Today I have the honour to have my friend Jess Haines here on the blog! She is the author of the amazing urban fantasy series, H&W Investigations and she accepted our invite to celebrate the upcoming release of Forsaken by the Others, 5th book in the series. Please welcome her warmly, and stick ‘til the end for a giveaway!
1- Forsaken by the Others is the 5th book in the H&W Investigations series, is it the final one? If not, how many more books have you planned?
I'm contracted for a 6th book in the series. I've got plans brewing for more, but I can't promise anything yet since they aren't under contract. Shiarra's adventures will continue, one way or another.
2- I've always had this strong feeling that your series is not getting all the praise it should, it's such an amazing UF with great characters, what would you say to those out there who haven't read it yet?
Oh, thank you! I'm blushing over here. *g*
I know some people have been put off by the covers from earlier books. Some thought it was just another paranormal romance. Others that vampires are so overdone, yawn.
Honestly? I understand where they're coming from. What I would like to say is that I have worked hard to write an urban fantasy series that was not all about pantsfeelings or a heroine who starts out as a kickass supernatural with awesome powers. Shiarra Waynest is a human woman in a paranormal world, with all of the problems that entails--both mundane and supernatural. She's got a failing business, bills to pay, and prejudices and phobias involving Others that she has to face. If you're expecting Anita Blake or Sookie Stackhouse, you're not going to find it in my books. Nothing against paranormal romance (I write those, too) but that wasn't the audience I was looking to cater to with the H&W Investigations books. My vampires don't sparkle and my werewolves aren't teddy bears in disguise.
In short, if you're a fan of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files or Kim Harrison's Hollows/Rachel Morgan series, I hope you might like my work, too.
3- Shia is stuck between the werewolf and the vampire world, will she finally pick a side (or be forced onto one?)
Ahh, that's for the author to know and readers to find out. *g* Book 6 will see a lot of unanswered questions and some strings you may have forgotten about from earlier books tied up.
4- You ended Stalking the Others with quite a bomb, what was the feedback from your readers and what can they expect in book 5?
I got a great deal of fans fanning themselves and wanting to know when the next book was coming out. *g*
Forsaken by the Others is coming soon, my pretties, and the game is changing for Shiarra. With all the heat coming down on her for her vigilante actions in book 4, Stalking the Others, she's no longer safe in New York. For her own safety, Royce is sending her to Los Angeles, where she'll meet some karaoke-loving fringe-hobo vampires, giant werewolves who may or may not want to eat her face, and a necromancer with a whole mess of zombies and a grudge. Friends and enemies both old and new are going to surface, and it's going to be up to Shiarra to find out how to deal with the zombies and their master.
Here, have a taste...
I cleared my throat. “I guess we’ll—ah—we’ll just be going—”
Ha, that was funny. For a second there, I thought he said no.
“Come inside. I want to talk to you.”
Oh. I hadn’t imagined it.
The Viking stood up, towering in the doorway, his towel slipping lower on his hips. Feeling a tad ill, I lifted my hands, not quite sure if it was meant to be a negative gesture or a please-don’t-hurt-me supplication. Sara and I stumbled back, fetching up against a big oak tree shading the yard and some of the street. He moved towards us, and the bark cracked under my fingertips as I clutched at the tree.
He stopped when he was close enough to touch, both of us staring up at him like we were staring down Death come to claim us.
Then he engulfed us in a hug. I’m pretty sure I left a chunk of skin behind on that tree when he pulled us away. I didn’t start screaming and flailing because, much like Analie, he didn’t seem to have any concept of his own strength when he crushed us against him.
The only reason I knew I wasn’t about to die was because the six-foot-plus terrifying werewolf warrior wearing nothing but a towel was crying all over us.
God damn, my life was getting weirder by the day.
(To answer a question I've been getting a lot, yes, this book can be read on its own. I strongly suggest reading Stalking the Others first at a bare minimum, but there is currently a deal for Nook and Kindle readers to get all four of the earlier books in a bundle deal.)
5- Do you have plans for a new series when Shia's adventures are over?
I've got a couple of projects brewing in the background, but nothing else sold. I don't want to talk up a series that might never see the light of day, but I do have some ideas for a few high fantasy and paranormal romance novels that I'll be taking some time to work on as soon as I'm done with H&W book 6.
6- The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, thus the shortest night, are your characters celebrating it?
Shiarra is most likely counting her lucky stars since it means the fanged, bite-y things of the night are spending more time keeping very much to themselves. She'd probably celebrate with a stiff drink.
Sara (Shia's business partner) and her boyfriend Arnold (a mage) are going to enjoy every minute of daylight together and most likely spend much of it at the beach or enjoying a party and barbecue.
Chaz the werewolf would be too busy looking for ways to get back into Shia's good graces (ha!) to celebrate much.
Royce the vampire would be annoyed at the lack of time available to get any work done and how much business he'd likely be losing since his restaurants and nightclubs would have to open later/wouldn't draw as many patrons without the actual vampires present to draw a crowd.
The White Hats (hunters of supernaturals) would be throwing a party to celebrate the shortest night of the year.
7- Have you ever celebrated midsummer? If not, do you wish to some day?
I haven't done anything official, though I have gone to beach and pool parties to celebrate. Most of the crowd I hang with are pretty chill about that sort of thing now, so we don't usually do much to pay any mind. It would be nice if that changed, but I don't see it happening anytime soon with the way my friends' schedules look these days. For myself, I'll enjoy the extra sun, maybe go out for a walk, and toast the sunset with an eye for the changes to come...
Thanks again so much for having me! I hope you enjoy Forsaken by the Others!
Thank you so much Jess for stopping by <3 It’s always such a pleasure to have you on board!
More about Forsaken by the Others:
The Others–vampires, werewolves, things that go chomp in the night–don’t just live in nightmares anymore. They’ve joined with he mortal world. And for private investigator Shiarra Waynest, that means mayhem…
Have a one night stand with a vampire, and you can end up paying for it for eternity. P.I. Shiarra Waynest, an expert on the Others, knows that better than most. Yet here she is, waking up beside charismatic vamp Alec Royce with an aching head…and neck. Luckily, Shia has the perfect excuse for getting out of town–namely, a couple of irate East Coast werewolf packs who’d like to turn her into a chew toy.
On Royce’s suggestion, Shia temporarily relocates to Los Angeles. But something is rotten–literally–in the state of California, where local vampires are being attacked by zombies. Who could be powerful enough to control them–and reckless enough to target the immortal? Following the trail will lead Shia to a terrifying truth, and to an ancient enemy with a personal grudge…
Previous books in the series:
Jess is offering 2 tour-wide giveaways!
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The author has over 6 years freelance experience in technical writing, editing and screenplays. More recently, this repertoire has expanded to include short stories and a series of urban fantasy novels in progress.