Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Red Sector Chronicles by Krystle Jones

The Red Sector Chronicles

Series: The Red Sector Chronicles Omnibus

Author: Krystle Jones

Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis

The strength of Sloane’s heart is about to be put to the ultimate test.

After the Eclipse – the night vampires began openly slaughtering human victims – everything changed. Out of fear, the government salvaged what remained of the human population and enclosed them in massive, security-laden cities called White Sectors, while marking the vampire infested territory as Red Sectors.

When seventeen-year-old Sloane McAllister’s twin brother disappears, she seems to be the only one who thinks he isn’t dead, and she vows to stop at nothing to find him. Gathering her courage, she braves the Red Sector to search for clues to his whereabouts. By chance, she encounters Aden, a handsome, charismatic vampire with a hidden agenda. He turns Sloane against her will and whisks her away to his underground city. Enemies quickly become friends as Sloane struggles against her attraction to Aden, and resists her growing loyalties to the creatures that ruined her life.

But the vampires themselves are the least of her problems. A war is brewing between the humans and vampires, along with a growing web of deceit and betrayal. And before it’s all over, loyalties will be tested, hearts will be broken, and no one’s lives will ever be the same.

Excerpt

The Scarlet Dagger *free download!* Or get the whole trilogy for $5.99. *Offer valid through November 25th.*


A sickly yellow school bus, limping on two deflated tires, sat in the middle of an intersection. As I crept alongside it, keeping to its shadow, I caught the outline of a black form moving above me, its hunkered shape slinking along the top of the bus like a cat hunting a mouse.

Adrenaline coursed through my veins as I wheeled around, cocking the pistol, only to find nothing. There was no nightmarish creature waiting to pounce.

My breath grew more ragged as my heart rate sped up, throbbing painfully inside my ears until it was the only sound I heard. In the windows of the bus, my reflection was still aiming the pistol at the roof of the vehicle. Shadows were at my back, save for a flash of crimson eyes.

I drew a sharp breath and dropped to the ground, spinning around on the balls of my feet as the vampire lunged out of the darkness, a rabid snarl erupting from its oversized throat. The gunshot was silent as death, and time seemed to slow as the vampire changed direction at the last second before the bullet hit, tearing a bright red gash into its bared rib cage. The vampire sailed over me, and I followed its path with the pistol, firing again as the creature shrieked and hit the ground. Quick as a shadow, it scuttled out of the way before the bullet hit home, missing its head and blowing a hole in its side, spraying the ground with black blood. The vampire latched itself on the side of the bus, crawling over the roof like a spider before disappearing from view.

I cursed and went after it. The Scarlet Dagger shined brilliant crimson in the moonlight as I unsheathed and raised it into a defensive position, while gripping the pistol in my other hand. My forefinger jittered against the trigger as I paused at the end of the bus, using the dagger as a mirror to see the other side. Only dirt and a scattering of MISSING CHILD posters lay next to the bus.

Each breath I took made my whole body shake, and I willed my heartbeat to slow as sweat dripped from my forehead onto my chest. Something rapidly clucked its tongue a few feet from me, making a low guttural noise, and I pointed the pistol at the darkness, not seeing anything. A bead of sweat dropped into my eye, and I swiped at it as my vision blurred. I glanced at my hand and did a double take, rubbing the sweat drop between my thumb and forefinger. It was warm and much thicker than it should be.

It was also deep red.

Later, I would be grateful I saw that drop of blood, because it was the only warning I had before the vampire tackled me from the top of the bus, catching me off guard and throwing me to the ground. I landed hard on my back, giving my lungs a jolt as the breath was knocked from me. While I lost hold of the pistol, I managed to bring the dagger up swift enough to block the vampire’s gaping jaws. The creature wasn’t very heavy – little more than sagging, purplish skin and fragile bone – but its speed was nearly too quick for my seemingly sluggish human reflexes, and it was all I could do to keep it at bay as it scratched at my arms and snapped its razor sharp teeth at my neck.



Character Sloane McAllister Interviewed by Krystle Jones

KRYSTLE: So, Sloane, tell the readers a little about yourself.

SLOANE: Um… *tucks hair behind ear and stares at the floor* I’m, uh, a vampire hunter who kind of became a vampire. *laughs* Yeah, EPIC fail.

KRYSTLE: *grins* How’s that working out for you?

SLOANE: Well, you know, it was a big adjustment at first. And by big adjustment, I mean I totally freaking hated it! *laughs* But you get used to it, and being a vampire isn’t all bad. *looks at handsome blond vampire off-stage*

ADEN: (shouted) Yeah, it isn’t!

SLOANE: Get out of my interview!

KRYSTLE: Aden, darling, you’ll get your turn in a minute.

ADEN: *sad face*

SLOANE: *sighs* Why does he have to look so cute when he’s sad?

KRYSTLE: Anyway, back to the vampire thing. How did you feel when you first went into the Red Sector to look for your brother?

SLOANE: Scared to death! Duh! I mean, the Red Sectors are crazy dangerous. All those vampires… *shudders*

KRYSTLE: And yet you went anyway.

SLOANE: *glares at author* And whose fault is that?

KRYSTLE: *grins* I think you relish being in danger, a bit of a thrill-seeker, as it were. Not to mention you’re stubborn and reckless.

SLOANE: Hey! Those are my finer qualities. And I wouldn’t have had to be in dangerous situations if you hadn’t kept putting me in them.

KRYSTLE: You know you liked it.

SLOANE: *suppresses a smile*

KRYSTLE: Right. Well, thanks for coming today, Sloane! Good luck staying out of trouble. You’re going to need it. *last part grumbled*

SLOANE: I heard that! Vampire hearing, remember! *points to ears*

About the Author

Krystle Jones

Krystle Jones was born and raised in the small, southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers. In addition to being a novelist, she is also an award-winning flutist, and moonlights as a voice actress. Her voice can be heard in the popular online game, Alice is Dead 3.

Author Links

Walking in a Vampire Hunter’s Shoes By Krystle Jones

I didn’t know my MC, Sloane, was going to be a vampire hunter when I came up with the idea for The Red Sector Chronicles. I just saw a dark-haired girl, standing in a cityscape painted in shades of red. (Random aside: I think red moons look so cool. Naturally, I had to find an excuse to have one in my novel. =)

A lot of my character ideas start like this, as pictures in my head, and then I flesh them out on paper during my brainstorming process. At first, I was just going to have Sloane be a vampire, because I thought, “Writing as a vampire would be fun!” Then I got to playing the “what if…?” game and thought, “What if Sloane was a vampire hunter who became a vampire, and vampires are what she hates more than anything on this earth?”

That made for a much more compelling character and plotline, so I rolled with it.

Thus, Sloane the Vampire Hunter was born.

I wanted her to be tough. I wanted her to be sassy. Most of all, I wanted her to kick a lot of ass. But kicking said ass was a lot harder to write about than I thought it would be!

In my original draft of the first book in my trilogy, The Scarlet Dagger, I knew she would have to “prove herself” to the audience if she was going to be perceived as a femme fatale. So I had her run-up on a vampire straight-away – and she got her butt kicked. My hubby, when I shoved the manuscript in his face he lovingly agreed to see my baby book, I said, “So, she’s pretty cool, huh?”

“Not really.”

Now, my husband isn’t known for beating around the bush. He just says what he means.

“What?” I asked. “Why not?”

“She gets beat-up right away,” he said, pointing to the manuscript. “She needs to kill this thing. Then I’d be impressed.”

“Huh.”

“Oh, and make her more like Blade, ‘cuz that’d be cool.”

(No kidding on that last part.)

I did make her more like Blade, in the sense of her being a lot tougher to tango with. And that was part of the challenge. She couldn’t be so awesomely badass that no one could beat her, because that gets old. Plus, it’s unbelievable. She needed to have some kryptonite. And she gets that, in the form of a hot vampire, some acidic metal called Scarlet Steel, and a whole slew of other problems.

One of my favorite parts of writing from Sloane’s perspective were all the fighting scenes. I didn’t want to drag them out, but I wanted readers to feel like they were there with her, so I put as many details as I could in them instead of saying, “She punched him. He punched her. Sloane goes flying through a cement wall.” I took karate lessons for many years when I was a kid, and it was fun reliving those years through Sloane, because all of a sudden, I had someplace to use my knowledge. (Never had to get in a fight yet, thankfully!)

When she becomes a vampire, I also had to think about how that affected her psychologically, since she despised vampires. I mean, they did ruin the world. Sloane was very complex and fun to write about while she was in the “figuring-things-out” stage of being a vampire. She sort of wants to like vampires, but she knows she’s supposed to hate them – and she really does – so she’s kind of stuck.

I’d like to keep writing about tough chicks. Not that I have anything against softer heroines (the Bella’s of the literary world), but writing about a girl who can protect herself is a lot of fun.


Author Q&A

1. Are you anything like your heroines?
Oh, no! Sloane is the exact opposite of me, actually. She’s very outspoken and reckless, and I tend to be very soft-spoken (on certain things), and quiet. We’re nothing alike. I’m actually probably a little bit more similar to Valerie, the heroine in my faery series. She’s not as much of a live-wire as Sloane. But that’s the fun part about writing – you get to be anybody you want to be. And the sassy characters are always a lot of fun.
2. Why did you decide to write about vampires?
Vampires are one of my favorite paranormal creatures. (And I think a lot of people would agree with me!) They’re alluring, sexy, dark, mysterious. There’s also a certain romanticism that goes along with them, which lends itself well to paranormal romance.
3. Tell us a little about The Red Sector Chronicles.
In a nutshell, it’s the story about a teenage vampire-hunter-turned-vampire and her adventures. =P That’s the super-short version. It’s a young adult trilogy that’s a mash-up of dystopia, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy, some of my favorite genres. There are laughs, gasps, and swooning-over-book-boyfriends to be had. If you’re a fan of Vampire Academy or Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, you’ll probably like this series.
4. Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Both. Tried pantsting once. The book was a trainwreck and took about four complete rewrites to get right. Never again. *shudders* I plan things a lot more now that I’ve studied story structure, and I’ve tried really detailed outlines. They tend to make the whole writing process not as much fun for me. Things are “too” planned out, so it takes the fun out of writing. I do make notes about major plot points, as well as some sparse notes about how my scenes go. Then I just let my imagination do the rest.
5. What do you think is more important to the novel, characters or plot?
I’d say both are important, though I will say I’ve watched plenty of movies and read plenty of books where there was almost no plot to be found, but the characters were so captivating that I immensely enjoyed myself anyway.
6. What are some of your favorite movies?
I love Victorian romances, so I’m a sucker for almost any Jane Austen film. I also love fairy tales and films with strong female leads. Gotta love a kickass girl. I also LOVE scary movies and anything that makes me laugh. Some favorites that come to mind are Ever After, Underworld, The Conjuring, and Tropic Thunder.
7. Do you think you’ll ever write about vampires again?
*smiles* Oh, yes. I already have a lot of stories in mind. I just love them too much!
8. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Read. A lot. And not just within your genre, but outside your genre. Also read as many writing references as you can, and practice what you learn. That’s the key. And speaking of practicing, write every day. Not edit. Write. Pour new words onto the page. That’s how you perfect your craft.

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