Mercy book release spotlight!

Let’s give a HUGE Happy Book Release Day to author, S.E. Clancy! Her new novella, Mercy, is out today! WHOOHOO! Today we will be reviewing Mercy and interviewing the author herself. So buckle up.

Everything changed for Mercy Benson after the argument with her husband. Leaving behind the taxi horns and clamor of New York, the young widow follows her mother-in-law to the sleepy mountain town of Fayette. Despite relatives taking her in, Mercy feels utterly out of place among the whispering pines and church-going folks.When she takes a job at the local restaurant, Mercy finds a piece of home in the owner, Wyatt Peralta. But she can’t claim it—someone broken and tainted would never deserve such joy.

I had the pleasure of reading S.E. Clancy’s contemporary novella, Mercy. It’s a retelling of the biblical story Ruth. I’m happy to be a small part in sharing this excellent book to all you readers. S.E. Clancy is no stranger when it comes to retellings. Her first novella, True, is the retelling of Rehab, which was released earlier this year. And let me tell you, that story is amazing. Be sure to check out True here .

But today is all about Mercy. When I first read Mercy, not only was I honored to get a peek at the author’s latest, but I honestly wasn’t too sure what to expect. When a reader gets the chance to read the author’s fresh out of the oven work, you don’t usually complain either. Nope. You curl in the blankets and allow the story to drift you into the world of the author’s imagination. What I can say for sure about Clancy’s latest, is that it’s a heart jerkier and kiss in the face, all the feel good emotions you could hope for.

Mercy is a well-crafted story about a young woman, Mercy, who’s been through quite the trauma. What connected me to the main character was her wounds. She is guarded and ridden with guilt and pain over her past. To add to the demons, Mercy is a recovering-alcoholic. She misses her husband and drinks to escape the memories. She feels broken beyond repair. Doesn’t that sound familiar? It was these struggles that I found to be relatable and moving. How often do we think we are too broken in this world? That we don’t deserve to be happy?

It isn’t until the very charming Wyatt Peralta, who becomes Mercy’s boss at her new job, steps into the picture and begins to slowly pull down the walls of Mercy’s guarded heart. I have to say, Wyatt is the best. S.E. Clancy did such a good job developing him. He’s a funny dude, bold too, and I enjoyed how you could never really tell what was going to come out of his mouth. Wyatt and Mercy played well off of each other. I’m betting readers are absolutely going to fall for Wyatt. Another character I adored was Adele, Mercy’s mother-in-law. Not only does Mercy’s walk leave us all with inspiration, but I also found Adele to be just as compelling. If her example doesn’t say don’t give up, I don’t know what does.

And if you’re still thinking about whether you should pick up this book or not then stop thinking!

Where to buy


Stick around for the interview with the author of Mercy. Enjoy!

Interview with S.E. Clancy!

Victoria: When you decided to retell the story of Ruth, what was the one thing you kept in mind that you knew you had to include in your version?

S.E. Clancy: Ruth was a stranger from a foreign land in every way. She came to a country she did not know the language or customs. It was like being dropped on a different planet.

Victoria: There are some really sweet dance scenes in this book that I ate up. Where those a particular joy to write? And do you enjoy dancing like the way Mercy does?

S.E. Clancy: Love, love, love writing dance scenes! I am a horrible dancer. I have rhythm, but rhythm does not have me.

Victoria: The way you described Mercy’s tats seem like they would be cool to gawk at in person. The tats on the cover are lovely too. I myself don’t have tats but I probably would if I didn’t have commitment issues, haha. Are you a tat girl or do you have any tats?

S.E. Clancy: I don’t have a tattoo…yet. I do plan on one or two. They are already designed.

Victoria: Oh wow! Now I’m even more curious. What traits do you and Mercy share?

S.E. Clancy: Skepticism. I have a jaded view of many things and tend to have snap judgments.

Victoria: Understandable. I can respect that. Sometimes authors can have the best typos/cut scenes. Are there any bloopers or deleted scenes you can share with the readers?

S.E. Clancy: Nope! I use the scenes that I typed. Pretty boring, eh?

Victoria: Hey, you make use of everything you have! What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

S.E. Clancy: I don’t think that “Persuasion” by Jane Austen gets the love it should. Ms. Austen was ahead of her era in wit (and that is what sarcasm was called back then!).

Victoria: I’m already super excited for your YA book “Victoria Grace, the Jerkface” but can you tell me if you have any other writing projects in the works? *leans in closer*

S.E. Clancy: I am working on my next YA novel. And due to recent requests, there may be a sequel to “Mercy” already in the works…

Victoria: All right then! Thanks so much, S.E. Clancy for your time! If you want more of her be sure to check out her social links below. Don’t forget to grab your copy of Mercy. Out now!

Bio: An adrenaline junkie, S.E. Clancy has skydived, worked as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, and raised two daughters with her husband of over 25 years in Northern California. A bit of a sci-fi nerd, geek, and self-proclaimed dork, there isn’t much she won’t try at least once … unless it involves mayonnaise, because that stuff is just gross.

S.E. Clancy’s social links:

Encircled Release Day Spotlight

Today is the day. April 16th. Let’s give a HUGE happy release day to Encircled! And to all the Ever Afters. We did it! We were crazy enough to see this thing through. We actually did it. Whooohoo! *insert so many fireworks*

I can’t believe after years in the making the day has finally come. If you would have told me this release of Encircled was going to happen three years ago, I probably would have rolled my eyes. It’s amazing how one idea has led to this, but isn’t that how these kinds of wonderful things happen? This is why it’s so important to chase our dreams and ideas. You have no clue where they could lead, and the only way to find out is to see them through. 🙂

So thrilled right now, and a little sad too. Happy that readers can finally enjoy our book, and kind of sad because that means now that Encircled is done I’m going to miss all the Encircled email exchange between my author friends who’ve each poured so much into this book. Jebraun Clifford, E.J. Kitchens, Laurie Lucking, J.M. Hackman, and S.E. Clancy, I couldn’t be more proud of these talented ladies, or more honored to have worked with them. You guys have no idea how much I’ve learned from you guys, how much I’ve learned from this project, or how much I look up to you all. *gets misty eyed* Ah! Okay. I’ll stop with the sappy stuff for now. Right now, I want to tell all the readers that if you haven’t already gotten your copy, to do so now. It’s hard to be disappointed with a collection like this. Each and every story has something special to offer fans of retellings.

As one of the authors in Encircled, one of my favorite parts about working on this project was getting to read every story first-hand. Whoohoo! First dibs! I can’t say enough goods things about these stories, but let me just pick out a few, hehe. 😊

A Spell’s End (The Nutcracker and the Mouse) by E.J. Kitchens. Such a cute story. Fantastic retelling. This historical fantasy is sure to set you back in its rich setting, and magical realms. All while charming you with an adorable soldier doll. 🙂

Edged in Silver (Snow White) by Laurie Lucking. Ah, I just love that title! This magic portal escape is packed with plenty of romance, enchantments, and humor that’s sure to keep you zipping across the pages.

The Songbird’s Citadel (The Nightingale) by J.M. Hackman. There’s plenty of awe in this story. Action. Engaging plot. You can tell so much imagery and strong storytelling went into it. Ugh! Such beautiful descriptions.

Beyond the Stars, Past the Moons (East of the Sun and West of the Moon) by Jebraun Clifford. A well-crafted sci-fi story that is the perfect balance for Encircled, giving us that extra flavor. This space adventure will keep you both gripped and guessing. I myself wasn’t too familiar with the original story, but I love how it’s lesser-known stories like this will get the curiosity of the reader and hopefully get them to look up these stories for themselves. 🙂

The Last Mrs. Bluebeard (Bluebeard) by S.E. Clancy. What a doozy. A thrilling read, and difficult to pull away from. I loved the suspense, the chill-inducing feels because of a crazy turn of events. And, ahem, I would recommend reading this one in the dark. *grins wickedly*

And finally, my own, A Heart’s Desire (Beauty and the Beast) You, my friends, and readers alike, will get extra bonuses on this retelling below. Because why the heck not, right? 🙂

Fun Facts about A Heart’s Desire

Original title and concept

Before A Heart’s Desire was the final title decision it was first called Ice Blister. I kid you not. The reason it was originally called that was because like in the movie Frozen, I originally wanted a frozen heart concept. I wanted Beast to be cursed with a heart that would slowly turn into a popsicle as his days were numbered. But, I did not go down this direction for obvious reasons. It did seem too similar to Frozen.

Biggest struggle

One of the biggest struggles I remember having with A Heart’s Desire was dealing with the curse. I could not for the life of me come up with a solution on how Beast would break his curse. I knew I wanted to do something different away from the 1991 Disney movie, which I used heavily as my reference, but I was just coughing up blanks. I think it wasn’t until I came up with the lake of roses scene when things started to tie together.


Speaking of the 1991 Disney movie, which is my absolute favorite Beauty and the Beast story, I also used the classic story Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve as reference. I recommend it to all readers to at least read it once. Yes, it is extremely different than from say Disney’s vision, but it’s fun to pick out the differences and kind of get an idea about what is and what isn’t working. Another movie favorite is La Belle et la Bête. It’s a french movie so unless you know french you’ll have to watch it with captions. But it’s a really great movie with a twist. Highly recommend it.

Deleted scenes

I had one scene that I wish I could have included. I was not to go over 13k so there was no way I had room for any of these additional scenes. But at least I can show one here. Here’s a deleted scene of Beast introducing Desiree to his horse. POV is Desiree.

Another deleted scene I had enforces the piece above. The concept took place while Desiree was staying with Beast in the castle. A horrible snow storm blew in. Beast watches in horror as it tears away at his barn. Inside his barn is his four beloved horses he grew up with and a goat. As he tries to fight the storm to reach his distressed animal friends the gargoyles grab him and drag him back into the castle. Now it’s up to Desiree to rescue his beloved animals. (This was supposed to be the first introduction to the creepy gargoyles, the second being at the lake, which is included in the final version) I thought the whole scene would’ve been cute after it was all said and done. Plus, it would have shown how much of an animal lover Beast was. But since he has Isa, I guess it still worked out. 🙂


Most ideas came from a dream I had years ago. Back then, I had originally wanted to do a whole Beauty and the Beast novel retelling.

Aside from dreams, my other ideas came from Pinterest, which you can view the board of A Heart’s Desire by clicking this link.

The time it took to write A Heart’s Desire

I believe it was two months to write the rough draft. If I remember correctly (correct me if I’m wrong my critique partners) I believe we gave ourselves a year to decide which retelling we were going to pick and write. Instead of using a huge chunk of that year, of course, I wrote the thing at the last minute. *face palm* This project was intimidating at first. I’d never done a retelling like this before. While I had some ideas, I didn’t know what to write exactly or how to write it. Connecting the dots was quite a process, but so worth it once everything started coming together.

Favorite scenes and regrets

I loved writing that scene that took place in Finn’s room. For some reason the entire Desiree and Finn scene completely spilled out at three in the morning. Why these ideas come to me at ridiculously hours, I have no clue. All I know is I had to write it when I was feeling it. The end result is something I’m so pleased with. My hope is readers love it too. Another favorite scene would be the music room scene where Beast shows Desiree his piano. The gargoyle scene to mention another. Speaking of, my only regret is that I wanted more gargoyles, haha! Seriously, those flying creatures are what got me excited to do a Beauty and the Beast retelling (saw them clear as day in a dream, carrying Beast away) Kind of wish I had more scenes with them. I mean just think of that and more Isa! Wouldn’t it be nice to see Isa and the gargoyles duking it out over Beast? Haha, maybe that’s another story I’m flirting with and should probably leave it alone. 😛

Other retellings

I’ve never really done a big retelling like I did with A Heart’s Desire. I did a micro short many, many years, The Tortoise and the Hare retelling. I may need to dig it up and ship it somewhere. Another one I started a while ago was a dark, modern Alice and Wonderland retelling. That one for sure I need to see through. It’s still not done, lol.

Other anthologies in the future

I think I can admit there’s been some talk about it between the Ever Afters. Nothing set in stone yet, but I do believe without a doubt that we’ll probably get together again for round two. What it will be, I have no idea, but I’m so looking forward to the future, to that and other personal projects of mine.

Final Thoughts

I think that’s all I have for now. If you have any additional comments/questions feel free to ask! I hope you’ve gained a little insight, and more than anything I do hope you pick up a copy of Encircled. Again, a huge Happy Release Day to Encircled and all the authors associated with it. We did it!

Where you can buy.

Amazon US:

Amazon AUS:


Barnes & Noble:

Apple books:

#fantasy #sci-fi #thriller #humor #romance #reseaseday #encircled #anthology #books

Fractured Ever After + Encircled Giveaway

The Ever Afters have teamed up with the Just-Us League to host an epic giveaway celebrating their upcoming fairy tale anthologies! Enter for a chance to win one of FOUR sets of prizes!

Grand Prize (U.S. residents only)
– Two paperbacks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled)
– Book cozy
– Slipper ornament
– 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design)
– Set of four signed illustration prints
First Prize (U.S. residents only)
– Two paperbacks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled)
– “Fairy tales do come true” charm bracelet
– 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design)
– Set of four signed illustration prints
Second Prize (international)
– Two ebooks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled)
– 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design)
– Set of four signed illustration prints
Third Prize (international)
– Two ebooks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled)
– Choice of 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design) or set of four signed illustration
Click this link to Rafflecopter

Check out the books below


Experience six of the world’s most beloved stories in a whole new light! From historical to futuristic, these retellings will take you to an enchanted forest, a cursed castle, and far beyond.
Uncover secrets of a forbidden basement, a hypnotic gift, and a mysterious doll. Fall in love with a lifelong friend or a brand-new crush.

Venture to unknown lands on a quest to save a prince, a kingdom, or maybe even a planet.

With moments of humor, suspense, romance, and adventure, Encircled has something to offer every fan of fairy tales, both classic and reimagined.
This anthology features stories from S.E. Clancy, Jebraun Clifford, J.M. Hackman, E.J. Kitchens, Laurie Lucking, and Tori V. Rainn.

Fractured Ever After

Old classics are fractured into exciting new tales in this international collection of magic, mystery, and adventure.

Some heroes go searching for their happily ever after: a dragon cocoon hunter explores the dangerous woods for his sleeping beauty; a prince forces a perfect romance on an unsuspecting maiden; and when a girl leaves town, she must quickly decide to trust—or be wary of—a new stranger.

Destiny is thrust upon others: a disconnected emperor struggles to retain his title; a frog prince leaves his pond in search of answers; and after Rapunzel is rescued, a new quest is awarded to her savior.
Whether it is destiny or choice, all actions have consequences: sibling rivalry pushes one little piggy to extremes and a princess must choose to follow her heart or step up as future queen.

Prepare for an adventure as these eight fantastic fairy tales transport you to places beyond your imagination.

Fractured Ever After is the Just-Us League’s seventh anthology, an illustrated collection of fractured fairy tales. It can be pre-ordered here:

Encircled Blog Tour, Pre-Order Goodies, and Instagram photo challenge and giveaway

Here is the schedule for the Encircled Blog Tour! April 8th-18th

Monday, April 8th 

Tuesday, April 9th

Wednesday, April 10th

  • Guest Behind-the-Scenes Post with J.M. Hackman – Pam Halter
  • Guest Behind-the-Scenes Post with Jebraun Clifford – Iola Goulton

Thursday, April 11th 

Friday, April 12th

Saturday, April 13th

Sunday, April 14th

Monday, April 15th

Tuesday, April 16th

Wednesday, April 17th 

Thursday, April 18th

Pre-Order Goodies!

If you have already pre-ordered Encircled, please be sure to fill out this lovely form. So many awesome goodies so you don’t want to miss out! Everyone who pre-orders ENCIRCLED will receive a printable download of: 1. a gorgeous 5×7 “You’re never too old for fairy tales” graphic 2. an ENCIRCLED bookmark.

If you pre-order, you also go into the draw for an e-book of “To Catch A Magic Thief” by ENCIRCLED author E.J. Kitchens, a cute pair of hand-knitted socks, and a scrummy bar of Whittaker’s salted caramel & pretzel pieces in dark chocolate. Yes, this prize is open internationally!


Join us, the Ever Afters, in a fun photo challenge to celebrate the April 16 release of Encircled, an anthology full of fairy tale retellings.

#encircled starts April 1st through the 16th, the release date. We’re giving away an e-book and a bar of New Zealand chocolate. Ready for the details on how to enter?
RULES—please read carefully:
—MUST be following @authorseclancy, @jebraunclifford, @jm_hackman, and @laurielucking
—MUST leave a comment on either @jebraunclifford or @jm_hackman’s announcement post TELLING us your favourite fairy tale.
—MUST participate by doing at least ONE of the photo prompts (you don’t need to tag us in your post but be sure you use #encircled so we know to look for you).
—MUST BE 18 or have a parent’s permission
—TAG up to three friends in a comment on  @jebraunclifford or @jm_hackman’s announcement post. One entry per tag.
—SHARE this announcement post in your stories for 24 hours and tag both @jebraunclifford and @jm_hackman so we see it.
—EARN an extra entry for every day you participate in the photo challenge.
—SHARE the pre-order goodies post in your stories. You can do this every day for the length of the challenge with DOUBLE points on April 8th.
—Winners will be announced after the 16th of April.
This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram. No giveaway or private accounts. If you follow/unfollow, you won’t be eligible for future giveaways.

Encircled Cover Reveal!

Finally. It. Is. Here. Our Cover Reveal Day for Encircled! Me and my critique group have put together a collection of retellings. After years in the making we can finally share this beauty with you guys.

Beautiful cover by Maria Spada

Blurb: Experience six of the world’s most beloved stories in a whole new light! From historical to futuristic, these retellings will take you to an enchanted forest, a cursed castle, and far beyond. Uncover secrets of a forbidden basement, a hypnotic gift, and a mysterious doll. Fall in love with a lifelong friend or brand-new crush. Venture to unknown lands on a quest to save a prince, a kingdom, or maybe even a planet. With moments of humor, suspense, romance, and adventure, Encircled has something to offer every fan of fairy tales, both classic and reimagined.

Releasing April 16 so mark your calendars!

This anthology features stories from S.E. Clancy, Jebraun Clifford, J.M. Hackman, E.J. Kitchens, Laurie Lucking, and Tori V. Rainn. Links available to pre-order! Paperback links will be available closer to the release date. Tip: You save if you pre-order. Another tip: You become my new favorite person when you order now. 😊

Amazon US:

Amazon AUS:


Barnes & Noble:

Apple books:

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#fantasy #sci-fi #thriller #humor #romance #coverreveal #anthology #Books #Amazon #Kobo #Goodreads