cherry-picked highlights, and comparing yourself to that will only lead to disappointment. There will always be someone who writes more than you each night or who has more followers or who gets more reviews. There will always be someone better, and it’s easy to be buried by “betters”. But you’re better, too. You’re better than the person you were when you started. And that young version of you would be so, so proud. Keep going. Only compare yourself to the author you were a year ago. Or 5. Or 10. That’s the only one that matters.

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

TahaniNelson.com

Facebook.com/TheLastFaoii

Twitter.com/TahaniNelson

Instagram: TahaniNelson

TikTok: TahaniNelson

Author Interview: T. L. Thorne

Check out this author spotlight for T. L. Thorne!

You can find all her links 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!

Well, I’m from the Northeast US. Right in that place that’s green country, cold ocean and beautiful mountains. My dreams of a log cabin in the woods and a homestead farm blending together with my family. I’m a mom, a certified dog trainer, a lover of coffee, maple, cars and hiking. I run a dog rescue and craft in my spare time—when I’m not reading and writing, that is. I love the possibilities and imagination the realm of fantasy can let you sink into as a reader and a writer and I live half my life in my scattered stories.  

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? AUTUMN! (I love ALL things autumn)
Cat or dog? DOG—dog trainer, remember? 😊
Tea or coffee? COFFEE aka. Life blood
Morning or evening? MORNING (I rarely make it past my kids bedtime story)
Library or museums? LIBRARY
Hunter or gatherer? BOTH
Witches or wizards? WIZARD
Ninjas or pirates? PIRATES
Mountains or beaches? MOUNTAINS
Plotter or pantser? PANTSER
Pen and paper or computer/phone? BOTH
Standalone or series? SERIES
Book or ebook? BOTH
Hero or anti-hero? ANTI-HERO USUALLY

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

I read a lot but I definitely prefer sword and sorcery style books. I love reading about a good sword fight. I also really enjoy a romantic sub-plot—any kind. I like medieval fantasy times.

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

I write a few different things. I have an adult oriented fantasy series that is a dark high fatnasy with a blend of sword and sorcery and sci-fi. I also have a young adult pen name: Trisha Lynn, where I have a series out that’s portal fantasy about the Fae, friendship and prophecy. Very magic based with a deep romantic sub-plot. I’m currently working on another series that is upper YA portal fantasy with sword and sorcery. I’m delving into 1st person in this one, so I’m feeling challenged but enjoying the different pace.

I wanted to try something new, and its certainly had its trials, but it’s such a super cool story and I can’t wait to share it with the world! Hopefully March of 2022.

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

I recently released my second in the series of my Fae fantasy YA in paperback, which I am thrilled about. It was a whopping 742 pages and I skinnied it up to around 420 pages because printing costs were astronomical. So I’m really excited about that.

What would you do to save your best friend?

Adeila is settling into her life in Faerie, but she’s plagued by visions she doesn’t understand. With Marissa missing, she knows just one thing: she must find her friend before its too late. When she hears about an ancient coming-of-age rite, it may just be her only way to save Marissa, despite the immense danger it puts her in.
Adeila finds herself in a shrouded castle with a self-proclaimed king whose determined to make her his queen, allied with her backstabbing betrothed, she discovers the truth about her mother’s past and the exact who that has her held captive.

Adeila must discover what lengths she will go to to save the people she loves.

In the exciting second installment of the Five Kingdoms of Fae series, heroes are forged, blood is spilled, and war is on the horizon…

Link: Amazon.com: Golden Heir: Five Kingdoms novel (Five Kingdoms of Fae Book 2) eBook : Lynn, Trisha: Kindle Store

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!

My love for reading started at a very young age as my mother was an avid reader, and when I say avid she would have left most people in the dust in ALL reading challenges! She went through a book a night while my Dad watched football. Outings with her always consisted of the library, and she read me novels from the age of 5. A half hour every night she would read to me, and it widened my love for books.

Once I hit about twelve, I really developed a love for fantasy and began writing short stories. My mom was my biggest fan. As a special education teacher she was able to get me quite a bit of resources when it came to my passion for writing. I wrote a lot of murder mystery in high school, and was planning on going to college to advance my profession as a journalist, but when I lost my mom at eighteen I lost all hope for writing. My creative inspiration vanished. I didn’t write a single thing for over seven years. I slowly started getting back into it with a high fantasy that I still have not finished, but my Five Kingdoms of Fae series came to me on a sleepless night shortly after buying my house and that took off!

A lot of inspiration comes from Deviantart, dreams and favorite authors. Tolkien, Chanda Hahn, Terri Brooks to name a few.

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

I wish I had a routine! Ugh. As a mom and a busy body I have a really hard time sitting. Its like the bane of my existence really. I try to write at least a half hour a day (I know that sounds like a ridiculously small amount, but it shortens and lengthens depending on circumstance) and somehow I make it work.

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

Research more. Make sure my books were plotted more thorough, and edited better. I made the mistake of just wanting to get my name out there, and had so many grammatical errors with my first book, I think I deterred a lot of people as they loved the storyline but there was too many errors for them. That certainly would be something I’d go back and fix had I known.

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

T.L. Thorne – Author | Facebook

https://mailchi.mp/829484ec6f56/tl-thorne-newsletter

Trisha Lynn | Facebook

Book Review: Love in the Sky

📚 Love in the Sky by Tirza Schaefer

📚 My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Love in the Sky may be short, but it certainly packs a searing hot punch!

Lelani drops a pen as she boards a plane to Vegas, and as she goes to pick it up, a sex-on-a-stick-handsome SpecOps named Jinan accidentally bumps into her.

The rest is history.

Like, steamy, red-hot, passionate history.

There is an instant, undeniable connection between the two, literally sparks flying off the page, and they soon can’t resist answering to their urges. A lustful flight soon lands them in Vegas, where not only action in the bedroom happens, and their relationship takes new heights.

This is a romance that is as sweet as it is sweltering hot, with a solid plot and wonderful characters, despite it being so short. It tells a story of lust and passion, which soon transitions into full-blown love. You can’t help but love Lelani and Jinan, two people seemingly perfect for one another, and how they dare take the plunge without so much as a second’s hesitation.

Love in the Sky is hot, funny, sweet, and absolutely fabulous! I highly recommend it!

Author Interview: J. A. Andrews

Check out this author spotlight for J. A. Andrews!

You can find all her links 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!

Hi! I’m Janice and I live in the Rocky Mountains in Montana – which is the most beautiful place on Earth, if you’re wondering. I live with my husband and our 3 kids.

I never even dreamed that writing was a career option until I was in my late 30’s and discovered that Indie Publishing was a viable way to get stories out in the world.  I had started a trope-filled romp of a fantasy story to keep my husband entertained while he was out of town for an extended time, and the characters in that little tale had been hollering for attention ever since.

So I rolled up my sleeves, learned everything I could about storytelling and indie publishing, and here we are.

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?
Winter! NO! Spring! NO! Fall!!!  This is impossible. I live in the mountains where the snow falls in fat, fluffy flakes like I live in a snow globe, and so, as long as I’m in Montana, I think my favorite is winter.

Morning or evening?
Mornings. I do most of my writing before the rest of my family wakes up. (The three kids are homeschooled and spoiled with late-starting mornings.) By about 8:30 at night my brain is mush.

Mountains or beaches?
This is most likely obvious by now, but MOUNTAINS!

Plotter or pantser?
Plotter. I’ve tried pantsing. It’s ugly. My characters literally stand around and chit chat.  And that’s all. It’s a little sad.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? 
Computer most of the time. Pen and paper when things Just Won’t Flow and I need to sort out a scene.  (I’d do pen and paper all the time if there was any quick way to get it converted to type.) NEVER, EVER, EVER THE TINY PHONE SCREEN.  Phones are mostly a nuisance. (Cue old lady grumbling here.)

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

I love stories that embrace old classic fantasy tropes and bring them to life. I think the danger with tropes is an author can expect the intrinsic interest a trope has to carry the story, instead of using a great plot or characters to bring a trope to life. Give me grumbling dwarves or a mismatched band of travelers or a bard with secret powers any day, as long as it’s well-written.

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

I write…I call it epic fantasy, because that’s what I grew up on, and there are world-wide stakes and other such epic-y things. But instead of many points of view and vast battle scenes, my books follow a single individual through all these big events, and I get most excited writing about the personal implications of all the craziness around them.

I’m currently working on the final book of my Keeper Origins trilogy about a young woman who can feel whether people are speaking the truth or lies. She begins indebted to a vicious gang boss, and in the process of escaping, stumbles into a world of much greater problems.

It is complete with the tropes of the mismatched traveling band (a theater troupe), a grumbly dwarf, a half-elf, and the world’s greatest playwright.

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 was book 2 of Keeper Origins. Raven’s Ruin follows Sable as she attempts to navigate the complicated world of the three powerful priories, and figure out the oddly likable actions of the Kalesh Ambassador, whose country is currently staging an invasion

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

Website: www.jaandrews.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JAAndrewsWriter
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/jaandrews
For a free short story set in the same world as all my books, you can sign up for my newsletter here: https://www.jaandrews.com/bookish-things-signup/

A Series of Books

🍁 QOTD: How many books do you prefer in a series? Both reading and writing 😁🙏

🍁 To me, as a reader, I’m not sure it matters as long as the story warrants the number of books 😅

🍁 As an author… Hmm. Not sure! I’m a pantser, so my story sort of evolves as I go along, but I’m hoping to stick to 3-6 books per series, with whatever other ideas being standalones 😁

🍁 Speaking of series, The Light of Darkness is definitely reaching its conclusion now. The final edit of book 6, The Thousand Year Divide, is almost finished!! So exciting 😍🙏

Author Interview: Alex G Zarate

Check out this author spotlight for Alex G. Zarate!

You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his 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!

Alex enjoys writing books, creating alien worlds and often ventures out beyond the portal created by his computer screen to take pictures of the realm he shares with the kind co-inhabitants of this lovely blue orb. (Thank you!)

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words so when he posts online, this is always at the forefront of his mind. Some of the words are shared wisdom and others are hopeful thoughts he would like to hear so he sends them out to the world.

Alex also likes to draw and illustrate his books while constantly crafting stories when he should be paying attention to the road, but until he can stop time, (This is on his “To-do” list) he will make do with the allotted hours at his disposal.

Despite the limitations of each day and the grim reaper trying to sneak up on him every time he gets distracted by shiny things, Alex follows his passions.

Most of all, he creates.

Whether it is the next book in a series, a blog topic to cover, a new place to take pictures that he just can’t get out of his head or a new illustration that continues to prompt him for more tweaking, Alex seeks out new and creative ways of expressing himself.

In the meantime, Alex continues traveling to distant worlds, fighting monsters on a bi-weekly basis, peering into alternate dimensions when they grab his attention and once in a while, when the inclination is upon him… he saves the universe.

It’s a hobby.

Alex sleeps between blinks or when his eyes close unexpectedly.

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

Winter, spring, summer or autumn? Spring
Cat or dog? Cat
Tea or coffee? Coffee
Morning or evening? Evening
Library or museums? Library
Hunter or gatherer? Hunter
Witches or wizards? Wizards
Ninjas or pirates? Ninjas
Mountains or beaches? Mountains
Plotter or pantser? Pantser
Pen and paper or computer/phone?  Computer/Phone
Standalone or series? Series
Book or ebook? Book
Hero or anti-hero? Hero

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

Self-sacrifice, Epic adventures, Science Fiction, Time Travel and Hero with a troubled past

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

Most recent Urban Fantasy publication is Reflections In Darkness. Three strangers come to town looking for help. Each share the same abilities as my MC. A fourth has been driven over the edge and is coming to kill them all. My first Nonfiction book will be out this month sharing my photography and favourite positive posts over the last year. I am working towards completing a SciFi novel before the end of the year titled: Drake’s Orb. Things have slowed down on me as I am currently moving from the west coast to central US.

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

Latest Urban Fantasy novel is Reflections In Darkness: Tommy Harris wants out. After losing the girl he loved, the boy with abilities bestowed by his cat is ready to cut out who’s left and disappear as soon as school is finished. But after three strangers with similar powers arrive looking for help, the tortured teenager comes face to face with someone far more tortured than himself who is determined to kill them all.

https://amzn.to/3uGXm5Z

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!

Real life inspiration comes from Stan Lee and Ray Bradbury, the life and works of DaVinci, Charles Schultz and Tolkien. Fictional sources include stories from Edgar Allen Poe, Brandon Sanderson, and Orson Scott Card. I will always love Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, Doctor Who (Tenant), the comic characters of Daredevil, Spiderman, The Hulk, and lots more.

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

It mostly begins as soon as everyone is asleep and the day has concluded. I mostly begin about ten at night or midnight and work through two to seven in the morning. (It varies day to day) I write, draw, work with images, book mockups and brainstorm my worldbuilding. Morning time is for coffee and starting another long day.

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

Do not stop writing! Ignore all naysayers and treat them like buzzing insects. In the end, that’s all they amount to. The time lost from listening to the unimaginative negatives will feel like a lifetime.

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

I can always be found on alexgzarate.come or on social media (all of them) under alexgzarate

http://www.alexgzarate.com/

https://alexgzarate9.wixsite.com/alexgzarate

https://www.facebook.com/aIexgzarate/

https://www.youtube.com/user/alexgzarate

https://www.instagram.com/alexgzarate/

https://twitter.com/ZarateCreations

https://anchor.fm/alex-g-zarate

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