Jess Anastasi – Sanctuary

Please welcome Jess Anastasi to my first blog party, celebrating our new releases with Noble Romance Publishing. So glad to have you here, Jess!!!

Now, Sanctuary is your first book and is released today with Noble Romance Publishing. Congratulations!!! Can you tell us how long it took you to write, edit and submit your manuscript? And what led you to write in the paranormal, sci-fi genre? Sanctuary is only novella length at 30,000 words and I wrote it in about 3 weeks in November last year (how’s that for poetic, exactly 12 months later, its being released!). While I was doing industry blog rounds one day, I saw a publisher asking for angel/demon based stories and the idea kind of just hit me, I wanted to write about angels and demons, but put them in spaceships. Seems kind of silly saying it that way! I didn’t write it with the intention of submitting it anywhere and I only kept it short because I honestly thought “who the heck is going to publish a cross-genre of sci-fi and paranormal romance?” I wanted to see how quickly I could bring it together, hence writing 30,000 words in three weeks. I then edited it on and off with the help of my wonderful crit partner Chelle, who told me numerous time she thought there was something special about it, and that I should find somewhere to submit it. And yes, Chelle, I can still hear you saying “I told you so!”

I ‘met’ Jill Noble during the Clayton’s Conference I did this year, since I couldn’t make the conference in Coogee. I missed the initial pitch session because I thought Noble only published erotica (which, they once did) but they’d recently moved into publishing all romance levels of heat. During the Q&A session with Jill, she said if anyone had something they wanted to submit, to send a query letter and first three chapters to their general submissions email and mention we’d been involved with Clayton’s. She’d also said that sci-fi and paranormal tended to be big sellers for them. I checked out their website, found their slogan is ‘dare to be different!’ and that they were looking for stories that were completely different or mixes of sub-genre. I didn’t have a second thought about submitting Sanctuary to them.

Can you tell us a little about the book? It’s set 500 years in the future. Humans have colonized other galaxies, but are on the verge of being wiped out by an on-going four-hundred year war between angels and demons. The heroine, Tori, sees something she’s not meant to, so the demons are after her for information. The angels send the hero, A’albiel, to protect her. They’re fleeing to Sanctuary, a planet protected by ancient pacts, and along the way they find danger and romance.

Oh wow, Jess, what an amazing idea, it sounds great! So tell us, how much fun did you have writing this book, or were there times when you wanted to throw up your hands and walk away? I had a great time writing this book! I think it was because it was just so out-there idea wise, I didn’t feel I had to restrict myself in any way. I didn’t once feel like I wanted to chuck it, though I have been there and felt that with other projects.

I’m sure there are a lot of us who’d agree with that. Now, for those writers out there reading this and trying to break into publication, what advice would you give them? Oh my god, I always dreaded being asked this question! I know as an aspiring author, you’re looking for that magic formula that will get you a publishing contract. Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything that hasn’t been said before. The best thing to do is study the craft, sharpen your skills, be determined to succeed, and persist through all those rejections. It took me 9 years to get here and when people ask me how I kept going for all that time, I usually just tell them I’m stubborn to the point of being stupid. I couldn’t foresee any other outcome besides getting published, no matter how many years it took.

Great advice. So, are you a member of any writing or critique groups? And how have they helped you to succeed and become a published author? I have to say that most of my experiences with crit groups were short lived and not always pleasant. But, then I’ve met a lot of lovely RWA members (well, not ‘met’ as such, but gotten to know via the web) and managed to stumble across Chelle. Or should I say, she found me. And next thing I knew, I had this wonderful crit partner. I suppose it’s kind of like dating to find a husband… when you find the right one, everything just clicks and makes life easier.

Well, not always easier, sometimes you argue, sometimes you agree, sometimes agree to disagree. There’s lots of support and encouragement going on. So I have to say, there’s no doubt finding a crit partner was the last piece of the puzzle I needed to get my publishing contract. I would definitely recommend finding a group or partner that is right for you, that will help you move forward with your career. (I just have to add that when I told Chelle I’d compared her to having a husband she said “actually we are worse, ’cause a hubby will be very tactful when you ask ‘does my bum look big in this?’ He’ll say ‘no, darling…’ Your crit partner would say ‘what in hell were you thinking?'”

Haha, so very true. Now, what’s next for Jess Anastasi? At the moment, I’m working on the second book to Sanctuary, (working title as of now) called Severance. Some people might be glad to hear it’s Alastor and Nakita’s story. This year I wrote a straight sci-fi romance, which I’m shopping around to agents. I’ve had a bit of interest, but no love so far. So, keeping my fingers crossed I can sell that to an agent and mainstream publisher as well.


For four hundred years, angels have been at war with demons while humans fight both, trying to survive. As world after world is destroyed by the conflict, there is a race to terra-form planets for colonization before mankind is wiped out altogether.

Toriane Cresol is part of a team leading the terra-forming charge. On assignment, she stumbles across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics. Within a few hours she comes face to face with A’albiel, an angel sent by Archangel Michael to protect her from the demons, who want to know what she saw.

Ripped from her life, Tori is taken on a flight across the galaxy by A’albiel, their destination is Sanctuary, a planet protected by ancient pacts, and the only place the demons can’t get her. Though hate for angels and demons alike is ingrained deeply within her, Tori can’t fight the growing spark of attraction between her and A’albiel. Bit by bit, everything she once thought or believed is eroded away, replaced by the knowledge that if she and A’albiel don’t make it to Sanctuary, the entire fate of the universe could hang in the balance.

Thank you, for joining me today, Jess, and may I wish you all the best with your future writing career. Sanctuary sounds like a great read, can’t wait to read it myself. Jess has been kind enough to say she will drop in over the day and reply to any questions you may ask, so feel free to chat, we welcome all comments. You can find more about Jess Anastasi and her book(s) and works in progress on her website or blog. To Purchase Sanctuary please visit Noble Romance Publishing.


Yes, you read that right. To win a e-book copy of Sanctuary please supply the answer to the following question. (Answer can be found in the blurb). What does Toriane stumble across when on assignment? One lucky winner will be pulled from a hat and Jess will forward you a copy of Sanctuary. Good Luck!
And the winner is . . . Sherry Miranda!!!! Congratulations!!!!
Jess will forward you a copy of Sanctuary later today.

42 thoughts on “Jess Anastasi – Sanctuary

  1. Cathryn Brunet

    Great interview, Jess and Tamara. I really enjoyed reading it. And love the blurb and description of Sanctuary. The cover is fabulous, too.

    Oh, and I'd better answer the question for a chance to win Sanctuary because I'd love to read it.

    Toriane stumbles across a scribe and 6 warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

    Wishing you great success with Sanctuary, Jess. And all the best with Severance.

    Have fun with your first blog party, Tamara!

  2. Sherry Miranda

    I loved the blog party! It is always interesting to find out the who, what, when , and definitely the why you wrote the story.

    I especially like the part of the interview about being stubborn helping.

    The blurb of the story made me want to read it. Now I just have got to read Sanctuary!

    Thank you for doing the interview!

    ~ Toriane stumbles across ascribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

  3. Shayne

    Jess and Tam,
    At first I thought, what the…?

    How on earth can you put angels and demons in a spaceship together and get a story out of it? But when explained, it seemed a perfectly plausible premise!

    While on assignment, Toriane stumbles across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

    I hope it's not a trick question!


  4. Jess Anastasi

    Morning everyone,
    as Tam said, I'll be popping in and out all day if anyone has any other questions we didn't cover in the interview.
    And yes, Shayne, the idea of sticking angels and demons in spaceships does make you go "what the…?" but somehow it works. Don't ask me how!

  5. Tamara Gill

    Hi Shayne. I can answer your question. You don't, as I'm pretty sure Sanctuary is based on another planet 😉 ;). But seriously the book sounds great, doesn't it. Thanks for dropping in! 🙂

  6. Maree Anderson

    Ooh ooh! Pick me!!!
    Answer: Toriane stumbels across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

    Congratulations on your fab new release, Jess. It sounds awesome!


  7. Alli

    Hi Tam and Jess:)

    Tam – Happy First Blog Party!

    Jess – Super congratulations on your first release, Sanctuary. Love the title, gorgeous cover and your story sounds amazing.

    *While on assignment, Toriane stumbles across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

    Hmm! Love the sound of warrior angels.

    Have a fabulous time, ladies:)

  8. Bronwyn

    Hi Jess, Hi Tam!!

    Just a passing visit to say congratulations to both of you!! Can't wait to read both of your stories =)

    *While on assignment, Toriane stumbles across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.


  9. Eleni Konstantine

    Woohoo a blog party. Congrats to you both.

    Jess, you story sounds fabulous….

    I think I will give this a go:
    Toriane stumbles across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

    And good on you for persisting Jess.

  10. Jess Anastasi

    Thanks, Eleni.
    I suppose 'persisting' is one way of putting it! And thanks to everyone else who has dropped by so far! Wishing you all good luck for the freebie!
    Now I have to go into the real world and work… ergh.

  11. Bec

    Congratulations Jess!
    What a great publication story. Your book sounds fab!

    Toriane stumbles across a scribe and 6 warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

  12. Suzi Love

    Tamara and Jess,
    Great interview,Tam, and good luck with your blog party,
    Loved reading about your new book release, Jess,
    I've linked this post on my blog to spread the word about the party,
    Toriane stumbles across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

  13. Anonymous

    lol…np prob, Tam…great interview!

    I try not to drop her too often…she gets cranky…




  14. Carol Challis

    Sanctuary sounds like an interesting place to visit … would love to know if they make it there or not!
    I like the character's names – I think it represents the feel of the story. Oh – the answer to the question … a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics
    Carol C

  15. H.C

    Sounds like a great read and the cover is FANTASTIC way to Go Casey.
    The sequel sounds very interesting.
    Answer to question:
    A scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

  16. Suzanne

    Hi Jess & Tamara,
    Love the blog interview & the cover for Sanctuary is fab.
    Cool story & great mix.
    Hope it does well.

    Answer to q : She stumbles across a scribe & 6 warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

  17. Jo Duncan

    Phew!!! Finally got into the blog…it took massive persistence to get in here to find out about your writing persistence, Jess 🙂
    I had to find another computer…Congratulations..so excited for you, especially as I saw the beginnings of this particular effort at Claytons. The cover is wonderful and story sounds fantastic..I am sure your journey got interesting after Chelle became your cp *grin*

    A to Q: Toriane stumbles across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

    You throw a good party, Tam, **hic** will be at the next one!
    hugs to you both – Jo xx

  18. Emmeline Lock

    Hi Tam and Jess,

    Great interview! SANCTUARY sounds fascinating, will definitely have to have a read.

    Congrats on your release, Jess, and way to rock the party, Tam! 🙂

    PS – a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics.

  19. jenn j mcleod

    Hi you two,
    Just popping over to share the excitement and live vicariously LOL
    I never said "I told you so, Jess" but I am saying "I knew it". Move over world, Jess is here!!

  20. Sarah Ballance

    Loved the interview! SANCTUARY sounds wonderful – what a creative idea! As a NRP author (they were my first, too!) I'd like to welcome you to the fray and I hope there are many more releases in your future. Congratulations!

    As for the question, "she stumbles across a scribe and six warrior angels hiding sacred relics."

  21. Beverley Eikli

    Hi Jess, it's always interesting to read a different take on the usual – sci fi / paranormal sounds interesting. Great interview! I'm impressed you wrote it in such a short time!

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