JS Harker on Winter, Characters, and her new release ‘Tit for Tat’ (author guest blog)

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Tit for Tat by J.S. Harker

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon  |   B&N  |   Kobo 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host J.S. Harker today talking about the inspiration behind her character Flynn and her new novel Tit for Tate.  Welcome, J.S.

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Hi there, I’m JS Harker. I’m here to promote my new holiday release Tit For Tat. It’s my second book published in the Dreamspinner Beyond line and I can’t believe the year’s flown by. I’m excited to share the new story with you, especially anyone who, like me, would rather be reading in my room than braving holiday parties. I wanted to balance the holidays with the time of year as well.

Call me strange, I actually like winter. Give me snow, long nights, and cold winds and I’m pretty happy. One winter, in college, the Goo Goo Dolls were playing on campus. While my college spread out over several blocks, walking from place to place never took terribly long, so I encouraged my friends that we should walk instead of taking the shuttle out to the arena. Normally, not a problem. But that night? Full blown blizzard. I’m talking the see six feet ahead of you maybe kind of storm. And somehow, I stubbornly made my friends walk it. It’s not something I recommend because wow, it could have gone way wrong. We had a straight path to walk and we knew the campus really well. But it’s been a decade and I can still feel how bitter cold the wind was, the plodding slow pace we had to go at, and the sheer utter amount of snow that was everywhere. That was also the year I climbed the giant snow piles cleared off the parking lots.

Those experiences were part of the inspiration for Flynn, one of the leads from Tit For Tat. He’s a Winter fairy and comes from the part of the fairy kingdoms that resemble wide open plains covered in snow. As much as he loves his home, he also has this need to explore our world. He and Ariel from Little Mermaid would probably make good buddies—they both just have to know what’s out there. Flynn’s gone so far as to get a job in a mall, playing one of Santa’s elves. He gets to see a wide variety of humans there, but it’s Derek, who works at the toy store, that catches his interest.

While confidence and curiosity come naturally to Flynn, Derek is much more of an inside person. He’s insecure, but he still longs to have adventures. He just doesn’t think they’re possible until he meets Flynn. Writing an insecure, introverted character was a little harder for me. In part it was because Derek shares a lot of the same feelings I’ve had and I’m still new to intentionally opening up on the page, but also because he liked hiding away while I was drafting the story. But he’s in awe of Flynn, fascinated by him, and eventually in love with him.

When I was editing Tit For Tat (because of course the muses strike when you’re busy with a project, right?), I got inspired to write more stories set in the same universe. Every novel is a complete stand alone and focuses on a different season. I’m currently working on a summer story and a fall/Halloween adventure. I’m also working on another novel for Dreamspinner that would feature an FBI agent who investigates the paranormal and attracts the attention of an agent of a secret government organization.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll check out Tit For Tat, and that your new year is shiny and full of good fortune.

Blurb

Cold has never been so hot.

College sophomore Derek is busy working over his holiday break—but his shifts at the toy store are no hardship if they mean more opportunity to dream about the sexy new guy working as an elf in Santa’s Workshop. When his mother gifts him a bag of cookies, Derek regifts them to Flynn as an excuse to get to know him. Flynn has presents to offer as well, and soon they’re dating, with Derek finding out his comfort zone is bigger than he imagined.

But Flynn is hiding a secret—he’s really a winter fairy whose magic is bound to the season. He can’t stay in the mortal realm, and Derek doesn’t want to lose contact with his family. Can they find a way to hold on to each other when the snow and sugar plums melt away?

 

About Author J.S. Harker

JS Harker loves stories. She was one of those kids who always had a book in her hands and spent many hours adventuring with her siblings. These days she wanders into her imaginary worlds and conjures up tales of magic, passion, and happily-ever-afters. She currently lives in the part of the Midwest that makes Tatooine look interesting by comparison (not that she’s ever obsessively thought about becoming a Jedi or anything).    

Links:

Website: www.jsharker.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JS-Harker-236521747017598/

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Tit for Tat by J.S. Harker

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Cold has never been so hot.

College sophomore Derek is busy working over his holiday break—but his shifts at the toy store are no hardship if they mean more opportunity to dream about the sexy new guy working as an elf in Santa’s Workshop. When his mother gifts him a bag of cookies, Derek regifts them to Flynn as an excuse to get to know him. Flynn has presents to offer as well, and soon they’re dating, with Derek finding out his comfort zone is bigger than he imagined.

But Flynn is hiding a secret—he’s really a winter fairy whose magic is bound to the season. He can’t stay in the mortal realm, and Derek doesn’t want to lose contact with his family. Can they find a way to hold on to each other when the snow and sugar plums melt away?

Tit for Tat by J.S. Harker is one of those fantasy holiday stories that had a lot of potential but ended but as a sweet Christmas tale that never delivered on the promise of all the elements it held inside it.  There very quite a few things I liked about this story.  You have cute single Derek who is crushing on the elf working at Santa’s Workshop next to his Toy Store where he works at the Mall.  Only the elf isn’t human, he’s a Winter Fae, complete with snarky, ancient companion (who I really enjoyed, think a wicked Tinkerbell with a penchant for  gold spikes and stacks of pennies).

Flynn is an elf out of element…a innocent about the world he is visiting.  So he has questions about everything around him, another adorable aspect of the story.  As I said there is plenty to like.  Harker starts to put everything in place for the romance and cultural smashup.  But for me, something got lost.  I’m not a fan of instantlove which this turned into.  And  with the faery kingdom, different fae tied to the various seasons, there wasn’t the world building I hoped to see as a foundation for the other story threads the author ran here and there amidst the romance.

It all culminates in a HFN that is a nice touch that raises as many questions as it solves if you examine it too closely.

So for those just wanting a fantasy holiday story with a twist, Tit for Tat might be the thing for you.

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson.  I’m assuming that’s Derek and not Flynn, so it’s a good representation of the character.  Brrrrr.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 242 pages
Expected publication: December 18th 2018 by Dreamspinner Presss
ISBN139781644051078
Edition Language English