Behind the Book: The Devil’s Own by K.A. Fox

This is book 1 in a trilogy. What can readers look forward to in this series?

As the series goes on, we see Delaney grow as she learns more about her abilities and the people she trusts, especially her father. There are tough decisions she’s forced to make, but there are good things that come about as a result. It’s a reminder that sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want or plan, no matter how good our intentions may be, but there’s still a chance for hope in the very end. 

Can you introduce the MC, Laney?

Delaney Murphy is the daughter of the Devil, who was posing as a human rock star named Angus Murphy when he fell in love with a human woman. Laney’s always known who her father is, but it wasn’t until she realized that his powers had been passed to her that she made the difficult decision to limit her contact with other people in an effort to protect them. She only breaks her self-imposed isolation when she recognizes a rogue demon is targeting women. Leaving her self-imposed isolation starts a domino effect that forces her to confront those parts of herself that are the most frightening.

Do Hell Hounds feature in the series and can you tell me about any pets you have?

Hell Hounds do feature in this series and they are the most fun to write about. In fact, Laney’s Hound, Moose, is based on my own supersized Yorkie (who also just happens to be named Moose). The Hounds become even more integral to the plot in Books 2 and 3.  Here’s a picture of my Moose, who is always nearby when I’m writing. 

What inspired you to write this series?

Delaney’s character came to life in my head because of a comment someone made to me while I was at work. It was not very nice, essentially equating me with the spawn of Satan, but it sparked an idea in my head about a young woman who is really trying to do the right thing, and just happens to be the daughter of the Devil. It definitely turned a negative into a positive. 

Who do you think would enjoy your series?

I think this series would appeal to readers who’ve enjoyed the The Hollows series by Kim Harrison and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, as well as readers who enjoy books by Cassandra Clare. 

Is there a date for book 3’s release?

At this time, Book 3 is tentatively scheduled for release in autumn 2021.

Can you share a snippet?

Angus had come to me, after my prom had erupted into mayhem at the sudden emergence of my magic. He’d given me a choice.

“All of it? All that happened because of you?” I faced him, tears blurring my vision. I didn’t want to believe what he’d just told me, but gut deep, I knew every word had been true. The screams from the gym still echoed in my ears.

“No Delaney. It happened because of you.” He gave me a sad smile. “The sins of the father and all that.”

The room swam as I fought to catch a breath. My mother. My friends. My future. Everything I thought my life would be was slipping away and there was nothing I could do.

“You have to make a choice.” This time his voice was softer. “Stay or go. You have to decide.”

I forced myself to swallow against the bile in my throat. “That’s not a choice, Dad. But you already knew that.”

He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t look away. No matter what, he would be my witness.

“Go. It’s the right thing to do.” As I choked the words out, an agonized scream rose up from the hall right outside the room I’d hidden in, as if somehow my answer had penetrated the walls. I recognized the voice that called my name, pleading with me not to leave as a heavy fist battered the door I’d locked behind me. My heart twisted in my chest, a pain I almost welcomed. But the decision was made. I nodded at my father, more strength in my answer this time. “I have to go.”

“That’s my girl.”

He came to stand behind me, strong arms wrapping around and pulling me close, snuggling me up against his heart. The scent of brimstone stung my nose even as it comforted me. Then he took one step back and we fell, together, into Hell.

The Devil’s Own by K.A. Fox

Where can readers go to find out more about you and your books?

My books can be found on all retail platforms. Readers can find me on Amazon here, https://www.amazon.com/K-A-Fox/e/B07MCB7BGS, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=K.A.%20Fox, and on my website, imkafox.com. I’m also @imkafox on Instagram.

The below are affiliate links. Read Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

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Book Review: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom

Behind the Book: Petrified by Ben Meeks

[Kofi]

Happy MerMay 2021

Hello my mermaid loving readers. It’s the month of mermaids and MerMay 2021 is going to be MerMazing!

#MerMay

Readalong with Hannah Read

Author Hannah Read has created a MerMay readathon for May! She has encouraged people to get her novel Tenebrasco and set chapter goals throughout the month, so we can read along together.

As a mermaid fiction author myself, this sounded like so much fun. I’ve downloaded the book to my Kindle and despite being a slow reader I will try my best to keep up.

Follow #MerMayReadalong , #PearlWielders & @hannah.reads on Instagram.

The below are affiliate links. Read Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

Newsletter Reward

I want to do something special to celebrate MerMay and Ocean Heart’s 6 month birthday is on 1 June.

I invited my newsletter subscribers to enter a giveaway. They’ll also be invited first to read Sky Heart when it is ready for readers.

Later this month, I will extend this invitation to my Instagram followers.

Google Play

Ocean Heart is now available to buy on Google Play. To celebrate I have made the book FREE worldwide during the first week of May.

If you haven’t yet got a copy of Ocean Heart and you are a Google Books reader, now is your chance to treat yourself.

Check it out here.

Free Digital Download

I have been developing my technical skills to produce digital products. I decided to share my Book Tracker as a free download from my Ko-Fi Shop.

In addition, I’ve posted a link there that enables Ko-Fi fans to download Ocean Heart for free from Google Play ALL month.

It’s Free to follow me on Ko-Fi, so why not? That way you can enjoy the freebies and won’t miss out on future freebies.

Apple iBooks

ITunes Connect’s webpage is currently not loading on the page that allows new authors to join. The technical team have apologised for the issues and are working on resolving these.

Update: 30 May, I managed to create an author account but I think I have to wait 24h to add a book. So maybe later this month I’ll be on Apple. 🤞

Ocean Charity

I want to donate to an Ocean charity. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages and there are so many good ones out there.

I recently watched Seapiracy on Netflix and it reminded me of how crucial the ocean is to all of us.

This month I will pick a charity and donate. Let me know if you have any recommendations.

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What to watch if you love mermaids

Book Review : Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Book Review: Mermaid School by Lucy Courtenay

About Ocean Heart

Romance Tropes – Which are your favourites?

With Valentines Day coming up, I thought it’d be fun to share some of the romance tropes that can be found in Ocean Heart, and possibly in Sky Heart. Warning: Lots of snogging Gifs!

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link. NB: This post contains these affiliate links…

Friends to Lovers

This is a favourite romance trope of mine because my husband and I started out as friends. For us it had a HEA, we have a beautiful home and two fabulous kids, and later this year we’ll be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. But getting together wasn’t easy, and it risked our friendship if it didn’t work out.

In Ocean Heart, Mariah is crushing on her BFF.  It starts off as an unrequited love, but during the novel they deal with first kisses, jealousy, and a break up.  Can they rekindle their romance, save their friendship, or do they need to move on?  

Enemies to Lovers

Sometimes I don’t like the trope because I don’t want them to get together. It depends on why they are enemies but, I made it work in Ocean Heart. Check out the reviews of Ocean Heart.

When Mariah beats swim star Murray in a race, he doesn’t handle losing well.  After behaving like an idiot, he starts to take an interest in her but she’s not interested.  She’s heard about his reputation.  

Check out my review of A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas.

Bad Boy

This is the one where the bad boy falls in love and changes his ways. I’m a sucker for this one as a fantasy, but in real life not so much. Bad boys are bad news and rarely deliver a HEA.

Murray has an Instagram feed of all his conquests and he’s not ashamed to brag about it.  It’s why he’s so protective over his sister Kiely.  He knows guys only want one thing, until...

Love Triangle

Some people really hate this trope. Eek! But, not me. Throw in more hot guys, more romances, more complications, and I’m hooked turning the page.

There are technically two in Ocean Heart.  First up, when Mariah realises she’s crushing on her BFF Jace, he already has a girlfriend, Kiely.  Later, when Murray takes an interest in Mariah, he attempts to draw her attention away from Mariah. 

Check out my review of Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom.

Soul Mates

This is where two people are meant to be together. It’s common in paranormal romances, where a wolf imprints on their mate.

Mariah is a mermaid.  She doesn’t know it, but when she accidentally marks one of the guys as her mate for life, then they are bound. 

Fake Relationship

People fake relationships in books often to raise their status, or to get a reaction from someone else. In Out Of My League the MC accepts the deal to save face at a party where she catches her boy friend cheating, and in The Practice Boyfriend the MC strikes a deal to gain access to the elite parties.

In Ocean Heart, Mariah agrees to a fake relationship.  Both parties have different reasons but united on one goal; to end a romance.  

Check out my review of Out of My League by Sarah Sutton or The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin.

I’m working on book 2, Sky Heart, which follows Kiely’s story and already I can see certain Tropes appearing.

Second Chance

This is where old flames rekindle. The question is always whether their is a relationship worthy of a second chance or too much damage.

In Sky Heart, Keily is desperate to get back with her ex. She struggles to handle the break up gracefully.  

Check out my review of Duet Rubato by Claerie Kavanaugh.

Best friend’s Brother

As a teen I loved a book called Ginger’s First Kiss by Janet Quin-Harkin. It’s the first book in the Boyfriend Club series where a group of friends pact to help each other get their first kisses and Ginger realises she’s into her BFF’s brother. I got it free with a teen magazine at the time called BIG. Over the years I have lost the book and it is no longer in distribution.

Both Keily’s BFFs have brothers, and both are off limits.  It’s a rule the girls made. A rule Kiely is tempted to break when one of them offers to help her get over her ex in a way nobody else can. 

Check out my review of Amelia’s Story: The Wiccan Romances by Nicola Hebron.

Forbidden love

This trope is so exciting. There’s all the danger of getting caught, and whatever the stakes are.

It’s not just her friends that Keily needs to hide who she is seeing, it’s also her over protective big brother, Murray.  And later, she must keep it hidden from someone more dangerous than she ever imagined.  

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to like and follow.

[kofi]

Search the blog for more posts on Romance as I have interviewed romance authors and reviewed romance books.

All Author Cover Contest

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, Ocean Heart (The Soul Heart Series Book 1), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here:

Ocean Heart Cover

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My debut novel releases tomorrow!

Coming Soon: Ocean Heart Launch Party!

About Ocean Heart

All Author Cover Contest – Vote Ocean Heart

Ocean Heart Book Blitz Sign Up

My plan was to sign up via Expresso Tour for a Net Galley ARC release during November. I wrote the email and then chaos with kids happened, and I didn’t click send.

When I realised my mistake, I emailed Giselle. Unfortunately, November was booked up and her easiest space was after Dec. This was no good to me as I wanted to spread the word of my upcoming release.

Giselle then told me about a Book Blitz. It sounded perfect. Anyone, interested in Ocean Heart can sign up and spread the word during the first week of Nov.

Keep your eyes peeled for blogs showcasing Ocean Heart. I’ll be sharing them to my Instagram stories and Twitter so you don’t miss out.

[kofi]

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Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Now you can PreOrder Ocean Heart!

Book Reviews

Ocean Heart

Camp NaNo Progress (mid July 2020)

So, I set three targets and it’s not gone to plan…

Writing Goal: Finish Sky Heart

Originally finishing Sky Heart was my main goal for Camp NaNo. I always struggle with writing endings so I knew this wouldn’t be easy.

Kiely was a 2nd viewpoint in an early draft of book 2. In that draft Mariah was the MC but Kiely’s story took over. Then I cut all Kiely’s parts and made a new book in 2018 called Glide. In 2019, it was renamed Diamond in the Sky and I added to it but never finished it.

I opened the manuscript and had no idea what was going on. It has been too long. I’m lost.

Instead of working on the ending, I’ve had to start at the beginning, reading the whole manuscript and making notes. The good thing is I’ve already identified parts to improve which will help when I come to edit. I’m now up to chapter 10.

This book has always taken a back seat to book 1. As book 1 is with my editor I thought I could finally work on finishing this but I was wrong. As you’ll see below, Book 1 has demanded my attention.

Book 2 has been renamed Sky Heart and promptly put back in the back seat… maybe next month Kiely.

Publishing: Ocean Heart

I thought sending my novel off to my editor meant my job was done…

No!

Very quickly I realised how much work I have to do to launch my book. As this is a priority, I adjusted my goals to continue working on Ocean Heart.

So far I have:

  • Written a dedication.
  • Researched & written my copyright statement.
  • Researched covers in my genre to identify what I like or don’t and gather the details my cover designer needs.
  • Planning for a Giveaway.
  • Researching how to provide ARC copies.
  • Attend my first ever meeting with my editor (this Thursday).
  • Got feedback on my Blurb

Still to do:

  • Finish the instructions for my cover designer so she can start work on my covers (eBook & Paperback). For this, I still need to finalise my blurb and decide on book sizing like trim, etc.
  • Use the feedback to improve my blurb.
  • Create a space for my Street Team to access exclusive content and be the first to know my news.
  • Researching meta data
  • So much more…

Reading Goal: Agent Undone (eBook)

I’ve now reached chapter 9. My little girl is demanding more attention from me now so I get less time to read on my phone during the day, which is when I read eBooks.

Reading Goal: Sea Witch (paperback)

After work I’ve felt too frazzled to do anything but watch rubbish on YouTube – I’m not proud of the time wasted on this.

When I have had energy, I’ve worked on my writing and got so into it that I had to go to bed after, with no time to read.

But, I have made some progress. I’m now up to chapter 19 (I was at chapter 4 at the start of July).

Learning Goal: Storyseller Academy

I’ve not even logged in. I’m desperate to make progress on this course but struggling to fit everything in.

I have done some learning as I’ve been researching things like Trim Size and Copyright statements.

But, this course is about successfully publishing your novel and I know it’s full of info that would be useful to me.

So, the next half of the month I’m going to make this a priority (after anything Ocean Heart related) and let go of Sky Heart for now.

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Camp NaNo July 2020

Why you need a developmental editor!

Find your Summer Reads in the latest WIW Brochure

Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Camp NaNo July 2020

I’m taking part! Or, so I say…

I’m doing the challenge with World IndieWarriors and set my goals as follows:

  1. Write the ending of Sky Heart (book 2) – estimated 20k words
  2. Finish reading my two current reads (Agent Undone by Cassidy Reyne, and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning)
  3. Complete Storyseller Academy course

About Sky Heart

Slow Start

1 July

I’ve barely started! So, at the end of June I was sending Ocean Heart (book 1) to my editor but fear struck. It was ready a week early but I kept reading it through, checking it, worrying whether it is good enough. When I was still doing this is July, I realised what I was doing and hit send… at almost midnight.

2 July

So, I started a day late. When I looked at chapter 24 of Sky Heart (book 2) I couldn’t remember what was going on. It dawned on me that it’s been too long, I need to reread it all to get my hear back in the story. I may not get to write this month 😢.

3 July

I was introduced to a website called Art Breeder. OMG this website is addictive! At first my ‘breeds’ were not quite right but the more I played the better I got.

Top row – Mariah, Jace; Bottom row – Murray, Kiely

4 July

Today, I’ve been working on blog posts and reading (a little). Blog posts weren’t part of my NaNo goal but reading was. Finally started on Camp NaNo 😂.

Reflecting

I think if it wasn’t Camp NaNo, I would have taken a break this month to reflect on finishing Ocean Heart.

I’m nervous about what is next and still have a lot to learn and publishing it is my annual priority goal.

You’ll notice I’ll be more laid back about my goals this month. As always, any progress is good but I’m more interested in the social aspect of the challenge.

It’s a great way to connect with other writers. If I can encourage another creative towards achieving their goals, that’s still a win. And once I’ve rejuvenated I’ll come back stronger.

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Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Writing Progress: May

Camp NaNo Progress

12 tips for self editing

Camp NaNo Progress

This is an update is on how day 21 to 30 has gone.

It hasn’t been great. I wasted two evenings watching Extraction, another watching Last Kingdom and baking breakfast muffins.

On top of that I had some connection issues with Virgin Media (and I use Google Docs), and one evening I even forgot to charge my laptop so it was dead.

And, when I have gotten down to writing, I’ve procrastinated. Working from home on my laptop during the day, then editing on my laptop in the evening has felt never ending and it’s taken its toll.

Carry on reading to discover how my Camp NaNo April 2020 ended. I promise it wasn’t pointless.

#CampNaNoWIW

I am in the World Indie Warriors cabin (now called groups). On Instagram they’ve set a photo challenge:

I haven’t had time to keep up on IG but my team spirit won’t let me let it go. So, I decided to post my pics every 10 days on my blog.

#SnippetTuesday

Favourite part of the writing process

My favourite part is definitely the creating. I love coming up with story ideas and characters.

#Worldbook Day – Shelfie time!

Best writing advice you’ve ever been given

Successful authors are writers that never gave up.

Publishing is not easy and I easily could have quit my dream long ago.

A lot of time has been spent on my manuscripts, on creating queries, synopsis, blurbs and pitches. Only to be rejected. I’ve developed a thick skin and learned to use feedback to help me grow rather than take it personally.

Sometimes the task feels too big, never ending. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve learnt from my mistakes. I wrestle with my self doubt and imposter syndrome. And, I’m becoming a stronger writer all the time.

I will publish. I know I will. I’m never going to quit.

Campfire audience: who do you write for?

Me. Initially, I write for myself, for fun. This is super important as novel writing is a marathon. Can you imagine spending that long working on something you don’t even like?

My target audience is anyone that enjoys YA Contemporary Fantasy. I’d especially like teen girls to enjoy it and be able to relate to my MC, despite her being a mermaid.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I work at a college but most of my free time is spent with my kids. I wanted to be a mum for a long time. They’re hard work and wear me out but I love them so much.

We love by the sea, nearby woodland walks and lots of farms within driving distance. When this lockdown is over, I will be taking my kids out to enjoy the great outdoors.

Favourite out of genre book

My favourite GCSE book was An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestly. It’s a period play. I wouldn’t choose to read it but had to and ended up loving it.

It was about how a family had caused a woman’s death. Independently their actions were small but collectively they had a massive impact on her life. I also enjoyed the twist at the end.

#TeaserTuesday

Cliffhangers: yay or nay?

Last day of camp – how did you do?

Jodie taught me how adjust my goal to make it more realistic. I lowered it to editing 25k words.

I started day 21 with my editing up to chapter 7. I finish Camp Nano on day 30 by editing chapter 10. That’s a total of 27,403 words edited this month. That makes me a winner!

It definitely could have gone better but I have developed a realistic editing goal. May, I’ll try to edit another 15 chapters, and June, I’ll edit the final 12. That’s rough 30k words a month.

Yesterday, I started Furlough for 3 weeks. Hopefully this will help my motivation as I won’t be staring at my laptop all day and it’ll alleviates some pressure so I won’t be as tired.

I would love to see your answers to the above. Let me know if you are taking part on IG or posting somewhere else.

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Camp NaNo Progress (days 11 to 20)

Camp NaNo Progress (days 1 to 10)

My Books

My To Be Read Pile

Behind the Book: The Sentinels (series) by Cassidy Reyne

The first two books of Cassidy’s Romantic Suspense series is out with more coming. Here she shares her inspiration, process and snippets.

What inspired you to write The Sentinels Series?

Over 10 years ago, I woke up one morning from a dream and immediately thought it would be exactly the kind of story I would like to read. I didn’t remember more than a few snippets from that dream, but in my head I started to create the story in my head. I worked out who all the characters were, how they acted, and what they looked like. Then, I figured out what their likes and dislikes were and what made them who they are as individuals. Eventually, I had the whole story written in my head from start to finish, but that’s where it stayed until I decided to stop being scared and just throw it out there.

How long did it take to write and publish from the first idea?

The actual writing didn’t take me that long as I had everything already worked out and I also type quite fast. I think I had it all down on the screen in around 6 weeks. Then I spent another 6 weeks or so re-writing, editing, fixing continuity mistakes and filling potholes. From opening a new document on my computer to pressing the publishing button too about 3 months in total. I probably should have taken more time with it, but I knew that if I didn’t get it out of my hands and into the world, I would never actually put it out there. It was a do or die kind of thing.

Did you know it would be a duology from the start?

I don’t think I ever thought beyond the first book until it was published and I’d had some time to process. Then I got this feeling that the main characters’ story wasn’t quite finished. There were events in their pasts that needed to be brought their full conclusion. So, I started to work on book 2 and it didn’t take long for some of the other characters to start telling me they wanted their stories to be heard as well.

Consequently, I now have a complete first draft of book 3 and I’m also plotting book 4. Will there be a fifth? Well, a voice in my head keeps telling me so, but for the time being I’ve told him to shut up.

Why did you choose a pen name when you published?

I’m a fairly private person and don’t like everyone knowing every aspect of my life, so to protect my privacy I chose to use a pen name. That way I can accept friend requests from readers on Facebook and know that real my life, and the lives of my family and friends, won’t be displayed to complete strangers.

What genre is The Sentinels and can you name any similar books?

The Sentinels Series comes under romantic suspense, although it has a tiny bit of paranormal thrown into the first two books. It is similar to Rescued by Stephanie St. Klaire and the styles of Lucy Score and Ivy Smoak.

Which character is most like you and why?

There’s a little of me in all my female characters but I would say Anya is probably the one who is most like me. She loves with abandon, is loyal to a fault, but won’t allow anyone to tell her how she should behave and soon gets up if she’s been kicked to the floor. She’s independent, stubborn and finds something good in everyone she meets. Except her worst enemy.

Tell me about a typical day in the life of author Cassidy Reyne?

Hmmmm, a typical day. Well, I’m usually up and having my morning coffee around 8.30 in the morning and sitting with my laptop looking through whatever I was working on the night before. I’ll also scroll through social media, reply to emails, and say good morning to my writer friends who are doing almost the exact same thing as I am. After the usual household chores are out of the way, I usually have a few things to do for our main business, but before lunch I want to be sitting at my desk getting stuck into whatever I’m working on. I’ll take a break for lunch with my husband before going back to work till around 4 in the afternoon. By that time, I’ll be needing a longer break so I’ll get on with other things till after dinner when I’ll go back to my writing for a while. I’m not quite so focused during the evening and often fit in other things like social media and chatting with friends. I might even watch some tv if I feel I need a distraction. Since I work from home I have the luxury of going to bed when I want to so you can often find me still at my desk around 1 am.

During the week I also fit in a yoga and pilates session and a non-syllabus ballet class, as well as a few walks around the neighborhood for some fresh air.

Please share a snippet or a teaser from the book?

The Sentinels 1 — Saving Her

The helicopter rose up from its platform by the East River dock and started a sweep out over the water. It circled the whole of Manhattan and they could see all the big sights and buildings. The view from the air put a whole different perspective on the city. It was a warm day for being in early March and the first signs of spring could be seen even from this height. When the chopper veered away from the center and left the city behind, Anya turned to Nikolas looking puzzled.

“I’m taking you for lunch at this little place I know in Montauk, you’ll love it. It’s right by the beach and as it’s out of season there shouldn’t be many people around.” He explained with a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. Anya grinned at him in delight and turned to gaze out through the window again as Long Island stretched out beneath their feet.

“Oh Nikolas, this place is beautiful. Have you spent a lot of time here?” Anya drew a soft sigh of pleasure at the sight of the little New England style restaurant overlooking a wide, deserted beach. The sun glittered on the blue water and seagulls soared on the air currents overhead. It was a beautiful spot that he always enjoyed coming back to. He explained that it belonged to some close friends of his but he hadn’t been there for a couple of years or so.

As they walked in, Anya gasped in surprise. The restaurant was all lit up with soft lights and music playing in the background. One table by the windows facing the ocean was set for two with white linen, flowers and a flickering candle. Outside, the sun was setting on the horizon and painted the whole sky in red and gold.

Anya had a wonderful time with Nikolas, having dinner at the gorgeous little restaurant with his friend’s parents serving up the most delicious food. They had lobster and crab for entrées, a wonderful home cooked stew as their main course and a mouthwatering chocolate and raspberry cake to finish off. Anya didn’t think the helicopter would be able to take off with all the extra weight they must have just put on. Nikolas laughed and agreed with her. He felt so full he didn’t think he could walk but it was all worth it seeing the look on her face.

Anya decided this was the birthday she had ever had. God knew she hadn’t had much reason to celebrate anything in the last few years. It was a relief to finally feel that life could be good and there was every reason to be hopeful for the future. As she looked across the table at Nikolas’ face, which was lit up by the soft light from the candle, she was amazed at how fate intervened sometimes. Even if nothing ever came from this she would always be grateful to Nikolas for helping her see that this was the beginning of her new life. She just hoped he would be a part of it for a long time. When he placed his hand over hers on the table a warm tingle spread up her arm and into her chest and the butterflies in her stomach took flight.

“I have something for you.” He said softly and brought out a small box prettily wrapped with a bow on top.

“Please, Nikolas, you’ve already given me too much. I can’t accept this.” Anya pleaded with him.

“It’s only something small to remember this day by. Open it, please, I can’t take it back now.” Anya carefully opened the present and under white tissue paper nestled a silver case with an engraved leafy vine trailing around the outside edge. Nikolas explained he thought she could put her new business cards in it for when she had decided what she wanted to do after selling her current company. Anya gently opened the case and drew in a soft breath when she saw the inscription on the inside of the lid. It read ‘Et hoc est solum initium est’ in italic script.

“It’s Latin and means ‘This is only the beginning’.” Nikolas said. His voice was soft and warm and made Anya smile. He was right. This was just the beginning of the rest of her life.

“Thank you so much, it’s the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever been given. I just don’t understand how you had time to organize all this, and why you would go to so much trouble for someone you hardly know.”

Because I want this to be the beginning of the rest of your life — with me.The thought of wanting her always in his life no longer surprised Nikolas, he just wasn’t sure how she felt yet and didn’t quite know how to take the next step, but he was confident he’d be able to win her over.

The Sentinels 1 – Saving Her

The Sentinels 2 — Saving Him

She hadn’t slept all night, not that that was any different from all other nights these last three weeks. She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d had any kind of restful sleep; certainly not since she’d been told Nikolas wasn’t coming home again. Everyone kept saying he was dead but she knew better, didn’t she? Their bond was still there and she refused to believe she could still feel it just because she hadn’t accepted the truth, that she was clinging to false hope, an echo. But if he wasn’t dead then why hadn’t he come home? Gray and Logan had checked all the hospitals in a 30-mile radius but no one matching his description had been brought in. That meant he wasn’t lying injured and unconscious in a hospital bed somewhere. There were only a couple of other reasons for him staying away that Anya could think of. She tried very hard to keep those thoughts out of her head, but his behavior in the weeks leading up to the explosion made it almost impossible for her to do so. She slumped down on the unforgiving tiles, exhausted and covered in a cold sweat. She needed to start getting herself ready but she didn’t want to. She just wanted to hide in a dark room so she didn’t have to face what was coming; Nikolas’ Memorial. She had told Rick she didn’t want to go but he’d said Nikolas’ friends needed to say a last farewell to their friend. His parents, Connor and Elizabeth, needed some closure and to celebrate their only son’s life. And they all wanted Anya there, to be able to support her and show her how loved her husband had been. She already knew how loved and cherished he was and as he wasn’t dead there was no need for a Memorial! She felt like shouting out to the world that there was no need for any of this, he was alive! In the end, though, she’d agreed to attend just to get everyone off her back and, most of all, for Nikolas’ parents. She loved them dearly and didn’t want to make the situation any worse for them than it already was. They couldn’t feel the tether that was still connecting her and Nikolas and she couldn’t convince them it wasn’t just a whisper of what had once been the strongest bond two Sentinels could possibly share. Anya dragged herself off the floor and into the shower. She turned the water to scalding and stood under the streaming jets, hoping it would ease some of the tension in her tightly wound muscles. As she slowly lathered her skin she could feel the hard outlines of her ribs and hips, a sharpness that hadn’t been there a few weeks ago. Not eating or sleeping properly and running too many miles every day for several weeks would do that to a person. Her fingers lingered on her skin, remembering when it had been Nikolas’ hands on her body. She’d always felt so safe and protected in his hands. So loved. When the water started running cold Anya got out and slowly attempted to dry herself off. She wrapped a towel around her hair and pulled the bathrobe around her thin body. She wouldn’t be picked up for the service for a few hours yet but she still started to slowly get herself ready. She was hoping it would keep her mind occupied and away from the thoughts that were slowly eroding the tenuous hold she still had on her sanity. The heat from the hairdryer felt soothing on her scalp but she didn’t have the energy to try to style her hair the way she usually did. In any case, it had lost all its usual shine and bounce so all she could be bothered to do was to pull it into a severe bun at the nape of her neck. After trying, and failing miserably, to cover the shadows under her eyes with foundation, and adding some blusher to her pale cheeks she dressed in a black pencil skirt, cream blouse with a short fitted jacket, and the red-soled black stilettos that had been Nikolas’ favorites on her. Her motions were robotic and automatic. She couldn’t allow herself to think too much about what she was doing and why she was doing it or she’d flee the apartment and find an isolated corner of the world where no one could ever find her. After she’d finished getting ready she made her way downstairs and slumped down on the sofa in the living room. The Memorial still wasn’t for another few hours and Mac was picking her up in the car so she wouldn’t have to drive. Anya sat stiff with her back ramrod straight and her hands twisting and untwisting until the skin was red raw, staring out the large window in front of her. Her heart hammering in he chest and a terrifying speed. She didn’t want to do this, she couldn’t! How could anyone expect her to say goodbye to her husband, her best friend, the love of her life, her soulmate — when every fiber of her being told her he was still alive?

The Sentinels 2 – Saving Him

What project are you currently working on?

That should really be projects — plural, as I’m editing a standalone novel as well as first round edits of book 3 and I’m also plotting and planning book 4 in The Sentinels Series.

Where can we find out more and buy The Sentinels — Saving Her?

If you go to my website cassidyreyne.com, you will find all the information on both my books and links to where to buy them. They are both available from Amazon in paperback and ebook, and also free in Kindle Unlimited. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as well.

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Behind the Book: Sorceress of Truth by Jodie Groom

Behind the Book: Annabelle by Elexis Bell

Behind the Book: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver

Check out World Indie Warriors for more amazing reads.

Camp NaNo Progress (days 1 to 10)

This is an update on how the first 10 days have gone.

I wanted to start April having already completed my read through. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. So, I spent the first few days getting it done.

Monday, 6 April, I was able to start my editing. Using the feedback from my Developmental Editor. I have managed to edit 4 chapters (about 9k words). The biggest changes have included:

  • A new scene added to chapter 2
  • Kya O’Malley is now Kiely O’Neil
  • Murray O’Malley is now Murray O’Neil
  • A scene in chapter 4 has been completely rewritten

I am in the World Indie Warriors cabin (now called groups) on NaNoWriMo. On Instagram they’ve set a photo challenge:

I haven’t had time to keep up on IG but my team spirit won’t let me let it go. So, I decided to post my pics every 10 days on my blog.

Camp Goals / Tell us about your WIP

Both of these are covered in my blog post titled Are you doing Camp NaNo?

Camp Buddies

What will you do to celebrate?

It feels hard to think about celebrating during a lockdown. I can’t go anywhere and I’m only buying necessities.

It will be something simple like watching a film with my husband and maybe ordering a take away if we are still able to.

Camp Music

I find music distracting whilst writing/editing. The other day I was feeling tired after work and was procrastinating. I clicked on an IG live video by @aquabunart. She was playing her harp. It was really relaxing and helped me get focussed on what I needed to do.

I think I find music useful to get me in the right headspace but not during the task. I also enjoy music whilst plotting or coming up with ideas and have come up with story ideas whilst listening to the radio.

Who inspires you?

Hundreds of authors have inspired me but here are the most notable:

Orchard Tree Books: Yes, they publish children’s first readers. The magic key stories inspired my first stories and awoke my desire to be an author at the age of 5.

Rachel Vincent’s shifter series. I loved the world she built and I wanted to create something similar but my own.

More inspirational people are my granny and grandma. My granny was tenacious and never let anything stop her doing what she needed to. And, my grandma had a big heart and was the first person to believe in my writing.

Camp Fuel

Mmm tea ☕️

One Line

He danced in the sunlight whilst I lurked in the shadows.

Favourite genre/trope

I love YA fiction, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, Low Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Chick Lit, and Children’s Fiction (especially picture books).

I mainly blog and write YA Fantasy. But I also dabble in poetry. And, I’ve drafted a picture book. One day I may also write horror, dystopia and erotica.

Your ideal writing space

I have a Pinterest board with images of my dream space. I’d share it but my boards are so messy they need a spring clean.

I don’t have a dedicated space but I’d like one.

The desk would be a bureau that I could fold away all my mess inside so when I return it is ready. It would have a pin board with inspirational quotes and book plans. A shelf to keep my favourite notebooks and resource books. A draw to hide away my stash of pens and pots for my frequently used. The desk will be large enough to spread out all my papers. Ideally, this space would be in a lodge with beautiful views of a meadow, forest or beach.

I would love to see your answers to the above. Let me know if you are taking part on IG or posting somewhere else.

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NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 4 (November 2019)

Writing Progress: March

The Plot Bunny Vault

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