Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne Blog Tour

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How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

Author Bio

Kerrigan Byrne

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days Blog Tour Q&A

 

Q: What inspired you to write How to Love a Duke in Ten Days?

A:  I’ve always been one of those women who have enjoyed fierce female friendships. I think that soulmates, even for heterosexual women, can be just as necessary with other women as with men, and a real hero must not just love and respect you, but also your tribe. I wanted to write a series where historical heroines could truly have it all, education, dreams, businesses, wealth, genius, revenge, hot sex, AND true love. Where the sacrifices were made on their behalf instead by them, and where their heroes learn to lift them up in all ways, heal their pains, calm their fears, become their best friends, and protect them with what I hope is a great balance between alpha hotness and progressive sensitivity. 

 

 

Q: Is there one thing you would like readers to take away from this story?

A: That’s tough because I packed a lot in there! I would say the one thing from this book, specifically, is that happiness is attainable against the odds, even when overcoming the worst that people can do to one another. Even though I’m a grown up and a cynic, I still like to write books that remind me that true love conquers all, because that love can come from so many people. 

 

 

Q: Can you describe your typical day writing this book?

A: This book was especially difficult for me to write, so I spent a great deal of time in my bathrobe. I would get up, my fantastic husband would make me coffee, I’d call my critique partner and we’d do a bit of brainstorming, and I’d write and rewrite for hours, stress, cry, throw things, walk the dog, eat, snack, eat some more, facebook way too much, and then finish under word count, binge a tv show or a book until I stared at the ceiling into the wee hours. Oh, and there was drinking in there at regular intervals.

Glamorous, I know!

 

 

Q: Describe the hero and heroine of How to Love a Duke in Ten Days in three words each.

A: The Duke of Redmayne: Wary. Wounded. Wicked.

Lady Alexandra Lane: Brave. Brilliant. Beautiful.

 

 

Q: What is the one thing that the heroine, Alexandra, can’t live without?

A: She cannot live without her two dearest friends in the entire world, Miss Cecelia Teague, and Lady Francesca Cavendish. They literally buried a body for her, and would defend her to the death.

 

 

Q: What was your hardest scene to write in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days? Your favorite?

A: As with many (most) of my novels, the prologues are the hardest to write, and read, I suspect. Usually I take the characters to the very edge of their breaking point, often times pushing them over so they have what seems like insurmountable conflicts to overcome both internally and externally. So, for this book, Alexandra’s assault was the most difficult thing to get through, and boy did I enjoy being able to help Piers put her back together, because he was just the perfect hero for her. Tender, empathetic, a good sense of humor, and a large dose of protective alphaness.

 

 

Q: Why do you write historical romance? 

A:  I’ve always romanticized the past. I can’t help it. I love the pace and the aesthetic, the gowns and the suits and the manners and the manors. I love to do historical research and it’s so fun to see how much we are influenced by the past and how, even though so much has changed through the centuries, people really haven’t. Also, it’s fun to play with language, mystery, and sex in a time when a scandal was still possible. *wink.

 

 

Q: Is there another particular author that inspires you or that you enjoy reading? 

A: There is a LIST! I would say in historical romance, though, it’s always always Lisa Kleypas. She has a grasp on the characterization of historical folks that I can never hope to attain. I’m just in awe of her every word.

 

 

Q: Where do you go or what resources do you use to make sure your novels are historically correct? 

A: I love to find books about a time period at B&N or my local bookshops. I go to Harper’s Bazaar for fashion, and a slew of Victorian references for the time period. I do read blogs and sometimes consult with historians and experts.

 

 

Q: Did you learn anything surprising while researching for this novel?

A: Many things! I learned how truly difficult it was to attain an education as a woman as little as a hundred years ago. It’s really incredible how far we’ve come in a century. 

 

 

Q: What do you do when faced with writer’s block, if you ever are? 

A: Oh man. I often am. I usually try to shake it loose with a brainstorming conversation with a few friends I have who always seem to be able to unstick me. I rely heavily on the creativity of others as well as my own.

 

 

Q: How did you feel the first time you realized one of your books was a big success? 

A: I didn’t believe it. It seems surreal every time I truly realize that a story I wrote entertained another human. Let alone more than one. I’m like… they paid to read it? WHAT? 

 

 

Q: What’s next for the Devil You Know series? 

A: I’m especially excited for the next book ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED because it’s about Alexandra’s best friend the curvy vicar’s daughter, Cecelia Teague. She inherits London’s most infamous and successful brothel, and one imposing, surly Scottish enemy along with it. She and Lord Ramsay, the Lord Chief Justice with an axe to grind against her establishment, can’t be in a room together without the sparks flying. I can’t think about this book without smiling.

 

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: I hope you enjoy this trio of roguish redheads as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Pick up your copy here!

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Blogging, Book Love, Preorders, writers life, writing

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

Hi everyone,

I’m part of Kell’s Skeleton Crew 🙂 Kelly’s YA fantasy inspired by ancient Sumer will be released on October 29th by Delacorte. Read more about the inspiration for her debut in an interview with The Book Bratz.

I will post my review in the coming weeks but let me tell you, Gravemaidens is incredible. I rooted for the MC, Kammani. She’s smart and an excellent healer’s apprentice.

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Goodreads Summary

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Preorder Info

I am so excited to share the link to all the amazing preorder goodies for Kelly’s book!

For all the details, check out her website. She has awesome treats for International readers, those who request Gravemaidens at their library, and an epic gift for US preorders. Hope you are having an amazing summer ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

 

Artist Date, Blogging, The Creativity Diary, writers life, writing

The Creativity Diary M.1

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Irishtown Nature Park

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful month so far!

I didn’t complete all my goals, but that’s okay :). Before I share my diary log, let’s take a look at how creativity and health are connected.

Creativity and Health 

I wasn’t surprised to come across an article about how a creative life helps our health. People feel happier when they create, are resilient, and are less anxious.  It’s an exciting find for sure.

On a personal level, writing has filled my life with purpose and joy. I love learning about the craft and studying stories. My world is fuller because of the friends I have made in the #writingcommunity.

How has your artistic pursuit helped you?

Creativity Log 

Friday – I free wrote for around an hour and a half. Worked on worldbuilding questions and rethought some of my character arcs. Honestly, the best thing I did was unplug from the wifi :). I felt hopeful after my session.

Saturday – Reread the first 50 pages of my Celtic fantasy and added revision notes.

Sunday – Played around with a watercolor set and watched a few YouTube videos. I haven’t completed anything yet, but it’s a lot of fun 🙂

Monday – I received notes on my Bluebeard retelling and edited the first 50 pages 🙂

Tuesday – Revised five chapters of my Celtic fantasy. Made an Excel spreadsheet to track every scene in the novel.

Wednesday – I went to Irishtown Nature Park for the first time with my friend in the morning. Snapped some nature shots. Photography is a passion of mine, and I love nature. It’s a nice change from sitting at a desk.

Thursday – Wrote a poem and took some photos of the ocean.

These are just some examples. Every day won’t look like this. I might have just snapped a few photos or scribbled down a sentence on a WIP. I may have thought a lot about writing. It all adds up 🙂

Next Few Weeks

I have family visiting next week, so I’m going to try and wake up earlier. Here are my goals:

  • Finish revising the next five chapters of my Celtic fantasy.
  • Revise the next five chapters of Bluebeard. ( Hoping to send these two projects to betas and CP’s soon 🙂 )
  • Attempt a flower watercolor piece

How about you? I would love to hear about your creative pursuits from this past month:) ! What do you hope to accomplish next month?

Until next time,

Loie xo

Artist Date, Blogging, The Creativity Diary, writers life, writing

The Creativity Diary Blog Series

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Photo by Amber Lamoreaux on Pexels.com

Hey everyone,

How are you doing? Happy Friday! The weekend is near 🙂

Today I’m celebrating my 28th birthday. As I was driving to a local cafe, I started thinking about new goals for this year. I want to focus more on writing and other creative pursuits (crocheting, painting, candle-making, pottery, crafting, etc.).

That’s why I’ve decided to start a brand new blog series called The Creativity Diary 🙂

It’s so easy to say we don’t have any time to pursue our creative dreams. I know I did that a couple of years ago and still do depending on the week. I feel frustrated when a week or two goes by, and I haven’t done anything to further my creative journey.

I want to encourage you to chase after your dreams. You can start by making a small step forward.

Once a month, I’ll write up a post about how I did. I may share some interesting finds on creativity and ways to stay focused.

It will look different. Today I unplugged from the internet. I wrote in my journal and brainstormed ways to strengthen the plot in my Celtic fantasy. Maybe tomorrow I will work on my rag rug while watching an episode of a kdrama 😀

The goal is to pursue art every day, even if it’s something small 🙂 Victoria Schwab tweeted about how she doesn’t write every day but keeps the creative door open. I love that.

Goals for the Upcoming Week

  • I want to finish revising the first 15 chapters of my Celtic fantasy.
  • Play around with my watercolors and paint.
  • Research a local pottery class.

What about you :)? What are your creative goals for the week? Is there something you’ve been putting off? I’d love to hear below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

Blogging, Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Smoke and Key Blog Tour

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Smoke and Key

by Kelsey Sutton

Release Date: April 2019

Entangled Teen

Summary:

A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.

My Review

I really enjoyed Smoke and Key. I found it quite unique and different from the beginning of the novel. I love novels where you feel immersed in the new story world. With Smoke and Key, from the first page, I felt like I was there. There is a lot of atmosphere in this book and I think Kelsey Sutton is a masterful storyteller.

The magical world of the Under is super cool. If you’re looking for something romantic, mysterious, and creepy, definitely consider picking this book up. I think this novel shines in its uniqueness 🙂  4 stars.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase links can be found HERE!

kelsey sutton

About the Author

Kelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore. You can visit her online at www.kelseysuttonbooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

 

GIVEAWAY:

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Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

Book Covers I Love

Hi everyone,

I’m part of Kelly Coon’s street team, the Skeleton Crew. We are celebrating her book cover that went live last week with GetUnderlined. Kelly is a wonderful YA fantasy author and I cannot wait to read Gravemaidens!

Today, I’m switching things up on the blog. I’m going to share some of my favorite book covers. When I was fourteen, I perused the teen section at my local bookstore. I stopped when I saw Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty book cover. The young woman on the cover wore a beautiful corset and it just caught my eye. I bought it and quickly flew through the book. Cover art gives the reader a glimpse of what’s beyond the front page.

Let’s dive in!

1. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

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This is one of my all-time favorite book series. Tamora Pierce is such an inspiration. I first discovered this series when I was thirteen years old. I couldn’t put the first book down, and flew through the last three. I love everything about this cover: from the colors, to Alanna, and her super epic sword.

2. Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

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This cover is so cute! I love the white details, they really stand out against the pink. The two characters on the front cover convey a lot with their body language. Super awesome cover! Also, the title is a lot of fun:)

3. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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This was the first book I read by Naomi Novik. The cover stood out to me in the fantasy section at my local bookstore, so I ended up purchasing it. I love the font, color scheme, and the main image. This is a fantastical cover that catches your eye for sure.

4. Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

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This is a really intriguing cover. I really love the pink and blue color scheme against the ebony background. It feels slightly ominous, the way the characters are cut off. Super eye catching! Also, the tagline “Payback’s a glitch” is really clever 🙂

5. Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

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I loooove this cover. It is so beautiful. The blue color in the bottle, the details of the flowers, and the moths stand out to me. The sentence at the top made me shiver. This cover, while stunning, gives off a slightly ominous feeling. Eep!!! Can’t wait to have this book beauty in my hands!

Happy Wednesday, friends!! What’s your favorite book cover? I’d love to hear below!

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

Author Interview with Candace Robinson

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Hi everyone, I’d like to welcome author, Candace Robinson, to the blog today. Candace has written a number of dark, romantic, and quirky novels: QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT, THE BRIDE OF GLASS, HEARTS ARE LIKE BALLOONS, and co-authored BACON PIE with Gerardo Delgadillo.

 

Her upcoming release, CLOUDED ENVY, was one of my favorite reads of 2018. It releases on February 19th, 2019 but I was lucky enough to receive an ARC last year. I fled through this book in one day. It’s magical and romantic and at times scary.

Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

 

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

 

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.”

 

Candace runs an awesome book blog, at literarydust.wordpress.com

 

Loie: Welcome Candace 🙂 Can you please share with readers where your love of reading and writing began?

 

Candace: With reading, I first fell in love with R.L. Stine books way back, such as Goosebumps and Fear Street. Then I transitioned to Lois Duncan books when I hit junior high. Then my reading hobby kind of died for a bit. However, I did read 1984 back in high school and seriously fell in love with it. That book made me really think about the world. Anyway, so years pass, right? And I saw the second Hunger Games movie which ended on a cliffhanger. I was like, now what? So I picked up that trilogy and could not put it down, and after that, I needed more and more books. Reading is now my true escape!

 

For writing, I knew I wanted to be an author senior year of high school, but life kept getting in the way. But then a few years back I was like I need to just do it, otherwise it will never happen! So I started on Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault back in October 2016!

 

Loie: Eep! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Great books as well! Yes, life can get in the way. I’m so glad you decided to do it. I was kind of the same. Stopped writing during university and then sat down one day and decided I had to start somewhere 🙂

I loved CLOUDED ENVY. Could you please talk about the initial spark of inspiration behind this story?

 

Candace: Funny story. So I have the companion book, Veiled by Desire, coming out in late fall of this year. This was supposed to be the first book I ever wrote, but I couldn’t get the story right. Humans are in this world, so I thought, how did they get there? And then that brought me to thinking about how humans came to Laith and I had a whole story kind of come up from that! Enter Clouded by Envy!

 

Loie: That’s amazing 🙂 ! Awww, I cannot wait to read the companion book. What a journey :).

When you are writing, does it take you a couple of drafts to find the voices of characters or do some arrive fully formed in your mind?

 

Candace: For me, character voices is the easiest part since most of my stuff is character driven. Sometimes, I don’t know my characters voices before hand until I start writing the first chapter. Usually, it flows from there!

 

Loie: Awesome 🙂 Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What do you have with you when you draft?

 

Candace: I generally write when my daughter is at school. I have a spiral notebook I keep beside me where I write down main scenes of the story, but I don’t have a real outline! Is that bad? Lol!

 

Loie: Not at all 🙂 I write down main scenes as well and usually go from there.

Do you have any stories on the backburner that you can’t wait to write? 🙂 How do you choose what to work on next?

 

Candace: I do. I have a companion book for an unpublished book that I really, really, really want to work on. But I’m trying to figure out if anything is going to happen with the first book or not.

 

Loie: Cool 🙂 Good luck. What’s your most anticipated read (s) of 2019 🙂 ?

 

Candace: Oh man, so many! I’d have to say Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. The Shatter Me series is my favorite ever. Since I already started King of Scars that one doesn’t count, but I’ve been waiting an eternity for this book!!

 

Loie: All awesome books 🙂 Thanks heaps for stopping by ❤ Can’t wait for Clouded Envy to arrive 🙂

You can find out more about Candace on her website or on Twitter and Instagram.