If Sarah J Maas is endgame and you just can’t wait for A Court of Silver Flames (Nessian, anyone?), here are 12 books to tide you over until that fated release date. You’re welcome.
Friends, I (Morgan) am so honored to share this with you. Why? Because not only is this glorious, exciting novel one worth your time, but also because I happen to know the author. How do I know her? She edits MY novels. And let me tell you, I feel like I won the lottery meeting this girl. She is one of the most insightful, kind, bright souls I believe I’ve ever met. And now, she’s a published author!
It’s not easy, taking the risk to put your work into the world. It’s a long journey, fraught with obstacles (self-imposed and otherwise). She’s walked this road with me for novel after novel. Now I have the privilege of walking it with her.
So without further ado, may I introduce to you Ms. Arielle M. Bailey, debut author of the Star-Wars-meets-Greek Mythology novel, The Icarus Aftermath!
Let’s dive in to the nuts and bolts of the book, shall we?
Your book’s aesthetic in three words.
Stars, fire, laughter.
What was the very first spark for this story?
It hit me in the shower after a very long, very hard day. I’d always thought (and still think) the original Icarus was a twit. The myth is, after all, a lesson in hubris. But that night, standing under the hot water trying to marshal my complicated emotions, one thought flashed through my head: what if he flew too close to the sun to save someone else? And then I wrote it down, a scribbled snippet that is now the second scene in the book.
Why did you write this? What drove you to put pen to paper?
I believe it was Ray Bradbury who once said “…may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
So many of my favorite things came out in this book/series. Space opera, rebellions, smart generals, capable men and women working side by side in easy camaraderie, Greek mythology—especially Ares and Hephaestus and the Amazons, Carrie Fisher, alien races, the aesthetic I have always loved in Star Wars, and SPACE. As well as things I’m passionate against: human (or alien) trafficking, disloyalty, emotional manipulation, betrayal.
But most of all, it’s about relationships. Parents and kids, siblings, friends, lovers, enemies, and relationships that are just hard to define.
Relationships are my favorite thing to write. I especially enjoy writing relationships between intense, fiery people. And most of all, I love writing relationships where I get to explore the depths of people—their good sides and their bad sides and why they still choose to love each other and stick with each other. Because loving someone else deeply and faithfully—whether platonic or romantic—is a choice.
Basically, love drove this series.
I’ve fallen in love with a lot of things over the course of my life. And out of that, I’ve tried to remake a world.
What music did you listen to while writing it? Are there any songs that go to particular chapters or characters?
The Spotify playlist for this book is here.
The two main theme songs for this book were:
“Where the Shadow Ends” by BANNERS
“Outlaws” by Delta Rae
“All the King’s Men” by The Rigs was the song I listened to on repeat while writing one particular chapter at the end of the book.
Most of the main characters have multiple theme songs, but these are the primary ones:
Koralia – “Meet Me On the Battlefield” by SVRCINA
Mikon – “The Underdog” by The Script
Talos – “Danger Zone” from Top Gun (specifically the cover by Baltic House Orchestra)
Icarus – “I Lived” by One Republic
I’ll have a blog post next week about more of the music of this series.
Yes, please. *grins* Do you have a favorite character, and if so, why?
Yes and no. I adore them all so much that it’s really hard to choose. But if I had to pick, Icarus—my golden wildfire boy. Because it’s so rare that I find truly confident men in fiction who aren’t unbearably arrogant at the same time. It’s also rare to see really good leaders (male or female) who struggle with demons but choose to fight them and then go on to lead others to do the same, all the while being confident in themselves and their purpose. Sounds a bit like a fantasy sure, but rare as they are, men and women like that do actually exist. Just not really in fiction.
And Icarus grew out of the wish to see more characters like that in fiction.
General Athanasia is a very close second favorite.
Which character do you identify with the most?
Talos. General Athanasia is who I’d love to be some year, but I’m definitely most like Talos.
What was your favorite part to write and why?
Almost any scene with multiple Sunfires, particularly with both Mikon and Talos. There were two scenes at the end that were also huge favorites to write, but I can’t talk about them because SPOILERS.
Yes, thank you for sparing us the spoilers. *laughs* Did you have a LEAST favorite part to write, and if so, what was it?
Nope. Some of the ‘transition’ scenes from one event to the next were rough at first, but they cleaned up pretty well. I try to keep scenes interesting, and if one was boring me to write, I scrapped it and started over until I liked it.
What scene/s did you love writing that DIDN’T make it into the final draft?
I originally thought two major characters were going to fight for most of the book instead of a quarter of the book, so I had pieces of several arguments between them that didn’t make it into the final version. Some will be repurposed later in the series, and others just won’t work anywhere. Still, those were fun to scribble.
There was also a scene between General Athanasia and Koralia where the two of them mourned Icarus in private with an Amazon death ritual. It just didn’t fit in the book because it was too much and the emotions in it were already in other scenes. But I really enjoyed rough drafting it, and you might get to see that one as an extra at some point.
Are there any hidden easter eggs in your book that we should look out for?
Several, but am I going to remember them right now? Ha. I knew I should have written them down earlier.
– At one point, someone, I think Mikon or Xuthos, says they have a bad feeling about something.
– General Athanasia is a pretty obvious tribute to Carrie Fisher and my favorite character she ever played: General Leia Organa. (I know a lot of girls who love Princess Leia, but Leia the general was always my favorite.)
– There are a few Amazon nods to Wonder Woman, especially in a scene near the end.
– And there are a couple of references to Pacific Rim.
– As well as a bunch of mythology easter eggs—most of which will be explained in blog posts. Eventually.
How did writing this book help you grow as an author?
I’d gone through a really tough spell as a writer right before this. I’d figured out the last big piec of what was keeping readers from really connecting emotionally to my books, but I wasn’t sure HOW to incorporate the changes I knew my writing needed. I stressed over it for a while, as my writing buddies can bear witness.
Then I sat down to write this and let go and just wrote. I also forced myself to think about what my emotions were when I sat down to write and see how much of that I could channel into the current scene on the page. I was surprised and even shocked when alpha readers started screaming in caps lock because they /felt/ the scenes in ways I’d never accomplished before. Gratified and thrilled too, but definitely stunned.
The whole process really leveled me up as a writer. And I knew—when I’d finished this book and looked back on it—I knew I was finally ready to publish, after seven years of working toward it.
What’s next for you as a writer? In publishing?
Writing the second book in this series (you can find out more about the series on my blog later in the tour). Also tackling any of about four separate (lighter) series clamoring for my attention. One is Urban Fantasy fairy tales, another is contemporary fantasy, a third is…well, an oddball buddy fantasy very much developing, and the fourth is a Regency series.
In publishing, I’ll be revising Queen Beauty and the Beasts, the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo almost four years ago. I’ll be splitting the story (massive at 172,000 words) into a trilogy or tetralogy, and the first and second books will hopefully be ready for publishing next year. It’s contemporary fantasy that I describe as: Beauty and the Beast meets Phantom of the Opera in the world of Korean pop music.
Thanks so much for having me today!
It’s an honor to have you, Arielle. We’re looking forward to more from you!
Find more from Arielle below:
- Blog: https://thesplendorfalls.blogspot.com/
- Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/b1h5v9
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/citadelfiction
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ariellemelodybailey
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArielleMBailey
Arielle Bailey taught herself to read at age four, and words have been her primary passion ever since. In her day job, she edits other people’s books and writes blog posts analyzing TV shows and movies. The rest of the time, she brainstorms, plots, and writes her own books. At night, you can usually find her outside, staring at the moon and stars. Her favorite genres to read and write include contemporary fantasy, court intrigue, and space fantasy—because what is better than fantasy among the stars?
The Promised One
Morgan G Farris
Rebel of the Sands
A Wind From the Wilderness
The Green-Eyed Prince
Name of the Wind
To Journey in the Year of the Tiger
H. Leighton Dickson
The Tiger and the Wolf
River of Stars
Guy Gavriel Kay
The Spy in the Silver Palace
The Way of Kings
The Shadows Between Us
Dark is the Night
Morgan G Farris
Daughter of Shades
Wake Me After the Apocalypse
The Pirate Empress
K R Martin
Whims of Fae
A Skeptic Converted
When I first started reading The Chalam Færytales by Morgan G Farris, I was amazed at the world-building and the depth of the characters. From the first page, I felt like I knew Prince Ferryl and Elizabeth. Their relationship felt real and their story came alive quickly. Now, three books in, the characters have become like family and the story has engrossed me to borderline unhealthy levels. *ahem*
So when I heard that the fourth book in her series is *not* about the main characters, I wasn’t sure what to think. I mean, (spoiler alert) I need to know what’s going on with Michael and Delaney. I need to find out what’s going to happen with our dearly conflicted Titus. And I need to know if Ferryl will ever hear his wife’s voice again. It’s killing me! But new characters? That wasn’t in my plan.
Apparently it wasn’t in the author’s either.
A Book She Never Meant to Write
She’s dropped hints in her street team and on social media that this next book, which she entitled The Perdurables, was not originally part of the Chalam canon. It was an accident, and one that she fell in love with so much that she felt she had to release it. That gives me hope. I mean, if I’m going to have to meet an all new cast for a book, I would at least hope it would be a cast I could fall in love with as quickly as I fell for the ever-charming, much-too-perfect-for-my-sanity Prince Ferryl.
But wait. We’ve already met them.
That’s right. These new characters are ones we’ve met in The Parallax.
The færies! Just look at the art above she released to her street team!! *le sigh* It says “It was your love that brought me back to you.”
I cannot even handle how much I’m fangirling over this.
So now I’m ready. I can’t wait to read The Perdurables. (I looked up the word—it means immortal. Oh yeah, this is going to be good. I can smell it.)
March 24th can’t come soon enough!
Have you read the first 3 books? You can pick them up in The Mercantile!
Watch the Trailer Here
If you’re like us, book hangovers are the worst! And waiting for the next installment of your favorite series (Cruel Prince, anyone?) is like waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve — BRUTAL. So here’s a list of some awesome hidden gems in the world of fantasy — books that are sure to cure that hangover while you wait for your next favorite book!
The Promised One
Morgan G Farris
The Star Family
The Purple Haze
M J Padgett
The Return of King Lillian
Sword in the Throne
Kelly N. Jane
The Ashen Levels
C E Welburn
Chace Ogden and the Golden Golem
Vampires Bleed Too
Code of Rainbow
So unless you’re living in an alternate universe where Twitter doesn’t exist and Cary Elwes isn’t the most beautiful man alive, then you probably already know that there are rumors flying around of a potential The Princess Bride remake. Also, if in said alternative universe you do not follow Epic Færytales on a regular basis (inconceivable!), you would not know of our (read: MY) deep, abiding, earth-shattering love for the film, the book, and basically anything TPB.
You can guess how I felt about the rumors of a movie reboot.
At the risk of sounding cliché, a remake would be, well, inconceivable. For about 37.6 different reasons. And apparently we’re not the only ones who feel that way. Here are some famous tweets to help convince you, in case you’re on the fence.
From the Queen herself, folks.
Oh really? Well, I married the six fingered man, obviously why we have stayed together for 35 years and there is only ONE The Princess Bride and it’s William Goldman and @robreiner’s. “Life is pain highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something!” https://t.co/hv33UIZKN3
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) September 17, 2019
And if that weren’t convincing enough…
There’s a shortage of perfect movies in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one. https://t.co/5N8Q3P2e5G
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) September 18, 2019
The blinding truth
The movie is perfect. There, I said it. Watch any ’80s B-level fantasy film (of which there are MANY) and you’ll see a recurring theme: terrible cinematography, cheesy music, and lame sauce muppet-style creatures. Not so with The Princess Bride. The soundtrack is delightfully jaunty and perfectly dramatic. The cinematography was ahead of its time. And the satire is deliciously savage. Arguably, this is the world’s most perfect film. Drama? Check. Adventure? Check. Humor? Check. Magic? Check. Swords? Check. Gorgeous Pirates? Check, check (here’s looking at you, Cary).
So here it is—my letter to the proverbial “they” who make these decisions. May you receive it well.
I get it. Remakes are bank. They really are. But there are lines. There are some things that are just sacred—things that should never be changed. The Big Mac. The formula for Coca Cola. The exorbitant amount of Starbucks locations in the United States. And lastly, The Princess Bride.
I’ve talked to God. If you change it, he will smite thee. It’s not worth the risk.
Morgan – Representative of the Rightful-Thinking People of the World
Also, if you follow this blog at all, you know that there’s no book I recommend more than The Princess Bride. The movie is great. The book is PERFECTION. Read it. Now. Stop what you’re doing and read it. Immediately. I’m serious.
I was so excited when I heard the next installment of The Chalam Færytales would be released. This series has definitely earned a spot on my list of favorite series. The Promised One and The Purloined Prophecy were amazing (click on the links to read my reviews). The Parallax released this week and I’m excited to tell you about it.
A big thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC to read and review. She’s amazing, so I really recommend checking these out!
Who doesn’t love FREE books? Well we’ve put together a list of 22 new, exciting indie authors who are just waiting to become your next binge. Check them out! But don’t wait — these books will only be free until April 30, 2019!
The Chalam Færytales, Book I
Morgan G Farris
An epic færytale with the magic of Stardust, the romance of The Princess Bride, and the wonder of The Chronicles of Narnia. “Spell-binding. Poetic. Original.”
S. G. Prince
It’s against the law for elves and humans to fall in love. But laws can be broken.
Dragon Stone Saga Book One
Fighting to save a family of dragons from evil mages? Easy.
Feared Fables Book 2
Isla Jones & Klarissa King
Callie doesn’t believe in fairy tales. Too bad they believe in her.
The Emerson Chronicles
D. P. Rowell
A witch’s most powerful tool isn’t magic, it’s deception.
Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries
What happens to Cinderella after she marries the prince? Hint: It’s not all happy ever after.
Book I, The Wind Rider Chronicles
Allison D. Reid
Something terrible has happened in this usually peaceful wood. Her world—the whole world—is about to change forever…
Supernaturals of Los Melas
D. D. Miers
A badass fairytale
The Immortal Grim Brothers’ Guide to Sociopathic Princesses: Volume One
M. J. Padgett
With the help of her best friends, a pair of quirky brothers, and a family she never knew she had, Calla embarks on a mission to save her people from a treacherous queen.
Adamantina Saga: Book One
The Elemental Chronicles: Book One
The Vassals will rise…This is their awakening.
Birthright Trilogy: Book One
Bound by love, drawn by magick, happily ever after won’t come without a fight.
Modern Fae: Book One
When faerie tale dreams come true, nightmare creatures can be deadly.
The Dragonslayer Series: Book One
In the medieval Northlands, a dangerous family seeks power. They slaughter all who get in their way.
I am Crow, and I am a thief. Not just any thief, mind, but the best and most famous thief in all the glittering empire.
Once Upon A Princess: Book One
C. S. Johnson
A historical fantasy retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale.
The Being of Dreams: Book One
Catherine M. Walker
They’re cursed to become heroes or monsters.
Legends of Lairheim
A Hidden Enemy Emerges… Bringing a deadly new threat
The Last Descendant: Book One
If you like kick-butt heroines and action-packed fantasy filled with mythological creatures, then you’ll love the first novel in Megan Haskell’s debut series.
The Dragon Sea Chronicles: Prequel
Brian S. Ference
Sea Dragons. Pirates. Sea Serpents. Wizards.
Soaring Flame and the Dragon-Transcending Magimal
Wanna see the rainbow-colored magic elements? Wanna team up with magimals (magic-gifted animals) for an adventure? Let’s go!
Book I of the Fire Jidaan Trilogy
When an ancient evil arises, the magickal spears of the Guardians awaken…but will their power be enough?
Portals to Whyland Intro Novella
Spell Speakers is a coming-of-age fantasy novella introducing characters featured in the series.