DARK LIGHT OF DAY on sale for $2.99! (#fantasy #NewAdult)

Jill Archer's Dark Light of DayBrief post today just to let everyone know the digital version of the first Noon Onyx novel, DARK LIGHT OF DAY, is currently on sale. It’s only $2.99, which is a great entry price for anyone who hasn’t yet tried the series. I have no idea how long the publisher will keep it on sale, so don’t wait to buy if you’re interested. (And THANK YOU for helping me to spread the word; apologies if you’re getting this info from multiple channels! :-D )

Who would like Dark Light of Day? Anyone who likes urban fantasy, dark fantasy, and/or new adult fantasy. We pitched it as Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series meets Scott Turow’s One L. The series has evolved from there.

The e-book is on sale here:

In other news:

My March newsletter is out. The newsletter is mostly for readers who want a quarterly update and notice of new releases, whereas this blog is more eclectic. It’s not necessary to subscribe to both (although I appreciate it!). I leave it to everyone to figure out which works best for them.


My Newsletter

Quarterly newsletters are sent every September, December, March, and June. Content varies, but is usually some combination of:

  • Snippets from old or new work
  • Quizzes
  • Fun quotes and tweets
  • Recipes related to the books
  • Random Facts (background info on characters, etc.)
  • First look at Extras I’ll be adding to my website
  • Interesting stuff I’m researching
  • Meet the Team (bios of people who help me behind the scenes)
  • Be an Ambassador (ways readers can help me spread the word about my books)
  • Contests/Giveaways

This month, I shared some pictures of various real world places that inspired settings from Pocket Full of Tinder.


This Blog

  • 2017 Reading Challenge
  • 5 Photos Author Interview Series
  • Posts on Writing & Publishing
  • My Thoughts on Various Books, Movies & TV Shows
  • Occasional “On the Fly” Day Trip Posts
  • Wild card posts (guest posts, vintage pics, pet posts, etc.)

Up next? Possibly some pics from a recent trip to Key West. Stay tuned and thanks for following!

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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.

Pat Esden interviews the hero from her new “Dark Heart” series (#gothic #PNR)

Book one of Pat Esden’s new Dark Heart gothic paranormal romance series, A Hold on Me, releases later this month from Kensington. She’s here with a teaser character interview and a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card. Details on her giveaway are at the end of the post. (Bonus giveaway: I’m giving away a print copy of Dark Light of Day or another fantasy book up to $10 from Book Depository, winner’s choice. The winner will be randomly picked by me from all of the people following my DLOD Pinterest book board as of midnight EST on Valentine’s Day. Click here for the board. Click here for other details.) Welcome Pat!

A Hold On Me Banner

Hi, my name is Pat Esden. I’m the author of A HOLD ON ME (book 1, Dark Heart series). Today I’m going to be interviewing Chase Savoy Abrams.

Annie, the main character in A HOLD ON ME, is very attracted to Chase. But she’s also a bit leery and certain he is hiding secrets. I’ll let you judge for yourself if he’s a mystery she should try to solve, or if she’s better off to stay as far away from him as possible.

Chase, how about you describe yourself for us?

I’m a guy—twenty-two. I keep pretty fit. All right. I’m more than a little fit. It’s a necessity. Besides, working out is relaxing.  I’m more comfortable in a sleeveless-T and jeans than anything else. For years my hair was long, but I keep it short now as a matter of principle. I’m a pretty unpretentious when it comes to what I need, and to what I want for that matter.  A few goods friends and a safe place to sleep, that’s enough.

What’s your profession?

I’m one of Moonhill’s groundskeepers. I mow lawns, tend the sheep, and basically do the outdoor work. I like that. I also protect the family, especially Selena. I don’t know how many nights I’ve watched over her when she’s snuck out to parties. But I’d do it, even if it weren’t part of my job.

Do you have a special skill?

Knife throwing. Any knife. Any target.

What is your biggest dream/wish/desire?

To protect people, especially women. I don’t want anyone to have to live through hell like I did.

What’s your darkest secret?

I’m embarrassed by my lack of education. Freemonts are giving me a chance to make up for my past, but I’m not sure I’ll ever measure up.

What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?

I knit. Keeps my finger nimble. It’s relaxing and helps me remember my mother. She used to knit all the time. Make things and give them away to charities.

Describe the craziest thing you have done.

I don’t do crazy. It’s important to keep your wits at all times.

Briefs or boxers?

Briefs.

Chunky peanut butter or smooth?

Either. It’s food. Peanut butter toast is one of my favorite things. When I first came to Moonhill I ate a whole loaf of bread that way. I puked and felt really stupid afterwards. But it tasted so good. I was hungry.

Favorite fictional character?

I was looking at Galland’s eighteenth-century translations of Voyages of Sinbad in Moonhill’s library the other day. So right now, I’d say Sinbad.

Thank you so much to Chase for joining us!

So readers, what do you think? Thumbs up or down? Should Annie try to find out more about Chase—or stay away?

A Hold on Me

More about A Hold on Me

She never wanted to return.

He wants nothing more than for her to leave.

But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them.

Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It’s a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie’s mother died in a suspicious accident.

Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he’s a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self.

Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support — Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can’t even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie’s own longings and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she’ll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy…

Indiebound     Amazon    BN    Books a Million

More about Pat

Pat Esden would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.

Pat can be found online here:

More about the Giveaway

Pat is giving away one $20 Amazon gift card at the end of her tour. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form here. For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Thank you for guest blogging today, Pat. Good luck and best wishes for the Dark Heart series!

Gracie Madison, author of SING FOR ME, on Magic, Music, Song, and Emotion (#angel #fiction)

Today’s guest blogger is NA PNR author Gracie Madison, whose novel SING FOR ME, came out a few weeks ago. When I saw that she was doing a BBT tour to help get the word out about her release, I asked if she’d be willing to share her thoughts on adding music to her stories and/or the idea of mixing magic, emotion, and voice. As part of her tour, she’s giving away a $25 Amazon eGC and one signed copy of her book. The Rafflecopter link is below. Welcome, Gracie!

[Quick note before Gracie’s post… remember how much I loved the cover for WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE? Well, I entered it in the JABBIC (the Judge A Book By Its Cover contest). I’ve never entered before and didn’t realize it’s one of those contests where EVERYONE can vote. So, if you have a minute, it would be awesome if you could check out all the entries and cast your vote. Today is the last day to vote. There are some great covers! Click here for the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal category link. For new followers who like reading about covers, check out the “For Cover Lovers” links below.]

Sing for Me, Gracie Madison, paranormal romance, new adult, magic, angels, demons, magic, emotion

“Because music is so universal and so many people have their own special relationship with it, music became a natural way to introduce the plot and characters.”

I should preface this blog post…I love music and the theater, but I am a writer for good reason. The only thing worse than my trumpet playing in high school and college was my singing. I earned a scholarship out of pity, and they probably would’ve paid me more to stop. Music always fascinated me, but it doesn’t come easily to me.  It’s brimming with theory and compositions and its own language, and it blends an almost mathematical precision with creativity. It utterly fascinating to me, and Sing For Me utilizes that mysterious quality and blends it with the paranormal and divine to create the romance.

Sing For Me is a paranormal romance novel set within an opera house. The main character, Madeline, is the supporting soprano for the Eden theater company’s production of The Magic Flute. She also happens to be a specific breed of angel called a Choir, which, in the mythology of Sing For Me, means she is a creature created specifically for music and the entertainment of the angelic realm. Her magic exists within her songs and the power of her voice. In Sing For Me, music doesn’t soothe the savage beast, it is the only way to survive it.

So much of Sing For Me is influenced by music—from the Opera production, to the everyday life of the characters, to the very purpose of their creation. Music is not only emotional, it’s a sensual expression, a weapon, and a way to escape the horrors of the darkness chasing Madeline.

But it is hard to write about music, especially opera. Without hearing the songs or seeing the productions, the narrative relies on the feelings created by the music. The characters each have their own emotional connection to what they sing or to music itself. Madeline is actually forbidden to indulge in any emotions as they fuel the power in her voice, rendering it uncontrollable. Natalie, the director’s assistant, is not a singer or star, but she is a songwriter, and the theater offered her a sanctuary from an abusive upbringing. And the prima donna, Danielle, is a feisty diva who lives, breathes, and is her role in the production. Because music is so universal and so many people have their own special relationship with it, music became a natural way to introduce the plot and characters.

Angels are so often portrayed as strumming harps and singing hymns, so it was really fun to re-envision them in a modern way. But let’s face it, opera has a bad reputation. People envision the horned ladies in golden breastplates wailing at the top their lungs. However, there’s a tremendous amount of power and talent and skill involved within the productions, and there’s just as much hierarchy within the theaters as there is within the orders angels in religious mythology. Though Madeline’s attempts to hide within the crew, her natural talent and beautiful voice take center stage. Everything she seems, experiences, or knows is because of music and related through music.

Magic and music are intertwined within the novel, as are song and emotion. The only thing more powerful than a song is the love of the main characters and the promise that Madeline makes to Damascus throughout the story—she always sings for him.

Sing for Me, Gracie Madison, paranormal romance, new adult, magic, angels, demons, magic, emotion

More About Sing For Me

Madeline Noel fled war-torn Heaven to hide within the mortal world, but the blessing that could protect her from evil is the holy realm’s forbidden power.

As a talented soprano for the Eden Theatre Company, Madeline hides among prima donnas and tone-deaf flutists. Her perfect voice may entertain audiences, but a careless laugh may shatter glass, and her greatest scream can kill. To control her unrestrained voice, the angels forbid Madeline from embracing the emotions that strengthen her song. Anger. Fear.

Love.

The demon-hunter Damascus vows to defend Madeline from Hell’s relentless evil, but he cannot protect her from her own feelings. Though they deny their dangerous attraction, her guardian becomes her greatest temptation.

Surrendering to desire may awaken the gift suppressed within Madeline’s soul, and neither Heaven nor Hell will allow such absolute power to exist.

Sing for Me, Gracie Madison, paranormal romance, new adult, magic, angels, demons, magic, emotion

Gracie Madison
Gracie Madison

More About Gracie

Gracie Madison would spend every day, all day writing…if it were socially acceptable.  Ever since she was a little girl scribbling with a crayon, Gracie’s dedicated herself to her books and all the supernatural and paranormal, creepy and beautiful stories and characters born within the pages. Now Gracie is committed to finally sharing those books with the world.  When the laptop is pried from her hands, Gracie is probably working her day job, rooting on the Steelers, or out with her husband searching for Pittsburgh’s best sushi.

More About the Giveaway

Gracie is giving away a $25 Amazon eGift Certificate (international) and one signed paperback of SING FOR ME (U.S. only). To enter the giveaway, click here for the Rafflecopter form. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 18 and over. For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Sing for Me Banner

So how about you? Do you like stories with angels and demons? I hope so! 😉 How about music, magic, love, and emotion? Do you think Gracie’s cover is as pretty as I do?

Thank you, Gracie, for guest blogging today!

FOR COVER LOVERS

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover artA fun discussion of the Noon Onyx Covers at The Reading Cafe

Goodreads List: Best Books with Jason Chan Cover Art (Fiery Edge of Steel is on there; White Heart of Justice isn’t?!)

The Qwillery: Dark Light of Day‘s Sept 2012 Debut Author Cover War Challenge win – woohoo! (I was a little better about getting the vote out for that contest than I have been for the JABBIC. If you vote over there today, THANK YOU!!)

Winners and Wrap Up

 

This week I interviewed six new adult SFF authors. (Tuesday: Sarah Harian and Summer Lane; Wednesday: Juliana Haygert and Karen Duvall; Thursday: Rebecca Hamilton and Carrie Butler). We discussed some great topics and showcased some of their novels. To thank participants, I offered one free book (chosen by the winner from among the featured books) and a $10 eGift Certificate to the bookstore of the winner’s choice.

My incredibly high tech method of drawing winners...
My incredibly high tech method of drawing winners…
My elder daughter picked the winners. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED.
(Enlist elder daughter’s help).
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED.

FREE BOOK WINNER => Ruth
$10 EGC WINNER = > bn100

I’ll be in touch about prizes by Monday!

I hope everyone found the interviews and posts as interesting and informative as I did. Surprisingly, my opinion is not much different than it was last year at this time: New Adult is a category that, like its characters, is full of potential. Whether it ever reaches that potential will be up to NA writers and their readers.

I’ll admit that, sometimes, I wonder if we shouldn’t be going in the other direction. If we shouldn’t just jettison the sub-genres and kick the category labels to the curb. There’s so much genre blending these days, maybe those of us who write stories set in imaginary worlds should just label all of our work “speculative” and call it a day.

But I only consider that for a moment. Because today’s publishing world is abuzz with words like “discoverability” and “metadata” and labels matter. Why? Because they help readers find books that are similar to other books they’ve liked.

A few other thoughts

Just to be clear, for anyone who’s been following this who may be new to my work, I think DARK LIGHT OF DAY qualifies as a “new adult” novel, although it’s not a contemporary college romance. It’s got a boarding school setting, a significant romance plot, and a youthful tone. DARK LIGHT OF DAY is also an urban fantasy with deep worldbuilding. In fact, that’s how it was marketed, which is fine. It shares as many characteristics with UF as it does with NA.

FIERY EDGE OF STEEL is neither NA nor UF, although lots of people consider it urban fantasy. I think that speaks to UF’s inclusiveness more than anything else, which is nice but less helpful to readers. It’s a river adventure with romance and mystery elements. That’s why I started calling my work “genre-bending fantasy.” Ha. A cop-out for not coming up with a better label? Maybe.

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE is a similar adventure story to FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, but this time Noon’s adventure is on land… in a colder, lonelier, harsher environment. It’s more of a quest than a mystery. And, even though Noon’s still a student and one of her biggest motivations in the book is that she wants the right to forge her own career path, I don’t think it’s NA. The character has moved past her earlier NA struggles.

So I continue to label my Noon Onyx series as “genre-bending fantasy.” 🙂

And I continue to follow the development of NA literature with interest. 😀

If you enjoyed this Q&A series, please consider supporting my work by pre-ordering WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE:

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

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…

And finally…

This week’s series started with one writer’s question, left as a comment on one of my random blog posts. If you have a question about books or writing, lemme know! Who knows? I may do another series of posts in the future to try to answer it. 😀

Thank you to everyone who participated, both authors and commenters. You are all awesome! Best wishes for the weekend, everyone!

Is Multi-Genre NA a Fantasy?

This week, I’m doing a three-part Q&A with six New Adult SFF authors. If you missed Tuesday’s post with Sarah Harian and Summer Lane, click here. If you missed yesterday’s post with Karen Duvall and Juliana Haygert, click here. As a thank you to participants, I’m giving away a free book (winner’s choice from among the books featured in the series; format and delivery method will vary based on winner’s choice) and a $10 eGift Certificate to a bookstore of the winner’s choice. Want to enter to win one of the prizes or add your thoughts to the discussion? Please do by commenting below! Today, please welcome Rebecca Hamilton and Carrie Butler. I’m interviewing Rebecca in the same Q&A style as the rest, but Carrie’s going to wrap up this series with a guest post.

THE AUTHORS

Rebecca Hamilton

Becca Hamilton
Becca Hamilton

Rebecca Hamilton is a bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages.

Carrie Butler

Carrie Butler
Carrie Butler

Carrie Butler daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams. Her passion for New Adult fiction led her to co-found NA Alley—one of the first websites dedicated to the category. A year later, she started a design business specializing in graphics for the publishing industry, called Forward Authority. Her Mark of Nexus series has appeared on Amazon bestselling, top-rated, and hot new release lists in various genres.

THE QUESTIONS

Jill Archer: Do you feel the term “New Adult fiction” has become synonymous with “college romance”?

Rebecca Hamilton: No, not at all. In fact, many of my favorite New Adult authors aren’t writing the college setting or a romance plot! One thing to keep in mind is that New Adult is an audience category, not a book genre. Categories: Children, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, Adult. Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Horror, Sci-Fi, etc. Sometimes genres mix, like Paranormal Romance or Paranormal Mystery. Then they are categorized by audience. You might have a New Adult Mystery or a Young Adult Paranormal Romance or an Adult Fantasy or Middle Grade Horror (like the Goosebumps books). I do think some categories seem to preference certain genres more. For example, we aren’t seeing a lot of New Adult Horror–maybe because New Adult is still a new category?–but we are seeing a lot of New Adult Romance and New Adult Mystery.

Jill: Do you think the label “New Adult” is helpful to fantasy readers (versus romance readers)? If so, what do you think distinguishes New Adult fantasy from adult fantasy?

Becca: I think the category is definitely helpful. It indicates to readers (whether they read fantasy or romance) that the story is written in a new-adult-appropriate way. The sexual content and violent content and language are new adult appropriate. The tone and language and delivery of the story is more advanced than young adult but a little softer than adult. New Adult is meant to appeal to the 18-25 category, and the protagonist in these books is often in that age range as well. I feel, as a reader, that the New Adult category helps me know what to expect from the content and style of the book. The protagonists “real life” problems will be new adult problems: going off to college, moving out on their own, settling down in life or with another person, and sometimes “coming of age” problems fit as well. Adult books I find have a slightly slower pace and more “later in life” problems. This is true even with fantasy. A well-developed character might have to worry about vampires tracking them down, but they will still have “real life” problems, like they can’t miss dinner with their parents on Sunday night or a term paper is due at college or their boss is about to fire them for coming into work late every day (must be those late nights slaying vamps…). The “real life” problems in an adult book may sometimes be similar, but are often different–like having to deal with the death of a parent, starting or caring for a family, or paying off debts.

Jill: Last month, a writer left a comment on my blog, which is paraphrased below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. (You can see her original question and my answer here).

I am a writer who is currently working on a fantasy manuscript featuring an 18 year-old apprentice. There are romantic elements, but the relationship is not the focus of the story – her adventures are. I’ve noticed that most NA fantasies have a romance plot rather than a quest or mystery plot. Do you think there’s a market for a story such as this? What are your thoughts?

Becca: I’m a bestselling (on kindle) and internationally published (Hungary and Germany) New Adult author. My series, The Forever Girl, has a quest/mystery plot with the romance as a subplot, and it has even been optioned for film. I have read a ton of new adult books in 2012 and 2013 where the romance is the subplot, not the focus of the story, so I would say from my writing and reading experience that there is definitely a market for stories like these! I’ve also noticed such books have more crossover appeal between male and female readers. So keep writing and stay in tune with your audience. You’re writing what people want to read, and you’re in good company!

Jill: Are you currently writing, or have you recently published, a New Adult Fantasy? If so, can you share a little bit about it?

Becca: My paranormal fantasy series, The Forever Girl, fits into the New Adult category quite nicely. I was happy when the category came about because the content is too mature for most teens and yet the style and story really wasn’t going to apply to the older adult audience. Book two in the series is with my agent and being shopped around to publishers now, and I’ll be starting on Book 3 in April (hopefully!).

Here’s the blurb of book 1: At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her. Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she’d settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.

The series introduces all of the Forever Girls (there will be five in total) and brings them together to fight off the Maltorim–a preternatural council only concerned with helping their own species to thrive, by any means possible. I can’t say too much more than that without giving away spoilers!

Jill: Besides yourself, which authors and/or books can you recommend to readers who are looking for New Adult fantasy?

Becca: Five from the elemental emnity series by Christie Rich. That was a fun read! I also really liked Girl Over the Edge by Amy Kinzer. Powerful story and a perfect example of how New Adult books aren’t all romance!

CARRIE’S THOUGHTS

Is Multi-Genre NA a Fantasy?

The struggle is past us. The stigma is fading. After years of fighting to make New Adult (NA) a legitimate category, it’s finally happening—but the definition has shifted.

As with most industries, ours is shaped by consumers’ purchasing decisions. So, because NA’s awareness was brought on by the success of contemporary romance, it initially became synonymous with college romance. (Media sensationalism didn’t help either, calling it “sexed-up YA”… *grumbles*) Fortunately, many of us have been doing everything in our power to promote a wide variety of genres within the category, i.e. writing outside of contemporary romance, petitioning retailers to list NA in more places, doing special blog-hops to create awareness, etc. It’s been an uphill battle, but things are slowly changing.

And just in the nick of time.

There’s a market waiting. At the end of last year, I conducted an NA-specific survey and stumbled across some interesting results. When asked which genre readers would most like to see more of, 9% of them answered fantasy, 8% answered paranormal romance, and 7% answered paranormal. That adds up to almost a quarter of all respondents!

New Adult fantasy differs from adult fantasy in that it highlights that oh-so-crucial transition between adolescence and adulthood. We get to explore the learning experiences that come with newfound freedom, while providing a fantastical outlet. If that isn’t a recipe for disaster (read: entertainment), I don’t know what is. 😉

As for my speculative endeavors, I just published Honesty (Mark of Nexus #2.5)—an urban fantasy novella/series side story—in March. If you’re into warped, male POVs, it might strike your fancy:

“Blackmail and vigilantism hold no consequence for Cole Blake, until an error in judgment stops him dead in his super-accelerated tracks. Now burdened with the closest thing he’s ever had to a conscience, he must own up to his past and fight his darker impulses—before it’s too late to shield those he actually cares about.”

AMAZON | NOOK | KOBO

Dun, dun, dun… right? Do me a favor. While you’re on Amazon buying Honesty (kidding!), have a look at their category system. You may notice something encouraging: They’ve finally listed “New Adult & College” as a subcategory of fantasy! I think we can count that one as a victory, don’t you? 😉

THE BOOKS

Her Sweetest Downfall Cover

Ophelia’s been successful at hiding her true identity, until the mark of the serpent appears on her neck—a death sentence, should it be seen by anyone in her town. Hiding the mark might save her from falling victim to the witch hunts of her era, but the scorching sensation it carries can’t be ignored.

When the mysterious Ethan is sent to collect her for a life of something more, she learns concealing the mark is the least of her concerns. She’s destined to do a new task—to join a dark, supernatural world and protect the future of people she may never meet.

What she doesn’t know—what she learns too late—is that her initiation won’t be complete until she kills the man who’s captured her heart.

Honesty Cover

Cole Blake is more than just a roguish ladies’ man. He’s also a dedicated worker—so dedicated, in fact, that he’s willing to blackmail his boss with a falsified sex tape in order to keep his job. And his proactive efforts don’t end there. After hours, he uses his Dynari abilities to moonlight as a vigilante, keeping his neighborhood safe from drunks, dealers, and would-be thieves.

Until a mistake stops him dead in his super-accelerated tracks.

Now burdened with the closest thing he’s ever had to a conscience, Cole struggles to justify his once-reckless actions. It’d be all too easy to give in to his darker impulses, especially with ERA making dangerous advances toward their goal of revolution, but embracing that hatred could jeopardize the few relationships he actually cares about—including his pursuit of the saintly Rachel Ranford. No, in order to keep everyone safe, he’ll have to come clean about his warring compulsions and ask for help… before his dark side takes over.

So, everyone, how about you? Have any questions for either Becca or Carrie? Interested in winning a copy of HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL or HONESTY?

We’d love to hear from you so please add your thoughts in the comments! Let us know what you think about new adult fantasy, what you’re currently reading, what you’re doing this weekend, what your favorite day of the week is…

Thank you to Becca and Carrie for participating in this Q&A series! Tomorrow, I’ll share my final thoughts and announce the winners. (Commenters have until 4:00 p.m. EDT on 4/4/14 to enter to win the free book or the eGC).

Have a great night, all! Until tomorrow…

 

Is there a market for #NewAdult Fantasy?

This week, I’m doing a three-part Q&A with six New Adult Fantasy authors. If you missed yesterday’s post with Sarah Harian and Summer Lane, click here. Tomorrow, I’ll interview the last two authors. On Friday, I’ll give away a free book (winner’s choice from among the books featured in the series; format and delivery method will vary based on winner’s choice) and a $10 eGift Certificate to a bookstore of the winner’s choice. Want to enter to win one of the prizes or add your thoughts to the discussion? Please do by commenting below! Today, please welcome Juliana Haygert and Karen Duvall.

THE AUTHORS

Juliana Haygert

Juliana Haygert
Juliana Haygert

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Karen Duvall

Karen Duvall
Karen Duvall

Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series in 2011 and 2012, and her post-apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013. Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

THE QUESTIONS

Jill Archer: Do you feel the term “New Adult fiction” has become synonymous with “college romance”?

Juliana Haygert: Unfortunately, it has, though that’s not all that NA is. I like to refer to characters of NA books as college-aged, because they don’t necessarily need to be in college. And romance is also not required. Like any YA and Adult books, the NA category can and should have any genre – romance, drama, thriller, fantasy, paranormal, horror, etc.

Karen Duvall: I think that’s how it started. Writers and publishers wanted to cross the boundaries of innocence required by the YA genre so that characters could be free to have sexual experiences, which often happens in college, and to shed the restrictions of childhood. But what appears to have happened is many of these college romances just took teenage children with teenage issues, added a year or two to their ages, and plopped them into a college setting so they could have sex. I heard of one agent who labeled NA as “college f— fiction.”

The college romances I recently read were infused with YA tropes like sports jock heroes, mean girls, petty jealousies, juvenile gossip, unfair teachers, meddling parents, cheating boyfriends and girlfriends, pubescent tirades and other issues faced by children on the cusp of adulthood. Those stories hadn’t evolved to the next level of becoming a grown up.

YA is about the transition from child to adult. NA is about finally getting to be an adult. There’s a big difference, different enough to warrant a whole new category of fiction.

Thanks to college romances, my agent has no interest whatsoever in NA fiction.

Jill: Do you think the label “New Adult” is helpful to fantasy readers versus romance readers? If so, what do you think distinguishes New Adult fantasy from adult fantasy?

Juliana: I think NA fantasy distinguishes from Adult fantasy, the same way NA distinguishes from Adult fiction, in general. Adults are focused on other matters in their life (like paying bills, succeeding on their jobs, starting or providing for their families) while college-aged characters are still trying to find themselves, to choose what they will want to do for the rest of their lives, having their hearts broken and mended. There’s more angst, more indecision, more instability. Only, with fantasy, you got magic and other supernatural elements along with all the other problems. 🙂

Karen: I think it’s too soon to tell. Go to any bookstore and walk down an aisle in the fantasy and science fiction section, then ask someone browsing if they like New Adult fantasy. I bet nine out of ten won’t know what the hell you’re talking about. New Adult is not yet in the mainstream. Not enough readers know what it is.

I think what would distinguish it is if the story incorporates the challenges faced by characters who have recently crossed the threshold into adulthood. In adult fantasy, aside from the older ages of the main characters, the plot’s focus is on the magical elements and the story world rather than new awakenings within characters who are new to adulthood. They have other challenges to face, and though the characters grow and change during their journey, their story arc doesn’t depend on what they learn from growing up. It’s assumed they are grown up.

Jill: Last month, a writer left a comment on my blog, which is paraphrased below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. (You can see her original question and my answer here).

I am a writer who is currently working on a fantasy manuscript featuring an 18 year-old apprentice. There are romantic elements, but the relationship is not the focus of the story – her adventures are. I’ve noticed that most NA fantasies have a romance plot rather than a quest or mystery plot. Do you think there’s a market for a story such as this? What are your thoughts?

Juliana: I think romance is a big seller, yes, but there are readers for all genres. On my fantasy trilogy, there’s romance, but the focus is on the story, on the adventure the protagonist goes through. Some readers complain that there’s little romance in it, but I have other books with more romance if they want that. It may take some time until NA expands to other genres but I believe it’ll get there. Especially if we keep writing non-contemp or non-romance NA books. 🙂

Karen: The New Adult category is still something of a slippery fish when it comes to defining what it is and isn’t, but one thing it’s not is romance. It can be romance, but it can also be mystery, or historical, or horror or science fiction. New Adult doesn’t focus on any one genre, but neither does it relate to the adventures of an 18-year-old in her apprenticeship unless those adventures are directly tied the challenges of new adulthood. Those challenges might include: financial independence, self-empowerment, loss of innocence, living away from parents for the first time, military enlistment, friendships after high school, first jobs, new marriage, wedding engagement, starting a family, and so much more.

Jill: Are you currently writing, or have you recently published, a New Adult Fantasy? If so, can you share a little bit about it?

Juliana: I’m writing the third book of my NA fantasy trilogy, The Everlasting Circle. The first book, Destiny Gift, tells the story of a girl who lives in a dark world and has visions of gods and demons—and clues. She has to follow the clues and succeed in her quest to bring light back to the world.

Karen: I’ve always written NA even though there was no such thing at the time. The problems and challenges faced by this age group have always been important to me so it’s what I like to write. In answer to the question, however, I’d have to say no. My Knight’s Curse series, published by Harlequin Luna, featured a NA character facing NA issues, but it’s categorized as adult urban fantasy.

I’m currently working on a new fantasy romance series that features NA characters in a NA situation, but I don’t know if it will be marketed as New Adult. It’s not yet contracted and only the first book is written, the second book now underway. I’m on tenterhooks while I wait for my agent to start the submission process. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

This is the blurb for my (possibly NA) fantasy romance, Mirror Reader:

Alice Dodgson, a descendant of Alice from Wonderland who possesses a psychic ability to read the past in mirrors, faces a painful past when a dangerous god abducts her little girl out of revenge for a crime Alice didn’t commit. She is forced to ask for help from the man who broke her heart eight years before… the man who fathered her child and doesn’t know he has a daughter.

Jill: Besides yourself, which authors and/or books can you recommend to readers who are looking for New Adult fantasy?

Juliana: The Crescent Chronicles by Alyssa Rose Ivy, The Collapse Series by Summer Lane, The Mark of Nexus series by Carrie Butler, Eldaen Light Chronicles by Victoria H. Smith, Wasteland Trilogy by Lynn Rush, Moonsongs by E.J. Wesley.

THE BOOKS

Kinght's Curse

A skilled knife fighter since the age of nine, Chalice knows what it’s like to live life on the edge—precariously balanced between the dark and the light. But the time has come to choose. The evil sorcerer who kidnapped her over a decade ago requires her superhuman senses to steal a precious magical artifact…or she must suffer the consequences.

Desperate to break the curse that enslaves her, Chalice agrees. But it is only with the help of Aydin—her noble warrior-protector—that she will risk venturing beyond the veil to discover the origins of her power. Only for him will she dare to fully embrace her awesome talents. For a deadly duel is at hand, and Chalice alone will have to decide between freedom…and the love of her life.

Soul Oath Cover

It’s been three months since Nadine last heard from Victor, Micah or Ceris, allowing her to concentrate on her own life. But until Victor and Micah find the scepters that will restore them as true gods, their human bodies will require her healing touch and it’s only a matter of time until they wreak havoc on her life again.  As if to prove that, Victor shows up at the hospital dragging along with him a swarm of demons. Nadine is forced to flee to safety. Despite her attempts to keep her loved ones protected, the demons find her, and they bring her to Imha, the goddess of Chaos. Now, confronted by her greatest fear, Nadine finds a new motivation. Vengeance. And when seeking revenge, no risk is too great, including her own life.

So, everyone, how about you? Have any other questions for either Karen or Juliana? Interested in winning a copy of KNIGHT’S CURSE or SOUL OATH?

We’d love to hear from you so please add your thoughts in the comments! Let us know what you think about new adult fantasy, what you’re currently reading, where you live, what your favorite color is…

Thank you to Karen and Juliana for participating in this Q&A series! Don’t forget to stop back tomorrow for Part 3 of 3…

 

Is the term “New Adult fiction” synonymous with “college romance”?

This week, I’m doing a three-part Q&A with six New Adult Fantasy authors. We’ll be discussing some great topics and spotlighting some terrific books. On Friday, I’ll give away a free book (winner’s choice from among the books featured in the series; format and delivery method will vary based on winner’s choice) and a $10 eGift Certificate to a bookstore of the winner’s choice. Want to enter to win one of the prizes or add your thoughts to the discussion? Please do by commenting below! Today, please welcome Sarah Harian and Summer Lane.

THE AUTHORS

Sarah Harian
Sarah Harian

Sarah Harian

Sarah grew up in the foothills of Yosemite and received her B.A. and M.F.A. from Fresno State University. When not writing, she is usually hiking some mountain or another in the Sierras, playing video games with her husband, or rough-housing with her dog.

Summer Lane
Summer Lane

Summer Lane

Summer is the author of the national bestselling YA/NA Romantic Adventure novels, State of Emergency, State of Chaos, and State of Rebellion, the first three installments in The Collapse Series. She is a freelance writer, publicist and lover of all things feline. Summer owns WB Publishing, a digital publishing company devoted to releasing exciting survival and adventure stories. In her spare time, Summer is the creator of the online magazine, Writing Belle, a website dedicated to the art of storytelling. She works as a creative writing teacher and consultant, as well. You can find Summer at her website or on Twitter @SummerEllenLane.

 

THE QUESTIONS

Jill Archer: Do you feel the term “New Adult fiction” has become synonymous with “college romance”?

Summer Lane: For some, that’s certainly true. The market is saturated right now with college romance novels. When you walk into a store and see the category NEW ADULT, what is beneath the sign is generally hardcore, steamy romance novels. That’s not because there aren’t any New Adult novels out there that aren’t about romance, but because that’s now where the market pendulum has swung. There are lots of New Adult adventures and dramas – and even non-fiction books. You just have to look a little bit harder.

Sarah Harian: I do, and it’s very unfortunate. Do I think that New Adult can transform into something that goes beyond college romance? Absolutely. But it really depends on the readership and what they want. I hope it expands, but I can’t predict the future. All I can ask is that writers keep writing fabulous speculative New Adult novels and those who want the NA category to buy novels that don’t follow the NA mold.

Jill: Do you think the label “New Adult” is helpful to fantasy readers versus romance readers? If so, what do you think distinguishes New Adult fantasy from adult fantasy?

Summer: Yes. When I read fantasy, I like to identify with the main character as much as possible – and that’s more likely to happen if they’re closer to my age. A New Adult fantasy would feature a character that is in that age range – just in an imaginative environment. I think it’s helpful, not harmful.

Sarah: How I’ve personally been distinguishing New Adult from other categories is that NA reads a lot like Young Adult in terms of stylistics but has content geared toward people in their twenties. But despite what I think, it’s really up to the author how they want to categorize their book. If you feel like your novel speaks specifically to an audience of twenty-somethings, then categorize your book as NA.

Jill: Last month, a writer left a comment on my blog, which is paraphrased below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. (You can see her original question and my answer here).

I am a writer who is currently working on a fantasy manuscript featuring an 18 year-old apprentice. There are romantic elements, but the relationship is not the focus of the story – her adventures are. I’ve noticed that most NA fantasies have a romance plot rather than a quest or mystery plot. Do you think there’s a market for a story such as this? What are your thoughts?

Summer: There is a market for everything. Books with a romantic plot and a quest or mystery subplot are increasingly popular. It combines fantastical elements that everyone enjoys with the romance of two people falling in love. My favorite type of story is the plot line that is situated the opposite way: an adventurous plot and a romantic SUBplot. That’s just my personal preference, and that is how I wrote The Collapse Series. Cassidy Hart’s quest to survive the collapse of North America is the main story, but the sub-story is her romance with Navy SEAL Chris Young. There is a big market for the type of book you’re talking about. Definitely.

Sarah: I think that you need to write the story that you want to write and not worry about what genre/category it falls into. So many people get caught up on categories—such as New Adult and Young Adult—that they end up not writing the story that’s in their heart. If your story is a fantasy story about an eighteen-year-old girl who has adventures and it isn’t focused on romance, WRITE IT. There is a market for young people who go on adventures. If it ends up not being published as New Adult, then who cares?

Jill: Are you currently writing, or have you recently published, a New Adult Fantasy? If so, can you share a little bit about it?

Summer: I’m currently writing the fourth installment in my bestselling Collapse Series. My books are a cross between adventure and post-apocalyptic fantasy. They’re both New Adult and Young Adult. There’s really no group that is excluded from what I write. It’s an old fashioned adventure story with romance. I wrote a LOT of fantasy and science fantasy stories when I was growing up, and I love reading them to this day.

Sarah: I published a NA science fiction novel with Penguin. The process was really exciting, as I was the second NA speculative author to be published by a Big Five house. The book is about a bunch of twenty-somethings–who have committed terrible crimes–entering an experimental prison to be judged. The novel is dark and carries elements of horror, but at its heart, it’s a coming-of-age story about human nature.

Jill: Besides yourself, which authors and/or books can you recommend to readers who are looking for New Adult fantasy?

Summer: I’m actually pretty new to reading NA fantasy, so my recommendations list hasn’t even been compiled yet! I’m really hoping to get some reading done this spring and summer and discover some great new authors.

Sarah: Jamie Grey has an amazing scifi novel called THE STAR THIEF that you should absolutely buy, and Karina Halle’s EXPERIMENT IN TERROR series is also badass.

THE BOOKS

State of Rebellion

Everything has changed.

After a devastating ambush that left the militia group Freedom Fighters struggling to survive, Cassidy Hart has been lucky to escape with her life. Along with her Commander and former Navy SEAL Chris Young, she has made a shocking discovery concerning the whereabouts of her father. The militias have moved further into the mountains. And the secret that is kept there will come with a price.

But when the National Guard arrives, Cassidy is faced with a choice that will force her to decide between her friends and her family. Omega is getting stronger. The fight for freedom looms on the horizon.

It’s all or nothing.

And Cassidy has no intention of giving up.

Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends.

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.

So, everyone, how about you? What do you think of my questions? Have any other questions for either Sarah or Summer? Interested in winning a copy of THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE or STATE OF REBELLION? I’d love to hear from you so please add your thoughts in the comments! Thank you to Sarah and Summer for participating in this Q&A series. Don’t forget to stop back tomorrow for Part 2 of 3.

6 #NewAdult Fantasy Authors, 5 Questions, 2 Possible Prizes, 1 Week Only!

A year ago, I hosted a guest blog series that featured New Adult authors. At the time, New Adult fiction was generating some provocative headlines. The category’s had time to mature. I’ve been following it with interest. So have others. I figured now might be a good time to do a follow-up series. But this year, my NA series is going to be a little bit different.

First, most of the posts will be in a Q&A format.

Second, I’ve added some new authors to the mix. This way we’ll continue to hear different perspectives on the topics that are discussed.

Third, as a thank you to all of the participants (both the authors and any commenters), I’m offering a free book (winner’s choice from among the books featured in the series; format and delivery method will vary depending on winner’s choice) and a $10 eGift Certificate to the bookstore of winner’s choice.

The first post will be tomorrow and will feature two authors and two books. Similar posts will follow on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, I’ll announce the winners.

I’d love to hear from as many of you as possible. I’m going to be drawing the winners randomly. Each day that you comment gives you a chance to win. (Commenting during all three days will give you three chances to win both prizes).

What are we going to be talking about?

Among other things, whether or not the term “New Adult” has become synonymous with “college romance.” (Participating authors had different answers to this and I want to hear yours!)

Another thing we’re going to be discussing is some specific advice for a writer who left a question for me here in the comments last month. (A big shout out and thank you to Fairytale Feminista, whose question served as partial inspiration for this Q&A series!)

Stay tuned… Until tomorrow… Take care and have a great Monday, everyone!

NAmazing Adventure Starts Today! (Over 60 New Adult Authors, Fun Quests, Great Prize Packs)

I mentioned earlier I was participating in NA Alley’s NAmazing Adventure. I’m featuring Dark Light of Day in the event, which starts today. It’s a blog hop with six different quests. At the end of each quest is a set of questions. Questers/adventurers have a week to complete all of the quests. Speed doesn’t matter, but accuracy does — so take good notes! 😀 Possible prizes include ARCs, print books, ebooks, eGift Certificates, etc. My post is below…

NAmazing Adventure

Welcome to my stop on the NAmazing Adventure, a blog hop featuring over 60 New Adult authors, and prize packs that include ARCs, signed books, gift cards, swag, and more! If you’re not sure what the NAmazing Adventure is, please click here to start from the beginning and read the complete rules on the NA Alley website. Now let’s get this journey on the road!

Jill Archer's Dark Light of Day

Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.

Excerpt from Dark Light of Day

This scene is from Chapter 7 and takes place in a dark, dusty, secluded area of Corpus Justica, the law library. Noon declared her magic the night before. Ari is another student at St. Lucifer’s. Hyrkes are humans with no magic.

“I couldn’t let you be killed,” he continued, “and not because I know your father or because we could use your magic, and definitely not because your failure to declare would reflect badly on me.” He snorted. “You know full well the reason I don’t want you killed, but you refuse to accept it. You’re still trying to hide,” he murmured and I shivered beneath him. “But I won’t let you.”

He kissed me then and it was unimaginably different than any other time I’d been kissed. I surrendered completely. Despite the awkwardness I felt, this was what I had wanted. I felt like a weak, knobby kneed girl who’d just swooned in her lover’s arms, but Ari’s kiss made me feel deliciously feminine. His mouth came down on mine insistently, his lips soft but firm, his grip quickly moving from my chin to the back of my nape as he tilted my head back to gain greater access. His tongue darted across my lips, an unmistakable question.

Would I yield to him?

I did. What else could I do? I wanted him in the worst way. He assailed me both physically and magically. The skin beneath my demon mark burned, my whole being coursed with heat. Waning magic swirled around us and Ari stood up, pulling me to him.

“I’ve wanted to do this since the first time I saw you,” he said. His voice was gravelly and rough, rumbling deep within his chest. There was an unusual rawness to it. I would have rolled my eyes and made a joke about the bounds of his arrogance being so great that he was determined to have every conceivable sexual experience, even those that bordered on the exotic or bizarre. But there was something eerily serious about his gaze as he looked at me. A joke seemed inappropriate. I settled for an incredulous look.

“Noon, don’t you know how beautiful you are?”

Men had called me beautiful before. But they’d all been Hyrkes, unknowing of my true nature, of what I was really capable of. If they’d only known what was lurking beneath my pretty porcelain shell . . . My magic flared up, vicious and strong, all soft edges made sharp again, the last few minutes almost forgotten.

“Let me help you,” Ari said gruffly. “Let me teach you how to control your magic.”

“What’s in it for you?”

“You, I hope,” Ari said, meeting my magic with his own. He didn’t try to soften my edges; he just parried them with his own.

“I can’t stop thinking about you, you know,” he said, squeezing me to him. “You fascinate me.”

He followed up his declaration with another kiss, this one more scalding than the last, and then dropped me back into my seat, breathless and wanting.

Got that jotted down in your quest scroll? 😉

Great, because you’ll need it for the quiz at the end of this quest! And remember, you must complete ALL SIX quizzes to be eligible for a prize pack.

Want another chance to win

Dark Light of Day?

After the NAmazing Adventure ends, I’ll pick one commenter from this post who will win a print copy of Dark Light of Day. To be eligible to win, you must live in the U.S. –or– The Book Depository must ship to your address. Tell me whether you’ve ever kissed anyone in a library before… what your favorite NA book is and why… if you’re a fantasy fan… what movies you’ve seen or want to see this summer… where you’re from… or anything else you want to share.

Thanks for stopping by. Ready to move on?

Click HERE to go to the next stop on your adventure!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Cloud 9 and Other Unrelated Things

Cloud Collage
Photo credit: my eleven year old,
who’s excited about the photography class she’s taking at camp next week

Paranormal Haven is doing a summer feature called “Why Didn’t I Think of That?!?!” where authors share some neat bookish idea that they wish they’d thought of first. Click here to see my choice. If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s perfect for your summer TBR pile!

Yesterday, I was at Marsha Moore’s place for my last interview for my Fiery Edge of Steel blog tour. She asked a handful of questions that got right to the point of the series. What a perfect way to wrap everything up. The post is sort of a “everything you need to know about the Noon Onyx series in 5 questions or less.” I’ll be doing one final post next week to announce tour-wide winners, etc. Click here for final chances to win copies of Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, and two $10 eGift Certificates to the bookstore of your choice.

As to why I’m on Cloud 9 and why I loaded up a cloud collage? WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE is finished and turned in. Woohoo! Yay! Will let everyone know release date as soon as I hear. I’ll also be doing some sort of cover reveal once it’s ready. (It may be a little while, but I did turn in my thoughts on that so I’m excited to see what the art department comes up with. 😀 )

I’m taking some time off today to get my daughter ready for a fun camp she’s doing next week and then I’m looking forward to the weekend! Hope you all have a wonderful one!!

Udvar-Hazy “Become a Pilot” Day, More Interview Links, and Updates

Summer has officially started but lots of things are winding down with me. The Bewitching Book Tours virtual book tour that I’m doing to help spread the word about Fiery Edge of Steel‘s release will be ending next week. Friday, June 28th, will be the last spotlight. After that, winners of the blog tour goodies will be announced. So there are a few more chances to put your name in for a chance to win copies of Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, and a $10 eGift Certificate to a bookstore of the winner’s choice.

Now would be a great time to mention how thankful I am to everyone who has participated in the tour or who has helped to put the word out about the Noon Onyx series. Sending out a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to all of the blog hosts, interviewers, readers, reviewers, and commenters! I’m grateful for all of the tweets, status updates, shares, spotlights, and reviews. It’s been a lot of fun meeting everyone online and hearing readers’ reactions to Fiery Edge of Steel. To all of you who told me know how much you’ve enjoyed the series or how much you love the books, the world, and/or the characters, you are all fantastic and amazing. I appreciate the support!

Here’s a run down of where I’ve been lately:

Lissette E. Manning (I discuss what makes Noon such a different character, how she feels about being descended from Lucifer’s warlords, and the fact that her refusal to “shoot first and ask questions later” makes her an outsider with her peers)

Vicky at Deal Sharing Aunt (Top three things to know about Dark Light of Day and how members of the Host use waning magic to control demons)

Friday Nights Live Radio Interview with Bewitching Book Tours Radio (30 minute interview with host Kriss Morton from Cabin Goddess. We talk about ALL KINDS OF STUFF. 😀 )

What’s up for next week and later this summer?

Monday, I’ll be guest blogging at the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter of RWA. I’ll be talking about “Road Trips for Your Muse.” On Tuesday and Thursday, I’ll host the last two guests in my Spring Into Summer Romance guest blog series. Then on Friday, I’ll be at Paranormal Haven for their “Why Didn’t I Think of That?!?!” summer feature.

*AND* I’m also participating in Bewitching Book Tours Sizzling Summer Giveaway and NA Alley’s NAmazing Adventure. More details on those two events to come!

Udvar-Hazy Center’s

“Become a Pilot” Family Day

Last Saturday, our family went down to the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia for its “Become a Pilot” Family Day and Aviation Display. It was Father’s Day weekend and the air and space museum was packed with dads and aviation enthusiasts, my husband being one of them. My girls enjoyed climbing into some of the planes and experimental aircraft that were on display, as well as flying in the simulators. My favorite part was seeing space shuttle Discovery. Pretty darn amazing!

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Space Shuttle Discovery
022
Heat shield
024
Rudder and main engines
027
Outside aviation display
031
Police rescue and transport helicopter
035
Great day for kite flying!
037
Udvar-Hazy Center
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Blackbird
043
Future Flying Ace 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Love Triangles, Swamp Tours, and the Noon Onyx Series

Jenn at Tynga’s Reviews interviewed me yesterday. She asked a lot of great questions – like why I named waning and waxing magic after the phases of the moon, my thoughts on love triangles, whether Noon and Ari would ever get a Happily Ever After ending, and whether we would see more of Peter and/or Noon’s family members in future books. If you haven’t read Dark Light of Day (what are you waiting for? :-D) the interview has some spoilers. Stop by to check out my answers and enter to win one of two prize packs which include copies of both Dark Light of Day and Fiery Edge of Steel and a $10 eGC.

Today, I’m over at Suzanne Johnson’s Preternatura blog discussing the swampy inspirations for The Shallows, one of the settings in Fiery Edge of Steel. Want to see a semi-vintage photo that my husband took on our first (and only) swamp tour together? Interested in seeing my eclectic collection of fridge magnets? Stop by for a chance to win a copy of Fiery Edge of Steel.

The Fiery Edge of Steel Goodreads giveaway that my publisher sponsored ended last night with almost 900 people requesting a copy. Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and/or added the book to their Goodreads shelf!

THE MOON'S PHASES = PARTIAL INSPIRATION FOR WANING AND WAXING MAGIC
THE MOON’S PHASES = PARTIAL INSPIRATION FOR WANING AND WAXING MAGIC

Hope everyone is having a great week! 😀

Fiery Edge of Steel Exclusive Excerpt Tour: ARC Giveaways and More!

Fiery Edge of Steel is releasing at the end of this month — May 28th! To help spread the word about its release, I’m doing a six stop exclusive excerpt tour through Bewitching Book Tours. From today through May 11th, one part of Chapter 1 will be posted at each of the stops below. I’m giving away six signed ARCs (US only) and one $25.00 eGift Certificate to the bookstore of the winner’s choice (international) during this “teaser” tour. I’m ALSO giving away two more signed ARCs of Fiery Edge of Steel and two signed copies of Dark Light of Day from my site (US only). All you have to do to enter to win one of those is e-mail your US address to [archer at jillarcher dot com] by midnight EDT May 13th. Subject line should be the title of the book you are interested in. (You can say “both” :-D).

Fiery Edge of Steel

Exclusive Excerpt Tour

In writing Fiery Edge of Steel, I was inspired by a number of things, among them an old French imposter case, two children’s songs, and a fairy tale. I wanted to explore the themes of love, betrayal, knowledge, death, and duty. To set up those themes I could think of no better way to open the book than to recreate a Haljan version of the 16th century execution of Arnaud du Tilh, the man who impersonated the French peasant Martin Guerre. That recreation forms the basis for Chapter 1.

May 6th: Part One at Fang-tastic Books

May 7th: Part Two at Urban Girl Reader

May 8th: Part Three at Preternatura

May 9th: Part Four at Urban Fantasy Investigations

May 10th: Part Five at Rabid Reads

May 11th: Part Six at Romancing the Dark Side

Great First Reviews!

I was thrilled and excited to see that the first reviews for Fiery Edge of Steel were positive. In fact, I love what was said about the book and the series. I’m very grateful for any interest and thankful to everyone who takes the time to read and review.

“Archer delves deeper into the enticing and magical world of Dark Light of Day in this original and clever urban fantasy… Excitement and action leap from the pages as Archer’s skill with description pulls readers fully into her magical world.” — Publishers Weekly

“The second Noon Onyx story is an astounding adventure tale. Archer’s unique world, where Lucifer’s army triumphed at Armageddon, is filled with adherence to strict laws that keep an uneasy peace between races. This is proving to be a really fresh and fascinating series!” — RT Book Reviews

Noon Onyx is participating in a

Supernatural Smackdown

Does that sound hilarious and fun or what?!? I couldn’t resist saying I’d participate even though Noon’s character isn’t as kick a$$ as the characters she’ll be competing against. If you’re interested in seeing how a Supernatural Smackdown works, stop by Dark Faerie Tales (I’ll be taking notes along with you because this is the first one I’ve ever done!). And, if you want to vote for the underdog, come check out my post there on May 16th! (Yes, I’ll be sending out reminders. ;-))

More About the Noon Onyx Series

In Dark Light of Day, the first book in the series, Nouiomo “Noon” Onyx, a 21 year old post grad magic user, had to choose between death or training to become a demon peacekeeper. In Fiery Edge of Steel, Noon faces a different question.

The Noon Onyx series is a genre-bending fantasy series. The setting is post-apocalyptic, but it’s not dystopian fiction. In fact, Armageddon is old news. Demons have inherited the earth, but goodness and love still exist. In short, the series is for readers who adore adventure, passion, mystery, and magic.

I’ll be posting info and links to various other events in connection with Fiery Edge of Steel‘s release. And I’ll be posting more guest blogs from the fabulous authors who are participating in the Spring Into Summer Romance guest blog series. Behind the scenes, I am working feverishly (sometimes literally — dang spring colds!) on book #3.

I had a lot of fun writing Fiery Edge of Steel and I hope you enjoy reading it! Have a great week, everyone!
Jill Archer's Dark Light of DayJill Archer's Fiery Edge of Steel

#NewAdult: 15 Authors Who Prove That NA Characters Are Like Fully Charged Batteries

Anyone who follows my blog knows I love to host themed guest blog series. It’s great to hear what everyone else is working on, as well as share writing tips, path to publication stories, thoughts on genre misconceptions, reader expectations, and even engage in a bit of prognosticating. Since January, I’ve hosted 15 authors who write New Adult books. For anyone who missed any of the wonderful posts, here’s a final list including links and topics. I’m very grateful to each and every one of them for participating!

  1. Summer Lane (Post-Apocalyptic NA Romantic Adventure)
  2. Jaycee Delorenzo (Effect of Self-Publishing on the Emerging New Adult Genre)
  3. Juliana Haygert (Staying True to Your Character and Your Voice)
  4. Carrie Butler (Addressing Misconceptions in NA)
  5. Karen Duvall (Are the New Adult Years More Formative Than Adolescence?)
  6. Bethany Lopez (Self-Publishing Tips from the SoCal Writers Conference)
  7. Shona Husk (The Character’s Journey in NA Novels)
  8. Allison Rushby (Breaking Into E-Serials)
  9. Katie Teller (Researching Ancient Egypt)
  10. Juliette Springs (“Darker Side of Romance“)
  11. Molly Zenk (Path to Publication for 90 Cats and No Litter Box in Sight)
  12. Lynn Rush (CMP’s Flagship NA Author)
  13. Piper Shelly (Secondary Characters)
  14. Theresa McClinton (YA PNR/Ancient Maya)
  15. J.M. Bray (How Writing is Like Racing)

New Adult is About Potential

To me, the one word that sums up New Adult fiction — both in terms of its characters and the future of all writers who write these types of stories — is potential. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more and more about books featuring characters ages 18-25 as this category of fiction matures. And, in time, its identity will solidify and readers will no longer question what it is or what it might become. It will have achieved those things. But, for now, I think one of the neatest things about New Adult fiction is that both the concept and the characters have enormous potential. Potential is different from ambition. Different than experience. Potential is like having a fully charged battery. Anything seems possible. As it grows up, I hope this newly emerging category of fiction will give readers an opportunity not just to be entertained, but also to be moved and to think. I hope it will give us characters who feel intensely and do extreme things. Characters who make mistakes, but who learn and grow. It’s hard to imagine a more fertile ground in which a writer could play. During the post-adolescent years, we face some of the most significant, life-defining choices we will ever make: where we will work, who we will marry, whether we will have children, where we will live, and how we will live. We will decide who we are, what we stand for, and what we believe in. Some of those decisions are reversible; some are not. But all are life-altering. And huge growth arcs make for great storytelling.

Dark Light of Day is New Adult

Fiery Edge of Steel… isn’t

(but it still has great potential 😀 )

Last month, NA Alley listed Dark Light of Day under their speculative NA recommended reads list. I was thrilled to hear it because I think it belongs there. Noon Onyx, the main character, is a 21 year-old post grad magic user who faces not just demons but also a crushing course schedule, overbearing professors, her first real romantic relationship, and a self-identity crises. The voice is also fairly youthful too. If you like a YA voice, the style that Dark Light of Day is written in will probably appeal to you. That said, Fiery Edge of Steel, the next book in the series, is not New Adult fiction. The question that Noon faces in the second book is not one that is typically faced by twenty-somethings. And, probably of lesser importance but still worth mentioning, the second book isn’t set on a university campus. So what can readers expect from Fiery Edge of Steel? Fantasy, of course! Expect demons, magic, and a few surprises. Expect some romantic elements (Ari Carmine is Noon’s field partner), a bit of mystery (what’s really going on in The Shallows, the remote outpost that Noon and Ari are sent to?), and a few scenes set in New Babylon and St. Luck’s (I wouldn’t want readers to miss those places too much!)

Thanks, everyone, for following along during the New Adult guest blog series. Very soon, I’ll be posting details about my next series: SPRING INTO SUMMER ROMANCE!

Jill Archer's Dark Light of DayJill Archer's Fiery Edge of Steel

State of Emergency, a New Adult Post-Apocalyptic Romance, by Summer Lane

When I heard that Summer Lane’s State of Emergency was a Post-Apocalyptic New Adult Romantic Adventure novel, I *had* to check it out. (As many of you know, those elements pretty much sum up my current fav fiction elements). And when I saw her cover I thought it was pretty darn cool too. She tells us a bit about her main characters, Cassidy and Chris, and shares some of her inspirations for the novel. Summer is the last guest blogger in my New Adult guest blog series. (I’ll be doing a wrap up post and then will start a new series featuring some awesome authors who write in a different genre starting in April). Welcome, Summer!  

State of Emergency, Summer Lane, New Adult, post-apocalyptic fiction

I got this picture in my head of a girl standing in the middle of the street…

Writing a book about the end of modern civilization as we know it wasn’t something I ever really intended to do. For years I had toyed with the idea of writing about a post-apocalyptic world, but I never hit on the right story until I wrote State of Emergency. Don’t ask me how it happened. It was inspiration, I suppose. I was thinking about what might happen if I had to leave my home and evacuate the city when bam. I got this picture in my head of a girl standing in the middle of the street, watching airplanes fall out of the sky. This turned out to be the first scene of State of Emergency.

The Collapse Series is an interesting story to write because it follows the fall of modern society and the survival of a few extraordinary people who rise above the chaos. It’s about the jump from civilization to anarchy. I wanted to tell people how something bad happened, and then find out if there were enough strong characters in my story to turn the tables on the disaster and thrive under the pressure.

A good story is built on character, so I wanted to make sure that my two main leads were solid folks with likeable personalities. Cassidy is a self-proclaimed “realist;” a little naïve at nineteen years old and way too sarcastic for her own good. But she’s got a good heart, and in the end she always tries to do what’s right. Flawed? Yes. But loyal? Absolutely. Chris, by contrast, is a methodical guy who looks at things from a strategic standpoint. He’s a military man, and the end of the world looks a lot like the war zones he’s fought in all his life. He’s a lot more adjusted to the violence that the EMP brings than Cassidy is. And a lot calmer about it. The two of them contrast each other nicely, which gives them the ability to carry readers farther into the story world of State of Emergency.

If there’s one thing I want people take away from my novel, it’s that you should always be prepared for an emergency. Seriously! Writing this book made me meticulously examine my personal readiness for an evacuation or some random event that might kick me out of my city. I’m currently writing the sequel to State of Emergency, and many of the survivalist aspects of the book have required a lot of research. I’ve learned a lot about staying alive in the middle of a marsh and outrunning wild coyotes in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Yeah. I’m that writer.

But I love telling stories, and writing novels has allowed me to do exactly that: Make a living out of the thing I like the most!

More About State of Emergency

What would you do if the world as you know it ended in an instant? How far would you go to survive?

Cassidy Hart is your typical High School graduate:  A little shy, a little sarcastic, and a little naive. But when an electromagnetic pulse takes down the United States, she’s forced to kick into full survival mode when she gets separated from her father.
Yeah. Things suck.
But with the help of a handsome soldier named Chris, she just might find her dad without getting into serious trouble.
Emphasis on might.
Oh. And there’s the matter of avoiding getting killed in a world that’s quickly turned into an active war zone.
It’s going to change Cassidy’s life.
It’s going to be a major pain in the butt.

Where to buy

More About Summer

post-apocalyptic new adult romantic adventure fiction
Summer Lane

Summer Lane is the author of the national bestselling novel, STATE OF EMERGENCY, the first installment in the romantic adventure Collapse Series. Summer is also a freelance writer, creative writing teacher, survival enthusiast (of course!) and complete cat lover. Summer wrote Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Between and is the creator of the online blog/magazine, Writing Belle.

Summer currently lives in California, near the gorgeous Sierra Nevada Mountains and the fruit basket of the world. Summer has written many novels, but State of Emergency is definitely her favorite one yet! You can find Summer by hopping onto her website or her blog. Summer is also a contributor at NA Alley, a group blog dedicated to all things New Adult.

Are you prepared for an emergency? Have you taken any survivalist courses or wilderness training? If so, let us know in the comments! Thank you for guest blogging today, Summer!

The Truths About Dating and Mating by Jaycee Delorenzo

Jaycee DeLorenzo’s New Adult contemporary romance The Truths About Dating and Mating has an attention grabbing title, a terrific cover, and a fun premise. She tells us a bit about her book as well as its path to publication. She also touches upon the idea that the increased interest in self-publishing (from both writers’ and readers’ perspectives) had a hand in propelling New Adult from a category of fiction no one had ever heard of to one that is now making headlines. Jaycee is also an original founder and contributing blogger for NA Alley. Welcome, Jaycee!

The Truths About Dating and Mating

If millions of people were reading young adult books…

Why wouldn’t they want to read about what comes next?  

Some of the best advice I ever received was this:  “Write the story you want to write. The rest will follow.”

It just so happened that the story I wanted to write was about two college friends who had always been just that – friends.  Neither had unrequited feelings for the other, and both were confident and comfortable within the existing dynamic of their friendship.  Then, I wanted to flip the switch and send them on a journey where they had to deal with their own insecurities, fears, and doubts while making the decision of whether they should act on their new feelings or try to maintain the friendship they’ve always known.  And what could be more ironic than having two people who give advice to their peers on their bi-weekly college radio show, The Truths about Dating and Mating, be unable to follow their own advice when they fall in love with each other?

So, I wrote The Truths about Dating and Mating.

At the original time I finished my first draft, I wasn’t even thinking of publication. But, after a three year break in which I got married and had two children, I started reworking the material and looking into publication options.  The overall consensus was that there was no market for a story about college students.  Some betas who had read the story suggested aging it down or up, but I didn’t see how I could do that.  My characters were still flexing their wings and trying to grow into their own skin and be comfortable with who they were.

So when I saw the contest put up by St. Marten’s press, I was excited.  Finally, books about college students might have a place in traditional publishing! And then…nothing really came of it. There was a term for it – New Adult – but it didn’t seem to be going anywhere.  For two years, this was the trend; small mentions of it here and there, but no real acceptance or known market for it.

That didn’t make sense to me.  If millions of people were reading young adult books, why wouldn’t they want to read about what comes next?

In that same time period, self-publishing was starting to hit its stride.  The stigma that came with it was beginning to fade, and books were actually getting recognition and taken more seriously.  Better yet, books that would classify as New Adult were starting to make waves and get recognition.

While it may not be the way I always wanted to go, it suddenly seemed like a viable option.  I still put out feelers to a few agents and publishers, and had interest in it – even one possible contract if I made changes (that I didn’t want to make) – but in the end, I decided that it made more sense for me to be in complete control of the entire process.  And finally, after a long journey, I put my book out there into the wild and sold far-more copies than I ever thought it would.  So, like the advice I received, I wrote the book I wanted to write, and the rest has followed; albeit in a different direction than I initially envisioned, but one that has offered what I dreamed of from the beginning: my book is being read.

More About The Truths About Dating and Mating

Spunky Italian coed Ivy Rossini likes to talk and push the boundaries. She gets to do both as she co-hosts Riordan College’s radio program, The Truths about Dating and Mating, alongside her lifelong best friend, Ian Hollister.

Being the only girl who cares to see beyond Ian’s bad boy reputation has its advantages, especially when he’s scaring off the jerks who just want to nail the campus sex-guru. It’s when he’s “protecting” her from the advances she welcomes that she wants to lob him over the head and tell him to butt out. But Ivy feels like she’s the one who’s taken a hit when Ian almost kisses her at a party. She knows she should feel relieved when he pulls away, so why is she disappointed instead?

What’s worse, Ivy’s now getting aroused by Ian’s slightest touch and can’t stop entertaining thoughts of a romantic future. But Ian doesn’t do relationships, and she’s not interested in anything casual. In the end, Ivy decides it’s best to keep her growing feelings a secret and hope they’ll pass. However, when Ian begins hinting at wanting to take things to the next level, she’s forced to decide if a chance at something more is worth risking everything they’ve built.

With their friendship and her heart hanging in the balance, can Ivy follow the advice she and Ian give their listeners – to communicate, be honest, and trust in themselves – or will insecurity, stubbornness, and pride ruin any chance of their relationship getting off the ground?

Where to buy

More About Jaycee

Jaycee DeLorenzo
Jaycee DeLorenzo

Jaycee DeLorenzo hails from Tucson, Arizona, on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park – which she believes to be the most beautiful spread of desert in the world. By day, Jaycee is an English language teacher to elementary students. By night, she’s a wife, mother, writer, cover artist, website designer, and blogger. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, singing (very poorly), catching up on her favorite T.V. shows, and researching.

Where to find Jaycee online

So, readers, what do you think? Is it hard to practice what you preach when it comes to love? Why is that? Is your current beau your former best friend? How did you make the transition? Thank you, Jaycee, for guest blogging today!

A Writer’s Dilemma: Staying True to Your Characters and Your Voice by Juliana Haygert

Juliana Haygert, another NA Alley blogger and New Adult author, is here today to discuss how, despite repeated requests to age her story up or down she stuck to her guns and kept writing about characters in that tricky New Adult age range (18-25). She was convinced it would one day be A THING. (Think she was right? 😉) She talks about her path to publication and also gives commenters a chance to win an e-book of her April 2013 NA paranormal romance Destiny Gift (winner will receive the e-book in April). Welcome, Juliana!

DestinyGift

I love this,

but can you make it YA or Adult?

I’ve began writing when I was 13 years old, though I didn’t write New Adult back then, of course. I’ve began writing New Adult when I started college – it seemed only normal, right, that I would write about things that felt close to me, related to me. Though, at that time, there wasn’t a term for it. To me, I was just writing, no pressure to control word count or to categorize my work, especially because it wasn’t work – it was a hobby.

It was only years later, when I finally decided writing was more than a hobby, that I learned the term New Adult, and that it wasn’t a thing. In fact, it was frowned upon. Even so, I didn’t stop writing it. After I wrote a manuscript my CPs loved, I queried agents and small presses – most told me “I love this, but can you make it YA or Adult?” Hmm, no, I can’t. I didn’t.

It’s not that I don’t like YA and Adult – far from that. I do read tons of YA and Adult and love them. It’s just, when I’m writing, I feel more like a New Adult. I’ve tried writing YA before, and believe me, I did not sound like a teenager! Even said agents and editors said that my voice wasn’t quite young or adult – duh!

In the end, I stayed true to my characters and my voice, even if that meant being ignored by agents and publishers for a long while. The important thing to me was to tell my stories the way they should be told. It would take time and patience, but New Adult would have a big bang someday, I was sure of it.

And I can now say I was right! [insert shy grin here]

Thanks, Jill, for having me over!

More About Destiny Gift

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

Destiny Gift will be released on April 9, 2013. Add it to your “Want to Read” Goodreads pile by clicking here.

More About Juliana

Juliana Haygert
Juliana Haygert

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Juliana can be found online here:

Drawing inspiration from Juliana’s bio, I’m asking everyone whether you’d rather be Wonder Woman or Buffy. Respond in the comments for a chance to win an e-book of Destiny Gift — and you gotta say why, otherwise it’s no fun. (For me, it’s Wonder Woman. My husband would LOVE an invisible plane! 😀)

Thank you for guest blogging today, Juliana!

New Adult Fiction: Misconceptions and Moving Forward by NA Alley Blogger Carrie Butler

NA Alley blogger & New Adult author, Carrie Butler, is my next guest. She’s here to celebrate today’s release of her new NA paranormal romance Strength, as well as discuss some of the misconceptions she sees regarding the emerging New Adult genre/category of fiction. She’s also giving away an e-book of Strength to one lucky commenter. Welcome, Carrie!

CB_STRENGTH_Cover

NEW ADULT

What it is. What it isn’t.

Thank you so much for having me over, Jill! To make sure everyone is on the same page, I thought I’d give a quick definition. 🙂

“New Adult fiction (NA) is a category of literature that encompasses the transition between adolescence and adulthood. Protagonists typically fall between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, though exceptions may apply. NA characters are often portrayed experiencing: college, living away from home for the first time, military deployment, apprenticeships, a first steady job, a first serious relationship, etc.

Other terms for NA include: Upper YA, Crossover Fiction, and Mature YA.”

Whew! That was quite a mouthful. So, now that we know what NA is, let’s talk about what it isn’t:

  • NA is not a genre. Genres tend to have content-based criteria, i.e. to be considered romance, a novel must have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending”. Categories, on the other hand, help readers find what they’re looking for by giving general expectations—age of the main character, stage of life depicted, voice, levels of violence and sexuality, etc. Genres fit inside of categories. That’s how we form labels like adult romance, NA thriller, YA fantasy, MG adventure, etc.
  • NA is not “sexier YA”. Contrary to what some publications would lead you to believe, NA isn’t all about sex. In fact, some novels don’t portray it at all—and that’s okay. It works like any other category.
  • NA is not a marketing ploy. I know it’s difficult to take my word on this one—after all, my background is in marketing—but I promise, NA isn’t some greedy attempt to compartmentalize fiction. It’s a way of acknowledging the literary gap between YA and adult—a way to help readers find the stories they’ve been looking for.
  • NA is more than contemporary fiction. Given NA contemporary’s recent successes, it’s currently the most popular genre in the category. But you know what? There’s more to explore! I’m ready to see more speculative New Adult fiction. Paranormal romance, fantasy, dystopian, horror, etc. When do we get to read a supernaturally charged love story set on a college campus?

Okay, okay. That last sentence was a plug. My debut novel, STRENGTH, releases today, and I couldn’t wait to tell you about it!

If anyone has questions about NA, I’d be more than happy to answer them. Thanks again!

More About Strength

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, she’s stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she’s ever wanted in a man—except he can’t touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there’s no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.

Strength is available at:

More About Carrie

Carrie Butler
Carrie Butler

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Carrie can be found online here:

STRENGTH_PARTY_SidebarSo, everyone, there’s been A LOT of great discussions concerning New Adult fiction all over the internet. Who still has questions? What are your thoughts on Carrie’s clarifications? Are there any other misconceptions? One commenter will win an e-book of Strength.

I’ve really enjoyed hosting this New Adult Guest Blog Series (which is not over yet! At least two more of the NA Alley bloggers are going to blog here before I wrap it up). I hope everyone else has enjoyed hearing from the authors who are publishing in this up and coming category of fiction.

Congratulations and best wishes for Strength, Carrie! Thanks for guest blogging today!

Are the #NewAdult Years More Formative Than Adolescence? Karen Duvall #Giveaway: signed copy Knight’s Curse

Karen Duvall is the next guest blogger in my New Adult guest blog series. She’s giving away an autographed copy of Knight’s Curse to one lucky commenter today. She’s here to discuss our current favorite topic, New Adult fiction, and also her Knight’s Curse series, which features a young, modern-day female knight who’s lived a sheltered life and who is faced with some of those immense and formative decisions that make us who we are as adults.

Darkest Knight is the second book in the Knight's Curse series
Darkest Knight is the 2nd book in the Knight’s Curse series

Betwixt and Between by Karen Duvall

I love that the New Adult category of fiction has actually become a genre. Those early years of adulthood are special, and I remember mine well. As far as formative years go, I think those were more formative for many of us than our adolescence. At least they were for me.

My new adulthood years created solid memories I think about often. Not all are good, but even the bad ones held a powerful lesson that helped mold me into who I am today. I think that’s why this genre appeals to me so much. My experiences and how I felt going through them are still clear in my mind. And I often talk about them on my blog. I still have more college sky diving memories to share.

When I wrote my urban fantasy novel, Knight’s Curse, I created a character in her early twenties who’d been forced to lead a sheltered life. Chalice had grown up as an indentured thief for a powerful sorcerer, and though well educated during her internment, she was socially inept. Through the course of the novel she learns what it’s like to have friends and family, to care about the needs of others and about herself, and to fall in love. She learns that life, when you have one, really is worth living.

I almost made Knight’s Curse a YA novel, but high school wouldn’t have been a good fit for Chalice. The story starts with her abduction, then I skip over the part about her coming of age and go to her arrival there. Now it’s time to be an adult, as scary as that is, and to take charge of her life after having lived under the thumb of her master for so long. She’s desperate for freedom, and her quest to free herself of a curse that would change her into a monster becomes a journey of self-discovery. Chalice tore my heart out for over three hundred and fifty pages, but it was well worth the agony; for her, and for me.

Karen's giving away a signed copy of the first book in her series today
Karen’s giving away a signed copy of the first book in her series today

Excerpt from Knight’s Curse

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I’d see them coming long before they hurt me. I would hear them, too. Maybe even smell them. My abilities came in handy at times.

But today they were more like a curse.

Through a cracked and filthy window, I watched two jeeps filled with soldiers carrying machine guns park on a hill above the monastery. They wore military camouflage that hardly camouflaged them at all. From the way they slouched off into the olive trees, I knew they believed themselves unseen, except that I had seen them quite well. I noted each stitch on their clothing, every whisker on their unshaven faces, even the color of their bootlaces.

I blinked behind thick sunglasses that shielded my sensitive eyes from the harsh midsummer sun. It was nearing dusk so my eyes didn’t hurt as much. I had just turned thirteen and was now able to see better in the dark than in daylight. I preferred the night anyway. It was quieter after the sun went down.

My family of Maronite monks kept me away from the Lebanese villagers who stared and gossiped about the way I looked. The local kids who should have been my friends threw rocks at me, and even when they whispered behind my back, I could still hear them. I could hear a bee leave its hive from a mile away.

I should have told Brother Thomas about the soldiers, but I had trouble pulling myself away from the window. I felt like a hooked fish, the bait my own insatiable curiosity. Just a few more minutes. What harm could there be in that?

Two civilian-looking men stayed behind with the jeeps. My keen eyes zeroed in on the taller one, blond and blue-eyed, who stood beside a ruined pillar of an ancient structure that had once been part of a heathen temple. I saw the man’s anger as he swatted at biting flies that buzzed too close to his face, his mouth moving with words I couldn’t hear while wearing my earplugs. So I took them out.

“Damn vile country,” he spat, his English carrying the cadence of a Brit like the monk who had taught me this language. Addressing the pudgy man beside him, he added, “The bitch will pay, I promise you that.”

I winced at the words, but not because of their meaning, which made no sense to me. It was his loud voice that bit through my skull and vibrated painfully between my ears. I struggled to separate his voice from other noises nearby, like the buzzing flies, the rustling olive trees, the bleating goats in the courtyard. Head aching, I concentrated, focusing only on the words that took shape inside my mind.

“Faisal, radio the men. Make sure they’re in position.”

The man he had called Faisal wore a striped hijab and, when he nodded, the turban of fabric wobbled on his head like one of Cook’s moghlie puddings.

Something wasn’t right. A warning bell chimed inside my head, but I ignored it. I was too mesmerized by the Englishman walking down the rocky path toward our chapel.

He held himself with confidence, not crouched in wariness like the men dressed as soldiers. This one didn’t try to hide. Brother Thomas must be expecting him.

I replaced my earplugs and inhaled deeply through pinched nostrils, hoping to catch a muted whiff of the foreigner, but he was too far away. If I removed the swimmer’s noseclips I always wore, I’d be assaulted by the myriad smells outside. I’d wait for him to come closer so I could identify the scents on his clothes and body. That would tell me what I needed to know.

He stepped through groping fingers of long shadows and skirted the scaffolds that leaned against decaying chapel walls. He scowled up at a tent of heavy canvas that replaced large portions of the missing roof. A small goat trotted in front of him, and he kicked at it, brushing at his crisply ironed slacks as if they’d become soiled.

I scrambled down off the crate I’d used to reach the window, and crept barefoot along the uneven floor of a hallway leading to the chapel. A thick wooden door stood slightly ajar, and I knelt beside it, peering through a two-inch gap to watch.

More About Knight’s Curse

A skilled knife fighter since the age of nine, Chalice knows what it’s like to live life on the edge–precariously balanced between the dark and the light. But the time has come to choose. The evil sorcerer who kidnapped her over a decade ago requires her superhuman senses to steal a precious magical artifact…or she must suffer the consequences.Desperate to break the curse that enslaves her, Chalice agrees. But it is only with the help of Aydin–her noble warrior-protector–that she will risk venturing beyond the veil to discover the origins of her power. Only for him will she dare to fully embrace her awesome talents. For a deadly duel is at hand, and Chalice alone will have to decide between freedom…and the love of her life.

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More About Karen

Karen Duvall
Karen Duvall

Karen Duvall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She’s an award winning author published with Harlequin Luna and is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy series.

Karen just published a novella that appears in Luna’s ‘TIL THE WORLD ENDS anthology that was released just last month. Her story features an NA heroine with an ability that can help heal a dying world. The other two novellas in the collection are by Julie Kagawa and Ann Aguirre.

Where to find Karen online:

So, what about you? Do you think the New Adult years (ages 18-25) are more formative than adolescence? What sort of life altering decisions did you face during your late teens and early twenties? Anything you’d want to go back and do over? Or are you happy with how things turned out? Does the idea of reading about characters that face these sort of decisions appeal to you? How about when the story takes place in a fantasy world? (Sounds great to me! 😉) Comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of KNIGHT’S CURSE. Thanks for guest blogging today, Karen!