Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson
Hide by Lisa Gardner
Now and Then by Robert Parker (I think that's the title)
And two books for my new friend Carolyn that made me think of her. :)
They had tons of great books at the sale! The only thing is, I am very picky about the condition of my books. Some of them were stained or bent or yellow and I put those back. I only bought new condition books. Well Hide is a former library copy but all the other ones are new. I'm so happy I got Sweet Revenge for $1. To think I was going to buy it at full price when it first came out! It pays to wait a little while.
I didnt read yet today! AHH I know! I didnt clean or do laundry either. LOL
Oh and then we went to Target. A Greatland Target which is like a HUGE one. We dont have many of them around here. This one was like 40 minutes away and it was BIGGGG. I needed a new purse because my eyeliner got lose in my purse and crayoned it all up! Plus it's 2 yrs old and I needed a new one anyway.
So I got a Issaic Mizrahi black tote purse for $40. It's GORGEOUS and leather and black and I love it. Then in the discount section I got a tan purse that's a nice normal size. Not oversized like mine. I gave it to my friend for Valentine's Day early. LOL Then I got a dark brown one just like it and a small blue glittery one with brown straps and outline. The two bigger ones were $40 marked down to $10! The small blue one was $30 marked down to $7! Great deals. I was drooling in the purse aisles! If there's a Target by you, check out their purse section cause this seems to be discounted everywhere cause I saw the sales online too. Awesome sales!
So that's about it. Then we came home. Oh did I mention that the breakfast place we go to is EXTREMELY over priced and it cost like $30 for breakfast for two? The only reason we go there is cause the library sale is right next to it. So I sacrificed a cheap breakfast for cheap books. LOL
Post a picture of the book cover on your blog with the back cover copy like I am doing on here. Link back to the contest and post on that thread on Dee and Dee Dish's blog saying you posted on your blog about the contest. Here is the fabulous cover of the book and the back cover copy below. Also Dee and Dee have an interview and review of the book on their blog so make sure to check it out. They run awesome contests and I love their site so much.
Please let Dee and Dee know that RachaelfromNJ sent you when entering the contest, I really appreciate it.
Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer
Back Cover Copy:
Elisabeth Page has big shoes to fill. She's the daughter of a living legend, novelist Ben Page, and is the sister of literary wunderkind Rascal Page. But her career as a pastry chef is decidedly not up to her family's snooty standards - even though she works at the hottest restaurant in LA - and her five year plan to own a patisserie has morphed into an eleven year plan to nowhere. Also frozen in time is Elisabeth's personal life: She's still involved with Will, her family-approved childhood sweetheart, a journalist whose constant jaunts leave her lonely. Enter an exciting career opportunity and, even more terrifying, Daniel Sullivan, a beer-drinking basketball coach who is everything her family is not. Can Elisabeth, who's addicted to control and bred to criticize, finally embrace happiness? Only if she has the guts to let others see her naked... and let them love her, warts and all.
Buy Seeing Me Naked here
I was thinking about getting my hair cut and blow dried straight this weekend. I'm not sure if they're open on Sunday. I hope they are that way I can wear it straight to work on Monday. If I got it done today it wouldn't be as nice for Monday still. I'm considering cutting a couple inches off my hair. Apparently my hair is longer then shoulder length. I always say it's shoulder length but apparently it's down my back a bit. It's so knotty and unmanageable. UGGG.
I need my eyebrows done too. They're so bushy right now since I've had no time to do anything. I should get my nails and toes done too. Ahhh dream world. This probably won't happen since I'll just lay in bed all weekend feeling sick. :(
What is everyone currently reading? Are there any new books coming out that you're excited about? I'm anxiously awaiting Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich and the new Sophie Metropolis book by Tori Carrington (can't remember the name, brain fart).
Well that's it for now. Sorry I've been gone for so long! Hopefully I will be able to post on the weekends now since I'm busy all week.
Tish Gallagher is a wedding videographer with the bad habit of a shopping addiction. It doesn’t matter if she has no money to eat because she will still spend whatever she has on a pair of shoes. If Tish can’t afford the shoes, then she charges them and deals with the repercussions of maxed out cards later on.
Tish was once happily married to a man named Shane Tremont but her constant spending led them to divorce. Shane currently works for the Secret Service as a body guard to the President’s daughter Elysee. Elysee has been engaged three times and hasn’t had any luck in finding true love. She thinks Shane is the man for her after he saves her life in a freak accident. Unfortunately, Shane isn’t sure he feels the same about Elysee. He still has feelings for his ex wife Tish and she still loves him too.
Things move at a rapid pace between Shane and Elysee and they end up engaged. Shane isn’t sure that he really wants to marry Elysee but he goes through with it anyway. What he wasn’t expecting was for Elysee to hire his ex wife Tish as the videographer for their wedding!
Tish makes a wish on a magic wedding veil to get out of debt and her wish is answered when the President’s daughter calls her with a job offer. Tish has no idea that Elysee is engaged to her ex husband Shane and she’s in for a huge surprise when she finds out. How will Tish and Shane deal with their feelings for each other? Will Shane go through with the wedding or will he leave Elysee at the altar for Tish?
ONCE SMITTEN, TWICE SHY is a romantic story about soul mates and listening to your heart when it comes to love. The story had suspense, humor, romance and even a touch of magic that made this book a very enjoyable read. This was my first book by Lori Wilde and I look forward to reading her previous novels.
Lori Devoti has donated two great prizes. Two lucky commenter's will each win a copy of Unbound. I will pick the two winners on the 21st and post the names here. To be ENTERED in the contest make sure you comment and ask our guest author Lori questions.
KIMBERLY SWAN! Kimberly please email me through my profile link with your name and addy and I will forward it on to Christie to send you the book, Divorced, Desperate and Delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Everyone else, don't worry, you can get a copy too! It's available on Amazon and it's only $6.99! I bought copies for a couple friends and everyone has loved it! So go buy a copy here on Amazon.
1. My hair is super thick, puffy, fluffy, poofy, and unmanageable. If I use a blowdryer it becomes this huge puffy mess. So I tend to just wear it back in a pony tail with lots of gel. When I go to the salon they somehow perform a miracle of making my hair pin straight and flat and gorgeous. Oh and they charge me extra for having thick hair! DESCRIMINATION I TELL YOU!
2. I'm really pale. I've always been pale and I've never had a tan in my life.
3. I am a true friend. If for any reason a friend needs me or is having a problem, I am there in a second.
4. I am a book snob. I really don't care for very thick books. UNLESS it's by an author I love then that's different. I guess it's easier to say it's the long articulate books that I don't care for. I used to give up on books after only 5 pages before I became a book reviewer. Now I have to force myself to stick with the books. I am a huge book snob though because I can be very picky about what I like.
5. I have a fiance. We've been together 6 years and engaged for about 3 yrs. We don't plan on marrying right now. We have a long engagement planned. I'm still young so there is no rush. People ask us constantly when is the big day. I give those people evil looks. LOL
6. I'm a lefty. And I have a circle shaped brown birthmark on my ankle. When I was little my mother told me that it was going to keep growing and growing until it took over my whole body. I believed her.
7. When I was little my mother read my brother and I a book of scary stories. In the book, there's this lady with a scarf around her neck sitting on a swing. Little kids would come up to her asking her why she always wore that scarf. At the end of the book, the lady takes off her scarf and her head falls off. Apparently, the scarf was holding her head on. My brother and I screamed like maniacs (we were only like 6 and 8 yrs old) and we hid underneath the dining room table with the book. My brother sat on the book to hide it from my mom and we were hysterical for hours. When my mother mentions this story now, she cracks up because she thought it was pretty funny.
Don't forget you have one more day to enter the contest to win Divorced, Desperate and Delicious by Christie Craig! Read the interview and ask your questions now!
Continuing the theme of Favorite Authors week..I would like to introduce everyone to one of my favorite new authors....
Please welcome author of Divorced, Desperate and Delicious, THE FABULOUS Christie Craig!!!
Hi Christie! I am SO happy to have you here on my blog! Thank you so much for doing this interview. I absolutely loved reading this book!
Thank you, Rachael, for asking me to appear on your blog. I’m still almost in a state of shock about my book sales and about DD&D being so well-received. For over a year now, I’ve been walking around saying, “Somebody pinch me.” Then again, I have stopped saying that in front of my husband. Not because his presence increases my sense of security, or because I suddenly believe it’s real, but because he pinches really hard.
Please tell everyone about your new novel, Divorced, Desperate and Delicious.
DD&D, as I refer to it, (I really need to start choosing shorter titles) is a romantic suspense. It’s a tad eccentric, a tad over the top in the humor department. It’s a story about an animal-loving, slightly-quirky woman who has had her heart broken and has given up on men. Then Chase Kelly, a cop being framed for murder, and feeling ever so desperate, stumbles into her life and makes her doubt her men-avoiding path. But trusting in his innocence is was one thing, trusting herself not to fall head over heels in love is another.
What inspired you to write this book?
After almost seven years of only writing non-fiction for magazines, I was suddenly hit with a bad case of the Wanta disease. I wanted . . . really wanted to go back to writing fiction.
Finding my “writing” voice after so long wasn’t easy. I knew I had changed as a person and as a writer. I started listening to the masses of writing experts. So many people told me that a suspense novel couldn’t and shouldn’t be funny. Or they would tell me that your main characters couldn’t be funny, to give that honor to your secondary characters. But I loved humor and I loved suspense. And it didn’t feel right giving all the humor glory to my secondary characters. So I decided to shut off all my censors and write the book the way I wanted to write it.
Will there be future books featuring Chase Kelly and Lacy Maguire?
In DD&Delicious, Lacy has two also-divorced friends, Sue and Kathy. I plan to give each her own story and have Lacy and Chase reappear and give my readers a peek into their lives. In December of ’08, Sue and Jason’s story, titled, Divorced, Desperate and Dating, will be released. Kathy’s story is in the plotting stages. I’m still trying to figure out how I can get her and her hunky plumber together. LOL.
What are you currently working on?
Can you believe this is the hardest question you’ve asked so far? And, duh, how difficult should that question be? But I have so many irons in the fire.
Because the number one rule in publishing is…don’t quit your day job, I’m still writing for the magazines. I recently finished an intriguing and educational article on . . . toilets. Yep, the royal flusher! Because I always try to use my nonfiction research in my fiction, look for a book soon that showcases some fancy johns. (I bet it’ll be something I can use for Kathy and her plumber. LOL.)
As for my novel projects, I working on doing the PR for next release, Weddings Can be Murder which is June release. And like I said, I’m busy plotting Kathy’s story. (Poor girl, I’m coming up with all sorts of situations for her to face.) I’m also busy polishing another proposal, a humorous romantic suspense, to get to my agent. And there are some humoruous non-fiction projects, too. As soon as I have details on those to share, I’ll let you know.
How did you come up with the idea of talking appliances for DDD?
Well, like I told you, I always try to use my non-fiction research. I was writing a piece on quirky high tech’ appliances that included a refrigerator that you could leave voice messages on, a microwave that would take voice commands, and a recliner that could cool you down, heat you up, and offer a back rub. Anyway, I got to thinking about what type of a person would have all these odd appliances in their home. I had also been plotting a story about a cop who was being framed. The two ideas sort of bumped into each other as they were running laps in my mind. Just like when peanut butter met jelly, the two ideas came together so nicely, that I knew I had to write it.
When you write sex scenes do you use your own experience to write on or do you make them up out of your head?
Okay…Rachael, what kind of question is that? :) All I’m gonna say is that my husband thinks he’s very lucky that I love my research.
How do you pick the names for your characters?
Okay…you’ve hit on one of my sore subjects, a real nerve. My writing partner on my non-fiction books, Faye Hughes, claims that I suck at the art of name selection/name calling. She claims I mostly use one syllable names and I need to think bigger. I have since called her a few names and some of them even have more than one syllable. Okay, I admit I’m not the most creative name giver. Sometimes, I resort to even picking up the telephone book.
What is your writing routine?
Well, let’s see. I’m looking at the time on my computer screen and it reads 4:41 AM. The truth is I love what I do, and spend way too much time doing it. I’m usually at my desk anywhere between 4:30 to 6:30 AM.. I pause to see my hubby off to work, my son off to school. I go for three-mile walks most days, I’ll grab a quick lunch from the fridge, take the time to love on my four cats and one dog, then I generally work until it’s time to make dinner. I enjoying cooking, and eating, so it’s not a hardship. After dinner, hubby cleans up the kitchen -- hey it’s only fair because I cooked. A lot of evenings, I will steal an hour or two of writing time, depending on what deadlines I have on my plate. Generally, one day a week I take a break to have lunch with my girl friends.
I don’t always take the weekends off like I should, sometimes deadlines push me to work on those days as well—okay most of the time—but I’m trying to schedule myself more play time.
What authors and genres do you enjoy reading?
Most of the fiction I read is either women’s fiction or romance. Making more time to read, and reading in other genres is one of my goals this year. As for in the romance genre, I still enjoy historicals, I love a good scary romantic suspense—although I don’t want any that are too dark or what I consider depressing. If an author makes me laugh, I will usually become an instant fan. I enjoy reading fun paranormals. I do read a lot of nonfiction. I’m a how-to book junkie. I love learning so I read a lot of writing books.
What is the last book you read?
Nonfiction, I just finished Writing For Emotional Impact. By Karl Iglesias. Fiction: I read Colleen Thompson’s The Salt Maiden, and Deadly Gamble by Linda Lael Miller. On my books to read: Lori Wilde, Once Smitten, Twice Shy. Nina Bangs, One Bite Stand, and Real Vampires Have Curves by Gerry Bartlett.
What would readers be surprised to know about you?
Okay…there’s a few of things, some I can’t share ☺ but a few I can.
That I’m not bald under my hats. I wear hats at every writing convention because I wore one at a conference right after I sold my very first book years ago. My editor was there and when she saw how everyone recognized me because of the hat, she told me that I was never to go to any writing event without a hat. It became my trademark. People seriously remember me year to year at conventions because of my hats. And while I do like hats…I don’t wear them when I write, unless it’s a baseball hat and I’m having a very bad hair day. I don’t wear them when we go out unless it’s a writing associated event.
I’m a terrible writer. No, I’m serious. My talent isn’t in the written word, my talent lies in storytelling. Diagnosed in the third grade as “learning disabled,” I struggled with reading, writing and concepts.
Oh, I was good at reading people, by the third grade I could tell you that Billy Bob had a thing for Mary Sue, even though he swore he’d rather eat dirt than have to sit next to her. I could tell you when the teacher must have had a fight with her husband, or that my math teacher liked it when the principal, a nice looking gent’, came into our room. I could tell you the names of the teacher’s pets, and where I was on their favorites list—never too high mind you. When encouraged, I could entertain people with either my observations of what was happening around us, or by concocting some tale with just enough truth in it to make them believe. But let’s just say my report cards were never anything to write home to mom about and I never looked forward to taking them home to her either.
Today, I’ve overcome a lot of my obstacles. Spell and grammar check help, but then I have critique partners who are wonderful at proofing. It wasn’t until my son was diagnosed with Dyslexia that I had a name for my own struggle. But you know, I don’t think I’ve achieved what I have in spite of the dyslexia, but maybe because of it. People who deal with dyslexia are know to be very intuitive, and that is one of my writing strengths.
I really am a nutcase. Raised to believe anything could be dealt with through humor, laughter at our house is a constant. Between my animals and the assortment of eccentric friends and family, we seldom take life too seriously. Nor do I take myself too seriously, I consider myself extremely blessed to actually get paid for something that is truly my passion. Shhh…don’t my editors or agent, but I would do this even they didn’t pay me.
That I’m not an overnight success--unless your idea of a night is thirteen years. I actually published a book in ’94 with Silhouette Romance. After not being able to sell that second or third book, I focused on my non-fiction magazine career. In 2000, I finally decided to return to my love of writing fiction. It took a lot of rejections, six years of biting and scratching my way back in (I do apologize to that one editor) some serious head banging, and a few failed attempts at blackmail, before I finally sold.
I also write nonfiction books with my writing partner, Faye Hughes. Our book, The Everything Guide to Writing Romance Novels, published by Adam’s Media will be out in September of ‘08.
Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers?
That I hope anyone who has a dream will never give up in trying to achieve it. I don’t care if it’s running a marathon or being the best Elvis impersonator down at the karaoke bar, if you have a dream, never, ever give up. Never miss a thing.
Buy Divorced, Desperate and Delicious on Amazon
Visit Christie Craig's blog at Killer Fiction
Thank you so much for this interview Christie! Christie will be giving away a copy of Divorced, Desperate and Delicious to one very lucky commenter. She will also be answering any questions about her book and writing in the comments section.
The convention starts off rather dramatic when the Urban twins lock Abby in a telephone booth coffin. When someone at the convention turns up dead inside a coffin, Abby immediately suspects the same people who trapped her in one, the Urban twins. But the twins are swearing their innocence and have solid alibis. Who would want to kill someone at a Funeral Convention? Is this someone’s idea of a sick joke or is there something more sinister going on?
Abby’s friend Delilah Dove was the last person in the room where the deceased was found. The police decide she is their obvious suspect, so they immediately take her in for questioning.
The only person with answers to what happened is Angelique, an eccentric harp player who records the music of people’s souls as they leave their body. Angelique is unable to clearly communicate with the police to explain what happened to the deceased. Instead she tells Abby an odd poem hinting as to who the killer is.
Abby puts on her detective hat and with the help of her boyfriend Marco and her friend Grace; they try to put the pieces to the puzzle together. Will Abby and her friends find the killer before he claims another victim?
A ROSE FROM THE DEAD is a fun cozy mystery that will keep you guessing until its exciting conclusion. The mystery is intriguing and kept my interest. There are numerous suspects who could be the murderer and this book kept me guessing until the end.
The writing is entertaining and there’s even some humor throughout the book. This was my first book by Kate Collins and I look forward to reading her previous installments in this series.
I recently found this really cool website for a new author whose book is coming out on February 14, 2008. The book is called The Break Up Diet. It's a memoir by Annette Fix. I'm going to be reviewing this book, but I haven't read or received it yet since I just found out about it yesterday. I normally don't blog about a book before I have read it but this one sounds really good. Here's a description of it from Amazon:
In her hilarious and heartbreaking memoir, The Break-Up-Diet, Annette Fix shares her story about how she always believed in happily-ever-after and was busy working her Five-Year Plan: marry her golf-pro boyfriend, home school her preteen son, become a famous writer, and retire to Fiji. When her live-in boyfriend calls it quits, Annette finds herself on The Break-Up Diet, consuming vast amounts of chocolate and exercising poor judgment by diving blindly into the shallow end of the dating pool. Working as an exotic dancer to bankroll her aspiring writing career and support her son alone, Annette uses her blue-collar instinct to survive in the plastic jungle of The OC. Annette's adventures take her on a wild ride as she attempts to find the perfect balance between her dreams and her day-to-day life as Supermom. The Break-Up Diet a book for hopeless romantics, seekers of princes, believers in happily-ever-after, queens of their own castle, and readers who love books that make them laugh and cry and nod their heads, saying--'I've been there.'
Annette has an excerpt on her site and a video blog of her talking!
Edited to say: Coming soon Annette will have a free e book to download to help people who are dealing with a breakup and even a support group for people who have recently been dumped.
So check out her blog and post to her in her comments section telling her what you think of everything. Her blog is http://thebreak-updiet.blogspot.com/and her main site is http://www.thebreak-updiet.com/
Pre order it on Amazon here
TC! TC, Please email me at email@example.com with your name and address and I will send it on to Gemma to mail you the book.
Thank you so much for coming Gemma!
Welcome author of the
I had the pleasure of reading an early copy of Alibi in High Heels and it was absolutely fantastic! I read the whole book in one day. Gemma will be answering readers questions in the comments section and she is also giving away the first book in her series, Spying in High Heels, to one lucky reader.
Thank you SO much for coming Gemma!!
Mystery Series, the FABULOUS Gemma Halliday!!!
Please tell everyone about your series featuring Maddie Springer?
The The series is a cross between " " and " " – lots of fun, fashion, and dead bodies.
How did you come up with the idea for your series? series features Maddie Springer, a shoe designer turned amateur sleuth living in . and trying to fight crime, all the while maintaining a very hot on-again-off-again relationship with sexy L.A.P.D. Detective Jack Ramirez.
I've always loved reading mysteries (thanks Nancy Drew!), but I wanted to do a fun, fresh, younger sort of sleuth than the ones I was finding. I thought about the kind of girl I'd like to read about (one with a fab shoe collection) and, voila, Maddie was born!
Do you know when your series will be coming to TV?
The Spying in But, the producers of the show are all really behind the project, so I'm hopeful I'll have good news again when the strike is over.
Who would you cast to play your characters? TV show is on hold at the moment due to the WGA (Writer's Guild of America) strike in .
I'd actually really love to see some new actors in the lead roles. I think it would be a fun vehicle for new talent. But, as I was writing Maddie, I always had Reese Witherspoon's character in in mind, so she'd be fab. As for Ramirez – any of those Latin soap opera hunks would do the trick for me.
Do you know how many books will be in the series?
The book I'm working on right now looks like it will be the last in the series, so most likely we'll end it at five. But, I'm leaving things open enough that we can always come back to it if there's a demand for more Maddie.
Do you recommend reading your series in order or do you think it can be read out of order?
I think the romance between my two main characters, Maddie and Ramirez, grows and develops over the course of the series, but you certainly wouldn't be lost picking one up book three or four. Each book is a fresh chapter in Maddie's life, so I try to make them stand alone as much as possible.
Are you working on a book now?
Right now I'm working on the 5th In this one, Maddie investigates the murder of a prominent wedding planner. Lots of fun! I have to admit, though, it's a bit bittersweet for me, being the last in the series. But I'm hoping readers will agree that things are tied up in a nice, satisfactory way in the end. ;)
What is your writing routine? book, Mayhem in .
I generally like to write in the mornings and try to get at least 10 pages a day written. Now, whether I actually do or not is another story… but I try.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It really varies. The shortest amount of time it's ever taken me to write one of the Heels books is 10 days (I don't recommend that!) and the longest is 9 months. Generally, I'm most comfortable with at least 6 months to plot, write, polish.
Do you plot your stories or just sit down and write?
I do plot. For me, the mystery is just too hard to write flying by the seat of my pants. I tend to plot the first few chaps, then write those, then plot the next few, then write those – rinse and repeat. :)
What authors and genres do you read?
I tend to read a lot of mystery and suspense, so some of my favorites are the biggies in those genres – Evanovich, Allison Brennan, Brenda Novak. As far as new authors, I can't say enough good things about Christie Craig. Love her books, and she's just a doll!
Do you love shoes as much as Maddie Springer?
Um… yeah. I do. It's bordering on addiction. Though I don't quite have Maddie's designer dream wardrobe, I seriously covet it.
If you could only have three pairs of shoes for a two month trip, which shoes would you pack?
My red patent leather (my all time favorite pair of heels), my black pointy toed leather boots (very classic), and, since I'm taking the trip somewhere tropical (of course!), sparkly silver flip-flops
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
That's is one of the hardest parts for me. Some of my characters go through several names before I find one I can live with. I think it's a lot like naming your children – you need to pick something you don't mind repeating over and over and over…
Do you pick your titles or book covers?
Most of my titles are ones I've come up with, but I do rely on my editor's input heavily, as she is a brilliant woman. The one I'm working on now, MAYHEM IN , was her idea. Clever, huh? As for the covers, that is all the art department's work. I LOVE what they've done with each one. I do generally get some input, but, for the most part, I just let them do their thing.
Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers?
Gemma is answering questions from readers. Feel free to post your questions about her books and writing in the comments section and she will be coming by to answer them.
Visit Gemma's website http://www.gemmahalliday.com
Buy book 1 Spying in High Heels here
Buy book 2 Killer in High Heels here
Buy book 3 Undercover in High Heels here
Preorder book 4 Alibi in High Heels here
I finished No one Heard Her Scream a couple days ago and turned in my review. I'm not going to post it here yet since I will wait for it to hit the newspaper first. Then I can link to it here. :)
So on to my next book... A Rose from the Dead by Kate Collins.
WENDY!!!! Wendy please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address and I will send your info on to Jennifer Rardin's publicist to send you the books! Congrats!
Attention: There is ANOTHER interview and giveaway booked! Keep checking back for more info. I think everyone will be very happy with the fabulous authors that will be visiting us here.
Please welcome author of the Jaz Parks Series, the incredible, the amazing, Jennifer Rardin!!
Jennifer has a new series out so far consisting of FIVE books, each being released rapidly one after another! I have had the pleasure of reading and devouring books one and two so far and I have to say they were damn good!!
Jennifer please tell everyone about your series featuring Jaz Parks.
I’d compare it to a terrific bachelorette party. Fun from beginning to end, with romantic overtones and yet no icky sex to squash the vibe. Okay, nobody gets drunk until book four (Bitten to Death). And there is that small matter of the violence. And occasional gore. What can I say? Jaz and Vayl are assassins, and damn good ones at that. Necessary characters in a world inhabited by vampires, necromancers, witches, reavers and the like. Yeah, Vayl’s a vampire too, but he’s chosen his own path, one that’s allowed him to live peacefully among humans for over eighty years. He’s unique in a lot of other ways as well, which is why Jaz finds herself so fascinated by him. Hopefully you guys will as well.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Once Bitten, Twice Shy took me two years to finish, but that was because I could only go at it part-time, usually at night before I went to sleep. Now that I’m writing full time, I can generally complete a manuscript in six months. However that’s working intensively, usually seven days a week, from six to eight hours a day. I wouldn’t recommend that schedule long-term and am looking forward to stretching the time-line to about nine months after I’ve finished One More Bite in May.
Did you need to do any research for your books?
Quite a bit. My philosophy is that everything that parallels real life in my books should be as believable as possible, because I think it allows readers to more easily embrace the fantasy elements. My research has run the gamut from the basic rules of belly dance to what word Spec Ops guys would use to call for a medic during a firefight. The most fun bit of research I ever did was to participate in an afternoon of Airsofting with my son and a group of his friends. The guns look genuine, but they shoot soft pellets. Everybody straps on appropriate safety gear and then the games begin. It was amazing how real those guys could make a battle situation feel for me. Very cool of them to let me play.
What are you currently working on?
I’m writing book five of the Jaz Parks series, One More Bite, during which Jaz and Vayl fly to the Scottish Highlands in order to take out another assassin. I’m pretty excited about this one, because we’ll have a chance to learn more about Jaz’s childhood. I’m also developing a new urban fantasy series which has got me pretty psyched. It’s a lot different from this one, but still with those elements of adventure, humor, romance and violence that I find so appealing both as a writer and a reader.
How many books will be in the Jaz Parks series?
At this point we’re planning on five books. However if we get a big, positive response to the series, we’re certainly open to doing more.
I think your books would make excellent movies. Is there any talk about turning them into movies or a TV show?
We’ve had a couple of nibbles from movie producers, but nothing firm yet. So fun to ponder which actress could pull off Jaz Parks though. And Vayl—that’s going to take some real charisma. Any ideas?
How do you write your fight scenes? They’re so vivid and real. Do you have to plan it out or does it just fall into place as you write?
My editor helped me a lot with fight scenes by suggesting that I write them as if I was viewing them on a TV screen. Just see the action and then describe it. So that’s what I try to do.
I never plan those scenes out. In the outline it usually just says something like, the bad guys show up and they fight. I will say I find those the most difficult to write. Because they should read really fast, but they go into the laptop like taffy—intricate detail usually involving multiple characters. They’re the scenes I labor over the most. Those and the climactic endings, which generally change several times before I’m happy with them
Do you plot your stories or just go right to the writing?
I did minimal plotting on Once Bitten, which came back to bite me (pardon the pun) in the rewrites. We’re talking massive numbers—I’d say over twenty in all. Once you’re published, you can’t really write that way anymore. Editors need to know the plots for catalog copy and so on long before you’ve ever begun the story, and I’ve found the writing goes faster, from the first draft onward, if I’ve plotted the entire novel from the get-go. Having said that, I should note that I’ve never stuck with the original outline once I’ve gotten into the writing. Stuff happens, you know? Unexpected twists and turns that make a story sing, and if you try to force it away from what it’s trying to become, stick to the plan you started with, the creative juices stop flowing.
Vampires tend to have different rules in every paranormal and urban fantasy novel that I read. How did you decide what will work for your vampires and demons in your books?
Some of my decisions were based on practicality. Should vampires be able to see themselves in mirrors? Well, duh. Eat and drink people food? I figured if some of their body parts worked, all the others should as well.
On the other hand, I couldn’t buy everything I’ve seen vamps do in fiction. Time travel? Nope. Turn into bats? Fly? I just couldn’t go there. My editor requested that I stay with a few of the more traditional aspects of vampirism (no skipping into church, if you please) and I was cool with that. Out of respect for all of those who came before, I felt I should maintain traditional methods of killing them as well.
But as a writer your attempt is to offer readers, if not something new, at least a unique perspective on a subject. So then the decisions begin to base themselves on contrasts. How do your vampires who are monsters differ from Vayl, the one vampire who is controlling his monster? And what does that mean for him and Jaz?
I adored the scenes with astral projection, when the soul leaves the body to travel elsewhere and then returns to its body after. I have always found this so fascinating and I think you did a wonderful job with it. How did you go about writing those scenes? Any research needed for it? Do you believe it is possible to astral project in real life?
Thanks so much! I always think it’s cool to see which scenes people pick out as their faves.
I didn’t research for astral projection specifically. But when I was younger, for a while I became fascinated with near-death experiences. That is, people who’d died and then been brought back. So I’ve read a few books on that theme and heard quite a few first-hand accounts, one from a close family member. So that figured into the process somewhat.
I wasn’t sure people would accept that Jaz could separate from herself in the way I wanted her to. So my effort was to make it seem as real as sitting down to breakfast. Do I believe it’s possible? I tend to think anything’s possible, but to suspect anyone who publicly claims some amazing ability. Maybe that sounds like an oxymoron, but my sense is that wondrous gifts are rare, and their owners only share the news with people who know how to keep their mouths shut.
If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
If I could be a superhero, I would be Hilariousgirl. (Your Stephen Lynch fans are probably rolling on the floor right about now.) Seriously, I’d like to be able to crack people up every time I opened my mouth. My “day job” would be a blast—people would pay just to hear me stand on a stage and talk. Have you ever heard anybody laugh until they snorted? It’s a riot! Plus, think about it, you could foil any sort of crime, because people can’t function when they’re laughing so hard they’re trying not to pee their pants.
What authors and genres do you enjoy reading?
I love reading Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Ursula K. LeGuin, Charlaine Harris and (early) Laurell K. Hamilton. I’ve also read a lot of Tom Clancy and everything by James Clavell. My favorite romance writer is Maggie Shayne.
I prefer urban fantasy, fantasy and science fiction with an occasional dose of mystery and horror for variety.
Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers?
Thanks to all of you for joining the Jaz adventure! My third book, Biting the Bullet, is due to be released February 11. Bitten to Death will follow on August 12 and One More Bite will appear on bookshelves March 2009.
Hope your 2008 rocks!
Jennifer RardinThank you so much for this wonderful interview Jennifer! Good luck with your series and I can't wait to read Biting the Bullet!!
Jennifer will be answering readers' questions between 7 and 8 pm Central time Monday January 7th. (IT is today the 7th, sorry for the typo originally)
Visit Jennifer Rardin's site here
Buy Another One Bites the Dust here
Ok after some VERY tough deliberating I have the winners. I read everyone's questions for Jenna Black to my fiance, without telling him who said what and how I know them. One person's questions stood out the most and they were the same questions that got my attention too! So that person is the Grand Prize winner of Jenna Black's book The Devil Inside..and that person is....
CAFFEY! CAFFEY please email me with your name and address and I will foward it on to Jenna Black and she will send your book out to you!
Now second prize has the option of one of two books. I added another book into the mix just in case. Second prize had AWESOME questions also and that person is.....
LINDA BASS!!! Linda you have your choice of a Christmas Anthology called Sugar and Spice by Fern Michaels, Beverly Barton, Joannie Fluke and Shirley Jump OR a fiction novel that I read and LOVED called My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Linda please email me with your name and address and which book you would like and I will send it out to you.
Third prize had AWESOME questions too! Third prize is a copy of A Very Merry Christmas by Lori Fster, Gemma Bruce, and Janice Maynard. This book goes to......
AMY S. !!! Amy please email me with your name and address and I will send the book out to you.
Fourth prize had AWESOME questions too! Fourth prize is a Christmas Anthology called The Morgue the Merrier by Rosemary Laurey, Karen Kelley and Dianne Castell. This is a signed copy by Dianne Castell. Fourth prize goes to..................
Kimberly!!! Kimberly please email me with your name and address and I will send the book out to you.
Thank you so much everyone for posting and for welcoming Jenna Black. This was my first contest and interview ever and I hope to do this again soon because it was alot of fun! If you didn't win Jenna Black's book, don't be sad, you can still buy it at any bookstore and it's only $6.99 so it's not alot of money! It is so worth it and I think you will be very happy you bought it.
Thank you Jenna for coming and I can't wait to read your other series!
Please welcome author of The Devil Inside, Jenna Black! After reviewing The Devil Inside for Night Owl Romance and here on my blog, I was so captivated by the story that I asked Jenna if I can interview her here. She graciously agreed and is even doing a book giveaway to one lucky reader! Here is her interview!
Rachael: How did you come up with the idea to write a book about an exorcist?
Jenna Black: I got totally hooked on the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton, and I noticed that for some reason, I wasn’t burning out on that series as I had on every other series I could remember reading in the past. (Generally, after a series hit five or six books, I’d find myself getting tired of it.) I tried to analyze what it was about the Anita Blake series that made it still hold my interest after so many books, and I decided it was the enormity and the intensity of Anita’s internal conflicts.
When I set about to come up with my own urban fantasy concept, I started with the desire to build a really strong internal conflict. And that’s how I ended up with a possessed exorcist.
Rachael: Do you know how many books will be in the Morgan Kingsley series?
Jenna Black: At least five, because that’s what I have under contract. After that, it will depend on a number of factors, such as whether I’m still enjoying the series, whether fans are still enjoying the series, and whether my publisher wants to continue publishing the series.
Rachael: Do you plot everything out or do you just sit down and write?
Jenna Black: It actually varies from book to book. Some I plot, some I write by the seat of my pants. So far, the books in the Morgan Kingsley series have fallen into the latter category.
Rachael: What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?
Jenna Black: I love urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of my favorite authors are Laurell K. Hamilton, J.R. Ward, Kelley Armstrong, and Rachel Caine. (There are a lot more, but if I listed them all, no one would want to read this blog because it would be too long!)
Rachael: What are you currently working on?
Jenna Black: I’m currently working on the third book in the Morgan Kingsley series, The Devil’s Due, which will be coming out in the fall. I’ve got a draft finished, and my husband is reading over it right now. (He serves as my first reader for practically all my books.)
Rachael: Can you tell us about your Guardians of the Night Series?
Jenna Black: The Guardians of the Night series are paranormal romances, set in a world where there are two kinds of vampires: Killers and Guardians. Killers, as you might have guessed by their name, feed by drinking human blood and killing their victims. Once they begin to kill, they become addicted to it and are unable to stop. Guardians are vampires who feed on animal blood. They are less powerful, both physically and psychically, than the Killers, but it is their mission to protect the human population from Killers. Their mission is complicated by the constant temptation to reach for greater power by making a kill.
Rachael: Do you know how many books will be in the Guardians of the Night Series?
Jenna Black: I’ve got three out right now, and a fourth coming out in May. After that, the fate of the series is unknown. I’d like to write at least a couple more, but that may or may not end up happening.
Burning Questions After Reading the Book - No Spoilers Here
Rachael: Why do humans offer their bodies as hosts for the demons? Can a demon live without a host body?
Jenna Black: Demons are usually incorporeal and live in a parallel world called the Demon Realm. Humans can summon them onto the Mortal Plain by giving up their bodies as hosts. Many people who volunteer to host demons do so because it gives them a chance to be heroes. A person possessed by a demon has superhuman strength and healing ability, and so they often take on very dangerous jobs—and can take risks in those jobs that would get a normal person killed. A demon can live without its host, but not on the Mortal Plain. If a demon’s host dies, the demon goes back to the Demon Realm.
Rachael: I mention in my review, some violence and S&M in The Devil Inside. What was the reason for including this in the story? Did you feel it added to the character's personality? Was it to show how scary demons can be?
Jenna Black: There are actually a couple of reasons I chose to do this. One is a straight-out story reason, which is that it heightened Morgan’s conflict. Her entire world view is shaken up when Lugh, the demon king, possesses her, and having her deal with people whose sexual practices are strange and even abhorrent to her, shakes her up even more. She’s got a very judgmental, black and white view of the world, and I wanted to confront her with as many shades of gray as possible. (Also, it just made sense to me that creatures who were incorporeal in their own world would have a very different way of viewing physical sensation than most humans would.)
The other reason is more of a “writer reason.” My latest book in the Guardians of the Night series, Shadows on the Soul, was a very, very difficult one for me to write. Gabriel, the hero, is a Killer, and in the previous book, he’d been one of the secondary villains. He is a darker character than most romance readers are used to seeing as heroes, and the whole time I wrote it, I worried. My inner critic kept protesting “you can’t do that!” But I was on a tight deadline, and I had to force myself not to listen to that inner critic when it insisted Gabriel was too dark to redeem.
I think that Shadows on the Soul was the best book I’d written up to that point, and judging by reviews, others agree. I think one of the reasons it turned out so well is that I took so many risks, and battling my inner critic perversely gave me extra energy and excitement. The Devil Inside was the very next book I wrote, and I wanted to keep pushing myself to take risks, to write about things that made me uncomfortable, and to do battle with my inner critic. Believe me, some of the scenes that were uncomfortable were read were a lot more uncomfortable to write. But I feel like the risk paid off, and that I grew as a writer by taking it.
Rachael: Will there be more back story on the characters in future books? I am curious about the night that everything happened to Morgan. Will readers find out more about how she became a host for a demon?
Jenna Black: There will definitely be more back story, especially about Morgan. You’ll learn a lot about her past in The Devil You Know. There’s also more to come about Raphael and his twisted, complicated relationship with Lugh.
Rachael: Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers?
Jenna Black: You can visit me on the web at http://www.jennablack.com/, where you’ll find excerpts from all my books, including the upcoming books in he Guardians of the Night series and the Morgan Kingsley series. And if you’re on MySpace, please drop by my page and send me a friend request: www.MySpace.com/jennablackbooks
Jenna Black: Thanks for letting me reach out to your readers!
Rachael: Thank you Jenna Black for this wonderful interview!
Jenna will be giving away a signed copy of The Devil Inside to a reader who comments and asks questions in the comments section of this post! Did you read The Devil Inside already and have questions about it for Jenna? Do you want to read The Devil Inside and want to know more about it? Comment away!
You can buy The Devil Inside here
Edited to Add
Rachael : Because I am SO happy with all the people commenting, I am going to also giveaway books from my own shelf. These are Christmas Anthologies that are unread. I ended up with so many of them that I figured someone else would give them a better home and probably even read them! Check out the comments section here for the rest of the details.
1.Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
2. Flesh and Bone by Jefferson Bass
3. The Perfect Daughter by Anna DeStefano
4. Nearlyweds by Beth Kendrick
5. Icing On The Cake by Laura Castoro
6. Well Bred and Dead by Catherine O'Connell
7. Will She or Won't She by Sheila Norton
8. Dead Shot by Annie Solomon
9. Count To Ten by Karen Rose
10. Speak No Evil by Allison Brennan
11. The Perfect Fit by Louise Kean
12. Knock Off by Rhonda Pollero
13. The Screaming Room by Thomas O'Callaghan
14. Target by Stella Cameron
15. The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
16. Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan
17. Super Mom Saves the World by Melanie Lynne Hauser
18. The Woods by Harlan Coben
19. Lethally Blonde by Kate White
20. Dead and Berried by Karen MacInerney
21. Blind Submission by Debra Ginsberg
22. What The Dead Know by Laura Lippman
23. The Vampire of Venice Beach by Jennifer Colt
24. Trouble in Bloom by Heather Webber
25. The Watchman by Robert Crais
26. Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
27. Bone Valley by Claire Matturro
28. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
29. Aye Do or Die by Candy Calvert
30. Death by Chick Lit by Lynn Harris
31. City of Fire by Robert Ellis
32. Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
33. Slip and Fall by Nick Santora
34. Short Change by Patricia Smiley
35. Foul Play by Tori Carrington
36. You Don't Know Jack by Erin McCarthy
37. The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
38. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
40. Christietown by Susan Kandel
41.The Manny by Holly Peterson
42. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
43. Overkill by Linda Castillo
44. Big Girls Don't Cry by Cathie Linz
45. Body Movers: 2 Bodies For the Price of 1 by Stephanie Bond
46. See No Evil by Allison Brennan
47. Bloodshot by Stuart MacBride
48. Forget About It by Caprice Crane
49. Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate by Kyra Davis
50. Bad Girls Don't by Cathie Linz
51. Last Breath by Mariah Stewart
52. Divorced, Desperate and Delicious by Christie Craig
53. Demon's Kiss by Eve Silver
54. The Con Artist of Catalina Island by Jennifer Colt
55.Sex and the Immortal Bad Boy by Stephanie Rowe
56. Hooked by Jane May
57. I gave you my heart but you sold it online by Dixie Cash
58. Sucker Bet by Erin McCarthy
59. The Salt Maiden by Colleen Thompson
60. Catnapped by Gabriella Herkert
61. Blood Secrets by Vivi Anna
62. Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin
63. The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue
64. To Catch a Cheat by Kelly St John
65. Tombs of Endearment by Casey Daniels
66. Dark Lies by Vivi Anna
67. Another One Bites the Dust by Jennifer Rardin
68. Unlucky by Jana Deleon
69. Unmanned by Lois Greiman
70. Twisted Justice by
71. Eternal by V.K. Forrest
72. Witch in the House by Jenna McKnight
73. Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian
74. The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts
75. Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper
76. Devour by Melina Morel
77. Dead Men Dont Get the Munchies by Miranda Bliss
78. Darkling by Yasmine Galenorn
79. Alibi in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
80. Really Something by Shirley Jump
81. The Devil Inside by Jenna Black
This book is very special to me. I haven't read it yet, it sounds great, but it's special because I will be reviewing it for one of my regular sites but it will also be featured in the newspaper in Minneapolis which is viewed by 160,000 people and available online too. One of the owners of the review site has a column for her reviews in the paper and she offered this book for a review in the paper. And I was the extremely lucky person to get this amazing opportunity. I will have a byline. I am so happy and nervous! The book sounds really good and I hope it is since the review will be going into the paper. I did wonder what happens if I don't like the book, but I think I will like it since it just sounds great. It's romantic suspense which is one of my favorite genres and my FAVORITE author Allison Brennan raved about it so I know it must be good. Well wish me luck and I hope I can read and review it well without my nerves getting to me!
Morgan Kingsley is an exorcist. You know those people who exorcise demons out of you like in the movies? If the demon can’t be exorcised out of the person, then they must be burned alive. So you can see why Morgan takes her job pretty seriously, after all she’s saving lives.
Morgan’s latest exorcism is that of a possessed little girl. During the exorcism, things get a little crazy and the girl reaches out and touches Morgan’s bare skin. Being touched on your skin by someone who has a demon in them is a sure way to become possessed yourself. But for some weird reason, nothing happens to Morgan. She’s the same person as before and she goes home wondering about the day’s event.
The next morning Morgan awakens to find a note from herself telling her the reason she didn’t become possessed is because she already is. Shocked and scared out of her mind, Morgan just assumes it’s not true and she wrote this while sleepwalking or something. But the notes keep coming and so does a mysterious sexy demon. The demon named Logue comes to Morgan only while she is sleeping, and he has some scary and interesting news for Morgan the exorcist. See, Morgan IS possessed and he is the demon possessing her. But Logue doesn’t want to be in her body and he can’t take control of it anyway since she is so strong and fighting him.
When Morgan ends up in near death situations, she finds out that someone is trying to kill her to kill the demon inside her, Logue, who is someone VERY important to the demon world. Will Morgan survive the attacks and be able to free herself of the demon or will someone exorcise it from her and kill her?
THE DEVIL INSIDE is an extremely intense dark urban fantasy novel that will leave readers breathless with suspense and anticipation. The story is told in a rapid fire, strong first person narration by the main character Morgan Kingsley. Morgan’s character is determined, strong willed, tough but in a likeable kind of way, and you will root for her to become the victor in her battle with demons.
There is S&M and extreme violence with some erotica elements throughout this book. They’re a bit shocking but they represent the characters’ personalities and make them who they are. Some readers may be very disturbed by the violence as was I, but the story is written so well that I was able to deal with the not so pleasantness. This is not a paranormal romance so don’t expect a happily ever after. This is mostly urban fantasy with lots of action, demons and a great mystery raveled all into one.
I was captivated by Jenna Black’s writing and I look forward to reading her next book in this new series. THE DEVIL INSIDE is dark and scary but it’s ORIGINAL and SO DIFFERENT from anything else out there in Urban Fantasy. If you are looking to try something new, original and fresh, I think you will find THE DEVIL INSIDE to your liking.