Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Karen Greco: First Rule of Fight Club

My next guest is Karen Greco, author of Tainted Blood, the second urban fantasy novel in her Hell’s Belle series. She’s here to talk about one of the things I find challenging: writing fight scenes. She’s also giving away ten e-copies of her latest release as well as some custom-made vampire stakes like the one Nina uses in Tainted Blood (U.S. only). The Rafflecopter link and other details are below. Welcome, Karen!

urban fantasy

Hell’s Belle readers know how much I love my fight scenes. They are my favorite moments to write. Some people are lovers, some are fighters. My characters are a whole lot of both.

When I started working on Hell’s Belle and found my fight writer calling, I knew I had to learn how to fight. I needed to feel my fist hit something (in my case, a heavy bag), to check the angle of my hip while I swooped in a round house kick, to know that the impact felt like when it connected.

Now, when I sit down to write the fight scenes, I often find myself jumping up out of my chair and marking out the scene’s progression. Nina flips a baddie over her back, I simulate it in my kitchen! Nina drops out of the way of a punch, to the floor I go! My puppies think I am either insane or the Best. Dog. Mom. Ever.

Sometimes the moves are damn near impossible for my all-to-human body to execute without one or two (or many) Three Stooges moments. But honestly, I really should not be able to do the moves. I am not a vampire, after all. I don’t have the speed, strength or agility of Nina. But I am able to execute it enough to get the basic feel, and I can share it with my readers. (And yeah, I know, “that’s not realistic!” Of course it’s not! I’m writing about VAMPIRES!)

And you know what? It feels damn good to get off my butt and move around a little.

So, when your reading Hell’s Belle or Tainted Blood, and you come to a fight scene, you can be assured that the moves were road tested before ending up on the page.

More About Tainted Blood

After surviving a vampire assassin (not to mention an awkward affair with a hot FBI agent that ended worse than she could have imagined), witch/vampire hybrid Nina Martinez is reunited with the full Blood Ops team in Providence, Rhode Island. Her Aunt Babe is tutoring her in all things witchcraft, and her vampire partner Frankie is enjoying the benefits of daywalking, courtesy of a demon spell.

When a segment of the Rhode Island vampire population is marked for death by a tainted blood supply, Nina and her team race to find Patient Zero before the local vampire population is wiped out. But when a demon infestation threatens to take control of the city, Nina must join forces with newly elected mayor—and closet demon— Ami Bertrand before the city falls into ruin.

Filled with fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action, Nina and her group of supernatural misfits battle a surprising new enemy that threatens their very existence.

No wonder she still can’t get a date.

Karen Greco

Karen Greco

More About Karen

Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry. Originally from Rhode Island (she loves hot wieners from New York System, but can’t stand coffee milk), she studied playwriting in college (and won an award or two).

After not writing plays for a long time, a life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity.

Her first novel, Hell’s Belle, was released in 2013. Tainted Blood is the second book in the best-selling Hell’s Belle urban fantasy series.

Karen can be found online here:

The Giveaway

At the end of her tour, Karen is giving away ten e-copies of Tainted Blood. Winners will also receive a custom-made vampire stake similar to the one used by Nina from Tainted Blood. U.S. only.

To enter, click here for the Rafflecopter link.

Click here for my complete giveaway rules.

Free Short Story Prequel

River Vamp

River Vamp: A Hell’s Belle Prequel Short Story

Frankie and Nina head to New York City for an early Blood Ops mission. Guess what they fish out of the Gowanus Canal?

Free at Smashwords

Tainted Blood Banner

So, writers, how about you? Are fight scenes easy or tough for you to write? Do you act them out in your head or in your kitchen?

Readers, do you have a favorite fight scene? Have you seen Fight Club? (How bad is it that I haven’t?)

Thank you for guest blogging today, Karen!


Jocelynn Drake: Writing from a Man’s POV (BONUS: great giveaway; fun cover contest)

Today’s guest blogger is New York Times bestselling urban fantasy author Jocelynn Drake. She is releasing three new Asylum Tales novellas: Demon’s Fury (today!); Demon’s Vow (Oct. 21), and Inner Demon (Oct. 28). Instead of writing them from her Dark Days heroine Mira’s point of view, they are written from Gage’s point of view. She’s here to discuss what writing from the guy’s POV was like. She’s also giving away a complete set of the e-novellas. Because I am Rafflecopter challenged, however, there are only two ways to enter: comment below or vote for your favorite Asylum Tales novella cover via tweet. The tweets and other giveaway details are below. Welcome, Jocelynn!

Stepping into Gage’s Shoes:

Understanding a Man’s Point of View

When I started writing novels from the first person point of view, there had been no question in my mind that my main character would be female. As a woman, this was instantly the safest and wisest course of action.  I know that men and women see the world differently.  There’s a mountain of books that have been written on how the men and women view their environment differently.  I didn’t want to worry about sounding male when my main concern at first was sounding like a 600-year-old vampire (that’s hard enough!).

But as I worked on the Dark Days series, I decided to stick a toe in the water in the fourth book (PRAY FOR DAWN) by telling the story from the vampire hunter Danaus’s point of view.  Not the easiest of tasks, but it was definitely fun and interesting.

When the Dark Days series came to an end a couple of years ago, I was presented with the opportunity to try something completely different. The doors were thrown open to my imagination and the sky was the limit.  It was thrilling and exciting!  I was back to playing god and the cosmos was spread before me, waiting for my unique brand of insanity.

One of the first things I decided was that I wanted to step away from the female point of view. I loved working with my vampire Mira.  I loved her temper, her intense concern for her close friends, and the internal struggles that waged within her on nearly every page.  I loved her because she was so damaged and because she had to be the potential to become the villain as easily as she had the potential to be the heroine.

But with the Asylum Tales, I needed to stretch my skills and tackle some new terrain. Gage was the perfect chance.  As the idea for the series started to form in my mind, the realization that my narrator was going to be male was one of my first decisions and I have never wavered from that.  I wanted to try to see the world through a guy’s point of view.

With Gage, my first thought was that I had to watch the emotional baggage and turmoil. Mira walked around unable to completely shed the demons from her past.  Gage has his own dark shadows, but he keeps them largely buried in the past.  The other thing that I’ve tried to keep in mind with Gage is that I’ve tried to rein in his emotional impulses.  When things go wrong, his first desire is to jump in and act, but unlike Mira, he’s been a little more careful, planning ahead in hopes of saving his own skin.

I think one of my favorite things is that I’ve turned off the little censor man when I’m writing as Gage. Most people are gifted with a little man in their brain who is able to stop most of the stupid things that we think from coming out their mouths.  Gage’s censor man takes a lot of vacations and I’ve enjoyed just letting the first things that come to him exit his mouth.

Gage has been fun to work with because I think he represents all the male friends I’ve had during my life as well as both of my brothers. While Mira tapped into my own personal dark side, Gage has been a great chance to stroll through some wonderful memories with old friends and family.   And like Mira, Gage has become a part of my private writing family along with Mira, Danaus, Tristan, Valerio, and Jabari from the Dark Days series.

More About Demon’s Fury

Jocelynn Drake continues her successful urban fantasy series, Asylum Tales, with Demon’s Fury, set in a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires walk free among humanity.

Powerful warlock and tattoo artist Gage has managed to escape the magical Ivory Towers who terrorize the rest of humans and monsters – but at a price.

Now he must join forces with his nemesis Gideon to stop an unknown entity who is using old magic to commit gruesome murders. And if that’s not keeping him busy enough, an investigator recruits Gage to help her track a killer … who might be targeting tattoo artists.

Available at Amazon

More About Demon’s Vow

Tattoo artist and warlock Gage is having a rough week. He’s trying to track down a mysterious murderer in Low Town while also chasing a powerful entity using forbidden Death Magic across the nation.

When Gage discovers the two forces may be trying to unite, the stakes get even higher. With Gideon’s help, Gage is determined to stop the murderers before anyone else gets hurt – including his girlfriend, Trixie.

Available at Amazon

More About Inner Demon

Gage is a powerful warlock in Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, goblins, and vampires walk free among humanity. But there are two dangerous entities murdering families and children, and Gage needs to stop them before anybody else gets hurt.

When Gage discovers a demon locked away it offers him access to dark magic in exchange for its freedom – a dangerous opportunity, but one that could save his loved ones. Gage must choose between what is right and what is easy … except he’s running out of time.

Available at Amazon

Jocelynn Drake

Jocelynn Drake

More About Jocelynn

By day, Jocelynn Drake is a clean-cut financial editor, picking apart stories about Wall Street and the global markets. But in her free time, she writes about a dark underworld where vampires and warlocks rule.

The author of Dark Days and Asylum Tales series, she lives in Florida with her husband, dog, and cat. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s usually hiding from the sun by playing video games.

She can be found online here:

The Giveaway

Jocelyn is giving away one e-book set of all three novellas:

  • Demon’s Fury
  • Demon’s Vow
  • Inner Demon

To enter to win, comment below by answering one of my questions, asking one of your own, or just saying you’re interested in reading the books. You can ALSO enter to win by voting for your favorite cover via tweet with one of these tweets:

My favorite Asylum Tales cover is @JocelynnDrake’s DEMON’S FURY. #urbanfantasy #giveaway @archer_jill http://wp.me/p1G39m-20o

My favorite Asylum Tales cover is @JocelynnDrake’s DEMON’S VOW. #urbanfantasy #giveaway @archer_jill http://wp.me/p1G39m-20o

My favorite Asylum Tales cover is @JocelynnDrake’s INNER DEMON. #urbanfantasy #giveaway @archer_jill http://wp.me/p1G39m-20o

Giveaway ends at midnight EDT on 10/31/14. I’ll announce the winner here by 11/7/14.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to international participants 18 and over.

One tweet/entry per person.

See my Giveaways page for official rules.

AsylumTales Series Banner

Questions:

Readers — Do you like stories written from a woman’s POV, man’s POV, multiple POVs, or don’t care so long as it’s a good story?

Writers — Do you find it hard to switch character POV?

Most of my followers know that my Noon Onyx series is written from Noon’s POV, although there’s a brief scene in the middle of Fiery Edge of Steel from Rafe’s POV and White Heart of Justice‘s prologue is written from Ari’s POV. Those scenes were both fun and challenging to write because they weren’t written from Noon’s perspective. Plus, the scene with Rafe was written from his perspective as a six-year-old boy and Ari’s was written from… well, let’s just say a perspective that was new to readers for reasons other than it being written from a man’s POV. :-D

Good luck and best wishes, everyone!

Thank you, Jocelynn, for guest blogging today!


Rose Shababy: What is the best Halloween costume you already have?

Today’s guest blogger, Rose Shababy, is the author of THE BLUE EFFECT, an adult urban sf/fantasy that was released this fall. She’s here with a confession…

“I’ve never been much for dressing up during the Halloween season.”

Sure, as a kid I looked forward to it every year, but as an adult I’ve been a little apathetic about the idea. I’ve only dressed up a couple of times in the last twenty years.

Once, in my twenties, I went to a bar party as a baby in a onesie with full freckles and binky and proceeded to consume large quantities of upside down margaritas. I will admit that I stumbled home with all the adroitness of a real baby.

One year I worked at an Italian specialty grocery and the girls I worked with convinced me we should all dress up. I went along with it, figured out a simple costume I could wear over a dress of my own, and showed up that day with a tiara and sash that read “Miss Diagnosed.” I chuckled over my own cleverness, but the laughs abated after a while, somewhere around the tenth customer that said “I don’t get it.”

I haven’t tried dressing up since. Oh, I talk about it. Sometimes I tell my husband, “We should have a giant costume party this year!” And we never do.

I’ve often thought I’m just a big ol’ stick-in-the-mud for not dressing up. Until recently.

I’m an avid reader. I love the whole fantasy/science fiction/paranormal genre, but I’m not picky. I’ll read just about anything if it looks interesting.

Writing a book is even better.

Reading someone else’s work means I’m limited by the confines of their story. When I sit down to write, I can build my own world and take it anywhere I want to go.

The people in my stories can be anything I want them to be.

I had so much fun writing my debut novel, The Blue Effect. Each character is a piece of me, albeit exaggerated. Not to mention they all have really cool super powers.

My main character, Blue Brennan, is larger than life. She’s sassy and mouthy, jaded yet vulnerable, ordinary and extraordinary.

Kasey is mysterious, honorable and kind.

Avery is grouchy and gorgeous and tortured.

The beautiful twins, Val and Esme, are opposites. Esme is gentle and brilliant, while Val is wild and hilariously snarky.

Ash is thoughtful and earthy.

When I sit down to write, everything I wish I could be, or the things I wish I could say or do come pouring out onto the pages.

None of my characters wear costumes, so no amount of dressing up could make me feel like I’m walking in their shoes.

Turns out, they’re unnecessary, because the best costume available is my own imagination.

I can close my eyes and suddenly I’m armed to the hilt, fighting evil vampires.

Or I’m waving my wand in an epic witch and wizard battle.

Sometimes I’m wandering Bourbon Street in New Orleans searching for ghosts and ghouls.

Other times I’m dressed in petticoats and lace, trying to escape Atlanta before Sherman’s men set it on fire.

Once in a while, I’m fighting for survival in prehistoric times, hunting mammoths and gathering food for winter.

And sometimes, I’m Blue Brennan, telling people off, freezing time and jumping through space to wherever it is I want to be.

When I read or write a book, I can be anyone I want, no costume necessary.

And as it turns out, my imagination is the best costume I could ever wear.

The Blue Effect

More About The Blue Effect

Blue Brennan is jaded and bitter despite her pin-up girl looks and quick wit. Night after night, she scours the Seattle club scene looking for someone or something to fill the emptiness inside.

When she meets the mysterious Kasey, her world stops… literally. He claims she has the ability to control time and stuns her even further when he reveals his own gifts.

Blue is inexplicably drawn to Kasey and reluctantly enters his world filled with a new breed of humanity. They’re misfits like her, blessed or cursed with powerful abilities, struggling to hide their differences from the rest of society.

Then the group discovers a nameless, faceless sociopath with nightmarish powers; and he’s coming for Blue. She’s left reeling when they discover her gifts are the key to defeating his terrible evil and saving them all.

Now she must race against the clock to harness her own powers and save her new friends. Can she be more than a renegade? Can she be a hero too?

Available at Amazon  BN  iTunes  

Rose Shababy

Rose Shababy

More About Rose

Rose Shababy and her family reside in eastern Washington State. Rose grew up in the Northwest but swears she’s going to move to warmer climates someday. She’s claimed this for over 20 years, however, and has yet to move more than 75 miles away from her mother.

Rose has a deep love of all things Star Trek and yearns to travel the heavens, as well as an intense desire to be bitten by a radioactive spider.

Unfortunately she sucks at science and math so she hasn’t been able bring her dreams to life, instead living vicariously through books, comics, television and film. She hopes to someday make a million dollars so she can afford to buy her way to the international space station, but she’d settle for being able to fly around the world and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Rose also loves to cook and worked for years in a gourmet Italian grocery and deli where she learned to hone her skills. She prepares culinary masterpieces for her family, but fervently wishes the dishes would wash themselves. Especially now that her dishwashers/children are nearly grown and only one still lives at home.

Rose likes to use her free time wisely. For instance, she likes to daydream, will often read for hours until she falls asleep on the couch with an electric blanket and a warm tabby cat curled up on her hip, as well as spending cozy weekend days watching Syfy movies like Sharknado and Mega Piranha with her husband.

If Rose were a cartoon animal, she’d prefer to be a wise old owl or a sleek and sexy jaguar, but in reality she’d probably be a myopic mole with coke-bottle glasses.

Rose can be found online here:

The Blue Effect Banner

So, what about you? What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year? Rose is the only one who gets a pass. Kidding. I actually haven’t dressed up in a while. But Halloween’s on a Friday this year, which means a little extra celebrating might be in order. 

Both of my kids want me to go as one of the Downton Abbey characters. I’m honestly not sure why. Maybe because they know I like that show. Maybe because the dresses are pretty cool. But I can’t do Downton Abbey without zombifying it. [and p.s. to WordPress "zombifying" is in Merriam-Webster: please update spellcheck.]

Thanks, Rose, for guest blogging today!


Goodreads #Giveaway and Other News

Hi all– quick post today to share links to two giveaways that end soon and links to a few new reviews:

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

Goodreads Book Giveaway

White Heart of Justice by Jill Archer

White Heart of Justice

by Jill Archer

Giveaway ends July 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

15 print copies (U.S. only)

If you’ve already bought the book and/or added it on Goodreads, please share the link with friends and followers.

Kings River Life

Review and Giveaway

Kings River Life is “a California magazine with local focus and global appeal.” It has a “Fantasy & Fangs” section that reviews fantasy and horror. Their reviewer recently reviewed WHOJ:

“[T]he journey approaches an epic, mythic level, pitting Noon against puzzles and monsters that can’t be defeated by flat-out attacks. The solutions are ingenious, and they help Noon build power in the magic she spent most of her life trying to hide and deny… Archer builds on the classic journey formula where the prize must be won at a cost.” Terrance McArthur for Kings River Life on White Heart of Justice

KRL is giving away one print copy of WHOJ (U.S. only). Giveaway ends tomorrow. Details on how to enter are here.

Other Wonderful Reviews and Reviewers

The Qwillery

“The chronicles of Noon’s journey to accept her place in her world culminates in a thrilling adventure… unpredictable and thoroughly satisfying… inspired and exhilarating… I loved the introduction of new creatures… [and] I love when an author surprises me. Archer raised my level of appreciation by catching me unawares.” Trinitytwo, reviewer for The Qwillery, on White Heart of Justice

 That’s What I’m Talking About

“[T]he overall story arc… was gripping and intriguing… [Noon's] growth over the course of these books is immense and heartfelt… If you are looking for something different – this alternate realty where the apocalypse has occurred and the demons won – you should really think about picking up the first book, Dark Light of Day and enjoy the journey.” Gikany & Una at That’s What I’m Talking About on White Heart of Justice

 Proud Nerd Book Reviews

“Archer does an excellent job of constructing and explaining the magical system in her world… the “law school” angle is intriguing… The fantasy elements in the story, especially magic and the demons, work extremely well… Anyone who reads fantasy, romance, or especially a combination of the two should thoroughly enjoy Noon’s adventures.” Matthew Cirilli for Proud Nerd Book Reviews on Dark Light of Day

“While Dark Light of Day focused on Noon’s myriad struggles coming to terms with her waning magic and her new life at St. Lucifer’s Law School, Fiery Edge of Steel sweeps Noon to the edges of New Babylonian civilization into the unknown… One of Jill Archer’s greatest strengths is her ability to create unique and intriguing creatures and characters to populate Halja.” Matthew Cirilli for Proud Nerd Book Reviews on Fiery Edge of Steel

Thank you to each of these reviewers for their interest and support! I’m grateful to them for taking the time to read the books, write such thorough and thoughtful reviews, and for sending me the links so that I can share them with you. If you aren’t already following them, please check out their sites.

Readers: I’m also incredibly grateful for your interest, support, ratings, and reviews. If you’ve read White Heart of Justice but haven’t yet posted a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, GoodreadsPowell’s Books, or wherever you hang out online, please consider adding your thoughts and comments! :-D

Best wishes for a terrific weekend, everyone!


Last Day! My White Heart of Justice blog tour is coming to a close…

Today’s menu:

  1. Final list of topics and links in WHOJ blog tour
  2. Discussion questions for White Heart of Justice
  3. Brief bit about the current “should adults read YA?” debate

I’ve had a terrific time visiting all of the blog hosts and reading and responding to reader comments. Each release has had its own vibe and I gotta say — even despite the uncertain future of the series — WHOJ’s release has been my favorite. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting to know the online book blogging community better (and they are getting to know me) or maybe it’s because I wasn’t a clueless newbie nor was I under enormous deadline pressure at release time. Regardless, I’ve had fun and I hope you have too. As a final thank you and one last chance for everyone to enter to win my awesome prizes, I’m listing all the blog tour participants below with dedicated links to each site and a brief description of topics. If you haven’t already checked out the posts, interviews, and reviews, please do! I am grateful to each and every tour participant and to Roxanne Rhoads at Bewitching Book Tours for setting it up.

What else have I been working on? Among other things, I’ve been tinkering with my website. As promised, I added Discussion Questions for White Heart of Justice. If you read the ones for either Dark Light of Day or Fiery Edge of Steel, you know they contain MASSIVE SPOILERS. Pretty much the entire plot is revealed so don’t read them if you haven’t already read the book(s). Also, after nearly three years of blogging with the same header pic, I finally decided to change it. For those of you who get updates via email, I’m including the before and after pic. I also created a static landing page for my blog. It’s an experiment. I had been using my latest blog posts as a landing page, but it’s probably time to switch over to a static “hello, welcome, here’s who I am and what I write,” right? Check out the new static page here and let me know what you think.

iStock/almotional

BEFORE: Gargoyle of Notre Dame de Paris

iStock/maroznc

AFTER: architecture in Ghent, Belgium

What’s next? Ha! Well, those of you who have been following along on the tour know that I’ve got at least two potential WIPs waiting in the wings: a Noon Onyx B4 and a new, fantastic, creepy-romantic “YA deuce” I’ve been working on (meaning I envision two books). An aside: lots of online noise lately about whether adults should read YA or not. Wow. Really? I’m not going to waste too much time on an articulate response, but the very idea of someone else telling me what I should or shouldn’t read is mind-blowing. My general approach to reading fiction for entertainment is READ WHAT YOU LIKE, PEOPLE. And don’t let anyone tell you to read anything different. At one time or another, readers of young adult, new adult, romance, science fiction, and fantasy have all been called out for their “odd tastes.” What do I do when I hear this sort of nonsense? Ignore, ignore, ignore…. (Now if you’re reading for educational purposes, the entire discussion changes, but that’s a discussion for another day). Keep calm and read on, my fellow genre lovers!

Below are the WHOJ blog tour topics and links. Except for the post where I’ll be announcing the blog tour prize winners, this is the last you’ll hear about WHOJ in such concentrated fashion. You have all been WONDERFUL SPORTS, but I’m sure you’re looking forward to posts on some other topics too. Speaking of that, I’ve got a great guest blogger stopping by tomorrow — Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a. Suzanne Johnson) with her five favorite scenes from Allegiance. See you then! :-D

BLOG TOUR DATES, TOPICS, AND LINKS

For giveaway details see below

Teaser posts and posts marked with an * are outside of the BBT tour

May 20 Spotlight/Excerpt

Butterfly-o-Meter Books

 

May 20 Review

“The best so far… I SERIOUSLY CHEERED”

Happy Tails and Tales

 

May 21 Interview

Books Direct

Topics: what my family thinks of my writing, thoughts on a possible B4, more hints about a future short story featuring new heroine Corelei Neverest

 

May 21 Spotlight

Bookin’ It Reviews

 

May 21 Spotlight

Deb Sanders

 

May 22 Guest Blog

Magic and Mayhem

Top 5 Cool Things You Can Do With A Sword &

Why Heroes and Heroines Can’t Do Without Them

 

May 22 Spotlight

Coffee Break

 

May 22 Spotlight

Cherry Mischievous

 

May 23 Guest Blog

Christina McKnight

Reinventing the Goddess of Sleep: how I used Caer Ibormeith as inspiration for a new patron demon

 

May 23 Spotlight

Shut Up & Read

 
* May 27 RELEASE DAY PARTY!
Bitten By Books
Kalisto’s Crystal Palace and Raphael Sinclair’s Wish: I discuss how I created the setting for the “gearing up” scene. My inspirations? Snow globes, greenhouses, guardian angels, London’s Crystal Palace, whether and when wishes should be granted… and there’s an excerpt that sheds some light on my Rafe sneak peek tweet.
 

May 28 Guest Blog

Night Owl Reviews

Gifts from the Gods: What do rusty gardening tools and 1981′s Clash of the Titans have in common? What the heck is a daisy grubber? Did Noon’s mom really give her “one to grow on” in each book so far?

 

* May 28 Guest Blog

The Reading Café

Topic: The Noon Onyx Covers — discussed in greater detail than ever before! (And there’s a fun, little “ode to covers” intro)

Review too! (“A must read for fans of urban fantasy and dystopian fairy tales where Armageddon is only the beginning, not the end.”)

.

May 29&30 Spotlight and Review

What the Cat Read

Dark Light of Day (“I loved Noon. She’s feisty, conflicted, [and] rather sarcastic at times…”)

Fiery Edge of Steel (“Ah, Rafe… he stole the show in this book.”)

White Heart of Justice (“I have to give Archer serious purrs and a tail wave of approval for this one… Action, adventure, romance, humor, suspense, danger, deception…”)

.

* May 29 Guest Blog
SFSignal
Topic: What Is It With The Devil and Violins? Come read about The Fifth String, Norwegian fossegrimen, and Fiddler’s Green. BONUS: I share the original titles to each of the Noon Onyx books. WHOJ’s is the best!

 

May 30 Interview

CBY Book Club

Wanna know what my very first favorite book was? I also talk about books in my TBR pile: past, present, and future.

 

May 30 Spotlight

Melissa Stevens

 

June 2 review 

“If you’re looking for a new adult fantasy series with exceptional world building, exciting storylines, and strong characters, you need to try the Noon Onyx books.”

Tynga’s Reviews

 

June 3 Guest Blog

Preternatura

Topic: Lord Lawless and the Festival of Frivolity (how I used Saturnalia and the Lord of Misrule as inspiration for a St. Luck’s winter celebration)

 

June 4 Guest blog

Addicted 2 Heroines

Topic: Noon’s missing tooth. Yep, Noon loses her tooth in Chapter 1. Come read about why I knocked it out and give me your opinion on über heroines: If you could choose only one word to describe your ideal heroine, would it be interesting, relatable, or admirable?

 

June 5 Interview

JeanzBookReadNReview

Topics: Reviews, DNFs, and book trailers

 

June 6 Interview

Fantasy Book Addict

If you could choose one book cover to put on your wall as a poster, what would it be? I also talk about how I came up with Noon’s name.

 

June 6 review

“With WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, the Noon Onyx series is now one of my favorite urban/dark fantasy series.”

Leeanna.me

 

June 9 Spotlight

3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

 

June 9 review and interview

Topics: Am I a pioneer of New Adult Fantasy? I also include a message for Spanish and international readers.

Review: “This book is a homage to Noon’s independence…. With a quirky sense of humour and [fantastic] worldbuilding, White Heart of Justice delves deep into a quest of magic, freedom, redemption and love.”

Tower of Babel

 

June 10 Spotlight

On the Broomstick

 

June 10 Spotlight

Fang-tastic Books

TEASER POSTS

Cover Reveal

The Laurel Crown Race and Its Targets

What Can Readers Expect and Sneak Peek at Page Proofs: Prologue and Page One

The Noon Onyx Series: Urban Fantasy, New Adult… or Neither?

RT Book Reviews: White Heart of Justice

Publishers Weekly: White Heart of Justice

Sneak Peek Tweets + Giveaway

Super Quick Author Interview at Night Owl Reviews

BBT TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAYS

  • $50 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller of winner’s choice) (international)
  • 5 copies of White Heart of Justice (or an earlier book in the series, winner’s choice) (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address)
  • Dark Light of Day themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • Fiery Edge of Steel themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • White Heart of Justice themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 18 and over. For official rules, please see my Giveaways page.

DARK LIGHT OF DAY

PRIZE PACKDark Light of Day Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of Dark Light of Day
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • Natural Face Paint Kit
  • Orange Silk Flower Hair Clip
  • Atomic Fireball Candies
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

FIERY EDGE OF STEEL

PRIZE PACKFiery Edge of Steel Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of Fiery Edge of Steel
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • “The Queen of Flowers” T-shirt Tank Top
  • Set of three Silver Glass Mercury Votive Holders
  • Petite Pear Candies
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

PRIZE PACKWhite Heart of Justice Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of White Heart of Justice
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • White Crystal Headband
  • Vintage Star Pin
  • White Chocolate Meltaways
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

White Heart of Justice, Jill Archer, Noon Onyx, dark fantasy, fantasy, urban fantasy, demons, angels, post-apocalyptic


Fictional “Feast Masters,” Maleficent and Miscellaneous

Hi all– the White Heart of Justice blog tour continues! I’m over at Suzanne Johnson/Susannah Sandlin’s blog Preternatura today discussing how I used Saturnalia and the Lord of Misrule as inspiration for one of the opening scenes in White Heart of Justice. There’s a cute picture of a snow demon — the only one I could find. Why a snow demon? Because that’s what the students carve out of snow at the Festival of Frivolity. Come on… I know you want to read more about it! Click here. :-D

Last Friday, CBY Book Club posted their interview of me. I share what my very first favorite book was and I discuss my TBR pile — past, present, and future. Since the start of the tour on May 20th there have been other spotlights and reviews. Check out my blog tour page for the complete list of bloggers/reviewers who are participating. Each link gives you an extra chance to win the fun prizes I’m giving away at the end of the tour:

  • $50 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller of winner’s choice) (international)
  • 5 copies of White Heart of Justice (or an earlier book in the series, winner’s choice) (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address)
  • Dark Light of Day themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • Fiery Edge of Steel themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • White Heart of Justice themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)

RELEASE DAY PARTY WRAP UP

The Release Day Party at Bitten by Books was fantastic. So many terrific questions, including:

Do I have a favorite classic novel with a winter setting?

Is there an inspirational playlist for the Noon Onyx series?

How do I come up with the names for things in my series?

Have I used historical people, places, or things as inspiration?

What country would I love to visit?

Which actress would play me if my life were made into a movie?

If I could visit any place in Halja, which would it be and why?

What books would I recommend to a young reader?

and…perhaps my favorite:

If I could do a crossover with any book, film, or TV series, what would it be and why?

Bonus: Lanie left a DIY snow globe link, which I may use to make White Heart of Justice themed snow globes. Fun, right?

See all of the comments, questions, and answers here.

EMMA D. won the $50 Amazon eGift Certificate I was giving away there. I loved that (urged on by me) she made a “completely wild” wish that would require great miracles and supernatural happenings. It was a really nice wish. In fact, so many of readers’ wishes were heartfelt, selfless, and inspiring. (One of my reader questions was: What would you wish for at the fountain outside Kalisto’s Crystal Palace?)

LAST DAY TO TWEET 

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

SNEAK PEEK TWEETS!

Anyone who tweets one of these will be entered to win ANY fantasy book of their choice from Book Depository (so long as Book Depository ships to your address, up to $10.00). Ends at midnight EDT on 6/3/14.

One tweet/entry per person.

If you aren’t on Twitter, or don’t want to tweet the above, you can still enter to win the book. Just tell me what’s the last fantasy book you read, or the one you’re most looking forward to reading, in the comments below. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to international participants 18 and over. Complete rules here.

Lucem in tenebras ferimus. Into the darkness, we bring light.” @archer_jill #DARKLIGHTOFDAY

“When traveling into the unknown, sometimes the biggest danger is the one you bring with you…” @archer_jill #FIERYEDGEOFSTEEL

“One out of every two hunters who follow the Old Trail will not return.” @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Finally! I’m looking forward to seeing Noon embrace her fiery magic. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Ari Carmine is smokin’ hot. I wanna see if Noon can forgive him for that nasty surprise at the end of B2. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I heard a rumor that Rafe Sinclair makes a wish and I wanna know if it’s granted. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Nocturo. Tall dark handsome. Heard his scalpel’s put to good use. Is he gonna threaten Brunus w it again? @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I love the characters, but I’m really just in it for the monsters and magic. Bring on the ice demons! @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #NOONONYXSERIES

WHAT ELSE HAVE I BEEN UP TO?

This past weekend I saw The Machine (a Blade Runner-esque science fiction movie: Caity Lotz was terrific; the noir feeling felt a little forced at times, but overall, I enjoyed it) and Maleficent, in which Angelina Jolie was magnificent. There’s an interesting discussion over at io9 today. I was going to comment but then got frustrated at having to create yet another social media app account to manage my comments there, especially when the pop up box blocked the terms & conditions so that I couldn’t even read them. In any case, the post and my thoughts are worth a read IF:

1. You’ve seen the movie (massive spoilers)

2. You don’t mind rants (it’s filed under “rants”)

For what it’s worth, my take:

I can’t help but think that Disney was damned if it did, damned if it didn’t. To me, the most significant scene storywise wasn’t the dragon transformation (although that could have been much more impressive regardless of who was doing the shifting) but the kiss. I don’t want to spoil it further for anyone who hasn’t seen it so I’ll just say: Bravo, Disney!

As for the wing cutting scene… horrible. Just horrible. But I have to admit I enjoyed watching Maleficent’s dark transformation into a character capable of exacting revenge. Just as I equally enjoyed her other, lengthier, but perhaps more meaningful, transformation into something else. Not a dragon, but something potentially more powerful.

Also visited Baltimore’s National Aquarium and the Inner Harbor. Because you all know how much I love my photo galleries, here’s one from the weekend:

Beautiful, Deadly, Cute, Helpful:

But which is which?

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun guest post from Auralee Wallace, author of Sidekick, and a link to my guest post at Addicted 2 Heroines. Have a great night!


The Devil and His Fiddle (and the original titles of my Noon Onyx books)

My guest post at SF Signal is up! And it’s a fun one: I discuss what’s up with the association between the devil and the violin; I admit I used to be a horrible fiddle player; and I share the original titles to each novel in the Noon Onyx series. Long-time followers, you may remember the original title to Dark Light of Day but I’m not sure I ever shared the original title to Fiery Edge of Steel (knowledge was a big theme in that book, remember? ;-) ) and I’m even more sure that I’ve never shared the original title to White Heart of Justice with anyone but my agent and my editor. It’s a hoot!

* John Anealio reminded me on Twitter this morning about Niccolo Paganini, the 19th century Italian virtuoso whose playing was so diabolical his audience believed he was in league with the devil. Paganini’s story is intriguing. Check it out here. But, if you do, be sure to also stop by SF Signal because Paganini’s not in my post. I discuss three other interesting connections. Paganini

Have you ever played the violin? Do you play an instrument now? Where do you think the association between the devil and the violin got started? Lemme know in the comments over at SF Signal!


One to Grow On: Noon’s Mom + Cover Lovers Chat

My blog tour resumes today with some fun posts: I’m discussing vintage gardening tools, Clash of the Titans, and Noon’s mom’s growing gifts over at Night Owl Reviews and I’m at The Reading Café discussing my covers. I know I’ve discussed them before, but I share more about the process, covers in general, and give each of my covers a “stat report.” If fantasy covers were baseball cards, click here for what would be on the back of mine. Finally, I’m wrapping up my Release Day Party at Bitten by Books. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by, there’s still time! Readers have asked TONS of terrific questions — and I’ve answered them, in great detail. Skim through for more background on just about everything or leave a question of your own!

Local Lending Libraries

And because I like to include pics w my posts… here are two for all of the book, coffee, and pizza lovers out there => Starbuck’s and Bertucci’s versions of the local lending library. I like it!

Bookshelf at my local Starbuck's -- what's missing? ;-)

Bookshelf at my local Starbuck’s — what’s missing? ;-)

Bookshelf at my local Bertucci's. Mostly children's books... so they get a pass. :-D

Bookshelf at my local Bertucci’s. Mostly children’s books… so they get a pass. :-D

Hope to see you over at Night Owl Reviews, The Reading Café, and/or Bitten by Books!


RELEASE DAY PARTY: WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE! (author chat, excerpt, contest)

Ok, you knew this post was coming, right? This is the post I’ve been working toward for… well, a year now! :-D

Release Day Party at Bitten by Books going on RIGHT NOW! => Click HERE.

The Bitten by Books contest ends at midnight CDT on 5/31/14. I’ll be over there all night and then will be checking in periodically until it closes to answer any questions and/or respond to comments. (There have been some good ones! Come add yours!)

And, probably the last time I’ll be posting/emailing these links to you for a LONG time (although they’ll be up everywhere else, of course)… Here are White Heart of Justice‘s BUY LINKS (Yay! Exciting! Buy links instead of pre-order links. Depending on where you live, you could start reading WHOJ tonight!)

Now is also a good time to thank everyone who has: been following the blog tour (resuming tomorrow); already stopped by the release party; shared, posted, tweeted or RT’d a link or sneak peek tweet; or pre-ordered the book! I appreciate the support and well wishes. Terrific participation and feedback so far. You guys are all awesome! THANK YOU!!!

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover art

Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…

After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.

However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…

Have a great night, everyone! Hope to see you at Bitten by Books!


Book Series: How Many Books Is Enough?

To B4 or Not To B4, that is my question…

Yesterday Lynda from Books Direct posted her interview of me.  We talked about what my family thinks of my writing, my upcoming short story “Dream, Interrupted” (featuring new heroine Corelei Neverest; she was tons of fun to write), and how darn difficult it was to write the ending to White Heart of Justice.

Why was it so hard?

Well, because White Heart of Justice may be the last Noon Onyx book. As I mention in the interview, I felt an enormous amount of pressure to make sure the ending was emotionally satisfying for those who have followed the series so far – which was challenging considering where I’d left things at the end of Fiery Edge of Steel and the fact that, originally, I’d roughly plotted a total of seven books in the series. (Go ahead, you can say it, what sane writer plots that far ahead of her own career?!)

So, after a mild (dare I admit, significant) panic attack, I got down to business and wrote the ending to WHOJ. That ending changed countless times. I’m not sure what readers will think of it. Early feedback has been wonderful but no one (including me) has really addressed whether this is THE END.

The only thing I know for certain is that I’ll likely self-publish any future books in the series. And self-publishing a book the way I’d want to (with quality editing and a fantastic cover artist/designer) wouldn’t be cheap.

The final decision is mine. Creatively, I have to want to do it. And financially I’ll have to decide whether or not I’m comfortable with the risk and investment of moving forward with a Noon Onyx B4 instead of some other equally awesome but different project.

So I’m curious…

READERS: After you finish White Heart of Justice, let me know whether you’d be interested in reading another Noon novel. I feel the ending is satisfactory enough for us all to walk away happy… and yet… as I said during yesterday’s interview, it’s hard to say goodbye. Halja is a fascinating world and Noon is an interesting, strong character to write about.

WRITERS: Have any of you continued a traditionally published series on your own? How’d that work out for you?

Ok, enough already with the serious talk!!!

Today, I’m over at Magic and Mayhem with a really fun guest blog:

Top 5 Cool Things

You Can Do with a Sword

and

Why Heroes & Heroines Can’t Do Without Them

You gotta come check it out. I actually mention WHOJ only once (to point out its inclusion on the Goodreads “It’s All About The Swords!” list). If you love swords, the post is a MUST READ. :-D

In addition to my Super Serious questions above, I also want to know:

What’s your favorite book cover with a sword on it? Have any examples of cool things you can do with a sword?

Lemme know your answers over at Magic and Mayhem!

Thanks for following, everyone! I’m loving all the tweets!!!


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