Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Interview with Krystle Jones & Giveaway

Please welcome author Krystle Jones!
Happy Birthday Krystle!

Krystle JonesKrystle Jones was born and raised in the small, southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers. In addition to being a novelist, she is also an award-winning flutist, and moonlights as a voice actress. Her voice can be heard in the popular online game, Alice is Dead 3.

Follow Krystle @ Her blog, Twitter, Facebook, & Goodreads


When and why did you begin writing?

I've always loved to write, and I did so for an escape, much the same reason why I read. It's fun to become someone else and "get away from it all" for a while. I also chose to write for teens because I remember what it was like being a teenager. It's crazy, sometimes, and I know there's a lot of pressure on them that's unique to those years because you grow out of it somewhat in adulthood. (i.e. The need to "fit in," or do your hair a certain way. etc) As for writing professionally, I didn't seriously start studying the craft until about 3 years ago, when the idea for Veiled Innocence popped in my head. My very first draft was a horrible, HORRIBLE trainwreck of a novel, but I revised and rewrote, all the while reading and studying any writing reference I could get my hands on and reading every YA novel in my genre I could find, and I've had a ton of fun along the way. I still have a long way to go, but I've definitely made some improvements from that poor little book from a few years ago. lol

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

It's always a bit of a challenge trying to find ways to describe things that isn't cliche. If a certain description immediately springs to my mind, I try to overlook it because it almost always means I've heard it before and I'm just drawing on what I know. Period pieces, like
Veiled Innocence and A White So Red, also flex my "brain muscles" because you have to be really careful about the wording, especially with the way they talk. You can't make it sound too modern.

What are your current projects?

Currently, I'm working on finishing my YA Snow White retelling, A White So Red. I'm also fleshing out my outline for the 2nd book of The Red Sector Chronicles, Dark Horizons.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure! I'll share a bit of the scene where the Huntsman comes for Natalia, our "Snow White." =) She's just been sent to clean the Catacombs of the castle. As an FYI, "Barrens" are non magic users, or people born without special powers.
Tears brimmed in her eyes as she descended, moving so smoothly that the candles along the stair did not so much as flicker with the whisper of movement. Her footing found the plush carpet, and she forgot why she was there. Deep sadness filled her chest, reopening the stitches in her heart. The smell was too much. It smelled the same that day too, when she laid her father to rest beside her mother, the only glass coffins in the entire chamber. It had been her mother's idea. She loved the sky and sunlight, and loathed the thought of being locked away forever in a tomb. "If I must be buried in a casket, then make it one of glass," she said. "That way I won't feel so trapped."

Natalia knew exactly where they were buried, and she planned to stay as far away from there as possible. Picking the first tomb by the stair, she set her equipment down and dipped her rag in the brackish water, forsaking the brush in an effort to preserve the enamel on the artwork. With loving strokes, she gently polished the tombs, listening to the soft bubbling of the fountain. Though her work was careful, it was quick. The Catacombs was her only assignment. It was hefty, but doable within a few hours time. She could clean, leave, and forget again.

Her focus turned to her work, shutting out all thoughts of the days before. No ghosts nor dead girls, no whip or threat of violence, plagued her.

The stillness was so soothing that the sound of twine stretching – like an arrow being notched – broke her attention.

She whirled toward the staircase.

After a moment of silence and searching shadows, she spoke.

“Who’s there?”

A flicker of movement within the shadow of the stair.

Natalia froze, leaning forward slightly.


The shadow stepped forward, a soft orange glow lighting up a handsomely chiseled face with hard eyes.

Natalia’s brow steepened as she gazed upon the huntsman. “What are you doing here?”

His eyes were hungry. And very black.

“You are beautiful, even in rags,” he said, taking a step forward and eyeing her up and down. “What a waste.”

Natalia crossed an arm over her chest, rubbing her hand up and down the other arm. “If you mean the dress, I assure you sir I wasted nothing in making it. I would otherwise have no clothes.”

“She cleans and sews,” he mused. “You would make a good wife.”

“Shame I have no interest in being one.”

The huntsman looked around. “This room is impressive, worth a king’s ransom, I’d wager.” His gazed shifted back to her. “And it’s quiet.”

The half smile on his face had a vicious quality to it. Natalia suddenly wished they weren’t alone, that the Queen cared enough about the Catacombs to position guards this far in the palace. Natalia had never seen nor heard of the Queen setting foot in this room since her late husband’s burial.

“I’m sorry, my lady,” the huntsman said suddenly. “Where ever are my manners?” He bowed. “Call me Ace.”

“That’s an odd name.”

He laughed, but there was no warmth to it, no change in his eyes. They remained cold, calculating. “It’s a nickname. But I don’t suppose you would have heard of me, being a scullery maid and all.”

Natalia didn’t give him the satisfaction of appearing affronted. She waited, calmly, for him to elaborate.

“I am the best archer in seven realms,” he said.

“My father was better.”

“I hear he was good, at swordplay, especially. But I doubt he had my eye for precision with a bow. It’s no mere quirk of fate I’ve earned the reputation as an ‘Ace of Arrows.’”

“Is there a reason why you’re here, Ace?” she asked sharply.

Something long and narrow poked from behind the huntsman. A bow. An arrow shafted with a raven feather dangled from his hands.

“I was about to go hunting,” he said.

“Well, I’m afraid you’ll find no sport here.”

“Oh, I beg to differ, lady.”

He raised the bow, notching the arrow and aiming it straight for her.

Natalia couldn’t move. Her body was paralyzed, round eyes frozen on the arrow head.

“Please know this isn’t personal,” he said soothingly. “Business is business.”

Her eyes flashed to his. “She sent you, didn’t she?”


“You know who. The Queen.”

He smirked. “First rule of business: Never give away a client’s name.”

“You didn’t. Your arrow did. I’ve never seen anyone wear so many raven feathers as she does.”


“It won’t work, you know,” she said. “I cannot die.” At least she sounded surer than she felt.

This did not seem to deter the huntsman. “I know of the spell. What I bet that you don’t know is that all spells have loopholes, and eventually they all come to an end. I’m a Barren, and even I know that.”

She frowned. “Loopholes?”

He smiled.

“What do you say we test my theory?”

She stared at him, not comprehending. “But I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“The object in your bucket speaks otherwise.”


She glanced down. The bucket was little more than half empty. Something shined up from the bottom, through the water, though it was too murky to tell what it was.

“Go ahead.”

She looked up. The huntsman gestured with his head. “See for yourself.”

Slowly, she knelt and ducked her hand into the slimy, cool water. A cold metal chain brushed her fingertips. A jolt ran through her. It couldn’t be.

She lifted the necklace from the bucket. Drops of water dripped off the red crystal.

“Mother’s necklace? But how – when – I didn’t –”

“None of that is important,” he said quietly.

Natalia looked at him, sharply, eyes rounding as her mind worked quickly. “This is a setup. To make it look like you’re executing me for thievery.”

The blank expression on his face was all the confirmation she needed.

“The day Rose found this in the hall… it was meant for me.” Her chest hurt, like someone had punched her.

“Lucky for us she found it instead,” he said, sounding bored. “Execution was on the menu, since the age of accountability is thirteen, and the Queen doesn’t tolerate thieves. Then we found out your birthday was the next day. I suppose a hammer is as good a punishment as any. You got off easy, if you ask me.”

The chain dug into her palm as she fisted her fingers around the necklace.

“Got off easy? Breaking my hand to bits because you couldn’t kill me for a crime I didn’t commit is getting off easy?”

“Oh, don’t get so worked up about it, sweetheart. It’s justice.”

“It’s tyranny! Rose is eleven. A child. Your Queen’s idea of justice is breaking an innocent child’s hand, without even giving her fair trial?”

“Be thankful she wasn’t thirteen, or her head would have rolled on the spot.”

She contemplated charging him, but thought better of it. He would have an arrow through her heart before she could get close. Even then, the spell would protect her from death.

All spells have loopholes, and eventually they all come to an end

She chewed on her lip, and took a step backward. The back of her knees bumped the rim of the fountain, nearly toppling her backward into the pool.

“My client will wonder why I’m taking so long.” He shut one eye, focusing down the length of the arrow, narrowing his sight on her. “Fair well, Madame.”

She sucked in half a breath before the arrow was released, whistling through the air in slow motion. She bent her knees, ducking as it sailed through the space her heart had been in precious seconds before. The arrow embedded itself in the fountain with a twang. The huntsman was already notching another arrow when she looked up, regaining enough of her sense to fling herself to the side as a second arrow struck the ground in front of the fountain, narrowly missing her right calf. Light footsteps sauntered forward as she scrambled behind a tomb, peering around the corner as the tip of a black boot came into view.

“You cannot hide, little mouse. I will find you.”

He stepped forward, and she scuttled to the other side, out of view completely.

“Why make this any more difficult than it already is? As I said, it’s nothing personal. I’m just a businessman.”

Her breath was making too much noise. Hastily lifting the necklace over her head and around her neck, she tucked the pendant into her bodice before clamping a hand over her nose and mouth. Her heart was pounding so hard now it hurt. The end of something long and brown poked out behind the tomb, a few feet away.

The broom.

She crawled forward on her elbows and knees, shuffling her weight around like a snake. Her teeth dug into her bottom lip as she held her breath, reaching for the broom.

“There you are.”

She didn’t turn around because she knew if she paused that long she would be dead. The bowstring twanged, propelling another arrow forward, and she sprang out of the way, grasping the broom in her hands and rolling upright along her shoulders. She whirled, bringing the broom up parallel to the ground and using it to catch the arrow meant for her heart.

The huntsman cursed, firing again.

She knocked the arrow to the side with the broom.

Another arrow flew.

The broom’s weight was skewed by the shock of bristles on one end, and she overshot her block, skimming the arrow but not deflecting it completely. The tip of the arrow head scraped her left shoulder, and she hissed.

Damnable broom. Her father hadn’t passed on much knowledge of fighting with a staff. What she needed was –

“A sword,” she breathed.

In front of her, about twenty feet away, was a tomb with a statue depicting the person within. In its marble hands was a sword.

The huntsman stepped in front of it, blocking her view, anger building on his face.

It was her only hope.

She charged, running straight for the huntsman. He shot at her, and she sidestepped, bringing the broom up and above her head, and swinging it around with a cry. It struck the huntsman in the temple, and he staggered forward from the momentum of the blow. Natalia took her chance, dropping the broom and yanking the sword from the statue’s grasp. The hilt felt at home in her hands, all the nights of sword lessons with her father kicking in. She ran forward, slashing at the huntsman’s ribcage while his arms were flailed, but he whipped a dagger from his belt and knocked her sword away. Instantly, she came back, slashing on the other side. He cursed, pitching the bow to the side, and blocked her again, following up with a gouge, straight for her chest. She knocked his hand upward and kicked, her foot landing square in his chest. He bent forward with a choked gasp. She made a fist, pummeling it straight into his face, which he managed to turn at the last second but not before she firmly clipped his lip.

He swiped at his mouth, blood smearing his fingers, and rolled his neck. “To hell with making it a clean kill. You’ll regret that, bitch.”

He came at her, gouging swiftly, one attack immediately following the last. She kept the blade in front of her, vertical, knocking his blows to the side as he drove her backward. His attacks were a flurry. She saw his knee coming up from the bottom of her vision, but her eyes were too focused on the upper body attack that she reacted too late. Pain blossomed through her abdomen, buckling her over. Something caught her behind the knees and she went down, backward.

Cool water rushed in, completely burying her beneath the surface of the pool, arms outstretched to either side. The cold shocked her. The sword was wrested from her grasp, right before two hands wrapped around her throat, both choking her and holding her under. She kicked, and his grip loosened for a few seconds until he shoved hard, forcing the rest of her body underwater. He stepped into the pool, straddling her and pushing her head against the bottom. She bucked, but he didn’t budge.

Stars fired before her eyes, the huntsman’s white, teethy grin the only feature she could make out on the blurry shape above the water’s surface.

She felt it slithering in, a cold mist wrapping around her. When she slit her wrist, she had not felt this.

Death. It was coming for her.

All spells end eventually.
She opened her mouth. “Rose!” she gurgled. Water filled her throat, and she gagged, trying to spit it back up but it was already filling her lungs. The stars in her eyes were fading to black, her strength being siphoned away by the cold prickling in her skin.

A White So RedTake back what is yours.

Seventeen-year-old Snow’s life changed forever the night her stepmother, the Queen, sent her huntsman to cut out her heart. Fleeing for her life, Snow runs to the Silver Forest, a place as dangerous as it is enchanting, and begins an adventure she could never have dreamed.

With no one at her side but a rowdy band of carnivorous dwarves and an arrogant, rogue prince who’s too handsome for his own good, Snow must confront the challenge that’s been laid before her: Kill the Queen, and take back the kingdom that should have been hers.

But if she is to succeed, Snow will have to tap into a powerful, ancient form of magic, one that may have been sleeping inside her all along.

A White So Red is a dark, sexy retelling of the classic fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.


What are you reading right now?

In addition to two novels I'm critiquing for friends, I'm reading Amanda Hocking's Switched, which is very addicting. I also picked up Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore from the library the other day, which I'm psyched for because I've been waiting for this novel for a long time, so I'll start on it after Switched so I can finish it before it's due.

Who designed the cover of The Scarlet Dagger?

The very talented Robin Ludwig of Robin Ludwig Design Inc. I highly recommend her! Her website its

If you could have any supernatural ability, what would it be?

Probably either the ability to stop time or turn back time. I could get a lot more done in a day if I could stop time!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I would say don't be afraid to follow your dreams. Everyone has their own story to tell. Just because so-and-so did it one way doesn't mean that same route will work for you. You have to find your own path, and be comfortable with that. When you have a big dream - something that seems impossible - it's easy to get caught up in other's successes, to begin doubting yourself. Just remember any dream worth fighting for doesn't come easy. There will be ups and downs. There will be times when you'll want to quit. (Many times, probably.) But just keep the end goal in sight, ask the universe for what you want, send good into the world and do good by others, and eventually, someday, you'll get there. It may take quite a bit of time, but with enough time and pounding the pavement to make it happen, your dreams will become a reality

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my interview, and thank you, Memrie, for having me!


Krystle has generously offered to give away three eBook copies of her book The Scarlet Dagger (The Red Sector Chronicles, #1).
The Scarlet Dagger
The strength of Sloane’s heart is about to be put to the ultimate test.

After the Eclipse – the night vampires began openly slaughtering human victims – everything changed. Out of fear, the government salvaged what remained of the human population and enclosed them in massive, security-laden cities called White Sectors, while marking the vampire infested territory as Red Sectors.

When seventeen-year-old Sloane McAllister’s twin brother disappears, she seems to be the only one who thinks he isn’t dead, and vows to stop at nothing to find him. Gathering her courage, she braves the Red Sector to search for clues to his whereabouts. By chance, she encounters Aden, a handsome, charismatic vampire with a hidden agenda. He turns Sloane against her will, and whisks her away to his underground city. Enemies quickly become friends as Sloane struggles against her attraction to Aden, and resists her growing loyalties to the creatures that ruined her life. But the vampires themselves are the least of her problems. The city is harboring a devastating secret, one that could change the tide of the war and threaten to destroy everything Sloane has come to believe in. 
My Rating:  didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing

1 comment:

  1. Great interview Kyrstle and Memrie. I'm not a fan of fairy tale re-tellings but I absolutely loved The Scarlet Dagger and I am really looking forward to reading Dark Horizons.