Interview and Giveaway with Author Jean Holloway

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jean Holloway is the author of  Ace of Hearts which was released on July 3rd. You'll find her online at her website and her Amazon blog. The book retails for $14 on Amazon but you can always pick up an e-copy at Jean's site for $7.95. Read an an ebook teaser here.

Synopsis: Something sinister is going on... And Love has nothing to do with it. First he seduces them... Then he kills them... What he does next is unspeakable. Detective Shevaughn Robinson gets her first big case, investigating a series of gruesome murders unaware the killer is not only becoming obsessed with death, but also with her.

Here is a fun and frank Q&A with this author. Giveaway towards the end.

Q. Who is Jean Holloway in your own words?
A.I was born October 10, 19… in good ole Queens, New York. I had a difficult childhood, though it’s not your usual abuse story. I developed severe eczema and most of my schoolmates shunned me until high school. Books became my friend.

Early in life, I found myself fascinated by the macabre. I would actually set my alarm if one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling or One Step Beyond was coming on late at night. These kept me up ‘til the wee hours of the morning.

Being raised in Amityville was the icing on the cake. My biological mother died when I was thirteen, the age where puberty reared its ugly head. Needless to say, I was a wife and mother by the time I was seventeen, divorced at twenty. Then I met Fred, my second, current and final husband. We’ve been together 36 years. He helped me become an adult although I went kicking and fighting the whole way. Together, we raised six children. I’m now a Gramma of eight!

Q. What inspired you to write Ace of Hearts?

A. Initially, I started Ace to prove a point. My sister said, “You read so much, I bet you could write a book” and I answered, “I bet I could.” I then thought of some of the most heinous crimes against women and threw in a little necrophilia for a chaser.

Q. Interracial relationships can often be hot-button topics. How do you think the book will be received?

A. Well, I hope! Shevaughn represents a strong woman and Tony is such a lovable man, I want every woman (of color or not) to understand why she falls for him. I want everyone to understand what sparks the relationship.

Q. What do you think that says about the future state of black relationships?

A. Interracial relationships are more common now than ever. One day we may have a caramel colored human race. Though the thought may frighten Blacks and Whites alike, there is no denying the inevitability.

Q. What’s next on your literary docket? 

A. I’ve started the sequel to Ace of Hearts with Shevaughn investigating another murder case.

Q. How much of the main character, Shevaughn, is really you?

A. I think I have her sense of humor and wish I had her courage. Glad you didn’t ask how much I have in common with the murderer!

Q. Why do you use a pen name? 

A. I wrote this twenty eight years ago as a young Mom of six, now I'm a Gramma of eight! I think the pen name affords you a little anonymity. I didn't even put my pix on Ace. Just thought my given name had no pizzazz and I didn't want my kids to know I was writing an erotic thriller at the time. Now they're selling it!! Good Lord! ;o) I took Jean (my middle name) and Holloway (my Dad's middle name). It just sounded more Hollywood to me! ;o)

Q. Ace of Hearts is defined as a romantic thriller, how is the book divided between the two?

A: One of the hardest things for me is to try to put a genre label on Ace of Hearts. The consensus is from erotic thriller (that’s a hint as to how steamy ;o) to romantic suspense. The sensual romance between my heroine, Detective Shevaughn Robinson, the first Black female detective in fictitious Portsborough, NY (it’s set in 1981) and Tony O’Brien, a White reporter, who is a thorn in the police department’s side, is a relationship I hope all will enjoy.

Now, the thrill comes from following the serial murderer and being involved in his descent into madness. I try to let the reader in on his thought process and the emotions behind his hideous crimes.

Q. How steamy is the romance in Ace of Hearts?

A: Pretty steamy, but tastefully (no pun intended) done, I hope. Let’s say I have two sons who bought Ace, but confessed they can’t read it! You know how sons are when it comes to Mom. LOL! I’ve found I have a vivid imagination and being married to the same man for 36 years has its perks!!

But it isn’t all about the heat, it’s about the turmoil people go through when they realize their love will put them through trials that most haven't dealt with. I hope the reader falls in love along with Shevaughn and understands her reasons and her doubts. I try to share their intimate knowledge that when a relationship is right, it’s worth the cost.

Q. What do you think readers will like most about this book?

A: The range of emotions Ace of Hearts puts you through. To me the best books and movies are ones that hit me when I don’t see it coming. My favorite review said it was a roller coaster ride. Another said it was a guilty pleasure because I take you out of your comfort zone, but you can’t put it down! I love that.

Ace of Hearts also takes you back to the good old days, the days before computers and cell phones, HIV and DNA, cappuccinos and four dollar a gallon gas. When I write, I want to take the reader on a trip down memory lane with some twists and turns.

Q. How long did it take you to write Ace of Hearts and what was your main source of moral support?

A: It took two years to write Ace of Hearts in longhand back in 1980 and that’s one of the reasons I stuck to that era. Ace has been through a number of transitions; from longhand to typewriter via my sister, Lori, typing it up after work to entering it on a word processor (that I later found out wasn’t DOS compatible!) to finally being saved on my computer. My family, especially Lori, have been my moral support. She started it one day, over 27 years ago, when she said “You read so much, I bet you could write a book” and I answered, “I bet I could!” Thus began the conception of Ace of Hearts.

Four years ago, she was the one who suggested I get it down, dust it off, do some editing and see if it would fly. She pushed me to print several copies of my manuscript and paid for my attendance at NBCC (National Book Club Convention) which is held in Atlanta annually, the first weekend in August. I met my good friend and soon-to–be publisher, Diane Dorcé, owner and CEO of Firefly Publishing and Entertainment there. I guess the moral of my story is: Never give up your dream. I have to say my family (hubby, Fred, has turned into quite the manager and daughter-in-law, Tasha has been my top salesperson!) and friends have supported it and me 110%. And Ace of Hearts has been flying ever since! Right now, a NY publisher and a reviewer in Essex, UK are reading it! When you have a moment, please check out my website: and join my mailing list.

Q. If you could meet one famous author who would it be and why?

A: Hands down, Stephen King. That man has given me chills since young adulthood and I’m now a Gramma of eight!! Then his book, “On Writing” helped me get through what I thought was an impossible editing period shortly before Ace was published. He’s a BAD man (in a good way! ;o)

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Here's the GIVEAWAY part!

How to Enter:
Ace of Hearts has been called everything from romantic suspense to erotic thriller. The author has been told it's edgy fiction that doesn't fit snuggly in any genre. Jean is interested in what YOU, the readers think. Name the genre that best fits this book & the reason why in the comment section of this post. The best reason (as picked by Jean) wins!

The Prize:
Win an autographed book & a personal gift from the author!

Giveaway ends midnight CST on July 21st.

US only.

For Disclaimer and other general info, please check this post.

Good luck!
*NEW* Scholastic Summer Kit Giveaway. Ends July 15.

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29 People said

  1. Interesting interview - we always learn so much about an author and his/her inspirations; it makes the book that much more interesting (IMHO). My TBR pile is overflowing, so I won't enter the drawing... good luck to all who enter!

  2. Thanks, but I can't take credit for it. It's all Jean's.

  3. Ace of Hearts is a wonderful read. As always, great interview!!!


  4. Hello, I thoroughly enjoyed her interview! Fascinating person and author! From what I have read about her book "Ace of Hearts", I am saying that it best fits in the genre of "Erotic Thriller" Since there is the male/female relationship with a serial killer, who seems like a very serious psychopath and is spiraling into "The Twilight Zone", it is more thriller than just suspense. Thanks, Cindi
    the "Twilight Zone"

  5. Hey! This is an awesome thriller. It will keep you on your toes from page to page!!!

  6. Murder Mystery. It's about a killer.

  7. I am going to say that is sounds like an erotic romance suspense or as someone coined a phraze for erotic romances a romantica suspense.

  8. I'd probably call that an erotic thriller based on the synopsis and review. Yep, I'm sticking with that.


  9. Well, we almost want to create a new genre for this.
    So mine would be:
    Mysterious Erotic Horror


  10. I'm going to call it suspense.
    Theresa N

  11. hmmm...StephenKingisque Romantic Historical Novel...would seem to touch all the bases after reading the interview!

    cpamomva at hotmail dot com

  12. It sounds like a Romantic Thriller to me, male/female love tugs and murder mystery suspense to make it interesting. Sounds like a great read.

    wyndyc at

  13. Great interview, thanks so much ladies!!!! :)

    Ok, I'm going with erotic suspense thriller, cuz that's totally what it seems like to me!!!! :)

    Thanks for the awesome contest!! :)

    Melsy626 at gmail dot com

  14. i'd be scared to death and looking over my shoulder living there! lol


  15. I am saying that it best fits in the genre of "Erotic Thriller".

  16. I'd say Erotic Thriller, this book sounds very intriguing, wow! I'd love to see more books like this out on the market!

    phillipsonlygirl at gmail dot com

    Your button is on my sidebar!

  17. I would say romantic thriller, because obviously there is a love story and it sounds a little scary!

    I think calling it "erotic" would alienate too many readers and "suspense" maybe isn't a strong enough word for the severity of the crimes committed.

    trentonreads at gmail dot com

  18. I'm going to say romantic murder mystery. She's a great author, when you think you know what's going to happen, she'll shock you with an unexpected twist and or turn.

  19. I would classify this as a thriller which is far and away my favorite type of read!

  20. I would call it a mystery thriller. The book sounds fantastic and its just the type of book I read.

  21. I love mysteries and this sounds like a good one. Thanks for the interview with the author.
    pintolinda (at) hotmail (dot) com

  22. Based on some reviews I've read of this novel, I'd say it sounds more like an erotic thriller. This sounds like a violent, sexually charged and captivating novel and when you throw in a serial killer of women and a female cop, well the tension most be off the charts! I would love to read this book! Thanks for hosting.
    Lisa (also a girl from Long Island)
    mistyfuji [dot] yahoo [dot] com

  23. oh pick me!! pick me!! pick me!! i'd love to read this!!! thedorrs at comcast (dot) net

  24. Sounds like a mystery thriller because of the nature of Ace and the deaths from a killer.

  25. The grandaddy of all Erotic Thrillers is Varney The Vampire, a huge sprawling self contradictory mess of a novel-which I love. I see a bit of similarity between an seductive serial killer and a vampire, that's why this unasked for flight of ideas came popping out...uh, what was the question again?

  26. I would say it is a sexy adult murder who-done-it and why!

  27. Pity I can't enter (I don't live in the US), but I wanted to say, what a great interview!

  28. Alternative Mystery-----------
    I thought of this name because of alternative
    music,which is in a category of it's own.
    It is a buzz word.Necessitating a choice between mutually exclusive possibilities

  29. Based on the description of the novel I think Ace of Hearts best fits in the erotic thriller genre. It sounds a lot like erotic thrillers I've read and seen in the past. This is a great giveaway and I really hope I win. Thanks.