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The Immortal Challenge

Oddly enough, it is pure coincidence that this post falls right on the heels of Liz’s thoughts on reading Young Adult fiction. Like Liz, I’ve never been an avid YA reader, or watcher either. I didn’t make it through the entire Harry Potter series, haven’t read or seen Twilight, not because I don’t believe they’re well written, fabulous stories, just not my particular cup of tea.

I do however, find it puzzling that people seem baffled by the ‘sudden’ interest in stories involving teenagers. Um, sudden? Really? Are we not counting Romeo and Juliet? West Side Story? Grease? American Graffiti? The Breakfast Club? Ferris Bueller? Shall I go on?

It seems to me we’ve always had a preoccupation with those precocious, angst-ridden, last step before adulthood years, and for good reason. Even for an average real life teen danger lurks around every corner. Drugs, sex, just driving to and from the school dance. Every day there is the potential of an impulsive decision that will forever change a life. Or end it.

So yes, I get the fascination with young adult stories and characters. But still, it’s not my genre of first choice, and given my limited reading time, I have to prioritize very strictly. However, there is one young adult book I’ve been impatiently awaiting. And here’s why.

Way back when I first started to write, I went looking online for resources to help me learn the craft. I found eharlequin.com and their writers’ discussion boards. Hundreds of aspiring authors just like me, plus a scattering of pros like Karen Templeton who were unfailingly patient and gracious when asked the same rookie questions over and over.

Many of the writers were submitting manuscripts for consideration. We all shared our rejections and frustrations. And then, finally, success! Stephanie Faegan sold her romantic suspense series to Silhouette Bombshell.  It was the first time someone I ‘knew’ had cracked the publication code.

And it was the first time I thought, “Wow. She’s a normal person, just like me. I could actually DO this.”

The world of publishing being what it is, though, even a multi-book contract isn’t a guarantee of forever. After three awesome books starring Pink–Texas’s answer to Stephanie Plum–the powers that be at Harlequin announced they were discontinuing the Bombshell line, which left Stephanie here.

Fast forward a few years. I’ve joined Twitter and I’m constantly bumping up against other writers in the cyber-world, and who should I come across but Stephanie, except now she’s Trinity Faegan, and she’s got a brand new young adult novel scheduled for release, The Mephisto Covenant.

I had to check it out. And once I’d looked over the website, I had to read it. And once I started, I couldn’t stop.

All relationships between mortal and immortal characters must overcome the same stumbling block: how can there be a happily ever after when one person’s ever after never ends, and the other’s does? And in YA specifically, how do you eliminate the Eeeeuw Factor of a character who is hundreds of years old hanging out and picking up chicks at the local high school? All authors of these books have to address this issue, and to be honest, many fail to do it to my satisfaction, which is why I tend to shy away from books featuring immortals.

Trinity Faegen nails it. Bam! The character arcs in this book are dead on. the conflicts are heartbreaking. The climax brought me to tears, and I wasn’t even hormonal that particular day. The only down side to this book that I can see is having to wait for the next one in the series of five.

And no, I’m not just saying this because I have a crapload of respect for a writer who can build a brand for herself, see it fall apart through no fault of her own, and reinvent herself in a whole new genre with another, even better series. Although you all should know, when the Mephisto are the next big thing and everybody is showing up at midnight for opening night screenings, I am not going to hesitate to say I knew her when…



Or if you’re like me and you just can’t wait that long, buy the book here: IndieBound/ B&N / Amazon /

Also available through the Sony ereader store if you own a Sony reader.

And yes, you can also get your hot little hands on the Pink books! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=stephanie+feagan&x=0&y=0


21 Responses

  1. I met Stephanie in line in the Harlequin room at RWA NY 2004, when Bombshell launched. We’ve worked committees together and bump up against each other online and at conferences, and I have SO admired her determination. Reading about this book so long ago was an OOH moment, and I’ve been dying for it ever since. So of course, I bought it the day it came out! 🙂

    I fully agree with you about the immortal problem!

  2. I met Stephanie at RWA Orlando. FAB speaker! She’s fantatically awesome and wonderful inspiriation to writers everywhere trying to break through.

  3. So are we eligible to win because I WANT THIS BOOK!

    I really really like Stephanie. I got to be on the RWA BOD with her. She’s smart, wry, and clever. Her talk at the PRO Retreat was the highlight of the retreat…without a doubt.

    I look forward to reading this.

  4. Seeing as how ENALR appears to be also the Trinity Faegan fan club, I say hell yeah, for this one EVERYBODY gets a shot at the free book, which she offered in either physical or e-book form.

  5. Hi there!!!
    Thank you for giving us the chance to win this book…it really seems amazing & I really really really want to read it.
    I love YA/paranormal stories and from your review I know MC will be a memorable journey! 🙂
    Hope to win!!

  6. Kari, this is absolutely so beautiful, I can’t say thank you enough. Those were some good times at eharlequin! I saved all the posts from after I sold and sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly down about writing, I read through some of them and it never fails to cheer me up.

    Cynthia, I still remember coming into that room, where I expected maybe fifty people, and there were FOUR HUNDRED! Public speaking makes me hyperventilate – I still have no idea how I did that, or what I said. Thank you for saying it was good. 🙂

    Natalie, you know I’m a fangurl of yours from way back – you rock at life!

    And Keri, you’re one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter because you’re funny and wry and you tell great stories.

    Nerwen, thanks for stopping by, and here’s to winning!

    Thanks again to Kari and everyone here at ENALR for being so lovely. This business is frequently a harsh bitch, then there are days like today, and it’s all worth it.

  7. I have been wanting to read this book ever since I heard about it. Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  8. I’ve been hearing great things about this book & after your post I know its a must read. Thanks 🙂

  9. Hello 🙂

    This book has been on my radar since the moment I first heard about it. I certainly didn’t know any of what I read here today until now. It is extremely inspiring, as a writer myself, to see how important it is not to give up. I would certainly love an opportunity to read it. 🙂 Which I will either way, I’m sure. 😉 Anyway, good luck everyone!

  10. In the immortal words of the Xtacles on Frisky Dingo, OMIGODINEEDTHAT.

  11. Okay, Trinity and Kari, you’ve done it now. I do not read either paranormals or YA books, but you’ve hooked me.

    With all the enthusiasm bubbling around me, it sounds terrific. I’ll wait until tomorrow (or whenever the book goes to whoever) and then I’m off to Amazon.

  12. Wow, sounds awesome! I’ve been hearing lots about this book so I guess I have to go and get it. Dang it. As if I need anymore on my TBR stack.

    Well, such is the life of a reader…

  13. I can’t wait to read this book. I have heard such great things about it and after reading this it just gets me more excited.


  14. I really want to read this book, it sounds great. Thanks for the chance to win.


  15. Now I have to read it!

    That cover is absolutely gorgeous and you sold it well. ; )

  16. PS: I just read the first chapter. Now I really have to get this book! : )

  17. This book sounds amazing I have wanted to read it since I first heard about it.
    I must also agree that stories involving teenagers have been around for a long long time it just seems that people are now paying attention.

  18. Hmm, I thought I commented via iPhone yesterday, but apparently it didn’t go through. Anyway, the book sounds awesome.

    It’s always neat when you know writers before their big break. There are several women in my old chapter that have gotten contracts in the last two years, and it’s been inspiring to watch it happen. Makes me believe there’s hope. 😉

  19. I agree that the mortal/immortal issues is a big challenge. I’d be VERY interested in a book that nails it as good as you say it does. Adding this to my to-read list!

  20. I like reading about all sorts of relationships and the unique ones always appeal to me. Ironically, they are different but still face the same issues “normal” relationships do. Stunning book cover.

    P.S. I’m running on PST time so hopefully I make it.

  21. AND WE HAVE A WINNER! Congrats to Delilah, I’ll just go ahead and track her down on Twitter. Thanks to everyone for stopping by and playing along, and to Trinity for providing the free book.

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