The (Darkest) Torment Continues!


In honor of the mass market release of Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Torment, I’m sponsoring a new contest to win one signed copy of Gena’s book.  Back in May when The Darkest Torment came out in hardback, I shared some of the ways Gena enjoys tormenting in the past. Below I’ll share my five original posts.

RULES: Only commenters on this blog post are eligible and MUST be received no later than Sunday, December 11, 2016 at Midnight CST. One RS winner will receive a signed copy of The Darkest Torment. I don’t mind shipping internationally because I love you that much 🙂  Please only comment once, and tell me which torment you think is the worst:

  1.  The Original Tormenter
  2. Tormenting Your Kids So It Sticks For Life
  3. The (Not So) Subtle Art of Social Torment
  4. Gena Torments An Innocent Puppy
  5. Gena Torments Teens

You can keep up to date with my latest book releases, contests and more by signing up for my newsletter here.

1. The Original Tormenter

Cover_The Darkest Torment_Gena ShowalterGena is the oldest of three sisters, so automatically you know she’s mean 🙂 Okay, I know I shouldn’t stereotype – just know I can back the truth of that statement with stories from her sisters. Plus, I’m the youngest of three myself, so… I just know. Now to counter balance the meanness, Gena is the first one to have your back.

One of those stories from her sisters is about her favorite childhood game called Mumbly Peg. I have never heard of this game and I’m pretty sure her father invented it. So while my childhood was filled with playing dress up, reading to my dolls and twirling – Gena’s featured sitting in a circle and throwing small knives. How the knife lands dictates the number of points and then with a hammer you hit this peg into the ground. The loser gets to pull the peg out of the dirt WITH THEIR TEETH (I can only imagine the dental bills).

Now here’s the kicker – usually they hammered that stick into the ground next to something gross – like dog poop or fish guts. So picture it – you’ve lost, you’re on the ground, pulling a stick out from the dirt with your teeth and getting to breathe in the sweet scent of poo.

When I ask Gena about this – she said it only made her tougher.

2. Tormenting Your Kids So It Sticks For Life

MeantestMomAwardSome say THIS is the meanest thing Gena has ever done to torment someone – and the funny thing it was only a suggestion. She (or more accurately I) never actually did it.

So when my oldest child was about twelve or so, she casually mentioned that now would be about the time she should be getting her letter from Hogwarts. (And while I don’t think I need to say this I will – Hogwarts is the name of the invite only school from JK Rowling’s amazing Harry Potter series.)

Anyway, Gena and I were talking about the magic books from our childhood still created for us, and I mentioned how my daughter wanted her Hogwarts letter. Gena leans in and says, “You know what you should do – send her a rejection letter. Full on Hogwarts stationary – the whole bit.” Then I was to make about a hundred copies and hide them throughout her room, so that every time she opened a drawer or looked in her closet – there’d be another letter.

Now to be clear – this suggestion was ABHORRENT to me. The things I’ve done to enable my daughter’s Harry Potter habit are endless, but include sewing robes, dying fabrics and painting a tie to look like Slytherin. That doesn’t even include the hours, I mean HOURS of standing in line to get tickets to midnight books sales and then standing in line at the actual book sale.

But c’mon, the idea of it is kind of funny. Especially during those particularly surly teen years. The idea of pulling out a worn slip of paper and saying – well, look what I’ve been keeping from you – your Hogwarts rejection letter – now who’s the mean mom?!

So anyway, in case you’re interested, I did draft a brief something:

Dear Ms. Monroe:

We regret to inform you there is not a place for you at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The selection process was tough, and there are many qualified applicants; however, you are a muggle.

Please return the owl.

No enclosures.

To really sell it – you must sign it as Minerva McGonagall.

I’ve since told my daughter about this and it brought on a full body shudder, so parenting win! The funny thing about it, she’s in her second year at Mount Holyoke College, which many people say looks a lot like Hogwarts.

3. The (Not So) Subtle Art of Social Torment

ShyGenaA consequence of staying home all day to write – you lose all your social skills. I’m talking full on conversations with the dog and saying dialogue out loud so often you accidentally do it in public those rare times you go out. Ask any of my friends, I have an outside of my house shelf life of about an hour and a half. I get a little twitchy after that.

But if there’s someone who hates to leave her house even more than me – it’s Gena. So when we leave, we usually go together, because if there’s anything better than a socially awkward person, it’s TWO socially awkward people.

Gena’s favorite (aka tormenting) thing to do is to invite me into a group conversation so she can then excuse herself and never return, leaving me to converse with people. And I mean NEVER return. The worst part about it – it took me almost a year to figure out she was doing it on purpose.

So, if you’ve ever begun your evening in a conversation with Gena and ended up with me, don’t take it personally, it’s her. Not you. It really is her. And I’m glad you and I are friends now.

4. Gena Torments An Innocent Puppy

Our Girl ZZoeyis2This is our rescue dog, Zoey. Isn’t she adorable? I fell in love with her puppy picture (left). To the right is Zoey on her second birthday. (Yeah, the hat didn’t last too long.)

Gena named an animal in the Last Kiss Goodnight after Zoey.

Then Gena killed it.



5. Gena Torments Teens

517eMoiq8lL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_So if you think Gena’s torment is only in her adults books, you’d be wrong. For instance, in Gena’s YA Intertwined Series – Gena named two characters after my children. (SPOILER ALERT) Then in Twisted, she sent those characters into a building and blew it up. I still don’t know if they lived or died, but in Gena’s mind, they’re probably dead.

Or in her White Rabbit Chronicle series. The things she did to those teens…

Being Gena’s critique partner, I often read the first draft of her books. So we were at the book signing for the Queen of Zombie Hearts and a girl asks Gena if she’ll spin off a new series featuring Kat. (SPOILER ALERT) Now Kat is beloved in the White Chronicles Universe – especially because she’s battling zombies and fighting a deadly kidney disease. But as I’d already read the book, I knew that not only was Gena giving Kat a treatment to her kidney disease that she was (yes!) responding to, and thus giving Kat and the readers who loved her hope – but that also Gena would be killing her off before the book ended. I just wanted to take that girl aside, give her a little hug and say, “I know, she does it to us all!”

So there you have it.  Once again, you can enter to win one copy of the mass market edition on The Darkest Torment.  RULES: Only commenters on this blog post are eligible and MUST be received no later than Sunday, December 11, 2016 at Midnight CST. One RS winner will receive a signed copy of The Darkest Torment. I don’t mind shipping internationally because I love you that much 🙂 Please only comment once, and tell me which torment you think is the worst.

You can keep up to date with my latest book releases, contests and more by signing up for my newsletter here.


33 thoughts on “The (Darkest) Torment Continues!

  1. 3 social torment. I love/ hate when I have to go socialize with others. And I usually am glad I did when my friends get me out of the house.

  2. 3. The (Not So) Subtle Art of Social Torment – I used to be an Alpha female; then one night, circumstances beyond my control altered that, things changed. I now have trouble even going into a grocery store without backup – AKA my 28yr old daughter- I am fine with buffers but alone… its almost comical

  3. I would have to say 3! I am socially awkward myself and spend so much time at home. The way she does it it so darn clever, like it is something I would do to a friend who is also like me but I would probably die if someone did it to me!!!!

  4. #3 I can so relate… I tend to spend more time home reading and have been known to read out loud….. Love your books

  5. It would have to be #3. I like staying and home and hate when a friend invites !e to something and then leaves me especially with people I don’t know.

  6. #3..the social torment. I totally understand and am guilty myself of inviting and then leaving friends to carry on conversations as I disappear. Sorry Jill..but I totally understand where Gena is coming

  7. Killing off a much loved charecter is THE WORST thing a writer can do to a person(fan). These people become a part of our family!!!! And you *#$#*** blow them up? stabbed to death? a house fell on them? eaten by a demon? WHAT THE WHAT? Torment, need I say more?

  8. 4, torments an innocent puppy. Look at how cute she is. Dressing them up can be fun for us two legged walkers, but not so much for our four legged friends.

  9. I would have to go with Gena Torments Teens. She builds up there hope that their favorite beloved characters will survive through anything then she kills them off making the teens who so loved the characters cry their eyes out over the loss and probably force them to never read again.But we all know teens eventually get over being angry at an author,well sometimes anyways.

  10. The 3rd one because when you are an intensive reader or in her case a writer, you get lost in the story and when you come back to reality you feel like your life is over for a couple of days and socializing after being invested in a book so long can be difficult

  11. 5. Gena Torments Teens.There is nothing worse than the loss of a beloved character. As any true fan knows; a great Author can create such amazing characters that they seem like close friends. The loss may be necessary to further the story; but In our hearts we mourn for them.

  12. I believe the worst torment would be #2 , I am a parent of 3 children and the pranks my hubby and I do to them are funny. I belive my daughter (the oldest ) did complain we take it to far but we just tell her “may the odds be forever in your favor”. Guess she didn’t like us telling her that.

  13. The (Not So) subtle art of Social Torment. I completely understand this since I do this every time I go to my in-laws for dinner. Lol my poor kids and fiancé.

  14. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Torment contest. You can stay up to date on contests, new releases by signing up for my newsletter here:

    Congrats to Joy G – you are the winner of the signed paperback by Gena Showalter. Please send you mailing address to: jill @ (no space) by December 18, 2016.

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