A warm welcome to author Jeff Erno stopping by today here at Love Bytes. Jeff talks to us about his Life Without Parole Series and the final book which releases this week “Soaring Angel”.
Jeff also brought along a wonderful giveaway!
Welcome Jeff 🙂
Thanks so much for letting me stop by to tell you about my new series, Life Without Parole. The sixth and final installment of this prison serial will release this Friday on the eXtasy Books website. I specifically chose to launch a blog tour to coincide with the completion of the series so readers won’t have to wait for subsequent releases.
The story is actually a serial—one long story told in installments. The books are not stand-alone reads and must be read in order. I’m especially excited about this series because of the degree to which I’ve become invested in the characters. As I began writing their story, it felt as if the characters had taken over and had become entities unto themselves who existed apart from me. Sometimes they made me laugh or cry. Sometimes they even surprised me, and I fell in love with them. That’s why I’m so eager to share them with my audience.
I’d like to take a moment to speak about one character in particular, a twenty-something transgender woman named Shontay. Although she is technically a secondary character, the series contains a number of sub plots which are each separate story lines. They all tie in together, though, connected to the main romance between the two central characters, Jeremy and Trey. Shontay is Jeremy’s best friend.
The thing about her that impressed me is the multiple layers of her character. One might argue that she is the most ethical, compassionate, and loving character in the whole series. On the other hand, Shontay has lived her entire life on her own, struggling first on the streets of Detroit, and then behind the walls of prison. Though she’s female and identifies as such, the system sees her as male and calls her Laurence, the name on her birth certificate. In the environment of prison, she’s met with hostility, hatred, and extreme prejudice. There are those who hate her, who would just as soon see her dead. And possibly worse than that, there are those who see her as an object, the closest thing to a “real” woman they will ever get.
Shontay works the system, partially as a means of survival, and partially because it’s the only way she’s ever known to live. She trades sex for favors, even sometimes with corrections officers. She uses her charms and quick wit to manipulate other inmates, even including Jeremy, the main character. She even tries a few times to school Jeremy and teach him some of her tricks but eventually realizes he’s not going to change. She grows to love him as he is—perfect the way he was created—and remarkably, that’s exactly how Jeremy sees her in return.
I can honestly say that Shontay is not only my favorite character in this series but quite possibly my favorite of all the stories I’ve written. That’s kind of a hard call, though, because I do tend to fall in love with my characters. I sincerely hope readers enjoy her as much as I have.
In appreciation of my readers, I’m offering a giveaway of the entire series. At the end of this blog tour, I’ll conduct a raffle, using the names of commenters from all the blogs. Each participant will receive one entry from each blog they’ve commented in. I”ll give away one full set of the whole series and will also give away one single book at each blog/website.
I’m thrilled to be attending the GRL Conference this year in Kansas City, and I’ll have print copies of the series available there. A pre-order form will be posted on my website for those who’d like to order a copy.
Thank you so much, and thanks to Love Bytes!
Published by Extasy Books
Release Date: September 23rd, 2016