Dragon’s Den Blog

A Stone’s Throw

On May 21, I’ll release my new poetry book. This book has been in my work in process pile for quite some time. When I organized recently, I asked myself why I hadn’t published it. Initially I organized it for a contest. But it didn’t win or place.

This meant it’s just been sitting in my files waiting for attention. I asked my middle daughter to create a cover and handed the manuscript over to her. She did a beautiful job formatting it.

Here’s the blurb and cover of my new poetry book. I hope you’ll give it a try.

Ever thrown a stone into a lake and watched the ripples?  These poems explore the ripples of emotions caused by moments in life. This is a journey of battling societies expectations and beliefs while finding strength and power within. 

Universal link

Ariel Dawn

Author Bio

Ariel Dawn grew up as an avid reader and is a creative soul.

What started out as writing reviews for indie romance authors led to featuring quirky, stereotypical, and weird covers on her Instagram Wrong Turn Romance, which gave her the courage to finally decide to live her dream and become an author.

Ariel writes plot driven paranormal romance and urban fantasy and hopes to venture into many more genres in the future. When she isn’t writing, she can be found cosplaying, attending conventions, creating all sorts of artwork in her studio, or editing photos for her photography business.

A self-professed geek and foodie, she loves hanging out with family and friends and playing video games and board games with her retro gamer husband.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a self-professed geek who loves Disney, cosplays, owns a mermaid tail (that I swim in my pool with and drink margaritas), and a creative soul who loves traveling, theatre, hanging out with my friends and my retro-gamer husband.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve wanted to be an author probably since I was in middle school. I used to fantasize about writing books, especially when I was younger. I started writing poetry when I was in elementary school, and fanfiction in middle school, but I never thought I had the follow through, or the smarts to write a book. I’ve always written though. I used to say one day I’d publish one of my books, the ones I’d been working on all throughout life. I decided in 2019 to try an anthology and challenge myself to write a short story, and after I completed this short, I decided to try and write and publish a book.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I read a little bit of everything, but romance is by far my favorite thing to read in any genre. Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy are probably my faves, but I also LOVE YA. The only thing I don’t really care for are bully romances and mystery thrillers.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Adults.  Ariel Dawn writes all adult romance. Although I do write YA fiction under the pen name A.D. Luna.

What is your current release or project?

I have quite a few, as I am a bit of a workaholic! My book Blood & Bones is coming out in an amazing anthology called Midnight Magic on May 15.

Tell us about the key characters

Blood & Bones is technically a spinoff from my Forevermore Series, but you don’t need to have read the main series to enjoy it.

Ava Crowley, the FMC gets into a deadly situation, and Cassius Aurelia, a vampire saves her life.  Ava is a young freshman in college who has just discovered the monsters are real, and is thrown into this world of hunters and vampires, but she is no damsel in distress.
Cassius has been hiding for years, trying to live a quiet, peaceful life among humans. He isn’t your typical vampire. He loves to bake, fancies a good glass of wine, and is a little guilt-ridden. They are probably my favorite characters to write.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

When eighteen-year-old Ava and her boyfriend attend a party on campus, things turn from fun to deadly rather quickly. As Ava bleeds out on the concrete floor, the angel of death comes…only he’s not an angel. And he isn’t quite dead either.

Cassius Aurelia finds a young college student fighting for her life on the floor of a frat house basement, and he can’t turn away. His bite will save her life, but it will also bring forth a litany of consequences for the both of them that neither may be ready for.

Share an excerpt
Vampire.

The word reverberated in her cerebellum, and although she knew she should run, far away from this crazy stalker, her wrist burned with heat, her skin prickled with goosebumps, and as she looked into glowing green eyes, she knew it was true.

She knew it in her blood.

She lay in her bed, her gaze settled on the shimmering scar on her wrist. In his presence it burned, while the rest of her skin felt tiny prickles of ice, goosebumps. It was insane to think he had something to do with it, but she knew. She’d always been a believer in the paranormal; after all, it was in her blood. She’d known the lengths her family went to, changing their names to Michaels, because they wanted to escape the shadow of their family’s lineage. Crowley.

Ava had always felt drawn to her history, being a descendant of one of the most famous occultists in history. She’d amassed a small collection of books on such things—witchcraft, ghosts, divination, cryptozoology. But vampires—

She tossed in her bed, turning over on her stomach, looking out the window at the dark forest beyond.

If what Cassius said was true…that vampires truly were the ones responsible for the murders at Chester…responsible for Ross’s death…

How do I fight off something that isn’t even human?

Ava could throw a punch, and even evade an attacker, but a vampire? She doubted a solid right hook would deter something with fangs and super strength that wasn’t alive or dead.

Do you have a favorite scene?

My favorite Ava and Cas scene from this book is probably the one right before this, where she finds out Cassius is a vampire. Her reaction is still my favorite, and classic Ava.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Just write. Don’t worry if it sounds okay or if the sentencing isn’t perfect. Write first, polish later. Everything can be reworked, tweaked. Get the words out first.

Social media links:
Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/authorarieldawn

Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/arieldawn10

Instagram instagram.com/wrongturnromance

www.ariel-dawn.com

Purchasing links
http://books2read.com/midnightmagic

Crystal Clear Truth

A slow-burn, forced proximity scifi alien romance

How can you trust when your own truth is a lie?

Shohn has only one goal: live a lie-filled life undercover. The elite head of security permits herself no family ties and few friends. But when firestorm scientist Joe needs help to locate his birth mother, and hires Shohn, she begins to rethink her rule of isolation.

Unknown to them, their intensive search triggers an alert that brings powerful, dark forces into play. Every attempt to uncover the truth results in more cover ups. But why? Who is this young woman, and who is the unknown person or power foiling Shohn and Joe’s attempts to find her?

But maybe the better question is–what is she?

Excerpt from Crystal Clear Truth

This is the opening of the book and introduces the heroine, Shohn. When introducing herself, she often says “My first name is Shohn, like the stars at night.”

Though she ached to slam it, Shohn Lexius eased her office door shut, then took a civil and polite step back. Hissing, she swiped the air with her claws and stuck the smallest ones straight up.

Claws retracted, she stalked to the narrow window, braced her hands on the sill and pressed her forehead to the glass. The spring sun offered no heat. And why? Because on human worlds, builders installed special glass so their precious little sun wouldn’t hurt their precious fragile skin.

Humans. Honestly.

Oh, all right, she’d admit human skin was sleek. Nice to stroke. She even liked its smoothness against her tongue, but come on. Would it hurt to let in a little heat?

Humans protected themselves from such trivial ‘dangers’ as sunbeams. On this world, indoor temperatures never fluctuated. And forget opening a window.

Not on the seventieth floor of the city’s tallest building.

She laid back her ears, aching for the fresh air of her homeworld. The freedom of a hynder beneath her, galloping full speed in sunshine along the beach. Charging through the forests, cantering in the rain. A purr rumbled in her chest at the memories.

Working up an honest sweat mucking out stalls, tending the stock, shoulder to shoulder with family, everyone laughing and singing. Accepting her word that when she asked for something, she should get it. No one telling her how much money she could spend or asking why she needed it. She reined in her thoughts. That was her old self talking.

The person of privilege her family had reared her to be, not the fighter for equality she’d become. Sometimes, though, living off-world rankled. Here she was, a Kin warrior with the honor blade at her side to prove it, stuck working in a human-oriented office on the capitol planet of what she’d once considered her people’s enemy.

Well, she’d brought this on herself, hadn’t she? She’d left her homeworld of her own accord. It was her fault she spent every day with round-eyed humans whose ears could hear a third less than her own. A race oblivious to the overpowering reek of its own species.

A Kin’s sense of kahlah caught the scent of human lies no matter how small. A handy skill during interrogations. She knew before humans spoke if they would try to pull a fast one, and they all tried. As for the tartness of their fear, well, a clawed Kin had better get used to that pretty fast, because a fanged smile was no help whatsoever.

A knock at the door pulled her back to the here and now. She picked up a notereader tablet and fanned herself, dispersing any scent of frustration she might have released.

After straightening her green-and-black uniform jacket, she squared her shoulders. “Come.”


*Crystal Clear Truth – A slow-burn romance set in the far future, in an empire full of treachery and secrets…

*If you like books with take-charge feline heroines and solid romance plots, this happy-ever-after friends-to-lovers story is for you.

Universal Buy Link https://books2read.com/ab-crystal-clear

Until May 1, 2022 the entire Antonello Brothers series is 99c apiece, and book 1, A Stolen Heart, is free. See all books here https://books2read.com/ap/nEokkx/Kayelle-Allen

About Kayelle Allen

Kayelle Allen writes stories with immortal gamers and warriors who purr. She is the author of multiple books, novellas, and short stories, a US Navy veteran, and has been married so long she’s tenured. Kayelle founded the peer-mentoring group Marketing for Romance Writers, and curates the book blog Romance Lives Forever. Become a Tarthian Empire citizen (or an immortal) and help rule the Empire at www.KayelleAllen.com/immortality
Website https://kayelleallen.com
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/kayelleallenbooks
Twitter http://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kayelle-allen
Kayelle’s Keepers http://facebook.com/groups/KayellesKeepers

Download a printable list of books and check off stories as you read them. The list also shows the reading order for different series. It’s updated with every book and the URL to reprint it is in the footer.

Star Struck

Willa Drew

Tropes: Rom-Com, Read in one afternoon, Celebrity/Movie Star, Brother’s Best Friend, Feisty Leading Lady, International Cast (LA and Ireland)

Blurb:

What do an Irish farm, a swanky LA gala, and a star tattoo have in common? A cute meet straight off the silver screen.

Running away from my family’s expectations pays off when I help my childhood crush outrun the paparazzi.

Did I mention he’s a famous rom-com actor?
Or that he’s too old for me?
The best part… he’s my brother’s best friend.

Or maybe it’s the worst part.

While he’s looking to reinvent himself out of the spotlight, our crashing into each other after all these years has me seeing stars.

Hollywood heartthrob Asher Menken might not remember me… but I could never forget him. 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09XBC9283?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Self Studies

by Kate Messick

Blurb

I knew nothing but the touch of my master until the Magical Authorities killed him and set my world on fire.

Now, I’m a prisoner at an institute stressing students beyond their limits.

I’m a sorceress who can’t access her magic and wanted by wickedly handsome mages who all have their own agenda.

I spent my life following directions. Now I can make my own decisions, I don’t know the right ones. Why is saying ‘no’ so hard?

With the administration judging every action I take and weighing them on their uneven scales of morality, I must come to terms with my darkness to survive and, if I’m lucky, even gain my freedom.

Review

Messick has created an academy which we are learning isn’t really a school but more of a prison. There are good and bad people in the prison but you’re never quite sure who is who. Aphrodite is newly arrived and she’s been freed from a life of complete submission to her master. Her master groomed her to completely submit to him in every way. Now the Magical Authority deemed her too dangerous and they’ve shoved her into the prison of this school. Bullying doesn’t cover all the torture the other students put Aphrodite through but somehow she makes connections and begins to learn her master was wrong and she does have opinions and power. Messick has created an unusual and unique environment for her main character to wade through as she figures out who she is. Messick is skilled at developing her characters and moving them from one dimensional to multi-dimensional. While there is a bigger story going on, Messick does not leave you hanging and waiting on the next book. Her story is solid writing and story telling.

Homonyms

I know you’re groaning because I’m using grammatical terms. We know what this is – it’s words that sounds the same but have different meanings.

Are you saying Huh? I hope not but if you are…

Question Mark On Colorful Paper

Here’s a few examples

You’re / Your

Its / It’s

There / They’re / Their

Now I can tell you when I write, these mess with me all the time. So I’m doing what I do best – writing about them. Doesn’t mean I’ll mess up less but I’ll at least share with others.

There are so many of these I cannot even begin to tell you them all. The three above are commonly done incorrectly as are many many more.

In the Wayfarer series for some reason I could not come up with console – meaning a scientific instrument consisting of displays and an input device. I came up with council, counsel and I’m sure there were other iterations. But not console. I knew what I wanted and I was pretty sure of the word but the correct spelling eluded me.

Now when I’m tooling along writing, I don’t always type the write word. I just get it down. I want to get the words on the page and get it out of my head.

How do I as an author fix this?

My first go to is spell check. I work in Word and the Editor they are now using gets its/it’s wrong all the time. It’s like it’s drunk. So you have to know your spell checker.

Read through. I do a read through of all my manuscripts as well as using the Editor / spell check.

If that doesn’t catch them, my beta and arc team will let me know if something is off.

Readers will also let an author know when something is wrong – my only hope is they let me know before they leave a review so I can correct it.

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The Escape

MATTHEW SLATER

As criminal kingpin of Sovereign City, Bryan Wattson has everything: money, power, and the sense of invincibility that goes with it. But after a botched drug deal leaves him betrayed by his former business partner, shot and left for dead, Bryan is sentenced to thirty years in prison. After breaking out ten years later, Bryan learns the hard way exactly how enormous square one really is. With this second chance, Bryan has only one thing on his mind: getting revenge on the man who betrayed him.

Free if subscribed to KindleUnlimited

US linkhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B08S61RS8X

UK linkhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Escape-Matthew-Slater-ebook/dp/B08S61RS8X


Deborah Kelsey Lazaroff Alpi

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in Berkeley, California USA and raised in Orinda, California; Columbo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka); and New Delhi, India. During my childhood I traveled throughout Asia and Europe, as well as throughout the USA with my family. I have been writing professionally since 1978, mostly as a copywriter for advertising, marketing and public relations, I am divorced and havs an adult son. I now live in Southern California.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I was always a storyteller; before I could read and write I drew my stories, sometimes like comic strips, sometimes just as illustrations. Throughout school I shined in writing. I served as Editor of my junior high school newspaper. I shined even brighter as a writer at university, where I majored in film studies and minored in mass communications.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I like to read erotica, including vampyr erotica. I also write erotica, most recently vampyr erotica.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Adults, definitely!

What is your current release or project?

Creatures of The Night, an erotic vampyr love story.

Tell us about the key characters

Sarah is a budding author who is writing a novel about vampyrs, when she happens to meet a genuine vampyr, Trevor, in the all-night coffeeshop they both frequent. The two fall in love very quickly!

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Vampyrs feature in almost every aspect of Sarah’s life. Her stories are filled with them. Her rich imagination has nothing on the real thing.

In her local cafe, she meets a man who sweeps away her imaginary world of vampyrs as he introduces her to the real thing.

Sarah discovers a world of intrigue and danger as she and Trevor learn to savor each other. Her ex and his ex create havoc as the two grow closer.

Can they survive their pasts to create a future filled with passion and love?

Share an excerpt

“I see you here nearly every night, working hard. Are you writing a novel?”

“Why, yes,” Sarah answered, turning to look at the source of the slightly mid-Atlantic-accented voice. She found herself facing a very trim, black-shirted midriff. She raised her head to meet the warm, smiling face of her mystery man gazing down at her. She was struck by just how handsome he was, by those rich dark eyes that gazed into hers. When did she get so lucky?

“I guess it’s more than obvious,” she continued, smiling up at him. She couldn’t help but hope she’d be spending some time with this handsome stranger, and perhaps more. She could use a little romance in her life. It had been four months since she broke up with James, after all, and this man seemed promising.

“If I’m not interrupting you, would you mind very much if I joined you?”

“Not at all.” Please do. She gestured towards the other seat at her table. “I was just finishing up for the evening and would welcome the company.”

“Wonderful, I’ll be right back.” Trevor fetched his coffee cup and got a refill before returning to Sarah’s table and sitting down.

“And what are you writing about?”

“Promise you won’t laugh?”

His smile was richer and even warmer, if that was possible. “I promise. Cross my heart and hope to die.” It was a wish he had never held over the last 200 years, as he enjoyed being a vampyr, but he liked the way it sounded.

“It’s about vampires, a whole community of them.”

“Really.”

“Yes, really.” She flashed him a broad and utterly disarming grin.

“Do you believe in vampyrs?”

Sarah smiled as her face grew hot. “Yes,” she said quietly, “I do. Or maybe I just want to believe in them.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that.” There was so much warmth and kindness in that rich voice that Sarah couldn’t help but feel drawn to this striking man.

“Perhaps I could help you with your book. I am, you see, a vampyr myself. And by the way, we spell it v-a-m-p-y-r.”

Sarah laughed. “Thanks for the tip.”

“No, truly, I am, in all seriousness, a vampyr.”

Sarah stared at him, dumbfounded.

Trevor placed a hand over hers “I don’t mean to alarm you, but we do exist, and for the most part are harmless.”

“So, you actually feed on human blood?” She laughed again. This was the wildest pickup line she’d ever experienced, even for a man as pale as this one. Could it actually be possible? Did the undead truly exist? She had to admit that she had always suspected they were real.

Do you have a favorite scene?

Probably the scene in which they go to see the original Christopher Lee Dracula film, Horror of Dracula!

What advice would you give a beginner?

I’ll share with you what playwright Tennessee Williams told me: “If you’re a writer you just have to write, there’s no question about it. And good luck to you!”

Social media links:

Facebook: Deborah Kelsey Lazaroff Alpi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebKlaWriter

Other

(https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lazaroff-Alpi/e/B001KHDPWM?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000) and look me up on goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15267215.Deborah_Kelsey and https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22222067.Deborah_Kelsey_Lazaroff and https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1803125.Deborah_Lazaroff_Alps

Blog link: https://deborahkla.livejournal.com/

Purchasing links

https://amzn.to/3GUOajX

https://books2read.com/u/bo89Yv

Kaylin Peyerk

Today, I’m visiting with Kaylin Peyerk. Welcome,

Bio

My name is Kaylin Peyerk, and I live in the beautiful state of Michigan. I have five full bookshelves, a bursting Kindle library, and a total love for the written word. My favorite genres to read are paranormal romance, fantasy, and the occasional contemporary novel. I am a lover of swimming, video games, and my golden retriever/corgi mix.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Kaylin Peyerk, and I live in the beautiful state of Michigan. I have five full bookshelves, a bursting Kindle library, and a total love for the written word. My favorite genres to read are paranormal romance, fantasy, and the occasional contemporary novel. I am a lover of swimming, video games, and my golden retriever/corgi mix.

I’ve been a reader for my entire life—starting with Harry Potter when I was seven. That’s when I fell in love with fantasy stories. The romance aspect came later in middle school and highschool when I began devouring young adult romantic fantasy titles. While I prefer to write in the new adult genre they’re the root of my inspiration. Think Vampire Academy, Shiver, and Graceling.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

When I was in ninth grade I had run out of books in my school library to read. Well, at least I ran out of titles that interested me. So I decided to write my own during National November Writing Month! I wrote an entire 50,000 word novel in one month when I was fourteen and have been on the grind ever since. Now I look back on it, that’s kind of crazy, isn’t it? Ha!

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I wholeheartedly believe that authors should write in the genres they love to read. Only when you know the market well will you be able to cater to what the readers love to devour. I read young adult fantasy, new adult fantasy, paranormal romance, danmei cultivation fantasy, and romantic comedy. All of these are genres I’ve written in.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

My books are primarily for adults due to sexually suggestive content. However, I do have one title that’s appropriate for young adult readers. Bound in Death is a new adult slow burn romantic fantasy following demigods and the tragedy of star crossed lovers. Very PG but incredibly moving. I loved writing it.

What is your current release or project?

Prey in the Dusk (Omegaverse MF Romance)

Two teens—Faye Alister & Royce McKay—fated to pair from wealthy families discover the underground secrets of their world and just how dark it has become. However, they’re unsure what they’ll do when they gather it. The perpetrator is Royce’s father—the governor of their province—and many influential families they’ve known all their lives are involved. Not only will sharing this information ruin life as they know it but also the fragile world already on the precipice of disaster. I love this title because it uses the omegaverse world to explore the issues of gender and class inequality. It’s both a romance and a woven mystery of political intrigue and suspense. This one can be read episode by episode on Kindle Vella, however, at the end of the serial, it will be bundled into a KU title!

Tell us about the key characters

Prey in the Dusk has two main narrators—Faye Alister & Royce McKay. Together, they uncover a web of secrets that cannot be unseen, nor left to continue. Faye is the omega daughter of a successful alpha scientist who fights for omega rights and the creation of more effective drugs for them. Above all, she wants to follow in his footsteps and is deeply inspired by him. Her fated mate, Royce, is a supreme alpha from the highest standing family in their world. He has been groomed to take his father’s place as the province leader for his entire life, yet all he cares about is cherishing Faye. They’re like two planets revolving around each other while the universe falls apart around them. I want the series to explore the difficulties of different social classes through the use of an ABO universe. The terror of both upper and lower class crime and how it affects society as a whole.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Faye & Royce are fated for more than pairing. By accident, the two discover underground secrets of their society and just how dark it has become. . . Exposing proof of a heat-inducing drug being tested on helpless omegas from the lower provinces. Not only that, but the main perpetrator is Royce’s father, governor of Decra, and many influential families they’ve known all their lives are involved. Well aware outing it will ruin life as they know it; can they gain the courage to expose evil?

Share an excerpt

Decra is an arrogant place.

                To someone who isn’t familiar with the province, the phrase sounds strange. It’s a fact you need to experience to understand. By stepping into a room where no heads turn. Scenting the overwhelming yet intoxicating pheromones. Witness the slow, teasing gait of society’s infamous families. They move as if the world has no choice but to pause and watch them. My eyes flit from one gilded person to the next, noting the ropes of diamonds on their necks. The rubies dripping from their ears. The expensive, exquisitely made watches tick-tocking on their wrists. These people were born to be royalty. Alphas either inherited wealth or created it through grit, blood, and trickery. In comparison, I feel like dusky silver in need of polish.

I sigh, plucking a flute of champagne off a passing tray, holding it up in thanks. The server flushes, dipping his chin while scurrying back toward the kitchens. For the tenth time since arriving, I adjust the high collar of my dress. Hating that, it forces the metal protective band around my throat to dig into the skin, rubbing it raw. During high-traffic parties like this, I’m forced to wear it. Unmated omegas take responsibility for themselves. Never once would it be considered an alpha’s fault for having lost control. For if an omega becomes so enamored with an alpha’s scent that it triggers a heat, is it not the duty of said alpha to satiate them?

I hope you picked up on my sarcasm there.

More and more families arrive, filling the room with pheromones that make my head spin. I press my back into the wall, praying my burgundy dress fades into the velvet curtains so seamlessly not a person in here will notice my presence. I much prefer to watch quietly from the sidelines, taking in as much information as possible and giving nothing away. When my gaze finds my father, it sticks like glue. Every poisonous feeling brewing in the presence of such powerful alphas flowing away like water. As usual, he holds a crowd of people around him captive, leaning toward him as if hanging off his every phrase.

His emerald eyes sparkle as he laughs, tipping his head back, coffee-colored hair falling away from his face. From the looks of it, he’s run his hand through it. The style my mother spent twenty minutes on destroyed within seconds of one of his animated conversations, as usual. Many women fawn over the display, pushing further into his personal space as if today may be the day he turns his gaze on them. He does no such thing, reaching past them to shake the hand of an arriving official. If they’re crestfallen by his obvious dismissal, it doesn’t bother the crowd of women. They back down, though, slinking to the outer edges of the circle. Behind them—leaning against a pillar as if it were made for her—stands my stoic, radiant mother.

Everyone is watching her, and if they claim not to be, they’re lying.

While most affluent families of Decra choose muted colors, my mother has never so much as toed the darker side of the color wheel. She’s a radiant flower within a field of wheat. Wrapped in a tasteful crimson dress that falls straight to the floor in a pool of shimmering silk. As usual, her long blonde hair is braided elegantly atop her head, displaying the pairing mark on the back of her neck with pride. Something most alphas in the room roll their eyes in the face of. For pairing with an omega is a waste of potential unless they’re your fated one. And connections like that are far and few between.

“The governing family of Decra province has arrived,” a man announces from the top of the grand staircase, bowing low.

As if it’s a concert for their favorite musician, people scramble to form a semi-circle around the stairs. I do no such thing, keeping my distance. My mother’s eyes slide to meet mine. Burning with warmth and steady concern, as they usually do when she looks upon her recluse of a daughter. I know what she’ll say later, what she will ask. Why did you not gather with the others? You’re too similar to me. Would it kill you to show at least the bare minimum of interest? I look away from her, swirling the champagne in the bottom of my glass just to watch the bubbles pop one by one. The doors above open wide, trumpets blaring. Still, I do not turn, waiting for the familiar prickle that climbs up my neck the moment he spots me.

Because that is how nights like this always begin.

Do you have a favorite scene?

Yes! There’s a scene in this title where Faye learns that her secondary gender is something she cannot escape and will cause her problems in the future. It’s heartbreaking in its reality and incredibly moving. While she wishes to live a life free from bonds and work toward making the world a better place for people like her, it only becomes that much more difficult.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Read as many books in your genre as possible to get a feel for what readers love and expect from such stories. To me, this is better than the advice of writing to market because rather than overused cookie cutter tropes, you’re focusing on your authentic story while weaving in themes readers recognize. My greatest accomplishment is getting a review on almost all of my stories saying it’s different from anything they’ve read but it sucked them in anyway! That’s because I’ve done a lot of research on what readers love and added it subtly into my manuscript. I have the idea first, not the trope.

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