Joss Ware in The Dungeon

Welcome to our very first guest blog of 2011, as well as our very first guest blog at the redesigned WIPs and Chains!  Because of circumstances beyond Mistress Heidi‘s control (I know—can you imagine such a thing?!  :whhhat ) we had to put the guest blog feature on the back burner there for a while.  But we are back, bay-bee, & ready to rumble.

We’ve made a few structural changes to the guest blog set-up (mainly trimming them down to a single’s day’s visit) but they are still going to be a total blast.  And we are dee-lighted that our very first guest author of the New Year—as well as of the new & improved Dungeon—is the one & only JOSS WARE!


Joss Ware has been an avid reader—and writer—since she was very young. Beginning with the Little House books, moving on to Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, and then as she grew older finding her mother’s romance novels, followed by historical fiction, mysteries, and thrillers, Joss has always required one element to be part of any book she enjoys: a good romance.

While Joss has written everything from medieval romances (unpublished) to female action/adventure novels (unpublished) to contemporary paranormal romances (also unpublished), she never thought about writing a series set in the future.

And then one day, while sitting at Olive Garden, a friend said to her, “Why don’t you write a post-apocalyptic romance?”   She thought about it, and the next thing she knew, Joss had the kernel of an idea that soon exploded into something she was really excited about. Then her agent got excited about it, and then an editor at HarperCollins got excited about it…and the rest is history.

After working for years in sales and marketing, owning her own business, and working briefly for an international import/export company, Joss is now blessed to do what she loves and writes full-time.

She lives in Michigan with her husband, children and two big dogs. She’s currently working on her next project and still hopes that someday, those other unpublished works might find a home.


And now, Mistress Heidi puts Joss to the test with a few of her famous (or would that be infamous?) interview questions:

What is your favorite color? Black

Favorite song? “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” by Jeff Buckley

Favorite movie? When Harry Met Sally…

And of course, favorite book? Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters

What was the first book in your chosen genre that you remember reading, or that made you want to write the same? Hm…tough question, as I’ve never read a post-apocalyptic novel. Ever. Which means…any mistakes are my own. :winkwink

What do you think of Heidi? She’s great, right? Except for those horns coming out of the top of her head…  (Ah, but those horns are what make Mistress Heidi so very, very naughty.  And you know what they say… When she was bad, she was better.)

How did you get started writing? I couldn’t shut up the voices in my head.

Tell us a little bit about your first (or most memorable, if you prefer) sale. I describe my first “Call” as The Reason It’s Okay to Play Hookey On Occasion.

I was away on a week-long training session for a company I was doing consulting with. As often happens when one is away from home on business, the night ended in the bar. I am the poster child for not overdoing it in a work situation, never missed class or conferences in my entire life…I always made sure I got up the next morning no matter how late I was out and how much fun I’d had the night before. I’m anal that way.

Well, this time, I didn’t. I woke up, looked at the clock, thought to myself…shit, I’m not going down there and sitting in class when I feel like this (tired, a little hungover, and bored)…so I didn’t get up.

And about an hour later, just as I was rolling out of bed and getting ready to go down to the class I was supposed to be in, my cell phone rang. It was a 212 area code (New York) and I didn’t know anyone in NYC except…my agent.

I answered the phone and she said, “Are you sitting down?”

And that was how I got The Call that I’d made my first sale. I realize in retrospect that if I had gotten up and gone down to class, I would have missed her call, then probably played phone tag with her all day while I was supposed to be sitting in class, learning stuff. I would have gone crazy.

Fill in the blank—If you like [blank], you’ll love Joss Ware! If you like Suzanne Brockmann, you’ll love Joss Ware!

Which of your books would you like to pimp today? Tell us about it and why we’ll love every word. My latest release is the fourth book in the “Envy Chronicles,” which have been described as Lost meets I Am Legend meets Heroes. Or, Suzanne Brockmann’s “Troubleshooters” in the world of The Walking Dead(Intrusive note from Heidi:  Okay, you totally got me with the Suzanne Brockmann/Walking Dead thing.  But when it comes to the I Am Legend aspect of the stories, can you please not kill the dog or any other adorable animals? :stinky )

The books are sexy, fast-paced romances with a strong paranormal element…but they’re not gory or horror novels. The title of the book is NIGHT BETRAYED and it’s actually a good one to start with if you’re coming in in the middle of the series.

Imagine a world that’s overgrown and empty:  jungle-like ghost towns, destroyed highways, empty shopping malls with scavengeable items still wrapped in plastic, pockets of settlements, and the law is every man for himself—not so different from the Wild West. No infrastructure, little technology, and the dangers of flesh-eating zombies and other wild animals in the night.  (Further intrusive note from Heidi:  Oooh, you got me again wtih “flesh-eating zombies”!)

NIGHT BETRAYED is about Theo Waxnicki, a computer geek who lived through what is called The Change—i.e., the mass destruction of the earth and most of the population. In the last fifty years, he’s seen the world try to recover from its catastrophe and he and his brother are spearheading an underground “resistance” against the people they believe caused the Change.

The thing about Theo is that something happened to him during the events of the Change, and he hasn’t aged for fifty years. He still looks like a thirty-year old, buff geek. (No, that’s not an oxymoron on my world…a buff geek. :winkwink )

When Theo is on his deathbed, he’s brought to the woman known as the Death Lady. Selena is a post-apocalyptic version of a hospice doctor…she has a special ability to help people move on to “the other side.” This is in part due to the fact that she was born during the Change, and something happened to her as well. But she’s somehow able to do something she’s never done before:  to bring a man back to life.

Selena also has other secrets, which Theo is bound to discover, and which could change the way the world is forever.

You also write historical vampire romance under the name Colleen Gleason. Why did you take a pseudonym for the “Envy Chronicles”? Mainly because historical vampires are a world apart from post-apocalyptic paranormal romance…I can’t imagine any more different subgenres.  Also, I write the “Envy” books for Avon and I’m writing historical vampire books for MIRA, so it helps to keep those series separate by publisher and brand.

If your plane crashed in the Andes, would you convince the other survivors to eat Heidi first or last? We’d send Heidi out for help and eat the Abominable snowman instead.

If you could write anything—whether in the same genre/sub-genre as you’re writing now or another—what would it be? Wow. Good question. I really love the two series that I’m currently writing—they’re so different—that the variety really keeps me motivated and interested. I can’t think of anything else right now that I’d rather be writing, except maybe something with a steampunk element. That sort of fits in with both of the genres I’m writing…but in a different way: that melding of technology with historical settings.

What are you currently working on? I just finished the fifth “Envy” book and will soon start on the 6th. I have three vampire romances, historical, being released in March, April, and May…and may soon be working on more in that series as well.


Leather or Lace? Leather

Devil or Angel? Angel

Angel Food or Devil’s Food? Devil’s Food

Hemlock or Arsenic? Absinthe.

Blood, Sweat, or Tears? Me, or my cabana boy?

Cowgirl or Missionary? (Hey, get your mind out of the gutter. I was simply asking what you wanted to be when you were growing up. :-p) Riiiight.  I’ll never tell. :winkwink


Thank you so much, Joss!  We can’t wait to get our hands on NIGHT BETRAYED.  (Which, by the way, comes out today, right? :dancing )

And to celebrate the release of NIGHT BETRAYED, Joss has generously offered to give away an autographed copy of one of her first books in the “Envy” series to one lucky Dungeon blogger.  Winner gets her choice of Book 1: Beyond the Night, Book 2: Embrace the Night Eternal, or Book 3: Abandon the Night.  (Check out all three titles & make your advance pick—just in case *g*—at Joss’s website

To be entered in the drawing, simply ask a question or leave a comment for Joss during her visit today.  (U.S. residents only, please.)  A winner will be chosen & announced on January 23rd during our regular Happy Sunday post, so be sure to stop back to see if you’ve won!  (Otherwise, I’m keeping the prize to myself, I swear. :angel )

Good luck & happy blogging!


25 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Donna says:

    Wow. I guess this makes me the angel. Thanks for bringing Ms Ware to my attention. I haven’t read anything of hers but it sounds delish. I love Suzanne Brockmann’s “Troubleshooters”. I guess I am going to have to run out & check this series out. Do you have to read them in order or are they stand alone?

    • Heidi says:

      You did win the Golden Halo today, Donna! I don’t know if it makes you an angel, exactly, but you do get to be our Good Girl for a Day! :angel

  2. mary k says:

    Loved the blog post and the interview. I looked up the books since I haven’t read them and they look wonderful, I have to have them now. But if I win, I’d love the first in the series so I can start from the beginning. 🙂

    I love vampire Romance so I will definitely be checking out your books.

  3. CrystalGB says:

    Great interview. Congratulations on your new book. Sounds good.

  4. Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason says:

    Hi Mary K! Hi Crystal!

    Hey Donna… Glad the concept has caught your fancy. The first three books don’t need to be read in order, but because each book reveals a little more about the world and mysteries in it, it’s probably good to try and read them in order. There is also an over-arching subplot/love story that is resolved in the third book, so if you want to read it as it evolved, that’s another reason to do so.

    But ya don’t have to.

    AND…if you’re an ebook reader, if you wait till tomorrow, the first two books in the series will be available for special promotional pricing. 😉

  5. Lizzielvr says:

    I don’t want to enter the contest, I already have this series
    and love it :happyjoy ! Just wanted to say “Hi” to Joss and let her know I’m sooo happy the 4th book is finally out! Keep writing!

  6. Heidi says:

    Thanks so much for being with us today, Joss! As you can see from my many intrusive notations within your interview, I happen to think post-apocalyptic stuff rocks & am definitely a zombie gal! :frank

    So I have a question for you that I didn’t stick in the interview—are you a Firefly fan? My Darlings of The Dungeon can tell you I’m more than a little OCD when it comes to that show. :happyjoy

  7. Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason says:

    :somuchlove LizzieLvr!!!

    Thanks much!

    @Heidi….I am a huge, huge, MEGA-Nathan Fillion fan. I live for CASTLE every week. My husband and I watch it together. I’ve only seen a bit of Firefly, though, but I did really enjoy what I saw.

    So…I assume you watch CASTLE. :winkwink

    • Heidi says:

      Castle is good, & yes, I do watch it faithfully, but I’m sorry—it’s no Firefly. :tpspspspt You should really watch the entire series in order. Soooooo good!

  8. donnas says:

    Congrats on the release! Sounds like a great series. Looking forward to it. Are you celebrating today in any special way?

  9. Donna says:

    Look what I just found out:
    Starting tomorrow (1/26)—for a few weeks only—you’ll be able to buy the first two ebooks in the series for a near steal: BEYOND THE NIGHT ($1.99!) and EMBRACE THE NIGHT ETERNAL ($3.99). You late-comers are particularly lucky since book 3, ABANDON THE NIGHT is already out and NIGHT BETRAYED hits stores (e-retailers and otherwise) today!

  10. Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason says:

    Hi Donna:

    Thanks! I’m actually making my husband, known as MusicMan to those who know me on Facebook and Twitter, take me out to my favorite restaurant for dinner.

    I would be going around and signing stock at the stores, and checking for sightings, but one of my kids is home sick from school…so, no. Stuck at home until the older ones get home.

    (The sick kid isn’t really that sick…she probably should have gone to school. But, you know how it is when they look at you with those big blue eyes.)

  11. Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason says:

    Thanks for posting, Donna! It wasn’t supposed to go live until tomorrow, so they are early and you are really on top of things!


  12. Dee says:

    I am always looking for new to me writers even though my TBR pile is starting to look like it needs its own zip code.

    Since you are a Castle fan -HOW AWESOME WAS LAST NIGHT”S EPISODE – I am more than excited to check both the vamps and the Envy series out. 🙂

  13. Paula R. says:

    Jossleen!!! I mean, JOSS!!! I’m so excited that you get to play in the Dungeon with us. It’s been a while since I’ve been around, and I’m so glad that when I finally get the chance to come you’re here.

    Don’t count me in for the contest, Heidi. I already own the first three books in the ENVY series. Night Betrayed is winging its way to me from B&N as I type this. I just hope it gets here soon. This woman has mad skillz…she will evoke much emotion with her words. I drop all others I’m reading to get through a Colleen Gleason or Joss Ware book. Trust me. I missed Envy. I’m glad Theo finally gets an HEA, but I’m hoping to spy Quent…can’t wait to catch up with the gang.

    You guys will love her. She also writes the about the GARDELLA VAMPIRES. You can read those while you wait to sink your teeth into her new Vampire Voss series too. LOVE this woman. Thanks for inviting her Mistress Heidi. So glad you two met.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

    • Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason says:


      I shoulda known you hung out at the dungeon! 😉

      So glad to see you here, and THANK YOU for all the lovely comments. :somuchlove :somuchlove

      I swear, girl, I need to CLONE you!

      Thanks much. Hope you enjoy Theo…!

      • Paula R. says:

        You’re welcome, my friend. The Dungeon is a happening place.

        Girl, when you figure out how to clone me, let me know…that way I can read more books…lol!!!

        Peace and love,
        Paula R.

  14. Laura J. says:

    Hi Joss!!! I enjoyed the interview (and good answer on the airplane crash question. She really tries to trick people with that one :winkwink j/k Heidi!!)!!!

  15. Heidi says:

    Thank you so much, Joss, for taking the time to visit with us today! It’s been a blast! :biggestgrin

    And remember, everyone—Joss will be giving away a copy of one of the first three “Envy” books (winner’s choice), so stop back Sunday for that announcement!

  16. Sonya Johnston says:

    Joss’ books sound VERY interesting I’m going to have to check them out! I wish could just quit my job and just stay home and read all day and night LOL!

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