Mar 9, 2012

{Author Guest Post + Giveaway} with Jessa Slade of Darkness Undone

I'm extremely excited to welcome author Jessa Slade to Seeing Night Reviews, she is hear to discuss her latest novel Darkness Undone and how "Clothes make the man.". Plus readers will have a chance to win big!

“Clothes make the man.” — Mark Twain

Sadly, most of my characters run around the rough draft stark naked. It’s not that I don’t care about clothing (I have a particular appreciation for fuzzy flannel) but, as you might have noticed from my covers, clothes -- especially shirts -- just really aren’t that important in the grand scheme of romance heroes.

Eventually, though, I send my “finished” draft to my beta readers who inevitably comment “Is he/she naked?”

Not in my head! What’s wrong with you? Oh, you say the hero went to bed nekkid and later charged out to fight demons without pulling on at least his boxer-briefs? Fine, I’ll dress my characters.

Maybe I’m a little sulky because dressing a historical character seems like more fun. Corsets! Brocades! Lacey gloves! Lawn shirts that turn transparent on Mr. Darcy’s wet chest! Contemporary writers don’t have such luxuries, and urban fantasy romance is gritty enough to tear lace and silk into not-so-pretty ribbons. And really, there are only so many ways to detail just how lovingly the hero’s jeans cup his manly bits.

But of course, what characters wear tells us something about who they are, even when they aren’t talking aloud. Does he iron out the memories of his impoverished childhood along with the creases in his Armani suits? Does she wield her stilettos like a weapon to pierce a man’s heart?

In my latest Marked Souls novel, DARKNESS UNDONE, the heroine, Alyce, has forgotten her past. Since she is such a blank slate when the story starts, I dressed her mostly in white, although that changes as she recovers her memories...and as she remembers the darkness she hoped to escape.

The hero Sidney Westerbrook is a British demon researcher, so of course he has to wear a touch of tweed. He dresses himself as deliberately as I would have dressed him, to set himself apart from his research subjects, the immortal warriors possessed by repentant demons who battle evil to redeem their souls. Turns out moody broody bad boy alpha males tend to favor black. Shocking, I know. Maybe we need more dandy heroes in urban fantasy romance. Bring back the ascot!

I think even the most determined t-shirt and scrunchy wearers among us know the value of the right outfit at the right time. I have my lucky green hoodie that I now have to save for special occasions because it is starting to get fragile. And I recently had to retire my favorite black boots that I wore when I needed a couple extra inches of confidence.

What is the best clothing you’ve ever read about? And do you have a favorite outfit that makes you the heroine in your own life story?

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The war between good and evil has raged for millennia,
and as a powerful new enemy ascends,
the Marked Souls are pushed to the ragged edge…

Sidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now, to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head and under attack — and at the mercy of a waif with demon-lit eyes and a deep yearning in her heart.

Alyce Carver has been alone longer than she can remember, battered by the living nightmares that haunt her city. Cornered by yet another gang of demons, she unwittingly joins forces with a handsome scholar who can salvage her past, and she in turn may be the key to his investigations. But she won’t let him go until he shows her everything she’s been missing.

What begins as an experiment in possession becomes a trial by desire so powerful it threatens both their lives, even as it binds their souls.

“Slade’s plot packs plenty of action…in a group of forceful personalities.”
– Publishers Weekly

“[A] fish-out-of-water story that keeps a rapid pace, delivering a strong plot, enjoyable characters and a stunning world.”
–RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Read Chapter 1 of DARKNESS UNDONE and find links to favorite bookstores at: Darkness Undone

Read the first chapters of all the Marked Souls novels at

You can find Jessa online at:

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Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of DARKNESS UNDONE, a set of Marked Souls Romance Trading Cards, a music download card with the album containing the Marked Souls theme song, and a pair of earrings inspired by the storyworld. And everyone who stops by today can download a free copy of my science fiction romance novella, “Enslaved By Starlight,” in the HOTTER ON THE EDGE anthology. Just go to Hotter4free and use coupon code UW37U, or download at Amazon, and other ebook retailers for 99¢. Thank you for reading!
USA/CANADA Only for giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have to admit historical romances seem to be most fun when reading about fashions. The ball gowns sound so lovely. Usually the character's attire depends on what the author has given them and if it's not described the situation will conjure up their clothing, or lack of by itself. I don't mind their clothes so long as it makes sense and is appropriate for the scene.


  2. I have to admit historical romances seem to be most fun when reading about fashions. The ball gowns sound so lovely. Usually the character's attire depends on what the author has given them and if it's not described the situation will conjure up their clothing, or lack of by itself. I don't mind their clothes so long as it makes sense and is appropriate for the scene.


  3. Hey Jessa! Just so you know, I think I would be okay with book characters running around in their birthday suits, I certainly wouldn't complain... maybe you can write a book where they have to visit a nudist colony, hehe

    My favorite clothed character is Merit from the Chicagoland vampire series... her bestie gives her a leather UF outfit as a joke, and she winds up having to wear it to act as "sentinel" It's funny, and a cool outfit anyhow...

    Happy friday! Book Savvy Babe

  4. I havent read anything by this author so thanks for the chance to win.

    alltherhage AT gmail DOT com

  5. I love the Marked Souls series, I'm looking forward to reading Darkness Undone. I think the best clothing I've read about is the hero's tight leather pants, that stirs my imagination to no end. :D

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  6. Best clothing I've recently read was about the heroine exciting the hero by just wearing worn flannel pj's and fuzzy bunny slippers:) I like the hard core edge of the kick-butt heroines that wear the leather boots and jackets, but sometimes I like the softer look too:)

  7. And they never have to do their own laundry.. well the guys don't the women do.. why is that?

    Leather is wonderful but there is something to be said for a pair of well worn jeans caressing the hero's A$$

    But if you really wanna make me swoon, put him in a suit.. oh yeah.. there is just something about a good looking man in a suit..

    Great Post Jessa


    Tea and Book and Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy

  8. Na, I probably wouldn't like the weight of the really fancy ball gowns but the pretty fabrics seems so fun.

    Book Savvy Babe, I suppose "real" werewolves would be nudists a lot of the time :) I always like when weres have to figure out how they'll dress after changing.

    Ann, we authors love finding new-to-us readers :)

  9. Barbara E, thank you for reading! I think I should do more research on hot guys in leather pants. Just sayin' ;)

    Yadkny, I ADORE my worn flannel pj bottoms. Mine say "peace joy love" on them. Very inspiring.

    Hi Shauni, thank you for inspiring this post!

  10. That's the fun in fantasy - garments. Though in high fantasy books I drool sometimes at their tunics and trousers. There are some really inventive people out there about clothes.

    For modern settling.. Okay I will admit that I love leather. The smell of it. I use to have a leather skirt and pants. Talk about idulgent.

    Anymore I really like the gothic look. My kids think I'm nuts and if they find something black "OH mom will like that because it's gothy."

  11. Forgot my email. Forgive me, I'm back here sneezing and nose stuff. Basically miserable feeling.

    Raonaid at gmail dot com

  12. Raonaid, Sorry to hear about your sneezy stuffy cold. No fun. But I'm glad you stopped by! I went through a very dark phase and then purged my closet of all black. Over the years I've been adding back more black and I have to say, it's one of the easiest ways to dress!

  13. Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  14. Thanks for the great contest! I can't wait for this book.


  15. Sarah & Molly, thanks for stopping by!

  16. Great post. I think outfits in the future have the most variety. Sometimes they can be a little hard to picture. However I think historical has the most complicated.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  17. I haven't read anything by this author, but she sounds great! THanks so much for the giveaway!

  18. Jessa-- if clothes make the man then naked may mean they have absolutely nothing to hide. So I say yay for naked heroes.