Saturday, February 29, 2020

Book Tour and Giveaway: Between Wild & Ruin by Jennifer G. Edelson

Title: Between Wild & Ruin 
Author: Jennifer G. Edelson 
Publisher: BadApple Books
Publication Date: August 26th 2019
Print Length: 416 pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance 
Truth, like love, isn't always obvious.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, La Luna’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears near the ruin, Ruby finds herself teetering between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where spirits and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.

Set against a Northern New Mexico backdrop, Between Wild & Ruin is a young adult coming of age story that captures the wild and whimsical pulse of New Mexico through the eyes of teens Ruby Brooks, Angel Ruiz, and Ezra Lucero. The first book in the Wild and Ruin series, Between Wild & Ruin explores the time-tested credo ‘never judge a book by its cover’ through a paranormal lens, weaving Puebloan and Hispanic folklore and Southwest cultural narratives into tightly written, high-concept fiction ‘brimming with mystery, intrigue,’ and as Kirkus Reviews puts it, an “intriguing historical drama and an over-the top quadrangle romance.

My head hums as I stand up, brushing pine needles and dirt from my jeans. Scratching at my ears, I toss my stumpy charcoals into my backpack, wishing Mother Nature had it in her to grant me just one more hour to sketch the ruin. Pre-twilight transforms the plateau into a fairyland. I want to draw the ruin in shadows, but I’m afraid of looking more like mountain lion meat than Ruby Brooks once twilight sets in.

Sunset turns the mountainside golden, igniting the dried flora covering the forest floor. As I lean over to collect an escapee drawing, a patch of crimson pine needles catches my attention. The needles spread out in a piecemeal path that leads me toward a maroon mess near the center of the ruin, to the rock Leo claimed was once an altar. Against the drab ground, the patch looks like dried blood. I pick up a pine needle, scratching at it, watching curiously as a crusty substance flakes off its root, like rust crumbling between my fingers.

A faint metallic scent fills the air, popping my imagination into overdrive. Turning in circles on the empty plateau, I suddenly feel exposed, and maybe a little afraid of being something’s dinner.

As I stare at the rock, the humming grows louder, vibrating between the ruin’s crumbling walls. I paw at my ears, then rub my eyes, waiting for my head to explode as my vision turns the forest into blurry chunks of light and outlines. Off to the side, between the trees, something moves. Startled, I whip around, squinting to see better.

In the shadows between two tall pines, I see my mother.

Already unnerved, I close my eyes, trying to forget Daisy’s haunted forest stories. My mother died ten months ago. It’s got to be the altitude. There’s no way she’s standing there like an ephemeral stump near the ruins. Still, my mind takes off running, moving from ghosts, to demons, to being sure I’m about to face down another mountain lion.

Shaky and suddenly mindful of Leo’s story about Ottomundo, not to mention just about every news report about mysterious animal attacks I’ve ever seen, I rush to my backpack. Quickly gathering all my art materials, I turn toward the sloping hillside, refusing to look back before running at breakneck speed down the mountain to the creek.

Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving twenty-plus years in the Minnesota tundra (but still considers Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, and Santa Fe all home). Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, drinking copious amounts of coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people—if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you. 

Writing Success?
by Jennifer G. Edelson

Now that Between Wild and Ruin is out in the world, I receive a lot of different questions about my writing and the writing business in general. One of the most common questions I hear in interview type settings is, “What do you think a successful writing career looks like?” As in, what do I think makes a writer successful. And of all the questions I’ve encountered, this one is probably the hardest for me to answer on a personal level.

Every writer has their own ideas of what a successful writing career looks like, so I definitely don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all model. But to complicate the issue, for me personally, it’s gotten a lot more confusing, not less, as I’ve progressed in my writing career. I’m not sure I even know how to define ‘success’ or what it looks like anymore. Maybe because I never really thought of writing as a job to begin with. In my mind, writing has always been more of a driving need or passion. Something I have to do if I want to breathe. Not that I didn’t want a career in writing, or never thought about publishing — because there’s nothing I’d love more than to write, get paid, and survive on those proceeds alone — just that, that’s not the part of writing that mattered the most to me.

I write because I love everything about the process. I can’t not write. And for the longest time I thought that was enough to sustain me. But after writing just for myself for a long time, I also started to wonder whether I was actually a legit writer if I wasn’t publishing. Once I got the ‘I can actually write’ part down, success started feeling more like it was supposed to equal some kind of recognition. At that point I sort of shifted from writing solely because I love it, to writing because I love it and hoped other people would love it too. But now that I’ve actually published and won awards, and still feel like a poser half the time, I’m back to reevaluating what success means to me.

I’d like to continue to publish, and yes, I’d love to win more awards and garner bigger name recognition. And I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love if my writing flooded the coffers. But I’ve also discovered that those aren’t the things that make me feel like a successful writer. The more I write and ‘succeed’ visa vie any traditional barometer, the further away I sometimes feel from my passion for it. Which makes it harder to just write, which then affects the quality and honesty of my writing. It’s like an existential vicious circle.

So it’s complicated question that for me lacks a cut and dry answer. And I think it’s also very individual. I can only speak for myself, but since I haven’t figured it out yet, want I really want to tell people when they ask is, “I have no freaking clue” and also “check back in a few years.” Truthfully, I wish people would just stop asking. I may never figure it out. But I’m not sure I need to; at a fundamental level, my gut says I’m successful as long as I never stop writing.
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  1. This is an interesting foreboding of what you are in for with this book.

  2. Who is your favorite character from your book?

  3. What do you enjoy most about writing?

  4. I love the cover artwork, it's beautiful.

  5. The book cover art is beautiful and I like the font for the title.

  6. Thanks for your guest post about being a writer. I too think that success looks different to different people. Just keep writing!

  7. This book has an intriguing plot line, the pueblo ruins adds
    a fascinating addition of excitement.
    I can see how they the eyes of a youth who has lost a mother the mystique of of both the forest ruins & the mystery boy life her to a quite world of discovery. Hmmmm Is this how detectives are created? This book sounds WONDERFUL plus the COVER has a beckoning appeal. Thank you for bringing this to us. Fabulous interview.

  8. Dear Author! What motivates you in your stories?

  9. the cover art is a trip but a good trip.