Review & Interview Grace Through Blood by A. Jay Lee

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Title: Grace Through Blood
Author: A. Jay Lee
Series: The Holy Damned Series (1)
Genre: Paranormal/Vampires/Lycanthropes/Demons (Oh My)
Publisher: Parthenon Press
Release Date: May 7 2012
Edition: Print
Source: Author for Honest Opinion

Goodreads Synopsis

With an Arch-Demon masking itself as a serial killer, a NCSI agent hounding a Navy SEAL for crimes he didn’t commit, a clan of lycanthropes living secretly among the masses, and overseeing it all a congregation of pious vampires believing that they have ‘Divine Right’ over the city, the nights were wild enough. Add in one young woman with special abilities and in possession of a holy relic that threatens the existence of all vampires, and the stage is set for a dangerous mix of action and steamy sex over the course of hot, humid nights in this ‘Holy City’.

Jamie Grace wants nothing more than to lead a normal life, but her ability to see a person’s soul through an aura that radiates through every living person makes this wish impossible. Soon after arriving in her new home of Charleston, South Carolina, she encounters what appear to be humans that have no aura.

Jamie soon learns that the mysterious creatures are vicars of the Sanctum Damnatus and unfortunately they are as troubled about her existence as she is with theirs. Complications ensue when the vampire that has been sent to kill Jamie falls in love with her. With her would-be assassin turned protector, Jamie finds herself on the run from both the Damnatus and an Arch-Demon from Hell. Tangled with Christian dogma and biblical lore and set in this historic coastal Southern city, Jamie must find out whom she can trust and begin the journey of learning what she truly is in this first novel of the Holy Damned Saga.

This was an AWESOME start to what is going to be a FANTASTIC series.  I was pulled right into this world right into the Holy City and was on a fast track through to the end. This story is from a few different POV's  but is easy to tell which character is which.
Jamie was a awesome character she is well rounded Grant is likable he is super sweet but not my type. I am drawn to bad boys so Matt may be damned but damn he caught my attention with his evil ways. All of A. Jay Lee's characters are well developed and I love all the vivid description that he writes with.  
Jamie just wants to live a normal life but there is nothing normal about her she sees peoples auras she can see right into her soul and that puts her on the wanted list .  A that she does not want to be on. With a growing relationship and sexual tension mounting will Jamie and Grant make it or will their secrets destroy what they have.
I love how A. Jay has the vampires working for god in this unique twist on vampire tales. This story is very descriptive and action packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat so sit back and enjoy the ride as we see Charleston S.C. through a whole new light. The sex scenes  are very  well ....... Sorry no spoilers here. 
So if you are looking for a vampire story like no other then go get your self a copy of Grace Through Blood by A. Jay Lee. After you read it you can come back and thank me later. Then we can wait together impatiently for book two in the Holy Damned Series Grace In The Flesh because the end of  this story is only the beginning for Jamie Grace. 

A. Jay Lee is a native Nashvillian who lives with his wife and three children in that great Southern City. He is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A. Jay has always had great stories in his head, but having the learning disability commonly known has Dyslexia, he never believed he would be able to put them to pen. With the loving help of his wife, an accomplished technical writer in her own career, A. Jay has brought one of his stories to life. His curiosity surrounding vampires accompanied with his knowledge of biblical lore has made this novel a compelling mix of both. Grace Through Blood is the first novel in ‘The Holy Damned’ series. He has other exciting projects in progress, including a series of short stories with a vampiric steampunk theme.

I would like to welcome A Jay Lee to the blog today. 

Mr. Lee could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well there’s not too much to say. I live with my wife, Tracey, and three kids in Nashville, Tennessee and have a pretty simple life.  I graduated from the University of Tennessee. My degree is in history, with an emphasis on both the military and religion.  

How did you choose to write in the genre you write in?

My wife is an avid reader, reading 4 to 5 books a week on her Kindle. She loves anything paranormal, but when I read, I usually pick up a work of classic fiction, SCI Fi, or thriller.  One evening, I really couldn’t find anything enjoyable to read, so Tracey suggested some of her books. I know this sounds bad, but the ones she gave me seemed very base and most of them were written with a formula. There’s nothing worse than knowing the ending of a book before you’re done reading it. When I told her this, she said, “You think you can do any better?” After I wrote the first three chapters and showed them to her. She felt they were good but when she asked if I had any plans to finish the novel, I told her, ‘No, I was just doing this to prove a point.”  

She made me finish the outline, and in six months I had the rough draft of ‘Grace Through Blood’. 

What do you do when not you’re writing?

Well, I work full time job as a retail manager.  And like most men from the south, I love SEC football. I’ve been a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America for the last eight years. And I teach an adult Sunday school class. 

Where do you get your ideas? 

This is hard to say, I’m very interested history and classic paranormal.  When I was a kid I love the works of Tolkien and CS Lewis; and Stoker’s Dracula changed my life. I believe most of the vampire books out on the market today have gotten away from what historically they truly are. And I felt in some small way I could change this with my writing. 

Do you or have you ever experienced writers block? If so how did you get past it?

When I experience writers’ block, I stop what I’m working on at the time and try to write something completely different. Most these things are very bad.  But it seems to prime the pumps, that I can get on with the project at hand. The key is not to stop writing. Keep the bad stuff for yourself and share the good.

What was your favorite part of the writing process for Grace Through Blood?

As I was working it, I’d write about a chapter a week.  While I was still in its rough draft, I would take each one to work to let my coworkers read it.  Their need to see chapter after chapter pressed me that forward each week.  

Any WIP you can share with us?

I am 10 chapters in to the follow-up novel to GTB. I have lined out five novels in this ‘Holy Damned Saga’ but it could be as little as three. I’ve also been playing around with a few short stories that are a mix between vampire and steam-punk, that could become a novel one day. 

If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

I would’ve been so eager to send it off to literary agents. At the time I didn’t know the first thing about getting a novel to market. When I started to send it off, the novel was not fully edited and parts of it were very week. I got back a lot of rejection letters, stating that was a great story but it just didn’t fit into any genre, so they would have time marketing it. After 10 or so rejection letters like this (and a total of 100 plus form letters), my wife and I fully edited the work and had a few friends in my writers group review it for content. Only then did we decided that self-publishing would be the best path.

Grace Through Blood is book one can you share with us where you would like to see the series to go?

Like I said, I hope to have five novels in this series. The next novel, Grace in the Flesh, is still set in Charleston, but this time the Damnatus and Jamie go up against an old Gullah tail about the Boo Hag. A vampiric-witch who can raise zombies. The third will take place in New England; the forth in Paris and Rome, and the final novel in the Holy Land (very apocalyptic). I am also playing around with another series with one of the characters from GTB as the protagonist.  

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism that I’ve had is that I tried to tell the reader too much. One person told me, ‘if they (the readers) don’t get it the first time there’s no need to bash them over the head with it. This thinking cut GTB from 145,000 words to just under 123,000.

The best compliment was that this novel in my writing is different than anything else on the market today. And in GTB, I have been able to show what a vampire classically should be.  In one of its reviews, the writer stated that this novel could end up as a paranormal classic (but I won’t go that far). 

If you could ask yourself any interview question, what would it be, and how would you answer it?

My question would be what makes your writing style different? 

This is because, I’ve never seen myself as a great writer, but a great storyteller. I‘ve read the works of a lot of so called great writers, however they don’t have a story worth reading. Their first few novels may have a good story behind them, but now they just use the same formula over and over. At times I’m very envious other talents and I wish I could turn of phrase like they can. But I have one thing over them, the stories inside my head or just fighting to get out and the events inside them are never predictable.

Just for Fun 

Salty or Sweet?

The answer is salty. The only thing I truly had a sweet tooth for its ice cream. 

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?

I’m a planner! In fact, my wife makes fun of me because I have a list for everything and posted notes all over the house. 

Print or EBook?

I love my kindle, and only wish I had a tool like this when I was growing up. But there is something about having a book in hand. That’s why I worked so hard into get GTB in paperback.

Text or Talk?

Only like to talk in person. I have a very bad phone phobia. If I cannot see someone’s face and judge their reactions to my words it makes me very uncomfortable. So over long distances, I like to text. 

Facebook or Twitter?

I find it very hard to make myself use both. But I’m better with Facebook. I have found out that there are two types of people on Facebook and Twitter. There the ones who are exhibitionists, who like forever one to know every little aspect of their life. And then there others, the voyeurs (like me) who feed their addiction by wanting to know everything that’s happening in their life’s. I think this is because I’m a people watcher at heart. I believe this helps me in writing believable characters. 

Mac or PC?

My first computer was an Apple IIc ( this show how old I am).  But over the years the world has become more PC based.  At times, the Mac world to me seems like a religious cult following, even if it is a better system.  And I was never one to drink the Kool-Aid.  

Places to find Grace Through Blood

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Print
Barnes and Noble
Books A Million (BAM)
The Book Depository


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