Welcome, Mysti! Tell us about your latest project.
Serenya’s Song is the second installment of my stand-alone fantasy romance series. It starts where the first book, A Ranger’s Tale, ended and stars one of the prominent male characters from Book One. It’s a bit longer and considerably darker than the first book, so lovers of both romance and dark fantasy will enjoy it.
More specifically, Serenya’s Song is a second chance love story. For both Serenya Barnaby-Crowe and Jayden Ravenwing, fate has dealt them a lousy hand when it comes to love. They meet in the small town of Summerwind, to discover they are perfect for each other. Unfortunately, Serenya’s married and Jayden is mourning the failure of his own marriage back in Leogard. Making matters worse are the emerging secrets about Serenya’s true identity—her very existence may result in the end of the world, and Jayden will have to make the most difficult choices of his life.
Anyone who reads this story will be rooting for these two from page one, because it’s SO obvious they are meant to be together. But, their journey is fraught with one challenge after another, and soon, you’ll be biting your nails as you discover the terrible secrets that are keeping them apart.
By the climax, you’ll just know it won’t end well, but hang on to your seats, because it ain’t over yet!
Where do Louisville/Southern Indiana readers know you from, outside of your books?
Readers might have caught a glimpse of me and my elf ears at the Southern KY Book Fair in Bowling Green, Fanfest in Louisville, the Horse Cave Book Fest, Karen’s Book Barn in LaGrange, and That Book Place in Madison, IN.
Other than that, I’m a homebody, being full-time mom of three and all. If I’m not at home knee-deep in laundry or story-plotting, I’ll be found at Kroger and Wal-Mart buying food for my family of five. They’re eating us out of house and home, I swear!
I hear you! I noticed on your blog that you’ve won some awards. Do you still enter contests? Tell us what contests you would recommend to new writers, and why.
I haven’t entered very many writing contests, and none for novel-length work yet. I’d recommend new writers enter short story and flash fiction contests whenever they can. Writing with the purpose of getting noticed in a contest is a great way to improve in your craft, by learning how to be concise and make every word count, since most of them have length requirements. Some of the contests I’d recommend are the Women on Writing (WoW) Quarterly Flash Fiction Contest and NPR’s 3-Minute Fiction Contest. Both of these occur a few times a year. And I was lucky enough to win an honorable mention in the WoW Summer 2010 competition. I’m also quite proud of my blog being voted the #3 writing blog by eCollegeFinder.com. I was nominated for that one quite by surprise!
Congratulationson your win! Who are your favorite writers from the local area?
Being a semi-recluse for the past decade, I hadn’t met many local authors until the past couple of years. This summer, I had the pleasure of meeting some great ones! To name a few: Ruth J. Hartman, Indiana native and writer of sweet romance; Dale Smith, Muhlenberg Co., KY native and author of some wonderful children’s books; and three fine ladies from the Southern Indiana Writers—Ginny Fleming, T. Lee Harris, and Marian Allen.
Also, though I haven’t been with them long, I happen to love all the ladies in the RWA’s local chapter, Louisville Romance Writers. I hesitate to name them, for fear I’d leave someone out. Trust me when I say, they each have such unique styles and talents. I feel really at home among them and can’t wait until the next meeting. Look them up if you’re a local writer of romance.
Tell us about your favorite bookstores/coffee shops/writing haunts.
Writing at a coffee shop is still a bit of a luxury at this point in my life. My favorite place to write is actually my basement office, a spare bedroom furnished with my lovely big desk, computer, bookshelves, microwave and mini fridge. Once I get my kids off to school, I hole up there in my writing den with some hot coffee and while away the few hours of quiet to build the world of Tallenmere one word at a time.
That sounds perfect! What’s next on the writing slate, for you?
I’m working on Book Three of my series, called Hearts in Exile. Here’s a blurb to whet your appetite:
In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, fate has a way of catching up with you…
Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea is an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.
Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard’s High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria’s inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae’s descendants happy. Never once did she imagine being a dragon keeper.
Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn’s tyranny and the dark god, Tyr’s abominations. But nothing compares to the ten years of hell he’s been without Loralee, presumed dead, struck down by a minor version of the Great Plague that took his mother and countless others years ago.
One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to reestablish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.
Best of luck with your new release, Mysti! Thanks for stopping by the Author Spotlight to share your work.
Readers, if you know an author who deserves to shine in the Local Author Spotlight, please get in touch. Either side of the river is fine–we speak Southern Indianaese, too! Books about relevant local subject matter are encouraged from authors outside the area, as well. Email RedTashBooks@gmail.com and please put “LouisvilleKY.com Author Spotlight” in your email subject. Thanks!
Stay tuned for more local author news. I hope you’re discovering some fantastic new reads, from names new and old on the literary scene.
Leslea Tash is a Southern Indiana journalist-turned-novelist. Formerly known for a weekly national column on parenting and family life, she now writes dark fantasy like the 5 Star Amazon hit Troll Or Derby and The Wizard Tales under the pen name Red Tash. She always welcomes your feedback on this column on the LouisvilleKY.com site, on Facebook, on her websites or twitter.