All posts by Robin Lythgoe

InstaFreebie Fantasy—Fill Your Kindle and Answer a Survey!

Just a quick post today—I recently created a poll for my readers. Do you read ebooks? Then this poll is for you!

Click this link:
Reader Survey!

I love getting to know you! I threw in some silly questions so we could both have fun.

There are also a bunch of giveaways going on—mostly on InstaFreebie, which I love. Be sure to check these out:

Fantasy Feast ebook giveaway Feb 8-16 2017

Fantasy Feast

The iF Book Promos page has fantasy books available HERE, and the offerings change frequently. Alas, there is no pretty picture to go with it.

SFF Book Bonanza

SFF Book Bonanza (Starts February 13th)

Did you answer the survey?

Have you got any questions for me? Ask me anything, but keep it clean, please!

A Drift of Quills: Care and Feeding of Fictional Characters

A Drift of Quills: Care and Feeding of Fictional Characters

Hello, and welcome back to A Drift of Quills! 2017 is already leaping out of the gate, but not to fear! We have our quills sharpened and our writing hats firmly settled! This month we are answering the following questions:

Do you plan characters in advance or in the moment, and how do you keep track of them?

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

For me, the answers are… Yes. And it depends! (Oops, my questionable sense of humor is showing!)

I tend to flesh out a few key characters briefly, but they grow from that organically. Every now and then random characters stroll into the story uninvited. I am not a fan of those “Get to Know Your Character” worksheets with a bazillion trivial questions, but I occasionally find them helpful when a necessary character refuses to take shape. What is this “shape”? Continue reading A Drift of Quills: Care and Feeding of Fictional Characters

Cover Candy #07: Three (more!) Beautiful Book Covers

Cover Candy #7

It’s time for a little Cover Candy book lovin’!

What does it say that I haven’t read any of these yet? They’re all on my humongous TBR list. That’s a step, right?

I usually end up spending more time writing than reading—though once I start reading I’m likely to keep right on going and forget to write! January has been rough. I’ve been sick. Ugh. On the bright side, it opened up some reading time, and my towering stack is now seven books (and a half!) shorter. I’m taking part in the 2017 Reading Challenge on Goodreads again—that gives me a push, too!

So. Covers.

This time I’ve taken a shine to covers with birds on them. As usual, I can’t vouch for the contents of the books represented below. We’re only here for the eye candy!

Cover Candy #07: Three (more!) Beautiful Book Covers
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Cover Stars

Warheart, by Terry Goodkind


~Terry Goodkind~
This is the UK cover. 528 paperback pages
(The US one is not as cool.)
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pub date: 6 Oct. 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Artist: (unknown)

Nevernight, by Jay Kristoff


~Jay Kristoff~
Again, a UK cover. 448 hardback pages
(Again, the US one is not as cool.)
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pub date: 6 Oct. 2016
Genre: Fantasy (caution, also listed as ‘erotica’)
Artist: (unknown)

An Inheritance of Ashes, by Lea Bobet


~Leah Bobet~
Kindle, 400 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pub date: Reprint edition 6 Oct. 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, YA
Artist: Naomi Chen

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Which cover is your favorite of the three?
Share a cover YOU love!
Do you have a favorite cover artist?

Book Review: Third Daughter, by Susan Kaye Quinn

3-star rating

This January has carried strains of deja vu… That is, virus strains. I was sick last January! Ugh. Dare I hope the last week of the month will improve?

On the bright side, feeling too unwell to write opened up a lot of time for binge-watching television and reading. I do like reading!

I am down to the “hard” letters in my A-Z challenge on Goodreads. I have U, X, Y, and Z to go still. Luckily, there’s no deadline, so I have peppered my recent reading with easy letters. 😄

“Q” gave me Third Daughter (The Royals of Dharia #1), by Susan Kaye Quinn…

This post contains affiliate links. (If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.)
Book Review: Third Daughter, by Susan Kaye QuinnREVIEW of “Third Daughter

I felt that the story was more romance than fantasy, but it manages to incorporate a fun dash of steampunk. The last third of the book was by far the most enjoyable, in spite of the heroine’s abysmal foolishness. (She was only 18, after all. Leeway must be granted.) The one thing that tripped me up and made me laugh repeatedly was the interchangeable use of the words “courtesan” and “diplomat.” I do not think that word means what you think it means… Or in this world, are the diplomats usually prostitutes? Do I detect a Freudian slip?

With an Eastern Indian inspired setting, the aforementioned steampunk, and a heroine torn between two charismatic men, there is plenty of room for fun and adventure. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, alas.


Third Daughter, by Susan Kaye Quinn

Sneaking out of the palace wasn’t one of Aniri’s best ideas. But she’s the Third Daughter of the Queen of Dharia—zero responsibilities and zero royal duties. She’s just the backup daughter, in case her older sisters’ arranged marriages—to take the crown or broker an alliance—don’t quite work out. But once Aniri reaches her 18th birthday, she’ll be truly free… and then she can marry the charming fencing instructor she meets for fevered kisses in the forest.

But then the impossible happens—a marriage proposal. From a barbarian prince in the north, no less. And if Aniri refuses, the threat of their new flying weapon might bring war.

So she agrees to the young prince’s proposal, but only as a subterfuge to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she doesn’t love. But once she arrives in the sweeping mountains of the north, she discovers the prince has his own secrets… and saving her country may end up breaking her heart.

This book is for you if you:

  • Want to read something light and uncomplicated
  • Like romance with a touch of steampunk fantasy

This book is not for you if you:

  • Are looking for complex magic systems or world-building
  • Know the difference between courtesans and courtiers

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Have you read this book? What did you think?
Have you read other books by this author?
Do you happen to know some good (fantasy only) books whose authors last names begin with U, X, Y, and Z? Share in the comments!

A Drift of Quills: 5-Year Plan (Characters in Question)

A Drift of Quills: The 5-Year Plan (Characters in Question)

This month A Drift of Quills has another character interview. It’s been awhile! Last time, our characters told us whether they were honorable or not. What fun that was!

This time around, we’re asking our characters another revealing question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

More fun! Let’s see where this goes…!

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

This post contains affiliate links— if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.


Let me introduce you to our guest Bairith Mindar, a principle character in my book Blood and Shadow. He is a nobleman by fate, by birth, and by strength of character. His slight build, angular features, and graceful manner suggest elvish descent. One does not ask such things in polite society. Not straight out…

Bairith confesses that he is a mage, though when asked what spheres he can manipulate he deflects the question with a smile and an elegant gesture. Everything about him is elegant, from the unadorned coronet on his head to his silk clad feet. From the way he holds himself to the way he speaks.

“You have a question for me,” he reminds, gentle humor in his eyes, as if he suspects his presence has me tongue-tied. As if to remind me that he will answer one question and one alone. It puts me at a disadvantage. He knows this.

If I pose another, I’ve broken my word. If I do not, I am weak and easily manipulated. Dull of mind. The entire exercise would be a waste of time if it did not plant seeds in the fertile minds of other would-be interrogators.

Blood and Shadow: A vengeful mage. A powerful gift. A naive youth. (Join the journey today!)“Only one,” I reply easily. No smile. No elegance, either, for that matter, but I have other weapons. “As Blood and Shadow draws to a close, you’ve bound the boy Sherakai to you with magic. His father has been sent packing—literally and figuratively—and his brothers are gone. He can’t trust the reinforcement he requested and you so generously supplied. The one person he does trust is dying. Yet you have significantly improved his skills and his knowledge. You’ve opened his mind to possibilities he didn’t know existed. With all the work you are putting into this project, where do you see yourself in five years?”

For a long time Bairith regards me without the slightest change of expression. Then he smiles again and an uncanny gleam comes into his eyes. Hungry and acquisitive. “Five years can be a long time in some places,” he murmurs. “Long enough to finish a shaping. To polish all the inappropriate edges and finish putting the final pieces into place.”

His words are innocent enough, but I know him. I know his kind. Hidden beneath the innocence and elegance is an unrelenting drive.

Bairith rises, brushes imaginary dust from his silken coat, and does that thing with his hand that I so admire. It is like a dance, fluid and demanding attention. It takes my gaze to the chair he’s just vacated.

“In five years I will have something better to sit in than that.” Inflection reduces the thing from furniture to kindling. “My honor will be avenged, I will be restored, and I will renew my father’s bright vision. Sherakai does not see it yet, but he will be my right hand. He will be my dragon. It is promised. Do you know anyone who’s fought a dragon and lived?”

I do, actually, but that’s another story…

A Drift of Quills: 5-Year Plan (Characters in Question)


Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
Parker’s website

It’s been a year since A Hero’s Curse made its debut and twelve-year-old Essie Brightsday stepped out from between the pages. To mark the anniversary, I sat down with her to talk about what she thought of being brought to life, what it was like having a talking cat and where she saw herself in five years.

She laughs at the last question and smoothes the red cloudsilk bandana that’s over her eyes… (Read about what Essie says!)


Patricia Reding

Author of Oathtaker and Select
Patricia’s website

This is Patricia Reding, coming to you with A Drift of Quills, and on behalf of Scripta Manent Publishing, where “Written Words Remain.” Today I bring you my long anticipated interview with the renowned Lucy Haven of The Oathtaker Series. Lucy, as many of you know, is the oldest living person known in Oosa, having survived the deaths of her two former charges. Of course, she has enjoyed the gift of “continued youth” since she first swore to protect a seventh-born of the Select, and will continue to do so for the remainder of her days.

I caught up with Lucy on her way out of sanctuary here, in the City of Light, following a Council hearing that the twins, Reigna and Eden, arranged after their return from The Tearless. (That is, following the end of Select: The Oathtaker Series, Volume Two). We’re standing outside the residence hall on sanctuary grounds. I must say, the Oathtakers in the city are all aflutter with news that the twins have been tested and have found Ehyeh’s favor! So, without further ado, here is Lucy Haven… (Read all about it here!)

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What question would you like to ask our characters?
Let us know in the comments below!

Chocolate Fix: French Silk Pie

Wow, it’s been a long time since I indulged in a Chocolate Fix here on the ol’ blog! It’s been crazy busy with the release of my book Blood and Shadow AND my short story collection, Obscurely Obvious. Book 2 of Sherakai’s tale is also in the works. Whew!

My after-Christmas “break” has included (more) shopping and some wall painting. More work! It’s about time we had some chocolate, don’t you think? I’m going to tempt your taste buds with a spectacular and wonderfully decadent French Silk Pie.

I got the recipe from Creations by Kara, and it is perfect. It is, as Kara promises, “smooth, rich, and creamy—a dessert of epic proportions!”

Yeah, all that and then some. YUM.

French Silk Pie

Go here for the fantastic recipe: French Silk Pie by Kara.

Images by Boyd Lythgoe, copyright 2016

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What are some of your favorite chocolate recipes?
Share below!

French Silk Pie

Free Books to Fill Your eReader

If you haven’t stumbled across iF Book Promos yet, you’re missing out. The site has a beautiful interface that allows readers to browse books by genre and, when you hover over a cover, the book’s description pops up so you can check out what it’s about.

Sweet, right?

As it happens, I have a book featured there for the next several days. Check it out. And check out the other books while you’re there. There’s some purdy stuff there sure to look great on your e-reader. And they’re FREE. Perfect!

Visit iF Book Promos

Wishing You the Happiest of Holidays!

I hope each and every one of you, no matter your religious affiliation or lack thereof, has an excellent holiday season and a happy, healthy new year!I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to believe we’re coming to the close of another year. 2016 has treated me well—and so have you, my awesome readers! I am so grateful for your support and good wishes. I lovelovelove hearing from all of you, so if you’ve been shy about commenting or emailing me before, DEW EET! Here, let me make it easy: This is my contact page. One little note can totally make my day—and I hope I can return the favor!

“One little note” is what started my friendship with Drift of Quills pals and fellow writers Patricia Reding and P.S. Broaddus. Another little note introduced me to one of my favorite beta readers, Alan Mills. Another ended up putting me in cahoots with author Leeland Artra.

I want you to know how important you all are!

You’re the only one that can be you, with all your unique experiences and outlook on life. You have your own abilities and talents, and when you share those with me, you make my life more full.

You is smart.
You is kind.
You is important.

― Kathryn Stockett, The Help

I hope each and every one of you, no matter your religious affiliation or lack thereof, has an excellent holiday season and a happy, healthy new year!I hope each and every one of you, no matter your religious affiliation or lack thereof, has an excellent holiday season and a happy, healthy new year!

Congratulations to Our Fantasy eBook Giveaway Winners!

A Drift of Quills is happy to announce the winners of our Fantasy eBook Giveaway!

2016 Drift of Quills Fantasy eBook Giveaway Winners

Grand Prize Winner:
Amy C.

Runners Up:
Julia M.
Jacqueline M.
Raquel E.
Alan M.

Each of the authors will contact the winners by email. Then it’s time to snuggle up with hot cocoa, Christmas goodies, and a brand new book!

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!

~From A Drift of Quills

Robin Lythgoe, fantasy author  Patricia Reding, Fantasy Author Parker Broaddus, Fantasy Author

Christmas Goodies for You!

Yes! Christmas goodies! Whatever holiday you celebrate, I have some bookish yumminess for you—and I’m excited!

First I want to remind you of the Drift of Quills holiday giveaway. There will be one grand prize winner and four runners up. Have you entered the drawing yet? Be sure to hop over to the giveaway page and sign in to the Rafflecopter thingummy. (That’s an official word, right?)

A Drift of Quills is giving away e-books! Enter now for your chance to win. Contest ends Dec 18, 2016


And then there’s the annual Fantasy Sci-Fi Network Christmas Sale coming this weekend and running through the end of the month. Check us out here: Fantasy Sci-Fi Network. But wait! There’s more! We’re also having a Facebook Event December 17-18, with tons of giveaways (I hear there’s a new kindle in the works…). Join us HERE on Facebook.


HAPPY CHRISTMAS to everyone!