Monday, July 16, 2012

Virtual Book Tour: The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone {Guest Post & Giveaway}

Today I'm excited to be hosting a stop on Jillian Stone's book tour of The Seduction of Phaeton Black via Bewitching Book Tours. If you're a lover of mystery and the paranormal, you definitely want to add this to your reading list! Ms. Stone is here to chat about her handsome and sometimes rakish hero Phaeton Black and the makings of a hero in literature...stick around and don't forget to enter the giveaway...now onto the good stuff...


The Seduction of Phaeton Black: Antihero or Byronic Hero? 
By Jillian Stone

According to Wikipedia, an anti hero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is contrary to that of the archetypal hero, yet typically retains many heroic qualities. Recently, two editors at RT Book Reviews had quite a discussion about whether Phaeton Black is a hero or antihero.

I must admit the antihero idea does have appeal. I wrote Phaeton Black to be a bad boy––devil may care, with an equally devilish smile. But I think Phaeton is actually closer to what’s called a Byronic hero, which is a variant of the Romantic hero as a type of character named after the English Romantic poet Lord Byron. Here’s the definition: A man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection.

Byron described Conrad, the pirate hero of his The Corsair as follows:
That man of loneliness and mystery, Scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to sigh.

Wikipedia says the Byronic hero typically exhibits several of the following traits:
  • Arrogant
  • Cunning and able to adapt
  • Cynical
  • Disrespectful of rank and privilege
  • Emotionally conflicted, bipolar or moody
  • Having a distaste for social institutions and norms
  • Having a troubled past or suffering from an unnamed crime
  • Intelligent and perceptive
  • Jaded, world-weary
  • Mysterious, magnetic and charismatic
  • Rebellious
  • Seductive and sexually attractive
  • Self-critical and introspective
  • Self-destructive
  • Socially and sexually dominant 
  • Sophisticated and educated
  • Struggles with integrity
  • Treated as an exile, outcast, or outlaw

Ah…so much better! And a good deal closer to the Phaeton Black I wrote. When I first began making notes and jotting down scenes and character traits for The Seduction of Phaeton Black, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about writing a Byronic hero character. I knew I wanted Phaeton to be a sexy libertine and an occult detective––the only man in London capable of tracking down and eliminating creatures too strange and elusive for Scotland Yard to handle. But as Phaeton’s backstory began to emerge, his character also began to take on a more tragic component. When Phaeton had night terrors as a child the monsters hiding under his bed were real…how might that affect this young hero as an adult?

As I worked out the plot, I also needed a woman worthy of such a larger than life, enigmatic character. A young lady who would keep Detective Black on his toes. So I created America Jones, an independent female who knows her own heart and mind––what she needs and she wants. Of course that turns out to be our misunderstood, Byronic hero(!)

Here’s a brief blurb: THE YEAR IS 1889 and Queen Victoria, exemplum of decency and sobriety, is in her fifty-second year of reign. Occult detective Phaeton Black, on the other hand, couldn’t be less interested in clean-living. He has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London’s most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine with an aptitude for absinthe, he wrestles with a variety of demons both real and self-inflicted.

Unfairly linked to Scotland Yard’s failure to solve the Whitechapel murders, Phaeton is offered a second chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend, or vampire is stalking the Strand. After a glass and a consult with the green fairy, he agrees to take on the case.

On his first surveillance, Phaeton pursues an elusive stranger and encounters several curious, horrifying beings. But the most intriguing creature of all is a Cajun beauty who captures him at knifepoint and threatens to spirit away his heart.The Seduction of Phaeton Black: Antihero or Byronic Hero?

Phaeton was a challenging character to write––but so much fun! He starts out this debauched, libertine, substance abuser and ends up risking both his life and his heart for the young woman he has fallen in love with. I also managed to preserve the very best of his irreverent, edgy lust for life––the thing that makes Phaeton, Phaeton. Tricky! But I loved that side of him.

America Jones, the heroine of The Seduction of Phaeton Black, had to be the perfect foil for the bigger than life, misanthrope detective. Almost immediately America sees through his disagreeable personality and eventually brings out his softhearted side. Of course, along the way, there is plenty of adventure: Phaeton is after a wicked female bloodsucker and America is after the pirates that stole her father’s shipping business. But even as the two plots intertwine, Phaeton and America still find plenty of time to get to know one another.

So what's next? The Moonstone and Miss Jones, the second novel in the Phaeton Black series. (Releases October 3, 2012) Phaeton is shanghaied in Shanghai and America chases him all the way back to London, where they both become involved in a struggle to save the city from any number of beasts, terrors, and the scariest creatures of all––humans.

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of The Seduction of Phaeton Black to a lucky commenter. Here’s my question: Do you have a favorite antihero or Romantic Byronic hero? Here are a few characters for you to consider: Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights, Rochester of Jane Eyre, The Phantom of the Opera, Captain Jack Sparrow, Wolverine of X-Men, Edward Cullen of Twilight, Christian Grey of Fifty Shades of Grey.

THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK
PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION ~ BOOK ONE
BY JILLIAN STONE

Hold onto your knickers ladies, Phaeton Black has arrived!

He's the man with the magic touch. A master of deduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard's secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he's asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he's ever known.

She's the devilish Miss Jones. Pressing a knife to his throat and demanding he make love to her––Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing after her. As dangerous as she is with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampire killer Phaeton is stalking––but she may be just what he needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possess uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only his salvation...or ultimate sacrifice.



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An Excerpt from The Seduction of Phaeton Black

She had never met the like of such a man.
After a few deep draughts of spirit, he kicked a chair out from under the table and straddled the seat. “The chair rails guard my bulging privates. Not to be confused with filthy pirates.”
He took another swig from the bottle. “Tell me about these imaginary, cutlass wielding corsairs. Miss––?”
“My name is America Jones.”
He set an elbow on the chair back and cupped his chin. He had a wary way of studying her, as if she were some kind of curiosity. “Are you incapable of answering questions in a truthful manner? Again, Miss––?”
She set her jaw and glared. “America.”
“Is the name of a continent, or two. I can never remember if there are two continents designated north and south, or one continent designated south and north. Which is it?”
Why did he play the Mad Hatter? Leaning far back off the chair, he had to catch himself. The grog appeared to be having an effect. “And there is a new country, the United States of America.”
Even with arms tied down, she still managed a shrug. “It is my name, sir. America Síne Jones and I have learned to live with it these twenty-ought years.”
“I believe I may call you by your middle name.” His mouth twitched. “Sin–ay. I do so admire the first syllable.”
Her gaze narrowed to a quizzical squint. “Is your mind always in the gutter, Mr.––?
“Black.” Liquid sable eyes flecked with gold drank in every inch of her. “Only when I am interested, Miss Jones.”
“And are you interested?”
“I once enjoyed a meal at the Langham Hotel, which I thought about repeating for weeks afterward.”
“Is that what I am to you? A supper?”
He lowered his chin. “A banquet, my tempting dark dove.” Hooded ebony eyes crinkled at the sides. He enjoyed taunting her. 
Captivated for a moment, she mentally slapped herself.  “I would love to stay and chat, really I would, but I must be on my way.” She flashed the faintest of smiles. “Now that we are introduced, certainly you can release me from bondage?”
“One more thing, Miss Jones. If you would kindly explain about the pirates?” He tilted his head. “Your eyes are most extraordinary. Almost feline.”
What an exasperating man! While he swigged from the bottle, she tugged again on her bindings. “Why do you insist on torturing me?”
She pressed her lips together and chewed the inside of her bottom lip. A force of habit when vexed beyond endurance. Well, she supposed two could play this silly, annoying interrogation game. “Are your parents still living, Mr. Black?
He sat up and blinked. “Mother died of a virulent meningitis years ago. My father teaches advanced mathematics at Trinity College.” He ran a hand through thick waves of dark brown hair. “He might as well be dead. We don’t get on.”
“I could not tell you if my mother is alive or dead. I’ve not been home to Louisiana in many years. Buried my father four short months ago. Charles Gardiner Jones.” She leaned forward purposefully. “A decent and honest merchant trader. Acquaintances said he couldn’t face his business failure––that he died of drink. People who knew him well, told a very different story. My father’s heart was broken by his lying, scheming business partner.”
When her eyes threatened to tear, she lifted her chin. “After his funeral I vowed to bring Yanky Willem to justice.”
“And how goes this pursuit?”
She frowned. “Not as well as I’d hoped. Last night Willem caught me rifling through a year’s worth of cargo manifests.”
He arched a brow. “Searching for––?”
“Proof of piracy, Mr. Black.”
He smiled that maddening grin of his. “I knew if I was patient, we might actually get round to the original subject of my query––the filthy pirates.”
“Chased me from the Docklands all the way down the Strand.” She laid her head back against the padded chair and counted the cracks in the ceiling. “When you stepped into the sharp edge of my blade, I was clean out of bullets.”
“Bullets? And where, pray tell is your pistol?
Now it was her turn to grin. “Untie me, and––“
“I think not, Miss Jones.” From behind protective rungs, Mr. Black stepped over the seat of his chair and ventured closer. “Shall we search together?”

***

About the author

In 2010, Jillian won the RWA Golden Heart for An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and went from no agent or publisher to signing with Richard Curtis and being offered a three book contract by Pocket Books.

That summer, she also won the erotica category of the 2010 Romance Through the Ages contest for The Seduction of Phaeton Black and was offered a three book contract by Kensington Brava.

Needless to say, she has been busy writing books this past year and a half! Jillian lives in Southern California and is currently working on a special Pocket Star e-novella for The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series.




Tour Wide Giveaway:

The Key to Phaeton's Heart Necklace {US shipping ONLY} and ten (10) print copies of The Seduction of Phaeton Black are being given away tour wide!


Steampunk Necklace designed by Ula Kapala 


Enter via the widget below


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
 Follow the entire book tour here.



7 comments:

  1. The book sound awesome!! Thanks for posting the excerpt. Great review too. Can't wait to read this one!!

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  2. Jones sounds like a great match to your hero. I can't wait to read about her!

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  3. thanks for the giveaway, sounds really good, and that heart necklace is so pretty too.

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  4. Forgot to answer question, I only have read a few steampunk, and only read if they sound really good, this one does

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  5. Paige, Lexi H, Michelle,

    The Seduction of Phaeton Black is a menage of subgenres including steampunk, paranormal, historical, occult detective and erotica. Whew! I do hope you get a chance to enjoy Phaeton Black and America Jones!

    ReplyDelete
  6. hi jillian..nice to know you..
    you are a new author for me,,i have one your book : AN AFFAIR WITH MR KENNEDY..and i love this books..
    thanks for the chance to win..wish i win..LOL ^^

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  7. I have only read one Steampunk series and it was by Gail Carriger. I love it!!! This series sounds great!! I am gonna put it on my TBR list, I love a good mystery plus paranormal!!!

    sheryll1974@netscape.net

    ReplyDelete

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