Interview with Jade Kerrion + Giveaway!

Today I’d like to welcome Jade Kerrion to Reading Reality. Jade is the author of the Double Helix series. I’ve already finished the first book in this science fiction series, Perfection Unleashed (review here) and let me tell you, it is a thrill-a-minute ride!

Marlene: Hi Jade! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Jade: In no particular order, I’m an author, a business executive, a wife, and a mother. All those roles demand impossible amounts of time that far exceed twenty four hours in a day, so on any day, I just juggle them, trying to keep all the balls up in the air. For the most part, it works.

Marlene: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Jade: Prime writing time takes place early in the morning or late at night when the family is asleep. That said, I’ll sneak in whatever time I can find during the day as well. For the most part, I am a planner. I tend to have notes as well as a sense of where the story is going to go. The plots, however, have been occasionally hijacked by uncooperative characters, and oddly, it tends to work out better that way.

Marlene: What made you choose to write science fiction? And why this particular branch of science fiction related to genetic manipulation and people’s reactions to it?

Jade: I grew up on science fiction. My first crush ever was on Luke Skywalker—I was only three at that time. In addition to Star Wars, I was a huge fan of the X-Men. The Double Helix series reflects much of that influence and leverages my own interest in the topic; at college I majored in biology and philosophy. Science is quietly making progress on the genetic front while we focus on far more distracting news, like the economy, a budget deficit, and wars. The genetic revolution will be upon us, faster than we know, and I don’t think we, as a country, or humanity as a whole, are prepared to address it.

Marlene: Where did your inspiration for the Double Helix series come from?

Jade: The X-Men, certainly, but I didn’t want the story to be just about mutants with super powers. Discrimination is frequently more subtle, and I think many of us have dealt with discrimination in one form or another. I wanted to write a story where almost everything is wreathed in shades of grey, and it’s really up to the reader to ask the questions, and find their own answers.

Marlene: What can we expect of the Double Helix series?

Jade: Many more roller-coaster twists and turns! The first three books of the series— Perfection Unleashed, Perfect Betrayal, and Perfect Weapon—are now available, as is the YA spin-off, When the Silence Ends. The focus of the story will start to shift from Danyael, the alpha empath and Galahad’s physical template, to Galahad himself as he defines his own humanity.

Marlene: What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

Jade: Michelangelo once described his work as a sculptor as freeing the statue that exists within the block of marble. It’s less about creating than it is revealing the art that already exists. Writing is like that for me. The story exists in my head, and the process of writing isn’t about creating, it about revealing the story and sharing it with others.

Marlene: Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn’t know to ask.

Jade: I’m a dancer! I spent years in ballet class, and then in college, joined the modern dance company and spent 40+ hours dancing in preparation for our annual spring concert. Later in life, I switched to salsa (my husband is an incredible dancer.)

Marlene: What book do you wish you could read again for the first time?

Jade: David Eddings’ Belgariad series. Yes, I know it’s standard high fantasy, loaded with stereotypical characters, but darn, it was so much fun. I fell in love with the series immediately, and it would be amazing to read it again for the first time and recapture the sense of wonder.

Marlene: What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Jade: Be committed to excellence. This is true regardless of whether you’re going down the traditional route or self-publishing route. You want to put out something you’d be proud to stick your name (or pseudonym) on. Writing well takes time. You wouldn’t call someone an expert until he/she has put in thousands of hours of work (the typical range is 10,000 hours towards expertise.) Likewise, just publishing a book doesn’t make you a truly good writer. It takes time, practice, and dedication to the art.

Marlene: What projects do you have planned for the future? What is next on your schedule?

Jade: In February 2013, I’m releasing Earth-Sim. Let me share the blurb with you:

Have you ever wondered who’s really in charge of the world? If there’s a God, He seems accident-prone. How else can you explain the mass extinctions, global floods, and worldwide plagues? Are there days when you want to shout out to the uncaring sky, “Is there an intelligent, well-executed plan behind this mess?

Wonder no more. From Jade Kerrion, author of the award-winning Double Helix series, comes an occasionally whimsical, frequently irreverent romp through the history of Earth, as seen through the eyes of the two students and the android assigned to shape the future of the planet in Earth-Sim.

Seamlessly blending popular culture with history, science, and religion, this crash course in planetary management will charm and entertain as you attempt to decipher just how much is fact and what else is fiction. Either way, you finally have someone to blame for the shape our world is in.

I’m currently working on a new science fiction novel, tentatively titled City of Eternal Night. Yes, it is science fiction. It started out as a paranormal romance in my head, and as the plot expanded, it very clearly became science fiction. I can’t seem to get away from the genre…

Marlene: Now, can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

Jade: A. My books are compelling and my characters addictive. My goal, as an author, is to wreck other people’s time management skills, and according to my readers, I’ve succeeded fairly well on that front.

B. My books have universal appeal. I’ve had lots of readers tell me, “I didn’t even like science fiction before I read your books, but I love them.” Well, that’s because I don’t write hard science fiction. You won’t have to know how a hyperdrive works. In most cases, you don’t even have to leave Earth behind. It’s about the characters and the challenges they face in defining themselves and defining their world.

C. Conflict and tension, physical and emotional. My books are loaded with them. 🙂

Marlene: Coffee or Tea?

Jade: Neither. Hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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About Jade

Jade Kerrion, author of the award-winning science-fiction/dystopian series, Double Helix, first developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too? So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren’t their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they’re not.)Places to find Jade: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+

When the Silence Ends

When you choose your friends, you also choose your enemies.

Seventeen-year-old Dee wants nothing more than to help her twin brother, Dum, break free from the trauma in their childhood and speak again, but the only person who can help Dum is the alpha empath, Danyael Sabre, whom the U.S. government considers a terrorist and traitor.

The search for Danyael will lead Dee and Dum from the sheltered protection of the Mutant Affairs Council and into the violent, gang-controlled heart of Anacostia. Ensnared by Danyael’s complicated network of friends and enemies, Dee makes her stand in a political and social war that she is ill equipped to fight. What can one human, armed only with her wits and pepper spray, do against the super-powered mutants who dominate the Genetic Revolution?

America, nevertheless, is ripe for change. Exhausted by decades of belligerence between humans and their genetic derivatives, the clones, in vitros, and mutants, society is on the verge of falling apart or growing up. Which path will it choose, and can a mere human, her sassy attitude and smart mouth notwithstanding, light the way to a better future?

In her quest to help her brother become normal, Dee will learn what it means to be extraordinary. When the silence ends, the celebration of life, love, joy, and hope will inspire feet to dance and hearts to sing.

Review of Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion

Format read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: Paperback, ebook
Genre: Science fiction
Series: Double Helix #1
Length: 212 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date Released: June 11, 2012
Purchasing Info:Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, the other to escape it.

Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted–a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.

When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives–the in vitros, clones, and mutants–collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab’s search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.

There were so many threads to this story! I’m not surprised that they weren’t resolved by the end. This story is too big to get everything wrapped up in a nice neat package in one book. The story continues in Perfect Betrayal, and finishes in Perfect Weapon. It’s a good thing they’re both available. Waiting would be torture!

Genetic manipulation is one of the great themes in science fiction. How will human beings react when we learn to control what we are? Are we as a species wise enough to make those kinds of decisions? How will the “have nots” feel about the “haves”? And vice-versa?

The genetic lottery is not fair in the first place. Pretty people have an easier lot in life than ugly people. Smart people have better chances than less intelligent people, unless they are statistical outliers. Adolesence is always miserable for people outside social norms.

What if you (or your parents) could rig the game? How would society treat the results?

Just think of the X-Men. The superior beings, the mutants, do not get treated well by regular humans.

In Perfection Unleashed, there is a parallel situation. Scientists have created a so-called “perfect” human, certainly a genetically superior human, and he is considered a lab specimen with no rights.

Mutants exist, but they are strictly controlled by law and monitored. Clones are also looked down upon. Even “normal” humans born via in-vitro fertilization experience some pretty nasty prejudice.

Yet the story is not so much about science run amok as it is about humans going crazy. A scientist lost his young son and his wife. He became much, much too involved in an unethical experiment. Because he spent all his energy on his work, his remaining son came to hate him, and the “perfect human” that his work created.

But it really started with the scientist’s over-involvement in his work. And doesn’t that happen now?

Galahad is the experiment. His rescue begins a chain reaction that drags in the alpha empath mutant Danyael, who turns out to be Galahad’s double. But only in looks. They have entirely different sets of powers.

As they unravel the riddle of how these two men came to be each other’s twin, they and their unintentional allies uncover a scientific and government conspiracy to create a supersoldier that results in abominations tearing through the Washington D.C. suburbs.

Escape Rating B+: I want to know where the mutants come from, or how they evolved. This future doesn’t seem that far from now, but there’s a link missing somewhere, and I really need to know. Cloning technology has seriously improved in this future, too.

The story moves along at an absolutely breakneck speed. I didn’t stop turning pages except to sleep, and I hated getting off the bus. Stops were not convenient!

This is a sci-fi action thriller. The chills never stop tingling down your spine. I wish that the human behavior in the book wasn’t so easy to imagine, but that’s what made the story so compelling.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand? 1-6-13

It’s the first Sunday Post of 2013. And away we go!

During this week’s unpacking, we unearthed the box of stuffed animals. I found my Hedgie. Hedgie is a hedgehog. Isn’t she adorable? I got her on a trip to Vancouver a few years ago. She’s been quietly resting a box, along with a bunch of her friends, for several years. Now she’s back on my desk where she belongs.

But the cats didn’t rest much last night. We bought some new inserts for this type of cat scratcher. Basically they’re corrugated cardboard, but, well, anything that saves the furniture is all good. The humans didn’t open the package. The cats went wild during the night. There was a tiny package of catnip wedged between the two scratcher refills. Score!

If you want a more bookish score, there are still a few brief hours left to get in on the New Year’s Blog Hop. The prize here at Reading Reality is a $10 Amazon Gift Card. It might make a dent in your wish list.

What happened last week on the blog? Funny you should ask…

13 for 2013: A Baker’s Dozen of My Most Anticipated Reads
New Year’s Blog Hop
A- Review: The Second Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay
B+ Review: Devil in the Making Illustrated Edition by Victoria Vane
B+ Review: Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov, Guest Review by Chryselle
Stacking the Shelves (29)

Now let’s look ahead to this week!

On Tuesday, Jade Kerrion will be here to talk about Double Helix, her science fiction romance series. I’ve already finished book one in the series, Perfection Unleashed, and it’s an absolute thrill ride. So yep, I’ll have a review. And there’s a giveaway as part of the tour.

Rounding out the week I’ll have reviews of Olivia Cunning’s Sinners on Tour series, Angie Fox’s first Monster M*A*S*H, Immortally Yours, and one touch of pure fantasy romance from Kathryne Kennedy’s Enchanting the Lady.

There are two tours on the horizon for the week of January 14: Blair McDowell’s Sonata and Tiffany Allee’s Heels & Heroes. And we’ll end that week with the oh-so-appropriately named Happy Endings Blog Hop.

Stay Tuned!