I survived. We're finally here. Enchanted Kingdoms is officially out! It's been such a long road but I'm so happy to see it happen. I and all the other amazing authors who joined me for this project have been working so hard to get these books out to you guys and I'm so, so excited to finally share them (and read them. I still haven't gotten the chance.)

For everybody who doesn't know: Enchanted Kingdoms is a huge project by a group of bestselling and award-winning authors. I'm so honored to have been given a spot and the opportunity to include my Snow White and the Seven Dwarves retelling, The Ruin of Snow. When you buy, you'll not only get my book but 19 other fairytale retellings, for just 99c! And best of all--all proceeds go to Puzzle Peace United, a children's autism charity!

Every girl in the House Morningspell is born with the ability to manipulate her world without ever lifting a jeweled finger. Neyva is no exception. And like all Morningspell girls, Neyva was raised to kill.

But when doubt creeps in--and her family makes her expected place clear--she sees no option but to flee. They won't be satisfied with her gone; they want her dead, and her sisters will stop at nothing to complete their new task.

Lost in the unforgiving wilderness, Neyva's only hope of survival is to ally with the cursed bandits who haunt the forest. Among them she finds clever, charming Kye, who seems to know all of Neyva's weaknesses. Secretive and deadly, it's a game of who trusts first. A game Neyva can't afford to lose. Because her secret is one that could ruin her. One that gives her a choice between death and damnation, and there are people on all sides ready to make the choice for her.

Enchanted Kingdoms is a limited time box set and will only be available until April! So don't miss your chance--buy Enchanted Kingdoms now!

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Hello again, lovelies! I come to you with another sneak peek into my Snow White retelling and contribution to Enchanted Kingdoms--The Ruin of Snow!

This time we're going to take a look at my interpretation of the huntsman--or huntswomen, in this case, I guess. Sent to retrieve protagonist Neyva's heart, sisters Sarafine and Tulia are skilled witches and hunters trained from birth. While they both love the "game" and are fearsome enemies, they couldn't be more different from each other. Where Sarafine lives for luxury and social standing, Tulia prefers to slip under the radar and find her own path--preferably one that gives her plenty of time to paint. Their different approaches, sort of a good cop, bad cop dynamic in a way, play off each other perfectly. They were so fun to write both together and separately.

I really love writing interesting relationships between characters and it was fun to take advantage of it here. While Sarafine and Neyva indulge the rivalry between them from the start, Neyva and Tulia have a much friendlier history that complicates the situation. But when it comes down to who lives and who dies, all bets are off. The three are wonderfully matched--in a very violent way, of course--and the hunt is a long and brutal one.

Neither of us moved, but neither did we look away from the other. “You sent a shadow-curse to kill me in my own bed,” I stated. Not a question.

“A mirror enchantment?” she guessed.

“Yes. You took no precautions against it. That was a child’s error.”

“I didn’t expect you to be alive to try one.”

I couldn’t resist a quiet laugh. “It took me one spell to end it. It was a weak curse. I expected better, if you were going to try something like that.”

She made a face as if she agreed and wasn’t happy about it. “Mother insisted I not allow any stronger of an intent. I’m sure in the hope it would kill you slow enough to take your magic.”

Taking a witch’s magic—it was a delicate and dirty move, but one the Morningspells had made more than once. I had my suspicions, based on all I’d heard of my grandmother’s death, that my mother had orchestrated a similar stunt to increase her power. There were rumors that those without magic could do it, should they want to make themselves into a witch and have the knowledge and courage to try.

“That’s not a bad idea. Maybe I’ll take yours.”

“I don’t think you’ll be in any condition to try, sister.”

I spread my arms wide, an open invitation. I was tired of the circles, the banter, the game. I didn’t want the Morningspell fortune anymore, but if they insisted the one way to give it up was to die, they could do their best. “If you’re going to kill me, get on with it.”

She tilted her head, watching me, and stepped toward the next closest tree. As if she planned to circle me like a wild animal stalking its prey. My own magic rose, preparing itself, though for what I didn’t know. A witch couldn’t attack immediately with her magic; magic required preparation, ritual. Drawing the power from the world to cast a spell took time. Despite one knowing how to do it quickly and effectively, like we did, it wasn’t instantaneous. Magic was, simply put, not a tool for battle, not in the way some believed.

Yes, Sarafine might very well have been able to boil my blood or change my lungs to ice, but not quicker than I could stop her.

Though in the same vein, I couldn’t use it to defend against her.

When nothing happened, I swallowed another laugh. “I always thought you could work without books and scrolls, but maybe I was wrong.”

Her eyes narrowed. “It’s a shame, Neyva. You have all the talent, but put it in all the wrong places. Child’s curses and rash murders.”

I shook my head and started for my horse. “I almost wish I could see the look on Mother’s face when Katherine returns without my head, or whatever proof she’s demanded.”

I heard the grim, triumphant smile in her voice. “Your heart.” I froze, halfway to my horse, and my pulse increased. “She’s demanded your heart. One way or another.”

You can find The Ruin of Snow exclusively in Enchanted Kingdoms--preorder now!

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Looking for something new to read and short on money? You're in the right place, where I'll be featuring aspiring writers and their (free!) work!

This month, just in time for Valentine's Day, we're meeting Loïc Nguyen, author of zombie-filled horror romance Dead to You.

It was a summer of love at Little Brook, but not for Jack. His boyfriend Michael had just disappeared at the stroke of midnight. However, any attempt to find Michael was cut short. Indeed, a zombie plague had just struck their town. Now Jack and his friends have to find a way out of this hell on earth. This is a story where noble ghouls and malicious angels tread. A land of dreams and nightmares that come true. A fairy tale during the apocalypse.

Meet the author and read a sample below:

Tell me a little bit about your writing journey. How long have you been writing, and how did you get started?

I started to write about six years ago at the start of high school. At first, it was only poems for catharsis as I felt very pent-up and adults just were not here to listen. I first was introduced to poems in elementary school for French class and I got into it quickly.

Why horror specifically? Is it something you write often, or is this your first venture into the genre?

I progressively found out that poems did not have the format I desired to express a bigger story. I moved to horror stories because I have always been a fan of these types of stories thanks to Goosebumps and Simpson Treehouse of Horror. I almost put a grotesque, paranormal, or a creepy aspect to my stories. I think that horror can be so many things at once, camp, frightening, activist… Horror is also a way to escape from the horror of real life. It is my way of dealing with this, by being friends will al the fictional ghouls, boogeymen, and creatures of the dark, I give myself some control over fear.

What are your goals for your writing?

My goal is to portray my world in a contemporary setting with an organized storyline. I’ve watched and read so many zombie stories, I would like to create one with my own rules and threats

What inspired the book?

I was inspired by the Walking Dead, particularly the Telltale Games, which made me shed a tear at the end. Talking about video games, Far Cry 5 pushed me to associate a zombie apocalypse with religion and cults. Zombie video games as a whole have inspired me, such as Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising, especially the concept of people going insane during the apocalypse. Also, I read a Street named Desire in High School, and some of the main characters were based on the play. Finally, there is a fairy tale influence, but the principal one is the Hunchback of Notre Dame, which again reinforces the Christian/Catholic aspect of my story.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why? Tell me a little about them.

My favorite character is Michael because he could be said to be my inner child. Consequently, he is very childish, but at the same time, he is cunning and more observant than he appears.

How do you balance horror and romance within the story? Are there any challenges to working with two very different genres?

Honestly, I wrote the story and came to the conclusion that it was a horror romance. So, we could say that it was natural to me and the only challenge was to make sure that the transitions between tones were flowing well. I saw some videos about cinema and movies, and it actually helped me how to slither between a love scene to a horror one. This is why I choose to have a Gothic Horror kind of story, as love and monsters are often married together in these worlds. So yeah, the main challenge is to know how to have an oily roller coaster, and not a ride that suddenly goes from horror to romance without any preparations.

Do you have anything else you’d like to say to the readers?

I hope you will give a chance to my story, it’s quite frankly the first one that I am really into. Take care!

She screeched. Owen shivered. His hands shook. The muscles of his legs became rigid, so he was unable to move, unable to help Lisa. Her face contorted into a foreign shape. The skin of her cheeks looked like they were about to rip themselves open. It was impossible. Lisa was a soldier. She was meant to be strong. She could not get hurt. Again, Owen felt that his friend was taken away. Blood spurted from the large vein in her wrist and covered her in its sticky wash.

Owen gaped at his left and gripped his skateboard. He staggered his way to the left. Out of breath, he stood up. With a shrill roar, Owen brought down the top edge of the skateboard onto the sick man’s head with a loud thump. The skull was smashed. It was smashed again, again and again, until a loud crack was heard, like a gunshot. Grayish-brown tissue swelled through the fractures.

Owen tore a swatch of cloth from the bottom of his t-shirt, coiled it around her wrist, and cinched tightly to control the blood from the wound. Then, he wrapped his arms around Lisa and headed to his car.

“Don’t worry, you’re gonna be alright,” said Owen.

“Owen…” Lisa shivered. “I-I have something to tell you,” she slurred. “I… I…” Her eyes closed and she passed out.

Owen’s hand tremored as he tried to unlock the car. The keys jingled between his fingers. Owen snatched the door open and placed her in the passenger seat. When Owen got in the driver seat, his heart thumped against his chest like a drum. Owen scanned the car panel. It was Lisa’s car, she was supposed to drive it. The last time he drove a car, it was through a computer screen. His thoughts spun around in a ring-a-ring o’roses. Then, they all fell down. A primal scream erupted from Owen. Droplet spits landed on the steering wheel.

“Imagine what Lisa would do. Come on Owen, you can do it.”

Owen exhaled and started the engine. As he grabbed the gear stick, he peered at Lisa. Her complexion was pale. Black veins began to snake on all sides of the bite. Then, Owen stepped on the gas. His vision of the road was fast-paced. Trees, buildings, and figures passed like bats out of hell. Owen stared only at the road. They were in town, not far from the hospital. “Think like Lisa, think like Lisa,” Owen chanted.

Read Dead to You for free and support Loïc Nguyen on Wattpad!

Check out my other featured authors for more free-to-read works!

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