✨ Happy book birthday to Ash of the Fae, book five in the Modern Fae series! ✨
If you’re new to my series, you can grab the first book on sale right now and binge your way through contemporary fantasy stories with all your favorite tropes, like forbidden love (book 1), enemies to lovers (book 2), forced proximity (book 3), and second chance romance (book 4), to get to this fake relationship where there’s only one bed (book 5)!
As of right now, this is the last book in this series. However, I did leave a tiny door open to revisit this world in the future if folks enjoy it and want more. In the meantime, I’m going to work on finishing up and publishing some other in-progress projects. If you want to know more about what I’m working on, get cover reveals and other exclusives (like free stories and samples from my work in progress), then sign up for my newsletter. It’s like my blog, but it’s a once a month email from me delivered right to your inbox.
Taking a break from my regular content to let you know that, if you’ve ever wanted to read the first book in my Modern Fae series, the ebook is currently available for FREE on all retailers.
Eve didn’t believe in magic, until she fell in love with a Fae Prince!
Eve wanted a fresh start. Liam was trying to save his kin. Thrown together under the same roof as the winter solstice approaches, can this Fae prince and his mortal love stop a vengeful spirit determined to hunt the Fae to extinction?
It’s been years and years since I wrote what became the second novel I ever finished writing. It felt really promising at the time. The first pages won contests. They got me full requests from agents. But nothing ever panned out.
Eventually, I gave up and shelved it. I moved on to what would eventually become the Modern Fae series. And I didn’t think I’d ever go back to that novel.
But I never really forgot about it. While I don’t really remember the moment I started writing Eve of the Fae (or really any of the Modern Fae novels), I have a very vivid memory of the book that started out as “The Lost Empire” and eventually became Petals and Runes.
It all started with that scene at the masked ball where she figures out that she’s dancing with the Ruhl. Except, at the time, I hadn’t invented that bit of world-building. He was a king, and his name was Oliver not Elan.
I only know this because I still have the notebook I wrote that first scene in.
Perhaps you remember me mentioning this novel before? If you do, it’s because I chopped up my old draft and posted it serial-style on Kindle Vella earlier this year. The last episode posted in April. I took it down in May, and now I’m working on revising it, as well as outlining the rest of the trilogy.
Back before Modern Fae, I didn’t know how to fix my not-quite-there broken novel. You know how they say you should put your finished draft away before you go back and try to edit it? Well, it’s been over five years! And I’ve learned a LOT since then. I think it’s time to put all that to work.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be breaking this story down and putting it back together again. At first I was dreading this process. It’s both a demoralizing and invigorating thing, the thought of ripping apart a “finished” draft so you can fix it.
But I’m also getting to go back and explore some of my favorite young adult tropes. Like that good old masked ball scene. And the YA fantasy arranged marriage. Not to mention… The Love Triangle!
I know. That last one was huge in YA for a while, and you either loved it or you hated it. The love triangle for me is one of those tropes that, when it’s done well, can hook me into a young adult fantasy romance like nothing else.
There was a love triangle in the original version of this story, but it got kind of lost (or at least muddled) by the time I reached “the end” of that finished / polished draft. That’s one of the things I’m working on bringing back and strengthening during this revision.
The decision to do that might have been a little inspired by my current favorite YA love triangle: Bree / Nick / Sel from Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. In case you were wondering, I am team Sel all the way. The cover of book two (Bloodmarked) alone is making that one of my most anticipated new releases for the second half of 2022.
So tell me. What are some of your favorite young adult fantasy romance tropes? Are you team love triangle? Or do you hate it? What are some of your favorite young adult love triangles?
Fantasy Romance February is over, which is a little sad, but it was a good reading month for me. I ended up reading a total of seven books! Not bad for the shortest month of the year, right?
Since (like last month) I read both fiction and non-fiction books, but (unlike last month) I read more than one of each, I’ll start with my favorite fiction and favorite non-fiction that I read this month.
Fave fiction of the month goes to Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher, which I already gushed about here.
Fave non-fiction of the month goes to Black Love Matters: Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happily Ever Afters by multiple authors, edited by Jessica P. Pryde. I highly recommend checking this out, especially if you are a writer or a romance reader. But really anyone who consumes stories in any format or genre could benefit from the light that these authors shine on the myriad issues around how Black relationships are portrayed in books, shows, and movies. It really was some of the best non-fiction reading I could have selected for any month, let alone the month that is dedicated to both Black History and all things love (due to the mid-month Gal/Pal/Val/entine’s Day holiday).
Aside from those two excellent reads, my buddy read book for the month was the series finale, Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It was a solid culmination of this epic space adventure, but it wasn’t my favorite. I just wasn’t that into, and it nearly sent me into a reading slump. But then I jumped back into one of my favorite series and saved myself with Miss Moriarty, I Presume by Sherry Thomas. I cannot gush about her Lady Sherlock series enough. It’s so good, and it was exactly what I needed to pull me out of the looming reading funk.
I also read Newsletter Ninja 2 by Tammi Labrecque, which overwhelmed me with lots of excellent ideas (in a good way). Mentioning that book reminds me that I should probably say, if you like my blog posts, you might also like my monthly newsletter. Yes, shameless self-promo, but also, I’m not kidding. My newsletter is a lot like my blog posts, it just has different (newsletter exclusive) content, including updates on my writing projects and free stories. Like this one that you get in exchange for signing up.
Finally, I jumped back into fantasy romance because it was FaRoFeb, after all. I read Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper, which was cute and fun. I was really into the magic competition (because I love competition stories), though I was a little disappointed that the main character wasn’t participating as one of the witches in the contest. The world-building is very “our world, but with magic” (which I like), and I loved the little town of Thistle Grove (not least of which because it sounds like the kind of town that wouldn’t have been that far from where I grew up).
Then I picked up a newsletter freebie (The Duchess: Tales of Kelnore) from a fellow FaRoFeb author (Hannah E. Carey) who also writes Celtic-inspired fantasy romance, except I don’t think her books have magic in them. At least this prequel story didn’t. When I looked it up on Goodreads, there was only one review and it was 2-stars, but the low rating was because that reviewer was disappointed that the heroine has sex before marriage. After I stopped laughing, I signed up for Hannah’s newsletter and hit download. I’m glad I did because I enjoyed this little prequel novella, even though it would not be considered a romance (because the pair of characters who are in love don’t live happily ever after). But the story did it’s job in introducing me to this world of Pern Coen and making me curious about what happens in the first full book in this series (The Hunter: Tales of Pern Coen).
Possibly the most fun I had this past week was adding these books, plus last month’s books, to my 2022 virtual shelf in my reading journal, which is looking pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.
How was your FaRoFeb? Did you read any good fantasy romance that you recommend? I would love to hear your faves and recommendations in the comments.
I just finished reading Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher, and REALLY enjoyed it. I had no idea based on the cover that this was a romance, OR that it also had a mystery plot! It’s also really funny! Of course, I could have read the blurb, but this is another book that I grabbed from the library based on a podcast recommendation.
Paladin’s Grace reminded me a lot of the Lady Sherlock series, but fantasy instead of historical. And the series structure is a bit different in that it sounds like each book is going to feature a different couple. So you get an ongoing mystery plot, with a sub-mystery solved in each book that leads you to the next mystery, and you get a full HEA/HFN in each book!
I mean… Fantasy + Romance + Mystery + complete HEA/HFN in each book of a series that looks like it’s going to have at least seven total books = Yes, Please! More of this in my eyeballs right now!
Except… I need to wait because I didn’t get the next two books out of the library, yet. I also have to fill in other squares on my FaRoFeb readathon bingo board. But, I’m definitely going to be reading the rest of this series, and I definitely recommend that you check this book out if you haven’t already.
As for placement on the bingo board, I think I’m going to hold off on attaching this one because it’s the first fantasy romance I’ve finished this month, and it can fit several of these prompts. It’s secondary world, so, I could use it in the lower right corner to fill the “epic fantasy / different world” prompt. The author’s books published under this pen name are indie published, so I could also use this for the “indie author” prompt in the middle of the bottom row. And, now that I’ve had a chance to look at the detail on the cover, I can also say that I do love the cover, which is the prompt for the lower left corner of the board.
Basically, it could go anywhere in that last row. I was thinking that I would try to fill the prompts in the corners of the board so that I had two diagonal bingos. But, it really depends on if I can manage to read four fantasy romance novels this month. So, we’ll see.
Next up is going to be Midlife Bounty Hunter, as planned. I know that one will work for the “low fantasy / our world” prompt in the upper left corner. We’ll see if it also has any of my favorite tropes, or something that I love to hate (like vampires and werewolves, or alpha males…), which would fill the prompt in the middle of the first column. Not that I need middle of the row or middle of the column prompts if I’m going with my corner strategy.
Anyway… How is your FaRoFeb going? What are you reading and loving? Let me know in the comments.
To celebrate the genre that we love, there are 70 authors (myself included) participating in events and giveaways all month long! And there’s also a readathon! So if you also like fantasy romance (or romantic fantasy) stories, you should definitely check out the books and authors involved in this event. There are so many different sub-genres that fall under the fantasy romance umbrella, and a wide variety of creatures, types of magic, heat levels, and settings are represented in this group. I’ve already found several new-to-me authors to add to my TBR.
More on that TBR in a moment. First, let’s have a look at my very simple reading journal set-up for this month. I’ve selected one of the FaRoFeb readathon bingo cards for the cover page, along with a booklist to summarize what I’ve read, and that’s it.
One of these days, maybe I’ll actually attempt to measure and equally space out the lines for my booklist. That day is not today, though.
As for my TBR, similar to what I did back in December, to give myself some flexibility with my book selections, I made a sort-of reading buffet to choose from rather than creating a specific TBR stack. I already have a LOT of fantasy romance to choose from on my Kindle, and I’ll probably be adding some more this month. So, I started by going on Goodreads and scrolling through what’s on my shelves to see which ones might qualify as fantasy romance (or romantic fantasy). I ended up tagging a grouping of twenty-four books.
I’m sure all of these will fit at least one of those readathon prompts. But I’m definitely not going to have time to read all of them in February. So the first question is: where to start…
Last month, I read the first couple of chapters of Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher. I set it aside for later because I was supposed to be reading something else, but I really enjoyed the bit that I read and am eager to get back to it. So I will probably start there.
I also promised my brother-in-law that I’d read Midlife Bounty Hunter by Shannon Mayer, which he read and recommended to me. I thought I would get to it over the holidays, but I didn’t. So that will probably be the next one I read. After that, who knows what I’ll pick next.
The only other one in that batch that I’m sure I’ll read is the last book in the Aurora Cycle series, Aurora’s End, because that is our buddy read book for this month. And yeah, I included it in this batch of fantasy romance even though I’m not sure how much romance there’s going to be, and it’s technically categorized as sci-fi, not fantasy. But let’s be real. The line between sci-fi and fantasy is really fuzzy, and this series features space-Fae and sentient plants. It’s a far cry from The Martian or The Calculating Stars (both of which are “science-based” or “hard” sci-fi). So let’s just call Aurora’s End a fantasy in space, okay?