Monday, May 27, 2019

Danielle L. Jensen Interview - Dark Shores

Photo Credit: Katherine Calnan Photography

Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Novels: Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress, Warrior Witch, and The Broken Ones, as well as The Bridge Kingdom (Audible Originals). Her latest novel, Dark Shores, will be released by Tor Teen in May of 2019. She lives with her family in Calgary, Alberta.


Print Length: 364 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 125031772X
Publisher: Tor Teen (May 7, 2019)
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English

Praise for DARK SHORES

“Richly-woven, evocative, and absolutely impossible to put down―I was hooked from the first lines! Dark Shores has everything I look for in a fantasy novel: fresh, unique settings, a cast of complex and diverse characters, and an unflinching boldness with the nuanced world-building. I loved every word.” ―Sarah J. Maas, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"The book grabs readers from the beginning with its stellar worldbuilding and multidimensional characters, and the mythical elements are truly believable within the constructs of the story. The perspective shifts between the viewpoints of Teriana and Marcus from chapter to chapter, offering readers greater insights into each. ...A gripping introduction to a new series." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"This is a lush, imaginative world, and as the focus shifts between Teriana and Marcus, it becomes clear that the readers are only getting a glimpse of its complicated history and mythology. ...Their secrets don’t, of course, stop Teriana and Marcus from embarking on a steamy romance, and fans of Rutkoski’s sighworthy The Winner’s Kiss and the high-stakes sea adventure of Levenseller’s Daughter of the Pirate King will want to know where Marcus and Teriana journey to next." ―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I was working in corporate finance (which I did not love), and a friend/coworker of mine suggested we write a romance novel together because it would be “easy”. I thought this was a great idea, minus the “together” part, because despite what my resume says, I’m not much of a team player ;-)

I tried writing a romance novel. Turns out it isn’t easy at all, and I tossed it out. Then I moved onto my one true love: epic fantasy. The world I created for that first fantasy novel eventually became the world DARK SHORES inhabits, i.e. the world of Reath!

Tell us your latest news.
Hmmm… I’d say my latest news other than DARK SHORES being released is that the sequel is in editorial and that everyone who has read it loves it even MORE than DARK SHORES itself. We are doing something really unique and special with this series, and I can’t wait until Tor Teen allows me to share the details!

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I pay much more attention to the reactions of readers than I did before being published. Not just the reactions to my own work, but the reactions to the work of other authors. I find it interesting examining what readers love and hate or feel meh about, and that information sits in the back of my head while I edit, although I try to ignore it while drafting, because it can stifle my process. The first draft is for me. The final draft is for readers.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
It’s easy to say that DARK SHORES has a lot of moral ambiguity in it, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. I put Marcus and Teriana in situations where they have to make very hard decisions where there really is no “right” choice. No matter what Marcus and Teriana do, there are brutal consequences. It’s easy to judge them for their choices, but I hope readers will try to step into their shoes and imagine what they’d do if faced with similar consequences. To imagine how far they’d go in order to protect their family or friends.

What part of Teriana did you enjoy writing the most?
That she says what she thinks. I’ve got a lot of characters in my repertoire who make a huge effort to not say what they’re thinking, so it was refreshing to go the other direction.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Marcus?
Marcus has the deepest backstory, all of which has an influence on the plot of the novel. As a result, I spend a lot of time thinking about how his past impacts his present/future. I’d say the thing that surprised me most was how huge an influence his older sister, Cordelia, is. Not only does he love her dearly, he has a deep respect for her, and she forces him to think about things that he might otherwise choose to ignore. Expect to see more of her throughout the series!

In your newest book, DARK SHORES can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it
I’m terrible at describing my own novels! So here’s a list of the things readers can expect:
 A world inspired by Ancient Rome
 LOTS of political intrigue
 A villainous, power-hungry senator bent on conquest
 Slow burn romance
 Exciting sea voyages
 Legions engaging in epic battles (on land)
 Meddlesome gods
 Friendship, both new and old
 Family drama
 A fierce heroine who says what she thinks and means what she says
 A brilliant hero with far too many dangerous secrets that are coming back to haunt him
 A large cast of secondary characters who keep things from getting too serious

How many books have you written?
DARK SHORES is my 6th published novel, plus I’ve written the sequel to it and the sequel to THE BRIDGE KINGDOM. I also have a dystopian YA sitting in my desk drawer that never made it to the finish line. So… 9?

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Read novels that you expect to love or to find interesting. Set them aside if they aren’t working for you, because life is short and there are a million other books to read. Spend more time talking about the books you love than the books you hate – be a champion for the novels you want to succeed.

  • 1. Krynn (The Dragonlance novels)
  • 2. The world of The Demon Cycle series by Peter Brett
  • 3. The Old Kingdom (The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix)
  • 4. Martial Empire (An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir)
  • 5. Prythian (ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas)
  • 6. Pern (Dragon Riders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey)
  • 7. The world of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan)
  • 8. Middle Earth (J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • 9. Hogwarts (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)
  • 10. The world of The Belgariad by David Eddings
What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
Having my debut, STOLEN SONGBIRD, nominated and make it to the finals of the Goodreads Choice awards. Given that is an award driven by readers, it was really a special achievement.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?

I’m not sure if it’s ridiculous, but I know that horses can’t vomit. It’s a mistake I’ve seen in a few novels over the years J

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Heartbreak. I’m a firm believer that one should experience as much of life as one can – I think people on their deathbeds are more likely to look back on life and regret the things they didn’t do rather than the things they have done.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
This is going to fly in the face of my answer to the previous question, but I’m a total chicken. So it would have to be an adventure where my life WASN’T in danger. BUT, if I were a braver person, I’d say that I’d like to explore the uncharted territory in a rainforest or the deepest depths of the ocean. I’d love to experience something I’d ever seen before – not even in pictures, and that’s a hard thing to do in our modern era! I think that’s one of the reasons I love SFF novels so much!

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
My youngest child had to be taken the hospital by ambulance when she was about 3 months old because of an extreme fever. I thought she was going to die and I hope never to be that terrified again in my life.

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.


Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.


Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.


When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

You can purchase Dark Shores at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHELSEA SEDOTI for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of DARK SHORES by Danielle L. Jensen.
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