Nov 26, 2014

Blitz : Hemlock Veils by Jennie Davenport! {@may_davenport @swoonromance}


Hemlock Veils
Release Date: 11/25/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
When Elizabeth Ashton escapes her damaging city life and finds herself in the remote town of Hemlock Veils, Oregon, she is smitten by its quaint mystery; but the surrounding forest holds an enchantment she didn’t think existed, and worse, a most terrifying monster. The town claims it vicious and evil, but Elizabeth suspects something is amiss. Even with its enormous, hairy frame, gruesome claws, and knifelike teeth, the monster’s eyes speak to her: wolf-like and ringed with gold, yet holding an awareness that can only be human. That’s when Elizabeth knows she is the only one who can see the struggling soul trapped inside, the soul to which she is moved.
Secretly, Elizabeth befriends the beast at night, discovering there’s more to his story and that the rising of the sun transforms him into a human more complex than his beastly self. Elizabeth eventually learns that his curse is unlike any other and that a single murderous act is all that stands between him and his freedom. Though love is not enough to break his curse, it may be the only means by which the unimaginable can be done: sacrifice a beauty for the beast. 

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Excerpt

Another howl lifted from the forest and for the briefest instant a light flashed deep within the trees, their dancing shadows backlit by the panicked beam. Tightening her drenched strap around her shoulder, she crossed the asphalt and stopped in the mud at the other side. This forest was different than the rest, even different from its companion across the highway. Something lingered here. Someone, maybe. And if someone was here—a Good Samaritan, perhaps—it might save her the three-mile trek to Rhododendron. Taking just a half-step closer, she peered into the trees.

“Hello!” she called, trying to make her voice boom, but rainfall swallowed the sound. Her teeth chattered and water poured from the rim of her hood, impairing her vision. “Anyone there? My car broke down and—” She cut herself off. I’m a helpless woman, she may as well be shouting. Alone, with only my father’s rusty pocket knife to defend myself!

The forest didn’t respond, and she should have been relieved. Turning, she folded her free arm over herself and walked the slick shoulder, heading in a westerly direction and trying to avoid the largest puddles. A bend in the highway lay just ahead. Surely she would find something beyond its curve, maybe some sign of civilization.

Vegetation rustled behind her. Heavy heels scraped on the gritty, wet road.

She twisted, readying her stance—wishing her pocket knife wasn’t buried inside her bag—but what the beam of her flashlight caught wasn’t what she expected. A slender, elderly man with a coarse, whitish beard that came to his waist shielded his eyes from her light. His skin hung with wrinkles almost as pale as his beard. A large spotlight dangled from his neck, amidst the bristly facial hair, and lit his black leather boots. He wore a flannel shirt beneath fishing waders, an open yellow slicker, and a yellow sou’wester hat, the large rim falling down the back of his neck. He looked like a fisherman taken right off the Pacific Ocean and planted in the middle of Mt. Hood National Forest.

His hand still shielded his red-rimmed eyes, but it wasn’t until he cursed that she realized her light blinded him.

“I’m sorry,” she said, dropping the beam.

“Do you have any idea what you just did?” His vocal cords sounded compressed, perhaps from old age, making his voice thin and high. He took an irate step to-ward her.

Elizabeth stepped back. “I’m sorry?”

Drawing his decrepit thumb and index finger together, he grumbled, “I was this close!” The double-barreled shotgun in his dropped hand—why didn’t she notice this sooner?—now swung.

“Whoa,” she said, lifting a hand. With the current events of her life, she shouldn’t have been surprised to run into a nut job in the middle of the forest.

“I had it right in my sights! I could’ve changed everything for our town if you hadn’t scared it away!” He exhaled, clouding the air with an angry burst.

“My car broke down and I saw your light in the forest … ”

Wiping a hand down his face, he looked in the direction he’d come—through the forest—then in the direction she’d been headed—west—then finally at her broken-down car across the road. His breath puffed at a measured rate. He wasn’t crazy, just irritated. With a tone of defeat, he said, “There’s nothing I can do for you out here, ma’am.”

“Thanks for your time anyway.” She tried not to sound too deflated.

When she resumed her steps, he called from behind, “Not sure if you know this, but it’s a three-mile walk to Rhododendron.”

She turned back, adjusting her leather bag in the hope its contents weren’t completely soaked through. “It’s better than six miles back to Government Camp.”

“You know the area?”

She shrugged.

His eyes narrowed, and his beard dripped. “Walking alone isn’t a smart idea,” he said in that thin, almostbackwoods-sounding tone. “Not through these parts, ma’am, not at this time of night. You have any idea what’s out here?”

“More old men in fishing gear?”

He raised a brow then chuckled, and though she hardly saw it through his beard, his smile was warm. “Much worse, ma’am.” Her eyes followed his, but she saw nothing. His jaw rolled rigorously as he chewed, then he spat to the side, leaving specks of brown in his beard; they washed away quickly. Finally, with a twinge of regret, he said, “A town’s one mile south of here, right through these trees.” He motioned to his left, into the forest he’d emerged from. It seemed his admittance of this town was the result of some internal battle being lost.

“A town is … through there?”

“My town: Hemlock Veils. We call it Oregon’s best kept secret.” He spat again, giving a proud half-smile. “You feel like a midnight hike?”


Meet Beast  
Henry Clayton's inspiration: Joe Manganiello
1. Is he a fictional or historical person?
Like Elizabeth, Henry is fictional. Though I feel that doesn't really need to be pointed out.

2. When and where is the story set?


As explained in Elizabeth's character post, the story is set in our current time, in a small forest town, Hemlock Veils (a fictional place), located in Mt. Hood National Forest about an hour southeast of Portland, Oregon.

3. What should we know about him?

There are lots of layers to Henry. And the discovery of some of those layers is part of the surprise of the story. But what you should know about Henry is that he isn't what he presents himself to be. He has about three alter-egos. And for most his life--which has been a long one--he has been hiding who he really is. Though he hides it well, he is selfless and full of heart. But he has lost hope in himself and accepted that he will always be cursed. And worse, that he will always deserve it. Which is where Elizabeth comes in.

Henry owns most the town of Hemlock Veils, as did his father before him.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
For Henry, Elizabeth is his main conflict. At least in the beginning. He doesn't want her in his town, throwing things off. But when that changes, his main conflict is himself. Learning to accept himself, love himself (and allow himself to be loved by Elizabeth), and most of all, forgive himself.

Also, it wouldn't be paranormal without the conflict of an evil enchantress (that's not really true). After all, she is what ultimately messed up his life. Now he and Elizabeth have to find a way to defeat her.

5. What is the personal goal of the character?
Henry's personal goal is to protect the things and people he loves--even from himself--while still keeping his cold-hearted reputation. Eventually, his main goal becomes protecting Elizabeth. First from himself, then from the same evil that hunts him.

6. Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?
As I mentioned in Elizabeth's post, this doesn't really need to be answered! But here is HEMLOCK VEIL's Goodreads page.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?
Again, you all know this, but it will be released from Swoon Romance on NOVEMBER 25!

Meet Beauty
I was tagged last Monday in the Meet My Main Character blog tour by the lovely and sometimes hilariously inappropriate Sonya Craig, and of course jumped at the opportunity. Sonya is the author of the Outbound sci-fi series, and you can check out more about her and her kickass protagonist here. If any of you are regulars here (hello, crickets!), you probably know that Sonya is one of my dearest Twitter BFFs, and one of the most real, down-to-earth, amazing, beautiful, caring, and funny people I know.

My main character?


My inspiration for Elizabeth: Kate Beckinsale (image from Everybody's Fine). And she is drinking coffee, of course. Because...Elizabeth.

1. Is she a fictional or historical person?

As much as I'd love to believe that Elizabeth is a real person, she is in fact a product of my imagination.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story is set in our current time, in a small forest town, Hemlock Veils, located in Mt. Hood National Forest about an hour southeast of Portland, Oregon. Though the surrounding areas are very real, down to roads and landmarks, the town itself is also a product of my imagination. And existing within this world is a Magical Realm, one not known to most the human population. The book opens to Elizabeth discovering those forests and that town for the first time, after she has left her life-long home of Los Angeles, California.

3. What should we know about her?

Elizabeth is tough. She is selfless. She has had an extremely trying life and has experienced loss beyond what most people have (the reasons for that will be explored more in Book 2, VEIL OF THE ROSE, which releases in April of next year). She would do absolutely anything for the people she loves. Also, she has a keen ability to see people and things for what they truly are.

In this story, it isn't just the Beast who has secrets and demons. Elizabeth holds the weight of her own secrets as well, and in some ways thinks of herself as a monster.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

That's a hard question to answer, especially because the thing(s) to "mess up her life" aren't explored until VEIL OF THE ROSE. But what messes it up in HEMLOCK VEILS? Her life is an utter mess when the story opens. Her brother, who was her only remaining family, had just been murdered, and Elizabeth's dark secrets tie her to it. But that is just what brings her to our setting. What messes things up for her when starting her new life in Hemlock Veils is that the terrifying monster who has cursed the town intrigues her rather than frightens her. She befriends this beast, and discovers his secret and who he really is, which at first puts her at odds with him, and later with the town. Both her and the beast struggle to accept their inner monsters and she helps him find the beauty in himself, while learning that the one who cursed him is a source of evil that desires to take lives in order to prevent his curse from being broken.

5. What is the personal goal of the character?

First, Elizabeth's personal goal is to make Hemlock Veils her new home, since it's the first place she feels she truly belongs. Then her goal is getting down to the bottom of the Beast's secrets. Eventually, her goal is to help him see his own beauty and forgive himself for his past, and in turn she learns to do the same thing for herself.

6. Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?

I'm pretty sure I don't need to answer this one, because...see above. And everywhere else on this blog.


About the Author
Though Jennie Davenport was raised throughout the Midwest, she now lives in the little desert mining town of Bagdad, Arizona, where six guys beg for her constant attention: a husband, three young, blond sons, a German shepherd with a name much mightier than his disposition (Zeus), and a black cat named Mouse. When she isn’t trying to run her home with as little casualties as possible, Jennie loves snuggling with her family, laughing with her friends, delving into brilliant entertainment of any vein, and playing outside. Despite the way being a writer is in her blood, and the wheels of her writerly mind are constantly turning, Jennie likes to think that in another life, she would have been a Broadway star. Or an American Idol finalist.
Jennie lives for the fall, and not just because of her adoration for the NFL (Go Broncos!). In her perfect world, she would have the springs, summers, and falls of Colorado, and the winters of Arizona—someplace where the climate and weather would allow her to go on a trail run all year round. But even though she prefers the pines and mountains, she is a devoted fan of all nature, from sandy beaches to woodsy cabins, and all are her greatest inspiration. She believes nature is one of the best healing remedies, with a magic all its own.

Jennie’s passion for writing is the way she survives, and is as vital to her sanity as oxygen, caffeine, food, and music. Even before she began writing it, well-told, original, and character-driven romance was always her weak spot. Add the paranormal or magical realism element and she may never make it back to reality.

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