by J.M. Jinks
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication: 10/22/2018
Word Count: 58K
Tagline: If you can’t beat them, seduce them
Meet Layla James, your typical smart and snarky chick—except for the whole succubus thing. After nearly a millennium on Earth, Layla’s settled down in a boring life in Palm Springs, until a smoking-hot hunter comes to arrest her for murder. But Layla knows the rules—she'd never kill someone and incite the wrath of The Powers That Be.
Elijah Daines is a hunter, maintaining the balance of good and evil in the mortal realm, his power stronger than any hunter she’s ever encountered. Plus, he’s a seriously sexy distraction. Too bad he’s accused her of a crime she didn't commit.
As the killer continues a murder spree that not only frames Layla but threatens to expose the existence of supernatural creatures to humans, Layla and Elijah team up to investigate. Hopefully, they can fight off their escalating attraction for each other long enough to exonerate her and stop the murder madness.
He approached the counter. I, or maybe my succubus, decided on a whim I would not be intimidated by his power. I wasn’t sure where my sudden courage came from. He had to have felt my succubus signature. We weren’t a violent race when we controlled our urges. I’m Queen of Control over here. I’m sure he knows I won’t, hurt him. Right?
But why was he here? Something must have been wrong.
As I walked toward him, I got a better look. His dark hair was in slight disarray and his bright blue eyes scoured my face. He towered over me in every sense of the word.
He and Jolene should go back-to-back so I can get an accurate measure of his height.
I shook away my thoughts of him—it was obvious he came here on a mission. Greek god or not, he was still a hunter, and I—I was a product of evil, aka something he hunts.
“Succubus,” he growled. The one little word was filled with eons of unabashed hatred. The word vibrated through me. All hopes of him wanting a new bathroom paint color vanished. No, this visit wasn’t going to be pleasant, not at all.
Perhaps I could seduce him. Hell, he could do me right on the floor of aisle nine next to the light fixtures, if it kept him from killing me. I bit my lip. But…hunters weren’t typically susceptible to succubi charms. A failed attempt of Aprhodisia could earn more problems.
I released a breath. Some buried deep natural instinct rolled through me again. With that feeling, I decided to stand my ground. I looked him in the eyes, stood up straighter, and replied, “Hunter?”
Topic: What is it about this book that makes it special?
Before I actually sat down and started writing Mostly Innocent, I had Layla’s story stuck in my head for months. I loved the idea of a succubus as the main character. Succubi are underrepresented in fantasy novels, and to me, they are one of the most intriguing supernatural creatures. What I love about Layla is she is the heroine of the story, but she is an evil creature in the fantasy world. Or as she puts it, she is “evil adjacent.”
I love characters that are evil but do good things. The clashing of personality adds a lot of depth and grit to a story, versus the always good hero. Layla is a good person, but makes a lot of selfish decisions. She literally collects souls for hell, but wants to do the right thing. She commits small bouts of innocent “evil” from time to time. For example, Elijah, her do-good lover interest, is always perfect (in her eyes.) He has perfect handwriting, tidy desk, etc. So when she has the opportunity to do small things to purposely irritate him, she will. For example, she mixes up his alphabetized files—harmless action but no real reason for her to do it.
The other enigma I love about Layla being a succubus is she has to, ahem, get down and dirty regularly to exist. This allows for some steamy scenes and for her to push the boundaries a bit. However, Mostly Innocent has an underlying theme of romance. How can she collect souls and maintain a relationship at the same time? Should she harm the man she cares about or get chunks of souls from another man? This idea makes her dating life a little challenging to say the least.
Mechanically, I wanted to push typical writing norms as well. I always assumed writing meant I needed to use a vast vocabulary and a thesaurus. However, I started reading books that redefined typical writing mechanics. I liked the idea of using hashtags in lines because people use them so much today. I also broke down the “fourth wall,” in some lines using second person. I’ve been told that reading Mostly Innocent is like sitting at a bar and hearing a story. I love that because I didn’t want to take myself to seriously. I wanted to write something you could enjoy after a long, hard day.
Kick up your feet, pour a glass of wine, and pop some popcorn before reading. Mostly Innocent is just a fun, flirty, quick read. It is escapism at its finest.
About the Author:
J.M. Jinks was born and raised in Southern California. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and two cats in her hometown. J.M. has a Bachelor’s in French and a Master’s of Education. She is a teacher by day and a writer by night. J.M. and her husband welcomed a baby boy in May 2018.
J.M. has always had a love of reading that progressed into writing. Mostly Innocent is her first completed manuscript.