An Interview with Averella

Good morning, friends! I’ve got another character interview for you today! This one is from a book that is releasing TODAY so that’s exciting! Also, there’s a giveaway going on, so make sure you read all the way to the end for that! The author is giving away a bonus DVD about Hunter, a poster, and a magnet!

A reckless young woman named Averella does what no woman has ever done.

She disguises herself as a man and purposefully gets herself arrested and thrown into Zagerah. Her brother Gabriel was taken, and with his disease, he will not survive on his own. She has no idea what to expect inside the prison; all she knows is that once men get taken, they never come back.

The Hunters will find her.

Genetically altered to be faster and stronger than humans, the Hunters use their powers to find and kill every prisoner who enters Zagerah. The only ones who can defeat them, are in fact, themselves.

Jared is a Hunter. It’s all he’s known, all he remembers. He kills ruthlessly and without regret, one prisoner after another. When a new prisoner Dalex shows up, everything begins to change. Jared goes undercover to make Dalex and the other prisoners believe he is one of them, a prisoner himself.

No one knows the truth.

He will trick them.

Toy with them.

Then, he will kill them.


I stand in the thick forest, clutching my badge a little nervously. This is by far the most dangerous fictional location the InterFiction Gazette has ever sent me. Zagerah. A prison filled with Hunters who are constantly on the prowl looking for someone to kill. But somewhere in here is the character I have been sent to interview.

A movement in the trees, and a small, lithe figure steps forth. It is hard to see in the faint light of the moon filtering down through the thick canopy overhead, it could be a Hunter, but I think it’s too small. I step forward. “Averella? My name is Jenelle Schmidt, I’m with the InterFiction Gazette. Would you be willing to answer a few questions?”

Cautiously, Averella takes a slow step forward, hand on a sword at her side. Her eyes dart in every direction before she nods. “We should hurry.”

I study her for a moment. Having the InterFiction database at my fingertips, I know Averella’s identity, but anyone inside the world could easily mistake her for a man with her short black hair and black leather clothing. “Can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself? Why are you here in Zagerah? And why are you in disguise?”

Taking a deep breath, Averella purses her lips and her voice deepens as she speaks. “I’m here to save my brother, but – you can’t tell anyone. No one can know I’m a woman. Only men and boys are taken. In order to save my brother, I had to. I couldn’t just leave him to die.”

I nod sympathetically. “I won’t tell anyone here, I promise. Have you been able to find your brother? And why is he in here to begin with?”

She shakes her head. “No, not yet…” Before continuing, she clears her throat. “I don’t know why the Aretul take them; no one does. All we know is that men get taken here and they never come back. It’s never made any sense to me either. Why take them just to force them to run for their lives from the Hunters?” Tears glisten in her eyes, but they quickly disappear.

I want to reach out and give her a hug, but she strikes me as the type who would be offended if I acknowledged the emotional pain she is in. “If you can find and save your brother, do you have a plan for getting out? If all goes well, what will you do once you have escaped?”

She laughed mirthlessly, shaking her head. “There is no escaping Zagerah. If – when – I find him, the best thing I can do is keep him alive.”

“Wow,” I give a small whistle. “That’s a bit… bleak. Um… can you tell me a bit more about this world? What is it like outside of Zagerah?”

A small smile slowly emerges on her face. “I thought it was bad. Everyone lives in fear and it’s hard to survive. The Aretul keep us weak, hunting what we can. Now I know it’s not as bad as Zagerah.”

I write this down and then look her in the eye. “Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. One final question: if you could speak with your author, what is one thing you would like to say to her? Or is there a question you’d like to ask her? Or anything you wish she’d change about your story?”

Averella nods and her jaw clenches. “I would ask her what kind of monster she is.”

Author PicJoanna White earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. The Valiant series is her first published work, which first started off being updated on a website called Wattpad. She lives in the country of Missouri with her husband, where she continues to work on her other upcoming books. Writing has been a passion since she was ten, when she wrote her first book. Ever since then, writing has become her life outside of her family, God, and being a nerd.

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And now for the GIVEAWAY! I’m doing a giveaway of a free bonus DVD about Hunter, a poster, and a magnet. There’s only one day left, so hurry and join here:


~ jenelle

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Tag

Endgame is here!

And I’m going to go see it Saturday evening!!! (Mostly because we didn’t want to have to avoid the internet and all the peoples for more than a day so as to avoid hearing/seeing/smelling spoilers) (Smelling? How’d that get in there? How would that even work?)

Anyway, BEFORE I go see Endgame, I wanted to steal this lovely tag my dear friend Christine created… because I wanted to answer the questions now, as I don’t know how Endgame will change my outlook on the MCU.

I’m scared, guys…… I don’t want to go……

Too soon?


Always too soon.

Anyway, the rules of the tag are simple:

  • Feel free to include the above graphic somewhere in your post (but it’s definitely not necessary).
  • Take the questions and answer them on your blog (or social media or wherever!).
  • Tag up to 5 other Marvel fans!

On to the questions!

1. How were you introduced into the MCU fandom?

My origin story proceeds as follows… *grin* I was just a normal kid growing up in the 90s. We didn’t have cable, but we did get a few of the network channels on our television. They didn’t all come on clearly at the same time, mind, some days certain channels would be more static-y than others, it depended on the wind, probably. BUT, we got a few channels, and most of them had some sort of Saturday Morning Cartoon program each week. It was the only time we were allowed to watch TV, and thus a great privilege that we kids looked forward to every week.

I am a night owl and not at all a morning person. But you can bet I’d be up bright and early at 6:00am to watch The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh every Saturday morning.

But that’s neither here nor there.

My favorite shows as a kid were Spiderman and X-Men. I wasn’t familiar with many of the other Marvel superheroes, but I loved those two quite a lot. So, when the first X-Men movie came to theaters in 2000, you can imagine my excitement! I sat in the theater and enjoyed every minute of the movie… sure, it didn’t quite hearken back to the stories I remembered from the cartoons, and certain aspects of the storyline frustrated me… but for the most part, it swept over me in a nostalgically blissful experience that transported me back to my living room and my childhood. (But X2 and X3 (PARTICULARLY THE AWFULNESS THAT WAS X3) failed to live up to that same magic.

Then Spiderman! Even though they aren’t nearly as good as more recent movies, I still enjoy the Toby Maguire Spidey. He wasn’t “my” Spiderman from the cartoon… that is apparently a difficult balance of character to strike in a live-action (they did a FANTASTIC job with it in Into the Spider Verse… but again… not a live-action). And I even liked the third movie (mostly because I liked James Franco and I’m a sucker for both tragedy and a great redemption arc).

I wasn’t all that excited about Iron Man, not knowing anything about the character, but I went because my husband wanted to see it. Honestly, the first time I saw it, I really didn’t like it. But it’s grown on me with rewatching, and I do love Tony… though he’s one I feel the writers have done a poor job with over the years. More on that in a minute.

And since then, I’ve seen every one of the Marvel Films in theater with the exception of Ant Man (which I regret, because it’s SO fun) and some of these more recent X-Men movies (I have seen all of them, just not in theaters).

2. What’s your favorite Marvel film?


Seriously? You’re going to ask me THAT?

This question is haaaarrrrd! Whine whine whine.

Well, it’s kind of a toss-up between…

Avengers 1
Doctor Strange
Guardians of the Galaxy 1

I don’t think I can narrow it down any further than that. Don’t make me!

3. Top favorite Marvel character?


It’s always Hawkeye.

Something about archers, man.

After him… it changes depending on which movie I’m watching. But Thor is probably a close second. I just love how he always does the right thing, and he always has this cheerful, optimistic outlook on life. Even in Ragnarok and Infinity War, when literally EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE seems to be bent on ruining Thor’s life… he’s still upbeat and friendly and kind. Even in Thor 1 when he was kind of being an arrogant jerk, he was still likeable and had this kind of adorable childlike wonder about life, the universe, and everything.

If I had to be trapped in an elevator with any of the Avengers, I’d probably pick Thor. Because not only would he be able to get us OUT of said elevator the fastest, I think he’d be the most pleasant and non-broody company of all of them.

Spidey, as you know, has always been a favorite of mine, and Tom Holland does SUCH A GREAT JOB with him and comes the closest to carrying off the “feel” of the cartoon spiderman. I just love him to pieces.

I also love Cap. Doctor Strange because he’s AWESOME and Benedict Cumberbatch… I mean… seriously. Ant Man. Black Widow. Bruce Banner (I just want to hug him, okay?) Coulson. Pepper… there are a lot of great characters in this franchise, probably one of the reasons it’s done so well.

And then there’s Iron Man. In some of the movies, he is the clear favorite, but then there are other times when I just want to wring his neck. I liked him in Iron Man 1 + 2 and in Avengers 1 + 2, but then his character spiraled down into a weird, gloomy, Batman-esque brooding sort of place – except that instead of turning that pent-up brooding loose on the villains, he turned it inwards on HIMSELF and on his TEAM, which I haven’t enjoyed watching. One of the reasons I enjoyed Infinity War so much was because I got to glimpse Tony being “Tony” again, and I realized suddenly just how much I’d missed him – I’d kind of noticed the downward spiral in Iron Man 3 and Civil War and disliked it, but seeing him acting like himself again in Infinity War threw the contrast into Stark Relief (haha punny!) and I realized anew what I’d been missing.

4. If you were transported into the MCU and had to trade places with one of the superheroes, who would you choose?

Gonna have to go with Doctor Strange. I don’t have the reflexes or strength or hand-eye coordination necessary to be most of the other characters… but fantasy is a genre in which I am well-versed. And due to aforementioned lack of reflexes, fighting skills, and strength, I think his magic might be my best bet against dying during the opening credits.

My second pick would be Spidey, because of all the skills you need to be an Avenger, rock-climbing is actually something I’m not terrible at.

5. What are some of your favorite quotes from the films?

So many! Get ready for GIFS!

I could go on and on… but those are a few of my favorites. At least, the ones I could find GIFs for.

6. Which crew would you want to be part of the most: Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, or Revengers?

Avengers all the way. Though being like Thor and sneakily sneaking into ALL of the crews would be cool. I’d probably do that if I could…

7. Favorite and least favorite ship?

Hmmm. The one thing Marvel doesn’t do super well is ships, honestly. Most of them feel forced or stiff. My favorite is probably Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. This would have to be in part because they’ve had the longest amount of both time and screen time to develop their relationship, and also because they just aren’t stiff and weird around each other.

My least favorite ship is Natasha and Clint. I never liked that idea because they just never struck me as being a good fit. So I was THRILLED when we found out in Age of Ultron that she’s like a sister and he actually has a supportive wife and adorable family and that just made Hawkeye even BETTER as a character and I loved it so much.

I also think Sharon and Steve is weird. Just… very weird.

Though it only appears to have been a thing in my own little universe, I really ship Natasha and Steve. I loved their interaction in Winter Soldier and I enjoyed their friendship and banter and thought that they would make an interesting, fun, and cute couple being friends first and all that. Oh well.

That said, I don’t mind Bruce and Natasha. Poor Bruce always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to being a tragic hero, so a little happiness isn’t out of the question.

I also like Ant Man and Wasp a lot.

8. Favorite and least favorite villain?

My favorite villain… probably Thanos, actually. He’s been the only villain to actually live up to the hype, and being one who did NOT know going into Infinity War that the movie would leave off on a cliff-hanger, I actually quite enjoyed the fact that he pulled an “Empire Strikes Back” and WON. Of course, I want a lot of his victory to get reversed in Endgame, but as villains go, I hated him in a “yow he’s a good villain and I want to see him suffer terribly now” sort of way, and for a villain, that’s the best sort of reaction.

In lock-step with Thanos would be Loki. I have a bittersweet sort of love for the tragic arc his story takes and the way that Thor would just really like him to actually BE his brother, but Loki has a fatal flaw that will never let him accept the hand stretched out to him in brotherly love. *sobs*

And I thought Dormammu was pretty good for a nebulous, wants to destroy the planet sort of villain, which isn’t usually my favorite, but I LOVED that Doctor Strange actually used his brain to defeat him and that the movie didn’t just end with a big fist-fight that somehow solved all the things.

My LEAST favorite villain, hands-down, is Baron Zemo. He was the lamest, most unbelievable villain yet and I absolutely loathed him. But not in a good way. In a, “Wow, that was super lame.” sort of way. And that’s too bad, because the cartoon/comic book character of Baron Zemo can actually be a compelling villain, but they wasted all his potential by making him categorically unbelievable.

9. Unpopular MCU opinion?

Spring-boarding off the last question… my hatred of Civil War and my opinion of Baron Zemo’s lameness as a villain seems to be something not very many people share.

I LOVED Doctor Strange. Really, really, really… it’s in my top five (as seen above).

I actually also really loved Age of Ultron. I mean, other than the fact that the name is a bit misleading, since it’s not really the “Age” of Ultron, but more like the “Day and a Half” of Ultron, and everything got wrapped up a little too quickly (an issue MOST of these movies struggles with is making a villain big enough and bad enough that the audience actually believes the good guys might lose, and yet ALSO allowing the good guys to defeat said villain in 2-3 hours is clearly not something the MCU writers are good at… another unpopular opinion of mine is that most of the villains are defeated too easily -  note that across the MCU, the villains are all either random greedy/power hungry people OR they are related in some way to one of the Avengers) ANYWAY, again, I really enjoyed Age of Ultron and don’t really get the hate people have for it… but again, Hawkeye is my favorite, and Age of Ultron is the closest he’s gotten to having a movie be mostly about him… so… *grin*

Also… I’m not ridiculously in love with Bucky. I mean, I think he’s a great character and all, and his story arc is compelling and well-written and I like him just fine… I just… [shrug]

Neither have I ever been in love with Loki. I think he’s a fantastic villain. Truly. And I love the tragedy of his story arc. But I am ALWAYS rooting for Thor to win.

But my most unpopular MCU opinion would probably be that… I really, honestly like the DC movies quite a lot. I wouldn’t say that I like the DC movies “better” per se, but I also can’t really say that I like all the MCU movies better, either.

10. What’s your favorite Stan Lee cameo scene?

Probably the one in Thor when he’s using his truck to try to pull Mjolnir out of the crater. But they’re all fun.


Deborah @ Road of a Writer | Kyle @KyleRobertShultz | and… YOU! I sadly don’t actually know which of my other blogging buddies is an MCU fan… so if you are and you need something fun to put on your blog, consider yourself tagged!

Or just tell me your answers in the comments! Am I the only one who ships Steve and Nat? Am I the only one who hates Civil War with the undying passion of a thousand fiery suns (with the exception of Cap’s fantastic speech that is also one of my all-time favorite quotes ever)? Which movie is YOUR favorite? These are things I NEED TO KNOW!

~ jenelle

Interview with Mimsy

Today is the first day of the Burning Embers Clean Character Takeover Event! Kiernan Kane will be hosting from 9pm – 10pm CDT. I was thinking it might be fun to have him by for an interview sometime… let me know if you think that’s a good idea in the comments. Also, let me know if there are any questions you’d like to ask him!

Also today, I’d like to introduce you to another character who will be hosting an hour of the Takeover Event, Mimsy! She will be available to chat with on Wednesday night from 9pm – 10pm CDT.

ArThe-Corandria-Station-Kindle copyrogant Holograms. Mysterious Goo. Fascinating Technology.

“I’ve read cat stories before, but I’ve never read one where the cat in question was the first officer on a space station orbiting another world.”

Mimsy B’Groves wakes up alone aboard the Corandria Station, without any explanation as to where the rest of the crew has gone. Her only clue is a strange goo. Forced to travel to the planet below her in search of answers to the mystery of her missing crew, what she discovers will change everything she thought she knew about herself, and her mission. Can a lone, witty, sentient feline overcome the obstacles placed before her?

“The depth of imagination used to create this book was impressive. If you enjoy cats or science fiction, this could be the perfect book for you!”

“This is an adventure that is sure to please any science fiction buff.”

“This is a light-hearted romp to an alien planet, following a fun-loving character who is unique, to say the least. This book does not contain any violence or hard science that’s hard to figure out; it’s not that type of book.”

“I really enjoyed this story, and the thing that I enjoyed the most was the lovely lesson that God makes all things beautiful in His time.”

First Place Winner from CWW and CIAN in the 5000 words Contest; Speculative Fiction Division.

I approach the house with curiosity. It is a nice house, but I am definitely not on Earth. I knock on the door and am greeted by… a five-and-a-half-foot tall… cat? Her green eyes pierce through me as I introduce myself and explain my assignment. She identifies herself as Mimsy B’Groves, gives me a considering look, then flicks her tail and allows me inside.

“Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions,” I say. I cast about for something to sit on, but the furniture is all designed for felines, so I opt for standing. “If you could have one wish granted, what would it be and why?”

Sharp teeth show some as Mimsy hisses. “I’d like to find my crew and what has happened to them, for them to be alive and well.” 

I am intrigued by this tidbit of information, but the hunch of her shoulders tells me she doesn’t want to talk about it any more, so I opt for a safer question. “What is it like living in your world?”

“Right now my world is a bit confusing. I’m on a planet where what I thought I was, is regarded totally differently. I’m still missing my crew, but I have at least one new best friend. I still need more answers.” Her ears involuntarily flatten at the thought of not knowing where her crew really is. 

“I see. What major difficulty/challenge are you struggling with right now?”

“Have you ever had something wrong with you? Something you grew up with that was a major issue for your life?” Her tail tip flicks back and forth while she contemplates. “How would you feel if you went somewhere else and found out that others didn’t see your problem the same way as you did? That they were able to view you differently than even your own Mum could, how would you feel about that? I’m still working my way through it, even though it seems to make my whiskers twitch more often.”

I suppress a grin at the whiskers comment. She is obviously in distress over whatever is going on. “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?” I ask.

“I’m not sure, exactly, what that is. Can you tell me what it’s like? Is it crunchy, and does it come in fish flavors?” Her eyes get big thinking about yummy fish and something called ice cream.

Now I really have to hold back a chuckle. “You don’t have ice cream on your planet?” I shake my head sadly. “You’ll have to talk to your author about that. Okay, last question: Don’t worry, we won’t tell the other characters in your story, but what are your plans moving forward from here?

“I’m going to get another ship and take to the stars. I will not leave my crew missing in action. I think Vashti might come with me, but I still have to ask her first. I also have to see if the King will grant me a ship, or how to get one.” She pushes a twig around on the floor, “It’s rather embarrassing to not have your own funding in my position but something will open up for me soon. I can just feel it when I purr.” 

My badge begins to blink and I know my time is up. “Thank you for chatting with me, Mimsy,” I say. “I look forward to learning more about you at the event tomorrow night!”

Author Bio: 

Carol E. Keen enjoys fresh coffee, hot tea, and a good book. She was published for several years in FAMA magazine (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) as a contributing editor. She published her first book on CD, called Simply Seahorses. 

She is the author of The Beauty Series and The Corandira Station, to name a few of her works. She currently resides in the South with her husband and family and spends her time writing, reading, working in photography, and being with her much loved critters.

Follow Carol E. Keen and her author journey around the interwebs:





~ jenelle