I have been loving to the authors of some of my favourite Aussie indie books the past few weeks and getting to chat books and reading. One name that has come up several times when I’ve asked for recommendations is Helen Scheuerer – her Curse of the Cyren Queen series is fabulous. Today I’m thrilled to be talking to Helen about her books and writing, including a little bit about her upcoming new release! Check out our chat below.
Hi Helen! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today!
No worries at all, thanks for asking me!
I know you’ve had a busy and exciting time lately, recently releasing To Wield a Crown, the fourth and final book in your Curse of the Cyren Queen series. Can you please tell us a bit about the series and what inspired you to write it?
Absolutely! Curse of the Cyren Queen is an epic YA fantasy series centred around a teen cyren called Roh who longs to rise up from a lowly rank and take part in a tournament for the crown. It’s perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Marie Rutkoski and Alexandra Christo, and is teeming with flawed heroines, slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance, epic worldbuilding, unique magic and found family.
As for what inspired it… The “cyren” race (loosely based on the sirens of Greek mythology) actually made its first appearance in my previous series, The Oremere Chronicles. The hero of that story discovered the lair of bones and as she did, I found myself intrigued by the setting and the creatures within it. That experience planted the first seed of an idea that there might be something worth exploring in more detail.
Do you like to read seasonal books and do you have a favourite Christmas or summer book or story?
While it’s not overly festive, I do find myself gravitating towards non-fiction (publishing and marketing) books towards the end of the year as I start to gear up for the next. I like to feel inspired and prepared going into a new year, so I try to learn new strategies and ways to plan.
Is there a particular book you’d love to find under your Christmas tree this year?
We’re not big on presents in my little family, so there’s not much under the tree!
Because of living circumstances, for the last few years I’ve avoided buying print books. However, I’ve made an exception for a few titles and one of them is Scarlett St. Clair’s newest release, Queen of Myth & Monsters. That was my Xmas treat to myself. I’m hoping it arrives before Christmas. Actually, the same goes for my proof copies of my own upcoming release, if they get here before the new year I’ll be ecstatic!
Do you have a favourite book (or books!) you’ve read this year that you’ll be recommending (or giving as a Christmas present!) to everyone you know?
I loved Scarlett St. Clair’s King of Battle and Blood. It got me out of a big reading slump.
Here in Australia and New Zealand at Christmas time summer is just getting started. Do you enjoy summer, and what is your favourite thing about it?
I definitely enjoy summer! More so in New Zealand than Australia – the heat isn’t so stifling here. What I love most is how our little garden has flourished. I love drinking a beer or a wine out there with the umbrella up and the sun shining between the mountains.
Do you like to plan a summer reading list? I’d love if you could please share three some books from your summer tbr.
Sadly I don’t break for summer currently. My partner works in the wine and hospitality industry so it’s their busiest time, so I generally work through as well. However, I always have a TBR as long as a train so here are a few on my radar atm:
Finally, I know you have been working hard on your next book, Blood & Steel. Can you tell us anything about how it is going and what to expect?
Yes, I have! It’s going well (I think!). Blood & Steel is my first book of adult romantic fantasy, releasing on February 16th, 2023. It’s perfect for fans of The Bridge Kingdom, From Blood and Ash and The Witcher, with enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn spice, found family, and a sprawling world of magic and monsters.
It’s available for pre-order now here and the early reviews have just started to trickle in, all of which have been super encouraging so far!
I’m equal parts excited and terrified to share it with the world, but ultimately I hope everyone falls in love with our heroes Thea and Wilder as much as I have 🙂
Thanks so much for your time!
Thanks for having me!
Biggest thanks to Helen for chatting with me – it’s always such a thrill to hear from authors of books I’ve loved, and I honestly can’t wait to read Blood & Steel! You can keep up with Helen on her Instagram page here, or for even more peeks behind the scenes check out her Patreon – I’m signed up and love the extra news and previews we get!
About the author: Helen Scheuerer
Helen Scheuerer is the fantasy author of the bestselling series, The Oremere Chronicles, the Curse of the Cyren Queen quartet and the upcoming epic romantic fantasy, Blood & Steel. Her work has been highly praised for its strong, flawed female characters and its action-packed plots. She also publishes advice for authors with her nonfiction series, Books For Career Authors.
Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a creative writing degree and a Masters of Publishing. She has been a full-time author since 2018 and now lives amidst the mountains in New Zealand where she is constantly dreaming up new stories.
The Oremere Chronicles
Book 1: Heart of Mist
In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.
Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.
But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.
The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.
Curse of the Cyren Queen
Book 1: A Lair of Bones
As the daughter of an infamous criminal, Roh only cares about three things: her friends, finding her deathsong, and the upcoming royal Queen’s Tournament.
A treacherous competition determines the ruler of magic every fifty years. This is Roh’s chance to change her life. Change her destiny.
But she’s not the only one who wants to win. Champions from every land will fight to the death for a chance to wield unimaginable power.
The challenging part of the Queen’s Tournament for Roh is keeping her human partner alive. She can’t win or survive without him. Together they’ll have to face the most cunning, and dangerous warriors magic can throw at them. Together they’ll face more than enemies. Together, they’ll learn the meaning of true friendship.
The Legends of Thezmarr
Book 1: Blood & Steel
With her death foretold, Althea Zoltaire only has three years to become what she’s always dreamed of being: a warrior legend.
Women are forbidden to wield blades, so she has trained in secret her entire life. Now racing against the clock, she fights to secure her place in the elite guild charged with the protection of the five kingdoms.
The sparring and hazing of the new trainees border on deadly, but even more dangerous is her growing attraction to Wilder Hawthorne, her unwilling warrior chaperone.
All around them, schemes are afoot and darkness looms.
Will Althea pass the perilous initiation test and take her place as a champion of Thezmarr – or will the invading evil snatch away her dream before it starts?