Monday, December 27, 2010

A sunset for all my blogger friends.

Here is a photo I took tonight of the sunset at the beach. I know for most of you it's winter, so I thought you would like to see something other than snow. (I may be rubbing it in slightly) Hope you all enjoy it.

In January I will be hosting an event called Summer Lovin' with some great author interviews, guest blogs and giveaways. Please stop by and join in the fun. You can grab the button from my sidebar to get extra entires in the giveaways. Also, if you are a top commentator you get an extra 5 entries too. Hope you all had a great Christmas, I know I did. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Shades of Gray - A Jude Magdalyn novel by L.M Pruitt

Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (August 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453780653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453780657
    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 485 KB
    • Publisher: CreateSpace (August 30, 2010)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0041G6JY0

Jude Magdalyn Henries has what some--okay, many--would call an unconventional life. Orphaned at birth, raised by nuns, teenage runaway, fake tarot card reader--there is very little about Jude that’s normal. Jude plays hard, which means she has to work at least semi-hard, but when she accepts an invitation to do a private tarot reading, “unconventional” takes on a whole new meaning.

Almost nothing shocks Jude anymore, but when she finds out that she’s the last in a line of matriarchal leaders of a magical group, shock is definitely what she feels. The Covenant has been waiting for Jude to come into her birthright for the past twenty five years. And then there’s the war between vampire factions for control of the city of New Orleans. In the end, the fate of the city hinges on one last battle, ranging from roof top to Bourbon Street to the bottom of the Mississippi River.

Jude is an orphan who was raised in a convent but left in her early teens. Ever since then she's done what she has to survive on the streets of new Orleans. I have to say I really enjoyed this book. Jude's one liners are great, and her conversations with the other characters constantly made me smile. Jude is definitely a character you will love, along with the myriad of others who make this story so engaging. The author tells the story with vivid descriptions that I felt that I was on the streets. It was almost as if I could smell the beignets and feel the moody New Orleans weather. Jude and the Covenant take the reader on a fantastical journey. I enjoyed how Jude had to come to terms with her new leadership role, and the way her life changed. Her chemistry with the two male leads, Williams & Theo sizzles. Especially with Williams (who I am totally crushing on). I felt there should have been more development with Jude and Williams, maybe thats just because I like him best :)
Overall Shades of Grey is action-packed, smart, fast paced and full of humor, although it doesn't detract from the seriousness of the story either. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is after something a little different. 3.5/5


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review: Shadowglass by Erica Hayes

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312578016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312578015

Where to get it:

A seductive magic mirror lies hidden deep in a demon’s lair, with a simple warning: don’t stare at the glass…

Ice is a troubled fairy trying her best to survive in the squalid underworld of the Shadowfae.  When she spends a hot night with a demon lord, she discovers a powerful magic mirror in his lair — and pilfers it, knowing it’s the key to escaping her bleak life as a two-bit con artist.  But Ice soon discovers that the mirror's power comes with a price…madness, which is slowly overtaking her.

Indigo oozes darkness, danger and tempting sensuality.  He’s been sent to destroy Ice and bring the mirror back to its rightful owner; a mission that, if he fails, will cost him his life.  But when he meets Ice, he faces an even greater challenge: an insatiable sexual hunger that neither of them can deny, and dark passions that threaten to claim them both forever.  The trouble is, the longer he stays within the mirror’s reach, the greater its hold on his sanity—and the stronger his determination to save Ice…


Shadowglass is the second book in the Shadowfae Chronicles by Erica Hayes. Shadowglass is sexy, dark and gritty, set in the seedy Melbourne Shadowfae underworld. Ice is a light fingered fae who, after spending a steamy night with a demon lords, steal a magic mirror. What she doesn't know is that once in possession of the mirror, it whispers to your dark side and brings it to the surface. Once you look into the glass it sends you mad. Ice is rather shy, but tries to live life to the fullest with her two best friends. She has a major crush on a metalfae, who turns her into a simple minded, bumbling idiot. Indigo has been tasked with bringing the mirror back to its rightful owner, and he's to destroy whoever has it. Indigo is darkly sexy and dangerous. He has a tough choice to make when he finds out Ice is the one who holds the mirror. Shadowglass is darkly erotic, and lures you in with a promise of engaging characters and wildly entertaining storyline. I was ensnared from page one. Ice and Indigo sizzled off the pages, and I had trouble putting the book down. Not so great when one has to get back from a lunch break. This is leading up to be a truly great series and cannot wait to read the rest of the books. Erica Hayes has a dark style of writing that reminds me of Adrian Phoenix and early Laurell K. Hamilton. If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend that you do. 4.5/5

Summer Lovin' event in January.

In January I am hosting an event called Summer Lovin'. It's all about summer and romance. The lovely authors who have already agreed to be a part of the event are:
Tracey O'Hara
Lila DiPasqua
Christina Phillips
Jessica Andersen
Cynthia Eden
Chloe Neill
Adrian Phoenix
Shannon K. Butcher
Erica Hayes.

I hope everyone will stop by for interviews, guest posts & giveaways. So stay tuned.


Sorry about the late notice, but I'm now posting the winners from the Jennifer Rardin tribute month. 
The winner of the signed copy of Bitten in Two is Dawn M.
The winner for the Jennifer interview is Dovile.
& the winner from Steph's guest post is LSUreader. All the lucky have been contacted and have claimed their prizes.

The winner of the Jenny Pox giveaway, chosen by is Cath's Chatter! I've emailed Cath, so hopefully she will email me back soon to claim her prize!

Well done everyone and thanks for participating in the tribute and Jenny Pox giveaways.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guest post & Giveaway with J.L Bryan

Gods of Pestilence, and Other Happy Subjects

J.L. Bryan

Hello, Strange Candy readers! Jo-Anne suggested I write about the mythology behind the main characters in my novel Jenny Pox, in which each of three main characters has a unique paranormal ability (or curse, depending on your perspective). So I'll ramble about that for a minute, and I promise I'll try to avoid any spoilers—no guarantees! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments form below.

Jenny Pox occurs in a world nearly identical to our own. Readers categorize the book as “paranormal,” but you won't find any fae, werewolves, supernatural detective agencies, angelic orders or secret vampire societies. The paranormal elements in this story are restricted to the supernatural abilities of the main character Jenny, her nemesis Ashleigh, and Seth, the boy they both like. Beyond that, the story might take place in any regular small town in America. As with a tightly controlled scientific experiment, I wanted as few variables as possible. In Jenny Pox, those variables happen to be paranormal.

Jenny spreads a deadly supernatural plague to anyone she touches, animal or human. She can't turn off her power, so she spends her life avoiding people as much as possible, because she doesn't want to hurt anyone. This makes her existence very lonely and painful—then she discovers a boy in her town, Seth, has the opposite power. He can heal with his touch. This means their powers cancel out, and Jenny can safely touch him.

Things aren't that simple, though. Seth already has a girlfriend, who is Jenny's opposite in many ways—popular and influential where Jenny is a complete loner, strikingly pretty where Jenny is small and pale and invisible, ruthless about using her power where Jenny completely restrains herself from ever using her own. Ashleigh's touch makes people feel love, and she uses it relentlessly to manipulate and control others.

I love ancient mythology of all kinds, but these powers weren't based specifically on any one set of myths. In any polytheistic system, you will find a god or goddess associated with pestilence, healing and love, so I drew on a rich variety of sources to enhance the story. The Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, for example, was a perfect parallel to Jenny, and some of Jenny's character was drawn from research into that goddess, who was extremely important in early Egypt but little remembered today, even among people who like ancient mythology.

The myths I considered most heavily aren't ancient and aren't mentioned directly in Jenny Pox. I'm a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, like most people with an interest in supernatural stories. In Lovecraft, the background is that old, wicked gods once ruled the universe, but were banished with the arrival of order and light. The old gods are waiting in the darkest depths of the universe to return, destroy life and reassert their rule. Some humans want to help them do this.

[possible spoilers ahead!] Drawing on Lovecraft, I imagined what might have if such primordial spirits found their way into the human reincarnation system (there is reincarnation in the world of Jenny Pox). They bring with them powers that didn't actually have any meaningful physical expression before they took on physical forms. And then—what if, through hundreds of incarnations, some of these spirits began to learn compassion and, in general, how to be human? Assuming humans reincarnate for the purpose of learning and growing, maybe some of these very old and evil spirits begin to learn the lessons that human souls are meant to learn by incarnating. And some of them aren't quite so evil anymore—they're turning good, so to speak. But not all of them are! Some keep to their original evil and destructive nature, and treat human beings like playthings.

In the story, the characters don't know their own backgrounds, in this larger sense. They consider themselves human beings with odd, inexplicable abilities. They learn more about their deeper background in the course of the story.

That's a quick look at the mythology involved in Jenny Pox. I'm open to questions, if you have any!

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, and then studied screenwriting at UCLA. He is the author of Jenny Pox and three other novels. His Haunted E-Book International Blog Tour will begin in January, with great giveaways like an Amazon Kindle and The Haunted Library ebook collection.

Want to win a copy of Jenny Pox? Then leave a comment on this post with your email address. 
Giveaway ends Saturday 11th December.

On another note, I'll have the winners from the Jennifer Rardin tribute up hopefully by tomorrow. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Guest review: One More Bite - Jennifer Rardin by Shawnee

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (January 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316022098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316022095
Purchase Information
Borders Aus

It's Jaz Parks. I've already smoked the guy who was the pain in the CIA's you-know-what for the past few years. But now, in the power vacuum left by the death of Edward "The Raptor"Samos, a struggle for supremacy has begun between his former allies.
The CIA feels the balance must be maintained. So when an agent planted among the Weres discovers a plot to assassinate the Coven's leader, my vampire boss and I are brought in to take out the woman hired to do the deed, a killer who might be as wily and Gifted as ourselves.
So it's off to the Scottish Highlands for some twisted fun among murderers, demons and half-crazed relatives. Sometimes being a top-secret CIA assassin isn't all it's cracked up to be.

First, let me say I am ecstatic about writing the review for One More Bite the 5th book in the Jazz Parks series. I discovered Jennifer Rardin’s work about 2 years ago when I purchased my Kindle and was perusing the different Science Fiction book series available. I instantly fell in love with Jazz and her crew. I friended Jennifer on Facebook and enjoyed the daily banter and witty outlook she had on life. I was deeply shocked and saddened when I found out that she had passed away unexpectedly, She will be forever remembered by her adoring fans! Rest in Peace Jennifer, catch you on the flip side!

One More Bite begins after Jazz survived a trip to Hell and was brought back from the dead by her spirit guide Raoul. After driving her boss crazy on her mandatory convalesce, Jazz was thrilled to be put back into the field on a new mission. That thrill didn’t last long when she found her estranged father, Albert waiting for her at the airport.  The crew’s mission is to save the High Priestess of the Inverness Witch Coven from a planned assassination attempt.  Under the cover of a ghost hunting team attending the ghost con event, they rent rooms at the nearby B&B owned and operated by their intended victim, Floridah.  Jazz, with the help of Vayl, Cole, and Albert work diligently trying to foil the would be killer’s plan. Jazz, as usual tackles the obstacles of learning her mother recently escaped from hell, the fact that her relationship with Vayl has moved to the next level and the sexual tension is driving them both crazy, and her bubble blowing Ken doll associate Cole is in love with her.  It seems every mission has it’s curve balls and this one in no different. The relationships between the characters never fail to mesh, helping the CIA crew complete the mission and save the day. Jazz earns her much needed vacation at the end of this one!

This book is my favorite of the series. Jennifer’s hilarious attitude shines through in her heroine Jazz. Readers live vicariously through her, kicking butt and ridding the world of evil. The other side of Jazz’s personality personifies the demons we all face and have to battle on a regular basis. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get hot and busy with a gorgeous dead guy? All in all, the Jazz Parks series envelops the reader into a world of intrigue and general, “hang on for the ride” story. Once you start reading, you can’t put it down!

Remember to leave a comment for the chance to win the signed copy of Bitten in Two. You've only got a few days left to enter mine, Steph's and Crystal's giveaways!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Guest Post & Giveaway with Crystal from Reading Between the Wines + Biting the Bullet review

Hi everyone and thanks Jo-Anne for having me over.

I didn't know Jennifer Rardin personally but when I heard that Amanda and Jo-Anne where putting a tribute together for her I knew I wanted to take part in it. I was a friend with Jennifer on Facebook along with many others and am a huge fan of her Jaz Parks series
Through Facebook and interviews I learned that she was a sweet, friendly, down-to-earth person who loved her family deeply and had a wonderful sense of humor. I loved seeing her comments everyday, they always brought a smile to my face and made me laugh. So when I noticed at the end of September there hadn’t been a comment in a while and then later learned that she had unexpectedly passed away I was deeply saddened.

One of the last posts she had on Facebook was probably my favorite;
Jennifer Rardin can't eat Jell-O without sluicing it between my teeth like it's mouthwash. Which makes me think Jell-O should go into the breath freshening biz. What a way to make your morning routine more entertaining!

Jennifer’s humor carried over to her writing and can be seen in abundance in her Jaz Parks series. I’ve never read a series that had me laughing out loud so much and that is my favorite thing about it along with the characters. Together, that is the series strength and I’m amazed every time I read one of her books at how well she knows each of her characters and how they interact together.
A lot of times it’s easy to pick your favorite character in a series but with this one I have a hard time because each of them is quirky and add an integral part to the overall story.
There is Jaz with her snarky commentary & hilarious analogies and Vayl with his old-world charm & sexy black silk boxers. ;) Albert’s rough around the edges demeanor that hides a caring father underneath, Sweet Evie and E.J., Cassandra, caring & not a bit jaded despite her almost millennia of living, Cole & his bubble-popping comic relief, Bergman who creates amazing & imaginative gadgets but can’t talk to a girl and we can’t forget Dave & his kick-ass special ops team or the Eldhayr Raoul with his oddly large room of demon fighting weaponry. Then there is Jack the horse of a dog with a quick grin & a love for shoes and Astral the robo-kitty that belts out in song at the most inappropriate times. So you can see my dilemma in choosing a favorite, I love them all!

But I am interesting in knowing what everyone else’s favorite characters are in the series, if you can pick just one un-like me. =) And if you haven’t read the series yet then from seeing all the posts during this month of tribute, which one do you think would be a favorite? Leave a comment with your email addy for your chance to win one book of your choice from the Jaz Parks series, open to anywhere The Book Depository ships to.

Also, I re-read Jennifer’s Jaz Parks series this month in remembrance of her and posted reviews on each book, if you are interested you can check them out at Reading Between the Wines Book Club. If you haven’t read this series yet then treat yourself to an early Christmas present and pick a book up, you will not be disappointed.

Jennifer Rardin brought light and laughter to the Urban Fantasy world. I would like to thank Amanda and Jo-Anne for putting this wonderful tribute together for such a talented author who will be dearly missed by many.

Remember the giveaways end on December 2nd. (except Steph's, hers ends Nov 30th). With this post you have a chance of winning the signed copy of Bitten in Two or any book from the Jaz Parks series. Like Crystal, I'm not sure if i can pick just one favourite, but Jaz is one kick ass heroine!


This is my review of book 3 - Biting the Bullet.

Jennifer Rardins series is the second series I ever read in the Urban Fantasy genre. I read an excerpt in the back of one of my Anita Blake books and I new I had to read more about Jaz Parks. I was hooked. I am reviewing book 3 in the series, Biting the Bullet. 

Jaz Parks here, though I can't say for how long. This case is a tough one. So tough, it could be my last. The Wizard, a terrorist thorn in the military's side, has finally revealed a chink in his armour. So my vampire boss, Vayl, and I have been asked to join my brother's special ops team to take him down. But nothing on this mission is as it seems. The Wizard has hidden some vicious tricks up his sleeve, including the placement of a mole within the ops team. Add to the mix a pack of reavers bent on revenge, a Seer who'll do anything to share Vayl's power and a small army of parasitic monsters who prey on murderers and their victims. You can see why I'm going to need all my wits and more than my share of luck if I plan to get through this with my job, not to mention my life, intact.

Jaz Parks and her team have been sent to Iran to join her brothers special ops team. They’re there to track down the Wizard, a particularly nasty piece of work who has been evading capture for a while. In this book nothing is as it seems. Jaz feels she has everything sorted but keeps getting it wrong. She knows there’s a mole in her brothers team and feels guilty that she has to lie to her brother. Jaz’s team has been feeding them misleading information hoping it will make the mole show themselves. There’s also a nasty demon who is hell bent on destroying her. Jaz learns a lot about herself in this book, and you really see her character start to grow. 

Biting the Bullet reads like a testosterone filled Bond book. (Vayl has even compared them) There’s action, awesome gadgets, a little romance, fantastic characters, and spectacular settings. Read it if you want it all.  

Tomorrow I will post a review of book 5 - One More Bite, from one of Jennifer's facebook friends.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Actors to play the characters - Jaz Parks

I know this gets done all the time, but I'd really love to see who everyone would like to play Jaz and her crew. 
Here's my picks.
(I'm not really sure who would play a good Jaz. I have yet to see a red headed actress who I could actually 'see' playing her.)
I think Isla Fisher has the right innocent look.

Yet, I think if Emma Stone were a few years older she could do a pretty good job. She kicked ass in Zombieland. I think she's gonna be huge.

I think Henry Cavill has the right sort of look, but he's just not quite there, but anyway he's hot.

I chose Charlie Hunnam, because well, just look at him! The boy is all kinds of HOT! I think he'd play Cole really well.

Simon Helberg, I think he has the nerdy look. But not exactly what I imagine.

I was thinking maybe Zoe Saldana

I was going to do Dave, Jaz's brother, as well but nobody really came to mind. 

Leave a comment on this post with you would like to see play Jaz & crew, to win a signed copy of Bitten in Two. If you haven't read the books, leave comment a comment with your favourite red headed actress, or who you would like to play your favourite female character from a book.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guest Post from Nicole Peeler

As a professor who teaches, amongst other things, popular fiction, I’m very much aware of the debates surrounding urban fantasy. What does this term mean, exactly? For example, my books are about a girl living in a tiny village in Maine. Not very urban. But there is magic, so that’s fantasy. But there’s no map or funny languages, since it is set in “our” world.

Over the years I’ve watched the genre of UF evolve, and I’m now lucky enough to take part in this process, as an author of my own books. But I’ve always thought that one of the most fascinating and fun versions of urban fantasy is, undoubtedly, Jen Rardin’s.

In Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Vayl almost immediately makes a joke about James Bond. And this is, in a fabulously parodied way, exactly the world Jen created. It’s James Bond, only made more believable, paradoxically, by its connection to magic, vampires, and the supernatural. In other words, while I never once believed James Bond could get away with any of his absurd, if entertaining, shenanigans, I can believe they’d be possible in a world that contains CIA-agent vampires.

Jen wrote some of the most “real” urban fantasies on the market today, not least because of her world’s reliance on science as much as technology. While Vayl may work his vampire mojo, Jaz relies on Grief, as well as other deliciously wacky and brutal weapons made by Jen’s Q, Bergman. I can’t think of another character like Bergman out there, in Urban Fantasy: someone who, despite there being magic in the world, relies on the cold steel of wonderfully absurd gadgetry.

Meanwhile, who doesn’t love a gadget? And imagine how hard it is to make these things up? I avoid such things because I’m not really sure, to be frank, exactly how something as straightforward as my vacuum cleaner works. For all I know, there is magic at the heart of a Dyson. So for a writer who has that chance to “opt out” of the physics-ruled realm of science, but refuses, is brave, indeed.

And Jen never opted out. There was always the frighteningly detailed Grief, throughout the series. Then there was Bergman’s flying, credit-card-bug-detector in Biting the Bullet. And who could forget One More Bite’s ominously foaming “Mongoose”?

The world of urban fantasy is a darker place without Jen. As a woman, she brought much joy and light. And as a writer, she brought her shiny, shiny gadgets. We will miss her, and everything she created.
Comment on this post for a chance to win a signed a copy of Bitten in Two. Don't forget to comment on all this months posts for more entries. You have a chance to win four books by commenting on Steph's guest post and Amberkatze's interview with Jennifer

Friday, November 19, 2010

Guest Post with Steph from PaperCut Reviews

Her Spirit Will Live On
Hi Everyone! I want to Thank Amanda and Jo-Anne for putting together such a great tribute for the talented Jennifer Rardin. As you all may know she passed away in September and I and alot of her fans were completely surprised and utterly heart broken by this sad news. So I thought it would be nice to share my experience with this remarkable author. I met Jennifer last year  for the book signing of Bite Marks *Jaz Parks book 6*. It really does seem like this happened yesterday being so fresh in my memory mostly because it was my first book signing *Squee* and I was going to meet one of my favorite authors!!! Wow I was so happy, excited and extremely nervous *lol* when I realized I was going to meet the master mind behind Jaz Parks! So of course I practiced what I would say *ehem* "Hi Ms. Rardin my name is Steph and I'm such a huge fan!" LOL! Yeah I know so not original but I needed something easy to remember, lol! Okay with this in my mind I approached the Walden's books store and didn't see Jennifer yet anywhere so I thought "Sweet" I can go quickly buy Bite Marks and kinda prepare myself to meet her. Shortly when she arrives and I walk up to the signing table with my book in hand and I introduced myself.  We talked for a bit about the series and how amazing I think it is=) Then I asked if she wouldn't mind if I we could take a picture together and she put her arm around me and with a smile said "Of Course"! Let me tell you I was a truly a happy gal that day not only did I get a book I wanted signed but I met the author=) I will never forget my first book signing and I will never forget how sweet and down to earth Jennifer Rardin was and through her Jaz Parks series and experiences like this one she will continue to live on.  Thank you Jennifer for your stories and your kindness I will never forget you=)

Giveaway Info
Thanks for listening and if you have not read the any of the books in the Jaz Parks series please do give it a chance you will not be disappointed. With saying that I'm giving away one book in the Jaz Parks Series *your choice* and one book of your choice under $10 from the book depository to one lucky winner. So basically one winner will get two books=) All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which two books you would like to have *one book from Jaz Parks Series and one of your choice under $10* with your email address and tell me about your first experience meeting an author or getting a book signed. If you have not done either then tell me how you think this experience would be like and what author would you love to meet and get a book signed from. Giveaway ends November 30th=)

Visit Steph's blog PaperCut Reviews
Don't forget to leave a comment on all my posts this month for your chance to win a signed copy of Bitten in Two.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interview with Jennifer Rardin (from Amberkatze's Book Blog)

Back in August author Jennifer Rardin contacted me and asked if she could be a guest again on Amberkatze's Book Blog.

I have a new book coming out on November 8th. It's the 7th in the Jaz Parks series, a real nail-biter in which the vampire, Vayl, loses all sense of reality during the most intense and important mission of his and Jaz's career. The book is called Bitten in Two, and I'd love to talk to you and your followers about it sometime if you have space for me.

Of course I was happy to have Jennifer back on the blog! We set up a date (today) and interview questions were answered (see below). Then one September morning I got an email from Orbit, her book publisher, telling me she had passed away.

I was shocked. I still am. I have no idea how she died but I know she will be missed immensely. Jennifer was a brilliant writer and the Paranormal genre has lost one of the best.

Now the date has come to post the interview. Bitten in Two is due for release on the 8th of November and the final book in her Jaz Parks series was completed before her death and will be published in June 2011.

It was a hard decision to post this but Jennifer and I made this date and I will keep to it. The interview is quite sad to read because in so many of the answers Jennifer talks about her future. However I hope my followers will still read this interview and that her fans will keep Jaz alive.

Rest In Peace Jennifer.


Amber - Welcome back to Amberkatze’s Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest again! Could you start things off by telling us a little about the new Jaz Parks release?

Jennifer - Hi Amber, it’s awesome to be back! Yeah, I’d love to give you some juicy details about Bitten in Two. The book, which releases November 8 in the US and December 2 in the UK, is based in Marrakech, Morocco, which is a fabulous location to write about. I just loved the vibrant colors and the unique scenery I found as I researched a city so ancient I could almost smell the history through my computer screen! Here are just a few of the images that inspired me as I wrote:

As you might expect, Jaz, Vayl, and the crew have embarked on their most important mission yet in this fast-paced story which puts them into direct conflict with wielders, demons, and extremely pissed off werewolves. Which would you rather face?

Amber - The series is growing! Did you expect Jaz to get this far? How much further are you going to take her?

Jennifer - I’m pleasantly surprised Jaz and Vayl have had the opportunity to travel so far and so widely. In the beginning I only expected a single adventure, which was called Once Bitten, Twice Shy. Now we’re planning for them to do eight all together. Will there be even more? I’ll admit, I’ve left the door open. Because you never know . . .

Amber - Jaz has seen a lot of action so far. How do you decide what to throw at her in each book?

Jennifer - A great deal depends on what has happened in previous books and where she is in her own, personal growth. I also don’t ever want the series to become stale, like a cartoon that follows the same plot arc over and over again, so originality is key to me. Despite the fact that each title includes characters readers have become familiar with and come to care about, my goal is to give them something fresh and new with each story.

Amber - How long on average does it take you to write a book? Do you have a process you follow? Or do you just start at page one and see what happens?

Jennifer - It really depends on the book and the amount of time I have between deadlines. Sometimes I only need four months. Sometimes I need eight. My process is to outline the entire plot, and then usually somewhere in the middle to rewrite that outline to conform with some major change my characters have decided to make that I didn’t foresee at the beginning. As you know, they’re pretty demanding types, so I’ve found it’s better to just give in and let them dictate to me. They haven’t failed me yet!

Amber - The series has some pretty cool titles! How do you come up with them? Do you always go with the first title, or is it hard to come up with the right one?

Jennifer - The first few titles were a group effort. The last three were mine, alone, and came to me almost instantly. Titles are very difficult, because they need to grab a reader whose eyes are scanning shelves of literally hundreds of books, they need to convey a wealth of meaning in very few words, and they need to make sense. Not. Easy.

Amber - If the series was going to be made into a TV series or film, who could you see playing the main characters?

Jennifer - I used to try to figure that one out, but recently I’ve realized I’m an awful casting director. Can I leave those choices up to your followers? What do you guys think? Who should play Jaz, Vayl, Cole, Bergman, and Cassandra?

Amber - What is next? Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?

Jennifer - I recently signed with Orbit to do another urban fantasy series, a trilogy called Book Club of the Damned. As my agent so aptly put it, think Jane Austen Book Club meets Shaun of the Dead and you have a pretty good idea of where I plan to go with it. Yup, you can start laughing now. Just remember, I don’t plan on letting you stop until you read the words “The End.”

Amber - What are the good times and bad times of being an author?

Jennifer - The good times are when the words are flowing so fast my fingers can barely keep up with my thoughts. Aand I can type pretty dern fast!

The bad times are pretty rough, because I need a certain level of emotional peace in order to write. And if I’m not there, it’s like I never knew how to write a check, much less a paragraph full of creative nuance that progresses a plot. Well, we all have our crap days, right?

Amber - What have you been reading and watching lately? Do you have any recommendations for us?

Jennifer - I have such a difficult time sitting down to read it’s begun to get a little hilarious. I’ve been working on the same book now for six months. Me. The girl who used to inhale ten novels a week! Ouch! I’m still trying to plow through The Dwarves by Markus Heitz, which is much better than my reading pace shows. I also just got the first book in Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula series, Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, which I think is going to be marvelous.

I haven’t watched TV in months. The last movie I saw was the Sherlock Holmes piece with Robert Downey, Jr., which I really liked. So I’m woefully behind in the visual media department. Maybe you guys can recommend some stuff to me?

Amber - If you could have any superhero powers, which ones would you want? Or would you be a villain?

Jennifer - I’m already a villain, girl, haven’t you heard?

Amber - Thank you so much for being a guest on Amberkatze’s Book Blog! I hope you will come back again!

Jennifer - It would be a joy, and thanks so much for having me! I’d also like to invite your followers to stop by and chat sometime. I’m kinda addicted to the Internet, so it’s a good bet you’ll find me at one of these sites sometime during the day…

I would like to thank Amber from Amberkatze's Book Blog for letting me use her interview with Jennifer. I really appreciate it, since i never got to interview the lady herself.

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the signed copy of Bitten in Two. I have also decided, for this post, that if you leave a comment on this post you can win any one of Jennifer's books. Whether it be book 1 or book 6. So you have a chance of winning two books! Please leave your preference of which book you'd like to add to your collection. Don't forget to leave your email, so if you win I can contact you. Giveaway ends December 2nd. (Book will be shipped from Book Depository, so please make sure when you enter they ship to you. Signed copy will be posted by me, so it will go pretty much any where.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A message from Larissa Ione

I just want to start off by saying that I didn't know Jennifer very well.  Mostly in passing on blogs or Yahoo groups.  But I've always admired her.  She was one of those authors who handled herself with class in all her dealings.  Where I tend to sound like a rambling idiot in emails (heck, I'll prove it here,) she always sounded so *together*.  Whatever she said, it made sense.  Sounded intelligent and well thought-out.  And she was always so gracious to readers.

I remember once when a reader and aspiring author asked her a question, something that could so easily be looked up on the internet, and Jennifer took the time to explain the answer in detail, with links.  It was awesome.

I wish I'd known her better.  I wish she'd had time to write a lot more books.  But she won't be forgotten.  This Christmas, I have a lot of younger family members and friends to buy for.  Guess what they're getting?

Sets of Jennifer's books.

Thanks, Jennifer, for everything.  You will be missed.

All my best,


Remember, leave a comment for a chance to win the signed copy of Bitten in Two!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 3 - Jennifer - Guest post by Dakota Cassidy

Hello, all, and thank you for having me!

First, let me just say this—I didn’t know Jennifer well. However, she once commented on one of my tweets, and it was snarky and funny and made me grin from ear to ear. I totally dig the funny—especially in another writer. So we tweeted a couple of times, became friends on Facebook, and in general passed each other on the Internet from time to time.

Nonetheless, she left an impression on me due to her wit, and the kind, interactive way she dealt with not only her colleagues but her fans

Originally, my blog was supposed to be about whom some of my characters might invite to a tea party or a poker match. As devoted fans of the series, you know, Jaz Park’s grandmother often gave her advice while in the middle of one of the above, and she was often surrounded by someone famous. The concept totally cracked me up—which just goes to show you, Jennifer was a smart lady.

But this is a tribute to an amazing writer and human being—and the joy she brought to you, her fans.

So here’s what I thought we’d do—why not post a comment below that begins something like this; “I loved Jennifer and her books because—“

I’d love to hear some of the many reasons Jennifer surely brought smiles into your lives!

And on a final note—long live the kind of giggles Jennifer’s books contributed to the writing world. They’re invaluable and precious!

Dakota Cassidy

Thanks for the post Dakota. Answer Dakota's question for a chance to win a signed copy of Bitten in Two. You get an entry for every comment you leave on each post during the tribute. You also get an extra 5 entries for having the buttons on your blog. Also visit Amanda's blog Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick for more Jennifer goodness. I should have my review of Biting the Bullet and Bitten in Two up in the next few days as well. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Favorite Jaz quote.

Do you have a favorite Jaz quote from the series?
Here are some of mine:

"So... you're an assassin?" Dave asked incredulously. 

"Why do I feel like you'd have used the same tone if I'd just confessed to being a stripper?" I demanded. 

"Sorry," he said quickly. "I'm just surprised, is all." 
Biting the Bullet.

I think this has to be my absolute favorite out of the entire series:
"When I bite you, it'll be because I want to make your toes curl and your hair stand on end. And you won't need stitches afterward. You'll need crutches."
One More Bite

The Books in reading order.
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the signed copy of Bitten in Two. We have some great posts happening next week for our Jennifer week, so don't forget to stop by here and Amanda's blog Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick. If you have any of the buttons on your blog, you get an extra 5 entries. Giveaway ends December 2nd.