Jeaniene Frost – The Beautiful Ashes Tour – Interview, Review & Giveaway
The Beautiful Ashes
Broken Destiny series – Book #1
by Jeaniene Frost
Release Date: September 1, 2014
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.
Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.
Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…
The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost is the 1st book in her new Broken Destiny series. I am a big fan of Jeaniene Frost and her Night Huntress/Night Huntress World/Night Prince series. The Beautiful Ashes is a different genre for Jeaniene, as it is listed as New Adult Paranormal.
We meet our heroine Ivy at the start. Ivy’s world has fallen apart, as her parents were killed, with the funeral the following day. But Ivy’s sister is missing, and that becomes her priority. Ivy has had strange visions all her life, having doctors give her medicines for what was perceived as psychotic episodes, so going to the police is not an option, as no one will believe her. As far as they are concerned, her sister went away with her boyfriend. It doesn’t take too long as Ivy discovers those visions were actually real. In search for her sister, she will embark on an adventure out of her realm, into a dark and dangerous world of evil.
Jeaniene Frost has done an excellent job of world building, which will include demon realms, angels, hounds, creatures, gargoyles, with the a storyline based on good vs evil. A nice historical twist, with Ivy being the last descendant of David, which makes her truly good, even if she knows nothing. Adrian is our hero, but he grew up in the demon realms, which could make him bad. This is supposed to be a forbidden romance, but all is not as it seems. Adrian hates his demon background, which he ran away from, and now he helps Zach, an Archon (angel). But destiny stands in the way for Adrian and Ivy to have a true romance. She is the one who must stop demons, as she tries to rescue her sister, and he is the one who prophecy says will betray her.
This is just the beginning, in what is a wild and at times very exciting storyline, which is spent mostly in the dangerous demon realms. Ivy and Adrian work together to find the weapon that will destroy the demons, at the same time looking for Ivy’s sister, who is held captive by demons. Adrian is hot, and at the same time secretive. Can he be trusted to help Ivy or will he end up betraying her.
I liked Ivy, and sympathized with her trying to understand what was expected of her, as she was being thrown into a world she knew nothing about. All she wanted to do was save her sister, not to be the messiah. I thought Adrian was good and protective of Ivy, but I wasn’t crazy about all the secrets he and Zach were keeping from her. Sending her into a vicious world, that was dark and dangerous, wasn’t fair to her, as she was risking her life. Both Adrian and Zach needed some ass-kicking.
I enjoyed this storyline, as it was somewhat different than other angel/demon storylines. There were some exciting scenes, and even some humorous ones, like when Zach glamoured Ivy, to hide her appearance. I liked Adrian, and he was swoonworthy; but his secrecy and moodiness drove me nuts at times. Poor Ivy. Though he was an angel, Zach, angered me even more, with with his inability to help Ivy and Adrian.
The Beautiful Ashes is a nice world building, a romance we want to see more of, and so many possibilities for the continuation of this series. I will be continuing this series.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Promoter
A familiar song was playing, but I couldn’t remember the name. That bugged me enough to open my eyes. A wall of black met my gaze, slick and smooth like glass. I reached up to see what it was, and that’s when I realized my hands were tied.
“Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche, my mind supplied, followed immediately by, I’m in the backseat of a car. One that was well taken care of, going by that flawless, shiny roof. With those details filled in, I also remembered what had happened right before I’d passed out. And who I was with.
“Why are my hands tied?” I said, heaving myself into an upright position.
For some reason Adrian didn’t have a rear view mirror, which was why he had to glance over his shoulder to look at me.
“Does anything make you panic?” he asked, sounding amused. “You’re tied up in the backseat of a cop-killer’s car, but I’ve seen people get more upset when Starbucks runs out of pumpkin spice flavor.”
Anyone normal would panic, not that it would do any good. Besides, I ran out of “normal” a long time ago, when I realized I saw things no one else did.
Speaking of which, why wasn’t I in pain? The lump where Mrs. Paulson had whacked me was gone, and my shirt was red from blood, but aside from a mild kink in my neck, I felt fine. When I pushed my shirt up, somehow, I wasn’t surprised to see smooth, unbroken skin on my abdomen. Well, that and a bunch of crumbs, like I’d eaten a dessert too messily.
“Why does it look like I have angel food cake on my stomach?” I wondered aloud.
Adrian snorted. “Close. It’s medicine. You were injured.”
“You can tell me how I’m not anymore,” I said, holding out my bound hands, “after you untie me.”
Another backwards glance, this one challenging.
“You may be the calmest person I’ve ever been sent to retrieve, but if I tell you now what you want to know, that will change. So pick—the truth, or being untied?”
“Truth,” I said instantly.
He let out a laugh. “Another first. You’re full of surprises.”
So was he. He’d just admitted that he regularly kidnapped people—which was how I translated “retrieve”—so I should be trying my damnedest to get free. But more than anything, I needed answers. Besides, I still wasn’t afraid of him, and somehow, that had nothing to do with him magically healing me.
“Truth, Adrian,” I repeated.
He turned once again and his gaze locked with mine, those odd blue eyes startling me with their intensity. For a moment, I could only stare, all thought frozen in my mind. I don’t know why I reached out, awkwardly touching his arm to feel the hard muscles beneath that bulky jacket. If I’d thought about it, I wouldn’t have done it. Yet I couldn’t make myself pull away.
Then I gasped when his hand covered mine. At some point, he’d taken off his gloves, and the feel of his warm, bare skin sent a shock wave through me. The touch seemed to affect Adrian, too. His lips parted and he edged over the back of the seats—
He yanked on the steering wheel, narrowly avoiding another car. A horn blared, and when the driver passed us, an extended middle finger shook angrily in our direction. I leaned back, my heart pounding from the near collision. At least, that’s what I told myself it was from.
“Dyate,” Adrian muttered.
I didn’t recognize the word, and I was at a loss to place his accent. It had a musical cadence like Italian, but beneath that was a harsher, darker edge.
“What’s that language?” I asked, trying to mask the sudden shakiness in my voice.
This time, he didn’t take his eyes off the road. “Nothing you’ve heard of.”
“I picked truth, remember?” I said, holding up my bound hands for emphasis.
That earned me a quick glance. “That is the truth, but you don’t get more until you meet Zach. Then we can skip all the ‘this isn’t possible’ arguments.”
I let out a short laugh. “After what I saw on Detective Kroger’s face, my definition of ‘impossible’ has changed.”
Adrian swerved again, but this time, no other car was near.
“What did you see?”
I tensed. How did I explain without sounding insane? No way to, so I chose to go on the attack instead.
“Why were you in my hotel room? And how did you heal me? There isn’t even a mark—”
“What did you see on his face, Ivy?”
Despite his hard tone, when my name crossed his lips, something thrummed inside me, like he’d yanked on a tie I hadn’t known was there. Feeling it was as disturbing as my inexplicable reaction to his clasping my hands.
“Shadows,” I said quickly, to distract from that. “He had snakelike shadows all over his face.”
I expected Adrian to tell me I’d imagined it, a response I was used to hearing. Instead, he pulled over, putting the car in park but keeping the engine running. Then he turned to stare at me.
“Was that the only strange thing you saw?”
I swallowed. I knew better than to talk about these things. Still, I’d demanded the truth from Adrian. It didn’t seem fair to lie in return.
“I saw two versions of the same B and B earlier. One was pretty, but the other was old and rotted, and my sister was trapped inside it.”
Adrian said nothing, though he continued to pin me with that hard stare. When he finally spoke, his question was so bizarre I thought I’d misheard him.
“What do I look like to you?”
“My appearance.” He drew out the words like I was slow. “Describe me.”
All of a sudden, he wanted compliments? I might have finally met someone crazier than me.
“This is ridiculous,” I muttered, but started with the obvious. “Six-six, early twenties, built like Thor, golden brown hair with blond highlights, silvery blue eyes…you want me to go on?”
He began to laugh, a deep, rich baritone that would’ve been sensual except for how angry it made me.
“Now I know why they came after you,” he said, still chuckling. “They must’ve realized you were different, but if they’d known what you could see, you never would’ve made it out of that B and B.”
“You can stop laughing,” I said sharply. “I get that it’s crazy to see the things I do.”
Lots of kids had imaginary friends growing up. I had imaginary places, though at first, I didn’t know I was the only one who could see them. Once my parents had realized that what I kept describing went far beyond childhood fancifulness, the endless doctor visits and tests began. One by one, diseases and psychoses had been crossed off until I was diagnosed with a non-monoamine-cholinergic imbalance in my temporal cortex.
In other words, I saw shit that wasn’t there for reasons no one could figure out. The pills I took helped a little, though I lied and said they got rid of all my hallucinations. I was sick of doctors poking at me. So whenever I saw something that no one else did, I forced myself to ignore it—until Mrs. Paulson and Detective Kroger had tried to kill me, of course.
Adrian did stop laughing, and that unblinking intensity was back in his gaze.
“Well, Ivy, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you’re not crazy. The bad news is, everything you’ve seen is real, and now, it’ll be coming for you.”
Hi Jeaniene. Thank you for taking the time to visit us again at The Reading Cafe, and to give us an update as to what you have upcoming, as well as what to expect in 2015.
Jeaniene: Thank you so much for having me!
TRC: You have a new series that just debuted, Broken Destiny. This is a different genre than you have written before…..a New Adult paranormal romance series. What can you tell us about this new series, and how you came up with the idea?
Jeaniene: As you mentioned, it’s a New Ault paranormal romance. The NA designation means that at least one protagonist is between the ages of 18 – 25, so it’s meant for an older audience than traditional YA (Young Adult), but the characters aren’t as old as what you’d usually find in an Adult novel. I came up with the idea for The Beautiful Ashes around the time that my debut novel released in 2007. Ironically, it came to me the same way that my idea for the Night Huntress series did – through a dream. In the dream, a young woman who’s had hallucinations her whole life realizes that her “visions” are real, and the one person who can help her is also destined to betray her.
TRC: Would you please give us a brief description of The Beautiful Ashes? How many books are you planning for this series?
Jeaniene: The Broken Destiny series will be a trilogy, and my “elevator pitch” would be that it’s about Ivy and Adrian, two star-crossed lovers with opposing supernatural destinies who get caught in a war between angels and demons. *grin* Now you see why I had such a hard time with query letters before I was published. I am awful at boiling down a story to a few, concise lines, so let me copy the back cover description below, which does a much better job:
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.
Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. The one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.
Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side, Adrian on the other, and nothing but ashes in between…
TRC: In The Beautiful Ashes, I found it extremely interesting that you had a Biblical twist, using descendants of both King David and another significant Biblical figure. Did you have to do a lot of research on this?
Jeaniene: Not really, lol. In all seriousness, I’ve already read the Bible cover-to-cover several times, so I’m very familiar with the more famous stories from it. Plus, David and Goliath have transcended religion to become a cultural and social anecdote. When you hear someone say they’re in a “David versus Goliath” situation, most people know that means an underdog facing almost insurmountable odds. The other Biblical figure I use has also crossed over from religious to common social consciousness. For example, if you referred to someone as a *censored for spoilers*, most people know exactly what you mean. I also used Biblical references in my Night Huntress series by deriving my vampire origin story from “the mark of Cain,” so you could say that I have a track record for mining the Bible for ideas 🙂
TRC: I loved Adrian and found him to be so very swoonworthy. I also loved him and Ivy together. But he drove me nuts, as did Zach, with them keeping secrets from poor Ivy. Will she learn all these secrets in the next book to help her be an even stronger heroine?
Jeaniene: Short answer: yes :). Longer explanation: Ivy starts The Beautiful Ashes as a mostly-normal twenty-year-old, which means she’s in no way prepared to be dropped into a war between supernatural creatures that she doesn’t even believe in. She also really wasn’t ready to learn that part of her destiny is to tip the scales in that battle, so Adrian – though he made me want to smack him, too – is actually trying to protect Ivy by doling out these and other secrets instead of hitting her with everything at once. Zach’s primary occupation is a messenger, so he’d have delivered all the details without caring if Ivy could handle it or not. Adrian intervened, essentially muzzling Zach, to give Ivy a chance to adjust. Adrian meant well, but like most guys and their good intentions, there were dangerous, unintended consequences. By the end of The Beautiful Ashes, Ivy knows almost everything, and she’s grown both emotionally and in her supernatural abilities, so she’s far better equipped to handle what comes next.
TRC: Another question regarding The Beautiful Ashes. This series is listed as New Adult Paranormal. I had a feel of Urban Fantasy. What genre best describes the series?
Jeaniene: That answer is probably in the eye of the beholder. For years, I’ve heard my vampire novels described as urban fantasy or paranormal romance with equal conviction depending on who is speaking. From early reviews, I’ve seen The Beautiful Ashes debated between YA and NA and between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The truth is that all my books tend to straddle genre lines. I consider The Beautiful Ashes to be New Adult paranormal romance, as I consider my vampire novels to be Adult paranormal romance, but those aren’t the only themes in either series. My vampire novels have lots of urban fantasy elements and even some horror, too, which is why their genre is often debated. In comparison, The Beautiful Ashes has some YA themes, but it also has very adult situations and lots of urban fantasy elements, too. So what is it? My opinion doesn’t trump readers’ opinions, so the easiest explanation is that it’s a hybrid, with the ultimate genre depending on the viewpoint of the reader.
TRC: Your final book in your wonderful Night Huntress series, Up FromThe Grave, was a fantastic finale. I have been a huge fan of this series from the start. I totally love Cat and Bones. What made you decide to end it now, and will we ever see Cat & Bones again, perhaps in novellas?
Jeaniene: I’m so glad that you enjoyed Up From The Grave! In many ways, it was as nerve-wracking for me to finish the Night Huntress series as it was to start it, but I had come to the end of Cat and Bones’s story. At the final page of Up From The Grave, Cat and Bones were at the place in their lives that I’d always envisioned them being, so it was time for me to close the door and walk away. If I’d dragged their story past that point, it would have been an insincere effort on my part. I’ve often said that it’s out of my hands if readers enjoy a book I write, but I can promise that I won’t write a story unless I love it and believe in it. The Night Huntress series might have come to a close, but if it’s any consolation, one day, I’d love to write a story about Katie when she’s grown so that I can showcase C&B in the side role of parents. Also, Cat and Bones make a brief cameo in Bound By Flames, so readers will get to glimpse them in their new life as I continue with Vlad and Leila’s story. Finally, if readers haven’t seen this yet, I posted a free alternate “middle” version of Destined For An Early Grave on my website, showing what would have happened if Bones had lost his memory of Cat. It will only be up for another couple weeks, so check it out if you’re interested:
Part 1: http://jeanienefrost.com/2014/07/alternate-middle-version-of-destined-for-an-early-grave-part-1/
Part 2: http://jeanienefrost.com/2014/08/alternate-middle-version-of-destined-for-an-early-grave-part-2/
Part 3: http://jeanienefrost.com/2014/08/alternate-middle-version-of-destined-for-an-early-grave-part-3/
Part 4: http://jeanienefrost.com/2014/08/alternate-middle-version-of-destined-for-an-early-grave-part-4/
TRC: Would you like to share with us anything else that you may have upcoming in 2015?
Jeaniene: I think I already jumped the gun on this with my last answer, heh. Bound By Flames, Night Prince book three, comes out January 27th. Then, later in 2015, book two in the Broken Destiny series will release. That’s still untitled as of now, but it will continue Ivy and Adrian’s story, picking up pretty close to where The Beautiful Ashes left off.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Jeaniene: If you haven’t seen the book trailer for The Beautiful Ashes, here is the link to it on YouTube: http://youtu.be/PWiOBIY_4z4
And since I’m a big fan of “try before you buy,” I’ve also posted several excerpts on my website here: http://jeanienefrost.com/brokendestiny/the-beautiful-ashes/
TRC: Thank you, Jeaniene for giving us an update on what we can look forward to in 2015, and we wish you the best of luck with The Beautiful Ashes.
Jeaniene: Thanks so much again for having me! It’s always a pleasure, and I’m delighted to talk to you and your readers about what’s out now and what’s coming next.
For information on Jeaniene’s books, reading the first 20% of each book free, book trailers, deleted scenes, creature mythology, and more, please visit: www.jeanienefrost.com
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Jeaniene is graciously offering a $25 Gift Card (Amazon or Barnes & Noble) to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.
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