This Week’s Author: Shelley Nolan
Six young women discover hidden powers that make them the target of unscrupulous adversaries. Only by learning to harness their newfound abilities and work together will they be able to gain their freedom. As they fight to break free, they soon learn that more is at stake than just their lives.
Arcane Awakenings – a fast-paced paranormal fantasy novella series
When Merry inherits a bookshop from a grandmother she never knew existed, the last thing she expected was to be transported to another world. But while claiming her inheritance, she accidentally triggers a spell that takes her to Tirana; a world where magic is real, and where her grandmother left behind powerful enemies.
Now those enemies are after Merry, and she has to return home before they catch up with her. With the transportation spell broken, and mages and enforcers on her tail, she flees with her grandmother’s familiar, Sadie. But the black cat can’t save her when she draws the attention of the guild. On the run and searching for a way to remake the spell to take her home, Merry encounters dangers that may prove costly to both worlds.
Merry must learn to wield elemental powers of Air, Earth, Water, Fire and Spirit to have any hope of returning home. If she fails, she will be stuck in Tirana forever, while an ancient enemy may gain the foothold it needs to rid the world of magic for good.
Five hundred years ago, the cure for the common cold went horribly wrong, turning those infected into freaks consumed with hate and rage. Forced underground, the freaks return above ground at night, driven to attack the surface dwellers – their bite infecting thousands more.
To fight the freaks and protect mankind from extinction, scientists created genetically enhanced soldiers. Stronger, faster, with enhanced senses, wardens are trained from birth to protect the weaker humans.
The Captain of the Ward, Jackson Kyle, is infected while saving the life of another warden. Due to his genetic enhancements, he is like no other freak. His faculties intact, he escapes from the Ward and encounters a mysterious young woman. The second he touches her, he is caught in a bond, compelled to protect her at all costs. For she will decide the fate of humankind.
‘The first dead body I ever saw was my own’ – Tyler Morgan. Twenty-five. Murdered by the Grim Reaper
Welcome to the Reaper’s Ascension Series, where death is only the beginning!
After she is resurrected by the Grim Reaper, Tyler Morgan discovers a dark and hidden world. Not sure who to trust, and with enemies closing in, she will have to master her newfound abilities to have any hope of staying alive.
This set contains all three books, and the prequel short story, delivering a spine chilling urban fantasy sure to delight fans of the supernatural and suspense.
About the Author:
Shelley Russell Nolan is an avid reader who began writing her own stories at sixteen. Her first completed manuscript featured brain eating aliens and a butt kicking teenage heroine. Since then she has spent her time creating fantasy worlds where death is only the beginning and even freaks can fall in love, with more fantasy and sci/fi series in the works
The first two books in her debut adult urban fantasy series, Lost Reaper and Winged Reaper, were published by Atlas Productions in 2016, with Silver Reaper published in 2017 to complete the series. 2018 saw the release of her Arcane Awakenings Novella Series, while Odyssey Books published Dark Justice, the first book in a new post-apocalyptic series, in 2019. The sequel, Dark Vengeance, was released in April 2021 with the third book, Dark Allegiance, released in December 2021. In 2020 Shelley also released the first three books in her Merry Magic Series, portal fantasy books featuring witches, magic and talking cats.
Born in New Zealand, moving to Australia with her family when she was seven, Shelley currently lives in Central Queensland, Australia, with her husband and two young children. They share their home with two wrecking ball kitties, and two crazy dogs on a mission to chew. She loves to hear from her readers so feel free to contact her on Facebook, Goodreads, or at her website – shelleyrussellnolan.com.
Interview with Shelley Nolan:
Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?
I currently have 12 books published, in four different series, as well as a number of short stories.
My debut series, Reaper’s Ascension, is a paranormal fantasy about a young woman who ends up working for the Grim Reaper after she is murdered. There are three books in the series, and a prequel short story.
My second series is Arcane Awakenings, a Young Adult paranormal fantasy set in the same town as my Reaper series, and follows six young women as they discover psychic abilities – abilities that make them the target of unscrupulous scientists. This series is six novellas, though I have put two novellas in each book.
My third series, The Last Ward, is a bit different, as it is a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy set 500 years after the cure for the common cold went horribly wrong, creating freaks filled with rage towards the uninfected. The story focuses on the former captain of the Brimfield Ward after he is infected. His struggle to retain his humanity is put to the test when he encounters a mysterious young woman with the power to destroy all humankind. There are three books in this series, with the last book released in December 2021.
I am currently working on Merry Magic, a portal fantasy series about a young woman who accidentally triggers a spell that transports her to another world – a world where magic is real and she is mistaken for an infamous witch with powerful enemies. The first three books of Merry Magic have been released and I am working on book four now.
What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?
I have wanted to be an author ever since I was sixteen and I starting turning my daydreams into stories. Those daydreams usually involved me being swept up in some kind of adventure by discovering magical powers, being transported to another world or into the pages of my favourite books. As an avid reader it felt natural to turn my daydreams into stories. Using my friends as inspiration for the characters, I fell headlong into creating my stories and knew that being an author was all I ever wanted to do. Only, I didn’t know how to go about it.
Back then there were no creative writing classes or groups locally and no internet to connect with other would be authors. So my desire to be an author sat on the back burner for many years. I was still writing, but it wasn’t until I got my first computer and was able to connect online with other writers and discovered workshops that I realised I could finally achieve my dream.
What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?
Impostor syndrome is something most authors deal with, and I am no exception. Often when I am writing a first draft I think it is terrible. But if I let it sit for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes I realise it isn’t as bad as I think it is. It is amazing what some distance can do. Sometimes I read through my older books, and when I get caught up in the story, I know I didn’t do too bad a job. I also have trusted beta readers who will tell me straight if something isn’t working for them.
While I know not every reader will enjoy my stories, it helps to remind myself that I have spent years working on my craft. Long before my first book was published, I was attending masterclasses and workshops where I had the opportunity to work one on one with industry professionals. Having the acquisitions editor of a major publisher tell me how much they loved my story was a huge boost to the ego, and was the first time I thought I could make a career out of writing stories.
Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing?
I lost my father to cancer when I was thirteen, and it took me years to realise that I had created story worlds where death could be overcome. One of these is in Reaper’s Ascension, where the main character is resurrected after she agrees to work for the Grim Reaper. I have another story, outlined and partially written many years ago, in which the main characters dies in this world only to be reborn in another one. I also tended to write characters who had lost their fathers at an early age or who were estranged from them.
A less morbid way I have included actual life experiences is by setting Reaper’s Ascension and Arcane Awakenings in the fictional town of Easton. Only, Easton is really the town I live in. I changed the name so I could alter some of the town’s characteristic as needed.
While the black cat familiar who mentors Merry, in Merry Magic, is based on my house panther, and my other cat makes an appearance as the familiar of Merry’s love interest.
Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?
The easiest character for me to write about was the teenage heroine in my very first story, Intergalactic Heroine for Hire. I started writing IGH when I was sixteen, and Sharon Chambers was a mix of my friends and me. That story was a full on romp where Sharon (AKA me and my friends) got to be sharp witted, sharp tongued and save the universe. That story has not yet been published, as I had no idea what I was doing way back then and Sharon came across to initial readers as mean rather than witty. But IGH and Sharon still hold a special place in my heart, and I hope to one day go back and take the kernel of the idea and turn it into a proper story.
The hardest character for me to write was Jackson, the main male character in Dark Justice, The Last Ward Book One. This was my first time writing from a male character’s point of view and I had to show how hard it was for him to hold on to the last shred of his humanity after he was infected with the freak virus. Dark Justice has a beauty and the beast vibe, but the initial draft had him acting too beastly to ever be considered a love interest for the main female character. It took a few rewrites to nail his character down and provide a satisfying read. The third and final book in the series, Dark Allegiance, was published in December and I will admit to shedding a tear as I penned the last chapter. After taking such care to create a memorable character, it was hard to say goodbye to Jackson and the rest of his Ward.
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