Friday, December 7, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Underneath by Jes Young

UFI welcomes Jes Young Author of The Princess of Twilight and Dawn Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

Unlike your average urban fantasy heroine, I will most likely never be the sole obsession of a powerful Fae prince. If I was going to learn to fly by jumping off a bridge into the arms of my adoring vampire husband, I’d probably be wearing something boring like jeans and a pair of Chuck Taylors, instead of thigh high boots and a leather coat. We don’t have much in common, but it’s the differences between my life and theirs that make these women so fun to read about. When I read, I want the adventure and danger and inappropriate footwear that have no place in my real life.

When I started writing the Princess of Twilight and Dawn series, I discovered that if reading about urban fantasy heroines is fun, writing about them is even better. Every day, when I sit down at my desk, I get to play with magic and danger and power. I get to go on an adventure with a brave Elvish princess and a swoon-worthy prince. And I get to make them kiss whenever I want. (Greetings from my inner control freak.) The best part though has been writing Tab’s transformation from someone who hides from the monsters into someone who stands up to them. Making that chance, in a way that seemed believable, was a challenge in the best possible sense. I tried to make her a mix of the things I love about my favorite kick-ass heroines and the things I love about my friends. She’s brave and funny and loyal and smart and, after a while, she learns to wield a sword, throw a knife, and rock a pair of stilettos. 

My Top 5 Urban Fantasy Heroines:

5. Sookie Stackhouse from the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris: A sentimental favorite. Sookie makes the list because these were the first urban fantasy books I ever read. “Don’t you just hate nights like that, when you think over every mistake you’ve made, every hurt you’ve received, every bit of meanness you’ve dealt out? There’s no profit in it, no point to it, and you need sleep.” 

4. Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series by Kim Harrison: She’s sort of adorably bumbling, isn’t she? I love that about her. “Most of the upper management of I.S. were undead. I always thought it was because the job was easier if you didn't have a soul.” 

3. Cat Crawfield from the Night Huntress series by Jeannine Frost: Cat has a certain snarky charm that I can’t resist, but it’s because of how nicely its balanced by vulnerability that I love her. “Oh, Dracula as well, Annette? I guess if Frankenstein and the Wolf Man were real, they'd already have double-teamed you.” At 

2. Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: Aside from the whole turning into a coyote thing, Mercy seems like a regular person to me. She’s tough but not invincible. “His arms closed around me, pressing flesh painfully hard against bone. Love hurts like that sometimes.”

1. MacKayla Lane from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning:  In a lot of ways, Mac was the inspiration for my character Tab. She’s in over her head, she’s soft, and she’s not tough enough to survive—until events change her and suddenly she is. “Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything. They make you feel so alive that you'd follow them straight into hell, just to keep getting your fix.”

So that’s my top five. I’d love it if you’d stop by the comments on your way out to tell me yours, say hello, or ask me a question. Thanks for reading!

After graduating from Emerson College with a BFA in creative writing, Jes Young was a copywriter at Random House (Ballantine Books and Crown Publishing Group) for nearly ten years. Currently she is the development manager of a small non-profit and the mother of two children under the age of ten. Her writing is done primarily between the hours of 11 p.m and 3 a.m.

Find Jes and her books

Princess of Twilight and Dawn #2

 Six months ago, when her long-hidden heritage came to light, Tab Bennett reluctantly let go of her past and embraced her future as an Elvish princess on the cusp of her gifts and the edge of her destiny. She never wanted a fairy tale life, but as the daughter of the Dark King and the Light Queen, that’s exactly what she got.

Raised in exile away from the kingdom of the Inbetween, Tab has never even met the parents who ruined her life. Her mother is dead, but Tab’s father, Daniel, is alive and well, the mad ruler of the kingdom of the Underneath. He’s made it clear he wants to meet her and now that she knows all the sadness and heartache in her life can be traced directly to the Dark king’s door, Tab wants to meet him too. After all, it's because of him that the first twenty-five years of her life were a lie. It’s his fault she gave her heart to Robbin when she should have been saving it for Alex, the prince who is destined to be her Homecoming. But, most importantly, King Daniel is the one responsible for her mother’s suicide and her sisters’ murders.

Now Tab wants justice – but she’ll settle for revenge and Finnegan Blackthorn, an Elvish warrior with secrets of his own, is going to help her get it. Together, they’ll embark on the dangerous journey to her father’s stronghold in the kingdom Underneath. Once she's there, far away from the Light in which she was raised, Tab will be forced to confront the seductive nature of Darkness and her own potential to truly become her father’s daughter

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