Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Guest Author: Jenny Schwartz

I'm delighted to have Jenny stop by here to share her new Carina Press release, The Price of Freedom, and answer some questions.

Duty will bring them together—and tear them apart!

As a guardian angel, Mischa must protect the one man who may be able to bring about lasting peace to the Middle East. As a djinni, Rafe must fulfil the wishes of a terrorist leader. Their duties colliding, Mischa and Rafe become foes, but the heat between them is undeniable.

When the terrorist learns that a guardian angel stands between him and his greatest wish, he orders his djinni to remove her. Taking creative license, Rafe spirits her away to his private oasis, where she will be unable to protect the peacemaker.

Beyond their mutual desire, they find common ground in honour and loneliness. Passion quickly grows into love. But it’s soon clear to Rafe that love cannot be bound, and Mischa must be true to her life’s purpose. Even if Rafe must sacrifice his own taste of freedom to grant hers…

The Price of Freedom is available June 14 from Carina Press.

Jenny, can you tell us a bit about the making of The Price of Freedom?

The best stories come from the tension between dreams and fears. I love the tradition of romantic Arabia--sheikhs, djinn, Scheherazade--but I grieve over the violence in the Middle East. The Price of Freedom grew out of this tension. I wanted to tell a story in which love triumphs over hate.

Of course, it wasn't that easy. When you have a determined angel and a stubborn djinni, the author stuck in the middle ends up screaming at the computer screen, "Why won't you behave?" I had an outline for the novella, but Mischa and Rafe insisted on conducting their romance their way. Fortunately, they're right, and their love story is both tender and sensuous.

The character in your book that you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask?

Umar Haya is the villain. He's a minor terrorist leader and a scrawny rat of a man. His fingers are stained with nicotine and his soul with hate. Even as I created him, my skin crawled. Still, there's an element of pity for him. If I could ask him one question it would be--why, having suffered yourself, do you choose to hate instead of heal?

And how would Haya answer?

"Hate is a way of surviving. It makes me strong. Those meddling peace-makers sicken me. What do they know of watching your family die?"

Why are you so excited about Carina Press?

Their philosophy is one I believe in utterly. "No great story should go untold!" I look forward to a wide range of stories from passionately committed authors.

If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?

The Price of Freedom is a paranormal romance novella. If I was staying in the field of romance and swapping sub-genres I'd definitely choose contemporary, although I have a 1920s story dying to be written.

If I had to leave the romance genre completely...I'd probably write a science fiction novel. To me, science fiction isn't just technology, it's the social change technology brings with it. I love thinking how society could be different.

What's next?

I'm writing another angel and djinni story, this time with an Australian setting. Back in the nineteenth century Afghan cameleers helped open up the Outback. I got to wondering whether one might have brought over a djinni, and if they did, what would that djinni be doing now? The result of these questions was Filip--gorgeous, sexy and wickedly Australian.

Thanks, Claire, for inviting me to your blog. I enjoyed your questions immensely.

You can contact Jenny at


  1. Fabulous interview, Claire.

    Jenny, I loved your answers to Claire's questions. It's so difficult making a villain sympathetic, but those few sentences about Haya let us know there are always two sides to any story.

    The Price of Freedom sounds like a great story (I love paranormal!) I can see I'm going to be spending a lot of time in Carina's on-line store! :)


  2. Welcome Jenny, it's exciting to have you here. And join the club Judy, I've been saving up for this month!

  3. What a great interview! The Price of Freedom sounds wonderful and I loved your description of Haya.

    Congratulations on your Carina release, Jenny, and thanks for the interview, Claire. Great stuff!

  4. Claire is a great interviewer! Thanks for letting me visit your blog--and don't forget you're visiting mine 8 July.

    Sorry I'm late responding. I've been sleeping--which isn't as slack as it sounds. Living in Perth, Western Australia it's only 7am now. It was lovely to wake up to these comments :)

    Judy, I agree. Villains are a huge challenge. Fortunately Deb Nemeth, my editor, insisted they can't be all black or white. Everyone has reasons for what they do.

    Hi Cathryn! Thanks so much for dropping in :)