Monday, October 19, 2009

Interview with Jennifer Rardin & Contest for BITE MARKS!

"Where urban fantasy and James Bond meet...a fast paced and fun read which shouldn’t fail to delight fantasy fans."
Love Vampires

"A fast paced paranormal adventure that travels to the castles of Scotland and leaves readers with a whole new outlook on ghostly possibilities."
Darque Reviews

"Fun, hilarious, exciting, and scary all at once."
Blog Critics

I'm really happy to have Jennifer Rardin here at Vampire Wire to talk about her urban fantasy series, the Jaz Parks novels, and let us in on the dish about her upcoming release, Bite Marks.

Bite Marks is the sixth in the series and takes her Australia. Really, what's not to like about a horde of gnomes, the CIA, possession by a demon, and job performance anxiety?

Jennifer is very kindly kicking in prizes for two contest winners: a spanking new, autographed copy of Bite Marks, and a copy of Once Bitten, Twice Shy, her first novel. Read to the end of the post to learn how to enter the contest.

MARTA: Please tell us about your upcoming release in the Jaz Parks series, Bite Marks.

JENNIFER: I can still remember one of my English professors saying, “If you can’t reduce your plot to a single sentence, your story isn’t ready to tell.” So here’s my shot—Bite Marks is about two CIA assassins who are sent to Australia to kill a guy before he can destroy the space program.

Naw, I still don’t like that rule. Because you don’t get the flavor, do you? How can you have any idea that one of our heroes is a vampire still haunted by his past, while the other often spends her down-time cooking up wild schemes that could result in her dad living out the rest of his days in an igloo on the peak of Mount McKinley? Or that, throughout the course of their partnership, they’ve managed to collect a crew of oddballs that include a demon-hunted psychic, a paranoid genius, and an easy-going sniper who still sends Christmas cards to most of his ex-girlfriends? There’s even a dog named Jack, but we don’t like to talk about him when he’s not in the room. It hurts his feelings.

MARTA: Can you believe you’re already on the sixth book in your series? How do you see Jaz’s development from the first in the series until now?

JENNIFER: I looked down at the calendar today. It said that this was the second anniversary of the release of Once Bitten, Twice Shy, and I still felt like celebrating that first book. So, yeah, it’s hard to get my arms around the idea of having so many novels on the market in such a short period of time. I’m happy we planned it that way, though, because it’s given Jazfans a chance to jump right into the series without having to wait forever between installments.

As for our girl, she’s become somewhat more stable as she’s dealt with the worst of her grief and guilt and allowed herself to smile again. However, we’ve gotta remember we’re dealing with a woman whose job is to eliminate enemies of the United States. As she’s said herself, you have to be somewhat bent to succeed at her job.

MARTA: You grew up in the Midwest reading fables and fantasy and went on to get a degree in English. Can you name a few books that opened worlds for you?

JENNIFER: The first books that felt magical to me and gave me a sense of the unlimited potential of story were The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein.

MARTA: Since you began your series with Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Urban Fantasy has exploded. What’s the appeal of a kick-ass heroine battling the supernatural? Please feel free to wax poetic about our current socio-political climate (or not).

JENNIFER: I recently asked my fans a similar question, because I’m doing a talk at the end of the month about urban fantasy for a group of Illinois librarians and I wanted a readerly point of view. Most of them mentioned that they’re tired of whiny heroines who just stand around with their thumbs up their asses while their dashing yet adorable love interest (with the dimpled chin, no less) jumps in to save the day. I agree. We admire people who rescue themselves and then pull the people around them out of the muck as well. Even more so in stories, where we’re looking for someone we can both identify with and admire. As for the supernatural element—for me (and I believe for many readers) it’s all about escape.

Life is hard. And it often sucks. When I open a book, I’ve already dealt with a veritable parade of crapola for the past twelve hours. So I want something that transports me from my cares from the moment I begin reading until the second I close the cover. Which is why Urban Fantasy is such a great fit for a growing number of readers. You find that lovely escape, but you still get such an instant connection with the characters (because their world is so similar to yours) that you drop right into the story as effortlessly as falling into bed. (Okay, I suppose you could insist that urban fantasy’s monsters are nothing like ours. But my response would be that we have the same sorts of predators in our world. They’re just packaged differently.)

MARTA: What do you enjoy most about first-person narrative, and what are some challenges?

JENNIFER: I like the voice. If your character is unique enough, which I think Jaz is, readers can hear the inflection, sarcasm, drawl, humor, almost without me pointing them in that direction. In no other form does one character’s voice come through so strongly, and I love having that sense of speaking straight from Jaz’s mouth into the reader’s ear.

I think one of the greatest challenges of first-person is a full-on fight scene involving multiple characters. Because if Jaz is busy kicking ass, she’s not observing what everyone else in the room (or graveyard, or mountain trail—as the case may be) is doing. Sometimes the characters you need to see aren’t even in the same location. Then I really need to figure out how she knows what’s going on with them. Can she hear them? Is she recounting their story as told to her later? Tough decisions that always need a practical eye to make sure the reader doesn’t put down the book and say, “I don’t buy that for a second.”

MARTA: So how do you do research for Jaz’s international adventures while living in a farmhouse?

JENNIFER: Even living in the black hole of middle-of-nowhere Illinois we do get high speed Internet. So I spend a great deal of time reading about the locations Jaz and Vayl visit and studying hundreds (maybe even thousands) of pictures of the place. Believe it or not, the CIA usually has a webpage devoted to the places I’ve picked for Jaz’s missions, and it covers the basics thoroughly. I read travelogues and guide books. I usually make one or two direct contacts with knowledgeable people who live in the area who are willing to answer questions like the one I asked my bookseller friend from Edinburgh, for One More Bite, which was, “If I was going to watch TV in a bed and breakfast just outside of Inverness, how likely would I be to come across a movie like Hot Fuzz?”

MARTA: How many books do you plan to have in the series? Are you working on any other projects?

JENNIFER: Right now I’m contracted to write eight books in the series. I’ve just finished the seventh, Bitten in Two, and am planning on beginning the eighth November 1. After that I’d like to start a new series for Orbit, which will also fall into the urban fantasy category. But the details are still Top Secret. In the meantime, I’m finishing up my YA book, Shadowstruck, which I hope to send to my agent by the end of the week.

MARTA: Are you surprised at the range of your readership? Can you share one reader comment or reaction that thrilled you?

JENNIFER: I didn’t realize Jaz would appeal to such a wide age range (I’ve had e-mails from preteens and grandparents) or that so many readers around the world would find her such fun. I love it that people are enjoying the Jaz stories, but probably the one e-mail that touched me the most was from a lady who’d just lost her mother. She wanted to thank me for writing something that helped get her through the day. Knowing I gave somebody who was grieving just a little lift? That’s huge.

MARTA: Okay, you know that I think your book covers rock. Do you want to give a shout-out to your designer? [You can read an article about the design of these covers here.]

JENNIFER: I do. My designer for the first five books did a tremendous job and I must thank him from the bottom of my heart for providing me with such beautiful, sleek covers. He’s no longer with Orbit, but Lauren Panepinto has taken his place and I think you’ll agree her cover for Bite Marks should totally be accompanied by a heavy metal riff every time it opens!

MARTA: Here’s the requisite inane question: If you could rewrite a great classic in first person with a paranormal theme, what would it be and give us a few sample sentences.

JENNIFER: See, here again is where my English professors would probably rap my knuckles with a ruler if they could, because I didn’t find a whole lot to cherish in the classics beyond Shakespeare and Chaucer. So, since Hamlet’s already got a bitchin’ ghost, I’ll go for Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene:

Romeo: “Juliet! Throw down a ladder or something! It’s coming!”
Juliet: “I’m tying the sheets together as fast as I can! What were you thinking anyway? The Capulet isn’t supposed to wake for another fifty years!”
Romeo: “Now you tell me? Before you were all like, 'Oh, Romeo, let’s take a walk by the cemetery. It’s so dark and romantic. I’ll show you a monument that’s been marking the burial site of a cool old family legend. And while we’re there maybe we can make out.' Now you’re all—”
Juliet: “I never said that about making out! You’re such a douche!”
Romeo: “Me? I was just . . . aaaaahhhhh!”

(He doesn’t die just now. I’m telling you this because you look a little worried.)—Now those lines came from a classic. Can you name it?

MARTA: The aaaahhhh! part? Uhm, I'm pretty sure it's from Sense and Sensibility when Marianne falls down. Anything else you’d like to share with readers?

JENNIFER: It’s my turn to do Thanksgiving this year, and I just discovered my kid doesn’t care for celery, so if any of you have a great stuffing recipe that doesn’t include the green, pass it on will ya? Here’s where you can find me. (And yeah, I’m a chatter, so we’ll definitely talk books while you’re there too!)

MARTA: Thanks for visiting, Jennifer, and sharing your book news and the whole celery issue, which is also a problem with my spawn. (Just skip the celery. No one really cares about it. I make stuffing with cornbread, walnuts, onion, and that's about it.)

To can learn more about Jennifer and her books at:
Learn more about Jennifer by reading her interviews at Love Vampires; Bitten By Books; and Urban Fantasy Land.

I'm always forgetting names of characters, but I remember Jaz Parks because it's such a cool name. If you'd like to win an autographed copy of Bite Marks or Once Bitten, Twice Shy, leave a comment for Jennifer or the favorite name of a character in a book or movie. (Mine is Snake Plissken from "Escape from New York." I love that name.) Will we ever forget Buffy Summers?

Mention on the comment which book you'd like to win. (Bite Marks is for fans of the series, and Once Bitten, Twice Shy is for those who haven't yet started the series.)

The contest is open worldwide and will run through the evening of October 28. Winners will be chosen at random.


Dot S. said...

My favorite fictional name:
Bastian Argeneau
I just love the way it sounds so french and seductive when you say it.
If I win I'd like 'Once Bitten, Twice Shy'

Jackie Uhrmacher said...

Eve Levine. It just rolls off the tongue. : )

I've read Bite Marks (seriously people, WHAT A GREAT BOOK! Vayl, Cole, crazy demons, and demonic ghosts. What more do you want??) and am a HUGE fan of the series, so either would work because they are autographed.

elaing8 said...

I first thought Buffy then saw you listed liked Merit(the one word nickname) from Chloe Neill Chicagoland Vampire Series.

I haven't read this series yet but have heard it is great,so I'd love the chance to win the first book Once Bitten,Twice Shy.


Lori T said...

No, I do not think that we will ever forget Buffy Summers. Jaz Parks is a very unforgettable name and I love the series.

Snake Plissken is a great name and who does not love Kurt Russell??

Marta said...

Hi, everyone. Elain8, you can mention someone already mentioned!

Here are other fave names: Fox Molder, Sam Winchester, Sooky Stackhouse...

jeanette8042 said...

I always remember Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series.
I would love to read once bitten, twice shy!

Book Whisperer said...

I recieved Bite Marks for review about a week and a half ago. I am reading it right now. I had to read it first I am beside myself, this is one of my favorite authors and series.

Wendy said...

One word: Vayl! It's such an interesting name, I love it.

Great interview Marta and Jennifer! I'm definitely a fan of your Jaz Parks series, I've read book 1-3, have number 5 on my TBR pile and need number 4! Ha. I know, such a mess. :)

cfisher1504 said...

Great interview!! I love Jaz.
My favorite name is Jean claude.
cfisher1504 at gmail dot com

Marissa Turner said...

I have to go with either Mr. Mumbles or Mr. One Two from RockNRolla.

email is marissa AT marissaturner DOT com

Greenrider88 said...

This is a great book series, I love Jaz. My favorite name is Lestat. I would like the newest book Bite Marks.

Nicole said...

I love the name Rehvenge from J R Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series and Crispin aka Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. I would love a copy of Bite Marks. I've read the rest of the series and can't wait for it to be released.

Emily said...

Hehe more Jaz soon! *crazy happy squeak*
I like the name Marguerite from Kate Mosse's Sepulchre, also Elmindreda from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. They're slightly peculiar but I think they are pretty.

Emily said...

Oops. Forgot... :S
Would love Bite Marks very much.

Sheere said...

Lestat de Lioncourt! I love this name.. it's sophisticated and a bit naughty. just like the character :)

I haven't started the series yet so I'd like to win Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

Kimberly B. said...

Well, my favorite character name has to be Weetzie Bat, titular character of Francesca Lia Block's series. But because I am reading about her right now, I want to give a shout out to Sirantha Jax from Ann Aguirre's series. And the sadly defunct television show Pushing Daisies has some great names; I'm partial to Emerson Cod and Olive Snook!

Amber Yates said...

My favorite character name is Vasil Nicu Brancoveanu a.k.a. Vayl. I love him and the series. I would pick Bite Marks if I won.

Ashleigh said...

I like Jeaniene Frost's character Crispin Russell aka Bones. There are probably other names but one that sort of stuck with me is one my Dad (also a fan of your books. In fact I have issues with him trying to steal them while I'm reading them) made up for a vampire: Judas Cain. Just sounds powerful. And I loved the Princess Bride reference Jennifer (in fact your whole scene would be fun. Maybe they'll do Shakespeare Urban fantasy someday. I mean, we already have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). I'd love to win Bite Marks. I can't wait to read it.

Jennifer Rardin said...

I like your pick, Dot. It does roll off the tongue, doesn't it?

Thanks so much, Jackie!!

Yup, they both work for me, elaing8.

Kurt Russell definitely needs to be in some sort of Hall of Fame, Lori!

I've really gotta read that series, jeanette8042. Maybe after I start writing my new one...

That's just amazing to hear Book Whisperer!!

That's kinda how I collect books, Wendy. Glad I'm not alone!

Thanks, cfisher1504!

Those are both way cool picks, Marissa.

A true classic, Greenrider88.

I've only heard good things about this Bones character. May have to break my rule to meet the creature, Nicole.

Wow, Robert went all out on that name, didn't he Emily?

Best of luck, Sheere!

Oh, those are all terrific names, Kimberly. I guess I like the slightly off-key ones too!

Thanks so much, Amber!

DragonflyLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DragonflyLady said...

State Trooper Laura Caxton from 13 Bullets by David Wellington. ^_^

Nope, never going to forget Buffy Summers. Or Spike. *swoons*

I've the first 3 Jaz Parks books, my library got the other ones while I was away so going to jump on those as soon as I can!

email mckmasson at gmail dot com

Marta said...

Hi, Jennifer, nice to have you here! Tomorrow I'll post some Kurt Russell Gratuitous Videos of the Day.

On names, I always like the names that Shawn gives Gus on "Psyche": Ovaltine Jenkins, Shutterfly Simmons, Chesterfield McMillan, Trapezius Milkington, Lavender Gooms...

Nicole M. said...

Two words: Korben Dallas. (Dreamy sigh). I love the movie The Fifth Element. Between Father Vito Cornelius, Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, and Ruby Rhod you can't get more SciFi than those names.

I would almost, sorta, kinda die--or suffer great bodily harm--to get Bite Marks.

nmoynier @

Melanie said...

Well, I love a lot of characters, but by far my favorite character's name is Fitzwilliam Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice." I think that is just one of the coolest names ever thought up! Either that or Dr. Abraham Van Helsing!!

I would totally love to get "Bite Marks" because I'm dying to figure out what happens!!!!

Celeste said...

I'm a fan of "Merit" from the Chloe Neill Chicagoland series.
I can't wait for Bite Marks to come out!!

RKCharron said...

Hi Marta & Jennifer :)
Thank you for the amazing interview.
I loved learning more about Jennifer Rardin. Is Jennifer on Twitter? I searched but couldn't find her.
One of my favorite names for a character is Killashandra Ree of the Crystal Singer books by Anne McCaffrey.
All the best,
PS - I'll have to pick Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

Amber said...

Duh Jaz Parks! ha or Buffy Summers was always a favorite but I also like Eric Northman from the Charlaine Harris books. Pretty much all the characters from J.R. Ward's Black Dagger series. Oh Simi from Sherilyn Kenyon. There's way to many to choose from!
I'd love to win Bite Marks.

Sophie said...

Great interview! Have to agree with your daughter on the celery, shouldnt be anywhere near stuffing!

As for the names, i love the name Valek (from Maria V Snyders study series, great character too!)

Also, completely off topic, as not from a book or film, but just have to mention Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi, both 16th century artists, just because their names are both fantastic!

I'd love a signed copy of Bite Marks!

Becky said...

My favorite name is Lestat de Lioncourt. ^^

Can't wait to read the new book, Jen!

Would appreciate either book, because I haven't bought the first one yet. ^^'

Kahala Bray said...

Hi! Jennifer. I love your books!
I can't wait for the next one!!!

some of my favorite names are:
Jean-Claude from Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS and
Sirius and Draco form Harry Potter

Bite Marks Please! :)

Jennifer Rardin said...

That's just hilarious about your dad, Ashleigh!

Spike is da bomb, DragonflyLady. Just luuuurve that character!

Hi Marta, thanks so much for having me. It's been so much fun already!

OMG, Nicole, I gotta go watch that movie again, like, this weekend if at all possible! (Vito--love that name!)

Hope it answers some questions for you, Melanie!

Thanks, Celeste!

Sorry RKCharoon, I'm not on Twitter yet. Someday...btw I love Killashandra!

Great list, Amber!

LOL, Sophie! (I just keep thinking that's one of the main ingredients...what am I supposed to do now? And to take my daughter off the hook, I will clarify and let you know my son is the picky one in this case.)

Thanks, Becky!

Too cool, Kahala. (Your name's pretty dern cool in itself!)

Karen W. said...

Marta stole my first thought of Buffy Summers, but I also love the character names of Hawkeye Pierce, Barnabas Collins, and Jean-Luc Picard.

I'm a fan of the Jaz Parks series, and I would love a copy of BITE MARKS!

Thanks for the contest!

karenwitkowski AT aol(dot)com

Tez Miller said...

2001-2002 there was a Canadian/Australian co-production animated sitcom, Quads. The lead character was named Reilly O'Reilly ;-)

Would like Bite Marks, please. Or One More Bite, but that's not an option ;-)

Marta said...

Hi, everyone! Karen W., Barnabas Collins is one of those easy to remember names. I can't wait until we see Johnny Depp in the big-screen version of "Dark Shadows."

Amber, those names crack me up! Yours would be Ahmber.

kfreeman92 said...

I'm not sure why, but I always found a vampire named Angel fascinating!

I'm about one fourth into "Bite Marks" right now and I'm savoring it.
For the contest I'd like to be in for "Once Bitten Twice Shy". I had to borrow mine from the library when I read it, and I'd really like to have the whole series in my own personal library!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Jennifer and Marta!

I love characters who appear sexy to me. I've had a thing for Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers for a while now, lol. James Patterson's lead characters in his detective series. I also like Kim Harrison's kick ass heroine, Rachel Morgan, she knows how to take care of herself.

Dottie :)

~Jennifer~ said...

Indiana Jones had an awesome, unforgettable name. Also, Zoolander.

I would love to get Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

jennsicurella at verizon dot net

Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] said...

Spike aka William the Bloody. I just love him. I'd like to win Bite Marks.

I posted this in the Contests & Giveaways section on my blog

ddurance said...

What about Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series?

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

donnas said...

Thanks for sharing! I love this series and cant wait to get the chance to read Bite Marks. Once I read the first one I have to read the rest in fast order.

Lots of memorable names, most of which were mentioned: Jaz, Vayl, Bones, Merit, Clary. I love when the names are unusual it just seems to add more to the characters.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Pamk said...

sounds like a great series. and I've not had the pleasure of reading this. I'd love to win once bitten twice shy. love the name bones in Jeannine frost dead series.
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

Chelsea B. said...

Mine would have to be Adam Black, from Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series. From the first moment I read his name, I was like "Yep. He's not one I will soon forget." :)

ANd I've not read any of these books, so I would have to pick:'Once Bitten, Twice Shy'

Great interview!:)

Christina said...

Elphame from P.C. Casts Elphame's Choice. I just like the way it sounds.

I'd like Bite Marks. :)

Bec said...

I love the name Dimitri Belikov from the Vampire Academy series.
It's kinda dorky but foreign AND sexy. It can't GET any better!

And I'd love to get Bite Marks if I win. Hopefully I'll be the only kid on the block with a copy (in Aus) :)

Awesome interview Jen. Spesh the Romeo & Juliet scene. Very..... different from the original but waaaay better.

Blodeuedd said...

I'd sure love to win Once Bitten, Twice Shy since I have not yet started the series :)

Oh yes Snake has such a great name.
I do like JR Wards funky names, hm who would have guessed I would fall for a guy named Zsadist

Cassie said...

Mercedes Thompson =]my second favourite heroine and absolutely love to win Bite Marks!

Deb said...

Sookie Stackhouse is my most recent fav name.
I would love to start a new series and Once Bitten, Twice Shy sounds like the start of a great one!

Jennifer Rardin said...

Barnabas Collins! Wow, that brings back some great memories. Thanks, Karen!

Tez, my dear, I would totally make an exception for you. BTW, I've been watching this fascinating show on the Military Channel where the main player is a guy named Will Willis. Huh. You'd think his parents were unkind. But when they go to code--on the radio--they call him Whiskey Whiskey. Now that's just neat.

Johnny Depp gets all the good parts, doesn't he, Marta? For a reason. I just heard Disney has netted him to play the Lone Ranger as well.

I'm with you, kfreeman92! Before I created Vayl, Angel was my fave.

Hi Dottie! Great input!

Aw, Jennifer, those are epic picks!

Yeah, Abigail, he stays with you pretty much forever, doesn't he?

Oh, definitely, Deidre. And he's so well drawn I get an immediate gut reaction when I read his name!

Too true, donnas.

Thanks so much, Pamk. I hope you get the time to dive in!

One of the more unique choices, Christina!

Thanks, Bec! And, yeah, you would probably be the only Aussie with a copy for a while!

Wow, great picks. Your name's pretty original too, Blodeuedd!

She's a great character, I agree, Cassie.

Love that series, Deb. Charlaine Harris is a genuine talent.

Odilia Monreal said...

My favoritye is Jaz Parks, and i would like ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY. Thank you!

Jerrie Baughman said...

Lestat de Lioncourt has to be my favorite !
Can't wait to read Bit Marks - have read all the others - just love the series !!

Sarah said...

I always liked Hoban Washburne (more commonly called "Wash") from Serenity/Firefly fame... Fanty and Mingo (twins from the same series) also have awesome names, but Wash's my fav 'odd name'. :)

And I'm looking forward to the new book oh so so very much, I'd put my hat in the ring for the copy of Bite Marks.

Sarah Dieng said...

Jennifer I would have to say Jaz is an all time favorite, but that is kind of obvious.
I especially like Anita Blake. Your books make me want to sit and keep on writing.
I would like the newest "Bite Marks" since I own all the others in my vast, overflowing library (aka, too many books in a small spare bedroom).

Tena said...

Oh the list could go on and on.. but I will stick with the vampire feel and say Bill Compton ( Sookie Stackhouse series)

thanks for the great contest

Carmen R said...

I love the Jaz Parks series and would want to win Bite Marks sine i own all of the others already.

My favorite name is Jericho Barrons in Karen Marie Moning's books

Sue (okibi_insanity) said...

I would love to win Once Bitten Twice Shy. It sounds like a great series so I want to get started. :]

My favorite name is Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs' Mercedes Thompson Book Series.


Sophie said...

Ok, apologies to your daughter! Id say just add more herbs, im sure it will taste great! My gran used to put all sorts of stuff in hers, including sausages!

Also thought of more for the name thing, wicked and truth from the anita blake series, with and name like wicked you just know something excitings gonna happen!

Jennifer Rardin said...

Sweet, Odilia!

Not much longer to wait, Jerrie!

Yeah, those are great picks, Sarah.

I must say, I can't think of many better phrases than "vast, overflowing library," Sarah. Happy sigh.

Such an unlikely name for a vamp, Tena. Loved him in the beginning. Now I've switched to Eric. Yum.

Thanks so much, Carmen!

I sure hope you get the time, and the chance, Sue. People tell me it's great fun!

Naw, that's cool, Sophie. There's a lot of stuff she doesn't like as well. Like cooked onions--which is also vital to great stuffing in my opinion! And I'm with you, the word "wicked" gets me going every time.

FaeryWing said...

I am just eager for "Bite Marks" next week! :D So many great character names, it's hard to pick a favorite...

Either book is great for me, I love the series!

Wendy said...

Haha, well guess what? I got Bite Marks today! Hee. Now at least I'm only missing book 4, this is pretty crazy! :)

Marta said...

Hi, everyone! It's funny how some names stick with us and others don't. Yes, Severus Snape is a sticker! But then there are those books that are quite good and you can't for the life of you remember the characters' names or the titles. Some of the online sites like LibraryThing help readers keep track of faves.

Andrea said...

My favorite fictional name is Dante Baptiste, but I also think Jaz Parks is a great name.

I would like to win Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

Amanda Russell said...

Can there be a better name than Jaz Parks? I don't think so!
But for me a close second would have to be Luna Wilder from Caitlin Kittredge's Nocturne city series.
How cool is that name for a werewolf? Very fitting!
A copy of Bite Marks would be awesome.

Marta said...

Amanda, I'm kinda with you on Jaz Parks. It's damn memorable and very cool.

Allyson said...

I love the name Scarlett O'Hara not really for the name itself but because I think it's one of those names that fits the charcter flawlessly. Jaz is the same way. I don't think Jasmine is a name you would automatically fit with a top CIA assasin but to me it just shows one more way she's breaking all the rules and just being herself. If I'm lucky enough to win I would love a copy of bite marks.

Vickie said...

William the Bloody (aka Spike)

Sookie Stackhouse

It's a toss-up.....

VWinship at aol dot com

Margaret said...

If this is a repeat, sorry.

My favorite: Zaphod Beeblebrox
Adams' knew how to create a great two-headed loon!

If I win, would LOVE autographed copy of Bite Marks - been following the entire series since the beginning.

Mashiara said...

I like Kitai, from the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. It's got a sharp edge when you pronounce it, just like the character.

I'd like to win "Once Bitten Twice Shy." I already own all the books and have ordered "Bite Marks" already, but I lent my copy of OB,TS to my sister, who lent it to a friend, whose dog ate it. It's been six months and they haven't replaced it yet. Winning a copy of it would be great and I've learned to never lend out my precious books again.

Anonymous said...

Don't laugh guys but I'm creating my own book, and I'd have to say I love the fictional name of a leading character named Avery Ezra Navaris.
If I had to choose one from a book that's already been created, I'd have to say Bellatrix Lestrange. I know Harry potter, but it's very catchy for her evil self.
If I were to win, I wouldn't mind either book as I love the series and enjoy reading them.

buddyt said...

One name that has become fixed in my mind is Edward Scissorhands. Probably because I think Johnny Depp is the greatest actor of his generation.

It just seems so appropriate to who the character is and yet has dark undertones of Frankstein like monsters for someone who seems so bitter sweet and poignant.

I would like to start at the beginning with Once Bitten, Twice shy.


buddytho {at} gmail DOT com


terin said...

Okay, I am intrigued. I would love to win Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

Jennifer Rardin said...

Glad you're excited, FaeryWing. Just got a great review from Romantic Times, so I'm really looking forward to getting the good word out!

Woot for Wendy! Tres bizarre about the missing volume, Wendy. Did the hairsticks-of-death on the cover put you off?

Excellent point, Marta. I can remember the name of my first grade teacher, but today I couldn't bring to the front of my mind the word for that thingy you use to open a car door. Bleh.

Dante gives you a definite feel right off the bat, doesn't it, Andrea?

You rock, Amanda! That goes for you, too, Marta!

Allyson, I knew a woman once who named her daughter after Scarlett O'Hara. No idea how she turned out, but I always wondered.

Vickie, have you ever heard how Charlaine came up with that name? I'm so curious now.

Zaphod. Yup. Too fun to say, Margaret!!

You are a kind soul to lend out your Jaz novels, Mashiara. My friend, Hope, will occasionally lend her copies. But they go out in ziploc bags with orders that the covers are to come back with no creases.

Creating your own book is no laughing matter, Anonymous. And Avery is a pretty strong name.

I agree, Carol. Johnny Depp is supremely talented.

Yay! Glad we've piqued your curiosity, terin. If you think Jaz and Vayl might be fun, just wait'll you meet Cole. What a hoot!

Marta said...

Jennifer, that thingy you "use to open the car door" is called a cutting torch.

Jennifer Rardin said...


Carolyn said...

Can not really say they were my favorite but they always stood out. Will not mention the most obvious but a few of the names of the female characters in the older James Bond movies will always stick with me. Kind of hard to forget names like Honey Rider, Kissy Suzuki, Plenty O'Toole and Holly Goodhead.
If I had to go with my favorite though, I would go with Fitzwilliam Darcy from Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice.

I have enjoyed this series and would like to win a copy of Bite Marks.

Jennifer Rardin said...

Kissy Suzuki...classic! Thanks, Carolyn!

angeleyesak said...

I would love to win either..I like Tristan Thorne from Stardust


Laurie T. said...

I love Jaz' name! Another favorite character name is Ciarran D'Arbois from Eve Silver's Demon's Kiss.

Please enter me too.

Barbara E. said...

I think Jaz Parks is a great name. I like Sabina Kane's name from Jay Wells' Red-Headed Stepchild and Sirantha Jax from Ann Aguirre's books is an unforgettable name as well.
I'd love Once Bitten, Twice Shy because I just discovered this series and haven't had a chance to get started yet. I really enjoyed the interview and the chance to learn a bit more about Jennifer.

Amy said...

Hi Jennifer ~ I cannot wait to hear the rest of Jaz's stories and thank you for your vivid imagination! One of my favorite names is Cian Mac Cionaoith from the Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts. And I would absolutely LOVE Bite Marks!

Candicech1 said...

I'm going with Lucien LaCroix. Sounds so nice.

These books sound interesting. I love to win Once Bitten, Twice Shy so I can start from the beginning.
candicech1 at yahoo dot com

Judy said...

I have to go with Le Comte de Saint-Germain. Along time ago, someone gave me a copy of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Hotel Transylvania, that was my first vampire book. I have loved vampires ever since and have read many!! I would also have to pick Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

Mitz said...

I like Crispin, Jean Claude,Sirantha Jax and Dimitri Belikov.

Josef13 said...

I'd love to start this series with Once Bitten, Twice Shy~!

makotolightning (at) hotmail (dot) com

I love the name 'Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden' I don't know why. ^^

Lexie said...

Acorna, I will never forget that name because for the longest time before I read it I thought it was 'Acorn' and finally got the book and went 'Did they change the title or something?'


Strangelove said...

Azrach from Moebius work!

Once Bitten, Twice Shy for me!

carlos_durao AT hotmail DOT com

Bethie said...

Please count me in. THanks for the chance. I love Vladamir Tod from Eight Grade Bites.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

yami said...

The Riley Jensen series is my very favorite!! =)

Icejewel said...

I find the name "Patience Truesdale-Babbit" and "Temperance Kittredge Truesdale" from the book "And Then Everything Unraveled" very annoying..
I mean, really, I can never name my children as Patience and Temperance !!

Please enter me, icejew at gmail dot com

I would love to win 'Once Bitten, Twice Shy'.

Thanks for the contest.

Rebecca said...

Fun interview. I'm looking forward to reading the series!

One of the heroines from a Christine Feehan book was named "Tempest." It's a name that I've always remembered.

Please enter me for "Once Bitten, Twice Shy."

Thank you.

Jennifer Rardin said...

Flexibility is a good thing, angeleyesak!

Ciarran is pretty memorable, Laurie. Would you pronounce that with a hard vowel though, like "ch?" (See, this is one reason I went for Jaz. Hard to debate the pronunciation of that one!)

Thanks, Barbara! I like Sabina, too. Very compelling.

Hi, Amy! I'm now convinced we should've put actual bite marks into that cover. What do you think?

Yeah, Lucien definitely gives you a certain feel right off the bat, Candicech1.

Even that title's da bomb, Judy!

All excellent choices, Mitz!

Best of luck, Josef13! (I love that one too.)

LOL, Lexie!

Strangelove is a wonderful name!

I'm wondering if my hubby would've let me name our son Vladamir, Bethie. I'm thinking--no. Although he was very excited about the name Thor...

Good to know, yami. I'll put it on my list.

LOL, Icejewel. You can't even shorten them prettily, can you?

Thanks, Rebecca!

I did forget to mention in the interview that I'm starting The Great Midwestern Book Tour (Plus Tennessee)! this Sunday, so if any of you live near and can swing by one of the stores, I'd love to meet you in person! Here are the links for my stops in:

Champaign, Illinois
Sunday, November 1

Lebanon, Tennessee (near Nashville)
Saturday, November 7

Evansville, Indiana
Saturday, November 14

Aurora, Illinois (near Chicago)
Satureday, November 21

Marta said...

Hi, everyone! Jennifer, I'll post the info of your tour here on Vampire Wire tomorrow.

Oh, I just remembered one of my favorite names of all time: Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. I loved the character in the novel, which I read about ten times, and in the film, which I've watched many times. He's incomparable.

Edu Chico said...

Hi there!
I'm a newbie, so I will try for "Once Bitten, Twice Shy".
And there is no name like "Sherlock Holmes"!

educhico AT gmail DOT com

Shantal said...

I would love to win a copy of Bite Marks.

As for a cool name... I can't think of one. My favourite name though, would be Keller, from L.J. Smith's Night World series.

Jafantunes said...

jafantunes AT sapo DOT pt

Best name in novels?
I would choose (Doctor) Yuri Zhivago

Jafantunes said...

Oh, I am trying for Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Cavalier said...

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
o_rei_de_havana AT hotmail DOT com

I think there are too many great names on literature.
But Dorian Grey sounds perfect to me!

Maria D said...

A recent unforgetable name from literature is Benjamin Button.

Count me in for Once Bitten, Twice Shy.


Virginia said...

Ok I am intrigued by this book. Please enter me, I think I would really enjoy it.


Caty said...

Atticus Finch is a brilliant choice!
It sound so good, you want to repeat it with several forms!

catarina DOT magoito AT gmail DOT com

Susy said...

39 DOT susy AT gmail DOT com

The term that Nabokov created, LOLITA.
That's the "name" that sticks with me!

J Dias said...

Please sign my email on this giveaway, joanapatriciadias{@}gmail{.}com

An unforgetable name of a character?
For me it's Anna Kareninna!

J Dias said...

Please sign my email on this giveaway, joanapatriciadias{@}gmail{.}com

An unforgetable name of a character?
For me it's Anna Kareninna!

Tanita said...

Tanitalves AT sapo DOT pt

Well, I gotta say I love Hermione Granger.
It's sucha an uncommon name for me, but so melodic!

Mil said...

goncalo DOT mil AT gmail DOT com

I really think the best names come from LOTR.
Aragon, Frodo and the best sounding one Bilbo Baggins.

Anonymous said...

Once Bitten, Twice Shy is for me. I can't give you a favourite character since I haven't read her books, but I do agree that Jaz Parks is a cool name.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I just can't seem to get Danaus out of my head from The Dark Days Series by Jocelynn Drake. Maybe it is because it is a single name or because I had to sound it out in my head the first couple times and now it is stuck there!

Once Bitten Twice Shy, please

mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

Jennifer Rardin said...

Thanks, Marta, you are brimming with awesomosity!

Oh, you are too right, Edu Chico. So much so, that in my new YA novel, I decided to name my hero Holmes.

I kinda like that one, Shantal. Easy to read and remember, but in no way wimpy.

I have not read that one, Jafantunes. I know. I am a bad, bad girl.

Yes, Cavalier! And such the fascinating backstory!!

I couldn't bring myself to watch that movie, Maria. Suspecting a tear-filled ending, I avoided it like the plague. Because I'm huge into happy.

Wonderful, Virginia! And what's so exciting to me? The next one is even more exciting!

It does roll right off the tongue, doesn't it Caty?

You somehow know just what she's about, don't you, Susy?

Classic, J Dias.

Nice pick, Tanita. My daughter just loves her.

Very cool, I agree, Mil. But I have to say the dwarves' names confused me throughout. Too rhymey.

You may still be conflicted after you've gotten into the series, Anonymous! Lots to love among the crew members!

Very cool, Miranda. Thanks for that one!

iye said...

My all time favorite character name has always been Lyra Belacqua AKA Lyra Silvertounge from the His Dark Materials series. It sounds cool and exotic.

I've always wanted to read this series because of the really cool covers and creative titles don't know why I haven't given it a try yet. If I get chosen I'd love to win: Once Bitten Twice Shy

Julie Porter said...

Hi Jennifer!

I like all of the names in JR Ward's Brotherhood series. They conjure up such scary images, and those extra "h"'s crack me up.

See you in Champaign!

(Oh, and Bite Marks is my choice.)

jissilly said...

Hi Jennifer,

My favorite name for a character is Axe:Scourge of the Undead

To the undead he is simply The Scourge

kittyism said...

I'm still in love with Willow Rosenberg...

And I would love to get started with Once Bitten, Twice Shy!

kingducky said...

My favourite character name is sookie stackhouse :) please add me into this competition..

Milka said...

I have a lot of favorite characters which have great names. I must say that my ultimate favorite is McSteamy (doctor Mark Sloan) from Grey's Anatomy. I always tend to call him with that name and that name is just PERFECT to him. He totally is steamy.

I would like to start with Once Bitten, twice Shy!


Jennifer Rardin said...

I just finished reading that trilogy, iye! Great pick!

Hi Julie! Champaign--soon!

Hi there, jissilly! OMG, that's an awesome name. My hubby would love it!

Oh yeah, kittyism. Instant connection with that one.

I gotta tell you, kingducky, that one stopped me the first time I read it, and I had to puzzle over it for a second. But it's definitely unforgettable.

McSteamy! Ha! Hilarious, Milka!