{Review/Author Interview/Excerpt/Giveaway/Free Gift} LULLABY by L.R.W. Lee -- On Sale for 99 Cents!

Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!


This week only, pick up the first two books
in L.R.W. Lee's Sand Maiden series for only 99 cents a pop!

If you grab LULLABY and send L.R. W. Lee your receipt,
you'll receive a FREE GIFT *and* be entered in a giveaway to WIN BOOKS!

More details at the bottom of today's post!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

  I yipped as I slammed into the wood floor--it had no empathy for my flight, either. I shook it off. I lived. That's all that mattered.

(Page 11, US e-book edition)
This post was first featured on A Backwards Story on February 14, 2018, and has been reposted + modified for this special sale + giveaway!

"I believed creativity to be the expression of the person, who they were inside. Evil didn't create beauty like this. This was honest. I resisted, but I couldn't deny.

I'll admit it: The first time I heard about this book, it was because the cover had just been revealed and shown in a social media thread I was following. Then I saw that the cover art was from Charlie Bowater, who has done artwork for the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. THEN I read the summary. Sand maiden lore? For fans of Maas, Rachel E. Carter (Black Mage series), and Elise Kova (Air Awakens series)? Sold. 100% SOLD.

The debut doesn't disappoint, either, and I can see why it has been comped to all three of those series. I'd even throw some Hunger Games / Red Queen into the mix because of a competition that plays an important part in Ali's journey to acceptance in her new human form. LULLABY reads fast and introduces an intriguing new world that I'm eager to explore more of as the series continues.

Ali is a Sand Maiden--think about all you know of the Sand Man and the way he lulls you to sleep. Every human has their own personal Sand Maiden or Sand Man. For Ali, it is Crown Prince Kovis Altairn. When she finds out that her father is trying to take over the human world by manipulating humans in their sleep, she gives up her immortality and magically crosses over into our world as a human. The only problem? She crosses over in the prince's bedroom. In the middle of the night. Covered in nothing but sand. The royal guard immediately takes her in for questioning, and nobody wants to believe her fanciful tales about being a Sand Maiden. But without her in his life, Kovis will never sleep again, and as the kingdom's most powerful sorcerer, that isn't an option, especially with war on the horizon...

LULLABY is very much about Ali's journey as she learns more about being human and the strange new powers she possesses. As a human, she has magical powers and is on her way to becoming a sorceress, but only if she can learn to control them. I also liked the use of colors and the way they came to represent the different elements of magic. There are even color-shifting tattoos that can tell you a lot about a person's mood!

Ali is helplessly in love with Kovis, whom she has watched over his entire life as his Sand Maiden, but he barely trusts her, which messes with his psyche. Kovis, on the other hand, is understandably wary, since Ali is a stranger to him and he must protect the throne. I liked that his sister, Empress Rasa, was the reigning monarch and that both brothers had important roles in the kingdom. It was nice to see an eldest daughter on the throne and not passed over for her brothers, Kovis and Kennan. I really appreciated this element, even though Rasa definitely made life harder for Ali in a lot of ways. It will be interesting to see how she develops in future books. It will also be interesting to see how Kennan develops and where his storyline takes us. I'm hoping there won't be too much drama in that department, but we'll see! He'll definitely have a big role to play in the next book with how things shake out at the book's end.

And speaking of the end! The cliffhanger thankfully isn't deadly, so you'll be able to pick yourself up off the ground after reading LULLABY. But a LOT of stuff happens at the end and the characters aren't in the best place...at least in some ways! So it definitely will leave you wanting more and to see how everything resolves itself and what new complications are thrown in coming up. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel and reuniting with this cast of characters!

Originally, LULLABY was the first book in the series. Then, Lee came out with a prequel, ROCK-A-BYE BABY, and renumbered the series so that it came first and wasn't confusing to readers. Reading it first will take you into Ali's past, give you a sneak peek at Kovis, and take you into the world of the Dream Realm. It's full of the world's mythology and lore and does a lot of set-up for the upcoming series. You can still read LULLABY without reading ROCK-A-BYE BABY, especially if you want to get straight to the story itself, but reading it will really flesh out the world for you! The third book (and second in the actual trilogy), GOOD NIGHT, comes out next month on October 15th, and the final book, TWINKLE, TWINKLE, comes out on November 15th, so if you're a reader who waits for an entire series to be out, you're in luck because everything is almost in your greedy little paws! Snag the first two books now while they're on sale and get ready for the final two books in this unique series!



 An Interview With
L.R.W. Lee


L. R. W. Lee has a passion for fantasy and epic fantasy and in that genre, she credits C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with its beginning in her life. Later on, she enjoyed the complex world of Middle Earth brought to life by J. R. R. Tolkien in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. 

The multiple dimensions of the worlds, especially the dragons, mixed with a layer of meaning captivated her and made her desire to invent Young Adult Fantasy and Epic Fantasy worlds others could get lost in, but also take meaning away from. 

More recently, L. R. W. has taken her love of fantasy in a new direction, that of NA fantasy romance. Calling herself a fan of Sarah J. Maas, L. R. W. has begun The Sand Maiden series which promises to satisfy the most die hard romantic while giving a plot and obstacles meaty enough for the fantasy lover. 

L. R. W. Lee lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband.

You can find her on:
Website | Twitter | Facebook  

Describe LULLABY in ten words or less to new readers just discovering it!

I think Rachel E. Carter summarized it best when she said:  sorcerers, princes, kickass fight scenes, epic magic, and dazzling romance

What inspired you to gender-bend the tale of the Sand Man and turn it into a high fantasy series?

I had just finished a seven-book epic fantasy series and was on the hunt for a new, killer idea for my next series. When that's the case, all sorts of things can trigger me that wouldn't normally. Well, my trigger was wiping "sand" from my eyes one morning. I gasped and said, "The Sand Man!" But I wanted to have a kickass heroine and not a male as the protagonist, especially as strong females is what most YA and NA books focus on these days. So I thought, what if, instead of the sand man, I make it the sand maiden?

Everyone is buzzing about your gorgeous Charlie Bowater cover! What was your collaboration process like?

Charlie is great to work with. I first pitched her the idea with my synopsis and her reaction was "Ooooo." LOL. So after that, I gave her my idea of a general theme of what I wanted on the cover including a single female, in fighting leathers, with some sand element and the Canyon lights (a nod to the Northern Lights that I had gone to see last December in the Yukon). She sketched three initial drawings and I put them up in a couple Sarah J. Maas (since Charlie is very much associated with her) FB fan groups to get preferences. Taking that feedback, she focused on the one we picked and refined it. I asked for a couple tweaks and we settled on the black and white concept. THEN, she colored it in! Be still my heart, what Charlie can do with color and particularly making eyes come to life... We added the title etc after that, and wala it was done :)   

Charlie will be doing four more covers for me for this series (Prequel, Book Two, Three, and a Novella told from Rasa's POV), so there's more to look forward to. In fact, I've already given her the general concept for the Prequel's cover and she loved it, too! So look out, I sense another epic original in the works!

What world-building went into creating the Dream Realm and its citizens?

Lullaby is primarily focused on Wake realm. You'll need to read the Prequel (Coming soon!) for all that is in Dream realm LOL. But broad brush, Dream realm inspiration comes from the mythical character in Western and Northern European folklore who puts people to sleep and brings good dreams by sprinkling magical sand onto the eyes of people while they sleep at night. I started there and traced it back to its origins. My brain had a field day running scenarios after that. :)  

But for Wake realm, I'll share some of the inspiration, too. I'm always looking for ideas for something unique to bring to my worlds. A couple things that gelled nicely in Lullaby were 1) the little village of Giethoorn in the Netherlands. Google it and you'll immediately see some of Veritas. Now granted, the capital city is much larger, but that village gave me the initial idea. 2) The idea for the color shifting tattoos came from a FB video I saw in which they are using color changing tattoos with some diabetics to help them know their insulin levels without having to poke themselves and draw blood all the time. The color of the ink changes based upon how much insulin is detected. There were lots of other things that inspired Wake realm, but those of two of the top.  

What secrets can you whisper about what to expect as the series continues?

There's a reason why Kennan, specifically, was the one possessed by Ali's father, and it goes beyond the fact that both Ali and Kovis care for him. 

There's also a reason why Kovis and Ali got to the point they did in their relationship and not further.  

That's all I'll give away *flicks brows*

What was the inspiration behind Kovis's full name, Prince Kovis Rhys Aldrick Desmond Griffin Darren Altairn? 

I am very clear that Kovis would not exist as he does had it not been for the male leads in so many epic fantasy stories. I believe what I read influences what I write. And as a way to honor those characters who most influenced me to write Kovis as I did, I named Kovis what I did... with, I would add, the blessing of each author whose male protagonist I included. In fact, they expressed their gratitude and thanks.

So who are all of these characters who make up his name? 

Prince Kovis Rhys Aldrick Desmond Griffin Darren Altairn

Rhy - obviously Rhysand (Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses series)
Aldrick - Elise Kova, Air Awakens series
Desmond - Laura Thalassa, The Bargainer series
Griffin - Amanda Bouchot, Kingmaker Chronicles
Darren - Rachel Carter, The Black Mage series

Funny enough, these are all medieval names and fit the proper time period. If you haven't read these, I encourage you to. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one 



I heard him before I saw him, his power rippled about the room. And with two more steps, the most beautiful man I’d ever seen, my Dreambeam, stood before me.
He stiffened.
My breath caught.
Everything about him radiated power, refinement, and ease. His tattoo, beige at the moment, stood in contrast against his sun-bronzed skin and peaked out from where the two top buttons of his fine, white shirt hung open. Uncharacteristically, a lock of his close-cut dark-brown hair flopped on his forehead. A shadow, a sun’s worth of growth, accented his chiseled jaw. His eyes. I’d lose myself in those pools one of these suns. Dark circles marred their beauty, forming bags beneath. My fault.
With a hand to my back, Allard compelled me to bow.
“Rise. Please.” Kovis relaxed once more. His eyes started dancing as he took in my borrowed dress, golden locks, and clasp hands—a death grip seemed the only way I could control these damn appendages.
I shifted as he took a slow step toward me.
Don’t bite your lip! I reprimanded myself.
Then another.
Stand still!
Kovis opened his mouth as if to say something, then stopped. “Allard, I’ll be dining here, tonight.” He flicked his brows at me. “With a guest.” I inhaled sharply.
“Yes, my prince,” Allard replied. Another guard replaced him as he left.
Kovis continued looking me up and down, not saying a word. So different from those guards, his study sent excitement rather than revulsion through me. I felt like a fly in a spider’s web, and I couldn’t stop myself from fidgeting. Was he trying to intimidate me? He did a good job. But I couldn’t allow him to. I pulled my chin up. But his eyes, so much more beautiful in person. And their hazel centers. I tried, but failed to calm my breathing.
I stayed rooted to my spot as he took another step toward me. “You clean up well. You’re very beautiful.” His voice, a purr.
“Thank you.” I felt my cheeks warm, bringing a smile to Kovis’s lips.
“You didn’t address me when you bowed just now.”
The cut of his clothes showed off how impressive he was, and tingling erupted in my stomach.
“I’m sorry.”
He took another step toward me, and I wondered if he could hear my heart race.
“You called me by my first name. That night,” he said.
I averted my gaze to the floor. “I’m sorry. It was inappropriate of me.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kovis tilt his head. He took another slow step forward. “No one other than my family has ever done that.”
“I’m sorry.” I wrung my hands.
Another step. I felt like prey, frozen, unable to help myself even if I tried. Which I didn’t. I’d wanted to drink in his presence since before I could remember. But utter terror gripped me. Finally. To be this close to him. In the flesh.
My stomach’s tingling increased.
“My name rolled right off your tongue, as if familiar.”
Kovis stood before me, one hand behind his back. He placed a finger under my chin and lifted my face up until our eyes met. “And you called me your ‘Dreambeam’?”
My face burned. I wanted to stare a hole in the floor, but Kovis’s hand made that impossible. “It’s a term of endearment,” I squeaked, looking anywhere but at him.
Kovis smiled. “Yes, I’m familiar with the nature of the term. But why?”
I thought I’d burn up on the spot.
A knock at the door proved my savior. The gods still cared about me!
Kovis didn’t move, but I distinctly heard him chuckle—through whatever joined us. I gasped and drew a hand over my gaping mouth.

He winked at me, then commanded, “Come in!” 



Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG15+ ( kissing; sexual situations )
Language: PG15+ ( A damn, a bastard, some sexual innuendo )
Violence: PG15+ ( The MC's father batters her up a bit; there's torture to make people talk and threats of rape; there is a Hunger Games-like competition to the death. )
Other: --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love how if you read this on a color device, you see the chapter headings in color:


As I mentioned earlier, this cover caught my eye right way and made me want to learn more about it. I would say it did its job right!

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: L.R.W. Lee
Release Date: January 15, 2018
Publisher: Woodgate Publishing
Received: For Review


You've heard of the Sand Man. Meet his counterpart, the Sand Maiden. 

Alissandra thrills to help her human charges make sense of thoughts that need refinement, problems that need solutions, worries that beg for action, and things they should or shouldn’t have said, as she weaves their dreams. She’s been doing it her entire immortal existence. But when the most powerful king in Dream realm sets his sights on her current charge, Prince Kovis Altairn, to exploit him in his quest to conquer Wake realm, Ali has no choice but to flee and pray the sovereign doesn’t hunt her down. 

In this, the first in a three book series, Ali’s arrival isn’t applauded by some and she finds herself caught in a political game that may silence her before she can begin to defend Wake. All the while, she sees signs that the power-hungry Dream king is pursuing her. What will happen if he finds her? 

Prince Kovis Altairn, crown prince and the most powerful sorcerer in the Altairn Empire, knows nothing about Dream realm, let alone his sand maiden. So when Ali is discovered naked in his bedroom, how will she convince him of her intentions, as well as the danger? 

The Sand Maiden is a three-book NA Epic Fantasy Romance series with YA appeal. If you loved Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses, Elise Kova's Air Awakens, and/or Rachel E. Carter's The Black Mage you'll definitely love this. 

WARNING: Mature content including sexual abuse. Recommended for 18+. 


+ Free Gift when you purchase LULLABY!


After purchasing LULLABY during the 99 cents sale, you can forward your order receipt to linda.r.w.lee@gmail.com to request a free gift! You can receive your choice of either a free copy of Lee's novel Blast of the Dragon’s Fury or a Rock-A-Bye Baby coloring page!


To celebrate the re-release of LULLABY, Lee is giving away two books for FREE via Amazon from two of her favorite authors! 

(Giveaways are available for US only–sorry, it’s Amazon)

You can also win this beautiful pocket watch!