A Legends of Havenwood Falls Novella
Prequel to the #1 Amazon LGBT Fantasy Bestseller, OF SALT AND STARS
Release Date December 6, 2019
ABOUT THE BOOK
Before there was a curse, there was a wish.
For generations, Noelani has lived in the forest of Havenwood Falls, bestowing blessings and good fortune on all who drink from the waters of her well. Over the years, she has been visited by hundreds of blushing brides and aging widows who crave her magic, but never has she met a heart as pure as that of Stella Malloy—or as dark as that of her fiancé, Peter Heilen. When the couple arrives in Havenwood Falls in the autumn of 1993, the warm waters of Noelani’s well begin to run cold, and a bitter chill sets into the naiad’s heart as the forest darkens around her.
When Stella and Peter receive a postcard from the picturesque town of Havenwood Falls with an invite for Stella to sing at the Haven Saloon, the couple decides to skip the big wedding and elope. The more Stella falls in love with the town, the stranger Peter begins to act. After hearing stories of the magic, love-imbued waters of Noelani’s well, Stella believes it may be the only way to save her love from his dark path and return Peter’s heart to her. Little does she know that the wish she casts at the water’s edge may doom them all.
Amazon US: http://havenwoodfalls.com/tdb-zon
ABOut HAvenwood Falls
This week marks the release of one of my favorite new YA horror stories/series by one of my favorite new ladies of horror fiction: The Night Weaver by Monique Snyman. (If you missed my review, read it here or here.) To help celebrate the release of the book, I invited Monique to do a guest interview here on the blog and share some of her writing pearls of wisdom, as well as talk about what's next for her new Harrowsgate series. Welcome, Monique!
Simultaneously refreshing and deeply unsettling, The Night Weaver weaves together small-town horror with an intricate otherworldly fairytale to deliver a blend of horror and fantasy that captures the essence of young adult terror seasoned with the stuff of grown-up nightmares. - Seven Jane
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
You don’t need to be the next J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, or J.R.R. Tolkien, so stop measuring yourself by their standards when you’re contemplating your future and career. Be the first Monique Snyman. Be you, no matter what, and also, don’t be so impatient with yourself.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Oh, I’ve always known that language had power. Growing up, I had to force myself to speak a certain way in order to “blend” in better. If I didn’t, I was bullied by my peers. Even today, when I go to my childhood home, I change my dialect and the words I pick are wholly different to when I’m not there. So, language has a lot of power, especially if you need to survive adolescence.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Lies like Love by Louisa Reid. I read that book quite a few years ago, but it was such an impactful tale and beautifully crafted book that I still find myself thinking about it.
The Night Weaver doesn’t only prey upon the flesh of children, but on grief, fear, and pain—making her both the monster under the bed in a scared child’s bedroom and a fitting personification of the dark shadow that lives in the back of the mind of anyone who has experienced tragedy. - Seven jane
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I’m a Libra, so balance, in general, comes naturally to me. I do, however, take into account what readers enjoy/despise, and allow their preferences to sometimes guide me on my journey.
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
I wouldn’t call it spiritual per se; it’s rather cathartic for me to write. I have all these characters living inside my head, an unlimited amount of stories that need to come out, and everything battles for my attention when I’m not writing. So, although I have my writing rituals, and for some it could even feel spiritual in a way, but it’s more of a therapy session for me.
And of course, what's next for Rachel and clan?
Well, in The Night Weaver, readers got a taste of the horrible things Shadow Grove often attracts, but in The Bone Carver we get to see what happens when those nasties hone in on a single target and the lengths they’ll go to when they feel … rejected. There are also some new characters being added into the story, but the old ones make an appearance, too. The sequel is a different kind of scary, but scary nonetheless.
Interior artwork courtesy of Monique Snyman. Illustrated by Luke Spooner from Carrion House.
Connect with Monique
You can keep up with Monique on her various social channels. She also has a spectacular blog!
Website – www.moniquesnyman.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/moniquesnyman.author
Twitter – www.twitter.com/moniquesnyman
Instagram – www.instagram.com/therealmoniquesnyman
And, don't forget to stay tuned for the sequel. The Bone Carver is coming September 2020 from Vesuvian Books.
Today is release day for one of my favorite new YA novels by Liana Gardner: Speak No Evil. (If you missed my review, read it here.) To help celebrate the release of the book, I invited Liana to do a guest interview and tell us more about a story that reminds us all that silence does not equal consent, and that the truth, even (and perhaps especially) when it hurts, must be spoken. Speak No Evil is a powerful reminder to today's young women to speak up, speak out, and never lose their voice.
Dark, delicate, and masterfully written, Speak No Evil will make you cringe and cry in equal measure as it pulls your heart through the muck of humanity’s worst evils in every page before depositing you at the end feeling uplifted, empowered, and—most of all—grateful." - Seven Jane
Most authors would avoid such serious subject matter (such as abuse, abandonment, and sexual assault), but you've brought them front and center. What made you want to convey this story for a younger audience?
This is such a HUGE question. To be honest, my gut reaction is, “How can we not?”
So, I’m going to start by answering with some facts. Every 92 seconds another American experiences sexual assault. Every 9 minutes that person is a child. Over 60,000 cases of sexual child abuse are documented each year—and those are only the cases that have been reported. Of those cases, 67% of the victims are aged 12-18 and 34% under the age of 12. One in nine girls and one in 53 boys have experienced sexual assault. For every 1,000 cases reported, only 5 perpetrators will be incarcerated.
The majority of child sexual assault cases involve someone known to the victim; parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, teachers, etc. Most are authority figures. There are some commonalities to the occurrence:
By not talking about weighty topics such as abuse, abandonment, and sexual assault, we are perpetuating the isolation the perpetrators have created. We need books like Speak No Evil so those who have experienced or are experiencing these things know they are not alone. So they realize it is not their fault. And hopefully it gives them an opportunity to find their voice and speak out.
We need those who have not experienced the issues to know that they exist and can happen. And hopefully, they can be a better friend to those who have experienced, to be patient and listen to what the survivor has to say and to say those words the survivor most needs to hear--I believe you.
Because, bearing in mind the statistics, in a classroom of 30 students three or four have experienced or are experiencing sexual abuse. If we don’t provide a safe ground for talking about these matters, then who will?
There are those who will argue that the topics in this book will strip away some of the kids’ innocence. I’d rather provide a kid with the framework for awareness and a platform for discussing such heavy topics than have them find out their reality first hand. And please, let’s stop denying such things exist, negating the experience of so many, demeaning their self-worth.
Like Melody’s voice that could calm snakes, Gardner’s storytelling displays the same sort of sinister charm as she unravels Melody’s past to tell the story of her present. Speak No Evil is at once hypnotic, vaguely sinister, and decidedly beautiful, with sharp, poignant prose that handles the heaviest of issues with grace and delicacy." - Seven Jane
What gave you the idea to frame the story around a protagonist who won't speak?
Some stories come a little at a time, slowly building up the framework, while others burst into being almost fully formed. Speak No Evil was the latter kind. I didn’t decide to frame a story around a protagonist who doesn’t speak, it hit me like a lightning bolt.
On my way to work one morning, I had the radio on and an emotional song came on, and I had the idle thought, as I had many times before, that sometimes songs conveyed feelings better than we are able to say them. Then BAM! the story hit … I nearly had to pull over and probably would have if I had been able to. In the same moment, I felt very strongly the urge to speak, but knowing if I opened my mouth, nothing would come out. And more than anything, I knew I had to write this story and give Melody a voice.
How does the book's title relate to the deeper message?
The title immediately brings to mind the three wise monkeys and the message they convey of turning away from evil. But the underlying meaning is how society silences survivors. Do not speak of the evil that befell you because you will be blamed for allowing it to happen. We are so good at turning our heads away from evil, at pretending it doesn’t exist, that the automatic response is to wonder what the victim did to bring their fate crashing down around them.
We don’t want to face the truth; we don’t want to believe evil exists because if it does, and the victim did nothing wrong, then it could happen to me. Facing the truth means we all lose a little of our security—our feeling of safety.
What do you hope readers take away from your work?
Understanding. Empathy. Hope.
In many ways it depends on the reader. If the reader has not experienced the types of situations Melody has, then what I’d like them to take away is understanding and empathy for those who have. A recognition that it is not the fault of the victim, but that of the perpetrator.
For those who have experienced the abuse, I’d like them to recognize they are not to blame, it isn’t their fault, and they did nothing wrong. And if they have been rendered silent, my hope is that they can find a safe haven where they can find their voice and with it peace.
What was your biggest challenge when writing this piece?
Framing the story from the point of view of a main character who doesn’t speak. :) It would have been much easier to change point of views and give other characters a chance to share the story. But I wanted the reader to share in Melody’s experience right from the beginning, where the wall of silence is palpable. And if the character was non communicative, then I wanted to show that on the page, so felt that going into her thoughts was taking a liberty I shouldn’t. Of course, as she became comfortable and started opening up, I was able to go deeper into the skin of the character.
The other challenge I had to overcome is my deep and abiding fear of snakes. With her background of having been raised in a snake-handling church, the snakes were there throughout the story. So, I had to do my research and have watched more video than I’d care to say about snake-handling churches. One of the scenes deals with Melody caring for and nursing back to health a sick snake. It created an odd place in my head because I’m one of The only good snake is a dead snake. crowd, and the sympathetic feeling for the book snake was a weird thing.
Connect with Liana
Author Website: www.LianaGardner.com
Book Site: www.SpeakNoEvilNovel.com
It's finally happening! Book II in the Daughters Jones Trilogy is coming in 2020!
A NEW CAPTAIN HAS RISEN
Merrin’s journey to the mythical Isle of Bracile was only the beginning. On the seas between one world and the next, she uncovered the secrets of her past and took her rightful name, arising as Merrin Jones, daughter of the infamous Captain Davy Jones and the sea goddess Melusine.
Merrin also discovered the truth of the curse that binds her—and those she loves—to the Sea.
Now, as the Caleuche sails in hopes of reclaiming the Riptide, Merrin will find herself torn not only between two worlds, but also between the love of Tom Birch and Claudette Abobi. When the ocean splits as wide as her heart, Merrin will be forced to choose between the part of her that belongs to the land and that which belongs to the water. Her loyalties will be questioned and the fate of all she loves tested when the Sea calls Merrin home.
With the same blend of history of fantasy that brought the sea to life in The Isle of Gold, the Daughters Jones Trilogy continues as Merrin explores the very depths she will go to in order to save herself, her family, and both the man and woman she loves in The Sea of Glass.
I am so, so excited to continue Merrin's journey. While The Isle of Gold saw Merrin come into her own, she'll confront some tough decisions as she continues to grow in The Sea of Glass. She'll face choosing between the world of her father (land) and her mother (sea) and navigate issues of her own heart with Tom and Claudette and decide where her loyalties like and the type of Captain she'll be.
It's going to be a wild adventure--and since the sea is fickle, there's no telling where Merrin will end up.
Stay tuned for more news AND the cover reveal very soon!
I am so excited to finally share this! In the first Black Spot Books anthology, several of my fellow authors and I have joined forces to bring this dark collection of winter tales to readers just in time for the holidays!
About A MIDNIGHT CLEAR
Six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy from the authors of Black Spot Books.
A woman so cold she hardens to ice on a winter’s eve. Risen from his grave before his time, a winter god alters the balance between seasons. A wolf’s holiday season is interrupted by a strange curse. From a murder at the Stanley Hotel to demons of Christmas past, present, and future, and a mad elf and Santa’s Candy Court, the authors of Black Spot Books share their love for winter holidays in this collection of dark winter tales, destined to chill your bones and warm your heart for the Yuletide season.
About the AUTHORS
Sam Hooker writes darkly humorous fantasy novels about thing like tyrannical despots and the masked scoundrels who tickle them without mercy. He knows all the best swear words, though he refuses to repeat them.
Alcy Leyva is a Bronx-born writer, teacher, and pizza enthusiast. He graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and an MFA in Fiction from The New School.
Laura Morrison lives in the Metro Detroit area. She has a B.S. in applied ecology and environmental science from Michigan Technological University. Before she was a writer and stay-at-home mom, she battled invasive species and researched turtles.
Cassondra Windwalker is a poet and novelist writing full time from the coast of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Her hobbies include hiking, photography, and having other people's demons over for tea.
Dalena Storm has lived in India, Japan, Germany, and on both United States coasts. She currently resides in a converted general store in the woods of Western Massachusetts with a rare Burmese temple cat, a professor of magic, and an infant with an astonishing ability to resist sleep.
Seven Jane is a bestselling author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. She is a member Women's Fiction Writing Association. She is a contributor to The Nerd Daily and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin & Fountain.
TWO WOMEN, ONE LOVE, AND A CURSE LURKING IN DEEP, DARK WATERS
For as long as she can remember, Maris Heilen has been haunted by dreams of a beautiful woman beckoning to her from beneath the water. These dreams have been Maris’s only constant. She’s lived her life like a leaf caught in the rushing tide: no rules, no commitments, and no long-term lovers, either—just a string of broken hearts that have tried to anchor her unwilling heart to the earth. When her dreams take on a new sense of urgency following the mysterious death of her estranged father, Maris knows it’s time to uproot and keep moving, her soul pulled to the west, toward the water—toward her.
Instead Maris finds herself drawn to a surreal little town high in the Colorado mountains, where she begins to believe her dream might be much closer to reality than she’d ever imagined. When she discovers her past is linked to a legend even more haunting than her dreams—and that the woman in them is not only real but in danger of being lost to an unfathomable darkness—Maris resolves to outshine the evil that has crept into a small corner of a forgotten forest in Havenwood Falls.
Apple Books: http://havenwoodfalls.com/oss-ab
Amazon US: http://havenwoodfalls.com/oss-zon
Amazon UK: http://havenwoodfalls.com/oss-zonuk
Barnes and Noble: http://havenwoodfalls.com/oss-bn
About Havenwood Falls
The Havenwood Falls Collective is the group of award-winning and USA Today bestselling authors writing in the Havenwood Falls shared world, a universe that includes four series in the paranormal fantasy genre. Our authors have been featured in USA Today, on Good Morning America, and in the Emmy's Gifting Suite. Discover more about the Havenwood Falls world and see the full book list at www.HavenwoodFalls.com.