Sherry Ficklin continues to thrust us directly into the
turbulent machinations of the life in the Romanov Court.
The Hollow Queen is the latest novel in the Stolen Empire series and it does not disappoint. We were introduced to Elizabeth in the novella Winter Queen (link to Winter Queen review) and now, we join Elizabeth as she travels deep into the perilous world of Russian royalty.
With her fiancé and mother both dead, Elizabeth—daughter of
Peter the Great—is returned to court in St. Petersburg where she’s been
stripped of her title, lands and jewels—all of which now belong to her nephew,
Peter the second. Elizabeth understands the peril she faces, her mother has
just been assassinated, there is no Romanov heir after her nephew, and there
are many—including Prince Menshikov—who would prefer to use the crown of Russia
toward their own benefit.
Elizabeth vows to support the reign of Peter, and thereby
the Romanov line. But although he’s entitled to the throne by blood, it’s
Elizabeth who truly understands how to rule. As her affections for the new Tzar
grow, so does the danger to them both. Will Elizabeth be able to overcome the
threats from both within and without her country? And will she continuously
have to sacrifice her own desires and happiness for the sake of her family’s
Once again the story is steeped so deep in political
intrigue, danger and desire that I just couldn’t set the book aside. This is
truly one of my favorite series to get lost in and can’t wait for more.
Name: Emily Shore Author of: The Uncaged Series (The Aviary, The Garden, The Temple, The Temple Twins, The Aquarium) and The Ruby Trilogy (Ruby in the Rough, Ruby in the Ruins).
Excerpt from the Uncaged series:
My cage used to be the hotels where I grew up. There, I knew what to do and how to act. Now, I would choose to spend an eternity inside those walls, just being Serenity instead of a caged bird. At least in the hotel, I always had one constant. Sky. Who will I become here? Girls have adopted their feathers, seemingly as easy as zipping up a jacket. But I wear my lightning on my sleeve, and I always will. After Dove departs, I thumb my silver tattoo. Like flames and frost, it taunts my skin. Somehow, I must keep the Aviary from conquering me.
From: Rochester, NY
Can you tell me about the first piece you remember writing? Honestly, I can’t. I was an extremely early budding author and began writing stories from the time I knew how to string sentences together. But my earliest memories were writing fairy tales from classic books I was raised on like Chronicles of Narnia, Arabian Nights, Hans Christian Anderson and of course…Disney.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as a profession? From a young age, it was always acting or writing. Dolphin therapy, for a time but I couldn’t hack the science. And since I never got into any high school or community college plays but still loved to write with straight A-s…
Is there anyone who went out of their way to help or advise you during your journey to become a published author? You mean other than fictional characters who doubled as my friends in a lonely childhood? No. I faced a lot of challenges and pressure to NOT write. As I was pursuing my creative writing degree, my fiancé now husband, was my only encourager.
Do you exclusively write young adult? Which genres do you prefer to write? I have exclusively written YA but in the fall, I would love to tackle my first NA novel and turn one of my old YA longer works into a NA short series. Someday, I will write a children’s book but not quite there.
What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book? Is it difficult to achieve a work, life, write balance? Let’s see…mommy of two little girls + international adoption + home buying/selling + anti trafficking presentations + babysitting a single moms kids during the week + promoting my recently published Uncaged Series = I cant wait till the fall (school for both my girls!)
How long does it generally take you to write a first draft? How long do you spend on revisions? Pre-children=1-4 months. Post-children=3-6 months with three self line edits.
Can you describe the preparation/research you do for each book? Depends on the book. With my Uncaged Series, I spent upwards of ten years researching as I wrote and I still learn more about trafficking every day. I love my paranormal books because I don’t research too much. But when I do…vampire species and wolf behavior and everything undead oh my!
Do you have any quirky writing habits (the things you’d never want anyone to know)? Not really. I’m pretty much one of those stereotypical authors with her cats and her headphones clicking away on my laptop while wearing pajamas and drinking tea…and occasionally some vodka!
Have you ever done a literary pilgrimage—or any interesting research—for your novels? If not, do you have a research destination bucket list? I’ve loved traveling in the past pre-children and it was a thrill to take in as much as I could so I could use it for world building and location fodder. Germany is in my paranormal series releasing this fall! #1 on my bucket list is Paris.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Can you recall the exact moment of inspiration for each of your projects? Every book is different! For one, it was a dream. For another, it was literally one photo. For The Uncaged Series, it happened when I went to Germany and overheard a conversation in an underground pub about the Red Light District. More inspiration came from Taken starting Liam Nelson – not the norm for sex trafficking – but I’ve written about that whole journey in a couple blog posts on my site.
Do you have a specific genre you prefer to read? YA any genre, but I am selective regarding the books in whichever particular genre. What are your favorites? A Clean Teen Publishing Classic: Lauren Nicolle Taylor. I love every single book she’s written and it’s very difficult for me to choose a favorite. Laini Taylor is the Queen of Paranormal fantasy and I could read all of her books on repeat. Yes, I’m aware they share similar names. Coincidence? You decide.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find or know the real inspiration for? Little hints in my books parallel to modern day issues that someone with more awareness might recognize. But that’s why I also have discussion questions. More humor hints and a prominent theme will be in my paranormal series this fall.
Are your characters inspired—in part or whole—by people in your real life? Absolutely! Yes, I’ve also tried very hard to model some of my characters opposite of people in my life and real life, too.
Name one book you think is entirely underappreciated. My over-appreciated list is longer. Ballad by Maggie Stievfater. Dark urban fantasy. The MC makes me laugh every time. A Northern Light, ya historical, is another
Name one book that was a guilty pleasure. The Thousandth Floor. It’s cheesy, its soap opera-y, it’s easy reading, colorful cast of characters, and high tech I drool over.
Be honest: Do you Google yourself? Once or twice. My husband googles me more.
As a writer, which animal would you choose as your mascot/avatar/patronus? You think me a damsel in distress? No, I am the DRAGON and I will swallow you whole!
Is there one thing you think you, as a writer, should be better at, but secretly struggle with? Characterization. Perhaps this is me speaking from a place of having written 25 books in ten years. Hopefully, in another ten years, I’ll have more to offer with growth.
What is one word of advice you’d give to an aspiring writer? For potential self publishing or small press authors: #1. You might not like to hear this, but work full time at a good paying job for awhile, accumulate a Publishing fund, and hire a professional, accredited editor. They are worth their weight in gold. Listen to them. Don’t listen to your professor. They know craft. Not necessarily publishing. #2 I don’t have to tell you not to give up. If you’re a real writer, you won’t.
What is one word of advice you’d give to a newly published author? Depends. Are they Big Five or small press or self published? If they’re Big Five: fangirling followed by begging them to read my book, small press: twinsies!, self published: successful? Loudly congratulating you outside and silently jealous inside, especially if you are a mom but self published when your kids were in grade school or older.
In what ways do you “pay it forward” to help other aspiring writers? I’m a social media and word of mouth praiser and excellent reviewer. For the authors I love, I can’t sing their praises enough!
“Gentlemen, we have a special treat for you today. Feast your eyes on this pure-blooded beauty!”
Sixteen-year-old Serenity has spent her entire life in hiding to protect her from this exact moment. In a world where beauty is bought and sold on the streets like a corporate commodity, Serenity’s natural assets are more like liabilities. Despite her parents’ best efforts, she’s been taken―ripped from her home and the only life she’s ever known―to find herself on sale to the highest bidder. And that bidder? Enigmatic and dangerous, Luc is the director of The Aviary―an elite museum where girls are displayed as living art by day…and cater to the lascivious whims of the highest bidder by night. In this elaborate and competitive world, girls go by names like Raven and Nightingale, and will stop at nothing to become top Bird.
Luc comes to idolize Serenity’s purity and aims to turn her into his grandest exhibit of all time―The Swan. In no time, she becomes one of the most coveted exhibits in Aviary history. When she discovers Luc holds the key to finding her parents, she must learn to play The Swan to perfection…to win his heart and earn his trust. But she doesn’t anticipate falling for him in the process. Now she faces an impossible choice: escape The Aviary and lose her only chance at finding her parents―or become Luc’s Swan for good and lose her identity forever.
Serenity is willing to do anything to find her sister, the twin Force has raised in the Temple since birth. But when Sky refuses to help, Serenity has no choice but to go to Luc—whose plan is to use Serenity as bait. Together, they embark to Force’s island vacation spot—the Garden, an exotic Museum that displays girls as Flowers. When their plan takes a turn for the worse, Jade, the Garden Director, captures Luc and Serenity. With both their lives in the balance, Serenity has no choice but to bow to Jade, who may be even more ruthless and determined than Luc. Serenity will become the Skeleton Flower.
The Ruby Series:
Ruby in the Rough
For four years, Ruby has escaped the gangs and sweepers hunting her. Until now… For the past four years, Ruby has lived in what was once a sprawling city of business and commerce. Now, it is the Ghetto; its main commerce exists in the form of females. Whether breeders, laborers, gang girls, or sex slaves, the Ghetto features any and every service with the Hotel as its central area of business. Thanks to her roof-topping skills and street smarts, which have made her impossible to catch, Ruby has made the Ghetto’s most-wanted list. Fortunately, she has one ally: a young man named Ink, the one man determined not to sell her. Unlike Ruby, Ink has no desire to leave the Ghetto, but she owes him a life debt and is trapped as much by her honor as by the soldiers patrolling the only exits out of the city. Whether scavenging for food or holing up in an abandoned clock tower, Ruby and Ink remain unlikely partners until their home in an abandoned train yard is discovered. While Ink escapes, Ruby is captured by the roughest gang in the Ghetto. All too soon, Ruby learns she is bound for the Hotel where she will be used up piece by piece until there is nothing left. Unless she can escape and get the target off her back once and for all.
Ruby in the Ruins
“Ruby!” I hear my father calling out to me, and I try to contain my giggles, keep them hiding behind the thick bush that is my hiding spot. My giggles poke through the leaves but not enough for him to hear.
Or so I thought.
“Aww, you found me!” I protest, puckering my lower lip into a pout when my father sweeps away some of the branches. “I was really trying to be quiet.”
“You did very well,” my father assures me and scoops me into his arms.
“I’m nine years old now. I’m getting better at hiding,” I tell him proudly while winding my arms around his neck.
“That you are.” He beams and swings me around before setting me on the ground.
“So how did you find me?” I follow him back to the barn, eager to see the new goat kid that was born yesterday. Playing hide-and-seek was the only thing that could keep me distracted until Daddy was ready to let me in.
Daddy rubs my head, playing with some of my hair. “This right here.” He tugs on a cluster. “Could see your red hair through the brush. If you ever need to really hide, you’ll have to make sure you cover it up.”
“Or I could just cut it like Mal’s.”
Sighing, my father squats down next to me, his big palm cupping the side of my face, strong blue eyes insistent as an oncoming wave. “Never cut your hair, Ruby. Don’t ever change anything. Don’t let this world dictate how you look or even how you survive. Just survive. On your terms.”
And it has been on my terms all these years. Until now.
The worst of it isn’t the jump from the train.
The worst is the landing.
It’s the second time I’ve been tossed from a moving vehicle in less than twenty-four hours. Except this time, it was voluntary. As soon as I heard the gunshots and saw Ruby fall off the back of the train through the window, it didn’t take me long to follow.
Only now I’m regretting it because I won’t be any help to Ruby if I’m dead.
I’m a fan of
historical fiction and I LOVE the Stolen Empire series—I can’t get enough of
it. I was thrilled when I found out there was going to be another book in the
series, and again when I receive a copy of Sherry Ficklin’s latest novella in
The Winter Queen is a prequel to the Stolen Empire series and focuses on the life of Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great and future Empress of Russia. This novella is a quick read, and thrusts us right into the upheaval of the Russian elite. We get to meet the Princess Elizabeth and her sister Petra, witness the death of the heir presumptive to the Romanov line, and then the death of Peter the Great.
mother in Russia, trying to maintain a hold on Russia and others trying to
secure the power for themselves, Elizabeth and Petra are suddenly in a very
tenuous position. They are sent to the “safety” of arranged marriages, but
Elizabeth was born a Romanov, and the throne is only just out of her grasp…for
I can’t wait
for the next installment of what’s sure to continue to be an exciting series
full of political maneuvering and intrigue.
*I received a copy of The Winter Queen
in exchange for an honest review
Author of: According to Audrey (Clean Teen Publishing)
Can you tell me about the first piece you remember writing?
Well, like a lot of writers I stapled and taped my own books together when I was a kid. My mom saved a bunch of them and they’re kind of precious to me. One of my favorites is The Donkey Advensher wherein a girl takes her donkey on a ride through the forest and finds a rabbit, a frog, and a silver dollar (ha!). But my first serious project as an aspiring author was a little historical chapter book about a young girl enamored with the London stage in the early 20th century.
Is there anyone who went out of their way to help or advise you during your journey to becoming a published author?
Yes, and I’m so grateful forever to her! I happened to start following author Susan Dennard on Twitter back when she had just received her first book deal on her first series. She had tweeted about how to write a query letter, and when I followed her advice I started getting requests for my manuscript. I emailed her to say thank you, and it began a lovely friendship/mentorship for me. She would check in every few months to see how things were going for me and offer advice. She’s an incredibly generous person who gives back to the writing community in every way. She now has a whole following of writers who learn from her posts and newsletters.
How long does it generally take you to write a first draft? How long do you spend on revisions?
Honestly that’s a great question I wish I knew the answer to. According to Audrey took me years of writing, rewriting and revision, but there was a big learning curve there, so now that I’m diving into writing the sequel I’m hoping for the best. I think every book is different. If I’m guessing I would say 6-9 months to write it and 3-4 months of revision, so… 9 months to a year, maybe.
Can you describe the preparation/research you do for each book?
I like to have a general outline in my head of the plot, but it’s amazing how it takes on a life of its own and starts twisting and turning, and then (sometimes) serendipitously comes together in ways I could never have planned. I have a YA historical project that I’ve only written a bit of, but I’ve done weeks of research on the details of the time period. A historical calls for that, though. For my contemporaries I’ll just stop sometimes in the middle of writing and look up questions that arise.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (The things you’d never want anyone to know?)
I don’t think so? I was at a writing conference once and for fun you were supposed to share if you had, say, a lucky pen or a superstitious quirk in your writing routine. And I was thinking… no… not me. And then later I realized – yes! – I totally do have a favorite pen that I use for everything. Something about it feels happy and magical to me, and it makes my writing look pretty. It’s this special light blue color and I used to be able to order it in bulk. Now I have to buy a pack of 10 colors just to get one of my special pens! I do love the act of actually writing my drafts with a pen, though. I find my ideas and thoughts flow more fluidly than they do when I’m typing.
Have you ever done a literary pilgrimage-or any interesting research-for your novels? If not, do you have a research destination bucket list?
Last summer we visited Great Britain and I was bombarded with so many fun ideas for my next book. History is my passion so I love to travel and learn and soak in the stories of the past. My great-grandparents on my mom’s side came from Scotland and my dad’s grandparents emigrated from England so I feel this close connection to the culture. Let’s just say that it’s not a coincidence that the sequel to According to Audrey is set in England and France.
Do you have a specific genre you prefer to read? What are your favorites?
I enjoy reading most categories and genres but… no surprise here… historical fiction is at the top of my list.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find or know the real inspiration for?
No secrets really, but in According to Audrey I did include some symbolism for myself that I didn’t think anyone would necessarily pick up on. For example, on the opening page Dove is sketching a tethered sailboat in the harbor, then in the last pages she admires a painting of a sailboat bobbing freely on the open sea. Also some foreshadowing – like in Chapter 4, Leo tells Dove that if she gets too close to the fire the flames could burn her. Little things like that.
As a writer, which animal would you choose as your mascot/avatar/patronus?
I cast a St. Bernard in Pottermore and I really love my patronus! It’s described as warm, bright, playful, thoughtful, positive, adventurous, sensitive, and offering a ray of light in a dark world. I’d like to think that innately my best self is these things.
Is there one thing you, as a writer, should be better at, but secretly struggle with?
Yes, I wish I were way better at deep POV. I’m making progress but I feel like I’m always relearning how to delve deeper into the point of view of the character in order to better immerse the reader into the story experience. I’ve leaned a lot from Susan Dennard’s written teachings on this subject, actually.
What is one word of advice you’d give to an aspiring writer?
Keep going. The process can take a long time, but let your passion propel you forward. Let the rejections (and there will be many) make your work better, and don’t take no for an answer. Do something for your writing everyday – for me, reading about writing and the writing life is hugely inspiring. One of my favorite writing mentor books is Page After Page by Heather Sellers. Her funny, straightforward style is charming, and her wisdom is so encouraging to everyone on the author path.
In what ways do you pay it forward to help other aspiring writers?
I read and critique works-in-progress for fellow writers trying to get published. I also chime in on writing blogs and websites where people post their work for review. I think it’s so important for us all to support each other. If we’re further along on the path, it’s our duty and honor to turn around and offer a hand up to the person right behind us.
See what Happy is reading—and writing—on Goodreads
According to Audrey
What would Audrey do?
Cautious and introverted, seventeen-year-old Dove spends most of her free time pursuing her one true passion: painting. The twinkling lights of Balboa Island, the ferryboat to the peninsula, the fire pits on Big Corona Beach…these have long been the subjects of her canvases as she daydreams about finding an Audrey Hepburn-film kind of romance.
A hotshot jock is exactly not the type of guy she’s been looking for—but when Leo Donovan drops his cool act to show his vulnerable side, Dove begins to question everything. But first she’ll have to navigate her way through claim-staking mean girls and disapproving parents—and still keep her focus on attending the art school of her dreams.
Being in love turns out to be more complex than the average silver-screen classic. Can Dove follow her heart (and Audrey’s cues) to create her own perfect Hollywood ending?
Fans of Audrey Hepburn and the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s will love this fun coming of age story.
We’re one week away from Fall and CTP wants to celebrate with their Bring On Fall Free Book Sale and an Author Sponsored $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! For one weekend only, they have selected a handful of titles throughout their different imprints that will be listed as free on Amazon from 9/14 to 9/16. This is a limited time promotion as the price will go back up to $4.99 on Monday. Take advantage of this exciting sale this weekend and Fall in love with some new books to cozy up with while you drink your Pumpkin Spice Latte, or tea, or wine, or whatever you love to sip on while reading. Enjoy!
FREE BOOKS AVAILABLE 9/14-9/16:
From YA to steamy romance, witches, queens and everything in between, there is sure to be something for everyone!
This group promo runs from 09/14/2018 to 09/16/2018 ONLY.
Some of the authors listed below are also offering Kindle Countdown Deals on their sequels, which means you can snag sequels or even a few series for the low, low price of $.99 each during this sale!
Get your Kindles ready, or download the Kindle App on your tablet or phone and prepare for an amazing FREE reading extravaganza!
HAPPY READING! LET’S BRING ON THE FALL Y’ALL!!!
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
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Hiro Loves Kite Lauren Nicolle Taylor
(Paper Stars #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 27th 2018
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
We offer our wounds and scars. Understanding that’s part of what makes us beautiful.
Nora finally has her beloved sister Frankie back but that’s just the beginning of their struggles. She must now become Kite. A stronger, more independent version of herself. A King. A guardian.
And Kettle has Kite’s heart. She gives it freely. But as he holds it, dear and close like a lost treasure, something holds him back: A feeling that he doesn’t deserve good things. A looming shadow that threatens to separate them. Kettle must accept that he is also Hiro: A Japanese American with every right to happiness and freedom.
Because Hiro loves Kite. And Kite won’t wait forever for him to tell her.
But they’re standing on icy ground. As the leverage they had on Kite’s abusive father wavers and life on the street affects Frankie’s health, the challenges threaten to break their bond.
Snow is gathering at the station doors and doubts are piling high. They must rely on each other. Believe in the magic that got them this far. If they don’t, it’s not just their future in jeopardy but the fates of all the street kids in their care. All the Kings.
Paying for a hot dog in pennies and dimes is embarrassing. Being two pennies short and having the hot dog stand guy take pity on us was completely humiliating. We’re skinny. I just hope the Kings haven’t eaten everything we had stored away.
Without Kin and Keeps, there’s been a little more to go around. My shoulders sag. Now there are more mouths to feed. My fingers scrape the insides of my pockets, searching for a coin that maybe got snagged in the seams. If I turn them inside out, I really will look like a street urchin. I’m the pirate who opens the treasure chest, finds he’s been beat, and opens it again just to rub it in. I snort.
We wait for a large crowd to head for the subway and melt in. Frankie’s eyes are as wide as a sliced moon as we weave and duck. Eyes on each other, hands gripped tightly.
Kite pushes Frankie’s head under the turnstile as I pay with our last coin. She presses her back into me. The smell of faint perfume, the last of her old life, and salt, the new, coming from her hair. As I reach around her to push the stile, a two for one, her breath catches. I let my hand rest on her waist for a second. Let myself imagine we’re a couple on our way home from a shopping trip, and then it falls like so many un-granted wishes into a fountain.
Leaning close to her ear so she can hear me, I hold my breath, thinking inhaling any more of her sweetness may actually kill me. “Ready?”
She nods. Her cheek brushing my lips.
We take our route to the secret door. To the home we now share like kids playing house, only far too real.
Frankie, to her credit, rolls with the punches. Punch one: Hot dogs instead of roast beef and gravy for dinner. Punch Two: Cheating our way through the subway. Punch Three… I knock on the King’s door, and Krow answers. He looks us up and down, slick and distrustful for a moment, then breaks into a grin. “Kettle! Kite!” he shouts. “Kettle and Kite are home.” He stares at my hands. When he sees there’s no food—only a suitcase—he quickly looks away. But there’s no hiding his disappointment.
Frankie squeezes her way through the doorway into the vast, abandoned subway tunnel. My home. My refuge. And now hers. Blinking, she stands on her tiptoes. Lip in teeth. “Holy hell!” she shouts, and several Kings look her way.
Kite flushes pink, then taps her sister’s shoulder. “Frankie!” she chastises. “Language.”
We step inside, and Frankie swings her head from side to side. “I mean tank you, holy hell.”
We both chuckle, eyes connecting over the top of her head.
Punch three: “This is where we’re going to be staying for a while,” Kite’s voice chases after a galloping Frankie as she jumps from bed to bed. She is the spokes of a traveling star. She is the light you can’t catch.
Frankie doesn’t hear her, and Kite runs to catch her sister. I drag the case inside, plonk it on Kin’s bed. Now Kite’s to share with her sister.
Finally, Frankie stops running and presses a palm to her chest as she wheezes. Kite rushes to her, and she puts both hands on her sister’s shoulders. “Are you okay?”
Punch four is for me, and I feel it sock me right in the guts. As I watch them, I know. Like really know that I would do anything to help them. They are instantly and permanently part of this family. And it scares me.
Lauren is the bestselling author of THE WOODLANDS SERIES and the award-winning YA novel NORA & KETTLE (Gold medal Winner for Multicultural fiction, Independent Publishers Book Awards 2017).
She has a Health Science degree and an honors degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology. A full time writer, hapa and artist, Lauren lives in the tucked away, Adelaide hills with her husband and three children.
Searching Cindy Cipriano
(The Fading Series, #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 20th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
A fast-paced fantasy romance with rich characters and immersive storytelling,Searching is the second book in theFading series by award-winning author Cindy Cipriano.
To say Leath is traveling light is an understatement. She’s only bringing three things on her trip. One is a silver heart locket—a gift from her longtime best-friend-turned-boyfriend Victor Santana. Next is a wedding token in the shape of a J, from James Turner. And of course, she’s packing her pistol. That’s it. She knows that when she leaves Woodvine, even her own mother may not remember her in the shifted reality that will be left behind. Bringing anything else would be pointless. But she’s driven now, by something that eclipses everything else, something she just got back: her memories. And now that she remembers James—she won’t stop searching until she finds him.
One-liner for Searching?
How far would you search for The One?
Leath is packing light: just her two lockets (one from Victor, one from James) – and of course, her pistol. She knows that when she leaves Woodvine, even her own mother may not remember her in the shifted reality that will be left behind. But she’s driven by something that eclipses everything else: her recovered memories. Now that she remembers James—she won’t stop searching until she finds him.
Where did the idea come from for Searching?
Searching is the second book in The Fading Series. Searching takes up immediately where Fading left off, just as Leath puts her foot down inside Judaculla.
What genre is Searching?
But – the entire series crosses genres. It’s a paranormal, dystopian, young adult romance mash-up. Searching is also a crossover, appealing to young adults and up.
Who would enjoy reading Searching? Fans of Fading who are waiting to find out if it’s Victor or James.
And, anyone who has ever been in love with two people at the same time.
Favorite lines from Searching:
I wanted to touch him. So I did. (pg. 1)
The first time I held hands with Victor Santana, it wasn’t romantic. Not at all. (pg. 3)
Victor’s strong hand cradled mine, and he became my tether to reality. (pg. 3)
His warm lips brushed against my ear as he whispered three little words. “I can wait.” (pg. 6)
Name James Turner. Age 17. Parents Emancipated Minor. (pgs. 10-11)
“I don’t usually get this close to a girl, unless I’m going to kiss her,” said the boy, giving me a playful grin. (pg. 23)
When we were apart, it seemed as if all of eternity passed before I saw him again. (pg. 110)
To one boy, I’d gladly give my heart. To the other, my life. (pg. 130)
I wondered how long a person could live like this, so completely torn in half. (pg. 130)
She could have any boy in the restaurant. Why was she falling all over mine? (pg. 147)
But right now I had him. The boy of my dreams. (pg. 174)
“I will never stop loving you,” he said. “Not even in death.” (pg. 268)
James is sort of a two-sides-to-one-coin kind of guy. Was it difficult writing his character? Definitely, but so worth it!
He’s drop-dead gorgeous and funny, but he hovers over dark territory. It was a challenge writing him because I wanted my readers to see what Leath sees in James. In Searching, fans will see just how deep James’s feelings for Leath go.
And Leath’s other love interest, Victor, was it hard to write him? Not a bit.
Victor is the definition of the perfect guy. He’s good-looking, funny, confident and charismatic. Not to mention he has an exceptionally beautiful heart.
Who is your favorite character in Searching?
Ever continues to be my favorite character. She’s the girl you love to hate. I think we’re all hoping that in the end, she’ll do the right thing. The problem is we lose a faith in her each time she opens her mouth. As I continue writing the series, I’m currently working on book three and James is fast becoming a close second to Ever as my favorite character. I think readers will enjoy watching James’s growth from Fading to Searching to where I am now in writing the series.
Who designed the cover of Searching?
The talented Marya Heidel. Isn’t it stunning?!
How many books are in the Searching series? There will be at least 4 books in the series.
Cindy Cipriano lives in North Carolina with her husband, son and their 27 pets.
Just three dogs who think they are children and three cats who think they are raccoons. It only seems as if they make 27. When Cindy isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and the avoidance of cooking.
Cindy’s first novel, The Circle, Book One of The Sidhe won the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Silver Award for Pre-Teen Fiction – Fantasy. Other titles in the series include The Choice, Book Two of The Sidhe (2015) and The Lost, Book Three of The Sidhe (2017). This seven-book series is published by Odyssey Books.
Miller’s Island Mysteries #1 The Case of the Toxic River (2017) is the first in her eleven-book science mystery series (Vulpine Press). #2 The Case of the Catalyst will release in 2018.
Look for Fading, the first in her young adult series, in April 2018. (Clean Teen Publishing). Fading is the tale of first loves and the consequence of dreaming up Mr. Right.
The Witch’s Tower Tamara Grantham
(Twisted Ever After, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 11th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Gothel is a witch. Punished for the actions of her mother, her choice is simple: either she stands guard over Princess Rapunzel—or she dies. But just because a choice is easy doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Protecting Rapunzel means watching as the princess lays trapped in a tower, bedridden by hair that is so long and heavy it’s slowly driving her insane. Gothel’s life has become one of imprisonment and solitude as well—until a prince and his handsome squire appear at the tower.
Only one object can cut Rapunzel’s hair and end the curse: a pair of magical shears. But the shears are guarded by the most terrifying witches in the land, who also happen to be Gothel’s aunts. As Gothel and the prince’s squire, Raj Talmund, work to form a plan, she finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious young man from the Outerlands. Unfortunately, his destiny is far more dangerous than she wants to admit: to save a princess, he must kill the witch who’s been forced to guard her.
THE WITCH’S TOWER is the first in an inspired new series of fairy-tale retellings from award-winning fantasy author Tamara Grantham.
Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon with over 200 five-star reviews.
Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University. She has been a featured speaker at multiple writing conferences, and she has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.
Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks–which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds–and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at www.TamaraGrantham.com.
Nocturne Heather McKenzie
(Nightmusic Trilogy, #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Print Publication date: July 10, 2018
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Young Adult
I am hunted.
A pawn in a vicious game.
The only way I can protect the ones I love…
…is to disappear.
Finally free of her father, Kaya has the one thing that keeps her heart beating—Luke.
Blissfully content in his arms, everything seems perfect…until their world is shattered by a deadly invasion. When an old ally comes to the rescue, Kaya wants none of it. She is devastated to learn the identity of her attacker, and that she must do something truly heartbreaking if she wants to save the ones she loves. Sacrificing everything and sinking into bottomless sorrow, Kaya finds solace in an unlikely friend—one who shows her a different kind of love, and helps her discover an inner strength she never thought possible.
A heart-pounding journey of self-discovery, Nocturne is the transformative second installment of The Nightmusic Trilogy by Heather McKenzie.
Heather McKenzie is the Canadian author of The Nightmusic Trilogy. Also a professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she told stories through music for years before falling in love with novel writing. Heather pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. She is a rocker at heart, a mom of three and an aspiring painter.
Splash M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: June 12th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Fawna is happy with the new life she has made for herself on land. She has her child and her youngest sister Pauline by her side—plus an amazing new human boyfriend named Randy. So when an old friend from Atargatis shows up, she immediately feels the weight of everything she stands to lose. But the news can’t be ignored – there’s been an attack on their kingdom; her aunt Myrtle is dead and her mother is missing. Angelique, their middle sister, is now ruling a kingdom to the north, leaving Fawna as the only royal left to help save Atargatis. Torn between responsibilities in two different worlds, the decision is made for her when the powerful sea witch who attacked the kingdom also takes Fawna’s son. Now she has no choice—to save her life on dry land, she’ll have to dive back into the ocean…
The final installment in the beloved Mermaid Royalty series, Splash is a heart-pounding fantasy romance that will have you feeling like you need to come up for air!
”And if you’d acted before you did, defied your mother and refused her order to kill him, do you believe you could’ve won?”
“Honestly? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. For all we know we could’ve stopped it long before Gene. Aunt Margaret just kept telling us to be patient, that the catalyst would show itself. We rallied against my mother more because Pauline was in danger, not so much because of Eddie. To me, that was the ultimate incentive to proceed. Seeing her in danger was the reason we stood so strong together.”
“Maybe your aunt knew a human wasn’t a strong enough reason to fight such an epic war. I mean, you might’ve rallied behind Gene, but could you say the others in your resistance would? With everything Gilcrest has told you, you’ve got magic in you, Fawna. You stood a chance against your mother. Your aunt probably knew that.”
“You may be right, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve committed some terrible atrocities.”
“Because you were scared! You didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t even here and I can see that.” He clanged his knuckles against the cast iron frame of the cauldron. “You said you wanted to give this old heirloom a second chance, an opportunity to be used for good. Why can’t you give yourself that chance? Cut yourself a break.”
A smile cracked on my lips, and I shook my head in exasperation. “Why is it you always insist on seeing the good in me, even now when there’s none to be found?”
“There’s plenty of good in you, Fawna. If there wasn’t, you wouldn’t be so ready to risk your soul to rescue the ones you love the most.”
“There’s no talking any sense into you, is there?” I wrapped my arms around his torso, using his weight to anchor myself in place.
“Not a chance,” he grinned, planting a sweet kiss on my cheek. “I’m not going anywhere. It’s like I said before, Queen, my heart is yours and only yours. The sea is in my blood, always has been. Now I know why. I was meant for this life, down here with you and Sebastian. Don’t take it away from me because of a past you can’t outrun.”
ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.
You can visit her on most major social media sites: