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.
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
Want to purchase Jeaniene’s novels?
- Halfway to the Grave at Amazon or the Book Depository
- One Foot in the Grave at Amazon or the Book Depository
- At Grave’s End at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Destined for an Early Grave at Amazon or the Book Depository
- This Side of the Grave at Amazon or the Book Depository (2011)
Night Huntress World
- First Drop of Crimson at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Eternal Kiss of Darkness at Amazon or the Book Depository
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
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.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.