Today I am so pleased to welcome Erin M. Grillot to Joyfully Jay. Erin has come to talk to us about her latest release, Turn. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

Turn banner

Symbolism in Turn

Hi, my name is Erin! My debut novel, Turn, was out November 23rd from NineStar Press. One of the underlying themes of Turn is chess. I didn’t learn to play chess until college, but it stuck with me and I love the intelligence and strategic undercurrents of the game. I help run the chess club at my kids’ school (during non-pandemic times) and even have a chess tattoo. My Pinterest boards are littered with different quotes on chess and life and interesting chess tattoos and art.

Once I had the character of Nathan in my head, I just knew he had to play chess. The game has a reputation and that fit in with how I pictured Nathan—aloof, strategic, intelligent, ruthless. And from there, a lot of the underlying metaphor of the game came to wind itself into the novel. The idea of strategy, playing situations a certain way, sacrifices, the concept of the long though out plan—it all really became central to the plot. I loved tying not only the themes of the game, but also the game itself, into different parts of the story. Read below for a few different exclusive excerpts that show these scenes.


Turn coverThe responsibilities Nathan has taken on are sometimes daunting, even as he loves his job. Always ready to rise to the occasion, he is both respected and feared in the office and in the field. His rise to quiet power has shaped his very being, and he knows each and every move as he plots his days and watches over his agents. His life has shaped him into a loner, however, and that is never more noticeable than when Eli begins work in Department 5.

Eli is not the typical Department 5 recruit, and his cheerful and polite nature is both intriguing and off-putting to Nathan. But as Eli weakens and breaks through Nathan’s walls, they gradually embark on a path of discovery and a relationship that defies both of their assumptions. It is by times quirky and odd, sometimes a little rough around the edges, always a bit fragile. But secrecy, lies, plots, and executions are Nathan’s job, and life—and some habits are hard to break. Finally, the tension their work holds can no longer be contained or ignored, and it threatens to destroy either themselves or all that they’ve found together.

Turn is a story about power, tough choices, and strategic moves—of knowing when to sacrifice a piece in this ongoing game of chess, sticking by your actions, and knowing what the endgame is—no matter what the personal cost. Most importantly, it’s about life’s hardest lesson. Sometimes love isn’t all that you need, and the wants of our hearts aren’t always enough to overcome who we are and the realities of life.


Erin M. Grillot bio photoErin is a native Midwesterner who has spent her life loving words in all their forms. Turn is her first novel. She lives in Iowa with her three children. An avid wine lover, introvert, coffee addict, and nerd; most of her free time is spent with her children, reading, or writing. Find Erin on Twitter.


Erin has brought $10 NineStar Press gift card to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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