Saturday, 2 February 2019

Beauty is the Beast Blog Tour: A Conversation with Gretchen

Today, we join the Beauty is the Beast Blog Tour with a great character interview (and a giveaway). This is a bit of a departure from the normal character interviews you see here, as our intrepid reporter Richard Dale is temporarily indisposed due to a dimensional shift (don't worry Jenkins is working on restoring reality). In the meantime enjoy this delightful slice of life with Gretchen (from the urban fantasy Beauty is the Beast by Jennifer Zamboni).

A Conversation with Gretchen

In which Persephone interviews Gretchen for a position as a stylist at Olympian’s Salon.

Percy glanced at the grandfather clock that sat to the right of her salon. The next interviewee was due to arrive at any moment. She had picked this girl specifically because of what she was, knowing that she could be of help to her. A once over in her station mirror confirmed that her glamour was fully in place.

One of the bells over the double doors rang as a tall dark haired young woman stepped in. She was blinking like her eyes were irritated, and Percy could see her nostrils flare ever so slightly, taking in the scents of the salon.

“You must be Gretchen,” said Percy, stepping forward. “Welcome! Please come have a seat over in the waiting area and we’ll get started.” She held out her hand in greeting and received a firm handshake.

“Thank you,” said Gretchen, selecting a spot on the slick sofa, then handed her potential employer a folder that contained her resume and a brief portfolio.

Percy took a moment to look it over, nodding as she thought, then closed it and set it aside.

“Alright then, let’s get started. How long have you been doing hair?”

“A long time, you?” Gretchen asked, seeming to be resisting the urge to cross her arms.

“Oh, a long time as well.”

“I figured,” said Gretchen, her nostrils flaring once more. “What are you?”

Percy was taken aback, she had thought her glamour was quite thorough. “I don’t know what you mean.”

Gretchen rolled her eyes. “You reek of magic. Old magic.”

“Oh all right, you caught me, I’m Persephone and fae and you’re a werewolf,” said Percy, a grin spreading over her lips.

Gretchen’s lip rolled up, revealing rapidly sharpening teeth, and growled.

“Oh, now, now, there’s no need of that. It’s why I chose to interview you. I already know much of your background. I know you were first licensed back in the ’80s and yet you still don’t look a day past your early 20’s.”

Gretchen huffed, then leaned forward, elbows to knees, and studied the woman seated across from her. “Okay. So the interview is for me as a supernatural or for me as a stylist?”

“Both!” Percy exclaimed. “I think the salon will run much more smoothly if everyone is fae or at least part, then there’s no need for hiding on lunch break. Or full moon.

Gretchen’s eyebrows shot up, and she settled back into the couch. “Okay. What do you need to know then?”

Percy pulled out the pad of paper with the questions she’d written out. “Let’s see. Let’s start with your real age and the age you tell everyone.”

“Um, somewhere in the 180’s I think. I’m fuzzy on dates. I usually tell people I’m 24.”

Percy nodded, noting down the answer. “And was becoming a werewolf your idea, or an attack.”

“It was an offer that I should have refused,” said Gretchen, her face neutral as she misquoted.

Percy threw her head back and laughed. “Well, that’s good I suppose! Moving on. What do you do during the full moon to keep others safe?”

“I try and lock myself up. Some doors are better than others.”

Percy tapped the end of her pen against her lip. “You know, I have a barn out back that’s no longer in use. I’d be willing to fix it up into a kennel for you. If your interested, that is.”

Gretchen drew in a quick breath, and her eyebrows scrunched together. “Why?”

“Well, if you’re going to work for me, I can’t risk you eating the locals. I can offer more than that. I can help you with your furry issue. This is more than just a job I’m offering you. I know you’ve been having control issues and that you’re a lone-wolf--”

“Hey, how did you find--”

“Don’t worry about it, I have my ways. Anyhow, as I was saying, I can offer you room, board, and potentially a share in the business. I can help give you a stable environment and keep you and your wolf safe.”

“I need some time to think--”

“I’m not sure if I can allow that. You see, you’re living in my territory, and I cannot have a loose cannon running around threatening to expose the fae community. You do understand that, don’t you.”

Gretchen’s fists tightened as she nodded. “I understand. It’s either take this job and move in here or get out of Maine.”

“Yes, exactly,” said Percy brightly. “Now, that’s settled, let’s move on. Tell me what you like to do as a stylist.”

Gretchen gaped but found herself unable to argue. “Um, uh, I like funky styles. I like color, and I can work miracles with a pair of sheers.”

“Now that’s what I’m talking about. Yes, your portfolio is quite impressive. I think you’ll succeed here. I can see that you’ve kept up with trends and training, which is very important to me. You can’t be one of those elderly beauticians that does the same cut and curl on everyone, that would just be a dead giveaway that you’re not just a 24-year-old kid.”

“What else do you need to know about me that you didn’t already find out on your own?” Gretchen’s arms once again crossed over her chest.

“Oh, how about hobbies. What do you do when you’re not doing hair or off munching on innocent woodland creatures?”

“I run a lot. It helps me burn off steam, especially with all these woods. It’s part of why I moved to Maine. And I play the violin.”

“Oh, that’s lovely! I’d very much like to hear you play.”

“Well, you definitely will, if you’re making me move in. I spend a lot of time practicing. Anything else?”

“Hey, who’s doing this interview, me or you?” Percy joked. “No, I can’t think of anything off the top of my head beyond when you’ll be moving in. You’re hired by the way.”

“I figured. I can move now if you really want. Everything I own is in my truck.”

“Splendid,” said Percy. “Let’s get you settled then. That first station will be yours, now let me show you to your room.”

Percy led Gretchen up the double grand staircase and to the left, coming to a stop in front of a door. Percy fit a key to the lock, then passed it off to Gretchen.

“Best keep this locked so clients don’t go snooping,” she said, leading the werewolf into the spacious bedroom.

The smell of death and magic filled the room, and Gretchen spun around to find a petite blonde, who appeared a little younger than herself.

“Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in. Long time, no see, mutt.” The little vampire gave a toothy grin.

“Lacey-Marie, you work here? How have you been? Where have you been?” Gretchen stepped forward and pulled the newcomer into a tight hug.

“Yes, I almost forgot you two knew each other a few years back. I’ll leave you to get reacquainted.” And with that Percy returned to the salon, quite smug in the fact that her plan was working out so well.

Beauty is the Beast: Beasts Among Us
by Jennifer Zamboni

Gretchen is a 24-year-old-hairstylist with secrets: She likes to chase squirrels and howl at the moon. She’s also not really 24. When one of her coworkers turns up dead in the salon, she suspects that the murderer isn’t entirely human. When another stylist is murdered, and then another, she goes on the prowl. A circus with a secret side show catches her attention, as does her former pack, and a group of visiting vampires. Her only outlet is her music, but that will only keep her wolf on a leash for so long with a killer on the loose.

Beauty is the Beast is available on Amazon

About Jennifer Zamboni

Jen loves books. Reading them, writing them, reviewing them, and collecting them. (She claims it’s not hoarding) Urban fantasy is the name of her game, and being a mom is her day job. She also is a licensed cosmetologist, though she no longer works in a salon. She lives in the boondocks of Maine with her husband, 2 girls, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 1 vocally insistent cockatiel.


Click the link to Enter

3 ebook copies of Beauty is the Beast!


For more of the Blog Tour here's the schedule:

January 29: (Guest Post)
January 31: (Guest Post)
February 1: (Author Interview)
February 1: (Book Review)
February 2: (Character Interview)

1 comment:

Jennifer Zamboni said...

Thank you so much for taking part in my tour! I had a lot of fun writing this little tidbit!

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