Guest Author: Jeaniene Frost

Today, I get to welcome the fabulous author Jeaniene Frost to Literary Escapism. Jeaniene has just released the second novel in her Night Huntress series, Eternal Kiss of Darkness.

n immortal war has been brewing in the darkness…and now one woman has stumbled into the shadows.

Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she’s only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he’d seen it all. Then Kira appears – this fearless, beautiful….human who braved death to rescue him. Though her burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.

But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.

Seriously…how are you not running to the bookstore to purchase this yet?  Okay, so maybe I’m a little bias – I’m already a huge fan.  Regardless, make sure you stick around, we’re giving away three copies of Eternal Kiss of Darkness to three lucky readers.
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Beginnings

Imagine you’re on a blind date. You wait at the restaurant you’ve agreed to meet at, hoping you’ll have a nice time. Just in case, though, you’ve arranged for a friend to call you after about twenty minutes so you can fake an emergency if your date turns out to be boring, insufferable, or both. No one wants to sit through a miserable evening if they don’t have to, and sometimes you can tell right off if you and your companion are not a good fit.

On the surface, blind dates might not look like they have much in common with the beginning of a book, but let me point out some similarities. In my example, the reader will be the person at the restaurant, and a new book will be the date she’s waiting to meet.

Let’s assume I show up on time (literary equivalent would be a book being available for you to browse through), I’m dressed presentably (you liked the cover), and hey, if I’m lucky, some of your friends have said nice things about me (you’ve seen good reviews/had my books recommended to you). But until we sit down together and interact, you just don’t know if we’ll click. After all, you’ve got a lot of other options (just look at all the titles online and in book stores) so you’re open-minded, but it’s up to me to impress you into staying. And if I don’t, well…you’ve got that phone call scheduled for a quick getaway (you usually give books a chapter or two to hook you before you move on to another one).

Beginnings. They’re on my mind as I write the first few chapters of the sixth Cat and Bones novel. They’re critical to any relationship, whether friendship, romance, or the relationship readers have with a book. As an author, the pressure’s on me to write beginnings that give readers enough information about my world to intrigue, but not too much to bore. I only have a small window to highlight my protagonists’ personalities, too, because with every word, a reader is deciding whether to spend more time with them, or to signal for the metaphorical check. If I’m writing in a series, I also have to include enough information about important prior events that new readers won’t feel lost, but not too much information that existing readers will feel overburdened (had a date who droned on and on about their prior relationships? Yeah, you’re probably not still with him or her).

Considering all the above, it’s probably no surprise that beginnings are what I struggle the most with as an author. Not because I don’t care about other parts of the book, but because the beginning chapters are the ground that the rest of the novel will stand – or topple – on. To give you an idea, it takes me about the same amount of time to write the first 20 thousand words of a book as it does to write the next 80 thousand. Setting up the foundation is a painstaking process, but first impressions might be all you get before your date decides to get up and leave. But when it’s done properly, a solid beginning can lead to a promising relationship (your date just told her friend thanks for the getaway call, but she’s decided to stay for the rest of the evening).

What do you think about beginnings, readers? Am I stressing too much over them? Does a slow or bad beginning make you put a book down, or do you soldier on through several chapters first? Everyone who answers will be entered in a giveaway of my latest novel, Eternal Kiss of Darkness. I’ll have Randomizer select three winners out of the comments, and yes, I’ll ship internationally. Good luck!

And in honor of beginnings, below are links to the first 20% of my books. If you haven’t tried me out before, here’s a strings-free way to do so. You won’t even need to schedule that phony emergency call in advance *wink*.

Halfway to the Grave, Night Huntress book one: via HarperCollins
One Foot in the Grave
, Night Huntress book two: via HarperCollins
At Grave’s End
, Night Huntress book three: via HarperCollins
Destined For an Early Grave
, Night Huntress book four: via HarperCollins
First Drop of Crimson
, Night Huntress World, book one: via HarperCollins
Eternal Kiss of Darkness
, Night Huntress World, book two: via HarperCollins

-Jeaniene Frost

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Want to purchase Jeaniene’s novels?
Night Huntress

  1. Halfway to the Grave at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. One Foot in the Grave at Amazon or the Book Depository
  3. At Grave’s End at Amazon or the Book Depository
  4. Destined for an Early Grave at Amazon or the Book Depository
  5. This Side of the Grave at Amazon or the Book Depository (2011)

Night Huntress World

  1. First Drop of Crimson at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. Eternal Kiss of Darkness at Amazon or the Book Depository

Anthologies
Weddings From Hell
at Amazon or the Book Depository
Unbound
at Amazon or the Book Depository
Four Dukes and a Devil
at Amazon or the Book Depository
Death’s Excellent Vacation
at Amazon or the Book Depository
Haunted by Your Touch
at Amazon or the Book Depository
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Thank you Jeaniene for taking the time to visit Literary Escapism!

Contest Time! Jeaniene has graciously offered to give away three copies of her latest novel, Eternal Kiss of Darkness. All you have to do is answer this one question: What have been some of your favorite beginnings?

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 Jeaniene’s novels (listed above) or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or 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 September 9th, 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 3273 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.

12 Comments

  1. I think there are 2 openings that make me smile..
    It was a dark stormy night and Once Upon a Time.. Sometimes they relax you enough to sit back and enjoy.

    As far as the Bones and Cat stories it’s so hard to choose just one. They are witty and the first paragraph lets you know that the book is going to be interesting.. the Blind Dates have not been disappointing and I’m ready for the next one

  2. Beginnings are unbelievably important, if the beginning doesn’t catch me then I try to go a little further into the book hoping it will get better. Of all my books I have only had that happen a few times, but Jeannine’s book have never disappointed me, they always ROCK.

  3. Hey! First, I have to say, that I LOVE the Night Huntress novels :) and ( of course ;) ) my favorite beginning is in one book of this series.
    “If he catches me, I`m dead.” is defenitly my favorite one. I like this kind of tension, which is build with these few words. I think, that`s the kind of beginnings, which makes the reader to keep on reading.
    That doesn`t that a slow beginning has to be bad, because it also can “catch” a reader, when he or she feels like they`re part of this fantastic world and that they can identife with the hero/ heroine.
    Yup, so far to that :) *looking forward to C&B #5* :)

  4. I really like the beginning of Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin. In the beginning of the novel We have the main character and her cousin doing a Breaking & Entering…and all goes crazy from there :)

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  5. Hi Jeaniene

    I absolutely love your books!

    I think beginnings are very important it has to keep the reader reading, but I think beginnings are always hard no matter if it’s a beginning in a book or a beginning in your life. If you do not begin something you will never have the satisfaction of finishing.

    I want to know what is your favorite part of a book?

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  6. Favorite beginnings? I really liked the beginning of Rachel Vincent’s shifter’s series because when I opened the book I had no idea what it was about and it doesn’t come right out and tell you ‘this girl shifts into a kick-butt panther like cat’ it just tells the story from page one and you have to pick up the clues along the way. It starts with this college girl getting attacked in a dark alley, but it’s sort of turned around because she follows the guy into the alley and then proceeds to fight-back and attack him until he runs away. I liked it because it is her actions were very true to her character and you get to know her fiery personality right away because of it.

  7. I don’t think I have a favourite beginning because usually I get so nervous and exited when I start something new that it all just goes by in a blur that later gives me a sense of “Oh, what just happened?”. But if I had to pick something I would say I first time I read a book on my own.

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  8. I really enjoyed the beginnings of all Jeaniene Frost’s books, but the one that did not really wraped me round it’s “pinky” finger, was ‘First Drop Of Crimson’. But get me, I am talking about the first 2 pages or so. I liked most of the beginnings of Kerrelyn Spark’s books too. Yet, a book I recently read had some interesting parts a quater into the book onwards. And Oh, What a long book it was. But I liked it. Karen Chance has a lot of narration, but generally the books are great. Well, I love all those authors. Oh, and one more thing, I’ve recently bought 3 books in a series, because they had great reviews. However now, they’re so dull I’ve read 4 chapters into the first book in a month. Outragous! Not really, but hey, My Mistake.
    Hopefully, this is to the topic, and I will not get disqualified. :)

  9. i think that the 1st book in series definitely has to have a good beginning and catch your attention. so much of the 1st book is used for world building that it is important not to forget that the reader needs more than just information about the world in that first book/chapters.

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  10. Dark and Disorderly by Bernita Harris has some of the most gripping first pages in the books I’ve read recently.

    +1 for following on FB

  11. Hmm I can’t think of a specific favorite beginning. I am with everyone else to say I like a really memorable moment or some catchy lines with the first few chapters. Not to say I won’t read the ones that take longer to develop, but I the others tend to stay with me longer.

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