This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stephanie will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Description of Divided Fates
Ten days after the battle in the north, the world of Erez has been thrown into turmoil.
Princess Isemay awakens – injured and weak – in a strange village. Branded an outcast because of her mixed heritage but forced to stay against her will, she must choose to conform to the sha’nidow way of life or face the consequences. When a mysterious stranger arrives with a heartbreaking message, Isemay’s hope abandons her to a fate far more destructive than she was prepared for.
Princess Alena finds herself the queen of the northern kingdom – powerful, adored, alone. Fighting inner demons of darkness, she travels south to visit her brother, now the king of Neilos. But fate will not allow her to find peace, and she must decide whether she will side with those she loves or the one who holds ultimate power.
Niri Flesh-cleaver, granddaughter to the elusive Choshech and heir to the nashech throne, has everything she could want – and yet her heart yearns for more. Torn between her mother’s orders and a forbidden love, she quickly realizes she cannot have both. Driven by brokenness, she will seek to destroy the one person she blames for Choshech’s demise – and find that perhaps her heart was the better guide all along.
Three women. Three separate journeys. One path to find that fate will divide even the closest of bonds.
Read an Excerpt of Divided Fates
Niri bellowed her rage as she slammed onto the training field, her knuckles cracking into the ground, scattering the thralls asunder with the force of her landing. She stood and faced them, along with the elders, her eyes blazing with the heat of her hatred. She would use that hatred, oh yes. She would thwart it to her advantage. Jordan Allemand would die before her. She would watch his broken body bleed out over the blade of her labrys before a fortnight had passed. “Winged thralls that bear my mark, you are summoned.”
She strode across the ground, her tail flicking with adrenaline, knowing her thralls would obey without question. When she led them some distance away, she turned.
Seven of her thrall slaves took a knee before her, their wings folded neatly against their spines. “What is your bidding?” they murmured as one.
Niri spread her wings, allowing the wind to lift her a few feet above the ground. “Choshech commands.”
“And we obey.”
“We fly to the southwest to avenge his curse. We find Jordan Allemand as he searches for his lost future queen.” She parted her perfect rosebud lips, her triangular fangs bared in a snarl. “There he will meet his end.”
Interview with Author Stephanie M. Allen
What inspired you to come up with the idea for your book?
The Dueling Fates trilogy idea was born in 2002, if I remember correctly. I was driving home from college, and I got a very clear vision of twins. One had green eyes and one had blue eyes. They were separated by a continent, and I thought to myself, “This is an idea that I need to go with.” And so, I began developing the story. It was very different when I first started thinking about it and fleshing it out. The twins were not princesses and King Jordan was merely a stable hand. The story evolved over the years, and I had many unfinished versions. It wasn’t until 2015 that I came up with the version that exists today. It still took about four years to get it published after that, but it’s definitely worth all the sweat, blood, and tears that went into it.
Do you have a favorite scene? If so, what was it?
In Divided Fates, my favorite scene is the very last one! After two books, we finally get to meet the Eagle, and he shows up at a very dark time in the story, when all hope seems lost. He is going to play a huge role in the final book and I cannot wait for everyone to get to know him!
Is there a character you’d trade places with? If so, why?
I would love to trade places with Syra, the ruler of the Nashech. She is really the embodiment of evil in this story, so for me to take her place would be amazing. I’d be able to do a lot of good in her place. Honestly, I’d also trade places with Isemay because I know how her story ends and she is the character I relate to the most.
Any challenges in writing this book?
This book was the most difficult one for me to write. I poured so much emotion into the story and the characters and, in a way, it was very draining for me. It took me a long time to complete the first draft of the manuscript, but when my beta readers read it, they understood just how much of my heart and soul and poured into it. I think it was also hard for me to write because it’s the second book of a trilogy, and I liken it to The Empire Strikes Back in Star Wars. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. It’s one of the many places I draw my inspiration from. In that particular movie, it ends on a very bittersweet note with no conclusive answers, only questions. This is very similar to that in that there are lots of questions that still need to be answered. And leaving a book like that is always hard for me to do.
How would you describe a perfect hero?
The perfect hero is actually a man who is imperfect, but strives to do the right thing. King Jordan from this book is a good example. He is someone who always strives to do what is right, however he isn’t perfect. He has thoughts and some behaviors that show he is a man, at the end of the day. But when it comes down to it, he will protect those he loves and those who need to be protected. One of my other favorite heroes is Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Perhaps he’d be considered more of an anti-hero because of his actions, however I love him. He’s vulnerable when he needs to be and acts the hero – or the villain – as called for. Above all, though, he’s willing to sacrifice people’s opinions of him for the greater good.
How would you describe a perfect heroine?
A perfect heroine would fall into the same category as a perfect hero. Isemay from this book is by no means perfect. She makes plenty of poor decisions and mistakes. However, her heart is in the right place, and she will right any wrongs she’s committed. I don’t really have a favorite heroine. There are so many fictional women that fall into this category. I love that literature has more portrayals of strong women characters.
When you’re not writing, what are you up to?
I work as a full-time teacher during most of the year. I teach 7th grade English Language Arts. When I’m not teaching, I’m usually spending time with my husband of thirteen years, my two kiddos, and my doggo. We live in Wyoming and we love to do outdoor things during the summer.
What do you love most about writing?
Writing allows me to enter into another world, one that doesn’t exist. I actually have a theory – one that can’t be proven, but interesting to think about nonetheless. Sometimes I wonder if authors are actually able to peer into other dimensions or into the multiverse, if you will. Somehow, we’re able to see what’s happening and we’re merely reporting the events of that world. Authors will often say how they feel like their story is writing itself or the characters are telling them a story. What if all the characters we know and love actually exist in some capacity? Interesting to think about anyway.
Any tips to share with someone who wants to be published?
Yes – NEVER GIVE UP. The road to publishing can be long and stressful. It can also be painful to get rejection after rejection. Before getting Dueling Fates and Divided Fates published, I self-published a four-book Young Adult fantasy series because so many publishers and agents said “No.” And sometimes, that’s the right move for any given book. But definitely keep pushing your manuscript. Sometimes it takes 1,000 “no’s” before you get the “yes”!
Do you have a favorite writing environment?
I love to write at my kitchen table next to all my bookshelves. If you follow me on TikTok (@authorstephaniemallen), you’ve probably seen them! My books are always a good place to pull inspiration from. There are days when I sit there just skimming some of the books I own so I can get out of a writer’s block. I also love to reference certain characters when I’m writing. Though I never copy characters or stories, I will often think, “This story would have been better if this character made this choice instead.” So I’ll add it to my own story.
How do you go about choosing the names for your characters?
Honestly, the simplest answer is Google. I use the internet for inspiration all the time. If I want my character’s name to mean something specific, I will look up names in other languages that have that meaning. I also tend to pick a culture for each people-group in my books. For example, the kingdom of Neilos is inspired by Greek names. The kingdom of Nesher is inspired by Hebrew culture. The sha’nidow are inspired by Native American and Hebrew cultures as well. It really varies how I select names. Sometimes, I’ll go to a fantasy name generator and pick something that sounds like it would be a “dragon” or a “fairy” name. Those are the fun ones.
Do you have a favorite genre you like to read (other than the ones you write in)?
I’m a fantasy girl through and through. I love to read it and write it. I also love to read romances. Those are usually a good pick-me-up when I want something light to read that will guarantee me a happy ending. I don’t usually pick a story based on genre though. I’m involved in Book Tok pretty heavily and I like to read what’s being recommended some of the time.
What other books have you written?
I have a four-book series that I wrote from 2014 – 2019. The books are called Harmony, Sealed Shadows, Clashing Fury, and Prevailing Light. A teenage girl finds a portal to another land and learns that she has magic. It’s has dragons, fae, enemies to lovers/fated mates, and was a whole lot of fun to write. I also wrote Dueling Fates, which released in 2020.
Do you have a favorite book (out of the ones you’ve written)?
Divided Fates, for sure, has become my favorite book that I’ve written. I also love Clashing Fury, which is the third book in my Harmony series. That one is very special to me because one of my favorite characters, Jason, has a big role in that book. And I just love him so much.
About Author Stephanie M. Allen
Stephanie M. Allen graduated from California Baptist University in 2009 with a B.A. in English and a desire to share her imaginative stories with the world. She loves to write fantasy, particularly centered around young adults. Aside from writing, Stephanie loves to read, ride horses, and sing. She currently lives in Wyoming with her husband and two children.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Allen/e/B01LZGBRKL
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09X9PHJHF/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
Stephanie will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Goddess Fish PromotionsMay 23, 2022 at 8:14 am
Thank you for hosting today!
Stephanie M AllenMay 23, 2022 at 11:55 am
Thank you so much for this opportunity! I appreciate it 🙂
DeborahMay 24, 2022 at 5:07 pm
You’re welcome Stephanie. Welcome to the blog!
PiroskaMay 24, 2022 at 4:26 pm
The book sounds very intriguing. I love the great cover.
Stephanie M AllenMay 25, 2022 at 9:44 am
Thank you so much! Suzanne did a great job with the cover. She also did the cover for “Dueling Fates”, the first book.