Interview: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Romance Author Dani Hoots

Hi friends! With just three weeks to go until Once Upon a Name is released into the world (so exciting!), I wanted to introduce you to another of my fabulous coauthors.

Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story.

Keep reading to find out all about Dani’s books, and her upcoming story in OUAN.

Hi Dani, welcome to my blog! Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

I am Dani Hoots and I am a YA sci fi and fantasy author with over 20 books published. I live in Arizona with my husband where we spend our time hiking and finding new bookstores to check out and restaurants to eat at. I love manga and anime and learning new recipes. 

Reading and eating, my two favourite pastimes! When did you start writing and what inspired you? 

I started writing when I was very young. I always loved stories and wanted to create my own.

I can totally see little Dani reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and dreaming up her own version! What are some of your favourite tropes?

The punk boy with a soft heart. Also the badass female lead who doesn’t stick to gender norms. Enemies to lovers is also a fav.

Those are such good ones! I’m a big enemies to lovers fan too, and who doesn’t love a tough female main character? Tell us about your first published book, or your favourite or most recent release.

It’s not my first book published, but the first book I ever wrote and finished was The Quest and although my newest book always ends up being my favorite, I really love that one and it is dear to my heart.

That’s so heartwarming, it’s a really special moment when you finish a book and this just shows how important that feeling of achievement can be. Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings? 

For The Quest, I think I was inspired by some dreams I had when I was in high school, along with actors/actresses. I always end up getting inspired by some actor/actress and make up a story for them. For The Quest it was Anna Van Hooft and Taylor Kitsch.

I can definitely see that, I probably did the same and just never wrote my imaginings down. Are you a plotter, pantser or plantser? 

Plantser! I make some outlines and then let the characters go like squirrels.

Haha! That’s a brilliant image. Those pesky plot bunnies are definitely nothing like nice little ducks that will sit in a row! So, what are you working on right now?

I am working on the next books of my City of Kaus series.

I’m excited for that, Revenge has such a cool concept and is a really fresh take on the space western genre. I loved Firefly and your City of Kaus series gives me serious Firefly vibes! What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Keep writing and don’t listen to people who say you can’t do it. You can and you will. Also take some marketing classes.

I completely agree! Especially on the marketing classes. Just kidding, but my day job as a marketer has definitely come in handy as an indie author!

Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Dani! Before I let you get back to creating worlds, how can we find out more about you and your books? 


Which of Dani’s books are you going to read first? I have to admit, I’m torn between Trapped in Wonderland, Revenge, and Endangered! All of Dani’s covers are just so gorgeous, I’m going to need them all.

You can support both me and Dani by buying our anthology, Once Upon a Name, which comes out on 20 April and all profits go to Book Aid International.

Happy reading!

Lyndsey

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Ten books my mum would love

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend, and whilst thinking about what to write for this week’s blog post I stumbled across a post I wrote back in 2017 for Father’s Day sharing ten books my dad and stepdad would love. So, I thought it would be a nice idea to complete the circle and share ten books my mum would love this Mothering Sunday!

My mum loves a good thriller, but she’s also a romcom fan, and she always passes any good books she reads on to me. So let’s see what new and upcoming releases my mum might be getting for Mother’s Day!


Verity by Colleen Hoover

My mum is definitely not on TikTok, and I don’t think she’s read any Colleen Hoover books, but as they’re so popular right now, I think they’d be right up her street. We both loved Gone Girl, and this one is supposed to be like Gone Girl meets Rebecca, with a shocking twist you won’t see coming – me and mum’s favourite kind!


Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson

Mum and I absolutely adored Nashville when it was on TV, and we actually went to see the cast perform on stage, too. Plus, who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? She’s an icon. We watched Steel Magnolias whenever it was on when I was a kid. Combine that with one of the greatest thriller writers of our time? Match made in heaven.

I’ll probably advise one of my darling brothers to get Mum this for Mother’s Day, there’s a gorgeous special edition in Waterstones with sprayed/stencilled edges and pretty end papers that I’m eyeing up. I don’t mind letting the boys get the credit for choosing this one, as long as I get to borrow it after!


Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes

This is the seventh book in Keyes’ Walsh Family series, but as most of the books follow different main characters, this is the first sequel, returning to our original protagonist from Rachel’s Holiday, twenty-five years after it was first published.

Marian Keyes is one of those authors everyone has read at least one book by, and I know Mum has Grown Ups on her shelf right now, although I don’t think she’s read it yet. But at least I know another Marian Keyes book would be a safe bet!


The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

I started taking my little boy to the mobile library in our village just before Christmas, and I rediscovered my love of domestic thrillers amongst the shelves. I’m usually drowning in fantasy novels, whether it’s my own writing or my friends’ and other authors within my main genre, so it was really refreshing to delve into a few completely gripping, quick reads as a bit of a pallet cleanser. As my mum is also a fan, I chucked The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley at her after I’d finished it, and she enjoyed it just as much as me.

Foley’s most recent book sounds just as tense and thrilling, and it’s set in exciting Paris, so I reckon this is a good choice for a Mother’s Day gift that I’ll benefit from too!


The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs was another library book we both loved, and while the sequel may not actually come out until July, I know it’s one Mum will be really excited to read. This one may have to wait until her birthday!


Because of You by Dawn French

I feel like this one is pretty self explanatory. Dawn French. Enough said.

I’m a huge Dawn French fan, I rewatch the entirety of Vicar of Dibley at least once a year, usually in the run up to Christmas. I didn’t even know she wrote fiction until a couple of years ago when I saw my mother-in-law reading one of her books. I’m yet to try them, but I just know they will be hilariously heartfelt, like everything Dawn does, so when I need a good book to make me laugh and cry with every page, she’s the author I’ll be turning to.

As this book is about motherhood and all of the heartbreak and anguish that comes along with it, it would be a perfect choice for Mother’s Day.


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This book was absolutely everywhere last year, and I was a bit put off by the amount of hype – I hate being disappointed, and I’m not usually a fan of mainstream literary fiction. But the blurb, and the fact that with over 1m reviews on Goodreads this book has 4.5 stars, have me convinced.

It’s both a murder mystery and a coming of age story, two of my favourite things, and despite the fact that YA is my cup of tea but not so much my mum’s, I can tell from the description and reviews that this isn’t aimed at young adult readers and has universal appeal. (I mean, over a million Goodreads readers think it deserves 4+ stars? That’s almost unheard of!)


Us Three by Ruth Jones

If you weren’t aware, Ruth Jones is the absolutely hilarious actress and writer from such televisual delights as Gavin and Stacey and Stella. She’s funny, warm and down to earth, and if her novels are anything like her screenplays then they’ll be a definite hit with my mum.

This one follows three childhood friends as they grow up and face all of the harsh realities of life, and events that put their lifelong friendship into question. I’m intrigued already!


Neighbors by Danielle Steel

I remember Mum reading loads of Danielle Steel when I was growing up, and sneaking the odd one to my room to read, hoping she wouldn’t notice! Neighbors came out in 2021, so I can be fairly sure she hasn’t already read it, but I think she’d love to revisit one of her first favourite authors.

The book sounds like a twisty, glamorous thriller, set in San Francisco during an earthquake, as a movie starlet now living as a recluse lets her neighbors take refuge in her beautiful mansion. It sounds right up mum’s and my street!

My books

And of course, Mum loves me, so she’d definitely love a copy of one of my books! She already has copies of all my current releases, but I’ll be treating her to my upcoming anthologies, Once Upon a Name and Enchanted Forests when they come out in April and July. Plus, they’re both raising funds for charity, so it’s a double good deed!


So there you have it! Ten books that would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift for mums who love romcoms, thrillers, or fantasy books by me!

What are you getting the amazing mother figure in your life this Mothering Sunday?

Lyndsey

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Review: Tribe of Midnight by Iris Knox

I just finished listening to the audio book of Tribe of Midnight and I had to come straight here and tell you all how good it is. So please grab your beverage of choice, put your feet up, and enjoy as I tell you why you NEED to read this book.

In the Tribe of Dawn, one must always follow the rules:

Never steal from a neighbour
Never curse the skygods out loud
Never lie to the High Court
Never wander into the East woods alone
Never speak to an enemy clansman
Never approach the boundary
Never, ever cross the boundary

The rules must always be followed.

Lilian Utopiv is wandering through the woods alone one afternoon when she sees a boy across the boundary. She knows the rules. She knows what will happen if she breaks them.

With secrets unravelling at every turn, and an enemy tribe hungry for her blood, Lilian is pushed to her limits–physically, mentally, spiritually. Her enemies want her to be a coward. They want her to spill her secrets. They want her to turn on the Sungod she serves.

But she can’t. Or her tribe will pay with their lives.


Title: Tribe of Midnight (The Skygod Tribes, #1)

Author: Iris Knox

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Tribe-Midnight-Iris-Knox-ebook/dp/B09B941BG2/

Rating: 5 Stars (and if it was possible, I’d give it even more!)

Review: I have never been so mad that I didn’t write a book. Reading this book, I WISHED I had been the one who had written it, I loved it THAT much.

Aside from being mad at Iris Knox that she gets to be the one to claim this wonderful story as her own, what did I like? Well, for starters, the world building was incredible, the world Knox has created for this story is fully formed and described in rich detail, without being overwhelming or including too much exposition.

The two tribes, the Tribe of Dawn and the Tribe of Midnight, absolutely came to life for me, everything about them was so well thought through and described throughout the story. I felt as though I could have been standing right beside Lillian as she stumbles across the boundary and is taken prisoner by a warrior from the opposing tribe.

The plot pacing was perfect, fast enough to keep me interested from start to finish (it’s a relatively short book, at just 155 pages, or 4 and a half hours for the audio book) but never rushed. I grew to love Lilian for her strength and loyalty, and to hate Wyren for his cruelty, over the course of the book, and I loved discovering more of the Midnight Tribe’s city and culture as Lilian did.

This book is Romeo & Juliet meets Red Riding Hood meets epic fantasy, with elements of The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson, and a hint of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. The enemies to lovers (more like enemies to even worse enemies) romance reminded me of Serpent & Dove (without the steam – or really even the romance), and I’m struggling to see how Wyren will ever redeem himself for his horrific actions in this book, if we’re ever to see Lilian and him fall in love in a future book. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Darkling/Tamlin vibe, as I can’t forgive Wyren for his awful treatment of Lilian and I don’t think Lilian should either.

Tribe of Midnight sets the scene for what will be an absolutely incredible high fantasy series, with two rival tribes destined to do battle on the lavender fields every Solstice, and two fiercely loyal and skilled tribal warriors who will do anything to protect their people.

Only one wears a red cloak, but which one is the wolf? Read Tribe of Midnight and make up your own mind…

I listened to a free, review copy of the audio book (thanks Iris!), but I actually bought the ebook back when it first came out, and I’m so glad I have both. The audio, narrated by Cassondra Ladd was brilliant, with English and Scottish accents to distinguish the two tribes, and I’m definitely going to read the ebook before book two comes out (which will hopefully be very soon, please Iris!!) to reimmerse myself in this brutal and captivating world.

Happy reading,

Lyndsey

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