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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review & Author Interview: Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Title: Blooded: A Jessica McClain Novella
Author: Amanda Carlson
Series: Jessica McClain,
book 0.5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she's no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring.

When she's brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer…”
Blooded is the prequel novella and introduction to the new Jessica McClain series by Amanda Carlson.

Since the moment she was born Jessica McClain’s life has been in danger, she has been called evil, a freak, a witch and many more not so nice things, all this thanks to a myth known as the Cain’s myth in which it’s said that a woman born in the Pack will be the end of their race. Her only sin is being a human female born of a werewolf. Werewolves don’t possess the DNA that creates females, that means Jessica is a genetic anomaly.
Jessica is now nineteen and tired of been afraid for her life. Her father, Callum McClain is the Alpha of the Pack, he has done everything in his power to protect her, so has her twin brother Tyler, but everyday that passes the werewolves are becoming more restless and her life in the Compound is almost unbearable; the discontent in the Pack has reached a point where Jessica is forced to break Pack rules and challenges Mitch. Mitch is an alpha-born werewolf and one of her haters. Jessica thinks she will be able to best him using her wits and slashing tongue but during the fight she realizes she may have miscalculated the outcome, defeating Mitch is harder than she thought. As soon as her father learns about the fight he stops it. Callum is in a very difficult position, he doesn’t want to lose her and at the same time he doesn’t know what else to do to protect her. Jessica begs him to let her leave the Compound and enlist in the police academy where she has already been accepted, but Callum denies her request, he is afraid her life will also be endangered outside of the Compound not only from werewolves but from other supernatural races.
When Jessica is once again attacked in the Compound Callum realizes he has to reconsider his decision.

I’m going to start this review with my first thought after I read the last word in this book. That thought was: I want more! Yes, with exclamation point and everything, that’s the way my brain works.
I was surprised at Mrs. Carlson dexterity with words, Blooded is not longer than 50 pages and in those she was not only able to describe this new world rule by male werewolves and other supernatural beings (vampires, witches and demons) but also she made clear Jessica’s disadvantaged and perilous position in it. Furthermore in those few pages I was able to connect with the characters, all that in 50 pages or less!!

Jessica is a strong willed heroine, she is smart, witty and competent; she knows her handicaps and her assets and how to use them in her favor. It was easy to like her, understand her and cheer for her.
Callum loves his daughter and wants to keep her safe but even being the Alpha of the Pack is not enough; his grief at being unable to protect her was palpable and almost broke my heart.
Other characters I really liked and wish to learn more about are Jessica’s brother Tyler, their almost adoptive brother Nick and their friend Danny.

Blooded is a very-well-written-action-packed-page-turner-impossible-to-put-down novella with great fight sequences, an interesting world and alluring characters.
Blooded is a delicious appetizer that will leave you craving for more. If you like werewolves you are going to love it, if you like urban fantasy you are going to love it, if you… ok, you get the idea. I’m eagerly looking forward to September 1st to the release of the first full-length Jessica McClain novel, Full Blooded.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

Other books in the series
Blooded: A Jessica McClain Novella
Full Blooded (Sept. 1st, 2012)
Hot Blooded (March 5th, 2013)
Cold Blooded (August 2013)

Other reviews Goodreads

Today I have a special treat for all of you. Mrs. Carlson kindly accepted my invitation to answer some questions about her new Jessica McClain series, writing, and more.

1.   How do you choose the name of your characters? The names and personalities of my characters jump into my brain without my permission for the most part. For this series, it started with Jessica making her first shift, just like a scene out of a movie. I knew what she looked like, the beginnings of her personality and her name. From there the book was started. I'm a "pantser" by nature -- meaning I fly by the seat of my pants, so when I'm writing a scene and a character pops up, I know exactly who it is and they usually have a name, face and personality. Occasionally a very secondary character feels like the wrong name or I have to struggle to find the sir name, but usually they are spot on. It's a huge bummer when the character comes with a name and it's too close to one I already have! That' happens all the time in real life, but in books they have to stand out. You can't have Larry and Harry, LOL.

2.    How did you choose to write Urban Fantasy? I think Urban Fantasy chose me. I started writing fiction years ago with romance and nothing really clicked. From there I went to humor and wrote non-fiction essays about my kids. It wasn't until I started writing urban fantasy did my passions for fiction give a defiant shove. I absolutely love writing fantasy -- inventing a world and all its parameters is wonderful. It's such a treat. I can't imagine writing anything else. I'm hooked for life!

3.    What is the hardest part of writing for you? Those middle in between scenes are the worst for me. Getting my character from point A to point B and making it interesting. I adore action, so you will see a lot of it in the series, it's those mundane scenes which still have to have life that give me the hardest time.

4.    What is the most rewarding part of writing for you? When a scene takes off on it's own and I don't know what happens next. Characters usually pop up and surprise me. That is the best. I think that's why I write. It's a constant rush of energy and excitement. A certain scene can change the entire arc of the story. I also love that depending on the day and time I sit at my desk, the story could be something else.

5.    How many books are planned for the Jessica McClain series? Right now I'm contracted for three, but have a rough story arc for at least three more. I'd also love to write some spinoff books with characters (I'm hoping!) you fall in love with. I love this world and I'm so excited to show Jessica and her family to the world.

5-QPQ (Quick Personal Questions)

1.     What do you drink while you are writing (coffee, tea, soda, vodka, absinthe, peyote, ayahuasca…)? Coffee. And lots of it. I can't write if I've had alcohol. I've come home from early evenings out and tried to sit at my desk. LOL, it's not pretty.

2.    What is your favorite food? French fries.

3.    What book are you reading now or read last? I have very little read time, but I'm reading Amanda Bonilla's Shaedes of Gray now and loving it!

4.   Do you buy a book by the cover? No. I did years ago, but I've learned -- the cover tempts, but it's what's on the inside that matters most.

5.    What is your dream place to visit? I cannot wait to go to Bora Bora some day! I want to stay in on of those rooms on stilts with the ocean all around me.

Thanks for hosting me today! I had a fantastic time. Can't wait to come back when FULL BLOODED releases in September.

Thanks to you for taking the time to answer my questions. And did you say Full Blooded? Yes, yes, yes please. Is it September yet?


  1. wow, now I really need to start this books as well! I'm glad you enjoyed this one as well, it was a fast read! great review!

    1. Yes, you need to read it. I'm pretty sure you are going to love it too. ;)

  2. 5 paws..ok I am intrigued, I will admit to that ;)

  3. Great interview, my ladies! I can't WAIT for the first full-length novel!

  4. Thank you, Marcela, for being such a great hostess! I'm really excited to share Jessica with the world. It was fun to come here and chat about it.

    @Blodeuedd I hope you stay intrigued, especially if you decide to try the series :)

    @Melliane I hope you enjoy it if you decide to jump in.

    @Pamela You rock, as always.


  5. Great interview, Amanda! I think getting my characters from point A to point B is tough, too! I'm too impatient to get to the action. LOL


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