Book Review

The Vult – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★  (4 / 5 stars)

Amber’s life has always been one of uncertainty. Now in college, she is faced with the ongoing dilemma of her future. What is she supposed to do? Why does nothing really bring her joy? In a drunken stupor she considers ending her life, when a man who claims to be a vampire enters her life. Deklan comes forward as a friend, finally letting her see the beauty in life. But he has his own troubles at home in the Vult. Will his newfound friendship with Amber put the Vult and his way of life at risk? Will it put Amber at risk?

In a fast paced story about vampires and friendship, Katelyn Young takes the classic vampire tropes and spin them on their head. The girl doesn’t want to be a vampire. The vampire doesn’t want the girl. It’s story instead about friendship, and that alone is so beautiful.

Despite the length of the book, Young also dictates the rules of being a vampire – instantly playing on more famous and debunking parts of their tales. That’s the beauty of vampires in stories: so many rules can be redefined based on modern beliefs and expectations. That being said, I love what Young did with vampires.

While I had a few hang ups, especially around the dialogue, ultimately I really enjoyed the Vult. The pacing flowed well overall, yet it felt like the beginning of something bigger – almost like a prequel to another tale. The story ends on a decision that could so clearly create a new trajectory for the characters. So I do hope Young plans to write another book in the series. (And perhaps she has and I just missed it.)

I think anyone who likes a fun, fast paced vampire story that focuses on friendship will absolutely love The Vult. Definitely check it out.

What’s it about?

The Vult has strict rules that could never be broken. Rule one: Don’t kill humans. Rule two: Keep the feed short. Rule three: Stay out of the sun. Rule four: Don’t tell anyone what we are. To save Amber’s life, Deklan Powers was going to have to break the fourth rule.
Deklan is one of five vampires living at The Vult. All Deklan wants out of his immortal life is for everyone to be happy. When feeding at a college party, he stumbles upon an unusual girl. Deklan wants to know more about her so, he follows her to Willow Peak, where he catches her doing something unspeakable and he has no choice but to intervene.
Amber Edge is your regular college senior, except for the fact that she has no idea what she wants to do with her life. One night she gets drunk and tries to end her life, but she is stopped by a strange man. Amber and this stranger quickly become friends, but their friendship reaches a boiling point when old enemies of his come to town. 

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Free eBook Download

Storytelling was outlawed. Magic had all but vanished.

That all changed when the woman in black came to town.

Branded with the black stamp at a young age, Brent thought he would end up a vagrant like his father. His craft was telling stories, but the Order had long forbidden any weaving of tales. When Brent sees the woman in black, she leads him into a menagerie of tunnels beneath the earth where his life falls into the nauseating, but beautiful, mist of the dead.

He finds friendship in Rho, a young woman who hides her face with a tree branch while roots and vines bow to her every whim. Together, they embark on a journey to explore the world, escape the watchful eyes of the Order, and discover the woman in black’s secrets.

For thousands of years, the mist and the tunnels were under the sole guardianship of the Council of Mist Keepers. But as new monsters enter the mist, and magic is forced out of the shadows, the Council searches for young blood to join their ranks and Brent’s next in line.

Every six months, I like to give out free ebook copies of my novel, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, in hopes to receive more honest reviews.

Now is that time again!

If you like NA Gaslamp Fantasy, with star-crossed lover elements, strong heroines, kind heroes…and chaotic death gods…then The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice might just be for you!

This is a limited time deal closing on March 14, 2022. So don’t delay!

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Lane Northcutt

Meet Lane Northcutt, author of Rejected.

About Lane Northcutt

A Kentucky native, currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and ideal reader, Shannon. Rejected is the sequel to his debut novel, The Delivery Co. and the second in the trilogy. When not writing, Lane is an actor, photographer, and enjoys bouldering at his local rock gym. In addition to The Delivery Company series, Lane is working on other books, screenplays, and more.

So let’s talk a bit about Rejected.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Rejected:
Rejected is the sequel to my debut YA Dystopian novel, The Delivery Co. and was quite the undertaking. Overall, this book continues the story of Ahna and her group as they face new problems in their main goal to dismantle and destroy The Delivery Company and all it stands for. It’s only when they try to do so again that she realizes that not everybody will survive, and not everybody has.

When did you start writing Rejected? What inspired you to write it?
I started writing Rejected pretty much right after I published The Delivery Co. which would be around January of 2021. I wrote the first draft of the novel in the first few months, then put it away for the summer before returning to completely rewrite and edit it in time for publication for Feb. 22nd, 2022. (Twos-Day, 2/22/22 which was a fun thing to do since this is book 2!) A lot of what inspired this series stems from my own journey with Crohn’s and ADHD, but chronic illness/disability is only one of many themes recurring throughout the series.

Who is your favorite character?
My favorite character since the beginning has been Scorcher. I feel that he is a lot of me, but also just an interesting and mysterious person overall. However, I will add that Felan has quickly become one of my favorites as well because I was able to put the parts of me that aren’t in Scorcher into her. If I could say to read two characters to understand me from my books, it would be Scorcher and Felan.

What was your favorite part to write?

There’s a chapter late in the book that became one of my favorites from the first inkling of the idea. Without saying too much about it, it’s about a newer character and a big change for them personally. I guess I can give away the number of the chapter, thirty-three. That and chapter eight, but for very different reasons. I think I prefer these parts primarily because it is focused more so on the characters themselves and less on trying to move the overall plot. I like the more intimate character driven moments the best.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Rejected?

I think the general message of Rejected is the same as the series as a whole: who you are is ever-changing and your family can be as well. Just because you live with a disability or chronic illness doesn’t mean you aren’t still able to make a difference. Sometimes, the smallest action can mean the world to someone, but sometimes you are someone’s world. Either way, you are who you are and there’s nothing wrong with you, regardless of what you might be told. The Delivery Company may reject you, but I guarantee that there’s a whole group of people out there just like you who will accept you no matter what.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?

Waterfall. This word is a spoiler for both The Delivery Co. and Rejected in a different way.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Rejected?
One reason that readers should pick up Rejected would be to get to know Felan. She was introduced at the very end of book one, but they get to know her so much more in book two. I think that she’s worth meeting, for sure.

Since Rejected is a sequel, what is something you think readers will be most excited about?

I think that readers will be most excited about seeing how the world outside Deliverance was affected by everything before and just how bad things are getting with The Delivery Company as a whole.

I can’t wait to dive back into the world of the Delivery Co. But first I would love to hear more about YOU!

So, tell us a little about yourself.

Why do you write?
I write because it’s what I do. I have so many stories and characters in my head that can’t be kept hidden away. I constantly create, always thinking of new and exciting ideas, and can’t stand to not have them out in the world. I have been telling stories as a writer and actor for so many years that storytelling is just in my DNA, it’s who I am.

Do you have any hobbies outside of writing? Do they influence your writing in any way?
I am a HUGE gamer. I have played video games almost my entire life and still do most days. Mostly, my interests lie in RPGs and rogue-lite games. I play mostly RPGs because of their stories. Gaming not only helps me to relax a lot of days, but constantly inspires me. Sometimes, I feel very inspired by their settings and sometimes it is a specific character or quest that will spark an idea. A lot of the time, I write to the soundtrack to one of my favorite video games of all time, FrostPunk. Gaming has and will always inspire and influence my writing and life.

What does your writing routine look like, if you have one?
I think one thing that may surprise some of my readers, but certainly not any of my close friends, is that I have no true routine. My ADHD and various other things have kept me from establishing much of a consistent routine. Often, I find myself hyper focusing on a chapter only to avoid writing the book altogether for days at a time. Then, my thoughts will sometimes be so scattered or I’ll have sudden bursts of inspiration or something and I will try to take the story or a certain character in a totally different direction. While that may be sometimes beneficial, I would say that it can hinder my progress quite a bit as well. However, while I have no concrete routine, I do tend to do the same few things when I do sit down to write: noise-cancelling headphones, FrostPunk soundtrack on low, and have outline of the current chapter I’m writing off to the side. Then, I crank out however much I can during the time that my brain decides I’m interested. Sometimes, that is a long time and I write two or three chapters and other times it is only a paragraph that I edited as I wrote. There’s no telling which way it will go most days, but I’m never upset with the progress. Afterall, any progress is still progress. As they say, ‘you can’t edit a blank page.’

What have been some of your biggest successes as an author?
One of the biggest successes I have had as an author has been one of the first few reviews I received from a total stranger after releasing my first book. The reviewer left an amazing review, which I always appreciate, but also had messaged me just to say how much they appreciated my writing of a specific character. They said that it made them feel ‘seen’ and that The Delivery Co. had become one of their favorite books they had ever read. Hearing that was probably one of my greatest achievements in my author career so far. Even if I only impact one person, I’ve done my job as an author. That, to me, is success.

If you could give one piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
If I were to tell my past self anything, my advice would be: Write. Write whatever you want and don’t worry about whether it will be any good. Stop editing in the moment and try to let the story and characters just be. Getting the story out of your head is the best first step, so do that. Don’t worry about it being perfect, just make sure it is able to be.

Check out Rejected below…and be sure to follow Lane Northcutt to discover more of his work!

Book Review

Hunters I: The Mission – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★  (4 / 5 stars)

In order to become queen, Akane, the Princess of Lear, is sent out on a mission to obtain relics important to her kingdom. With a team of warriors, her groj, and cocky Prince Ashton, she sets out on journey. But with a blue-fired phoenix from a legend following her, more dangers are afoot that she ever imagined…and it may just cost her team their life.

I had so much fun reading this book. Akane is determined, strong, but also a kind leader. Her friendship, especially with Olivia and Alayna, really bring to life her character. On top of that, her relationship with Ashton resonated with me the whole way through. My interest in Ashton grew with Olivia’s interest, from being kind of taken aback by him, to loving him and finding him both amusing and compassionate.

I absolutely loved the concept of the groj as well. Very much reminiscent of familiars or the daemons in His Dark Materials, I adored the twist that the author put on these creatures. They are not limited to just one standard animal; they can transform to the needs of their humans. Throughout the story, unique mythical creatures continue to dot the tale as well, adding more layers to an already well thought world. This includes the blue fire phoenix, the white humming birds, and so much more.

All of these, including that cliff hanger ending, made this a fantastic tale.

Despite how much I enjoyed the story, the ending – considering how dramatic and heart wrenching it was – felt slightly off in pace. I wanted to sit with it a little longer…but that might just be a personal taste. I had to reread the last chapter once just to make sure I got everything right.

Also, a small hang up for me, was the number of characters whose names started with “A”. After awhile, I was able to differ between all of them, but between Akane, Ashton, Axah, Ayek, Alayna, and Abner…at the beginning I definitely got a little confused. In the end, it didn’t completely remove me from the tale, but with so many important characters starting with “A”, it was a little difficult at first.

While there were a few editing errors in the story, after talking with the author, I know that she personally translates everything from Spanish…so I think these errors are permissible, and I really don’t think they hinder the tale at all.

Ultimately, I cannot wait for book 2 to be translated into English. If it was available now, I would be picking it up…as I absolute adore Akane and Ashton, and I cannot wait to see how the legend of the blue phoenix unfolds.

What’s it about?

Trained to be a warrior, Akane, Princess of Lear, must complete a special mission, to become queen after her initiation ceremony.

Stubborn and impulsive, she will stumble upon Ashton, a carefree and bold Prince, who has never committed to anything until he meets her. Leaving behind the comfort of his castle to go with her and together travel Quheco’s woods, facing unimaginable dangers and trusting unknown people to finish the mission.

Can Akane fulfill the mission despite her fears?
Did Ashton make the right decision?
Will they find what they want in each other?

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Bri Mooney

Meet Bri Mooney, author of Scorched Feathers.

About Bri Mooney

Bri Mooney writes dark, and a tad romantic, fantasy novels. Her 5-star debut novel Scorched Feathers takes place on both Earth and Hell.

Born in Queens, New York, she is used to the obscure. She now lives amongst the trees in North Carolina.

During her spare time, Bri is a bookworm, serial hobbyist, horror movie enthusiast, gamer, and travels the world with her partner.

So let’s talk a bit about Scorched Feathers.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Scorched Feathers:
It’s a story about a woman named Aradia who has lost some of her most important memories and her journey to get them back. Scorched Feathers takes place in Heaven, Hell, and Earth.

When did you start writing Scorched Feathers? What inspired you to write it?

I’ve always loved myths, fairytales, and legends. My mom has this old copy of Aesop’s fables that I would beg her to let me read. Anderson’s tales, the Brothers Grimm – I would devour the stories and movies.

A while back I did a deep dive looking into the Goddess Aradia and found there to be barely anything about her. I wanted to know more about her and her story.

Then, in May of 2020 I spent ten months furloughed from my job. For the first month I completed odd projects that I had never had time to do before and then the insanity started seeping in. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I had always wanted to write a book, but I had never managed to finish a story. So I made it a goal and woke up everyday to sit in my office. By then, Scorched Feathers kind of poured out.

Who is your favorite character?

Aradia is definitely my favorite with Asmodeus as a close second.

Aradia is the poise and grace tempered by steel that I had always craved for myself. I wrote her based on the myths surrounding her with a sprinkling of what I thought true divinity would be like; her fierce love of not only her friends but for all of life, her ability to seek out peace mingled with the strength to fight for it when necessary. I wrote the Goddess I think the world deserves.

As for Asmodeus, I’ve read a lot of romance and noticed that most love interests are alphas wrapped in red flags. Don’t get me wrong, I love dark romance. But I’ve been craving a kinder, more green flag kind of male love interest. And Asmodeus was born. He remembers the way you take your drink and your favorite things. And, at the end of the day, he’ll slaughter all of your enemies. What’s not to love?

What was your favorite part to write?

The flashbacks. I actually wrote all of them first and grew the story around them later. It was so much fun just letting myself write any scene that came to mind and seeing how they all stitched together as the story came to life (there was very little plotting done for this book). And I love the way the story begins with the reader and Aradia both on equal footing. No one knows what the heck is going on in the beginning, but you grow with her

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Scorched Feathers?

It’s a bit of a ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ story. A glimpse at internal biases and a shattering of expectations for mythical beings.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Scorched Feathers?
If you enjoy found family, dark themes, and a little bloodshed mixed with some romance, grab a copy!

Scorched Feathers sounds like an amazing story that breaks tropes and molds. So I definitely want to know more about the person behind it!

So, tell us a little about yourself.

Why do you write?
I don’t think I have a choice. Since I learned to read, I’ve been devouring stories. Everytime I went to the library, I’d go and take out the maximum amount of books. Growing up, I read every book we had in the house, no matter the genre. Then all it took was one creative writing class and I was hooked on writing. The stories come to me, characters speak, and I love putting their voices to paper.

Do you have any hobbies outside of writing? Do they influence your writing in any way?
I’m a bit of a serial hobbyist. One of my favorite past-times is baking. Tell me a flavor or combo you love and I’ll whip up something. I baked a Dr. Pepper cake once for a friend. Cupcakes are my favorite. In my latest book, The Witch of Fire and Shadows, my MC owns a bakery.

What does your writing routine look like, if you have one?
 I’ve found that a strict routine doesn’t work for me. The whole ‘sit and write 1000 words even if it’s garbage’ thing left me with no words and a headache. I do my best to write or edit everyday, but I count reading, researching, learning, or even watching TV as getting work done. As long as it can be applied to the stories, it counts. That way I avoid burnout and keep a steady speed while still loving what I do.

What software do you use for writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?
I’ve been playing with a few things. I use scrivener to write. I really like how customizable it is. I’ve recreated my character sheets and reference material in it and am pretty hooked.

Atticus is my go-to for formatting ebooks and it seems pretty great. Affinity Publisher is what I use to format my paperbacks and I love it.

My covers are done with photoshop but I’m switching to Affinity Photo and Designer as they’re more economical and almost identical to photoshop.

I use draft2digital for my wide ebooks and I’m currently on the waiting list for paperbacks (which is a huge bummer). I’ve been toying with switching to Ingram Sparks because of that. I’ll probably always be trying different things, though. There’s so much out there!

If you could give one piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
There are a lot of pieces of advice floating out there in the void that will tell you how to be a writer or author. A writer writes, that’s it. As far as publishing and all of that, there is no playbook for success. There is no ‘perfect’. It’s all trial and error. Learn new methods, apply what seems to fit, throw away what doesn’t. Be flexible and open minded. At the end of the day, just keep writing!

Check out Scorched Feathers below…and be sure to follow Bri Mooney to discover more of her work!

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Katelyn Young

Meet Katelyn, author of The Vult

About Katelyn Young

Katelyn Young is the author of The Vult and The Four. Her love of vampires and literature has inspired her writing. Katelyn recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with her degrees in English and Film Studies. When she isn’t writing she is either glued to the television, editing photos for her Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan account, or spending time with her dog, Baxter.

So let’s talk a bit about The Vult.

First things first, tell us a little bit about The Vult:
The Vult is a novel about the friendship between Deklan Powers, a vampire, and Amber Edge, a human. They become friends after Deklan saves Amber’s life and the story follows the ups and downs of their friendship.

When did you start writing The Vult? What inspired you to write it?
I started writing The Vult during national novel writing month/NaNoWriMo in November of 2019. I was inspired to write the story by my love of vampires and by the fact that I enjoyed reading stories about male and female friendships.

Who is your favorite character?
My favorite character is Deklan.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from The Vult?
The message I hope readers pull from The Vult is the importance of friendship and how friends can become family.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?
An out-of-context spoiler would be prepared for a cliffhanger ending.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up The Vult?
One reason you should pick up The Vult is that it combines vampires and friendship in an action-packed novel.

The Vult sounds like such an exciting novel filled with friendships! I’m sure the author behind the book is just as exciting!

So, tell us a little about yourself.

Why do you write?
I write because I get so many story ideas in my head and I just have to put them down. 

What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The book inspires me to write about friendships.

Do you prefer physical books, ebooks, audiobooks, or all of the above?
 I prefer ebooks because I can hold countless books in my hand at once but I also have been getting back into reading paperbacks.

What software do you use for writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?
I use Scrivener and Google Docs to write. I use Amazon to publish and I use Facebook and Instagram for marketing.

What have been some of your biggest successes as an author?
There are two things I can think of right now, the first one is that my book was the Selling over 100 books in less than 6 months.

Check out The Vult below…and be sure to follow Katelyn Young to discover more of her work!

Book Review

Genesis of War – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★.5  (3.5 / 5 stars)

A war is brewing. Kingdoms are divided. And lives are in danger.

With the vengeful Kelbain rising to power and overtaking the west, brothers Thasus, Andemar, and Rudimere are sent out on separate quests to gather friends, while fighting enemies. Yet little do they know that Kelbain has an internal war brewing, with disdain growing from his son, secrets coming to light from his soon-to-be wife Dirce, and trust growing fragile. Can the three brothers stop the brewing storm before lives are lost? Or is it already too late?

A traditional high fantasy tale with battles, high stakes, and magic, Genesis of War takes us on an adventure. Fast paced, readers will get to see the world right away, and learn the struggles without having to turn the next page. While Rudimere is set up to be the hero, without a doubt I was drawn into Dirce’s plight. Her ending shocked me…although, I do wish there was a bit more build up (more on that below).

While some readers will love this fast paced energy of the story, to me…I needed more. I felt like I was reading the outline to some long epic fantasy, and while I can appreciate why the author made it more fast paced (to make it more accessible to those daunted by the longer novels), I think it needed a little bit more. Dirce’s evolution came with an abrupt twist, and the battle that ensued happened far too fast, considering the depths of the climax. In addition, the pace damaged the overall worldbuilding. More build up was needed to really make the story succeed…at least in my opinion.

This book did cause me to have a revelation about my own reading preferences. Fundamentally, I should have loved this book. The plot was great, the characters had unique plights, and the darkness loomed. But…I realized something was lacking for me, and it was this: I am a character motivated reader. A plot can be amazing (as this one was), but if I don’t get a chance to sit with the characters and feel their emotions, the story doesn’t resonate the same way. This is no fault of the author, just a personal preference I identified while reading.

Overall though, I will eventually pick up Book 2 in the series, as I am inspired enough to find out what happens next. If you enjoy fast-paced high fantasy, with battles and magic…check out Genesis of War. I think you’ll enjoy it.

What’s it about?

A man with royalty in his blood has waited to prove himself…

A self-proclaimed sorcerer has waited patiently for vengeance…

In a land of giant wolves, mind readers, and elementals, it is only a matter of time before their paths collide.

But what will be left of the realm when that day finally comes?

Book Review

M to (WT)F – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★★  (5 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★★  (5 / 5 stars)

It’s hard to imagine being born in the wrong body – especially when you identify with the gender assigned to you at birth. But in this hilarious but honest, Samantha Allen provides a description of her experiences that manage resonate with most audiences. Her story is one of self discovery, and mostly everyone has these moments of doubt.

Despite being a cisgender woman, I related so much to some of what Samantha joked about. I was on the elliptical when she went into a tirade about the public women’s restroom and I started to laugh so hard. But while the humor and anecdotes are amusing, it allowed me to see a few things: 1) how transgender individuals undergo and make choices about their transitions and 2) womanhood through the eyes of someone who was assigned the wrong gender at birth.

Samantha Allen (despite saying how much she hates her own voice) also was a fantastic narrator for this audiobook. I was so sad when it ended, because I really felt like I had entered her life and gained a new slice of understanding.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the transgender experience and womanhood just a little bit more. It’s fun, amusing, but honest…and I absolute adored it.

What’s it about?

Samantha Allen, award-winning journalist and author of Real Queer America, delivers an intimate look at the unexpectedly hilarious moments of her gender transition.

In this poignant audio piece, Samantha Allen takes listeners along for the wild ride of her own transition: the good, the bad, but mostly, the funny. Because once she began this life-changing journey in earnest, Samantha realized that while the emotional trials of gender dysphoria and self-discovery could be harrowing, there were so many laugh-out-loud moments along this winding road.

Think about it: While her 20- and 30-something peers were settling into the people they were going to be for the rest of their lives, Samantha was going through puberty all over again, taking the whole womanhood thing step by glamorous step – from learning the differences between men’s and women’s public restrooms to figuring out how to take off a bra without taking her shirt off first. Recognizing these moments of humor brought her joy in times she needed it most – and sharing them, she learned, could be revelatory.

Part deeply personal memoir, part comedic adventure, and part insightful exploration of how gender informs the ways we see the world, M to (WT)F is a delightful listen that proves how powerful it can be to find humor in hardship.

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Raquel Herrera

Meet Raquel Herrera, author of Hunters I: The Mission.

About Raquel Herrera

Raquel is a 25-year-old student of Classic Philology. She fell in love with books when she was in high school and her literature teacher made her read The Hunger Games for her final test, soon after that she found her passion to write too. Her first attempt to write was around 2016 on Wattpad, with a story called “Just one heart” but for some personal situations she stopped writing back then. Also, she is a huge fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout. She has been following her for years. Besides writing she loves traveling and music, and she actually play bass and transversal flute.

So let’s talk a bit about Hunters I: The Mission.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Hunters I: The Mission:
Hunters is a high fantasy world, with seven kingdoms and each of them hunt a specific type of animal or creature. In the first book (The Mission) we meet Akane, she is a huntress/crown princess, who has to do a mission for her to become queen. But the day before she starts her mission, a bunch of different things happen, from a prince showing up to an ancient legend, her world will soon turn upside down.

When did you start writing Hunters I: The Mission? What inspired you to write it?
I start writing hunters back in 2018. That’s when the first idea came up. I believe I got it from a dream, this princess hunting in the woods. Back then I was living in New York alone, away from my family and I was homesick so I started writing it as a way to escape. I’m sure the sad/angry/tense scenes where the first ones I ever wrote.

Who is your favorite character?
People are going to be upset about this, but it’s actually Killian. He is not the main character at all, he is in just 2 or 3 chapters but I just love him so bad.

What was your favorite part to write?
Probably the scenes where Killian and Ashton are together (that’s around chapters 29-30) I love the chemistry of those two characters together.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Hunters I: The Mission?
Even though the situation might be hard, or what’s in front of you seems impossible, with friends and family you can make it through. Also, not giving up, writing the book was hard for me as well this mission is hard for Akane, but we didn’t give up. People should follow their dreams.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?
There’s a face-to-face dragon scene

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Hunters I: The Mission?
Well, who doesn’t like a badass warrior crown princess with a sarcastic and funny sidekick friend? Plus, there’s a bit of an enemy to lovers.

Hunters I: The Mission sounds like so much fun, and I love how it has been influenced by your life.

So speaking of your life…let’s dive a bit more into your writing life…

If you could sit down with your favorite author for an hour, what would you ask them?
I’ll probably have time just for 1 question because I’ll freak out (no joke, this already happened, I got into the same elevator as her, and I didn’t know what to do so I got out on the wrong floor) so I’ll ask her any tip she can give me to grow as an author. Or about her mistakes in her journey so I can try to avoid them

What does your writing routine look like, if you have one?
Let’s say it includes a lot of procrastinating, but there’s something I always do, and it’s setting a daily writing goal, I even do a chart where I can keep track of it. I can’t really write without it because I need to see that I’m in fact making some progress.

Who do you consider your biggest support when you are writing?
My parents and brothers hear me talking about my own nonsense all the time, they aren’t readers and of course, they don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, but they still support me. My parents even read my first book, even though it took them months to finish it. And I’m sure that was the first book my dad ever read completely. 

How do you define success as an author? Is it the number of book sales? The number of reviews? The fact your story made someone smile? Or something else?
For me, success is being able to inspire people, for me publishing my first book was a long journey, and the fact that there are people out there telling me my book inspired them to follow their own dreams, is more than enough for me.

What have been some of your biggest successes as an author?
There are two things I can think of right now, the first one is that my book was the most sell book in my local bookstore back in June 2021. And the second one is that I got an invitation to be one of the authors signing in ApollyCon 2022, which is a really big signing event in DC, organized by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Basically, I’ll be signing books along with other amazing and popular authors like Brigid Kemmerer and Danielle L. Jensen. 

Check out Hunters I: The Mission below…and be sure to follow Raquel Herrera to discover more of her work!

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: R.T. Cole

Meet R.T. Cole, author of Genesis of War (Book One of the Realm of Aeron).

About R.T. Cole

R.T. Cole is a fiction writer and the author of THE REALM OF AREON series. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.

He has been a fan of fantasy since the days of Willow, Conan the Barbarian, and The Princess Bride. When he was a teenager, he saw The Fellowship of the Ring in theaters; After that, he knew that he wanted to write epic stories and turn them into books for a new generation of fantasy fans. R.T. now spends his days working to bring life to his own worlds.

He grew up reading science fiction & fantasy, from Star Wars to Harry Potter, and writing fan-fiction Transformers stories. He was, and still is, a gamer that prefers RPGs for their intricate plots and detailed magic systems. If there’s ever time left in the day, he can also be found reading the latest issue of DC’s The Flash.

So let’s talk a bit about Genesis of War.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Genesis of War:
Genesis of War is the first book in a 5-part epic fantasy series called The Realm of Areon. It tells the story of three brothers who are thrust into a new war with a vengeful sorcerer. While the siblings are together in the beginning, they’re quickly separated by duty, and we then follow each of them on their unique journeys.

When did you start writing Genesis of War? What inspired you to write it?
Technically, I started writing it in 2002. By “writing it”, I mean I jotted down a notebook full of ideas, lol. After spending years compiling more notes—never fully taking it seriously until I was older—I finally took the plunge and wrote the whole novel in 2017.

As for the inspiration, the reason I began writing down notes in early 2002 is because I had just seen “The Fellowship of the Ring” in December 2001. I will always credit that film for giving me the realization that I wanted to tell stories.

Who is your favorite character?
I have a lot of characters, lol. But if I had to choose one, I’d say Thasus Palidor. He is the oldest of the three brothers I mentioned before. It’s a lot of fun writing him because he’s the one character who has taken on a life of his own in the story—meaning he has turned out completely different than what I had envisioned in my outline. It has actually worked out for the better.  

What was your favorite part to write?
Any part where there was a battle, or when I had the opportunity to describe one of the many abilities used throughout the book. For example, the first time we find a character utilizing the ability to read minds, I wanted to give the reader a perfect glimpse into what that would be like.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Genesis of War?
All heroes have flaws, and all villains have at least one redeeming quality.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?
The evolution of one character may surprise you.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Genesis of War?
It’s an easy read for a first-in-a-series.

Any other things you want us to know about Genesis of War?
While there’s talk of different locations, history, and people called Sages, there’s a map at the front of the book and appendices at the back to make things a lot easier to follow.

Genesis of War sounds like an amazing first book to a series! I just started reading and can’t wait to dive into it more!

So speaking of writing…let’s dive a bit more into your writing life…

So tell me…why do you write?
I just want to tell stories. Books, movies, TV shows, comic books, and video games have all shaped me with the amazing stories they tell. I hope my stories reach just one person at that level.m out of my mind. 

Do you prefer physical books, eBooks, audiobooks or all of the above? Why?
I prefer physical books. Not only do I love the smell of a new book, but also it’s easier for me to stare at over a screen any day of the week.

How do you define success as an author? Is it the number of book sales? The number of reviews? The fact your story made someone smile? Or something else?
Book sales are great. Reviews are even better because they can lead to more sales through word-of-mouth. But I consider myself a successful author if my stories resonate with the readers. There’s no greater feeling than seeing one of my books mentioned in a social media post, or receiving a message from a reader with positive thoughts.

What have been some of your biggest successes as an author?
’ve had two that come to mind: 1) I’ve sold over 1,000 copies of Genesis of War since it was published in 2018; and 2) My third book, Shards of the Sun, received the #1 New Release banner on Amazon in January 2021, and the banner remained for the entire first week of publication. That last one was a bit of a big deal because the book could’ve lost the banner after the first day, due to lack of sales, but it thrived for its first 7 days in the world. I was shocked!

What has been one of your biggest mistakes on your publishing journey?
Rushing my first two book releases. In that regard, I mean that I didn’t know the ins and outs of obtaining ARC readers, sending out newsletters, marketing for months leading up to the day of release, etc. I did well enough with Book 3, but I’m hoping I can perfect the process when I come out with Book 4.

Check out Genesis of War below…and be sure to follow R.T. Cole to discover more of his work!