Welcome back to UTC, Amanda! We're so glad to have you! Since your last visit, you released BLOODED, the prequel novella and now FULL BLOODED, the first book in the Jessica McClain series is out. Could you please describe your new Urban Fantasy series for readers?
Thanks for having me back! So happy to be here. The series is about the only female werewolf ever born. It starts out with her shifting and takes off from there. I’m writing a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy. Jessica is surrounded by her extended family and there’s a lot of happy snark involved. I’m hoping readers who love action or romance will both find something to enjoy.
Jessica McClain is smart and sassy. She's a little feisty as well. And I love that in a heroine. How do you balance such important characteristics of her personality so that she is relatable to readers?
I love that it comes across to you that way! My goal with all my writing is to make it as normal as I can. As Jessica weaves her way through the novel, I write the most natural path I can. I often ask myself, “Well, how would I handle this?” She spent twenty-six years as a human and she’s not shedding her persona as she becomes something new. She keeps her integrity and fights hard to stay true to herself.
Okay, I’ll spill. I have a not-so-secret crush on Rourke. What do you think makes him so sexy?
Tattoos! LOL. I definitely made him how I’d want him if I were in Jessica’s shoes. YUM. Jessica needed something unique, not just a Pack member. Rourke had to bring something more to the game and I think he did that. He’s got an air to him that women like. Strong and sexy, but also smart and protective. Who doesn’t like a smokin’ hot smart guy?
How did you celebrate the release of your first full-length novel, FULL BLOODED?
I went out to lunch with one of my best pals and signed books at a local bookstore! Then I went out to dinner with my husband and friends. It was a fantastic day! And it was so damn fun to see my book in print. Amazing!
Can you give us a little teaser from FULL BLOODED please?
I’m not sure what you’re looking for, but how about one of my favorite Jessica lines? “This is your brilliant plan?” I stood knee high in the middle of a swift current, my lovely pantsuit swirling around my legs. “You know, man-eating werewolves aren’t afraid to go swimming. If our trail leads to a river, they won’t hesitate to get in.”
You know I’m already dying for HOT BLOODED, the second book in the Jessica McClain series. What can you tell us about that book?
HOT BLOODED releases this April and it’s all about Jessica’s journey. She’s on a wild ride to find her man, defeat her enemy and figure out who and what she is. So many fun things pop up in this story. It was so much fun to write. I literally had a smile on my face the entire time. Jessica needed some growth and perspective because everything had happened to her so quickly in FULL BLOODED. The reader gets to adjust with her as she figures out what she’s capable of doing with her new life. I also introduce a few new characters.
I think you’re familiar with the fact that I love the girl on your covers! Does she match your description of Jessica? If not, which actress or model do you think fits her?
I think the cover is a great representation. It’s so hard for me to pinpoint the exact physical attributes of Jessica because she’s all these different things in my mind. Casting a movie would be next to impossible for me. I described her features to the Creative Director at Orbit as a young Catherine Zeta Jones, mixed with Jennifer Garner, mixed with Angelina Jolie, mixed with Eva Green (who I adore). I’m sure that was very helpful. I think they captured a great Jessica on the cover. She is sexy as hell.
What is the single most important thing you've learned since releasing your first books?
There’s never enough time in the day. I’ve had a hard time trying to juggle my life to fit the new deadlines. As a writer, you’re at home in your own little world. As an author, the world is a very different place and the expectations for you to be present are huge. I think I’m finally finding a good routine, but I still have trouble separating my home life from my work. When I’m home I always feel the need to work. My kids and husband have been wonderful. It’s been an adjustment for us all, but we’re coping well.
We swap a lot of book recommendations. What is one book and/or series that you think readers should check out?
Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series! I’m reading them right now and I love her world.
Lastly, if you could have a girls night out with any Urban Fantasy heroine, who would you pick and why?
LOL, it would be Jessica McClain for sure! It’s funny you should ask that, because people often ask if my heroine is a part of me or has my personality. The answer is always no. I wrote a heroine I’d love to hang out with—so if I ever had a chance for that to happen, it would be a dream. Jessica all the way! Thanks so much for having me back! You guys are always so much fun. If any readers out there decide to jump in and try the series, I hope you enjoy. Can’t wait to come back in the spring.
8/26: Review at Literary Escapism
8/27: Between Dreams and Reality
8/28: Tyra’s Book Addiction & Tynga’s Reviews: Paranormal Summer Camp Event (BLOODED giveaway — same link)
8/28: Review at Smash Attack Books (Signed ARC of FULL BLOODED giveaway — same link as review)
8/29: Red Hot Books
8/30: Paranormal Cravings & Review by Rabid Reads (BLOODED giveaway + werewolf short story here)
8/31: Review at Vampire Book Club
9/03: Bookaholic Cat (SIGNED ARC giveaway) & Jeanz Book Read N Review (UK)
9/04: The Hyper Monkey & Review at the Qwillery
9/04: The Book Nympho: Double review of BLOODED & FULL BLOODED & (3 ARCs to GIVEAWAY!)
9/04: The Book Obsession: FULL BLOODED review
9/05: Urban Fantasy Investigations interview & Review
9/05: RT MAGAZINE REVIEW + Author Discussion + Excerpt from FULL BLOODED (exclusive)
9/05: UK Review at Falcata Times
9/06: Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks: Interview (TWO signed ARCs here — same link) Review here
9:06: Lovey Dovey Books: Review
9/07: Kindle-aholic’s Book Pile + SIGNED ARC giveaway
9/07: All Things Urban Fantasy: Review
9/08: Gizmo Reviews interview + Review
9/09: Literary Escapism: School is in! (Giveaway of FULL BLOODED e-book)
9/10: Author Faith Hunter’s blog & Paperback Dolls
9/10: Kristen Painter interviews me at ORBIT BOOKS! (Snark ensues)
9/11: RELEASE DAY! Interviewed by Author Amanda Bonilla at Wicked Lil Pixie
9/12: My Bookish Ways + FULL BLOODED giveaway – (International!) + Review
9/13: Smitten with Bad Boy Heroes Top 10 + SIGNED ARC giveaway + Review
9/14: Smexy Books Review & The Reading Cafe Interview + BLOODED giveaway
9/15: Between Dreams and Reality: Top 10 Favorite Fall Things + giveaway for TWO SIGNED BOOKPLATES!
9:15: Talk Supe Review
9/17: My World…in words and pages Interview + (Personalized signed ARC giveaway!) & Review
9/18: All Things Urban Fantasy Interview
9/18: Falcata Times Interview (UK)
9/18: My Keeper Shelf review + GIVEAWAY (Scotland, UK)
9/19: John Scazli’s: The Big Idea & Magical Words: On Querying as a guest of Faith Hunter
9/20: Urban Fantasy Reviews: Review of FULL BLOODED
9/21: She-Wolf Reads Interview
9/22: Frodo’s Blog of Randomness Review
9/24: Short & Sweet Reviews
9/25: Under the Covers
9/26: That’s What I’m Talking about…withTwimom
9/27: Miss Vain’s Paranormal Fantasy
10/1: Book Chick City (UK)
After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.
But not everyone is on board. The werewolf Rights of Laws is missing text and the superstitious werewolves think that Jessica means an end to their race. It doesn’t help when Jessica begins to realize she’s more. She can change partway and hold her form, and speak directly to her wolf. But the biggest complication by far is that her alpha father can't control her like he can the rest of his wolves.
When a mercenary who’s been hired by the vampires shows up to extract information about the newly turned werewolf only days after her change, they find themselves smack in the middle of a war and there's no choice but to run together. When it’s up to Jessica to negotiate her release against her father’s direct orders, she chooses to take an offer for help instead. In exchange, Jessica must now swear an oath she may end up repaying with her life.