Today I am so pleased to welcome Marina Vivancos to Joyfully Jay. Marina has come to talk to us about her latest release, In This Iron Ground. She has also brought along a tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Another book, another playlist.

In This Iron Ground’s playlist hopes to capture the voice of the story, carrying the listener through the tide of the book.

It starts with Wash. by Bon Iver, which is the inspiration for the title.

No can’t grow up

In that iron ground

Those two simple lines speak volumes to me. About how children cannot flourish in hard ground, how they need open, soft soil: kindness, love, nurturing. This book is about what happens when a person is denied that. More importantly, it’s about how the trees of our souls don’t stop trying to grow. That iron ground can always be rained upon, nourished, softened, to bring forth the best in a person.

Like Cold Little Heart sings,

(Maybe this time I can go far
But thinking about where I’ve been
Ain’t helping me start)

this story is about being taught shame, about being taught that you are lesser than you are.

Like Curs In The Weed warns,

(It’s like marrow without bone
To live in a house with no home)

this story is about the pain of a homeless spirit, about finding where your heart is safe.

Like in this playlist, there are dark moments in In This Iron Ground. But I never leave my characters there. I have seen people crawl out of dark places, and I have seen how family and love can help that journey. That is what this book is about.

Shifter stories interest me because they can be an intensification of how important the bonds you create with other people are. About found family as much as blood. About love at a biological, sensory level. Damien, the main character of this book, may start with marrowless bones like fossils in the iron ground, but that’s not how he ends up, lifted up by the howl of a blue moon.

By the time time Ella Fitzgerald croons at you

(Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for)

Everything will have been put to rights.


Damien is nine years old when his parents die. What should have been the worst moment of his life begins a journey shadowed by loneliness and pain. The night of a full moon, four years and seven foster homes later, Damien flees to the forest, desperate to escape everything.

Instead, he finds the Salgado pack, and the earth beneath his feet shifts. Damien has seen the Salgado children in his school: Koko, who is in his class, and Hakan, two years older and infinitely unreachable. Damien is suddenly introduced into a world that had only ever existed in his imagination, where there is magic in the forest and the moon. He meets creatures that look like monsters, but Damien knows that monsters have the same face as anybody else.

Over the years, Damien and Hakan grow closer. First, just as friends and foster brothers in the Salgado house, and then into something heated and breathless when Damien joins Hakan at college. Despite what he may yearn for in the darkest part of the night, Damien knows, deep down in that bruised and mealy part of his core, that he’s not good enough to be part of the Salgado family, their pack. He’s not worthy of calling Hakan his home.

Even though he knows in the end it’ll hurt him, he’ll hold onto this for as long as he can.

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains themes of emotional and (nonsexual) physical child abuse and the subsequent emotional, cognitive, and behavioural impacts.


When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her!

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Marina has brought a tour wide giveaway. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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