Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Hand of Time by H.R. Jackson: Character Interview and Excerpt


Delving Deep Into Baron Territory

                War Baron Morgan, newest ascendant to the glittering spire of the Artisan’s Guild, has been notoriously difficult to get ahold of for interviews, despite repeated attempts. However, this reporter had an inkling that she knew the one person in Vegas who would be able to make that happen: Courtesan extraordinaire, and rumored love interest, Dirk Donner. 

Thank you for joining me today, War Baron, Mr. Donner. I know how busy you both are.

Dirk: No need for formality.

Morgan: Agreed. I can’t stand it when people use the whole ‘War Baron’ title. It’s just… awkward. 

Alright then, I have some questions here from your fans, wanting to know a little more about you both.

D: I’m all about making the fans happy.

M: And I’m sure they all know it.

D: If they don’t, they will after this. You don’t mind if I eat while we do this, do you? I’m starving and that pecan pie looks amazing… 

Not at all. Let’s start with something easy then. Just to set the tone. Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

D: Hmm. That’s a good question. I don’t really dream of traveling anywhere in particular. Most of my dreams include Morgan. And my bedroom. *slow grin*

M: Dirk, I don’t think that’s what she’s asking.

D: Oh. *pause* Oh, okay, um, Sweden then.

M: Wait, you’re a Viking and you’ve never been to Sweden? Isn’t that where you’re from?

D: Well yeah, I mean, I have been there, as a kid, but I’d like to go back. Y’know. As an adult. To reconnect with my roots. Your turn.

M: Well, I mean, we’re both pretty well traveled. But I suppose, I’d like to go back to Scythia. I’d like to take Dirk there, to see where I grew up…so perhaps he gets a better idea of, well, I don’t know, me.

Favorite author?

D: Lord Byron.

M: Really? Why?

D: Because he captured passion. It’s what love should be. There’s not a definite science of what love is, because it’s different from person to person. He’s able to show the different styles of love.

M: That’s…surprisingly deep, Dirk.

D: I know. It happens. I’m betting your answer is some Amazonian who penned a book of strategies.

M: You’d be wrong. Why write down how we fight? That would take time away from the actual, you know, training.

D: Good point.

M: No, I actually enjoy the works of Herodotus. In just a few short words, he got so much about my people wrong that it’d be laughable if so many people didn’t believe it. I mean, really, crash landing in Scythia because we didn’t know how to use a boat properly and having sex with, marrying even, the Scythian men as an apology for raiding their territory?

D: Cutting off one of your…

M: Wrong guy, but good example of the rampant historical inaccuracy surrounding my kind.

D: Let’s not get started on historical inaccuracy. Next question. 

Alright, here’s a fun one: Tell us about your family.

D: *chuckles* It’s a little complicated.

M: Yeah, it’s complicated. I don’t think that’s going to cut it as an answer, though.

D: Well, my mother is passed on. I don’t really have a very good relationship with my father. He was gone a lot. I have a daughter, Astrid, who I don’t get to see much because her mom is… an Amazon. She was a Valkyrie. And then she met me. *long pause* Potentially you.

M: *eyebrow* Is that so?

D: *Grinning* Your turn.

M: Well …

D: Oh! And Jinx. My brother. The one who causes me problems. Oops. Can’t forget him.

M: *laughs* Right. But we can try. Anyway, my family. I guess, as an Amazon, the entirety of the Amazonian tribes. My mother was Basilissa, Queen Iole.

D: She goes by many names.

M: Yeah. At one point she was married to a Vegas War Baron who shall not be named. I don’t know who my father is, not that I really care. Family is sort of a nebulous term when it comes to my people.  

What was the scariest moment of your life?

D: When Morgan almost died, at Primo’s concert.

M: I thought we said his name wasn’t going to be spoken.

D: *around a mouthful of pie* Then at that guy’s concert.

M: Scariest moment of my life? As a being without fear, I don’t experience fear.

D: *chokes*

M: *pats back, laughing* No, erm, I’d have to say almost dying on the rooftop.

D: At the citadel?

M: There’s something about the prospect of burning to death after being beaten within an inch of your life and drugged…yeah. Made me a little nervous. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

M: I’m relatively certain you didn’t want to be a courtesan when you were a kid.

D: Well, no. I actually wanted to be an architect. I love building things, ships, houses… It’s why I went to Collegium, originally.

M: Originally? What happened?

D: Hormones.

M: I wanted to be like my ancestors, great warriors. I didn’t want to be Queen, though.

D: Why not?

M: Because it seemed boring. I mean, it’s not to say my mother didn’t get out and spar with us and battle and whatnot. But it seemed like she did a lot of paperwork and treaties and …

D: So you’re a fighter, not a leader?

M: Pretty much. I mean, yeah, I can lead. I had to. But as Vigiles, I didn’t have to deal with the politics part. 

What is your favorite meal?

D: *wicked grin*

M: Food, Dirk.

D: Steak. Potatoes. Wait… no. Barbequed lamb.

M: Roasted baby sheep?

D: When you put it that way... steak.

M: Not judging. Favorite meal…that requires me to eat, yes?

D: Usually. I know it’s a foreign concept for you.

M: Barley and hops. Generally fermented and brewed. Sometimes purified. Best made by the Dwarves. Wartooth’s has the best in town. As far as solid food…

D: *stares* Why are you more Viking than I am?

M: I’m not really picky. Whatever’s put down in front of me. 

What do you do to unwind and relax?

D: Morgan. *laughs*

M: Agreed. Although, Sam keeps trying to get me to do this… meditation thing. Of course, the sparring circles aren’t bad. You work up a sweat…have to go take a shower…

D: And by shower, you mean sex in the shower.

M: Naturally.

D: With me.

M: Usually.

D: What?

M: Next question. 

And finally, since I know you’re both very busy, is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you?

D: Don’t let anyone tell you that there is something you can’t do just because they believe that you can’t do it. Always rise above the expectation of that person.

M: Nothing is insurmountable. There’s nothing you can’t do if you really want it.

D: You can achieve anything.

M: The best things in life are never the easiest to obtain.

D: They’re the ones you work the hardest for.

Hand of Time
The Nemesis Chronicles, Volume 2

H.R. Jackson

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Geek Treats Collective

Date of Publication: April 20th, 2013

ISBN: 1484125509

Number of pages: 352

Word Count: 154,224

Cover Artist: Robb Lombard

Book Description: 

Morgan... Three months after the events of Vegas  turned her life upside down, she's finding that getting back to normal is anything but easy.

Dirk... Trapped between juggling his new responsibilities and making Morgan understand his feelings, the former courtesan is discovering that letting go of the past is much harder when the past refuses to let go of him.

Nemesis... Still reeling from the Society's attack, they find themselves facing a familiar foe and a new menace hellbent on testing their fortitude.

Midsummer madness heats up Nemesis Island. It's a time of celebration and renewal, but the Society has other plans... with Dirk, Morgan, and the rest of Nemesis at the top of their list.

Excerpt from Morgan’s POV: 

Sam was a flash of Cimmerian shade, her outfit matching her blackberry hair as she zigzagged through the dense forest with the fluid grace of a gazelle with a lion on its tail. She played hide-and-seek with the shadows, and I was having a hell of a time keeping a bead on her. Bursting through the pines and out into a large clearing of short grass, I spanned the distance between us, waylaying her with an aerial kick to the back that sent her tumbling forward into a combat roll with an explosion of breath. Springing to her feet before she came to a full stop, Sam pivoted into a roundhouse kick that I barely dodged, my fist aiming directly for her jaw.
She deflected the strike with the momentum of her spin, managing to avoid my follow up kicks, before rushing in to clip my chin with her elbow. The shockwave from the sharp hit almost made me bite my tongue, pain spiking down my jaw and into my neck. Capturing my next jab, she used my kidney as a speed bag before I managed to retreat with a grunt of rapidly mounting irritation. Regrouping quickly despite the ache in my side that threatened to drop me, I lashed out with a flurry of fists and feet, hoping that sheer speed would somehow get past her defenses.
Sam expertly blocked and dodged everything I threw at her before unexpectedly stopping my forward inertia with a hard palm to the chest that sent me reeling back gasping for air as my lungs forgot how to work.
Breathing is highly overrated anyway.
In the two months since I’d joined Nemesis, I’d had many occasions to spar with Sam, the current head of the group and perpetual pain in my ass, but never at quite this intensity. With the exception of Sam’s fraternal twin, Tequila, no other member of Nemesis understood the training style I’d grown up with in my Amazonian tribe. It was a brutal, no holds barred, out for blood mode of fighting, meant to test our skills, to keep them as honed as our blades. But there was a fine line between training and the outright brawl this session was quickly turning into.
And damned if I didn’t have the first clue as to what set her off this time. But then, getting a read on Sam was like trying to capture smoke with a sieve. Holding back, she eyed me as we circled one another slowly.
She and her sister had been raised outside the tribe until they were fifteen by their mother, the former Queen Antiope. Both were formidable fighters in their own rights, thanks to her guidance. Tequila, the resident healer of Nemesis, had come back to her Amazonian roots, while Sam decided to serve with our shield-sisters the Valkyrie, before they were both recruited into Nemesis’ ranks. Where her sister was exceptionally skilled in the healing arts, Sam’s abilities resided in tactical strategy and a natural talent for Psychomancy.
I deflected another whirlwind of strikes and growled, dancing out of the way. Over the years, my experiences going toe-to-toe with Psychomancers had shown me they generally resorted entirely on fighting with their mental acumen, relying on telekinesis and telepathy to swing the odds in their favor.
But Sam had elevated it into an art form, wielding both blade and brain with the ferocity of a woman possessed and the skill of an accomplished warrior. She’d managed, numerous times, to make even me question if I’d somehow become dumb and clumsy, and I’d been swinging swords since before she and her sister were even a twinkle in Antiope’s baby blues.
Truth be told, this fight had been a long time coming. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Sam, per se, but I was unaccustomed to being bossed around, even if I understood the hierarchy as it stood within Nemesis. I wasn’t used to being the puella, the rookie. It rankled me, getting under my skin like a sliver of glass.
Sam motioned for me to attack, egging me on with a gesture. I hung back. She was baiting me. My eyes narrowed.
When she’d suggested we ‘take it to the wood line’ after our most recent verbal altercation, I was more than happy to oblige, despite wishing her timing had been better. We had a house full of reveling Amazons, Valkyrie, and other guests for Midsummer celebrations, and I had a gala date later that evening with Dirk. I’d been dragging my feet about it all day and that black cloud had gotten me into this predicament.
Still, it felt good to take out all of the pent up frustration and worry on someone who’d been an absolute thorn in my side for the last two months, even if she was making me wonder if this was going to end with one of taking a one-way trip to Bella’s morgue. The gnawing sensation of impending disaster intensified when Sam reached for her blade, a scarily grim and focused expression smoothing the lines on her face into an impassive mask. I immediately followed suit, loosing Aduro from her scabbard and pulling her free with a single smooth movement.
The slow circling continued and I knew she was waiting for an opening. The ground below me was springy, damp from the perpetual moistness that helped to keep the Emerald City its lovely verdant hue. It was a hell of a drastic change from the Vegas citadel’s sandy sparring fields, but at least it wouldn’t hurt as much to get knocked down.
And with the way Sam kept eyeballing me, I knew one of us was going to end up ass over teakettle soon.
What the hell is with her today? I hadn’t realized that telling Sam I had plans for the evening that didn’t include sitting through another boring debriefing warranted this kind of ass kicking.


Once upon a time, a man and a woman looked at each other and asked, “Why aren’t we writing this down?”

Inspired by Sci-Fi and Fantasy, with a healthy appreciation of all manner of geekery, they longed to create a world where sword, sorcery, and a little sprinkling of real life could come together. With this in mind, the pair sat down and started the stories that would eventually become The Nemesis Chronicles.

When they aren’t weaving fantastical tales, they spend their time being owned by the Feline Mafia and watching the rain fall in their home city of Seattle.

Find them on the web:

Follow them on Goodreads:

Follow them on twitter:  @hrjacksontnc

Follow them on FaceBook:https://www.facebook.com/thenemchron

Next Stops
August 15 Spotlight 
Sapphyria's Book Reviews
August 16 Spotlight
Fang-tastic Books
August 19 Interview
The Speculative Salon –
August 20 Guest blog
Ebook Escapes
August 21 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm



Tour Wide Giveaway 

10 signed hard copies of Hand of Time-open to US Shipping



HR Jackson said...

Thank you SO much for the bump and the opportunity to do the character interview! That was so much fun lol.

Ginny Gallagher said...

What a fun interview and I LOVE the cover!!! Will be checking out this series. Thanks for the chance to win. I will share your blog and the giveaway on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/GinsBookNotes

HR Jackson said...

Awesome, Ginny! Thank you so much for the compliment :) We think the cover's pretty great too and we had a blast putting the interview together lol. Thanks for the bump on your FB page :D If you like what you read, let us know! We love to hear what people think of our work :)

Ginny Gallagher said...

I will definitely do that. :)

Chris Kruk said...

Great Cover !! Sounds like a interesting read

Christina Abrahamsen said...

Honestly looks like a great book. Definitely something I would read. I think it is adorable that husband and wife wrote it together!

Valerie R said...

Love the cover and from what peeps tell me a great read.. did a little check and so far sounds like something that will keep my mind occupied. ;) thanks for the chance.

vals_hemi at yahoo dot com