Friday, September 30, 2022

Sweet Vendetta Blues Release Tour: Author & Character Mini-Interviews


Hello, everyone! As promised, today I'm joining up with the Sweet Vendetta Blues release tour! Sweet Vendetta Blues is the latest release from Hazel West, and it's set in the same world as The New Emperor's Concerto, which I haven't read but intend to sometime. (Concerto has a hardcover edition preorder going on right now, by the way; details here.) I reviewed this book last week, and for this week's post, I have two mini-interviews: one with the author and one with the book's two leads, adoptive brothers Jack and Sebastian. But first, let me share a bit about the book and author.

About . . .

Sweet Vendetta Blues

It’s been eight years since Jack left his life in the mafia. Eight years since his adopted father was murdered. Eight years since his own brother shot him in revenge and he had to go into hiding, nothing but a dead man.

When the past comes back to haunt him in the worst way possible, Jack is forced to leave his new life as a homicide detective to flee his faceless enemy, leaving a dead partner in his wake. But the bodies keep piling up and Jack can no longer avoid his past when he finds out that all of the deaths turn out to be connected to one person—The Don of Rosa Nera.

Things get even more complicated when his brother shows up out of the blue, leading his own investigation with information that their adopted father, Paccioretti, had gathered before his death. Despite their turbulent past, Jack and Sebastian decide it’s in their best interests to join forces and fight against the enemy who took so much away from them.

Set in the same world as The New Emperor’s Concerto this new novel by Hazel B. West contains the overarching theme of family woven throughout a noir adventure with a cross-country road trip for information and justice. 

Buy the book: Kindle || Smashwords || Paperback || Hardcover (preorder) || Prequel Backstories || Add on Goodreads




Hazel West

Hazel is an indie author, book wyrm, and coffee connoisseur. She typically enjoys writing books with an unconventional flair, maybe with a bit of mythology or literary symbolism, most definitely with a lot of siblings or found family in them. When she’s not writing, she manages an Etsy shop, drinks a lot of coffee, listens to music, or just holes up like an eldritch horror and binges favorite shows and manga. If you meet this rare creature on the street, she has been known to respond to the offer of coffee and old bookstores.

Find her online: Website || Ko-Fi || Instagram || Twitter || Goodreads

And now, what we've all been waiting for . . . the interviews!


Interview With Hazel West

Welcome to the blog, Hazel! First of all, how did you get the idea for Sweet Vendetta Blues, and how (if at all) is the final product different from the original idea?

So, the original idea was kind of a branch off of Concerto (the companion novel to this one) and Jack and Sebastian are actually more like my original concepts for Lysander and Flynn, who were originally supposed to have had a darker past instead of just being on opposite sides of a conflict. I still wanted to write that sort of relationship, though, so when I was originally coming up with the idea for SVB I just decided, what if I add family drama into it? I think for the most part a lot of the original storyline stayed intact; it just branched out and became more cohesive. (And then there was a major twist at the end that I didn’t actually know until I got to that point in the story.) I actually go into depth about my writing process in today’s tour guest post as well if anyone wants the full story!

Oh, cool! I'll definitely have to check that guest post out. Now, Sweet Vendetta Blues involves some dark topics and problems that are all too present in the real world. How did you approach researching and writing these in such a way as to balance honesty and sensitivity (and without becoming depressed)?

For me, writing this kind of story is actually therapeutic; I think it was more born as a way to deal with the kind of depression researching these subjects can cause instead of being the purveyor of it. There’s something refreshing about having characters who are morally grey enough to take out the seriously bad people in a way that’s actually satisfying. As far as portraying these topics, I’ve always been a big fan of letting the reader read between the lines. The lack of graphic detail is actually a lot more telling. I think a good example of this is how the issues faced during the WWII era are portrayed in books like The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray. I think it’s stupid not to acknowledge that bad things happen even in fiction. After all, that’s how you create characters. But you also don’t have to shove it in a reader’s face either. A subtle touch, what you don’t say, often has a lot more impact when crafting a story.

I would definitely agree with that last statement. Now, let's lighten the mood a little . . . Would you rather spend a day with Jack or Sebastian? (Bonus: what would you want to do in that day?)

I mean, no offense to Jack, but I think Sebastian would be more fun (laughs). I would love for him to take me around all his favorite restaurants and gelato stands in New York or even to see a concert. Maybe there’s a My Chemical Romance tribute band in 2228? I’d also like to give him a hug, though I don’t know if he would accept it after all I’ve put him through.

Yeah, characters do tend to be suspicious of the authors who make their lives so difficult. Last question! What projects are you currently working on? What can we look forward to next from you?

I’m not really at the point where I want to give too much detail on my next project, but it will be a standalone action/adventure and for a hint, it’s like Winter Soldier + Spy x Family + Trigun.

Sounds exciting! I look forward to hearing more about it. Thanks for taking the time to share.




Interview with Jack and Sebastian

Welcome to the blog, Jack and Sebastian. To start out, what does normal look like for you right now, and how is that different from what you expected it to look like ten years ago?

Sebastian: (looks at Jack) You want to go first?

Jack: (sighs) Well, I don’t know how you really define normal when the brother who accepted a hit on you from your former boss is now working with you to take down said boss.

Sebastian: It does get a little complicated.

Jack: That’s one way to put it.

Sebastian: (whispers) I’m sorry.

Jack: (rolls eyes) 

Sebastian: As for how I expected my life to go? Um, yeah, definitely not this. 

Jack: I’ve already had three career changes before I was 25, so nothing has obviously gone to plan there.

Oof. Sounds . . . stressful, to say the least. Next question: what is your favorite memory of your brother?

Jack: (folds arms) Well, definitely not when he shot me—

Sebastian: (covers Jack’s mouth) You don’t have to keep bringing that up, you know.

Jack: Fine then. I’m pretty fond of the memory of when I used to tow you on my e-bike in Central Park while you were on rollerblades. And you would always wipe out.

Sebastian: Okay, not bad. That was actually a lot of fun. 

Jack: So what’s yours then?

Sebastian: How bad a liar you were when you tried to cover for Luca after he ate my ice cream.

Jack: How do you—

Sebastian: Oh, please, the only reason I didn’t make a fuss was because I had broken Luca’s favorite mug right before then and neither of us mentioned anything about the disappearance of either item.

Jack: (snorting) Leave it to you to actually win in that situation. 

Ha! Last question: if you could say one thing to one person in your past, what would you say, and who would you say it to?

Sebastian: (takes a deep breath) I…would actually like to tell my younger self that it would actually get better. There were a lot of times that…would have really helped.

Jack: (nods) There are…a lot of people I would like to say things to. But I think that if I could go back now, I would just like to tell Paccioretti that I’m grateful for everything he did for us.

Sebastian: (nods) Yeah, agreed.

Jack: (turns to Sebastian) There’s actually something I’d like to say to you now.

Sebastian: Yeah?

Jack: (sighs heavily) …It was actually me who ate your ice cream.

Sebastian: I hate you.

Well, that was very touching and then it was very . . . brotherly? Thank you both for answering my questions!

I hope you all enjoyed those interviews as much as I did! Now, we just have one more thing to cover before we go . . . the free stuff!


Swag & Giveaways


Hazel is offering some fun preorder swag, as shown in the graphic above! Any purchase of the book qualifies for swag, but if you order in ebook or paperback form, you'll need to claim your gift by filling out the form here. In addition, if you preorder the hardcover, Hazel will be signing those live on Instagram and answering some questions at the same time — keep an eye on Hazel's socials for more details.

And as one more bonus for those of us on Instagram, @onemorechap on IG is currently hosting a giveaway for an ebook copy of Sweet Vendetta Blues. Make sure you go check that out if you think you might be interested!

Well, that's all for me. Make sure you check out the rest of the tour stops (there's a full list here), order the book, request your swag, and enter the giveaway. And before you leave, let me know in comments what you think of Jack and Sebastian and whether or not you're excited for this release.
Thanks for reading!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for sharing today! I had a lot of fun with the interviews :)


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