Fated geneology, crazy (magical) families, Second Chances, & a chat with authors Alyssa Day & Brandi Willis Schreiber #anthology
Looking for an anthology full of second-chance happily ever afters?
I chatted with two of the authors from the the Second Chances anthology, and you will LOVE what they have to say. Brandi Willis Schreiber is a brand new author, never published before this anthology, and her heartfelt, cross-continental contemporary story, The Family Tree, is a STANDOUT. If it doesn’t leave you with misty eyes—or straight up happy tears—I’ll eat my hat (Okay, not really. I like my hats. And I don’t think they’d be very tasty. But you should still read it. 🙂 ).
And bestselling author Alyssa Day’s paranormal short, Jake’s Djinn (set in her Cardinal Witches series), is full of fun & heart. Read on to see why the Second Chances anthology is a one-click buy!
Q&A with Brandi Willis Schreiber
The Family Tree starts out with an homage to genealogy. Have you explored your own genealogy? What do you love most about investigating and tracing your family tree?
This wonderful question points right to the inspiration for my story! I have explored my own genealogy on my father’s side. My aunt told me one day part of our family was from Scotland. She sent me the work she’d done online, and in addition to Scottish roots, I found some ancestors even emigrated to the U.S. from two different counties in Ireland. But I know very little about family on my mother’s side, other than one family came to Texas from Georgia sometime in the 1800s. Before that, it’s a mystery. This is in sharp contrast to my husband’s lineage, which his family has documented and traced back almost 300 years! I’m talking house-blueprint-sized charts of their entire family’s history rolled into a big poster tube in our closet. It’s fascinating, and in a little way, poignant. Because most of my family is gone now, that really got me thinking: Where do I fit in the history of my family? And where would I turn if I REALLY needed to know that answer, was desperate for connection? It’s the same question Bea, the heroine in “The Family Tree,” faces. Genealogy is, essentially, many individual stories woven together – some fraught with heartache, others a testament to love – and I think that’s why I enjoy it so much. It illustrates the endurance of the human spirit. If all those people hadn’t lived and loved, and in some cases loved again (second chances!), you wouldn’t be reading my words right now. That’s a powerful image!
This is your first published romance, right? What part has romantic fiction played in your life? Are you doing anything special to celebrate your first release?
This IS my first published romance, and I am over the moon! (Thank you, RWA; thank you, husband; thank you, best friend, for believing in me!) I can’t tell you what it means to see my story in print. Romantic fiction has played a big part of my writing life, but honestly, it’s had a subversive role until recently. As a child, I remember Mama Boots (my grandma) always kept a stack of second-hand Harlequin novels next to her bed. I’d study the covers, with their colorful couples who always looked like they had just tripped into each other, and think, “Well that’s interesting …” and run back outside to play. And then in junior high, I read JANE EYRE and the world tipped a little more on its axis. This book, with its “poor, obscure, plain and little” heroine with “full as much heart” got its claws in me. Agh, even as I type this, I’m tearing up – that’s how powerful that book and its redemption is for me! I dreamed up hundreds of stories after that, but I never had the courage to write them down. It wasn’t until about six years ago that I started reading and writing romance seriously (and by seriously I mean I read or write something every day). I didn’t understand it as a child, but I get it now: why my Mama Boots had all those novels by her bed. She died when I was eleven, and 25 years later, that image of her almost in her 70s, reading those books by the light of her porcelain lamp in her little house in Plainview, TX, makes my chest hurt. We’ve become the same woman: now I always have a stack of romances by my bed. How I wish I could talk with her about the stories, exchange books, laugh at those old covers! My writing feels like a homecoming because of her. I plan to celebrate this release every day for a long time, but to get started, my husband, who has been my biggest supporter, is taking me to my favorite restaurant!
Brandi Willis Schreiber has imagined romance stories her entire life in her head but only recently started writing them down. A graduate of Texas Tech University, she has an M.A. in English literature, and uses her love for nature, travel, poetry, and everything beautiful to fuel her fiction, which will always have a happy ending. Her work has appeared in All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson’s World, The Texas Review, Red River Review, and elsewhere. This is her first published romance short story, however, and for that she’s over the moon. Brandi lives with her husband, rescue dog, and other wild creatures in her beloved West Texas.
My review of The Family Tree by Brandi Willis Schreiber
The Family Tree is a lovely, touching story about second chances—not just in love but with family. The setting and the hero’s nationality (Scottish) cast a homey, romantic glow on the budding relationship between these two people who have suffered loss but yearn for a special someone to call their own. In the end, the story is about more than romance. It’s about family and fate and love. This short little gem of a story is beautiful and comforting, and it brought tears of happiness to my eyes, made me feel as much a part of this loving family as Bea became. A stellar first work from author Brandi Willis Schreiber, The Family Tree is simply unforgettable and a “must read” second-chance romance. 5/5 Stars
A stellar first work from author Brandi Willis Schreiber, The Family Tree is simply unforgettable and a “must read” second-chance romance.
Q&A with Alyssa Day!
The Cardinal Witches series novellas are fun, flirty, and magical, and their covers are a different style from your Warriors of Poseidon series. What sets this series apart from your other books, and what do you enjoy most about writing in the Cardinal family story world?
The Cardinal Witches world actually crosses over with my Warriors of Poseidon series (new books coming in the Warriors in 2018! Woot!) and also with my Tiger’s Eye Mysteries. But the witches are super fun, short, and over-the-top funny in a way I can’t be with a longer book.
The basis of the series is the simple and true premise: We all have crazy families!! And that’s true whether or not we can do magic. *grin* I have a blast writing them and love getting reviews like “I fell out of my bed laughing!” or “I almost peed my pants laughing!”
If you could be any paranormal creature from one of your books, what would it be and what’s the first thing you’d do with your shiny new powers?
Ha! I hate this question—I can’t choose. I want to be All The Things Paranormal. But I think I’d love to be a witch and be able to cast spells and do magic. The first thing I’d do is figure out how to create a transport spell so I could go back to Paris in a blink whenever I wanted!
Alyssa Day is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than thirty-four books, including the Warriors of Poseidon and Cardinal Witches paranormal romance series and the Tiger’s Eye Mysteries paranormal mystery series. Her many awards include Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award for outstanding romance fiction, and the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance novel of 2012. Her books have been translated into a zillion languages but she’s still holding out for Klingon. You can find her at alyssaday.com or on Facebook and Twitter talking about her future pug ranch.
My review of Jake’s Djinn by Alyssa Day
Jake’s Djinn is a fun, light-hearted romance about a human wizard and the unforgettable Djinn he can’t seem to shake. There are character tie-ins to Ms. Day’s Cardinal Witches series that fans of the series will certainly enjoy. This short story is a great introduction to the greater series story world and gives a satisfying, teasing glimpse into Ms. Day’s skill at writing charming, standout, likable characters. 4/5 stars
“Okay, wishes. What have you got? Let’s get this over with.” She tapped her fingernails on the counter and tried not to look into his fascinating amber eyes. “You only get three, no wishing for more wishes, no love spells, wishing for anything pervy loses you everything, blah blah blah. You know the drill from last time.”
He shoved his tawny golden hair out of his face. He really was unfairly beautiful. Unfair to mortal women, gay men, and horny Djinn.
“Yeah. Speaking of that, I’m a scholar of all things magic. Maybe the best damn magic scholar on the planet, not to be immodest. I’ve got books and scrolls and even a few computer programs written by the best programmer nerds in their mothers’ basements across the country. All of them tell me that you can never receive wishes from the same genie twice. What’s up? Did you miss me?”
This review copy was provided by the Publisher. No compensation was received for this review.
My star rating:
Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection by Alyssa Day, Ariella Moon, Brandi Willis Schreiber, Cassandra Dean, Christina Lauren, CiCi Coughlin, Damon Suede, J. Kenner, Kerri Carpenter, Liliana Hart, Lizzie Shane, Marilyn Brant, Rachel Hauck, Renee Luke, Sharon Sobel, Tara Wyatt, Tina Ferraro
Published by Romance Writers of America on September 12, 2017
Add it to your To Read shelf: Goodreads
Do you believe in second chances? Romance Writers of America® brings together seventeen of today's hottest authors in an anthology of never-before-published tales that reveal true love always deserves a happy ending.
Follow New York Times best-selling authors J. Kenner and Christina Lauren back to reader-favorite worlds.
New York Times bestseller Alyssa Day sprinkles djinn magic in her humorous paranormal romance, while Rachel Hauck brings the enchantment of the holidays in her New Year’s Eve contemporary love story.
And Liliana Hart delivers thrills and adventure in her hero and heroine's search for the impossible.
With characters who find love through tough situations, in elegant 1800s ballrooms, with an old friend who shows up when least expected, at a tender age when cliques and homework get in the way of relationships, or after a random encounter in an unlikely setting, Second Chances delivers romance to strike every reader’s fancy.
Plus tales from: Marilyn Brant Kerri Carpenter CiCi Coughlin Cassandra Dean Tina Ferraro Renee Luke Ariella Moon Brandi Willis Schreiber Lizzie Shane Sharon Sobel Damon Suede Tara Wyatt
*This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
Follow the tour
Check in with all the blogs hosting authors from the Second Chances anthology by following the tour! You can click here for a site list by date, or click the snazzy image below. Enjoy! <3
SALE ALERT: If you pre-order before the August 12 release date, you can get this anthology for the special price of $3.99! The price will go up once it’s available everywhere, so pre-order your copy today!