Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Interview and Giveaway- Of Fear and Faith by N.D. Jones




What inspired you to become an author?

I began writing because no matter how many romance novels I read or listened to, paranormal or otherwise, I was often left with the feeling of being left out. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that African American love, even in the 21st century, isn’t a part of the popular social media complex. It’s evident in most of the novels in bookstores and libraries, as well as books turned into movies. So I asked myself: Where is my story? Who’s going to tell my story? Then I stopped complaining and decided to write the stories I wanted to read. And maybe, just maybe, people will read my stories and see a bit of themselves and their special love between the pages of my books.


Do you write in different genres?

I always list my books as paranormal romance. But I consider myself a multi-genre writer. That’s one point that often comes out in reviews for “Of Fear and Faith.” Reviewers often mention that the book has suspense, action, horror, as well as romance and paranormal elements. For readers who want more romance and less paranormal, they may be disappointed. For others, they’ve been pleasantly surprised by the mix. I think this multi-genre mix comes out due to my love of fantasy, paranormal, romance novels, as well as superhero comics, anime, and manga. The romance is always there, undergirding the entire story. But I like for my novels to tell an intriguing and engaging story beyond the beauty, as well as the trials and tribulations of falling in love and finding that happily-ever-after.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

I very much enjoy listening to and reading romance novels. But I favor books with more than romance as part of the plot. Paranormal romance allows me to explore the complex mind and heart of my romantic pairings while giving me the opportunity to be wild and inventive. With paranormal elements in my stories, I get to write about different cultures, creatures, and mythologies. I can begin with the “known” elements of shape-shifters and witches, for example, and turn that completely on its head, defying nothing but readers’ preconceived notions.

What books are in your to read pile?

I post my “want to read” and “currently reading” books on Goodreads. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of books by new and independent authors. I’ve been fortunate to find some true jewels on Goodreads. Authors I’ve never heard of before but who weave engaging stories. I have several DC comics on my “want to read” list, such as Black Canary and Cyborg. I also have books on there like Bernard W. Bell’s The Afro American Novel and Its Tradition and Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor’s From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I just finished writing “Of Beasts and Bonds.” It’s the second installment in my Death and Destiny Trilogy. I’m going through the editing process now, making sure, in part, that I haven’t contradicted myself from book one to book two. Which, yes, I’ve found places where I definitely did not align the works as smoothly as I should have. If all goes well, the book will be ready for publication this summer. My working back cover blurb for the new book is:
Mami Wata and Oya are now free from their watery prison and ready to wage a battle five hundred years in the making. Special Agent Assefa Berber and

Dr. Sanura Williams are the prophesized Cat and Fire Witch of Legend. To save the world from Mami Wata, a water goddess with a bloody thirst for power and an insatiable appetite for death and destruction, they must defeat her beasts and the Water Witch of Legend.

Assefa and Sanura are fully in love but possess only a partial mate bond. While Sanura has merged their auras, bonding Assefa’s cat spirit to her, she has yet to accept his claiming bite. Their incomplete mate bond and their new relationship are tested when Mami Wata sets her malevolent eyes on them, manipulating beasts, sacrificing humans, and creating heartache. Can their bond survive, or will they drown under the vicious tide of godly might?

In a world of mystery and magic, sometimes old bonds must be broken before new ones can be formed. Who knew that finding one’s soul mate would test bonds and unleash beasts?


Can you share a little of your current work with us?

My current work is “Of Fear and Faith.” I can share a brief excerpt.

“Hi, I’m Special Agent Assefa Berber. I assume you’re Dr. Williams, the child psychologist and professor.”

Sanura stood and returned the smile. She took the offered hand and shook, trying—futilely—to ignore his unique masculine scent. The scent went straight to all the right places, subtly finding her genetic code and adding his. Impossible. “Yes, it’s nice to meet you, Special Agent Berber. Mike’s told me so much about you.” But not everything. Not nearly.

In fact, Mike complained about the agent incessantly. To hear him tell the story, his “jackass of a captain” maliciously assigned him to work with “an anal retentive, smart-ass upstart from a secret division of the FBI.” But Sanura knew that was Mike-speak for he was young, intelligent, talented, and didn’t put up with the older man’s grumpy ways.

The agent gave Mike a shallow smile and nod. Then his penetrating eyes were back on her, the odd warmth of recognition radiating from him too strong to discount. “Call me Assefa,” he said, upping the wattage of his smile. And, damn, had any man ever smiled at her like that before, all white teeth and unabashed interest?

She returned his smile. How could she not? “Then you must call me Sanura. Only my patients and students call me Dr. Williams.”

By the gods, she tried not to stare, but Sanura couldn’t help but notice how tall he was and how devastatingly attractive he looked in his…Armani suit? With her two-inch heels, Sanura matched his height, making him six feet. She normally removed her pumps as soon as the last student exited the lecture hall, but she’d been in a rush, leaving them on as she made her way across campus and to the faculty parking lot. Now she was pleased she’d forgotten, for the extra lift allowed her to look directly into eyes so brown and luscious they reminded Sanura of chocolate ice cream on a sweltering summer’s day—delicious, cool, and never enough.

Sanura made a quick mental inventory of the shamelessly grinning man. Broad nose and strong chin. Check. Long arms and big hands. Check. Full lips and high cheekbones. Check. Muscular form no suit could mask or do justice. Double check.

And then there was his deep, confident voice and the cultured accent of an intelligent, well-bred man. From northeastern Africa, if her guess was correct. Maybe Ethiopia or the Sudan. They were a heady combination, reminding Sanura of all the reasons why she avoided men like Assefa Berber. Powerful. Relentless. Passionate.

Sanura swallowed. Hard. She’d never considered herself a vain or shallow woman but, damn, the agent knew how to make a fine good first impression.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

I wish I had the money and the time to travel for research, if for no other reason than to get out of the house and away from work. The Internet is a godsend for research. I research everything, even the smallest of details. I can spend 20 minutes, for example, researching men’s shoes or a type of organic soap I want to use in a single sentence. I often laugh at myself when I do something so anal, but the result is worth the time and effort.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The best advice I can give a writer is to be patient with self, perfect their craft, and cultivate grit and perseverance. Above all else, a writer must believe in their capacity to become a great author.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

Oh, I like this question. While I don’t listen to music while I write, recently, I’ve been tossing around the idea of using a few lines from a song or two in my third book of the Death and Destiny Trilogy. For “Of Fear and Faith,” there is a Tamia song that reminds me of Sanura and Assefa as they embark on their new relationship. It’s entitled “Last First Kiss.” These are lyrics to the song and the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_K6I2f1zgU

Can I talk to you for a second?
I just a have a few things, I wanna tell you
Don't be nervous

When it comes to you I wouldn't change a thing
I wouldn't even change the things I could change
'Cause baby you're perfect, perfect to me
Simply means that you are perfect for me

You're the answer to a prayer I haven't prayed
Got me ready to settle down, I think I wanna say
I'm fallin' in love with you, I'm so feeling all of this
Baby, I'm praying that you are

My last first kiss
Baby, won't you be my last time?
Kissin' somebody for the very first time
All my ladies say

Our first time makin' love
Baby, I pray that this is the last time
That I make love too for the very first time
My ladies say

Feel what I'm sayin' hope that you're the last
Somebody to take me home to meet his mom and dad
I hope that it's the last first time I say I love you
Hope that it's the last first time you say you love me too

Don't wanna ever kiss and say goodbye
If you just wanna kick it then you're wasting my time
'Cause my plan is to not just have a hit and quit
My plan is to make you

My last first kiss
Baby, won't you be my last time?
Kissin' somebody for the very first time
All ladies say

Our first time makin' love
Baby, I pray that this is the last time
That I make love too for the very first time
All my ladies say

The first time I kissed you, I just knew it felt right
Then when I'm with you, I'm walking cloud nine
Just being with you makes my whole life shine
Whenever I'm with you, whenever I kiss you

The first time I kissed you, I just knew it felt right
Then when I'm with you, I'm walking cloud nine
Just being with you makes my whole life shine
Whenever I'm with you, whenever I kiss you

My last first kiss
Baby, won't you be my last time?
Kissin' somebody for the very first time
Ladies say

Our first time makin' love
Baby, I pray that this is the last time
That I make love too for the very first time
Ladies say







Of Fear and Faith
Death and Destiny Trilogy
Book 1
N.D. Jones

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Siren-BookStrand Publishing

Date of Publication: July 22, 2014

ISBN: 1632583747
ASIN: B00MTW85Q8

Number of pages: 288
Word Count: 101,566 words

Cover Artist: Harris Channing

Book Description:

Before trust and love can take hold, grow solid roots, and blossom into a reality larger than self, fear must be conquered and faith embraced. Yet fear of an ancient prophecy, of burning magical power, and a broken heart, Sanura Williams, psychology professor, is unprepared when Special Agent Assefa Berber enters her life, hunting a preternatural serial killer. Assefa's intelligent, chocolate eyes and intoxicating aura signature stirs her fire spirit but frightens the woman.

In a world where all is not as it seems, Sanura and Assefa must battle the gods' first creations - vile predators who threaten the safety of humans. Each confrontation, each bloody clash, will bring Sanura and Assefa closer to fulfilling the prophecy of being the Fire Witch and Cat of Legend - the ones who will save humanity from the Water Witch of Legend. Death, godly magic, and physical attraction draw Sanura and Assefa to each other, but fear and faith will determine their destiny.


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Excerpt:

Sanura rushed off the elevator and down a bright corridor with pink, blue, and yellow balloons decorating the walls of the children’s wing, bordering a mural of happy children in a park, the sun above affirming their special place in the world. An illusion, she thought, a beautiful illusion of how life should be for children. The truth, however, rested behind the closed hospital doors, where reality had long since claimed their innocence.

Her heels clicked with each long stride she took, her pace hurried, purposeful. Mike only sought her counsel on cases of a unique nature, counsel that was off the record. And she was late. She hated being late, and Mike would worry. Mike constantly worried. He’d probably already called her mother or Cynthia alerting them to her MIA status.

Sanura made a right onto another colorful corridor. At the end of the glistening hallway sat Mike, cell phone in hand and an all-too-familiar scowl gracing his aging features. As if sensing her presence, he looked up from his phone, and their eyes met. His face softened, reminding Sanura of the soft heart encased within the detective’s tortoise shell of a body.

“I’m sorry I’m late. The beltway was a beast.” She bent to give Mike a heartfelt hug, her long arms circling his taut shoulders.

“It’s all right. I was just beginning to worry about you, but you showed up before I had a chance to call Cynthia.”

“You always worry about me, and I’ll tell you the same thing I told Dad and I tell Mom, I can—”

“Take care of myself,” he finished. “I know, but that won’t stop me from worrying, so you might as well accept it.”
She kissed Mike on the cheek and sat beside him in one of the wooden chairs lining the hallway, conveniently serving as a family waiting area.

“So, tell me about this case of yours, the girl, and what you need me to do.” Sanura leaned back in the chair and crossed her legs, seeking a comfort she knew wouldn’t last once Mike began.

Sanura listened to the detailed, unabridged facts of the case, having already read reports of the slayings in the Baltimore Sun. The gruesome murders headlined every local news program from the early morning news to the eleven o’clock evening news.

She nodded, listening intently to details about Elizabeth Ferrell’s horrific night. While Sanura enjoyed using her training to help Mike, she hated when the case involved children, which didn’t make any sense since she was a child psychologist. Perhaps that was it, she reasoned, as Mike regaled her with one morbid piece of evidence followed by an even more depressing fact. Perhaps it took a person who detested even the thought of an injured child to be such a strong advocate for their rights and protection. Sanura wanted to help those lost souls. No, she needed to help them, free them from their pain, their misery.

So she sat and listened and fought the urge to cover her mouth and squirm in her chair when Mike described the crime scene photos his temporary partner had shown him earlier in the day. And just when she was about to tell him she didn’t need to know the coroner’s findings, a wave of energy slammed into her, shredding her concentration, dissolving all thoughts of the child and the case. The energy rode Sanura hard, forcing her eyes to close, mouth slightly parting, aura open and alert, searching for the source.

Deep breaths, Sanura. Deep, calming breaths.

With embarrassed concentration, she slowly opened her eyes. And a smiling stranger stood before her, a chilled bottle of water in his right hand.

Their eyes met, and another blast of energy assaulted her senses. She didn’t close her eyes this time and refused to look away. No, Sanura simply absorbed the magical energy, opening her senses and pulling the scent to her. It swirled about her, strong but gentle. And while it should have felt strange, as if her body had been invaded by a foreign substance, it simply felt—right.

The man’s eyes widened, almost as much as his nostrils when he inhaled deeply. Still he only stared, gaze unwavering, eyes sparkling with unasked questions. Yeah, she had questions of her own, like, had he experienced the odd sensation too? Sanura didn’t know. But she had felt it, as strongly as she now felt the heat of his gaze roaming her body, slow and sensual, ratcheting up the indescribable energy between them tenfold. Damn.

Mike stood and placed himself between Sanura and the fine stranger with the most tantalizing aura she had ever sensed. Mike faced the man, his head craned up to meet the taller man’s eyes, a snarl seeping through his lips when he said, “We talked about this, remember what I said.”

Frowning, the stranger gave Mike a hard you’re-not-worth-my-time look before gazing over Mike’s shoulder and at her. His smile returned and settled firmly on her still-seated form. Angling from behind her godfather, the stranger extended his right hand.

“Hi, I’m Special Agent Assefa Berber. I assume you’re Dr. Williams, the child psychologist and professor.”


Sanura stood and returned the smile. She took the offered hand and shook, trying—futilely—to ignore his unique masculine scent. The scent went straight to all the right places, subtly finding her genetic code and adding his. Impossible. “Yes, it’s nice to meet you, Special Agent Berber. Mike’s told me so much about you.” But not everything. Not nearly.

About the Author:

N. D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. Having earned a M.A. in Political Science, she is a dedicated educator. She taught high school social studies for nine years. Currently, she is a professional development specialist with a local Maryland school system, working on increasing student achievement through teacher and administrator efficacy. N.D. is also a continuing education student who is pursuing her doctorate in education in Community College Leadership.

A desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, inspired the author to take on the challenge of penning such romantic reads. She is the author of two paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors and Death and Destiny. N.D. likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as comics and manga.







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1 comment:

N.D. Jones said...

Thank you very much for hosting "Of Fear and Faith" on Roxanne's Realm. It's a pleasure to have an opportunity to introduce my novel and share a bit about myself to your wonderful readers. As a thank you, I'll gift any Roxanne's Realm subscriber, who enters the giveaway but does not win, with a complimentary ebook of "Of Fear and Faith."

Sincerely,
N.D. Jones