Jennifer will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Author Interview: Jennifer Juvenelle
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
I would say my genre chose me! I started writing Daughter of Belial kind of by accident. Before writing my book I mainly wrote poetry when the mood struck me. One day, I felt the energy moving like something wanted to come through, I opened up a blank page and the first chapter poured out of me. Prior to that, I’d been reading a lot of bad romance novels and erotica. I’d read Fifty Shades of Gray and got curious about the genre. Eventually, I got so fed up with all these mousy virgin female protagonists that I thought, “I can do better than that.”
As I began writing, I naturally flowed into the Thriller/Suspense genre as I love a good nail-biter and I love books in a series like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter that always leave you wanting more. But, probably thanks to reading all those billionaire romance novels, I’ve woven in a few very juicy sex scenes as well. Though that does take an unexpected turn…
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle or last child, and how does this shape your view of the world?
My mom used to say, “I have three only children!” My family history is complex and too much to go into here, but I’ll give a brief overview.
I’m the youngest of three children but none of us grew up together. We each have different fathers and my mom only carried two of us. For all intents and purposes, I am both the baby of the family and an only child! It’s interesting to investigate how this has shaped my worldview…
I was always very close to my mom (she passed away in Sept. 2021). I’m the only one she raised from beginning to end as my brother grew up with his birth mom and my sister, who is thirteen years older, mostly grew up with our grandparents. Considering I didn’t know about my brother until I was an adult and my sister wasn’t always around, I generally felt like an only child and benefitted from all the spoilings and attention of one. My mom sheltered me when I was little. I grew up on classic rock and Mozart, wasn’t allowed to watch much TV, and was kept quite active with ballet, piano lessons, and swim team in summer. I was an avid reader. You could often catch me walking down the hallways at school with a book in my hands. So my view of the world was through the lens of my mother’s house. She taught me to be of service to the world, to aspire to greatness, to be bold and courageous, and to never settle for less than I’m worth. She also taught me some hard lessons, like what happens when you suppress your emotions, how it’s better to share a hard truth than tell an easy lie, and what it feels like to be sold a lie and buy it even when deep down you know better because it’s easier to believe the lie than to question the person you love most.
All that complexity has definitely found its way into my writing. Because I grew up with family secrets and lies, I’ve created a character who deals with those same issues, but amped up the stakes a hundredfold! I grew up sheltered from a “dangerous world” so I’ve written a story that dives deep into that danger. I’m all about breaking down barriers. I speak up now because I felt silenced before. I share vulnerable truths now because I grew up in a family that was afraid to discuss emotions or “air dirty laundry”. I’m a living example of how our greatest wounds can become our greatest gifts.
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
In bed! I love to prop myself up with pillows, put my laptop on a pillow on my knees, and let the creative energy flow. While I’ve tried to sit and write at a desk, I’m at my best when I’m cozy in bed. And if it’s chilly, I like to get under the covers!
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
I think the phrase, “kill your darlings” is apt and useful! As a debut novelist, this was a big lesson. I killed the most “darlings” after I hired a professional editor to go through the final draft. This was after I’d already had many revisions and undergone a manuscript evaluation with a developmental editor.
Typically, I’ve found that if you can delete something and the narrative continues as if nothing happened, it isn’t essential to the story, plot, or description and therefore not needed. The hardest darlings to kill for me are certain words or turns of phrase that I have a tendency to make up, but are usually only meaningful to me. In those cases, I have to choose my battles wisely. I won’t lie, I didn’t kill every darling. Some of them were too precious to part with. But I did my best to kill most of them, and when in doubt, to seek a second (or third) opinion. Fortunately, my husband is also a writer so we bounce a lot of things off each other.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
My all-time favorite author, and probably the one who influenced me the most, is Tom Robbins (author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Skinny Legs and All, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, and countless others). Skinny Legs and All, in particular, forever changed the way I view inanimate objects. The magic of Tom Robbins is that he can bring an ordinary Can o’Beans, a small spoon, and a sacred stick to life and actually make you care about them.
The one question I’d ask him? Hmmm…. Will you read my novel? Kidding! Ha. Honestly, I think I’d just want to grab a refreshing soda or cup of tea with him and shoot the breeze. He’s such an interesting character and well into his eighties. It would be a DREAM to meet him and simply hang out. Listen to his stories. Talk about life, love, and writing.
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
I’m afraid of hurting people’s feelings. As a result, I’ve been burned many times because I avoid calling someone out on bad behavior if I’m worried they might be bothered by what I have to say.
It’s something I’m currently working on to not feel so responsible for other people’s emotions. If someone is not in integrity and I notice that (because I’m very good at reading beneath the surface) then I need to listen to my intuition and not just let it slide, or get caught up in trying to help or fix them. I’m learning that it’s okay to “bother” someone with the truth if what they’re doing is going to affect me or my family in a negative way.
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
A journal and pen to write down my thoughts and feelings. I need an outlet!
My baby son, Iluka. He fits in a backpack right?!
A copy of Shantaram by David Gregory Roberts because it is the most beautiful novel I’ve ever read.
8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?
It’s not a superpower I’ve encountered in any comic book or film, but I’m a writer so I’ll make up my own!
I desire the ability to cause all people (including myself) to instantly, and permanently, transform their negative thinking about themselves and others into positive thoughts about themselves and others, coupled with a simultaneous heart opening and expansion. It would be the end of all wars, violence, hatred, envy, fear, jealousy, and the like. Thus, we would collectively co-create a New Earth founded in the principles of Love, Peace, Joy, Freedom, and Prosperity.
9. Favorite snack?
Chocolate! We buy those big bags of chocolate chips from CostCo. A handful (or two) of those is the perfect little treat after lunch, dinner, or whenever.
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?
I know where I’m going but I leave the how up to an Intelligence far greater than mine. And like any race car driver, you’ve gotta know when to hit the gas, when to ease off the pedal, and when to slam on the breaks.
I think I strike a nice balance, though I definitely have a tendency to lead with a lead foot and often need to consciously reel myself in from acting too quickly or impulsively on an exciting idea. I’ve noticed I make better decisions from a more grounded place when I allow myself to run the gamut of emotions from elation to disappointment and back up to baseline somewhere in between.
Moderation in everything and everything in moderation!
Daughter of Belial
by Jennifer Juvenelle
GENRE: Psychological Thriller
Greer Girls are special. Greer Girls are rare. Greer Girls are central to the secret Order of Belial.
Sophie Greer knows none of this. All she knows is that her now ex-boyfriend cheated on her, she’s alone working in Paris, and her mysterious billionaire boss, Edward Hughes, is way too interested in her life.
But when Sophie is kidnapped in Moscow while on a business trip, she’s plunged into the dark underbelly of the global elite and a sinister secret society with deep ties to her family; ties that lead to revelations darker than anything Sophie could have imagined.
Betrayed by the man who raised her, and targeted by the illustrious Hughes family, only one thing is certain—family history can be deadly. If Sophie is to survive, she must decide who to trust and what to believe, or risk being crushed beneath the weight of the all-powerful secret Order of Belial.
Smoke from the other vehicle’s engine fills the back seat. Coughing, I cover my nose and mouth as I desperately search for a solution. The whole right side of the vehicle is smashed in. There’s no getting out that way. I’m considering trying to break the back left window when I spy the dividing curtain swinging in the cool fall breeze.
Tugging the makeshift divider aside, I peek into the front to see the driver hunched over the steering wheel, unconscious. If I move carefully, I might be able to climb around him to get out the driver’s side. I’m about to make my move when the back door squawks open. A large gust of fresh air rushes into the banged-up vehicle. My head swivels to assess the new arrival.
No. It can’t be. A trillion queries rise and fall as I look upon my assailant—my savior? It’s too much. Between the plane ride, the abduction, and being left alone to rot for a week in a gaudy prison then carted out like a virgin for sacrifice, I’m spent. Where does it end?
There’s a popping sound as my mouth forms a tiny O in stunned surprise. Edward, looking like James Bond in a classic European-cut suit (probably Armani) and a light-grey dress shirt, unbuttoned at the top, is standing in the open doorway, hand outstretched in a gesture of chivalry as if these were the most natural circumstances under the Russian moon. I give him a blank stare.
“I told you I’d find you.” His silky voice floats past my ears, rattles around in my brain and down to my chest, where it nuzzles itself snugly into my heart.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
JENNIFER JUVENELLE is a Native American/French author born in Hollywood, raised in Detroit, and fashioned in France. Formerly an actress and model, Jennifer now splits her time between crafting psychological thrillers and the magic of motherhood. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Jennifer made healing from trauma a priority when her life became untenable. Daughter of Belial is the unexpected product of her journey from trauma to triumph. An eager explorer, she currently lives in a remote Mexican seaside-jungle village with her debonair Aussie author husband and their young son.