THE ADVENTURES OF JUICE BOX AND SHAME,
A NEW SPIN ON THE THRILLER NOVELLA
Award-winning author joins forces with St. Louis tattoo artist for a unique comic book twist on the latest release in The Shamed Series
GEORGETOWN, TX — June, 2017 — After a big splash with her vivid, honest and fast-paced thriller In the Mind of Revenge, Liv Hadden returns this summer with the next installment in The Shamed Series. A thrilling novella, The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame (Jun. 25, 2017) reveals even more about her main character Shame, but this time, through the eyes of Li Nguyen, aka Juice Box. And this time, Hadden has a special surprise for her readers: comic book illustrations.
Teaming up with St. Louis artist Mo Malone, who has inked most of Hadden’s own tattoos, this dynamic duo tells the story of two unlikely friends caught in the middle of a gang feud. When loner Juice Box, an ever-eternal optimist meets Shame, full of despair and darkness, a friendship forms, but Shame’s dark past and nefarious entanglements get them both into serious, life-threatening trouble. When Shame angers one of the most dreaded crime bosses in Baltimore – who also happens to be Juice Box’s cousin – Juice Box is torn between his love for family and his new, exciting friendship, forcing him to decide where his loyalties lie.
“Juice Box is one of those people that manages to maintain a heart of gold no matter what adversity gets thrown his way,” says Hadden. “But, when he learns the truth about who Shame really is, he’s forced to second guess himself. It makes for an interesting choice.”
Hadden’s debut release In the Mind of Revenge shed light on heavier issues like bullying, gender fluidity and sexuality, earning the author accolades from Blue Ink Reviews, Kirkus Reviews, indieBRAG, Foreword Clarion Review and Writer’s Digest, who proclaims the author “a great discovery.” The author is living in Georgetown, TX with her partner and two dogs, Madison and Samuel.
Malone has been making art since she was a kid. She holds a B.F.A. in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University and was offered a tattoo apprenticeship as a sophomore, which led to her current career. Malone has traveled all over the world with her craft, including Arlington, VA., St. Louis, MO, tattoo conventions in New York and Moscow, and Austin, Tex., where she met Hadden. Now back in St. Louis at Ragtime Tattoo, Malone has added screen printing to the list of her ever expanding tool kit and is thrilled to expand into partnering on The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame.
Meet the Masterminds Behind the Book
Liv Hadden has her roots in Burlington, Vermont and currently resides in Georgetown, TX with her partner and two dogs, Madison and Samuel, where she is an active member of Writer’s League of Texas. Her 2016 release In the Mind of Revenge received high praise from Blue Ink Reviews, Writer’s Digest, Kirkus Reviews, indieBRAG and five stars from Foreword Clarion Review.
Incredibly inspired by artistic expression, Hadden immerses herself in creative endeavors on a daily basis. She finds great joy in getting lost in writing and seeing others fully express themselves through their greatest artistic passions. It’s no wonder she teamed up talented tattoo artist Mo Malone (who scribed a majority of Hadden’s body work) to create her latest release The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame.
Official Website: http://livhadden.com
Virtual Tour Page: http://www.rogercharlie.com/ju
Malone has been making art since she was a kid. Offered a tattoo apprenticeship while obtaining a B.F.A. in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University. Malone briefly diverted from tattooing to be an elementary and middle school teacher, an experience she greatly enjoyed, but ultimately came back to her artistic roots. She has tattooed at Rick’s Tattoo in Arlington, Virginia (where she got her start), Iron Age Studio in St. Louis, Missouri and Triple Crown Tattoo in Austin, Texas where she met Hadden.
A lover of travel, her craft has taken her all over the world, to include a dozens of tattoo conferences spanning from New York to Moscow. You can now find Malone back in St. Louis at Ragtime Tattoo. She has recently joined Evil Prints to expand into screen-printing, and when she’s not working her magic in the art world, you can find her feeding her adventurous spirit BMXing at her local skate park or wandering the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Alodia Offbeat Creative, LLC
June 25, 2017
Li Nguyen, aka Juice Box, has never really had a friend. That is, until he meets the ultra cool, super mysterious Shame. Though Juice Box feels certain this is his new BFF, Shame’s dark past and nefarious entanglements get them both into serious, life-threatening trouble. It doesn’t help that Shame inadvertently pissed off one of the baddest crime bosses in Baltimore, Anna Nguyen (aka Laoban), who also happens to be Juice Box’s cousin. Shame stirred up trouble with a rival gang, putting Anna and her crew in a precarious situation. Torn between his love for Anna and his new, exciting friendship with Shame, Juice Box must choose where his loyalties lie.
Will he choose family and leave Shame out to dry, or will he choose the only friend he’s ever had, despite the danger?
Love a good, twisted thriller? Catch up on Hadden’s previous book In the Mind of Revenge. Available in print and eBook through LivHadden.com, Amazon and at your local bookstore. Love Audiobooks? You can also purchase and listen through Audible.
5 stars from Foreword Clarion Reviews!
“Liv Hadden is a great discovery.” – Writer’s Digest
“A somber revenge tale, but fronted by a protagonist both absorbing
and sublimely complicated.” – Kirkus Review
Praise for The Shamed Series
“Liv Hadden is a great discovery.” – Writer’s Digest
“If a cat has nine lives, Shame has 29. Liv Hadden leaves us in the dark as to whether this character is a girl or a boy. As Shame often muses, why is gender that important? It’s reflecting on issues like gender that makes In the Mind of Revenge more than just a rather exciting read.” – Reader’s Favorite
“A somber revenge tale, but fronted by a protagonist both absorbing and sublimely complicated.” – Kirkus Reviews
“In the Mind of Revenge tackles hot-button social issues in a way that forces the reader to rethink the importance of what society deems as normal.” – Self-Publishing Review
“An absorbing crime story…” – Blue Ink Reviews
“MIND BLOWING! From the first sentence, “I am ugly.” to the last sentence, “I see you.” this book had me glues to the pages. I read this book in one night.”
“Fantastic roller coaster of a book. VERY visual. There were moments where I was too in the moment and felt as if I was truly there.”
“The ambiguity that surrounds the main character’s gender/sexuality is a welcome change. It allows you to get wrapped up in the character’s development.”
“It’s like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Middle Sex. The gender ambiguity coupled with the vague use of personal pronouns was bold and executed masterfully.”
“What a relief it is to not have a completely heteronormative main character with a love interest for once, and to also have it executed so damn well. Shame’s identity is kept under wraps masterfully by the author and I almost hope she never reveals it.”
“This book sucked me in as soon as I opened it. I swung from feeling pity and heartache for Shame, to hating the character, and back again. After whipping through it in under a week, I can honestly say the novel didn’t disappoint in the least–my main problem is desperately wanting the second and third installments in the trilogy to be written NOW so I can read them!’
Q & A with The Pen and Muse
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born in Burlington, Vermont. Most of my family still lives in Vermont, but I grew up north of Houston. I now live in Austin, Texas with my handsome SO and fur kids, Samuel and Madison.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame is the second installment in The Shamed series. I was really struggling with how I wanted to proceed in the series when I got lucky. I grew up around comic books because my brother loved them. Some of that rubbed off on me! I was reading a Deadpool comic before bed one night. When I woke up the next morning, I had this vision of Juice Box and Shame on the cover of a comic book called The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame. I was so excited about the idea, I knew I had to make it real.
Unlike Shame, Juice Box is an eternal optimist. He’s one of those people that manages to maintain a heart of gold no matter what adversity gets thrown his way. Where Shame sees despair and a downward spiral, Juice Box sees excitement and adventure. He’s definitely living in his own little world, one where he’s larger than life and there’s good in everyone.
Some things that weren’t revealed in In the Mind of Revenge get addressed in The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame. For some, it will be obvious, for others a surprise. There’s also a hint as to where to story will go from here!
How do you create your characters?
Juice Box was created in the first book to contrast Shame’s dark, broody nature. Where Shame is easily weighted down and cynical, Juice Box is light-hearted and optimistic. That helped to create a balance in the narration and provide Shame an opportunity to see things from another perspective. In general, my characters are influenced by the people I meet in my life—I often take my favorite quirks from others and apply them to who I’m writing.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
Since I can remember, I have written & told stories. My mom would call it lying, but I beg to differ. In 5th grade, we had to write stories and read them out loud. I am particularly proud of my Frogger inspired interactive tale of Hoppy, the frog who never died. By the end of my reading, I have the entire class reading with me. As everyone was applauding, my teacher smiled and said, “You’re going to write a novel one day, and I can’t wait to read it.” She was the first person who acknowledged that this writing thing wasn’t just a school activity, it was a talent and something I should pursue. She knew this novel existed before I even knew I was a writer.
My writing continued to develop and I continued to get positive feedback from teachers and peers. In fact, I was the first person to get a perfect score on the International Baccalaureate English test for my school. Since I didn’t play sports, I am pretty proud of that.
I’m inspired by great stories/writing in any form. I especially love when the writing in a TV show I like is super stellar. My recent love has to be Insecure on HBO. That show is brilliant and inspires me every time I watch it!
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
On my couch, in my office, in my bed and in cafes. I often listen to music, like The Devil Makes Three or Jack Johnson radio on Spotify, and I always have tea or coffee! Tea is my go-to, but sometimes I need a little coffee to help me power through those pages. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having a beer or glass of wine from time to time as well.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I draw inspiration from a lot of sources; I tend to let the story come to me as I am writing/outlining, so it’s hard to say exactly what’s influencing me at any particular time.
What do you like to read?
Everything! I love to read anything that lets me escape the real world. Most recently I have been reading science fiction, fantasy and romance novels.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring authors in regards to writing?
I always say these two things: Begin the begin, and don’t take anything personally. You have to start to finish! There will always be a reason not to write; find your “why” and keep it in front of you. It’s also important for authors to understand that someone somewhere is going to hate their work. You aren’t writing for every reader; you’re writing for the right reader! All of that being said; if your right readership is really small, you need to decide you’re okay with that.
Anything else you’d like to share?
In the Mind of Revenge is a finalist in the Indie BRAG cover competition this year, which I am so honored by! Voting is open July 1st-28th. I’d be so grateful for anyone willing to vote for my cover: https://www.bragmedallion.com/. It will only take a moment, and you’ll have my eternal gratitude.
Further Q&A with Author Liv Hadden and Illustrator Mo Malone
I love the Comic Book vibe and illustrations you’ve incorporated into The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame! Can you tell readers what inspired this theme for your thrilling novella?
Liv Hadden: I grew up around comic books because my brother loved them. Some of that rubbed off on me! I was reading a Deadpool comic before bed one night. When I woke up the next morning, I had this vision of Juice Box and Shame on the cover of a comic book called The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame. I was so excited about the idea, I knew I had to make it real.
Mo Malone: I also grew up reading comic books when I was a kid. My dad would take my brother and me to a local comic book shop on a fairly regular basis and I was always excited to add to my collection. I always found the artwork to be striking and dramatic. It impressed me how line weight, perspective, and color theory can further the emotion and storyline of a comic. I was very excited when Liv asked me to join her on this project.
Liv, can you tell us a bit about Juice Box’s perspective in this book. How does it differ from Shame in your 2016 release, In the Mind of Revenge?
LH: Unlike Shame, Juice Box is an eternal optimist. He’s one of those people that manage to maintain a heart of gold no matter what adversity gets thrown his way. Where Shame sees despair and a downward spiral, Juice Box sees excitement and adventure. He’s definitely living in his own little world, one where he’s larger than life and there’s good in everyone.
Liv, how did you find Mo Malone, and inevitably end up partnering with her on this project?
LH: I knew I was going to need an artist to pull off the comic book theme, and Mo popped into my head immediately. We met years ago when she started tattooing my entire back. Through that process, I got to know her and see what she was capable of. She’s a brilliant artist and a wonderful woman – she seemed like an obvious choice.
Mo, did you ever think you would contribute to publishing a book?
MM: I have always wanted to contribute artwork for a book and I’m elated with joy that I get to team up with such a talented and overall amazing person as Liv!
How has it been working as a ‘team’ with a co-author/illustrator, versus flying solo?
LH: As far as the writing goes, not too much different, other than having someone’s eyes on my drafts immediately. As a reader of the series herself, she was able to give me perspective I wouldn’t have had access to so early on. She caught some things and helped me fine-tune the characters, which was very helpful. It’s been amazing for me to see her bring the characters to life in her drawings. I love seeing her interpretations of things. It’s a good check for me to see if I’m illustrating the story well with my words.
MM: It can be a bit of a daunting task. To find that balance of vision between author and illustrator, you want to make sure you both are on the same page. Having Liv’s guidance through the drawing process has made it much easier to ensure that I carry out her vision for the book.
Mo, how quickly did you dream up your illustrations from Juice Box and Shame? Was there any specific part of In the Mind of Revenge that really influence how you saw these characters?
MM:It was quite helpful having already read a book that included these characters. I think we all paint a picture in our mind, when we read. And Liv is so descriptive, that it came pretty naturally. It was important for me to choose scenes from each episode that would further the storyline and keep the reader guessing what might happen next.
What do you think will surprise readers most about The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame?
LH: Some things that weren’t revealed in In the Mind of Revenge get addressed. For some, it will be obvious, for others a surprise. There’s also a hint as to where to story will go from here!
Liv, you talk about some medical procedures in your story, as well as some of the advancements humans have made in metal. What was the most interesting thing you learned while researching for the book?
LH: I came across a type of metal that can disintegrate bullets on contact! As of now, it primarily has military applications, but I had to ask myself, “What if we could replace human bones with this material?” The answer was intriguing and lead me to some very exciting plot items for the future.
I know you’re still hard at work on your second full book in The Shamed Series – can you give us a little teaser on what readers can expect in your next installment?
LH: I am getting so excited about this one! It’s evolving into something intricate and exciting. I’ve grown a lot as a writer, and I think that will be apparent to readers of book one.
Here’s what I’m willing to reveal now: there’s a good reason Shame is so emotionally erratic, obsessive, quick to aggression, and physically resilient…and it’s not schizophrenia or any other mental illness as some have guessed. I’m going to leave it here – thrillers are best when you don’t know much!
Liv, your release hits right around the 2017 Denver ComicCon, which you will be featured at this year. I hear you’re also working on a SCIFI story – much different than your thrillers. Can you tell us a little about that – and how it differs from The Shamed Series?
LH: Yes! The story, CROSSFADE, tells the tale of Agent Milo Kayd, a hybrid agent of espionage, who puts her ultimate goal and the fate of an entire race on the line when she accepts her deadliest mission yet. It’s an adult science-fiction novel (space opera) that I had a blast writing! I’m submitting it to agents as we speak, waiting for the right one to bite.
Writing CROSSFADE was more complicated than writing In the Mind of Revenge because it takes on multiple perspectives and character arcs. In the Mind of Revenge really only focuses on Shame’s POV and journey, whereas CROSSFADE covers several converging journeys. It took a lot of work and learning for me to ensure consistency in the plot and the characters. At times it was daunting, but I enjoyed the challenge and am definitely a better writer because of it.
There’s a lot of action and conspiracy in CROSSFADE, which is quite similar to In the Mind of Revenge. I do think if you enjoyed the narrative voice and fast-paced movement of In the Mind of Revenge, you’d enjoy the style of CROSSFADE.