Friday, December 19, 2014

Indie Friday + Giveaway: Touch by Natalia Jaster

For the last almost-five-years of blogging, I stumbled upon and discovered gems in YA and NA. I was surprised that some of the best books I have ever read were in fact not published traditionally. Some of these unforgettable books are indie. So I have decided to start a weekly feature on my blog about indie novels and authors, that deserve attention.

Indie Friday is a weekly feature wherein YA/NA indie novels are explored, authors speak up and bookish goodies are given away. Accompany me in my search for the next best indie read.

For the first Indie Friday, I amm featuring Natalia Jaster and her novel, Touch, a YA mythology-with-a-twist. Without further ado, lets move on to the interview:

What or who inspired you to create and mold Love as she appeared in Touch: wild, longing, graceful and sometimes mischievous?

Ha! I have a tendency to gravitate toward characters with a naughty side—and usually that naughty side is hiding something deeper, an emotional yearning. Love is a goddess, so it was easy to give her some graceful qualities. But since she’s alone for most of her life, it was also obvious that she’d have an untamed side, a desperation to her.

Really, what inspired me were the questions, What if the god of love had never been in love? What if Eros had no clue how to truly love someone?

We are used to the male-version Eros. How did you set the difference between the traditional Eros and Love?

Love is like Eros in many ways, yet there’s always a pinch of a difference. They both have human-like features, except that Love doesn’t have wings. She doesn’t spend her time flying around town—and that simple difference makes her even more relatable. She uses the same weapon, but she crafted it herself. She’s arrogant and entitled, but she’s also lonely.

And like Eros, she gets a kick out of matchmaking, however it’s not just callous amusement for her, as it seems to be for him. She genuinely cares about the people she pairs up, she wants them to be happy together, and she believes that she’s doing right by them.

But I think the biggest difference is her sexuality. Eros represents sexual desire, yet Love is a virgin. It’s safe to say she’s not as experienced as he is. She’s the goddess of love, but she’s never been with someone, so intimacy is a mystery to her. Discovering that part of herself is major aspect of her growth in this story.

Could you tell us more about Love's culture and world?

Love comes from a dimension called the Peaks. It’s sort of like a celestial island—or perhaps what an island would look like if it were a star. In her world, gods and goddesses don’t have families, because they can’t procreate. Each deity is born from a star. I wanted to reflect that in the type of landscape they live in, with a sense of darkness and majesty, a place of moonlight and water and cliffs.

Every deity represents an emotion. So not only do we meet Love, we also get to know Anger, Envy, Sorrow, and Wonder. Ironically, the culture is rather pragmatic and dispassionate. They see emotions as a force of power, as a skill to be mastered, as a job. Not as something you just feel. That’s the difference between them and humans. Deities consider it their duty and right to oversee these emotions in humans, but it’s undignified for a deity let their own emotions get the better of them. Of course, Love refuses to conform to that belief, which gets her into trouble.

Could you tell us how you made Andrew so gorgeous-that-readers-would-fall-in-love-with-him? What were the "ingredients" to his personality?

*smiles* Oh my, I can’t take the credit for that. It’s all Andrew’s doing.

He’s just a precious guy. He’s inquisitive, quick-witted, forthright, and generous to a fault. Plus, he’s a writer who carries around a fountain pen. How could a girl not love that about him!

Could you share with us if you encountered some obstacles along the way, while developing Love and Andrew's relationship?

Love and Andrew are very playful and visceral, like two adolescent snow leopards chasing each other through the forest. But man, they quarrel about as much as they goof off. They both have very different, and very strong, opinions about love, fate, and freewill. Those arguments between them were pretty tough to write.

The other challenge was their intimate relationship. The book is about the goddess of love falling in love and learning what it means to be in a relationship—in, ahem, every way. So it was important to balance the innocence, curiosity, and sensuality of their scenes together. This tale isn’t called Touch for nothing.

Any message for our readers?

Thanks for stopping by this interview. I hope you enjoy my little story!

Book Description:

Kindle Edition, 237 pages || Paperback coming out in Jan 2015
Published October 27th 2014

The myth of Eros isn’t the truth. Her story is the truth . . .

Love is an immortal bad girl. With a strike of her arrow and a smirk on her face, she pins human hearts together against their will. It’s for their own good, of course—silly, clueless creatures that they are.

But Love has never loved. Not until the Fates parcel her off to a small, frostbitten town littered with needy souls. Not until she crosses paths with Andrew, a crippled boy whose gaze locks onto hers. Yet how can this be? Mortals don’t have the power to see deities.

The longer they’re friends, the more Love wishes she could touch Andrew. In gentle ways. In other tempting and reckless ways as well.

It’s impossible. She isn’t a true part of his world. She’s an outsider whose fingers will only ever sweep through him. A mischievous, invisible goddess who’s destined to be alone. And he’s destined for someone else. By order of the Fates, it’s Love’s duty to betray his trust. To seal his heart while ignoring the gash in her own.

Or she could become human. For there is one very tricky, very dangerous way to do so.

If only Andrew felt the same about her, it might be worth the risk.

*Mature YA. Intended for readers 17 and older*

About the Author:

Her kindergarten teacher told her mom that Natalia stared out the window too much, daydreaming instead of paying attention in class. It’s true. Eventually she learned to focus more in school (and to love it), but the daydreaming never stopped. So after earning her master’s in creative writing and spending a bunch of fun years as a magazine editor, Natalia is now a writer of YA romance.

She is also a total fool for first-kiss scenes, fanfiction, libraries, and starry nights.

Touch her my first book.

Follow Natalia: Website | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest

Giveaway Alert!

There are two giveaways for this Indie Friday feature guys! For US and INTL readers. :)

US giveaway: Signed Copy of Touch by Natalia Jaster + bookmarks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

International Giveaway: E-book copy of Touch by Natalia Jaster

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This new feature is awesomesauce! I agree with you that there are really hidden jems that aren't published traditionally and this helps them get more recognition. #IndieBooksBeSeen! :)

    1. Hi there! I could hug you for this. *hugs* There are really amazing books out there that need more recognition. #IndieBooksBeSeen - I think I'm gonna use and abuse this hashtag. ;)