JeanBookNerd Storytellers BOX

Let your adventure begin...

Alexandrea Wise and Lucas Astor

RIVER OF ASHES Blog Tour

Sean Penn

BOB HONEY WHO JUST DO STUFF

Barbara Dee

HAVEN JACOBS SAVES THE PLANET Nerd Blast

Tom Bilyeu

Impact Theory

Leah Vernon

THE UNION Official Blog Tour

William L. Myers Jr.

A KILLER'S ALIBI

Kayleigh Nicol and Andrew Rowe

CRYSTAL AWAKENING Blog Tour

E.E. KNight

NOVICE DRAGONEER

Robert McCaw

DEATH OF A MESSENGER

Gregg Olsen

SNOW CREEK Podcast

Josh Duhamel

THE BUDDY GAMES

Mary Ting

THE SEASHELL OF 'OHANA

Evie Green

WE HEAR VOICES

Anna Gomez and Kristoffer Polaha

WHERE THE SUN RISES Blog Tour

Barbara Dee

VIOLETS ARE BLUE Nerd Blast

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Erin Carrougher Interview - Augland


Photo Content from Erin Carrougher

Erin Carrougher is a native of the Pacific Northwest, living the majority of her life near the Seattle area. She loves dystopian books, movies, and shows; so naturally, she weaved her passion for writing with her obsession with the possible futures. When not writing, she works as a sales professional and is a loving wife, Auntie BeeBee, and dog mom. While a novice chef, she enjoys spending time in the kitchen creating her own variations on food creations (mostly because she hates following directions).

Follow her blog and subscribe to her newsletter to get up-to-date notices on the series, a further deep dive into the various parks in Augland, and what’s happening next!

        
  

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I have always loved creative writing; writing little things here and there when I was in college, but I gave it up mostly when I found myself diving headfirst into the corporate world and working my way up the corporate ladder.

Then, one day I found myself laying on the couch and wondering what made me happy. I’ve always loved reading and watching movies, but found myself making up alternative versions in my head. I found a new determination to do something for myself, different than the repetitiveness of the daily grind. I picked up my laptop and started writing. And I haven’t stopped!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Hands down – getting to hold the final product!

Writing a book is such a long process. Between writing, rewriting, and editing you spend so much time developing your story, but when the final product comes it makes the months upon months of effort worth it. The moment you can hold it and say, “I did it and I’m so proud of myself.”

TEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT AUGLAND
  • 1. Workers in Augland don’t have last names! They have a first name followed by a worker identification number.
  • 2. Workers don’t eat normal food; they have nutritional bars and protein shakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The purpose is to minimize extra food production.
  • 3. Older workers that were a part of the Civil War before Augland were told they couldn’t speak about life before Augland in fear of being cast outside the Augland walls.
  • 4. The “Suits” in Augland are addicted to the parks within Augland. They are fed euphoric medicine to keep them in a heightened state.. A “forever” vacation.
  • 5. In Augland, there is no “money”, all tradable wealth is considered resources and status.
  • 6. Atlantis!
  • 7. Maya Bay is based off a beach I visited when I took a cruise to the Caribbean. It was the most surreal experience I’ve ever had. The sand was white and the water clear as glass.
  • 8. Ashton, Augland’s main character, begins her story insecure. She finds strength not only from within but from the people she loves.
  • 9. Wolfe’s personality, Ashton’s love interest, is based off my husband
  • 10. Augland exposes a dystopian geopolitical agenda; something I believe is critical for readers to understand the lengths that greed and political influence will go to keep power.
What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Life! I love to write, but there is no room for multi-tasking. Writing takes time and dedication, and sometimes there simply seems to be not enough hours in the day. Other priorities and real-world things get in the way and I found that what takes the backseat is the most enjoyable part of my day: writing.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Oh goodness. Storytelling is essential! It allows us to speak on what is important, in my case create subtle depictions of current events and foreshadow what could happen in a dystopian world. But it is also important to take ourselves out of reality and plunge into the alternative.

Can you tell us when you started AUGLAND, how that came about?
I was in the middle of another novel when the story of Augland was screaming at me. I had struggled to get my first book to a point in which I felt like it was something I wanted to work on. Eventually, I found myself beginning on an outline of the Augland story and one thing led to another.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
I would say, I thought the characters would be based on people I knew or have met in my life. Eventually, however, they became their own people! Now, I don’t associate my characters with a certain personality of a person I know or knew, but rather their own identity. It’s quite thrilling, to have these characters feel so real that they have their own voice.

Augland 54 is the Pacific Northwest’s most extravagant theme park. Those with Suits choose the body they want and live the life of their dreams…and those without Suits work for the Artificial Existence Center, or AEC. As long as the workers keep their heads down, Augland provides food and shelter from the post-war world outside its domed walls.

When Ashton is sent to the new Land of Legends park, she discovers that Augland is keeping secrets—inside and outside of its walls—and they’re more violent than she ever expected. So she decides to fight back. After all, if Augland is going to make her dress up as a red-headed warrior princess, then she’s more than willing to become one.

In a corporation-ruled world inhabited by the augmented bodies of the wealthy, securely cut off from the rest in life-extending pods, Ashton exposes the sham of corporate success and refuses to remain a cog in the machine. The only thing that matters now is freedom.

You can purchase Augland at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ERIN CARROUGHER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Augland by Erin Carrougher.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
jbnlatestinterviews

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Cinda Williams Chima Interview - Children of Ragnarok


Photo Content from Cinda Williams Chima

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima nearly failed first grade because she was always daydreaming. By junior high, she got in trouble for writing novels in class. Yet the magic of books took her from first grade failure to first generation college graduate to college professor to bestselling author.

Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir, The Enchanter Heir and The Sorcerer Heir all from Hyperion.

Chima’s young adult high fantasy Seven Realms series (Hyperion) include The Demon King (2009), The Exiled Queen (2010) The Gray Wolf Throne (2011) and The Crimson Crown 2012.) The Shattered Realms (HarperTeen,) follows a new generation in the world of the Seven Realms, and includes Flamecaster, Shadowcaster, Stormcaster, and Deathcaster.

Her newest series, Sunstone Saga, launches in November 2022 with Children of Ragnarok. Set in the Midlands after Ragnarok, it marries Norse mythology and witchcraft with swordplay, axeplay, longships, romance and cut-throat politics.

Chima’s books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to the Kirkus Best YA lists, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists. They appear on numerous state reading lists and have won the South Carolina and Ohio Teen Book Awards. Translation rights have been sold in numerous countries overseas.

        
  

Greatest thing you learned at school.
Typing/keyboarding. I know this sounds mundane, but handwriting was slow and painful for me, with an ugly result. Who gets D’s in handwriting? Me. When I learned to type I could finally keep up with my racing mind. Typing got me my first job at sixteen, taking advertising copy for a newspaper. It has made every job I’ve had easier. Moving on to computers was a dream come true.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
In the early years in elementary school, I was always getting in trouble for daydreaming. I was never on task, on time, with the program or whatever. Then in third grade I wrote a poem and showed it to my teacher. She made a big fuss about it, framed it, and posted it at the science fair. Okay, I thought. Maybe this is what I’m good at. I’ve been writing ever since.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Politics and the pandemic. Also the editor in my head who keeps criticizing everything I put on the page. You have to give yourself permission to write badly in order to gain any traction.

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes
I’m going to cheat and say all of them. Pleasure reading in particular changed my life. I struggled early in school, but when I became a fluent reader, it made everything easier. I still messed up, but it gave me the edge I needed to succeed anyway. That is why I am a fierce proponent of self-selected reading.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I come from a family of Appalachian story tellers on my mother’s side. I think it was the stories that got me interested in genealogy. There was the great-grandfather who got drunk, got kicked by a horse, and died. The uncle that got drunk and set himself on fire and died. Uncle Vinnie Nash, whose wife hid his shoes to keep him from going out dancing in honky-tonks. They were musicians, moonshiners, and barn dancers. Stories help us understand who we are and how we fit in.

Can you tell us when you started CHILDREN OF RAGNAROK, how that came about?
When I was in school, I remember learning about Greek and Roman mythology, but Norse mythology was completely overlooked. Part of the reason might be that none of the details of Norse mythology were written down by actual practitioners. There was no central authority in the Norse religion to hand down canon. Elements of the oral history were written down by Christians centuries later. There’s a lot we don’t know.

I had done considerable genealogical research into my family, and as far as I could tell, nearly all of my ancestors were from the British Isles, with a couple of Germans and French Huguenots thrown in. But when I had my DNA tested, there was evidence of Scandinavian heritage, specifically Denmark and Sweden. That piqued my interest, and I began to research the Viking Age and Norse mythology.

Your Favorite Scenes from CHILDREN OF RAGNAROK
FROM CHILDREN OF RAGNAROK
REGINN EIKLUND, A TRAVELLING SEER AND MUSICIAN, SEES EIRIC HALVOSEN FOR THE FIRST TIME.

A young man sat alone, an empty bowl beside him, a cup within the circle of his arms. Something about him made her take a second look.

He was unusually tall, broad-shouldered, and well-made. His fair hair was dressed in the coaster style, the top pulled back in a leather thong, the rest hanging free. He wore a heavy gold ring on his right arm. A sword leaned against the wall in easy reach, and an axe lay on the table, close to his right hand. Reginn could see the kiss of the sun on his bronzed skin and hear the rush of the sea in his veins.

The tables and benches closest to him were empty, as if no one dared to get too close. Still, he drew considerable attention and whispers from the other patrons.

Reginn crossed to the mealfire, where the young cook was doling out pork stew that smelled better than anything that came from Gunnar’s hearth. “Who’s the boy yonder?” she said.

The cook didn’t have to look to know who Reginn meant. “That’s Eiric Halvorsen,” she said, with a delicious sort of shiver. “He comes from a family of coasters. His family owns the finest farm on Muckleholm.” She leaned closer, speaking in a whisper. “He murdered his own modir and stepfadir just after Solstice. He’ll go before the Thing in Selvagr before long. By all rights, he’ll be outlawed. Others say they won’t dare.”

“Now,” the cook said, leaning in. “Here’s what’s interesting. Word is that his fadir, Leif Halvorsen, descends from Thor, Odin’s son, a great warrior. Others say not Thor, but Baldr, the handsomest of all the gods.”

“Really?” Reginn said, wide-eyed, even though a person couldn’t throw a rock in the Archipelago without hitting somebody who claimed to be a descendant of the gods. Not only was she good at telling stories, she was good at listening to them, too.

But there was more. “They say he’s got a girl in every port in the Archipelago.”

“Do they?” Reginn murmured. “Does he? Good for him.”

“They say he’s dangerous, because he’s so charming,” the cook murmured, her cheeks pink. “He’ll carry you away on his ship, and, when he’s done with you, put a collar around your neck and sell you in the markets.”

Reginn had the sense that the cook might risk it if the coaster offered the least encouragement.

At that moment, Eiric Halvorsen looked up and caught them whispering and staring at him. He raised his cup, as if in a toast, and drank deeply. Then extended his empty cup. The cook rushed to refill it, leaving Reginn to help herself.

EIRIC AND HIS-SYSTIR LIV ARGUE ABOUT MAGIC
“I’m not counting on the gods,” Liv said. “I’m talking about seidr--sorcery.”

“Bjorn always said that when we are born, the Norns have already woven our fate into the fabric of the universe. If there isn’t anything you can do to change it, then why try?”

“The web is not off the loom yet,” Liv insisted. “What if you could unravel bits of it and reweave it? What if you could add a bit of lace or a new color? What if you could take something drab and make it beautiful? What if you could see the future and avoid trouble that is coming your way?”

“If you can do magic, then conjure up a sack of gold we can use to pay off the Knudsens,” Eiric shouted, his rage and helplessness driving him. He paused, calmed himself with an effort, then added, softly, “All I’m saying is that there are no miracles anymore. The gods are not walking among us, pitching in now and then. We are not going to be saved by magic or anything else.”

“Give up on magic if you want,” Liv said, in a voice like spun steel. “If men give up sorcery, they still rule the world. They sit on the councils, they make the laws, they sail away and make their fortunes or die. Their lives go on much the same.” She snatched up her distaff, the one she used to spin flax, and shook it in his face. “That is why magic is so often the province of women. It is the power we wield in the world, our ability to shape and change and control it. We would be foolish to give it up.”

What is the first job you have had?
I worked for a newspaper throughout high school and college, typing and editing advertising copy. I didn’t know it then, but it was great training for a writer.

Best date you've ever had?
There’s something about the Fourth of July. I met my husband through a member of a band I was in. We were both on the rebound. He invited me to go watch fireworks on Independence Day on the grounds of a local estate. We had just settled in on the lawn when the skies opened up. It is now known as the Great Fourth of July storm in those parts. The holiday fireworks were cancelled, but we made our own.

Years later, my in-laws gifted us with a hot air balloon ride on the Fourth of July. It was a family business, and it turned out it was our pilot’s first solo flight. The winds were calm at dawn, but soon developed a strong breeze out of the south. The further north we went, the more densely populated it was, and the fewer places to land. When our pilot realized that we might end up in Lake Erie, he put us down in the median in the middle of the interstate, with the balloon lying over two lanes of traffic. By the time he got the balloon packed up, we were surrounded by emergency vehicles. We were supposed to share a champagne toast, but when the chase car caught up to us, the pilot’s parents thrust a bottle of champagne at us and hustled him away.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
When I was in college, I went to Europe with my girlfriend. I’d been saving up money to get braces, but when she made the offer, I jumped on it. It was the best decision I ever made. People in my family didn’t go overseas unless they were in uniform. We spent two weeks traveling around England on an English literature tour—went to the Lake District, Hardy country, Stratford-on-Avon, Oxford, saw Shakespeare at the Old Vic in London. It opened a whole new world for me. (I did eventually get braces.)

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
My mother had a heart attack when I was in third grade and nearly died. She was hospitalized for seven weeks. Even after she came home, I was always watching on the sly to make sure she was still breathing. It made the possibility of loss real to me at a young age. My life would have been totally changed had she died then. (Guess that’s not a fun answer.)

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Love and heartbreak. Definitely.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Where am I? (I was in a hotel.)

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
I have a couple of recurring dreams. One is some variation of, it’s the end of the semester, and time for the final, and for some reason I haven’t done any of the reading or been to class all term. Or I can’t find the building. The other is one where my teeth are crumbling in my mouth and I keep spitting out pieces.


Ever since Ragnarok—the great war between the gods and the forces of chaos--the human realm of the Midlands has become a dangerous place, bereft of magic, where most lead lives of desperation.
Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones. Between fishing, going vikingr, and working his modir’s farm, the family has remained prosperous. But Eiric stands to lose everything when he’s convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is his half-systir, Liv, whose interest in seidr, or magic, has made her a figure of suspicion. Then a powerful jarl steps in: he will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove—the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.

Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reggin Eiklund has spent her life traveling from town to town, performing at alehouses all for the benefit of her master, Asger, the fire demon she is desperate to escape. Then after one performance that amazes even Reggin herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make her an irresistible offer: return with them to the temple to be trained in seidr, forever free of Asger.
Eiric, Liv, and Reggin’s journeys converge in New Jotunheim, the site of the Temple at the Grove, a paradise fueled by magic. They soon realize that a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface, and that old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.

Sweeping adventure, breathtaking twists of fate, and immersive worlds based in Norse mythology are woven into this first volume of the Runestone Saga, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Seven Realms and Shattered Realms series.
You can purchase Children of Ragnarok at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Children of Ragnarok by Cinda Williams Chima.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
jbnlatestinterviews

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Kosoko Jackson Interview - A Dash of Salt and Pepper


Photo Content from Kosoko Jackson

Kosoko Jackson is a vocal champion of diversity in YA literature, the author of YA novels featuring African American queer protagonists, and a sensitivity reader for Big Five Publishers. Some of his favorite authors are Courtney Summers, Jen DeLuca, Adib Khorram, Casey McQuiston, Ian McEwan, Alex London, Andi Christopher, Dhonielle Clayton, Ryan LaSalla, Denise Williams, and Natalie Parker.

Professionally, is a digital media specialist, focusing on digital storytelling, email, social and SMS marketing, and a freelance political journalist. Occasionally, his personal essays and short stories have been featured on Medium, Thought Catalog,

When not writing YA novels that champion holistic representation of black queer youth across genres, he can be found obsessing over movies, drinking his (umpteenth) London Fog, or spending far too much time on Twitter. His YA debut, YESTERDAY IS HISTORY, will come out in 2021, published by SourceBooks Fire and his adult #OwnVoices queer Romcom, I’M SO (NOT) OVER YOU will come out in 2022, by Berkley Romance.

        

  
Greatest thing you learned at school.
Good question! Perfection is the enemy of the good 9 times out of 10.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I started writing when I was 6 years old, but didn’t seriously want to be published until 2013. I was at a low point in my life and knew that books were my love. I did a lot of research to see how to get here and wrote a lot of bad books, but I love all of them.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
Atonement. The book made me want to be a writer. I loved the prose, the unreliable narrator, the flawed characters, the historical references…I still love that book. Outside of romance books, I also really love Hacienda by Isabel CaƱas and Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. These gothic vibes are something I hope to write someday.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
When my debut rom-com, I’m So Not Over You, came out, a book seller told me an older Black man came in, saw the book, and said they had never seen someone who looked like them on the cover of a romance. I love knowing my books help people see themselves more often than not.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
The Portrait of Dorian Grey, hands down.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Food research! I was really trying to balance how much or how little to put into the book. It lead me watching and trying a lot of recipes and forgetting to write!

TEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT  A DASH OF SALT AND PEPPER
  • Xavier went through many name changes before I settled on Xavier. I was binge watching X men when I rewrote it. PS: Xavier would be team Magneto.
  • Logan was always always modeled after Milo Ventimiglia. Milo, if you read this, I love you.
  • Anne is a direct copy of Anne of Green Gables, one of my favorite books growing up.
  • Mya, Xavier’s best friend, was loosely based off of my best friend in college, Camille.
  • Harper’s Cove is basically Stars Hollow.
  • I went to Maine for a week to research this book–and ate a lot of seafood.
  • The original ending, no spoilers, was VERY different. When you read it, picture the exact opposite.
  • The Devil Wears Prada is a paid actor in this book.
  • Like every rom-com of mine, there is a singing scene. This one is a sea shanty!
  • Xavier’s mother is directly based off of mine.
What is the first job you have had?
Heathfood store associate.

Best date you've ever had?
Stargazing in a golf course we snuck into.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
If my puppy, Artemis, going to piss on the floor.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Flying to Dublin to visit my best friend and having the best spring break trip ever.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Working for Rock The Vote during the 2016 election.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love with a guarantee of heart break.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
“I don’t want to go for this jog today, but I have to, ugh.”

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
The TikTok I just watched to be honest!

First Love?
A boy named Benjamin!

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
Being chased by a witch who ate me by inhaling me into her nose.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
High school trip to Mexico where I had my first kiss.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
Organ theft.

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Madame Curie because she changed the world scientifically and politically and sociologically in ways we could never have expected.

Sometimes two cooks in the kitchen are better than one in this swoony romantic comedy from the author of I'm So (Not) Over You.

Xavier Reynolds is doing less than stellar. He just got dumped, was passed over for a prestigious fellowship, and to top it all off he's right back home in Harper's Cove, Maine (population: 9,000). The last thing he wants to do is to work as a prep chef in the kitchen of the hip new restaurant in town, The Wharf. Especially since the hot, single-father chef who owns it can't delegate to save his life.

Logan O'Hare doesn't understand Xavier or why every word out of his mouth is dipped in sarcasm. Unfortunately, he has no choice but to hire him--he needs more help in the kitchen and his tween daughter, Anne, can only mince so many onions. It might be a recipe for disaster, but Logan doesn't have many options besides Xavier.

Stuck between a stove and a hot place, Logan and Xavier discover an unexpected connection. But when the heat between them threatens to top the Scoville scale, they'll have to decide if they can make their relationship work or if life has seasoned them too differently.

You can purchase A Dash of Salt and Pepper at the following Retailers:
        

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
jbnlatestinterviews

Monday, December 5, 2022

Leah Vernon Interview - The Union


Photo Content from Leah Vernon

Leah Vernon is an international bombshell with a double masters in business and creative writing. She’s been featured in high-profile campaigns such as Ugg “Feel You” and Fitbit’s “Feel Your Power”.

She’s the first visibly plus-size Hijabi influencer to hit the mainstream with over four million views combined. She’s also an author of The Union and Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim.

Leah V isn’t your regular influencer; She’s a disruptor, a trendsetter, and a changemaker in her perspective fields. She began her blogging journey back in 2013, when she fell deep into disordered eating and noticed that there was no one that looked like her that was considered “worthy” or “beautiful”. And, frankly, she was tired of sucking her stomach in around her skinny friends.

With a grainy android phone and clothes from the clearance racks, she began paving her own way through the fashion industry. She used her fat, Black, and unapologetic Muslim body as a rebellion. Beauty is NOT one size fits all. She moved to New York and began smashing glass ceilings. To date, she has worked with renowned brands like Target, Dove, and Amazon just to name a few.

After years of brands telling her she had no place in the fashion world, that she was not “marketable” enough, Leah V carved her own beauty standards.
        
  

Greatest thing you learned in school.
English. Of course!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The most rewarding experience has been seeing my books inside of actual libraries and bookstores. Growing up, those places used to be my safe haven.

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
Yes, it was when I was watching Levar Burton host Reading Rainbow on PBS back in the 90's. I loved how soothing the voices were reading the stories. And, I loved how each story made me feel sad or scared or happy. I knew that I wanted to do that for other people when I grew up.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
I'd say to definitely take all the creative writing classes. Read a lot of books. Not just ones in the genre that you like, but read across all genres. And, find yourself a writing community. That helps a lot.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
Right now, I'm looking into modeling more in London and of course, writing book number two for the Union.

In your newest book; THE UNION, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
It's a wild story that turns everything we know about class, race, and history on its head. The story is a reverse telling of history in the future where Black Elites have enslaved the white race. The story also blurs the lines of who is bad and who is good.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I want them to be uncomfortable, because discomfort equals growth and understanding. I want them to really think about how race and class really work and how the system ultimately screws with a lot of marginalized people. I want them to really embrace empathy, but most of all, fall in deep love with the characters.

What part of Avi and Saige did you enjoy writing the most?
I enjoyed writing about Saige the most because she's a lot more like me. Rugged, stubborn, and rebellious. But, in the second book, I find myself loving to write from Avi's POV because she's really becoming a super badass.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing THE UNION?
The most unforgettable moment was when I finally got the book deal. I was in the Dominican Republic on a solo vacation when my agent told me I got a 2-book deal with the publisher. I just started crying at the bar because The Union has been a book seven years in the making. And, now my book baby gets to make her debut in the world.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Good question. I'd probably introduce Saige to Hermione from Harry Potter. I feel like they'd just go at it and get on each other's nerves because they are both bossy. LOL.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
Hmm. I've done a lot of crazy things. But the one that's popping out for me now, is probably jumping off things. I've jumped into a cenote in Mexico and I've also dove off a yacht in Turkey. I did not die either times.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Jump off something.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Happiest childhood memory was sitting on a dingy carpet in the library in my hometown surrounded by books from the Goosebumps Series.

How far away from your birthplace do you live now?
I think it's about 615 miles from my birthplace of Detroit.

What were you doing at midnight last night?
Making TikTok videos that no one will ever see.

Best date you've ever had?
OOOO. Y'all are getting juicy. Best date I ever had was recently while visiting London. I met a cute guy on Bumble. We went bowling the first day and then the second day we went to an arcade and played Dance, Dance Revolution.


From author and body-positive activist Leah Vernon comes a daring dystopian novel that explores the power of friendship in a future society built on violence and division.

A thousand years in the future, a Black elite class reigns. The lower classes toil in the fields or scrape by in blighted cities, serving their rulers in a cruel, divided world.

Among the Elites is eighteen-year-old Avi Jore, born to a powerful father and destined to rule. But as she comes of age, Avi cannot help but notice the injustices in her world—the treatment of enslaved workers, the oppression of the lower classes. Her disillusionment grows when she meets Saige Wilde, a mixed-race enslaved girl whose only goal is escaping beyond the borders of their brutal nation.

When Saige saves Avi from an assassination attempt, their paths become intertwined in ways they never imagined. As Saige plots her path to freedom, Avi tries to enact change from the inside. But it’s a complicated endeavor, fraught with danger and malice.

Together, their efforts could spark a revolution—and underscore the staggering power of friendship.

Publisher Note: This title was previously self-published as Impure. This edition of The Union includes substantial editorial revisions.

You can purchase The Union at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LEAH VERNON for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive a Copy of THE UNION by Leah Vernon.
Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card
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