🗣️ Come listen to — or watch — Episode 15 of my podcast, 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. Lisa Alfano’s latest book, Cage of Tangled Thornes, book one in the Thorne Chronicles series, was released on July 25, 2023. In this episode, Lisa talks about her new series, writing in different genres, and upcoming projects. Transcript and link to the Spotify podcast episode below. The podcast is also on YouTube (video below).
Episode 15, on Spotify: https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/OcyGlciH6Bb
This podcast episode is available on YouTube as well. Find it here: https://youtu.be/aMKU83d5VGM
Find Lisa Alfano and Her Books:
Ebook Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/4Xwa9L
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cage-of-tangled-thornes-lisa-alfano/1143731087
Bookshop.org (formerly IndieBound) — This is Lisa Alfano’s affiliate link, and 10% goes to support her local indie bookstores: https://bookshop.org/a/94726/9798988064589
A prequel to the series, Deal of Jagged Thornes, can be found here: https://books2read.com/u/38Wyda
About Cage of Tangled Thornes, by Lisa Alfano
MAGIC AND UNREST HAVE RETURNED TO IOSIA. NO ONE IN THE KINGDOM IS SAFE…NOT THE HEIR, AND CERTAINLY NOT, THE SPARE.
Long ago, Sentinels — shifters blessed by the gods with the ability to transform between human and animal forms — were revered throughout all Iosia. The Onyx magicians, who sought to rule with dark magic and fear, were defeated by the first Thorne King and his loyal Sentinels. With magic banished, all of Iosia enjoyed peace and prosperity under the rule of the House of Thorne.
Now, the Sentinels are shunned, forced to live on the outskirts of society, and in danger of being hunted into extinction because of fear and prejudice. The Undesirables, as the exiled descendants of the once powerful Onyx magicians are called, remain trapped behind the Guardian border wall — forced to live in squalor in the desolate region of Valdisia — a cruel penance for the sins of their ancestors.
Seventeen-year-old Princess Ysabelle, firstborn of King Leopold Thorne and Queen Astrid, is the beautiful and ambitious heir, willing to do anything to attain her birthright — even marrying the enemy — a man who threatens not only her future, but also her heart. While Ysabelle loves being a princess, her younger sister, Dahlia, does not.
Sixteen-year-old Princess Dahlia is the feisty, rebellious Spare who longs for a life beyond the castle walls; a life free from the restrictive rules of her royal family, her sister’s relentless bullying, and society’s judgmental glares — one where she does not have to conceal her disabilities from the world… A life where she can spread her wings and fly.
After centuries of peace, trouble is brewing in Iosia. King Leopold seeks to quell the unrest and prevent war with a royal wedding. For the first time since the Guardian Wall was erected — separating Valdisia from Caelius and the other regions of Iosia — those of Thorne and Onyx blood stand side-by-side in Thorne Castle, but all is not as it seems. Magic exists once more in the Kingdom. Darkness is lurking; feeding on secrets, seeking to pit sister against sister — Heir against Spare — to alter destinies.
Can a Thorne save Iosia once more, or is the real enemy wearing the crown?
Welcome to 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. I’m your host, T.L. Brown, but you can call me Tracy. Let’s get started.
T.L. Brown: Hey there, welcome to another episode of 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. Today I’m really excited because we have author Lisa Alfano.
Lisa Alfano is an author, wife, mother, dog mom, and book lover. She’s a lifelong New Englander who has called the Connecticut shoreline home for more than four decades. She creates twisted characters living in flawed worlds that feature strong female characters. Lisa adores books that feature intriguing plots and strong characters. When not working on her writing, you can often find her walking at the beach with her faithful furry rescue dog, Austin. He loves the beach as much as she does.
Lisa’s currently hard at work on the second book in the PMS Girls Saga: the sequel to Sleep With One Eye Open, as well as Book 2 in the Thorne Chronicles: A THORNE AS BLACK AS ONYX. Today we’re here to talk about her latest book, just released on July 25: Cage of Tangled Thornes, Book 1 of her new young adult series, the Thorne Chronicles.
You can learn more about Lisa at LisaAlfanoAuthor.com — and the link can be found in the podcast description along with her socials.
Welcome, Lisa. You know, I’m a fan of your thriller, Fractured Secrets. It’s one of the best I’ve ever read. I am so glad you came on the show today.
Lisa Alfano: Hi, thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
T.L. Brown: Awesome. Well, let’s get right to the meat of this. You have a new novel that just came out July 25th: Cage of Tangled Thornes. Can you tell us about it? What can readers expect when they sit down to read?
Lisa Alfano: Sure, it takes place in this fantasy world that I created called Iosia — the spelling is a little different than the pronunciation. It’s a medieval fantasy world reminiscent of what you find in The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. I’m so totally into medieval stuff.
You have the Thorne King and Queen — they’ve been running the show for generations, keeping the world nice and peaceful. They’ve banished magic. They have this big wall; it’s called the Guardian. It’s a border wall that separates bad magicians from the rest of the world, and nobody can cross. Even though all the bad magicians have died, they still have the wall up. There are a lot of outcasts; those people are called Undesirables. You have royalty, and the haves and the have-nots.
The book really focuses on two sisters, the Heir and the Spare. The princess (heir) is Ysabelle. And she’s perfect — looks perfect, anyways. Beautiful, smart. She’s also ruthless. She has a younger sister, Dahlia. Dahlia has a disability, she has red hair, and she’s not as pretty. A little shorter, too. People make fun of her, but she takes it all in stride. She’s a really interesting character. She grows as the book goes along, and you’ll see a lot of her in book two. There’s sibling rivalry.
T.L. Brown: Can you tell us a little about Dalhia’s disability?
Lisa Alfano: She has a crippled leg. She walks with a limp, her leg’s twisted in, and you’ll find out more about it in the book. You know, especially in the medieval time period, disabilities are looked down upon. She’s a “lesser than” just like the people who are exiled on the other side of the Wall. The Undesirables, the lesser than — even though she is the King’s daughter — she’s not perfect, on the outside anyway, with her appearance. She hears the whispers. It bothers her, but she also has a good heart. You’ll see a lot of how she reacts to it, and how others react to her in it.
There are also shapeshifters, and they’re called Sentinels. They were revered, blessed by the gods, blue bloods — a lot of royalty in there. They can transform into an animal. Everyone has their own little animal form. Also, there’s prejudice. Over the years, there were a couple of bad ones, so now they’re shunned as well. They’re like a hidden part of society. They see a lot of different layers of society and what people think.
T.L. Brown: That’s really interesting. I like that because we can explore those [separated classes in society] — it mirrors the real world. You mentioned shapeshifters, and I think this is a perfect segue.
Traditionally, I know you as a thriller author. You’ve moved into fantasy. Can you tell us why you wrote this book and why you moved into fantasy?
Lisa Alfano: It’s actually not as big of a jump as people think. When you read this particular one, there’s a lot of action — thrilling inner-moving parts, interwoven parts where they’re building off each other. Readers will see there are some secrets that are coming out, and they’ll progress more in the book, just like you do with the thriller. You’re not sure who’s the good one, who’s the bad one, and what are they hiding. And I just love intrigue. I love little twists of plots.
Books like the Narnia books, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit… Tolkien and C.S. Lewis made me want to write and read as a child. I just adore that. And so, this world came into mind, and it’s just grown over the years. I actually wrote the first draft of this in 2008. The characters really came alive and evolved.
T.L. Brown: Wow!
Lisa Alfano: And now they just have a lot to go through. I got to keep up! I can’t write fast enough about what they want to do.
T.L. Brown: Tell me about your future writing projects. What’s coming up next?
Lisa Alfano: I’m hoping to get the sequel to Sleep with One Eye Open, the second book in the PMS Girls saga, into the hands of my beta readers by the end of this month, and we’ll see. I just got a little bit distracted with all the new Thorne Chronicles coming out. But I have that pretty much written. I have two different endings, so I’m not sure which way I’m going to go. It all depends on my beta readers. Then I have the second book of the Thorne Chronicles that I’m hoping to have out for…probably March of 2024. That’s what I’m shooting for. I’d like to get the sequel to the PMS Girls saga out for Christmas because it actually is a Christmas story. The entire book takes place between Christmas and New Year’s.
T.L. Brown: That’s really good. I love it when authors do that; when what’s going on in the book — especially when the book comes out and I buy it — and I’m right in the season. So, that’s a great idea.
Lisa Alfano: We’ll see. I have to really stay away from the beach this month and buckle down! It’s so hard. Those are the next two projects, and I also have a political book, Deceitful Shadows, that’s supposed to be released in November of next year. That will also link in — there’ll be some character overlap between the PMS Girls saga and the political book because it takes place in DC. Anybody who’s read Sleep with One Eye Open, the main character, her father, is a senator running for president. He’s in DC, so there’ll be some overlap, even though this is more of an adult thriller.
T.L. Brown: I love it! You have so much going on. I don’t know how you do it. We are coming to the end of our show, but I am so happy that you made time to come and talk about not only your current book that just released, Cage of Tangled Thornes — that book is right here — but also your other writing projects. You are so busy. I don’t know how you do it. Thank you for coming on the show.
Lisa Alfano: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure. I love sharing and talking with you.
T.L. Brown: Awesome. Listeners! Watchers! You can find Lisa Alfano’s book on Amazon. You’ll find ebooks — the paperback it’s only available on Amazon — and a hardcover. You’ll find ebooks on Kobo, Apple, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and a ton of other foreign ebook retailers through Draft2Digital. Hardcovers are available at Barnes & Noble, Bam, bookshop.org, which used to be Indie Bound, and she has an affiliate link in the podcast description. Purchases through that link will direct 10% of the sale to support her local indie bookstore. Walmart’s on there, too. Her socials, Instagram, TikTok, and X, which used to be Twitter. Thank you again, Lisa.
Thank you, listeners, and I will see you the next time.
This has been 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. Thanks for listening to today’s episode. Hope you can join me for the next one. Until then, this is Tracy, AKA author T.L. Brown, signing off.