What inspired you to write this book? I love fantasy, all subgenres, and there’s common mythical beings who get written about (vampires, shifters, fae, witches to name a few), and I was trying to think of a “darker” fantasy character to write about, and a banshee popped into my mind. Researching it more, I found out banshees stem from Irish/Celtic folklore, and it was a slippery slope from there, leading me to all the other characters like druids, pucas, and other Celtilc fae.
What can we expect from you in the future? **Chants** More books! More books! More books! I wish I could write as fast as my novel ideas sprout in my brain. I plan for Banshee’s Curse to be a 4 or 5 book series. Plus, I have the first book of my YA mermaid series written, and I hope for that to be a 4 book series. That one is really fun because I essentially thought, “I have a lot of knowledge about the ocean, so how can I take real ocean phenomena and create a mer-community?” I still take creative license plenty of times, but most of what I write is grounded in something factual, so in a way it hinges on sci-fi too. Also, I already have a witch-familiar trilogy loosely plotted, dragon shifters, and incubi/demon ideas. Different representations I will have across these will be more LGBTQ+ characters, cancer survivor, and epilepsy to name a few. Also, in my mermaid series I have a main character who lost an arm. I am so excited with how all these diversities wind into these fantasy worlds I’m creating. Again, I wish I could write faster. I want to get books out to readers as soon as I can, which is one of the many reasons I decided to go an indie instead of the traditional publishing route.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? I do have a prequel novella out called Losing The Light. It’s short and sweet, about five chapters, and written from the perspective of the main love interest about six years prior to when the main series takes place. What happens in this novella is so pivotal to why certain characters are certain ways in the main series, I couldn’t help but dive into the day that changed everything a little bit more.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Whisper of Darkness? Cara is the main character who has spent her life thinking she is cursed due to a ringing that occurs in her head before someone around her dies. Surprise! She’s not cursed, she’s a banshee! Other fun facts, she loves animals and makes inappropriate sounds when eating something delicious or has coffee. Also, she struggles with her mental health, which is to be expected when you have lived life with death haunt you.
Shay is a druid, and kind of a prick. He’s also the reason Cara ends up being taken away to another realm.
Killian can make a person’s worst nightmares come to life, but broody and hot despite the scars maring the left side of his body. Oh, and he loves crumble. Shay and Killian have a complex history, but I can’t tell you too much more because that’s part of the story!
I’d say these are the main three, at least for Book 1.
Where did you come up with the names in the story? Googling Irish/Celtic names until I found ones I liked. Sorry, it’s not more interesting than that.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? I really love complex characters. Creating their backstories was so wonderful, and really letting my mind fly when it comes to magic.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel? Darkness is a theme for both Cara and Killian, something they bond over, both with their powers and the darkness they fight mentally. Whisper of Darkness makes me think of those evil voices in the back of your mind. You know the ones. The ones who say you’re fat, not worthy of love, that you’ll never accomplish anything, and whatever other terrible things that make you question yourself and your life. Cara is haunted in many ways, and I feel it’s a darkness always whispering in her mind, in her soul, dragging her to a darker place.
Who designed your book covers? A very talented friend and coworker designed Book 1, and I am using Miblart to design the others. My talented friend has 3 kids and is moving soon, so I didn’t want to make him commit to a 5 book series and figured it was better to find someone to finish out the series covers sooner rather than later.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Don’t ask a writer that! We are our own worst critics! We will never be fully happy with our books, and we will always question things, even down to the “should I use the word ‘excited’ or ‘ecstatic’. So, needless to say I’ll say ‘no’ because if I think about it, I’ll question myself too much and start to stress out. See! Those little evil voices! Totally a thing. (Note: The end of this answer will only work if coupled with the ‘Title of your first novel’ question).
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? So much! I learned so much about Irish and Celtic folklore. It was all wildly fascinating and so much fun to find ways to incorporate it. However, what I was most excited to learn about was more about autism for my character, Cadan. I did tons and tons of research as it is not a personal identity. However, I ended up hiring this absolutely amazing sensitivity reader who is not only autistic, but has a BA in creative writing and is currently working on a Master’s in Critical Theory with an emphasis on environmentalism, postcolonialism, race, gender and disability. They, also, identify as Black, an immigrant, trans, and indigenous. So, their scope both personally and academically/professionally was astounding. This made it so not only did they provide me feedback on Cadan, but often would explain more on the “why” behind including a specific characteristic. I wasn’t only being told what I did well or needed to work on, but learned why that is too. I am so immensely appreciative of them, and finding them was a complete blessing.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? Lily Collins would be perfect.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers? Find me on social media and say ‘Hi’! I love creating worlds, my mind creates worlds even if I don’t write them down, but it’s the readers that keep the steam in my engine. Hearing what you love, fan theories, seeing fan art, or just connecting about our mutual love for fantasy is such a huge driving force and will make my entire day.
What is your favorite part of this book and why? I love the Korrigan! A small water sprite who can see the past, present, and future. I make her a little devilish and wildly beautiful. It’s one chapter encompassing one of the trials in the competition that Cara is a part of, but I love it so much!
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? 100% from my imagination. Well, I guess certain qualities of my main character was inspired by my alpha reader, like her love for animals.
Have you written any other books that are not published? My YA mermaid series, but I plan to publish Book 1 soon!
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be? “First Rain.” The smell of a first rain is so distinct, and that would 100% be my book. You’ll completely understand why if you decide to read it.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why? Any fantasy writer! I want all the author friends! Annette Marie, Sara J Maas, Laura Thalassa, Audrey Grey, Annette Marie, Leia Stone, Jaymin Eve, Jennifer L Armentrout, Holly Black, this list could go on forever! They are so amazing with their world building, character development, story flow. They are all icons in their own way, and it would be hard not to fangirl around any of them. I would do my best to play it cool though because I want more author friends. I adore the best friendship between Leia Stone and Jaymin Eve, and totally hope to find my author BFF one day.
Whisper of Darkness
Banshee’s Curse Book 1
by Kristen Braddock
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Cara Winters is cursed. Loss has haunted her through life. A fun night out with her sister ends in disaster when she learns she’s a banshee. With a chance encounter and life debt owed, she’s coerced into a deadly competition in the far realm. To survive she finds an unlikely ally in Killian, a mysterious and prickly dark fae. The only way to win and get back to Earth is using her powers, but doing so may unravel her to the point of no return. Perfect for fans of fated mates, enemies to lovers, complicated & diverse characters, slow burn romance, and celtic folklore. Suggested for ages 15+ due to some language and violence.
**From June 7-21, 100% of my profits will go to Foundations of Divergent Minds (instead of the usual 10%), a nonprofit founded and run by autistic people for disability justice!**
Characters and their worlds have inundated Kristen’s mind since she was a kid. Traveling to far off places and having words on a piece of paper transform into entire scenes pulling at her emotions is an obsession.
Her goal as a fantasy author isn’t solely to relish in her imagination, but to bring representation to this genre. She wants stories with characters who are diverse inside and out. Their differences are not the focal point of the story, but rather a natural part of their being. Due to this, you will often not only find characters of varying ethnicities, but of the LGBTQ+ community, who battle diseases, are neuroatypical, and plenty of other areas that make us all so different from each other. These are not their defining qualities. It’s simply a part of who they are. To further support these communities, Kristen donates 10% of her profits to various organizations.
When Kristen isn’t cooped up on her computer or curled up with a book, she is often outdoors– hiking, snorkeling, diving, camping, etc.
Currently, she resides in California with her husband and fur babies (two dogs and a cat).
In the Outer Rim, a lawless region of space filled with violence, a young girl vows vengeance against the marauding pirate bands who brutally murdered her family.
After enlisting with the zealous matriarchal Ashna Maidens who attempt to police the Outer Rim, Serah’Elax quickly becomes a powerful weapon.
Meanwhile, a ruthless pirate band has taken over a cruise ship deep within Alliance space. They run into unexpected trouble when they encounter a few members of the highly trained force of military specialists known as the Founder’s Elites, who happened to be vacationing on the vessel. Disturbed by the boldness of the pirates, the Alliance tasks the rest of the Founder’s Elites with dealing a powerful blow to the marauders, who normally operate in the Outer Rim, once and for all. However, they quickly discover that things in the Outer Rim are not as expected.
The young warrior and Founder’s Elites must come together to face an extradimensional threat left over from the Rift War that seeks to turn the last bastion of safety in the Outer Rim into something that could threaten the entire Twin Galaxies. Will the new allies have the cunning necessary to defeat this insidious threat or will it tear the Ashna Maidens apart from the inside?
The Huzien Empire has existed for 80 millennia and a powerful invisible force known as the enesmic permeates every aspect of the Twin Galaxy.
Neven is an engineer working for the pinnacle of scientific achievement known as the MinSci on the Huzien homeworld of Thae. His genius draws the attention of one of the immortal Founders and he finds himself drafted into the military as part of an elite group of special forces known as the Founder’s Elites. Not given much time to adjust, his team is called to investigate stories of otherworldly creatures attacking fringe colony worlds.
Soahc is the most powerful wielder of the enesmic in the Twin Galaxy, he’s also incredibly cocky. That is until he senses a powerful shifting in the enesmic that he can’t explain. Terrified that something is horribly wrong, Soahc leaves his comfortable planet and hitches a ride with Neven and the Founder’s Elites as they investigate the carnage on the fringes of the empire.
Neven, Soahc and their allies discover something ancient from another plane of existence. Something that exposes the fragility of their galactic empire as they fight to survive annihilation from enesmic beings.
*Reader Reviews for Foundra*
“Well written, ambitious sci-fi epic.”
“An entire space saga you won’t want to put down.”
“Amazing characters, exciting new world, incredible writing.”
“If you love reading about galactic empires, get your hands on this book.”
Emmanuel M. Arriaga grew up in the inner city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From a young age, he was obsessed with fantasy and science fiction. Breaking the shackles of a low-income life, Emmanuel developed an interest in science, technology and engineering. He went on to graduate from Pennsylvania State University with a Master’s in Information Science.
For almost a decade, Emmanuel has sought to share his vivid imagination with the world, learning the art of story crafting and eventually becoming an award-winning author. With a love for travel, gadgets and volunteering, Emmanuel is enjoying life and helping others.
I’ve been experimenting with a new concept, utilizing the new market of NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, as a means for connecting with new and existing readers. It’s been an interesting journey and I’ve had to dust off my experience with Photoshop’s more advanced capabilities to produce something worthy of the not insignificant cost of enshrining it permanently on the blockchain.
For background, NFTs are units of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain where each NFT represents a unique digital item and thus are not interchangeable. They are currently represented as digital items such as art, audio, videos, items in video games and other creative works (from Wikipedia). Once put on an online auction platform such as Rarible.com or Opeansea.io they can be purchased by interested parties with cryptocurrencies, typically Ethereum, as collectibles.
So, the question is, why should this matter to authors and readers? I’ve internalized this question myself while trying to determine what would be interesting as a reader to own from an author I liked. What I’ve come up with is something I’ve branded as Art Stories. These are short stories that I’ve written, woven into unique space art. It’s the marrying of art and writing in a way that I think truly expresses both forms of creativity. My first creation was called Ascension, based off of the short story by the same that I wrote back in 2014.
It was an interesting experience, and I’ve since started playing around with animations to make them more exciting. The possibilities are endless, and I think as the medium evolves, we’ll see more authors stepping out into the NFT world and more demand from readers. I’ve also started minting NFT collectibles from official character art for my upcoming sci-fi novel Pride of Ashna, due out May 4th. The first is such collectibles is out now.
“Life after death is no longer a ‘possibility’ for me, it’s a reality. It was proven within seventy-two hours of Mum passing away.”
Is there such a thing as life after death?
If you’ve been looking for confirmation that the soul of a deceased person lives on, this memoir will provide all the proof you need. Experience a life changing story—a loss of a mother who was overseas at the time of her passing, and how she found her way back to her daughter within seventy-two hours of her being pronounced dead, then made her visit from the spirit realm unquestionably known to her daughter here on Earth, in time and space.
Kim was born in 1983 and from London in the UK. She’s a mother to a beautiful little boy, an award winning romantic suspense and thriller author, and the #1 best-selling author of : My Mum and Me, Messages From Beyond The Grave (a memoir),365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers, also The Art of Self-Editing for Writers. She’s also a best-selling author of an Unsolved Mysteries Series. Kim started her journey as a traditionally published author and later dived into self-publishing also. She also contributes as a writer to Aspiring Authors LLC Magazine.
As a reader she’s head over heels in love with romance, historical fiction, crime fiction, African- American, suspense and thriller genre books. As a writer, Kim enjoys creating steamy stories with a diverse and multi-cultural line up, within the romance, romantic suspense and general thriller and crime genres. Her other passions include learning about astrology, numerology, esoteric subjects, all things ‘witchy and strange’ and spirituality. When she’s not reading, or writing stories of her own fashion, make-up artistry, spending time at her sewing machine dressmaking, watching make –up and beauty tutorials on YouTube, and being a mum are things she’s probably doing.
RANDOM ACTS OF CRAZY (Random Series, Book 1) by Julia Kent is FREE until June 15th!
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
FREE EBOOK May 23-June 15, 2021
I never intended to pick up a naked hitchhiker wearing nothing but a guitar. A guitar. Really. I don’t collect guys like that (don’t ask what kind of guys I do collect), but when you spot a blonde, tanned, sculpted man with a gorgeous smile and his thumb poking up and practically begging you to stop – you stop.
And I definitely never thought I’d be staring into the bright blue eyes of Trevor Connor, the lead singer for Random Acts of Crazy, an indie rock star I followed like the slobbering fileshare fangirl I am. How he came to be nude and lost six hundred miles from home is quite the tale, but how we fell in love is even more unreal.
Because someone like Trevor Connor, headed to Harvard Law next year, isn’t supposed to want someone like me, a rural Ohio chick majoring in Boredom at Convenience Store University who is all curves and frizzy blonde hair and manners so unpolished they have sharp edges that make you bleed.
But he did.
When his best friend, Joe Ross, the bass player for Random Acts of Crazy and a man who makes Calvin Klein models look like Shrek, drove eleven hours through the night to rescue him, though, it got real complicated. It’s one thing to like two different guys and be torn.
What do you do, though, when maybe – just maybe – you don’t have to choose?
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down
Excerpts and Teasers
When you’re coming down off ’shrooms and NyQuil and find yourself naked in a car older than you, 600 miles from home, a kiss is about the only thing that can make it all better. — Trevor
The fact that he was fully naked and I was not was a kind of tragedy. We needed to fix that. — Darla
I luxuriated in the pure joy of this, his mouth warm and wet as his tongue explored me, my body swelling under his fingers, strumming me like I was a replacement for his destroyed guitar.
Play me, man. Play me all night long. — Darla
I had two goals:
Find a way back into her good graces so she’d let me make love to her.
Get some pants, shoes and a shirt.
In that order. — Trevor
All I had were my wits and charm, and right now, the wits were pretty well blown.
Charm, don’t fail me now.– Trevor
The ride from Darla’s house to the hotel room wasn’t a painful, silent trip, which is what I’d expected from my long-time friend. Shades of gray weren’t exactly his forte, and right now Darla, Joe, and I were about as grey as you could get.
Some sort of unexplained phenomenon was developing between the three of us, and now that we were down to just us two, it felt empty. Darker. Forlorn, yet not tense.
Fortunately, I remembered how to get to the hotel, the roads laid out in an orderly manner, so unlike the Boston area, where the road map looked like it had been drawn by a nine-year-old drinking his second double espresso.
Yet another point for this place that until two days ago we’d have considered fly-over country, a vast green expanse with faded beige corn fields in between, a checkered patch quilt of nothing.
Now it was far, far more.
Joe was in that half-drunk stupor that made him so much more fun than his normal, tightass state. How a guy who could attract women like light bulbs attract moths could be so insecure had puzzled me for years.
Something about Darla made him daring, though—that kiss had come out of nowhere. Coming upon them in that state, his hands groping what had just filled my own shortly before, her mouth so passionately entangled with his I could feel her need—being able to observe that, to share in that without feeling like we were competing for her—that blew my fucking mind.
You can do that? Really? Because no one told me that before. Ever. Not in the UU church’s sexuality class, not in any human psych class in college (not even abnormal psych), and not in any late-nights talks in the dorms, high as a kite and sharing sex stories (or even having sex while talking about sex).
Who did this? Who felt like this? How could I make sense of it if no one explained it to me?
Genre: Dark Fantasy with Straight and LGBTQ Romance
A broken-hearted priestess and a deposed prince team up with a ranger and a rebel with one too many secrets. In the name of The Allmother, they go to war to save their lands.
A coup in a neighboring kingdom brings threats of invasion and fire to Priestess Rising Veliana’s home in the forest. Under the guidance of her goddess, The Allmother, she forms an alliance with the deposed prince, Tyrvahn, and his ex, Garle, the leader of a rebellion that’s been brewing for years.
But Garle has many secrets, one of which could unravel Veliana and Tyrvahn’s budding romance and the future of these uneasy alliances. Veliana’s best friend, Kivala, tries to soften Garle with the ways of their fallen homeland, but what she learns chills her to her core.
At war with a vicious man twisted by the god of greed, they can’t afford to fight amongst themselves. Can they overcome their differences to save their home and their goddess from the new king? Or will the forests burn over blood-soaked earth?
Fans of magic and grit, high stakes and godly secrets will love this dark high fantasy novel with straight and LGBT romance.
Elexis Bell writes gritty and emotional novels. Born and raised in the midwestern United States, she dreams of a cabin in the woods rather than a house surrounded by cornfields.
She loves writing well-developed characters facing real problems in vibrant, magical worlds. Armed with a degree in psychology and a rollercoaster past, she sprinkles gut-wrenching emotions over high fantasy romance, science fiction, and the occasional thriller.
I write MG and YA Epic Fantasy that explore real-life themes. I believe that fantasy and fiction create a safe space for young people to explore the ins and outs of the world we live in and I aim to write the kind of stuff that entertains as well as fosters introspection.
When I’m not writing or speaking to teens, I’m usually chasing my kids, going on wilderness adventures, and posting pictures of my pets on Instagram.
Daughter of Norman aristocrats, Clothilde du Flaumier is hopelessly in love with the illegitimate son of a nobleman. Her father will never countenance their marriage, nor does the object of her affections want one. But who else is there for such a stubborn, reckless girl?
Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals.
Abigail has always struggled with the voices. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that changes her future.
Moments from the past serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, and also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of the mysterious voices, while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator.
Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between people they meet during the journey, and long-buried secrets come to light in devastating ways. As elements twist, numbers align and spiritual powers connect, no one will be the same again.
Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search for Maylee, Justice for Belle, Aggravated Momentum, and Sketch, along with multiple short story collections. She’s collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection. Most recently, she published her first romance novella titled Skinny Dippin’ which was originally released as a part of the highly appraised Anthology, Sinners and Saints. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat play an important part of her day to day lifestyle.
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
Alexandria James was born in California, but raised all over the US due to being a child of the military. She loves to laugh, sing and write– when not spending precious time with her family. Alexandria lives in South Florida with her husband and two sons.