It’s my stop with MTMC Tours to talk about LOVE / LUCK by Samantha Mackenzie!
One reason I was excited to read this was because it is….vampires but in AUSTRALIA! I also totally geeked out that it’s set near Byron Bay (I used to live in Lismore! So close!) and I barely ever get to see books set places I’ve been. It’s the story of Riley Quinn, who is entirely surrounded by the supernatural and also entirely uninterested in it. She knows her grandma is into grimoires and spells and wearing silver, but Riley is more keen to coast through life. She has Finn for a best friend (his family is also into the same brand of weird her grandma dabbles in) so they have a lot to connect with. Though they are not in love 😌👌🏻No way. Then everything changes when real vampires come to town and Riley is flung headfirst into everything she’s been trying to avoid.
Supernatural. Vampires. Romance. Despair.
If you love vampire books and small-town romances, this one is for you! It has a ton of Twilight feels, secret truths, and family-dynamics. While Riley is pretty chill and Finn is the careless surfer BFF, Seth walks on the page as a suave gentleman who can’t help but turn heads. (Also fyi vampires are not pleased about the Australian summer sun 😂)
Vampires are making a comeback with LOVE / LUCK and mixing the old faithful tropes with new twists and settings and characters you’ll want to learn more about!
There’s a giveaway to enter below! And also one on my instagram too 👀📚
Riley Quinn loves her quirky great-grandmother, but her superstitions are seriously irritating. Grams may believe in lucky silver jewelry and beautiful demons who hunt humans in the night, but Riley knows it’s all nonsense.
Until Seth Callaghan arrives in town.
Riley’s best friend, sexy surfer Finn O’Brien, begs her to ignore the new guy. Grams demands she stay away. Yet Riley is magnetically drawn to the sweet seduction of Seth’s charms.
But all is not what it seems. Soon, Riley finds herself swept up in a supernatural world beyond her understanding.
Secrets and lies.
Magic and power.
Vampires and temptation.
Life… and death.
As danger swirls around her, Riley’s loved ones fight to protect her from the darkness closing in—but only Riley can decide her fate. Torn between love and lust, loyalty and destiny, Riley’s survival isn’t guaranteed when she’s hunted by the devil himself.
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Samantha MacKenzie is a lover and writer of supernatural stories about magic and witches, vampires and demons—and the mortals they desire.
When she’s not lost inside the pages of her make-believe worlds, Samantha likes to sip on white wine sangria, make music playlists to match her (many) moods, and stare soberly at her ever-growing stack of the books she just had to have—but has no time to read. Love / Luck is the first book of her debut urban fantasy paranormal romance saga, Magic of the Vampire. Find her on Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook
Hi Samantha! Thanks so much for chatting with us about your debut novel, Love / Luck! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thank you for having me! I’m a debut Australian author, and a fan of all things magical and demonic. But I like my darkness with a side of light, so I prefer stories with lots of romance and loved-up angst. YA and NA are my favourites, because nobody does loved-up angst as well as older teens!
It’s always the best getting to talk to another Aussie author!! 😍🙌🏻 What are two inspirations behind Love / Luck?
Australia, to start. I wondered what it would take for vampires to live here, specifically in the subtropics, where it’s hot and bright, and everyone’s in shorts and on the beach more often than not. How would they fit in, and why would they even try?
And music. For this series, I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift’s Folklore album to get me in the zone. “Exile” especially speaks to the experience of Riley, Finn and Seth in Love / Luck, as well as what’s to come for them.
Tell us a little about your publishing process! How long did it take Love / Luck to go from seed of an idea to published manuscript?
The original idea was very different from what ended up on the page! It was a high fantasy concept around dreaming, but I couldn’t quite make it work. To distract me from the frustration, I started playing with other characters—I often write what I call “play” pieces between “real” stories to get through writer’s block or motivation slumps—which is how Riley Quinn and Finn O’Brien were born.
The play piece took on a life of its own, and it was just so fun to write. Seth Callaghan entered stage right and the story came together very quickly after that. But it was still 14 months from the original concept to publication date. A big portion of that time was spent wrapping my head around indie publishing, which has been a learning curve, so I hope the next four books in the series take much less time to get to the printers!
I love hearing book-origin-stories so this is fascinating 🥰 What’s your favourite thing about writing Riley Quinn?
Right now, it’s her potential. In Love / Luck, Riley’s become used to denying her desires. She disowns her intelligence and any hopes for her future because to be smart or ambitious would mean she’s meant for bigger things than the small-town two-bedroom house she shares with her grandmother, and there’s no way she’d ever leave Grams behind. She hides her love for Finn because she can’t believe he’d ever love her back. We see a glimpse of her fire in her commitment to Seth, but their relationship is muted by shadows and secrecy, and she’s barely more than a spectator to this new, terrifying battle between good and evil. All that’s about to change. Riley’s going to embrace her desires, defend them and pursue them—and with that pursuit, fulfill her destiny.
After reading that finale 😩👌🏻 I can imagine Riley is in for a BIG arc in book 2 with all these secrets revealed. Alright, but time for a very important question!! Do you have any favourite writing snacks/drinks? 👀
No! I’m the type of writer who opens the laptop, begins to write and then looks up eight hours later, wondering why I’m so hungry and thirsty!
Being super absorbed in your worlds is an amazing feeling though. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Not advice, per se, but I love this quote from Jodi Picoult: You can’t edit a blank page.
I’m the kind of writer who drags herself over the first-draft finishing line kicking and screaming, but dives head-first into revisions with buckets of enthusiasm. So, when I’m struggling to get the words down for the first time, I remind myself that done is enough, that something is better than nothing, and the fun part starts after the words—any words!—are on the page.
Oh I am the SAME. First drafts exist to torture us. 💀 Now what’s one thing we should know about a certain Seth Callaghan?
He’s complicated. The next book in the series (the prequel novella Want / Need), is written from Seth’s perspective, and it tells the story of the summer before Riley’s senior year, when the Callaghans first arrived in town. It’s been fantastic exploring Seth’s back story, exposing his secrets and explaining why he’s attracted to Riley.
So ready to learn more about Seth!! Now before we finish up, what’s something you’d like readers to take away from the story?
I read books to escape reality, and the ones that stick with me are those with characters I return to again and again. I hope readers of Magic of the Vampire have fun inside these stories, that they lose themselves in another world for a few hours, and that maybe they’ll revisit the characters for a feelgood mood-boost whenever they need it.
Yessss. I just know these books are going to leave readers feeling that way entirely! Thank you so much for chatting with us, Samantha, and sharing writing insights and secrets about your debut!!
Enter the rafflecopter below to win digital copies of Love/Luck & the prequel novelette Pure/Evil! This is open internationally & it ends on March 6th.
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