RELEASE DAY FOR POCKET FULL OF TINDER!

Last New Year’s I celebrated with a bunch of my friends and had a really great time, but I was still inwardly bummed about 2015 and vowed this year would be different. I picked two resolutions and promised myself no matter what I’d figure out how to accomplish them. The first was to finally self-publish already! I’d been talking about it for years and it felt like this gaping hole in my author resume. Everyone was self-publishing (or so it felt to me) and I was stuck on the sidelines. 2015 was the year I published nothing, which felt really crappy. (In my defense, I was still writing and submitting, but since the proposal we’d been shopping around didn’t sell, it felt like a wasted year writing-wise even though, if it were anyone else, I would tell them ABSOLUTELY NOT – that any and all time spent in the pursuit of your passion, or which could lead to paid written work, is time well spent and… blah blah blah. I published nothing in 2015 was all I could think about.)

My second 2016 New Year’s resolution? To get a bookish job so I could afford to self-publish the way I wanted to. I started working as a librarian this past June, which has been fantastic, but TODAY, with only two weeks to spare, my #1 goal for 2016 has been met. (Yay!)

If you haven’t already bought Pocket Full of Tinder, TODAY IS THE DAY! Forget about that midnight showing of ROGUE ONE. What you really want to be doing tonight is reading PFoT!

More reviews are trickling in…

Trinitytwo at The Qwillery gave the book a fantastic review (and there’s a separate giveaway for the book there too!):

There is something for everyone in Pocket Full of Tinder: magical skirmishes, romance, espionage, betrayal, death, and redemption… Noon Onyx is a great heroine… Although powerful and extremely badass, Noon’s decisions are tempered by an admirable degree of love and compassion. I appreciate that she has a great sense of humor, is fiercely loyal to her friends and that she has one heck of a stylist… Archer has taken the series to new heights… I am a big fan of this series and hope to read about Noon’s life and adventures for years to come.

Luna Lovebooks from One Book Two called the book:

Heartbreaking… uplifting… devastating… the best Noon novel yet.

and Gikany & Una at That’s What I’m Talking About said they were:

Thrilled to be back in this unique and fascinating world… The supporting characters are just as compelling as Noon… We cannot wait to see what happens next…

I’ll continue to share positive and mixed reviews that are sent to me. I cannot thank those who have already reviewed the book enough. I’m humbled and grateful for all the kind words.

If you received an ARC and haven’t yet posted a review, TODAY’S THE DAY to share your thoughts on Goodreads, Amazon, and wherever else you hang out online.

If you pre-ordered, or buy the book today, please try to post a review by this weekend. Reviews help keep Amazon’s search algorithm juiced. I’d love to see if I can break into the Top 100 in the Fantasy New Adult category. (Is that even possible with this book? I don’t know! It’s been on pre-order for longer than it should have been, it’s a fourth book in a series where the first book is the highest priced one in the series, there’s been two years in between the last book and this one… basically, if I can break the Top 500 in my Amazon category it would be a Christmas miracle. I think in the time it took to write this post, my rank actually went down. So, for the record, if my rank tanks I’m still going to stubbornly consider this release a success because – hello?! – didn’t you read paragraph one? 😀 )

THANK YOU TO EACH OF YOU for all the shares, likes, tweets, posts, purchases, and reviews. No one can launch a book alone. I’m so grateful for your enthusiasm and support.

Jill Archer, Noon Onyx, fantasy, new adult, paranormal

FOR PRINT COPIES: CREATE SPACE eSTORE

FOR DIGITAL COPIES: Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Nook


Release Day Blitz!

A bunch of bloggers agreed to help me spread the word about today’s release. They’ll be sharing excerpts, teasers, Q&As, and chances to win my release day giveaway: a $25 Amazon eGC + a signed set of Noon Onyx books. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada. To see the list of participating bloggers, click here. For my complete giveaway rules, click here. And to stay up to date on all of the Bewitching Book Tours blog posts, spotlights, and reviews, click here.

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POCKET FULL OF TINDER: Blog Tour Kick Off and Other News

What I Learned from Self-Pubbing B4

I kicked off Pocket Full of Tinder‘s blog tour yesterday with a post at fellow author Marsha Moore’s place: 8 Things I Learned from Self-Publishing my 4th Novel.

There are also two nice spotlights at Books N Pearls and Sapphyria’s Book Reviews where you can enter to win my tour-wide giveaway (details below).

Still Available on NetGalley

Pocket Full of Tinder is still available to reviewers through NetGalley. Click here to request a copy! While you’re there, check out the other great books being offered by fellow SFWA members.

Please Review!

If you received an early copy of Pocket Full of Tinder, please review it. Amazon doesn’t allow reviews to be posted before the release date, but Goodreads does. Next week, I’m hoping everyone who received an ARC will post reviews as widely as possible – on Goodreads, Amazon, iTunes, Nook, your blogs, and wherever else you hang out online.

The number of reviews a book gets has a direct impact on its success. If you want to read more Noon Onyx books, help support the series by writing a review.

A big shout out and thank you to Matt at Bibliomania Book Reviews for his early review:

May be the best book in the Noon Onyx series to date… The genre-bending nature of Jill Archer’s novels is inventive and refreshing, and world-building is one of her greatest strengths… Those who are new to the series should read all of the previous books first to get the full impact of this one, but [there is] enough backstory that it is possible for a new reader to jump in.

And to Lissette Manning, a.k.a. LizzieBeth at Simplistik, for her wonderful review. Loved her description of Noon:

A headstrong heroine who… is decisive and is often led by her emotions, yet she will never back down from a fight. She will do everything possible to set all wrongs to right, even if it means she’ll die trying…. This is a series that sinks deep into your heart.

Thank you too to those of you who have left reviews at Goodreads! I tread carefully there because I think it’s a sacrosanct reader space. So I don’t comment here on reviews there. However – they are VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!

Still Available for Pre-Order!

Even if you received an advance copy, please consider pre-ordering. Pocket Full of Tinder‘s price is half the price of previous books. (It’s less than lots of the crap stuff they sell at Five Below!)

Amazon | iTunes | Kobo

In Other News…

  1. I’m going to be doing a release day blitz with Xpresso Book Tours. Originally, I’d wanted to do another release day party at Bitten by Books (I really enjoyed the last one), but Rachel’s not currently scheduling them. Giselle at Xpresso was able to book a little blitz for me on short notice. She’s also based in Canada and I thought it might be nice to reach out to more Canadian readers. My release day giveaway is a $25 eGC and signed books. That giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada! 🙂

  2. I received an email the other day from BookBub. For one brief crazy half-second, I got excited. BookBub?! I mean, everyone talks about BookBub as if your launch will fail if you’re not using it. (Disclaimer for any new followers, my Twitter bio used to say, “Queen of Hyperbole”). But then I remembered I’m not doing a BookBub ad. (Pocket Full of Tinder isn’t even a good candidate because it’s not heavily discounted and it’s not a first-in-series). Then I read the email:

    Your new release alert will be sent to your BookBub followers. You currently have 4 in the US.

    Seriously, WordPress, where is your laughing/crying emoji? Clearly, I have not been encouraging my followers to sign up for new release alerts over at BookBub – and I’m still not! If you are a new follower/fan/friend who is interested in receiving new release alerts, please sign up for my newsletter. That said, I appreciate BookBub’s handling that for me and I would definitely like to do business with them in the future. 😉


  3. Penny took her first flying lesson!
    😀
    pennys-take-offpenny-in-the-air


More about my BBT Giveaway

The winner will receive their choice of either:

#1 – an Etsy “Book Lover” prize pack, which includes a book hoarder dragon poster, a dozen book page flowers, six book wine charms, and a pair of book earrings. (U.S. Only for Option #1. If these items are no longer available on Etsy, winner will receive Option #2); or

#2 – $50 worth of fantasy books from Book Depository and a $25 Etsy gift certificate.

For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Thank you, everyone, for following this blog and supporting the Noon Onyx series! You are all amazing and awesome!

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! 😀

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

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE – BLOG TOUR KICK OFF

Today is the kick off for my WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE blog tour! What does this mean?! Well, mostly it means lots of posts and prizes. Below is a tentative blog tour schedule. (The nature of blogging being what it is, I can’t guarantee that a blogger or review site will be able to post on the date listed below. Things happen. Schedules change. Glitches occur. But this is the plan.) I will do my best to add dedicated links on my WHOJ blog tour page as soon as the posts are live. Each stop on the Bewitching Book Tour will have additional chances for you to win my awesome prizes — also detailed below. There are only SEVEN DAYS left before White Heart of Justice‘s release. If you haven’t pre-ordered already, what are you waiting for?! If you have enjoyed even one blog post here, do me a huge favor and pre-order. 🙂 And, if you already have pre-ordered, THANK YOU!!! Early reviews and feedback have been great!! Noon Onyx fans, fantasy fans, fans of dark worlds inhabited by strong characters, monsters and magic — this one’s for you! 😀

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

PRE-ORDER LINKS

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…

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Topics and Links to Live Posts Will Be Added Later

For giveaway details see below

Posts marked with an * are outside of the BBT tour

May 20 Spotlight/Excerpt

Butterfly-o-Meter Books

 

May 20 Review

Happy Tails and Tales

 

May 21 Interview

Books Direct

 

May 21 Spotlight

Bookin’ It Reviews

 

May 21 Spotlight

Deb Sanders

 

May 22 Guest Blog

Magic and Mayhem

 

May 22 Spotlight

Coffee Break

 

May 22 Spotlight

Cherry Mischievous

 

May 23 Guest Blog

Christina McKnight

 

May 23 Spotlight

Shut Up & Read

 
* May 27 RELEASE DAY PARTY!
Bitten By Books
Separate Giveaway: $50 Amazon eGift Certificate
 

May 28 Guest Blog

Night Owl Reviews

 
* May 28 Guest Blog
SFSignal
 

* May 28 Guest Blog

The Reading Café

 

May 29 Spotlight and Review

What the Cat Read

 

May 30 Interview

CBY Book Club

 

May 30 Spotlight

Melissa Stevens

 

June 2 review 

Tynga’s Reviews

 

June 3 Guest Blog

Preternatura

 

June 4 Guest blog

Addicted 2 Heroines

 

June 5 Interview

JeanzBookReadNReview

 

June 6 Interview

Fantasy Book Addict

 

June 6 review

Leeanna.me

 

June 9 Spotlight

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

 

June 9 review 

Babel at Tower of Babel

 

June 10 Spotlight

On the Broomstick

 

June 10 Spotlight

Fang-tastic Books

BBT TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAYS

You may recall I mentioned earlier that, because this is the third book, I really wanted to HAVE FUN with my blog tour prizes. Each of the prize packs were inspired by a scene from one of the books.

The Dark Light of Day prize pack was inspired by the scene where Noon and Ivy get ready for the Barrister’s Ball. The Fiery Edge of Steel prize pack was inspired by the scene where Noon and her investigative team have dinner on the deck of their dahabiya just before reaching… well, I know many of you have read it, but if not, I don’t want to spoil it! 🙂

  • $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 prize pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • Fiery Edge of Steel themed prize pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • White Heart of Justice themed prize 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
  • Approximate value: $40

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
  • Approximate value: $40

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
  • Approximate value: $40

White Heart of Justice Banner

Now go forth and share, pre-order, comment, enter to win, etc.! Good luck and thank you to everyone who has followed me on this journey so far!!

Oh, and stay tuned… I have one more post today… (I usually don’t do two posts a day, but you’ll see: it’s worth getting two posts/emails from me!)

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

UF/PNR Author Susannah Sandlin Segues to Romantic Thrillers

Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a. Suzanne Johnson) is here today to discuss her latest release Lovely, Dark, and Deep, which is a romantic thriller. Since she’s best known for her urban fantasy and paranormal romances, Susannah tells us how she shifted gears and used her skills to write action packed scenes minus the monsters. I think her new series sounds great! (But no worries if you’re a fan of her speculative novels… she’s still writing them too). To celebrate her release, she’s doing a tour wide giveaway: 1 $50 Amazon gift card, 2 $10 Amazon gift cards, and 2 Author swag packs (including books). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Welcome, Susannah!

Lovely, Dark, and Deep, Susannah Sandlin, romantic thriller

The thrill of it all, in human terms

by Susannah Sandlin

Paranormal fiction is the butter to my bread, the snap to my crackle and pop, the…well, you get the idea.

A funny thing happened, however, on the way through the writing of my Penton Legacy paranormal romance series (and my Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series written as Suzanne Johnson): much to my own surprise, I really enjoy writing high-tension, high-action scenes.

A scene calls for a thunderstorm? I’ll make it a tornado or hurricane. Need a bad guy to torment your characters? I will make them so utterly evil that a father will put his son in a dark room full of hungry rodents…naked. Or wield a branding iron on the heroine. Or…well, you get the idea.

(I’m a nice person. Really, I am. I help old ladies across the street. I rescue puppies and kittens. I…well, you get the idea.)

So when I came up with the idea of a ruthless bunch of billionaires who form a club to compete for the world’s great lost treasures—no matter who got hurt along the way—I committed the literary equivalent of walking out on a limb. Yes, I left the paranormal world behind, at least temporarily, to venture into thriller territory.

The result was Lovely, Dark, and Deep, the first book of The Collectors series. It has romance, evil bad guys with ties to the White House, sunken ships, a sexy ex-Marine who drinks too much, a geeky biologist whose ancestor stole a priceless cross from the Knights Templar, deepwater scuba diving, a crusty old lobster fisherman who believes in aliens, and a dog named Tank.

How did it differ from writing a paranormal thriller like last year’s Storm Force or the Penton vampire series?

Not as much as you might think. Here were the major differences:

–The hero and heroine have to depend on their smarts to get them through situations. In working underwater, for example, they need tanks, fins and masks—no sprouting gills for these characters!
–When the bad guy comes after them with a rifle, they actually have to worry about human emergency rooms and the pesky laws about reporting gunshot wounds to the authorities. No wizards or memory modifications to handle that detail. And they recover as slow as, well, humans.
–They can drink alcohol and actually get drunk. And have hangovers. Oh, wait, so can my shape-shifters.
–They can walk around in sunlight without bursting into flames or sparkling. Oh, wait, so can shifters and most other non-vampiric paranormals.
–No evil, politically motivated vampire rulers or alphas….Oh, wait. I have politicians.

In other words, a paranormal thriller and a regular thriller, I was surprised to discover, aren’t so very different. I miss the “what-if” factor of the paranormal worlds, and they’ll continue to be the bread to my butter. But, I’ve discovered, the alpha-male human and his geeky heroine who’s a bit of a klutz? They can hold their own.

Lovely, Dark, and Deep (The Collectors, Book 1) is currently available for download as a Kindle serial for $1.99 for the whole book. The price will increase to $3.99 after the full serial releases on February 18. The print and audio versions will be available from all online retailers on May 13.

More about Lovely, Dark, and Deep

From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex–combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House.

When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives.

To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templars, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.

More about Susannah

Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick.

She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning this month with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Her Penton novel, Omega, is currently nominated for a 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award in Paranormal Romance from RT Book Reviews magazine.

You can find Susannah online here:

To enter to win the tour wide giveaway, click here.

Lovely Dark and Deep Banner
Thanks, Susannah, for guest blogging today. Congrats on the release of Lovely, Dark, and Deep and best wishes for The Collectors series!

Tales from the Cyber Road: Are Blog Tours Worth the Effort?

Virtual book tour, book blog
A virtual book tour’s open road is limitless.

The Dark Light of Day blog tour has been terrific. I’ve heard many writers ask whether a blog tour is worth the effort, so for my last post I thought I’d share my thoughts on why this tour was such a great experience.

Goals: What did I hope to accomplish?

For the Dark Light of Day blog tour, I had two goals:

  • Introduce Dark Light of Day and Noon Onyx to as many book bloggers and potential readers as possible in the time I had; and
  • Start getting to know the book blogging community.

Measured by these standards, the tour was a smashing success. I started my tour early, about a month before DLOD came out, because I wanted to take a more leisurely pace and not blog every single day. (My thought, at the time, was that this would allow me to stick to my writing goals, but I’ll admit my word counts have slipped during the tour). It was very important to me that I not repeat content at any stop. I wanted to give every host original material. All told, I wrote sixteen guest posts, completed nine interviews, and attended two in-person events.

Blog Tour Efforts: Too much? Too little? Or just right?

I’ll admit, the blog tour was an extraordinary amount of work. That said, I’ve heard of some authors doing more. Much more. For me, this tour was just right – I wouldn’t have done it any differently. Writing sixteen separate posts about Dark Light of Day allowed me to give readers a much more detailed glimpse into the story than just what they get with back cover copy. I was able to share more about Dark Light of Day‘s characters, settings, inspirations, and even some of my own writing processes. (If anyone missed any of the posts, all the post topics and links are on my “Dark Light of Day Blog Tour” page).

As time goes by, I think an author’s role in providing information to a potential reader so that he or she can make an informed decision about whether or not they may want to read a particular book is only going to increase. I was happy to do it and thankful for the opportunity that each and every tour host gave me to share a bit more about the book.

It was also nice getting a look at each of the blog stops on my tour. What wonderful diversity! Every stop had its own feel and focus. I shared during one interview my thought that, though the comparison isn’t perfect, book bloggers might be the virtual counterpart to small, independent bricks-and-mortar book store managers. Every blog stop had its own community of readers and followers. My virtual tour gave me a chance to “step inside” each of these online book oases, introduce myself and my book, and hear other people’s thoughts on a variety of different things, but all at least tangentially related to a shared love – Books!

After a successful blog tour, what’s next?

Well, more fun stuff, of course! In addition to the Ace/Roc SF/F samplers that I’ve given away at every stop, I’m also giving away some tour-wide prizes (signed copies of DLOD and some eGift Certificates). So those will be awarded. I’m going to announce the winners on my website within the next few days. And then I’ll send out the prizes!

Also, sometime in the next month or so, I’ll have an update on Noon Onyx’s second book. There will be a new cover, new title, and new blurb to share so… stay tuned!

Thank you very much to all of you who have followed this tour, commented on the posts, tweeted the links to posts, and/or posted status updates about it. I’m very grateful for everyone’s support. I’ll have a more detailed list of participants and supporters to thank when I announce the tour-wide prize winners. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Best wishes for a happy Monday! 😀

Blog Tour for Dark Light of Day Starts Today!

Noon Onyx Book #1 Blog Tour

I’m over at P.W. Creighton’s place discussing how writers use folklore and myths as inspirations for their stories. I also talk a bit about the myriad sources of inspiration for Dark Light of Day. Do you use myth as inspiration for your writing? If so, which ones? Do you like stories inspired by folktales? If so, what are some of your favorites? Stop by and tell me if you love ABC’s Once Upon A Time or if you’ve read Meg Cabot’s Abandon or share some of your own reading and watching recommendations.

Tour prizes!

Here are the goodies I’m giving away during and after the Dark Light of Day tour:

  • Signed Copies of Dark Light of Day: Three signed copies of Dark Light of Day to the blog tour followers who visit the most stops. (U.S. only due to mailing costs).
  • Ace/Roc 2012 SF/F Samplers: At each stop, to be drawn randomly from that stop’s commenters, one Ace/Roc Science Fiction and Fantasy 2012 Sampler. These are bound, print samplers with a color cover and the first few pages of new work from the following authors/titles: Benedict Jacka’s FATED, Alex Hughes’ CLEAN, Jacqueline Carey’s DARK CURRENTS, Steve Bein’s DAUGHTER OF THE SWORD, Anton Strout’s ALCHEMYSTIC, and Jill Archer’s DARK LIGHT OF DAY. (U.S. only due to mailing costs).
  • $10 eGift Card: Either Amazon or Barnes & Noble $10 eGift Card, winner’s choice, to be drawn at random from all blog tour commenters.
  • $10 eGift Card: Either Amazon or Barnes & Noble $10 eGift Card, winner’s choice, to the person who brings the most people to the party. To enter to win this one, tell a friend about the tour (someone who hasn’t yet commented). You’ll be entered to win when your friend stops by at any spot on the tour and tells us that you told them about the tour.

Don’t forget: my publisher, Ace, is also giving away 25 copies of Dark Light of Day on Goodreads. Click HERE to enter to win one of those copies.

Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement and support! Hope to see you on the cyber road!! 😀

Why I Blog — Some Foodie Metaphors for Thought

Blog posts are like butlered apps at the internet cocktail party

Today’s post is about why I blog, who I’ve connected with, a thank you to readers, a celebration of how many countries I’ve managed to reach, and an open invite to people I haven’t yet found.

Creative Intermezzo

Foodgeeks defines an intermezzo as something that “cleanses the palate in between courses.” It’s something you consume that is “small, light, and refreshing.” Writing a novel takes a long time. (Sometimes, longer than you want it to!) For me, the process is quite lengthy. There’s all the prep work: designing characters & settings, creating premises & plots, thinking up all that GMC, writing the synopsis, first draft, second draft… You get the idea. It takes FOREVER. Sometimes, I just want to read something that gives me a quick, refreshing break. Someone else’s blog post, especially if it’s about something I’m interested in, is perfect!

Amuse Bouche

An amuse bouche is an “amusement for the mouth.” It’s served at the very beginning of a meal, not in between courses. Instead of cleansing the palate as an intermezzo would, the amuse bouche seeks to invigorate it. More than the intermezzo, the amuse bouche seems to be a reflection of the chef’s tastes or current interests. But unlike appetizers or intermezzos where guests may be offered some choice, all guests are served the same amuse bouche. As One Chef’s Odyssey said, selection of the amuse bouche is determined entirely by “the Chef’s discretion and creativity.” Sometimes (when I’m in the mood to use fancy food words in lieu of actually cooking), I think of my blog posts as amuse bouches. I try to be creative in what I offer and each post gives guests a peek at my writer’s voice and life interests. Hopefully, visitors will also find them invigorating!

Some of the Interesting People I’ve Found So Far

Yesterday I posted my answers to fellow blogger Justjacqui2‘s excellent questions in the 11 Questions Game. It was a fun exercise and also a chance to highlight some of the interesting blogs I’ve found since I started blogging. Since I first “went live” with this blog five months ago, I’ve connected with all sorts of fascinating people: writers, book reviewers, movie reviewers, poets, life enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, and documentary filmmakers. It’s been great!!

I want to give a late shout out to a blog I should have tagged yesterday and didn’t: the Storytelling Nomad, written by Katy Hulme from down under, who recently traveled through five European countries in four weeks, posting an A-Z blog series the entire way. Her posts were charming and informative, accompanied by great pics, and well worth reading. Katy is currently working on her first fantasy novel. I told her I hope she keeps us updated on her new journey through future blog updates! (For all of you women fantasy writers and fans of female fantasy protags, she wrote a great article, Heroes and Heroines: Females in Fantasy, which can be found here).

Thank You to Followers and Blog Readers — 40+ Countries is Awesome!!!

Part of today’s post is also a huge THANK YOU to readers. I’m extremely grateful for each and every subscriber. I’m also happy to see that this blog is reaching an international audience. How thrilling it’s been for me to see visits from people in:

Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam

Future Connections

If you have a blog (or any other online presence) focusing on any of the areas below, feel free to ‘like’ this post or comment below so that I can find you!

  • Books: Are you a writer? Avid reader? Do you love fantasy, science fiction, supernatural thrillers, romance, and/or mysteries?
  • Movies: Do you love to watch movies? Review them? Are you a screenwriter or independent filmmaker?
  • Outdoor Adventures: I’ll admit, I can be an armchair warrior at times, but my family is into recreational flying and in the summer we like to hike, bike, boat, and camp.
  • Interesting Career or Hobby: Do you have an interesting career or hobby? Something that’s unusual or unique that people might be interested in learning more about? If so, please e-mail me or get in touch with me through my contact page. I’d love to discuss the possibility of interviewing you.
  • Authors: I’d love to start working in guest posts and more author interviews. If you are interested, please contact me. If we both feel the fit is right, it would be great to discuss a possible future post!

What about you? Do you blog? If so, why? If not, why not? Have any recommendations about who I should be connecting with? Are you a blogger that blogs about books, movies, outdoor adventures, or anything else that I might find inspiring? If so, give yourself a shout out.  I’d love to connect with you!