Blog Tour: Destined Author Jessie Harrell Interview + giveaway

Welcome to the first day of Jessie Harrell's Blog Tour for Destined. This is Jessie's debut novel. Today Jessie kick-off her blog tour with a interview and will feature her book trailer. You also get a chance to win a ebook copy of Destined.  Destined Blog Tour is hosted by Good Choice Reading blog and you can follow the schedule HERE.

Jessie Harrell Links: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Welcome Jessie to OUaT,

OUaT: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’d say when I went up to NYC for my first SCBWI writer’s conference, about 9 or 10 months into my writing journey. It was an investment in myself, and I learned so much and met so many amazing people. I knew then that I really wanted to do this, and felt like I could legitimately call myself a writer. (BTW – if you want to be a writer, attend at least 1 SCBWI conference. It doesn’t have to be the “big” international ones. Regional ones are amazing too. But they are so worth it!)

OUaT: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your books?

How amazing the young adult lit community is. The people I’ve come into contact with have gone out of their way to help me become successful. Other authors genuinely want you to make it and seem to realize that this isn’t a competition or a race to publication, but rather an individual journey that is sweeter for all when shared. I didn’t expect to “meet” (mostly online) so many fabulous people and that has been one of the most wonderfully surprising things I can imagine.

OUaT: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

I’m not in a rush to flood the market with my work, if that’s what you’re asking. I only want to produce top-quality YA novels with swoon-worthy boys. J My next step from here is editing my co-written YA novel, Beneath the Surface and maybe, just maybe, finding a traditional publishing home for it. But frankly, my response with Destined has been more than I ever expected and I’m not opposed to letting Mae Day Publishing (i.e., me) produce a second, third or fourth title either. Assuming I can find the time to do all of that.

OUaT: If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

For Destined, I want my readers to walk away with a love – or at least an interest in – Greek mythology. I think most of us tend to think of the myths are fairy tales, but the ancient Greeks really believed in their religion. It dominated their daily lives. I hope Destined opens the door a bit to the past and lets teens (and adults) easily peek inside.

OUaT: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure, here’s a snippet from Beneath the Surface, a YA Greek myth-influenced paranormal romance. The tag line for this novel is: A timeless love. An endless curse. Which one will survive the summer?

In this scene, Wren and Chase recently met on summer vacation (after Chase nearly ran into her little sailboat with his speedboat) and they are walking in the woods together collecting moss and bark for Wren to use in crafts. While Wren is attracted to Chase, his words and actions just seem off to her. Most notable is his knack for sniffing the air all the time, especially when people walk by.

I finally stopped my verbal memoir when Chase smelled the air again. And again.

“What do you smell?” I asked, unable to stop the words.

“A birch fire. I love the scent. Kind of wintergreen. Don’t you smell it?”

I inhaled but didn’t smell a thing. “How could you possibly smell a fire over here? There’s nobody else on this side of the island.”

He shrugged and stood. “The wind must be carrying the smoke over.” He reached his hand down to pull me up. And if my imagination wasn’t overactive, he held my hand for a few extra seconds before offering to hold the bag.

“We done here?”

“Yeah, I think we’ve got enough stuff.”

“Race you back?”

“What?” But he didn’t answer. He just took off in a sprint. I kept him in my line of vision as he weaved among the trees and ducked under a low branch. And then, the scene seemed to transform. I stopped, almost tripping in the process, and watched Chase pull further ahead. The lighting shifted to an almost sepia tone, the trees filled in thicker and closer together, and I felt a sense of urgency course through my veins.

“We must catch her!”

The words rattled in my brain although I knew they hadn’t been spoken aloud. It was like I stood detached, watching a movie as Chase disappeared into the treeline completely.

OUaT: Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?

I am SO excited about the launch party on November 17th. If you live in or near the Jacksonville, FL area, please come! This awesome little clothing boutique, called Jane Doe (in 5 Points) is hosting from 6-8 pm. There’s going to be wine, food, awesome clothes, and 100 copies of my novel for sale.

And for anyone who can’t make it but wants to share their fondness for Destined, take a picture of yourself with the novel and send it to me. I’ll add to my website and you can be part of Destined’s virtual world tour.

OUaT: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

Isn’t holding a copy of your own book in your hands the dream of every novelist? I’ve got that now and it feels amazing. But even more amazing is reading the positive reviews and seeing strangers tweet about my book. I mean, that sometimes feels like a total pipe dream when you’re writing and querying and getting rejections. But it’s real now. And for that, I’m pretty darn happy.

OUaT: What are you reading now?

Possess by Gretchen McNeil – I started it just before Halloween since I was in the mood for something spooky. I’m really loving the main character, Bridgett, so far. She and her friends are pretty different from the kids you normally read about in YA.

OUaT: Do you think Americans are reading less than they have before? Why or why not?

Yes and no. While TV and homework and sports are all huge time sucks for most teens (and since I’m YA-focused, that’s hat I’ll answer), I see so many that LOVE books. I hear all the time now about tweens/teens who want Kindles, or read on their iPhones. And for the kids that blog, I think it’s maybe fueled their passion for reading so that they spend more time reading than they might have otherwise. I don’t believe the demise in brick and mortar book stores is an indication that people aren’t reading – just that they’re reading and buying differently. When you can buy books less expensively in e-formats, or ship anywhere in the world for free using Book Depository, it’s just too hard for traditional stores to compete, I’m afraid.

OUaT: What do you think makes a good story?

I feel like this answer is probably different for everybody. For me, I want some toe-curling romance mixed with nail-biting drama. Of course, the writing has to be stellar, but there are so many different and wonderful styles out there (form lyrical to sparse), that I’m not particular as long as it works for the story. My number 1 criteria – a good ending. I hate being depressed when the book is over.

If you leave your e-mail address in the comments, you'll be automatically entered to win an e-copy of Destined. The contest will stay open for 48 hours after the post goes live, and then Jessie will use to select a winner. Available formats include .mobu, .epub and .pdf.
And please be sure to visit the other stops on Destined's official blog tour for chances to win copies of Destined and other goodies.


  1. Since I already love Greek mythology, I know I'm going to love your book! I'm so excited for you Jessie and can hardly wait to read this.

  2. Please, enter me in! I would love to win this book! :)
    impy80 at hotmail dot com

  3. 48 hours? ooh, i do love me a quick giveaway :D
    thank u!
    email: cruz042 at csusm dot edu

  4. would love to read Destined, this is my first time hearing of it!

  5. Sounds great, count me in for sure!

    You can reach me at

  6. Thank you for hosting this giveaway. The book sounds fantastic and your interview was awesome. Pls enter me.


  7. Thanks so much for getting the blog tour started! I'm so excited and can't wait to get Destined out into the world.

  8. I wish I could go to the launch party. I'm so excited for Jessie. I love Greek mythology, so this book is at the top of my TBR list!

  9. did someone mention greek mythology? yes? sweet! i love those things! count me in!

  10. I have always been fascinated with greek mythology! I would love to enter!!


  11. This sounds like a great book thank you for the great giveaway! I look forward to reading it thanks for the chance!

  12. Great interview!
    sign me up!

  13. Would love the chance to win it! Great interview!

  14. Great interview. I'm really looking forward to this.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  15. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I am really looking forward to this book. :]

    Gabi: teddycavygal at yahoo dot com

  16. Great interview, can't wait to read this!

  17. Loved the snippet from the new book! ^-^ And I can't wait for Destined.

  18. Mmmm, Greek Mythology. Yummy! Love the interview, and thanks for the giveaway!

  19. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. Mythology is one of my favorites. Thank you for the giveaway!

    jbronderblogs at aol dot com

  20. please count me in.. the book sounds interesting

  21. I adore Greek mythology, what could be better than Cupid or Psyche? Thank you very much for the chance to win! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  22. Please enter me..sounds great!

  23. I would love to read this. Thanks for offering it.

    ke7yca at gmail dot com

  24. I need to read this!

    Reach me at

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Sounds cool.

  27. I have been dying to read this ever since the cover & blurb were revealed! :D Lovely interview & fantastic sounding book!


  28. Souns great. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  29. Wow! This book sounds amazing!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. Awesome giveaway! The story sounds incredible... can't wait to read it!!!

  31. count me in! I'm really looking forward to reading Destined! :D

    thanks for the giveaway!


  32. I've been seeing this book around and really, really want to read it!! Thanks for the chance to win a copy:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  33. Congrats to Zoey, who won the first eARC on the blog tour. The rest of you can enter to win a copy at all the other stops on the tour. Check out my blog for the complete schedule of stops.

  34. This book sounds really interesting. I think I might go to every tour stop :)

  35. Definitely have to read this one
    sunstar2006 AT


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