Author Marlene Perez Release Party and $25.00 Amazon Gift Card Contest

Strange Fates (Nyx Fortuna) by Marlene PerezIn Strange Fates, Nyx Fortuna is an immortal, the only son of the fourth and forgotten Fate, Lady Fortuna, also known as Lady Luck. Nyx has never felt very lucky, despite his long life. He’s always been lucky at cards, but unlucky in love.

His mother hid his thread of fate, which prevented Nyx from aging or dying. His aunts, the three Fates, have hunted him his entire life, simply for being born the only male in the Wyrd family line. He ends up in Minneapolis to face down his aunts, find his thread of fight, and end his life, but he meets the attractive, but mysterious Elizabeth Abernathy.

Despite his aunts’ constant meddling in the lives or mortals and mages alike, Nyx believes that you make your own fate. “Fortune favors the bold,” is his motto.

Author Bio:

Marlene Perez is the author of paranormal and urban fantasy books, including the best-selling DEAD IS series for teens. The first book in the series, Dead Is the New Black, was named an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers as well as an ALA Popular Paperback.  Dead Is Just a Rumor was on VOYA’s 2011 Best Science Fiction, Horror, & Fantasy List.

Her novels have been featured in Girl’s Life, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan. The Disney Channel has optioned the first three books in the DEAD IS series for television.

She grew up in Story City, Iowa and is the youngest of twelve children. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband and children.

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Learn more about Marlene Perez below

Read reviews about her work here
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  1. If there was a show, classic or modern, you could write a novel tie-in for…which show would it be and what would it be about? Thank you for answering this inquiry.

    • Thanks for stopping by! This is a great question. I love everything Joss Whedon does, but he does it so well that I don’t think I could touch it! I’m also a big fan of Veronica Mars and feel like that show ended too early. I’d write something to resolve the Piz/Veronica/Logan love triangle. Probably something where Logan and Veronica get together to solve Piz’s horrible murder (can you tell I’m not a Piz fan?)and re-connect.

  2. Hi Ms Perez! This novel sounds like it is going to be an amazing, fun ride! If Nyx has a theme song (or three), what would you say it is/they are? 🙂

    • Tiffany, you are a woman after my own heart! I always have a soundtrack for every book. Nyx’s first song is Sinister Kid by the Black Keys. There’s a line that just describes him perfectly. “runs to meet his maker, a drop-dead sprint from the day he was born.” And another line “is a boy with a broken halo, the devil won’t let me be.”

      The second one would be My Body is a Cage by Arcade Fire because Nyx is trapped. Can’t die, even though he wants to.

      I’m working on the second book, Dark Descent, right now and I’ve been listening to Jack White’s Love is Blindness” because Nyx has a blind spot where the women he’s involved with are concerned.

  3. PS I believe in both luck and fate! You make your own luck and you determine your own fate 😉

  4. Sounds like a fun read. Where did you come up with having a male in the mix of women?

    • Part of Nyx’s story is inspired by the Greek myth of Meleager. When he was born, the Fates predicted that he would only live as long as the log burned in the fire. His mother hid the log and prevented his swift death. Of course, since it’s a Greek myth, his mother later took the log and tossed it into the fire and fulfilled the prophecy.


  5. Do you think New Adult is a real genre, or does it seem like some sort of weird marketing strategy?

    • I’m not an expert on New Adult, but I’m all for anything that gets books in the hands of readers. I try not to think about anything but the story when I’m writing the book and then, even when on submission, my agent is the one who looks at which editors to send it to.

      I thought for a bit that I was writing a ya, but Strange Fates starts in a bar, which might be a clue that it’s more New Adult than YA. But I think, thankfully, the lines are blurry anyway. Tons of adults are reading and loving mid grades like Harry Potter and teen novels like Alyson Noel’s IMMORTALS series.

      I think every genre is to a certain extent a marketing strategy. For example, what’s considered urban fantasy varies greatly and I’ve always been a fan of those books that are genre-benders anyway.

  6. Gotta say your book sound very different than anything else I have heard of recently.

    What books are at the top of your TBR list?

    • Hi, Maria,

      My Goodreads list is HUGE and I like to read a variety of genres. I’m a big fan (and a friend) of Mary Pearson, so I’m really looking forward to FOX FOREVER, which is the 3rd book in the JENNA FOX CHRONICLES. Same with Alyson Noel’s Soul Seekers books. And Amy Butler Greenfield’s Chantress, which is a teen fantasy novel with a great, original premise. And then I need to catch up on Cinda Williams Chima’s latest.

      I promised myself that when I turn in Dark Descent (that’s the second book in the Nyx Fortuna series, after Strange Fates) I’m going to read for an entire day! Nothing else (well, at least until my twins get out of preschool.)

      I also love Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series and am a book behind. And I want to check out her new teen series, too.

      I love vampire novels and Holly Black has COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN coming out.

      And I’ve heard great things about Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

      When I’m writing, I try not to read in that genre. So when I’m writing a teen novel, I read adult stuff and vice versa.

  7. Have ever considered writing a story based on some other mythology than Greek/Roman one?

    • Hi, Minna,

      I love mythology of all kinds so who knows? I’d love to get inspired by a lesser-known myth, but haven’t found the perfect one yet. The one thing I loved about writing about the Fates is that there were so many possibilities for telling a different story, even though the Fates have appeared in many books & plays.

  8. Since Nyx has been around for a long time he must have read many books – who is his favorite author? What does he think has been the most important invention? Thank you.

    • Great question! Nyx has read a lot. I think he particularly likes Macbeth 😉 since his aunts aren’t portrayed so great in that play. I think Nyx likes Elmore Leonard books, since he fancies himself a tough guy, but he secretly reads poetry, because he has a soft center. He’s read all the Greek classics, of course, looking for his aunts weaknesses. And he definitely does not like Little Women (unlike me! Although I HATE how the Jo/Laurie relationship ends up.)

  9. Congratulations on your new book! I love paranormal books based on mythology. What was your favorite scene in writing Strange Fates?

    • Thanks for stopping by! One of my favorite scenes was the opening scene at the Red Dragon where Nyx, typically, starts a fight. I also like the scene where Nyx first meets Alex.

  10. Author’s Question
    I believe in a combination of luck and fate.

    • Bonnie, I agree. For example, in publishing, you have to do the work, but I think there’s a little luck involved. Or being open to opportunities!

  11. Didn’t know there were four Fates. Does the book explain why Lady Fortunate is the lesser known?

    • Hi, Elaine,

      I was researching Greek mythology when I stumbled upon this mention that there was a historical link to the Fates and Lady Luck (Tyche in Greek Mythology and Fortuna in Roman) and I thought that was really cool. I wondered why most people hadn’t heard of the link and I decided that they had been sisters and that the three Fates expunged the mention of Fortuna, the 4th and forgotten Fate, from history. Lady Fortuna was Nyx’s mom and you learn the entire back story in the trilogy.

      I also read about this study about luck. Basically, they planted a message in a newspaper that said “this is your lucky day. You have won xyz.” And the people who thought of themselves as lucky found it and the ones who didn’t, didn’t even see it.

  12. Hi,

    just wondering which country tops your travel wish list?

  13. Raonaid Luckwell

    Given the opportunity – what literary world would you choose to live in. Would you take over a beloved character or insert your own character (and what that would be) in?

    • Oh, great question! Maybe Madeleine L’Engle’s world in A WRINKLE IN TIME or the world of THE HOBBIT (which is a little less dark than the LOTR books) but I’d still want lots of Aragorn/Strider.

  14. Hi Marlene,

    I am always on the look out for new authors. Can’t wait to read your book.

    Do you generally set one large or many small goals?

    • I try to set daily, weekly, and yearly writing and career goals. I believe in the power of dreaming and “telling it to the universe”, but I have to hold myself accountable to get there. I love that Thoreau quote. Something like “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. Now build a foundation on them.”

      And practically speaking, setting daily goals allows me to look back later to see how I managed to write the book and where I could improve as far as work habits go. When I first started, I used a spreadsheet to track my writing and I might go back to it.

  15. What do you do to reward yourself when you reach your goals?

    • Writing is such a solitary pursuit. I reward myself every chance I get! Little rewards include reading a good book, watching a favorite TV show (Arrow & Nashville are at the top of my list right now) and music! I also love getting together for coffee/hours of talking with my writing buddies, but sometimes, we need a professional planner just to figure out a date that works for everyone.

      And I love rewards from other people! My husband usually buys a nice bottle of champagne or wine and cooks a nice dinner for a release celebration and my agent just sent me a beautiful bouquet for the Strange Fates release. It’s so easy to focus on the negatives in publishing (I think the only other career with even MORE rejection is acting because then they critique your looks, too) that I’m all for any way I can bring a bit of sunshine in my life!

  16. Do you keep track of random plot bunnies as they pop up, or do you let them run free and grow until you need them?

    • Both! I have this huge notebook full of plot ideas, but eventually, I figure out what are the major plot points I want to use. Then I use the SAVE THE CAT beatsheet and the Karen Weisner worksheets to track stuff as well as a running list of plot ideas for the series.

  17. Raonaid Luckwell

    Do you believe in luck? Or fate? Or neither?

    Yes I believe in luck. My luck fluxuates, I will have a space of good luck (and friends say I am always lucky) and then a space of bad.

  18. I love the cover for Strange Fates! Did you have much input in the design? What’s your favorite scene?

    • Thanks, Lesley! I love the cover, too. I was very lucky that my publisher actually lets me have input. I just saw the Dark Descent cover (although I can’t share it yet) and I love that one just as much. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but the Strange Fates cover is my favorite so far! I also love the cover of one of my teen contemporary romances, The Comeback, with Scholastic/Point. Honestly, I like them all. The Dead is the New Black cover is my favorite cover in the Dead Is series.

      And my favorite scene in SF is the beginning of the first chapter. Nyx gets in a fight, of course.

  19. Who’s your favorite superhero?

    • Sue Storm (Richards) aka the invisible woman in the Fantastic Four. When I was growing up, she was one of the few female superheros who didn’t wear a super-skimpy costume. Skin-tight yes, but not quite as revealing as some. Not that there’s anything wrong with a skimpy costume, but I liked that she was known for more than that.

      Hit-Girl was another favorite, although I just saw the movie and didn’t read the comic.

      And I used to watch Linda Carter on Wonder Woman, skimpy outfit and all.

      I also like the Iron Man version that Robert Downey Jr. portrays. I don’t get to read comics as much as I used to, but I try to catch ALL the super-hero movies.

  20. The youngest of 12? Is there anything you do (or used to do) like take super long showers, just because now you can?

    • I rarely got to watch the TV shows I wanted to growing-up. With 11 older siblings and 1 TV in the house, I ended up reading all the time. Not a bad thing, though!

      And because money was tight when I was growing up, I borrowed books from the library, so now I really like being able to buy my own books.

  21. Do you have a favourite genre to read?

    • I like it all! Most kinds of fiction and narrative non-fiction like Nathaniel’s Nutmeg or The Orchid Thief. I am a huge fan of books about the things that go bump in the night and mythology, both fiction and non-fiction. And a book that can make me laugh is a treasure! I think humor is really hard to do and isn’t valued as much as “serious” literature, but it should be.

  22. First of all let me say how much I’ve enjoyed your Dead Is series!
    Do any of your eleven brothers and sisters get to be a character in any of your book?

    • Thank you! My sisters and brothers won’t find themselves in the pages of my books, but I think having seven sisters helped with the Giordano sisters’ relationship in the Dead Is series.

  23. What was the first moment you knew you had to write?

    • We had a unit on writing in a journal in elementary school. That was it for me. And I think it’s natural for a reader to want to be a writer and I learned to read before starting kindergarten (all those older siblings!)

  24. Do you believe in luck? Or fate? Or neither?
    not really- I think fate or luck is what you make it

    • I agree that you make your own luck, especially if you are open to new opportunities/experiences. I love the “go toward the fear” theory in creative pursuits.

  25. what was it like being the youngest of twelve children?
    me I only have one brother don’t know what it is like to be in such a big family.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I think every big family is different. We never had very much money, but we did have books. You know how some people say they were poor but didn’t know it? That was not us. We were poor and I knew it, especially by the way other people treated me sometimes.

  26. I Do Believe in Luck that is why I inter sweepstakes all you have to be is the one that is picked .it’s not how many entry’s you have but being the one that is picked that counts.

    • Stacey, good point. I think that some people are lucky. How else to explain people who win the lottery multiple times?

  27. Fascinating idea… I look forward to reading Nyx’s story. Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. I believe in both luck and fate. I believe that to a certain degree you have control, but that there are some things beyond our control…

  29. Where do you do your research?

  30. Did any author inspire your craft of writing?

  31. What was your favorite childhood book?

  32. Have you ever written fan fiction? For what fandom?

  33. I don’t believe in fate, but I’m not sure about luck.

  34. You know I have never really put much thought into it…I don’t think I really put much stock into luck or fate.

  35. Hi Marlene! Congrats on your new book, sounds great! Adding it to my wishlist! 🙂

    Do you believe in luck? Or fate? Or neither?
    – Not really, I think if you want to make anything happen then it’s up to you only…and if you want anything bad enough, you will get it eventually if you put in the effort.

  36. Congrats on your new book. Sounds like a great read.

  37. The fates are such an interesting, and often missing, topic in urban fantasy, why did you choose them? What drew you to them? I am a huge mythology fan, so this definitely peaks my interest

  38. This sounds really good, it’s in my wish list!! What are your thoughts on audiobooks?

  39. I do believe in luck and fate! I totally feel very lucky somedays, I win on lottery tickets and my online bingo games, and others i know to just stay away!!