Savage Magic by Judy Teel

Today I’m hosting Judy Teel and her new adult urban fantasy Savage Magic. Judy is giving away a $20 Amazon or B&N gift card, so make sure to comment, follow the tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!


Judy is here today to share with us what makes ‘New Adult’ the unique genre that it is.


Does YA + Sex and Swearing = New Adult?

Not exactly.

YA protagonists are still kids. Their happy endings mean reaching a safe haven provided by others. For the NA protagonist, that door’s closed and locked. The only internal and external safe zones they can land in are the ones they create for themselves.

Which means that at its core, New Adult (NA) fiction is a coming-of-age story about a person between the ages of 18 and 30. Done right, it becomes a powerful platform for expressing universal human experiences.

Lauren Sarner expresses this perfectly in her Huffington Post article, The Problem with New Adult Books: “[I] wished there were more books about people my age, in my situation: young twentysomethings trying to figure themselves out while simultaneously trying to figure the world out.”

But how can we accomplish this?

6 components your New Adult story needs

  1. The protagonist’s a new adult.

To tell an NA story, your protagonist must be a new adult (age 18 – 30).

  1. The protagonist struggles to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world.

NA protagonists ask the same questions as in the YA world — What am I good at? What do I believe in? What do I stand for? What do I want? Except the answers are different. The NA protagonist has reached a higher level on the growing-up scale. Their questions now frame the challenges of an emerging adult.

  1. The protagonist’s emotions are strong and volatile.

Also like the YA hero, emotions are close to the surface for the NA protagonist which can get them into some sticky situations. But again, the stakes are higher when growing pains center around adult activities, choices and consequences, or the refusal to engage with them.

  1. The protagonist grows and matures through intimate relationships.

Unlike YA, the growth of the NA protagonist comes from experiencing significant intimate relationships, often for the first time. Intimacy goes to a new level in the adult world, which can mean sex but must always mean deeper emotional relationships, at least eventually.

  1. The protagonist’s friends are significant to their journey.

Friends mean a lot in both genres. But in NA, their role becomes deeper and more crucial as the protagonist struggles to master emotional intimacy. Ultimately, friends become the new adult protagonist’s created family of choice — their safe haven end point.

  1. The protagonist’s conflicts with family revolve around independence.

Family, the arena of our closest emotional relationships, is where the question of “who am I?” plays out at often wounded and ideally profound levels, both internally and externally.  Where, when and how (or if) does the NA protagonist break away and become their own person?

Differentiating YA and NA can be tricky, but not if you remember this: An NA protagonist’s struggles are a continuation of the internal battles they fought in the YA world except without a safety net. When he messes up, he takes the full hit. When she triumphs, it’s because she’s learning to take control of her life.


A deadly disease from an unknown origin…

Addison Kittner and ex-FBI agent Cooper Daine arrive at Bone Clan expecting a warm welcome. Instead they’re imprisoned and placed under quarantine, where they discover that the werewolf mountain Clans are being decimated by a deadly plague which can’t be cured.

An old obligation that changes everything…

With only a few days to live, Cooper’s brother, Alpha of Bone Clan, asks Cooper to fulfill his promise, one that’s crucial to their Clan’s survival. But if he does, Cooper risks loosing Addison. Forever.

An ancient creature bred for genocide…

Determined to stop the plague and cure Cooper’s brother, Addison defies Clan law and sneaks away to an ancient ruin which might hold the key. There she discovers an unexpected link to her past and inadvertently calls forth an immortal monster that will destroy the paranormal races protecting humanity if it can’t be stopped.

But as Cooper and Addison battle to stop the annihilation of the Clans and the forces trying to tear their bond apart, something even more powerful and deadly gathers just out of sight…

And prepares to strike.


Cooper signaled for us to stop. In front of him, a line of animal skulls dangled from tree branches and clattered in the light breeze, marking the path. “I’m guessing we’re in Bone Clan territory now, right?” I commented.

Turning left and then right, Cooper pulled in several long breaths, testing the air. “Something’s wrong.”

As soon as he said it, a shiver swept up my back and my stomach knotted. That was the only warning I got.

One minute I was looking around for what in the hell was sneaking up on us, the next, three Weres slammed down on us, dropping from the trees and covered in mud.

My contraband Glock went flying, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the biggest of them hit Cooper as I went down under the weight of what I guessed was a male — a young one, based on the high-pitched grunt of pain when I drove my elbow into his ribs. I rolled with the momentum of his weight as he bent into the hit and we tumbled across the leaves and rocks, fighting to get the upper hand.

We came to an abrupt stop with me straddling him, the heel of my right boot dug into the ground to stop our momentum and the sharp edge of my knife pressed against his throat. From under the shaggy bangs of his dark blonde hair, his yellow wolf eyes met my angry gaze, then slid down and focused on my chin.

“Nothing says ‘welcome to our home’ like an ambush,” I muttered.


Shifty Magic (Book 1):
Undercover Magic (Book 2):
Savage Magic (Book 3):

Shifty Magic (Book 1):
Undercover Magic (Book 2):
Savage Magic (Book 3):


Judy Teel was born in Virginia and moved to North Carolina just before middle school. She’s a fiction author and novelist writing in the dystopian urban fantasy genre. Her stories deliver mystery with some thriller elements, a kick-butt heroine with a large dash of snark in her, a bit more than a touch of romance with a guy that makes readers’ hearts beat a little faster, and a wild ride full of action and emotion from start to finish.

Shifty Magic is permanently free on all platforms and Undercover Magic is free as a thank you gift for anyone who signs up on my readers list:

Twitter: @JudyTeelBooks /
Amazon Author’s Page:

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN Gift Card

Leave a comment and follow the tour for more chances to win!

Author: Megan Morgan

Paranormal and contemporary romance author.

32 thoughts

  1. Thanks for having me, Megan, and thank you to everyone who commented. I’ll check in over the next day or two, so if anyone has any other questions or comments, please post them!


  2. An interesting perspective on what NA is, but something seems missing in this descriptor. For example, Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels fits all 6 of those criteria, but I wouldn’t ever consider that a New Adult. Something to ponder anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your observation is excellent, Erin. I love the Kate Daniels series and have sometimes wondered that if it had started after the New Adult genre emerged, would the publisher have classified it that way? Something interesting about Urban Fantasy is that it gained a lot of momentum in the 90’s when current new adults were kids. Could it be the unrecognized forerunner of the NA genre?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think they would have though, because they’ve said, in response to readers asking when certain characters would get their stories, that those characters would have to grow up first because they’re not comfortable writing YA or NA. So maybe there’s some sort of thematic element of some characterizations that differentiates it. Or maybe it’s just that if you take a character and it wouldn’t make any difference if you’d labeled them 25 or 35, then you can fairly accurately say that it’s not NA.

        But that is an interesting thought on UF being a fore runner, especially since besides contemporary, UF seems to be about the biggest /NA category.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The violence level in the KD series is high which might be what they feel excludes it from the NA category. In the Shifty Magic series I purposefully minimize drawn out details for the more violent aspects, although true to its title, Savage Magic pushes that line pretty hard. A 7th point might be PG-13 level violence for NA, therefore distinguishing it from the Adult category. Thoughts?

          Liked by 1 person

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