Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jennfer Shea's BLOOD IN THE STARS || Author Interview || Book Review

What does your writing space look like?

It's just my laptop and wherever I'm sitting.  I don't have a specific space.  I've had ideas pop into my head and find I have nothing to write on and quickly jot things down on my phone.  Sometimes the best lines in my book happen right when I sit down as a passenger in a car.

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing for as long as I could remember.  Before I knew how to write, I used to dictate and my family would write it down in a notebook for me and I would draw in pictures.  I was 16 when I realized I wanted to be a romance novelist when I grew up.  Unfortunately, I was pretty sure that wasn't going to pay the bills.  I completed my first romance novel (a historical) when I was a sophomore in college.  A few years ago, I ventured into urban fantasy.

Do you have a process for coming up with character names and book titles?

Character names mean something to me.  My characters are just like real people and their names need to be something I can relate to, one where I could actually see someone of this appearance and personality be called.  Sometimes I will go look up baby names and their meanings.  Other times, the name comes to me first and the development of the character much later.

My stories tend to have an underlying theme besides the general love story and that tends to dictate what I name it.  For this book, it was actually renamed a few times.  I wanted something that told of danger within the supernatural.

How do you name your characters?

If you look up Daria, you get different meanings depending on the source, but it's generally a feminized version related to truth and goodness.  That embodies what this story is about.  Seeking the truth, finding the good.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three modern conveniences would you take with you?

  1. Plumbing - I need running water and all the sanitation that comes with it
  2. Bed - I would prefer if the pillow, sheets, and blankets were included
  3. While we're at it, why not just throw in a fully-stocked Target? :D

After Daria Mathew’s handsome blind date rescues her from a fire, she realizes she doesn’t want to die without ever finding love. When monsters come for her life, her date turned protector reveals her flesh and blood can grant untold powers. Warm and caring, he saves her countless times and wins her heart. But his motivations are shrouded in a dark past and Daria must fight for his love and for her life.

Jason Angel’s failure to kill led to the death of the last woman he protected and loved. He vows to keep Daria safe no matter the price. As they grow closer, he fears he will repeat his past mistakes and fail to protect her. He is faced with a hard choice―embrace the dark powers of his family to protect Daria, or keep his hands clean and have a chance to claim her love.

But Jason’s family is hiding a horrifying secret about Daria’s powers, one they will do anything to keep safe. For this secret will not only change the balance of power in the realm but also destroy their chances to be together.


Daria sped down the alleyway, eyes scanning the surroundings for a weapon or a door—something, anything to help her. Trash littered the ground, graffiti tainted the walls, and the stench of decay filled the air. But no exit. And nothing large enough to swing at him.
His footsteps quickened behind her and she took a precious second glancing back to see if running merely delayed the inevitable. Her stomach clutched and waves of cold sweat washed over her as she watched looming, black featherless wings spread from John’s back. A thin membrane of skin connected the bony frame like a bat.
His knife-like fingers reached for her. A scream formed in the depths of her lungs, ready to belch out, when she slammed into another brick wall.
Strong arms wrapped around her, before pushing her to the side. She stumbled back, gaping first at the tall silhouette to her left and then at the monster on her right. Cornered. I won’t survive this.


BLOOD IN THE STARS is a paranormal romance novel that takes place in a contemporary setting. Chicago provides a neat backdrop for the story. I easily envisioned the novel's action sequences set against the iconic imagery of the Windy City.

The heroine, Daria Mathews, is an unaware heiress to developing mystic powers. The forces of darkness are out to destroy her but she has a guardian in the form of Jason, the hero. Following ten unsuccessful blind dates over the course of a month, Daria's luck is about to take a turn for the worse. First, her date turns into a winged demon and tries to kill her. The poor woman somehow convinces herself that the attack was nothing but a nightmare. She trusting in what must be the most horrible dating service in the world, she goes out on yet another blind date.  This time she gets trapped in a bathroom and someone sets a supernatural fire.  I initially had trouble connecting with Daria because of the rapid pacing of the first few chapters, but I concluded that she seriously needed to rethink her dating choices! :)

Our hero, Jason, does everything heroes are supposed to do. He comes to the heroine's rescue (more than once) just in the nick of time. He's handsome, powerful, mysterious and a member of an ancient (super-secret) society of paranormal beings. He has a cool sword. He also demonstrates possessive tendencies toward the heroine that made me uncomfortable.  However, the hero and heroine share an immediate attraction and it becomes clear they are meant to be together.  Love scenes have a sweet heat rating.

BLOOD IN THE STARS contains a lot of conflict, including plenty of fight scenes. There are a variety of interesting and frightening monsters to capture the reader's imagination. There were scenes I felt should have been deleted to speed the pacing when it dragged. There are also sections when the author slips into passive voice that should have been caught in editing. Jason's unusual and unusually long-lived family makes up many of the most important secondary characters within the story.  Of them, I found Alastor to be intriguing and wanted to know more about him. The book has the potential to become a really exciting urban fantasy series and I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes us.

Urban fantasy fans who like a lot of action with their romance  will enjoy BLOOD IN THE STARS. Happy reading!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Available for purchase at Amazon.

Author Bio:

Jennifer Shea is the alter ego of another Jennifer, who has been spinning stories in her head for ages.  When she was a child, she didn't know how to write, so she'd have her family write down the stories she dictated while Jennifer drew in the pictures.  For some strange reason, all of her stories had to have a happy ending.  It wasn't until she discovered romances as a teenager did she discover why.  She was a romance reader and novelist at heart.

Jennifer joined RWA in 2001 after completing her first historical romance novel.  She loves a great historical romance and plans to go back and write them again one day.  For now, she is busy writing paranormal romances and urban fantasies with strong romantic elements.  When she isn't writing, she's working on her website, blogging, reading, and daydreaming about her next great hero and heroine.  She lives in Northern California and her day job keeps her busy traveling the world.

Where to find Jennifer Shea on the Internet: 

E-mail: jennifer@jennifersheaauthor.com
Twitter: @jensheaauthor

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for being my guest today on the Snarkology. I really enjoyed reading your book. Do you have any more planned?