Novels, Publications

“A Second Chance” Release Date – July 1st, 2021

I am so excited to announce “A Second Chance” will be available for purchase on July 1st, 2021!

“A Second Chance” will be my debut romance novel, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

In addition to selling the book on amazon (print and ebook), I will also be selling the novel in person at The Romance Rendezvous Book Blast in Cedar Falls, Iowa (August 21st). If you are able to attend the event in August, you will have a chance to talk with me and get a signed copy as well! Of course, I will be doing a giveaway on my platforms, so keep an eye out for that announcement and how you can be entered to win!

Until then, here are some sneak peeks and details about the novel. Enjoy!


Lucian Pereli spent the last five years paying his dues to society. He’s ready to move on from the past and start his life anew. However, he quickly learns it isn’t as easy as he thought.

Raina Carstens has been through a great deal in her life, but she has moved on from her grief. She now has a successful café and strives to help any she can.

But can Raina and Lucian work through the complications of their interconnecting lives and face the challenges that come with realizing they have fallen in love with each other?

Back Summary of “A Second Chance”

“A Second Chance” Details

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tropes: Friends to Lovers, Best Friend’s Brother, Café Romance, Second Chance on Life

Protagonist(s): Raina Carstens, Lucian Pereli

Antagonist(s): SPOILERS! ;p

Warnings: This novel contains mentions and healing from past trauma and incarceration, anxiety and panic attacks, and contains stalking and physical violence.

Page Count: 237


I hope you are as excited for the release as I am! Happy Reading!

~Shanna Pikora

Writing

Books That Inspire Me

It’s a question I get asked a lot: “Shanna, what inspires you and your writing?”

The truth is, I pull inspiration from multiple places. I sometimes have dreams that I turn into novels, movies, music, books, conversations I hear at a coffee shop, or even random thoughts that pop into my mind. However, I thought today’s blog post I would focus on sharing books that have had the biggest impact on me as a writer.

If I had to pick a single book that has been the biggest inspiration to my writing, I wouldn’t hesitate to answer “Loch” by Paul Zindel. I first discovered this book in grade school at my school’s library. I can still remember exactly where it sat (near the back door on the lowest shelf, three from the right). I found it by accident, actually. My class was taken to the library and told we needed to pick a book to start our spring book reading. I wandered around a bit, not finding any right away, until a blue spine book caught my eye.

I think the reason this book inspires me so is because of how drawn into the story I get (no matter how many times I read it). It was the first book that really sparked my imagination. I spent days after reading thinking about the plot and wondering what I would’ve done in that instance– (Spoiler) how I could have done more to save the people and keep the creatures from getting hurt (end spoiler). I remember wondering if I could ever write a story that impacted and excited someone as much as this book excited me.

I read this book every year, over the summer. I even have a signed, first edition on my shelf (thanks to my AMAZING husband who gives the best gifts ever). Each time I read it, I find myself inspired for new plots and new stories to tell.


The next book that really impacted me was “The Two Princesses of Bamarre” by Gail Carson Levine. I can’t say what about this book speaks to me, but I find it a great book to read when I get writer’s block. It has an unwitting heroine, an amazing love interest, all about women power and sisterhood. There is also magic and love and old-time heroes and prophecies. It just has everything!

This book is always a comfort read for me. But even more, it really gets me thinking about fairy tales and happily ever after’s — and how sometimes the most unexpected ending is the best one. I think this book sparked my interest in “twist endings”. I won’t go into too much detail in case you haven’t read it (no spoilers here), but I think this was one of the first books that really surprised me with the ending and I try to do that with many of my own stories as well.


There are so many books to choose from, but I don’t want this post to be overly long, so I will give just one more story that has inspired me (a more recent one). Last year, I dove into the world of “A Court of Thorn and Roses” by Sarah J Maas. I was drawn into this book as it has a “Beauty and the Beast” vibe to it’s story (and I LOVE a Beauty and the Beast story). However, her series had such twists and turns. How her books moved from one to the next, seamlessly, and how some happy endings weren’t forever, really inspired me.

In fact, the big reveal in book 2/3 (I won’t put it here, no spoilers) and how it reshapes how you see book 1 really made me think about my own writing and how you can bend and break the rules of “happily ever after” to give a story more depth and realism. In fact, this has inspired an entire fantasy series that I am working on!


As I said, there are so many books that have inspired me. So many movies, music, and more (perhaps posts for another day). However, I feel these three stories are the ones that are inspiring me the most (especially right now).

If you haven’t checked out these books yet, I would encourage you to! And if you have any stories that inspire you that you would like to share, be sure to comment below.

Happy Reading,

Shanna Pikora

Book Review

“Roseblood” by A.G. Howard (Book Review)

I was really excited to dive into “Roseblood” by A.G. Howard when it was selected as a novel for my Romance Book Club, especially after reading the tagline: “A Phantom of the Opera-inspired retelling”. I’m a huge Phantom of the Opera fan and couldn’t wait to see what twists this story added to the classic tale. It was beyond my expectations — fantastic!

I have to applaud A.G. Howard for the amazing way this novel is written. Being a big fan of Phantom of the Opera, I loved seeing little details and Easter Eggs hidden throughout the novel. However, you don’t have to be a big PoTO nerd to read this book. Any important information in the history of the world is explained, making it a great book for any who want to take the first step into this world.

I adored the main characters, and of course The Phantom. The only piece of criticism I have of the novel is I wish we could have gotten more of the secondary characters. With such fantastic personalities and relationships given in the beginning, I wish they would’ve had a bigger role in the final climax and ending. Although, perhaps they will get their own book later?

If you’re looking for a fantastic story that will grab your imagination and have you believing in mystical Phantoms, while also giving you one twist after the next, pick up A.G. Howard’s “Roseblood”.

And be sure to pack tissues — because that final twist hit me in the feels!

Happy Reading!


Novels

“A Second Chance” Chapter 8 — Live

I’m so excited to announce chapter 8 of “A Second Chance” is now live in Mag Pie! Be sure to take a look as this chapter and the next will be the last posted in Mag Pie as I’ll be publishing this novel in July. Until then, be sure to go back and check out the previous issues of Mag Pie (and subscribe to the digital zine because it’s amazing).

I hope you enjoy the latest chapter!

Happy Reading,

Shanna Pikora

Novels

“A Second Chance” – Character Profile

I’m so excited for my debut romance, “A Second Chance”, to be released in July. To help tease the novel a bit, I though I would share some special details about one of the characters in the novel. Keep an eye out for other little sneak peeks over the next couple months as well!

Character Details: Lucian Pereli

Lucian is one of two main characters of “A Second Chance”. We follow Lucian as he is released from five years in prison and works to create a new life in a new town in Iowa. Living with his brother Grayden, and working at The Black Cat Café, he feels he’s on the right track…until his heart throws him a curveball.

Lucian is 6’2” with dark blonde hair and green eyes. He prefers jeans and t-shirts to slacks and button ups, but usually ends up with nicer clothes since he lives with his brother, Grayden, who always dresses to impress. (Image above is my personal cast for Lucian: Mark Pellegrino)

Speaking of family, Lucian is one of four in his family. His parents are May and Roger Pereli, but he hasn’t heard from them since his incarceration. His three brothers are Adrien (eldest), Grayden (second youngest), and Caden (youngest). He lives with Grayden after he is released from prison to get back on his feet, but Caden lives nearby as well so they usually attend events as a tight-nit unit.

Fiercely protective of his family and loved ones, Lucian has no problems putting himself in the proverbial line of fire if it means is loved stays out of trouble. It’s a trait carried over from childhood as he had to protect his younger siblings from school bullies. He carries a cynicism with him and can be untrusting around new people. Frankly, he can be down right critical at times. He gave up on fairy tales and a happily ever after years ago. Though, it doesn’t stop him from reading about them.

In his spare time, Lucian can be found with a book in his hand (he loves a good thriller or fantasy), a cup of black coffee (always black, it would ruin it to add sugar and creamer and foam), with some light classic rock playing in the background (Poison, preferably). He takes to the new people in his life well, considering many of them have complete opposite personalities, like Bailey, his coworker at the café.

All in all, Lucian is ready to settle down and live a good life free from drama and pain and heartache. But it’s one thing for him to plan that, he learns it’s much harder to actually execute it.


There you have it, a sneak peek at Lucian Pereli. I wanted to include more information…but that contains SPOILERS so I left it out!

If Lucian peeks your interest, be sure to keep an eye out for “A Second Chance” release date in July — or perhaps even come to the Romance Rendezvous Book Blast in August (in Cedar Falls, Iowa) to get your own signed copy (it’s free to attend).

Learn more about RRBB by clicking here.

I’ll be releasing some other special content on my blog and in my newsletter over the next couple months, so be sure to check it out!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!