Title: Stone Cold (Ironhill Jinn #2)
Author: Jocelyn Adams
Genre: PNR, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 11th, 2014
Not all monsters can be tamed.
Lou Hudson makes a deal with the Isaac to save the Ironhill jinn from execution…and lands on the front line of a war between the vampire and his sire.
Daddy Dearest intends to have Lou for himself to spite Isaac and begins meddling in every corner of her life. He
In the serenity of the Colorado night, without distraction, I noticed a scent surrounding Isaac I’d either ignored or hadn’t noticed before. Mineral hints of snow in chilled night air, and beneath it, the dewy scent of the earth in autumn. It drew up thoughts of Mum and the better times we’d spent together. My mind quieted further.
“Are you afraid?” Isaac asked, once again the guarded, regal lord. “Your terror should be painting the wind in shades of bitterness, but I scent nothing but your vanilla-tinged contentment.”
I thought for a moment before answering, watching a hawk sail across the last splashes of pink. “No, I don’t think I am. Is it strange that I find comfort in the scent of my executioner? That it plunges me into my most pleasant memories during my life?” I smiled. “I’ve never believed in God, but perhaps he exists after all and has granted me this small mercy at the end of all things.”
A rustle of fabric came to my ears as he shifted closer. “What do I smell like?”
Encouraged by his interest, I rolled his scent on my tongue, through the halls of my memory. “Frost-coated leaves on the forest floor in autumn when the earth is damp yet not frozen, and the wind has that first crisp hint of winter.” I’d always wondered why prisons would send a priest to the condemned, seeing no point in confessing anything, but I had a sudden understanding of how unburdening just having someone to listen could be.
I decided to share the memory. “Mum forbade me from using my abilities when I was young and we lived in England. Never let them see your strangeness, Lou-Lou Bean, she’d say. My jinn magic would build up and become almost blinding, and the longing was worse than starving. She finally gave in to my begging and took me up north to a small forest when I was three.”
My smile grew, and I let out a small laugh, remembering. “The first thing I did when she set me free was to drop to my knees and dig my fingers into the earth.” I stretched my hand out, almost feeling the cool soil squish against my palms. “It was late October like it is now. I had to shove away the leaves, inhaling the earthy scent of my element. The instant the rock called out to me and I could actually connect with it was like I’d been breathing with one lung all my life and could suddenly take in a full breath.”
I tried to shake off Mum’s reaction to it all back then, but it wouldn’t leave me, sucking the remembered joy out of me. “Mum always turned her back while I changed to stone. She didn’t like to see my strangeness, as if it would somehow drive the hurt deeper, that my father had cursed her with a condemned abomination for a daughter. She lived her entire life looking over her shoulder because of me.”
A tug came on my braid. I imagined Isaac running his fingers along the length of it, and that, too, was a strange sort of comfort coming from the last source I expected it from. I’m here, I heard in the act. I’m listeningr reputation shatters when people die, her monster-whispering skills shelved by public outcry and vampire politics.
When forced to confront their enemy, she isn’t prepared for the depth of Isaac’s plotting—or her increasing attraction to him—and to end their latest crisis will only cost Lou a piece of her soul.
I’ve recently had a taste of what it’s like to play with the big girls in the publishing world. I signed a 3-book deal with an awesome publisher. Wahoo, right? I worked madly on the most extensive edits I’d ever done, and with a couple of stressful months behind me, the story shined. Whew, what a lot of work, but so worth it in the end.
I think I had maybe two days of relaxing before I got some news. The publisher wanted book 2 in four months’ time so we could release the book within 6 months of the first one.
Enter the sound of screeching tires here. OMG, seriously?
Okay, so I’ve written a 100,000 word novel in six weeks before, but that was a book 1 of a series. The last book 2 I’d written took me a year because there’s so much that has to go on, like recapping book 1, developing the story in book 2, and setting up for book 3. I usually need at least a couple of months stewing time after the first draft before I can edit it properly.
In my mind, I heard myself think: I can’t do this. Nope, no way, nu-uh. I was a professional now, and I had a real, honest-to-goodness deadline. So, I got to work, writing madly in every second of spare time, which wasn’t a lot with my full time job and family that have to come first.
It was the most complicated, intense story I’ve ever written, dealing with memory loss, multiple realities, and some in-depth history that had to unfold. Often I’d get awesome ideas AFTER I’d already written scenes, having to rip them out and start over. The ending just wouldn’t come to me.
The deadline loomed nearer. My mind started to shut down, and the more words I spilled out, the more of a train wreck the story became. I just couldn’t see where I was going anymore, and it was no longer fun. I wasn’t sure what to do, and the stress level started to weigh heavily on my mind and body.
Four days before the novel was due at my editor, I finally had to admit defeat and ask for an extension, something I’ve never had to do before.
With a brief email to my editor, something miraculous happened. The simple act of taking away the deadline opened the floodgates of my mind, and with the help of my beta readers, I could suddenly see the story from beginning to end with crystal clarity. All of the issues that stumped me had neat solutions.
I finished the book over the weekend and sent it in on time. Holy cow, I really did it.
The mind is such a strange and wonderful beast. There are days when I wish I understood it better, and other days, I love the mystery of it. Here’s hoping I can bend it into submission to get book 3 finished by September. J
Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.
With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has five published novels and has recently signed a 3-book deal with Entangled Publishing.
When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.