Want to read Enchanted Forests for free?

Love reading free books? Want to help us raise funds for the Rainforest Foundation? And support some independent authors while you’re at it?

Then you’re in the right place! We’re looking for reviewers to read our collection of magical forest-themed stories and leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads and Bookbub.

Click the image below to apply:

In return, you’ll also get to choose an ebook from our pool of books as a thank you.

And the best bit is, sign ups before May 15 will have their name included in the Acknowledgements of Enchanted Forests!

The sign up form for an ARC of the whole anthology closes on June 10.

ARCs of the complete anthology are due to be sent out by June 15 at the latest and we’d love for reviewers to leave their review by 7 July at the latest.

Here is the direct sign up link for the anthology street team: https://forms.gle/6UZvte9VhnJv6rDX6

Then join our Facebook Fan Group to keep up to date with the release and find out more about our stories, as well as the Enchanted Anthologies authors.

And if you’d like to help, but you won’t have time to read the whole thing before release day on 1 July, I’ll be looking for ARC readers for just my story, One Fair Eve, very soon, so keep an eye out for the announcement!

Thanks for supporting me, my coauthors and our fund raising efforts!

Lyndsey

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Interview: fantasy author Donna White

Hello, hello! The weather has brightened up considerably here in the Midlands (I imagine ‘the Midlands’ sounds pretty *^*fantasy*^* to people from outside of the UK, but it means exactly what it sounds like, the middle section of England).

We’re just over a month away from Once Upon a Name‘s release day, so if you fancy getting 20 short fantasy stories for 0.99 and supporting Book Aid International to provide reading resources and libraries in underprivileged countries, then you can preorder the book here.

Today, I want to share a chat I had with my new Enchanted Anthologies coauthor, Donna White. Enchanted Forests comes out 1 July and we’re so excited to share this follow up to Enchanted Waters, which will be raising funds for the Rainforest Foundation, and will be fully illustrated with gorgeous artwork by our incredibly talented coauthors, Elena Shelest.

On with the show!

Hi Donna! It’s lovely to get to chat with you finally, and welcome to the Enchanted Anthologies team! First off, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Tennessee where I started writing rock-n-roll songs about my cats and their adventures at the age of eight.  My life was filled with tree climbing, playing in any source of water, reading mysteries, and exploring with my animals in tow. Fast forward a few years, I married the Man of My Dreams and we moved out west, ending up in southern California.  We share four wonderful children and a pack of large, well-loved dogs. Writing brings me joy, as does being in the outdoors and driving fast cars.  For the great indoors, I love cooking and interior design. My husband is the biggest supporter in my writing. He talks over my stories with me, helps me with the technology, and keeps a stocked home library for our family.

That sounds wonderful, my husband isn’t a big reader, but I’m trying to instill a love of books in our little boy. And life wouldn’t be worth living without a pack of large dogs to snuggle! Tell us a little about your favourite books to read and write.

I’m a fantasy girl. I love the action/adventure stories of Robert Howard’s Conan the Barbarian series.  I’ve always been drawn to ancient cultures and different styles of fighting. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is my all-time favorite book. The forest adventures and wild creatures resonate with my imagination. I admire J.K. Rowling’s use of many legends taken from cultures throughout the world and given a new spin with stories inside stories.  My first book is The Whitmere Legacy: Inheritance which deals with a middle-aged mama and her unwanted inheritance.  It turns out there’s some supernatural mysteries and dangers that warrants the use of her hidden talents, alongside some pretty talented friends. One of my reviewers called me “a master of cryptic chill…” because I can put the scare factor in my tales. The second book is The Whitmere Legacy: Heritage which unravels some of the mysteries, and unlocks some scary beings. Readers are treated to mythological creatures, exotic locations, twists and turns, spine-tingling chills, lots of fighting, southern charm, friendship, humor, and gumbo.  There’s always gumbo.

Here is the link to my Amazon author page.

Wow, that sounds fantastic, I love books that are inspired by mythology and folklore – especially cultures I don’t know as much about. Books that I can learn something from at the same time as being entertained are my favourite. Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings?

I’m over 50, so I’ve had a lot of experiences from modeling posh clothing to practicing Japanese martial arts that make it into my stories. I also know some of the most colorful individuals on this planet whose adventures get polished and handed to my characters. Once I saw someone who looked like they just escaped from the set of The Lost Boys walking around in the searing California sun. I took it from there and created more than I expected. Most of my settings are places I’ve been, or scenes that I’ve dreamed.  Nature, grand or gothic architecture make for iconic atmospheres. 

Those are some interesting and diverse sources of inspiration! It’s amazing when you can take bits and pieces from a dozen different places and combine them to make a story that is completely unique and yet still relatable. Do you consider yourself a plotter, pantser or plantser?

I start every story with a scene that mills around in my head for a long time.  The characters start out simple. They grow with the story. My body has to be engaged with an activity, and my mind has to be working on something satisfying for my imagination to be free. I have my ideas when I’m working in the kitchen while listening to music, or driving on the freeway. After I’ve written some scenes and stitched them together, then I jot down all the other scenes in my head and put them in order.  So, usually halfway through the first draft I have an outline. The story changes as I write it, but it’s good to have a list of things I don’t want to forget while in the wild stages of manic writing. I’m a plantser.  

I’m somewhere between plotter and pantser too, but leaning more towards plotter. I need a framework before I can even start, or I’ll get myself into a tangled mess that no amount of editing can ever get me out of! What are you working on right now?

I’m writing the first draft of the third book in The Whitmere Legacy series. 

Exciting! What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors?

Read On Writing by Stephen King.  It doesn’t matter what genre you write.  This master of the craft can teach you how to produce compelling stories. 

Thank you so much for chatting with me today Donna! It’s been a pleasure, and I can’t wait to read your story for Enchanted Forests! Before I let you go, how can we find out more about you and your books? 

Website: https://www.amazon.com/author/donnawhitethewhitmerelegacy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whitmerelegacy

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/thewhitmerelegacy  


Donna’s story in Enchanted Forests, Dimension of the Sasquatch, is a companion story to her series The Whitmere Legacy, so you can get a taste for Donna’s writing before diving into her novels AND help us raise funds for the Rainforest Foundation at the same time!

Happy reading folks,

Lyndsey

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Interview: Asian mythology and folklore inspired author Xander Cross

Hi friends! I hope you’re having a fabulous February so far, I’m currently flying solo while my husband is in Scotland for work, it’s like a little refresher course before he goes on deployment to Qatar later this year (coincidentally right when the World Cup happens to be on…)

In case you missed it, my second book, The Solitary King came out on 31 January and it’s been so much fun seeing everyone’s posts as the book has arrived, and the handful of reviews that have come in so far.

I’ve got two more short stories coming out in charity anthologies this year, Once Upon a Name and Enchanted Forests. Today, I want to introduce you to one of my EF coauthors, Xander Cross!

Hi Xander! Thanks for chatting with me. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Xander Cross, and I live a rather quiet life with my spouse in Maryland. I have a bad habit of writing mythological fiction that is politically charged, and I practice Soto Zen with Taoist influence. I have a deep love of Eastern philosophy, and I obsess over gongfu tea. Currently, I’m learning Chinese. 

That sounds so interesting! I travelled around East Asia a few years ago and absolutely loved it, especially Singapore. The street food is incredible! So, when did you start writing and who encouraged you?

I started writing when I was six. No one encouraged or discouraged me. I have always liked to read and make up stories to entertain myself. 

Six, wow, so it’s been a lifelong creative passion! And what are your favourite kind of stories to read and write?

I love books with conspiracies and puzzles and Easter eggs, where I can tell the author really worked it through, loved the story, and trusted the audience to leave a breadcrumb trail for them. Stories like that excite my imagination, and that’s what I try to deliver for my audience, just because I think it’s so much fun and awesome!

I love a good bit of foreshadowing, especially when it turns out unexpectedly but still feels credible. Tell us about your published books.

My series, “The Atlas Dystopia Apocalyptica” is an Action/Adventure/Supernatural series that begins in the 22nd Century and goes well beyond. Beginning with The Origin of the White Wind, the first half of my book series begins in a Far Eastern dystopia, the world on the brink of apocalypse by human greed and mismanagement, the second half to follow life post-apocalypse. Our anti-hero, Hayate, is a fallen divine messenger of Inari Okami, and we follow his adventures as he turns from angel to demon, and moves from a bleak life off-grid into a cyberpunk megapolis to prevent his starvation. In New Tokyo, we enter a dark, neon world of shadows and monsters, some of whom are fighting to save what is left of the planet. 

My latest book was released last October, which is the sequel to Origin, entitled The Dragon Game. I hope to release The Onmyōji Gambit late this year or early next. 

That sounds absolutely incredible! And so original. Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings?

Usually an image takes my fancy, and from that it grows in my psyche until I have to make a character, and from that character grows relationships and interactions in a complimentary world, until a plot evolves. Folklore and mythology are pitted against human nature and politics, because I believe that from such themes, great epics emerge. 

The inspiration for The Atlas Dystopia Apocalyptica is based on Japanese folklore.

I haven’t read many Japanese inspired novels, I’m looking forward to reading it! Do you consider yourself a plotter, pantser or plantser?

I am a proud plantser. I plot a series to the end, and leave myself room for creative inspiration between the main scenes. 

That sounds like the perfect writing method to me, I love a loose plan with room to wander off track. What are you working on right now?

I’m about to edit Book Three, The Onmyoji Gambit, of my current series, The Atlas Dystopia Apocalyptica. I’m hoping to begin recording Book One next month for a possible audio. I have a trunked trilogy I need to dust off soon, Book Four to begin writing for November NaNoWriMo, and complete a short story for this amazing anthology (Enchanted Forests), of which I am deeply honored to take part. 

I’m really excited about our anthology, and so proud of our mission to raise funds for the Rainforest Foundation. What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors?

Let go of perfection on that first draft and learn to take joy in the editing process. It’s in the edits that the magic really happens. 

I definitely need to take your advice and learn to enjoy editing, it’s my most hater part of the process! That was so much fun, thank you for speaking to me and sharing your journey and advice. Before I let you go, how can we find out more about you and your books?

Please visit my website, listed below! There are pictures of a grown man wearing ears and a tail — how can you not be entertained? Granted, I need to update the darn thing soon. I will, just as soon as I get through my next edit of The Onmyōji Gambit. Maybe sooner, but probably not. 

Website: www.ayakashifox.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ayakashi_fox/

Facebook page/group:   https://www.facebook.com/ayakashifoxstudios/


If you’re a fan of Asian inspired speculative fiction, then you’ll definitely want to check out Xander’s books and follow him online! And don’t forget to preorder your copy of Enchanted Forests, where you can read Xander’s story, Pingguo and the Dead Forest, as well as mine, One Fair Eve, and ten more awesome fantasy stories by USA Today bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming authors.

Happ reading!

Lyndsey

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