Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clinton and Stacy go to the Demons

posted by Nancy

Jessica Andersen, a bestselling RITA and RT nominee and the author of more than 20 Intrigues and Nightkeeper novels, returns to the Lair with her latest hot Nightkeepers installment, Demonkeepers! I particularly like this hero, Lucius. He started out as a somewhat fanatical grad student, a scholar with an archaeological bent, as Jessica will explain in more detail. In this book, he comes into his own as a man of action, someone capable of taking the lead, not just taking direction, and finds the love of his life. Welcome, Jessica! Tell us about Lucius.

The other day on Smart Bitches, an emailer asked for help finding the author and title of a certain book that included an ‘ugly duckling leaves town, grows into a swan, and comes back years later to win the team captain’ plotline.

The request spawned a debate in the comment trail, with some posters admitting to a deep and abiding love for makeover plots, while others gagged at the thought of trying to relive high school or argued that team captains tended to age badly (paraphrasing- lol).

I thought the debate was interesting, not the least because my new release, Demonkeepers, is in part a male makeover story, paranormal-style. So I figured I would bring the discussion over here to the Banditas. (Thanks for having me here today, Nancy and company!)

In the first three Nightkeeper books, we see Lucius as a too-tall, somewhat awkward guy who wants to be more than his human self, and regularly makes his Mayan-studies coworkers do eyerolls over his belief that the 2012 doomsday—and mankind’s mythical Nightkeeper protectors—are real.

In Nightkeepers, he falls under the influence of a Mayan demon that spurs him to betray his mentor and steal an ancient scroll. This demonic weakness plagues him, causing him to do Very Bad Things until the demon is finally exorcised in Skykeepers.

During this exorcism, Lucius gains magic and acquires most of the mass and strength of a Nightkeeper male (i.e. check out the drool-worthy cover at the bottom!), becoming the beefy hunk he’s always wanted to be. But when he’s paired with Jade, the magic-wielding one-night stand he never forgot, he quickly figures out that a paranormal makeover didn’t solve his problems … in fact, it created a few new ones.

While I’ll confess to having a certain weakness for Biggest Loser and What Not To Wear, I’m not usually all that big on makeover stories, and the whole ‘ugly duckling returns home a swan and wins the team captain she always had a crush on’ thing typically makes me twitch. Trust me, when most of the guys in my graduating class friended me on Facebook the day I posted my (heavily Photoshopped) author photo—after having ignored and/or tormented my awkward nerdling self throughout high school—my life didn’t change noticeably.

So when Lucius’s story started gelling on the page, I thought long and hard before I went in the direction he was taking me. But then I started writing and an interesting thing happened: The old, extremely brave yet occasionally awkward Lucius started coming through stronger and stronger as the story progressed. Eventually, I realized that Demonkeepers wasn’t really about his makeover, it was about him and Jade learning to trust each other again while coping with change, pressure, expectations … and the threat that the world will go dark if they don’t break the sun god out of the underworld.

So I guess that’s my take-home: I can get behind the makeover plotline if the character’s growth doesn’t happen simply because he or she looks better and is more confident. Which isn’t to say I have anything against looking good (whatever your definition of the term!) and being confident … it’s that I want the physical improvements to be the cherry on my romantic sundae, not the banana on the bottom.

Er … so to speak. LOL.

Here's a prequel:

Last night

“It’s just not working. He can’t do it by himself.” Strike’s voice on the phone was digital-clear. Still, it took Jade a moment to pull her brain out of I’m-studying-hieroglyphs mode and put it into I’m-a-Nightkeeper mode.

Especially since, despite her ancestry, the whole magic-wielding-warrior thing had never fit her all that well.

As her brain processed Strike’s words, the walls of her borrowed office in the university’s Mayan Studies department got a little closer and the clay figurine she’d been working on seemed to stare at her a little harder, as if wondering what the hell she was going to do next.

Good question.

“I’ll do it.” For a second she thought Strike had said the words. Then she realized she had. Gulp.

The Nightkeepers’ leader seemed to catch her inner oh, crap. “You don’t have to.” But he didn’t say they would think of something else. The magi had already tried everything else, and they were running out of time.

If Lucius was going to connect to the magic, it needed to happen tomorrow. And since the magi had tried every spell, sacrifice, and uplink known to Nightkeeper-kind, they were down to their last real option: sex magic.

“Don’t worry about me. I can handle it.” The churn low in her stomach suggested otherwise, but she ignored it. “Been there, done him.”

Not that her and Lucius’s previous wham-bam was making this conversation any easier—exactly the opposite, in fact. But she wasn’t about to mention that part to Strike. The Nightkeepers needed what they needed … and so did she.

“If you’re sure …”

“I’m sure. Period, end of sentence.”

“Then I’ll pick you up tomorrow afternoon.”

“It’s a date.” Which was true, except that her date didn’t have a clue she was coming.
Jade disconnected and dropped the phone back down beside the clay figurine, which now seemed to be wearing a look of are you sure this is a good idea?

“It’ll be fine,” she said, not sure if she was talking to herself or the little clay person. “It’s just sex magic.” Or in this case, friends-with-benefits magic.
What could go wrong?


… To find out how much does go wrong, pick up Demonkeepers from Signet Eclipse!

So tell me … where do you stand on makeover books, particularly paranormals? Got one you’d like to recommend?

All comments are entered to win a signed copy of Demonkeepers today on Romance Bandits! I’ll be checking in throughout the day, so stop by and say ‘hey’!

For more information on Demonkeepers and the other Nightkeeper novels, please check out www.JessicaAndersen.com

Demonkeepers is in stores now! Woot ☺ (I’m never sure how to punctuate happy faces … should there be a period after that?)

87 comments:

Virginia said...

Come to my my Golden one

Virginia said...

Sorry I can't type tonight, I wanted to say Come to Me My Golden One! I think I need to go to bed!

I kind of like the make over stories every now and then, depends on the mood. I switch around a lot in my reading! Right now I can't thing of a paranormal make over story but if I think of one I will come back later! Your books sounds fantastic and I can't wait to read it!

Blodeuedd said...

I like them , if they are done right. But the ones where she, or he, is a tiny little ugly grey mouse and siddenly transforms into a goddess or god just annoys me

Kim in Hawaii said...

OK, Virginia, why are you awake so early in the morning? It is 8:40 pm in Hawaii (2:40 EST). You (and your die-hart competitors) must be some sort of Nighkeepers!

Thanks, Jessica, for the back-story on your series, including your newest hero, Lucius!

Regarding "makeover books", I recommend Lynsay Sands' Single White Vampire. The vampire hero, Lucern, documents his family's history (including his parent's love story) and become a romance author. His female editor, who he has never met, convinces him to attend the Romantic Times' Booklovers' Convention. In the end, love "makes over" both hero and heroine.

But this is a great book to read this month as RT Booklovers' Convention opens its doors in Columbus on April. Lynsay's book is a comical tribute to the convention's mayhem. In one scene, Lucern's blood bag is late, so he eyes the veins on Lady Barrow (aka Kathryn Falk, CEO of RT). Rest assured, the blood bag arrived just in time to save Lady Barrow's neck (and Kathryn loved the story line).

Happy reading day or night!

Minna said...

I agree with Blodeuedd. They are great when they are done right, but EXTREME transformations get to be a bit too unbelievable after a while, even in fiction.

Back to the Future Tribute -- Back In Time
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8Rngy90Q14

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Jessica. I'm a fan of the makeover plot in movies and books, but can't think of one in paranormals. I do agree about the character's growth not being just because of he or she is now attractive.

Congrats on the GR, Virginia.

flchen1 said...

Jessica, I completely agree--I like the whole plain-Jane winning theme, but not if it's because she was actually gorgeous all along and the fairy godmother (or haircut or best friend) just revealed that to the world. I prefer it when it's mostly that people get to know her, and her inner beauty shines through. I'm intrigued by the male makeover in your latest--congrats, and looking forward to Lucius!

Congrats on the GR, Virginia! Does he need a new look? ;)

Helen said...

Congrats Virginia what do you have planned for him today?

I loved reading about Lucius and this books sounds excellent I haven't read a lot of paranormals and I don't know any about make overs but I love the sound of how you have built Lucius and Jades's characters and their need to trust for me this is a very important part of a releationship.

Congrats on the release Jessica and thanks Nancy for inviting Jessica today.

Have Fun
Helen

Caren Crane said...

Virginia, way to snag the GR!!

Jessica, welcome back to the Lair! I will admit to loving makeover stories and I am guilty of writing more than a few. Not that I think it's the be-all and end-all, but it is symbolic of larger growth for a character.

I tend to write about women going through or overcoming a tough time in life, so the makeover serves as some empowerment for them. Doing something for themselves after spending years doing for others.

I am NOT a fan of winning the team captain's heart or whatever, for the reasons you stated in your post. I absolutely HATED the ending of 'Pretty In Pink' because OF COURSE she should have been with Ducky! The rich guy was a conformist ass and we all knew he did not deserve her!

So, I think a makeover story can be a powerful one, but must also be logical and make sense for the made-over character. Your book sounds fabulous!

Kristan said...

I too love those makeover shows, Jessica! Have fantasies of Nick Arrojo cutting my hair...As for the purpose of the makeover in books, I've done a few of those but never with the results that the heroine wanted. Because you're right! It's always the inner transformation that's truly appealing.

Love your books!

cait045 said...

My favorite "makeover" book was Sherrilyn Kenyon's Unleash the Night. Wren is maded over through the course of the book because he falls in love with Marguerite. He cuts his dreads out, buys new clothes, and smiles. Thats a good believable transformation.

Marnee said...

I loved the first Nightkeeper books. I can't wait to read this one. :)

I admit to liking makeover stories. I can't help it. But it's got to be with some character growth too. That they realize that fixing what's on the outside isn't as important as what's on the inside.

Toni Lea Andrews said...

I'm a sucker for a good makeover plot. And I love the series. So I'm sure this book is going to work for me!

Kirsten said...

Hi Jessica! Thanks for stopping by the Lair!

You know, it's funny but I've never read a paranormal makeover story before. LOL. Great idea, though! Interestingly, I realized as you were describing your book that makeover stories I like best don't usually involve an actual physical change. It's really more about rearranging what's already there. The heroine takes off her glasses, gets a new hairdo, and wears different clothes. It's really more about changing her confidence and sense of her sex appeal than it is about a physical transformation.

So...since you've got a real physical transformation, it would be fascinating to work through what the emotional change would be as a result. I would agree with you 100% that it's got to be the emotional stuff that really changes. It can't just be a physical change that drives a relationship.

Great topic -- can't wait to get the book!

Kirsten said...

Caren -- I agree 100%. Duckie was robbed. Stupid ending.

Jessica Andersen said...

Hi all! (waves) Thanks for hanging out with me today, and talking demons, makeovers, and whatever else strikes our fancies :)

@ Virginia-- Congratulations on zee rooster!

@ Blodeuedd (had to retype that one a few times- is it 'u before e except after d'? LOL) I'm with you. Not only are those stories annoying, I get twitchy over the value system being portrayed.

@ Kim-- LOLOL on the description... okay, you got me. Will go hunt up a copy. I'll call it research for the end of the month :)

@ Minna-- Okay, so the transformation to a 'better you' is workable, but not that to a 'whole new you.' I can see that!

@ Jane-- Thanks for the congrats, good luck in the drawing!

@ Fedora-- LOLOL on the idea of a GR makeover. Hmmm... mohawk, anyone?

@ Helen-- Thanks for the good wishes, and I'm glad Jade and Lucius sound interesting! I try very hard to make these stories work not just as paranormals, but as lovestories :)

@ Caren-- Verrry nice post, thank you. I love the idea of the makeover-as-empowerment, especially in the 'doing for herself' side of things. And, yeah -- poor Ducky. At least Some Kind of Wonderful (right?) got that one right!

@ Kristan-- Ahhh ... I'm liking the idea of the makeover-gone-wrong (or rather, 'gone right, but not with the results the h/H expected.' It's the twists that make them more than just pretty = happy (shudders).

@ Cait-- Thanks for the recommendation. That makeover sounds very organic and believable. (And sexy and romantic, which is always a huge plus!!)

@ Marnee-- Thanks for the props on the books! If you like Nightkeepers and makeovers, this one's for you :)

@ Toni-- I like being a win-win early in the a.m. (okay, it's not that early, but I made the mistake of turning off the alarm, figuring I'd be up around six like usual-- NOT!). Thanks for the shout out!

Karen said...

I've been waiting for his story :)
I love this series and was thrilled when my copy arrived two days ago.

Christie Kelley said...

Jessica, welcome back to the lair. I have to admit I like a makeover story that is does well. Although, I can't think of any paranormals with that theme right now.

Your book sounds great!

Nancy said...

Virginia, congrats on the GR! I hope you're going to keep him busy.

Let us know if you think of a makeover story. I think you'll like this one.

Nancy said...

Blodeuedd, it's hard to buy those sudden and so extremely dramatic changes, isn't it? Sometimes characters have a personality change that's drastic, too, and I feel the same way about that.

Nancy said...

Kim, thanks for stopping in and making the suggestion. :-)

CrystalGB said...

Hi Jessica. I like makeover books. I love it when a person who is considered an ugly duckling wows everyone with his/her transformation. I love your books. :)

Nancy said...

Minna, I'm also in the "no abrupt" club on transformations. What I like about Lucius's change is that it does come about slowly. He grows through the books and, by this one, has come into his own.

Nancy said...

Hi, Jane--I'm not thinking of a paranormal transformation story, either, but I'd put the whole class of ones where the hero or heroine discovers a paranormal ability and learns to use it, changing his or her life for the better, would qualify. I know I've read them, but I'm blanking on titles.

Nancy said...

Fedora, I like actual change as opposed to revealed change better, too. Although I'm intrigued if the character doesn't recognize his or her own appeal because of some emotional trauma or other situations.

Nancy said...

Hi, Helen--Glad you enjoyed Jessica's post. I loved the way Lucius and Jade's relationship developed.

Nancy said...

Hi, Caren--Internal makeovers, for me, "make" the external ones. Tawny's wonderful Risque Business features a makeover, but the heroine's internal change, which grows out of the confidence she acquires from the external alterations, is what made me love the book.

Also, the hero was hot. :-)

One of the things I liked about Demonkeepers is that Lucius's internal growth is even bigger than the external change. It's a real makeover, not just window dressing.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hey, Jess! Good to see you here today -- you and all those lovely, yummy covers. :)

I'll admit that I tend to love makeover stories, but I like the makeovers to be internal as well as external. That's why I like The Biggest Loser. Not only are the people getting healthy and fit, they're also confronting all the emotional issues and external forces that caused them to gain all the weight in the first place. They're prolonging their lives and making them happier in the process.

Nancy said...

Kristan, the haircut would be the hardest part of the makeover for me. I usually like what Nick does, but I'm hyper about my haircut (especially the need to be low maintenance). Weird, huh? But I do love "What Not to Wear," and I do enjoy Nick.

Nancy said...

Cait045, I loved Wren's book, too. A lot of characters who encounter the DarkHunters grow, and I think that's what makes a book, the internal growth.

Nancy said...

Marnee, I agree with you about the internal changes. That's one reason I love the Nightkeepers so much--the characters grow and change. Lucius's changes are just a bit more dramatic than some. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Toni--Thanks for stopping by!

Nancy said...

Hi, Jessica--I'm still out of town but will be popping in during the day. I just really love this book. Of course, you know I love all the Nightkeepers.

Nancy said...

Hi, Kirsten--I agree about the internal makeover trumping the external one. :-)

Nancy said...

Karen, I love this story! I think it will live up to expectations. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Christie--Have I mentioned I love your book cover? Looking forward to the book.

Nancy said...

Hi, Crystal--I love these books, too. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Trish--I know from my own experience with weight loss counseling that the internal issues have to be addressed, too, of the project won't succeed.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Jessica! Welcome back to the Lair! I'm just popping out of the cave to say howdy.

Virginia, congrats on the Rooster!!

Okay, back to the mess in progress...

Minna said...

Nancy, I can buy abrupt transformation only if the hero or heroine has gotten a blow to his/her head or has had a near death experience.

PJ said...

Hi Jessica! I'm looking forward to reading your series. I've been buying the books but trying to hold out so I can read them all at once. I may have to re-think that strategy. *g*

I like make-over stories if they are written well and involve changes that enhance the character's natural features instead of changing them. For me though, it's the internal "package" that's more important than the external. If a guy only wants me after I've lost 50 pounds and changed my hair color to blonde then he's not worth it.

Di R said...

Jessica~

I'm so glad that Lucius grows into who he was always meant to be.

This is one of the best series, it keeps getting better and better.

Di

jo robertson said...

Great interview, Nancy and Jessica and welcome back to the Lair, Jessica. It's always a pleasure to have you; your Nightkeepers books are so intriguing!

Congrats on capturing the rooster, Virginia. Anything special planned for the golden one today?

Make-over stories are very tricky, I think. If not executed well, they seem shallow and unfulfilling. But, as you say, Jessica, when the change is about inner growth and confidence, this I do like them.

MsHellion said...

I. LOVE. THESE. BOOKS.

I like makeover stories--I'm all about the girl getting hot and knocking the arrogant guy on his tush, but I don't want the girl with the football captain. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Mainly because I have high school people friending me on Facebook too and I'm like, "We were never friends! You were a hateful BLEEP who BLEEPing BLEEPED BLEEP BLEEP." And I click ignore.

But if it's a next door neighbor who never paid attention--and certainly never humiliated her in high school, then sure. OR if she gets a makeover, she stomps the Captain in the dirt, and then runs off with the class nerd, who also looks hot and awesome now. That works for me.

jo robertson said...

Just wanted to add that it's strange that MOST real-life stories, I imagine, are make-over stories. We all grow out of that awkward insecurity of adolescence as we mature and achieve accomplishments in the grown up world. And, yes, the football types often do grow fat and bald LOL.

But we don't read our stories for reality, right?

Louisa Cornell said...

Good for you, Virginia. No makeover for the GR. He thinks he's perfect as he is!

Hi, Jessica! I do love these books because NOBODY does Mayan mythology and mystery like you do.

And your heroes are always so HOT !!

I love a makeover story and for some reason a makeover of a guy is just so appealing.

I'm another Sherrilyn Kenyon fan who loves the makeovers she does on her heroes when it comes to love taking a guy out of his comfort zone to become who he was always meant to be. Valerius in Seize the Night ? SIGH!

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

Hi Jessica and Nancy!

I don't mind makeover stories if the person's character also grows and deepens.
Usually it's the woman who undergoes the makeover (at least,in some I have read) how refreshing that it is the male in your book, oh yikes that cover! *drool*

Nancy said...

Hi, Jeanne--

Looking forward to the day you emerge to stay. :-)

Nancy said...

Minna wrote: I can buy abrupt transformation only if the hero or heroine has gotten a blow to his/her head or has had a near death experience.

Love it!

Nancy said...

Hi, PJ--I'm hoping there will be lots more of these books, and I think I remember Jessica saying there'll be at least several, when she guested with us once, so you might want to re-think. :-)

Nancy said...

Di, I heartily agree with you about this series. :-)

Nancy said...

Ms. Hellion wrote: OR if she gets a makeover, she stomps the Captain in the dirt, and then runs off with the class nerd, who also looks hot and awesome now. That works for me.

LOL! Cool image!

Nancy said...

Hi, Jo--I'm happy to say I've rarely read books with shallow characters, but on those occasions, that's a deal-breaker unless I've read so many of that author's books that this one seems like just a blip.

Nancy said...

Hi, Louisa--I also think guy makeovers are intriguing, and they seem to be much rarer.

Nancy said...

Hi, Karyn--Most of the makeover stories I've read are about the heroine, too. The hero makes a nice change, I think.

Cassondra said...

Hellion said:

I don't want the girl with the football captain. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Mainly because I have high school people friending me on Facebook too and I'm like, "We were never friends! You were a hateful BLEEP who BLEEPing BLEEPED BLEEP BLEEP." And I click ignore.


YES! This is me!!!! I could not have said it better!

Virginia, WOOOOOOOOOOT on the GR!

Okay I have not read the article yet, but I'm going there now. Just couldn't resist responding to this comment.

MsHellion said...

I'm not bitter or anything about high school and all. I'm fine.

Joan said...

Hey Jessica!

I've been waiting for Lucius' story forever! I've been drawn to him since his first appearance. Hope he doesn't suffer too much blood loss....if so, I know a nurse who can give him a transfusion :-)

How was your visit to Radcliff this past weekend? Sorry I couldn't make it..I was immersed in mulch (literally)

PJ said...

Nancy, Jessica is guesting with us today too. She posted that she plans nine books and at least one novella for the series so I'm thinking I may want to just go ahead and take the plunge. ;-)

Jessica Andersen said...

@ Kirsten-- Yes, the aspect of there being an actual physical transformation was a bit tricky for me, as I didn't want to fall back on 'he's always wanted to be a hunk, so now that he is, everything's fine.'

Instead, he gets to a point where he starts wondering about Jade's feelings for him, and why she was so set on them being 'friends with benefits' back when he was the 'old Lucius', but now that he's big and buff, she's hinting that she wants more.

He knows it's hypocritical, but it all keeps feeding back into the realization that it's not about physical growth, it's about figuring out who he is, what he wants, and what he can bring to the table as a warrior and a mate.

@ Karen-- Thanks so much for loving the series! I hope you have a great time with Jade and Lucius. And drooling over the cover art. (Or is that just me? LOL)

@ Christie-- Thank you, it's great to be back with you guys!

@ Nancy-- Hi! (waves) Thanks so much for having me on today :)

@ Crystal-- Thanks for the shout out! I'll put you in the 'definitely yes' category in our informal makeover poll!

@ Trish-- Hey lady! Great to 'see' you too :) Yep, I'm a Biggest Loser fan, especially as I have this horrible guilt to be sitting on my butt, eating something while watching it. So I'm usually forced to pull out the mini-stepper or do some situps or something while watching it. LOL.

@ Jeanne-- LOLOL on the mess in progress. Yep. I've got one of those calling my name. Thanks for de-lurking to say hi!

@ Minna-- Ah, like the 'Regarding Henry' (that's the one I'm thinking of, right?) transformation? Yes, that's a good vehicle for abrupt changes. It's acutally one I used in an Intrigue last year (Internal Affairs).

In it, a cop returns from the dead and teams back up with his ex. As they work to foil a terrorist plot, she's falling for him all over again, but doesn't for a moment trust that he's going to stay his new, better self once he regains all his memories.

I've never been big on the amnesia thing, but in this case it really fit the characters and the story, and gave me a chance to explore the difference between a person's baseline personality traits and the ones that get layered on through experiences, both good and bad. It was a cool (imho) story, and another way to look at transformation.

@ PJ- "If a guy only wants me after I've lost 50 pounds and changed my hair color to blonde then he's not worth it."

This is a huge WIN for me, and something I really struggled with when writing Demonkeepers. I didn't want it to be that Lucius gained value when he got bigger and stronger. In a way, he loses a part of himself, and then has to find it again.

@ DiR-- THANK YOU!

@ Jo-- Thanks for the warm welcome!! Agreed. I think that when an author sits down to tackle a makeover story, she has to be clear on what the character *actually* needs, deep down inside. Which isn't always (often isn't) what he/she thinks.

@ MsHellion-- You go, girl! Stomp that football captain. LOLOL. And thanks so much for the shout out on the books!!

@ Jo-- Good point-- growing up and out of our old insecurities is a real-life transformation overall, isn't it? But I would twist your words a few degrees (if you don't mind!) and say that I read (and write) as a way of finding new ways to look at my own reality.

@ Louisa-- Thanks for the props on the books! They're definitely off the beaten path with the Mayan mythology, but I'm a little outside the box on a good day (way outside on a bad one), so I guess it stands to reason .

@ Karyn-- Yes, the cover gods smiled on Lucius. Actually, I have lurved all my covers from Signet. We're changing things up in November with Blood Spells and a more urban fantasy look, and the visuals on that are amazing too!

Jessica Andersen said...

@ Cassondra- LOLOLOL! You go, lady!

@ Joan-- Hi! Radcliff was a good time with a good crowd, although JRW and I shouldn't be let out in public together too often-- we get in trouble. LOL on the mulch-- hope the homestead looks great!

Interestingly, I had originally planned to do Lucius's book as the third in the series, not the fourth, but then Michael muscled his way into the second story and demanded book three. Which was okay, because Lucius still had some growing up to do.

I was really happy to get to his story, though. I love the whole 'search for the hidden library' storyline, and the way he has to prove himself at the end through a competiton that is both physical and mental (the Mayan ballgame).

Nancy said...

Joan, I don't know how Jade would feel about that nurse transfusing Lucius. She's pretty formidable, but of course, if the nurse had gladiators behind her . . .

Nancy said...

PJ, thanks for the update. :-)

Nancy said...

Jessica, I think Lucius's book comes at just the right time. Michael's was so terrific and seemed like a natural progression.

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Jessica! I love makeover stories. I think they really tap into what is a human desire for the outside to match the inside. We want to equate pretty with good because pretty outsides are...well, pretty. Good insides are also pretty. We like everything all matchy-matchy.

Or at least I do, & it's always killed me that I can work like hell to be my best self & it's not going to make my ass any smaller. :-)

But, having said that, it's not about the looks. It's about fairness. Getting what we deserve, even if it's a second look from the cruel world.

So I'll be first in line for Lucius' story. Thanks!

catslady said...

To be honest I'm very new at paranormals but I think I've found a new genre to love. I have to say how much I enjoyed NightKeepers and I know I'm going to enjoy Demonkeepers.

donnas said...

Congrats on the release!!

I like them, if thats what I am in the mood for. I read almost totally by mood, usually paranormals but the type depends on how I am feeling at the time.

Minna said...

I've never been big on the amnesia thing

Well, blow to the head (or some other head trauma) doesn't nessarily have to equal amnesia. It might even give the person some new skill. I remember this documentary and there were these people who had been perfectly normal before some accident or stroke or something. But afterwards... One man was suddenly good at painting, actually, he HAD to paint, another one could tell you what day of the week had been 3.5.1912. or what day would be 7.2.2130.

Joan said...

Oh,ho Nanjcy. Afraid of Jade?

No way. And not because of gladiators....but the Goddess Sangria.

I um, know her personally....

Forget it...because I DO know her....I'd never get to him...

Nancy said...

Hi, Catslady--I love paranormals. You have lots of treats in store wiht this subgenre.

Nancy said...

Uh, that's "with" this subgenre. :-/

Nancy said...

Minna, I can go with an amnesia story if it's handled well. I think it would be cool to see people getting new skills.

Nancy said...

Joan, LOL!

I think you and the gladiators could take the G.S. if you needed to. *g*

I imagine the rooster would sell tickets. . . .

Paula R said...

Hey Doc Jess, thanks to Kristan, I found you today. Love the blog topic. I don't makeover stories that much. I can't wait to read about Lucius's transformation. I still don't have the book yet, but hope to remedy that really soon...like today.

Don't enter me into the contest okay. I just wanted to drop by and show you some love. I will check back in later.

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Nancy said...

Paula, thanks for stopping by! I love these books, too.

Jessica Andersen said...

@ Nancy-- I agree that Lucius's book needed to come after Michaels ... it was just a bit of a shocker when my head had it all worked out one way, and I suddenly realized it needed to be this way instead!

@ Susan S-- "it's always killed me that I can work like hell to be my best self & it's not going to make my ass any smaller. :-)"

Diet. Coke. On. Monitor.

It's interesting that you mention fairness... that's one of my answers to the old 'why do you write romance?' question.

I need to know there's going to be an HEA at the end of the story, and that no matter what terrible things the characters go through, they're going to be paid off equally at the end.

I want to exist in a story world that has a level of fairness that doesn't exist in the 'real' world. Which I guess comes back to Jo's point (above) about reading as escapism :)

@ catslady-- Come over to the dark side... We have cake!

I'm psyched to hear you enjoyed NightK, and hope you love the other books as well!

@ Paula-- Hey gel! If worse comes to worse, I'll have copies with me on Saturday (CT RWA meeting). Thanks for the shout-out!

Deb said...

Hi, Jessica. Sorry I'm late checking into the Lair today.

I think transformations can be fun in a story, but, like a lot of others here, don't want extreme makeovers. It's weird, but I would rather a heroine be made over than the hero. BUT, I also like a hero to value the heroine for who she is.

I cannot leave the house without makeup; that's my personal transformation for daily living. LOL

Paula R said...

Worse came Doc Jess. I didn't make it to Providence today, so I will have to be patient and wait. So glad you will have some with you.

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Beth said...

Welcome back, Jessica! This book sounds so fabulous - I love makeover stories *g*

Congrats on your latest release and thanks for being with us today :-)

Paula R said...

Hi Nancy, thank you for the welcome. I love Doc Jess's books!!!

I was re-reading my post and realized that I forgot a word...so was anyone able to figure out what I was saying?

"I don't makeover stories that much."

the missing word is...."mind".

I love the discussion going on here. It just makes me want the book even more now. You see patience is not my strongest virtue...LOL!!!

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Jessica Andersen said...

@ Deb- Thanks for the shout out! Nothing wrong with the makeup transformation (or armor, depending on the day and situation, imho!).

@ Beth-- Appreciate the good wishes, and the warm welcome I've had here today (and always!).

@ Paula-- No worries. I've got you covered on Saturday.

To Nancy and the Banditas, THANK YOU for hanging out with me and the Keepers today. Best of luck in the drawing, with your own writing, and with finding wonderful new books to read!

Nancy said...

Hi, Deb--You know, reading your post, I guess I'd have to say my personal daily transformation consists of kicking my brain into gear and doing something to my hair. :-)

Nancy said...

Paula, don't worry about leaving out the occasional word. I tend to misspell things on occasion, and the blog hasn't imploded yet. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Beth--you made over Dillon in A Not So Perfect Past beautifully.

Nancy said...

Jessica, glad you could join us today! If I weren't away from home, I'd have this book by now. I'm eager to read it.

limecello said...

Oooo I'm a little late to the party, but I'm a big fan of makeover stories that make sense. As in, it has to be believable, and there must be a reason. Sounds demanding, but I really don't think it's that hard.
I really enjoyed the books in this series that I've read, and congratulations on a new release, Jessica!

Cassondra said...

So sorry I'm just now getting back. Crazy day.

Thanks Nancy for having Jessica as our guest, and LOVE the sound of these books!

Just what I need...MORE books! *the TBR pile groans and leans to the left*