A Place of Magic by Merrie Destefano - Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy - Halloween is the wrong time to visit Ticonderoga Falls. Dangerous monsters hunt in the nearby woods.

A Place of Magic
by Merrie Destefano

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Ruby Slipper Press
Date of Publication: October 12, 2021
Number of pages:320
Word Count: 73,000
Cover Artist: Elona Bezooshko, 
Psycat Digital Ink and Motion

Halloween is the wrong time to visit Ticonderoga Falls.
Dangerous monsters hunt in the nearby woods.

The Prey...

Maddie MacFaddin.
For her, the nearby forest holds many memories, some joyous, some forgotten. But she has no recollection of Ash, the dark, magnificent creature who saved her life as a child, or that his kind preys upon humanity.

The Monster...

Ash, a Darkling fae.
Trapped in Ticonderoga Falls for a century, he’s required to host a Hunt once a year. Then, hungry, shapeshifting faeries will descend upon the villagers and harvest their dreams.

The Hunt...

There are rules about harvesting humans; the poor creatures are so delicate. If you take too much, they’ll die. Without dreams, they perish. And perish they do—now and then—despite Ash's efforts to keep them safe. Then he realizes Maddie is the prey his unwanted guests are after. But, try as he might, this time he’s not strong enough to protect her. The entire village is in danger.

Soon the Hunt will begin. And no one will be safe.


Interview with Merrie Destefano

Welcome to JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder

Hi, and thank you very much for having me here today!

Tell us about your newest book.

A Place Of Magic has two main characters: Maddie, a down-on-her-luck writer who needs inspiration, and Ash, a Darkling fae trapped in Ticonderoga Fall by a century-old curse. Their paths cross right before a Darkling Hunt, a time when all hell breaks loose as the fae harvest humans for the dreams. Unfortunately, the humans don't always survive.

This book was originally published as Feast: Harvest of Dreams by HarperCollins in 2011. I’ve since gotten the rights back, have rewritten the book, and am now re-releasing it with a new title.

The story is part urban fantasy, part paranormal fantasy, and part dark fantasy, with a dash of romance between the scary bits. LOL. It’s set on Halloween, so I felt like this was the perfect time to re-release!

Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing your newest book?

A Place Of Magic was tricky because it has multiple points of view. I felt that each character had something important to bring to the story, like Thane’s desire for power and land, which grew out of his own poverty. He was cruel, but I could understand why he did what he did. And Elspeth, the teenage daughter of Ash, was caught between two worlds—human and fae. In the beginning, she didn’t like humans, but by the end she was willing to fight to protect them. So, there were many stories woven into one tapestry and it was a bit difficult to make sure I kept the pace right and the story interesting. I hope I succeeded!

Tell us a little bit about your writing career.

Well, it was a bit strange in the beginning. LOL. I sold four books, on my own, breaking all the rules, to Thomas Nelson. Then some publishing companies merged and those books never got published. Years passed before I got an agent and she sold my first novel, Afterlife, to HarperCollins. My first two traditionally published books were with HarperCollins. My next two traditionally published books were with Entangled Teen. Along the way, I’ve published multiple books on my own, and won some awards.

Also, I’ve worked in publishing for most of my life, during which time I was a magazine editor for Victorian Homes, Zombies, Haunted: Mysteries And Legends, and many other magazines. My awards include: 2021 Realm Award Finalist, 2019 Realm Award, 2019 Silver Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, 2019 YARWA Athena Award, Second Place, and 2010 Mount Hermon Writer of the Year.

They say Hind-sight is 20/20. If you could give advice to the writer you were the first time you sat down to write, what would it be?

Keep going! It’s a wonderful journey and you’ll meet so many fascinating people along the way!

What was your most difficult scene to write?

There’s one particular fight scene between the Darkling fae that was soooo hard to get right. Everyone had a stake in the battle, everyone had motives, and it was hard to make it all both clear and interesting. That sequence of scenes took a long time to get right, but I’m very happy with it now!

Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?

They are and they aren’t. I don’t plan them. But they’re definitely essential to my work because I’m a big picture thinker and there are always deeper levels to my stories. For instance, in this book, there’s a battle for power, but there’s also a deep metaphoric theme about how important our dreams are and that no one should be allowed to steal them from us.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m torn between finishing a vampire saga that I started and finishing a fairy book I started. I love them both and had put them on the back burner for so long that I almost forgot about them. But they each have such rich world-building and great characters that I need to bring them to life and publish them.

Is there a release date planned?

Not yet, but one of them might be done and released in 2022.

Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?

Every book I write has one character that stands out for me. In Valiant, it was Natalie. I loved that she was such a good friend to Sara. Natalie was always ready to fight, if she had to, and she was fearless.

Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?

I don’t remember titles from grade school, but in high school I loved anything by Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein. I also loved The Lord Of The Rings. When I was about sixteen, everyone I knew was reading that book and we would talk about it all the time.

What are your plans for future projects?

I’m still deciding which book to work on next. I have several that are calling my name, but sadly I can only write one at time! I’m torn between writing about fairies, vampires, or goblins, and then I’d love to publish another writing book or two or three. Time management is hard! LOL.

Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?

Thank you very much for helping me to spread the word about my new book! Also, please let your readers know that I have a few free giveaways. If they visit my website [www.merriedestefano.com], there’s a writing book and a free novella prequel to A Place Of Magic.

Good luck with A Place Of Magic, and thank you for being with us today.

Thank you again!


He nodded, head lowered. Then he lifted his gaze until he was staring into her eyes. One hand rested on her shoulder. “I won’t tell anyone your secret, Elspeth. You’re safe with me.”

Then he leaned closer, his scent overwhelming, his thoughts like the wind through the leaves, a wild rushing, his skin like the embrace of the forest. His lips touched hers and she could hear his heart beating. She slid her arms around his waist, leaning into the kiss, suddenly wanting more. She wanted to cast an enchantment, to lead him into sleep, to harvest his dreams. Wanted to walk into a dream with him, to see the hidden world on the other side of his eyelids. Wanted to know everything about him.

The kiss had only just begun and already she wanted another.

His arms were around her then, and the winter chill disappeared. In its place, fire crackled through her limbs, from her fingertips to her feet.

She could see it then, the world inside him. Tender and gentle as a spring morning, the shadows of night lingering at the edge of the wood, a handful of stars scattered across a pale sky.

She never knew that humans could be filled with so much magic.

It was her first Hunt and she had chosen her prey wisely.

About the Author:

Multiple-award-winning author Merrie Destefano writes lyrical tales of magic, mystery, and hope. Her traditional books have been published by HarperCollins, Entangled Teen, and Walter Foster, while her indie imprint is Ruby Slippers Press. Her novels have won awards in both the science fiction and fantasy categories.

She worked for Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, Engaged Media, and PJS Publications, and her magazine experience includes editor of Victorian Homes magazine, Zombies magazine, Haunted: Mysteries And Legends magazine, American Farmhouse Style magazine, Vintage Gardens magazine and founding editor of Cottages and Bungalows magazine. Her co-authored art books include How To Draw Vampires, How To Draw Zombies, and How to Draw Grimm’s Dark Fairy Tales. Her edited books include The Man God Uses by Chuck Smith, Oil Pastel Step-By-Step by Nathan Rohlander, and The Art of Drawing Fantasy Characters by Jacob Glaser.

Born in the Midwest, Merrie now lives in Southern California, where she runs on caffeine, and shares her home with rescue dogs and cats. And although she dearly loves science fiction, in her heart of hearts, she still doesn’t believe airplanes should be able to fly.

WEBSITE: http://www.merriedestefano.com/

BLOG: http://merriedestefano.blog/

NEWSLETTER: http://www.merriedestefano.com/newsletter1.html

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/merriedestefano/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MerrieDestefano

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Merrie-Destefano-127750623906184/

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/merrie-destefano

AUDIOBOOKS: https://www.audible.com/author/Merrie-Destefano/B0048L6NYO

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