Ghosts of Future’s Blast: an interview with Brandon Ying Kit Boey

January 2023

In this month’s newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Contest of Queens Paperback Release and GoodReads Giveaway
  • Author Spotlight with Brandon Ying Kit Boey
  • Travel Log: London, Baby!
  • Queen’s Catacombs Preorder
  • Contest of Queens Review Corner

Contest of Queens Paperback Release and Giveaway

A year is a funny length of time. I feel like I’ve lived several years in this one as so much has happened. But I’m very excited to announce that Contest of Queens is turning 1 on January 18th and to celebrate, CamCat Books are releasing it in all its paperbacked glory!

I know I’m a huge fan of paperbacks- for the sole reason that they fit in my purse much easier and carry the wear of adventure much more satisfyingly! So if you would like a copy of the paperback to take along on your adventures, look no further!

Also, if you like your life a little spicier, why not try your luck with the GoodReads Giveaway and win yourself a paperback copy? Giveaway runs till January 23rd, 2023 so get your name in while you can by clicking the image below or following this link.

Author Spotlight with Brandon Ying Kit Boey

Six suns, six blasts in the sky; a seventh one, and the earth will die.

What better way to start 2023 than with the apocalypse! Hunker in your bunker, and grab yourself a cup of tea for this Book Nook where I am joined with debut author Brandon Ying Kit Boey to discuss his novel Karma of the Sun.


Karma of the Sun

Six suns, six blasts in the sky; a seventh one, and the earth will die.

In the isolation of the Himalayas, the snows still fall, but they are tinged with the ash of a nuclear winter; the winds still blow, but they wail with the cries of ghosts. The seventh and final blast is near. As the world heaves its final breaths, the people of the Tibetan plateau—civilization’s final survivors—are haunted by spirits and terrorized by warlords. Though the last of the seven prophesied cataclysms is at hand, young Karma searches for a father who disappeared ten years earlier, presumed dead.

Driven by a yearning to see his father again before the end, and called by an eerie horn unheard by anyone else, Karma forges into the Himalayas and discovers that his father’s disappearance may be linked to a mystical mountain said to connect the physical world with the spirit lands—and a possible way to save their doomed future.

Find out more about Brandon Ying Kit Boey
Website
Twitter
Instagram

Travel Log: London, Baby!

Short story long,

I have taken a sabbatical from my day job as a Speech Language Pathologist to live in the UK and finish the Frean Chronicles Trilogy!

  1. Contest of Queens: completed!
  2. Queen’s Catacombs: comes out March 14th 2023! (preorder here)
  3. Mysteriously Titled Finale: in progress!

If you’re interested in following along on my travel journey, I recommend following me on Instagram: @jordanhbartlett


London, Baby!

How can you not love this magical city?
My itinerary was quite jam-packed for the few days I was there, but I was lucky enough to see my very first Pantomime, starring the one and only, Sir Ian McKellen: Mother Goose. And I was finally able to see the infamous Book of Mormon. Two very different shows, that’s for sure, but enjoyable in their own ways! You may be wondering at the last image… well that, dear readers, is the one and only bonafide original staff of Gandalf the Grey- which is currently kept behind the bar in Sir Ian McKellen’s pub The Grapes.


Nah Humbug!

This year, given that I was away from my family for the first time… ever… I was unable to participate in our family tradition of watching the stage production the Banff Springs Hotel always puts on of A Christmas Carol. I was, however, able to do the next best thing- which was to visit the house of Charles Dickins.

Queen’s Catacombs Preorder

March 14th, 2023 is the date to remember not only because it is PI day, but it is ALSO the day QUEEN’S CATACOMBS officially hits the shelves. I am so excited to share this with you, so if you are the pre-ordering kind of person, you can do so now!

Add it to your GoodReads, add it to your Amazon wishlist, add it to your diary, add it to Santa’s list, and I know I will be hard pressed not to add it to my arm in ink… (we’ll see). Here’s a recent review:

Contest of Queens Review Corner

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have left a star rating or review. I honestly can’t believe that it’s got an average of 4.6/5 stars on Goodreads, and 4.9/5 stars on Amazon! Here’s a lovely recent review:

x live magically

Dying for Reality T.V. an interview with Bryan Johnston

December 2022

In this month’s newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Queen’s Catacombs Preorder
  • Author Spotlight with Bryan Johnston
  • Travel Log: Winter Wonderland
  • Contest of Queens Review Corner

QUEEN’S CATACOMBS Preorder

March 14th, 2023 is the date to remember not only because it is PI day, but it is ALSO the day QUEEN’S CATACOMBS officially hits the shelves. I am so excited to share this with you, so if you are the pre-ordering kind of person, you can do so now!

Add it to your GoodReads, add it to your Amazon wishlist, add it to your diary, add it to Santa’s list, and I know I will be hard pressed not to add it to my arm in ink… (we’ll see). Here’s a recent review:

“Featuring a multinarrative structure, compelling female characters, intriguing magic, and the politics of an unjust matriarchal society, this sequel follows Jacs’ ongoing journey toward empowerment . . .” 
Kirkus Reviews

Author Spotlight with Bryan Johnston

Check the T.V. guide and grab the remote, today we’re chatting with Bryan Johnston about his recent release: Death Warrant, a novel set in a not-so-distant future where you can sell your life to a reality show, and if your public assassination rakes in the ratings, your next of kin are set up for life.


Death Warrant

Death Makes Great TV.

Frankie Percival is cashing in her chips. To save her brother from financial ruin, Frankie—a single stage performer and mentalist who never made it big—agrees to be assassinated on the most popular television show on the planet: Death Warrant. Once she signs her life away, her memory is wiped clean of the agreement, leaving her with no idea she will soon be killed spectacularly for global entertainment.

After years of working in low-rent theaters, Frankie prepares for the biggest performance of her life as her Death Warrant assassin closes in on her. Every person she encounters could be her killer. Every day could be her last.

She could be a star, if only she lives that long.

Find out more about Bryan Johnston:
Website: bryanrjohnston.com
Twitter: @BryanRJohnston

Travel Log: Winter Wonderland

Short story long,

I have taken a sabbatical from my day job as a Speech Language Pathologist to live in the UK and finish the Frean Chronicles Trilogy!

  1. Contest of Queens: completed!
  2. Queen’s Catacombs: comes out March 14th next year! (preorder here)
  3. Mysteriously Titled Finale: in progress!

If you’re interested in following along on my travel journey, I recommend following me on Instagram: @jordanhbartlett


Snow on the Beach

This December I thought I had escaped the snow by moving to the UK… that was not the case! Edinburgh has received a gorgeous heaping of the fluffy white stuff, and in honor of Taylor Swift’s recent release, I took myself on a field trip to experience Snow on the Beach for myself (it was, in fact, weird but f*cking beautiful)


Holiday Fun

I am here to confirm, the UK is a magical place to spend the festive season. Not only do holly and mistletoe grow wild here, but Christmas markets filled with mulled wine and boozy hot chocolate abound. The fairy lights are spectacular, and there’s something about walking down snow-covered cobbled streets that makes me want to sing carols.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to you, dear Reader. Thank you for reading my monthly musings and I hope they’ve brought you some joy, some entertainment, or at the very least a fun fact or two. Stay safe, stay well, and I’ll see you in the New Year x

Contest of Queens Review Corner

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have left a star rating or review. I honestly can’t believe that it’s got an average of 4.6/5 stars on Goodreads, and 4.8/5 stars on Amazon! Here’s a couple lovely reviews from this month:

x live magically

cover image: https://www.seenit.co.uk/7-out-of-10-brits-think-reality-tv-shows-are-fixed/

To Infinity and Beyond: an interview with Bryan Prosek

November 2022

In this month’s newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Queen’s Catacombs Preorder
  • Author Spotlight with Bryan Prosek
  • Travel Log: Curiosity Tourist
  • Contest of Queens Review Corner

QUEEN’S CATACOMBS Preorder

March 14th, 2023 is the date to remember not only because it is PI day, but it is ALSO the day QUEEN’S CATACOMBS officially hits the shelves. I am so excited to share this with you, so if you are the pre-ordering kind of person, you can do so now!

Add it to your GoodReads, add it to your Amazon wishlist, add it to your diary, add it to Santa’s list, and I know I will be hard pressed not to add it to my arm in ink… (we’ll see). Here’s a recent review from an ARC reader:

Author Spotlight with Bryan Prosek

“If you want to kick the tiger in his butt, you’d better have a plan for dealing with his teeth

I’m joined today by Bryan Prosek to chat with him about his recent sequel: The Darker the Skies where we explore the known (and unknown) Universe, discuss star-bound storytelling, and blast off into space-bound character development. So grab a cup of tea, and come explore the galaxy with us.

Check out my previous interview with Bryan about Measure of Serenity here.


The Darker the Skies

It only takes one to make a difference.

Just days before Jake Saunders plans on proposing to the love of his life, Jake is called upon once again to save his home, Earth. The Earthen Legion troops and its allies think they’re battling only pirates, but a new, more powerful foe from another galaxy flanks their forces and invades, in search of a weapon the planet didn’t even know it had.

When Jake learns that this new enemy was responsible for the death of his father many years ago, he realizes he can finally face his true nemesis. The odds are stacked against Jake, but with the help of his friends and allies he’s made along the way, he must rally the remaining Legion troops and retake Earth before it’s too late. The fate of Earth and the fate of his love, rest in the balance.

Find out more about Bryan Prosek:
Website: bryanprosek.com
Instagram: @bryan.prosek
TikTok: @bryanprosek

Travel Log: Adventure Bound

Short story long,

I have taken a sabbatical from my day job as a Speech Language Pathologist to live in the UK and finish the Frean Chronicles Trilogy!

  1. Contest of Queens: completed!
  2. Queen’s Catacombs: comes out March 14th next year! (preorder here)
  3. Mysteriously Titled Finale: in progress!

If you’re interested in following along on my travel journey, I recommend following me on Instagram: @jordanhbartlett

November has simply flown by! But as they say, time flies when you’re having fun and this chickadee had a lot of fun this month. I endeavored to take myself on adventure days/weekends as often as I could (in between working and writing) and ended up visiting Aberdeen, Leeds, Stonehaven, Stirling, Dundee, East Lothian, and more!


Castles are a Girl’s Best Friend

While in Stonehaven, I braved the elements and explored Dunnottar Castle, one of the most beautiful ruin’s I’ve seen so far. From the location to the approach to the exhibits inside, this castle had it all. The perfect place to let your imagination run wild!


The Curiosity Tourist

In 2018 I visited a pub in Kilkenny called The Hole in the Wall and chatted with the bartender there for a while. She asked me about my travels and after a few minutes said to me, “you’re a curiosity tourist.” I’d never heard of that term before, so she explained, “you don’t travel with a rigid plan in mind, but you follow your feet and you follow your heart and one or the other tends to lead you to where you were meant to be.”

So far, living by the curiosity tourist’s creed has yet to steer me wrong. It’s the best way to find the magic of a place, and I’m happy to share some of the wonder with you. My camera roll is honestly filled with hundreds of pictures of bridges, mushrooms, old stumps, buildings-through-canopies, beaches and everything that is good and true when it comes to Autumn. Here are a few of my favourite shots from some of my many, many nature walks.


If I can be permitted to offer any advice: whatever you do with this life you’ve been given, just make sure you’re living with your eyes open to the vibrant magic of it all. It’s too short to squander on shades of beige.

CONTEST OF QUEENS Review Corner

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have left a star rating or review. I honestly can’t believe that it’s got an average of 4.6/5 stars on Goodreads, and 4.8/5 stars on Amazon! Here’s a couple lovely reviews from this month:

x live magically

feature image link: https://64.media.tumblr.com/69b9aa72120812f197a9888d55b107eb/tumblr_pqtt0sO5Ag1vpxoof_1280.jpg

The Spirits We Meet and the Ghosts We Make: an interview with Amber A. Logan

October 2022

In this month’s newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Queen’s Catacombs Preorder
  • Author Spotlight with Amber A. Logan
  • Travel Log: Kings to you
  • Contest of Queens Review Corner

QUEEN’S CATACOMBS Preorder

March 14th, 2023 is the date to remember as it is not only the National Learn About Butterflies day AS WELL AS the National Potato Chip day, but it is ALSO the day QUEEN’S CATACOMBS officially hits the shelves. I am so excited to share this with you, so if you are the pre-ordering kind of person, you can do so now!

Add it to your GoodReads, add it to your Amazon wishlist, add it to your diary, add it to Santa’s list, and I know I will be hard pressed not to add it to my arm in ink… (we’ll see)

Check out this incredible review:

“She was the rightful queen. She had been chosen to protect her people. She was worthy of the crown, and tomorrow she would prove it.”

Queen’s Catacombs is an exciting sequel to The Frean Chronicles offering us a fierce matriarch whose belief in herself and determination captures readers and gives us hope for our own Upper Realm-led world. Jacs is the relatable hero we all need, and the endearing ensemble transports us into their world offering adventure, intrigue, and a cliffhanger that will have you generating conspiracy theories with your book club.

Jordan’s writing is rhythmic and lulls you into a false sense of familiarity by drawing on much beloved fantasy tropes. Yet unlike these novels, her world is created from the bones of women, her language grows from their desires, and girls dream of power. You forget the novelty of these powerful perspective changes and are swept up in what can be possible. Do yourself a favour and preorder this book! 

Nicoletta Romano, University Canada West Library

Author Spotlight with Amber A. Logan

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good

Join me for this month’s Book Nook as I chat with author Amber A. Logan about her debut novel, THE SECRET GARDEN OF YANAGI INN. We discuss classic tales and retellings, ghosts, and how to not enrage the gardening community.


The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn

Cracked doesn’t always mean broken.

Grieving her mother’s death, Mari Lennox travels to Kyoto, Japan to take photographs of Yanagi Inn for a client. As she explores the inn and its grounds, her camera captures striking images, uncovering layers of mystery shrouding the old resort—including an overgrown, secret garden on a forbidden island. But then eerie weeping no one else in the inn seems to hear starts keeping her awake at night.

Despite the warnings of the staff, Mari searches the deep recesses of the old building to discover the source of the ghostly sound, only to realize that her own family’s history is tied to the inn, its mysterious, forlorn garden . . . and the secrets it holds.

Travel Log: Kings to you

Short story long,

I have taken a sabbatical from my day job as a Speech Language Pathologist to live in the UK and finish the Frean Chronicles Trilogy!

  1. Contest of Queens: completed!
  2. Queen’s Catacombs: comes out March 14th next year! (preorder here)
  3. Mysteriously Titled Finale: in progress!

If you’re interested in following along on my travel journey, I recommend following me on Instagram: @jordanhbartlett

October is my birthday month, and I went a little bit overboard with the travel this month to celebrate… I toured Scotland with my parents, visited Malta, and ate my way through Sicily. To write about all of it would take far too long so I will just share a favourite memory from each place.


Scotland

I watched the Jacobite Steam Engine chug its way along the Glenfinnan Viaduct and fulfilled this Harry Potter bucket list item!


Malta

As many of you may have guessed by now, my favourite movie of all time is the 2002 The Count of Monte Cristo. I was able to visit the filming locations for Marseilles and Chateau d’If in Malta! It was an absolute dream come true.


Sicily

I could no sooner name a favourite star in the sky than pic a favourite memory from Sicily… but what I will say is, while the food was heavenly and the spritzes were daily, without the company, it would have been a sliver of the fun. These ladies make my heart glow ❤

CONTEST OF QUEENS: Review Corner

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have left a star rating or review. Here’s a lovely one from Amazon.ca from this month 🙂

x live magically

How to Dystopiate your Future: an interview with Madison Lawson

September 2022 pt. 2

In this month’s newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Queen’s Catacombs Cover Reveal
  • Author Spotlight with Madison Lawson
  • Contest of Queens Giveaway
  • Travel Log: Ich Bin Ein Jellydonut
  • Contest of Queens Review Corner

QUEEN’S CATACOMBS Cover Reveal

A huge thank you to NERD DAILY who hosted the online reveal of QUEEN’S CATACOMBS

click here to read the whole article

Author Spotlight with Madison Lawson

If you had one shot, one opportunity, to legally kill one person one time in your life, would you capture it, or let it slip?

Join me for today’s talk with Madison Lawson, author of THE REGISTRATION where we find out just that. In a world where every person gets one free pass to kill anyone so long as they register them first, what would happen if you overheard your name being registered?


Find more information here:
website: madisonlawson.com
Instagram: @madisonlawson
Twitter: @madisonlawson96

The Registration

You can’t outrun the Registration

Imagine it’s legal to commit one murder in your lifetime⎯if you Register the victim and accomplish the kill within fourteen days. So when Lynell Mize stands in line to Register the man who abused her as a child, she’s shocked to hear a stranger Register her to be killed. Why would anyone who doesn’t know her squander his one legal murder on her? Desperate to survive the next two weeks, she must find out who wants to kill her⎯and why.

Easier said than done as Lynell soon discovers that multiple strangers have used their Registration on her. Along the way, she reunites with her estranged husband who is determined to dig up a past Lynell prefers to keep buried. With only days left to live, Lynell fights to uncover the truth and survive a destiny not of her choosing.

CONTEST OF QUEENS Giveaway

In celebration of the upcoming cover reveal of Queen’s Catacombs, I partnered with Brandie June in this September giveaway!

QUEEN’S CATACOMBS is the epic sequel to CONTEST OF QUEENS. This new fantasy book comes out March 14, 2023. Get ready for this release by entering for a chance to win signed copy of CONTEST OF QUEENS along with a stunning hot air balloon necklace.

Travel Log: Ich bin ein Jellydonut

Short story long,

I have taken a sabbatical from my day job as a Speech Language Pathologist to live in the UK and finish the Frean Chronicles Trilogy!

  1. Contest of Queens: completed!
  2. Queen’s Catacombs: comes out March 14th next year! (preorder here)
  3. Mysteriously Titled Finale: in progress!

If you’re interested in following along on my travel journey, I recommend following me on Instagram: @jordanhbartlett

I went to Berlin!
And may I just say, wow, what a city. Everything about it feel massive (and I’m used to Canada where you can drive for hours between cities). The buildings have this immenseness to them that I have never experienced before. It is a gorgeous city, with an incredible weight around its shoulders. The sheer number of memorials you’ll see walking in any one direction is enough to catch your breath.

some highlights…

CONTEST OF QUEENS Review Corner

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have left a star rating or review.

x live magically

Identity Crises and Magical Ends: an interview with Brandie June

September 2022

In this month’s newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Contest of Queens Giveaway
  • Author Spotlight with Brandie June
  • Travel Log: Highland Dames
  • Contest of Queens Review Corner

CONTEST OF QUEENS Giveaway

In celebration of the upcoming cover reveal of Queen’s Catacombs, I partnered with Brandie June in this September giveaway!

QUEEN’S CATACOMBS is the epic sequel to CONTEST OF QUEENS. This new fantasy book comes out March 14, 2023. Get ready for this release by entering for a chance to win signed copy of CONTEST OF QUEENS along with a stunning hot air balloon necklace.

When an unsettling event occurs in the Queendom of Frea, Jacs, an inventor’s apprentice from the Lower Realm, participates in the Contest of Queens to prove that a Queendom is strongest when united.

click here to enter

Author Spotlight with Brandie June

We’re going to need more than faith, trust, and pixie dust to survive the tumultuous Fae Court in Brandie June’s latest: Curse Undone.

Join me in today’s Book Nook as I chat with Brandie about the sequel to Gold Spun, characters in identity crises, love triangles, and closing a series.

Check out my interview with Brandie about GOLD SPUN here.

Pick up a copy of Gold Spun here.
Get a copy of Curse Undone here.


Pick up a copy of Gold Spun here.
Get a copy of Curse Undone here.

Curse Undone

Two crowns. Two kingdoms. One chance to rule.

Nor and King Casper are captured by the fay army and forced to face the indomitable Faerie Queen, Marasina. At her command, Casper is thrown into a mysterious prison while an even sinister fate is in store for Nor—a deadly fay poison that reveals Nor’s true nature. She’s not only half-fay. She is Queen Marasina’s heir.

Revealed to be like the very creatures she despises, Nor must not only find a way to free Casper but also navigate a court that is as deadly as it is beautiful. Her allies are few, and though Pel claims to want friendship, Nor finds she cannot forgive his betrayal. As tensions mount and war looms between the kingdoms, Nor must choose a side, before it’s too late.

In this epic conclusion to the Gold Spun duology, Nor discovers that a glamour and a curse may be two sides of the same coin.

Check our Brandie’s website: https://www.brandiejune.com
Follow her on instagram: @thebrandiejune
TikTok: @brandiebooks

Travel Log: Highland Dames

Short story long,

I have taken a sabbatical from my day job as a Speech Language Pathologist to live in the UK and finish the Frean Chronicles Trilogy!

  1. Contest of Queens: completed!
  2. Queen’s Catacombs: comes out March 14th next year! (preorder here)
  3. Mysteriously Titled Finale: in progress!

If you’re interested in following along on my travel journey, I recommend following me on Instagram: @jordanhbartlett

I was fortunate enough to spend over a week in the Scottish Highlands in a wee cottage on Little Loch Broom with my cousin (featured looking like a mythical druid in the stone circle). I got a lot of writing done, and a lot of what I am calling research (i.e., adventures with a notebook). Here are some of my favourite pictures.

Contest of Queens Review Corner

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have left a star rating or review.

x live magically

Alien Lifeforms and Human Hearts: an interview with Ash Bishop

August 2022

In this month’s newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Author Spotlight with Ash Bishop
  • Travel Log: The Austen Pilgrimage
  • Contest of Queens Review Corner

Grab your rebreathers and strap into your spaceships, today we’re blasting through space with Ash Bishop, author of his debut novel
Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc.

Welcome to my Book Nook! This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bishop about his upcoming novel (due to release, September 6th 2022).
Get ready to hear about all things alien, and the universal truths that tie us all together (not to mention how Big Bird can sneak into your books if you’re not careful!)


Finding work is easy.
Staying alive is a little bit harder.

When Russ Wesley finds an unusual artifact in his grandfather’s collection of rare antiquities, the last thing he expects is for it to draw the attention of a ferocious alien from a distant planet. Equally surprising is the adventurous team of intergalactic exterminators dispatched to deal with the alien threat. They’re a little wild, and a little reckless. Worse yet, they’re so impressed with Russ’s marksmanship that they insist he join their squad . . . whether he wants to or not.

“Bishop’s feel-good sci-fi debut kicks off when drifter Russ Wesley discovers a mysterious stone among his recently deceased grandfather’s collection of oddities . . . imbuing this romp with solid worldbuilding, a broad sense of adventure, and a sensitive emotional core. With gruesome alien battles, layered conflict, and a sprinkling of humor, this is sure to find an audience.” 

Publishers Weekly

Find out more information about Ash and his other works here:
Website: ash-bishop.com
Instagram: @ashlbishop
Twitter: @AshLBishop

Travel Log: The Austen Pilgrimage

As I mentioned last month, I have taken a sabbatical from my day job as a Speech Language Pathologist to live in the UK and finish the Frean Chronicles Trilogy!

  1. Contest of Queens: completed!
  2. Queen’s Catacombs: comes out next year!
  3. Mysteriously Titled Finale: in progress!

If you’re interested in following along on my travel journey, I recommend following me on Instagram: @jordanhbartlett

Last month, while touring England, I was able to do an Austen Pilgrimage! I visited her home in Hampshire where I saw her writing desk. I was blown away! It was so small and compact, and apparently she liked it like that- often hiding her writings from would-be interrupters.

To think that lines like:

  • If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.
  • To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.
  • I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.

were crafted on this little wooden hexagon is incredibly humbling.

Also, I visited Bath (a popular haunt of Austen’s) and walked the gravel path she and Anne Eliot were partial to strolling down, and had tea at the Jane Austen Regency Tea Room. You wouldn’t believe who I ran into!

Review Corner

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have left a star rating or review. This month is special because I got my first official “Holy Shit!”

live magically x

Enemies to Lovers and Deadly Magic: an interview with Brielle D. Porter

July 2022

In this month’s Newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Contest of Queens GoodReads Giveaway
  • Author Spotlight with Brielle D. Porter
  • Travel Log
  • Contest of Queens Review Spotlight

Giveaway Time

My publishing house, CamCat Books are hosting a giveaway on GoodReads for THREE hardcover copies of Contest of Queens!

Is this exciting? -I think so!

SO click here if you would like to dance with fate and hopefully you’re one of the three lucky winners.

Author Spotlight

Are you feeling lucky?
Then let’s visit Oasis, a magical Las Vegas in Brielle D. Porter’s debut novel, Jester.

Welcome to my Book Nook! This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Porter about her upcoming novel (due to release, August 9th 2022), so listen in as we talk enemies to lovers tropes, and how to pull of death-defying magic systems.


Find out more information about Brielle and her other works here:
Website: brielledporter.com
Instagram: @briellums
Twitter: @briellums

Jester

What happens in Oasis, stays in Oasis.

Lisette’s father killed the King. His execution leaves Lisette alone, disgraced, and without the magic he intended to pass on to her. In Oasis, that’s a problem. Glutted with enchanted performers, Oasis is a sin city where courtiers pay in gold to drink, gamble, and above all, be entertained. To survive on its competitive streets, Lisette peddles paltry illusions in place of magic.

Desperate to prove herself, Lisette enters into a deadly competition to be chosen as the highest-ranked magician in the world, the Queen’s Jester. But her rival, the irritatingly handsome Luc, possesses the one thing Lisette does not—real magic. Lisette will do anything to win, but when evidence implicating the Queen in her husband’s murder surfaces, Lisette must choose between redeeming her family name, or seizing the fame she’s hungered for her entire life.

Travel Log

For the next year, I have taken a sabbatical from my day job as a Speech Language Pathologist to live in the UK and finish the Frean Chronicles Trilogy!

  1. Contest of Queens: completed!
  2. Queen’s Catacombs: comes out next year!
  3. Mysteriously Titled Finale: in progress!

If you’re interested in following along on my travel journey, I recommend following me on Instagram: @jordanhbartlett
But I will be posting highlights in my Newsletters. Watch the video below for a montage through Denmark.

Contest of Queens Review Spotlight

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Free Swag! If you leave a star rating and review, let me know here, and be sure to include your mailing address in the message because I’d love to send you some goodies to show my appreciation! (limited supply)

x live magically

Romance in a Dangerous Time: an interview with Roma Cordon

June 2022

In this month’s Newsletter, scroll down to find:

  • Contest of Queens Bookbub feature
  • Interview with Roma Cordon, author of Bewitching a Highlander
  • My Thoughts
  • I was interviewed by Roma Cordon
  • I was interviewed by Madison Lawson
  • Contest of Queens Review Spotlight

Contest of Queens BOOKBUB FEATURE

This is so exciting! Until the end of June, Bookbub is featuring the Contest of Queens ebook for $0.99! Even if you’ve been curious about my novel, now would be the time to get a copy of your own 🙂

Romance in a Dangerous Time: an interview with Roma Cordon

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Roma Cordon, author of Bewitching a Highlander. Read on for more insider info on characters, chemistry, writing a romance to bewitch your audience, and a sneak peek at the rest of the series (still to come!).

  • Tell me a little about yourself.

I was introduced to romance novels in my teenage years and instantly became a voracious reader. In the 1990s, I came to New York where I earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees. After taking a writing course with Anne Rice, in the early 2000s, I dived into the world of writing. Bewitching A Highlander will be my debut novel. I also write for the blog on romacordon.com. 

  • What is “Bewitching a Highlander” about?

Bewitching A Highlander is a Historical / Fantasy romance, set in Scotland in 1747. It’s the story of Breena and Egan. Breena is a 24-year-old healer, hiding her neuroses and witchcraft, she sets out to rescue her father from an enemy clan, the Campbells. 

While among the enemy, she learns about her family’s dark witchery past, and catches the eye of a debonair future Clan chief, named Egan Dunbar when he saves her from being manhandled by a bad-tempered Campbell guard.

Egan Dunbar is itching for revenge against the Campbell clan. He disobeys his father to help Breena, because he must settle an old debt, also, he is not only enchanted by her, but he cannot seem to keep his eyes or lips off her.

And to save Brenna from the Campbells, even though he knows she is full of secrets, Egan will risk everything, including disobeying his father for the first time in his life and inciting a clan war.

But the question is, can Breena trust Egan with the secrets of her family’s dark past, thereby putting her life and her family’s lives at risk.

  • What was your inspiration for this novel?

This story was inspired by a couple of trips to the Highlands of Scotland with my husband. I fell in love with the culture, the food and the country’s history.

There’s also something unexplainable, intangible, and inspiring in the air in Scotland, especially on the Isle of Skye that makes one think of fairies, witches, and forest nymphs. The witches part got me into reading up on the actual history of the witchcraft laws in Scotland. In Scotland in 1563 a Witchcraft Act was passed, making witchcraft a capital offense. Before this law was repealed in 1736, 4,000 to 6,000 people were tried for witchcraft and more than 1,500 were executed by strangulation or burning in Scotland. In Europe at large, where similar laws existed, approximately 50,000 people were executed for witchcraft. It was out of statistics such as these, that Breena’s paranoia, in Bewitching A Highlander, was born.

  • What kind of research was involved to make readers feel immersed in the Highlands?

Research is a fun part of the process of writing. For this book I travelled to Scotland and visited places like the Isle of Skye, Dunvegan Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, the Isle of Harris/Lewis, etc. I spoke to tour guides and shop owners. I consulted with spell craft reference writings by Scott Cunningham, Ann-Marie Gallagher, Marion Weinstein, etc. For period costumes I found Milla Davenport’s The Book of Costumes helpful and for architecture Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill’s Classic Georgian Style’s book was a wonderful source of information. Plus, it goes without saying, where would we writers be without Wikipedia, Google, and Pinterest.

  • Which character do you relate to most? Why?

Breena, the main character, is terrified of being burnt alive at the stake for her witchcraft. Because in her world, this happens to witches. She is also terrified the Campbells will find out what she is up to, searching for and freeing her imprisoned father. She is pretending to be someone she is not. If the Campbells find out what she is up to, they will kill or imprison her.

But even though she is terrified, she still searches for her father, and she still practices witchcraft.

I would never do it. I would never be as bold as my characters. If there was a chance my actions could lead me to being burnt alive at the stake, the answer seems clear to me, I wouldn’t do it!

But, on the other hand, the daily paranoia that Breena feels is something I can relate to. Daily things make me paranoid, like paper cuts and dust bunnies. Terrible things!

  • Which character or scene was the most fun to write?

The scenes between Egan and Breena were fun to write because it adds tension to the story. Breena and Egan are both strong characters who lead eventful, exciting, and dangerous lives. Their coming together was romantic and even explosive at times. Their character arcs were also gratifying to put down on paper since it added depth to the story.

  • What advice would you give aspiring romance authors who hope to capture a hot and steamy relationship between their own characters?

Don’t do it. Keep your day job. But if you must, only your love of the craft and your passion for writing will get you through it. It’s not for the faint of heart. And if you have what it takes, you will work your tail off, you will get through it and you will excel. And it will be worth it.

  • When writing steamer scenes, what helps engage a reader’s attention? What do you try to avoid?

The steamy scenes have to, in a way, be guided by the characters themselves. Their personalities and instincts come through in these scenes. These are vulnerable moments, and they strip the characters bare, metaphorically speaking. In my opinion, to engage readers, you have to cover the main five senses in these scenes. And I try to avoid insensitive lines or words, that may turn off readers.

  • What’s next on the horizon for you?

As Book I in the Scottish Highlander Warriors series is now completed, I am focused on the other two. Book II’s manuscript is with the Beta Readers, and after another edit by me it goes to a line/copy Editor.  I am in the plotting stages for Book III at the moment.

Book II: What happens when an unstoppable British army captain, Slade MacLean, who is out for revenge and retribution encounters an immovable lass named Phoebe Dunbar (The sister of Egan Dunbar from Book I)? Raging and tumultuous fireworks. These two will have to survive each other first if they want to bring down common enemies.

Book III: When Conner Drummond was last in the Highlands, he fought the Redcoats at the Battle of Culloden.  Now that he’s back, he’s in for a different kind of battle.  One that involves a Hellfire witch by the name of Rowan MacNeil.

  • Where can your readers find you? 

My Thoughts

I was interviewed this month as well!

Roma Cordon Interview:

Madison Lawson Interview:

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click here to read the whole thing

Review Spotlight

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

“This tale is a thought-provoking fantasy novel, a story you can fall into and not come for air for hours. I read it in two days. It was that good. Contest of Queens is one of those gems that needs to be found by more people. Strong world-building, good history, and robust feminist approach to societal economics. I am on the edge of my seat for the next installment in this story.” 

—YA Books Central

Read the full review here

x live magically

Series Conclusions and Baring the Heart of a Character: an Interview with Aamna Qureshi

May 2022

Wait a minute, before we dive into the sequel, jump over here and watch my discussion with Aamna about The Lady or the Lion.

Done?

Welcome back! Today I had the honor of speaking with Aamna Qureshi about her sequel, and finale to The Marghazar Trials, The Man or the Monster. We talk author tips on how to conclude a series, and how to get right to the heart of a character. So pour yourself a cup of tea and join us!

The Man or the Monster comes out July 26, 2022. You can preorder your copy here.


Find out more information about Aamna and her other works here:
Website: www.aamnaqureshi.com
Instagram: @aamna_qureshi
Twitter: @aamnaqureshi_

The Man or the Monster


She made her decision. Now she has to live with it.

Durkhanai Miangul sealed her lover’s fate when she sent him through a door where either a lady or a lion awaited him. But her decision was only the beginning of her troubles. Durkhanai worries that she might not be the queen her people need or deserve when conflict threatens her kingdom.

Her presumed-dead father comes back with a vengeance and wishes she join him in his cause. But her family’s denial of his revenge forces Durkhanai to take matters into her own hands and she must decide whether to follow the traditions of her forefathers or forge a new path on her own.

My Thoughts

**MILD SPOILERS**

click here to read the full review OR to leave your own
Contest of Queens in the wild

There’s nothing like browsing the shelves of your local bookstore and seeing your name staring back at you! Since the world is opening up more and more, I’ve been able to deliver signed copies of Contest of Queens to a few local bookshops in the Bow Valley and in Calgary. You can now find signed copies at Owl’s Nest Books, Shelf Life Books, Café Books, and Flow State.


Contest of Queens Review Spotlight

Reviews are so helpful in getting word of Contest of Queens out there. If you have time, and if you’ve read the book, I would be eternally grateful if you could leave a star rating and/or a written review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you for this beautiful review!

x live magically