Yes, I’m on cp time with this blog post, and to the author and tour host, I sincerely apologize. But good things come to those who wait, and I am personally psyched about this story. Why? Because it’s an African American paranormal romance. And they are hella rare which makes them all the more special. N.D. Jones is a new author to me, and after the deets on her latest, Of Fear and Faith, peep out my lil Q&A. And then add this book to your TBR. Better yet, click it up!
Death and Destiny Trilogy 1
Of Fear and Faith
By N.D. Jones
Genre: African-American, Contemporary, Fairy Tales/Myths, Paranormal, Shape-shifter
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.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/g_QvkLjHEIo
N.D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. While she likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as action-packed comics, she enjoys writing love stories with three-dimensional and positively depicted characters of color.
On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Pe9JKj
On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1SWcgyF
On Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1QYqOfL
Musings of a Romance Junkie: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
N. D. Jones: Until a few years ago, I never gave professional writing a thought, beyond my academic writing. As a child, I wanted to become a lawyer. Then, when I was accepted into law school I decided not to go, seeking my M.A. in Political Science instead. Eventually, I entered the teaching profession, which I love. Writing came much later.
MRJ: How did you come up with the story idea for Of Fear and Faith?
N.D. Jones: I read a lot of paranormal romance novels and comic books. I also read fanfiction. The quality of those stories run the gambit, but fanfiction writers love the characters they write about and are a loyal fan base, which I respect. For a while, I also wrote fanfiction, which was pretty cool. One of the stories I brainstormed had to do with witches, shapeshifters, and African gods. I considered writing an alternate universe story with one of my favorite comic book couples as the hero and heroine of my paranormal romance. This is the thing, I owned none of the characters I so loved crafting stories about and I was spending a lot of time on a hobby that could so easily be turned into something more productive and personal. So I decided to create my own characters, using my brainstormed idea of a witch-were-cat romance and an ancient prophecy as the starting point for my first full-length novel. From there, the story evolved into a mammoth manuscript that I eventually divided into three parts. Hence, the Death and Destiny Trilogy.
MRJ: Do you only write paranormal romance or do you consider yourself a multi-genre writer?
N.D. Jones: 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, under-girding 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.
MRJ: Do you write full-time?
N.D. Jones: No, I’m not a full-time writer. I have the pleasure of working for a local system where I plan and facilitate professional learning opportunities for school-based and central office teachers, staff, and administrators. I fit writing in on a part-time basis, using my evenings and weekends.
MRJ: How has the audience reception been towards Of Fear and Faith? There are very few dedicated AA paranormal romances on the market today.
N.D. Jones: Until recently, I haven’t taken the time to really market the novel. I’m doing a lot more of that now and learning so much along the way. I’ve found that most readers enjoy the book, particularly paranormal and fantasy romance lovers. But I’ve also received great reviews from people who don’t traditionally read books like “Of Fear and Faith.” I value such reviews because those readers stepped out of their reading comfort zone and tried my book, not quite sure what they were getting themselves into. And no, there aren’t many dedicated African American paranormal romances on the market, which is, in large part, why I write the stories that I do. I assume, if I want to read such stories then others do as well.
MRJ: Who are some of your writing influences?
N.D. Jones: I could list writers whose works I read and enjoy, but I wouldn’t say they influenced my writing. No, I take that back. Going back to the previous point about a lack of African American paranormal romance authors, I can see how the works of some of my favorite authors have definitely influenced my writing. Influenced in the sense of African Americans being virtually absent in their novels, particularly as the hero and heroine. “Black love” is so rarely represented in romance novels, regardless of the subgenre. I can and do enjoy novels with all types of characters. But as an African American woman married to an African American man, I think it’s important to write novels with Africans and/or African Americans as romantic leads.
MRJ: Who were your inspirations, if any, for the story? If you could cast this series for a movie, who would the actors be?
N.D. Jones: Such a great question. And wouldn’t it be great if someone, maybe Spike Lee, wanted to have my book made into a movie? Okay, a girl can dream. And while I’m dreaming, Oprah Winfrey’s Network would be a great place for my book turned television movie. As for who would play them? I don’t know, maybe two talented, up-and-coming actors who fit the physical profile of Assefa and Sanura. Many YA and teen books that have been turned into movies starred new or barely-known but talented actors. I would love that for my novel. Here’s to dreams.
MRJ: What else can we expect from N. D. Jones for 2016?
N.D. Jones: 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. 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?
Thank you N.D.! It’s always lovely to meet new authors and discover new works. I look forward to reading Of Fear and Faith. Don’t forget to check out the trailer and add to your TBR today!