Friday, January 13, 2017

Twisted: The Girl Who Uncovered Rumpelstiltskin’s Name by Bonnie M Hennessy



Walking Contradictions

American culture, which is rooted in the Puritanical thinking of our ancestors, is innately moral and dualistic in its thinking. In any given situation we try to separate and label the good guys and the bad guys. Part of growing up is realizing that this either-or thinking is not only overly simplistic, but perhaps causes more problems than its simplicity tries to solve. No one is all good or all evil. Some of the best stories are those where the good guys make some really bad choices and where the bad guys prove to have some good in them, no matter how deep down and hidden. 

This idea that good characters are not always perfect and bad guys are not all bad is what made creating the characters in Twisted so much fun. I fleshed them out and then set them in difficult situations and let them figure out how they were going to handle their problems, allowing for them to mistakes and redeem themselves wherever seemed natural. Thus Aoife’s maternal instincts to protect her child drive her to do some pretty terrifying lengths and Ronan and the little man, who both want nothing more than pure love and affection, engage in some shameful behavior as well. Like most stories, the pages of Twisted end when most of the characters have managed to redeem themselves to some degree. However, even as I write this blog, I know that if I picked up the story again and wrote a sequel (which I do not have plans to do), I would find the ‘good’ characters making mistakes and the ‘bad’ characters revealing their softer sides again and again. Characters, like people, are only as good as the given moment at which we see them. 

This shift away from viewing character, people, political parties, candidates, and cultures as all good or all bad is just the type of shift I think we could all use in today’s world. 

Who are some of the real life people, historical or current, who have surprised you in some way by revealing that they are more than the simple label we tried to apply to  them?

Twisted: The Girl Who Uncovered 
Rumpelstiltskin’s Name
Bonnie M Hennessy

Genre: YA Fantasy

Date of Publication: November 19, 2016

ISBN13: 978-1539753421  
ISBN-10: 1539753425
ASIN: B01N3MC1K4

Number of pages: 306
Word Count: 75,000

Cover Artist: Andreea Vraciu

Book Description: 

An old tale tells the story of how a little man named Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold and tricked a desperate girl into trading away her baby. But that’s not exactly how it happened. 

The real story began with a drunken father who kept throwing money away on alcohol and women, while his daughter, Aoife, ran the family farm on her own. When he gambled away everything they owned to the Duke, it was up to her to spin straw into gold to win it all back. 

With her wits and the help of a magical guardian, she outsmarted the Duke and saved the day. 

Well almost…

Her guardian suddenly turned on Aoife and sent her on a quest to find his name, the clues to which were hidden deep in the woods, a moldy dungeon, and a dead woman’s chamber. 

This is not the tale of a damsel in distress, but a tenacious, young woman who solved a mystery so great that not even the enchanted man who spun straw into gold could figure it out. 

Not until Aoife came along.




Chapter 1 Excerpt

The morning mist had almost lifted in the village of Stanishire, the farmers and fishermen were readying the market, women were shouting chores to sleepy children, and Aoife was on her way to collect her father from the town brothel, where the painted ladies entertained men’s nocturnal needs.
When she reached the main street, she dismounted and tied her horse to a hitching post. She walked around the corner of the brothel where no one could see her, adjusted her skirt, and ran her fingers through her hair. Practice had taught her how to jiggle the finicky latch so its reluctant grip released and granted her entrance. The back hallway was dark and quiet. Maggie, the young girl who helped cook and clean, was opening windows to release the sweat and perfume-laced air. Broken glass littered the floor, and cards from unfinished games lay scattered on tables.
“Maggie,” Aoife whispered.
Maggie turned into the dust motes in a sliver of daylight. Over the years, Aoife had learned to call her gently and not to sneak up on her lest she startle the young girl as she had done the first time they met here when Aoife was eleven and Maggie just nine.
“Eeeeef-uh!” Maggie’s eyes lit up as she called Aoife’s name. She had always over-enunciated each syllable in what sounded like a sigh of relief.
She took hold of Aoife’s hand, pulling her around the corner and into the kitchen, one of the only places in the residence that passed for a respectable room.
“Wait here,” Maggie said, kissing Aoife on the cheek. “I’ll be right back.”
Aoife looked around at the pots hanging on the wall that Maggie kept so shiny. A rolling pin on the counter was coated with flour and the smell of bread baking in the oven filled the dimly lit room. In the corner was Maggie’s chair with a basket of women’s stockings waiting to be darned. Aoife turned her back to the parlor door and everything that happened there, pretending her visits with Maggie by the fire were no different than a visit with any other village girl. The sight of Maggie humming as she patched up stockings always made Aoife think of her younger sister, Tara, lying under her heavy blankets, sewing away at some pattern their mother had her working on. Aoife felt that Tara and Maggie would have enjoyed chatting over their sewing, if only Tara were not stuck in bed with a perpetual cough and Maggie the progeny of a brothel.
“Aoife. You look quite bright and alive considering the early hour.”
Aoife jumped as Maeve strolled over and pulled a leaf from Aoife’s hair.
“I see you’ve been busy with your studies,” Maeve added.
Aoife touched her hair, searching for more debris. Maeve’s dressing gown exposed her cleavage and her long, dark curls draped over her bare shoulders without apology. Aoife had seen her dressed, powdered, and painted since she was a girl, and she admired the way her gaze, so piercing, seemed to command respect from everyone. But what had captivated Aoife the most was something more powerful and more impressive than Maeve’s beauty. Although crow’s feet now punctuated her eyes, and her waistline had thickened, the most powerful men deferred to her, bowing their heads in her direction when she traveled through the streets.
“I couldn’t resist the path through the woods,” Aoife replied, knowing she could hide nothing from her.
Maeve stared at her. The affection in her appraisal was always slightly distant, stopping just short of motherly.
“Seamus is taking care of things,” Maeve said with her usual calm.
Aoife nodded and looked again at the shiny pots, trying to focus on anything but Seamus’ highly embarrassing ritual of waking her father, the fairly infamous Finnegan, from wherever he had ended his evening and saddling him on his horse. Maggie pulled a loaf of steaming bread from the oven and set out plates, knives, and a bowl of fresh butter. Each of them took their place around the table as Maggie generously portioned out the bread. Maeve let her shawl fall over the back of her chair and straightened up her shoulders, exposing even more of herself. Aoife flushed and bit quietly into her bread, savoring the flavor and the moment.
There was an honesty and warmth in this kitchen that she never felt in the presence of her own mother. Conversation and warm bread was what made coming to get her father for all these years worth the lashings she used to receive from her mother when she returned home.
 “I hear that your latest suitor was seen heading out of town yesterday,” Maeve said. “I gather his hasty departure means that there will be no nuptials?”
Aoife shook her head and cast a quick smile at Maggie.
“I can’t imagine why you didn’t want to marry that one,” Maeve said. “Lots of gold, a manor house to the east with more land than you and your horse could ever discover, and handsome, too. What more could a girl want than a man with piles of gold and a good set of teeth?”
“A man who is blind and deaf and preferably feeble – with deep pockets, of course. Then I can live my life in peace and never have to worry about his teeth – or mine for that matter.”
Maggie giggled, and Maeve raised an appreciative eyebrow, offering her signature half-smile, half-smirk. Aoife grinned and took another bite of the steaming bread.
“And what do your parents say?” Maeve asked. Her features had softened, but her thoughts remained inscrutable. “I can’t imagine they find your refusals as entertaining as we do.”
Aoife fell silent. This was an unexpected detour in the script. They avoided direct references to Aoife’s family. It made breaking bread between them possible, since the money Maeve took from Aoife’s father by night was one of the greatest strains on her family’s resources, reputation, and love. The medicine that Tara often went without after her father’s reckless trips was reason enough for Aoife to despise Maeve, but she had learned to avoid dwelling on these realities. She needed Maeve enough to tolerate her father’s indiscretions, since rescuing him had now become a means of escaping her life. Discussing her family jeopardized everything.
“Well, no, they are not exactly pleased,” Aoife replied, her brashness fading.
Maeve wiped the corner of her mouth and cleared her throat. Something in the air had changed.
“You know, at some point, perhaps sooner than you might expect, they will stop coming. First, the young ones with stacks of gold and good teeth. They have the most fragile egos and will seek out friendlier pastures. Then eventually, even the wrinkly ones, with and without gold, will find calling on you not worth the effort,” Maeve paused. “The tales of your beauty will be replaced by tales of new faces with more welcoming smiles. The choices left to you will be slim.”
The bread balled up in Aoife’s throat. She could have had breakfast in her own home if she wanted this type of talk. She suddenly felt incensed that Madame Maeve dared to criticize her.
“My mother mires me in these traps daily,” Aoife dusted the crumbs from her hands. “She appreciates neither the risk to my reputation I take coming here nor the fact that I am the one who has run the farm for years now.”
“This is true. Your family would be in the poor house and your sister probably with God if not for your courage and your brains,” Maeve said. “But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about you and your future. You must understand that there are consequences for you, whether you say yes or no to the suitors who come your way.”
She raised an eyebrow, which seemed loaded with a warning left to Aoife to decipher. It had a familiar ring to it, like the warnings her mother made so often about the consequences of Aoife’s trips to Maeve’s house. 
“No respectable man will ever want to marry a girl who consorts with vile women, not when he thinks he can pay a few coins for her instead,” her mother would say.
Her mother lived in such a dream world she did not recognize that Aoife was trying to protect the family’s reputation and as much of their finances as was possible. Her mother worried more about Aoife’s reputation than the food on the table and Tara’s medicine. And because of that, a chasm had grown between them too deep to ever cross.
“My choices are just as narrow as every other girl’s. I know that,” Aoife said standing up abruptly. Her shawl dropped to the floor, its power to protect her no match for the storm brewing in the kitchen. “But I’d never compromise myself – or give men control over my body for money like you do. Of that you can be sure.”
“I wasn’t suggesting that,” Maeve replied, completely unruffled. “But it’s interesting that you did. And, Aoife, no matter what choice you make – your husband’s house, my house, or the nunnery – you are exchanging control over your body for money. Of that you can be sure.”
“I have given half my life already to protecting my family. Everyday, whether I’m seeing that fields are reseeded and sheep are sheared or carting my father home from here, I am picking up the pieces of my family’s fortune that my father has broken apart,” Aoife said with less command of her voice than she would have liked. “And now, after I’ve done everything I can to save this family, they – and you – expect me to sell myself off to the next buyer, supposedly to protect them? I can’t do it.”
Aoife knew there was no way for a woman to survive in the world without the protection of a man, yet the security they offered was never guaranteed. Her father’s choices still chipped away at the pieces of what was once her mother, Bronagh. Still bedecked in the jewels of their courtship, she found her only solace and comfort in embroidering ornate and regal designs and patterns by the night fire, awaiting his return from Maeve’s as if her delicate hands could somehow stitch back together the girl he had unraveled and the lives he had torn apart at the seams. Bronagh would not even consider selling her tapestries or needlework to help support her family, for that would have been beneath a woman of her status. Aoife, however, was not built to sit and sew while their fortune and Tara’s health deteriorated at the hands of her father. She needed to be on her feet fixing the problem, not decorating the home they were sure to lose if no one intervened.
Bronagh had traded away her soul for a broken promise of safety and love, and she expected Aoife to do the same. But now Maeve, too? Her advice was nothing less than a betrayal.
“For women not made to curtsey obediently through life, there is no easy choice.” A subtle urgency belied Maeve’s calm. “However, refusing every suitor is not a means of controlling your life, but rather giving over control to whatever or whomever is left over.”
“So I should marry the next man who comes along or end up in a whore house like you?” Aoife said, wincing at her angry words.
She was angry that Maeve had taken her mother’s side, but she did not relish wounding the one person who had always been a source of strength and understanding. Despite her words, Maeve’s features revealed not even the slightest hint of hurt.
“What I am saying is that you ought to turn away any option which would leave you without hope of peace and contentment,” Maeve replied. “But do not fool yourself into waiting for a perfect choice to present itself, because it never will.”
Aoife felt her stomach lurch. She needed to get away from this house, this woman, and the truth. Turning around, she marched outside where her father was standing. She walked to her horse and looked to see if he needed assistance. The legacy of too much mead weighed on his haggard figure as Seamus helped him to his horse.
“I’m so sorry to have inconvenienced you this morning, my sweet Aoife,” her father’s worn voice eschewed sadly.
“I know, father,” she replied. “You’re always sorry.”
He swayed precariously in either direction and then took Aoife’s hand suddenly.
“You’re too good to me, Aoife,” he whispered. “You should be reaching for the–”
“Stars,” she finished. “I know, Father.”
He closed his eyes and pressed her hand between his.
“My hand’s grown since we spent our nights stargazing.”
He nodded and Aoife felt a pang of nostalgia sweep over her. She missed the way he used to pick her up from her mother’s side by the fire and take her out of doors to look at the moon and stars. The memory of the polished scent of him from her childhood came back over the stench of mead that clung to him now. He had been a good father once upon a time. She looked up, searching for any fragment of the man who tossed her high in the air as a little girl. The sparkle of a tear danced at the corner of his eye. There he was. She kissed his forehead tenderly and he sighed with the soft smile reserved only for Aoife. His favorite.





About the Author:

Bonnie grew up a shy, quiet girl who the teachers always seated next to the noisy boys because they knew she was too afraid to talk to anyone. She always had a lot she wanted to say but was too afraid to share it for fear she might die of embarrassment if people actually noticed her. Somewhere along the line, perhaps after she surprised her eighth grade class by standing up to a teacher who was belittling a fellow student, she realized that she had a voice and she didn’t burst into flames when her classmates stared at her in surprise.

Not long after that, she began spinning tales, some of which got her into trouble with her mom. Whether persuading her father to take her to the candy store as a little girl or convincing her parents to let her move from Los Angeles to Manhattan to pursue a career at eighteen as a ballet dancer with only $200 in her pocket, Bonnie has proven that she knows how to tell a compelling story. 

Now she spends her time reading and making up stories for her two children at night. By day she is an English teacher who never puts the quiet girls next to the noisy boys and works hard to persuade her students that stories, whether they are the ones she teaches in class or the ones she tells to keep them from daydreaming, are better escapes than computers, phones, and social media. 


Twitter: @bonnieMHennessy

Instagram @bonnieMHennessy




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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hunger by Gemma Brocato


My Three Favorite Quotes 


Thank you very much for having me over today. I thought about what type of information I could share with your readers that would give them an insight into me. So, I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes and what they mean to me.  So let’s dive right in.

“Change happens. Capitalize on it or capsize under it.” Chuck Reeves

I first heard this from a business and sales consultant hired by the company I worked for. He uttered those fateful words just as he announced everyone was changing roles and job duties within the structure of the company. He was telling each of us we have a choice on whether we could take the changes and work them, or let them bury us. I’ve always been a Pollyanna and strive to see the bright side of every situation and find a way to make it work for me. It’s something I try to infuse into my characters. It was fun to do this with Lia and Ben from Hunger, but Ben went through the most change. Although, I think it would be great fun to try to write someone who refuses to change. 

“You are your only roadblock” Unknown

This is another quote from a former co-worker whose name escapes me right now (at least his words stuck with me, and the fact that he was really handsome). It occurred in a meeting meant to motivate employees. His words came at a particularly opportune time, because I’d just broken up with a boyfriend and was wallowing in self-pity (it wasn’t very pretty). I added the words to your happiness to the end of the quote to fit my situation. Once again, it was all about choice. I could choose to pull myself up by my pantyhose and get on with living my life, or forever mourn the demise of my relationship. I invested in those words until they became a mantra of sorts. Many years later, I’m better and happier because I made a conscious choice to not be a roadblock (I don’t look good in orange stripes anyway).

“This above all; to thine own self be true” - William Shakespeare 

When I hear these words, I am reminded that no one else can tell the stories my characters have entrusted to me. People can recommend changes to my characters’ traits, or suggest courses of action. But only I get to decide whether the guy gets the girl, or the hero has to start as a gruff so-and-so who is constantly angry with the heroine. No one can tell me to not put dirty words in my heroine’s mouth. No one gets to suggest my story might be better if I move the location to the beach or mountains. To me, Mr. Shakespeare is telling me to do it how I want. And I do like having that power. 

Hunger
Goddesses of Delphi
Book 4
Gemma Brocato

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: Jan 10, 2017

Number of pages: Approximately 220
Word Count: 66K

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde Media

Book Description:

Lia Thanos, Muse of Comedy, has joked her way through hundreds of lifetimes. But the past few months have been no laughing matter. She and her sisters have been locked in a battle to save Olympus from a hostile takeover. Now, the god challenging them has upped his game and personally selected the mortal man destined to help Lia win.

Botanist Ben Jordan has his hands full; running a farmer’s market, helping his hearing-impaired sister, and trying to figure out why crops around the world are failing. If the trend can’t be reversed, humans will starve and chaos will destroy the world. The only good news is the long-time famine he’s faced in his love life came to an end when he met Lia.

Despite the fact that Ben finds it hard to believe immortal gods exist, he accepts the challenge to help Lia, a woman he yearns to spend the rest of his life with. But Pierus and his daughter, Hunger, will stop at nothing to keep the two apart.




Excerpt:

“Will you please tell me what’s going on?” Ben’s earlier calm evaporated as Mnemosyne chanted in a language he didn’t understand.
“I will. I know we only just met, but Pierus has deemed you my partner in this challenge. It’s going to require you to suspend disbelief and trust me.”
“A lady just materialized out of thin air and I haven’t even once considered myself crazy.”
“There is that. Will you come with me?” Lia moved toward a door to the left of the stage.
With one last look at his statue-like friends, Ben followed.
Lia’s hips swung side-to-side as she preceded him down a hallway lit by florescent lights. Even as fucked up as reality seemed at the moment, he still noticed the seductive sway. Barely curbing the urge to increase his speed so he could grab her ass, he shook his head.
Maybe he was certifiable.
She opened a door on the right side of the corridor and slipped inside.
He followed, closed the door, and then leaned against it. “I’m waiting.”
“You already know my name is Thalia. What you don’t know is that I’m immortal. I’m the Muse of Comedy and Agriculture. And mortals—the entire human race—are under siege. You just don’t know it yet.”
“Bullshit!” he scoffed.
“Wish I could say it was. That it’s just a huge prank that is part of the comedy club’s regularly scheduled entertainment.” She took up a position behind her desk, resting her palms on the dark wood. “But this is deadly serious. My sisters are Muses as well and we are in a supernatural fight for the safety of all mortal kind.”
As she sat in the chair behind her, the look on her face was earnest, brows raised, eyes wide. She believed her own psychosis. He searched his memory for anything he might have read about how to deal with delusional behavior. He had nothing other than recollected warnings about not encouraging that kind of behavior, and maintaining a distance in case of possible violent outbursts.
He took a step toward the desk, and then another, shaking his head as he did. This was no way to establish distance between them. He took another step and closed the gap, until the only thing between them was a block of wood. Not a very good barrier, considering the way she’d leaped over the bar when Paul had been going schizoid.
“I suppose next you’ll tell me Zeus is real and is your dad.”
She nodded solemnly. “And Gaia is my mother. Although she isn’t a god. She’s a primordial deity.”
He didn’t bother to restrain his snort. He had to be dreaming.
“I’m happy to pinch you if you think it would help. But I get to pick where I pinch.” Lia dropped her gaze to his ass, then lifted her eyes and offered with a bright smile. She gestured to a straight-backed chair.
Ben sat down hard enough to bite his tongue. Thanks to the pain he experienced, he knew he wasn’t dreaming. “Okay, I’m willing to go on a little faith here. Maybe you should start at the top.”
“In my first or second incarnation, a deity named Pierus challenged Zeus, claiming his nine daughters were superior to the Muses. While my sisters and I inspire the world to good things, Pierus and his offspring represent all the bad juju out in the world. His bitches come with names like Greed, Strife, Doom, Disease…you get the idea. It appears my challenge might be with Hunger.” She stood to pace behind her desk. “Zeus got pissed at Pierus, and transformed his children into magpies for all eternity. But the evil bastard still manages to rise up every thousand years or so to challenge us.”
Thousands of years? “How old are you?”
“Twenty-four.” She moved around the desk and leaned her hip on the edge. “In this lifetime. If you counted up the entire number of years I’ve been alive, my age is closer to six-thousand and twenty-four. No wait. Is it eight-thousand? I’ve sucked at math in every lifetime.”
Okay, that little fact freaked him the fuck out. Unable to deal with it, he filed the detail for exploration later. “Tell me more about this challenge.”
“Okay, but you have to know, until recently, no mortals in this millennia ever knew of our existence. Only three other men even have a clue at this point. You’re kind of a rare breed.”
She propped a hand on her hip, pulling her T-shirt taut over her breasts. Ben dropped his gaze to the luscious display and swallowed hard to move past the need to cup his palms around them.
Lia cleared her throat. “Um, just for now, eyes up. But this attraction you feel might be part of the challenge.”
“Don’t you feel it?”
“The connection? Yeah. When you touched my wrist, I had a premonition that we are meant to be together.”
“You too? I saw us in a darkened room with…I don’t know, maybe crows flying around us.”
She tipped her head to the side and pressed a finger to her lips. “That’s new. I’ve never shared foresight with anyone before. One more nail in your coffin.” She winked at him, followed the motion with a chuckle.
Her quiet laugh swirled through him, twisting like an auger along his body. Everything from his waist down drew tight, went hard. However, his brain heard coffin. “I’m not going to die thanks to this challenge, am I?”
“You won’t. Not if we beat Pierus. Unfortunately, we have to play to win.” Lia hopped up on the desk, swinging her legs. She held up her hand, closed her eyes and lifted her face. Almost like she was speaking to someone in her mind.
Ben studied her casual posture, her easy confidence. For a six-or-eight-thousand and something year-old, she was dead sexy. Oh, Lord. What was he thinking? Or better, which head was he thinking with? Even if his attraction to her was a result of his unknowing involvement in this challenge, he didn’t mind giving in to it.



About the Author:

Gemma's favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a 'round tuit,' and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she'd write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to 'Dear Author' were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy.

Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue a career as a romance author.








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J





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Resignation Letter by T. A. Moorman


Resignation Letter by T. A. Moorman
"Sometimes non-fiction is even more tragic than make-believe."

Resignation Letter
T. A. Moorman
Published January 10, 2017 
Pronoun

Synopsis:

The first in a serial series of non-fiction short stories of a life that has seen too much heartbreak.

Loving someone isn't easy. Accepting the one you love may not love you back is even more difficult. Step into a world where more nightmares live than dreams.

Sometimes, real life has even more drama than the most popular of Soap Operas.



AMAZON     iBOOKS     BN     KOBO     GOOGLE PLAY




About The Author:

When you become a Mom, you begin to put yourself last, and your combat boots begin to collect dust. Going to your child's PTA meetings in full Gothic, especially industrial, regalia is pretty much frowned upon. Especially by your own children, and your teens would die of a heart attack. But, one should not have to completely stop being themselves, uniqueness is greatness. So all of that darkness is put into words in her books, her first title Witch Wars, and designs in her jewelry sold in her Etsy shop, GothicMomsDarkCharms.

A mother of five beautiful children, but by far more than just that. T. A. Moorman is an artist, a violinist, a seamstress, a crafter, a writer, a blogger, a reviewer, a dark confidant and a darkly dangerous, fiercely protective friend.


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Interview - Swords and Stilettos by Kristin D. Van Risseghem



Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

Writing isn’t my day job so I have to balance my life and stay focused. Between working, writing, marketing, I also run giveaways (because who doesn’t LOVE free books, swag, prizes and stuff?!?) and all of that takes time to set up and coordinate.
When I was little reading was like second nature. I read a lot, but as I grew up and dance, band, choir took priority so I didn’t read as much in high school or college. It wasn’t until Eclipse came out and everyone was talking about Twilight, that a couple friends of mine started a book club and asked me to join. I’ve been reading ever since. Broke 2 Kindles along the way, read main stream books and Indie authors. But I thoroughly enjoy young adult fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian, paranormal, mysteries, thrillers, romance, contemporary … basically I’ll give anything a whirl.

What inspired you to write this book?

I dreamed the opening warehouse scene for three consecutive nights. I knew the story had to be written.


Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

My favorite character to write is Sidelle, the Summer Fairy. Why? She’s the least like me and probably how I would want to be. She’s fun, funny, snarky, witty; almost the complete opposite of me.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

My favorite scene is when Zoe, the main character, goes on her first date with Shay (the Nephilim). He takes her to an open field, have a dessert picnic, then go flying. Vague, I know. LOL

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

I eat chocolate a lot. Cakes, cupcakes, candy, shakes, ice cream … you name it, if it comes in chocolate, I’ll eat it. Or at least try it,

What was the last amazing book you read?

I read a lot of Indie published books, maybe because I like to support them. Or maybe it’s because I’m an Indie author. But the last five-star book was called Cinnamon & Salt by C.J. Ethington.

What can readers expect next from you?

I’ll be releasing a novella entitled Arrows & Angels in March 2017. It’s Kieran’s biography on how he became the Guardian Angel he is today.

Where can readers find you on the web?

I’m all over the web mostly because I do have a unique last name. But all my deets are here:


Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

This is from about the middle of the book (Chapter 14):
Dad glanced at me with hopeful eyes. I couldn’t deny him this.
“I think you should,” I told him.
Now that he had my permission, Dad walked around the Bel Air, not touching it, but examining it under a microscope. Looking up from the wheels he asked, “What made you pick this model and not some other one?”
“It was between her and a 1962 Lincoln Continental Convertible with suicide doors.” He shrugged. “I got a better deal on this.”
“A ‘62 Lincoln. That’s a pretty sweet car, but I’d have to agree. This is better.” He shook Shay’s hand again. “Good choice. Very good choice.” They stood side by side, staring at the car, and I had to work on not laughing.
“I’ll leave you two alone now,” I said with a grin, then turned back to the house. Just before I reached the front door, I glanced back, still amazed at my dad’s behavior. If I hadn’t turned around, I would have missed it. Dad had leaned over to whisper something in Shay’s ear. Shay nodded and said something back. I was dying to know what they were talking about. Then again, they were probably just talking cars.
By the time I made it to the front door, Shay had jogged up to stand beside me. “Your dad is way cool!”
“You’re saying that to butter him up.”
“No, he is. Kieran says so, too.”
“What did he whisper to you at the end?” I asked.
He smiled gently and brushed his fingers over my cheek, tucking back my hair. “He told me to treat you better than I care for the car. He said a car can be replaced, and you can’t be.”
Now that was nice to hear. “And you said?”

“I promised I’d protect you with my life.”

Swords and Stilettos
Enlighten Series
Book One
Kristin D. Van Risseghem

Genre: YA urban fantasy

Publisher: Kasian Publishing LLC

Date of Publication: December 7, 2016

ISBN: 9781943207367
ASIN: B01N8Y9LUS

Number of pages: 290
Word Count: 73k

Cover Artist: Angela Fristoe of Covered Creatively

Book Description:

Zoe Jabril needs to devise a kick-ass plan to save the world ASAP. Otherwise, Armageddon starts the day she turns eighteen—and if that happens, everything is going to hell. Literally.

She could be any other 17-year-old attending parties and checking out cute guys—except she discovers her best friend is a Guardian Angel and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, both sent to protect her from the demons who want her dead.

Now Zoe has to deal with growing feelings toward the Nephilim, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. And she’s under constant attack from Demons, trying to stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite Angels, Nephilim, Fairies and Werewolves to battle evil. Then she has to control newly found talents if she’s to prevent the devil from escaping Hell.

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Excerpt:
I stumbled into Kieran as a tremor moved through me. Hairs on my arms stood at attention like tiny lightning rods. “Do you feel that?” my voice sounded breathless, even to me.
He glanced sideways, “Feel what?”
“Look.” I held out my arms to him. “I feel strange. Like someone . . .” I rubbed my slightly numb hands over my forearms and sucked in a breath, as he hooked his head around. I fell into step beside him. “Never mind. It’s probably nothing.”
This happens when lightning’s about to strike, right?

The heat from the sun radiated off the few cars parked along Boutique Row, their owners engaged in mid-afternoon shopping. Store fronts displayed the new and trendy “must-have” dresses, shorts, and shoes for the spring season. I paused to see my reflection. Not a hair was out of place. Thank God.

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling and Award-Winning, Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River with her parents and older sister. Currently, Kristin lives in Minnesota with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.

In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women's Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!

Kristin’s books are published by Kasian Publishing LLC.





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