Darkhaven Out Today

Jul 2, 2015 by


Darkhaven cover

About the Book: 
Book title: DARKHAVEN
Author: A.F.E. Smith
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: 2 July 2015 (ebook), 14 January 2016 (paperback)
Price: £1.99/$3.99 (ebook)


Book description:
Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.

Buy links 
Amazon (global link)
Barnes & Noble
Google play



A.F.E. Smith photo

About the Author:
A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. So far, she hasn’t mixed up the two. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that someone built to be as creaky as possible – getting to bed without waking the baby is like crossing a nightingale floor. Though she doesn’t have much spare time, she makes space for reading, mainly by not getting enough sleep (she’s powered by chocolate). Her physical bookshelves were stacked two deep long ago, so now she’s busy filling up her e-reader.

What A.F.E. stands for is a closely guarded secret, but you might get it out of her if you offer her enough snacks.

Author social media links
DARKHAVEN on Goodreads

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Meet Sara Raasch

Dec 3, 2014 by

Today on the blog I have author Sara Raasch. She is the genius behind the YA fantasy novel SNOW LIKE ASHES and I have a feeling we will be hearing lots from her in years to come. I’m taking a cue from all the readers already demanding the sequel to SLA, her debut novel. You can read my short review of her novel on Amazon or Goodreads.

To tell you a bit about Sara you should know that if she ever tries to sell you lemonade, you should be prepared to also buy cute picture books of her creation (I doubt she’s changed her ways since, at five years old, she tried to do just that at her friends’ lemonade stand.) She names her pets after fictional characters, is obsessed with the TV show Lost Girl and would love for Ksenia Solo to play the role of SLA’s protagonist, Meira. Currently, she’s working on book#2 and book#3 of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy, so don’t despair. It is coming!

Ingrid: Hi, Sara! *waves across the inter-space*

Sara: *waves back*

So glad to have you on my blog. I’m curious about a few things, so here it goes:


As an author, I’m always curious to learn the way other writers go about their craft. Tell us, how does a day of writing look for you? And what makes a writing day IDEAL?

I’m usually a morning writer. I get up, check social media, then spend the hours until lunch writing/drafting/editing/whatever I need to be doing. The afternoon is spent either doing more writing things (if I’m on a roll) or doing marketing stuff. This is an example of an ideal day—of course, not every day is so productive. Sadness.

Sounds like tons of fun. I love SLA’s Sir, can you tell us how you go about crafting such a strong fictional character?

Writing Sir was a continually surprising process. He’s very, shall we say, layered, even to me, so to find out what makes him tick, I had to really dig into his backstory. Why did he and Alysson get married? How did they meet? What was his relationship with Queen Hannah? How does he feel about Winter’s fall (beyond the expected anger/sorrow)? And, most importantly, why does he keep Meira so distant? The answers to all these questions were surprising and heartbreaking, and I’m so excited to get to share them with everyone in books 2 and 3!

Most of writing, for me at least, is just asking questions!

I love to hear that. Can’t wait to read! Winter always gets a bad rep, are you trying to change that? ;)

I am! One of my reasons for wanting to write this story at all was to cast winter in a good light. So often it is evil and spring is good, and I wanted to flip that. Down with spring! Bugs and dampness and allergies—ew.

Yes! I hate allergies! We heard very little from the Summer kingdom. Will we learn more about it in the next two books?

Oh yes! The Kingdom of Summer is actually a HUGE part of Book 2. Their princess, Ceridwen, becomes integral to the story and Meira’s life. She’s one of my favorite characters—think Meira’s snark, but meaner. Ceridwen tells it like it is.

Oh, my! Meira is a pepper, so I can’t even imagine Ceridwen. Do you have any other series planned for the future?

I have a few things in the works, but nothing set yet. The SNOW LIKE ASHES trilogy is the center of my little world right now!

Rapid Fire Questions

Plotter or Pantser?
Plotter! Pantsing in the fantasy genre is nigh impossible.

Favorite thing about being an author?
Readers! Meeting them, interacting with them. They are the BEST!

Coolest compliment from a reader?
At one of my tour stops, a reader showed up dressed in green and gold—the colors of Cordell. SO cool to see that!!

Would you consider writing in other genres? If so, which ones?
I would like to! I have an idea for a sci-fi novel, so hopefully someday!

Snow Like Ashes is an amazing read! Seriously, every self-respecting YA reader out there should check it out!

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

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The TBR Tag

Nov 17, 2014 by


The “To Be Read Ta”g was created by the wonderful Dana @Danasquare. I thought it was a great idea and wanted to participate. So here it is…


1) How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I have a bookshelf were I keep all my new books. I grab one from there when I finish my current book or I order a new one if something I don’t own catches my eye. I use Goodreads to virtually add books to my list. I used to try to keep TBR list there in order, but it really was a waste of time. I always change my mind about what to read next O.o


2) Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Print books! I avoid the temptation of buying too many ebooks even when they go on sale. I really love owning the print copies and seeing how pretty they look on my bookshelves *pets the spines of several beautiful books*


3) How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I read based on my mood. Sometimes I want dystopia, other times fantasy, or sci-fi, what have you. So when I finish a book, I’ll look at what’s on my shelf or Goodreads list and pick something to suit my current mood. I also belong to a Sci-Fi/Fantasy book club and read books from author for interviews, so sometimes those take priority.


4) A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?

Based on my Goodreads TBR shelf, I’ve had The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook on my list since July 2011. Hmm, not sure I’ll get to it now. Too many books come out EVERY week! I do love steampunk, though. *sigh*


5) A book you recently added to your TBR?

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. I’ve been on a Sci-Fi mood lately :)


6) A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

That would be Pulse by Patrick Carman. Something about that floating tree just sparks my imagination!


7) A book on your TBR that you plan on never reading?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I know I should read this book. I mean it won a Pulitzer prize and all, but too many people I trust have commented on its pages and pages of minutia detail and, frankly, I’m bored to tears by too much description. If it wasn’t SO long, I would risk it, but I’d hate to lose that much time in a book that’ll probably bore me.


8) An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

Right now I will say A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, though this is likely to change when my mood changes and something else catches my eye. So fickle!


9) A book on your TBR that everyone has read except for you?

That’s gotta be Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I guess I just got tired of vampires and werewolves before I got to this book. Maybe the mood will come back at some point.


10) A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

That is the book that has now become one of my favorites: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Wow, the writing and storytelling in this series. Now I’m the one pestering everyone to read it. C’mon, go ahead! I dare you. Just know Akiva is all mine ;)


11) A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig. The idea just sounds fantastic and Dreamworks has pre-emptively acquired the rights for the trilogy. That’s gotta tell us something.


12) How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

There are 231 book in that list, but many need to be removed and many more added. It really isn’t a very helpful list anymore. The lists that matter are the “read” and “currently reading” lists. The TBR list is more of a suggestion and reminder list :)

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“Bared To You” Giveaway

Nov 12, 2014 by



Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires.The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart…

Amazon Goodreads




Praise for Bared To You

“Full of emotional angst, scorching love scenes, and a compelling storyline.” – Dear Author



Giveaway Details

Win a SIGNED paperback copy of Sylvia Day’s Bared To You

International Giveaway

Participants will be added to mailing list

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Pet Peeves

Nov 2, 2014 by


Do you have pet peeves that will cause you not to read a book? The more I talk to readers, the more I realize that this is the case for many of them. We have to come with ways to rule out books, after all. It would be nice if we could read them all, but alas! So it got me thinking, do I have pet peeves? And if so, what are they? Well, it didn’t take me long to come up with a list.

By the way, this also gave the idea of starting a book review vlog focusing on common pet peeves. You should check it out :)


Yummy prose
Just this past week I opened a book I’d been eager to get my hands on for a while. I read the first chapter and, after that . . . I had to stop. I just couldn’t keep on reading. The story line wasn’t terrible, but combined with the bland prose, it just fell flat. It doesn’t have to be poetry, but the prose has to be engaging. It needs to have a little something, a cleverness with the words, something that lets me know the author didn’t write the first flat sentence that came to mind, but one that came from a deeper place within their creative brain. If that kind of yummy prose isn’t there, then the plot better get me by the throat—otherwise, I will set the book down.

This isn’t a requirement either. I can read serious topics, no problem. However, a little effective humor can get me rooting for the characters very quickly.

Non-jerk hero
Is this too much to ask? Maybe it is the feminist in me, but I’ve read enough “bad boy” books. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if the female protagonists paired up against these guys weren’t so willing to put up with the abuse. I understand the appeal in “taming the badass,” but, personally, I wouldn’t hang out long enough to put up with it. I would say Adios very quickly. Instead, give a hero that knows how to treat a woman, and I’m in!

Original concepts
Vampire, werewolf, dystopia books . . . anyone? I’ve enjoyed a few novels in all of these categories (in dystopia more than any other) but my tolerance for reading the same types of books is low, now. Give me a book with a fresh concept (i.e. a being of the author’s creation—such as Morphids in KEEPER) and I’m hooked. I want to visit worlds no one else has imagined before.


Protagonist moving to a new town/school
I write YA and, as everyone knows, the concept of the poor protagonist in a new town and school is overused in the genre. Maybe it is due to everyone trying to copy Twilight. Who knows? Whatever the case, it has become a huge turn-off for me.

If dreams is an big ploy device in a book, forget it! I’m not reading it. Nope. I’m already in a book so, to me, a dream is like fiction within fiction. I think dreams are an easy way out. I use them sparingly in my writing, if I must—never more than a couple of paragraphs.

Flimsy plot logic
The plot HAS to make sense. I won’t lose interest in a book any quicker than if a flimsy explanation is offered to support big plot points. No, just no!

Cocky characters – much talk, no action
You know those characters that just talk about how mean they are and all they are going to do to kick butt, yet they don’t do much of anything? Yeah, those guys. I can’t stand them.

[Image attribution: Photo by Brenda Clarke, used under CC/No changes]

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