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I’m pleased to welcome Lauren Sweet, author of the Bitter Snow series, for an interview as a part of her blog tour with Bewitching Blog Tours! A young adult paranormal romance novella series in nine volumes, Bitter Snow retells the fairy tale of “The Snow Queen”. The first installment is available now, with another two coming in a few weeks and the others to follow throughout 2014.

And what’s more, as a part of Lauren’s tour, there’s also a giveaway for a beautiful piece of jewelry that complements the Bitter Snow story!

Interview with Lauren Sweet | About Lauren Sweet | Connect with Lauren Sweet | Series Description by Lauren Sweet

About Bitter Snow: Volume One | Purchase Bitter Snow: Volume One

About Dark Solstice (Bitter Snow: Volume Two) |
About Twelfth Night (Bitter Snow: Volume Three)


Meet Lauren Sweet, Author of Bitter Snow

Many thanks to Lauren for taking part in this interview. First up, let’s start with some questions about her as a reader:

What types of stories do you enjoy most and why?

That’s easy to see if you look at my bookshelves! Fantasy and mysteries. I’ve always loved fantasy because it’s about good vs. evil, and a lot of fantasy stories still focus on qualities that have been sort of lost in contemporary “realistic” fiction — like courage, honor, heroism and sacrifice. And I’ve always wanted to believe in magic, supernatural creatures, and other worlds just around the corner… just the possibility of those things infuses everyday life with magic.

I’m not sure why I like mysteries so much. Part of it is the puzzle, trying to figure it out, but I think even more it’s the questions that mysteries and thrillers raise. What’s worth killing for? What’s worth dying for? How do we deal with the darker aspects of humanity?

Have you ever encountered a book you thought you wouldn’t enjoy too much, but that you ended up really liking? If so, what was it and what did you like about it?

When I was in graduate school getting my creative writing degree, our reading assignments were focused on contemporary literary fiction, which is not my favorite thing. (Popular/genre fiction was kind of looked down on.) So I wasn’t expecting to like much of anything we had to read for class, but I discovered a few favorites in spite of myself! One was Fingersmith by Susan Waters, which had a great plot, and a plot twist that made me sit up on my couch and yell, “No way! Get out of town!” I also loved Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It was a quiet, thoughtful book that I thought was just beautiful.

If you could pick one book (or series) and be transported into that story, which would it be and why?

I think The Hobbit. I want to go to one of those Hobbit parties! And meet the elves and dwarves. But not Gollum.

Do you reread books, or do you never go back to a story after you’ve finished it? If you do, what book have you reread the most and why?

I reread books all the time! I have ever since I was a kid. I had more time for rereading then, so if we’re just going by number of rereads the winner would definitely be a childhood favorite. Black Beauty was one, and Freddy and the Flying Saucer Plans, and The Ghost of Dibble Hollow. Two of which nobody has ever heard of, probably! The “Freddy the Pig” books by Walter R. Brooks were about a talking pig who was an inventor, entrepreneur and adventurer. The Ghost of Dibble Hollow was about a boy whose family moved into a house haunted by a boy his age, who helps him find a lost treasure. I still have them all on my shelf. (In fact, it may be time for a reread…)

How about as a writer? What can you tell us, Lauren?

What does your writing day look like? Do you have a certain time of day you prefer? Certain location?

My main day job is as a freelance editor, mostly working with other novelists. That can take a lot of creative energy, so I always try to do my own writing first thing in the morning, when my mind is fresh and not focused on working out the problems in other people’s stories. I have an office in my apartment, with an easy chair and ottoman where I write. I’m one of those people who puts the “lap” in “laptop.”

What do you find helps you most with writing/being creative?

Making myself sit down and work on a project on a regular basis. For me, writing is like working out — if I haven’t done it for a while, the first week or so is torture and I have to force myself to do it. Once I’ve been doing it regularly, though, I look forward to it, and find creative ideas and solutions to problems coming to me at all kinds of odd times, even when I’m not at my computer. I’m not one of those people who can wait for inspiration to hit, because if I haven’t been working regularly, the story recedes further and further out of my consciousness, and the inspiration never comes. I also find that a lot of times, I’m not creative until my fingers are moving on the keyboard.

What tricks do you use to keep yourself motivated?

Believe it or not, the timer! This is something I got from a writer friend, who used a timer to help her preschool son understand how long tasks and activities would last and when it was time to switch to a new one. She started using it herself, and became much more productive, so I decided to try it.

I’ll set the timer for a certain length of time — say, 45 minutes or an hour — and then all I have to do (or think about) during that time is my writing project. It keeps me from getting distracted by email or the internet, or thinking about the editing work I’ll be doing later. I might do two or three timer stints in a row, with a 5 or 10 minute break in between. Somehow having the timer on increases my focus. It’s unbelievable how much more I get done just with that one little trick.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just to write often and regularly! And to try to balance the discipline of having to write regularly and finish things, with the fun of creation.

How about some fun questions? Lightning round… go!

Morning person or night person?

Definitely not a night person! I’m useless after about 10 or 11. Even in college, the closest I got to an all-nighter was 3 a.m. (for classwork, anyway. Now if we’re talking parties…). When I was younger I was more of an “afternoon” person, but as I get older I’m more and more of a morning person.

Favorite time of year?


Favorite holiday?


Would you rather drink coffee or tea, or do you like both?

Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and evening.

Do you prefer cats or dogs?


Favorite television show?

Current favorite: Sleepy Hollow. (Love Tom Mison!) All-time favorites: Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis.

Favorite musical artist, song or album?

Artists: Emerald Rose. (Celtic/pagan/folk. Very cool.)

Favorite quote?

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Have any hobbies?

Figure skating — I take weekly lessons and even skate in competitions occasionally. I have the medals and spangly dresses to prove it.

Excellent! Thank you so much for sharing with us, Lauren!

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About Lauren Sweet

Lauren SweetI was born and raised in New Jersey, and books were a big part of my childhood. When I was about three and a half, I became obsessed with a Little Golden Book about a goat that gets a bucket stuck on its head. Since no one would read me the goat book as often as I wanted, I learned to read it myself — and haven’t stopped reading since. It was only inevitable that I turned to writing, so I could create more of the kind of stories that I like to read!

My favorite genres are mystery, sci-fi and paranormal/fantasy. I’ve always been fascinated by myths and fairy tales, and I love incorporating elements of ancient lore into modern stories. I have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and I currently live near Portland, OR, where I am a freelance writer and editor. My other esoteric skills include astrology, figure skating, and the ability to do a perfect split.

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Connect with Lauren Sweet

Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

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Bitter Snow Series Description from Lauren Sweet

“We are the rulers of Midwinter. In the most powerful cold of the winter, in the deepest dark of the year, we hold sway, and all of your hearth fires cannot stand against us. We are the winds that howl down the chimneys and extinguish your candles. We are the northern lights and the hungry wolves; the bitter crack of ice and the killing frost. The raging blizzard and the deep, soft, final sleep of those lost forever in the snow.”

Bitter Snow is a modern retelling of the fairy tale “The Snow Queen” in nine novellas. It’s my all-time favorite fairy tale, about a girl’s quest to save her childhood friend from the evil Snow Queen, through her courage, determination, and the strength of her love for him. Each volume is about 80-90 pages (32,000 words). The next three installments are scheduled for release in spring/summer 2014, with the final three to follow later in the year.

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About Bitter Snow: Volume One

Bitter Snow Cover

Bitter Snow Synopsis

Whatever you do, don’t open the door.

All Gilly Breslin wants for her sixteenth birthday is for her best friend Kai to see her as more than just the girl next door he’s known forever. So when she receives a mysterious, romantic invitation to meet him at midnight, she knows she has to go.

But it’s St. Nicholas’s Eve, the ancient festival of Bellsnichol, when demons roam the dark winter landscape. Tradition demands that everyone in the tiny town of Bremerton stay inside, doors shut tight against evil.

Gilly thinks it’s just a quaint old superstition. She has no idea that a malevolent power has been unleashed in Bremerton—with Kai as its target. But when she answers her door at midnight, her romantic date turns deadly… and she’s drawn into an ancient web of fear and darkness that threatens everything she loves.

Bitter Snow
Volume One

Lauren Sweet

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: December 5, 2013

Number of pages: 85
Word Count: 32,000

Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker

Places to Purchase Bitter Snow: Volume One

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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About Dark Solstice: Bitter Snow Volume Two

Bitter Snow Dark Solstice Cover

Dark Solstice: Bitter Snow Volume Two Synopsis

On St. Nicholas’s Eve, the festival of Bellsnichol, Gilly Breslin opened her door to an ancient evil. A demon queen who’s slowly destroying Gilly’s best friend Kai — the only guy she’s ever loved.

But it’s not just Kai. Every guy who falls in love with the Snow Queen turns evil — and every guy who sees her falls in love with her.

Gilly’s only hope is to enlist the secret guardians of Bremerton, who may hold the key to banishing the Snow Queen and her minions. But with the town erupting in violence and the demons’ power increasing as the winter nights grow longer, she’s in a race against time to stop them before it’s too late.

Dark Solstice
Bitter Snow
Volume Two

Lauren Sweet

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: December 21, 2013

Number of pages: 85
Word Count: 32,000

Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker

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About Twelfth Night: Bitter Snow Volume Three

Bitter Snow Twelfth Night Cover

Twelfth Night: Bitter Snow Volume Three Synopsis

Winter demons have invaded the tiny town of Bremerton, and sixteen-year-old Gilly Breslin is the only one who can banish them. The only problem is, she doesn’t know how.

Digging through the town’s historical archives, she and her friend Niko piece together clues to an ancient ritual to send the demons back to the dark realm they sprang from.

But the Snow Queen has plans of her own. Her power is greatest at the darkest time of the year, and her evil influence is spreading insidiously through the town, leaving Gilly wondering if there’s anyone left who can be trusted.

The demons must be banished by Twelfth Night, or the town will be lost. But to do it, Gilly may have to sacrifice everything that matters to her — including her soul.

Twelfth Night
Bitter Snow
Volume Three

Lauren Sweet

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: January 5, 2014

Number of pages: 85
Word Count: 32,000

Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker

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Necklace from Wirestorm CreationsWin Gilly’s necklace from Bitter Snow: Dark Solstice!

In folklore, iron protects against the influence of evil spirits. Handmade from real horseshoe nails and sterling silver by Connie Pardini of Wirestorm Creations, this necklace is a replica of the one Gilly wears to protect herself from harmful spells and illusions.

Open to US Shipping, retail value of necklace $80

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Many thanks to Lauren Sweet for participating in an interview as a part of her tour with Bewitching Book Tours! I hope you enjoyed meeting her. Go check out Bitter Snow!

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