Genre: Young adult, fantasy, fairytale redux
Date of Publication: 4/17/14
Number of pages: 340
Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson of Blue Sky Designs
Virtual book tour organized by: Bewitching Book Tours
From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.
After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.
As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson.
Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish.
Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her.
Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.
~ Interview ~
Hello Jessa! Before anything else, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I am super happy to have you and your book on my blog and, also, to get to know you.
Hi! Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be doing this tour with Bewitching and the wonderful tour hosts that have signed up!
1. You mentioned in your biography that you decided to become a writer in 2009, at a certain time. Could you describe that moment? Did you feel something like an impulse to write?
In short, yes. I absolutely felt an impulse to write. I’ve been an avid reader and a nearly-avid writer all of my life. In my youth, it was journaling, then angsty poetry. Lots of it. I received some pretty amazing feedback from college professors regarding my writing, but it still hadn’t occurred to me that writing was something I’d pursue. I was a bit... wayward?... as a young adult. Not quite lost, but definitely lacking a firm direction. In my early twenties, I met my husband and became pregnant fairly quickly. After that, all reading time was nonexistent. Fast forward to 2009, and somehow, even though I *thought* I had zero time for personal time, and zero desire to spend any personal time I did have on reading books for teens, I finished devouring all four Twilight books in a matter of weeks. Two, to be exact—my poor child was probably living on minimal effort since I could not put the books down! (The good news is I doubt she remembers when Mommy couldn’t pull her thoughts away from sparkly vampires.) Anyway, something clicked inside of me after that. This reignited passion for the written word. For fiction. For imagination. And it was a fire I couldn’t put out—not that I’d want to. I sat down one day and started typing away. And I haven’t stopped since. What’s neat, for me, is watching my own style grow and morph as I continue. I started out writing YA—Twilight-esque love stories—and I’ve moved on to edgy, gritty erotic romance. I’m constantly striving to grow and evolve in my work, and I hope that is visible on the pages I write.
2. How would you describe your life since you have become a writer?
Chaotic. But in a good way! I’m never alone. It’s incredibly difficult to word this without sounding crazy, but... there are always other people in my head. At any given second, I’m in another world. I’m building a character, or analyzing a relationship. Building a world. It’s just constant. There are too many stories in my head for any one person to ever write, but I’m sure going to give it a go!
3. What inspired you to write Divide?
I have no idea. Honestly. My brain posed the question: what if Beauty was also the Beast? And I couldn’t ignore it!
4. Could you talk a little about the main character, Holland? Can you find any similarities between her and you?
Oh, absolutely. Although, I think I much more relate to Ever (from my Ever Trilogy) than Holland, but the similarities are still there and likely always will be. I am all of my characters and all of them are me. The females, anyway, lol. ;-) Every mistake my girls make, I have made or would make. When they’re weak, or they lean on a boy, or they fall in love too quickly, trust too easily . . . these are all traits that belong(ed) to me. When they turn things around, begin standing up for themselves, find a way to be their own hero, however small . . . those are also me. I can’t imagine ever writing a character that doesn’t draw on some piece of life experience. I’m a hero. A damsel. A mess. Strong. Chaotic. Insecure. Vain. All the amazing traits that make women special are in me, and by default, in my characters.
5. If Divide was made into a movie who would you envision in the leading roles?
Oh! Easy! Holland would be Martina Dimitrova. She’s a model and she’s perfect for Holland. We’d just have to make sure she wanted to suddenly become an actress. Haha! If it couldn’t be her, I’d go for Amanda Seyfried. I adore her! Mick would be played by either Max George from The Wanted (also a non-actor, but I’m hoping we could change that), or this model who perfectly embodies Mick: http://welldressedman.tumblr.com/post/17243644778/costinm-reserved-fall-winter-2011-12 (But with a shaved head.)
6. Generally speaking, what do you enjoy most about writing?
Generally speaking... my favorite part is when an idea takes hold and won’t let go. When the words just flow from my body. Sometimes it’s almost shocking, almost surprising that I have these things within me. It’s absolutely thrilling.
7. How much time do you spend doing research for your books?
Um, I don’t, really, unless it’s something that needs to be exact: a medical issue, an actual location, etc. With DIVIDE I did spend a bit of time reading the original versions of B&tB and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but that isn’t something I do with any consistency.
8. Lastly, I would like to wish you good luck with your current and future books. I hope, one day, I will see some of them published in Romania too. My final question is, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
This is my favorite question to answer!
Be you. Write what you love, what matters to you—even if what you love is vampires and everyone stays they’re done.
Follow your heart. Stay true. And never give up. Ever.
But mostly, just write. The words will come.
~ Excerpt ~
~ About the Author ~
Jessa Russo believes in fairytales, ghosts, and Jake Ryan. She insists mimosas were created for Sundays, and that’s not up for discussion. She’s obsessed with the great city of New Orleans—where she’s collected too many beads to count, eventually married her sweetheart, and visited graveyards they don’t include on maps.
She’s loud, painfully honest, and passionate about living life to the fullest, because she’s seen how abruptly it can be taken away.
What began as a desire for reading and writing young adult paranormal has bled into stories of all kinds. From fantasy to pre-dystopian to erotic contemporary, Jessa’s stories always include romance, though she’s given up on pigeonholing her work into a category or genre box.
Jessa was born and raised in Southern California, and remains there to this day with her husband (a classic car fanatic), their daughter (a Tim Burton superfan), and a Great Dane who thinks he’s the same size as his Chihuahua sister.
ENTWINED, the final installment of Russo’s Ever Trilogy, will be released later this year, as well as an erotic romance written under the pseudonym Parker Jameson, so please stay tuned!
If you'd like to connect with Jessa online, please visit the following pages:
~ Giveaway ~
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have a lovely day buddies!
Have a lovely day buddies!