Today I am so pleased to welcome Shawna Barnett to Joyfully Jay. Shawna has come to talk to us about her latest release, Windfall. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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Shawna has written some questions and answers to share with us today! 

So, you are a writer who also maintains a career. That’s a lot to juggle. Are there ways that your work experiences have inspired or bled into your writing?

Well, when I was in my last year of college, I volunteered at a domestic violence center. I loved the experience and went on to be a victim advocate for a few years. Working at these centers inspired me to write Liana as an advocate of sorts, herself. She’s a charitable pirate, much like a female Robin Hood with a career like Jack Sparrow’s. Maybe sprinkle a little bit of Zorro in there, as well and you’ve got the infamous Captain Foley. In Windfall, Liana runs a tavern that doubles as a soup-kitchen.

But like so many advocates in the field, Liana struggles with her own personal experiences with abuse and victimization in herself and the people she loves.


Next question. We meet Liana Foley in Seabird, and a lot of time passes until we see her again in Windfall. What did Liana do between the books in the series?

Between the two installments, Captain Liana Foley has become a pillar of the community.

In Seabird, Liana has been thoroughly disillusioned by politics and most anyone in a position of political power. She decides to take matters into her own hands by becoming a pirate. Seabird ends with Liana just beginning to gather her very own crew.

After that, Liana steals money from her older brother to purchase a ship. They have a falling out, but she presses on. With the help of her foster father, Marin, she achieves her dream of living a life on the open sea. In the first chapter of Windfall, the reader can see that this wasn’t an easy process, but by the time we see Liana in the second chapter, she has learned a great deal about what it takes to lead a crew of loyal men.

She has also picked up ownership of a tavern, The Black Barricade, where people go when they need help or protection.


Next, we also meet the character Asha in Seabird. She and Liana had such a sweet romance. Will we ever see her again?

I can guarantee that Asha will return. I won’t say when, but she will come find Liana when she needs her most.


Back to the theme of domestic violence. There are a few relationships in Windfall that seem unbalanced and perhaps toxic. You’ve talked about the narcissist/empath dynamic with Ameen and Liana, and we see red flags there. What are some of the “green flags” in other relationships, such as Liana and Rhian?

One of my favorite aspects of Liana and Rhian’s relationship is that there is always a sense of vulnerability that fosters growth, both within themselves and between each other.

For example, Rhian realizes that she is bisexual (and has feelings for Liana) because Liana is open about her own sexuality. With Liana, Rhian can speak her mind without judgement, giving her a feeling of safety that she’d never known before. As time goes on, Rhian’s respect and affection for the pirate captain grows.

But with that growth comes more difficult trials. Without revealing spoilers, I will say that Rhian gathers the courage to give Liana boundaries and accountability for her actions.


Are there any other types of LGBTQ+ representation in the series? What about some characters we might not know yet?

Absolutely! Liana’s motley crew, and the people she attracts are often those that feel “othered.” The Windfall has a wide variety of queer identities aboard. Ameen is asexual. Lucky, the ship’s master gunner, is also bi/pansexual. Jamil, a prominent member of the crew, is a trans man. Many more characters are LGBTQ+, though it may not be obvious in the first book. There are many more to come as well.


windfall coverCaptain Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fights. She fights the King’s Navy. She fights to balance power in oppressive Vioria. She fights for respect as a female, bisexual, pirate captain. But she’s losing her biggest fight: to escape her secret past as a lost Princess.

With a mysterious letter and a stranger threatening to expose her, Liana is blackmailed into attending a royal ball and protecting her counterpart, sheltered Princess Rhian. The pretenses are suspicious enough, but Liana takes the risk in hopes to finally unveil the magic plot that killed her parents and forced her into hiding.

When Liana encounters Rhian’s own lightning-wielding powers, the ball erupts in violence. The sheltered princess falls into the care of Liana—and her band of pirates. On the run, the only safe haven for the Windfall crew to hide is the most-dangerous place of all: under the thumb of Liana’s narcissistic, abusive brother-in-law.

In order to protect her crew, her family, and naïve Rhian, Liana must demand sacrifices from herself and the people she loves. Her choices will make powerful enemies; good thing Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fighting those.

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shawn barnettShawna Barnett is a mother, life-long advocate and author of swashbuckling tales. After receiving a BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz, Shawna worked in victim advocacy and behavioral health. Born in San Diego, California, her experiences have taken her all over the United States. After settling in Tennessee with her daughter, Shawna seeks to speak out through writing and contribute to a world where everyone is safe and respectfully represented.




Shawna is giving away a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card with this tour:

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