April 04, 2013

Author Spotlight with Shayne Leighton

Hey everyone! Today our Author Spotlight is shining on author Shayne Leighton.We have an interview with her, some quotes from her soon to be released book and some about her books! Here is the first book in this series.

When one human stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of overcoming them in this coming-of-age modern fairytale may result in war between light and darkness.

Abandoned as an infant in Prague, naive and strong-willed Charlotte Ruzikova was raised by one of the last Vampires left alive. As a human, she knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe, where Witches drew spells of enchantment, Phasers threw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. Charlotte has lived her life in the dark with her Guardian, content to having him to herself and reveling in his attention, until she's realizes she wants more...

Resident medical doctor and Vampire, Valek Ruzik fears the day his ward would come of age and blossom into a fine woman, and he is forced to confront his own motives as time is of the essence once his past catches up to him, and their lives become endangered...

As genocide and war threatens their secret society, the dictator in power is ready to wipe out Valek's race, but Charlotte will not allow that to happen. Fighting for the only one she's ever loved and truly believed in, she will do whatever it takes to save their love...before the sun comes up and light takes over.

Can you give us the background for this series? Of Light and Darkness is the twistedly dark, coming-of-age story about Charlotte Ruzikova, a mortal found at infancy by a Vampire, and brought up among the monsters and the darkness. The Of Light and Darkness Series takes place in Prague and other parts of the Czech Republic and is a modern-Gothic fairytale with Vampires, Witches, Elves, and giant creatures that are half spider, half elderly gentlemen who love tea and butterscotch. The romance is shy and sweet, though at times very sensual and deep and there is definitely a lot of adventure and magic. Of Light and Darkness also features the classic sort of Vampires that readers find in the Anne Rice, Vampire Chronicles, and Dracula. Charlotte must fight for her life as well as the love of the one she loves, and do it before the sun comes up! 

Which one of the characters is most like you? I think there are different parts of me that live in each character, but definitely Charlotte and I are very similar. That is quite a shocker, I know. We are both very child-like, innocent, and naive, but we also definitely both have a dark side. Charlotte is kind of what I would like my alter ego to be. Similar to myself, but braver and a tad more sinister. And European. Europeans are just cool. 

What kind of research did you do for this book? The main research I did when working on the first and second Of Light and Darkness books, was studying people I know. A lof of the characters are based off of people in my life, so I studied their traits to add them into the story to create rounder characters. Also, I did a lot of research on Slavic and Germanic folklore. Being that OLAD takes place in the Czech Republic, I wanted to take their myths and legends and stay true to them while I was building the world for Of Light and Darkness. 

What makes your book(s) different from others in the same genre? While there are many Vampire tales in the New Age, paranormal genre, Of Light and Darkness definitely sets itself apart because I involve many other types of magic and creatures, other than just Vampires. I sort of take magic as a whole and mix it with human reality to create an atmosphere that the reader would believe might actually exist. I always like books that make magic possible in reality. I just think they are more fun to read. Also, Of Light and Darkness is much darker and I will admit, more disturbing than a lot of other YA and NA novels. The themes are a bit more twisted and more adult and I definitely set out to write something controvercial. I get reactions from readers that range all over the spectrum, and I think that is fun. I have not come across a lot of other books in the same genre that are similar to OLAD. 

What is the hardest part of writing for you? The hardest part of writing for me is keeping continuity. Of Light and Darkness is a very intricate story and there are a lot of little details to remember. Different ticks different characters have. Things that happen. I have a lot of ideas, so its hard to remember an idea I have stared early on in the novel, and then remember to build on it and bring it to a conclusion later. I find myself constantly going back are reading prior parts of the story to make sure everything flows the right way. 

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question? I have always wanted an interviewer to be brave enough to ask me about the gross factor -spoiler- of Valek and Charlottes relationship. I get a lot of reviews that say the book and the writing are good, but they could not stomach the relationship between Charlotte and Valek. My answer is this. Valek was never really her father figure. Yes, he took her in and brought her up in his home, but Meredith really did a lot of the rearing when Charlotte was younger. It says that in book one. Also, Valek is about 150 years old. He is still old fashioned. Back in his day, some men had wards. Some of those men married their wards. It was considered a fairly normal thing to do. That is how he things of Charlotte. They are not related at all. He does not age. She never called him dad. lol. He simply had to wait for her to grow up. Those feelings were dormant until she became an adult. In my opinion, it is no more icky than when Jacob imprints on Nessie in the Twilight Saga. And again...the controversy is a lot of fun. So I appreciate it. Hehe. 

You have several different kinds of paranormal creatures in this series. Are vampires your favorite kind of creature? I love Vampires. I just think there is something so sexy about remaining young forever. I just love a guy who is dark, brooding, and seemingly dangerous. Vampires are just cool and a lot of fun to write, so I would definitely say they are my favorite. Though, I definitely love giant spider grandpas and enchanted scarecrows as well. 

Which character of yours would you want by your side in a battle? What an awesome question! Definitely Valek, I think. He is both lethal and cunning. His wits are very sharp and he things on his feet. He is quite a powerful guy. But also, Aiden. He is ruthless and would not back down in the face of the enemy. I know he would do the job well to win. 

What are you working on now? Currently, I am finishing up the first draft of Book 3 in the OLAD series, and beginning to plot Book 4. I have lived the past two months in the Czech Republic, and being within the surroundings of my story has been very inspiring. 

Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it? Another awesome question! I think, through Charlottes eyes, I taught myself to be more of a fighter - to be more brave. I am the type of person that HATES confrontation. But when someone is doing wrong by you, you simply must stand up for yourself. Living through all of the difficult things Charlotte lives through while I am writing, I think I subconsiously absorb some of her fire. 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? For those of you who have read and reviewed the first book, thank you so much! Even if you did not find that it was your cup of tea, thank you for your readership. I appreciate your reviews and critique! For those of you who have loved it, and there was a lot of you, thanks to you as well! I LOVE hearing from you, and please never hesitate to get in touch. I love it when someone gets excited about the story that I believe in so much. I look forward to what everyone thinks about Book 2, which is releasing July 2nd!

Months after their brutal victory over Aiden and his hierarchy of Wizards, Charlotte and Valek have returned from Prague to their home in the Bohemian Occult City. However, this time, they are joined by their new band of misfit, magical friends. In the light of day, all seems to be at peace now that the Regime has been toppled, and the coven of rogue monsters has finally found their freedom. But Charlotte soon discovers that much like her adopted Vampire family, she has developed a strange addiction of her own. Her new disease is destroying her from the inside out, and Valek finds himself at a loss as he defies all odds to save her life. Danger continues to lurk around every corner and they realize that their happily-ever-after has not ended so happily after all, in this highly anticipated sequel of the Of Light and Darkness series.

“Death, at that moment, felt so undeniably good that I opened my arms wide and welcomed it.“ - Aiden - Prologue

“I love when you look at me like that,” Valek chuckled. His claw grazed over her cheek, making the hairs rise on the back of her neck. He pressed his cool lips to the pulse throbbing at the base of her throat and whispered against her skin. “Like you’re afraid of what I’ll do next.” -Valek - Chapter 1

That was exactly what happened when you’ve been bullied too much, he thought. Those morons, they had it coming. He sucked in a deep breath of air as realization slowly set in on what he’d just done. “Holy crap.” -Nikolai - Chapter 2

“My dear…if you ever wish to flee a nightmare, all you must do is turn on the light,” he whispered. -Mr. Trinozka - Chapter 4

It is very strange to live in a house where almost everyone in it wants to eat you, Charlotte mused. -Charlotte -Chapter 5

“You should know by now, it’s impossible to lie to a Vampire, Lottie. At any rate, I’d sooner sever their heads than let them fix both their addictions and yours.” -Valek -Chapter 7

“Listen to me carefully now, human. And answer me honestly.” Aiden began again. “Do you wish to live?” -Aiden -Chapter 8

“I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough. I’d ask you to hit me, but I fear you might take that request a tad too literally.” He snickered. -Lusian -Chapter 9

We would like to thank Shayne Leighton for being with us today! Be sure to check her out at the following links.
My Website with Blog - www.ShayneLeighton.com

Book Series Website with Blog - www.OfLightandDarknessSeries.com

My Facebook Fan Page - www.Facebook.com/shayneleightonfans


  1. I can't wait for this book to come out. July 2nd seem like its a million years away. LoL

  2. Yes, yes, finally!!! Loved book one, can't wait to read next one. Love your cover

  3. Yes, yes, finally!!! Loved book one, can't wait to read next one. Love your cover

  4. Thank you for posting Pam! Was a great interview!

  5. Great excerpts! I love the sense of irony the characters have about their world.