Tag: kay berrisford

Review – Dragon Rider and The Isle of Eternal Happiness by Kay Berrisford

Today’s review is for the third and fourth installments of Kay Berrisford’s Landlocked Heart series, which will close out my month long author feature on Kay and the Landlocked Heart series.

In the third installment of the series, Dragon Rider, things pick up pretty much where they left off. Ben and Lyle are still working at the ice cream parlor, and are very close to finishing their wedding preparations. There’s just one thing left on Ben’s agenda: his family meeting Lyle. But of course, things quickly go awry when Lyle’s sister, Cully, shows up suddenly, asking for Lyle’s help with some family matters.

What I loved about this addition to the series was that it expands and adds several new plot elements. I won’t say what so as not to spoil the fun. I also became quite fond of Cully, though at first it isn’t apparent what side she’s on.

For the forth and final installment, The Isle of Eternal Happiness, things take a bit of a darker turn as the ramifications of everything that happened in book three unfold. There were a lot of really heartbreaking moments because one character wasn’t quite himself, and both Ben and Lyle deal with some heavy doubts about if the other is better off without him.

The final volume was a wild ride of emotions and I thought it was a great conclusion to the series!

Be sure to check these books out if you like mermen, dragons, myths and prophecies, and some angst thrown in! And of course, some sweet and slightly fiery romance!

There is one minor content warning I can think of, which I’ll put under the links.

My rating: 5/5 for both!

Thanks again to Kay for the interviews, and if you haven’t checked those out, be sure to! They’re great!

Check out the Landlocked Heart series at the Less Than Three website or Amazon!

LT3 Store

Amazon

 

Disclosures: I am friends with the author of these books, and I might be slightly biased because MERMEN/MERPEOPLE and some FAB writing.

 

Content warnings (highlight over to read, contains minor spoilers): In one scene, things escalate to violence and attempted abuse, however I will say it is because one character is basically not in control of his own actions (which is not fully known at the time, though it’s hinted at and pretty obvious).

Character Interview – Ben & Lyle from the Landlocked Heart series

Hello! I’m super excited to bring you Fiction Cove’s first character interview, with Ben and Lyle from the Landlocked Heart series, by Kay Berrisford. Thanks to Kay for these amazing answers! This does contain some minor spoilers for the Landlocked Heart series, so I would recommend reading them, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Without further ado, let’s turn it over to Ben and Lyle!

 

What is your favorite food, and why?

Ben: Oooh, a nice easy starter. Pizza, but I’m trying to cut back on the calories a bit. So, uh, Weetabix and cheese and cucumber sandwiches. And maybe pizza. And chocolate ice-cream. And pizza. Did I mention pizza?

Lyle: I’m a magical shapeshifting merman and I don’t need to eat, thus I can basically eat anything. So that’s limitless ice-cream with waffles and toffee sauce. Oh, and sparkly wine. And I don’t mind a pizza or six.

Ben: I really wish I could hate you, sometimes…

Lyle: *tries not to look smug and deliberately fails*

 

Do you have any treasured possessions or heirlooms? If so, what are they and why are they important to you?

Lyle: It’s got to be my fabulous engagement ring, because when my lovely Ben gave it to me… Well, I don’t want to give away too much of our story, but a lot of magical and shiny stuff happened, and most of it was good.

Ben: I used to be into collecting stuff—shiny cars and all that clutter. But I guess I had a revelatory moment once I found love with Lyle and faced losing him. I realized what really matters in life and it isn’t stuff.

 

What do you think is your best quality, and why?

Ben: I’m pretty level headed and sensible, although I’ve had my moments of madness over the last year.

Lyle: We’ve both got too many to list, obviously! Er, only joking. Um… let me think. I’d like to think I’m quite brave. It’s good to have me on your side in a fight, that’s for sure.

 

What do you think is your worst quality, and why?

Ben: I might be a bit too fussy and sensible sometimes. Lyle’s sister, Cully, thinks I’m boring…

Lyle: …but then you became a sword wielding, dragon-riding hero, with a slight detour into being a super-villain.

Ben: Oh yes, so I did. Do you think accidentally becoming mega evil might do for this one?

Lyle: I should think so, although Cully claimed it made you slightly more interesting. However, don’t worry, I kicked her scaly dragon-y arse for it.

Ben: Lyle, stop talking about Cully. You haven’t answered the question for yourself.

Lyle: *groans* I probably have a few bad qualities. I can be a little vain, and I possibly possess a fiery temper, which might accidentally result in the destruction of the odd ceiling or sea cliff from time to time—

Ben: Shut up, love. You’re perfect.

 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Lyle: *eyeballs interviewer* This is getting a bit intense… Okay, one thing.  I wouldn’t mind being able to control my magic a little better. I’m prone to the odd shape-shifting mishap, from time-to-time, and then comes those those, er, fiery moments with my temper.

Ben: I sometimes wish I was a little more spontaneous and a little less of a worrier.

 

What are your hobbies or interests?

Lyle: I create multi-media art inspired by the seashore. Oh, and I enjoy a bit of al fresco sex. Does that count?

Ben: *blushes* We do make sure the neighbors can’t see, honest! At the moment, my other hobby is DIY in our little house and garden. Specifically, trying to repair the leak in Lyle’s new hot-tub.

 

What is your greatest fear?

Lyle: Being cursed again and shut away in a creepy gothic tower for another hundred years, all alone and without my lovely Ben.

Ben: I don’t even want to say it, but I think it’s kind of obvious…

 

Do you have any secrets?

Lyle: *looks guilty* I, uh, might have kept quite a few things from Ben when we first met. Like neglecting to tell him, I might have accidentally murdered my brother.

Ben: But that’s all in the past, unless you’ve anything else to confess, love?

Lyle: *shakes head vociferously*

 

What do you find most attractive about your partner?

Lyle: Everything! But if I really had to pick, Ben has the most beautiful eyes. I could lose myself in them forever.

Ben: Lyle has amazing tentacle-like fins, which he can, uh, do some marvelously sexy things with, so they require a nod. But I think he might kill me if I didn’t say he had a fantastic arse.

 

If today were your last day to live, what would you do and who would you want to spend it with?

*both point to each other*

Lyle: Easy! We’ll be spending it together. As for what we’d do… Wouldn’t you like to know! But if you read a little more of our story, you might get a good idea.

 

Thanks to Ben and Lyle for joining me! Don’t forget to check out the Landlocked Heart series. If you enjoy modern day shape-shifting mermen, sweet romance, a bit of action, and angst, you’ll love it!

Check it out on the Less Than Three website or Amazon!

LT3 Store

Amazon

 

 

Author Interview – Kay Berrisford

Today I’m bringing you Fiction Cove’s first ever author interview! I’m super excited for that to be with the wonderful Kay Berrisford!

Kay is the author of the Landlocked Heart series, The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate, and Bound for the Forest.

I first found Kay’s work browsing pre-order titles on the Less Than Three website while waiting for my pre-order listing for my own book to go up. Kay’s book The Lonely Merman caught my eye because of the title. I’m a huge lover of mermen so my curiosity was piqued immediately. After reading it, I connected with Kay on Twitter, and now we talk and support each other in our writing. I’m very honored to call Kay a friend!

Now let’s get to the questions!

 

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t really think of myself as a writer! Whenever I try to believe I am, a voice in my head shouts loudly, “Who are you trying to kid?” On the other hand, I’ve always made up stories, and sometimes I write them down. There’s never been a time when I didn’t make up stories, so I don’t think there was ever a moment I decided I wanted to. It’s just an essential part of what I am.

 

Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?

Everywhere, but mainly from other books and from history.  I have studied history extensively, I work in a museum, and so I get bombarded with great ideas all the time. I once attended a talk by Terry Pratchett, and he said he got most of his ideas from history and non-fiction books (like me) but that, interestingly, he didn’t read much other fiction at all (quite unlike me!)

I am also often inspired by travel: new and beautiful places can inspire new ideas, settings, and characters. Much of Dragon Rider, the third Landlocked Heart book, was dreamed up on the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales (although I set it in Cornwall!)

 

What is your favorite character type to write, and why?

I like writing angsty, tortured characters the best.  Although I started writing the Landlocked Heart series from Ben’s (the human’s) point of view, I enjoyed writing from Lyle’s (the merman’s) point of view the most, because frankly, he was the more tortured and whumped of the pair.

 

Do you have any favorite tropes?

Oh, plenty! I’m a particular fan of “enemies to lovers” stories, which are always fun to write as well as read.

 

Who (a personal acquaintance or an author) has inspired you the most, and why?

Megan Derr, Megan Derr, Megan Derr. I love everything she writes, especially her fantasy stories, but pretty much anything.  Her characters are always incredibly strong and her world-building just stuns me. Reading her books makes me want to write, to up my game, and try and create something that’s even a faint shadow of her awesomeness. She’s also been incredibly supportive of my writing. Along with Sam and Sasha at LT3 Press, Megan’s the reason I’m publishing again.

 

What draws you to the romance and urban fantasy genres?

I love reading them! With urban fantasy, I love taking the world around me that I know and adding that little ingredient of magic that transports us somewhere really special. It’s probably my favourite genre to write, although I also like writing historical fantasy. That’s a lot more hard work—all that bloody research!

 

What is your writing process like?

When I write, I’m mega disciplined. On a writing day, I sit down and aim for at least 3000 words, and usually I hit my target. I use my time at work—in between my days off to write—in daydreaming, brainstorming, and planning. Although, to be fair, apart from a couple of abortive weeks last October, I’ve only written for ten months in the past four years and not since last July. I’m kind of “all or nothing at all.”

I spend more time editing than writing, too. I actually enjoy the process of editing my own work more than the initial drafting.

 

Did you draw on any specific mythologies when creating your characters and world? What were they, and what made you want to play with those elements?

I’ve always drawn a lot on English folklore (the Green Man, Robin Hood, Herne the Hunter), which is most evident in my Bound for the Forest series.  I grew up surrounded by these stories, so it seemed a natural place for me to play.

For the Landlocked Heart series, I drew on fairy mythology, which I love, although I kind of made up my own merfolk mythology. Landlocked Heart is actually set in the same universe as my previous historical fantasy book, The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate, just two centuries later. Lyle (Landlocked Heart) is from a different tribe and species as Raef (The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate) but they are from the same origins. One of the characters explains all the history behind this in Dragon Rider (the third Landlocked Heart book) but I cut it in edits, because it slowed pace.

In the final Landlocked Heart book, The Isle of Eternal Happiness, I drew a little on the mythology of lost islands, like Atlantis, which was fun.

 

What surprised you most when writing the Landlocked Heart series?

That I loved writing it so much! I hadn’t written in nearly three years when I sat down to write The Lonely Merman, and I’d often thought I’d never write again. But once I started, I couldn’t stop. Lyle and Ben have been among my very favourite characters to write ever.

 

What’s your favorite food, and your go-to writing fuel?

I usually write in in the morning, so sorry to be mega dull, but my fuel is coffee, breakfast cereal (Weetabix) and then peppermint tea! At lunch, I sometimes treat myself with pancakes piled with banana and ice-cream, though.

 

Are you reading any good books right now, and if so, share!

I’ve just started Dragon Magic by Megan Derr, which I’m loving. I was lucky lately to get a sneak preview of the second book in the Masks series by Amara Lynn, and that was pretty awesome too.

 

If you could teleport to anywhere on the planet right now, where would it be and why?

I love Italy, so maybe a sun-kissed villa in Tuscany, with a month’s supply of yummy food, a swimming pool, (heated for April!) and endless days to daydream and write.

 

Thanks for the interview, Kay!

Kay’s final book in the Landlocked Heart series just released on March 14th, and Bound for the Forest was just re-released with LT3 on April 4th. Now is a great time to check out Kay’s stuff, since everything on LT3’s site is 29% off for their anniversary sale! Links to Kay’s work will be at the bottom of this post!

 

About Kay:

I am, and always will be, the nerdy book-loving girl in the corner. I’ll never be one of the cool, popular kids, even among fellow readers, writers, and book lovers… and I’m okay with that. I’ve been making up romance stories with m/m protagonists since the days before the internet, before I’d any idea what sex was, and when I believed I was the only little girl whose imagination worked like that. How am I supposed to stop now?

I try to squeeze in writing between a 6-day-a-week job in Customer Services. Yayz!?! My romance tales contain an unholy concoction of fun and fantasy (dragons, fairies, elves, and mermen, anyone?) alongside a strong dose of angst and hurt/comfort.

I am a bit of a social media recluse (sorry!) but I love to connect with readers. You can email me at kayberrisford @ yahoo.co.uk and I lurk on twitter a little – @kayberrisford

 

Links to Kay’s work:

Amazon 

Less Than Three Press 

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