Friday, August 05, 2016

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Author Interview + Giveaway: Tokens and Omens by Jeri Baird

Hi guys! This is the first feature for #CelebratingDebutantes2016! As I mentioned yesterday here on the blog and on Twitter, Maricar and I are taking you guys for another spin - the second wave will last for 58 days. Guys, 58 days. I'm so stoked about it! Anyway, before I talk your ears off, let's head to the first feature: an author interview with Jeri Baird.

What or who inspired you to write Tokens and Omens?
I write intuitively, which means I seldom know what's coming until I write it. The same with new ideas. I'd written several manuscripts before TOKENS AND OMENS, and always when I got close to the end of one, I'd have the idea for the next one. I don't know where they come from except that some part of my subconscious must be working on them.

Could you tell us about the story world of Tokens and Omens?
In Puck's Gulch, Moira (Fate) requires the sixteen-year-olds to undergo a time of magic where they earn tokens for good behavior and omens for bad. Four months later, they spend five days alone on a quest where the omens become physical threats. If they've earned the correct tokens, the quest is fairly easy. If they didn't, the omens can be lethal. Oh, and Puck's ghost haunts the gulch where the quest is held!

Could you tell us a bit about the personalities of Zander, Alexa and Fate?
Moira can seem fickle in how she hands out tokens and omens, but she has a reason for everything she does. Sometimes she appears as a beautiful young woman, sometimes the old crone. Zander believes Moira has his best interest in mind until he earns a black panther omen, the deadliest omen to fight in the quest. Alexa trusts only herself and schemes to control her destiny, trying to cheat what she believes Moira has planned.

Were there any challenges that you encountered while writing this story? How did you deal with it?
Being convinced to whittle my very long prologue down to a small statement about Fate? I was attached to it for a long time, but through an online class and my critique partners, I was able to see the wisdom in letting it go. I also originally wrote TOKENS AND OMENS as a middle grade novel. Through revisions, I changed the ages and called it upper middle grade. During the first pass with my editor, he called and said he thought the story would be better served by making it young adult. I knew he was right and easily agreed.

Was Tokens and Omens a standalone right from the start? Why?
It does stand alone, but there is a second book that begins six months after it ends. Curses and Warfare releases July 2017. Tokens and Omens started as one book, but when I got close to the end, I had the inspiration for how the story could continue.

Are you working on other stories as of the moment? Could you tell us about it?
I'm currently writing a third book in the Tokens and Omens world. One of the characters experienced a lot of loss in Curses and Warfare and needed a happily-ever-after. I thought it would be a sweet romantic novella, but it's turned into something much more, and I'm loving it!

Thank you, Jeri!

About the Author:

Before becoming an author, Jeri Baird worked as a handmade paper artist, an entrepreneurship teacher for at-risk high school students, a reflexologist, a rock painter, and a zombie (in a film, not a real one).

She lives on the Western Slope of Colorado with her husband and one cat, who both make her laugh. When she’s not writing, she enjoys kayaking, the scenery from the back of her husband’s motorcycle, and visiting her sons in Wyoming and California.

Find Jeri: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Book Description:

Paperback, 284 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Jolly Fish Press

In Puck's Gulch, sixteen-year-olds undergo a dangerous trial known as the Quest. During a time of magic, Fate hands out tokens and omens based on their behavior. Zander trusts Fate. Alexa only trusts herself. Now, Fate has given them each a special gift—Zander sees secrets he doesn’t want, and Alexa's thrilled to find she can control events through her embroidery scenes. After Zander and Alexa each earn a omen that makes surviving the quest nearly impossible, they must break the rules and challenge Fate together. If they don't, one will die. And Fate has made it clear—she won't be cheated.


Thanks to Jeri for this giveaway!
What's up for grabs: Copy of Tokens and Omens via the Book Depository
Scope: International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!


  1. Congratulations Jeri on TOKENS AND OMENS!

    1. Thank you! A dove token to you for your kindness!

  2. I would talk with my partners in crime!

  3. This looks interesting!
    Strategizing? Ummm...
    Try to go unnoticed.

  4. I'd definitely plan thoroughly. I have to have Plan A, B, C and D. And an emergency plan A because when you go on a quest, there's a high probability that you'll encounter some circumstances that will hinder you so you really need a LOT of back-up plans in case of emergency. Haha.

    Alyssa @ Diary of a Book Maniac

    1. And then Fate interferes with all those lovely plans...

  5. Replies
    1. You're like Alexa. She thinks she has it all figured out. 🤔

  6. “Tokens and Omens” kept me enthralled for the two days it took me to read it. And yes, one sentence brought tears to my eyes, as another reviewer mentioned. This book is a fine example of fantasy fiction for young and old alike to read for pleasure and recognition, and ponder later.

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