Get to Know V.B. Lacey, Author of ‘Long Live’ Plus an Exciting Cover Reveal

Get to Know V.B. Lacey, Author of ‘Long Live’ Plus an Exciting Cover Reveal

Disclosure – All reviews and opinions, are my own. If you make a purchase through my referral links, I may earn a small commissions from Amazon, and/or other retailers at no extra cost to you.

Today, I have a special treat lined up just for you! Indie author interviews are back and I had the amazing opportunity to catch up with indie author, V.B. Lacey, the creative mind behind the elemental magic debut novel, Long Live.

Trust me, you’re going to love her, and the story and characters she’s created! We’re diving into the world of Iona and uncovering the magic behind her writing process. So, grab your favorite beverage and cozy up because this one’s a real page-turner!

1. Congratulations on the release and success of “Long Live”! Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the story and its characters?

“Thank you! Honestly, this question always stumps me a little, because I don’t have a specific anecdote or “lightbulb” moment to share. I’ve always wanted to be an author and have had snippets of stories and themes floating in my head over the last few years. One that kept calling to me was the idea of the elements of nature having personalities: what would they look like? Act like? Dream of? Be scared of? And from there, the elementals created themselves in my head, and the rest fell into place.”

2. “Long Live” is described as a New Adult fantasy romance novel. What drew you to this genre, and how did you approach blending these elements in your story?

“I mostly read NA fantasy romance, and I’m a believer in writing what you love. While the content of Long Live is appropriate for a YA/younger audience as well, the characters are adults in their early 20’s-30’s, because that’s what I identify with most right now and it was easy to draw on my own experiences and emotions to bring it all together.”

3. What was your favorite part of the writing journey for “Long Live”? Any memorable moments or milestones that stand out to you?

With the actual writing aspect, learning my characters was definitely my favorite part. I wrote 5 points of view, which is incredibly daunting, but each character was so vivid and loud in my head that it was easy to step into their shoes and tell their individual stories. A moment that stands out to me is the night I finished my first draft—I took a video and saved it so I’ll always remember that feeling. There’s nothing like standing at the top of the mountain and seeing how far you’ve come!

4. As an indie author, you have control over every aspect of your book. What aspects of self-publishing did you find most rewarding, and which were the most challenging?

All of the hype leading up to release day was so rewarding and encouraging—the cover reveal, the excitement over ARCs, and seeing Long Live start to pop up on my feed was unreal and very humbling.

The newness of this entire journey for me was challenging across the board, with trying to figure out marketing strategies, what resources to use, what to do when things started to fall apart, etc. I’m thankful to have made several wonderful connections with other authors who were there to offer support and advice when I needed, because without them, I probably would’ve had a breakdown!

5. Could you share some of the challenges you faced during the writing and publishing process, and how you overcame them?

One of the biggest challenges for my mental health in the entire process was the beta reading stage. Imposter syndrome and self-doubt starts to creep up when you hand your draft over to new people for the first time. I had to grow thick skin and remember that feedback is important, and that my book may not be for everyone. Along the same lines, once ARCs were out in the world and after pub day, I had to set a rule for myself to not look at reviews online—reviews are for readers, and it always did more harm than good to my mental health when I saw negative comments or critiques. Having a solid foundation of supporters and fellow indie authors to lean on was huge for overcoming the bad days.

6. “Long Live” is your debut novel. How did you feel when you held your book in your hands for the first time? Can you describe that moment?

I took a video of me opening the package with my first proof, and there really is no feeling like it! It was emotional and exciting, but also felt like a long time coming, and I have such a deep attachment to it that it felt like saying “hello” to an old friend.

7. Can you give readers a glimpse into the world you’ve created in “Long Live”? What makes it special and unique from other fantasy romance novels?

This world consists of 4 island kingdoms, each with their own unique landscapes and culture that I dip into a little bit in book 1. It’s a seemingly magicless world, until the main character learns of a history of ancient magical beings that used to live among the humans, and we slowly see more of those elementals and what their immortal lives have looked like. The magic is nature-based and ties very closely with their individual elements. I know elemental magic isn’t a unique idea and tons of amazing books include it! I hope that I added my own flare by tying their personalities so strongly to their elements and weaving the chaos and beauty of nature into their character traits.

8. Readers often enjoy knowing more about the characters in a story. Do you have a favorite character from “Long Live,” and if so, why?

It’s hard to choose, because I love them all for very different reasons! I think Aidan, the fire elemental, has always been one of my favorites because of his sense of humor and the way he views the world. He’s got a tough exterior, but is a complete cinnamon roll who loves a good dirty joke. But he’s got this complexity to him because, unlike the other elementals, there’s a part of him that fears his fire—and exploring the idea of needing that fire while also worried about how volatile it can be was fascinating.

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the dark god. But…spoilers. 😉

9. What themes or messages do you hope readers will take away from “Long Live” after they’ve read it?

The main female character, Isla, goes through a lot of anxiety and internal conflict over her decisions and things that have happened in her past. I think healing and coping with these dark thoughts is a major theme of both Long Live, and will be even bigger in the sequel, Forever Reign. The idea of corruption and power is also seen a lot with the elementals and their struggles. Many of these characters have dark pasts and have made huge mistakes that they didn’t think they could come back from, so the theme of forgiveness and change is one I really played into with them.

10. “Long Live” is a New Adult fantasy romance novel, a genre known for its passionate and emotional storytelling. Can you share a particular scene or moment in the book that was emotionally significant for you as an author, and why it had such an impact on you?

There were 3 times that I cried while writing this book. One was during chapter 5, where Isla recalls how she felt after her mother died and the process of grieving that she went through. I’ve never lost someone so close to me, so figuring out how to accurately depict what was going on inside her head was difficult and emotional. The second time was in chapter 29, still one of my favorite scenes to date (and we might be getting some artwork for soon…). This is where Kai and Aidan are opening up to each other about the sins of their past, and it was both heartbreaking and healing to write about such deep desires of Kai’s heart and the burdens she carried, and then having them come together and forgive each other with so much love was beautiful. The third time was the last chapter…but that’s a spoiler, so you’ll have to read and find out! But I was a wreck writing that scene.

11. What’s next for you? Are there any upcoming projects or ideas you can give us a sneak peek of?

I’ve recently finished the first draft of the sequel and final book in the duology, Forever Reign! This is set to release on April 23, 2024, and I’m so excited to finish their story. After the Elementals of Iona, I plan to write a Wizard of Oz meets Hunger Games fantasy standalone that’s been on my mind for months. I have big plans for this one!

12. Can you share a fun or interesting behind-the-scenes tidbit about the creation of “Long Live” that readers might not know?

Hmm…a small tidbit is that I changed several of the main characters’ names! Isla was originally named Leigh, and Brielle was originally Ava. I never felt that either of those names quite matched their personality, so I changed them when I was almost completely done with the first draft.

13. Finally, how can readers connect with you further, stay updated on your work, and get involved in your writing community?

Follow me on social media! My username is @vblacey.books on TikTok and Instagram. I have a newsletter that goes out once a month and gets exclusive access to cover reveals, new art, early chapters, and more. You can sign up for that here: Newsletter Signup Link


Long Live – Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Now, without further ado, it’s time for the cover reveal of the much-anticipated sequel to Long LiveForever Reign!

Cover Reveal for 'Forever Reign', the sequel to 'Long Live', by V.B. Lacey

This breathtaking cover was designed by Maria Spada (

Blurb (But beware – Spoilers from Book 1 ahead!)

Nothing could have prepared Sebastian and the elementals for what occurred on the beaches of Iona three months ago. In the aftermath of loss and betrayal, they’re left to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives, recovering in their separate corners of the world. That is, until the long-lost kingdom invites them back to their shores for a festival of peace.

Isolated to the spirit plane, Isla Vasileia has received a quest from the ancient gods.

Ever since Isla took the magic from the elementals, the balance of nature has been greatly altered. Violent disasters have wreaked havoc across the kingdoms, decimating villages and tearing families apart. To bring the world back into balance, what was taken must somehow be restored.

When Isla finds herself back on the beaches of Iona, she reunites with Bri, Sebastian, and the former elementals, and they are thrust into a world of secrecy, fear, and lies. Danger lurks around every corner, but so does new love and a chance for a happy ending. Isla is once again caught in a game amongst gods, racing against fate and time to save the kingdoms from destruction, forced to make a decision that will change her world forever.

One way or another, the end will come for all.

Tropes Include:

  • elemental magic
  • found family
  • “who did this to you”
  • ballroom scene
  • he falls first
  • “stay with me”
  • multiple POVs
  • no spice but heavy tension
  • witty banter
  • political intrigue
  • “touch him & die”

Forever Reign is the heart-pounding conclusion to the Elementals of Iona duology by V.B. Lacey. Book 1, Long Live, is available now, and Forever Reign will be released on April 23, 2024. It’s available to pre-order now on Amazon.


Will you be diving into Forever Reign when it releases next year?

Hidden Beneath The Embers by Fay Bec  Rerelease!

Hidden Beneath The Embers by Fay Bec Rerelease!

Disclosure – All reviews and opinions, are my own. If you make a purchase through my referral links, I may earn a small commissions from Amazon, and/or other retailers at no extra cost to you.

Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing author, Fay Bec right before the release of her debut novel Hidden Beneath The Embers. It’s been almost 6 months since HBTE was published, and Fay just released an updated version, aka Hidden 2.0! This exciting update includes a new gorgeous cover, added scenes (like 27k words worth of extra goodness, and yes there is some added spice!), as well as some fun interior changes. Check out the follow up interview with Fay to get to know a little more about Hidden Beneath the Embers, as well as the 2.0 version!


Let’s start with getting reacquainted with Hidden Beneath the Embers and the amazing characters!

  1. Which one of your characters are your favorite? And why?  Least favorite character, and why?
    Fay – My favorite character has to be Davyna. But that could be because I see so much of me in her. Ahh, there are a few…but I’d say Persephone takes the number 1 slot there!

  2. What is your favorite scene?
    Fay – Fallen Court ball. Epecially after the updates to this second edition.

  3. What part of the book was the hardest for you to write?
    Fay – The The last 10-15 chapters. Those were so emotional, and I battled with how to end the first book. I had a different path I was considering, but when it came time, I went with plan B, which wasn’t easy to do, knowing how it would set up book two.

  4. What is Kade’s favorite thing about Dy? Dy’s fave thing about Kade?
    Fay – Kade’s: Dy’s determination. Davyna’s: His untamed will to fight for the things he loves.
  1. I loved the sexual tension between Dy and Kade. And when they finally fully gave into each other, it was perfection. Were the spicy scenes hard or awkward for you to write? And did you have a plan on those scenes before you wrote them, or did you just let the scene flow and let the characters take the lead?
    Fay – So Hidden was my first book and first time writing spice. It felt weird at first, lol, and trust me, that chapter alone was edited many times. But I let them lead it. I knew where it would happen and the lead-up, but other than that, I panstered that scene, much like the bonus chapter in the second edition…which I can say is WAY spicier than the encounters we see in HBTE.
  1. That was one hell of a cliffhanger ending! Can you share a tiny look into what your plans are for Dy and the sequel?
    Fay – All I can say is we are not done with Dy learning things…there is more out there hiding, and we know Dy. She can’t help but seek out the truth. But can she handle what is coming?

Some Hidden 2.0 Deets!

  1. It’s been almost 6 months since Hidden released, how do you feel having your first novel out in the world? Does it still feel sort of surreal?
    Fay – Still feels surreal. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I really did it. But authors are typically moving on to the next book soon after publishing. Not all, but I’ve seen it a lot online. And your mind doesn’t focus on the one that is out because there is so much more you want to write, and you go back into writing mode and then editing. It’s a crazy process, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Creating these characters and bonding with them through all their trials is so fun. And at the end of the day, if it touches one person out there to relate to them, it’s worth it.

  2. Now that Hidden is published, what does life as an author look like for you? Do you focus on one WIP at a time, or do you have a few different stories that you’re bouncing between?
    Fay – Life as an author has been crazy since HBTE came out. But I work most days of the week with writing, organizing things for future books, and marketing. I have been working on two other books, which has been a little hard to manage, but I’m excited about both books. 
  1. What was your main reasoning behind relaunching Hidden?
    Fay – After writing my second book, which is in editing now (Caged in crimson), I learned much more about my writing style. I got to talk to many readers and friends in the bookstagram community about HBTE and took their advice on how I could help make her shine brighter. And I just felt pulled to go back to Hidden. My team and I went through the book, adding over 27k words, new scenes, and more depth that I love! With Hidden being a series, I wanted the first book to reflect more of my writing style and what I have learned since publishing the book the first time back in October. 
  1. Did you dive straight back into Hidden or did you start working on other stories? Or did you let yourself celebrate and take a bit of a break before getting back to work?
    Fay – LOL, so…I was actually writing caged in crimson around the time of the release of HBTE. I wanted to write in a different genre, and initially, it was just supposed to be for practice. But it turned into a book. Shortly after that, I got into book two: seeking beyond the flames, and I am still working on that first draft.

  2. What are you most excited about with the re-release?
    Fay – The fact that there is more depth in this story now. Along with some scenes that were added. I wanted to play up the emotions in the plot and really bring Davyna’s story to life. And I think my team and I really did that. Also, I’m so in love with the new cover and can’t wait to see the rest of the series in this theme.

I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t wait to start rereading Hidden Beneath The Embers, and diving into those extra scenes! Hidden 2.0 is out NOW on Amazon and available on Kindle Unlimited!

Be sure to connect with Fay on her website and socials below, so you don’t miss out on the fun and of course keep up with any upcoming book news!

Website | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Instagram | TikTok

Let me know if you’ve read Hidden Beneath the Embers and if you’re as excited about the relaunch as I am!

We’ll chat soon!

Self-Publishing Advice from Fay Bec

Self-Publishing Advice from Fay Bec

After interviewing Fay Bec about her debut novel, Hidden Beneath The Embers, I also asked if she’d answer some questions for the future authors, trying to navigate the self-publishing world. And she graciously agreed! As a busy, homeschooling mama to 4, she was able to not only fall in love with reading, but also write and publish her first book in the span of a year! So let’s dive into some of her writing and self-publishing advice!!

1. Let’s start with setting the mood, what does your writing space look like when you’re completely in the zone? 

Fay – Drinking coffee or maybe wine? Music, shows in the background, or maybe complete silence? I have learned wine and writing do not mix for me! Lol but I write on my laptop. I have tried going out to write but I get too distracted. So, for me it’s at home, in bed or on the couch after my kids go to bed. And music, blasting in my ears! Can’t do it any other way.

2. What’s one thing you wish you knew before starting your writing/self-publishing journey?

Fay – Plans may have to change, and that’s okay. I had this idea in my head of what it should look like and was discouraged many times when I couldn’t make certain things happen for this book. Self-publishing it a lot of work. And when it’s your first book, be okay with adjusting your plans. It’s a lot to learn and go through. Reach out to other indie authors, including me, and ask questions. Even though we all have to go through our own obstacles with publishing, you are not alone and have people in the amazing indie author community that can help give you advice. Take time to research, take notes, and account for some extra time in your process to get everything situated.

3. Biggest piece of self-publishing advice?

Fay – Research! Ask questions to other indie authors. Interview editors and get sample edits to make sure you like the editor’s style. You are going to work with for the next 4-6 months. Same with designers for the cover. Checkout their art, have conversations, and talk about your timeline. You will be putting money out for this. I’ve seen people do it on lower budgets, and others who put out just as much as I did. Which was about $7,000 at this point. But you can still find a team of people to work with on your budget. Just take it one step at a time, and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you have them. Use your voice through the entire process. This is your baby; you make the calls on every little detail!

4. What was the hardest part about your writing process?

Fay – Oh man my biggest struggle was actually during proofreading. I hired someone who helped, yes. But in many areas, the edits made my book not sound like me. I was back in editing for over a week to correct and fix the book. I was worried about having to push my date and worked around the clock to make sure my writing style was back within the book. I doubted just about every word at that point, and cried a lot. Thankfully my main editor, another proof reader, and some early ARC’s helped me get the book in order. It’s so important to know who you are working with and understand their editing style, because there are different kinds, just like writing styles. There is nothing wrong with taking advice, but it’s your book, don’t doubt yourself and your story. Listen to your gut feeling through the process.

5. What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Fay – Write the shitty first draft! I was so afraid of failing from the get go. But after hearing that, I felt like it was a pass to make mistakes! Your first draft isn’t supposed to be perfect. That’s what editing is for. The more you write, the more you will learn your style of writing, and you will grow as a writer. Tell the imposter syndrome to get in the back seat and write your story! If this is heavy on your heart and sparking passion inside you, that means someone out there needs your book. Even if it’s for one person! Do it for the one!

6. Are you a plotter or pantser?

Fay – Plotter for fantasy. I need to know what’s going on there. I am currently being a panster on another book idea right now and I have no idea if it’s going to play out right. it feels so weird! I like to know what’s going to happen, even if its vague. It’s a small structure I can use while writing to stay somewhat on course, but let’s face it, the characters pull you around.

7. At what point did you consider yourself an author?

Fay – When I saw my book up on amazon for pre order, and giving out ARC’s. I felt like it was finally safe to say the word, but up until then, I just said I was a writer, which we all are. I think the closer you get to Pub Day, you just have to claim it. You are a writer, but also an author now, which still feels surreal.

8. How did you celebrate when you finally finished the final draft?

Fay – Wine! But I was also working on other things so I didn’t really have time to step back and celebrate. I still don’t even think its hit me that I published a book, even with the 6 copies I have at my house of proof’s. Lol! I think I’m going to plan something for Pub Day, whether it’s a Facetime call with friends or a night out with hubby.

Connect with Fay and purchase your copy of Hidden Beneath The Embers

Website | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Instagram | TikTok

Hidden Beneath The Embers Cover Photo

Shop HBTE on Amazon

Shop HBTE on Barnes & Nobles

Thank you Fay for the wonderful advice, we can’t wait to see what you do next!

Meet Fay Bec – Author of Hidden Beneath the Embers

Meet Fay Bec – Author of Hidden Beneath the Embers

Disclosure – All reviews and opinions, are my own. If you make a purchase through my referral links, I may earn a small commissions from Amazon, and/or other retailers at no extra cost to you.

I’ve been following Fay’s writing journey on Instagram for a good portion of the year, and when I decided to start doing Indie author interviews on the blog, I knew I had to see if she would be interested! Not only does her personality shine through her posts, she also shares the highs and lows of writing her first novel. Her energy is contagious, but she’s also been nothing but kind, hilarious, and so welcoming in the bookstagram and writergram community. And not to mention, the world she created in Hidden Beneath the Embers already has me impatiently waiting on the sequel.

Let’s dive in and get to know a little more about Fay and her debut novel, Hidden Beneath The Embers!

1. To start off, tell us a little about yourself. Outside of being an author, who is Fay? 

Fay – Well, I am 29 years old and live in Florida. I’ve lived in many places including Germany for a couple years. My husband was military and it’s where we started our family. We now have four children, which I stay home with and homeschool. I absolutely love music, binging tv shows, drawing, writing, and reading!

2. What originally inspired your idea to write HBTE?

Fay – I have always wanted to write, but never thought I could. After getting on bookstagram, I got to see other amazing indie authors that inspired me to just write. It all started with just being something for me. And here we are! But major inspiration was a TV show called The Originals and the ACOTAR book series. I had two scenes in my mind for the book, and began plotting around them to create HBTE. I wanted to take a unique spin on the lore everyone knew and loved, and make it my own, to bring the story alive.

3. So, Davyna is a freaking badass, where did your inspiration for her come from?

Fay – Davyna was everything I wish I could have been in challenging moments I went through. So, a lot of her development was pulled from personal experience and feelings. But I also wanted to pull from other characters I knew and loved for her strength. I wanted to show how strong she was, but even under that armor, we could see her fear and pain. No one, not even the toughest of characters are without heartbreak, and for her it was what drove her to get the answers she needed.

4. Where did the inspiration for Valyner come from?

Fay – So, the name Valyner came from doing a little research online about Fae. I changed the spelling but kept the meaning the same: the lands of the undying fae. I knew I wanted different courts within the land and those were a random idea one night that just stuck. I couldn’t imagine not having the 6 courts be the names they are today.

5. How did you come up with the title?

Fay – I knew I wanted embers in the title. And I wish I still had the list of names I was thinking of. But I actually was talking to my best friend, Ali, and she was the one who gave me the idea for Hidden Beneath The Embers. I sat on it for a few days and just knew, it was the name!

6. The HBTE playlist is incredible, I’ve had it on repeat for almost 2 weeks now! Did you develop the playlist as you were writing, or did you already have most of the songs compiled together before you started?

Fay – I had many on the playlist when I started, but as I got deeper into the book, I found more songs and added them on. I can’t tell you how many times I had to keep a song on repeat to write a scene or chapter. Or went back to add in something I felt inspired me because of the lyrics. I can’t write without music. It really helps me during the process.

7. What was your favorite part about writing this story and bringing it to life?

Fay – Probably all the music and Pinterest images I found. It’s crazy how you can see
something in an image or hear a line in a song, and it just sparks something for a scene. After that it was editing with my editor, Stevi. She was literally the most amazing person to work with! And always helped me see a scene a different way. Whether it was on how to bring more emotion, or making sure the fictive dream stood engaged for the readers. She made me a better writer! Hands down.

8. If HBTE was created into a movie, who would play some of the main characters?

Fay – Please, Phoebe Tokin, play Davyna!!! I honestly haven’t given much thought to who else I would want to play other characters LOL. I just have a major girl crush on Phoebe!

Thank you Fay for letting us get to know you little better!

Stay tuned for Pt 2 of this interview in a few weeks, where we go a little deeper into Hidden Beneath The Embers!! (There may or may not be a few spoilers in part 2, so make sure you go read the book first!!!)

And if you’re a writer, curious about writing a book and/or the self-publishing process, be sure to head to the Self-Publishing Tips page, where Fay answers a few questions about what the process looked like for her! 

And be sure to check out our review of Hidden Beneath the Embers, here.

Connect with Fay and purchase your copy of Hidden Beneath The Embers

Website | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Instagram | TikTok

Hidden Beneath The Embers Cover Photo

Shop HBTE on Amazon

Shop HBTE on Barnes & Nobles

Does Hidden Beneath The Embers sound like your kind of book? Let us know in the comments! And if you’ve read it, let us know what you thought! (But please no spoilers!!)