17 For paranormal romance writer Krista Masotto, the idea for her first book came from a rather unexpected source — a place where the absurd and the “could-be” walk confidently hand-in-hand.

“I was going through a huge ‘Bachelor’ phase,” she admitted. “I’d binge-watch that show until it eventually grew into a bigger world that was fun to hang out in.”
Masotto, who writes under the name K.M. Rives, has taken the idea of women vying for the attention of one gorgeous, mercurial man and transformed it into a world of vampires, fiery witches, and other figures of fantasy in her series “A Culling of Blood and Magic.”

“It’s a paranormal romance that starts with a vampire prince finding his queen,” Rives explained. "As you read, the story devolves into a world of war, mystery and the supernatural —with some spice sprinkled in.”

The saga of vampire prince August Nicholson and doomed twin Emery Montgomery begins with “The Replacement,” which recently held the #1 spot on Amazon’s Vampire Romance and its Fantasy/Futuristic Romance lists and is followed by “The Intended,” and “Hybrid Moon Rising.”

Book four, “The United,” is the series’ final installment and was released on Dec. 6 — just in time for Christmas. Early reviews suggest it will be as popular as its predecessors and a fitting end to “The Culling” saga. It's been a long journey with these characters, first conceived in 2018, but Rives feels their story is over, and she's ready to write new adventures.

“It’s such a bittersweet moment for me as an author, but I am so excited for everything that comes next! Enjoy every minute of August and Emery's journey to happily ever after!” she told her fans via Facebook on release day.

With several irons in the fire, her trusty laptop always open, and two or three notebooks overflowing with ideas, the military wife and mother of two girls never saw herself as a professional writer.

“I’ve always loved writing,” she shared. “I was that kid in high school that loved writing letters to my friends, always had my head in the clouds with ideas, and was always an avid reader. I didn’t start writing fiction or taking myself seriously as a writer until 2019.”

Seeking advice from other authors in her writing group, Rives set out to create a story with characters in which she, herself, could invest within a genre she was already familiar. “I wanted to write something I knew and enjoyed reading,” she said.

As any “Twilight” fan can happily tell you, vampires have been seducing audiences for centuries. Stoker’s Dracula never fails to draw in readers with each new interpretation of the source material — not too shabby for a book published nearly 130 years ago. So while vampires and the women who love them are nothing new, something about Rives’ slick, stylish world-building brings fresh blood to the evergreen content. Her penchant for spice and her electric turns of phrase make for a wholly satisfying read for anyone looking for a searing romance novel with some bite to it.

Though she’s comfortable in the world of immortals, Rives is excited to explore other genres and keeps her mind open to new story ideas no matter how unlikely the inspiration may be.

“I have a duet planned — an extension of this world,” she recently shared with Up & Coming Weekly. “It will be about gods and the realm of mythology from characters you already know, with some surprises thrown in.”

Rives is also ready to try her hand at contemporary romance. This sub-genre and romance as a whole have seen an incredible rise in popularity and revenue due to social media and the persuasive power of #booktok posts. Now a billion-dollar industry, it’s one of the highest-earning genres across fiction.

With so many avenues to publication, global publicity through social media, and a built-in audience that consumes, on average, one new book a week — it’s an exciting time to write exciting prose.

As a military wife, the Hope Mills resident understands how easy it is to get lost in the shuffle of deployments, moving trucks, and the demands of military life; Rives knows how fortunate she is to have not only a satisfying career but a legacy to pass down to her daughters. And while the commitment to serve her craft every day is sometimes difficult to meet — her motto: “write the words,” keeps her on track.

“Sometimes I get up early or stay up late — whatever it takes,” Rives explained. “Both of my kids are in school, so that helps. I utilize any downtime I get, and it helps that I have an incredibly supportive husband,” she beamed.

When not writing, Rives is a rabid sports fan and can often be found at nearly every Woodpeckers game with her family during the team’s regular season. She’s also maintained the same fantasy football league with the same group of friends for nearly ten years. With her long hair dyed in her trademark kaleidoscopic range of blues, greens, and purples — Rives somehow manages to be exactly and not at all what you'd expect of a romance writer.

Despite her rock star looks and surprising knowledge of who’s on first, Rives’ talent as a writer is apparent, and she's optimistic about whatever’s next.

“I love all the people I get to meet,” she shared when asked what she enjoys most about being a writer. “Other military spouses, authors and readers from all walks of life have opened up so many opportunities and doors for me — it’s been amazing.”

All four books of “The Culling of Blood and Magic” series are available to purchase or download on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CN39SDZ?binding=kindle_edition&qid=1670475233&sr=8-3&ref=dbs_dp_rwt_sb_pc_tukn.
You can follow K.M. Rives on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kmriveswritesbooks.

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