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Author Interview: Rich Blecher

Check out this author spotlight for Rich Blecher!

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!

Hi, my name is Rich Blecher. I’m a retired Air Force officer who had struggled with ADHD my entire life. I had a story in mind that I discussed with colleages and friends and began to dabble with the story. I struggled with English in school and was intimidated with writing this story. Through support of friends and family and an editor who helped coach the development of this story, it became something I could be proud of not only creating a story, but finishing it.

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!

Cat or dog? Dog lover, but life is too busy to give a dog the attention it deserves 

Tea or coffee? I like both, but prefer coffee

Morning or evening? I am definitely a morning person. A brand new start every day.

Library or museums? I’m a visual guy. I could spend hours in a museum, but in the past few years I’ve found myself lost in libraries also.

Hunter or gatherer? Just spent a week in the woods hunting

Witches or wizards? Although similar, I like the grander aspects of a Wizard

Ninjas or pirates? Can we have Ninja Pirates?

Mountains or beaches? I love the mountains all year round moreso than the beach, but enjoy the beach in moderation

Pen and paper or computer/phone? I’m a little of both. For heavy writing I prefer typing it, but I keep a pen and notebook with me most of the time to catch my thoughts. I’ve also been known to use the notes section in my phone to capture those notes too

Book or ebook? I like a physical book

Hero or anti-hero? Can an anti-hero become a hero?

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

Something that will take me to somewhere new. Ender’s Game was brilliant especially as a strategic war planner. I also liked Troy and the fun sci-fi new concepts that brought. Who’d a thought you could sell maple syrup as a drug to aliens?

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

I enjoy sci-fi and fantasy. I have about six other projects at some level of writing. One is a mom and her two children that find out they have super powers and the government is trying to stop them from saving the planet from aliens

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

Xima is a great story of a young Zack Bates who grew up in a dystopian environment in a small compound. The planet Xima was accidentally discovered, and Earth set up a shuttle system to begin populating the new planet. Zack’s parents were killed and he was on his own to survive. Sneaking away to Xima he was tricked and enslaved where he was found and trained to not only save the planet of Xima, but also save Earth from civil unrest.

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 haven’t read very many books to influence me too much. I think I let the accumulation of movies and books inspire me to create something new, but they all have some influence with my jumbled mind of ideas.

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

My writing routine is quite complex. When I find time, I write…but I can’t sit still with one story. My ADHD weighs in and I need to change it up which is why I have about six different story lines going at the same time. I’ll eventually finish all of them, but I like the way I can take my lack of focus and apply it to different storylines which ultimately will produce more books.

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?

Retake an English writing class or two

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

Currently only on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/EscapetoXima/

Author Interview: Gabriella Balcom

Check out this author spotlight for Gabriella Balcom!

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!

Hello. I’m Gabriella Balcom and I want to thank you interviewing me. I appreciate your time and effort very much.

Here is a short bio about me:

Gabriella Balcom lives in Texas and writes fantasy, horror, romance, sci-fi, literary fiction, children’s stories, poems, and more. She loves great stories, forests, mountains, and back roads, and has a weakness for lasagna, garlic bread, tacos, cheese, and chocolate. She’s had 280+ works accepted by publishers including Barrio Blues, Black Hare Press, Black Ink Fiction, Blood Song Books, Breaking Rules Publishing, Celestial Echo Press, Clarendon House Publications, Clarendon House Short Story Magazine, Crow’s Feet Journal, Dastaan World, Dragon Soul Press, Eerie River Publishing, Fantasia Divinity Magazine, Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine, Insignia Books, Iron Faerie Publishing, JayZoMon/Dark Myth Publishing, Paper Djinn Press, Pixie Forest Publishing, Raven and Drake Publishing, Reanimated Writers Press, Siren’s Call, Soteira Press, Stormy Island Publishing, Suicide House Publishing, Sweetycat Press, The Great Void, The World of Myth Magazine, and Zombie Pirate Publishing.

Gabriella won the right to have a novel published by Clarendon House Publications when one of her short stories was voted best in the anthology in which it appeared; her book, On the Wings of Ideas, came out afterward. She was nominated for the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award, won second place in JayZoMon/Dark Myth Company’s 2020 Open Contract Challenge, and her novelette, Worth Waiting For, was then released. Gabriella’s novelette, Free’s Tale: No Home at Christmas-time, was published at the end of 2020, and her sci-fi novella, The Return, came out in 2021. Another of her novellas pends publication.  Her Facebook author’s page: https://m.facebook.com/GabriellaBalcom.lonestarauthor

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this-or-that questions. Explain why you chose your this answer or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Autumn?

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the trees’ stunning colors, and the usually mild temperatures. It’s not hot to the point of sweltering like part of Spring and most of Summer, and not cold like Winter. Being able to relax in shorts is nice as opposed to needing heavier, warmer clothing.

Cat or dog?

I prefer cats, although I like dogs a lot, too. My first friend was a cat, and I can say quite honesty she was a true one. I’ll never forget how loving and responsive she was to my emotions. Cats’ overall independence and alert watchfulness appeal to me, as opposed to dogs often fawning over people and seeming more “needy,” per se. But I know cats can demand attention forcefully, too. I also admire cats’ cleanliness, ability to twist their bodies and land on their feet, and how many of them hunt for food even when they don’t have to.

Tea or coffee?

Neither. I prefer hot chocolate, although I do like certain decaffeinated teas (camomile, blueberry, green, lemongrass, peppermint, etc.). Water is probably what I drink the most, but I also enjoy blue Powerade and fruit juices like orange, grape, and apple.

Morning or evening?

Both, and night, too. I’m naturally most alert in the morning, but typically sleep through a good part of it because I work evening shift (mid-afternoon throughout the evening, and sometimes a few hours into the night). When I’m off work, I get up early to have time for writing or writing-related things, and work on my creations for hours at a time. The days I go to my job, I try to fit in writing time before I have to leave, and once I get back home, too.         

Mountains or beaches?

Mountains and forests, actually. I live in a small town in the country surrounded by trees, and love it. I enjoy smelling all the nature scents, and seeing and hearing birds, squirrels, deer, rabbits, coyotes, and other animals. I find walking in the woods to be both healing and uplifting. Mountains thrill me also. I love seeing them and being on or near them. I admire their majesty, agelessness, and knowing how long they’ve been around. 

I do enjoy visiting beaches now and then, walking in the sand, hearing gulls, and collecting shells. But forests and mountains are my favorites.

Plotter or pantser?

Pantser. I don’t outline my stories or plan out this or that. Ideas constantly flood my mind, and I never know where a certain idea will take me. My characters lead me along, per se, and I often envision or “hear” scenes from their lives.

Pen and paper or computer/phone?

I mainly use my laptop, as I type fast and can go quicker that way. When things pop into my head, I don’t want to forget them, and jot notes down on paper, index cards, or whatever I can get my hands on. If I’m driving, I’ll dictate into a memo app or text things to myself.  

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

I write in multiple genres, including fantasy, horror, romance, sci-fi, literary fiction, children’s stories, poems, and more. I do stories of varying sizes, all the way from one-hundred-word drabbles through novel-length works. Right now, I’m working on several pieces, some for specific calls, others just for myself.

I submit things to several publishers on a regular basis. My acceptances for 2022 include drabbles for Black Ink Press’ Heartless anthology, a short story for Raven and Drake’s Aliens anthology, a poem for Sweetycat’s Beautiful: In The Eye Of The Beholder anthology, and a drabble and story for the January issue of The World of Myth Magazine. I’m excited to say one of my novellas has been accepted for publication, too, but I’ll keep that secret for now and announce it later. 

My goals for this year include submitting more works, and doing so steadily. I hope more will be accepted. I also hope to finish a novel I’ve been working on, do edits on a second, and submit a third  to publishers.

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

My most recent publication is The Return, a sci-fi novella published by Black Hare Press. I’m quite proud of it, and just love the cover. Here’s a little about my story:

The world doesn’t know anything about the compound hidden underground, and the wealthy investors funding it want things to stay as they are. It’s the year 2030, and scientists have made numerous scientific advances.

They use cutting-edge technology with their Feline Service Units and Human Replicas—HRs, as they’re commonly known. However, most of the research being conducted in the facility is illegal. If animal rights’ activists had an inkling of what went on, they’re clamor for justice. Human rights’ activists would scream from the rooftops.

Tensions are mounting, and things are not as they appear.

Amazon link: https://bit.ly/39y9iOL

Reader comments about The Return:

“…This is a thrilling ride. I’m hoping there’s a sequel.”

“…man, it got me good. Best plot twist I’ve read in a book…you’ll love this book!”

“Fascinating and amazing!”

“…had me on the edge of my seat.”

5. 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?

BELIEVE in yourself, no matter what!

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

My Facebook author page: https://m.facebook.com/GabriellaBalcom.lonestarauthor

Author Interview: Raven Oak

Check out this author spotlight for Raven Oak!

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!

Multi-international award-winning speculative fiction author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood (2016 Ozma Fantasy Award Winner, Epic Awards Finalist, & Reader’s Choice Award Winner), Amaskan’s War (2018 UK Wishing Award YA Finalist), and Class-M Exile. She also has many published short stories in anthologies and magazines. She’s even published on the moon! (No, really!) Raven spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet.

Besides being a writer and artist, she’s a geeky, disabled ENBY who enjoys getting her game on with tabletop games, indulging in cartography and art, or staring at the ocean. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Her hair color changes as often as her bio does, and you can find her at www.ravenoak.net.

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? 
  It’s really a tie between autumn and winter. I love the leaves changing colors and the cool temperatures of fall. I’m also a huge fan of creepy things, so Halloween is definitely my bag. But I also love snowfall and the winter landscape, as well as the December holiday season.

Cat or dog?  Cats. I love most animals, including dogs, but cats are more intelligent. They aren’t subservient and like me, tend to do what they please. 😉 I have three disabled cats that own me.

Tea or coffee?  Tea. I enjoy cold brew coffee and sugar-coffee aka mochas and pumpkin spice lattes, but tea is everything. It’s warm and soothing or it can have a bit of a kick like it does in black licorice black tea. It’s one of my favorite drinks and yes, I have tea cups.

Morning or evening?  Definitely evening. I’m a mid-owl. I do my best work between 2 PM and midnight. By 2 AM, I’m ready for sleep. Book or ebook?  You know, for all that I have a M.S. in computers and love tech, I’m a book person. E-books give me migraines and honestly, I lose focus with them. But a book—oh man, you can smell the pages, like memories floating through synapses. You can touch the paper and binding, feel the weight of it in your hands. There’s something about the tactile experience that makes the reading all the more enjoyable for me.

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

I don’t look for tropes typically. I prefer books that subvert them anyway. I tend to look for something that’s unique or something that asks intense questions such as is intelligent life avoiding us or are they as small as we are in the universe? I want to read something with depth of thought and world building. Good covers help too. Nothing bothers me more than a cover that looks like the author made it in paint. I usually pick a page at random to read to ensure the book’s been edited by someone with real editing experience. As an author, I can afford to be picky so I am.

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

I mostly write speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy) but I do make dips into horror and mystery. What can I say? I love crossing genres. I’m currently working on Book III in my Boahim Trilogy, Amaskan’s Honor. I just finished two short stories for anthologies and should have 3-4 books out this year provided supply chains don’t get worse. I’m hoping to release a collection of short stories too if I get to finishing some of the new stories for it. Right now, I’m writing and waiting for Covid to go away so I can return to being a guest at various conventions. I miss seeing my readers.

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

I just had two holiday novellas come out in December: The Ringers (gothic fantasy) and Ol’ St. Nick (sci-fi mystery). You can buy them anywhere, but here are the Amazon links: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09MR6JVTL/ (The Ringers)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09MNX94ST/ (Ol’ St. Nick)

In The Ringers:  Every time a bell ring, someone’s going to die.
Around Christmas, many towns and villages are full of wonder and magic, full of smiling people who live to spread seasonal joy. But in the dreary village of Dekwood, the midnight bells are ringing once again… Who are these Ringers? Why does no one speak out against the evil in town? Young Elise seeks deadly answers in hopes that she can save the town…and herself. Will the Ringers take them all, or will Elise release evil’s grip on the little village of Dekwood?

In Ol’ St. Nick: When a mobster Santa dies, everyone’s a suspect!

What do you get when you mix an old Earth myth with mobsters and space ships? A locked room mystery with holiday trimmings involving the plucky crew of a scavenger ship.

Captain Mark Barnes has but one request: keep his ship flying and his crew happy. But when someone from his past tears their way into the present, everyone on his ship becomes a murder suspect, including himself. Especially himself. Time’s running out as Mark and his crew struggle to find the murderer among them, because if they don’t, they just might kill one another. When a family falls apart, can the damage be repaired? Or will this holiday go down in history as a complete and utter disaster?

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 tend to draw from my own life and lives of people around me. File off the serial numbers and voila! New story! For example, my space opera novella, Class-M Exile, came from my past. I grew up in the Bible Belt in a town where even the Catholics pretended to be Southern Baptist/Evangelical. When I first met a good friend, she was the complete antithesis of everyone I knew and as such, people were afraid of her. I used that experience to write about a future where humanity is mostly extinct, so when a group of aliens see one, they freak out. It’s comical but underneath it is an exploration of prejudice. I try not to use existing works by others as inspiration because it would be too easy to write that instead of something new, but I love space westerns so works like Cowboy Bebop and Firefly are appreciated.   

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

I write full time for a living so I definitely have a routine. Because I’m disabled and brain fog from both my disease and my meds is a thing, I usually spend the morning shaking it off by reading, doing brain puzzles, or watching a good TV show. Around 11 A.M., I go to my office and answer business emails followed by 30 minutes doing business social media. I spend a few hours editing (I take a lunch break somewhere in there), and around 2 PM, I hit the ground running with writing. I typically work until around 6 or 6:30 PM and then spend the evening with my family. Weekends are typically for family as well, unless I’m at a convention/conference, writer retreat, etc.

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 listen to the anxiety and depression. You’ve got this.

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

Website:  www.ravenoak.net

FB Author Page:  https://facebook.com/authorroak

FB Reader Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ravenconspiracy

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/raven_oak

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/author_raven_oak/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/kaonevar/

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/raven_oak

BookBub Author Page:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/raven-oak

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ravenoak1

Author Interview: Alexander R. Davis

Check out this author spotlight for Alexander R. Davis!

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!

I love stories, movies and books alike. I learned many of my morals from the heroes in books and movies when I was younger. People have teased me about being a knight, more than once, haha. Because I saw how much of an impact stories had on me, I wanted nothing more than to be able to do that for someone else!

​A story has such power to change. There is something about them that can touch hearts in a way that simple facts could never do. Textbooks are great, but they don’t hold a candle to the books that teach lessons through stories. I realized early in my life that stories are the best way to really teach and have an impact on lives. Think about some of the greatest speeches you have heard. Think about the lessons that really stick with you. Very often there is a story tied in that drives the lesson home. Even look at some of the greatest teachers. Look at Jesus, Gandhi, or even the best school teachers. They have a message and they share that message through stories.

​Knowing the impact I could potentially have I looked into becoming an author myself. I wanted it so badly, but for over a decade I had done nothing with it. I searched in the self development world for the answer. After a lot of study, I found that I had a belief that told me: “dreams are something to look forward to, but not have. They are something to see, but not touch.” Wow. When I came to this realization, it changed everything!

​I worked on this belief and cleared it away. As soon as I was free of that limiting belief, my dreams became reality. In a decade nothing, and then in a year and a half, I published 6 books! Can you believe that? If I hadn’t experienced it, I would have laughed if someone told me what was going to happen.

​At first, I had only planned to write fiction, but because of my journey in the self help world, I began writing in that realm as well. Both adventurous stories, and real life teachings had helped me, so now I share my knowledge and imagination.

​You may ask: why should I care about all of this? I have an answer for you. If this young guy from a little town could reach his dreams, then so can you. You CAN and WILL succeed!

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!

Cat or dog?
Cat for sure. Cat’s have such self reliant attitudes most of the time and don’t need my attention 120% of the time. At the same time, cats can still be affectionate and hang out with you too, they just are so needy as most dogs are.

Standalone or series?
Series all the way. with a series you can actually get to know the characters really well. With a stand alone it’s hard to really get into much depth with any one character. It helps them feel more real and let’s you relate to them more. Plus, if it’s a really good one then it doesn’t end after only one book/movie and leave you wishing there was more. Imagine if something like star wars, lord of the rings, or the office, only had one book or one season. It would indeed be a travesty. 

Hero or anti-hero?
From a tactical perspective, anti-hero may be the way to go, but I have to stick with the traditional hero. Heroes have always fascinated me, not because of some power or ability they may have. not because they may be a better fighter or luckier than the next guy or anything else like that. The reason I’m drawn to them is because of their characters. They are genuinely good, wholly and truly. Their morals are what I really am attracted to. So though they may have more weaknesses to exploit than an anti-hero, I still have to stick with the traditional hero.

Plotter or pantser?
You know, I have tried to be a plotter, more times than one, but it never works out for me. As I am trying to plot things out, I just can’t help going into a lot of detail and then just wanting to keep writing from there. So I defintely jive more with the pantser. In fact, I wrote a three book series and did almost zero plotting. I just let the writing take me where it would.

Morning or evening?
The evening is where it’s at. For whatever reason as soon as the sun goes down, I typically get less tired. My brain starts rolling and the creative juices often get flowing better. I remember one night I couldn’t sleep and stayed up writing. In that single night I wrote close to 30 pages of a novel I was working on. Plus there is always the bonus that most people are off of work in the evening, including me. Haha.

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

An uncorrupted hero in a corrupt world. A good example would be a story like the Dark Knight. the hero, batman, never kills, regardless of what is done to him or the ones he loves.

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

I am all over the place to be honest. I have inspirational, relationships, coaching and fantasy books. But fantasy will always hold a special place in my heart, because the first fantasy book I picked up was the book that made me realize that reading didn’t just have to be a chore issued by school. What I am focusing on now is a series (Omeron: The Hero’s Chronicle). The first book has been published for a little over a year and after a little break I am coming back to continue writing the next book.

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

The most recent release is the one I mentioned above (Omeron: The Hero’s Chronicle). This book was born out of my fascination for heroes and what makes someone a hero. more than just powers or abilities, but who someone has to BE to be considered a hero. Here is the teaser.
“If you could stop all of this, would you?” the hero asked.

Randrum knelt before the hero, who was adorned in his bloodstained armor. That armor had once been bright and gleaming, but no longer. Randrum only lifted his eyes, too weak to stand. He hardly noticed the blood red snow, or the still bodies around them, which he himself would soon join.

“Of course I would… but it’s too late,” Randrum said before going into a fit of coughing. Once he recovered somewhat he raised his eyes to meet the hero’s gaze. “No one can turn back the hands of time….”

The hero crouched down before Randrum, still holding his gaze. “But what if one could?”

Randrum licked his lips. The blood loss must have been getting to him. He actually considered the question, even though it was impossible. “If it were… possible… I would sacrifice anything to change this.”

The hero smiled and held out his hand. “’That’ is the right answer.”

Randrum hesitated, then reached for that hand.

If a murderer was given the choice between death and becoming a hero, something so contrary to everything they know, would they? Even if they did, could they actually change? Could they fight their nature and become a true hero?

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!

Some of my driving inspirations have been: The Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings.

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

I’ve tried many different ways, but right now I’m set on time. I give myself a set amount of time to write. It doesn’t matter how much I write in that time period as long as I am writing. At the same time I also listen to music because that helps me to write. My typical music is just music mixes without words. I go to youtube and type in music mixes. Two steps from hell, and audiomachine have some good mixes.

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 dwell on criticism. Give it a look to see if there is any value in it, then throw it away. dwelling on the negative feedback only sets you back.

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

https://www.srabooks.com/https://www.facebook.com/alex.r.davis.9https://twitter.com/davisRalexander
https://www.amazon.com/Alexander-R-Davis/e/B07V5VY6VV/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Book Review: Nor Iron Bars a Cage

📚 Review time! 📚

📚 Nor Iron Bars A Cage by Kaje Harper

📚 My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nor Iron Bars a Cage is a beautifully paced standalone novel centring around the relationship of two men. It’s written in first-person view, from Lyon’s perspective as he is forced to face his demons and leave the safety of his home.

Lyon is a sorcerer, but no longer wishes to be one. He is a young man, but feels as though he is old. He longs for companionship, but wants to be left alone.

After barricading himself in a house made from stone, hiding away for over 15 years, his past comes back to haunt him. Yet, it comes in the form of an old friend, a kind soul, and a man whom he can trust. Or… eventually, at least. The king calls on Lyon for aid in a translation, and Lyon’s old friend Tobin – being one of the king’s Voices – cannot refuse this order. But he doesn’t want to force Lyon to leave the safety of his home, even though he can’t wait to finally be with Lyon again, after thinking he had died in a fire so many years ago.

This is one heartfelt story of a broken character. Two men come together in friendship, understanding, sweet reunion, and ultimately love. It comes in stages, goes back and forth, as trust and feelings build across every page of the book.

There are just so many great characters and story arcs. So many things to enjoy, and not enough space in a review to remotely tell about it.

Lyon’s struggles are beautifully written, both physical and mental. The boundaries that he’s placed in his life are now slowly broken down as the story progresses. Absolutely fabulous! And the tenderness between Lyon and Tobin is to die for.

“He was my safety and my wall, the mirror in whose eyes I somehow looked brave and desirable.”

The descriptions are wonderful, and I loved the magic system with the summoning and transference. Everything was well-thought-out, and the story culminated with unseen twists.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning Xan. His story absolutely broke my heart, and I still need to tell myself it is only fiction, for it upsets me time and again. He will stay with me, just like Lyon and Tobin, for a long while, I reckon. For anyone in the mood for some M/M romance in a fantasy setting, I highly recommend this read.

Author Interview: Anat Eliraz

Check out this author spotlight for Anat Eliraz!

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! My name is Anat Eliraz and I am from Israel. I work as a physiotherapist in a neonatal intensive care unit.Mother of four, jogging and practicing martial arts… oh, of course! And writing! Somewhere in between!English is my second spoken language but my first written one and so I do most of my writing in English. I am mostly interested in the fantasy genre, ever since I started playing D&D in the late 80’s (yup… I am THAT old…!)

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, definitely. Great weather, best time for hiking, the feeling of renewal everywhere!

Cat or dog? Dog. Had both over the years, but always more of a dog person. They are just happy to see you come back home, great friends, great cuddle, fun on trips, loyal, guardians… and cats… just aren’t…

Plotter or pantser? Panster. Totally. I write scenes, as they come to me and only later glue them all together.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? Anything available! My first book was written on over 150 pages by hand before I transferred it all to the computer. I used to write in coffee shops or in the middle of the night, and pen and paper was the quiet solution for that. 

Standalone or series? Hard to say… my first book was supposed to be a standalone, but then I had this idea of how to continue it. It can still be read on it’s own, but the next book is supposed to give the reader more information that was unknown in the first one. I am writing another story that is supposed to be a standalone (I know the ending and don’t think it would continue).

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

Books that don’t just ‘feed’ me the story but let me join in on the journey. That make me think, make assumptions, try to figure out where the plot is heading and who is behind it all.

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

I write fantasy. Right now I have two projects in progress- the sequel to my published book and another story altogether, that takes place on earth during WW2.

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

My first book was published at the end of April (2021). “Jewels of Smoky Quartz”. The story is about a nurse who also practices martial arts and one day finds herself in another world. She needs to use her wit and skills to survive and find out more about this new world and about herself.

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!

Wow! Well, I come from the medical field so some information I used was explained by fellow medical staff. I also practice martial arts and took the inspiration from there. Landscapes are based on my hiking to some degree. Personally I read many genres, but I love fantasy. One of the authors I truly enjoy reading is Charles De Lint (Someplace to be flying).I don’t watch movies much, but I like to listen to music and songs by indie artists such as ‘Aviators’, ‘Malukah’, ‘Miracle of Sound’ etc.

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

Don’t have one. I write whenever and wherever I can. I have a notebook in my bag and if a treatment got cancelled, I grab a cup of coffee and sit to write. With my first book, many parts of it were written in the middle of the night. I would wake up with a scene or idea and just had to write it down. 

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? 

Get to know the world wide community of readers and writers before publishing. I am really happy with certain things like the cover, but I would have taken a different editor. I didn’t come from a background of writing, and I never even guessed what a huge business it is. Still, I am not disappointed with my work, only learned I could have done it even better.

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

Link to my book on Amazon-
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VNH7KDW/
Link to a song I wrote. It’s part of the book, and a friend took the words and brought them to life! It was done during lockdown, not in a professional studio, but at home, with minimal equipment and lots of love!
https://youtu.be/ZF9RWfUonRk

How about some steam?

🌷 Here’s the finished art piece of the scene from The Power of Conviction 😍🙏 It’s when my main characters finally make something happen between them 😂 Damned slow burn 🤣❤️

🌷 But I do enjoy some steam in my books, both with regards to reading and writing. However, the scenes I make myself are of a particular style, soft and elegant, with more focus on the emotions and sensations rather than the more “practical” aspects 😅 I’m happy with how the steamy scenes have come out in the end, and I think they fit quite well with the high fantasy genre ❤️

🌷 QOTD: Do you like some steam in your books? Reading and/or writing!

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