Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blog Tour: Evade (Ever, #2) by Jessa Russo

Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Book 2 of The Ever Trilogy
Releasing October 1, 2013
In this thrilling sequel, Ever Van Ruysdael's race to beat the odds—and the clock—begins with the introduction of an integral part of her past. As secrets are revealed, and truths uncovered, she learns her imminent death is the least of her problems: Ariadne did more than just put an expiration date on her life; she marked Ever's soul by upping its value for greedy collectors looking to buy their freedom.

Condemned by the countdown on her life, and hunted by hired Seekers, Ever’s journey leads her to question everything she’s known and everyone she’s trusted, while growing closer to the one person from her past she was determined to avoid—and the one guy she never could—Toby James.

With her ex-boyfriend by her side, and the countdown clock rapidly ticking away, Ever tries thwarting fate’s plans. But as her nineteenth birthday approaches, and desperate Seekers follow her every move, she may be too late.

A marked soul is hard to come by … and even harder to escape.
Available on Amazon
Available on Barnes & Nobles
“A Young Adult Author on Writing New Adult”
(Or, Why I Decided I Hate Labeling Myself)
By Jessa Russo
The first story I began working on when I decided I was supposed to be a writer (back in 2009, for those of you meeting me for the first time) was a thriller set in my favorite place—New Orleans, Louisiana. My main character was in her mid-twenties, unmarried, but in a serious relationship. Not in college but not settled into a lifelong career, either. She just . . . was. I had no idea that her age, as well as her state of transitioning to adulthood, would make this a new adult book. At the time, I was just writing characters, telling their stories, and letting the words carry me along.
See, I didn’t know I needed to choose a category, select a genre, or label myself or my writing. I didn’t know I needed to decide what kind of writer I wanted to be.
I just wanted to write.
As I wrote my way through the first 40,000 words of that manuscript, I realized I found it difficult to write proper “adult” characters. Did this mean I wasn’t a good writer? Did this mean I wasn’t a good adult? (The jury is out on both questions, but both are also beside the point.) As I flip-flopped around, trying to figure out why her voice didn’t match her age, or why the more mature moments between the characters didn’t feel right to me, I eventually gave up on my New Orleans thriller. I chalked it up to not knowing what I was doing. I mean, why was my seemingly adult character making such poor decisions? Why was she leading with her heart, or actingbefore thinking? Who was this woman, and why was she behaving so . . . un-adult-like?
As I worked on trying to flesh out the why’s and how’s of that story and those characters, another protagonist began forming in my mind until it got to the point where she couldn’t be ignored. That MC was Eleanor Van Ruysdael—or Ever, for short—and her story became the first story I managed to finish, as well as my first published manuscript. Ever was relentless. She wanted her story told, and for some reason, whether lack of maturity in the writer or something else altogether, found EVER so easy to write. Ever’s voice was my voice, her story was my story, her mistakes and quirks were mine, mine, mine.
Then, it hit me. I realized I was a young adult writer. My voice was painfully young adult. Gah! Why hadn’t I figured this out before!?
From that day forward, I knew I would be Jessa Russo: Young Adult Author. I relished the security of knowing who I was, what I was meant to write. I went on to start many young adult stories, forming beloved teenaged main characters: Cadence, whose story began during Spring Break and faded to black after the first few chapters, thank God (no offense, Cadence); Lizzie Reins, who was stuck in the foster home from hell and falling for her best friend and her substitute teacher all at the same time (a fantasy I have yet to finish); and Desi, a main character whose story is based on my own life experiences with an abusive boyfriend (which may or may not ever be told, to be honest). All along, though, with each teenager I wrote, I felt at home, comfortable. I knew these characters—their likes, dislikes, quirks—I’d been a teenager once myself, after all, right?
Easy peasy. Comfort. Safety. Home.
And then DIVIDE came along, and Holland was in high school but nearing the end of that academic journey. She was still technically a young adult, but something was changing . . . in me. I wanted to write more, wanted more for Holland, more from Holland. So, though DIVIDE is a young adult fantasy, it tried very hard to break out of that mold, to leave adolescence behind . . . much like any teenager would do.
After DIVIDE was with my agent, I wrote EVADE (the second book of the Ever Trilogy), and I thought I was settling back into my young adult niche. Except that now Ever is eighteen, and technically that means the book should be new adult. And she’s had sex, so she should behave a bit differently with boys, have a bit more sexual confidence. Right? As I tried to keep EVADE in the young adult zone, I found myself asking what Ever would really do in certain situations, and I started to wonder if sticking to the young adult label was fair to my characters. I wrote EVADE, sticking to its category as much as I could, but that question remained in my mind.
As characters grow, does the category change?
When ARK OF DREAMS came along, my main characters (dual POV) were both twenty years old. I struggled with this discovery, feeling like I was failing my chosen category, my self-proclaimed label. I was a young adult writer, darnit, and I needed to stick with it! I even tried to change Marco and Ana, tried to force them back into that young adult box I’d put myself in.
Young adult was what I knew.
Wasn’t it?
ARK is the best thing I’ve written to date. I say that in as humble a voice as possible, but I am really proud of this manuscript. Like, really proud. From concept to character building, my past four years of writing has helped hone my ever-evolving craft, and ARK is proof that I’ve been paying attention (at least some of the time). That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, by any means, but for me, it’s something I can really be proud of.
And you know what?
It’s new adult.
There are adult situations.
There are sex scenes.
Though the book by no means focuses on sexuality, the romance factor is heavy (which seems to be a trend in what I write—and read!), and there are a few steamy scenes that go way past innocent kissing or even heated make-out sessions. The sex is right there in front of your face, though this isn’t erotica. My main characters are alone, acting as adults and taking charge of their lives. They’re college students, artists, professional athletes. They’re the masters of their own destinies, and though they may stumble, they’ve clearly left adolescence far behind.
They are new adults, finding their way, making mistakes, and diving face first into adulthood, whether by choice or by environment.
But . . . I write young adult fiction. If ARK OF DREAMS isn’t young adult, then I’m not a young adult author, right?
So who am I?
Am I a new adult author?
I write young adult books as well.
So who am I?
And this is where I decided to stop labeling myself.
I am a writer. Period.
I write young adult, but I am not strictly a young adult writer. I write new adult, but I am not strictly a new adult writer. I write fantasy. I write paranormal. I write contemporary with a dystopian edge. I write romance. I write biblical retellings. I redux fairytales. I write ghosts.
Witches. Love triangles. Suicides. Fairies. First kisses, first loves, first times.
I write.
Because I am a writer.
Tour Schedule:
October 1st - Katie Teller's Stories
October 2nd - Krystal Wade
October 7th - Bookworm for Kids
October 8th - Stacey Nash
October 9th - Amazing Books
October 15th - Eliza Tilton
October 17th - Kelley Harvey Writes
October 18th - Ryan Hill Writes
October 21st - Sharon Bayliss
October 23rd - Jamie Ayres
October 29th - YArush
October 31st - Tamara Mataya
November 4th - Tonya Kuper
November 5th - Love & Life & Learning
November 7th - A Different Drum Beat
November 9th - YA Stands
About the Author:

An unashamed super fan of all things paranormal romance, Jessa Russo reads, writes and breathes paranormal YA, rarely straying from her comfort zone. When not writing or reading--or raising the coolest kid ever--Jessa enjoys making memories with her amazingly supportive family and friends, while secretly planning her next trip to New Orleans. She will always call Southern California home, where she lives with her husband and daughter, and a Great Dane who thinks he's the same size as his cranky sister, the Chihuahua.

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