Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

Destiny Promo PhotoTonight I have Bernadette Rowley here to chat about her new novel, The Lord and the Mermaid, newly out with Momentum. She also chats about her love of fantasy and world building. So get yourself a hot drink (hot chocolate with honey is my favourite on a cold night), settle in and enjoy finding out more about Bernadette and her work.

Hi Bernadette. Thanks for being a guest on my blog. It’s really exciting to have you here once again to tell us about your new novel, The Lord and the Mermaid.

Hi Leisl, it’s great to be back!

Can you tell us a little bit about your new novel, The Lord and the Mermaid?

The Lord and the Mermaid is basically my retelling of The Little Mermaid. Mermaid Merielle flees her people, hoping for a better life. She is determined to find a human man and make him fall in love with her, believing his love will make her human in turn. The man she happens across is Lord Nikolas Cosara, a hunky ship’s captain, who has exiled himself after a past tragedy. He is the last person who would ever love a mermaid but they experience an instant attraction and the story flows from there.

It’s been quite the roller coaster ride for you in the last year or so since your last novel was released, The Lady’s Choice – something I’m experiencing a bit myself at the moment. Can you tell us about it?

Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice were published in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Being a new imprint when I started with them, it took a couple of years to find its way and they eventually decided to stop publishing fantasy as a genre. That left me unwilling to part with my series and needing to find a new publisher for The Lord and the Mermaid. I didn’t know if someone else would wish to take me up but didn’t want to go out on my own. I pitched my mermaid story to Momentum’s Haylee Nash at conference and she offered me a two book deal. I got the rights back for Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice and have self-published them. I now have the best of both worlds!

0315 The Lord and The Mermaid_v8The Lord and the Mermaid is a novel related to your Princess Avenger series – how is it related? Are any of the characters the same?

Princess Avenger is set in Brightcastle, a city about four days ride west of Wildecoast where The Lord and the Mermaid is set. Both cities are in my fantasy world of Thorius. Readers were introduced to Thorius in Princess Avenger and to Wildecoast in The Lady’s Choice. Some of the minor characters are the same. You could say that the books that have gone before are prequels to The Lord and the Mermaid.

Is it a standalone novel, or is it going to be a part of a larger series? – I love a good series.

You know me, Leisl. If I’m writing a book it’s part of a series, the longer the better. Having said that, The Lord and the Mermaid can be read on its own. Merielle and Nik’s story is the first in the Wildecoast Saga with Momentum.

Where did the idea for this series come from?

It was perfect timing, really, I had a story set in the same world but a different city with new elements (being the increasing threat from the dark elves) and Momentum wanted to start from scratch with this book. So we created The Wildecoast Saga.

Princess Avenger Ebook coverWhat inspires you to keep writing in this world?

I love this world that I’ve created. I can make whatever rules I wish for and my characters have amazing abilities. Why wouldn’t you want to keep writing new love stories that take the secondary themes, of intrigue and war, forward?

You have recently self-published your first two novels after getting the rights back from your previous publisher. Can you tell us a little bit about this process and how you’ve found it? What have you learned from it that’s helping you with your writing in general? Would you self-publish other works in the future again?

Self-publishing was daunting at first but I started with Smashwords and they made it easy. I enlisted a cover designer and she also did the formatting. I was so excited when I saw my very own covers and think they are rather beautiful. I have two more to reveal when I release book 2 and 3 of the Princess Avenger trilogy. I also worked with Tracey O’Hara in editing Princess Avenger and learned quite a lot from that. Don’t we all wish we could go back and fix some of the weaknesses in our first book? I think you learn a little each time you publish a book, no matter how you do it and I definitely will be doing so again. I’m hoping to have part two of my trilogy out this year.

Are you planning any novels in the future that are set in a new fantasy world? Or have you got any aspirations to write in a different genre?

I have no new fantasy worlds planned but I do have the beginnings (first two books) of a space opera series. I also have two books in a junior fiction series written.

the-ladys-choice-cover-newYou’re a vet by day, as well as a mother. How do you find the time to write? Talk us through your process.

The first two days of the week are given over to vet work and then my five day writing week begins! I try to do some every day and when I’m writing draft I aim for one to two thousand words each day. All this year has been given over to editing but I’m currently working on a story that will be book three in the Wildecoast Saga.

I, of course have plenty of housework to take care of but usually write late morning and in the afternoon. I always try to be available to my sons who are 17, 19 and 21. They’ve been encouraged to follow their dreams no matter what.

What’s been the most surprising aspect of your writing career so far? What have you had the most difficulties with? What have you learned the most from?

I can’t believe how long the editing process is and that no matter how good your book is, there are always ways it can be improved. I’ve had the most difficulties with promoting my work – I’m not very good at talking about my books. I’ve learned heaps from each editor I’ve worked with and expect to continue to learn with each book.

Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today, Bernadette. It was fun finding out a little bit more about you and your writing.

Bernadette has very generously decided to give away a copy of her new novel, The Lord and the Mermaid. All you have to do is comment on what fantasy characters you like reading about? Mermaids, Shifters, Vampires, Elves, Dragons, Fairies… Bernadette will pick the winner from these. So, comment away and share what your favourite fantasy characters are…

You can buy Bernadette’s novels from:

The Lord and the Mermaid:

Princess Avenger: FREE at

The Lady’s Choice:

World of Thorius Boxed Set:

Author bio:

Bernadette Rowley is an author of fantasy romance who grew up on rural properties on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Her teenage years were spent training her beloved horses, reading the fantasy stories of Tolkien, Brooks and Eddings and dreaming of becoming a vet.
She graduated as a vet in 1987 and now works part time, allowing her five days a week for her passion- writing. Bernadette lives in Townsville with her husband of 27 years, their sons and Slippers the cat. Her other interests are reading (fantasy and romance), singing (a capella), cricket and music.

You can find out more about Bernadette at:


My silly mug is appearing on another site and despite never liking photos of myself, I’m pretty happy about this one – it’s my Author Profile with my two books, Dark Moon and Killing Me Softly, underneath on Darksiders Downunder

Darksiders Downunder is a site that allows lovers of fantasy and paranormal fiction to meet their favourite authors, meet new authors and find out what is going on with them and their books. There are interesting blogs, good news, catch-ups and release day information. I’m going to be writing some special blogs for it over the next few months – so watch this space.

If you’re wanting to find a new fantasy or paranormal book to read, you should pop on by – and give my smiling face a wave and check out both my books while you’re there. See you at Darksiders Downunder.

DarkMoon_coverPeople often ask me when they find out that I write paranormal fiction, why I write it. The short answer I give them is that I enjoy it and I read it and those are the stories that come to me. It seems simple. But the long answer is something far more involved.

Right from when I was little I was attracted to the mystical and mythical, the fantastical and purely far out. My mother used to watch episodes of the old Star Trek and Dr Who and The Twilight Zone while breast feeding me and my brother and I think somehow it seeped into my psyche. As I grew up, the programs we loved to watch together as a family were sci-fi and fantasy style programs and the movies we most loved were always the same. To this day, I still love Dr Who and Star Trek and Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Tron and Gremlins – stories of the fantastical mixed with the larger epic themes I so loved in mythology and with strong story arcs for those that were series.

And the books I loved to read tended to be the same, with stories of mythology and retellings of ancient legends, of Gods and Goddesses and magic and faeries mixed in. FrankensteinI loved stories set on other planets, either in outer space about little green men or in some far distant time where pieces of our history were blended with pieces of mythology from all across the globe. Grimm faerytales were devoured alongside Aesops fables and stories of the Tuatha De Dannan. I loved ghost stories and stories of mediums and people who had been reincarnated and tales of the eternal fight between Heaven and Hell. I went through a gothic horror phase, reading the classics – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Grey and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – as well as more modern versions by masters of paranormal suspense like Stephen King, Peter Straub and Anne Rice.

I loved Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire series, but it was her other books, The Mummy and her Taltos series that really influenced my reading choices as I moved from my teenage years into adulthood. MagicianI ‘found’ Raymond E. Feist and fell in love and from there a whole new world opened up before me. He mixed fantasy and mythology with an almost Stargate like travelling through worlds. He had magic and Elves and Dwarves and dragons and invaders from another world living alongside the average regular overshadowed by an evil so great it scared the Gods right through the entirety of his series. Just brilliant.

But I also longed for books with a fantasy/paranormal bent that had more romance in them. For years there was a dearth of such books and then holy guacamole, after the brilliant Buffy the Vampire Slayer hit our TV screens with her hot, forbidden romance with Angel, there was a surge in the kinds of books I longed to read to complete my literary sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal/romance diet. Buffy the Vampire SlayerAnd this led to a resurgence of not only paranormal movies and TV shows with a romance bent, but more and more wonderful shows with a mix of scifi, fantasy and paranormal, hit our screens and sent me into viewing nirvana.

Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Teen Wolf, True Blood, Sanctuary, Warehouse 13, Haven, Lost Girl, Once Upon a Time, Torchwood, Dr Who, Stargate, Firefly, LOTR, Game of Thrones…the list goes on and on. Too much fabulous TV and not enough time to watch it, especially if I’m going to get through all the series I love to read.

For a nerdy girl like me, it is a wonderful time to be a reader and a viewer and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So, why do I write paranormal and fantasy? For my answer, see the above! J


Hi all,DarkMoon_cover

I’m the guest blogger over on the ARRA blog today, talking about my love for romance, but when romance isn’t enough for me – that’s when I need a heady dose of ‘other’ (I’m talking the third player in the story – the world, the suspense, the evil doer. All things paranormal, fantasy and beyond). Come and check it out.

and find out why I have to write stories like Dark Moon.

Bernadette Photo PromoBernadette Rowley is on my blog today to talk about her recently release book, The Lady’s Choice and all things writerly. Hi Bernadette. Thanks for being a guest on my blog. It’s really exciting to have you here.

BR: Thanks for the invitation, it’s great to be here.

LL: The Lady’s Choice, your new novel in the Princess Avenger series, follows on from the first with the lovelorn Squire Ramon and a feisty new heroine – I’m so glad to see Ramon get a story and win a worthy love. Can you tell those who’ve not read it a little more about it?The Ladys Choice Cover

BR: In The Lady’s Choice, we get to catch up with Squire Ramón Zorba who was infatuated with Princess Alecia (in Princess Avenger). He is determined to find Alecia and is working on his fighting skills so that he can best the man Alecia ran away with, the dark and dangerous Vard Anton. Ramón is focussed on this objective when Lady Benae Branasar arrives in Brightcastle intent in winning the hand of Ramon’s employer, Prince Zialni. Benae makes quite an impression on Ramón and when the two are thrown together on a trip to fit Benae’s wedding gown, neither of them can ignore what is developing between them.

LL: I’m fanning myself already. The Lady’s Choice is part of a fantasy series – I love a good series. Can you tell us if you have anything more in store for this series?

BR: I love series too, and new ideas keep cropping up, or rather new characters who are ideal for their own love story. Readers will be especially pleased to hear that Alecia and Vard’s love affair is far from over. At the moment I’m almost finished a related story, set in Wildecoast (the king’s seat) which spins off from The Lady’s Choice although both hero and heroine are brand new. Each story fits in with previous stories so that readers can follow a timeline and some of the stories overlap others. I get a buzz out of the cross references and I hope readers will as well.

LL: Sounds fascinating. And I’m glad to hear you get to see more of Alecia and Vard – they were compelling characters. I love fantasy books and have bookshelves full of them. What inspires you to write fantasy? What’s their appeal to you? Where do your ideas come from?

BR: Up until the last few years fantasy was all I ever read. I started with Terry Brooks and the Sword of Shannara and moved on to Tolkien and then Eddings and Feist.

LL: I love Feist – he’s my favourite. Oops, sorry, I’ve interrupted – my enthusiasm got the better of me. Who else do you love?

BR: I’ve enjoyed Sara Douglas and Robert Jordan and more recently Harry Potter and paranormals like the Twilight series. What I really crave are ‘coming into power’ stories where the hero begins as an innocent and ends up the most potent being in the world. In my stories, the heroes and heroines are all learning about themselves and growing through their trials. I also love a tortured hero. Ramon from The Lady’s Choice is a beta hero so he is pretty perfect already but he is growing into his sexual self (yes, he is a virgin) and navigating questions of right and wrong and honour versus love. The ideas for my stories just come to me but I think they are distilled from the fantasy authors I’ve read. All those characters and worlds have influenced my books.

LL: I know what you mean. You are a veterinarian and mother in your ‘other’ more normal life. Tell us a little more about yourself and what led you to writing fiction.

BR: I loved writing at school but then university got in the way. Even through all that study, I read a lot of fantasy so I guess I was in training then. I work two days a week as a vet and devote the rest to my family and writing. I find that my love of animals and my healing resonates in my writing. Lady Benae has a special bond with her horse Flaire and she is a gifted healer as well. I think readers will enjoy that aspect of The Lady’s Choice almost as much as the romance. What led me to writing fiction? I realised about fifteen years ago that I had a book in me. It was after a goal setting workshop but I began from a very different place to fantasy romance.

LL: Ooh, that sounds interesting and leads onto my next question. Writers are always being given advice to diversify and write in different genres – although this doesn’t work for everyone. Aside from fantasy, do you write or have aspirations to write any other genre? What genres do you read other than fantasy?

BR: I started with a Children’s writing course and wrote a picture book, soon learning that I had selected a most difficult genre. I moved then to junior fiction and have two books written in that genre, inspired by my oldest son. That series centres on a magical plant and the boy who discovers it and tries to protect it from exploitation. I love that series and still hope to have it published one day. Then my husband had an idea for a science fiction/space opera series that looks to be nine books long – I’ve written two of those and there is a strong romantic thread. When I started writing romance, it just had to be fantasy and a series. I can’t help it! And other than fantasy I read lots and lots of romance – whatever my fellow authors are publishing – I especially enjoy regency and suspense.

LL: Tell us about when you got ‘The Call’.Princess Avenger High Res Cover

BR: I kept missing a call from a NSW number on my mobile while at work. I didn’t bother phoning back as I assumed it was a telemarketer – wrong assumption. It was actually Carol George (Destiny Romance) who finally had to email me, asking me to call her. After a bit more phone tag, we hooked up and she made me the offer for Princess Avenger – my first ever romance. It was pretty special.

LL: I know that feeling – one of the best days ever! What’s been the most surprising aspect of your writing career so far? What have you had the most difficulties with and learned the most from?

The most surprising aspect is how good it feels when someone enjoys your book. I love making a connection with readers. It’s so much more important than how many books you sell- though I’m always happy to sell more books. I’ve had the most difficulty with getting my head around promotion of myself and my books – still working on that. I’ve learned the most from two things – working with two incredible mentors AND working with Penguin editors.

LL: They’re pretty special, aren’t they? Well, thanks so much for being a guest on my blog today, Bernadette. It was fun finding out a little bit more about you and your writing.

You can buy Princess: Avenger and The Lady’s Choice from:



Google Play


Destiny Romance

The Lady’s Choice:

With her people on the brink of starvation, beautiful Lady Benae Branasar has the perfect plan. She will marry the powerful Prince Jiseve of Brightcastle and use his fortune to save them. But first she must compete against three princesses equally determined to win his hand.

When she finds herself irresistibly attracted to her reluctant escort, the handsome Ramon Zorba, her plans begin to unravel. Ramon is dealing with problems of his own, but as he begins to thaw, Benae begins to glimpse the devastating man underneath.  The more time they spend together, the harder Benae finds it to focus on her objective. Will she stay true to her people and pursue the prince? Or will love and fate intervene?

Find Bernadette at:






Elise photoI’m really excited to say I have the wonderfully talented and incredibly prolific (Nora Roberts – watch out!) Elise K Ackers as a guest on my blog tonight. Elise and I met earlier on this year as we are both authors with Destiny Romance. I was thrilled to find out that there are quite a few of us based in Melbourne and they had begun a tradition of trying to catch up a few times a year and natter about all things life and writing – which I eagerly joined in with. I’ve also caught up with Elise at a few other functions and the RWA conference and I can tell you that she is not only a brilliant writer, but is also a genuinely lovely person with a fascinating life to boot.

LL: Hi Elise. Thanks for being a guest on my blog. I’ve read all your books to date and I’m a big fan, so it’s really exciting to have you here.

EKA: Thanks Leisl, I’m so happy to be here. You’ve always been such great support.

LL: That’s sweet of you to say. But, seeing you’re here for an interview, I better get on with asking you some questions. Tell us a bit about your new novel, Ask Me For Tomorrow, the hotly awaited third and final instalment of the Homeland series.Ask Me For Tomorrow Elise K. Ackers

EKA: Ask Me For Tomorrow is about Dean, a single dad living in a small country town where everyone either knows everything or has an opinion. He’s getting by – he’s exhausted, he’s stretched thin – his kids are in some kind of trouble and his business is getting too big for him to handle on his own. Enter Alice Jaye, single mum, stoic and the beginning of a new chapter in Dean’s life. Dean and Alice are used to taking on the world and all its complications, but the past still holds a lot of real estate in their lives. This book is about letting go, and daring to embrace a second chance.

LL: I love a good series and I’ve really enjoyed the first two of this one and can’t wait to read the last. What gave you the idea for this story? Did you know you were going to write about each of your main characters before you started the series, or was it something that came to you as you wrote the first one?

EKA: I wrote the first book, Ask Me To Stay, as part of the International 3-Day Novel Contest. Initially I didn’t imagine anything more coming from it, but over that long weekend the secondary characters became so intriguing to me that I knew I would keep going. The series is told predominantly from Ethan, Cal and Dean’s points of view – they were the characters who came through the strongest for me; who demanded their turn, in a way.

LL: Many authors (myself included) talk about where their story ideas come from (I dream mine.) What inspires you to write? Where do your ideas come from?

EKA: My ideas come from everywhere – an overheard sentence, something I see on the street, an inspiring image. I’m never consistent with my muse. Often I’m in the car, thinking about how to solve something real in my life, when my imagination takes me in an unexpected direction. It makes for an interesting commute.

LL: You have had a phenomenal year with this being your 6th book published (5 with Destiny Romance and one with Escape) and you’ve had great success with competitions, the most recent being a RUBY nomination for your romantic suspense, Small Town Storm. Tell us a little about your process. I know you work full time – when do you find time to write? What keeps you going?

EKA: It has been a wonderful year – I’m so proud of those books and that nomination. And I don’t find time to write so much as make time. I have to write or I’d lose my mind, which means I create opportunities whenever possible. I write on the train, sometimes during my lunch break. I carry my laptop everywhere and I try to arrive early when I’m meeting someone – that gives me the chance to knock out a few paragraphs. But life gets in the way, doesn’t it? For me, that means a lot of late nights. But I love it – I never regret the missed hours of sleep, only the unwritten pages.

What keeps me going is the almost manic need to finish a project so I can start the next one.

LL: I’m much the same, Elise. I have an iPad which I take everywhere so I can write at any time. It seems our process is not so different. But onto the next question. You write across multiple genres. Do you have a favourite genre to write? What about to read?

EKA: I have contemporary and romantic suspense titles out in the world so far, but I’m working on a new adult title now and will be writing a fantasy trilogy in the next year or so. I don’t deliberately decide to genre-hop, I just write the stories that come to me, and I love that they’re so different from one another. No particular favourite. To read, I lean towards all four of those genres.

LL: I’m a genre hopper as well – it’s much more interesting that way. Apart from writing, what hobbies do you have? What gets you up in the morning and going every day?

EKA: When my living situation permits, I love to help out with animal foster care – I adore animals. I’m a big reader, a bit of a Pinterest buff and an enthusiastic explorer – I’ve always got a flight booked because I can never get enough of travel.

LL: I’m so jealous, especially of the trip you’ve got planned that you’ve been posting details of on FB. Sounds so exciting (longing sigh.) Sooo, enough of me dreaming about going back to Italy, what’s been the most surprising aspect of your career as a published author so far?

EKA: The writing community. I’d heard it was great, but it’s spectacular. The romance writers, particularly; they’re so fun, supportive, generous and enthusiastic. I hadn’t imagined how important they would become, that was a huge surprise for me.

LL: That’s so lovely to hear. I think they’re pretty special too. On to the last question: What’s up next for you? Any projects on the boil that you’re particularly excited about?

Big Town StormEKA: Release-wise, Small Town Storm is being released in paperback in December, which I’m so excited about!

LL: It’s got a fantastic cover – really evocative of the story.

EKA: I think so. And writing-wise, I’m in the middle of a new adult title based in Europe which I hope to have finished by next month. It’s unlike anything I’ve written before, and the characters are really challenging me.

LL: Sounds fascinating. I can’t wait to read that one too. Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today, Elise. It was fun finding out a little bit more about you and your writing.

EKA: Thanks, Leisl. I had fun answering your questions, thanks for having me on your blog!

You can buy Elise’s new novel, Ask Me For Tomorrow, from:

Author bio:

Elise K. Ackers is a romantic suspense and contemporary romance author based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a 2013 Romantic Book of the Year finalist and a Best Book of 2012 nominee, winner of multiple international writing awards and known to do some pretty strange stuff in the name of research. She is an enthusiastic couch commentator, a laser tag enthusiast and an animal foster carer.

Elise is the author of romantic suspense title Small Town Storm, contemporary romance The Man Plan, and the new Homeland novella series.

You can chat with her on Facebook and Twitter (@EliseKAckers), and find out more at her author website (

Romance Writers of Australia