A Q&A with the author... Between Wild and Ruin by Jennifer G. Edelson (Interview, Trailer & #Giveaway)

Welcome! Check out an interview with the author, book trailer, and giveaway below...

Between Wild and Ruin
By Jennifer G. Edelson
YA Paranormal, Fairy Tales
Paperback & ebook, 364 Pages
August 26th 2019 by Bad Apple Books


Truth, like love, isn't always obvious.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, La Luna’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears near the ruin, Ruby finds herself teetering between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where spirits and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.

Set against a Northern New Mexico backdrop, Between Wild and Ruin is a young adult coming-of-age story that captures the wild and whimsical pulse of New Mexico through the eyes of teens Ruby Brooks, Angel Ruiz, and Ezra Lucero. The first book in the Wild and Ruin series, Between Wild and Ruin explores the time-tested credo ‘never judge a book by its cover’ through a paranormal lens, weaving Puebloan and Hispanic folklore and Southwest cultural narratives into tightly written, high-concept fiction ‘brimming with mystery, intrigue,’ and as Kirkus Reviews puts it, an “intriguing historical drama and an over-the top quadrangle romance.”


“What could be a corny premise turns into an exhilarating, fun ride in Edelson’s adept hands. Her characters are smartly drawn, and readers will easily identify with Ruby, a strong yet insecure young artist on the verge of adulthood, who is still recovering from her tragic past . . . Fans of Twilight and modern fairy tales will fall in love with Ruby and root for her eventual romance.” — Blue Ink Review (Starred Review)

“Between Wild and Ruin is a stunning story of legends, romance, and destiny with themes of starting over, small towns, beauty, and community . . . Edelson perfectly breathes new life in mythology by honoring the oral tradition of a small community and the ruins that bring to life Ruby's destiny.” — Manhattan Book Review

“Highly recommended to mature teens through new adult and adult audiences, this is a story that lingers in the mind long after its final revelation.” — Midwest Book Review

“A great addition to young adult urban fantasy.” — Seattle Book Review

“Descriptions of the New Mexico landscape are rich and atmospheric, arousing the senses with references to the scent of smoke and juniper, the predatory roar of mountain lions, and the brilliant dazzle of stars in the desert sky . . . The writing conveys a sense of timelessness, making it easy to believe Ruby’s sense that the land is spirit-haunted and that Leo, the handsome young man she encounters near the ruins, is somehow connected to it all.” — Clarion Forward

“An intriguing historical tale and an over-the-top love-quadrangle romance.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The paranormal aspects of the tale are credible and richly steeped in traditional lore, and the plot is finely crafted . . . Between Wild and Ruin is most highly recommended.” — Reader’s Favorite (5-Star Review)

(Affiliate links included.)


Would you tell us a little more about the main characters from BETWEEN WILD & RUIN?

Ruby Brooks — Eighteen-year-old junk food fan and artist, Ruby Brooks, was born in Los Angeles on Halloween. After her model mother’s questionable suicide, Ruby moves from Los Angeles to small town La Luna, New Mexico with her aunt Liddy. Formerly a straight-A student, Ruby has to repeat senior year in La Luna at Pecos High, in order to hold on to her spot at a West Coast college after dropping the ball when her mother died. Ruby doesn’t know who her father is. She’s sure her mother knew, but her mother always refused to admit it.

Ruby never really got along with her mother, and because of it, is sensitive about both her mother’s death and appearances in general. She hates looking in the mirror and often ignores or discounts beautiful things, worried if she acknowledges appearances, it’ll mean she’s more like her mother than she’d like to admit — i.e. superficial. Because Ruby is so hung up on appearances, she also almost immediately alienates Ezra, former hot-boy in residence who was disfigured in an accident, before eventually befriending him.

Ruby is also a thinker; she grapples with big questions, including wondering whether or not she’s shut her heart down preemptively before she can get close to anyone, to stop herself from feeling abandoned all over again after her mother’s death. An avid hiker, Ruby explores the mountains behind her house when she needs to think and ends up discovering an ancient pueblo ruin. She also meets Leo, whom she only ever runs into in the forest near the ruin and parts of the pass. Leo is preternaturally gorgeous, and though Ruby tries to fight it, she finds him captivating. Leo claims the Pueblo ruin is a gateway to another world, and after only a couple of visits, Ruby finds herself inexplicably drawn to the area and the mystery it presents, not to mention the opportunity to run into Leo again. But Ruby is also sharp; she senses something is off with both Leo and the ruin and starts to think it may have something to do with her. The less things make sense, the more Ruby is determined to solve the mysteries that senselessness presents.

While Ruby’s unconventional friendship with Ezra grows, and her suspicions regarding Leo and the ruin bloom, she also finds herself attracted to, and growing close to Angel, La Luna’s handsome Sherriff’s deputy, which causes all kinds of unfamiliar emotional turmoil. Especially because, before La Luna, Ruby had never been in love; she never really even dated (she didn’t want to). On top of that, as Ruby continues to dig deeper into the pueblo mystery, she comes to believe the ruin may actually be more than just a pile of crumbling adobe blocks; that it may indeed be a gateway to another world and may hold clues to her mother’s death. Ruby is both stubborn and resolute, and as the story progresses, she becomes increasingly more determined to uncover the truth about the Glorieta pass, how it relates to her mother, Ezra’s accident, and Leo’s identity.

Favorite Food: Cheetos, Oreos, and Pizza
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Music Genre: Alternative
Favorite Clothing item: Hiking Boots
Biggest Fear: Coming off as superficial
Dream Job: Anthropologist or Artist
Hobbies: Painting
Best Qualities: Loving, thoughtful, and introspective
Worst Qualities: Sometime clueless and a little self-centered

Ezra Lucero — Twenty-year-old Ezra is Native American, both Jemez and Navajo (with some mix of Hispanic as well, like numerous New Mexicans), and grapples with the traditions and lore his grandfather passed down about his family’s Native American clan and background. Ezra’s father died when Ezra was a young teen. Ezra’s mother moved away from La Luna to the Jemez Pueblo after Ezra left for college. Ezra’s family house sits just outside of La Luna in the Glorietta Pass and has been passed down on Ezra’s mother’s side from generation to generation since it was deeded to his family as part of a Spanish land grant in the sixteen hundreds. Ezra also grew up in La Luna, New Mexico. He attended Pecos High with Angel, and on the surface at least, was La Luna’s resident popular, albeit conceited jock.

After Ezra’s first year of college back East, Ezra returned to La Luna when his face was disfigured in a mysterious accident he refuses to talk about. Settling back in La Luna, he holed up in his house in the pass (not too far from Ruby’s new house), and rarely ventures into town. Now that he’s back, Ezra is a loner. He’s also La Luna’s current pariah. A position that’s aggravated by the fact that Ezra’s family had already been the source of town gossip for generations — gossip about how Ezra’s family are allegedly witches.

Ezra was always caustic, reactive, and conceited, but his accident brought out the worst in him, and most town folk find him unpleasant to be around. They stare at him when he comes into La Luna, which makes Ezra angry and often sets him off. Ezra is too aware of how people see him now compared to how he was ‘before,’ and like Ruby, grapples with his feelings about appearances and his relationship to beauty. Though Ezra did go off to college, his father was a carpenter, and when Ezra returns to La Luna, he returns to the family business; he enjoys restoring things and working with his hands.

Favorite Food: Mac and Cheese from a box and diner burgers
Favorite Color: Black and anything checkered
Favorite Music Genre: Country
Favorite Clothing Item: Straw Cowboy hat
Biggest Fear: Being alone
Dream Job: Astronomer or Architect
Hobbies: Reading
Best Qualities: Whip-smart, loyal, secretly wants to be better
Worst Qualities: Conceit, anger, insecurity

Angel Ruiz — Twenty-one-year old Angel is Mexican American, born in New Mexico and raised in La Luna. He attended Pecos High with Ezra, but never liked him. Angel and Ezra do not get along. After graduating from Pecos High, Angel joined La Luna’s Sherriff’s office (as deputy Sheriff), where his uncle Torrance is the town Sherriff. Angel is a genuinely nice guy who is invested in the community and helping La Luna’s town folk. His father left him and his mother when he was a toddler, so his uncle Torrance helped raised him. Angel is very close to both Torrance and his mom, Viviane, who own and runs a restaurant in nearby Santa Fe. Traditionally handsome, Angel played football in high school and is a hot commodity locally but is not at all conceited about it. He believes in true love and falls hard after he meets Ruby. He’s determined to do right by her and wants to protect her after learning about her mother’s death.

Favorite Food: Tamales, Green Chile, and Huevos Rancheros
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Music Genre: Pop
Favorite Clothing item: Slim-fit button-downs
Biggest Fear: None
Dream Job: Sherriff
Hobbies: Anything Sporty
Best Qualities: Genuinely nice, kind, fiercely loyal
Worst Qualities: Bossy, nosy, overly confident

Leo — Gorgeous Leo is a bit of a mystery. The only clear things about him are that he hails from a Native American background, grew up somewhere in the pass, and is extraordinarily full of himself. The only time Ruby runs into Leo, is in the more forested areas of the pass, usually near the ruin. Leo is obviously smart and interesting, but equally cocky bordering on off-putting. He’s obviously attracted to Ruby but while clearly attempting to woo her, also seems uninterested in taking her out or meeting her in public. Leo also often comes off like he’s toying with her.

Ruby isn’t sure what Leo’s end-game is, but she does start to worry Leo may be dangerous. Particularly since no one — not Angel, Ezra, Torrance, or her friends at Pecos high — seem to know who he is. At some point, one of Ruby’s girlfriends even jokes Leo may be a ghost (as the pass is part of an old civil war battlefield).

What’s one thing Ruby found she loved about the culture and legends of New Mexico and why?

Probably that the town Ruby moves to, as well as it’s layered mix of multi-cultural and ancient history, and actual modern, but still very mixed culture (that in some ways still seems ancient) are so entirely different than what she experienced growing up. La Luna is so different in fact, it feels exotic and foreign, like Ruby could almost believe she moved to a different, if not entirely magical country.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

The romance, love quadrangle, and straight up chemistry between Ezra and Ruby does a number on me every time. I’ve had to re-read Between Wild and Ruin a bazillion times now, and sometimes it’s like my brain doesn’t want to focus anymore — but the romance at least never gets boring. It really is pretty epic.

Did you find anything especially interesting while researching BETWEEN WILD & RUIN?

It’s a tie:

First, most people don’t know that the civil war made it out to New Mexico. In fact, Union soldiers actually halted the Confederate march toward California permanently after a bloody battle not too far from the Pecos Pueblo in the Glorieta pass. The fact that there’s a civil war battle field spanning the Santa Fe trail, and in same area where numerous Pueblo-Apache wars were fought, AND where there was a massive Pueblo uprising against the Spaniards during the Inquisition, AND where the Pecos Pueblo stood throughout, kind of blows my mind. The history in the pass is incredible!

I also discovered some dark and fascinating local folklore about the historic Pecos Pueblo itself. Especially in relation to the Spanish Conquistadors that came through the area in the early sixteen hundreds. There are still pueblo elders at some of the other 19 active pueblos in New Mexico today that believe the Pecos Pueblo and its inhabitants were either cursed, otherworldly, or touched by evil spirits. What makes their stories even more fascinating, is that it’s still considered pretty taboo among pueblo elders to discuss the lore with outsiders. There are also numerous people in Northern New Mexico and in and around the Glorieta pass who truly believe the whole Pecos wilderness area is a spiritual and paranormal portal — the area is regularly referred to as everything from an extra-dimensional gateway, to where lay-lines converge, to a UFO hotspot — but it’s just as much of a taboo and/or unbroachable subject outside of most local tight-knit circles, as are stories about the Pecos Pueblo. The whole hush-huh nature of it just makes it all extra compelling.

What’s one of your hobbies or something we might not know about you?

I have too many hobbies and wear my heart on my sleeve, so I’m pretty much an open book. It doesn’t take much digging to learn most things about me. But something a lot of people don’t know and that I don’t often share (and that people who know me find surprising), is that I had a less than a traditional educational background. I think because I come from an uber educated family and have a BFA and a law degree, people assume I had a pretty ‘normal’ school experience. In reality, I dropped out of school in the middle of tenth grade after being held back for two years and kicked out of a half dozen high schools. I sat for the California proficiency test when I was sixteen (CA’s version of the GED for teens under eighteen) then just floated around for a while after I passed it. I did everything backwards, and really floundered before finally getting my $#!@ together.

As a debut author, what words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I went to a publishing conference recently and was relieved to hear the panel say that on average, most writers write and query agents and publishers for about fourteen years before finally publishing, whether it be through traditional channels, indie publishing, or self-publishing. I also learned that the average age for newly published authors in most genres, fiction or non-fiction, is just over 50! Also, the sentiment everyone on the panel agreed with, was that the one thing all published writers have in common is that they never give up, no matter how difficult the journey. It put my own experiences into perspective and really made me feel better about struggling for so long, and also grateful that I’m so freaking tenacious.

So. Write. Keep writing. Don't give up! The worst thing that’ll happen while you’re not being published, assuming that’s what you want, is that you’ll become a better writer.

Book Trailer

About the Author

Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving years in the Minnesota tundra. Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people—if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you.  


Tour-Wide Giveaway

- 1 Winner will receive an Exclusive Swag Bag from Jennifer G. Edelson
- Giveaway is open to International | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends December 23, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments

Post a Comment

I love comments! I try to read and reply to them all. Feel free to agree or disagree and generally share your thoughts with me.