Giveaways, Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Vanessa MacLellan

Vanessa MacLellan is a fantasy author born and raised in the farmlands of eastern Washington, works as an environmental engineer, and is an avid birder, naturalist and hiker living in Portland, Oregon. Her first novel, Three Great Lies, an Egyptian fantasy published by Hadley Rille Books.  She loves mythology and tries to slip it into every book she writes. 

Q & A with Vanessa MacLellan

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

Let me start by thanking you for this opportunity to answer your questions. I’m Vanessa MacLellan and I live in Portland, OR, USA.  I write fantasy in a variety of flavors.  My previous book, Three Great Lies, was a portal fantasy/women’s fiction set in ancient mythological Egypt.  Awaken, my current book, is a dark fantasy/horror with a young protagonist set in a frontier fort settled by a Norse-descended people.  I love mythology.  And while not all of my writing includes mythology, it is a component you’ll see often.

When not writing, I’m often camping, birding, backpacking, studying medicinal properties of plants… you get it.  I’m a greenie.  I also just started water coloring.  I’m finding as I’m getting older, I want to create more.

I don’t know when exactly I ‘became’ a writer, but at a very young age I would make up stories for my mother filled with atrocious adverbs.  I wrote fan stories for role-playing game characters and fan fiction for published works.  I’ve done NaNoWriMo 15 times.  One thing I wrote in junior high was a fan fiction poem for Stephen King’s short story, The Mist.  This story is just one needle of inspiration for Awaken.  I am always inspired by the world around me.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Very few intentionally.  I have been to the House of Five Gables and to Platform 9 3/4.  I drove through Forks and Beverly Cleary has a middle school named for her near me.  I’ve been to the Carl Sandburg house twice, though I’ve never read his works.

What inspired you to write this book?

Great question!  I love moody, thematic horror.  I like seeing the cliff coming for you and wishing you could veer away and knowing you’re going over.  I like sacrifice characters.  I like heroes, who no matter the odds, will do the right thing. 

Heroic fiction.  My happy place.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have a superhero series I’m working on.  The first book is done and I’m planning on finishing all of them before I publish them.  I also have an environmental fantasy that’s in rough draft phase I hope to polish up next year. 

I have a day job as an environmental engineer, so writing is a slow process for me. I diligently plod along and get the work done.

What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book and do you have a system?

Years ago I would have answered this totally differently with plans and plots and diagrams.  After having written so many rough drafts, I don’t really have a process anymore.  I find it’s different based on the book, how busy I am, how excited I am, etc.  But I’ll give you my ‘perfect’ process.

* Have the world built before I start.  Ponder it, think on it, daydream on it. Get an idea of what everyday people do. Get an idea of how the magic/power affects day to day activities. Know my characters and their choices inside and out.

* Know my ending and work backwards. This way I won’t write myself into a horrible box canyon… which I have done. This also allows for heightened tension and Oh Damn moments, because I know how they get out of it already, so I can create crazy scenarios that hopefully will keep the readers on the edges of their seats.

* Outline it all, step sheet, focus on emotions and what I want the readers to get out of each scene.

* Sit down and write daily.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Awaken?

Balin is the main character.  He’s 16, the orphan son of a traitor who was gunned down before his eyes when he was 5.  A commoner, he’s given certain privileges because his guardian is the Mistress of the College of the frontier fort they live in.  He’s in a relationship with the only single noble girl his age, Elaine, who is promised to be married to the Hauld’s son, William.  William is like the prince of the keep and he and Balin survived incarceration at the hands of the enemy together, so have a bond through that.  Tristan is Balin’s best friend, second only to Elaine, and also of noble birth.  These four work together to help fix Fort Resonbirg, the sentient keep they live in. 

Then there is the Sallaedi… The Plague Man.  Enda.  Sometimes called Dust.  He wants Balin… but for what purpose?  Read the book and find out!

A lot of this book is held in dreams or in in-between dreamscapes.  Thus, the name Awaken.  Balin just wants to Awaken from his living nightmare. Balin is given choices that at first he refuses, because they are not good options.  But as other avenues are cut away, he soon realizes what he must do.  Balin is a real kid, wishing for a future, hoping for happiness.  And he does what he must do.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?

Have you read The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot?  Please do.

“I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”

This poem played a HUGE influence on this story.  Moody, moody, moody.

Awaken has three major plotlines.  There is Ursulard the Dreamspinner, who is the main external antagonist who lays siege to Fort Resonbirg.  There is the surrounding mist wall and the dragon, Nidhogg, swimming within entrapping them further and feasting on dreams.  And then the Sallaedi and his demands on Balin and his offer of power.  I wanted to do one of those intricate, entwined books with a lot going on.  I hope I didn’t bite off more than I could chew, but it was fun. 

Fort Resonbirg is a sentient building and I love the idea of an intelligent, aware house.  I see it rarely in fiction.  I also loved the idea of an entity feeding on fear and causing nightmares. 

And Balin, my battered bruised boy who still tries and wants to do whats right.  I love that kind of character and I wanted to bring him to life in my story.  I hope he walks strongly in your imagination like he does in mine.

Who designed your book covers?

I went to Crowdspring to get my cover.  Essentially you submit a proposal and people create covers to vie for your contract.  I felt bad for those I didn’t pick, honestly.  Khalid_art20 came out on top with the amazing cover of Resonbirg all misty with the hint of Nidhogg swimming in the mist.  Love the mood it creates!

Where can readers find you and your books?

They can find me at my Author Links.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I hope you enjoy Awaken.  If you like it, please consider giving my other works a read.  Though different, I hope I deliver you quality.  My goal is that you come away from the story with it in your memory, with you thinking about it a few days later, and with you feeling deeply for the characters.

Thank you for having me!  It was great to talk to your followers.


by Vanessa MacLellan

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror

Balin stands between two great Powers. One will shatter his mind; the other will destroy his soul. Only one of them can save his people.

Fort Resonbirg, a Norse stronghold in the New World, is besieged by the evil sorcerer Ursulard the Dreamspinner. Though their fields are scorched and homes destroyed, the residents and refugees do not worry, because Fort Resonbirg is Awakened with the power to provide, protect, and grow. But not all is as it seems when a wall of impenetrable mist surrounds the fort, and within the mist hunts the dragon, Nidhogg. Nidhogg hungers for more than flesh and bone. It instills nightmares on its prey, feeding on fear and pain, inevitably taking lives.

Balin Tremore, a commoner bound for the militia but hoping to stay by his noble love’s side, never expected to amount to grand things. When the great power of Cradleweaving is awakened within him, Balin unknowingly becomes the one person with the power to pierce the wall of mist and banish the deadly beast within before it destroys them all—if he can master the new power in time. But to master the power, he must sacrifice much. The question is, will it be his position, his Lady, or his very soul?

The Mist meets Nightmare on Elm Street in this classic tale of personal sacrifice.

Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads

$10 Amazon

A Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Book Features, Giveaways

Book Spotlight: Keys to Eternity by Lali A. Love

The De-Coding of Jo: Keys To Eternity

Ascending Angel Academy Book 3

by Lali A. Love

Genre: YA SciFi Dark Fantasy

A Phantom Cult
A Shattering Deception
A Powerful Prophecy

Lust, greed, destruction. Humanity has fallen into an inverted matrix. Menacing energy vampires are hunting Jo’s best friends and siphoning the souls of StarSeeds. To save everyone she loves from extinction, Jo must collapse the false Phantom timeline using Stargate portals and time hops into the ancient Age of Lemuria.

Jo and Alicia reunite with Roma and legendary mythical Warriors. They trek through the enchanted Luminary Realms to fulfill the violet flame prophecy of the seven Eternal Archive Spheres. As the Plague of Chaos descends on innocence, the chosen Master Alchemist must embody Metatron’s organic keys to resurrect the modern timeline.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Books2Read

Lali A. Love ™️ is an award-winning author and Amazon bestseller of dark fantasy, science fiction, paranormal thriller, and metaphysical poetry. She has received a NYC Big Book Award in Poetry Anthology, the Global e-Book Gold Award, the Elite Choice Gold Award, the Book of Excellence Award, the Queer Indie Lit Youth Gold Award, and the International Reader’s Favorite Gold Award for quality and powerful storytelling.

Her mission is to empower, enlighten, and entertain her readers by bridging the concepts of spirituality with gripping visionary fiction.

Lali aspires to write stimulating, inclusive, thought-provoking, and relevant character-based novels that relate to modern-day issues and invoke an emotional response in her readers. She has studied epistemology and metaphysics to further her understanding of the Universal Laws of Energy.

As an intuitive, alchemist, and energy healer, Lali intends to help elevate levels of consciousness by shining the light on sensitive subject matter to assist individuals in their healing journeys. She is an advocate for self-love, self-actualization, voicing authentic truths, equality, diversity, unity, women, and children.

Author Links

Website* FacebookTwitter* Instagram* Bookbub* Amazon* Goodreads  

$50 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Book Features, Giveaways

Book Blitz: Demon Hunter by Treva Harte

Demon Hunter

Demon Entanglements Book 4

by Treva Harte

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Published by Changeling Press

Dorothea, the widowed Duchess of Berea, is still in mourning when two male visitors come calling — the first to her remote Irish estate since her husband died. One is her cousin, who draws her back into the dangerous world of demon hunting that is her family tradition.

The second, the mysterious Brown, promises to help her when her own family is unable to. Neither Dorothea nor Brown expects the sudden hot attraction they feel for one another. Dorothea, used to being the protector, discovers how dangerously appealing it is to have someone protect her. But is Brown someone she can trust when the demons start hunting the demon hunter?

Buy Links

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo * ChangelingPress 

Treva Harte has always been an overachiever. She also collects things. First it was degrees. First a B.A. in English, then she decided to go back for a Master’s degree. Not content with that, she added a J.D. Since then she’s added a husband, also an attorney, and two children to her collection. She’s continuing her ways as an overachiever, writing her wonderfully offbeat tales of passion and possibilities — in her spare time.

Visit her website at

Author Links

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Win a handmade Swag Pack (US only) OR $10 Changeling Press Gift Card (WW)! (1 winner)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Book Features, Giveaways

Spotlight of Witches of Grimm by C. M. Adler

Witch in the Woods

Witches of Grimm Prequel

by C.M. Adler

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who lived near an enchanted forest with her sister and her father. One day, while her father was gone selling firewood to the neighboring villages, her sister fell ill. Out of desperation, the young girl ventured into the forest for help and there she found a woman who gave her everything her soul desired…

Ambrosine lives next to an enchanted wood, which is no big deal when you know how to spot a magic hoax nest and trap nasty little night fairies. 

And certainly no big deal when there is not even a witch in the woods.

When her little sister Rosaline encounters a strange new creature, she falls asleep and a dangerous fever dream threatens her life. With their mother dead and their father gone, Ambrosine gambles with the deepest desire of her soul as she fights to save her sister.

Based on the Grimm fairy tale, The Tale of the Rose, this is a highly entertaining and bone-chilling story of the first Witch in the Woods.”

**Get it FREE HERE!!**  

Get it FREE Here:


Witches of Grimm Book 1

The writer’s voice and creativity is absolutely amazing throughout the story
– Amazon Review

Once upon a time there was a girl who grew up near an enchanted wood. She was the delight of her father. The most precious gem of his heart.
And one evening in the spring, on her sixteenth birthday, she clutched her infant daughter to her chest and ran for her life.

A century later, a young girl named Maia found true love. Or at least she thought she had before her happily ever after turned into cries of, “Witch! Witch! Witch!” After an impulsive deal with a rumple goblin, Maia escapes the pitchforks and torches by taking her chances in the enchanted woods.

But there’s a witch in the woods.

Cerelia hasn’t seen another human soul for over one hundred years until a beaten and bloody pregnant girl stumbles into her magical garden. While fighting off witch-hunting villagers is one thing, dealing with rumple goblins is quite another. What will be the cost of saving Maia’s child?

Mother is the first book in the Witches of Grimm series. A gripping fairytale retelling of Rapunzel’s Mother Gothel, Mother is a magical story of love and sacrifice.

Buy Links
Add to Goodreads

Amazon * B&N * Google * Kobo * Website

Kissing Crows

Witches of Grimm Book 2

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful, curious girl who lived in an enchanted forest by the sea. Her mother loved her so much that she kept her in a tower, safe from anything that might ever harm her. And it was there, beneath the bright spring sun, that the girl wished she was free to fly with the crows…

Rapunzel lives in a world of mist fairies and mermaids, a world in which her gothel, Cerelia, has always kept her safe from all the evils of the world–rumple goblins, night fairies…and men.

As Rapunzel grows older, the fairy tales stacked high in her tower and her companion crows are no longer enough.

And so she makes a wish…

Prince Charles Marcus of Aubergen is restless, refusing to be content with the details of his arranged life. To escape the suffocating formality of his younger brother’s royal wedding, Charles takes his small boat out onto the sea.

Then a storm hits.

After surviving the storm and fighting off mermaids, Charles wakes in a strange cave to Rapunzel’s curious sea-green eyes. At that moment, Charles knows he has found his true love in this beautiful Lady of Crows.

But will true love be enough to keep them safe from Cerelia’s raging fear? Or the dark magic festering in the enchanted woods?

Kissing Crows is the second book in the Witches of Grimm series. A dark fairytale retelling of the classic “Rapunzel,” Kissing Crows is a powerful tale of forbidden freedom.

Buy Links

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * B&N * Google * Kobo * Website

CM Adler is the thriller and dark fantasy name for award-winning author Christine Nielson (formerly Haggerty). Christine lives a life that’s certainly never boring, and if there is ever a dull moment, she fills it with more writing projects.

Nestled in the mountains of northern Utah, Christine spends her days with her three human children and her additional four-legged, furry brood. In a former life, Christine taught English and karate and developed a love of spinning fire. Follow her adventures through her newsletter at

Author Links

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand prize (1 winner, $50 ARV):

  • Signed copy of Witch in the Woods and Mother – each will have a personal note to the winner from CM Adler
  • An UN-FUCK-WITCHABLE bar chain necklace
  • Witches of Grimm metal charm bookmark

Secondary Prizes for the Runner-Ups (3 winners):

  • Signed copy of Witch in the Woods
  • Stainless steel bead and charm bracelet

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!