Earlier this year, I had the chance to read the anthology The Eternal Kiss (edited by Trisha Telep) and I came across this story called Passing by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié. Simply put, I loved the world and the characters that they introduced. I totally wanted to see more and I really hoped we would get to. Can you imagine my delight when I found out that their new novel, Crusade, was going to be returning us to that world. Plus, today I get to welcome Nancy Holder, half of the brillant author team behind Crusade, to Literary Escapism.
The ultimate battle. The ultimate love.
For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.
Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated – and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.
Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself – and her heart.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of Crusade and a specially designed bookplate signed by both Debbie and Nancy.
Did the Devil Make Him Do It? by Nancy Holder
“Am I thing worth saving? Am I righteous man?”
— Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Amends”
It’s Halloween, when we celebrate the weird and unexplained. Since I write creepy fiction, people ask me all the time if I believe in ghosts. The very thought of phantoms wafting in the night air sets my hair on end. Yet I don’t necessarily think of ghosts as evil. Just inexplicable. Debbie and I like the quirky, the surprising, the unpredictable. Which is why we write in the gray in-between places—the mists, the fogs, dusk, and the shadowy dimness just before sunrise.
We are also fascinated by the idea of good and evil. What does it take to push a “good” person over the brink to become evil? Can only evil people do evil things? What if a good person has to commit an evil act to save her friends? Does that make her evil? We
read about a hardened criminal’s horrific childhood in hopes of discovering what turned him into a monster. After all, even the blackest of villains may have a mother who loves him, a dog he pampers, or who cries when he listens to Mozart. And even saints have committed sins.
But sometimes people with equally terrible pasts do become saints. Why? Was there a single moment when more light shone into their sad lives?
At what point do we choose our paths?
In Wicked, the first series Debbie and I wrote together, which is about witches, no one is completely good or evil: everyone is gray, dark gray, or light gray—and that surely includes our heroine, Holly, and Jer Deveraux, who turns his back on his evil family. In our new young adult dark fantasy series, Crusade, our vampires are by their very nature evil. Called the Cursed Ones, they are cruel, sadistic bloodsucking fiends, not sparkly, not kind—except for one. Antonio de la Cruz has his own theories about why he was revolted by his own bloodlust after he was turned into a vampire, and ran for to a church for sanctuary. Why he and he alone can not only touch crosses but say Mass.
But is he right?
Debbie and I used World War II as inspiration for the world of Crusade. World War II was “the Good War,” with clear enemies—the Nazis—and real heroes—the Allies and the Resistance. In Crusade, the vampires have declared war on us, and we have lost. Some
humans are cozying up to the vampires, while others are still fighting. Good people do bad things, either out of desperation, or greed, or just to survive another day. For some of our characters, loved ones do things that may be impossible to forgive.
But here’s another thing Debbie and I like to write about: Even in the darkest place, there is hope.
Hope that people can be redeemed, and the future will burn brighter than the past. Hope that when all seems lost, all is not lost—if we all keep trying, keep fighting. At least, that’s our hope.
Meanwhile, here’s my hope for you—that your Halloween is scary in a fun way, and filled with candy that is not fattening. (Well, I do make stuff up for a living.) And that at least one weird, inexplicable, and wonderful thing happens to you as the pumpkins frost and the moon gleams down. (Or, as is the case where I live, the palm trees sway and ghost ships prowl the coast.)
Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié are the New York Times Bestselling authors of the Wicked series. Their new series, Crusade, has just come out. Nancy lives in San Diego and Debbie lives in the Orlando area. Two Disney kids, they party with the Mouse whenever possible.
Nancy Holder is the NYT Bestselling coauthor of the Wicked saga, the Crusade series, and the forthcoming Wolf Springs Chronicles, all with Debbie Viguié. She also writes the young adult horror series, Possessions. She’s written a lot of material for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. She and her daughter own two magickal Corgis, Panda and Tater. Please visit her at www.nancyholder.com.
In addition to writing with Nancy, Debbie Viguié also writes the Psalm 23 Mysteries series and has several retold fairy tales, including Midnight Pearls. She and her husband, Scott, have a cat named Schrödinger. Visit Debbie online at www.debbieviguie.com.
Wicked (with Debbie Viguié)
- Witch at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Curse at Amazon
- Legacy at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Spellbound at Amazon
- Resurrection at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Wicked: Witch & Curse (omnibus) at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Wicked 2: Legacy & Spellbound (omnibus) at Amazon or the Book Depository
Crusade (with Debbie Viguié)
Possessions by Nancy Holder
- Possessions at Amazon or the Book Depository
- The Evil Within at Amazon or the Book Depository
- The Screaming Season (March 2011)
Psalm 23 Mysteries by Debbie Viguié
- The Lord is my Shepherd at Amazon or the Book Depository
- I Shall Not Want at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Blood Lite at Amazon or the Book Depository
- The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire at Amazon or the Book Depository
- The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Immortal: Love Stories With Bite at Amazon or the Book Depository
Contest Time! Nancy has graciously offered to give away a copy of Crusade and a specially designed bookplate signed by both Debbie and Nancy. All you have to do is answer this one question: What has the devil made you do? Or simply ask Nancy a question.
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 Nancy or Debbie’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.
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.