Thursday, September 15, 2011

Interview with Jess Macallan and Giveaway - September 15, 2011

Please welcome Jess Macallan to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

Jess:  I’m so excited to be at The Qwillery today! Thanks for having me here.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Jess:  If I’m not listening to music, I turn on a bad television show to use as background noise. I can’t always write to music because I starting singing, and then typing the lyrics. But bad TV is another matter. If I put it on one of the home shopping networks or a terrible reality show, I’m not remotely tempted to watch, and I can get more writing done. It’s weird, but it works.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Jess:  I have so many favorites it’s hard to narrow it down. But the writers I’ll make a special trip to the bookstore for are Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Patricia Briggs, Karen Marie Moning, Rick Riordan, and Kim Harrison. I honestly couldn’t tell you who has influenced my writing the most, but I love getting lost in a great book by any of the above writers. I also love attending workshops and talking to other writers. It never fails to get the creative juices flowing.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jess:  Pantser. The worst pantser you could imagine. I’ll start books in the middle of a scene or at the end and work my way backwards. I’ve tried to plot, but it doesn’t work for me. However, I keep spreadsheets to track books, word count and progress, and I also have notebooks I’ll use to scribble down ideas and character traits so I can keep then straight. I’m very organized with everything but the writing itself. My muse is happiest when the story evolves on its own.

TQ:  Describe Stone Cold Seduction in 140 characters or less.

Jess:  Elle discovers her father is an elf king, she's his heir, and two men claim to be her mate. A quest to find her fate holds the key.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Stone Cold Seduction?

Jess:  I wanted to write a book with a gargoyle character, and had to build a story around him. It’s a strange starting place, but that’s how my creative brain works. So I added some of my favorite mythological creatures, a heroine with a lot to lose (or gain) and went from there.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Stone Cold Seduction?

Jess:  I did small pockets of research for things like perfume, Scotland, castles, and even Seattle. I took literary license (which I hope readers will forgive me for), but this book had details that needed fine tuning instead of big chunks of research time. Which is great, because I’m easily distracted when researching, especially with the castles. *grins*

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Jess:  Teryl, Elle’s best friend, was the easiest because I just love his personality. He’s a little nerdy, a lot witty, loyal and stylish. He’s easy to write and like. Jedren, Elle’s father, was the hardest because he’s ruthless and heartless. It’s a lot harder to get inside his head.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Jess:  My favorite scene comes toward the end of the book when Elle gets a glimpse of her inner strength after nasty encounter. Strangely enough, that scene was also the hardest to write because her father plays a key role.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Set in Stone series?

Jess:  Three for Elle, and hopefully one for the mate she doesn’t choose. He deserves his own HEA.

TQ:  What's next?

Jess:  When I finish Stone Cold Destiny (book 3 in the series) I’m taking a brief reading vacation where I’ll catch up on my TBR pile, and then I’ll work on a middle grade about a girl who becomes a pirate. Then it’s on to the mate Elle doesn’t choose. It should keep me out of trouble for a while. *grins*

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jess:  Thank you so much for having me here today! The questions were fun. I love connecting with readers, and can be found at | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | JessMacallan |

About Stone Cold Seduction

Stone Cold Seduction
Set in Stone 1
(Entangled Publishing, Sept. 6, 2011)
“Elle. It’s just Elle.”

When a regular night of Robin Hood-ery results in the manifestation of some, um, unusual paranormal abilities, perfume-maker Elleodora Fredricks realizes the normal world she lives in isn’t quite… normal. And neither is she, thanks to her father, king of the shadow elves. Not only is he evil incarnate and the reason Elle moonlights as a burglar—someone has to take care of all his victims—he’s stolen her memories.

And only reading her fate can fix that.

Good thing she’s got a trio of hotties willing to help her find said fate. Saving her oracle BFF’s fiancée, falling in love with the gargoyle, and making up for breaking the phoenix’s heart ought to be a piece of cake for the princess of the shadow elves.

If only the king didn’t want his daughter dead…


Get in, get out. Get in, get out, I chanted in my head.
            I could do this. I crept toward the stairs, keeping to the shadows and the outer edges of the room. Footsteps moving at a fast pace were coming toward me. I touched the small mark for the cloaking ward and silently chanted the words, and pressed against the wall. Please let this work. A split second later, two gargoyles rounded the corner. My mouth went dry, and I was afraid they’d hear my heart pounding, it was so loud.
            They were full gargoyles. Their stone feet made dull, heavy thuds against the stone floor. Hysteria bubbled, and I wondered what happened if they got a chip in gargoyle form. Did they ever break a toe or finger off? Wings tucked behind them, horns on their heads, they were an awesome sight. Long faces, pointy chins and bright, glowing silver eyes. No clothes and very, very…naked.
            I brought my gaze back to their faces as they neared the stairs. I held my breath. Silently, they brushed past me, oblivious to my presence. So close, I could have reached out and grabbed their…er…wings. I waited until I could no longer hear their footsteps, before releasing the ward and my breath in a quiet exhale.
            I sucked in a deep, shaky breath. That had been far too close for comfort. I made my way down the stairs, one cautious step at a time.
            Candle sconces lined the walls. Tiny flames flickered and cast sinister shadows down the curving stairwell. I felt like I was walking down to the dungeons, which is what I’m sure the lower levels used to be. Fear snaked along my spine. I didn’t want to be here.
            Which was more motivation to hurry the hell up.
            Because of the candle sconces, I couldn’t hug the walls. I crouched down and took the steps as quickly and quietly as I could. Every five steps, I paused to listen. The gargoyles must be faster than I gave them credit for, because I didn’t hear their footsteps receding.
            The growing silence strained my nerves. Where were all the guards and oracles MacLean had spoke about? I’d heard one female and seen the two gargoyles. There were five upper levels and three lower levels. I should hear something.
            Keeping one hand on the wall, trying to avoid the hot, dripping wax, I made my way downstairs, into what felt like the pit of hell. Was it getting warmer?
            The spiral stairs continued down. I was almost there, when the next ward hit me. If I’d thought the first one was big, this one brought me to my knees. Literally.
            I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t hear. Raw energy consumed me. It ripped through me with the force of a tsunami. As quickly as it started, it was over. Huddled on the stairs, I gasped for breath. A twinge in my shoulder indicated where the new mark was.
            “The ward is down. Did you hear that?” The low, nasty voice came from below. It echoed in the stairwell. Heavy thuds on the stairs had me scrambling to my feet.
            Shit. They were coming.
            Quiet, calm shadow. Quiet, calm shadow, I repeated mentally, squeezing my eyes shut. I held the image in my head, praying it would hold. If I got out of this alive, I’d donate more. Volunteer my time. Be nice to every person I met. No more take-out food. I’d exercise and get enough sleep. I’d…
            The two gargoyles raced up the stairs. Fast and agile, they ran right through me. Right through me.
            Shock held me still.
            Time was running out. I moved down the stairs, despite the way my legs threatened to give out with each step. Hitting the second level, I ducked into the first room I found. Hoping there was electricity down here, I fumbled for a light switch. Success. I flipped the switch.
            With horror, I took in the scene in front of me.

About Jess

Jess lives in the Inland Northwest with her husband and three children. She thrives on creative chaos. Curiosity drives her to try new things as often as possible.

When not writing or chasing trouble, she teaches yoga, reads, runs a mini farm, watches MMA and gardens. The only things she takes seriously are chocolate, tea and world domination. But mostly chocolate.

Jess' Links:


The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a Stone Cold Seduction ebook from Entangled Publishing.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Gargoyles or Elves? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Thursday, September 22, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. Elves - I can't get over the idea that gargoyles are those ugly things that perch on churches. But Stone Cold Seduction is on my TBR pile and I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise!

  2. I used to think elves, but after reading Christina Henry and Marjorie M. Liu, I have to say Gargoyles are growing on me! This book sounds fascinating to me!

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  3. I love elves but after reading some books where gargoyles were the heroes I kinda got to liking them so I'm really 50/50 on this question but in regards to what society would think is "prettier" or more visually acceptable most of the time ...I would choose for the giveaway.

    Total Entries= 3

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    junegirl63 (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. Gargoyles I think, much more interesting than pretty pretty Elves :)
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  5. Well, if they all looked and behaved as Legolas from the LOTR movies, I'd probably go with Elves, but in most books, they aren't so pleasant. Gargoyles tend to have a code of honor.

    GFC Anne38

  6. I have been following this tour and really want to read Stone Cold Seduction. Thank you for participating and for the awesome giveaway opportunity. Between Elves and Gargoyles my vote is hands down to to the Gargoyles. There something about those stoney fellows I just love:)
    +1 GFC Denise Zaky
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  7. I love gargoyles. If I could, I'd have them surrounding the house. ha ha

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  8. Gargoyles for me. I find them so fascinating and can definitely see them as powerful creatures in a story.

    I am a GFC follower
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  9. I love the idea of Gargoyles- they are so stony and mysterious!
    great giveaway
    follow via gfc

  10. great giveaway
    follow via gfc +1

  11. I think I'm going to go with elves, gargoyles and their history never seemed very romantic to me. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom
    GFC Krystal Larson

  12. Anne almost convinced me to vote for Elves with the LOTR comment. :D

    A big thanks to everyone who's stopped by! I'm surprised how many gargoyle fans there are. I love it!

    Best of luck to everyone for the giveaway!

  13. Gargoyles! I cannot resist a hot guy with wings :)

  14. Definitely elves - I LOVE elves!!

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  15. Gargoyles! They seem more down to earth. Elves are usually pretty aloof and full of themselves.

    +1 GFC: ML
    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  16. I would say Elf, but I think I might switch teams ;) something about a man with wings.

  17. Stone Cold Seduction is added to my books to buy. I love the whole concept. Follower
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  18. I would have to say gargoyles. In the last few months I have seen many books featuring gargoyles and they all look very interesting.

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  19. elves but mainly because I haven't read anything yet that has attractive gargoyles in it :)

  20. Gargoyles! My only experience with them is watching those horrible movies featuring them. They would fly around and attack folks.

    It's time for me to be re-introduced to them, with a fresh view.

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    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  21. I think I'll go with elves, but I actually haven't read a lot of either in books...

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  22. Gargoyles lol Reminds me of the gargoyles cartoon I used to watch with my brother when he was growing up. If I remember correctly the lead character was dark, brooding and mysterious...YUM :) lol Not bad for a cartoon

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