Magic of the Solstice – Melissa Barker-Simpson and Gina Briganti

Thank you for hosting us, Debbie!


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Today we are luck to welcome two guests on the Magic of Solstice blog tour.


Melissa Barker-Simpson has been writing since, well…since she was knee-high to a grasshopper. She often looks back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at her inexperience, she is reminded that she has always lived in other worlds.

Her first novel was published in 2008, and she loves nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside her head invariably pull her in different directions, so although she tries to work on one thing at a time, those who know her would tell you it doesn’t always work!

She has a full-time job which, though does not involve writing per se, incorporates her love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, she gets to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.

She has two beautiful daughters who bring her great joy. They also keep her grounded, because otherwise she would have…

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Saunders’ Choice by Gina Briganti Book Trailer

What do you think of book trailers?  Do you watch them to feed your love of a book, or a book series?  I do!  I love seeing a visual component for what is normally a construct of my imagination building on an author’s words.  I love seeing what the author’s vision is of their story.

They’re also just plain fun to put together.

I hope you enjoy my vision of a book trailer for Saunders’ Choice!

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The Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writer’s Tour Continues With New Excerpts From Changing Worlds!

Thank you to RJ Mirabal for hosting us on your blog.  We appreciate you!

When you visit RJ’s blog, you will be treated to two more great excerpts from Changing Worlds, and you will have the opportunity to browse RJ’s blog.  Maybe you’ll meet a new favorite author there!

Graphic by BluedarkArt

As always, thank you for reading,


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Author Interview – Melissa Barker-Simpson

I thought readers may be interested in hearing more about Melissa Barker-Simpson’s thoughts behind her new novella, The Contract, simply because I have questions for her, and I’m a reader too!


Melissa is kind enough to take the time to stop by and have a talk with us.  And please, don’t be shy.  If you have a question for Melissa, ask away!

Gina:  Where did you get the idea for your new series, The Fractured?

Melissa:  I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I really love wolves. So it’s not surprising that I’ve always wanted to write a tale about werewolves. Since my stories are character driven, I’ve had to wait until the right character came along. Last year, Maddison introduced herself to me and I couldn’t stop thinking about this feisty witch, who uses her hair as a weapon. As I got to know her, the world she inhabited started to take shape. Imagine my joy when I discovered she’s friends with a werewolf!
I knew she was a hunter, and no ordinary witch. As I began writing, I learned of the many adventures Maddy and her friends have taken together. So many adventures that I plan to share them through a serialised fiction project I have named The Collective. This is in addition to the Fractured.

Gina:  Do you have more books, or novellas, written for the series?
Melissa:  The first in the series, The Fallen is in the editing stage and is due for release in July of this year. I write other series too, so the second novel in the Fractured series won’t be released until the latter part of 2016.

Gina:  How many novels and/or novellas do you have planned for the series?
Melissa:  At least three novels, but that isn’t set in stone.

Gina:  When did you know that you wanted to write this series?
Melissa:  As soon as I spent any time with Maddy! Around the time we started thinking about our collaborative project, The Fallen was almost complete. I knew Maddy would be perfect for the novella in our anthology, so I guess I have you to thank for all the time I’ve spent with her over the last few months!
Gina:  I’m always glad to help!

Gina:  How did you go about writing
The Contract?

Melissa:  I’m not much of a planner, but I knew that I wanted to write a story which showcased Maddy and her wicked sense of humour. She often leaps into situations without thinking, and I had a clear sense of the trouble she might get into. From there I let her battle her way out of it!

Gina:  Do you have a favorite scene from
The Contract?

Ooh, I really like that question! My favourite scene is the moment Maddy comes face to face with Grendel, the dwarf who is after her blood! I haven’t finished with him yet, he’s one of my favourite characters and he deserves his time in the spotlight.

Gina:  How attached do you get to your characters when you’re writing about them?
Melissa:  They’re like my children! I feel everything they feel as we take the journey together; the hurts, the joy, the pitfalls, the triumphs. I find it really difficult to let them go – which is probably why I’m juggling so many series!
Gina:  I had a feeling you would say that!

Gina:  What did you think of the collaborative aspects of publishing your first anthology?  Hint – I had a lot of fun with it! 
Melissa:  I absolutely loved it! I’m lucky because I got to take the journey with a friend, and I had so much fun: writing; collaborating; hashing out ideas; creating the finished product, and most of all chatting with you each step of the way. Anytime you want to start planning Changing Worlds 2, just let me know!
Gina:  I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.  We definitely have some planning to do for the next anthology!

Gina:  What is your next release?

Melissa:  The Fallen, which is due out in July, as I said. In September 2015 I will be releasing Brothers in Arms, the third in the Morgan and Fairchild series.

Gina: Oh, yay!  I’m looking forward to both of those releases!  Thank you for sharing with us, Melissa!

The Contract is available in paperback, from Kindle, and from Smashwords.


Bio:  I’ve been writing since, well…since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I often look back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at my inexperience, I am reminded that I have always lived in other worlds.

My first novel was published in 2008, and I love nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside my head invariably pull me in different directions, so although I try to work on one thing at a time, those who know me would tell you it doesn’t always work!

I have a full-time job which, though does not involve writing per se, incorporates my love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, I get to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.

I have two beautiful daughters who bring me great joy. They also keep me grounded, because otherwise I would have my head in the clouds permanently!

Connect with Melissa:

Subscribe to her blog:
Visit her website:

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It’s Release Day for Changing Worlds by Gina Briganti and Melissa Barker-Simpson!

What started as a desire to collaborate with another author turned into a dream of satisfying proportions.  Some would say I’m easy to please, and though at times I know they’re right, I am demanding when it comes to what I put my name on.  Melissa Barker-Simpson can back me up on this, I’m sure.  We are thrilled to our very tippy toes to share our creation, our first anthology, Changing Worlds.

Changing Worlds Cover 2

Melissa and I each wrote a story for one of our series.  I chose to set my story entirely in the Dreaming for the first time, and see what Velvet (my lovely mermaid was introduced in The Dreaming, Natural Gifts book 1) was in store for where romance was concerned.  My story is titled Saunders’ Choice.

Saunders’ Choice

A Natural Gifts Novella

Saunders finds himself in a plane of existence called the Dreaming, where he encounters the most exciting creature he will ever meet. The answer seems obvious, but Saunders’ life hasn’t been easy.

Melissa’s story, The Contract, is a prequel to her new series, The Fractured.  I’ve had the pleasure of reading it several times, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

The Contract

Prequel to The Fractured Series

After the Demonic War, a battle which devastated the mortal realm, humans now stick to the world’s major cities. To even the score, and to protect those cities, hunters joined together to establish cells across the globe. Maddison Wood is part of an alpha cell within the north of England.

Though a skilled fighter and powerful witch, Maddison can be brash, and unpredictable. She has a penchant for trouble, and is usually the first to volunteer in battle. When she accepts an assignment to protect the Hympe King, Tobias Locke, Maddison’s fate becomes bound to his. As the stakes change, and she finds herself trapped inside the bowels of an enemy camp, Maddison must fight for her freedom, her independence, and for a prisoner who has not seen the light of day for almost a century.

Changing Worlds is available now from Amazon in paperback form, and from Smashwords, and Kindle, in eBook form. 

As always, thank you for sharing in my excitement!


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