Monday, January 14, 2019

Elizabeth Isaacs Interview - The Scythian Trials

Photo Content from Vesuvian Books

Elizabeth Isaacs is an author, teacher, and publishing professional who began her career as a national presenter for Resource Profiles, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation. Moving into formal education, she helped at-risk students improve their writing skills as well as created and implemented a creative writing/blogging program that centered on teaching the 21st-century learner. Works stemming from this initiative were published online and seen in over 40 countries.

Elizabeth receives invitations to speak nationwide at schools and book clubs. She co-founded the popular book blog, Chirenjenzie, which reaches thousands of readers throughout the world. The writer support and reader interest group promotes and interacts with followers on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. Elizabeth has a Master’s degree from Austin Peay State University, where she studied classical opera. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Her newest work, The Scythian Trials, is slated for release in 2018.


File Size: 4550 KB
Print Length: 373 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 22, 2018)
Publication Date: October 22, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English


"... Fun and sensual fantasy [with] magnetic characters." Publishers Weekly

"The Scythian Trials crackles with life, hums with heart, and pounds with action for one hell of a read." San Francisco Book Review

"If you loved the Hunger Games and Divergent and just all around kicka$$ characters with an amazing storyline then you will love this." Books With Jess

Can you tell us when you started THE SCYTHIAN TRIALS, how that came about?
In 2016, I was doing research for a historical romance when I came across an article about a mass grave that had been discovered in Romania, which was believed to be the final resting place of Amazonian warriors. Nomadic women who lived on their own terms was such a stark contrast to the historical piece I was writing at the time, I started to wonder what our society would have been like had western women been appreciated for their abilities instead of their frailty and beauty. That sparked the idea of a hidden society within our world where women were considered true equals.

Thus the Society was born.

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?
I’m continually searching for great reads, and I love all genres, so this one is a hard question to answer. Lately, I’ve been on a Penny Reid kick. She’s a Romcom writer, and I absolutely adore her quirky, intelligent characters. The newest author I’ve read is Gareth Worthington’s Children of the Fifth Sun. Sci-fi fans should check it out; it’s an intriguing story.

What do you hope for people to be thinking after they read your novel?
I’d love for readers to question their thoughts on what equality means to them. Implicit bias so often dictates how we see the world. Challenging our own convictions, our beliefs, is how we grow.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
I’d have to say the first chapter. I love the interplay between Jax and Nya and how it helps set the tone.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Never read reviews, especially when you’ve just released a novel. It’s counterproductive and sucks the joy out the experience. As writers, we know that we can’t please everyone, but as humans, it hurts when someone is hateful and mean.

What part of Jax did you enjoy writing the most?
His intelligence, and how he genuinely wants what is best for Nya.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently finishing the second book in the Scythian series, The Scythian Legacy, and then I’m working on a new YA project that has yet to be named.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Nya?
Nya forced me to look beyond the surface of equality and really think about what that means. Not just females being equally strong, although that is emphasized. But males being equally open and vulnerable. Honestly, it’s something that is extremely difficult to write. And because Scythians don’t covet beauty, I couldn’t rely on him finding her “perfect” or her loving his six-pack. Yes, they have chemistry, but that chemistry is based on intelligence, strength, and heart. I also had to explore the implicit bias we have in our culture. Quite often I would write a scene and then go back and switch gender roles to see how it read. It was astounding to see what we inherently consider a strong quality in one gender reads as a negative quality in another.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I love this question! It would be interesting if Jax and Nya met JR Ward’s Wrath and Beth. I think Nya and Beth would become good friends, and Jax could help Wrath deal with some of his issues. Who knows? Maybe Viscious could visit too and help Nya and Jax figure out if what the Drahzda are planning is even possible, lol.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
I’ve always believed that sharing creativity in any form takes courage—especially something as personal as putting your imagination on paper for the world to read. Often, I’ve found that new writers want to “sound” like someone they admire. But voice comes from deep within, and that cannot be replicated. So the best advice I could give is simply “You be you.”

  • 10. I waitressed at a bar during graduate school. The experience left me wondering if I missed a calling in psychology.
  • 9. I had to sing for commencement one spring, and I came down with a terrible cold. Our dorm room was a suite that year, and so I turned the shower on hot and left the door open, figuring it would help humidify the room. We woke up at three in the morning, soggy posters peeling off the wall water trickling down the closet doors. The place was like a rainforest. Good news is that it helped my voice, but I’ve always felt guilty about the massive waste of water. I chalk it up to the stupidity of youth coupled with panicked desperation.
  • 8. One time I was ordered to go on complete vocal rest for two months, and so my best friend and I learned sign language. The experience gave me insight into how people treat others differently when they think they have a disability.
  • 7. My sophomore year, in an attempt to get fit, my roommate challenged me to not use the elevators in the dorm. The loser had to do whatever the winner said. Our room was on the 10th floor, and so we’d get up an hour before class and pack for the entire day. We called it a tie long about April.
  • 6. My first dorm was built in the early 1920s and had only two electric outlets in each room. To make matters worse, no one was allowed to bring a power strip because it was considered a fire hazard. I hated it for a few weeks, but then I got to know everyone on my floor, and it turned out to be a pretty fun year.
  • 5. The year we lived off campus, my best friend found a recipe for homemade Kahlua, which called for a gallon jug and various ingredients. We shook that stupid jug every day for a month before it was finally ready.
  • 4. My undergraduate college was in the Appalachian Mountains, and when it rained water would get trapped in my passenger side headlight, which caused the bulb to blow. At night, my best friend would roll down the window and hang out of the car with a flashlight in hand, so we didn’t drive off the side of the mountain. Again, the stupidity of youth at work here.
  • 3. I used to practice in the elevator when I couldn’t find another place to play. Some nights I’d get nauseous if I had to ride up and down too many times while reading music. #thestruggleisreal
  • 2. When I finally completed my undergrad work, I had enough hours to have a Master’s degree and then some. This was back in the day when students paid for twelve hours, and then anything over that was free. I’d take the required classes I needed, and then I’d pile on classes that interested me just for fun.
  • 1. I marched Drum and Bugle Corp in the summer. It’s still one of the best experiences of my life.
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
There is a festival every year in Japan devoted to the penis and fertility. It’s celebrated every year on April 6th. The origin of the festival started in the 17th century in which prostitutes prayed to avoid STD’s. Today, it’s celebrated as an AIDS awareness event.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
That’s a tough question. Every decade has had its difficulties, especially for women. The first half of the century is intriguing, but I’m not sure I’d like to be a teen during that time because of the lack of education and the societal expectation to fit into a particular role. The second half of the century was filled with conflict and objectification, which doesn’t sound great either. Still, even though the 80s and 90s are riddled with difficulties, they held more opportunities too, and so that’s what I’d choose.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?

My mind never stops, and so I usually distract my brain by re-reading something I love.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
George Carlin once said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” I’ve experienced several of these throughout my life, each surrounded by intensely personal moments that I rarely share. But I believe it’s important to recognize them when they happen and appreciate the experience, for through the love, pain, sorrow, and joy they help us to grow.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
At fifteen, I landed my first job in a pet store. The owner would leave me for hours on end to tend the place, which I found odd as it was his business and I couldn’t even drive. The only training he offered were informational pamphlets he gave customers, well, and I often called the Vet that was down the street. Forgive the pun, but it was definitely a sink or swim situation. I worked there for two years, but during that first summer, I quickly learned which fish didn’t play well with others and just how fragile saltwater ecosystems are. To this day, I still twitch when I see large birds in small cages, but that another story.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
My world has grown exponentially since The Light of Asteria made it onto the shelf. I now have a vast community of friends across the globe that span from bloggers and readers to writers, agents, editors, and publishers. People in the book community are some of the kindest, most compassionate people on the planet, and I am a better human for knowing them.

Descendants of the Amazons, the Scythians work alongside prominent governments but answer to no one. Warriors living on the fringe of civilization, they live by one credo: Strength through Equality. Power through Knowledge.

Nya Thalestris is the brightest Scythian of her generation. Strong, capable, ruthless, she is sure to earn a spot in the Trials, a time-honored mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species.


Abducted by their sworn enemy, the Drahzda, Nya is forever altered and spirals out of control. The Society sends in Jax Nickius. Infamous psychologist and one of the most brutal warriors of their kind, he discovers triggers planted in Nya’s mind. As Nya solidifies her spot in the Trials, Jax develops a plan to help—while pursuing her as a mate. But, Nya’s attraction to Jax is at war with her instinct to never let anyone get too close.

During the Trials, Nya’s repressed memories surface, revealing a new enemy—one from inside the consulate walls—and a traitorous alliance on the horizon that could irrevocably change the course of history.

Since before the Bronze Age, the Society has managed to safeguard humanity from itself … until now.

You can purchase The Scythian Trials at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ELIZABETH ISAACS for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of THE SCYTHIAN TRIALS by Elizabeth Isaacs.
Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
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