We have so many amazing and talented authors here at Instafreebie, and we’re really excited to introduce them to you. Instafreebie’s Author Spotlight gives readers the chance to meet some new authors and see it first before anyone else!
Arial Burnz – Paranormal Historical Romance Author
Midnight Conquest by Arial Burnz
- What inspired you to write Broderick MacDougal, the main character of your series?
I originally wrote “Midnight Conquest” twenty years ago when vampire romance wasn’t really a sub-genre. At the time I was reading a lot of historical romance novels and my favorite hero was James Mallory from “Gentle Rogue” by Johanna Lindsey. He was the black sheep of this Regency romance family the Mallorys, an ex-pirate and holy hell, what a rogue! I adored this man! And I was also reading a lot of vampire fiction, so I ended up craving a combination of the two genres.
There were probably a half-dozen vampire romance novels on the shelves at the time, and they all had vampire heroes that were absolutely pathetic! Thin, pale, depressed. Ugh! And all the stories were modern-day settings. I wanted to read about a vampire hero that enjoyed immortality and I wanted to read about how he became a vampire. What drove him to make this choice of immortality so many hundreds of years ago?
So when I couldn’t find the vampire hero I wanted, I decided I was going to write him myself! I made him a six-foot-three mountain of a man, a rugged Scottish rogue to boot, and he loved being immortal! Thus Broderick “Rick” MacDougal was born! RAWR!
2. Is there an interesting fact about a character that readers might not know or notice when reading the book?
“Midnight Conquest” is set in 1513, Scotland. So, I took a little artistic license with history to give Davina Stewart-Russell, my heroine, some kind of loose connection to the crown, which would make her a desirable bride, but not necessarily one that would have many suitors vying for her attention. I made her father, Parlan Stewart, an illegitimate child of Annabella Stewart.
In real history, Annabella was the daughter of the King of Scots, James Stewart I, and married to George Gordon, the second Earl of Huntly, but he divorced her on the grounds of consanguinity, claiming they were related by blood. Before the ink was even dry on the papers, he had remarried Lady Elizabeth Hay, his mistress! In all my research, the death of Annabella is a little open-ended and in fact happened just a few short years after her divorce. So, I ran with that!
I invented a fictional history that Annabella was very distraught about her divorce and sought solace in the arms of another man. As a result, she became with child. She died giving birth to Parlan and without revealing who had been his father. James III was not a favored king, but he wasn’t cruel-hearted enough to turn out his aunt when the pregnancy became known, nor would he turn out her son after her death. So Parlan stayed at the castle and a year later, when James IV was born, they became nursery mates. That made Parlan second cousins with the future King of Scotland. They grew up together, so became very close, and that granted Parlan a lot of favor with the crown. I had a lot of fun creating this little backstory to Davina’s royal bloodline!
3. What would you say is the theme of “Midnight Conquest?” What life lessons would you like readers to gain after reading your book?
Since “Midnight Conquest” was my first book, I don’t know that I was really focused on creating a theme. From the second book in my series and onward, there are definite themes for each of the storylines. But overall–and this includes Book 1–I wanted to show readers what true love looked like.
Broderick’s heart is very much based on the romantic heart of my own husband. As fiercely as he loves Davina, that’s how my husband loves me, and I love him in return. True love does exist! As the books progress, Davina is reincarnated into many different lives, and Rick seeks Davina out in each of these incarnations. Her soul is calling to him. And no matter who she is, no matter what life she leads, Rick loves the spirit of the woman who is his soul mate. Theirs is a love worth dying for and I hope my readers get caught up in that unconditional love.
I had an experience with a reader who shared with me that my books had changed her life. She said, “All this time I thought there was something wrong with me in my relationships. And your books showed me that I was just dating the wrong guys!” She continued to say that my books gave her the courage to be herself and she started dating again and what do you know…she met someone who was much more respectful of her and loved her for who she was! Of course, I burst into tears! It’s the most profound moment of my career as an author.
4. Who was your favorite character to write and why?
GAWD! This is a tough one to answer. I love writing all my characters! From “Midnight Conquest,” I would have to say I loved writing Amice, the old Gypsy Broderick travels with. She’s taken on a kind of mother role for him. I like her free spirit, her sense of humor, the way she cackles like an old crone and has such wisdom. I like her psychic gifts – tarot reading (which I do myself) and psychometry (the ability to touch objects and see things, which I’d LOVE to do). And I think what I love most is her brave heart. She faces Broderick’s nemesis with courage. She doesn’t cower before him. I loved that!
5. Why are you letting us read “Midnight Conquest” for free?
I am finishing up the Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles, writing the final book in the main series – “Midnight Deliverer,” Book 6 – so I wanted to give readers a chance to dive into Book 1 so they can get started on exploring this world I’ve created. The whole series is filled with vampires, gypsies, werewolves, witches, Norse wolf shifters and a mixtures of various spiritual cultures, from Christian and Pagan theologies to Norse and Greek mythology. I even have a little of my own invented mythology with the Elementals. And I’ve included the witch hunts in the 1600s, pirates and hidden treasures of the 1700s, Jack the Ripper in London 1888, and the final book ends in 21st Century Los Angeles. Quite the ride! I hope you all enjoy it!
Pearl Foxx – Science Fiction Romance Author
Exclusive The Vilka’s Secret by Pearl Foxx
1. What inspired you to write “The Vilka’s Secret?”
“The Vilka’s Secret” is written by a co-author team. When we started writing together, we both wanted to create a world that would be an immersive, fun experience for readers. We built out the world with science fiction elements like aliens and space travel and created a planet named Kladuu that is inhabited by a vast array of shape-shifting species. We were inspired in particular to write “The Vilka’s Secret” because we wanted readers to have an introduction into the series, and what better way to do that than to have an astrophysicist discover the secret wormhole that leads straight to Kladuu?!
2. What inspired you create Maeve Delgado from “The Vilka’s Secret?”
We were inspired to create Maeve, because we wanted someone to discover the secret wormhole that leads to the planet of Kladuu. It has been Maeve’s mission in life to prove that this wormhole exists, but no one on the space station where she lives believes her. She takes it upon herself to prove her theory, and gets far more than she bargained for!
3. Is there an interesting fact about a character that readers might not know or notice when reading the book?
One interesting fact is that the commanding officer Noaz talks to in “The Vilka’s Secret” is the hero in the first book of the series, “A Vilka’s Servant!”
4. Who was your favorite (or least favorite) character from “The Vilka’s Secret” to write and why?
Our favorite character to write was definitely Maeve! She had the best quirky sense of humor that always made her interactions with Noaz funny and entertaining. Maeve and Noaz really came to life during the drafting stage because they’re so dynamic and interesting. Love those two!
5. Why are you letting me read “The Vilka’s Secret” for free?
We’re letting readers check out “The Vilka’s Secret” for free exclusively on Instafreebie because we want people to get an introduction into the Shifters of Kladuu series. Readers will get a fast-paced, sexy story featuring a quirky astrophysicist and a hunky Kladian shifter. In a manner of speaking, they get to test the waters of Kladuu for free, and it’s our hope that they will come back for more!