Featured Author: Kayla Krantz

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Proud author of Dead by Morning and The Council, fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all time inspiration mixed in with a little bit of Eminem. When she began writing, she started in horror but it somehow drifted into thriller. She loves the 1988 movie Heathers. She was born and raised in Michigan, but traveled across the country to where she currently resides in Texas.


  1. When did you start writing? I never chose to be a writer; I think it chose me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always written something down. I wrote my first short story when I was four years old, and I’d write pieces all throughout elementary school that my principal always wanted to read. As I got older, my stories just got more elaborate. I think it was around middle school that I realized just how much joy it brought me. Stephen King has always been a huge influence on the way I think and the way I write.


  2. What is your inspiration? My inspiration comes from a number of places: music, sleep, or just deep thinking.


  3. How did you come up with your stories? My stories come from a variety of places, mostly dreams.


  4. Where is your favorite place to write? I change writing places all the time because I find that routine dampens my writing spirit. If I had to pick one spot though, it’s my kitchen table where I can look out the window and daydream.


  5. Do you plan your stories before starting? I used to be a big plotter when I first started writing. When beginning a new book, I write a rough outline but I almost never follow it through the end. The guide mostly gives me an idea of the things that I want included in the story and by no means controls the outcome.


  6. When did you first consider yourself an author? I think I began to think of myself as a real author when my novel Dead by Morning was picked up by a small publishing company over a year ago. Even though I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, it’s hard to think of myself in terms of being a real author. I think all writers have this struggle though.

  7. Do you see writing as a career? I think one day with enough work, it’s definitely possible.


  8. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? The biggest challenge of being an author to me is simply getting the time to write. Life can be hectic sometimes so there will be days or even weeks that pass without me getting the time to write which can be bad if I leave off in the middle of a scene.


  9. What was the hardest part of writing your book? The editing. I have a tendency to use a lot of the same dialogue tags and actions and ensuring that I don’t use the same one too many times in one book can be exhausting at times.


  10. Can you share a little of your current work with us? Here’s a small piece from my current WIP, The Elemental Coven:

    I pick my bangs out of my eyes and give the snake another glare before patting Kado on his side. He’s nowhere near relaxed but stops barking to look at me and I incline my head to the side. Kado growls once more at the snake but obliges and jumps down. I let out a breath of air through my teeth, snake forgotten as I prepare myself for the pain of stepping onto my bad leg. Like my side, it’s tightened up, making progress to the door considerably difficult. I stop a few times, worried I’ll collapse but Kado offers his support to help me across the room. I pet him appreciatively, already glad for his companionship. When I go to open the door, he pads away to growl at the snake again. When the door opens, it reveals Maverick on the other side.
    “You’re not Willow,” I say, folding my arms across my chest as petulantly as possible.
    Maverick smiles. “Your observation skills are remarkable.”
    “Oh yeah? How are yours?” I ask, stepping aside to reveal the snake and Kado. “See anything wrong with this picture?”
    Maverick glances over my shoulder to the bed before grinning. “Gave you a fright?”
    My lip twitches as I bite back my rage. “You guys could’ve warned me about the snake.”
    “But then it would’ve taken the joy out of the meet and greet!”


  11. Do you have advice for any other writers? Develop the toughest skin you can manage and then some. Writing is a hard business, and on most days you’ll want to bury your head in your pillows and stay there but there is light at the end of the tunnel if you have the determination and willingness to put in the effort it takes to get there. Just remember to write because it makes you happy. Don’t lose sight of that.


  12. Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers? I appreciate every single person that takes time out of their day to read my work and support me. Writing is hard so having people who are there for me on days when I want to give up makes all the difference. Without my readers, I’m nothing.

 

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Read our review here Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz

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Read our review here Survive at Midnight by Kayla Krantz

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Survive at Midnight by Kayla Krantz

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This is an amazing book to follow after the first two. Personally, I didn’t read either, but I didn’t need to. This is one book that gives you all the details you need to truly enjoy it. There was plenty of back story and the history was easy to follow. While I wish I had been able to start from the beginning, I’m still excited that I got to read this one.

Luna is probably the loneliest girl on the planet. Only a few years out of high school and pregnant with no friends. Why? Because mostly they are all dead. Murdered in numerous and vicious ways. Even the relationship with her mother, Rose, is painfully strained. She spends her days lamenting the loss of her loved ones and developing a connection with her baby. The father is her mortal enemy, so it’s not an easy thing to do, but she grows to love her baby immensely.

So much happens in this book that it is hard to discuss it without giving anything away. Suffice it to say that it’s a roller coaster of emotions and jumps from one “No way!” moment to the next. I wondered through the entire book whether what was happening was real. It seems her enemy is not exactly who she thought he was and that revelation has dire consequences. Chance, the villain from the previous books, did a marvelous job at isolating her and destroying everything of meaning in her life. He had a grand exit in the second book, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of Chance.

The story does an incredible job of taking someone who is despicable in every way and whose past behavior can only be described as pure evil, and turning them into someone human and a person to sympathize with. It is not a task accomplished right away, though. So much goes on that the reader must grow along with the character to get the real emotion behind it. At times it is very difficult to read and disturbing doesn’t quite cover it. The question is who is Luna really. Who is she becoming? Was she always destined to become an extension of Chance? Can she turn around from the path she has started down? The answers are only found at the end of the book, when your jaw is on the floor and you feel Luna’s pain and desolation.

From the very beginning I was sucked in. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and I only saw three ways out: prison, asylum, death. The author proved that I wasn’t thinking outside the box and I was relieved to discover that it had the perfect ending. The story remains consistent from start to finish and carries you through Luna’s journey as she evolves. There were several issues that caught my attention. The story is definitely not your everyday tale with realistic interactions, but the fantastic never bothers me. It was the little things, like Rose expecting her daughter to pull herself out of her grief in a matter of weeks, or an obstetrician doing house calls in the matter of fifteen minutes. If only that was true, then a pregnant woman’s experience would be much easier. It was only these moments of un-believability that interferred with the flow of the story. Keep in mind, though, that I’m a stickler and pay attention to the little things.

The grading:

  • Genre and general reading age – Paranormal for adults. Definitely not for teens.
  • Level of sexuality – None. Her pregnancy is already a done deal when the book begins.
  • Is there graphic language? Nothing that impacted me or my reading experience.
  • Did I cry? No, but I felt her sorrow and her confusion acutely.
  • Did I laugh? Absolutely not.
  • Is this part of a series? You bet. This is book three in The Rituals of the Night series. Book four is due out later this year.
  • Level of character development – Luna has a complete makeover. Throughout the course of the book she becomes an entirely different person. It is a fantastic example of how a character can start out as one person and, through internal and external forces, do a one-eighty.

This is a suprising and chilling tale. Do not approach this book lightly and prepare yourself for many shocking moments. I love Luna and the way she is torn between her old life and her new. At times it felt like Stockholm syndrome, but she ultimately chooses who she becomes. The ending is satisfying and this is a book that I would gladly read again. I was so engrossed that I cannot give it anything under ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars. Well done, Ms. Krantz.

Available here on Amazon

Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz

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Luna is a high school student who doesn’t fit in with her classmates. She has one friend, Violet, who has been her BFF since grade school. Then there is Chance, the most popular boy in school, who attracts girls like moths to a flame. His favorite activity is stalking Luna. While Luna cannot stand him, Violet yearns for him to notice her, but he constantly seeks Luna out; after school walking home, in class where he pokes her with a pencil until she acknowledges him, even showing up at her home. Eww. Not only does he give me the creeps, he creeps her out, too, with his non-stop sneaking around and perpetual smirk.

Luna watches with helpless anger as Chance encroaches upon her life. He visits with her father, Dave, who then encourages her to show some interest in Chance. He lies to Dave and soon she finds herself in trouble with her father and pushed into Chance’s waiting arms. Well, it all just goes downhill from there. Obviously, there’s something seriously wrong with Chance and she desperately needs to be freed of him.

On top of that, Violet quickly becomes jealous and their friendship comes to an end, leaving Luna feeling completely abandoned. To add even more creepy, Luna begins having dreams and Chance is in every one of them. Her father eventually insists that Luna go out with him, since he’s such a fine fella. When he takes her to his home, she finds proof that he is a Satan worshipper. Thankfully, Max, someone she’s known for a very long time, enters the picture and enlightens her as to Chance’s super scary interest in the supernatural and explains her dreams. Chance has a plan for Luna and he is never going to let her go.

This book is obviously written for teens and I think they would enjoy it. Personally, I found it repetitive and the editing started to break down in the last few chapters. The facial expressions of the characters were rather limited. For example, there was a whole lot of glaring, pinching the bridge of the nose, cold stares, etc. Chance is a deadly dude and I’m surprised by the fact that he threatened many girls, yet not a single one had a parent or friend they could turn to in their time of trouble. I was further dumbfounded, when Chance turns Luna’s own father against her. He was a huge failure as a parent and apparently none of the other characters even had parents.

Enough of what I disliked, here is what I did. Although the characters did not evolve during this book, Luna was a steadfast friend, but to no avail. She was considered a non-entity by all her classmates and, other than keeping her head down 100% of the time, she didn’t seem to let her confidence drain away under so much negative attention. If you have to have a scary character, Chance is your man. Evil, evil, evil. How anyone slept with his presence in their dreams, is beyond me.

Now, for the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – paranormal/suspense for older teens.
  • Level of sexuality – none.
  • Was there graphic language? Mild, if any.
  • Did I cry? No.
  • Did I laugh? I didn’t do that, either.
  • Is this part of a series? Rituals of the Night Series.
  • Level of character development – basically none.

There’s good and bad, like any book. Considering the target audience, I give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.

Available here on Amazon