Exciting Epic Fantasy Romance authors to watch

A few years ago fantasy romance was dominated by vampires, werewolves, and shifters—and that’s fine if you’re into that. However, for readers who want an Epic Fantasy tale, with a strong romance element, there just wasn’t anything out there. That’s changing … fast.

Just over the last year they’ve been popping up like mushrooms! High Fantasy, rollicking Epic Fantasy adventures, with a fully developed romance plots. There are now many novels to try. Some of them cross over into the Young Adult/New Adult domain, as the protagonists are often in their late teens to mid-twenties, but most of them are written for adults as well.

At the moment Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance is huge, and fantasy romance with fae heroes isn’t showing any sign of slowing in popularity. But if neither of these sub-genres interest you don’t despair … there are plenty of sword and sorcery fantasy romances out there. As for what’s trending in the Epic Fantasy Romance genre—it appears that witches and wizards are really hot at the moment.

Here’s a list (not exhaustive) of exciting new Epic Fantasy Romance authors to watch, with links to their Amazon author pages:

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Amber Argyle
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Shannon Meyer
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Miranda Honfleur
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Jayne Castel
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Emily R. King
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G. Bailey
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Sara C. Roethe

 

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Claire Merle
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Frost Kay
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Kelly St. Clare
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Helen Scheuerer

Do you have an author you’d like added to this list? Please get in touch!

 

Excerpt from THE LOST SWALLOW

THE LOST SWALLOW will be released on August 14 … in the meantime here’s a short preview of the novel. It’s the scene where the two main characters—Asher and Mira—meet.

The Lost Swallow_Cover5Excerpt from THE LOST SWALLOW:

Where did she go?

Asher turned around, planning to retrace his steps, and found himself facing a cloaked and hooded figure.

It took barely an instant to realize that she’d somehow managed to get behind him. Then she struck out, hitting him hard in the solar plexus.

The force of her punch knocked Asher back against the wall. A heartbeat later she had a cold blade pressed to his throat.

The woman was shorter than him, and had to look up to meet his gaze, but she didn’t appear remotely cowed by his greater size or strength. She pressed the blade close to his windpipe. Her hood had fallen back, her dark hair whipping around her, and her eyes were narrowed and dangerous.

“What do you want?” she asked, her voice a low growl.

Asher held her gaze and inhaled slowly and carefully. She had a murderous glint in her eye.

“To speak to you,” he wheezed, still recovering from her punch. “I’m a friend.”

Liar. If the woman knew what was good for her she’d end him now.

Her mouth twisted and the pressure on his throat increased. Asher felt a sting as the tip of the blade dug into his flesh.

“Try another answer,” she growled.

New covers for the LIGHT & DARKNESS series

People really do judge a book by its cover … which is why I’ve changed the covers for my Epic Fantasy Romance series.

It wasn’t an easy decision—although now I’ve done it, I wish I’d changed them earlier! As an indie-author I do get attached to my covers—but after taking a cold hard look at the original ones I have for the Light and Darkness series, I was forced to admit that they don’t look anything like the other novels in the genre.

If you’re not an author, you might think this isn’t an issue. However, over the past few years I’ve learned just how powerful a cover is. The pyschology behind cover design is fascinating. Readers will tell you they like something new, beautiful, and exciting—but instead they respond to covers that fit in with the genre. It’s the cliches and the stereotypes that win out in the end when you’re browsing looking for your next read.

Use the tropes

Most Epic Fantasy novels have hooded figures, swords and magic-wielding on the covers. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the Epic Fantasy bestsellers on Amazon, or read this blog post from Derek Murphy at Creativindie. It seems that book cover cliches exist for a reason.

Epic Fantasy Romance is a little different

In fantasy romance covers, the central figure is usually female—or though there are some covers with couples on them. You do have hooded figures, but you also have more witchy-looking women in gowns. The colours are also deeper in fantasy romance, with quite a bit of contrast, and the look is slightly more stylised.  The female figure is usually got more of a ‘romance’ feel to her as well, and the cover art takes centre stage, with the title and author font firmly at the bottom and top so not to distract from it.

Here are three examples from the genre that represent it quite well:

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So … taking all of the above I’ve had the covers for RULED BY SHADOWS and THE LOST SWALLOW redone.  I listened to a podcast recently where a cover designer was giving out tips: he said your cover should create a narrative for your story, and give a mood and tone, rather than trying to depict a scene or the plot. That’s what I’ve tried to achieve with this new look. Here they are:

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Compare these two my old covers. These used the large face superimposed against a background. This is a look that has been popular with romance in the past, but seems to get less engagement with viewers. They’re both eye-catching, but the problem I have with them is that neither of these covers shout ‘Epic Fantasy Romance’. The font is also dominant on both … possibly too much so.

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Any hoo, we shall see if these new covers attract more readers. I will keep you posted!

 

 

THE LOST SWALLOW is available on preorder!

Woop woop!

The Lost Swallow_Cover5THE LOST SWALLOW (Book #2: Light and Darkness) is available on pre-order! Release date: August 14th!

All her life she’s trusted her instincts—but now she must follow her heart.

Mira belongs to The Swallow Guard—an elite all-female bodyguard who protect the royal family. She resents her role, and has been planning her escape for years. But when her city comes under attack she finds herself on the run, and the unlikely protector of a spoiled and wilful princess. Despite her desire to look after herself, she finds she can’t abandon the girl.

Meanwhile, far to the north, an enchanter receives a chilling mission.

Asher belongs to the Order of Light and Darkness and spends his days healing the sick and injured. Yet when the head of his order commands him to track down the last survivor of a slaughtered royal family—and kill the girl and the woman protecting her—he finds himself in the role of assassin.

In an epic journey through the heart of occupied territory, Mira struggles between her instinct to flee, her urge to protect the gifted young woman who has come to depend on her—and her attraction to an enigmatic stranger who says he’s been sent to help them. Asher must also make a choice. Does he trust his instincts, follow his heart, and bring wrath down upon him … or does he follow orders and risk losing his soul.

If you like the fantasy romance of Radiance, the thrills of the Throne of Glass series, the epic adventure of Game of Thrones, and a fierce heroine, you’ll love Book #2 of the Light and Darkness series.

Preorder your copy of THE LOST SWALLOW and dive into an action-packed, emotion-filled Epic Fantasy Romance about how the most important choices are never easy.

Preorder your copy here:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D7JGT92
UK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D7JGT92
AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07D7JGT92

More Epic Fantasy Romance novels to try

Why oh why is good Epic Fantasy Romance so hard to find?

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Haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my TBR list. Love the cover!

Personally, I’ve had enough of reading about fae/human romances—it’s been done to death, and I’m looking for something different. I’d like to read more fantasy adventure stories that have emotional love-stories. I’ve got Sarah J Maas’ latest novel on my Kindle ready to enjoy, have pre-ordered Grace Draven’s upcoming release, and have also downloaded Kushiel’s Dart—so I’ll be posting some reviews on this blog as I chew through my TBR pile.

In the meantime, here are some great blog posts to help you discover your next Epic Fantasy Romance read. There aren’t many I’ve read on these lists, so it looks like I’ve got some discovery to do.

Three Fantasy Romance Series to sweep you away!

Recommended reads: Fantasy Romance

The Epic World of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Romance

8 Fantasy Romance novels that are sure to satisfy


 Happy reading everyone!

THE LOST SWALLOW is finished!

Well the first draft is! It’s now with my editor.

I’m really excited about THE LOST SWALLOW (I know … I say that about all my books. But I really am). It’s got a lot of romance, loads of action, and is a massively character-driven story. It’s the sequel to RULED BY SHADOWS, so there’s an overarching plot which continues through the trilogy (Book #3 is already planned out). However, it’s also a romance, so there’s a stand-alone love-story.

What’s changed from Book #1?

  • Lilia and Dain (our hero and heroine from RULED BY SHADOWS) don’t appear in this story. Instead Book #2 focuses on Asher (who we meet in the first story) and Mira.
  • RULED BY SHADOWS was a coming of age story, whereas THE LOST SWALLOW is about two individuals with opposing goals, forced to work together for survival.
  • RULED BY SHADOWS is a quest story, where our heroes work toward preventing disaster (the release of a terrible dictator from an enchanted prison), whereas THE LOST SWALLOW takes place in a kingdom that has just recently fallen to the enemy. Our heroes are focused on escaping danger and fleeing to safety before it’s too late.

Introducing The Four Kingdoms of Serran

My story world is The Four Kingdoms of Serran. The kingdoms—Rithmar, Thun, Anthor and Farras—have a bloody history. We’re introduced to the conflict between Thun and Anthor in Book #1 but RULED BY SHADOWS focused more on another, darker, threat. By the time THE LOST SWALLOW begins, the situation has worsened. Thun has fallen and our characters are trapped in occupied territory.

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TheLostSwallow_COVER4What’s THE LOST SWALLOW about?

She’s entrusted with protecting a princess … but he’s been sent to kill them both.

Mira belongs to The Swallow Guard—an elite all-female bodyguard who protect the royal family. She hates her role, and has been planning her escape for years—only when her city comes under attack she finds herself on the run, and the unlikely protector of a spoiled and wilful princess.

Asher belongs to the Order of Light and Darkness. He’s an enchanter who spends his days healing the sick and injured. But when the head of his order commands him to track down the last survivor of a slaughtered royal family—and kill the girl and the woman protecting her—he finds himself in the role of assassin.

In an epic journey through the heart of occupied territory, Mira struggles between her desire to flee and start afresh, and her need to protect the gifted young woman who has come to depend on her. Asher must also make a choice. Does he trust his instincts, follow his heart, and bring wrath down upon him—or does he follow orders and risk losing his soul.

Epic adventure and romance collide in this emotional romantic fantasy. Book #2 of the Light and Darkness series, THE LOST SWALLOW is for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Grace Draven and Leigh Bardugo. If you like vibrant world-building, edge of your seat adventure, and a powerful love story, this Epic Fantasy Romance is for you.


I’ll be putting the novel on pre-order with Amazon in the next few days—so watch this space. Release date coming soon!

Get RULED BY SHADOWS for free

RULED BY SHADOWS (Book #1: Light and Darkness) is now free across all digital platforms. If you haven’t yet read my Epic Fantasy Romance, now’s your chance!

Here’s what the story’s about:

ruled-by-shadows_coverA young woman who must face her darkest fears to save her world, and the man who will do anything to protect her. An action-packed, emotion-filled Epic Fantasy Romance about the power of courage and love.

Tired of living a small life, Lilia moves to a bustling port and finds work as a cook. But her neat, ordered world crumbles the day a handsome, enigmatic stranger leaves a charm-stone in her safekeeping.

Ever since Lilia started work at his father’s inn, Dain has wanted her—only she isn’t interested in him. But when Lilia’s shadow starts acting strangely, and the stranger comes back to retrieve his charm-stone, Dain takes on the role of her protector.

What appears to be a humble hag stone—used by folk to ward off evil spirits—is in reality a powerful talisman. One that a secret brotherhood has spent five-hundred years searching for.

On an epic journey into danger and discovery, Lilia and Dain flee assassins who hunt the stone. The shadows are deepening and an ancient evil risks being unleashed upon the world. Lilia must face the darkness, and her own fears–or there will be no going home.

Get your copy for FREE on Amazon today!
amazon.com
amazon.co.uk

https://www.books2read.com/u/mBMjRZ

THE LOST SWALLOW update

TheLostSwallow_COVER4Writing an Epic Fantasy can feel like it takes forever … but I’ve finished the first draft of THE LOST SWALLOW—Book #2 in the Light and Darkness series! This novel is the sequel to RULED BY SHADOWS.

I’m now working through the manuscript, and making a few changes before it goes to my editor. Epic Fantasy can’t be rushed, even if we all wish authors could work a little faster. I’m still waiting for Patrick Rothfuss’s next book, and have almost given up on The Winds of Winter!

So when will THE LOST SWALLOW be released? I’m hoping mid-year—although I’m going to be a bit cagey about giving a precise date until I receive the manuscript back from the editor. When I do, I’ll know what level of work is needed before I can publish. Thanks for your patience, and watch this space!

What’s THE LOST SWALLOW about?

The Lost Swallow
Book #2: Light and Darkness

She’s entrusted with protecting a princess … but he’s been sent to kill them both.

Mira belongs to The Swallow Guard—an elite all-female bodyguard who protect the royal family. She hates her role, and has been planning her escape for years—only when her city comes under attack she finds herself on the run, and the unlikely protector of a spoiled and wilful princess.

Asher belongs to the Order of Light and Darkness. He’s an enchanter who spends his days healing the sick and injured. But when the head of his order commands him to track down the last survivor of a slaughtered royal family—and kill the girl and the woman protecting her—he finds himself in the role of assassin.

In an epic journey through the heart of occupied territory, Mira struggles between her desire to flee and start afresh, and her need to protect the gifted young woman who has come to depend on her. Asher must also make a choice. Does he trust his instincts, follow his heart, and bring wrath down upon him—or does he follow orders and risk losing his soul.

Epic adventure and romance collide in this emotional romantic fantasy. Book #2 of the Light and Darkness series, THE LOST SWALLOW is for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Grace Draven and Leigh Bardugo. If you like vibrant world-building, edge of your seat adventure, and a powerful love story, this Epic Fantasy Romance is for you.

Book review: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

 

I’ve been trawling Amazon and Goodreads for Epic Fantasy Romances to immerse myself in, but have had difficulty finding those I like. Many are too YA for me. So … in the meantime I picked up this book—and I’m glad I did. It does have a touch of romance in it … but for the most part it’s an Epic Fantasy coming of age story.

68428Loved this novel. Everything worked for me in this story. Great setting and world building, memorable and sympathetic characters, and a strong plot with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. The magic system – whereby allomancers use different metals to enhance their strength, perception, vision and other senses – was highly original and believably drawn.

However, it was the premise of the novel that drew me in first: what if the dark lord had won?

What if Sauron had succeeded in taking Middle Earth? I mean … you have to read the story now, right?

Hundreds of years after the Lord Ruler siezes power, we see a world where ash falls from the sky, where the masses are enslaved and hopeless. In this brutal world lives a girl named Vin. Abandoned by her brother, she lives with a group of thieves, waiting for the day her ‘luck’ will run out. But when the leader of a band of thieves, an allomancer named Kelsier, saves her life and takes her into his band of men who now plot against the Lord Ruler – her life changes forever.

Both Vin and Kelsier are fantastic characters. We really get a feel for what motivates them, and what their weakness and demons are. Vin’s transformation from a frightened child, to a strong gifted woman is great to see. There’s a touch of romance in this story – and I must admit I would have liked to see more – however, there’s also a lot of emotion. I really felt for what was at stake for Kelsier, and what had driven him on his path to bring down the tyrant responsible for the death of his wife.

Highly recommend this novel. It’s well-written, brilliantly paced, with a magical vivid world I can’t wait to return to.

Five stars!

Check it out on Amazon.