Saturday, April 27, 2013

A-Z: X is for eXcerpt!

Yes, it's cheating. I know. But I'm up to my eyeballs in revisions and I've already blown the every-day posting requirement to bits, so hopefully I won't illicit too many tsks. I spent this morning compiling a few excerpts for a blog tour with Inspired Kathy this summer. After I sent them to her, I found a little section I wish I'd included. So I'll post it here instead!


15. Blueblood.
Waking up is a mixed bag. Because if today is real, if I get to shop the world’s most pedigreed horses without a budget, then last night was real. And I almost killed a man. The first thought makes me want to leap out of bed. The second makes me want to jump out the window.

I glance at the clock on my bedside table. Seven-thirty. Time to get moving. But the simple action of swinging my legs over the side takes everything I’ve got. I blink and John’s face is in front of mine again, smoke and beer on his breath. Another blink and all I see is red. Salty, warm, red that smells like rust and is every bit as corrosive, eating straight through my flesh and deep into my soul.

Even now I can feel the drops of blood that splattered my cheek the moment my fist made contact. I catch myself wiping at it, sure I’ll see stains on the back of my hand. But there’s nothing there. A man could be dead because of these hands but they don’t look any different. Shouldn’t they look different? They start to tremble all over again. I shake them at my sides, shake them until they hurt.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A-Z: W is for www. (The Moonlit Blog Tour!)

Moonlit will spend the next two months all over the world wide web through a blog tour hosted by Women on Writing. I've had a great experience working with W.O.W. for this tour, and will use them again in the future.

The tour consists of all kinds of interviews and personal posts, and many stops will feature a giveaway, too. I've answered every question under the sun, and then some. I can't believe how much I've learned about myself. It's been a blast.

Here is a list of the dates so far. More may be added in the future. I'm also gearing up for a mid-summer tour with "I am a Reader, Not a Writer," so I'll let you know how that goes, too.


Monday, April 29 @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and learn what makes author Jadie Jones tick!
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, April 30 @ Thoughts in Progress
Jadie Jones, author of Moonlit, calls Georgia home -- writes about that beautiful place today. http://www.masoncanyon.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 1 @ Bookworm Lisa
Enter to win Moonlit, the debut New Adult fantasy by Jadie Jones. Horses, handsome strangers and mysterious secrets...what more could you want?
http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 2 @ Fantasy Book Addict
Stop by for an interview with author Jadie Jones and a chance to win her debut fantasy novel, Moonlit.
http://www.fantasybookaddict.com/

Saturday, May 4 @ CMash Loves to Read
Don't miss a chance to dive into a world of horses, magic, and mystery with the New Adult Fantasy Moonlitby Jadie Jones. Win your copy today!
http://cmashlovestoread.com/

Wednesday, May 8 @ Musings from the Slushpile
Learn which Fantasy Authors are Jadie Jones' favorites and enter to win her debut New Adult Fantasy: Moonlit.
http://blog.juliealindsey.com/

Thursday, May 9 @ Read These Books and Use Them!
Don't miss a chance to learn more about debut author Jadie Jones and enter to win her New Adult fantasy Moonlit.
http://margodill.com/blog/

Wednesday, May 15 @ The Muffin
Don't miss a review of Moonlit and a chance to win your own copy.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Thursday, May 16 @ Because Reading Is Better Than Real Life
Learn more about Jadie Jones, the author behind the Tanzy Hightower series in today's guest post.
http://love2readalways.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 27 @ Steph the Bookworm
Tell us if you think YA is just for teens and learn what YA author Jadie Jones has to say. You can also enjoy a review of Jadie's YA fantasy Moonlit. www.stephthebookworm.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 28 @ Reviewing in Chaos
Don't miss a chance to learn more about debut author Jadie Jones and enter to win her YA fantasy Moonlit.
http://margodill.com/blog/

 

A-Z: V is for Vanessa

When my main character Tanzy Hightower loses everything in a single night, new friend Vanessa Andrews is a light in the dark. They share a rare secret, and their paths also crossed in a previous life. But I digress...

About Vanessa: A doctor's charming trophy-wife, she meets Tanzy in the hospital following her "accident," and helps Tanzy figure out exactly what has happened to her body. Vanessa's physical appearance was inspired by Stephanie Schlund, my friend and rising-star actress, who will appear as Cashmere in Hunger Games - Catching Fire. If it ever came to casting Vanessa, I would want Stephanie Schlund to play the part. She's brilliant, sassy, savvy, and she can be hell on heels if you cross somebody she cares about.

Here are a few pictures that make me think of Vanessa Andrews:

Stephanie Leigh Schlund





Sorry... this must have just slipped in here.. can't imagine what it means...


Vanessa was one of my favorite characters to get to know. And as the trilogy unfolds, I have a feeling you'll see why.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A-Z Challenge: U is for Update

Here's a quick update on the progress of the sequel to Moonlit, which I've dubbed "Wasting Gray." I'm about halfway into the third draft, and I'm just shy of 100,000 words... holy word count batman! I feel so bad for my editor....

Other titles I've called the sequel during the drafting process:
Two Down
Windswept
Wild Born
Release Me (but I just saw a new release with this title, so even if it didn't sound like a naughty novel, I'd still have to scratch this from the possibilities.)

What are you working on right now? What does your word count look like and what's your current working title?

Back to the writing cave... peace out!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A-Z Challenge: T is for Tanzy Hightower

Moonlit's main character and heroine is Tanzy Hightower, a barn-girl of little words and a big past. First, her recent past: Tanzy's father died in a freak accident. Tanzy was the only one who saw what happened, and she's keeping a big secret about the last moments of his life. And then, her TRUE past, her first life in north Africa a thousand years ago.

Her name had to mean something - especially in light of the decision her soul was brought back to make. I tried many names on her before I found "Tansy," which in Latin means "immortality," a perfect fit.

As for her personality, I would call her a blend of Sookie (True Blood), Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Katniss (Hunger Games) with a heavy dash of the adorable main character of MTV's show "Awkward."

As far as "casting" Tanzy should Moonlit ever make it to film... I would want it to be someone no one (or few people) have ever heard of. A natural horse person, dark hair, athletic instead of skinny, eyes that say everything, soft spoken, and smart. Here are a few pictures I've collected for my online inspiration board of Tanzy:


Monday, April 22, 2013

A-Z Challenge: PQRS

I fell off the challenge wagon. I won't make excuses, but I will use the corresponding letters to recap the last few days that I've been M.I.A.

P is for plane! Thursday, I flew to Syracuse, NY for the IEA National Championship horse show to promote and sell Moonlit. My suitcase was 10 lbs overweight because of books and promo pieces, which cost me a quick $115. Ouch (so I guess P is also for painful.)

Q is for questions. I haven't traveled much solo, and aside from my little launch shindig, I've never done an author event, so I had a whole lot of questions. Luckily, I was sandwiched between the Pony Club table (manned by the CEO - eep!) and the AQHA, which was headed up by Robin, the sweetest lady in life, and a couple of young enthusiasts. They didn't mind my one hundred questions, and I scored a few great takeaways for my next event. The Pony Club customized chapsticks (brilliant!) and the AQHA table had logo pens that they use for collection and exchange. Robin even invited me to come sell Moonlit at the AQHA youth world championships in Oklahoma this August. I am so there!

R is for rhythm. By Saturday, I'd found a rhythm and became more comfortable just kicking back and letting people ask me questions instead of worrying about something catchy to say. I also went to a convenient store on my way and grabbed a bowl and some chocolate, and set it at the far end of the table next to my poster with the cover and summary of Moonlit. People would grab a piece and then glance at the poster. More often that not, I could tell that they stood there longer than they first thought they would.

S is for sold out. I couldn't believe it. Moonlit sold out. So I left bookmarks and a new bowl-full of sweets on my table for the last day of competition and flew home to my family. 350 riders competed at IEA Nationals, and over 100 of them have a copy of Moonlit.

 
I am exhausted. I'm up to my ears in emails, laundry, etc. But it was absolutely worth it. I know not every event will have this kind of ending, so I'm cherishing this trip, and this first week as a published author.

P.S. Several of my students competed at Nationals, and they all did extremely well. I am so proud to be a part of their lives. Congratulations Lexi, Kayla, Emily, Madison, and Maizy on a tremendous season, and for being in the top 25 high school riders in the country for their respective divisions.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A-Z Challenge: O is for Opportunity to give thanks

What a week! Moonlit officially launched into the world yesterday, and the celebration exceeded every expectation I had. I'll probably blab all about it on facebook and on other posts, but this one is specifically to say thank you:

To my family, for absolutely everything.
To my amazing group of friends who rallied behind me before and during the publishing process.
To my publisher and all of its talented staff, for making a dream come true in brilliant fashion.
To everyone who braved Atlanta traffic on a weeknight to come support Moonlit and me.
To the fantastic online network of writers that have offered me support and advice at every turn. Even though I have never had the honor of meeting you face to face, you all jump to help each time I ask. I am astounded by the support that I have found among this international family of writers.

Specifically, to my mother. A force of nature who can pull an event together like nobody's business.
To my aunt Betsy, who sewed a hole in my dress, made delicious caramel, chocolatey treats for the event, and designed the Moonlit swag bucket.
To my dad, who can solve any case of jitters with a hug and a nod.
To Elizabeth, who moved heaven and earth to come, and the reason I kept my promise to never give up on Moonlit.
To my grandparents, a source of both inspiration and grounding, and who stayed out past their bedtimes to see this moment happen with their own eyes.
To Carrie, who made me believe I could, and coached me through reading excerpts over the phone.
To Stephanie, who gave the event a little extra spark, and flew to L.A. and back in one day just so she could be there.
To Heather, my Barnes and Noble rep, who was just as excited as me about the launch of Moonlit, and to the entire staff at the Buford, GA B+N that helped make one of the biggest moments of my life a joy and a success.
To my riders Anna, Ashley, Lou Lou, Marrissa, Elise, Sam, Erin, Tori, and Rachel B's and Rachel C's moms, by-proxy, and fellow coaches Alexa and Amanda, who absolutely made my night by coming to see this other part of my life.
To Katherine, who hand-crafted an amazing pen box that will travel with me everywhere I go.
And to my soul family: Ashley, Lori, Hettie, Tommy, Zack, Vanessa, Aiden, Greg, Beau, Zoey, Linda, Rachael, Katherine, Stephanie, and Abigial, who do whatever it takes to support their own, and who gave me a beautiful Cross pen, which will come with me to every signing I do.
And to those of you who I've never met who helped promote this launch online, Angela, Summer, Liz, Aviva, Ellie, Kerri, and more... thank you, thank you, thank you.










Monday, April 15, 2013

A-Z Challenge: ...

It's 12:40am on 4/16. It's officially my release date. But it's also about nine hours after the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. So my mind is a jumble, to say the least.

I ran track in high school and cross country in college. I know the surge of energy that comes in a homestretch very well. It's what I raced for. Those last couple hundred meters made me capable of pushing my body beyond itself. The people that would come cheer us on, watching competitors run by all afternoon, made such a difference. There were times I wanted to quit, but when I came up on a pack of supporters cheering for me even if, especially if they had no idea who I was... I had to keep going.

I just saw the video of the first explosion. It's sickening. Whoever did this set the devices where the crowd would likely be larger - where families would wait to take pictures of their loved ones crossing the finish line. Whoever did this attacked love and support in one of its purest forms.

But it didn't work. Once people realized what was happening, they ran towards the smoke and debris to help. Talk about pushing beyond themselves. Talk about love and support. About not quiting. This is what I want to focus on, what I have to focus on. The good. The kind. The brave. They have my attention. Not whoever did this.

A-Z Challenge: M is for mid-month break + main character

Ok, I promise I'm not bailing or being super lazy. My book releases tomorrow and then Thursday I fly to NY for a three day event. So today is.... busy. And I'm a last minute kind of girl. And so there we are. BUT I am going to give you a mid-month funny, and something that will give you a little insight into my main (M!) character Tanzy Hightower. I'll go in depth about Tanzy on her day, but in general, I like a strong female lead who is more likely to stand up for herself than wait for a knight in shining armor.

A little comic parody that floated around FB a couple of months ago sums it up very well. Apologies in advance to any twilight fans.. and just fyi, I read all four.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A-Z Challenge: L is for Lucas

I have to admit, once I got to know Lucas, Tanzy's main squeeze, I kind of had a crush on him myself. His organic devotion to Tanzy's soul gave me the warm and fuzzies. And he's the kind of good-looking that doesn't strike you at first, but comes on slow, and simmers in your memory long after you've left him.

Tanzy and Lucas's initial interaction was inspired by Buffy and Angel's first interaction: a little sass, a little spice, and tension that pulls like a tightrope between them as each side tugs their end of the rope a little closer.It should be no surprise that this BTVS junkie took a page from Angel's lovely features in crafting Lucas: dark hair, dark eyes. But that's where their similarities end. Lucas's face is more angular and lean. One side of his face has two long scars that run from beneath his eye to his jaw. But the way he gets them... *sigh*...) Oh, sorry. One of my favorite details: he has mud on his boots the first time they meet.

But, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So here are a few pictures that remind me of Lucas. (Sorry, boys. Tanzy and Vanessa will make up for it on their days.)




Friday, April 12, 2013

A-Z Challenge: K is for Kentucky

Tanzy journey begins at Wildwood Horse Farm, which is nestled in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. A turn of events and a new friend take her to the blue-grass hills of Kentucky. Tanzy expects to have the time of her life... but something goes terribly wrong. Here is an excerpt from Tanzy's first sunrise in Kentucky:


15. Blueblood.
Waking up is a mixed bag. Because if today is real, if I get to shop the world’s most pedigreed horses without a budget, then last night was real. And I almost killed a man. The first thought makes me want to leap out of bed. The second makes me want to jump out the window.

I glance at the clock on my bedside table. Seven-thirty. Time to get moving. But the simple action of swinging my legs over the side takes everything I’ve got. I blink and John’s face is in front of mine again, smoke and beer on his breath. Another blink and all I see is red. Salty, warm, red that smells like rust and is every bit as corrosive, eating straight through my flesh and deep into my soul.

Even now I can feel the drops of blood that splattered my cheek the moment my fist made contact. I catch myself wiping at it, sure I’ll see stains on the back of my hand. But there’s nothing there. A man could be dead because of these hands but they don’t look any different. Shouldn’t they look different? They start to tremble all over again. I shake them at my sides, shake them until they hurt.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A-Z Challenge: J is for Jadie Jones

Jadie Jones is a pen name, which honors two women in my life.

First, the history on Jadie. When I first began drafting Moonlit (then called Origins,) my best friend would come over and we'd pour a couple of glasses of wine and hash out plot ideas for Tanzy and company. My friend's mother had recently passed away after a long battle with an unknown illness: one day she was fine, and then she collapsed, and fell into a coma. She awoke several days later, but lived in a state called a "waking" coma for over a year before passing on. My friend obviously had a hard time with the loss. She wanted a way for her mother to live on, to feel close. So I told her one night: if this book is ever published, I promise you I will find a way to honor your mother. Her name is Judy Dawn. At first I considered using the initials, J.D., but there are already a couple of big writers boasting those initials. So I created a full first name instead: Jadie.

Now, for the Jones. My grandmother, Shirley Jones, is very likely the coolest person on the planet. She believes in everything: from Jesus to aliens, and she believes in letting people be exactly who they are. She likes to sit in her favorite, blue corduroy chair and contemplate life. And she always has a dish of York peppermint patties within an arms reach. She's smart, sassy, and selfless. And don't ask her a question you don't want a truthful answer to, because she'll shoot you straight no matter what. She's also one of the most literary people I know, and she often says that had she believed enough in herself in younger days, she would've pursued a career in journalism.

Every time I sign "Jadie Jones," I think about them both. It makes the signature mean so much more to me than if I'd signed my real name. And, to be honest, Jadie Jones has become a second identity to me. Jadie is more organized. She can manage time better, and seeing the big picture feels more natural. These two women have given me a gift with Jadie Jones. I will do my best to do right by them.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A-Z Challenge: I is for "it" factor

Every now and then, I come across a book I literally cannot put down. I forgo meals, sleep, just to find out what happens next. And once the journey has ended and we've gone our separate ways, I might even go through a little post-book grief.

I imagine, for any author, that's the goal: to create a work with an "it" factor. But what is "it" and is it the same for most (or all) readers? Of course, if it was as simple as dropping in the "it" factor/formula/etc., then every book would have it. That sounds like a lovely idea: every book a masterpiece. But if it was that simple, then the treasured affect would diminish. The hunt would be null and void. I like that the "it" factor is a bit of a mystery.

For me, the "it" factor in a book is simple: I have to believe, with all my heart, in the main character. I don't have to always agree with him/her, but I do have to feel like, in reading his/her voice, he/she is telling me their story exactly as they know it to be true. When a writer does this, I'll follow that character anywhere: to spaceships, magical woods, dragon caves, political arenas, underwater, etc. The voice of the writer is absolutely the "it" factor for me. And it's what I tried very hard to focus on in Moonlit.

A few of my "it" factor books:
Bloodroot, Amy Greene
Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (book one only)
The Black Stallion Series, Walter Farley
Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini

What is your "it" factor? What are your treasured books that have it?

See you tomorrow. I'm tell you the whole story behind my pen name, Jadie Jones.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A-Z Challenge: H is for Horses

Horses are a huge part of both my life and my main character Tanzy's life. In the first few drafts of Moonlit, I actually tried to minimize the horse aspect of the story, fearful non-horsey types would grow bored of the horse/farm details. I sent a friend the draft (and she's about as non-horsey as you can get,) and she sent it back with surprising advice: make horses part a bigger part of your story. It's really interesting, and you write best when you're writing about horses.

Oh.... OH. There's the arc I've been missing the whole time.

Anyways, the sequel of Moonlit travels to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where wild horses roam free. I'm also amping up the supernatural aspect of the story, and I've found tons of great pictures to help inspire this chapter in Tanzy's epic journey. Instead of dumping a ton of horse info on you, I'm going to give you a peek inside my brain. But, if you have any horse related questions, feel free to ask them in the comments and if I can answer them, I will!








Monday, April 8, 2013

A-Z challenge: G is for Good vs Evil

Good -vs- evil. It's as old as once upon a time. Heck, it's even biblical. So why, millions of versions later, are we still so fascinated by it? The simple answer: we like it when the good guys win and the bad guys get what's coming to them. I know I do. It makes me feel like there's order in the world, like someone is actually looking out for the people trying to do things right.

But I think there's a flip side to that, too. The yin to the yang. Can you say - with absolute certainty - that you are a good human being with no ill will or thoughts, that you make the "right" decision, every moment of every day? Is that what we expect of our stalwart and true heroes? And on the other side of that, are our villains without any redeeming qualities? Are they simply evil for evil's sake? What's their motive? The end goal? And what dark hour in their past turned their hearts to stone? This duality is what intrigues me most.

With Moonlit's release eight short days away, I've been answering tons of interview questions for blog tours, etc. One question asked me whether I thought the story or the characters was more important. I could see an argument for either side, but for me, it's all about the characters. What makes them tick. What's beneath the surface, and then under that. Those flaws and hot-buttons drive their decisions, and their decisions create my story.

My villain, Asher, is a bull-headed dude with a short temper and some serious tunnel-vision. His turn in the spotlight will come in the third book of the series, where I'll pull the curtains back on what has hardened his heart. He's not sweet, but he's not soulless, either. And Tanzy, my heroine, is a bull-headed chick with an impulsive side and trust issues. She made some decisions in Moonlit that will come back to haunt her big time in the sequel.

I like to see just how far I can push my characters, good and evil alike. I can't help but wonder if Freud would say that it's an exploration of self... What about you? What's your take on good-vs-evil? Who is your favorite Heroine? Your favorite villain?

My favorite good guy: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sassy, strong, and loyal.
My favorite bad guy: Spike (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) I know, I'm kind of cheating. But he was a most excellent bad dude.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A-Z Challenge: F is for Fate

Fate is a curious thing. If I get too inside my head, my wheels start spinning me into a plasmic oblivion where time and matter and choices don't exist. We're simply going through motions, following a track. The idea of that scares me to death.

Here is the definition of Fate, by dictionary.com:
1. something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot: It is always his fate to be left behind.
2. the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events; time: Fate decreed that they would never meet again. 
3. that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny: Death is our ineluctable fate. 
4. a prophetic declaration of what must be: The oracle pronounced their fate. 
5. death, destruction, or ruin.
 
Sounds kind of bleak. Even in the definition, fate seems to best its players. My main character, Tanzy Hightower, is a victim or champion of fate, depending on how you look at it. She is not fated to complete one action, she's fated to choose between two. Still each choice comes with a price tag.
 
Are we master of our fate? Are we aware of the price we pay when we make a choice, or does it only make itself known down the road?
 
I don't regret choosing to stick with an equine business management degree in college. (Not entirely, anyway.) My road here has been long, winding, and sometimes eventful, but I am now pulling from many of those connections to spread the word about Moonlit. However, I do wish I'd minored in either English or Creative Writing instead of Politics. And, if I could go back, there are a few friendships I would not have let scatter in the wind.
 
What about you? Do you believe in some kind of fate? What choices would you undo given the opportunity?

Friday, April 5, 2013

A-Z Challenge: E is for Equitation

Equitation is, first, a real word. A friend of mine received her print copy of Moonlit and immediately called me, horrified, and sure that "equitation" was a typo in my biography. It's a horse-related word, and, to be fair, many horsey words are odd. I am, among other things, a coach for a high school hunt seat equitation team, which competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association.

So what is equitation? In short, a style of riding that focuses on "form to function," or, maintaining the most correct form in order to be able to most effectively use your body and aids. I copied this from Wikipedia's definition for a more thorough explanation:

Equitation is the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship.[1][2][3]
More specifically, equitation may refer to a rider's position while mounted, and encompass a rider's ability to ride correctly and with effective aids. In horse show competition, the rider, rather than the horse is evaluated. Judging criteria covers the rider's performance and control of the horse, use of riding aids, proper attire, correct form, and usually factor in rider poise and the cleanliness and polish of horse, rider and equipment. The performance of the horse is not judged per se, but a poorly performing horse is considered to reflect the ability of the rider. A good equitation rider is always in balance with the horse, maintains a correct position in every gait, movement, or over a fence, and possesses a commanding, but relaxed, presence, able to direct the horse with nearly invisible aids.

Tanzy is a life-long horse girl and, until her path took a detour with her father's death, was a formidable opponent in the equitation ring. My real-life equitation team did very well this year, claiming the title of Region reserve-champions, and sending two individual riders to the Zone championships. We're also sending six riders from our sister teams to the National competition in New York in two weeks. I'll be there to cheer them on, and to promote Moonlit. I'm very excited!

Here are a few pictures from our season:




Here is a picture of me at a horse show many years ago. Funny thing: my position isn't great in this picture. I'm pinched at the knee and my lower leg is too far back, which puts my upper body a little too far forward. But luckily, we were competing in hunters instead of equitation, and we won!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A-Z Challenge: D is for Dancing 'til the world ends

Music does something to me - I can't explain it. The right song comes on, and the energy that kick starts inside of me insists that I move with the beat. So, naturally, the "playlist" in my head for Moonlit is something I take pretty seriously. Of course I'm about to say the name: Britney Spears, so maybe that hurts my credibility...

Anyways, there's a scene in Moonlit when Tanzy and Vanessa go dancing at a swanky nightclub - with some unforeseeable consequences. I can see it in my head, the bright, iridescent energy swirling around the room full of throbbing, wanting people. And I hear Britney Spear's song: Dancing 'til the World Ends every time I read the scene.

Tanzy isn't one to let loose, so she takes some coaxing from Vanessa on the way there. Check out an excerpt from Moonlit, where Tanzy gets her first taste of letting go:

           “That’s a good song. Turn it up,” Vanessa says, and starts to dance in the driver’s seat. “Come on, Tanzy.”
I turn up the volume and nod along to the beat.
“Aw, you’ve got more than that.”
“I don’t know how to dance,” I finally admit.
“You don’t have to know how to dance, you just have to know how to let go,” she says, and promptly releases the steering wheel. She twirls her hands above her head as we fly down a straight road.
“Vanessa!”
“I’m not stopping until you start,” she teases.
I do my best to copy her.
“Do you feel that? How can you not want to move? Close your eyes and feel it, Tanzy.”
Well, at least this way if we crash I won’t have to see it coming. I hold in a breath and close my eyes. The deep bass thumps like a heartbeat. My hands drum against my knees as the sounds flood my veins.
“There you go!” she says. I open my eyes and Vanessa grins in approval as she rocks her hips in her seat. I mimic her movement, feeling the little twists in my waist. My shoulders join in, rolling side to side with the music. Before I can stop them, my fingers press against the ceiling of her car and my body sways to the pounding rhythm.
Louisville’s lights fly past like a whirling disco ball as we speed through the city. Vanessa throws her head back with laughter, and I can’t help but want to feel just how she does in this exact moment. At last, I let go of the final thread of hesitation. I brace myself, sure it will feel like falling. But it doesn’t. Not at all. I’m soaring. I’m free.
 
You know what else starts with D? Discount! A friend of mine saw that Barnes and Noble online (BN.com) is currently offering print versions of Moonlit for $10.95. The price for print copies on Amazon (amazon.com) is also reduced, and they're selling kindle copies for $1.99.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A-Z challenge: C is for Cover

Moonlit has a gorgeous cover. But when I first saw it, I didn't know how I felt about it. The story is dark, Tanzy's journey army-crawls through some serious spiritual underbellies. In my mind, I imagined something bleak, perhaps a black background with three rings ablaze in the center. Simple and straightforward. That speaks to the story... right? Nope. Here's the thing about Moonlit - it's neither simple nor straightforward. Not by a long shot. There are many layers at work. Heck, there are even two worlds and past lives invovled. And nothing is as it seems.

Cover artist Steven Novack did an amazing job bringing many of those layers to life: the horses, an integral part of the story (one of which is named "Moonlit," just for title trivia,) the serpent bracelets in the corner, which is probably my favorite plot detail used on the cover, the red desert floor, the elements themselves (earth, air, fire, and water,) and, of course, scraggily, creepy, shadowy trees.

I won't lie, it wasn't what I expected. It wasn't what I would've come up with if left to my own devices. Thank GOODNESS they didn't leave it up to me.

 
Moonlit is now available for kindle for only $1.99 on amazon! Print copies are also currently discounted on amazon.com and BN.com.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A-Z Challenge: B is for Blood

Blood. Does it have a hand in making us who we are? What we want or believe? Does our blood guide our mind, our heart, or is the opposite chain of command more true?

What would happen if your blood was completely replaced with someone else's - something else's? Would it change anything else inside you as it moved through your muscles, pumped through your heart? Whose desires would win?

Fear not - Moonlit is not another vampire tale. But it does have to do with blood. The way it rushes, rising to the surface when our instincts tell us something is amiss. The way a warm surge rolls down our core when we catch someone we might just be falling for watching us from across the room...

My favorite line from Moonlit with the word "blood": Still, the memory of her stepping in a pool of his blood in silver high-heeled shoes blooms within me and lingers like I might enjoy the way it smells.

I forgot to mention this in my "A" post: now is a super time to buy Moonlit on Amazon. The print copies are discounted (right now about 30%, but it's been rolling from 20%-30% off) and the kindle version is only $1.99! Here is the direct link: http://www.amazon.com/Moonlit-Jadie-Jones/dp/1937178331


 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A-Z begins with Asher...

First, a little ditty about this A-Z blogging challenge. For those of you who don't know what this entails, the challenge calls for bloggers to pick a topic and write something about that topic each day (except Sundays) during the month of April, and that our daily post topics have to follow the alphabet. Fun? Absolutely. Masochistic? ....maybe.

I'm using this A-Z madness to peek inside the many layers and players in my debut YA fantasy novel, Moonlit, which officially releases April 16th. Just so you have some backstory, here's the back-of-the-book summary:

Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.

When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.

But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?


Now that you're all caught up, let's get started.

Day one begins with A, and I think it's so fitting for this challenge to begin with my villain, Asher. He's pretty - and I mean pretty - except for the startling feature of colorless eyes. And he does have a bit of a temper. But there's so MUCH to him. Unfortunately, I can't give many details about him away without spoiling some twists and turns that potential readers will experience along the way.

Here's what I can tell you: Asher is OLD (but remember, pretty.) He is an Unseen, and Unseens were never born, and can never die. They simply are. Birth and death are forbidden in their world, which coexists with ours like two plays on one stage. And I will tell you that Asher's goal is to break one of those rules... and that's all I can say about that!
 
 
Learn more about this crazy A-Z blogging challenge on the official website: