Happy Release Day to Defector by Susanne Winnacker!

DEFECTOR is the sequel to IMPOSTOR (our League review here), so slight spoilers for book one ahead. Ready? Okay!

As you no doubt recall from IMPOSTOR, Tessa is a Variant who lives and works with a special unit of the FBI known as the FEA (Forces with Extraordinary Abilities). Her power is shape-shifting, and like Mystique of the X-Men, Tessa can take on any identity. In IMPOSTOR, she impersonated a murder victim for a special mission. In DEFECTOR, she goes on her second mission, impersonating a senator who is being targeted by Abel's Army, a radical group of Variants.

The mission goes anything but smoothly and Tessa ends up discovering several shocking truths about herself and about her boyfriend Alec. This truths are such game-changers that Tessa goes on the road with Devon (brother of the dead girl she played in book one) on a rogue fact-finding mission. But with both Abel's Army and the FEA after her, Tessa has to be smarter and more resourceful than ever before.

A Personal Journey

In book one, Tessa struggled to define her place within FEA, but her character arc in book two is about self-discovery, coming to terms with her origins, and learning to make decisions for herself. It's a fascinating character study that explores how our alliances shape us, but how we ultimately control our own destiny.

Major Reveals

Who can you trust when everyone lies to you? Tessa's eyes are opened via several huge plot twists that put everything she thought she knew into question. Tessa's willingness to give up everything to find out the truth drives the action and sets up some stellar confrontation scenes (I especially loved the underground bar).

Read Now!

Fortunately, you don't have to wait to defect with Tessa. DEFECTOR is available now at all major retailers.

Barnes and Noble
Book Depository

An Interview with WINGS Author Elizabeth Richards

Today it is my very great pleasure to post an interview with our very own Elizabeth Richards as the third book in the Black City trilogy is released: Wings! The first book, Black City, made my heart beat along with Ash's, and I can't wait to grab my copy of WingsYou can find out more about Elizabeth from her Facebook and Twitter (and here!) and more about her book on GoodReads.

We can read all about your life from your bio in the jacket flap of your book. So, what's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?

I have a heart-shaped birth mark on my left foot! It’s the only way my parents could tell me and my twin-sister apart when we were newborns.

What's the most surprising thing you've learned since becoming a writer?

That you spend very little of your working day actually writing! I was stunned when I first entered the business and realized that the majority of my time would be taken up with marketing and publicity, especially in my debut year. I’ve managed to find a better balance now, and put writing ahead of everything else, even though it’s SO tempting to constantly pop onto Twitter

Challenge time! Can you describe your book series in just one sentence?

Dystopian ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with vampires, explosions and kissing!

It's the inevitable question: what inspired the Black City books?

A number of things inspired the series. Initially it was Ash—his character came to me fully-formed one evening, when I was watching a movie, and I became enthralled by the idea of this drug-dealing, supernatural boy who gets a heartbeat when he meets his true love. It was also around the time of the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, and so that was on the news a lot, and I kept wondering what it would be like to live in a city divided by a wall, and how terrible it would be if you were stuck on the wrong side of the wall, away from your family…especially if the side you were on happened to be filled with people that wanted to kill you. So that became the inspiration for the Boundary Wall. And the setting of Black City is inspired by Victorian London, with the ash-choked skies and gothic architecture.  

One of the things I loved about your first book, Black City, is that while it’s a fictional world, there seems to be some influence from our own history—especially themes of prejudice that reminded me of World War II and the Holocaust, as well as apartheid and civil rights movements. Can you tell us more about how you brought the real past into your fictional world, and why you explored those themes?

During the initial planning stages of Black City, I wondered what the world would be like if supernatural creatures actually lived among us. How would the humans react? Would they embrace the Darklings or be frightened of our differences? Unfortunately I didn’t have to look far back in our history to get a sense of how things could be. It didn’t seem far-fetched that the Darklings would be herded into ghettos and denied their civil rights, nor did it feel unbelievable that the Sentry government would commit genocide or kill anyone who fraternized with a Darkling, in order to create their perfect vision of ‘One Faith, One Race, One Nation under His Mighty’. And so that formed the basis of the series.
An image that will stay with me forever is when Ash’s heart starts to beat after he meets Natalie. The books are obviously so much more than a love story, but the love story part of the novels just sings. Could you discuss this part of the story more? How did you develop their love?

I’m a sucker for ‘love-at-first-sight’, however I didn’t want their romance to be a stereotypical ‘insta-love’ story. In the world of Black City, when a Darkling meets their Blood Mate, their heart activates and this is what happens when Ash first meets Natalie. However, all is not what it seems, when they learn [SPOILER] that Natalie has a stolen heart and Ash’s Blood Mate is actually another girl [SPOILER OVER]. For me, that was a much more interesting story to tell, because love isn’t easy—it’s hard fought for and, more to the point, it’s a choice. They choose to stay together because they want to, not because they have to, due to some mystical connection. And even when the fates keep trying to pull them apart, even when things get tough, they find each other. That, for me, is true love and why so many of my readers connect with their romance.  

Let’s talk Purian Rose. How did you develop such a villain? In Wings, you talk more about his past—did you always know that past, or was it something you developed as you started the third book?

I knew some of his past—at least, the two big things—but I’m not one to obsessively plot things out before I start writing (shhh, don’t tell my editor!); I like to be surprised because if I’m surprised then I hope the reader will be too. I actually found myself caring for him quite deeply, which I wasn’t expecting.   

If your reader could only take away one emotion, theme, or idea from the last book of the trilogy, Wings, what would you want it to be?

Forgiveness. That’s the key message in the book. “It’s easy to hate; the true tests of our hearts is to forgive.”

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Five Very Compelling Reasons You Want WINGS in Your Life

I am the luckiest girl in the world, because I got a chance to devour Elizabeth Richards' latest Black City book before it came out, and let me tell you, the devouring was good.  After I'd sated my vampire-dystopia lust, I came up with a few reasons why you need to read Wings.

1. Ash

Yes, yes, other characters are all fine and good, but the dark-haired smoldering vampire is the one I desperately wanted to see make it to the end.  No spoilers here, but I will tell you that the smoldering level was far above adequate and that there were some very swoony moments between him and Natalie.

Here comes the smolder

2. The United Sentry States

The world of the Black City books is a world devastated by war, populated by humans, vampires, lupines and bastets, and divided into a handful of giant states.  Wings shows us even more of this vividly reimagined America, from copper and verdigris Gallium to glittering golden Centrum.

3. Explosions

Explosions!  Fire!  Mayhem!  Richards pulls no punches in the final installment and no character (or city) gets off easy.  Wings is at its heart an action story, a revolution story, and it never stops to catch its breath.


4. Plot Twists

Apropos to the above reason--Wings is a twisty ride, packed full of shocking reveals, new information and terrible betrayals.  Every time I thought I had something or someone figured out, they would turn around and completely surprise me.  I loved every second of it.

5. Tragic Backstory

Wings ties two stories together--the story of Ash and Natalie in the present day and the story of a boy named Edmund thirty years ago, a boy whose life is impossibly tragic and heart-wrenching.  His story changed how I saw the entire trilogy and every character in it.  Mind. Blown.


WINGS.  You'll be making this face by the end:

Wings will be out Thursday, June 12th! 

Book Depository

And don't forget to enter a giveaway for the ENTIRE BLACK CITY SERIES!

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