Monday, September 15, 2014

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Manhattan with Melissa De La Cruz

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.  This week's stop is Manhattan and our special guide is Melissa de la Cruz author of The Beauchamp Family (Witches of East End) series, the Blue Bloods series, and the Vampires of Manhattan series.

The Vampires of Manhattan series is set in Manhattan, one of the five boroughs of New York City, so it seems fitting that our guide for this week's Paranormal Road Trip be the amazing Melissa de la Cruz.  Let's see what terrifying places Melissa has planned for our tour.

Manhattan's Top Five Spooky Places

Manhattan is a city full of history and haunted places. A few of my favorite places to ghost-bust, below.

Hotel Chelsea
222 West 23rd St. 

The famous hotel in Chelsea was the site of many deaths. Poet Dylan Thomas, who wrote of the “dying of the light” and died there is said to haunt near room 206. Doomed punk couple Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen are said to haunt the lower floors. Sid killed Nancy in a drunken, drugged out fight, and he died of a heroin overdose before he could stand trial.

White Horse Tavern
567 Hudson St.
One of my favorite bars downtown, and related to the Chelsea Hotel. Dylan Thomas reportedly drank 18 whiskey shots here before collapsing and being brought back to his room at the Chelsea. It’s said he haunts his usual table at the tavern from time to time.

One If by Land, Two If by Sea

17 Barrow St.

One of the most romantic restaurants in Manhattan, it is also the former home of Alexander Hamilton and his daughter Theodosia, who have supposedly never left. Diners are said to have experienced being shoved by them, lights flicker, and women’s earrings disappear. Staffers insist the ghosts are friendly, but maybe a little cheeky?

Edgar Allen Poe’s Abode
85 West 3rd Street

“Nevermore” author Edgar Allen Poe lived here for eight months in 1845 and 1846, and wrote “The Raven” here. The house has been demolished for NYU dorms but students say they’ve seen the haunted and haunting writer climbing the banister, the only remaining part of the original house.

Mark Twain House
14 W 10th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves

The practical and down to earth writer born Samuel Clemens lived in Greenwich Village from 1900-1901 and reportedly haunts this domain. He was skeptical of ghosts, so it’s hard to believe he became one upon his death.

Thank you Melissa for giving us such a haunting tour of Manhattan!

Want more Melissa de la Cruz in Manhattan?

Check out these two YouTube videos of Melissa de la Cruz giving an author tour of Manhattan's Uptown and Downtown.  These videos also bring Blue Bloods fans up-to-date as she launches her new series Vampires of Manhattan.

To learn more about Melissa de la Cruz and her books, please visit her website. Also, don't miss my reviews of Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations, and The Van Alen Legacy here at From the Shadows. You can add her Vampires of Manhattan series here on Goodreads.

Readers, was this your first visit to Manhattan?  Have you experienced anything supernatural in and around Manhattan?

What did you think of Melissa's picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited New Orleans, Louisiana with Suzanne Johnson.  Next week we'll be traveling to San Diego with Eileen Wilks.

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!

Readers: What do you think of this new weekly feature?  Your feedback is important to us as we strive to bring you fresh new content that you want to read. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Q+A with Brian Bandell (Mute)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Brian Bandell!  Brian is the author of MUTE.

Q+A with Brian Bandell

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I filled my notebook in sixth grade with a sword and sorcery story. My first serious attempt to write a novel started my junior year at the University of Miami as I sat on the shores of Lake Osceola listening to Radiohead on my headphones. My first book deal came four novels later but the joy of creating a story that I could escape with kept me writing for years and persisting in the face of rejections until I found my touch. I still listen to music during most of my writing.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

My novel Mute is a blend between murder mystery, science fiction and paranormal. I love incorporating the unworldly into my stories and, in this case, I do it through an environment that people have been abusing that fights back. Sea turtles, dolphins, gators, manatees, all of them become deadly for those who approach the Indian River Lagoon.

I enjoy reading books by Stephen King and Dean Koontz, two authors who also incorporate scifi and paranormal. The key question in all such stories is how the characters react to situations that seem unbelievable and force them to make difficult choices. In my novel Mute, Officer Moni Williams must choose between protecting a mute girl who saw her parents murdered and getting the child to reveal information that could help them catch the unconventional killer.

EJ:  If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?

  To jump inside someone's head and know what they're feeling. Not just their thoughts, but their emotions and their body. We see so much joy, pain, amazing athletics displays, those who are feeble and fragile - what does that feel like?

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.

It keeps them guessing until the end as I rip through the story at a fast pace. One of my favorite things is hearing all the different reactions from readers. Some cried at the plight of the speechless girl. Some were terrified of going near the water. Nearly everyone was shocked by the ending.

I don't want to stick to a safe formula. This novel is a thrill ride.

EJ:  If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?

  Jasika Nicole (who played Astrid on Fringe) would be the lead as Moni. She has the right mix of sensitivity and toughness as a cop. I can see her being conflicted over how to care for the girl.

The girl Mariella would be played by Brighton Sharbino (Lizzie from Walking Dead). She did an amazing job as a stone-cold, psychotic kid. The part of Mariella has sympathy on the outside, with an undercurrent of fear and mystery.

Mute by Brian Bandell.

Officer Monique “Moni” Williams, has never lived an easy life—with an abusive ex-con father, a two-timing, pistol-wielding ex-boyfriend and a racist boss—it’s hard to see how things could possibly get more difficult for her. After she meets a child that she bonds with, but Moni must protect the girl from a mysterious threat stalking everyone near the Indian River Lagoon.

A serial killer is on the loose on Florida’s Space Coast, and Moni has been put in charge of the key witness in the biggest case of her life: an eight-year-old girl called Mariella. The child has gone mute after losing both her parents one harrowing night. Now, Moni struggles to protect the child and break her silence, while more reports of inexplicable deaths and animals with eerie purple eyes pile up. Her bond with the child is tested by a police force demanding answers. What does the lagoon’s rotten stench have to do with a mute little girl? Can Moni save Mariella from what lurks along the water? Who is really facing the most danger? Find out in this suspenseful, page-turner that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Genre: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Mystery
Add to Goodreads.

Thank you Brian for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Brian Bandell and his books, please visit his website.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Q+A with Shawn McGuire + Break My Bones Giveaway

Please welcome today's guest author, Shawn McGuire!  Shawn is the author of BREAK MY BONES.

Keep reading for a chance to win a handmade bracelet and Break My Bones swag!

Q+A with Shawn McGuire

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

I first started writing when I was 11 or 12. My cousin and I started writing our own Star Wars episodes and gave ourselves starring roles. I don’t remember what my name was, but she was Smudgie Holo! Sadly, I no longer have those notebooks. It would be so much fun to read those stories now.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  Things happen that can’t be explained and I love the thought that there are other forces at work in the world. Also, my books deal with some heavier topics (death of a family member, divorce, dating abuse, substance abuse, rape) and adding some fantastical elements makes it a little easier to deal with, I think, without minimizing the seriousness.

EJ:  If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?

  Invisibility! Mostly because I’m kind of snoopy. I’d love to be able to get into places I shouldn’t go and listen to conversations I shouldn’t listen to. Also I could move stuff around and people wouldn’t know what was going on!

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.

The basic premise of the books in my series is that someone makes a wish, the wish is granted, and then things don’t go so well. If you’ve read the first in the series, STICKS AND STONES, you’ll want to know who gets the next wish and what kind of trouble the genie (known as a Wish Mistress in the books) is up to.

Crissy is the main character in BREAK MY BONES. Crissy simply wishes for a brighter future. Her mom is a drunk, her older sister is following in their mom’s footsteps, and Crissy’s boyfriend is abusing her.

This book deals with some heavy topics, but it’s a story about finding your own strength and the importance of friends and family. And Desiree, the Wish Mistress, is a lot of fun. She’s a hippie and…well, you’ll have to read to find out more.

EJ:  If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?

  Crissy – Ashley Benson. I found a picture of her when I was writing BREAK MY BONES where her hair is messed up and she looks small and fragile. Although Crissy has street smarts and isn’t afraid to speak her mind with her friends, she is small and physically fragile.

Desiree – Mary Kate Olson. She’s got that pouty look so often – and Desiree is quite moody – but when she smiles her face just lights up and you want to be her best friend. And she’s tiny. Desiree is tiny.

Mandy – Selena Gomez. She has that fresh, girl-next-door but still in-charge look about her that is totally Mandy to me.

Kaf – I have a picture on my Pinterest page of him. I have no idea who this man is but he is 100% my Kaf.

Break My Bones (Wish Makers #2) by Shawn McGuire.

Everyone makes mistakes. Crissy’s just might kill her.

Seventeen-year-old Crissy Sheets was so sure Brad was the one, she believed him when he swore the first bruise was an accident. She believed him when he told her he loved her after the second. Now trapped in an abusive relationship with no idea of how to get out, she’s all but given up on ever having the life she dreams of. With little to lose, Crissy wishes for a better future.

She’s told her wish has been granted, but nothing has changed. Her house is still a dump, her mother is still drinking, and Brad still wants to control her every move. Then Lance moves into the house across the yard. He’s hot, chivalrous, and wants to help Crissy break free. Will standing up for herself push Brad too far?

Release Date:  September 1, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads.

Thank you Shawn for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Shawn McGuire and her books, please visit her website.

Break My Bones Giveaway

The author is giving away a handmade bracelet and fab Break My Bones swag!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  This is a tour giveaway, so the winners will be randomly selected by the author or publisher.  Giveaway ends September 15, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!