Guest Author: Jess Haines

Jess Haines.01Today, Literary Escapism is excited to welcome Jess Haines, author of Hunted by the Others, to the floor.

They are the Others — the vampires, mages, and werewolves once thought to exist only in our imaginations. Now they’re stepping out of the shadows, and nothing in our world will ever be the same again…

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm — if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires.

As soon as Shiarra meets scary, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend–a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing–and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil–whether she likes it or not…

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of Hunted by the Others to a lucky individual.

Ordinary to Extraordinary: Writing a Human Heroine in a Paranormal World

In today’s urban fantasy novels, it’s hard to be a heroine. Whether you’re facing fearsome vampires, wicked were-creatures, slavering demons, or avenging angels, most of the time the heroine has some innate kick-ass powers to back her up and help her win the day and finish her quest. Anita Blake started out with a talent for raising the dead (which, as many of you may know, later evolved into an array of powers that span the spectrum from exotic to erotic); Rachel Morgan can cast spells and summon demons; Mercy Thompson can shapeshift into a coyote; even Sookie Stackhouse has something extra to bring to the table with her mindreading capabilities.

These are some of the most immediate and obvious examples in the urban fantasy genre. There aren’t many novels like these that feature a purely human heroine. With that in mind, what does it take for a human to survive against some of the most vicious creatures that urban fantasy’s toughest heroines have a hard time confronting?

Consider the problems. Without outside help, a human has no magic, no protection to summon, no superior strength or speed or anything else to help her deal with the things that go bump in the night. She can’t call zombies to chow down on the bad guys, cast a spell to throw marbles in the antagonist’s path as they charge, change her shape to either fight better or run away, or read their minds to predict what they’re going to do next.

Compared to a vampire or werewolf, most humans don’t have the strength of body or mind to resist. We have no fangs or claws to fight back. What would you do if a vampire looked into your eyes and promised you an eternity of pleasures untold? Would you be able to tell them no? What if a demon, possessed of magic and a burning desire for your soul, set out to make you his? Would you know how to outwit him or send him back to the netherplane he emerged from? How about a shifted werewolf, searching for you, following the scent of your fear-tainted sweat and the echoing beat of your heart? What would you do to escape?

All of these things are problems an urban fantasy heroine may have to face in the process of surviving a supernatural threat. As already covered, homo sapiens have some mighty unfair disadvantages in their court. What does that leave them with?

Smarts. We have our wits, we have a propensity for finding and making tools out of most anything to hand, of shaping the environment to suit our needs, and the advantage—or, at times, disadvantage—of being naturally curious creatures. We are tenacious, resourceful, and occasionally carry out incredible feats when under enough pressure. Add to that the sheer cattiness, bitchery, and feminine wiles those of the gentler sex are capable of, and you’ve got a recipe for one badass heroine on your hands—with or without something extra to give her a boost.

I wouldn’t want to be the supernatural standing in the way of a woman who knows her life depends on how she reacts.

It takes a special kind of heroine to survive against what an urban fantasy world has to offer. Here’s to my fellow authors who walk that path. We’re few and far between—but I do hope to see more of you sharing the shelves with me in the future.

Jess Haines is the author of new urban fantasy, Hunted by the Others. Visit her at her website, Facebook and/or Goodreads

You can purchase Hunted by the Others at Book Depository / Amazon

Thank you Jess for taking the time to visit Literary Escapism!

Contest Time! Jess has graciously offered to give away a copy of her debut novel, Hunted by the Others, to a lucky winner. All you have to do is answer this question: How would you fight against a supernatural if you didn’t have any powers?  What kind of powers would you want to have in a fight?

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase any of novel through LE’s Amazon store or through the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until June 22nd, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. I guess the only way to fight against supernaturals is with lots of fire power. It would help if in this particular world it was well known they were vulnerable to something (i.e. silver.) If I could have super powers for fighting, I think rapid healing would really help, beyond the obvious attributes of great speed and strength.

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  2. With no superpowers, my only alternative would be to sick my toddler on them. His ferocious biting, kicking and “no” skilz would take care of the deadliest opponent.

    If I got to choose a superpower? I’d probably pick some sort of freeze-ray. The best offense is a good defense and all that…

    • Totally agree Melissa. I personally think a horde of toddlers could easily scare many supernatural beings – all at the same time. *grin*

  3. I would choose the power to survive (Graceling! :P).
    Thank you for this great giveaway!

    +1 I’m a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter (Giada Mariani @hatshepsut0011 )

    Giada M.

  4. I would want to the power of speed and really great fighting skills.

    +1 Fan on LE facebook fan page.
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  5. How would I fight against a supernatural if I didn’t have any powers? Poorly. I would definitely need a gun or something because I would get my butt kicked in a second up close. I think the best power to have in a fight would be mind control, because then you could make your enemy do whatever you want.

    +1 follow on twitter @throuthehaze

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  6. +1 If you are a follower on Twitter (@wordsrollon)

    In a fight against a supernatural, I think I’d want the weapons they have in Underworld – UV bullets & silver bullets. Assuming, of course, I was fighting vampires & werewolves. Otherwise, I’d want to have good martial arts skills & be very crafty so I could win by wits. : )

    If I could have skills, I’d want to be either a shape-shifter or a time-handler so I could stop/slow down/rewind time. : ) Which would be extremely helpful in everyday life, too. lol.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. * How would I fight against a supernatural if I didn’t have any powers?
    ==> I should have lots of weapons that can beat that supernatural :)

    * What kind of powers would I want to have in a fight ?
    ==> The power of Time Freezing, so i will have time to shoot do anything that can make them down and the power of healing, so if i got shoot, i will recover immediately !

    +1 i tweeted :

    +1 A follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and Twitter (becunique)

  8. i would have to use my brains, and definitely have some mad skills with self-defense and weapons. of course, sheer willpower helps too….

    if i did have powers, i would want super-human reflexes!

    i follow on facebook (kisah jackson)

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  9. I would want to have speed and healing for powers. But without any, I would have to try and out think my opponent. It seems that a lot of times those with powers almost hide behind them and think that with them they are invincible and there can usually be found a weak link of some kind.

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  10. Without superpowers I would have to rely on my intelligence and hope I would me able to outsmart or outwit whoever I was up against:) If I could have any powers in a fight it would be to be invisible so they wouldn’t know where I was coming from.
    +1 I tweeted
    +1 I am a facebook follower
    +1 I follow on twitter @bangersis

  11. For the right reasons, I would fight every supernatural, even without weapons.
    But if I could choose a superpower… I don´t know, maybe super strengh? Or super fast healing!

    Thanks for the contest!

  12. Without superpowers, I could only hope to outsmart or outwit them somehow. When that fails, I’d find a corner and hide!

    If I had a superpower, I think I’d like to have additional strength.

    I follow on Twitter. @tessaa99

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

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