Guest Author: Jessa Slade & Giveaway!

I have an awesome guest blogger with me today–acclaimed Urban Fantasy romance writer, Jessa Slade.  Jessa writes the Marked Souls Series, which has received many wonderful accolades from heavy-weight reviewers like Publisher’s Weekly and RT Book Reviews.  I’m turning the blog right over to Jessa, so she can tell us about her latest book in the series.

First off, thank you, Vanessa, for giving me a chance to share my new story. My usual haunts have had enough of me 😉

Even though I write urban fantasy romance, which might seem like a far cry from Vanessa’s sizzling historical romances, EVERY character has a history. Moody broody bad boy wounded alpha male heroes often have more of a history than most. And since my heroes are immortal warriors whose long-ago sins left them vulnerable to possession by repentant demons… Yeah, they have a LOT of history.

In my first Marked Souls novel, SEDUCED BY SHADOWS, the hero, Archer, was possessed during the Civil War. In FORGED OF SHADOWS, Liam (no relation to Liam Neeson, except for the accent) fell to his dark burden shortly after the Irish Potato Famine. And in VOWED IN SHADOWS, ex-missionary Jonah walked out of early 20th century Africa minus his faith and plus one demon. In every time period, these men fought their darkness…and lost. Now they are battling for their chance at redemption.

In my latest Marked Souls novel, DARKNESS UNDONE, Sidney Westerbrook is a modern-day man, but as a demon researcher, he knows all about the history of evil, maybe even more than the men who lived it. The half-feral demon-possessed waif he finds wandering Chicago, however, has forgotten everything about her past. It’s a match made in… well, heaven or hell, pick one 🙂

As I research all the different time periods, looking for good times for men to fall prey to bad things, I bet you’re not surprised that every epoch has its darkness. What I find interesting, though, is that different times tend to have different flavors of darkness, and yet somehow the overall patina is very similar. It’s sort of like adding soy sauce to a stir fry; at first the tofu was white, the peapods were crispy, and the broccoli was stinky. After you add the soy sauce, then the disparate elements become one dish: demonic stir fry.

Maybe it’s because, really, despite the passing of centuries, men don’t change. And by “men,” of course, I mean “men.” 🙂 Pesky testosterone hasn’t altered its biochemical signature in a very long time. A moody broody bad boy is the same whether he is a duke or demon-ridden!

On the positive side, the struggle against darkness also continues unabated, and I’ll make sure my heroes never, ever give up the fight.

If you had to pick a time period to live in, which would it be? Medieval might eliminate hot showers (definitely an evil) but you do get real knights in shining armor. If you jumped forward, you’d have to battle death stars, but you’d do it with a hot spaceship captain at your side!

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Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of DARKNESS UNDONE, a set of Marked Souls Romance Trading Cards, a music download card with the album containing the Marked Souls theme song, and a pair of earrings inspired by the storyworld. And everyone who stops by today can download a free copy of my science fiction romance novella, “Enslaved By Starlight,” in the HOTTER ON THE EDGE anthology. Just go to Smashwords and use coupon code UW37U, or download at Amazon, and other ebook retailers for 99¢. Thank you for reading!

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 The war between good and evil has raged for millennia,

and as a powerful new enemy ascends,

the Marked Souls are pushed to the ragged edge…

Sidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now, to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head and under attack — and at the mercy of a waif with demon-lit eyes and a deep yearning in her heart.

Alyce Carver has been alone longer than she can remember, battered by the living nightmares that haunt her city. Cornered by yet another gang of demons, she unwittingly joins forces with a handsome scholar who can salvage her past, and she in turn may be the key to his investigations. But she won’t let him go until he shows her everything she’s been missing.

What begins as an experiment in possession becomes a trial by desire so powerful it threatens both their lives, even as it binds their souls.

“Slade’s plot packs plenty of action…in a group of forceful personalities.”– Publishers Weekly

“[A] fish-out-of-water story that keeps a rapid pace, delivering a strong plot, enjoyable characters and a stunning world.” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Read Chapter 1 of DARKNESS UNDONE and find links to favorite bookstores.

Read the first chapters of all the Marked Souls novels at

You can find Jessa online at:

Vanessa, here.  Wonderful post, Jessa!  And readers, talk about generous–great prizes Jessa is handing out today!  So be sure to answer her question, and also check out the free download for her novella or find it at other e-tailers for only 99 cents!