Tag Archive: Jackie Rutledge


Deadworld Winners!

So, this is late.  But there are winners thanks to random.org and there will be books!

Let’s get down to business, shall we?  The winner for one signed copy of Deadworld is: Jessica Bronder

And for a signed copy of The Vengeful Dead: Erin Theiss!  If you haven’t already read Deadworld, J.N. Duncan is willing to add a copy to your prize.

As always, winners have three days to get in touch with me at tympestbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com, if I don’t here back from you by then I’ll have to pick another winner.  Thanks for entering everybody!

Just a quick change to the contest as a result of this, apparently I misunderstood while setting up the giveaway but there will be two winners instead of one.  Both winners will receive one of the two Jackie Rutledge novels rather than one receiving both.  I’m sorry about the mix up guys.  This will be reflected on the giveaway post as well.   But on to the fun stuff!  As the title suggests, we’ve got a guest post to day from the author himself!  Enjoy!

Hello, everyone. I’ve been granted the opportunity to post today in regard to the release of the second book in my Deadworld series, The Vengeful Dead. It’s what I would call paranormal crime fiction or if you’re in a bookstore, urban fantasy. One of the problems in writing urban fantasy, or any genre for that matter, is developing something that feels fresh and new, even when it often isn’t. There is certainly a vast wealth of material to draw upon regarding the supernatural, from vampires to werewolves to demons and fairies. We UF authors borrow a lot from the lore and stories of old to build our own.

I am certainly no exception to this. Deadworld has its share of ghosts and vampires, though I’ve taken a bit of a different spin on what a vampire is.  They aren’t your traditional, gothic, undead variety, because I wanted to do something different with them that would give readers a different feel. On that end, I believe I’ve succeeded to some degree. When I originally wrote Deadworld, I  had a completed story left with some dangling threads that could be picked up if a publisher decided they wanted to pursue that. Fortunately for me, they did, and I was left trying to figure out exactly where to go from there. When I sold, I had moved on to another story and had left Deadworld to sit. Now I had to develop another two books to go with the first. So, where was it going to go?

I knew there would be cases to solve, a developing relationship between Jackie and Nick, and Jackie’s continued efforts to resolve her emotional issues (she has a few of them).  Having a love for epic stories though, I wanted to incorporate a bigger, series spanning arc. I wanted it to involve the supernatural, and I had three major elements to work with: vampires, ghosts, and the “other” side or Deadworld where the ghosts reside and the vampires are inextricably connected to.  Vampires and ghosts have been used quite a bit, and even with a “fresh” spin, I didn’t feel all that excited about expanded upon them. The Deadworld though, it held possibilities. What could I do with this place, a spirit world that in some ways was a mirror of our own? If it was a place where the souls of the dead resided until they were ready to move on, what could I do with it? The first question that came to mind was, “If souls move on from here, where exactly is it they move on too?” This led me to think that if Deadworld was something of a world between, and we humans moved there when we died, what was to say that something else, from somewhere else, couldn’t access it as well?

The image of that something else came to me rather quickly, and you will see it in The Vengeful Dead, albeit in more of an introductory fashion. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t give out any more details on that, but it is the beginning of a story arc that will encompass the rest of the series, or at least the next few books, assuming I’m fortunate enough for it to get that far. This element begins to develop in book three, The Lingering Dead, and assuming I get a new contract, will really take hold in book four. This element did not come from any mythology or lore that I know of. If it is similar, it’s purely coincidental. Perhaps I’m going out on a limb in creating something out of thin air that has no basis in any supernatural history, but it’s been fun to develop, albeit difficult, because there is no base from which to work. On the plus side, I can’t get any of it “wrong.” On the negative, it might be straying too far from what is typically thought of within the urban fantasy genre. Regardless, it’s a risk worth taking and I’m having fun creating it, which as a writer, is something I find to be very important. I just hope that you all as readers will enjoy the ride.

I want to thank Lauren for having me here today, and in regard to the giveaway, if the winner of The Vengeful Dead has yet to read Deadworld, I still have some author copies and I’ll be happy to include that in the prize. Take care and happy reading everyone!

So, today is the official release date of J.N. Duncan’s new book The Vengeful Dead.  This is awesome.  What’s even more awesome is that one of you guys is going to win a signed copy of both The Vengeful Dead and the first book in the series, Deadworld.

So, what do you guys have to do to enter?

Be an e-mail follower and leave a comment about your favorite urban fantasy or paranormal romance series.

For an extra entry follow me on Twitter @Tymp3st

The contest will run from today until next Tuesday the 11th at midnight and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday.

Edit:  The giveaway was meant to be for the books separately rather than together, I got that mixed up while setting this up and gave you guys bad information. There are more details in the guest post. Best of luck everyone!

Well, This is a Thing

I’m still working on that review and I’m still having problems with my intro to it.  Starting to think that I’m over thinking this whole thing.  Got a couple of other reviews to get written.  I picked up my draw box, so I’m probably going to rant a bit about Birds of Prey and Batwoman at some point which may involve spoilers for other things from before Flashpoint.  Brain is fuzzy because I slept most of the weekend.

I’m also excited because one of the authors I reviewed recently was kind enough to give my review a shout out on his Amazon page, so thanks to Guy James for that!

Towards the end of the week we’ll be having a guest post from J.N. Duncan, author of Deadworld and The Vengeful Dead to celebrate the release of his second Jackie Rutledge novel.

I’m about to fall asleep on my keyboard no matter how excited I am though and will have something more coherent posted later in the day.

I’m really excited for this one because I get to be one of the early reviewers for it and because I really enjoyed the first book in the series.  I’m even excited enough to get this one posted on time, so wow.  On a less literary note, I’m also probably not going to be posting any more regarding the DC reboot for a bit, this is just a delay until September when I’ll actually get some of the rebooted comics.  On the the review!

Agent Jackie Rutledge is still haunted by the death of her partner.   She’s falling apart with no anchor and a forced vacation.  In comes a vengeance driven serial killer from the wrong side of Deadworld and powers that she doesn’t understand, the side effects of her previous trip into the land of the dead.  Jackie’s going to have to pull it together long enough to stop the furious ghost of a grieving mother and prevent herself from becoming suspect number one.

The Vengeful Dead by J.N. Duncan continues the story from Deadworld almost from its end.  Jack is still stuck dealing with the emotional upheaval of having failed her partner and being dragged into Deadworld.  She and Nick are still uneasy around each other, though he seems much more able to move on that she does.  They have to rely on each other to find Rosa and convince her to stop, and convincing her to stop could easily kill them both and destroy all they care about.  It’s also one of the most entertaining urban fantasy novels I’ve read in a long time with elements of a murder mystery police thriller and the best parts of a good romance novel.  It’s quickly becoming one of a handful of series that keep me interested in urban fantasy and make me want more.  In fact, the only low point I can think of is that the antagonist was painfully one note for most of the book, and I’m fairly sure that she was written that way on purpose.

It’s the character growth here that makes the book excellent Jack is still damaged, still angry and confused, and still incapable of standing on her own.  She’s stubborn beyond belief though and hits rock bottom quickly thanks to her new powers and the stress of literally chasing ghosts.  Nick is still prone to melancholy and worrying about Jack being afraid of him, but he grows enough of a spine to decide to live his unlife and try for the relationship.  Shelby seems to be growing more and more into Jackie’s trickster mentor, pissing Jackie off enough to make her tear down her own walls and grow as a character.  I’m a little disappointed with Laurel’s use in the book, she’s the only one who doesn’t seem to grow much and remains for the most part just Jackie’s worried friend who wants Jack to heal enough to function on her own.  That said I also expect that she’ll get more character development as the series continues and that makes me happy.

I’m OK with waiting for the next Deadworld novel only because I only have to wait until next April and because I get to be an early reviewer for this one.  The series is good enough and The Vengeful Dead is enough better than Deadworld that I don’t particularly want to wait, but I can. Duncan is now an immediate add to my “to read” list.  Where does that leave my review of The Vengeful Dead?  It leaves it at a four and a half out of five because I still can’t get Rosa out of my head as just a horribly driven monster.

So, editing on 8/31/2016, I stopped doing half stars in my reviews pretty quickly since most places that host reviews require an even number out of five. So, for the sake of the new “Rating” category, this is counted as a five star book.

 

Given that it’s a Tuesday and I’m still studying for finals, I thought I’d take a quick break to post my review for J. N. Duncan’s Deadworld and remind everyone about the Maiden in Light giveaway that ends on the first.

FBI agent Jackie Rutledge is at least as tough as any of the supernatural killers she’s faced before, but when bodies start showing up exsanguinated and totally clean of evidence she finds herself faced with needing help beyond the FBI’s resources.  For this case she and her partner Laurel are going to have to rely on the Bruce Wane-esque P.I. Nick Anderson and his team of odd ball supernaturals.  Can they trust him though?  Nick’s keeping secrets that stretch back over a century that may drag Jackie and Laurel far further into a twisted game of vengeance than they ever should have gone.

My impressions of J. N. Duncan’s Deadworld are colored by his use of a few tropes that tend to really annoy me as well as an immediate degree of respect for his writing for using them in a way that takes them from annoying to genuine feeling plot twists and bits of character development.  Jackie is six kinds of emotionally messed up and hard to like because of it, but then character development happens.  She’s still messed up, but it’s an understandable level of messed up that she doesn’t just magically get over all of the sudden.  Laurel’s most blatant characterization for a big chunk of the book seems based on her sexuality, but she’s not written as just a bundle of stereotypes and gets nearly as much development as the main characters.  Nick gets slightly less active development, the guy’s a pile of secrets and guilt from cover to cover, but he gets a back story that shows why he has that guilt and a personality that almost gives reason to the secrets.  That said, the villain is never given any reason for his actions aside from doing it for the sheer evil of it and to mess with Nick for no adequately explained reason.  I will complain that there were some moments of dialogue that seemed completely out of character and threw me for a bit of a loop, especially towards the end.  It’s also a nitpicky little thing, it may be the stilettos or the leather pants, but I can’t see Jackie as the cover model.  It’s also worth mentioning that Duncan didn’t immediately shoe horn Jackie and Nick into a relationship, a definite plus in my book as they’re both too damaged for something that fast to work out, but seems to be easing them towards something.

For the little things and the fact that I have problems with the lack of villainous reasoning, I give it a four out of five and wait impatiently for the October release of book two The Vengeful Dead.