3 Reasons You Will Love If Wishes Were Curses

You know those fantastical stories that draw you in from the very first line?

The ones packed with solid world-building, interesting characters, magic, danger, romance, and…a…a…shape-shifting otter?

If Wishes Were Curses by the uber-talented Janeen Ippolito hits all these high points and more.

Before I get into the reasons I loved this story, I’m gonna give you the blurb:

So I accidentally killed a shifter. On purpose.

With genie powers I shouldn’t be able to use, thanks to my curse-mark.

In my defense, the damn grizzly was threatening civilians and might have been a vampire as well. Pittsburgh is safer without him. Only the Fae court doesn’t believe my story, and the shifters are out for blood.

Now I’ve lost my job as a romantic investigator, and I’m on death row. My only hope is an oddly outgoing vegetarian vampire lawyer who seems strangely familiar. Too familiar. 

Almost like we’ve met before, and this whole thing was a set-up to take us both down.

Wishing won’t get us out of this mess.
But my forbidden wish magic just might. 

Whoa! Sounds intense, right?

Okay, here’s what I loved:

1. Non-stop action

Once this story starts, it does not let up. Our heroine, Allis, battles the Fae world (which really have it out for her), her own powers (astronomical), and even destiny to get what she wants. Set in an absolutely magical but absolutely believable Pittsburgh, this imaginative tale sucked me in and took me for a wild ride. I loved the bits and pieces of plot dangled ever so skillfully in front of me that left me hooked as well as all the mythological traditions blended together.

2. A character I could root for

I loved Allis’s snarky comments and absolute flair for wry observations that were so witty, I literally laughed out loud more than once. Allis was handed a raw deal, but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she plucks up her courage, reins in those darker impulses, and sets about making things right. I really admired her streak of justice! And the family dynamic with her brother provided an opportunity to showcase her loyalty.

3. A romantic subplot that hummed beautifully throughout the story

I don’t read ‘romance’ stories. But I still like romance, you know? This story hit the perfect balance. Without giving you any spoilers, let’s just say I really enjoyed the way Allis constantly met and re-met the love of her life. Their chemistry was red-hot without being too in-your-face, and I loved how their devotion to one another got them out of more than one sticky situation.

Buy If Wishes Were Curses on Amazon and don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads list!

Janeen Ippolito

Janeen Ippolito writes steampunk fantasy and urban fantasy, and creates writing resources, including the reference book World Building From the Inside Out and the creative writing guide Irresistible World Building For Unforgettable Stories. She’s an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, marketer, and is the leader of Uncommon Universes Press, a small traditional science fiction and fantasy publishing house. She’s also the cohost of the podcast Indie Book Magic. In her spare time, Janeen enjoys sword-fighting, reading, pyrography, and eating brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica.

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Thanks for joining me!

Jebraun Clifford's headshot

Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, Jebraun lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island surrounded by thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic and far-off worlds. Her loves include coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and she harbours a secret penchant for British spelling. You can find her sci-fi short story “Beyond the Stars, Past the Moons” in Encircled, a collection of fairy tale retellings.

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The Irresistible World Blog Hop

It is with great excitement that I get to share about a fabulous writing resource. Usually, the blog tours I participate in are about fiction stories with amazing worlds and fantastic characters.

Well. This book  is about HOW to get those amazing worlds that leap off the page and delight the reader with their uniqueness.

Blog Hop Banner

The author, Janeen Ippolito, created this guide to help writers get into their worlds and understand them from the inside out. When she asked for writers to use the book for their own stories and then write about the process, you can bet I put my hand up quickly.

I adore writing speculative stories–fantasy, science fiction, anything imaginary–and the project I used to show off Irresistible World Building is my short story, a science fiction piece called “Past the Stars, Beyond the Moons.”

Janeen sent me a list of questions, and I’m going to answer them using my short story:

Name your spec fic subgenre!

This is a science fiction story. But it’s not heavy with scientific details and explanations, so I suppose the proper subgenre is space opera.

Why this subgenre? What makes it awesome?

I love exploring characters’ relationships. In space. Haha, seriously, there’s something about being out in the stars or on another planet that grips my excitement. I’m definitely dating myself, but Star Wars (the original one!) was one of the first movies I saw in the theatres so it’s made a HUUUUGE impact on me.

What are your favorite books in your subgenre?

I love Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness. I took a science fiction lit class in college and remember reading some obscure, out-of-print book called The Stars My Destination which was fascinating. I really must find a copy of it somehow.

What universal feelings do you explore in your world building—and why?

I explore the longing for connection that we all have. Because it’s a universal experience!

What are the three coolest things about your world building?

I love that it mostly takes place on a derelict moon base. I didn’t want to have a host of characters, so the isolation really makes Astrid and Milos forced to rely on one another. I also like that there’s an initial connection between the two of them that goes beyond verbal communication. Milos ‘calls’ to her as he’s trapped there, and she ‘hears’ him. Finally, I love that a gift that Astrid’s father gave her, a knife made with a freshum crystal, helps Astrid when she’s really stuck.

What about your world building messes up your main character’s life?

Well. When the evil sorceress wakes up, the world literally starts to fall apart. So there’s that.

Irresistible Quote 3

What was the first thing that inspired your world building?

I knew I wanted to retell the Norwegian folk tale of “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” and I knew I wanted to set it in space. I suddenly pictured a young woman drifting through the stars in an escape pod (there’s that Star Wars influence!) and the rest of the story fell into place.

What is your favorite made-up creature from your world?

This was honestly my favourite part! I was having so much fun with this one! I made up a little critter called a hundar. Her name is Spark and she’s a little like a dog but she has needle-like retractable teeth and a feathery tail. Her intuition drives my main character, Astrid, to some important decision making.

Share a short excerpt from your story that shows off really cool world building

I would love to!!

I peer through the window again, cupping my hands around my face to block out the interior lights. We’ve floated closer to the pock-marked moon. I catch a glimpse of a structure tucked into a crater—a vast prismed dome, its panels reflecting the two primary stars in this system.

“I was right! That’s a base.” What’s left of one—it looks a bit battered. And familiar. Have I been here before?

The pod shudders and moves toward the moon.

My triumph evaporates. I grab the closest handhold. “What’s happening?”

And finally, I’ll give you a little graphic I put together to inspire me as I wrote this story.

Beyond the Stars, Past the Moon

If you’d like to stay in the loop about this story or the others I’m writing, find my Facebook page, subscribe to my newsletter, or join my Facebook group/street team for more updates from my writing journey. I host regular giveaways and love connecting with other readers and writers. 😀

I found this resource to be invaluable and am looking forward to referring to it for my next stories. So if you want your world to be thorough and imaginative and irresistible, pick up a copy of Janeen Ippolito’s Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories.

Irresistible World Building Cover

You can find it on Amazon or read other reviews on Goodreads

Author Photo

Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes urban fantasy and steampunk. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. She believes that words transform worlds and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com where you can sign up for her newsletter.

Thanks for joining me!


Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island in a town filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

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