It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an aspiring author who interviews her writing heroes, must fangirl over said heroes.
It is mind boggling sometimes to think about how choices we make, which sometimes feel ordinary, set us on certain paths to meet amazing people and begin new friendships. Some months ago, through social media, and simply because we are both homeschooling mommas who love writing, I had the pleasure to meet Candice. We instantly connected over our homeschooling life, but quickly dove into our shared passion for writing and clean YA fantasy.
Months later, I am so pleased to be part of Candice’s debut release, and cheer her on as her first book comes out into the published world. Unbetrothed, her Latin inspired YA fantasy releases tomorrow, February 8th, and both the story and cover are absolutely enchanting.
Around Agatha Sea, princesses are poised, magically gifted, and betrothed.
So, when seventeen-year-old Princess Beatriz still fails to secure a betrothal, her parents hold a ball. Forming an alliance could mean the difference between peace and war, but Beatriz doesn’t want just any suitor. She’s in love with her best friend, Prince Lux. Marrying Prince Lux will always be a silly dream as long as she has no magical gift.
Princess Beatriz will do whatever it takes to obtain a touch of magic, including making a deadly oath to go on a quest to Valle de Los Fantasmas. A valley where no one comes out alive. If she can manage to succeed, Princess Beatriz could have everything she desires and secure peace for her kingdom. If she fails, she’ll lose not only her greatest dream but also her kingdom, and maybe even her own life.
Doesn’t that sound like a story full of magic, adventure, love, and Latin sparkle? Let me tell you, it is. Princess Beatriz is a handful from the beginning, stubborn, opinionated, and a tad bit impulsive (or dare I say reckless?). But as the story progresses and she is forced by a magical oath to journey to Valle de los Fantasmas (the Valley of the Ghosts), Beatriz changes before your eyes, matures, and embraces her true identity.
I absolutely LOVED the Spanish-inspired setting, the descriptions of royal gowns that brought to mind images of traditional Spanish mantillas (lace veils) and peinetas, and the interwoven magic that felt so natural in the world Candice created.
I had the absolute pleasure to interview Candice for an Author Spotlight, and can’t wait to share her answers with you. So, without anymore blabbering on my part, here they are:
Why do you write?
I write stories for God’s glory. That’s the general answer. Specifically, I write stories for Christian teens to enjoy a fun story with Christian messages.
What/who inspires you in life (not in your writing, but in general)?
My grandmother and my mom inspired me. My grandmother with her faith in God up until her last breath. My mom inspires me with her ability to look persevere through problems and her fighting spirt.
What are some of your favorite things?
Family. I love family time, family parties and chatting with family on video chats. I also love time with friends. I’m a people person. There’s nothing better than sitting with a friend and laughing at an old joke. Can I say books? If I can, I just love getting wrapped up in other worlds.
What would your perfect day look like and how is it different from your actual everyday?
My perfect day would be getting out of the house and exploring a forest preserve with my family. Of course, my children would exceedingly curious, happy and obedient. Then we’d eat some homemade dish, relax, and play games. This isn’t far off from what days off look like. The only difference would be that my children don’t always follow the plan.
If you could invite a group of writers (dead or alive) to a tea party, who would it be?
I would invite J.R.R.Tolkien, Francine Rivers, Jane Austen, and Lisa T. Bergren. I love and respect these authors’ work.
I was able to ask Candice two bonus questions. First, since Unbetrothed is a book with magical characters, I asked Candice if she could have one magical gift, what would it be and why? And second, I also asked her what top advice she had for teen writers. Her answers will be included in my February VIP Circle Email (ahem newsletter, which I don’t like calling newsletter, here’s why), which I send on the third Saturday of every month. You can sign up for that here.
Candice’s book truly is as enchanting and fun as its author, and I hope it makes you smile as much as I did. To celebrate its release I will be hosting a super exciting giveaway until February 25th (U.S. Only). It will include:
- A signed copy of her book.
- An exclusive Unbetrothed epilogue.
- A bookmark, 2 postcards, 2 stickers.
- A really gorgeous golden pen with flowers and see-through casing that I just had to add because it is perfect with the theme.
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And if you want to collaborate with me don’t be shy. I love to work with fellow writers, spotlight authors, and host writing challenges. I’ve also been known to swap short critiques on occasion. Reach to me here.