Renee Writes

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Author Spotlight: Blood Betrayal (Brothers of Fang, Book 2) by Iris Sweetwater


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Iris Sweetwater with the second book in her Brothers of Fang series, Blood Betrayal. We were also lucky enough to meet with Hyacinthe, one of the characters from the book, who will be sharing a bit about herself later, but first, let’s get to know Iris.

Iris Sweetwater grew up on a steady dose of Poe and Dickinson, first getting published in poetry anthologies at the age of 13. As an adult, she has worn many hats; ghostwriter, marketer, teacher, and mother. After spending six years writing for others, she found her way to self-publishing in 2017 and plans on making this a career. When she is not writing, she loves to dance, sign, and spend time with her husband and spunky daughter.



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About the Book

Isaiah’s failure as the new alpha has now gone even farther than he imagined as he faces family betrayal he never expected and a slew of hybrid that must decide whether or not to join the pack. Not surprisingly, he again is finding a great ally in the young and powerful Annalise, the witch that is meant to rule the entire Olympia coven. Though, as they get closer, regardless of the chasteness of their relationship, the distance between Isaiah and his mate will grow.

Annalise is coming into her own and discovering her new powers. She thought she was back with the coven for good until the strangest order came to her from Hyacinthe, the interim leader of the coven that thrusts her right back into the middle of the drama of the Young family. As secrets are uncovered and she finds herself getting more involved with the pack, she begins to realize she is not as over everything as she thought.

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Keep reading for an interview with Hyacinthe from Blood Betrayal:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

I grew up in the outskirts of Olympia, Washington, inside the coven’s territory. Most people would believe it to be isolated, but it was a strong and loving community, even after tragedy struck.

Did you have a close relationship with your family?

I was extremely close to my family, especially my brother, Ren.

Who is your enemy?

My enemy is anyone who seeks to cause chaos and death in my coven or the pack. It could have devastating consequences, and I do not plan on losing anyone else, ever again.

Who do you most admire in your world?

I would never admit it to her face, but I most admire my niece, Annalise. She was raised by me out of tragic circumstance. She could have done anything with her amazing powers, but she has chosen to be loving and kind.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

My world is one hidden in plain sight. I know about witches and shifters. In fact, i am a witch a very powerful one. I have been seen as the leader in the coven for many years as i held down the fort until my niece was old enough to take over, and I am often seen as an uncaring, independent, powerful woman.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?

The most embarrassing moment in my life was also my most heart wrenching. I have always been a proud and strong woman. In my weakness, I loved someone, only to lead her straight into betrayal. That betrayal led to the death of my brother and his wife.

Have you ever been in love?

I had an epic love once. She was a powerful, ambitious, blond witch who stole my young heart. I thought we had everything, and I ignored it when her ideals were radical and did not match mine. It ended in losing everyone I loved to death, her included.

What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?

I like black, beautiful, and elegant. I can be found in a lot of dresses and lace, but always tasteful.

Would you ever or have you ever lied?

I have not lied, but I have kept the truth hidden. I think it is often for the best for people to find out things on their own in the right time.

If you had one day left to live, what would you do with your last day?

I would make amends to those I had harmed and make sure my niece had everything she needed to go on without me.

Author Spotlight: Nite Fire by C. L. Schneider


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have C. L. Schneider visiting to tell us all about the first book in her Flash Point series, Nite Fire. Dahlia Nite, a character from the book, will be visiting us as well, but first, let’s learn more about the author.

C. L. Schneider is a New York-based author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape in high school, on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. Schneider’s epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, tells the story of Ian Troy, a man born with an addiction to magic. Flash Point is the first book in her new urban fantasy series, Nite Fire, featuring shapeshifters, dragons, and parallel worlds.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider and her work at where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+, where she is often found chatting about books, zombies, coffee, and the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.

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About the Book

Slated for execution, shape-shifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all.

But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.

Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home.

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Keep reading for an interview with Dahlia Nite from Nite Fire:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

I was born on the world of Drimera. As a lyrriken (a half-dragon, half-human shapeshifter), we have no childhood that you would recognize. Those found worthy are chosen by the Guild at a young age. We’re fed, clothed, and educated. After years of rigorous training, we’re given assignments and put into service. As a Guild operative, we spend our lives protecting our home and carrying out the will of the dragon elders.

Do you have a close relationship with your family?

Lyrriken have no family. We know nothing of our human mothers. Our dragon fathers have already given us the gift of life, so they pay us little mind. Those of us who aren’t chosen by the Guild live and work in the City of Spires. Others live in the wild, among the dragon tribes, serving in whatever capacity the tribal leader demands.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

When I was young, I stumbled into a nest of blood-thirsty nageun. I was instantly incapacitated by the venom in their bite. For a long time, they held me there, using my body as nourishment for their young. But the Guild came for me. They pulled me from the nageun den and saved my life. One of my happiest memories from childhood is the day my mind cleared, and I woke to realize I was free. I was alive. I vowed that day to work harder than any other apprentice, to repay the Guild for their rescue and secure my place among the ranks.

Who was your best friend growing up?

Guild operatives have no friends. Growing up, I had den-mates, squad-mates, superiors, instructors, apprentices, peers—lovers. Only after coming to the human realm did I fully grasp the concept of friendship. It was one of the many things I now realize the Guild deprived me of, and one that has proved to be the most difficult to achieve.

Who is your enemy?

Before I left Drimera, I had no enemies. I had targets. As an executioner for the Guild, my skills were aimed and utilized as instructed. When my life on Drimera came to an end and I was forced to flee here, to the human world, Drimera, everything changed. Now, any creature who slips through the torn veils between the world to threaten this one is my enemy. The humans are not playthings or food. Anyone or anything that attempts to treat them that way will be hunted and made to regret it.

Who do you most admire in your world?

When I was young, on Drimera, all my admiration went to Naalish, Queen of the dragon tribes of Drimera. She was the epitome of beauty, grace, and power. I would have done (and did) anything to earn so much as a glance from her. Her recognition of me and my work, the attention she gave me, was a great source of pride. Until the night she turned against me.

What are your goals?

On Drimera, my goals were simple: accolades and recognition. Now, after nearly a hundred years of running, here in the human world, I want to stop moving. I want to settle down, to make friends, to hear someone speak my real name. I want to stop lying. In an attempt to outrun the Guild and to keep humanity safe from the monsters, I’ve lived countless lives. Now, all I want is one worth living.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life?

Since coming to the human world, the greatest influence on my life has been Oren. The oldest and smartest shapeshifter I’ve ever met, Oren has become my mentor. He holds a high rank in the Guild and has many connections in both worlds. His knowledge of science is as great as his knowledge of magic. Oren took me in shortly after I first arrived here. He cleaned me up, taught me how to survive among the humans. When the Guild came hunting for me, I moved on. Years later, after they gave up their search, Oren started farming me odd jobs. The number of unexplained deaths and disappearances around the country was staggering. There were monsters in need of hunting and humans in need of saving. We made a good team. Even though he doesn’t always agree with my methods (and I don’t agree with his beliefs), we still do.

Where is the best place to visit in your world?

Don’t ever come to Drimera. Visitors aren’t welcome. Those who stumble in through the torn veils between the worlds are not treated kindly. If you break no laws and are already aware of the existence of parallel worlds, you might be allowed to return home. But if you dare harm the land or the dragons in any way, you will be executed. If you’re human and put up no fight, you’re allowed to live. But you can never leave. Carrying the knowledge of what you’ve seen back to the human world could be the undoing of us all.

Do you have any hobbies?

I’ve never had time for hobbies before. The day I moved into my apartment in Sentinel City, I met a man who plays guitar. He was sitting on the corner, playing for whatever change someone might throw in his guitar case. Now, I bring him meals and he teaches me how to play. I’m not very good. But it’s nice spending time with someone in a situation that isn’t life or death.

What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?

I wear functional clothing, mostly. Boots are good for all terrain. Denim and leather are my top choices, though when I’m on a hunt for some off-world asshole who decides to use this world for his buffet, it doesn’t matter what my clothes are made of. I go through them like water. I wear shirts with little material or material that stretches to accommodate my hybrid form when I shift. Jackets hide my weapons.

What is your favorite food?

Pizza. Ice cream. Donuts. Fries. Do I have to pick one? Blessed with the fast metabolism of my dragon father, I heal fast. When my body is healing (which in my profession, seems to be all the time), it requires more food than normal. It’s an odd job perk, but I imagine most human’s wouldn’t mind being able to eat a gallon of ice cream and not gain a pound.

What do you own that would be hardest to part with?

Until recently, I’d spent the last 97 years living on the road. My belongings amounted to little more than clothing and weapons. If it couldn’t be picked up and moved at a moment’s notice, if it didn’t serve a purpose, I didn’t keep it. Settling in Sentinel City is slowly changing that. I have an apartment now, a TV. I own things, but none of them really matter. All that does is the one picture I have managed to keep with me for many years. It’s torn and faded, but it’s the only image I have of Ronan. He was my squad-mate and my lover on Drimera. He followed me when I escaped to the human realm. We were off again more than on again, but despite how many times he’s disappeared or let me down, Ronan was the only lyrriken I’ve ever loved.

What do you regret most in your life?

The killing I did for the Guild. I executed mothers, fathers, children. The species didn’t matter. The reason didn’t matter. The Guild taught me to care for nothing but pleasing the will of the dragon elders, and I rose through the ranks by doing just that. For most of those I put down, I have no idea what they did to earn the dragon’s wrath. I have no idea if they deserved the punishment I gave them. It wasn’t my place to know. It was only my place to kill without question. And I did it so well.

Would you ever or have you ever lied?

I lie every day, dozens of times a day. It’s what I do. Moving from one town to the next, changing identities as often as other people change the channel, I have no choice but to lie. They used to roll expertly off my tongue without thought or regret. Lately, I’ve been feeling every one of them. I’m tired of he deceptions, or no one knowing who I really am. Coming clean will jeopardize multiple worlds. But how can I have a friend in this one if everything I tell them is a lie?

Author Spotlight: Clara’s Return by Suzanna J. Linton


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Suzanna J. Linton with the second book in her Stories of Lorst series, Clara’s Return. Clara, the main character of the book, has agreed to an interview, which I’ll be sharing later, but first let’s learn more about the author.

Suzanna J. Linton grew up in the swamps of the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she was fed a steady diet of books, tall tales, and catfish. She started writing poetry from an early age before transitioning to fiction. While in high school, she was introduced to the Dragonriders of Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Animorphs. From those Suzanna gained a deep desire to write about tough women heroes.

In 2002, she attended the summer program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts of Humanities and graduated from Francis Marion University in 2007. She has three books published and her latest novel is Clara’s Return. Suzanna continues to live in South Carolina with her husband, their two dogs, and a cat. They don’t own the cat; the cat owns them.

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About the Book

Clara, lost and disillusioned from the civil war, hopes to discover answers about her lineage and abilities in the quiet village of Bluebell, where she once lived before being sold into slavery. However, as she and the Captain of the Royal Guard make their journey, a new threat to the kingdom arises in the form of a traitor.

Patiently brewing since the fall of the sorceror-king Marduk, there are careful plans now coming to fruition. Riots break out, a giant is sighted, and double agents quietly take their places. King Emmerich’s struggles with his new role and his ever-present nightmares leave him feeling inadequate to the task. What he needs most is Clara.

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Keep reading for an interview with Clara from Clara’s Return:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

I was born in a small village called Bluebell in the Larkspur Mountains. I lived there with my parents until my mother sold me into slavery. I was, I think, in my ninth or tenth year. I don’t remember a lot about the village. What I do remember was nice.

Did you have a close relationship with your family?

I was very close to my Da. He drank too much but he loved me. He told me funny stories. My mother… Why are you even asking about this? It’s not important.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

Going to services at our local temple. There was a very beautiful statue of the Mother there.

If you could compare yourself to someone from another novel, who would it be? What are your similarities and differences?

*stares at author*
*author nudges Clara*
All right! I suppose I’m similar to this person called Lessa from the Dragonriders of Pern series. My author thinks we have similar personalities. But I’m not like that woman because I’m not crazy enough to ride a dragon.

Who is your enemy?

My enemy is anyone who threatens Emmerich. Currently, it’s a man named Remus. But that’s also a little more complicated and I really don’t want to talk about it.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

I don’t fit in it. I’m a Seer. People either are in awe of me or they fear me. I serve in King Emmerich’s Court but I’ve left there for a quest of my own. In my world, I live in a kingdom called Lorst. We are at odds with our neighbors to the east, the kingdom of Tier. We have the sea to our west, mountains to the north, and plains that become deserts to the south.

What are your goals?

I would like to understand myself, my gifts. I want to know where I came from. I want to know why I am what I am.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about life?

That it doesn’t kill you to trust someone.

What is the strangest situation you’ve ever found yourself in?

I found myself cowering in a cave while a giant walked by. Is that strange enough?

That’s definitely strange. What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?

A sorcerer-king named Marduk. He had no conscience and he was insane. That makes for a very large obstacle.

Where is the best place to visit in your world?

The Larkspur Mountains are the best. They are not stifling hot like Bertrand in the summer, which lies on a plain. There are beautiful flowers and the mountains themselves are lovely. And there are few things like watching it snow there and listening to the silence.

If you could meet someone from another novel, who would it be?

There’s a novel in our world about a man who defeats a giant sea monster. I wouldn’t mind meeting him. But you mean in my author’s world, don’t you? I suppose I would like to meet a woman named Mercy Thompson. She fixes these things called “cars” and I would like to know how to do that. It looks like magic but it isn’t really.

Do you have a secret you’ve never told anyone? Would you tell us?

Yes. *pauses* No.

What do you own that would be hardest to part with?

The first novel I ever read on my own. I stole it from Castle Dwervin before we left and I carry it with me wherever I go.

What was the most exciting adventure you’ve ever been on?

The quest I’m on now is currently my most exciting adventure. If I make it through it, I may go on another one.

What do you regret most in your life?

I regret–Well, I’m tempted to say I regret not acting on the vision that warned me I was about to be sold into slavery. However, if I hadn’t been, then I probably would have continued living in Bluebell and never met Emmerich again. I don’t have anything else I may want to regret. Regret is useless.

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