Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade #2) by Jennifer Estep

Something Wicked This Way Comes...
As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there's no escaping the spotlight—or the danger.


Something Wicked This Way Comes...

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there's no escaping the spotlight—or the danger.

Even though he's my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what's supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious "accidents," it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt.

As if I didn't have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone's going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing's for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else...


1. You have written already four series, Adult and Young Adult, all urban fantasy or paranormal. What do you do to keep the stories fresh and new and to maintain the readers’ attention? 
JE: I’ve written four series – Black Blade, Mythos Academy, Elemental Assassin, and Bigtime – and more than 20 books, along with several e-novellas and short stories. Whenever I sit down to write a new book, I always think about what I can do that I haven’t done before, especially when it comes to the heroine, her magic, and how she uses it to defeat the bad guys. I also try to take readers to new places that they haven’t been before in my books and introduce new characters, both good guys and bad guys, along the way. I think doing those things helps keeps the books fresh for me as a writer and hopefully for readers too. 

2. Why all your main heroes are girls and what they have in common except that they are not damsels in distress? 
JE: I’ve always enjoyed reading books with strong heroines, and those are the kind of heroines that I like to write about in my own books. I try to give all my heroines their own unique personalities and skills, and there are things that I like about all of them. Mostly, though, I just enjoy writing about strong, smart, clever heroines who have these amazing powers and adventures and always manage to figure out a way to save the day. 

3. The heroine is a thief. What are your preferred features of an anti-hero and where Lila stands? 
JE: Lila Merriweather is a 17-year-old thief who lives in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, a town dubbed “the most magical place in America.” Tourists come from around the world to tour all the magic-themed shops and attractions, as well as see monsters like tree trolls, copper crushers, and more in their natural habitats. 

Lila has a Talent for sight, along with transference magic — in other words, magic makes her stronger. To survive, she does odd jobs for her pawnbroker friend. Lila also does her best to stay off the grid and avoid the Families — or mobs — who control much of the town. But when she saves a member of the Sinclair Family during an attack, Lila finds herself caught in the middle of a brewing war between the Sinclairs and the Draconis, the most powerful Family in town. 

So Lila is definitely a bit of an anti-hero, but she still has a good heart, and she’ll do anything to protect the people that she cares about. I like writing about anti-heroes because they can have both good and bad qualities, and it’s fun for me as a writer to show both sides of them. I think it’s always more interesting when your character is a mix of good and bad, rather than being purely good or purely evil. 

4. Why do you have chosen to use that whole blades inventory in your stories? Have they any special significance? 
JE: I have used swords and knives in three of my series – Black Blade, Mythos Academy, and Elemental Assassin. They don’t have any special significance, but I think that using swords, knives, etc. makes my stories and definitely my fight scenes more interesting than if I’d used some other kinds of weapons. Plus, it was really fun to come up with Vic, the talking sword in my Mythos Academy series. I don’t think Vic would have been nearly as interesting if he’d been a bow, staff, or some other sort of weapon. 

5. What is harder to avoid in your Fantasy stories? 
JE: Since I’ve written so many books now, it’s definitely a challenge to think of magic, creatures, monsters, and other fantasy things that I haven’t used or written about before. But it’s always a fun challenge to come up with something new and different for readers to hopefully enjoy. 

About the author:
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER'S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER'S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, and WIDOW'S WEB. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available. 


DEADLY STING, the eighth book, is set to be released on March 26, 2013.
Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.

Books in the series are TOUCH OF FROST, KISS OF FROST, and DARK FROST. CRIMSON FROST, the fourth book, is set to be released on Dec. 24, 2012.

FIRST FROST, a prequel e-story to the series, is available as a download. HALLOWEEN FROST, an e-short story, is available in the ENTANGLED e-anthology.

Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series. Books in the superhero-themed series are KARMA GIRL, HOT MAMA, JINX, and NIGHTINGALE. A KARMA GIRL CHRISTMAS, an e-story, is also available.

Excerpts, free short stories, and more information on Jennifer's books can be found HERE.

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