1/10/11 Update – Winners!
My Wicked Enemy
My Forbidden Desire
My Immortal Assassin
I’m so pleased to have Carolyn Jewel at Odd Shots today! She’s not only one of my favorite people (and who, at RomCon this year, didn’t mind that I ate my pasta with my fingers after room service once failed to deliver enough utensils) but she’s also a fantastic author of both paranormal and historical romances.
This past Tuesday, the latest in her My Immortal Series was released. So I’ve invited her over to talk with us about it (and also to give away some books!) So I hope that you’ll join me in welcoming Carolyn to the blog!
Meljean: At Odd Shots, we must know: What kind of drink are you having?
Carolyn: Water. Sorry to be so dull. OK, wait! I’m having, uh, what do you call those drinks with umbrellas in them? It’s, uh, Champagne. From France. That’s much more exciting than well water, though, heh, I sometimes drink the water from the faucet that bypasses the water softener AND the filter. Maybe I shouldn’t. A while back we got a notice from the Health Dept that there were arsenic contaminated wells down the road from us. Which is why I drink Champagne every night. It’s part of the glamorous life of the working writer.
Glamorous, and full of danger! Just like my life. Ahem.
My Immortal Assassin released on Tuesday, and is the third book in your My Immortal series. For those readers who haven’t tried the first two books (though they should!) can you give us a general overview of your world?
The series is set in the present day world, but one that includes demons (the demonkind) and people who can do magic (the magekind). Nowadays, people, by and large, are unaware of the magical world around them. In the not so distant past, however, demons made no secret of their existence. The demonkind routinely took possession of humans and otherwise wreaked havoc — think the Dark Ages and up through the Renaissance, for example.
Humans, mostly those with magic, began to fight back. They considered themselves the protectors of humankind. The result was pretty horrific for everyone and, ultimately, demons mended their ways, more or less. There are always a few bad actors, you know? Among the demonkind, it is now a strictly enforced rule that humans may not be messed with except after gaining their explicit consent. The magekind haven’t really caught on to this. Most of them still feel demons should be either dead or magically enslaved to them.
And therein lies the problem. Not only are both demonkind and magekind still adapting to new rules and behavior, over the years, the magekind got used to having demons enslaved to them. The mages also learned it was possible to ritually murder a demon and extend their lives, to the point where some magekind have been alive for hundreds of years. As you might imagine, demons don’t care for being murdered or enslaved.
So, the series is set against this historical context and the present set of mutual animosities, and neither side is completely wrong. Or right.
And that’s exactly why I love the world so much. Even the evil dudes, you really understand why they do what they do. But on to more important issues than life, death, and magic:
When you type “assassin,” do you notice how many asses are in it? And when you think of “ass,” which definition springs to mind first: the jerk, the fine body part, or the animal?
Gee, I never noticed that before. No, really. All this time I’ve been thinking of the word “sass” because a FineBodyPartFineBodyPartIn needs to have some sass in his or her character. As to which definition springs to mind first, the answer is none of the above. What comes to mind is that back in the day stoves and the like had a little valve in the back that let out ashes, and that was called the ass. I found that out on Google Books. See, at the time I discovered that fact, I was convinced that the word “ass” does not completely equal the British English “arse.”
If you’re writing historical British English, I was of the opinion that you can’t just substitute “arse” for “ass” and be good. “Jackarse” is not a word so it made no sense to me to (historically) call someone an “arse” when you mean “ass” in the Jackass sense. Anyway, I haven’t definitively answered the question because I got distracted by mechanical asses. (Hey, Meljean, maybe you could use that fact in your next Steampunk book!)
It’s like the time I discovered that Google Books has trouble with the fancy S that looks like an F in books printed prior to about 1810 or so. Which means that if you were to search for “fuck” for the purposes of proving an entirely different but vitally important point, AND you restrict your results to books prior to 1820, you will discover that the Google Books OCR has rendered “blood suckers” as “blood fuckers.” (The search engine is trolling through OCR text.)
I tell you, for about ten minutes I was thinking, holy heck! Those 18th century folks were rocking the metaphors! Only to learn they were talking about vampires.
But there aren’t any vampires in your series … so are there any asses in My Immortal Assassin?
Many, all of them very fine.
That’s exactly what we needed to know.
One of the many things I love about your books is how you push the envelope with your characters, and take a lot of risks. The world of your mages and fiends is brutal, and you don’t shy away from that (especially in the treatment of your heroes.) So, can you tell us a little bit about what your hero, Durian? Will his path to love be any easier?
Thanks! I’m not sure any of that applies to my hero because, you know, Durian has a pretty good life. Well, he did up until he made a mistake and ended up almost getting ritually murdered. He got saved from having his heart removed while he was still alive, and that’s good, right? He ended up enslaved to a mage instead, which admittedly, is not so good. But all that happened in previous books, including being freed from his enslavement.
Sure, he’s got a few issues from all that, but who wouldn’t? He’s an assassin for a demon warlord, and he has special skillz, which you want in an assassin, if you ask me. It does mean that he tends to be more isolated than your non-assassin type demon, and demons, by the way, are a social species. FYI.
He’s a conservative sort, maybe a bit of a stick-in-the-mud that way, but he’s also a sharp dresser. He believes in the power of a tailored suit. His heroine has a DIY haircut, she also bleached her black hair then dyed it shades of red and she loves colorful clothes. Durian suspects she picks out her clothes with her eyes closed. He finds her color choices garish at best and thinks the skull charm on her belly-bar is . . . awful. Now there’s some conflict!
Now I’m curious to know what else happens when he gets in close enough to check out that skull charm. 😀 And speaking of teases: do you have any news about upcoming historical releases?
I’ll be writing two more historicals involving a locket with supposed magical properties. There no such thing as magic but the placebo effect is strong, Obi-Wan.
I’ve been reading about the Staffordshire Hoard and have decided to write a treasure hoard into the first book. The Staffordshire Hoard is Anglo-Saxon artifacts from circa 7th century (AD). From the pictures here it’s easy to agree that these artifacts were scavenged from a battlefield probably shortly after its conclusion, and then buried . . . for about 1200 years.
I love your historicals like crazy, so I can’t wait. And speaking of upcoming releases, I also couldn’t help but notice that the heroine of your June release, My Dangerous Pleasure, is Iskander’s tenant. Which made me wonder: How high do you think rental insurance rates are in paranormal romance worlds? Would you ever sign a lease with a demon?
A. Too damn high. However, it turns out to be fortunate that Iskander had full replacement value on the apartment he rents out because he ends up making a claim. In chapter 2, I think it is.
B. Absolutely. Life is all about taking risks. Besides, what if your landlord is single and looks like Iskander?
And if a demon came over to borrow a cup of sugar, would you give him one? What do you think would happen then?
B. I would bake him a pie. From scratch. Demons like homemade pies. For the holidays, I made a Southern Chess pie that turned out to be awesome, so I might make that for him, hopefully without the need to substitute orange juice for the lemon juice. After that, I’m pretty sure the demon would i) forget why he wanted a cup of sugar in the first place and ii) be my BFF. With all appropriate benefits.
I like homemade pies, too — and I’d totally be your BFF if you brought one over. Right now, however, we don’t have pies to give away — we have books! That’s better than pie, right? (When they are Carolyn’s books, it totally is.)
We’ll be giving away two copies of Carolyn’s newest release, My Immortal Assassin, along with two copies each of My Wicked Enemy and My Forbidden Desire, the first two books in the My Immortals series. Clicking the covers will take you to the book page on Carolyn’s site, where an excerpt is also available.
So here’s what you need to do: Decide which book you’d like to try — either the new release, or one of the previous books in the series (don’t be afraid to get the second one! Not only does it feature the totally effed up and super-hot Xia, it stands alone very well.) Then leave a comment or question for Carolyn, and mention which book you’d like to receive if you’re picked as a winner.
The comments will be open until midnight, Pacific Time on Sunday, January 9. At that time, I’ll separate the comments by the book selected, and choose two winners from each group using random.org (which means the fewer people who select a particular book, the better the odds of winning). Good luck!