Thursday 5 June 2014


Title: White Heart of Justice
Series: Noon Onyx
Author: Jill Archer
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Date of Publication: May 27, 2014
ISBN-10: 0425257177
ISBN-13: 978-0425257173
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 95,000
Cover Artist: Jason Chan

BLURB supplied by Bewitching Blog Tours

Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…

After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.

However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…




I can’t be with you anymore. That’s what she’d said. Six words that had become sixty then six hundred then six thousand . . . sixty thousand . . . six million . . . reverberating in his head, bouncing around inside his brain, driving him absolutely mad. There were no other words. No other memories. Only that last one of her. Standing at the edge of the oozy stew of the destroyed keep’s moat, flanked by two Angels, one preternaturally beautiful, the other full of purpose. The same purpose he’d had until those six words stripped him of it.
Flying out, he’d barely cleared the wreckage of the keep. His heart beat against the walls of his massive chest, and his monstrous wings beat against the infinite, empty sky, but the beats were slow and grew slower still. Slower. Until finally . . .
He made it across the river and then dropped like a ten-ton stone, crashing into the brush, breaking tree limbs and a wing. He lay there amongst the blackening scrub refusing to shift back into human form.
Man’s thoughts were unwelcome.
In time, the rogares came. Water wraiths. He killed them all. And then sickened by the smell of blood and meat he couldn’t—wouldn’t—consume, he left his nesting place. By then, the wing had healed, but unnaturally, so that flying straight was impossible. For days, he traveled in circles, never getting far. It wasn’t just the wing. The yearning to return to her was nearly unbearable. The emptiness inside of him an abyss.
Was she still in the Shallows? If he could just . . .
But then he remembered the Angels. And the look on her face when she’d said the six words. And the feelings in her signature. She’d need more than mere weeks for them to abate. She might need months. Hopefully, not years. Years meant nothing to him, but they did to her. And then the reminder that her time was more precious than his drove his yearning to a new level of ferocity. Ruthlessly, he tamped it down. He realized then that it might be best to return to man’s thoughts. After all, she was a woman.
And he wanted her back.

Chapter 1

“Glashia calls Noon the ballista.” Waldron Seknecus’ low voice rumbled through the Gridiron, a deep, cavernous underground space used by the upper years at St. Lucifer’s for sparring. “Because of how she fights now. Watch.”

He was speaking to three other spectators: my father, Karanos Onyx, executive of the Demon Council and the man who would ultimately employ all of the magic users who trained here at St. Luck’s; Friedrich Vanderlin, an Archangel who was the dean of Guardians over at the Joshua School, the Angel academy we shared a campus with; and a woman who looked unsettlingly familiar to me, though I couldn’t remember when we’d met or who she was. I cleared my mind and concentrated on my opponent, Ludovicus Mischmetal, who preferred the moniker “Vicious” for short. He was a second year Maegester-in-Training at Euryale University. We were competing against one another in the New Babylon MIT rank matches, which St. Luck’s was hosting this year.

All second-year MITs were required to compete. The top-ranked MITs from each school would then be eligible to compete in the Laurel Crown Race. The object of the race was to bring back an assigned target. Targets were either rogare demons or priceless artifacts that needed to be recovered. Participation in the Laurel Crown Race was voluntary, but the MIT who returned to New Babylon with his (or in my case, her) target before any of the others, won the coveted Laurel Crown. Winning the Laurel Crown often set a future Maegester up for life because winners could choose where they wanted to spend their fourth-semester residency. And ofttimes, those residencies turned into permanent positions. Everyone else would receive offers, but it would be the Council that decided which of those residency positions they accepted.

Last semester, we’d been given our first field assignment. It was an assignment that had been full of rogare demon attacks and other lethal situations. That assignment had lasted a mere three months and I’d barely survived it. My residency would last for twice as long, so I was well aware of how important the residency venue would be. Winning the right to choose where I spent next semester, not to mention who I would be working for, would go far in preserving not just my happiness, but also my life. The Maegester who was judging the match, a middle-aged man with thinning, ginger-colored hair and a near permanent frown, called out for us to begin.

I’d watched Vicious spar with other MITs. He was smart. His infliction of pain would be very calculated, very precise. There was nothing personal about his desire to beat me. He just wanted to win the match so that he could retain his current Primoris ranking at Euryale and compete for the Laurel Crown. Of course, I was similarly motivated.

Vicious gave me a curt bow, his long, black, razor-cut bangs briefly falling forward before he shook them back and used his waning magic to fire up a weapon, a flaming broadsword. It hissed and spit with fury in the damp air of the Gridiron as Vicious raised it toward me in an opening invitation to spar.

As a sparring partner, Vicious looked fairly intimidating. His front teeth were shiny, silver, and sharply pointed (likely, his real ones had been knocked out in fights) and he was much larger than me. He wore the usual black leather training pants and vest, but he’d elected to go shirtless underneath the vest. I guessed it was an intentional show of muscle, literally. He flexed his forearms and grinned at me, his message clear: I might be a woman playing a man’s game, but he wasn’t going to spare me any blows.

That suited me fine. Sparing me blows wouldn’t win me the match.


Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, and White Heart of Justice. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring. 

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Jill Archer: born in Kansas City, Kansas; currently living in rural Maryland

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is White Heart of Justice, which is the third book in the Noon Onyx series. The series and the book are best summed up by these sneak peek tweets:
Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #NOONONYXSERIES
“One out of every two hunters who follow the Old Trail will not return.” @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
No. I think that would be impossible. But I do scroll through Goodreads and Amazon from time to time to see what readers are thinking. I’ve always said that writers have to have an odd combination of arrogance and humility. You have to believe in yourself and your work. Ideally, you should have a vision of what you want your work to be. And allowing a single review to interfere with that wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone.
On the other hand, I’m a commercial writer. My job is to entertain, not educate. My books may provoke thought but they aren’t meant as social commentary. So, yeah, I care about what my readers think. Because I’m writing for them.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Absolutely not. I don’t welcome negative reviews, but I’ve received them. They’re a part of the business.
Every reader is entitled to his or her own interpretation of an author’s work. Interpretations are subjective. They can’t be right or wrong. Opinions, reviews, and reactions are based on an individual’s experience and background. They are the final piece of the publishing puzzle. I’m always fascinated by how many different reactions there are to a single piece of work.
It’s worth noting, however, that reviews written with a professional tone (whether positive or negative) have more credibility.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
The short answer is: EVERYWHERE. But details can be fun so here’s the scoop on a few new characters/things from White Heart of Justice:

The Amanita: an old, powerful order of Angels. Amanita is a genus containing some of the most poisonous mushrooms in the world.

Adikia: the Patron Demon of Abuse, Injustice, and Oppression. She oversees the demon prisoners at the New Babylon Gaol. Adikia was the Goddess of Injustice in Greek mythology.

Gou Nan Jounen An (a.k.a. Rasha Pearl): one of the other Laurel Crown Racer’s targets. She’s a Hyrke courtesan and spy. I based her on Mati Hari.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
No character is based on anyone I know. I used my experiences as a law student and adjunct professor as inspiration for some of the scenes at St. Luck’s, the demon law school that Noon attends. And I used my memories of the Louisiana swamps, the Mississippi River, and neighborhoods like the Garden District to build some of my settings.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?
The books aren’t preachy. For the most part, they’re meant to be entertaining and fun. But I also hope some of the scenes make people think twice about some things. I always post discussion questions for each book, which include lots of meaty topics to discuss (femininity, parental expectations, sacrifice, self-acceptance, morality versus legality). They are incredibly spoilery though so be sure to read the books first!

Which format of book do you prefer: ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I read them all. I have a Kindle and an iPad. I buy books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and lots of independent bookstores. I also use my local library.
I have a slight preference for paperback because it’s easier for me to flip back and forth between different sections of the book.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
I can’t say there’s a book I know I will never, ever read. Hopefully, my life will be long and there will be many reasons to read all sorts of books.
I’ve DNF’d tons of books. I just don’t advertise which ones.
To me, not finishing a book just means the story didn’t grab me as much as I would have liked. Life is busy. Books are many. No reader should feel compelled to finish a book that doesn’t move them.
That said, I usually give every book at least 100 pages.
I also realize that my approach probably means I’m missing out on some great fiction.

Do you think books transfer to movies well?
I think whether or not a book transfers well to film depends on three things: the screenwriter, the director, and the actors who play the lead characters.

What do you think about book trailers?
Their popularity may have waned, but I still think it’s a neat idea. I love the idea of combining storytelling mediums. I’ve never done one, mostly because I don’t think the investment would be worth it. But it’s something I’d consider for the future. The challenging thing is that the ad for the story (the book trailer) is in one format (video) while the story is in another (print or digital text).

Where can readers follow you?

Any other information you wish to supply?

Thank you to Jeanz Book Read N Review for interviewing me! Best wishes and happy reading, all!

You're Welcome Jill! I don't usually go for this type of book but the blurb & excerpt have me caprivated so it's another addition to my Want To Read List! thanks for dropping by. ~ Jeanz

$50 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller of winner’s choice) (international)

5 copies of White Heart of Justice (or an earlier book in the series, winner’s choice) (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address)

Dark Light of Day themed SWAG pack 
(incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only)

Signed print copy of Dark Light of Day
Handmade bookmark with charm
Natural Face Paint Kit
Orange Silk Flower Hair Clip
Atomic Fireball Candies
Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

Fiery Edge of Steel themed SWAG pack 
(incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only)

Signed print copy of Fiery Edge of Steel
Handmade bookmark with charm
“The Queen of Flowers” T-shirt Tank Top
Set of three Silver Glass Mercury Votive Holders
Petite Pear Candies
Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

White Heart of Justice themed SWAG pack 
(incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only)

Signed print copy of White Heart of Justice
Handmade bookmark with charm
White Crystal Headband
Vintage Star Pin
White Chocolate Meltaways
Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

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WOW there's some fantastic prizes up for grabs, I'd love to win any of these, how about you?


  1. Great interview! I can't wait to read White Heart of Justice.

  2. Hi Jeanz--thanks for the great interview. I've heard from a number of people who don't typically read fantasy that tried the books and liked them. I think it's great when readers explore genres outside of their usual favorites.

    Thanks, Kerry! Hope you enjoy!

    I'll stop back in later today to check for any other comments or questions. In the meantime, have a great day, all!