I am looking for authors, traditionally or self published, to write guest posts on writing or publishing tips to post on my blog. Contact me: readingurbanfantasy(at)yahoo(dot)com

Friday, January 18, 2013

Guest Post: Glistening Haven by Jill Cooper (Blog Tour)

Today we are celebrating the amazing new Dystoptian novel, Glistening Haven by Jill Cooper. Jill has provided us with a very insightful guest post discussing the questions she asked herself to help write Glistening Haven. I hope you enjoy.
A sexy dystopian novel, The Glistening Haven is set in the future where society's attempt for beauty and perfection nearly destroyed it. Murder, sex, duplicity and drama, join us in the world of New Haven 56.

Susan Monroe doesn't ask for much: good grades from her children, a house with room for a pool, to be the best Tupperware party host in New Haven 56.

But inside her tranquil 1950s styled community, a monster lurks. A monster that lives inside Susan, and every one of her superficially perfect neighbors, held in check by the oppressive police state that rules over them.

Susan's happy life is torn apart when her teenage son goes missing the same night an explosion rips apart the community. Susan knows it’s only a matter of time before the police start breaking down their doors.

Before the reconditioning begins and Susan's identity is lost, she must do one final thing.

Find her son.

“Hollywood died, and took half the world with it.”
The first line in chapter three of Glistening Haven, was the first sentence I wrote for the novel. Little did I know how big the scope of the novel would grow from such a simple sentence.
Government conspiracies, segregation, racism, a policed state, paranoia, 1950s Happy Days Utopian society, murder, scape goats, and in the middle of it all, two love sick teenagers with a dangerous secret.
But really the story boils down to one important question: Would you risk it all to reveal the truth?
Beauty has a price
(No, not sparkling vampires)
Our culture is obsessed with beauty and celebrity. From realty TV turning people into celebrities who shouldn’t be, to magazines, to internet gossip sites, it’s everywhere.
Even in day to day life we have creams, injections, pills, all promising to keep us young, and beautiful for as long as possible.
What if all this pursuit of beauty came with a price?
And it does. The price is becoming a Glistening, a beautiful nearly immortal creature with a dangerous lust for anger, death and blood. A sub-species of the human race that when enraged becomes lethal, but when remaining docile, are no different than you and I. Except they bake a mean coffee crumb cake.
1950s Utopia
What was left of the human population seized control and won over the ever changing glistenings. (Which never happens in a zombie apocalypse novel, but I guess I’m just an optimist)
But the Glistenings lust for anger was weaning and they were evolving. No longer just blood thirsty monsters, they wanted more.
And rather be wiped out they were segregated into dome communities using technology and magic to keep them separated from regular society.
It was discovered along the way by the newly formed New Haven Intuitive that the era of the 1950s kept the glistening calm, docile as a family pet.
Each New Haven community camp is what you might expect from Happy Days or Leave it to Beaver: Sock hops, poodle skirts, Tupperware parties, malt shops. Each New Haven is exactly the same (a spin on houses lining a suburban street in a housing community).
A Police State
It was pretty fun to create a 1950s community that really contains monsters where everything appears perfect, but isn’t. The glistenings appear to be living a charmed life, but underneath all, they are terrified.
Communications are recorded, phones are bugged, every room of their homes have security monitors. They wear bracelet communicators so they can never go off grid. And if one of them says something or does something they shouldn’t, the police arrives.
And then things are never the same.  The New Haven Police call it reconditioning, a nice word for torture, brain washing, and if none of that works, death.
But as long as the glistenings keep their heads down, don’t talk about their hidden feelings, pretend to be normal, everything will be fine…
Absolute Power
If a government agency had absolute power, would they ever be ready to give it up, even if they had proof they had been wrong all along?
That’s the main question facing The New Haven Initiative. For decades they have been practicing above the law in the United States, Canada, and Europe. They answer to no one. Not Congress and not the other government agencies such as FBI or CIA.
Inside the New Haven Intiative ,there are two factions. Those that believe in law, order and maintaining peace between humans and glistenings. And the other is loyal to Alistar Humprhies, head of the Initiative and do exactly what he asks.
Some say he is corrupt. Some say The New Haven Initiative has become a private task force to perform whatever wish he desires. And with no oversight, there’s no one to stop him. If someone were to stop him, it’d have to come from within.
The A-Team Factor
At the time when I was fleshing out the Glistening World, which was three years ago, my life was pretty different. I wasn’t a Mom yet, I was living in an apartment, and was self-employed. I also had just finished a marathon of watching the A-Team.
Before I got any further on writing this novel I knew I wanted to write about a rogue, witty team in the book. I thought they would be the stars of the show from the very start, but they didn’t end up showing up until forty pages (or so) in. And instead of a crazy ex-colonial named Hannibal, we have a crazy bounty hunter named Jenna Morgan.
I knew she was going to be tough, sarcastic, with a huge chip on her shoulder. I didn’t realize how much I’d turn to love and respect her. At first I pretty much hated her guts. She was different than any main MC I had ever written for and really the complete opposite of Natalie Johnson. That is what made Jenna so important to me and so important to write. I didn’t want to continue going down the na├»ve, sweet path. This novel had to be grittier, the world was half destroyed after all.
The villain always wears a black hat
Wouldn’t that make things easy?
Except for a few times in Glistening Haven there are no straight good guys vs bad buys. The good guys aren’t always good. And the bad guys (except for a few exceptions) have their reasons. And they are reasons you can understand. On both sides of the fence.
Who you side with, is up to you. I just wanted to tell the story and let people make up their minds who was right, who they believe and support. But I’d love to hear from you on what you think, who you supported. I’m always just a click away.

Author Bio
Author of the YA Dream Slayer series, Jill loves to blend horror, comedy, the supernatural, and love, through her novels. A fan of genre blending, her work strives to cross boundries, but most of all strives to entertain.

She loves soft cuddly cats, warm blankets, and paranormal romances.

Jill resides in Massachusetts, is constantly renovating her home that she shares with her husband, young daughter, and two skittish cats.

Purchase: Amazon


  1. This book sounds excellent! First, love the cover...I'm a fan of redhead heroines as I usually find them fiesty. Then there is the missing son. I know I would stop and nothing to find mine! But it was the mention of A Team and fighting political factions while making a mean coffee crumb cake that sealed it for me :) Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

    1. So happy this book interests you. I love the cover too. The concept sounds new.

  2. Ok, I was interested with the book blurb, but the Guest Post sealed it for me, gonna have to read this! Sounds awesome especially once you add in the A-Team factor! :)

  3. This is the first that I have heard of Glistening Haven, but I totally agree with the beauty at a price statement and that makes a neat story foundation.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. I agree. This book have a great foundation for an amazing story.

  4. Can't decide whether I want to read this one or not. It sounds interesting, but I'm not quite sure. The red hair on the cover is really striking :)

    1. Best red hair cover I have seen. Hope if you do read it you like it.


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