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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Interview: MM Paranormal Romance Author J.P. Jackson + giveaway

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
J.P.: Oh my. They completely hijack the story. Half the time as I was writing, I was thinking to myself, YOU CAN’T PUT THAT IN THERE…and yet it happened anyway. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I’m nothing more than a transcriptionist.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
J.P.: Admittedly, this book doesn’t really fit into the normal Romance structure where you get the main character's perspective, then the next chapter flips to the love interest, and their perceptions. This is very different in that I’m telling a paranormal/urban fantasy story that just happens to have some sexy fun times in it. And let me tell you, the world of all-male witches is filled with sexual tension, innuendo, and magic.

If you like things a little dark, with morally grey magic, a little twisty fun with a multiple plot lines and some hot muscle bears, this is definitely a read for you.

Have you written any other books that are not published?
J.P.: I have. One that may never see the light of day…it’s just that bad…and a secret project I’m working on right now. Shhhhh.

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
J.P.: Oh, yes. It would be the god candle. A combination of musk, moss from deep within a forgotten forest, cool spring water that’s running crisp and cold from a winter melt off, leather hides that have been left out in the sun to tan, and wet fur.

Hey – I didn’t say it would smell good. The Horned One has been running around that forest for a very long time.

What did you edit out of this book?
J.P.: Commas. The word “Just”, and some other really bad writing habits I have. But in terms of storyline, sex scenes or plot – nope, it’s all in there.

Is there a writer’s brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
J.P.: Yes! Several. I would love to sit with Steven King, because, King of Horror. I know he has a writing style book – but I’d want to actually talk to him. Look him in the eyes as he answered all my writing questions. I love meeting and talking to people. How they respond, their body language, their eyes, and subtle shifts in behaviour speak more volumes than any email or text ever. I think Steven King’s brain is far darker and scarier a place than most of us could handle. I know my friends often shake their heads at me because of my own little dark Addams Family way of thinking. I think King would be even scarier.

There’s two other gay authors who I know, not well, but have had a few conversations with – Rick R Reed and Brandon Witt. Both have very different writing styles, but write in several different genres. I find Witt’s characters deeply vulnerable, and I’d love to know how he makes me feel that. What does he go through in his writing process to get the reader there. Reed writes Horror, Contemporary, and MM Romance. Rick is fantastic, and he’s already let me steel him away for drinks should we ever end up in the same place at the same time. Rick’s writing takes you deep into the thought process of the characters he creates. I get lost in his writing and it’s glorious. I’d love to take lessons from him. He has over 50 novels, and I’m slowly making my way through them.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
J.P.: Some authors need absolute silence when writing. I need a soundtrack. So not only do I have images in front of me when I’m writing, I also have a soundtrack too. I have a huge music library and my tastes go from Country to Industrial. I don’t know anyone who has George Straight and Rob Zombie in their playlists. But my writing soundtracks are all generally fairly haunting scores. I compile the videos I can find on YouTube and put them all on one playlist. If you’re ever interested, you can go here to listen to the music I play while writing:
343 pages
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance, Dark Urban Fantasy
Devid Khandelwal desperately wants to experience the supernatural. After years of studying everything from crystals to tarot to spellcasting, nothing has happened that would tell him the Shadow Realm is real. And that kills Dev. As a last-ditch resort, he purchases a summoning board, an occult tool that will grant him his ultimate desires.

Cameron Habersham is Dev’s best friend. Cam loves Dev like a brother and will do anything for him, as long as he looks good doing it. So when Dev asks him to perform the summoning board’s ritual, he reluctantly agrees, but he knows nothing will come of it. Nothing ever does.

However, within a day, Dev and Cam’s lives are turned upside down as wishes begin to come true. They discover the existence of a supernatural world beyond their imagination, but peace between the species is tenuous at best.

Dev finally gets to see the Shadow Realm, meets the man of his dreams, and is inducted into the local male coven. But for all the desires that were summoned into existence, Dev soon realizes the magical community dances the line between good and evil, and Cam ends up on the wrong side of everything.

The old adage is true: Be careful what you wish for.

Excerpt: Summoned by J.P. Jackson
Setup: The main character Dev, and his best friend Cam, have just returned from buying a summoning board. Tucked away in Dev’s room, they are about to use it for the first time.

“Honestly, I don’t get what you see in all this stuff.” Cam waved his hand through the air, a flippant gesture meant to dismiss Dev’s impressive occult collection.

Of course, Cam was referring to the contents of Dev’s room. The occult was Dev’s jam. Crystals, runes, tarot decks—you name it, Dev had it. The occult. He had read, studied, and practiced everything from card readings to spirit summoning. But despite his keen interest, admirable level of knowledge, and dedicated study, Dev hadn’t had a single otherworldly encounter or brush with psychic phenomenon.

That killed Dev.

“Shush. You be nice. Otherwise my demons will get you.” Dev chuckled, knowing full well Cam’s interest level focused more on his latest pair of shoes. Dev made a mental note to check for holes in the floorboards.

Dev, on the other hand, would have done anything to be a witch, sorcerer, or seer of the hidden. A pastime his Indian-born mother did not appreciate.

“Devid, why? This is all bad. You need to find a nice girl, get married, have children. I want to be a grandmother.” Dev pictured his mother’s face as her lips mouthed words. He would sit in a state of catatonia while she spouted off such sentiments. Like this morning, at breakfast.

Cam snapped Dev out of his mental wanderings. “Dev, the moment you actually manage to harness a demon and have it do your bidding, I’ll concede to wearing discount clothing.” Cam cocked an eyebrow at Dev, who met his gaze. They both smirked. In no world, anywhere, would Cam ever resort to wearing anything so common.

This was the nature of their relationship. Cam was eternally bitchy, and Dev was perpetually spooky. The dynamic was weird, but the friendship worked for them.

“Come on,” Dev said, pulling Cam’s attention to the task at hand. “Do this with me.”

“What? Bitch, no.”

“Why not? What the hell have you got to lose?”

“Just, you know, for some crazy-ass reason you manage to pull off some kind of beast wrangling, I don’t want to be dragged into the depths of the pit by some shrieking harpy demon. Especially in this outfit. I’m not ready to go to hell looking like this.”

“That’s not a thing, Cam.” Dev shook his head at Cam with a ‘god, you don’t know anything!’ kind of look.

“How the hell would you know?”

“I know. Now get down here.”

“Ugh, all right fine. It’s not like any of this has ever worked before.” Cam slid off the bed and sat opposite Dev on the floor, cross-legged. “What exactly is this thing?”

“A summoning board.”

“Yeah, you’ve said that. What is it, though? Like, what’s it supposed to do?” Cam asked, “And what are all those squiggly things?” Cam pointed toward the script patterning the outside of the board, his finger getting far too close to the board for Dev’s comfort.

“Shh. It’s nothing.” Dev slapped his hand away. “It’s only there to make the board look all gothic and shit.”

“Mmmhmm. K. So…what am I supposed to do? Run around the thing three times and chant ‘Bloody Mary’?” Cam asked.

“Oh my god, you’re such an idiot. It’s for summoning your greatest desires,” Dev instructed.

“Really? So, like, a big monster boyfriend?” Cam winked, cupped his own crotch, gave the bulge a couple of squeezes.

“I just…I can’t with you right now. Is that all you think about?”

“Nope. Bastard better be good-looking too. And rich. It takes money to keep me looking this good.” Cam ran his hands over his designer-clad torso and overpriced jeans.

“I swear to god, I don’t know why I bother with you.”

“Because you love me.”

“Sadly, yes. I do. Why? I have no idea.” Dev got up and rummaged around his room.

“Okay, so what the hell are you doing now?”

“We need things.”

“This is getting complicated.”


Dev rushed around his room, gathering the trinkets they needed to do their first summons. And as fast as a desperate person would sell their soul to the devil, he returned, handing Cam a marker and three post-it notes.


“Write down three wishes.”

“Damn, are we summoning a genie?”

“It’s called a Djinn, and no, we are not…at least, I don’t think. Why do you make everything a challenge? Write something down.” Dev prodded Cam with the end of his marker.

“Good lord, all right. Fine.”

Cam got busy scratching stuff down.

Dev on the other hand had already planned exactly what he was going to wish for.

This was it.

The last straw.

The last time any of this hocus pocus would be attempted.

Dev had promised himself if this didn’t work, he would give all of it up, for good. Dev believed in magic. He would have staked his soul on a bargain with the devil.

So, this was it. And with all the heart-wrenching, utter loneliness and consuming desire for the Shadow Realm to be real, he wrote down his three wishes:

I want to have a supernatural power.

I want to see the Shadow Realm and be part of it.

I want my friends and family to respect me for my knowledge of the occult.

Dev folded the tiny notes in half and tossed them into the copper cauldron he had placed in the center of the board. The instructions on the back of the box were specific. All wishes were to be written on paper, personalized with blood, and placed into the inner ring. Finally, the paper had to be burnt in order to release the energy.

Cam gave Dev his pieces of paper.

“No! Not like that, geez.” Dev tossed them back at Cam.

Cam threw his hands up in the air. “What the hell?”

“Fold them in half like I did and put them in the copper bowl.”

“Fine.” Cam did as instructed. “There, happy?”

“Not quite. Give me your hand.”


“For the love of…” Dev grabbed Cam’s hand and deftly managed to stab a finger with a thumbtack.

“What the ever-loving fuck, dude?” Cam ripped his hand away and grabbed his finger. A small pinprick of blood welled up to the skin’s surface. He brought the finger up to his mouth.

“Don’t you dare!” Dev pointed at Cam.

Cam stopped and glared at Dev.

“Squeeze your finger so the blood drips onto your papers, but get it in the bowl, don’t get blood on my floor.” Dev pricked his own finger and held his digit over the bowl.

Three drops of blood fell into the copper cauldron. Followed thereafter by three of Cam’s.

Dev lit a match and pitched the flaming splinter into the bowl, pushing the post-it notes around so they caught fire.

“Go open the window,” Dev instructed Cam.

“Your mother will kill you if you burn the house down.”

“Okay, now come read this with me.” Dev gestured for Cam to sit beside him.

“I swear if anything happens…” Cam warned while he rearranged himself next to Dev, inspecting his finger and sucking at the miniscule wound.

“It will. I know it will.”

“You always say that.” Cam rolled his eyes and sighed with exasperation.

“Come on, read this.”

“Ugh, fine.”

And together, they read the incantation off of the instruction sheet that came with the board.

“With passion of heart, I seek to find, those Desires I want. Wishes to be mine.”

“That’s it?” Cam’s head tilted to one side in disbelief.

“That’s it.” Dev shrugged.

They waited for a few heartbeats. Loud ones that thudded against the inside of Dev’s chest.

“Okay, I’m bored now. And my finger hurts. You owe me a macchiato.” Cam grabbed his designer boots and slid them on. “You coming?”

Dev gazed into the cauldron as the last of the papers charred and blackened and tiny wisps of smoke curled up toward him and dissipated.

Nothing had happened.

“Come on,” Dev flinched as Cam threw an arm around his shoulder and squeezed him in a one armed bro hug. “I’ll buy.”

“Yeah, all right.”

As the two left the room, Dev eased the door closed using both hands on the doorknob while silently praying to any god or being who happened to be listening.

“Please hear me,” he whispered.


Inside the empty room, behind the closed door, the summoning board’s squiggly writing around the outside edges that was ‘only there to make the board look all gothic and shit’ shifted. As if the doodles and lines were dancing or marching.

The entire border rotated, widdershins, and the inner ring of the board spun in the opposite directions, changing the symbols.

The wind blew in through the open window and the curtain fluttered in the breeze.

About the Author
J.P. Jackson is an award-winning author of dark urban fantasy, paranormal, and even paranormal romance stories, but regardless of the genre, they always feature LGBTQ main characters.

J.P. works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he'd confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shapeshifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. His husband of 22 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summonings and regularly lines the doorway with iron shavings and salt crystals. Imps are most definitely not house-trainable. Ghosts appear at the most inopportune times, and the Fae are known for regular visits where a glass of wine is exchanged for a good ole story or two. Although the husband doesn't know it, Canela and Jalisco, the two Chihuahuas, are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.'s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive traveling and believe it or not, knitting.

$20 Amazon GiftCard - 1 winner
ebook of Summoned – 3 winners!
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  1. Great interview - especially loved the candle scent combination, LOL!

  2. Thanks! LOL, I don't think it would be a best seller.

  3. Happy to find a new-to-me m/m author!

    Koozebane, koozebane at yahoo dot com

  4. Thank you for hosting my new release! :)