GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ WIP It Real Good: Fantasy Author Merrie Destefano + 3 giveaways | I Smell Sheep

Monday, October 11, 2021

WIP It Real Good: Fantasy Author Merrie Destefano + 3 giveaways

First, thank you very much for inviting me to write a guest post today! I really appreciate it! Your readers might not remember, but you guys at I Smell Sheep have been incredibly kind to me, right from the beginning of my career when you featured my book Afterlife.

Sharon: I remember you! You have beautiful writing! I adored Afterlife. Katie reviewed it HERE. And I reviewed Feast HERE

Also, I want to mention that I have two giveaways for your blog readers! First, for anyone who comments on this post, I’ll give them a free novella, A Place Of Dreams. This is a prequel to my newest release, A Place Of Magic. And second, I’ll give away a $20 Amazon gift card to one of the commenters on this post. Thanks for stopping by!

Now about my next book…

I’m currently working on an epic fantasy titled Raven Heart. I’m hoping to release it sometime in 2022. The story takes place after a Mage War, when humans lose a battle to the magical creatures of the realm. Now dark magic is everywhere and all creatures bow to a merciless Goblin King. Briar, a fifteen-year-old girl, sets off on a quest to find her older sister, who disappeared. Briar’s only companion on the journey is Kieran, a strong, handsome boy that she hates.

Excerpt from Raven Heart
By Merrie Destefano
The sun moved through the trees, as if it needed to watch me, it changed shadows and light, it burned on my back as if urging me to hurry, hurry, quick—

I stood before the mirror, using my father’s sword to cut my hair, long black locks falling in swirls at my feet. The blade proved its worth, still sharp enough to slice skin, for I accidentally cut myself twice and now drops of blood merrily kissed the floor. If I’d been trained by a Druid—which was impossible, since I was a girl and we were too poor for me to become anyone’s apprentice—I might have been able to read the signs written at my feet.

I decided that I didn’t care.

Signs were not going to determine my destiny.

They would merely guide my feet and lead me to Willow. I’d save her and together we’d run far away, to a place where magic couldn’t find us.

Far from the Raven King.

And our family.

The last chunk of black hair fell to its rightful place, on the ground.

Now my hair was short, a fringe brushing my brow. I could pass as a boy.

A tall, slender boy. With a warrior’s sword and a stony heart.

I wondered about my mouth though. That bee-stung swollen bottom lip. Not many boys had a mouth like this. Perhaps I could wear my collar turned up, like my brothers did when they worked in the fields, to keep dirt out of their mouth and nose—

That was when I sensed a presence. A shadow stood in the doorway, someone staring in at me. I’d forgotten to close and latch the front door.

Could he take me this easily?

With me leaving a door open.

Could the Raven King cross the threshold uninvited and steal me away?

by Merrie Destefano
October 12, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Ruby Slipper Press
Number of pages:320
Word Count: 73,000
Cover Artist: Elona Bezooshko,
Psycat Digital Ink & Motion
Halloween is the wrong time to visit Ticonderoga Falls.
Dangerous monsters hunt in the nearby woods.

The Prey...

Maddie MacFaddin.
For her, the nearby forest holds many memories, some joyous, some forgotten. But she has no recollection of Ash, the dark, magnificent creature who saved her life as a child, or that his kind preys upon humanity.

The Monster...

Ash, a Darkling fae.
Trapped in Ticonderoga Falls for a century, he’s required to host a Hunt once a year. Then, hungry, shapeshifting faeries will descend upon the villagers and harvest their dreams.

The Hunt...

There are rules about harvesting humans; the poor creatures are so delicate. If you take too much, they’ll die. Without dreams, they perish. And perish they do—now and then—despite Ash's efforts to keep them safe. Then he realizes Maddie is the prey his unwanted guests are after. But, try as he might, this time he’s not strong enough to protect her. The entire village is in danger.

Soon the Hunt will begin. And no one will be safe.

She knew there were things that lived in the dark, things that could never be fully understood. Things that wanted to lure you away from everything safe. Just like in the story of Hansel and Gretel, you could be surrounded by a dangerous wildwood, while a bear trap with rusty hinges waited for you to step off the safe and narrow path.
He nodded, head lowered. Then he lifted his gaze until he was staring into her eyes. One hand rested on her shoulder. “I won’t tell anyone your secret, Elspeth. You’re safe with me.”

Then he leaned closer, his scent overwhelming, his thoughts like the wind through the leaves, a wild rushing, his skin like the embrace of the forest. His lips touched hers and she could hear his heart beating. She slid her arms around his waist, leaning into the kiss, suddenly wanting more. She wanted to cast an enchantment, to lead him into sleep, to harvest his dreams. Wanted to walk into a dream with him, to see the hidden world on the other side of his eyelids. Wanted to know everything about him.

The kiss had only just begun and already she wanted another.

His arms were around her then, and the winter chill disappeared. In its place, fire crackled through her limbs, from her fingertips to her feet.

She could see it then, the world inside him. Tender and gentle as a spring morning, the shadows of night lingering at the edge of the wood, a handful of stars scattered across a pale sky.

She never knew that humans could be filled with so much magic.

It was her first Hunt and she had chosen her prey wisely.

About the Author:

 Multiple-award-winning author Merrie Destefano writes lyrical tales of magic, mystery, and hope. Her traditional books have been published by HarperCollins, Entangled Teen, and Walter Foster, while her indie imprint is Ruby Slippers Press. Her novels have won awards in both the science fiction and fantasy categories.

She worked for Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, Engaged Media, and PJS Publications, and her magazine experience includes editor of Victorian Homes magazine, Zombies magazine, Haunted: Mysteries And Legends magazine, American Farmhouse Style magazine, Vintage Gardens magazine and founding editor of Cottages and Bungalows magazine. Her co-authored art books include How To Draw Vampires, How To Draw Zombies, and How to Draw Grimm’s Dark Fairy Tales. Her edited books include The Man God Uses by Chuck Smith, Oil Pastel Step-By-Step by Nathan Rohlander, and The Art of Drawing Fantasy Characters by Jacob Glaser.

Born in the Midwest, Merrie now lives in Southern California, where she runs on caffeine, and shares her home with rescue dogs and cats. And although she dearly loves science fiction, in her heart of hearts, she still doesn’t believe airplanes should be able to fly.

Dangerous fae live in the woods and their hunger can’t be denied. But Maddie has an unquenchable hunger of her own.
#MerrieDestefano #NewRelease #APlaceOfMagic

I have two giveaways for your blog readers! 
First, for anyone who comments on this post, I’ll give them a free novella, A Place Of Dreams. This is a prequel to my newest release, A Place Of Magic. 
And second, I’ll give away a $20 Amazon gift card to one of the commenters on this post. Thanks for stopping by!

Tour Giveaway
1 Signed print copy of A Place Of Magic
1 Custom tote bag
1 Amazon gift card for $25

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Do you go and visit similar places to what you write about in your books?

    1. Sometimes! But usually I do a lot of research.

    2. Hey bookbunny68! Running behind on picking winners. You won the ecopy of A Place of Dreams. Contact me so I can get your info to mail to Merrie!

  2. Thank you, Sharon and Katie, for inviting me here today! As always, YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!

  3. Has there ever been a character you itched to write about from past books?

    1. I'd love to write a story set in New Orleans, featuring Chaz from Afterlife!

    2. Hey Dawn! Running behind on picking winners. You won the $20 gift card. Contact me so I can get your info to mail to Merrie!

  4. Is there another genre you would like to explore?

    1. One genre I've been writing in, but have not published yet, is cozy mystery with a dash of paranormal. I can't wait to finish it!

  5. I enjoyed the blurb and can't wait to read the story.