Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Blog Tour: Underneath by Jes Young (Giveaway too!)

This blog tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
Click HERE to see the tour schedule.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature:
Jes Young and Underneath.

About the Author:

After graduating from Emerson College with a BFA in creative writing, Jes Young was a copywriter at Random House (Ballantine Books and Crown Publishing Group) for nearly ten years. Currently she is the development manager of a small non-profit and the mother of two children under the age of ten. Her writing is done primarily between the hours of 11 p.m and 3 a.m.

Twitter: @JesYoungWrites

Guest Post:
A Tale of Fried Foods, Definitions & the Improper Use of Office Furniture

"So what is urban fantasy anyway?” Bill asked before popping a tater tot into his mouth. “And what’s paranormal romance? Are they the same thing?"

“Um…no,” I replied hesitantly. “Not exactly.”

“Well what’s the difference?”

That’s a really good question. And I have to admit / hate to admit that even though I write urban fantasy, I have no idea how to explain the difference. Urban fantasy, the kind I write and the kind I read seems to have an awful lot in common with paranormal romance.

If you ask the experts, by which I mean, they’ll tell you: “Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements."

Wikipedia describes paranormal romance as “a type of speculative fiction, paranormal romance focuses on romance and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the genres of traditional fantasy, science fiction, or horror.”

Does that clear things up for you? No? Yeah, not for me either.

Carrie Vaughn, an author who writes (among other things) a series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, has written a great article about urban fantasy, its characteristics, and its origins. I fully recommend you read the entire article but I’ll tell you that for Carrie, urban fantasy must have a kick-ass heroine. She says, "We also have a generation who grew up after first and second wave feminism, who watched the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman and Lindsay Wagner in The Bionic Woman and Charlie’s Angels at young, impressionable ages. Who also grew up with Ellen Ripley and Sarah Conner. Who took it entirely for granted that women could be heroes and kick a lot of ass while doing so."

For UF author Tracy Cooper-Posey the genre is defined by wordiness. She says, "Urban Fantasy is mostly about the back story. The history. While the romance reader wants to know about the romance, dammit."

My books have a kick-ass heroine and as the series goes on, Tab keeps getting tougher and tougher - mostly because she has no choice. They also have a complicated back story full of intrigue and curses and prophecies and murder plots and a war between Light and Dark. So it seems Tab and I meet the basic criteria for urban fantasy anyway. (Huge relief. Huge.)

Which brings me back to Bill. He wanted to know the difference between the two and he was quickly running out of tater tots. So I took a sip of my Diet Coke and said, “Urban fantasy is the combination of fantastic elements, like elves or fairies, and realistic settings, like elves or fairies who live in New York City and work at the New York Times. If it’s a paranormal romance, they have sex on the desk.”

That about sums it up, don’t you think?

Now it’s time for you to educate me, readers. What’s your take on Urban Fantasy? What’s the separation line for you? Do you love UF but hate PNR? Stop by and tell me all about it in the comments.
Princess of Twilight and Dawn Book Two
By Jes Young

Six months ago, when her long-hidden heritage came to light, Tab Bennett reluctantly let go of her past and embraced her future as an Elvish princess on the cusp of her gifts and the edge of her destiny. She never wanted a fairy tale life, but as the daughter of the Dark King and the Light Queen, that’s exactly what she got.

Raised in exile away from the kingdom of the Inbetween, Tab has never even met the parents who ruined her life. Her mother is dead, but Tab’s father, Daniel, is alive and well, the mad ruler of the kingdom of the Underneath. He’s made it clear he wants to meet her and now that she knows all the sadness and heartache in her life can be traced directly to the Dark king’s door, Tab wants to meet him too. After all, it's because of him that the first twenty-five years of her life were a lie. It’s his fault she gave her heart to Robbin when she should have been saving it for Alex, the prince who is destined to be her Homecoming. But, most importantly, King Daniel is the one responsible for her mother’s suicide and her sisters’ murders.

Now Tab wants justice – but she’ll settle for revenge and Finnegan Blackthorn, an Elvish warrior with secrets of his own, is going to help her get it. Together, they’ll embark on the dangerous journey to her father’s stronghold in the kingdom Underneath. Once she's there, far away from the Light in which she was raised, Tab will be forced to confront the seductive nature of Darkness and her own potential to truly become her father’s daughter.


Unless you’ve spent the night in a cave in the Underneath, way below the crust of the earth, down where the sun has never touched and never will, you have no idea how cold it is, how wet. In the damp chill of the air, your skin slicks with moisture that freezes and glazes over, crackling like ice. Your bones ache with it. When you blink, your lids snag on tears that have already frozen before they even had a chance to fall from your eyes. Before long, you forget what it feels like to be warm. You begin to doubt that such a thing is even possible.
Even fully clothed in my sleeping bag, my teeth chattered. I didn’t think I’d be able to fall asleep until suddenly, I was lounging in a chair on the most beautiful beach I’d ever seen, on the most perfect, sunny day. I was wearing a red and white polka dot bikini and drinking a pina colada from a hollowed out pineapple.
I was waiting for Alex to come, wondering if making love to him in the surf would be sexy or just sandy, when something passed in front of the sun. I looked up as a thousand starlings became a man. I knew who he was even though I’d never seen him before.
“Behold the prodigal daughter,” King Daniel said as he sat down on the lounger across from me. “Come home at last.”
Even in the dream I could feel the tingle of magic on my palms as the Gift of Light and Air welled up around me, preparing for a fight.
“This isn’t my home,” I said, “and I am not your daughter.”
I could deny it, but proof of who I was, of how I had come to be, was all over the Dark King’s face. Robbin had been right—I looked exactly like him. His hair was like mine, almost black and slightly wavy. We had the same straight nose and pointy chin.
Like all They of the Dark, his eyes were red. My mother’s were blue. Mine are purple. You’re familiar with the color wheel, right? Good. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
“This could be your home,” he answered, “if you chose it.”
The palm trees waved back and forth in a soft breeze that tousled his hair. I caught the familiar smell of strawberry shampoo on the air.
“So I get to choose?” I laughed. “Light or dark? Inbetween or Underneath?”
“Of course.” He had the nerve to look insulted. “I would never try to force you to be anyone other than who you are.”
“You killed my sisters, one by one, to bring me here. What is that, if not force?”
“Regrettable,” he said. “But necessary. And they weren’t really your sisters.”
I felt something hot and sharp growing, glowing, inside of my chest. He watched with interest as my magic swirled around me, bathing me in a golden light. Daniel sat just outside of it, wrapped in the kind of darkness that even the brightest light can’t chase away.
The look on his face was, unmistakably, one of parental pride. I can’t even tell you how much that pissed me off.
I want King Daniel dead, I told the magic. It surged up, ready when I needed it. But instead of pouring over him, it split in two, leaving him on an island of shadow amidst the currents of light. I tried again, and once again the magic rushed forward but went nowhere.
Do this for me now and I’ll start practicing more as soon as I wake up.
Blistering heat and light built up around me. I want King Daniel dead.
That time it hurt him, just a little, I could tell.
“Enough,” he roared. With a wave of his hand, he turned the sunny day to nighttime. There was only a sliver of moon left. Even in its dim light I could see that whatever kindness or fondness he had for me was gone, replaced now with fury. He’d killed people for less than the tweak I’d managed to give him. “Do you know who I am, child? What I could do to you? There are thousands of ways I could tear you apart without moving from this spot.”
“So do it,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest. “None of this is real anyway.”
“Real is a very subjective concept,” Daniel explained, sounding exasperated. “Let’s not test the bounds of reality on our first meeting.” He reset the sunny afternoon and his pleasant face. He pulled a pair of sunglasses from the pocket of his linen shirt and slipped them on, stretching out in the lounge chair next to mine.
“Why are you here?” I asked when I couldn’t stand the silence any longer.
“I wanted us to have a chance to talk in private, so I arranged to visit you somewhere that neither your guard nor mine could get in our way.”
“Nicholas isn’t coming? That’s too bad. I’m looking forward to seeing him again.”
Daniel laughed. “You intend to kill him.”
It wasn’t a question. He was Daniel’s second, his enforcer. He had orchestrated the attack on my mother; and later, the ones that took my sisters from me one by one. Of course I wanted to kill him.
“That’s part of the plan.”
“I will give him to you as a gift if you agree to stay with me. He’ll be yours to do with as you wish.”
“You’ll just give him to me? After he’s been your right-hand for centuries; after he’s killed for you?” I asked. “Where’s the loyalty?”
Daniel smiled—all teeth and menace—revealing a glimpse of the heartless, beautiful monster he really was. “As the humans say, my daughter dear, blood is thicker than water.” 

Giveaway is a set of Tab Bennett and the Inbetween and Underneath.  Please fill out form below.

My thoughts:
Jes Young has written a vivid, colorful, imaginative, creative and clever story.  I fell in love with the language and her word choices.  The story is well written, the characters are lovingly created and the setting is chillingly believable.  There is a little bit of everything that keeps the pages turning and the reader on the edge of the seat.  Do not miss out on this one - but be sure to start at the beginning with Tab Bennett and the Inbetween.