I (Helyce) am so excited to bring to our Smexy Books readers this interview and exclusive excerpt from Graceley Knox, author of the Wicked Kingdoms series. Mark of Truth and Crown of Betrayal are available now with Throne of Secrets releasing on October 24. I have enjoyed this series so much I wanted to make sure that everyone who loves the fantasy romance genre can put this on their list of must read books! Ms. Knox has brilliantly crafted a story with such interesting characters in a beautifully built world that I have gotten lost in and wish was real. You will meet elves and goblins and all manner of fae as you move between the human and fae realms. There are kings and queens, traitors and tricksters, battles and alliances, and loyalty and love.
Welcome to Smexy Books Graceley. Thank you so much for taking time out of your writing schedule to be here with us today. We are so happy to talk with you about your books today!
Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a former Bostonian living near the beach who loves to read, write, drink coffee, and take a million pictures of my bengal’s on a daily basis. I prefer to speak in movie and tv quotes, and I’m constantly amazed at my ability to procrastinate on a deadline.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? I’ve always thought about it, or was told I should do it since I read so much. But it was about three years ago that I got serious about it. I was in a cab in Dallas Texas and an old friend asked me if I ever thought about it. And suddenly, I was thinking about it.
What are your perfect writing conditions before you sit down to write? Music? Snacks? Quiet?
I’ve got to have some form of caffeine, tea or coffee, music, my notebook, and my laptop.
What was the inspiration for the Wicked Kingdom series? Who is your favorite character?
My inspiration came from everywhere for this series. I’d read all the Fae books I could find, and I wanted to write a series that I’d personally want to read. Ta-da! My favorite character? It depends on who’s talking to me and who’s being rude LOL.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while writing this series?
Trying to make sure I give enough information but not give too much away. I’ve got a long arc planned for the whole cast and it’s a lot of moving pieces.
What, if any, research did you do in order to create the magical world in this series?
I typically base a few things off of obscure lore and mythology, so I have quite a few books on that stuff. But mostly, it was me taking what mythology I know, and putting my own spin on it.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Binge netflix or find new coffees to try (can you tell I’m coffee obsessed?). Right now I’m LOVING Grimm and Wynonna Earp. They’re my go to shows to watch over and over again.
Excerpt from book three, Throne of Secrets:
“What’s wrong?” I wrap my arms around his neck and press my front to his, hugging him. He’s so strong for everyone around him that, even while he’s telling me that it’s okay to ask for help, he forgets to ask for it himself.
“Why do you think something is wrong, mo grá?” He flashes a smile at me, and as always it dazzles me. “Can’t I just be ready to check something else off of our to-do list?”
“You’re tense. And while I’m ready to check everything off our list, I also want to make sure that you’re okay. You’re busy doing everything, including keeping me from fraying at the seams, but it doesn’t seem that you’re taking your own advice.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about, little álainn.” Dare walks me backward while still holding on to me, his tone light and playful.
I try to shuffle with him as un-awkwardly as possible, but I give up and plant myself. “No. You don’t get to do that. It’s your turn to give what you need to me, and I will help you. I won’t break, Dare. I can handle whatever you need me to.”
He sighs. “Can we speak on it later?”
Should I push him? Should I let it go? Should I threaten him in some way to force him to let me help? I have no idea.
“I don’t know that I can wait for later, but if you need time to process whatever it is, then I’ll give it to you. I just don’t want the support to go one way here.” The thought that I’m only taking from him and not giving in return sends anxiety pumping through my chest.
“There are just a few things Odaine said to Puck and me before we got her out here and she shut her mouth. They were not pleasant things. And while I believe she had to pay for her treason, I get no pleasure from watching a life taken.” He frowns and steps back from me, the extra distance pulling at me like I’m tied to him with a string.
“I don’t think that you do. I never thought that.” I rub my hands against my pants before holding them out at my sides. “I’m at a loss here. I’m not sure how to help you right now because I’m not sure what exactly is wrong.”
Dare runs his hands through his hair, pushing it back until it’s off his face. “I’m not sure exactly what is wrong either.”
“So processing time?” I take a small step toward him and he doesn’t step back. The pressure in my chest eases a tiny bit.
“Yes, processing time. And then I promise I’ll tell you everything.” He smiles ruefully. “I doubt that you’ll give me any peace otherwise.”
I huff in pretend affront. “I totally would.” I tangle our fingers together and pull him toward the castle. He holds firm and I grunt with the effort to make him move. I watch his face and find him staring back at me. “What?”
He shakes his head. “Nothing. I just never knew that you would be someone I would need in my life. But now, I know that I would cease to breathe if you weren’t in this existence with me.”
My heart pounds fast, and my insides turn to mushy happy dancing gargoyles at his words. “I don’t have any pretty words to say back to that.” I wish I did, but he caught me off guard.
“You don’t need to. That right there is all I need.” He pulls me in and captures my mouth with his, our tongues meeting in a snag of warm and wet muscle. His fingers tangle in my hair until he pulls at little strands and I whimper against him, ready and willing for whatever he’ll do to me.
**I will pick one random commenter on Sunday to win a digital book from this series – winner’s choice! (although I do recommend they be read in order). Just leave a comment to be entered.
*******Edited to add – the winner is Kat T. An email has been sent :)