In a dark, dark wood… there was a dark, dark house… (My thoughts on Ruth Ware’s debut – #bookclub)

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware was my book club’s February pick. (Originally, the club’s pick was Alexander Hamilton, but after realizing that book was 700+ pages and we had only 3 ½ weeks to read it, the woman who selected it was merciful and changed her selection.)

in-a-dark-dark-wood

The Kirkus review quote made In a Dark, Dark Wood sound more ghoulish than it was. It had tension, and in the beginning, the glass house back in the dark woods where most of the action took place felt suitably foreboding. But the story isn’t as eerie as the black & white title and jacket copy/design suggest. It’s one of those unreliable narrator thrillers.

It opens awesomely. The main character (Noralee, who is also known as Lee, Leo, and Nora) wakes up in the hospital after some sort of accident. She has amnesia (yeah, amnesia. Again. Didn’t these authors get the memo? But it works. Again. LESSON: anything is fair game if it works.) Anywho, Noralee has a deep sense that something is wrong and that she might be responsible.

Other thoughts, in no particular order:

Makes good use of the sage stage advice “Chekhov’s gun” (if you show the audience a gun in Act I, it had better go off in Act II).The author really did show us a gun in the first act… on a stage. That was one of the neatest things for me about the beginning of this novel – the set up. I really liked how Ware made us think that glass house in the woods was a stage. The question wasn’t what would happen, but who was watching.

Nora’s reluctance to share was understandable from a storytelling perspective but it became more irritating than intriguing as time went on.

“People don’t change. They just get more punctilious about hiding their true selves.” Immediately, I thought this sounded like a statement about the novel’s theme or a theory the author was testing. I think I was mostly right.

I liked that the author tipped her hand in subtle ways before big reveals (the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof reference, the Ouija board message).

As a writer, I loved the ending and thought it was brilliant that Ware didn’t say whether Nora clicked DELETE or REPLY. (For the record, I think Nora chose to reply).

I also loved the double meaning of “skeleton” in the traditional Halloween tale epigraph at the beginning of the novel. (You all know I adore stuff like that and try to use similar tricks in my own writing.)

But as a reader, I found the story pretty depressing. Still, I’d recommend it.

Who would I recommend this book to?

Anyone who hasn’t yet read an unreliable narrator story.

Anyone who has and loves them.

Anyone who wants an interesting book to discuss for their book club. (Our host set her own stage by providing tequila shots and a Ouija board.)

Have you read In a Dark, Dark Wood? What did you think?

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Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance Is Out!

A new Mammoth Book of… anthology released yesterday — the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance. It’s full of all sorts of chilling, romantic tales. My own short story “Dream, Interrupted” is in there. At nearly 13,500 words, it’s a meaty tale, really more of a novelette with lots of story elements that I adore: creepy settings, interesting backstory, a dark mystery, a singularly unique heroine, and a hero who takes the heroine’s breath away. It’s also written in a slightly different style than I used for the Noon Onyx novels. I fused myriad inspirational seeds to create one darkly fun story. If you want to check it out, I’m giving away one print copy (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address). Details on the giveaway are below. Along with my super-long-short story, you also get a bunch of stories from 15 other fantastic authors.

gothic romance, dark fantasy

Set in a lush, steamy world of ceaseless rain, swamps, alligators, overgrown cemeteries, and home-grown magic, these are dark and scary, yet pleasurably thrilling stories that unfold sinister secrets at every turn. These paranormal, suspenseful Southern Gothic romances are by both bestselling authors and bright up-and-coming talents, including Erin Kellison; Jessa Slade; Laurie London; Shelli Stevens; Coreene Callahan; Bec McMaster; Jill Archer; Elle Jasper; Angie Fox; Kait Ballenger; Tiffany Trent; Michele Bardsley; Sonya Bateman; Shiloh Walker/JC Daniels; JD Horn; Dianne Sylvan.

Available for purchase here.

A U.S. print version with this awesome cover…

gothic romance, dark fantasy

will release is the U.S. on January 6, 2015. If you want to wait for that cover, pre-order here.

Add to your Goodreads shelf by clicking here.

More About Dream, Interrupted

What if your snoring really did wake up the dead?

When Corelei Neverest ends up at a sleep disorder clinic, she’s searching for a cure for Apnea Anima, a rare sleep condition that occurs when a person’s snoring wakes the dead. But after countless therapy-filled days and terror-filled nights, Corelei’s almost ready to call it quits when an old crush shows up.

Alluring, irresistible, and beguiling, Caradoc Ambrose has had his eye on Corelei for years. When he hears Corelei is a resident at the Oneiroi Institute, he can’t resist meeting her at breakfast one morning. They’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship that feels like one big dream, interrupted to Caradoc. He wants a chance to convince Corelei to stay with him, forever.

Corelei Neverest, Jill Archer, Dream Interrupted, gothic romance, dark fantasy
CORELEI NEVEREST:
“My goal at Oneiroi since I’d arrived was based on a simple strategy. Act like the white rabbit.
Hide, evade, run.”

The Playlist

During my Bitten By Books release day party for White Heart of Justice, I mentioned I would post the playlist for “Dream, Interrupted.” If you read it, you’ll see that music was a big inspiration of mine for this story. In particular, the songs listed below. I couldn’t reproduce lyrics in the story, of course, but for those of you that want a fantastic immersive reading experience, download these songs and listen to them along with the story:

  1. “She Talks To Angels” by The Black Crowes
  2. Oh, My Darling, Clementine” (American folk song)
  3. “Like the Weather” by 10,000 Maniacs
  4. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot
  5. “Edge of the Ocean” by Ivy
  6. “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
  7. “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
  8. “Breathless” by The Corrs
  9. “How Do You Talk To An Angel” by Jamie Walters
  10. “My Immortal” by Evanescence

The Giveaway

I’m giving away one print copy of the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance. The giveaway is open to international so long as Book Depository ships to your address. To enter to win, comment below, use my contact page to send me a message saying you are interested in winning the book, OR tweet one of these tweets (one entry per person):

I love gothic romance! Win copy of Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance: http://wp.me/p1G39m-22b @archer_jill #gothic #romance

I love dark fantasy! Win copy of Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance: http://wp.me/p1G39m-22b @archer_jill #fantasy #anthology

Does Corelei Neverest really suffer from Apnea Anima? Win Mammoth Book of SoGoRom: http://wp.me/p1G39m-22b @archer_jill #shortstory #mystery

Will Caradoc convince Corelei to stay? Win Mammoth Book of SoGoRom: http://wp.me/p1G39m-22b @archer_jill #fantasy #romance #mystery

The giveaway will be open until midnight EST on November 30, 2014. I’ll announce the winner here by December 8th.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to international participants 18 and over. For my official rules for website giveaways, click here.

If you read “Dream, Interrupted” be sure to let me now what you think! One of the best things about writing a short story for an anthology was the opportunity to work with new characters, new beasties, and a new world. This small project allowed me to experiment a little bit. I love how it turned out and I hope you do too!

BONESEEKER Author Brynn Chapman: Newton’s Inspiration… It Wasn’t An Apple

Brynn Chapman is here today with a fun post about how her dog inspired one of the minor characters in her recently released YA historical romance/mystery BONESEEKER. There are lots of cute pictures and (tattle) tales of furry pups doing frustrating things + a tour wide giveaway. Details at the end of the post. Enjoy, all! Welcome, Brynn!

Boneseeker Cover

A Tale Involving Sparkles, Fangs… and Fur

I see you are a native Pittsburgher, as am I. Even though you attended Penn State, and I, Pitt—I still wanted to give you something special. I decided to discuss a minor character for this blog visit—minor, but recurring, and vitally important to the BONESEEKER SERIES: Newton, Arabella Holmes’s dog.

[JA: I’m actually headed back to the ‘burgh for a visit with my childhood BFF tomorrow. Plan on taking the kids to my old haunts, maybe down to the Point, the Riverwalk… not really sure yet, it’s been a LONG TIME since I’ve been back. 🙂 ]

Sparkles 1
Four footed, sharp toothed inspiration

Okay so this isn’t precisely Arabella’s dog—said dog in question, however, is the inspiration for Newton. Arabella prefers animals to people. Like her famous father, Arabella…lacks social graces. She prefers animals to homo sapiens. They always love her, never spurn. Bella undertakes the training of her dogs as she does any of her scientific obsessions. To the n-th degree. My dog, Merry, was chosen from a long line of autism dogs. Bred for intelligence, tolerance and loyalty. Now is when I should insert my heartrending story…but I can’t…

I can however introduce you to the insanity that is MERRY. Or as she is called on Facebook, #sparkles. is hilarity/insanity personified.…adventures, we have had together thus far.

Here are a series of Facebook posts about MERRY under her pseudonym, Sparkles.

Merry a.k.a. "Sparkles"
Merry a.k.a. “Sparkles”

There are days…i am so insane with #sparkles, i cannot form amusing words. Today is one of them. So, boy #2 on antibiotics, We literally just got them. This am, I go downstairs (remember, its like 630) for literally 4 min….and return to see something white and crushed in her teeth. The antibiotic bottle. Immediately my mind goes crazy “I will have to cx all my patients, she will have to go to the vet hospital” Then I see them merely strewn about the ground like pretty pink polka dots. Apparently she just wanted the bottle. #seriously #ImMental

type type type. “Stop!” (barks at squirrel) type type type #whine massive paw rakes leg. type type type VERY front teeth nip soft flesh at forearm

#doIneedtoGoOn#adNauseum

Spray bottle: dog's best friend, worst enemy... or tastiest chew toy?
Spray bottle: dog’s best friend, worst enemy… or tastiest chew toy?

can i talk about how im #editing holdin a spray bottle in one hand, typing with the other. she literally just grabbed the tablecloth with her teeth. #saveMe

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO i use a spray bottle with #sparkles things have been nuts here, so she hasnt been getting her exercise…i came home tonight to SHREDDED SPRAY BOTTLE> GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH #thwarted

Brynn, how could you be frustrated with a dog as cute as this?! 🙂

Warning. The following is a post of truth. Not a figment of the author’s imagination. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Yes, #sparkles So….all before 8 am. The temp hovers near zero. I take sausage and sparkles out. *Deep bark bark-the scary one. Sparkles bolts across field, INTO neighbor’s yard, Onto neighbors FREAKING PORCH, where two other dogs are behind glass, scratching, barking, waking their masters. I manage to grab hold of collar, back out into the knee deep snow, and after a struggle worthy of holmes and watson, collapse onto my butt, wet to the waste now, and manage the ‘click’ of the leash to collar. #itCantGetMoreFabulous #goodMorningSunshine

Thank you, direct tv, for my 7th, 30 minute conversation, just trying to order a video. Thank you, cell phone, for nearly dying, necessitating i run to plug into the wall, and am then trapped. Thank you, #sparkles for your obsession with my fuzzy socks. And biting them, while im trapped, tethered to the wall, and cannot scream as you bite my feet, lest the direct tv lady call for help.  Thank you, resolve as you cracked and i just remove the favorite socks, throwing them across the room to be shredded in the white fangs of death.  #thankyou #thisIsMyLife

I BRAKE FOR FUZZY SOCKS

Newton accompanied Arabella on the trip from England—he has a vocabulary, as does MERRY. She understands the difference between PORCH and OUTSIDE. She understands when you put your hand in your pocket, you may be reaching for a shock collar.

She….no, really. She…found a way to turn on the hose trigger herself, so she could squirt herself in the face. Which she enjoys—for some unknown reason.

MERRY and NEWTON are as intelligent as any toddler, and get into quite as much trouble.

So, if dogs interest you in the slightest, have a peek at BONESEEKER. Bella and Newton are waiting.

More About Boneseeker

Arabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn’t fit the role of a proper 1900’s lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella’s dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker.

Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment–to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.

But this is no time for child’s play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal … or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls?

Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.

Brynn Chapman
Brynn Chapman

More About Brynn

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome.

Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

More About the Giveaway

  • $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • 1 print copy of Boneseeker open to US Shipping

Click here for the Rafflecopter form to enter the giveaway.

Boneseeker Banner

So how about you? Have any Tales from the Dogside to share? Many thanks to Brynn for sharing pictures of her adorable dogs and for guest blogging today! 

Page Proofs for White Heart of Justice: Sneak Peek at Prologue and Page 1

White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, fantasy
Page proofs for
WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE
(Most of those stickies are notes for me,
not typos!)

Just turned in the corrected page proofs for White Heart of Justice! As I mentioned after turning in reviewed proofs for Fiery Edge of Steel, this is a great moment for authors. It means, from my end, the book is FINISHED! Sure, there are all sorts of things that still need to be done, but most of them concern promotion — ways to get the word out about the book. So…

What can readers expect from White Heart of Justice?

If you liked the first two books, Dark Light of Day and Fiery Edge of Steel, expect to see more of the same blend of magic, deep, dark worldbuilding, romance, and action/adventure with a whiff of mystery, all told in a youthful first person voice (except for the prologue, which is told from a certain someone’s point of view 😉 ). That said, Noon is not as inexperienced in this third book as she was at the start of the series. (But that’s half the fun of reading a series, right? Getting to see how a character grows and changes over the course of the novels.)

In White Heart of Justice, readers will also get to see more of Nightshade (Noon’s tall, dark, and handsome healer brother), Aurelia (Noon’s somewhat enigmatic, always intense, sometimes aloof mother), and Karanos (Noon’s at times distant, often imposing Demon Council executive dad), as well as some other favorites. 😀

You’ll also get to see a new type of magic… and Noon using waning magic in a different way than she did in books 1 and 2. And, of course, there will be new beasts, new demons, and new places — both on and off campus — to explore!

Sneak Peek at Prologue and First Page

Clicking on the pictures should enlarge them enough to read. If you like what you see, please pre-order and/or add it to your Goodreads shelf! Links are below.

White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, fantasy
White Heart of Justice
Prologue i
White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, fantasy
White Heart of Justice
Prologue ii
White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, fantasy
White Heart of Justice
Page 1

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…

Interested in reading more about

White Heart of Justice?

  • Click here for my post on the revision process and to read about what the other racers’ targets are.
  • Click here for my cover reveal post, which has my thoughts on all of my covers, including my favorite — White Heart of Justice!

Thanks to everyone who has supported this series! I hope you enjoy reading book #3 as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Fiery Edge of Steel Update + the Archer Family Cat

Proof for Fiery Edge of Steel
Proof for Fiery Edge of Steel

I spent a lot of time this weekend proofing Fiery Edge of Steel. The proofing stage of a novel is kind of a neat stage. There’s no doubt it’s tedious. By the time you get to the proofing stage, most writers have read their manuscript 10+ times… and with novels being anywhere from 80,000 to 125,000 words… well, that’s a lot of words to review umptiump times, one word at a time… one comma at a time, one apostrophe at a time, one period at a time… But, on the other hand — WOW! — what a great stage the proofreading stage is. Because it means the book is almost finished! All of the heavy lifting (brainstorming, outlining, researching, drafting, revising, editing, etc.) is over!! 😀

I’ve mentioned previously that, in Fiery Edge of Steel, some characters from Dark Light of Day return while some new ones are introduced. One of the new characters is an animal character that was just as much fun to create and write about as the human and magical characters were. Considering the settings in the series and the plotline of Fiery Edge, I can safely say without spoiling anything that the new character is *not* a house cat. But my house cat, Pollux, contributed in no small way to the making of the character. So in celebration of his inspirational role, I figured I’d share a picture of him with everyone:

Who said cats don't dream of warmer weather during winter months?
Who said cats don’t dream of warmer weather during winter months?

Here’s an earlier one that my husband took of us one Friday night last fall:

Just Another Friday Night

Fiery Edge of Steel: coming to a bookstore near you on (or about) May 28, 2013!

Fiery Edge of Steel  FinalIndieBound

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Goodreads

Bookish

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope your week is off to a great start!

Cover Reveal: Fiery Edge of Steel, Noon Onyx Book #2

Today, I’m excited to share with you the fantastic new cover for Fiery Edge of Steel, the second book in the Noon Onyx series. Check it out below and then stick around for my thoughts and a chance to celebrate and win some terrific prizes!

fantasy, new adult, post-apocalyptic

Cover Artist: Jason Chan

Art Director: Lesley Worrell

I have to admit that when my editor first confided that they changed the cover artist, I was wary. I really loved the cover for Dark Light of Day and it had been well received. But this second cover is terrific! As with the first cover, I love the clothing details and the expression on Noon’s face. That’s one of the neatest things about having two different cover artists. Having the opportunity to see the character interpreted two different ways. And each interpretation has perfectly fit the character within the book.

Noon looks bolder and more confident on the cover of Fiery Edge of Steel. And, of course, I love the dramatic fiery knife, moody sky, and troubled waters behind her. But my favorite part is the way the glow from the knife is reflected on her face and clothes. I often complain that covers just aren’t the same digitally as they are in print, but this cover works incredibly well on the screen. In fact, it almost looks like a lenticular print. (Go ahead, lean back in your chair and see how Noon’s face disappears in the shadows. Neat, huh?)

For those of you that like cover details, I’ll also share that Noon is standing in front of the New Babylon docks. She’s holding a filleting knife that’s made of fire and waning magic. Where is she headed? The Shallows, a swampy outpost far to the east of St. Lucifer’s. Here’s the blurb for book #2:

Fiery Edge of Steel

Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.

Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task which will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…

Celebrating the New Cover – Prizes!

In celebration of Noon’s new cover, Bewitching Book Tours helped me organize a cover reveal giveaway. There are some terrific prizes! For U.S. participants, I’m giving away signed copies of J.D. Robb’s Delusion in Death (hardcover), Sara Humphries’ Unleashed (mass market paperback), Addison Fox’s Warrior Enchanted (mass market paperback), and Dark Light of Day (mass market paperback). For international participants, I’m giving away one $10 eGift Certificate to either Barnes & Noble or Amazon, winner’s choice. See the Rafflecopter form: a Rafflecopter giveaway or the Bewitching Book Tours website for details on how to enter the giveaway.

Fiery Edge of Steel is available for pre-order now

It will be released May 28, 2013

Goodreads and Pre-Order Links

Who else is participating in the cover reveal?

Thank you to all of the cover reveal participants! Earn extra entries by visiting additional stops. 🙂

So, what do you all think?

Do you love Noon’s new cover as much as I do?😀

Dark Light of Day Blog Tour Prize Winners & Wrap Up

By now, I’m hoping you know more about Dark Light of Day than you did two months ago. If you’ve been following along on the tour, you know that there were over a dozen guest blog posts focusing on various aspects of DLOD such as characters, settings, and inspirations. I also posted links to numerous interviews where I discussed Noon Onyx or Dark Light of Day.

Still undecided about whether Dark Light of Day is the right choice for you?

Besides the premise, this information may help you. Dark Light of Day would appeal to readers who like urban fantasy set in a richly detailed world told in a youthful, first person voice. The book would appeal to readers who like mixed genre stories. DLOD has elements of fantasy, romance, mystery, legal fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, even new adult.

If you are still on the fence about whether this book is the right choice for you, I have a few samplers left. If you live in the U.S., you can use my contact page to request one. If you read the first few chapters, it will give you a good idea of whether you would like it (although, of course, many of the book’s best parts occur later ;-)). What do you have to lose? It’s FREE! 😀

Already a fan of Dark Light of Day? Please help get the word out to a larger crowd by doing the following:

1. Talk it up! Tell everyone. Word of mouth continues to be the best way to support a book or its author. If you liked the book and recommend it to just one other person — that is immensely helpful to me!

2. Give it an honest and fair review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads. This will help readers who have similar reading tastes find it. (Your review doesn’t have to be long. A sentence or two can make a big impact in how the book is found online.)

3. If you genuinely liked it, “like” it on Amazon and take a few moments to agree with the search tags (or create some of your own). This will help other readers find it more easily on Amazon.

For more of my thoughts on the Dark Light of Day tour see my last post, “Tales from the Cyber Road.”

Thank You to Everyone Who Participated in the DLOD Blog Tour!

Roxanne Rhoads at Bewitching Book Tours helped me to organize, schedule, and promote this tour. She did a fantastic job of rounding up interested bloggers, making sure they had all the necessary information for posts, and getting the word out about the tour. She also ran the tour-wide contests, which I was grateful for. She sent me the names of the winners today and they are listed below. I also want to thank my publisher, Penguin, for supplying the Ace/Roc samplers that I gave away at each stop and my editor and publicist who also helped to get the word out about some of the posts.

Finally, I want to thank all of the book bloggers and reviewers who hosted me on their sites, posted promotional materials, and/or reviewed Dark Light of Day. Below is a list of blog tour participants, but my thanks goes out to EVERYONE who took the time to check out Dark Light of Day, recommend it, write a review, and/or “like” it on Amazon. Likely you are doing the same thing for other authors and this helps keep our shared passion (books!) alive.

Tour-Wide Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. I very much appreciated all of the comments, tweets, status updates, follows, adds, links and likes. 😀

Here are the winners:

$10 eGift Certificate to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, winner’s choice, chosen at random from all tour contest entries => Victoria Zumbrum

$10 eGift Certificate to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, winner’s choice, to be awarded to “the person who brought the most people to the party” => Stella from Ex Libris (Thank you, Stella!!)

3 signed copies of Dark Light of Day, to be sent to the blog tour followers who visited the most stops:

Erin F.

Autumn Nauling

Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez

I’ll be e-mailing everyone tonight to collect eGC choices and U.S. mailing addresses so I can send out the prizes!

What’s Next?

I’m currently working on the third Noon Onyx book. And I’ll be doing some future posts on topics unrelated to DLOD. This Saturday, I’m wrapping up my 2012 Fall Into Winter Darkness Book Blast with an interview of Damien Walters Grintalis, author of the horror novel INK due out from Samhain on 12-4-12. And Roxanne Rhoads is scheduling a cover reveal for Noon Onyx book #2 on December 5th. (If you are interested in participating in the one day cover reveal, please contact Roxanne at Bewitching Book Tours). Hope everyone is having a great week!

The Seven Deadly Sins by Author Miguelina Perez

In The Vicar’s Deadly Sin, Miguelina Perez explores the sin of greed.

Miguelina Perez and I both belong to the Washington Romance Writers group. It’s a fun, active group of writers who write in all of the many sub-genres of romance, including historical romance. I don’t write historical romance, but I love to read it. Maybe it’s because a Regency or Victorian set novel can feel quite otherworldly when compared to our contemporary one. When you read for entertainment and pleasure, all worlds are worth exploring, right? And, the fact is, some themes transcend genre. They are so rooted in the human experience that their presence immediately grounds the reader in the world of the story, making the past, the future, or even an entirely new place, feel familiar. When I heard that Miguelina had based her new series on the Seven Deadly Sins, I was intrigued. The concept of sin is arguably one of humanity’s oldest. I find it fascinating to think that Miguelina’s blog topic is as classic as it comes. Just think, men and women have probably been debating the nature of sin since words were first invented!

Capital Vices, Cardinal Sins & Holy Virtues

The Seven Deadly Sins are also known as the capital vices/cardinal sins that keep a person from God’s grace. The sins are: Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath and Sloth. These sins along with the Seven Holy Virtues were the moral standards and tests of the early Catholic Church, since early Christian times to educate and tutor Christians concerning Man’s tendency to sin.

In The Vicar’s Deadly Sin, the first book in my “Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard Mystery” series based on the Seven Deadly Sins, I created a world where two young friends in 1815 Regency England share dreams, hopes and a love for reading. Fans of Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), the young ladies use their wild imagination and a love for solving mysteries to find out who killed the vicar of Dover, because of “Greed.”  “Greed” suggests a desire to gain money or power, especially for personal gain.

To complicate matters, the girls are joined by Sir Hugh Cameron, a British government agent, and Lord Havensworth, Philip Latham, one of Dover’s brightest solicitors, as they try to solve the murder before anyone, including the young ladies, become the next victim. The task, however, proves to be an enormous one as Jane and Margaret go against all that is expected of a young lady in Regency Era society to prove that women are just as capable of intellectual thought as men, even if it means becoming the killer’s next victim.

Miguelina Perez’s second book explores the theme of lust. (Have to say… I love how creepy this cover is!)

Currently, I’m working on the sequel to The Vicar’s Deadly Sin called Angel’s Lust. I’m adding elements of the paranormal as my latest villain lusts for beauty and youth and achieves it temporarily by sacrificing young maidens. In the sin “Lust” there is a fixated, unlawful depraved thought, or engaging in unnatural desirous appetites.

For my third installment, I plan to focus on wrath as my theme. Wrath suggests inappropriate feelings of hatred and anger.

The remaining sins are “Pride” which suggests a desire to be more important or attractive to others, failing to give credit due to others, or too much love of oneself; “Envy is spite or resentment of material objects, accomplishments, or character traits of others, or wishing others to fail or come to harm; “Gluttony” is the thoughtless waste of everything, overindulgence, misplaced sensuality, uncleanliness, and maliciously depriving others and finally, there is “Sloth the lack of interest, idleness, and wastefulness of time. It is believed that laziness is particularly condemned because others must work harder to make up for it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief history of the seven deadly sins and how they will be implemented in my seven book series of the Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard Regency romance  mysteries.

More About Miguelina Perez

Miguelina Perez’s Seven Deadly Sins series will be available in November 2012 from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She has a blog called The Regency Inkwell and she’s on Twitter (@regencyinkwell).

Lina, thank you for guest blogging today! Lady Jane and Miss Margaret sound like intrepid young heroines.

Readers and writers, how about you? Is there one particular sin that fascinates you more than the rest? Which vice do you have the most trouble with? Which do you think would produce the most conflict for a character as they wrestle with it? Do you like historical romances? Mysteries? How about cross-genre blends? Are you intrigued by the paranormal elements in Miguelina’s second book, Angel Lust? Do you think the cover is as creepy as I do? 🙂

Don’t forget, I’m giving away a limited number of  Ace/Roc Science Fiction and Fantasy ’12 samplers. For details, see the post immediately prior to this one. (If you live in the U.S. and want one, just fill out the form and I will send it to you. Giveaway runs until July 15, 2012 or while supplies last.) The sampler contains the first three chapters of DARK LIGHT OF DAY, the first book in my new Noon Onyx series.