Adhering to her mantra, “The better a soldier I become, the easier the missions will be, and the quicker I’ll be able to return home,” Fayola is an imposing figure in her human form and nearly indestructible in her bird form, with huge wings, a beak that can penetrate elephant hide, and the ability to generate golden lightning. At the start Jones focuses on developing the strong female characters and the intricate world building, though the plot accelerates when The Wake’s leaders, intrigued by Fayola’s empathy and negotiating skills, choose not to court martial her. Instead, she’s assigned to the new Criminal Exploitation Unit to save children in trouble. These include Jwahir, who sends word that her adoptive bear shifter father is abusing her.
Jones masterfully constructs an original world of extraordinary shapeshifters, a militaristic society, a rich political environment, and a mission to combat human trafficking. With a nod to the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jones sets a diverse cast in an immersive, compelling world in a story that evokes loyalty and the desire to do good. Readers will find this a winner.
Takeaway: Science fiction fans will embrace the strong female lead and unique shapeshifters in this adventure with a heart.
Great for fans of: Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child, Robert McCammon’s The Wolf’s Hour.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Find out how N.D. Jones is impacting publishing, learn about the story that inspired her to write a special brand of paranormal romance, and read up on the books in her Fairy Tale Fatale series.
The books in the Fairy Tale Fatale series are urban fantasy stories that reimagine fairy tales. Each reimagined fairy tale is updated and told as either a paranormal romance or a fantasy story. These aren’t your grandparents fairy tales…
They’re written by N.D. Jones, Ed.D. is a USA Today bestselling author who wanted to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional Black characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers. Taking on that challenge herself, Jones founded Kuumba Publishing, an art, audiobook, eBook, and paperback company with a special commitment to promoting and encouraging creative works from authors and artists of African descent. (Kuumba is a Swahili word for “creativity.” It is also the Sixth Principle of Kwanzaa, the African-American cultural holiday.) The company has published several of her novels.
Her books also include the urban fantasy duology Feline Nation, the paranormal romance Death and Destiny trilogy, the paranormal romance series Winged Warriors and the Dragon Shifter Romance series. Her novel A Queen’s Pride: An African American Shapeshifter Urban Fantasy (Feline Nation Book #1) was a U.S. Selfies Book Award 2021 Adult Fiction finalist and a Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2021 Adult Fiction finalist.
Jones told Dante Craddock Author that she used to never read fiction—but a few years ago, when Marvel Comics characters Storm and Black Panther got married, she was inspired. “As an African-American woman and fan of X-Men’s Storm, I was intrigued enough to buy all the comics leading up to their marriage.”
Unfortunately, she was disappointed when the characters got divorced. Even worse—there was no comparable comic offering that particular angle.
“So, for me,” Jones says, “what makes my brand of romance special is that I write what I see as a dearth in the paranormal romance genre—African/African American love with a paranormal twist. I spend a lot of time developing the mythology of my stories, as well as the execution of the paranormal element. If I write a book with witches and shape-shifters, I think it’s important to actually show what it means to be a witch and shape-shifter. That’s one thing a reader of my books can look forward to. The paranormal is not a sidebar in my novels. It’s center stage and critical to the plot.”
Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. Scroll down to learn more about the titles in the Fairy Tale Fatale series.
Crimson Hunter: A Little Red Riding Hood Reimagining (Fairy Tale Fatale #1)
An African-American urban fantasy reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood recommended for readers who adore Nalo Hopkinson and N.K. Jemisin.
She’s not afraid of big, bad WEREWOLVES. They’re afraid of HER…
The War of Eternal Hunger freed witches from the rule of werewolves, ending a patriarchy only to create a matriarchy. A thousand years later, Oriana, Matriarch of Steelcross and Crimson Hunter, is a young, untried ruler who seeks to bridge the divide between witches and werewolves.
But how can witches trust werewolves not to hurt them when Rage Disrupter collars are needed to control their lust for witch’s blood and magic? And how can werewolves trust witches to treat them as equals when they’ve built metal cities and armed themselves, literally, with iron weapons of werewolf destruction?
Marrok is a Clan of the Black Moon werewolf. When he meets and falls in love with Oriana, he knows action must be taken to stave off his lust for her blood and magic. But witches are the warm sun to werewolves’ cold moon. Is it possible for them to share the same sky? Or will Marrok betray Oriana—his bloodlust stronger than his love?
Claws and fangs.
Magic and metal.
Will one side devour the other, or will they find a way to peacefully coexist?
Welcome to Earth Rift, where the moon is black, and the sun is crimson.
Buy Crimson Hunter from Amazon
Bearly Gold: A Goldilocks and the Three Bears Reimagining (Fairy Tale Fatale#2)
A Shapeshifter Fairy Tale: A Brave New Goldilocks, No Porridge Required
On Earth Pact, no species is as feared as the Impundulu shifters of the United Wake of Benekal. For Fayola, a veteran nearing the end of her compulsory military service, being a soldier had never been more than reluctant duty. As she prepares for her final special operation, her goal remains the same: Complete her mission so she can return home to her father.
Tasked with rescuing a humanitarian doctor from a war zone, but not the orphaned children under her care, Fayola must decide how much she is willing to risk for the future she deserves.
Jwahir, a human in a nation of warring shifters, finds herself holed up in a medical clinic with other orphans, praying for a miracle or a painless death. But when an Impundulu soldier arrives, stoic and determined, but with a reserved tenderness she tries to hide, Jwahir knows she has met her Dela Eden-her savior.
However, people are not always who they seem, and crimes against children are too often ignored. For Jwahir, her true test of bravery begins, not in a medical clinic in a war-ravaged country, but in a bear shifter's cabin home in a peaceful forest.
For Fayola, twenty-five years of retirement planning changes in the blink of an innocent child's golden-brown eyes. But what will she do when her goodwill pact goes horribly wrong?
Content Warnings: on-page sex between consenting adults, on-page/implied child death, implied child sexual assault, talk of/threatening child physical assault, talk of suicide, talk of drug use, talk of sex slaves