Calling All Cozy Fantasy Fans!

Earth tone cartoon image of diverse readers around a fireplace, surrounded by plants, books, and cats for a cozy feel. Text reads "Fireside Fantasy for fans of indie cozy fantasy."
A brand new community!

Hey, reader friends!

As I mentioned last month in my update post, the blog is here for updates and discussions rather than regular posts, though I will still be sharing some book lists and thoughts on occasion. Here is the first, and I’m super excited for this one!

After the last few years of chaos in the world and the time I spent writing Pie-Jinks, I’ve really been getting into the cozy fantasy genre. And I’m finding that I’m not alone! People have been craving lighter and warmer fiction, and this genre really delivers! A lot of people are also new to it, but Legends & Lattes is a great example. Though that book is a high fantasy, there are plenty of contemporary settings as well.

And what I’m realizing is that there are a lot of us who want more in this warm subgenre, and many of us are hungry for community!

Because of all that, I recently started a new community on Facebook as a way to find more people who share my love for all things magical and cozy. I post 6 times per week to facilitate discussion and share new authors or books, and members are also welcomed and encouraged to share their own cozy fantasy posts. Author promotions are controlled, so everyone is there for the same reason: to gush over the books and all things warm and cozy!

If this sounds like something you would enjoy, I encourage you to come on over and join! Please take a moment to answer the questions – this helps me learn more about you guys, pick up some new authors for the list, and keep our group as safe as can be from the bots.

I’m so excited for this chapter moving forward. I hope you will come embrace cozy fantasy with me!

Take me to the group!

The Story of Pie-Jinks

Just where did Selina go and what has she been doing all these months???

Hi everyone! I know it has been literally MONTHS since I posted here. I’m so sorry about that, but hopefully this small post and my plans for the next few will make up for some lost time.

The last time I posted was mid-August… just 2 weeks before the launch of the Pie-Jinks series! I probably should have kept you all more informed with those goings-on, but to be perfectly truthful and transparent, I was just so overwhelmed with things that the blog kind of fell by the wayside for a bit. It wasn’t my first choice, and I didn’t want that to happen, which is why I’m back now!

So what went on over these last few months?

Well, in my personal life, my day job was crazy. I work as a scientific writer in biology industry, and we had a major project going on that was keeping me locked in a conference room all day, every day, for about 3 months. That’s a lot of time where my brain was pumping out critical thought, writing, and critical discussion in collaboration with other people. As an introvert, that is tough, too. I loved working with the coworkers I was assigned with, and the project has so far been really rewarding, but it definitely took up a lot of mental energy.

Then of course I was working on Pie-Jinks with my spare time! So let’s take another look at that, for those of you who aren’t part of the newsletter (you can get regular updates there, in case I ever go silent on the blog again).

TL;DR version: It. Was. Amazing.

And now the long version.

Image: A fall forest background with the cover for Vanilla Bean Vampire and the words "Welcome to Cider Hollow, where the pies are magic and the people are disappearing"

Pie-Jinks was my most ambitious project ever. It was born out of that second novella I ever released, Pumpkin Spice Pie-Jinks. You know, the one inspired by Hansel & Gretel, but from the witch’s perspective?

Turns out, I loved the cozy world I’d built, my sweet and anxious, magic-mood-hair (read the books to know what I mean) pie witch, her bubbly, bubblegum BFF, and the sweet, gentlemanly love interest I’d created.

And so did A LOT of you. That novella did better than everything I ever put out. So of course, I wanted more and so did many of you.

But Pie-Jinks is at its heart a love letter to autumn, which meant I would have to release in the autumn. And I have learned by now that my previous methods were not working to find the right readers and engage them. I knew I would need to work hard and bring a nice chunk of stories pretty close together.

But this? I could do this.

So I made a plan: write the first 3 books in a 6 book series and release them during the fall. Postpone the other projects and focus solely on this project that gives me (and many others) so much joy. (Don’t worry: if you love This Curse and the Seasons of Magic, I will be concluding all of those in 2022)

I started in January. I drafted 3 novels in a row, sent them to the editors, got GORGEOUS covers by Savannah at Dragonpen Designs (as always), and completed the ebooks and paperbacks.

I hosted a launch party where I gave out some treats and we played some games.

I even gave away preorder goodies! (If you missed those, there will be more chances at the swag another time)

And you know what? I found my people. I found my niche. Pie-Jinks became what is known as cozy paranormal, a genre I found myself in love with. It filled a need in me for things that are soft and warm while still being fun and adventurous. It gave me sweet romance and close friendships to read. It brought me comfort during a crazy, stressful time in the world.

And it brought me so, so many readers who loved Reese’s tales, wanted more, and most importantly, were touched by the words I wrote. I had a bunch of readers tell me how Pie-Jinks was exactly what they needed, either to get through a personal tough time or to deal with the chaos of life in our world right now.

And that was exactly what I always wanted.

If you haven’t gotten to read these books yet, the first three are all available now in both ebook and paperback! They are definitely my favorites, and I hope they become special to you, too.

You can see the entire series on the series page here, or find more vendors using the links here!

Image: dark kitchen background with the covers for the first three Pie-Jinks books and the words "Welcome to Cider Hollow"