In today’s episode I had the pleasure of speaking with Young Adult Christian Fiction Author Briuana Green. Briuana Green graduated from Harvard College with a BA in Psychology and a secondary in African-American Studies in 2018. She also received an MFA from Emerson College in 2020. She was born and raised in Forrest City, Arkansas. Her motivation for writing is to help the youth realize that there is purpose embedded within them, despite what goes on around them. When not writing, Briuana loves spending time with Jesus, family, and friends and watching sports.
We discuss her King High series, the inspiration behind it and her upcoming projects. Her books can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Connect with Briuana on IG @briuanagreen
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I find that life and sometimes the tiniest situations offer much in the way of creative energy for me. The world and characters in Raine of Fire are no exception. In truth, the book does have some little gems that crept in from my day-to-day life. I probably have no way to name them all, but I thought I would share a few in this article.
When I wrote this novel, I had recently visited Glasgow, Scotland. Wickney Square, where Raine performs, is greatly inspired by George Square in Glasgow. Many photos of that can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Square. I took liberties with what kinds of statues were in place and the shops on the northern length of the square, but WPD (Wickney Police Department) and the courthouse are largely based on the buildings you see in these photos.
I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, and we have a bar downtown called The Local. So, I’m sure you can guess where Wickney’s Local and Local U came from. It’s namely the inspiration for the upstairs portion of the club in Wickney. The lower level could really be attributed to any nightclub you might have visited. There are some fabulous photos of the inside of Minneapolis’s Local on this website: https://www.minneapolis.org/directory/the-local-an-irish-pub/.
When I conceived of this series, my aim was to create characters in the vein of Richard Castle and Kate Beckett from the TV series Castle or Bones and Booth from Bones. I wanted it to be that kind of romantic banter that teases people into “shipping” the characters and craving the next episode to find out if they’ll ever have the first kiss or date. The one I never planned to emulate was Lucifer. In fact, I’d never watched it before I started getting reviews telling me how similar they are. I agree, but I do assure you it’s total coincidence.
Raine’s love for whiskey is greatly based on my son, who doesn’t drink but found his love for Scotch while we visited Scotland. Kennedi’s mother’s name is a family name. And her migraines, well, I suffered from those for many years.
The choice of Wisconsin for placing my fictional city was entirely random, but I once traveled to Minocqua to visit a friend and loved the area. So placing the Minocqua Mental Health Center there was because I found it quite peaceful in northern Wisconsin.
Raine of Fire
A Wickney Mystery Novel
by Susan Stradiotto
Genre: Epic Fantasy Mystery, Paranormal Romance
Sparks fly when an exiled Fae prince and a straight-laced detective team up to solve a murder.
Banished by his mother from Faerie, Raine Abarta wants nothing more than to entertain people on the streets of Wickney, Wisconsin. But when the daughter of a prominent senator stumbles upon his show, he’s drawn into her world and her mother’s murder.
When Raine takes his act down to the police department with intentions of helping solve the puzzle–or, uh, the “case”–he meets the ultra-serious Detective Kennedi Craine. To his dismay, she views him as nothing more than a charlatan, but when has that ever stopped him?
Kennedi’s latest case is open and shut, more of a paperwork and media hassle than a case. Senator La Point, after all, was holding the smoking gun over his wife’s lifeless body. So, when a random guy off the street walks in telling her she’s wrong, she sends him on his merry way. At least she thinks she does. As he keeps popping up, she begins to wonder if he’s on to something. And when he broaches a situation from her past, she just can’t leave him alone.
Raine helps her solve another small case, and she starts to wonder if there might be something more to both mysteries before her.
Fabulous read for fans of the TV shows Castle and Bones.
Susan Stradiotto is passionate about the written word, whether it is in her own writing or her editing practice. She is a fan of well-told stories. Susan is always searching for unique voices and stories that tell a truth. As Neil Gaiman said in his master class, “Write the truest story you can.” She believes that is what makes a story sing.
Susan is an author of fantasy and romance and has professional editorial experience with genres such as romance, memoir, mystery/thriller, cozy mystery, fantasy, and women’s fiction. She attended Capella University for her BS in Information Technology and the University of Chicago’s Graham School for her professional editing certification. She lives in Eden Prairie with her husband, a hoard of Bernese Mountain Dogs, and one Miniature Dachshund.
It’s been four months since my wolf awakened and I found my mates, five weeks since I became part of a coven, and three days since I realized one of my mates is pretending to be okay when he’s not. I wasn’t prepared for any of this, least of all for an Omega mate who’s usually extremely open about his feelings, shutting down to hide something.
Whatever that something is, it must be big. He wouldn’t keep it from us if it wasn’t.
I know Oscar. He thinks he’s protecting us, but it’s our job to protect him.
As soon as we know what we’re protecting him from, we’ll be all over it. But we’re never going to work out what’s up if he never gets out of bed.
“We’re seriously going to be late,” Noah tells me, shaking his head.
Our Beta has been ready to leave for close to an hour, getting up like clockwork and taking the time to subtly style his short dark blond hair and make sure his clothes don’t have a single visible crinkle. His deep-brown eyes are pleading when he turns them on me. He’s been trying to convince our Omega to get moving for the past fifteen minutes, and he’s clearly reaching his limit. I can hear the exasperation in his voice, I can see the irritation in his stare.
“Who cares?” Oscar mumbles from the bed, where he’s stretching out and making himself more comfortable instead of getting up for class.
The sheets fall away from lightly toned torso, revealing a glimpse at the start of the fine trail of dark hair moving down from his navel. I pull my gaze up to his face, and I see the faintest hint of a smile on his lips. His thick, dark eyelashes flutter lightly, and I know he’s watching me while he pretends to be dozing, waiting for me to respond to this lazy attempt at flirting.
It’s cute, I’ll admit, but we don’t have time for cute.
“You’re not an Alpha,” I remind him.
Alphas can come and go at the academy as we please, which is kind of stupid if you ask me, but given that I’m officially accepted there as an Alpha now, I’m hardly going to argue at the leniency it affords me. Omegas and Betas are expected to attend unless they’re sick, and Oscar might be hiding something, but I seriously doubt that something is health related.
Oscar groans a little and stretches again. He clearly has no intention of moving from our bed.
If this weren’t situation typical for a weekday morning, I might be worried.
I smile down at him. He has an arm up now, shielding one of his eyes against the sunlight that’s been streaming through the window ever since Noah opened the curtains in an attempt to rouse him.
“I’m Alpha-adjacent,” Oscar murmurs finally, cracking his unhidden eye open fully to gaze at me. He gives me a slow smile. “Of course, I’d be a lot closer to an Alpha right now if you were under the covers with me.”
Noah lets out a loud, weary sigh. “I give up.”
He leaves the room, and I know he’ll be waiting for us just as impatiently outside the mansion. At least he’ll have Everett to complain to out there. My Alpha mate never wastes time trying to wake Oscar up. That’s the duty of a Beta, as far as he’s concerned.
Usually, I’d say the same, but now that I know Oscar’s hiding something from me, from all of us, I feel like watching over him a little more closely.
Oscar sits up, letting the cover fall from his chest. He ruffles a hand through his messy dark brown hair and gives me a slow, deliberate elevator look. “Do you give up too?”
I give him a smile, even if his question gives me a little stab of guilt.
I missed the signs that something was wrong, and he’s hiding his pain from me.
I hate that I screwed up this badly. I need to find a way to make it right.
“I’ll never give up,” I promise, wishing he would just tell me what’s wrong.
He tugs at my hand, and I let him pull me down onto the bed, where his hands quickly snake up under my skirt.
“How ‘bout now?” he asks, a teasing smile on his lips as his fingers creep up my thighs.
His playful mood drags my black-painted lips into a real smile.
“Don’t start something we can’t finish, Oscar,” I tell him, knowing we really are going to be late if I don’t give him a reason to throw on clothes in the next two minutes. My judgement is going to be seriously thrown if I don’t break away now, before the heat I’m under flares and captures both of us in its furnace. “If you let me go and you get ready for class, I’ll give you my full, undivided attention tonight.”
His bright blue eyes light up. “All night?”
I nod slowly. He lets me go reluctantly. For a second, I’m not sure my plan worked, but he doesn’t sink back down onto the mattress. I get up and straighten my skirt.
Oscar leaps out of the bed, and I watch him dress in a whirlwind of motion before he darts into the bathroom. It’s kind of impressive how suddenly he went from no-desire-to-move to superhero-speed quick-change.
A Fated Mates RH PNR
by Romy Lockhart
Genre: Reverse Harem Paranormal Romance
Cheryl’s newly awakened Alpha wolf is put to the test when her Omega is accused of murder by another pack. Pack law dictates Oscar’s fate must be determined by his accusers, but she’s certain he’s innocent and determined to find a way to prove it.
Getting to the truth isn’t going to be easy. Oscar’s fractured connection with his wolf makes him even more vulnerable than the average Omega, and Cheryl’s instinct to protect her mate goes into overdrive when she finds out why the other pack want him.
She’ll do whatever it takes to keep him safe. No one threatens an Alpha’s mates.
Moon Cursed is a standalone new adult shifter reverse harem romance with college-aged characters, serious steam and an HEA.
Please note: This is the second novel in the Hybrid Shifter world to feature Cheryl and her mates. This harem was formed in Vicious Love, and the characters also make an appearance in the novella Hybrid Hearts.
Romy Lockhart writes paranormal reverse harem and M/F contemporary romance. All of her books contain steamy scenes between consenting adults. All of her reverse harems have harem ever afters, and all of her romance novels have happy endings.
In today’s episode, I discuss The Girl Outside by James Caine. This is a psychological thriller about a mother determined to find her daughter while discovering she doesn’t know her daughter at all, especially when she uncovers alot of what her daughter has been doing.