Guest Author: Jessa Slade

Today, Literary Escapism is excited to welcome Jessa Slade, author of Forged of Shadows to the floor.

After surviving the Irish Potato Famine, Liam Niall was possessed by a demon in search of redemption. Now, he heads the Chicago league of taylan in their fight against evil. Jilly Chan is a mentor to the local homeless youth-and warrior against the criminals who prey upon her charges. She’s already half-taken by a demon, so Liam reluctantly tries to guide her into full power.

Even as the proudly independent Jilly tries to remain true to her own soul, Liam’s fiercely passionate touch leaves a mark on her desirable flesh as enduring as her new demonic tattoo…

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a signed copy of either Seduced By Shadows or Forged of Shadows – winner’s choice – to a lucky reader.
The Runway Behind You is Useless

So the year is half over. At this point, I usually like to dig out my New Year’s Resolutions—which I know I’m supposed to post somewhere where I can see them daily, and I DID post them somewhere where I could see them…back in January, but my desk has…er, evolved since then. Most years, I read my resolutions, then I weep and gnash my teeth that I have not accomplished even half of the half of the year’s worth of resolutions I set myself.

But not this year. June was a very creatively joyful month in my house. I launched the second book in my urban fantasy romance Marked Souls series, Forged of Shadows, and turned in the third book, Vowed in Shadow, to my editor, and my XY finished recording and mastering his second album. (You can sample the Seduced By Shadows theme song which will be on the second album at; why yes, there are advantages to sleeping with a musician.)

XY and I actually had a bet who could use the title of this blog post first. I tried to find a place for it in my third book, but XY beat me to it by titling one of his songs with the phrase. So I lost the bet (although technically, this is the first place the phrase is in print, so ha) but I’m taking the wisdom to heart:

The runway behind you is useless.

Shout out to Peter Browne, retired bomber pilot, whose flight instructor shared that pithy and painful truism. I love the visual of the unwieldy plane fighting earthly drag and weight to struggle skyward. Who doesn’t feel like that sometimes?

The heroes in my Marked Souls stories feel like that a lot. They are immortal warriors whose damaged souls made them uniquely vulnerable to possession by repentant demons. They sacrifice what’s left of their blissful ignorance to protect Chicago from demons that are decidedly NOT repentant. My heroes know they can’t look back. They can only fight on.

That’s how I feel about my calendar. Okay, admittedly not as dramatic as battling malevolent demons, but checking off those days to my new goals can be every bit as satisfying. And get me one step closer to my eventual salvation.

How have you done on your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you setting any new goals for the rest of the year? And how do you keep yourself on task when you don’t have all the demons of hell nipping at your heels?

Leave an answer in comments for a chance to win a signed copy of Book 1 or 2 of the Marked Souls. Not sure which one you want? You can read the opening chapters at

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

Contest Time! Jessa has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of either Seduced By Shadows or Forged of Shadows – winner’s choice – to a lucky reader. All you have to do is answer Jessa’s question: How have you done on your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you setting any new goals for the rest of the year? And how do you keep yourself on task when you don’t have all the demons of hell nipping at your heels?

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 Jessa’s novels – Seduced By Shadows or Forged of Shadows – or any 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 July 8th, 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. The only new years resolution I made was to eat healthier. I’ve been eating more fish and have started making vegetarian meals at least twice a month (as often as my family will eat them).

  2. I had good intentions this year regarding losing those extra 5 lbs I was carrying around, but then I developed a pinched nerve in my pelvis and that put a stop to my exercising for awhile. Instead of losing 5, I gained 5 more, so now I’m starting from scratch and trying to find the will power to lose 10. Unfortunately, I have no good motivational tips, that’s why I’m having such a hard time.

    I’ve read the excerpts of the books and they sound great.

  3. I didn’t do a New Years resolution but at this point I have made a resolution to worry less, play with my kids more. To exercise at least 5 times a week and eat healthier. So far I have lost almost 10 pounds in about two months. I feel better and have more energy. So hopefully by the time Christmas rolls around I will be in better shape physically and mentally.

    The books sound really interesting. I love finding new authors to follow since my TBR pile is just not BIG enough (yeah, right)!
    I am also a follower on Facebook. :) And I would be happy to review the book on and GoodReads!

  4. SandyG, my XY resolved a few years ago to eat better, and since he’s the cook in our family, I’ve been eating better too. Over my objections ;) I love going to writers’ conferences because then nobody can make me eat my salad!

    JenM, getting & staying motivated is soooo hard. I had resolved to work out every day and I just haven’t seen much result. I still have zero upper body strength (hey, I type for fun, how much strength do I need?!) which makes sticking with my plan difficult. Sigh. All we can do is say “Today is a new day” — or in my case, I say “Today is will do another pushup” — and start again.

    Leslee, “worry less and play more” is an excellent goal! I’m going to steal that, if you don’t mind. And speaking of TBR piles, if I moved mine around my office once a day, I’d be Linda-Hamilton-in-Terminator-2 ripped in no time!

  5. OK, my new year resolution is/was to eat better and walk at least 3Xweek. Eating better but not keeping up with the exercise. I need your cook to cook for me and give me portion control. Thanks for the note about Peter. We both love you!!!

  6. I haven’t followed through with my resolution at all. I’m bad.

    Follow on Facebook-Rae Pavey

    Follow on twitter @throuthehaze

  7. I’m actually doing pretty good this year with my New Year’s resolutions. I did the typical girly eat healthy/exercise more/lose weight resolutions. :-) So far I’m doing pretty good with a loss of 35 pounds. I’m not setting any new goals, just trying to stay with these. To keep myself on track, I try and imagine how good it’ll feel to go on vacation and not have to worry about whether I’ll fit in the airplane seat or not…LOL!

  8. Linda, it’s hard to exercise while you’re traveling for work. Thanks for giving me the cook ;)

    Raelena, it’s never too late to start again! Or so I tell myself. I was just doing curls while talking to my sis on the phone, so I’m feeling smug.

    Carrie E, woo-hoo on maintaining the resolutions! And losing 35 lbs rocks! Now if only they’d give us more leg room on those planes…

  9. They started out badly, but I think I am finally starting to get in the swing of it. Its hard to just change patterns and adjust. I do tend to fall off track a bit, and sometimes I manage to get back on but I try not to let it get to me too bad.

    linked –
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  10. Oh I gave up having resolutions long ago. I can’t keep them, and don’t care about keeping them, I’m just too lazy. So instead of experiencing the failure of not meeting my resolutions and giving up I don’t make resolutions at all.

    +1 posted on Facebook:

    +1 tweeted:

    +1 I’m a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and Twitter (@Stella_ExLibris)

  11. Great post, thanks Jessa and Jackie!

    New Year’s resolutions are a must for me and I manage to list many every year. There’s the usual: must lose weight, must cut back on chocolate, must exercise more… but this year I added a few more which were blog related: read more, review more and so far I think I’m on track.. however, not so much with the chocolate ;)

    I would love to win Forged of Shadows – I’ve spread the word on Facebook & Twitter! Already a follower everywhere… :D

  12. Jeanette, the exercise thing — like the diet thing — is such a drag because you have to keep doing it. If only falling off the wagon and getting back on the wagon counted as exercise :)

    Donna S., I read somewhere it takes 21 days to set a new habit. Not sure why it takes only one day to break the habit, but… Thanks for tweeting & linking!

    Stella, libertas! Free from resolutions!

  13. Well, one resolution is going well–the second only so-so. The one to lose weight has been a steady pound a week since mid-January. Wish it were faster, but that’s the way it is. I’m down 27 lbs. The other to finish my YA novel by Memorial Day didn’t happen. But it is 2/3rds done and will be finished by end of this month.

    re: exercise to all those with exercise demons…I know all the excuses and it wasn’t until I committed to doing it religiously from 7:30-9pm five days a week that my weight loss was consistent.

    Can’t wait to read Vowed in Shadow!! What is the release date?

  14. Great interview and the book sounds right up my alley. Yet another book to add to my TBR pile . I don’t make resolutions at the New Year. But, I do have goals I want to meet. I want to get my 2nd degree Black Belt this year, find friends to hang out with in this small town we moved to last year (harder than you would think around here ). And mostly raise happy kids. Oh, and my new goal is to go to a readers convention somewhere, anywhere!
    2 points for me!

  15. Um, what New Year’s Resolutions? I don’t think I came up with any, except to try to read more books, and I’ve done that very well since I recently lost my job, LOL.
    My new goal is to get a job, kind of an important one. I keep myself on task by thinking about not being able to eat or buy new books.

    I’d love to win Forged by Shadows since I have Seduced by Shadows. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but it’s very high on the TBR pile so I’ll be reading it soon.

  16. The books sound new and interesting! I can’t wait to start reading them!

    (+1)Well, my new years resolution was to be more positive and I have to say that so far so good! I also have been determined to eat healthier, and I think I have done that as well. I even got my family involved with our “Hensel Family Fit Summer”!Instead of demons nipping on my heels at the gym, its my super skinny sister. ahah but its much better to achieve your goals in a group than by yourself!

    (+1)I tweeted about this contest at
    (+1) I became a follower of literary escapism on twitter as well!!

  17. I would like to win a copy of Jessa’s novel Seduced by the Shadows.

    How am I doing on my NY resolutions? Well, depends on your point of view. I had resolved to eat healthier in order to maintain a healthy weight. (My idea was to reduce weight, but so far I have reduced 5 pounds. I am eating more vegies and fruits, but not as regularly as perhaps I should. So…resolution was vague, as is the success)
    I am resetting my goal to lose another 10 pounds by years end….and try not to let the demons nip at my heels too often!

    +1 I posted this giveaway on my FB as Terry McPherson.

    +1 I am also a follower of Literary EScapism on FB.

    Thank you for hosting this great giveaway. Either one of Jessa’s signed books is a fantastic win!

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