By John Raab
Fans of Jordan Dane have been eagerly awaiting the release of CRYSTAL FIRE, the latest book in her “The Hunted” series. CRYSTAL FIRE is a young adult novel, but it’s also a book adults will enjoy. Jordan had a lot to live up to after the successful release of the first book in the series, INDIGO AWAKENING, and she did not disappoint. Here’s a summary:
A storm is brewing on the streets of LA, one that has intensified since a tragic and deadly confrontation claimed an innocent life.
While Gabriel Stewart trains his army of teen psychics to stop Alexander Reese—the obsessed leader of the Believers—the fanatical church becomes more bent on the annihilation of all Indigo and Crystal children. They’re silencing the voices of the telepathic hive, one soul at a time, with frightening experiments cruelly executed on vulnerable minds.
When the Believers torture a mysterious homeless boy, Oliver Blue, they brainwash him into betraying his own. The boy becomes a deadly pawn to take Gabriel down. As the fires of chaos burn around him, Gabe is running out of time. He’ll need to confront his past—and the man who made him—before the hope of peace for the future is silenced forever.
Jordan graciously agreed to talk to THE BIG THRILL about her new book:
Tell us something about CRYSTAL FIRE that is not on the back cover.
Search for the words “Indigo or Crystal Child” on the Internet and you’ll get over 8 million hits. Real life and headlines often inspire my books and this time is no exception. For the purposes of fiction, I took liberties in my portrayal, but Indigo kids are generally described as highly intelligent, gifted teen psychics with a bright “indigo” aura and a mission to save the world. They have high IQs, see angels and commune with the dead. Are Indigo children real or are they manipulated by adults to believe they’re special? Are they dysfunctional misfits or mankind’s evolutionary savior? You decide, but I find the notion of man’s evolution intriguing and was inspired to write about psychic Indigo teens in THE HUNTED series.
CRYSTAL FIRE picks up where INDIGO AWAKENING (Book #1) left off, in a very dark moment for my psychic Indigo teens. They are struggling with the differences that make them stand apart from the human race while they confront the Believers who think they are a threat to man’s existence and hunt them in secret. My young hero and runaway loner, Gabriel Stewart, becomes the most powerful Crystal child. He can no longer run from the fight. For his kind to survive, he must take a tough stand and turn children into warriors—to confront his past and the man who made him.
What has changed in the series since the first book?
A darker world is presented in CRYSTAL FIRE. Kids are forced into adult decisions with life or death consequences.
In book #1, INDIGO AWAKENING, my reluctant young hero, Gabriel Stewart, has been in hiding and running from his past when he meets Rayne Davenport who is looking for her missing brother. Lucas Davenport has run away from a mental hospital, for good reason. Gabe is drawn into a fight that is far bigger than he ever dreamed and he discovers awakening powers when he comes in contact with others of his kind. At the end of book #1, the runaway teens have been broken and must dig deep to fight back or be annihilated one by one.
In CRYSTAL FIRE, Gabe must face his past in order to step up and take on the responsibility of leading a group of misfit street kids to fight back against the Believers, a powerful organization headquartered in LA that has been abducting and medically experimenting on these psychic kids to destroy them. CRYSTAL FIRE delves into the Believers and readers will see how far they will go to protect their belief in the supremacy of mankind. The sinister experiments have altered these kids into becoming far more dangerous and young Gabriel Stewart is faced with the difficult decisions of a leader who could get more Indigo kids killed or save them.
There is a dark side to having such psychic powers—a duty and responsibility—and when the Believers tamper with science and human nature, they battle something they should have respected more. In CRYSTAL FIRE, there are consequences on both sides when power (of any kind) becomes abusive.
Just in the last year publishing has changed so much, how are you adapting to the changes?
I have always been open to change and with the advent of self-publishing. I feel that it gives authors more flexibility to manage their careers. I am still submitting to traditional publishers, but I’ve self-published a few projects (fiction, anthologies, and non-fiction) and learned from each one as I have built my “virtual” shelf. After getting a taste for what being my own book publisher is like, I have a newfound appreciation for what my traditional houses have done for me, but I also love certain aspects of controlling my productivity, cash flow, promotions, and costs.
Another adaptation, I recently changed my agent representation to broaden my reach and develop the value of my sub-rights and have more options on self-publishing. I have also changed the way I write to keep the door open toward indie publishing. I write on proposal and give something to my new agent for submissions early on, while I keep writing to completion. When I am done writing the book, I consider my options with my agent to either traditionally publish or self-pub. My new agent has an author assistance self-publishing program that I can elect to use (so I can focus on my writing) or I have the option of handling the book production and distribution on my own.
The publishing industry has changed significantly, but I embrace the changes and feel more in control of my future. Options are nice.
Who is Gabriel Stewart? What inside information can you give about him as your main character and why he is perfect for the series?
Gabriel Stewart is eighteen and has a faint British accent. He’s tall and well-built, with long hair and honey amber eyes. He looks like a rocker and is partial to wearing T-shirts from local rock bands in LA and hoodie sweatshirts to cover his face when he doesn’t want to be seen. Gabe has a very mysterious past that unfolds during the series. For part of his childhood, he was “on the run” with his mother, Kathryn, and led a very strange nomadic life in their chosen line of work (which I can’t talk about without spoilers). Gabriel is the most powerful Crystal child. He thought he was an Indigo, like his British mother, but after he meets Lucas’s sister, Rayne, and links to the collective hive mind through Lucas (another Crystal child), he is gripped by a metamorphosis that he can’t stop. He can connect his consciousness through animals and the dead, but his powers evolve into much more, making him one of a kind. I can’t say too much about his abilities without giving away strong elements to the story, but Gabe is seriously cool. His faithful companion is his dead dog, Hellboy.
What can your fans expect to see from you in the future?
Although I love writing for the Young Adult market, I miss my crime fiction projects. So I am focusing on my adult suspense work for the immediate future. My latest ebook suspense release—BLOOD SCORE—is available now. A synopsis is below:
When a beautiful socialite is savagely murdered in Chicago’s Oz Park, Detectives Gabriel Cronan and Angel Ramirez find her last hours have a sinister tie to two lovers. One is a mystery and the other is a famous violin virtuoso. A child prodigy turned world class musician, murder suspect Ethan Chandler is young, handsome—and blind. After Cronan and Ramirez expose a shadowy connection between Ethan and the victim with a private elite sex club, they discover intimate desires and dark passions aren’t the only things worth hiding at all cost. A vicious killer will stop at nothing to settle a blood score.
My next project is a full-length psychological thriller, THE LAST VICTIM. It is out on submissions now through my agent. A synopsis is below:
When he sleeps, the hunt begins. An FBI profiler has a secret that makes him good at his work. He copes with the gore of his job by shutting doors in his mind to the horror, but his intuitive dreams open those doors. Horrific flashes of memory, imprinted on the retinas of the dead, become nightmarish clues that bring him closer to a brutal killer. But is he burning out and losing his mind—becoming unfit for duty—or is the last victim reaching out to him from the grave?
We would like to thank Jordan for spending a little time with THE BIG THRILL. If you want to check out Jordan and all of her works, visit her website.
Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty romantic thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She also pens young-adult novels for Harlequin Teen. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan and her husband share their Texas residence with two cats of highborn lineage and two lucky rescue dogs.