Guest Post & Book Giveaway: Slayers by C.J. Hill

Welcome to Author C.J. Hill


CJ Hill is a pen name for a YA author who is best known for writing romantic comedies. (Slayers will be her 18th published book.) Her writing has shifted away from the romantic comedy genre, so her editor thought a pen name would be a good idea. (New books will include: dangerous dragons, time travel to dystopian worlds, and flesh-eating beetles.) Since the publisher refused to let her have the pseudonym : The Artist Formerly Referred to as Princess, she chose a name to honor her mother. CJ Hill was her mother’s pen name, or at least it would have been if her mother had published. Her mother wrote a few children’s books and a middle grade novel but was taken by cancer before she had fully learned the craft.
(Most writers’ first novels aren’t publishable. CJ Junior’s first novel wasn’t, but somehow was published anyway. Now, even though it is out of print, it remains forever available on Amazon, where it taunts her with its badness. This was another good reason to use a pen name.)
CJ Hill has five children, three of whom like her on any given day depending on who is in trouble. She has lived in Arizona for the last half of her life, but is still in desert denial and hopes that one day her garden will grow silver bells and cockle shells or maybe just tomatoes.

I Spy C.J. Hill
Here is a photo of CJ Hill on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. The first scene of Slayers happens at the Jefferson Memorial, and after she sent it to her editor, she started to worry that a dragon actually could make his way through the columns. If this were the case, said dragon would munch on tourists, thus drastically changing how the prologue should have turned out.

CJ was so afraid of being mocked by thousands of Jefferson Memorial aficionados for not knowing how far the columns are away from each other, that on a recent trip she visited the memorial. As any dutiful author would, she stepped out the area between the columns to see if a dragon could squeeze through them. (And no, the scads of tourists around her didn’t think she was odd for doing this.)

CJ is happy to report that the Jefferson Memorial is indeed dragon proof, which means you can all carry on, cavorting at the memorial without fear.

Unless of course, you take baby dragons into consideration. They’re smaller but just as vicious.

Now does anyone not yet know who C.J. Hill really is? I didn’t want to share if it was really supposed to be a secret. But if it was supposed to be a secret it was one of those “worst” kept secrets like that of I Am Number Four’s author Pitacous Lore.  Everybody already seems to know who C.J. Hill is. A quick glance at C.J. Hill’s blog makes it quite obvious that C.J. is really one of my favorite Young Adult authors: Janette Rallison.

So instead of starting this post off with a welcome to C.J. Hill perhaps I should have started it with…
Welcome back to Author Janette Rallison!

Janette is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that. Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off. Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)

Today C.J./ Janette in disguise is here to do a guest post on Love Triangles.

The Deliciousness and Drawbacks of Love Triangles.

It’s easy to see the appeal of love triangles. As readers, we live vicariously through the heroine—and who wouldn’t want to be pursued by two awesome guys? Really, the only thing that could be better is if one of the hot guys also told you that you’d won the lottery.

Having a love triangle keeps the reader guessing. The reader is never quite positive who will win the heroine in the end, so it adds a layer of tension to the plot. I raced through the last book of the Hunger Games to see if Katniss ended up with the guy I was rooting for. (Answer: yes, she did.)

That said, I’ve written a lot of books with romances in them (eighteen and counting) and Slayers is the first book that’s had a love triangle. Why? Because I hate to disappoint people I care about, even if they’re only fictional characters. True story: I have the start of a time travel manuscript with a love triangle in it. But I can’t finish it. As long as I never complete the story, then the heroine floats between the two heroes, loving both of them but never having to definitively choose one of them. Neither of the heroes is devastated because in an unfinished story, both of them still have a chance for happiness.

Oh, I know who she should end up with, but I like the other guy so much that in my mind I keep rewriting the ending , trying to find a way to make him happy too. Could I somehow throw in quantum physics and split the heroine in half so that each guy ends up with her? Could she continually travel back and forth through time so that she lives two lives? Maybe I could give her a twin sister . . .

You see my problem.

I’m afraid the love triangle in Slayers will prove just as difficult for me. I’ve already written plot outlines for the next two Slayers books. I gave them to my publisher when I submitted the manuscript. So I know who Tori is supposed to end up with. The problem is, I really like the other guy too. My teenage daughter likes the other guy so much that she keeps insisting that Tori has to end up with him. Which means if she ends up with the guy I intended, I’ll end up disappointing my daughter too.

And that in a nutshell is the problem with love triangles. People are going to be disappointed no matter who I choose—and either way, one of the people who is going to be disappointed is me.

Slayers by C.J. Hill

Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

I’ve got a brand new hardback copy of Slayers for giveaway.
Open to US only
Ends 11/22/11

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