I'm an Australian Foster Carer and Educator with over a decade of industry experience.  I run the Facebook page "More Than A Foster Carer", where I share my experience working with the foster system. I live in rural New South Wales with my husband, a changing number of children, a dog and some chickens. As a self proclaimed creative soul, I have had a passion for writing fiction from an early age. When I'm not wrangling chickens, children or dogs, I love to be whisked off on magical adventures, and tagging along on epic quests.

The Author: SaymyAli

SaymyAli is a romance writer crafting stories of dark love, life, and empowering female leads. She enjoys dancing, nature, horror movies, reading books, and laughing until her stomach hurts with friends and family. SaymyAli is an avid romance reader, and has gained over six thousand reads of her first published story Friendship Love Life.


The Book: The Past and Our Love

Having a bad past always ends your future. Worse yet, your future is filled with problems. Harley Davidson, married to a billionaire who is a monster she didn’t now. With a past that is chasing her, she is going through a lot. “How many men have used your pussy?” He said and I felt my heart spread shocks over my organs Matthew Perry, the youngest billionaire in the world. His lust for money is more than anything. Nothing will ever stop him from getting what he wants. “He was living my life. He stole my mother’s love, my money, my everything. And what did I get at the end? Nothing,” Matthew said, I was losing my control. Xavier knight, Matthew’s brother and the past of Harley. “I don’t remember anything but for one damn sure thing, this is my fault.” Guilt was eating me alive. What will happen if Xavier knight returns? What if he loves her? Will she forgive him and fall for him?


The Review: 3 stars!

The Past and our love is a story about fear and oppression in a dark relationship. This book deals with a lot in a small space, so be prepared to have your emotions torn to bits very quickly. It should come with a trigger warning, too – so many dark themes ahead!

It is a fast-paced window in the life of our MC, Harley, who has had to deal with some pretty dark stuff in her life. She’s managed to remain sweet and somewhat naive through it all, though, and finds herself married to Matthew – who seems to be the perfect partner for all of two seconds.

As the story gets going, we learn that the relationship is anything but perfect, and Matthiew is a man to be feared. He is cruel and cold and only adds to Harley’s problems. I felt bad for her – like I wanted to pull her from the pages and keep her safe.

Enter Xavier, the brother-in-law. I HATED him so much initially, thanks to some awful memories that pop up in our confused Harley, and although there are a few redeeming qualities in him, I couldn’t bring myself to love him by the end. I felt that he offered Harley what she needed when she needed it; a safe harbor, a friend, and an ally against Matthew and his deplorable rage-filled personality, but it all seemed a little too late.

The twists within the plot were interesting; SaymyAli kept spinning the truth and had me second-guessing everything. The changes of POV came a little too often for me; I would have loved to stay in each character’s head for longer, been given more detail and a longer piece of the story from each of them. This book truly is a snapshot, though, giving the reader a tiny glimpse into three characters that seem to live a high octane life. Throughout the book, the use of broken memory flashbacks was done well, adding to the characters’ tension and confusion and building the sticky web our protagonist used to keep everyone else entangled.

I hope that SaymyAli continues their story, digging deeper into the issues and chemistry between them all. But, with the ending she gave us here, I’m a little scared to enter this world again – who knows what terrifying things might happen!


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

Nothing was surprising except how the readers interacted with the story, and how the story took its place.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

When Xavier told Harley something important while she was on the bed at the hospital trying to survive.

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Harley Davidson does hold a special place in my heart because of how she is dealing with her situation. Most people struggling with life think that ending their lives will help, but no, fighting is.

What was the inspiration for the story?

I started this story because of the pandemic actually and how the increase in rape abuse.

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

First: Don’t ever judge a raped girl. She is already going through a lot. Second: Every past does define your future. That’s a fact. Third: Forgive and love.

What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

Of course, a sequel for sure. I’ve started writing it already, and have a few chapters left.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

I want to affect my readers, and that was the main challenge. I wanted to highlight what a raped girl suffers.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Actually I don’t know. My brain just popped it out and I started writing.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

I don’t have a favorite, but if I have to choose, it would be Abbi Glines because her books affect so much

What are you reading now?

At the moment, I am a high school student and I’m fighting to get the best university and my book in the way so I haven’t planned yet.

Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

As an adult: The Rosemary Beach series, and as a kid: Dork diaries

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Drawing, writing poems, studying.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Have a heart of a tiger and never give up.

How do you handle writer’s block?

Ignoring it, and it worked.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Grammar, punctuation, and plot twists.

What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Plot, then characters. Once you plan out the plot, the characters will develop eventually.

Describe a typical writing day.

Suddenly, I have an idea, and I take my essential equipment to a quiet place and drive to my imagination.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I will cry and argue with myself to write the scene, but at the end, I will still write it.

How do you handle literary criticism?

I would get upset for an hour, but then I will get over it and start improving.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

Yes, in fact I made most of them my friends. They motivate and support me.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

I’m not on social media often, but you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Hi fantasy lovers! I want to share with you the cover and blurb for book 2 in the Goddess series in case you missed the reveal that happened on Instagram. I am so in love with how it turned out!


Sometimes it isn’t only villains that crave the darkness.

Sapphira Dawn had been lied to about her identity.
Now the gods agree she should never have been created in the first place.
Her very existence means that the gods aren’t playing by the rules, and as they ready their game pieces for the next battle, Sapphira must gather her allies before they – and the entire mortal realm – are wiped from the board.
But someone close to her is hiding a deadly secret.
A secret that will make Sapphira question what she is fighting for.
As her allies vanish one by one, Sapphira spirals deeper into her unstable magic, drawn in by the addictive high and wicked release it offers.
If Sapphira can’t control the darkness within, the mortal realm will fall, and everything she knows and loves will be nothing more than ashes and dust.


The Preorder option will be coming to the store in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for that! Awaken (Book 1) is available there now – as well as some bookish goodies all themed after items, people, and places in the book series (with more to come!)

The Author: Victoria Wren

Victoria is making her debut this year with her YA paranormal series ‘Wild Spirit: The Curse of Win Adler’. She has written books since she was a teenager and loves escaping into other worlds during her writing. Victoria lives in the UK, with her husband, two girls and three cats, she loves being outdoors, traveling, she is a Disney fanatic and enjoys watching movies and  reading to her children.


The Book: Wild Spirit: The Curse of Win Adler

Win Adler is sixteen and has been struck down with a mystery illness, shattering the life she knew in Boston. When doctors can’t find a cure, her father’s last hope of recovery is to take her home to Hickory House, her mother’s ancestral home in the woods in the old colonial town of Cedar Wood.

Living with her Grandpa and older sister in a quaint town should be ideal, but Win soon discovers she lives at the heart of an old town ghost story, a tale of witchcraft and tragedy. And Win learns that her family is unusual, someone is watching the house, someone who knows her family’s dark secrets. Win is starting to change, in more ways than one, she is getting stronger and faster as she learns more about her family’s strange curse. A falcon follows Win around, watching her every move, protecting her, and warding off danger.

She must unearth the secrets of her past to survive the fight of her life before she runs out of time.


The Review: 4 stars!

Wren created a fascinating world here, one that I would love to revisit again and again. This book reads like a cross between a mystery and a preternatural shapeshifter novel – both of which I enjoy and find myself searching for a lot.
I liked the mystery of it all, how from one page to the next, you didn’t know what would happen. I enjoyed the trials and tribulations the characters had to go through to reach the end, and the slow release of backstory and truth at the core of the plot. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so this review is kind of short, but the book is definitely worth a read if you enjoy mystery, drama, and supernatural elements with your daily dose of fantasy.


The Interview:

 What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book? 

During the first draft, a strangely surprising thing I discovered was an actual writing community, as crazy as that sounds! I had no writer friends at all and completely fell down an author tube rabbit hole and ended up meeting the loveliest group of people, I’m now so fortunate to have in my life!

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? 

I think this book is about family and the love and strength we take from those ties, and its about what happens when family bonds can be broken.

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Though they are all special, I do love writing for Luke. He’s cute and has a bit of an attitude, but at heart is a real softie.

 What was the inspiration for the story?

I had wanted to write a paranormal YA for so long and I had the character in my head for years. I started so many times but couldn’t seem to find the right setting, but finally, after having my working life put on hold due to covid, I envisioned this mysterious house in the woods and a cursed family, and it all fell into place.

 What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

The key theme is overcoming fear, being different, and mending broken family ties. The main character in the story Win comes from a place wherein her old life she has been cast out, betrayed, and hurt and is having to start over her life, find new friendships despite living at the heart of an old town legend.

 What is the significance of the title? What is the future for the characters?

I’ve lots planned for these characters, they are going to have fun and drama along the way. the title just brings together the whole concept of the story, so in this one its about Win’s family curse, discovering she is special and how that curse has impacted her entire family for generations.

 Will there be a sequel?

Yes absolutely, this is a book series of four! 

 What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

Homeschooling two children at the same time! We would get up every day, log on, and do as much school work as we could before they would start to phase out and become irritated. At the time it was summer here in the UK so we went for long walks, took our learning outdoors, and then in the afternoon I was able to crack on and write.

 What was the highlight of writing this book?

The highlight, I think for me was finding a nice group of people and getting the book beta read. it was the first time I’d ever shared my work, and although it was daunting, it was a fascinating process, something I really enjoyed and discovering that I could actually finish a book!

 Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from lots of different places, television and film, documentaries and also reading other fantastic author’s work. I love reading indie authors, discovering them. I also love beta reading for people, I find that really inspirational, and motivating, discovering new writing styles and storytelling. its wonderful to be inspired by another author’s journey!

 Who is your favorite author, and why? 

I’ve not got a favorite author particularly, I love reading a wide variety of genres. But over the years I have read a lot of Stephen King. I do love the way he writes kids and teenagers and ‘The Body’ always springs to mind and ‘The Girl who loved Tom Gordon’.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading a vampire series by another indie author Eva Alton. but I also just read My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell and was blown away.

 Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

My favourite book as a teenager and still is, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

 What do you like to do when you are not writing?

As a family we walk, watch movies and play board games. But when I’m on my own and the kids are at school I love getting out and seeing my friends and also I work as well!

 What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Keep lots of notes of your ideas and write the book whatever way you feel is best to get the story out. Look on authortube for fellow writers and find a nice group of people that you can use as your betas!

 How do you handle writer’s block?

I’ve not really suffered with writers block. I usually find that its fatigue or burn out. In this case, its better to have a rest, listen to music and clear your head. It all comes together in the end.

 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I love to beta read and I don’t think I can give an absolute answer on what makes good writing, as we all have our own unique styles. I would say that if I’ve forgotten I was suposed to be doing something, I got caught up or swept away with the story, then you’ve likely nailed it. I love a good bit of romance, in any genre I read, I look for the romantic subplot! I think you need to have a good hero at the heart of the story and outline their arc for the book!

 What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters? 

For me they usually come around the same time. Then I outline and also do a fair amount of discovery writing, sometimes the best laid plans go awry so I prefer to see what happens naturally. I don’t make hard charcarer decisions ahead of writing, I like to see how they fit together, their chemistry as I’m writing it.

Describe a typical writing day.

I usually have my children in school from 8.30 and if its a writing day I come home, soet out the house and then try and get some words in before lunch and then an hour after lunch. If I have time in the evening I might get some more in. With children at home its not easy to lock yourself away. sometimes If I’m close to finishing something , at the weekend I can do that with my husband home to help out!

 What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Usually lack of concentration, being pulled out of the creative zone. This can happen for lots of reasons and often cant be helped, but I just plow on when I can.

 How do you do research for your books? 

If I can physically visit the setting ( or the inspiration for the setting) I would go there, but with this book being set in the USA, I did a lot of online research, looked at lots of photos, visited google, reads books and also watched online videos. I’ve also grown up reading tons of US based YA books in that genre, so reading in your genre is important too!

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood?

Music is super helpful to me when I know that I’m going to be writing something very emotional. Having songs on a playlist helps. But I find this helps with any scene that you write, be it romantic, sad, or dramatic action-packed scene!

 How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I found this particularly while working on book three, no spoilers, but something happening to a character I love really got to me. Have a good cry, get it out of your system, and take some well-earned breaks. It’s super emotional finishing a draft, seeing a cover for the first time, and releasing the book itself. It’s hugely stressful and your emotions are all over the place. I would advise you to get some distance, go for a walk and clear your head!

 How do you handle literary criticism?

I think, as with anything you have to keep your chin up. It’s very easy to get bogged down with negativity and thankfully I haven’t had too much, yet! You have to remember why you are writing, and who you are writing for. and also if the criticism is constructive, then use it to your advantage, learn from it, and try to develop a thick skin!

 How much ‘world-building’ takes place before you start writing?

For this particular story, I did a fair amount of family background, research, and development because the story links back to the times of the American revolutionary war and I wanted the family’s roots to be embedded within that time, this also relates to further books that I’ve written in the series as more characters are introduced, each has a link to the family and the history. This was fun though, I enjoyed diving into that time period.

 Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?  

Yes I have some lovely readers but I’d love to hear from more! Its very early days for me and so far, everyone has been positive and kind. I’m always up for interacting with my readers though and really looking forward to more of that happening as I publish more of the series.

  Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?  

I have a website and a newsletter readers can sign up for. In 2021 I’m planning on writing some flash fiction to send to readers who sign up on the site, and this will be related to the Wild Spirit series. I’m also very active on Instagram!

The Author: Lakish’a

17 year old aspiring screenwriter and author, Lakish’a, is the writer of the new psychological thriller, Escaping Mr. Grayson. Born and raised in Zambia, Lakish’a works tirelessly to create work that inspires, connects and above all else entertains not only her fellow Africans but also all of her readers across borders. Her works include, highly successful online books; Kylie Burklin’s Killer and Tell Me I’m Beautiful among other many works in progress. Accumulating over 19,000 reads on social writing platforms such as Wattpad and Scriblyz, Lakish’a has made it her main focus to continuously illustrate various stories that leave her readers with a sense of shock and pure anticipation in its most enthusiastic form. Lakish’a is headstrong and passionate towards relating to her thousands of readers all over the world and appreciates having the opportunity to include her audience in her imagination and give them a glimpse of the world(s) that she creates for her characters. Some of her work has been discussed during her interview with the successful arts blog, betterauds. When she’s not writing, you might find her listening to music, singing in her room, spending time with her family, keeping in contact with friends and above all else, dreaming big.


The Book: Escaping Mr. Grayson

21-year-old Nailea Tembo has always been the perfect definition of reserved and anti-social, continuously being forced to live the way that her mother and her society expect her to. When she’s assigned to be her new professor’s student assistant, it turns out to be the most notorious affair that’s ever hit Shakespeare University. At first glance, Professor Xavier Grayson is gorgeous, well educated, attentive and successful, causing Nailea’s seemingly prim and proper persona to take a complete one-eighty when she starts to have an illicit affair with her new lecturer. But when Professor Xavier Grayson grows more and more obsessively infatuated by Nailea, it proves to be a deliciously dangerous situation. Escaping Mr. Grayson is a psychological thriller that explores the fixation that a mentally ill psychopath has with his new student assistant. A story about danger, possession and obsession.


The Review: 4 stars!

“And when it comes to thrill, oh my dear sweet Nailea, I can be…insatiable.”

Escaping Mr. Grayson is a psychological thriller full of danger, obsession, and possession. Think 50 shades of Grey crossed with You.
There are many similar themes in this book as those I mentioned – however Lakish’a has managed to add a lot of darker undertones with her twisted character, Mr. Grayson.
Mental illness and the effects this has on people plays a huge roll in this story, and in a way that I haven’t really seen before. Lakish’a allows her characters to play out their dark fantasies, to give in to their core desires and just be bad. And I found myself full of anxious worry and guilty pleasure at the pure creepiness our MC comes across in the pages of the book.
I enjoyed the supporting characters too – the relationships between each of them was beautiful and raw.
Lakish’a wove a few amazing twists into the second half of her story, none of which I saw coming – the ending especially left me shaken and applauding the twisted creativity in the mind of our author.


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

Mainly that as I’ve written, even before writing Escaping Mr. Grayson, I unconsciously put a little bit of my personality in each character that I create, or have created. It was so wild because I never realized it until very recently after I had just read my favorite chapter of the book (Chapter 18) and I had this lightbulb moment of like, “Oh my gosh…This is me”

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

Probably that our main protagonist Nailea has a sort of unhealthy, almost at the very edge of becoming obsessive, fixation towards her roommate Daisy. Nailea is the exact opposite of Daisy and, more than anything, she craves that feeling of liberation that just seems to come so easily to Daisy. It’s something that I really fought within myself over because I wanted so badly to incorporate it into the story as much as I could without really taking too much away from the main plot.

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

I love all my characters the same. Haha. But yes, I have such a soft spot for Mr. Grayson himself because, I feel like he’s just so open to interpretation. As you’ll read in the book, he had an incredibly messed up childhood and although that doesn’t necessarily justify the things that he does, it does make you understand why he is the way that he is. I don’t know, I think also just as a person I’ve always been very intrigued by mental illness and the people that are affected by it so, being able to create my very own charming and complex psychopath is very special and almost intimate to me.

What was the inspiration for the story?

I remember reading a Wattpad novel, I don’t even remember the title, and there was a scene where this man had just come home from the hospital and he had been in a coma for a while so he went into his bathroom and washed his face and felt almost delirious. I’m not sure how my brain works haha, but, I was able to take that scene and create one of the first scenes in the book (in chapter 3) where my protagonist Nailea woke up the night after she slept with Mr. Grayson. So i don’t know, i guess things just sort of fell into pace after that. It’s kind of weird how it all worked out in the end.

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

Just, the disgusting reality of human nature and how, you never really know the drastic and/or dangerous severity that might come from the little decisions that you make every single day. Although, I try not to have an exact and final meaning of any of my work purely because i like to leave that up to the reader. But, in my opinion. That was the message of the book.

What is the significance of the title?

To be completely honest, I suck at titles haha. The title doesn’t really have much of a significance. It was just the first thought that I had and it stuck.

What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

No. No sequels. I’ve never been a fan of writing sequels (I’m not completely opposed to the idea of them though). Like I said before, I enjoy the idea of havng my readers make up their own fantasy endings and meanings and interpretations. Sometimes i think when you don’t have an exact ending, it makes the story that much more memorable and you have a lot of fun theorising over what would have happened next. I’ve read so many book whose endings I was just so disappointed by and that’s the one thing i try to avoid in my own work. So, to answer the question, What is the future for the characters? Well, I’m happy to leave that to my readers’ imagination. It’s whatever you want it to be.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

Other than trying to find the time to actually sit down and write, It was a bit of a challenge trying to figure out the best way to end the story. I know these kinds of psychological thrillers are not exactly “original” and most of the endings to them are expected. I wanted to add a unique ending to my story and I really can only hope that I was able to do that in the end. As for the highlight, that would probably be; getting to be in the mind of a psychopath was a lot of fun. If anything it was alarmingly too much fun haha. I cant help it, I’m a sucker for anything dark and gory and unsettling. I get such a thrill from it so being able to create a psychopath as charismatic and sarcastic but still quite frightening as Mr. Xavier Grayson was definitely an experience I will never forget. I had so much fun writing this book!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from everything around me really. Usually it’ll be from lyrics to a song or a movie i had just seen or a Tv show i just watched or a book i just read. The most unique way that i get inspired is through names. Sometimes I’ll hear a name that I really like and then create a character to go with that name. And then with that character, I later create a world for them and end up writing a pretty decent book.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

I have such a hard time picking any sort of favourite thing just purely because theres so much good crap in this world, you know? Haha. I don’t have a favorite author. Would it be narcissistic to say mhyself? Haha

What are you reading now?

I can never read just one book at a time haha. It wouldn’t be natural. I’m reading Pines by Blake Crouch, Falling into place by Amy Zhang and The Night She Died by Jenny BlackHurst

Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

My favorite book is American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I’m always super hesitant to recommend it though just because it is painfully graphic and its a tough book to stomach (morally) but all in all I admire the realness of it and I just think it’s a very beautiful piece of literature when you read it from the point of view of an author as opposed to reading it from the point of view of a reader. As for my favourite book when I was a kid, my mama tells me it was The Three Little Pigs haha.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Nothing original really. I enjoy singing, lisyening to music, adding to my vision board, reading, catching up on Tv and above all else, dreaming big!

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

At the end of the day, we are all writing similar stories with similar plots and similar climaxes and similar endings so the only thing that’s really going to set your story apart is your authentic take on the story. To new writers I would advise you to stay true to your writing and your imagination and not compromise your stories to fit someone else’s opinion on what would sell or what make a good book. And also, if youre writng on a platform like wattpad where you can track your number of reads, DO NOT EQUATE THE QUALITY OF YOUR STORY TO THE NUMBER OF READS YOU RECEIVE. Just focus on getting better at your skill, stay consistent with your writing and do not forget to enjoy what you do because if you aren’t enjoying your writing, no ones gonna enjoy their reading.

How do you handle writer’s block?

I don’t haha. It’s importanat to be patient with yourself. Not just in your writing but also in life as a whole. I find that when I’m experiencing writers block it because i’m dealing with a lot of anxiety or even those moments when I get really depressed and detach from the world. My advice to anyone experiencing writers block woud be just to give it time, don’t stop trying and take a moment to just re-center yourself all while remembering that it is only temporary.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I think as long as your story has something memorable about it, something that once you read it you need to talk about it with someone else. Good writing makes you gasp or cry or laugh or even in my case go, “Oh my gosh! What the hell was that?!”

What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

You know, writing is such a natural thing to me that I never really have too much of a plan. Sometimes I’ll have a plot first, other times I’ll have a character first. There’s even moments where I’ll come up with the title first or just one random scene. Alternatively, sometimes I’ll come up with an ending first. It all just depends. As for development, I just figure it all out as I go (I wouldn’t recommend that for anyone else but it works just fine for me so..)

Describe a typical writing day.

It’s more of a writing moment. I typically would just write whenever it feels most natural or whenever I crave it most. I don’t have much of a schedule for it.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Finding time!!! Also there’s always a moment during the process where I have a decision to make regarding what direction I want the story to take. It’s always difficult to try and decide the best way to go, especially since you never really know what your audience would most want to read.

How do you do research for your books?

Reading books in similar genres always saves my life! As for Escaping Mr. Grayson, I also did a lot of research on behavioral patterns of psychopaths’ and sociopaths (Though that was more just for curiosity and entertainments sake haha)

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

Well firstly, it doesn’t take much effort to make myself sad lol. The hard part is dealing with the emotional aftermath. I’d never let people see it but I am an extremely emotional person. I’m fully incapable of feeling anything halfway so once I allow myself to feel emotional enough to write a draining scene, I have to be prepared to be stuck in that cocoon of emotion for a while. The book that I’m currently working on requires a lot of that and with every new chapter i try my best to learn to separate the reality of it from the fiction of it all.

How do you handle literary criticism?

I just try not to take it too personally. I adore constructive criticism (even though deep down it can piss me off sometimes haha). But at the same time, there’s pointless criticism as well from people that just didn’t enjoy my work and that’s fine too. Not everyone will enjoy what I write. I’m okay with that.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

So so much. There’s just so many endless possibilities when it comes to things as big as deciding a plot or even just picking a characters name. It’s sometimes tough to make those decisions but in the end I’m always quite pleased with the work, thank God.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

My writing friends are so supportive and have a lot of positive comments on my work!

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

My readers can always catch up with me and my writing on my Instagram accounts under the usernames @_.satinsaturdai & @_.sibhongile._  or even reach out and read my other work on Wattpad under the username ‘satinsaturdai’ I hope that all my readers know they can feel free to contact me whenever they want to with absolutely anything from questions to criticism or even just if they need a friend!

The Author: Muskan Goyal

Muskan Goyal was born in 2003, India and was specifically interested in Music since an early age. It was in early 2019 that she discovered her passion for writing and started publishing on the online platform – Wattpad by her pen name – Marguerite Gibson. When she isn’t writing, you will mostly find her reading books or playing an instrument. The Beauty of Words, is her first book.


The Book: The Beauty of Words

In this beautiful book, Muskan Goyal reveals the various moments that we fear and the evils faced by us in our day to day lives, that overwhelm us at times. It talks about the peacefulness that friendships and nighttime bring along and how we tend to ignore them in our day to day lives.

The Beauty of Words, not only tells us about the beauty and the gift of words that we are awarded but also the beauty of life and the feelings that we experience in this world.


The Review: 4 stars!

I really enjoyed this little book of poetry – more than I thought I would, if I’m being honest. It was full of passion and shared insights into a way of life that needs to be discussed more. Goyal managed to create pages and pages of thought and emotion invoking magic that sticks with you long after you put the book down. She draws you in with her beautiful words, her mix of love and hope, and keeps you wanting more. I adored the flow the poems took, almost like the words were floating off the page. I loved that each poem had a meaning, a story or lesson behind it, they were more than just pretty, but empty words. Goyal’s work is relatable, tangible, and definitely worth a read!


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

Generally, there are some feelings that we hide from others but there are some which we even hide from ourselves.           While writing “The Beauty of Words” I came to know myself more, not only as an author but as an individual as well and on this journey I realised some surprising emotions which were within me which I thought never existed. I think one thing that I would say about this book as a reader is that it truly helps you find your emotions as well as yourself.  For this reason, this collection of poem ends on the note of Self-Love and how it helps an individual conquer the daily struggles of life. Besides the fact that it is personally one of my favourites, I had immense fun writing it and just the thought of getting it published, made me excited.

How did you get started as a poet, and have you always written poems? How did you come up with the title of your book?

In truth, I wasn’t into writing poetry much. As an author, I specialise and look forward to writing in the Romance Genre and it was one of those writers’ block, which we all are familiar with, that I started writing this book. Whenever I feel some emotions are driving me crazy, I tend to express it in the form of poetry, thus venting those feelings away and keeping them at bay.  Additionally, I believe that struggles are a part of life but the one who never gives up even after trying is the real hero. As humans, we always tend to interact with our fellow beings but in these challenging times, this interaction was limited, leading to the feelings of isolation, loneliness, lies, change, new beginnings and even love for some. It’s often hard to express how these feelings feel because, in the end, they all overwhelm us. It is that beauty of words that made me express my emotions and experiences in those fields in the form of a poem and thus, I decided to go on with the title “The Beauty of Words”.

What was your biggest source of inspiration as you wrote this book?

My life has greatly influenced my writing style, poems and stories, however, I am mediocre when it comes to covers.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing and publishing this book? What was the highlight of writing/publishing this book?

The only publishing process that I struggled with, was choosing a book cover. I am highly grateful to my friend and an excellent graphic designer, Namerha for helping me out in this regard and giving me options to choose from.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

I absolutely adore Kiera Cass for her Selection Series. It just transports you into this new world of fantasy romance and the feeling of “Nothing is impossible” when you finish reading it. Honestly, after reading her books, I found my passion to write as well and that motivation helped me to be where I am today.

What are you reading now?

I am not reading any books or poetries at the moment but the last book I read was “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks. I found his way of writing, unique, intriguing and unpredictable. I was so engrossed in that book that I read it in one go after midnight and by the time, I finished, it was already morning but it clearly had me on the verge of tears.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I am not writing, which is quite rare, you will mostly find me humming to myself and singing. Unlike, writing, singing has been my passion since I was 6 years of age and I truly love when I spend time practising it.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

To all the writers out there, just starting out or are doubtful whether to start, just go for it! It gives you a new experience in a new field and you never know, when it becomes your passion. There will be criticisms, for sure but instead of writing for the audience, write for yourself and everything will be right on its own. There will be writer’s block, I had one, last for 2 months, but don’t fear it because after passing that phase, your mind would just be a pool of marvellous ideas.

How do you handle writer’s block?

When I face, writer’s block, I always engross myself in reading something new or looking at anything from a different angle and tada! The idea is there at the door, awaiting you. In case, that doesn’t help either, I tend to go through my books as a reader and figure out what I would have expected from the story ahead.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Good writing doesn’t mean pleasing your readers, it means creating another world for anyone, yourself before others, where you are transported into, after reading. Good writing is when the words force you to recall experiences, you might have forgotten and that’s why the feelings and the emotions incorporated in a book, matter more than the language that you have used.  It’s like keeping the best version of yourself forward to find the desired results.

Describe a typical writing day.

A typical writing day for me is a day where all I can see is myself and a laptop to type my manuscript on. There are no other chores that are behind my mind and my whole body is just devoted to writing, giving the best it could.

How do you do research for your books?

Usually, writers tend to research about their books but in my case, I always like to be independent and to figure out the plot myself.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

Even when I am writing an emotionally draining scene, I end up crying at times, but I think it’s very important for a writer to feel that because until and unless they can’t feel the emotions themselves, they can’t make their audience feel it.

How do you handle literary criticism?

I believe that it always enhance that authors’ personality in you and help you to become a better version of yourself. While it’s mostly constructive, one needs to think that they can’t always please everyone and look at the bright side of their supporters and friends.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

The reader’s comments and reviews always keep me moving ahead and wanting to write more. While there will be some, who will be there with you from Day 1, I can’t help but smile at their warm and kind gestures. As a Wattpad writer, I have always heard from my readers but I am new to this field of publishing in real life, so it’s difficult to say what awaits me in the future but I will surely give it my best and make it a dream come true experience. As a person, I have always been friendly, to the people I know as well as to my audience. I always check their Instagram DM’s and make sure to reply back for their heartfelt wishes.

They are always free to contact me on my Instagram or Wattpad – Marguerite Gibson and get a chance to know more about me or my book. Further, I have set up an Amazon Author Central and I’ll make sure to post about the updates and other offers from time to time in the near future as well. I hope that this experience would be a memorable one and it would encourage me to write more, maybe not poetry next time, but still, to grow as a writer and make an ever-lasting impact with my writing.

We have good news! There are a few spots left on B.L. Callaghan’s street team for dedicated fantasy lovers! Are you interested?


Some of the things the AUTHOR agrees to:

  1. Supply you with a copy of the book in either physical or electronic format within a sufficient timeframe
  2. Follow up with you at regular intervals
  3. Communicate expectations clearly and respectfully
  4. Be available for you to communicate questions and concerns within a timely manner
  5. Offer incentives to ensureyou remains a productive member of the street team – including, but not limited to book swag, advance access to new releases, and first look at exclusive content.

Some of the things that YOU would be expected to do include:

  1. Follow the expectations set out by the author to the best of your ability
  2. Never pirate content given to you by the author
  3. Communicate any and all concerns and questions to the author in a timely manner
  4. Follow up with the author at regular intervals
  5. Review the book by the agreed-upon date on social media outlets such as;
  6. Goodreads
  7. Amazon
  8. Instagram
  9. Blog
  10. Bookbub
  11. Facebook
  12. Refer interested followers/readers to the author’s social media pages and/or purchase outlets for the book
  13. Follow the author on social media, and interact on posts relating to the book


If this sounds like something you would be interested in, head on over to the Street Team page here and use the ‘contact us’ section to register! (Don’t forget to include links to your social media/blog, and/or your most recent reviews!)

The Author: Clare Kae

Clare Kae has always been a dreamer, finding her place in worlds and characters that seemed more real than what should have been expected. Though, when she’s not daydreaming about faraway worlds, she’s teaching primary school children in Australia.
Born and raised by a wonderful family, and lots of spotty dogs, Clare had innumerable opportunities to see the world and enjoy life the way she wanted to growing up – especially via endless amounts of tea and books. For that, she will be forever grateful. She now lives with her incredible fiancé and two dogs – one spotty and one not. 

​When daydreaming became something more, and words flowed out of her head like rivers, Daughter of Dreams and Dread was born. Now an indie author, Clare is a newbie to the journey, but an excited soul to say the least. 


The Book: Daughter of Dreams and Dread

When fate tears Estelle Verndari from an ordinary world, dreams become a sinister new reality. In Kiliac, different is dangerous. Different means magic, and magic is punishable by death.

Lost and alone in a forest of nightmares, Estelle is saved by Rose, a man with fire in his eyes and blood on his hands. But she must learn to survive this brutal new world if she ever hopes to make it home. As the forest becomes a sanctuary, Rose captures her heart, and Estelle discovers a secret magic in her soul—the ability to heal in a world full of ruin.

But an ancient power is calling her name. A tyrant king is drowning the forest in death, and taking up arms to defend it means giving up on finding her path home. If Estelle’s secret is uncovered, everything she’s grown to love will be destroyed.


The Review: 5 stars

Clare Kae’s Daughter of Dreams and Dread took me by surprise.
Not only was the writing style incredibly addicting, but the characters, plot, and world-building were terrific.
Like many others of the same genre, the story started off with predictable fantasy tropes of late: the girl suddenly finds herself in another world – oblivious to literally everything, having to keep secrets from those she grows to care about. But Kae quickly switched gears and took me to places that left my jaw on the floor. The way that she has been able to drag the reader into the world she has created is masterful – or should I say magical?
There wasn’t a single page that I felt the need to skim or put the book down – I ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting because Kae’s style had me hooked.
I loved the sassy characters, the phenomenal animals, and the descriptive scenery throughout.
I loved the build-up throughout this book and that the MC was still able to have breathers throughout the fast-paced danger scenes, all of which really helped make the story and Estelle both believable and relatable.
However, about halfway through, when I was genuinely lulled into Kae’s false sense of security – she struck with a meteor-sized curveball of darkness. The tone of the book plummeted to depths that I had not been expecting. It got murky. Not in a ‘this book is bad’ way – gods no! This book is incredible because it went where it did.
This is not a happy fairytale. This is fear, and pain, and heartbreak.
This is a darkness that is real.
The way that Kae switched up the tone in this book had my heart in my throat, my stomach turning circles, and my mind spinning. It made me feel so much emotion for the characters – it made me scream at the pages a few times too!
The twists and complete savagery of the second half of this book – hand in hand with the incredibly romantic and Disney-esque first half – have me screaming for more. I only hope that Kae graces us with a sequel soon, or I might go mad wondering what hellish situations my new friends are stuck in.


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

Honestly I think it’s that I gravitate towards the darkness. Violence, grit and darker themes seems to be what I most enjoy writing – which is ridiculous because I like sunshines and rainbows and am stupidly scared of the dark in real life.  Confrontation? Big nope from me!

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

Estelle Verndari is a rag-tag true “Aussie Blue” girl, so her mannerisms and language comes from the dry humour/thinking that I am used to growing up in Australia. I never read many YA or fantasy books with an Aussie as the protagonist, so it was really cool to have Estelle navigate through her fantasy world like an Aussie battler.

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Yes! His name is Tor, he’s my most favourite character ever, and he has the biggest heart of any man I’ve ever known. He has made mistakes in his past, and he’s fighting so hard to make things right. Tor is the epitome of gentle giant.

What was the inspiration for the story?

As with a lot of stories, the inspiration was from one of my dreams. I was lost in a fantasy realm called Kiliac, and I had a father figure named Tor teaching me everything I needed to know. The more I imagined about the world, the less ‘me’ the hero became and Estelle was born. She is every scrap of courage I wish I could have! Apart from the dreaming, music is an incredibly major part of my inspiration. Every scene derives from and/or plays out to the beat of a song like it’s in a movie.

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

In two words, resilience and hope.

What is the significance of the title?

I actually had a lot of fun with this one – Daughter of Dreams and Dread has three components – Dreams was always going to be in the title, because not only did I dream the story, but Estelle first believes she’s in a dream. Dread = darkness because I’m a terrible human being who likes my characters to experience pain and heart break etc. etc. And Daughter…well, let’s just say that Estelle is the daughter of someone special.

What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

There are definitely sequels! I currently have 4 books total planned, and similar to the themes of the story, my characters future are filled with resilience – a lot! Their poor souls… and hope.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

The biggest challenge was believing in myself, that I was good enough, and that people would actually enjoy what I had written into words. Coming from a background of loving stories I was never confident in my own ability to do so. I knew I had a good imagination, but wasn’t sure that I would be able to wind the words together to translate that imagination onto the page. So overcoming my fear of being ‘good enough’ (especially as this is my debut) was the biggest challenge. In hindsight, I guess it was the highlight as well – actually having concrete evidence and knowledge that I was good enough, people loved my story and my writing, and now I’m not fearful anymore.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Music is where my scenes really come to life. I’ll be walking in the morning with my headphones blaring, and a song will come on which fits the general theme of what’s going on with the characters, then their motivations will flow through from the music and lyrics and their actions will reflect the melody and beat.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

Not too long ago I would have said Sarah J Maas, but really I just have some authors whose stories have stuck with me forever. Jean M Auel, J. K. Rowling, and James Marsden are some that come to mind. Though recently I’ve discovered a fellow indie author, Renee Dugan, whose stories are out of this world! I fell so hard for her writing, characters and story – and am confident in saying that she is my favourite author. She is also one of the most beautiful souls I know, and so supportive and encouraging in everything.

What are you reading now?

Currently reading Nightwing – Renee Dugan.

Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

Favourite story as an adult is Dugan’s ‘Darkwind’, the first in her Starchaser Saga. As a child, I absolutely devoured the ‘Tommorrow When the War Began’ series by James Marsden.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I’d like to say something cool like hiking, archery or motorbiking, but honestly it’s playing vidoegames, going on dates with my fiancé to Timezone, or ordering great food on Uber Eats and snuggling up with a good movie/book.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Trust yourself. Trust that you are enough, and that your story is worth telling. All of the technical stuff comes later, and it’s a neverending learning process. Also do not rush releasing your book, DODAD took me 5 years, and I still feel like I rushed parts of it. Learn the craft, learn your style, and release the book when you are ready and can be 100% proud of what you’ve accomplished.

How do you handle writer’s block?

I don’t, really! I will either not write for weeks on end, sit at a computer staring at a blank screen, or just force myself to write words (no matter how crappy they are!) though hey, I wrote 10k one day by doing that – and they weren’t that bad! Again, it’s down to trusting yourself. Also, surround yourself with great people. I had one amazing friend one night ‘coach’ me through writing the words, just in messages, by going “okay so then what happened,” “that’s good, how does she react?” Honestly she helped me turn 10 words into 1,000 that day.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

This is a tricky one. I guess it all comes down to your story. At the end of the day, it’s the story that pulls you forward. Though, it doesn’t hurt to practise your prose so that the flow of words is like a river lulling you through the story as opposed to a waterfall dunking you head first into the deep end.  Also tea and coffee are very important elements of writing. A must have for any author, really.

What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Considering DODAD was utterly panst, I would have to say characters come first. It’s their motivations and actions that drive the plot, otherwise your characters will just become passive, and it wouldn’t matter if they were even in the story to begin with.

Describe a typical writing day.

(haha) * sweating profusely * – a good day of writing for me consists of me waking up at 3:45am, writing for 2 hours before going for a walk and heading to work. A normal day of writing for me is waking up anywhere between 3:45am and 6am, surfing instagram, pinterest and authortube for a good long while, noticing I haven’t written anything then speed writing 100 words before work. An absurd day of writing for me is noticing that I haven’t written anything for a week and then smashing out 10k in one day. And finally, the best days – on weekend, walking to a café and letting the words flow (preferably whilst chatting/sprinting with critique partners).

How do you do research for your books?

Movies, youtube, and speaking to people about certain subjects. Luckily I write fantasy so a lot of historical facts get to be twisted in certain ways which is almost always to my benefit. Any bits and bobs (like names of different weapons or parts of bows) I’ll Google to my heart’s content. It’s great being in a group of writers where we can share what we know, interesting facts and ways of looking at life and situations, and implement that in our own ways into our writing.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

It really doesn’t take much to make me emotional, let me tell you! But for me, I play sad instrumental music, and really dive deep into the head of my characters. I role play a little, speak their dialogue if I have to, and will almost always cry after that’s done. Then I’ll sit down and write.

How do you handle literary criticism?

With a grain of salt and a serving of resilience on the side. I am not sure if it’s the Aussie in me, but I tend to take critique pretty well, especially if I know they’re coming from a good place. I listen to my CP critique’s almost religiously, because I know that I’m the newbie to this scene. I know that I have a lot to learn, so there’s no point in me trying to convince myself otherwise. If it’s critique coming from someone I know does not mean well, I am happy to brush off the truly negative feedback and focus on improving myself through self-learning and/or my CPs.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

With DODAD, zilch. It was really that ‘first child’ that parents always joke about – make it up as you go along and learn what not to do with the rest of the kids. The world building came as the story moved forward, and going into its sequel I have lots of world building set into place.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I do! I have had some GORGEOUS readers reach out to me to say that they’ve enjoyed DODAD so far, and simply need to know what happens next. I’ve had strangers promote me, and say the most wonderful things in their reviews. It has truly been the most heart warming and rewarding experience of my life.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

You can find me on Instagram under @clarekae, on Facebook under the same username, and my website (which I really need to update!) under Clare Kae Author. I like to pretend to know what I’m doing across all platforms so feel free to join in the shenanigans!

Sapphira

Sapphira is the MC in Awaken. She’s can be sassy and clever, but more often finds herself confused or angry by the sudden shift in her reality. She deals with anxiety and panic attacks due to a few extraordinarily horrific events in her life, and feels as though she carries the weight – or fate – of the world on her shoulders.


Fallon

Fallon has always been Sapphira’s protector, her friend and ally. But by the end of book 1, Saph has discovered that not everything she thought she knew about her friend was true.
In book 2, we see so much more of this stunning lady and her people – and we get to really see her in her element.
There is more to Fallon than meets the eye, though, and I can only hope Sapphira is ready to see who Fallon truly is, and what she is capable of.
Is she an ally? Was everything a lie? And what side is the djinn woman on in the game of the gods?


Ari

Ari is a complicated woman.
She’s a sassy, moody protector for Sapphira, and one that hasn’t been around as long as the others.
Ari introduces Saph to one of MY favourite characters in the series, and brings a lot of conflict and hard truths to the story.
She is also one of the only characters that I have a love-hate relationship with while writing – she doesn’t like to stick to the outline at all!


Valdis

This is the badass known as Valdis.
She is someone you don’t want to cross – a powerful Necromancer and Assassin.
In Awaken, Valdis is someone Sapphira meets that becomes an invaluable acquaintance. She helps Saph overcome some pretty awful things, and we get to see a side of this beauty that not many others see.
Saph wouldn’t be the person she is, going into book 2, if Valdis hadn’t been in her life.
Whether that’s a good thing, though, we’ll have to wait and see!


Kamilla

Kamilla is trouble. She’s power-hungry, deceitful, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. It’s unfortunate that Sapphira gets between Kamilla and her goal – but who will come out on top? That depends on which of the feisty ladies has more power and the strongest allies. Don’t count Kamilla out just yet though – she has had centuries to perfect her skills and deceptions!


Lyra

Lyra has more sass in her little finger than anyone on earth! She’s probably been around a lot longer, too! She makes the most divine cup of coffee Saph has ever had – and is usually the one to put our MC in her place. Sapphira comes to love the old woman, and hears some fascinating truths from her along the way.


Stay tuned for your introduction to the boys of Awaken!

I love hearing from readers about what they thought of my work, it means the world to authors like me – it is amazing that a story that began in my head has managed to touch others, that someone has found a character relatable – or the plot came as a surprise. Mostly, I’m so happy that all of my hard work has given someone some joy, or an escape from reality, if just for a little while.

The following are just some of the amazing thoughts I have received from you guys about Awaken. Keep your feedback coming – I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Happy reading!

Have you picked up your copy of Awaken yet? Let me know what you thought!