It’s here! It’s here! Almost. How Beauty Loved the Beast by Jax Garren will be released next week. Are you ready for the third and final book in the Tales of the Underlight series? I am!
Since we still have a little waiting to do, Jax has something fun for us: she has a Q&A with Hauk and Jolie! And I’ll post my review next week, so watch for it! 🙂
Title: How Beauty Loved the Beast
Author: Jax Garren
Published: May 13, 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Tales of the Underlight, #3
It’s all been leading to this.
Jolie Benoit has become a skilled agent of the Underlight, relying on her savvy to complete assignments while Sergeant Wesley Haukon was out of commission. But an unexpected clue to the Order of Ananke’s diabolical scheme rattles Jolie, and she turns to Hauk for comfort.
It’s been years since Hauk took comfort from the touch of another person, though his love for Jolie is deep and powerful. Uncomfortable in his skin, scarred by a terrible fire, he is unable to give in to the pleasures that Jolie so desperately wants to grant him.
Meanwhile, the Order is lurking in the shadows—and when they strike, the blow is swift and terrible. Hauk and Jolie scramble to fight for their community, but with the future of the Underlight threatened, no one is safe. And Hauk will never be the same…
Tell me something we don’t know about your past…
Jolie: Though it’s the opposite now, I was the good girl growing up, my big sister the bad. I was an “oops”—my parents meant to stop after one kid. I felt like I had to be extra easy on them to make up for, I don’t know, existing? That sounds more depressing that it was. My parents never made me feel bad for being born. My father called me his “happy accident.” In college, though, I got pretty disillusioned. It was like everything I wanted for my life—a career in the ballet, what college I went to, even whom I married—was at the discretion of my parents. Maybe I was too good growing up and got them used to compliance! I hate to say I’m making up for it now, but…I’m making up for it now!
Hauk: I think burlesque dancing is a fine way to make up for it.
Jolie: [shoves him playfully] You just like watching me perform in a g-string.
Hauk: Hey, I love watching you dance. You’re good. The g-string is bonus material. And a very tiny strip of material it is. Now on to the question before I get myself punched. She’s got a mean jab.
Jolie: Which you taught me. Sorry about your chin, by the way.
Hauk: [rubs it] No big. I originally wanted to be a pilot, but I was too tall. My mom is in love with the 1980s, and I swear she watched Top Gun once a week when I was a kid. I always thought it would be cool to be like those guys, and that’s what got me interested in a military career. I loved being a Sargent, even if it was on the ground. I think I was good at it, too. Kept my men out of trouble. Well, until the end there. We’re not going to talk about that.
What’s your comfort food?
Jolie: Ana Fuentes’s Tamales. I’m celiac, so food was a touchy subject with me for a long time. I kept getting sick and didn’t know why! For most of my friends, comfort food is cake or homemade bread or something, and I can’t eat that. There are “gluten-free” options, of course, but they rarely taste the same. I eat them, but…it’s not the same.
Hauk: Especially the beer.
Jolie: Shut up. It’s not that bad.
Hauk: [whispers] It’s that bad.
Jolie: Anyway, growing up, I got along really well with our head gardener. Wow, I sound like a rich brat when I say that. I am, actually, a rich brat. I try not to be, but I grew up with live-in maids and gardeners. It affects your reality, even if you don’t want it to. Anyway, Dad was gone all the time for work, and Manuel and his wife Ana were the nicest people. Sometimes I’d have dinner with them when both my parents were gone. Every year for Christmas, Ana would make these amazing tamales—all corn masa, no flour. When I got into middle school, she let me help her. I learned how to cook from her, which has been really useful since I have to cook for myself a lot instead of risking flour contamination. She still sends me a pack of tamales for Christmas every year, and I make them last as long as I can—you know, like New Years if I’m really good. I have her recipe, but even after all that time cooking with her I can’t make them like she does!
Hauk: Don’t listen to her. Her tamales are awesome.
Jolie: Yeah, but you haven’t tried hers. Next year I’ll share—because a year of free combat training five days a week makes you worthy of tamales—and you’ll see. You’ll see!
Hauk: Oooh. I’m honored. My comfort food is steak. My dad drives a truck, so he was gone a lot. I didn’t mind; Mom and I got along great. But whenever he’d come home from a long run, if we had it in the budget, Mom would get T-bones. Dad and I would grill them up. Mom would light candles because she thought it felt fancy and open a box of wine—don’t laugh; she loves it.
Jolie: I like boxed wine.
Hauk: Sure you do…. And I’d get to drink a glass with them. Those were really good days, the whole family together talking and laughing over steak, potatoes and Chianti.
What are you most proud of about yourself?
Jolie: I’m fearless. Well, I take that back. I’m not fearless, but I don’t let it stop me. If something scares me irrationally, I head right for it. Too many people, I think, let fear make decisions for them, and they don’t change or try new things. I make a lot of mistakes, but that’s the only way to learn. Screw up a lot and see what happens. Then do it better the next time!
Hauk: Jolie’s one of the bravest people I’ve ever met.
Jolie: Uh…I don’t think so, combat veteran.
Hauk: Sometimes a little too brave *cough* foolhardy *cough*. Me, I’m loyal. My friends know they can count on me, no matter what, to be there when they need me. I’ll do whatever it takes.
Jolie: He’s the most trustworthy person I’ve ever met. It’s awesome.
Jolie: Shut up.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Jolie: Geez, I feel like I’m rewriting myself as it is. I like who I am now so much better than a few years ago. I think if I’d change one thing, though, I’d be more down-to-earth. I can’t do things like fix my own sink or hem my own clothes. I’d like to learn. I think the Underlight’s going to be really good for me that way. Everybody’s so craft-y. I figure if I go on missions for them, then maybe I can be good for them, too.
If Hauk, you know, ever lets me get out of the car.
Hauk: Nope. [laughs] And are you shitting me with this question? I’d like my leg back. And enough of my face that I could go to a restaurant without scaring children. [glances at Jolie and sobers] Or… I dunno. It’s not vanity when you look like this. It’s just wanting your life back.
Jolie: [rubs his shoulder] I’ll go to a restaurant with you.
Hauk: [pulls away from the touch] Next question?
What’s your fondest hope?
Jolie: Uh…world peace? To finish my doctorate without my brain leaking out my ears? I don’t think about the future much. It’s always been so dictated to me, it’s wonderful not knowing where life’s going to go. At the moment I’m happy to be along for the ride.
Hauk: [looks at Jolie again and hesitates] I don’t know. I just do my thing day to day. One foot in front of the other, you know? [clears his throat] I guess my fondest hope is that when I die, I made a difference. Everybody dies. Not everybody does something worthwhile in the interim.
Jolie: You’ve already done that, worthwhile things, I mean.
Hauk: Sweet. I can die tomorrow.
Jolie: [flips him the bird] Don’t you dare.
Hauk and Jolie’s story begins with How Beauty Met the Beast, continues with How Beauty Saved the Beast and finishes with How Beauty Loved the Beast, available from your favorite e-book retailers.
Jolie: Ooh! How does it end?
Hauk: [shakes his head] Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.
Jolie: I believe in happy endings.
Hauk: [touches the Thor’s hammer he wears on a leather strap around his neck] You’ll get one if I can make it happen. I promise.
Jolie: [pats his knee; this time he doesn’t pull away] You too. We’ll make it happen. Because we’re awesome like that.
Jax Garren is descended from Valkyries and Vikings (she’s part Swedish) but was raised a small town girl in the Texas Hill Country. She graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in English and a minor in Latin then found her own Happily Ever After with a handsome engineer who is saving the world through clean energy technology. Jax loves meeting new people, so if you see her out and about say hello! She’s always happy to raise a glass with her readers (or anyone else) to toast courage, adventure and love.