Today is the day! Four years ago today, Blackthorn was first launched. Thank you to everyone who read and supported my anniversary post here yesterday as well as all of your wonderful comments on social media. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! If you missed it, you can find it here.
I would also like to say a massive thank you to Tracey Rogers, Wopsywoobookblog and Passionate About Books who have all celebrated with their own special anniversary posts on their blogs today, including recalling how they discovered Blackthorn. Thank you to HelCeesBanginBooks for giving my series such a big shout out on her FB page too. I really appreciate it, ladies. <3
Thank you as well too to everyone who supported my interview with My Bookworm Blogger yesterday. If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback of Blood Bound together with a signed postcard, you still have time. Just click on this link.
And talking of giveaways…
IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!
Last week I had three 24-four flash giveaways on Facebook to win stickers and limited edition postcards. Today, I’m giving ONE entrant the chance to WIN THE ENTIRE BUNDLE of prizes.
The bundle includes:
One signed limited edition ‘4-year Anniversary’ large postcard
One signed limited edition ‘Readers’ Quotes’ large postcard
One signed ‘Blackthorn Heroes’ large postcard
One set of ‘Blackthorn Heroes’ stickers, including 1 Kane sticker, 1 #TeamKane sticker, 1 Caleb Sticker, 1 #TeamCaleb sticker, 1 Jask sticker, 1 #TeamJask sticker, 1 Eden sticker and 1 #TeamEden sticker. That’s 8 stickers in total.
One Blackthorn Logo sticker
But exclusive to this website giveaway, I’m including a SIGNED A3 POSTER of the Blackthorn book cover of YOUR CHOICE in the prize bundle!
HOW TO ENTER
As today marks the release of Blood Shadows, all you have to do to enter is:
SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE KANE OR CAITLIN QUOTE OR MOMENT FROM THE SERIES SO FAR
(*BE WARNED THERE COULD BE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS GIVEAWAY*)
Tomorrow marks four years since Blackthorn was launched. Blood Shadows was officially released on 27th November 2012. Since then Blackthorn has sold in six figures, reached readers in several countries and obtained numerous number ones in both the Gothic and the PNR charts on Amazon as well as having reached the Top 50 on Amazon.com’s main kindle charts too. Blood Shadows was even optioned by Hollywood movie giants Relativity Media! It’s been quite the four years. And next year it’ll all be coming to an end with the series finale.
To mark the occasion, and to keep to the theme of 8 Blackthorn books, I thought I’d share… 8 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT MY CREATION OF BLACKTHORN. Oh, and look out for details of a giveaway at the end!
1) BLACKTHORN IS TWENTY YEARS OLD THIS YEAR!
Although tomorrow marks four years since Blackthorn was first published, it’s actually twenty years old this year!
2) IT STARTED ONE DARK AND STORMY NIGHT…
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly stormy but it did all begin one night. I’d moved to a city over 300 miles away from home to begin my first teaching job. After an evening out with my new colleagues, I managed to get lost on my way home. With no one at home to expect me and with 1996 hardly being the era of mobile phones, I had no option but to try and navigate my way alone through the empty city streets. It wasn’t long before I became increasingly lost as well as deeper into unfamiliar territory. So, during that time, I did what every self-respecting scared-out-of-their-wits author does and made up stories to keep calm and distract myself – and Blackthorn was born.
3) BLACKTHORN BEGAN AS A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES
From then on Blackthorn became a labour of love. I never intended it to be published, instead it was one of many simultaneous projects I had underway. Some went by the wayside but Blackthorn was one idea I simply couldn’t walk away from.
Once I had the concept behind Blackthorn, I wrote short stories to get to know the world. The stories were set in various districts across the locale, from Blackthorn to Summerton. Once the idea behind the overarching plot – the downfall of this oppressive society – took hold, the key contenders were already clear. Kane and Caitlin, Caleb and Leila, and Jessie and Eden all evolved from those short stories into what Blackthorn is today. The only exceptions were Jask and Phia.
4) THE UNDEAD DON’T EXIST IN BLACKTHORN
I’ve caused much confusion amongst some readers and reviewers by bending the mythological rules. For one thing, only lycans have fangs whereas vampires have an extra set of feeding incisors instead. None of my “third species” as I call them are immortal, nor are they cursed or contaminated, and they most certainly aren’t the undead! Why? Because apart from rare occasions when these “creatures” were constituted as deities, they have almost always been associated with evil origins. This was further enforced by the introduction of Christian ideologies, with vampires in particular not only deemed as a risk to our physical self but our spiritual self too. Then there’s the influences of literature and films in the mix. I wanted to come from the angle that just because we don’t understand something doesn’t automatically make it evil – one of the fundamental themes behind Blackthorn.
After all, one of the greatest freedoms of being a writer of fantasy is the ability to be selective about which aspects of mythology to apply. The creation of my third species is as much about characterisation and plot as fitting in logically into the Blackthorn world I’ve created.
5) I ONCE DESTROYED BLACKTHORN BEFORE REBUILDING IT
After I’d finished putting Blackthorn together, I stuck my head above the parapet to try and work out its potential for publication. But what had begun during a time when PNR was rarely found on the shelves was then faced with a market overwhelmed with vampiric heroes and fantastical urban underworlds, let alone well-established names globally dominating the genre.
Despite the knock of confidence, I started to look for publishing opportunities – only to find that, for those who accepted unagented submissions, Blackthorn didn’t meet their guidelines. Not only were my books too long, the preference seemed to be for standalones (especially from debut novelists unable to prove they could sustain a complex series). Most of all, my heroes didn’t conform to readers’ expectations. All in all, Blackthorn looked like it would be too high a risk to pursue.
So without even attempting to submit anywhere, I tucked Blackthorn away in my bottom drawer as I focused on a different genre.
It was only when my dad passed away in 2007 that I returned to Blackthorn, determined to pursue my dream of getting it published one day. To try and up my chances, I pulled out all of the overarching plot threads to the series and started turning Blackthorn into stand-alones.
The biggest clincher for signing with my current publisher was when they read Blood Shadows and Blood Roses and suggested that maybe Blackthorn could extend beyond three books. More than that, they asked if maybe I saw potential for an overarching plot to tie all the books together. I couldn’t pull all of my original notebooks out of my bottom draw quick enough!
6) BLACKTHORN USED TO LOOK VERY DIFFERENT
Those who supported Blackthorn from the beginning will know that the covers of Blood Shadows and Blood Roses once looked very different. They were designed by Henry Steadman and had a much more traditional Gothic feel. They also incorporated red, white and black. According to folklore, these are the three colours associated with the Blackthorn plant. (If you’d like to know why I called the series ‘Blackthorn’, you can read about it here.)
Before Blood Torn’s release in February 2014, Bookouture decided to give the series a brand new look with a contemporary urban edge.
7) JASK AND HIS PACK WEREN’T GOING TO HAVE A STARRING ROLE
Up until the point I was offered a publishing contract, there were only six books in the series (seven if I split the finale into two). I’d initially been signed for three. When it came to discussions for the third book, I was ready to move on to Jessie and Eden’s story. However, my editor at the time as well as author Michele Hauf (who was my mentor during the writing competition through which I was discovered) both felt Jask Tao deserved a story of his own.
I already knew the role Jask and Phia played in the overarching Blackthorn story (no spoilers for anyone who hasn’t got that far!), but I never intended a romance between them, nor to explore the lycans’ plight in Blackthorn in any great detail. Instead I’d planned to keep the focus on the vampires in the story. In addition to that I have a deep-rooted fear of lycanthropy so didn’t think I’d be able to write Jask as an appealing enough hero!
Since then, Jask has gone on to become one of Blackthorn’s most popular heroes – and it’s all thanks to my wonderful first editor and the fantastic Michele Hauf.
8) I WAS STILL TEACHING WHEN I WROTE THE FIRST FOUR BOOKS
Like the vast majority of published authors, writing wasn’t my only job when Blackthorn was launched. It’s a myth that once you get a publishing deal, you give up the day job and spend all of your days writing books. In fact, for the first four Blackthorn books I was still holding down a teaching job. I’d be teaching lessons to teenagers one day and then immersed in Blackthorn the next, swapping lesson planning and reports with book edits and fan mail. It wasn’t until January 2015 that I started writing full time. By that time, I’d waited almost 30 years to get to that point. If you love something enough, I guess you hold on for as long as it takes.
So that’s it – 8 facts you may or may not have known. And as you can see, Blackthorn had been on quite the journey even before it reached your shelf/device!
I’ll be back tomorrow to mark the official day with a GIVEAWAY BUNDLE for one lucky winner.
I was asked some of the most insightful Blackthorn-related questions I’ve ever had, so please do head over and take a look. Stephanie’s also giving away a SIGNED PAPERBACK of my latest release BLOOD BOUND as well as an exclusive SIGNED Blackthorn POSTCARD!
Have a wonderful evening and ‘see’ you tomorrow! <3
Blackthorn was launched four years ago this month. I can barely believe it. If you were supporting me this time last year, you might remember we had a big anniversary giveaway to mark the occasion. I’m not sure where those twelve months have gone.
Since then two more Blackthorn books have been released, and now there’s only one more to go.
The reality is really starting to sink in – and not only for me by the sounds of it! I know some of you have been supporting my series from the outset. Some joined Blackthorn as recently as a couple of weeks ago. Either way, I know the prospect of the end being in sight is creating mixed feelings. But, for now, let’s refuse to linger in the word ‘final’. We still have one more big adventure to come and what I hope will be a fun year ahead once the countdown officially begins. 😀
*This is not the actual cover. It’s just a teaser.*
I can’t give you any indication as yet as to when Blood Broken will be out (and bribery will make no difference 😉 ). But please rest assured I’m already underway with the first draft and I won’t keep you waiting a moment longer than I have to.
And even though I’m not doing a big giveaway this time around (because I’m saving that for the finale), I’m still marking the occasion across Twitter and Facebook over the next month, reminiscing with some quotes and Bites from the last four years. If you don’t follow me on either of those, you can peruse some of them here.
This was just a quick post for now. I’m going to be back here on the weekend of the 26th and 27th of this month (the official four-year anniversary of Blood Shadows) with my proper anniversary posts. I’ll hopefully ‘see’ you then!
Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support. <3
Last week, I launched a giveaway for you to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback of Blood Instinct. All entries were allocated a number and the winners were chosen using a random number generator.
I am thrilled to announce that the winners are:
HUGE congratulations to Kelly, Natasha and Suzanne! Please email me or message me via Facebook with your home or work address, and I’ll get your signed paperback in the post to you as soon as possible.
Thank you so much to everyone who joined in! The quality and number of entries, as always, was fantastic. I loved reading them. <3
I’ll be disappearing for a little while now as I plough into my Blood Bound revisions, but I’ll keep you updated as and when I can. All I’ll say for now is look out for news coming soon. 😉
Due to all the recent excitement with Vampire Book Club’s Alpha Showdown, this giveaway is a little overdue. But it’s finally here… your chance to win a signed paperback of Blood Instinct!
A BLOOD BOUND UPDATE FIRST!
Before I plough into our giveaway, I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that the first draft of Blood Bound (Blackthorn’s penultimate book) is written! I’m now in the midst of revisions. I’ll have lots more news for you over the forthcoming weeks. Still no release date yet, but I’ll keep you informed!
I have two signed books available – and anyone can enter to win one.
HOW TO ENTER
As many of you have already worked hard enough this past week to get our Kane through to the final, I’m going to keep this quick and simple. To remain with our Alpha Showdown theme, all you have to do to enter is answer the following question:
IF WE WERE RUNNING A ‘BLACKTHORN ALPHA SHOWDOWN’, WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR:
KANE, CALEB, JASK or EDEN?
That’s all you have to do! But if you tell me why you’ve chosen them, your name will be entered twice.
LEFT A REVIEW FOR BLOOD INSTINCT? YOU CAN ENTER THE BONUS ROUND!
I also have a third signed paperback put aside for an exclusive bonus round as an extra thank you to anyone who has left a review for Blood Instinct. Whether it be on Goodreads or on a retail site such as Amazon, just add where you’ve left your review at the end of your answer. Once the two winners of the giveaway have been drawn, your name will go back in for another chance to win.
The giveaway is open now and will close on Monday 20th June at midnight (UK time).
Only one entry per person.
All entries will be allocated a number and winners will be selected using a random number generator. Two winners will be chosen from the main giveaway. After the first draw, numbers from the bonus round will go back in for a second chance to win.
All three winners will be announced here and on my Facebook page on Tuesday 21st June.
Winners must claim their prize within seven days of the winner announcement.
As with all Blackthorn giveaways, prizes will be posted anywhere. Proof of sending will be retained and prizes cannot be replaced if lost in transit.
And as with all giveaways, I will avoid commenting on entries.
We have exactly ONE WEEK to go!! BLOOD INSTINCT will be yours as of NEXT THURSDAY!! 🙂
For those awaiting the paperback version (available from release day), here’s the full cover reveal. I do hope you like it!
Not only is Blood Instinct still at number one in Gothic Romance on Amazon UK three weeks on from first going up for pre-order, but I’m also thrilled to say it has received another 5 star review – this time from Fiona’s Book Reviews:
“I say it every time a new book in this series comes out, and I will say it again for this one. Wow wow wow, she has done it again! Not only has the author given us a book which grabs your attention straight away, she is drawing everything and everyone together towards a conclusion I cannot wait to read… The book is full of action, intrigue, secrets and lies. It grabs your attention immediately and will not let you go until you are screaming for the author to hurry up and bring us the next one! …This author is a huge favourite of mine, and the series is right at the top of my all time favourite book series ever. I can’t wait for the next part, but at the same time I don’t want to think about what will happen when the series comes to an end.”
Thank you so much, Fiona! <3
With the days ticking away, things are starting to get a little bit exciting now. I think I need to launch another giveaway tomorrow to help ease the final wait…
The first two blog reviews are in for Blood Instinct and I’m delighted (and relieved) to say it’s great news so far!
Thank you so much to Michelle at Big Little Sister Blog for her awesome review (and one of the best descriptive titles I’ve ever read for a review of one of my books!):
Here’s a snippet of what Michelle had to say but you can read her full review here.
“This series just went through the roof. Ms. Pryor has kept her Blackthorn series dark, gritty and romantic, only now it’s also an action packed thriller. The previous books had readers swimming in Lindsay J. Pryor’s world, this time Blackthorn completely submerges you. Where her last book had my heart pounding and made me all sweaty, Blood Instinct is brain scrambling and gut wrenching… Whilst each twist is a complete shocker, yet on reflection you see the author’s trail of breadcrumbs. It’s a trail that goes back six books, now that’s clever! …Over a week later I’m still connecting the dots – a sign of a truly great book… The truth is this is the hardest review I’ve ever written, I don’t think I can do justice to the nuances and brilliance of Blood Instinct.”
And a huge thank you too to Stephanie at My Bookworm Blogger for her fab 5 star review as well!
Here’s a sample of what Stephanie thought but you can read her full review here.
“From the very first page, Blood Instinct held me captive as I was pulled willingly into Blackthorns embrace. This incredibly complex book takes us back to Jask and Sophia… I began reading Blood Instinct thinking it couldn’t get worse for my favourite characters. Oh how naive I was. Lindsay J Pryor expertly weaves intricate plot lines that will not only take you to the edge of what you think you can handle, but hold you there, captivated yet afraid to look down. Blood Instinct takes Blackthorn to a whole new level, testing its residents to their breaking point.”
I’d also like to thank Stephanie for her fantastic cover reveal post which I’ve only just seen, where she links back to all her previous reviews for my Blackthorn series so far. Now that’s dedication!
And almost two weeks on from Blood Instinct being available for pre-order, we’re still at number one in Gothic Romance on Amazon UK! So, again, thank you to everyone who is pre-ordering. Not long to go now! 😀
Yay!! We’ve done it again!! I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that, in less than 24 hours, BLOOD INSTINCT has hit #1 in Gothic Romance on Amazon UK – from pre-orders alone! It also hit #1 in Gothic Romance’s Hot New Releases! We even reached #6 on Amazon.com in the same chart. That’s now the third Blackthorn book in a row to do it. 🙂
Thank you SO much to everyone who clicked that pre-order button and made this possible – and for your wonderful reaction to the cover reveal yesterday. <3
The review copies also started to go out last night, and this was the first bit of feedback I received this morning:
“Omg, Lindsay J. Pryor, you have truly outdone yourself this time. Holy crap; I have never read a book with so many plot twists that I never saw coming…Thank god Lindsay is already working on Blood Bound. My hands are just shaking right now…”
Thank you, Sarah!
Let’s hope you agree when you get to read it. Talking of which…
If you can’t bear the wait any longer, look out for a giveaway early next week!
Have a wonderful weekend! xxx
* * *
Blood Instinct has now made it to #4 in the Gothic Romance chart on Amazon.com and #1 in Hot New Releases in Gothic Fiction there too. 🙂 Thank you to everyone who continues to pre-order.
With only four weeks left to go before the official release of BLOOD INSTINCT – book 6 in my Blackthorn series – I am thrilled to finally be able to share both the cover and the blurb with you…
Here’s our Jask, in his full azure-eyed glory this time around!
‘I THINK WHAT IS INSIDE OF YOU TRIGGERS THE WORST OF ME’
Sophia McKay has always had a reckless streak, but falling for lycan leader Jask Tao gave her something to live for. Now, cursed with a serryn bloodline, a darkness inside Phia is awakening. A darkness she knows could prove deadly to those she loves most.
Approaching a blue moon, Jask Tao and his pack are living close to the edge due to a delay getting the herbs required to stop their morphing. Worse still, the growing strength of Phia’s serryn powers are dangerously provoking the lycan in Jask.
At a time when Jask and Phia need each other more than ever, their very passion has become a poison that puts both their lives at risk.
With Sirius Throme, leader of the Global Council, on the verge of invading Blackthorn – working together is the only chance of survival. But Jask is holding on to a secret that could just blow everything apart.
And so is Phia.
Will the truth destroy them all?
A thrilling, action-packed and sinfully seductive paranormal read – where passions in Blackthorn ignite.
What readers are saying about Lindsay J. Pryor:
‘I am completely enthralled with this paranormal series. You get so wrapped up in the story and characters that you lose track of time… This is one of my favorite series so far this year!’ ~ Paranormal Book Club
‘I don’t think I have read such a finely executed dark PNR world before …This series truly surprised me. I didn’t think I would love it that much or be intrigued by it. I couldn’t stop thinking about these books once I was done with them… The world-building is spectacular. The characters are enthralling and addicting… Plain fabulousness.’ ~ Gaga Over Books
‘This is a paranormal universe like none you have encountered before… There are stories that are so powerful, so intense that I do not believe anyone should warn you about what is to come… I truly do feel that if you love the Paranormal genre and have not yet discovered Lindsay J. Pryor or these novels then you need to read them, experience them first-hand.’ ~ Keeper Bookshelf
‘I am officially addicted to this series. Why, you ask? Because Lindsay Pryor is my kind of fearless author. She isn’t afraid to “go there”, to create characters and situations that challenge me as a reader.’ ~ The Demon Librarian
‘Not only are Pryor’s characters and fathomlessly dark love stories fabulous, but her continual world building of Blackthorn blows me away.’ ~ Gravetells
‘If you’re looking for a new PNR series that has a dark world and complicated characters, then you’ll want to grab a copy of this. I can’t wait to read the next book.’ ~ Fiction Vixen
‘She writes paranormal romance mixed with urban fantasy the way I like it –clever world-building, intense characters and no easy options for them to take.’ ~ Nocturnal Book Reviews
I do hope you like it! 🙂
IT’S UP FOR PRE-ORDER!
I’m equally thrilled to be able to tell you that it is up for pre-order with some retailers NOW!
And for reviewers, that means it is available on NetGalley TODAY!
(If you’re a blogger/reviewer not on NetGalley but you’d still like to review BLOOD INSTINCT – or any of the previous Blackthorn books – I have the information you need on my Queries page as to how you can get hold of Bookouture’s Publicity Manager.)
AND BEFORE I GO…
I’ll leave you with our rather more dark-and-moody-looking Jask for now but for those who don’t mind me already mentioning book 7, I’m also super-excited to tell you our penultimate book in the series will be called BLOOD BOUND. I had to tell you now because I mention it at the end of BLOOD INSTINCT! 😉 And, yes, it’s already well underway…