Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Virna DePaul (Para-Ops) + Chosen by Fate Giveaway

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Virna DePaul.  Virna is the author of the Para-Ops series, which includes Chosen by Blood and Chosen by Fate.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I began writing fiction towards the end of 2006.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  I started writing contemporary romantic suspense, my first love, and continued to write for about three years before I realized two things: 1) the market was very hot for paranormals, much more so than for straight romantic suspense; and 2) I'd begun reading paranormal romances and loved the genre almost more than romantic suspense--I just never thought I could write it. I decided to try my hand at a BIG series that would combine elements of both the genres that I loved. When I thought of the Para-Ops series, I envisioned X-Men meets Romancing The Stone.

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

  I would love to be able to heal others. There's so much unnecessary pain in the world. Some pain is necessary to grow and evolve, but so much pain and suffering isn't. I'd love to bring peace and second chances to others.

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

  My Para-Ops series is an action-packed and sensual combination of paranormal and special ops thrills. I like to call it "special ops with fangs." Book 1, Chosen By Blood (Berkley) has a strong thriller plot, yet has been complimented for its complex world-building and emotional, compelling characters. Book 2, Chosen By Fate, which comes out in October, focuses more on the main romance and secondary relationships but also has a lot of action!

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

  For Knox Devereaux, the Para-Ops team's half-human, half-vampire leader, I think I'd choose Eric Bana. He can play someone both elegant and old world, but also sexy and kick ass. That's the combination that is uniquely Knox. For Dex Hunt, the team's werebeast, maybe Sam Worthington--I think he can match Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in toughness and sexiness. And for Wraith, the team's ghost? Maybe Angelina Jolie (though she'd have to tinge her skin blue and cut her hair and dye it white) because she can portray that blend of angsty bitch and vulnerable female all at once.

Chosen by Fate (Para-Ops #2) by Virna DePaul

Although he keeps company with a vampire and a were, human Shaman Caleb O'Flare can definitely hold his own. But neither his psychic ability nor his healing powers can help his sexy-as-hell teammate, Wraith-a ghost with no memory of her human existence, who cannot experience touch without pain. No wraith has managed to exist past its tenth year, so her time is about to run out. She wants only two things before accepting her fate: to learn her human identity, and experience one night with Caleb...

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

To learn more about Virna DePaul and her books, please visit her website.

**Chosen by Fate International Giveaway**

We are giving away one copy of Chosen by Fate signed by the author, Virna DePaul, with trading cards!

To enter, please leave a comment on this post including your email address (so we may contact you if you win).  You do not have to be a follower to enter (though I always appreciate a follow!).  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends October 14th midnight EST.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Gracen Miller + Pandora's Box Giveaway

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Gracen Miller!  Gracen is the author of Fairy Casanova, Elfin Blood, The Devil's Den, and Pandora's Box.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

Thanks for having me today, E.J.! It’s an honor to be here. I began writing in sixth grade when my English teacher gave us a writing assignment for homework. Like everyone else in the class, I groaned and complained about having to use my imagination.  I couldn’t believe she’d given us such a complex assignment and worried I wouldn’t find sufficient inspiration. I dragged my feet that afternoon stepping out of the car and entering my mother’s workplace—I spent every afternoon doing homework in the restaurant office where she worked.

I sat down at that desk unknowing my life was about to take a dramatic turn.  I took up pen and paper, thinking how much I hated English and disliked Mrs. S for issuing such a stupid assignment.  I looked out the window and stared at the well-manicured Golf Course (my mother worked at the local Country Club as a waitress), with a certainty darkening my heart that I would fail this project miserably and my mother would be furious.  Surprised, an idea quickly rose in my mind about Atlantis rising from the ocean and its inhabitants harnessing supernatural powers.  And, of course, along with those supernatural powers the Atlantians concocted an evil plan to take over the world…what else do you do with supernatural powers, right?  LOL  With gusto I wrote a poorly crafted “play”, but I was excited by the detail illuminating in my mind.

The next day all of our stories were read out loud in class.  I fidgeted and worried to the point of nausea that everyone would laugh at my story.  No one laughed, but sat as silent as church mice as I read.  Mrs. S took a paper vote at the end of class on the three favorite stories and mine was one of the three, which meant the next day I had to pick individuals to play the parts of my characters. My characters would be acted out in front of the entire classroom.  Wow!  Not only had I enjoyed the assignment, but apparently all of my peers loved it too!  Talk about mind-blowing to an 11 year old! Much like a drug, writing dug its claws into me and I have forever been addicted.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

The paranormal has drawn me for as long as I can remember. I’ve been watching horror/paranormal movies since I was a child. I grew up with greats like The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Darkside. My best friend, Angela, and I would rent B-rated horror movies the weekends we were together and veg out in front of the TV eating popcorn and nachos. It seemed normal to merge paranormal and romance together when I started writing. I love the world building that comes with the paranormal too. It’s so much fun seeing where my imagination can take me!

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

  What a tough question. Hmm…well, I always prefer to fiddle with my paranormal creatures so they don’t fit the standard mold. Those that are members of my Road to Hell series fan page call me “Momma Hellhound”. They also gave me a forked tail that I poke people with and a magical pitchfork so that I can zap naughty hellhounds into submission. LOL  But I don’t want to be a dog. How unglamorous! ;-)  I think I’d want to be a magical demon, because being naughty is so much fun. I would cast spells, all types of spells, and I’d be able to kick butt with ease. Make mortal and immortal men quake in fear at the utterance of my name. *cheeky grin* What’s the point in having supernatural talent if you can’t frighten people, right?

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

  It’s a great mix between horror and romance, something I don’t get enough of when I’m looking for a book. Madison is a strong heroine, but she’s vulnerable too. Nix is a no-nonsense paranormal hunter who opens Madison’s eyes to the dangerous world surrounding them. But the internal forces outside of their control is the heart of their problem. Nothing is as Madison once believed, her whole life is a lie, but she’s determined not to allow herself or her son be victimized by the cards destiny has dealt them.

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

  LOL My girlfriend and I were just discussing this the other day. We couldn’t come up with a great pick for the heroine, but the closest “fit” was Charlize Theron. The only why is because she’s blonde and leggy like Madison. No other reason.  I prefer an unknown to play Madison’s part, so there are no preconceived notions about the actress.  For the hero, Phoenix “Nix” Birmingham, we picked Chris Evans. The why is because he’s easy on the eyes—lol—got great lips and gorgeous eyes, plus he was great in Losers and Captain America. =D

Pandora's Box (The Road to Hell, #1) by Gracen Miller

Where does the road to Hell begin?

What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight and your husband disappears on his way to work? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn't believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a world she didn't know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.

With good intentions? Or by demonic design?

Phoenix Birmingham bursts into Madison’s life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses—and for her jaded heart—but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed, but only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them. Even with Phoenix's aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail while they pay the crucial price with their souls?

In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battle for mankind's liberty has begun...

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

To learn more about Gracen Miller and her books, please visit her website.

**Pandora's Box Giveaway**

We are giving away one ebook copy of Pandora's Box by Gracen Miller and a fabulous skull cameo pendant!

To enter, please leave a comment on this post including your email address (so we may contact you if you win).  You do not have to be a follower to enter (though I always appreciate a follow!).  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!  Giveaway ends October 10th midnight EST.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dark Passages Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Cecilia H. winner of our Dark Passages Giveaway at From the Shadows!  Cecilia will receive a paperback copy of Dark Passages by Kathryn Leigh Scott.

Thank you to all who entered!

**All giveaway winners selected using**

Friday, September 23, 2011

The BIG News: New Urban Fantasy Series from E.J. Stevens

Ready for the BIG news?  I have a new urban fantasy series and it's coming 2012.  *Squeee!*

But E.J., what about the Spirit Guide series?  Are you done with YA?

Me?  Done with YA?  Never!  The Spirit Guide series will continue with Brush with Death (book 4) and The Pirate Curse (book 5) releasing in 2012.  The Calvin and Yuki Diaries, a Spirit Guide series supplemental novella, is also in the works.

Are you crazy?!  You're on tour for Legend of Witchtrot Road, releasing next month, and have 3 upcoming novels, 1 novella, and a blog to maintain?

Well, um, yes. LOL!

So tell us about this new urban fantasy series.

The Ivy Granger series will debut with Shadow Sight (cover and blurb below subject to change prior to publication).  Readers of the Spirit Guide series will recognize my penchant for bad puns and quirky characters, but this series is much darker than than my young adult books.

Ivy Granger's second-sight gives her the ability to see the fey for what they are--bloodthirsty creatures with an alien code of conduct and a lack of appreciation for human life (though some are connoisseurs of human flesh).  There are a few exceptions to the rule, Ivy's friend Hob hasn't tried to eat her...yet, but now Ivy has to make a choice.  Ivy must take sides in the upcoming battle, or watch the people of her city be devoured by something they can't even see.

So much for an easy day on the job...

Shadow Sight (Ivy Granger #1) by E.J. Stevens

Some things are best left unseen...

Ivy Granger's second-sight is finally giving her life purpose. Ivy and her best friend Jinx may not be raking in the dough, but their psychic detective agency pays the bills--most of the time. Their only worry is the boredom of a slow day and the occasional crazy client--until a demon walks through their door.

Demons are never a good sign...

A demon attorney representing the water fey? Stranger things have happened. And things are about to get very, very strange as a bloodthirsty nightmare hunts the city of Harborsmouth.

There's blood in the water...

Kelpies have a reputation for eating humans. Unfortunately, Kelpies are the clients. When an Unseelie Fey this evil stalks the waterways of your city, you have to make hard choices.

The lesser of two evils...

Coming 2012!

Shadow Sight on Goodreads.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Merrie Haskell (The Princess Curse)

Please welcome today's paranormal author Merrie Haskell!  Merrie is the author of The Princess Curse.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

:  I started writing when I was seven years old; I distinctly remember folding a piece of ruled paper lengthwise and making that into a book, and illustrating the cover with markers. It was a book about a princess--I think it was called "The Story of a Princess," in fact. My mom saved it, so I should scan it in for posterity. In any case, it was a pretty dry and linear piece of work, but it did feature a dragon and a three-year engagement. I'm not sure where the dragon came from, but I was reading a lot of Laura Ingalls Wilder at the time, and I believe she had a three-year engagement.

I know I wrote lots of dribs and drabs of things after that, but didn't complete anything else until my 5th grade language arts teacher challenged me to do so. She was an amazing teacher, and pulled my mom aside at the class picnic to tell her to encourage me to write. Though my mom already was giving me the space I needed to be creative, plus the support to buy my first typewriter that year (which I paid for myself with dog-walking money).

It's interesting to me though--that I started writing when I was seven, but I waited nearly twenty years before I got serious about trying to get published. I think it took me until my late twenties to realize the world wasn't going to just offer me publishing contracts at whim based on my... fine taste in books? I don't know what I was thinking, honestly, but when I was younger I harbored fantasies of running into favorite author at some bookstore and having her mentor me and show me the way into publishing, which is... definitely a fantasy!

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  I rarely have ideas for stories that don't include some science fiction or fantasy or paranormal element. I know that I like the way those otherworldly elements allow you to use allegory and metaphor without being obnoxious, boring, or preachy. Diana Peterfreund's RAMPANT springs immediately to mind--exploring virginity and what our culture thinks it means becomes significantly more intense and interesting if you throw unicorns into the mix.

My otherwise-supportive mother once asked me: "Why don't you write something real?" And of all the defenses that leaped to my lips, including the metaphor/intensification argument I just laid out, the one that won her over was: "I want to show people what's possible."

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

  I'd like to be able to time travel. Hands down! Given how much I like ordinary, physical travel, I can't see not loving the chance to vacation in the past... I've always thought that storytelling was in some ways a manifestation of my desire to travel in time. I'm not talking about writing, or not just writing, here; I love telling stories about my crazy past and kooky acquaintances, and painting a picture that, however briefly, takes me and my listener back into the moment. I spent a lot of time with my elderly grandparents when I was young, and always felt like 1925 was just a few steps sideways, not "50 years before I was born." They were also storytellers in that vein, so I'd say the inclination for time travel runs in the family.

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

  I hope readers will enjoy THE PRINCESS CURSE--and I hope it's because of Reveka and Frumos. Reveka is ruthlessly pragmatic about the realities of her world, but unwilling to take no for an answer. I love people like that. Those are the people who can get things done in the world. She's also slightly obsessed with herbs, and I love writing and reading about nerds in love with their favorite subject. And as for Frumos--well, men of mystery are always intriguing!

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

Tough question! I don't do much mental casting when I write, and when I do, it's usually "actor X when they were a kid" or "actor Y when they were alive." The biggest problem is, everyone in Hollywood is too pretty to be in my books. I think at one point, Reveka refers to herself as "not homely." So, as long as we agree movies are the book with everyone's prettiness tripled...

But there is an exception: I was actually picturing David Tennant (the 10th Doctor Who) while I was writing Frumos. Of course, he's too old to be Frumos, so possibly Callum Blue (Zod on SMALLVILLE), but he's *also* too old to be Frumos. But I think, based on those two references, you'd have a pretty good idea of who to cast, were you a casting agent.

Reveka is tough. The cover artist, Jason Chan, did a great job capturing the Reveka in my mind (she's based on a friend's daughter). Maybe Chloe Moretz, who is due to play Emily the Strange? Needs hair dye and contacts, but I think she could nail it. Jodelle Ferland? Willow Shields?

For Lacrimora and Otilia (two of the twelve dancing princesses and half-sisters), I have to say Emma Stone and Molly Quinn. With Bryce Dallas Howard as Maricara (the eldest sister) and Spencer Locke as the Princess Consort. And Dot Jones (Coach Beiste on GLEE) as Marjit. Oh, now I'm spending way too much time on this. Sorry!

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?

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

To learn more about Merrie Haskell and her books, please visit her website.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Suzy Turner + December Moon Giveaway

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Suzy Turner!  Suzy, author of Raven and December Moon, has prepared a special guest post for our readers.

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Howling deep into the night by the light of a bright, white, full moon. You can almost see him sitting there, his head tilted back as he makes that high pitched sound that sends shivers down your spine. Yes, I'm talking about the elusive werewolf.

If they all looked as gorgeous as Jacob Black, then we wouldn't be at all afraid would we? I know, I know, I'm far too old to be attracted to Jacob (at 35, I'm almost old enough to be his mother!) but it's impossible not to be. He is a fine figure of a man (or a wolf, rather) though, isn't he?! I'll stop talking about Jacob now, this is a post about werewolves after all.

I think I was first introduced to the idea of werewolves back in the 80s when I saw a really silly film with Michael J Fox called Teen Wolf. It obviously planted a seed in my mind because since then I've rather enjoyed reading about them in books or watching werewolf stories on screen. An American Werewolf in London is another, albeit, rather more gory version that I enjoyed as a child (admittedly, I have seen it since and found it disappointing). So, come back to present day and what kind of werewolf flicks / books, are all the rage? Twilight obviously comes up trumps but have you seen The Lost Girl? There is a rather gorgeous character called Dyson (played by Kristen Holden-Ried) who plays the smouldering werewolf to fabulous effect. Being Human is another featuring a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire all living under the same roof.

A few months ago I read my first book centered entirely around werewolves. It was called Blood and Chocolate and I have to say, it left me a little disappointed. Although the story was excellent, I found the main character irritating, especially the way she kept referring to people as boy or girl. She was supposed to be 16 yet came across as much older than her years. But the werewolf aspect was fantastic.

In December Moon, as in Raven, there is one main werewolf. His name is Zoltan and he is your stereotypical wolf man. He's a tough guy who wants nothing more than a good fight. Having said that, Zoltan is a big softy at heart, especially when it comes to his girlfriend, Tabitha, who just happens to be a changeling... with the ability to change into a mountain lion.

If I've tempted your taste-buds, why not check out December Moon. I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

December Moon (The Raven Saga #3) by Suzy Turner

On her 15th birthday, December Moon discovers she is the descendant of a family of witches, kept in the dark her entire life in an effort to protect her. But when Lilly, her best friend, finds herself in danger from one of the world's most evil vampires, December will do everything in her power to stop him. December Moon is a fantasy novel for children and young adults set in BC, Canada.

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

To learn more about Suzy Turner and her books, please visit her website or check out E.J.'s interview of Suzy here at From the Shadows.

**December Moon International Giveaway**

We are giving away two copies, one paperback and one ebook, of December Moon (The Raven Saga #2) by Suzy Turner.

To enter, please leave a message on this post including your email address (so we may contact you if you win).  You do not have to be a follower to enter (though I always appreciate a follow!).  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends October 1st midnight EST.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blend Series Giveaway Winners

Congrats Temperance and Daniela winners of our Blend Series International Giveaway at From the Shadows!

Temperance will receive ebook copies of Human Blend and Earth Blend and Daniela will receive paperback copies of Human Blend and Earth Blend signed by the author.

Thank you to all who entered!

**All giveaway winners at From the Shadows selected by E.J. using**

Friday, September 16, 2011

From the Shadows Blogoversary Giveaway

Wow! Has it really been two years?  Time to celebrate with a giveaway!

**From the Shadows 2nd Blogoversary Giveaway**

We are giving away an electronic $10 Amazon Gift Card or any book up to $10 value from The Book Depository to one lucky winner!

To enter, leave a comment on this post.  Please include your email address so we may contact you if you win.  You do not have to be a follower to enter.  This giveaway is international (to anywhere The Book Depository delivers).  Giveaway ends September 30th midnight EST.

Bonus entries:
+1 GFC Followers
+1 Twitter Followers

Thank you all for two fabulous years!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Melodie Campbell (Rowena Through the Wall)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Melodie Campbell!  Melodie is the author of Rowena Through the Wall.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  When I was 16.  I wrote a children's book, Horatio Hedgehog, which won an award and was displayed in the Toronto library.

I picked up writing in a big way in my 30s, when I become a humour columnist and starting writing stand-up for comedians.  Then short stories (30 published) and then finally a novel.  I have over 200 publications and have won 5 awards for fiction.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  Well, funny you would ask that!  I may have to turn in my crime writer stripes.  (I am the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada.)

Charlaine Harris brought me to paranormal.  And Diana Gabaldon, and Susanna Kearsley, with Marianna.  I was a confirmed mystery reader, but a closet romantic suspense reader.  Mary Stewart's My Brother Michael is still the book I measure all others to.  Then I hit the wonderful world of combining suspense with paranormal, and I was hooked.  I love the freedom of something out of our world.  And while I want a romance in my stories, I crave a lot of plot.  Paranormal by its very nature delivers strong plots.

But to explain Rowena:  one day I was sitting at my desk, totally overwhelmed with work, family, and parental caregiving, and I thought - if I could walk through that wall over there into another world, I would do it.  That night, Rowena got her start.

I needed the wildest kind of escape from mother's palliative bedside.  Escape is what I hope to give readers.

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

  OH - no question - the talent of my heroine, Rowena!  The ability to communicate with animals.  I am animal-mad, and have some ability to calm dogs, horses and particularly donkeys.  But to be able to share thoughts with them - that would be my dream.

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

I got my start writing comedy, so it was gratifying when one reviewer called Rowena Through the Wall "Hot and Hilarious!"  I wrote this novel as a fun escape novel for women.  I wanted it to be funny, sexy, with high adventure and romance - just what I needed for myself!  One reviewer called it "Jack Sparrow meets Stephanie Plum" - for me, that was humbling.

When Rowena walks through her classroom wall, she falls into an ancient world where the veneer of civilization is thin.  She has rollicking adventures, and then is forced to face reality when she goes back through the wall.  Inevitably, she is faced with a choice of what world to remain in.  Just like we all are, in a way.  We can have our fantasy worlds through reading, but we go back to our real lives after.

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

  Rowena - probably Penny from Big Bang Theory, because she could carry the comedy.  She has great comedic timing.  Another choice would be Gemma Arterton, or Tina Fey, if she were 10 years younger. But I would love to hear who readers would cast in this role.

Kendra - definitely Alice from Twilight!

Gareth would be Thor!

Thane would be Alcide from True Blood.

And Cedric....well, I see Cedric as Eric from True Blood.  Evil, but oh so darn attractive.  In fact, I am half in love with my villain.  I wonder if other readers will feel that way too.

Rowena Through the Wall by Melodie Campbell

“Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?”

When Rowena falls through her classroom wall and lands in an alternate world, she doesn't count on being kidnapped―not once, but twice. Unwanted husbands keep piling up, but that doesn't stop her from falling for the wrong brother. Good thing she has the ability to go back through the wall. Or can she?

Warning: This book is not a 'sweet' romance - it is a sexy, funny, rollicking adventure with a spunky heroine and the medieval 'men' of her dreams!

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

To learn more about Melodie Campbell and her books, please visit her website.

Note: Melodie is offering a special discount for From the Shadows readers.   
Want a half price coupon for the ebook version of 'Rowena Through the Wall'? Leave a comment on this post, with your contact info!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Character Interview: Rylie Gresham (All Hallows' Moon)

Please welcome our very special guest Rylie Gresham from the pages of Six Moon Summer and All Hallows' Moon by S.M. Reine.

SM:  Thanks for joining us today, Rylie! Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Rylie:  Okay. Yeah. Hi, my name is Rylie Gresham. I'm about to turn sixteen years old. I hang out in coffee shops and sometimes drink coffee even though my mom said that's why I'm all skinny and short. I like art and movies and hanging out with guys, since girls are catty and weird. I also had a really bizarre summer.

SM:  What made your summer bizarre?

Rylie:  Well, my parents divorced, and they sent me to summer camp so their lawyers could fight in peace. I guess summer camp isn't that strange for most people, but I used to hate the outdoors, so it was really new and unusual for me. Until... things changed.

SM:  That sounds menacing.

Rylie:  If you think werewolf bites are menacing.

SM:  Whoa! So what you're saying is that you're a werewolf.

Rylie:  Yeah, I guess, something like that.

SM:  How can you be "something like that"?

Rylie:  I'm not like most werewolves. It took, like, three months for me to change after I got bitten. And I don't just change on the full moon. I change on the new moon too. But once I wake up human again the next morning, I can never remember what I did all night. I'm not dangerous or anything, I promise. I did eat a deer once, but that was an accident.

SM:  What are you going to do now that you're a werewolf?

Rylie:  I'm going to go live on my aunt's ranch. She's out in the country, so it should be safe for me to turn into a wolf twice a month out there. Way safer than in my mom's condo. Plus I'm really strong now that I got bitten, so I bet I'm awesome at ranch type chores.

SM:  Does your aunt know?

Rylie:  No! Nobody can find out that I've changed. I mean, who would believe me? The only guy who knew was Seth, but I don't know what happened to him.

SM:  Who is Seth?

Rylie:  Seth is really mysterious, so he's hard to describe. He's got dark hair and broad shoulders and miles and miles of muscly arms. And he's got that smile... Wait, what was I talking about?

SM:  How does Seth know about werewolves?

Rylie:  He's got a huge secret of his own. I don't think I'm supposed to tell anyone.

SM:  What's going to happen now?

Rylie:  I don't know. I guess I have to try to finish high school, although that means a whole new set of people to get used to, and a whole bunch of new problems to face. But whatever it is, I can take it on. I mean, I'm a werewolf now. I can just eat anything that gives me trouble.

All Hallows' Moon (Seasons of the Moon #2) by S.M. Reine

Rylie survived becoming a werewolf at great cost. She moves to her aunt’s ranch in the hopes she can enroll in a new high school and quietly continue her life... with a few distinct changes. She transforms into a beast every new and full moon and struggles to control her murderous urges.

Without many werewolves left, it’s hard to stay in hiding. A family of hunters -- Eleanor, Abel, and Seth -- recognize the signs and follow Rylie to her new home. They want to stop her before she murders someone, and the only way to do it is with a silver bullet. Seth soon realizes the werewolf is Rylie, the one monster he failed to kill. Worse yet, he’s still in love with her.

Torn between family and love, Rylie struggles to reconcile her feelings and control the wolf within while Seth fights to do what’s right. But what is right-- obeying desire or duty?

Thank you Rylie and S.M. for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about S.M. Reine and her books, please visit her website or check out E.J.'s interview of S.M. here at From the Shadows.

Don't miss E.J.'s review of Six Moon Summer, the first book in the Seasons of the Moon series by S.M. Reine.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Shayne Leighton (Of Light and Darkness)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Shayne Leighton!  Shayne is the author of Of Light and Darkness.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

I've always loved to write, and actually began writing short stories back in grade school. I remember this one short story in particular that I wrote in the fourth grade about what it would be like to live inside a bubble! That's still one of my favorites. (LOL) But I only began seriously writing pretty recently. "Of Light and Darkness" is my debut novel, and the first full length novel I've ever written. I began writing that one in high school when I was sixteen. It took about four years to get it completed and published and I'm really excited to share this story with everyone!

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

Again, I've always loved magic and fantasy for as far back as I can remember. Fairy tales were always my favorite. My favorite Disney movie was a film called "Hocus Pocus" starring Bette Midler, about three witches. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. So I was automatically attracted to the paranormal genre! And you can never go wrong with vampires...they are always sexy! ;) The first vampire I ever fell in love with was Lestat from Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire". Great movie and a fantastic book!

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

  This was an awesome question! It really got me thinking. My initial reaction was...Vampire! Definitely a vampire because they are just too deliciously bad. But after thinking about it more, I wanted to come up with a more interesting answer. I think I'd love to be a siren. I get to seduce sailors all day, I get to have a beautiful singing voice, and most importantly...I get fins! Sounds fun to me!

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

  I am definitely aware that bookshelves are absolutely saturated right now with vampire stories. But one thing I must emphasize, is this story is much different than the others. There are so many other fantastic creatures and characters woven in, and if I do say so myself, "Of Light and Darkness" is much darker and more dangerous. I think fans of other paranormal series will really find something they love within this book, but also discover something brand new as well. Plus, it takes place in Prague - which is a city you don't normally hear about much! :-)

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

  It's interesting you should ask this, because currently "Of Light and Darkness" is in development to be made into a film. My background is primarily in screenplay writing and filmmaking, so this just seemed like a natural next step to take with it. Currently we have Michael Welch from "The Twilight Saga" cast for the role of Aiden in the film and Cassie Scerbo from ABC Family's "Make It Or Break It" is slated for the role of Sarah. If you want to keep up with more casting announcements, check our facebook fan page! :-)

Of Light and Darkness: The Vampire's Daughter (Of Light and Darkness #1) by Shayne Leighton

When one human stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of overcoming them in this coming-of-age modern fairytale may result in war between light and darkness.

Abandoned as an infant in Prague, naive and strong-willed Charlotte Ruzikova was raised by one of the last Vampires left alive. As a human, she knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe, where Witches drew spells of enchantment, Phasers threw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. Charlotte has lived her life in the dark with her Guardian, content to having him to herself and reveling in his attention, until she's realizes she wants more...

Resident medical doctor and Vampire, Valek Ruzik fears the day his ward would come of age and blossom into a fine woman, and he is forced to confront his own motives as time is of the essence once his past catches up to him, and their lives become endangered...

As genocide and war threatens their secret society, the dictator in power is ready to wipe out Valek's race, but Charlotte will not allow that to happen. Fighting for the only one she's ever loved and truly believed in, she will do whatever it takes to save their love...before the sun comes up and light takes over.

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

To learn more about Shayne Leighton and her books, please visit her website.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Kathryn Leigh Scott + Dark Passages Giveaway

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Kathryn Leigh Scott!  Kathryn, known for her role as the bride of vampire Barnabas Colllins in Dark Shadows, is the author of Dark Passages.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

I started writing when I was about 7 years old, and wrote a story about a little girl named Pixie who walks into the woods on the edge of her family's farm and comes across the ruins of a cottage. It becomes her secret dollhouse, which she loves to play in because  a good witch appears who gives her dolls the ability to speak. I actually lived on a farm with a derelict cottage in the woods at the end of a meadow. My parents forbid us to play in the woods for fear we would get lost, and made sure we didn't disobey by telling us a wicked witch lived there. I desperately wanted a dollhouse and I guess my imagination took it from there!

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  I originally wrote DARK PASSAGES as a coming of age story set in the 1960s. When I finished the novel, I was reading a portion aloud to my husband when it occurred to me, "What if . . . . Meg Harrison was a real vampire?" I made some notes and rewrote the book. Thinking back, it was a natural choice and felt entirely organic to the story. Now I can't imagine the story without those elements. I know it also has much to do with being steeped in Dark Shadows lore and having originated the role of Josette duPres, the doomed fiance of vampire Barnabas Collins. The series is now celebrating its 45th anniversary and is still very much a part of my life.

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

  Mind reading! I've thought of the downsides, but they don't stack up against the terrific advantage of knowing what someone else is thinking. Communicating with the dead is also appealing, providing one has a choice on who is called up. I'm not sure I would say no to acquiring any sort of special gift —who wouldn't want to fly or have superhuman strength?

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

  If I may say so, I think the very fact that the characters and story were fully formed before the paranormal elements were included give the novel more dimension. It's also a very personal story for me, although it is anything but a "memoir." I draw on what I know and remember, of course, and I believe readers familiar with my nonfiction books about Dark Shadows will enjoy my wild imaginings of what "might've, could've" taken place.

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

  Carey Mulligan is the first to come to mind to play Meg Harrison. Young Bella Heathcote, who plays Josette DuPres in the new Warner Bros film of Dark Shadows, would also be a good choice. 

Dark Passages by Kathryn Leigh Scott

Dark Passages is a coming-of-age story encapsulating the romance and innocence of JFK’s Camelot era and the tumultuous "dark passages" of Meg Harrison, a vampire raised by her mother to resist the temptation of human blood. Meg arrives in New York determined not to use her vampiric gifts to fulfill her dream of becoming an actress. She joins the cast of the cult hit Dark Passages, only to face her nemesis, a beautiful 300-year-old witch bent on destroying her. Their rivalry leads to a final confrontation as the telekinetic vampire and spell-weaving sorceress engage in a spectacular battle for supremacy. It takes all of Meg’s wit and tenacity to defeat the witch and win the affections of a handsome young mortal with a secret life of his own. In the end, Meg realizes that the powers she always denied within herself are not a curse, but a blessing.

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

To learn more about Kathryn Leigh Scott and her books, please visit her website.

**Dark Passages Giveaway**

We are giving away a paperback copy of Dark Passages by Kathryn Leigh Scott to one lucky winner!

To enter, please leave a comment on this post including your email address (so we may contact you if you win).  You do not have to be a follower to enter (though I always appreciate a follow!).  This giveaway is to US mailing addresses only.  Giveaway ends September 23rd midnight EST.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Allyson James (Stormwalker Series)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Allyson James!  Allyson is the author of the Mortal series, Tales of Shareem series, Dragon series, and the Stormwalker series including Stormwalker, Firewalker, and Shadow Walker.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

I started writing stories when I was about eight years old. I'd already read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and had started on Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. I realized that these novels were make-believe written down, and I was very good at make believe. So I started writing down stuff I made up. I also knew that people wrote books for a living, and the books went to libraries and bookstores. I couldn't imagine a better job.

I didn't start writing seriously for publication until many years later. I tried "real" jobs, but I always came back to writing. One day I said, "Why not?" and I started writing and submitting. It took about six years after that, off and on, to finally sell my first novel (which I did in 2002).

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  I grew up reading fantasy. I'd read the Lord of the Rings series by the time I was twelve, plus I loved C.S. Lewis's Narnia series. I went from there to fantasy writers such as Terry Brooks, Barbara Hambly, and David Eddings. I've always loved high fantasy and quest fantasy.

I originally wanted to be a fantasy writer, but when I started writing for publication, that market was hard to break into (or so I thought). Plus I always wanted to add romance to my stories, and at the time, romance was a no-no in fantasy (at least, not as much romance as I wanted to include).

So, I decided to be a romance author. I loved historicals (paranormals weren't yet a big thing), so wrote those. I still love historicals and still write them, but as soon as the paranormal romance market really opened up (moving beyond vampire romances), I took it as a green light to write all those stories I'd been saving up.

I kind of had to cajole my editors into letting me write paranormal, because I was doing pretty well at historical, and they didn't want me to stop. But I convinced them, and it's going well! I still write historical, though. Love that too.

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

  I think shape shifting would be cool. I'd love to have animal senses and be much stronger and faster than I am now (sitting and writing isn't good for your figure). Plus with shifting back and forth, you can take full advantage of your human skills as well as your animal skills. Best of both worlds. And maybe then I'd understand what my cats are constantly meowing at me about.

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

Shadow Walker (Book 3 of the Stormwalker series) has plenty of action plus plenty of heartbreaking romance. Janet Begay, a Navajo Stormwalker, has to face the possibility that her boyfriend, Mick (dragon-shifter) might be lost to her forever, and that she will have to lose everything she has and everything she is to save him. Throw in some humor with Coyote, the trickster shape shifter, dragons who either want to help Mick or kill him, and a drag-queen magic mirror, for a fast-paced tale of magic, action, and drama.

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

Good question. I'm bad at knowing who is who in Hollywood, or who would be right for my books. So if readers have their own ideas about Mick and Janet from the Stormwalker series (or Liam and Sean Morrissey from the Shifter series I write as Jennifer Ashley), have at it. :-)

Shadow Walker (Stormwalker #3) by Allyson James.

Stormwalker Janet Begay returns home only to have the ground collapse beneath her-literally. After tumbling two hundred feet underground, Janet is rescued by her dragon boyfriend, Mick. But something dark touches Mick while in the sinkhole, and Janet might lose him forever unless she recruites the most unlikely of allies to stop the growing shadow.

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

To learn more about Allyson James and her books, please visit her website.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Stuart Land

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Stuart Land!  Stuart is the author of Back from the Dead, Epiphany, Shadow House, and Original Blood.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I began several times. First, I was in the sixth grade and wrote a time travel story for a history assignment. The second time I was in Junior high and wrote a story about love lost (I know, who hasn’t). Then a bunch of years went by until I was working in the Hollywood film business as a sculptor. I was on many sets and got see how the preeminent directors and writers of our time created these incredible films I worked on. Ok, so not all were so incredible. I mean, what’s wrong with Neon Maniacs, I ask you? But there was also Aliens, Polterguist II, Predator, Independence day, and everyone’s favorite, Nightmare on Elm street V.

I thought I could write as well, or even better, so bought my first portable computer (the only portable computer) a Campaq portable, the size of a sewing machine, 640 k, with a tiny green screen, no hard drive, and five inch floppies. It looked like the monitor from the Matrix. I remember my first attempt at “serious” writing. I broke out in a cold sweat. I had spent a small fortune on hardware and software, and after a week all I had to show for it was poo. That’s right, not all writers are born to the task. Some of us have to actually work at it.

It was a year or so later, after taking every guru writing course in Hollywood and beyond, reading over a hundred screenplay and loads of books, and studying with directors, actors and writers, that I finally had something I considered readable. That was almost twenty screenplays and five novels ago.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  I grew up with sci-fi and monsters on TV and in the movies. Later, I worked on some of the most famous sci-fi and monster movies in America cinema, so I guess I always loved the paranormal since it was a large part of my life. However, the stories I write, though many are paranormal, always are very different than anything else out there. Everything I write is really cross-genre and doesn’t fit neatly into just one genre. This makes it hard for people to initially pick up, but every person who has read my books has enjoyed them, with many saying that my stories have allowed them to enter a genre they didn’t care for before.

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

This is an unexpected question. But, clever girl, I’m ready for it. In my stories, I like supernatural to be close to natural, but mightily enhanced. In my book, Original Blood, one of the characters is turning into a vampire, and during this transition, she can move really fast, faster than any other vampire. How she uses this to her advantage is the power I’d like.

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

My newest novel, Epiphany, isn’t paranormal at all, but reads like one. It’s based entirely on science fact, yet feels so supernatural because I skirt the edge. Here’s the blurb:
Doctor Sam Enright and his geneticist wife, Dorinda, face turmoil in their small town when a dozen adolescent girls show up pregnant at Sam’s office—and they’re all virgins. When their own daughter falls victim to the same fate, the Enrights rush to Homeland Security for answers. As the questions multiply, they realize they are at the vanguard of a worldwide epidemic, and the mystery deepens. As events escalate, a disparate group of international doctors, scientists, and mothers-to-be are brought together at Dorinda’s genetics lab in Middle America. They race to find the cause and meaning of the mysterious pregnancies, but every discovery reveals a new, worse scenario, leaving humanity's very existence in question.

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

  I hadn’t really thought this out so much, even though I worked in Hollywood a long time. When I write screenplays I think about this, but not for novels. Novels are very specific, whereas screenplays give a lot of latitude as who can play a part. Plus actor and actresses change faster than the weather in San Francisco. Anywho, here are a few choices:

Original Blood (a vampire tail following two women two centuries apart):
Jennifer Lawrence – Zondra
Toss-up between
Natalie Portman - Gailene
Noomi Rapace – Gailene

Jennifer Hudson - Dr. Dorinda Enright

Original Blood by Stuart Land

Original Blood is the delicious, but tormenting tale of Zondra and Gailene as they’re turned into vampires against their will. Separated by two centuries but bound by familial blood that threatens to destroy the vampire nation, Zondra experiences a mind-bending skewed Cinderella story with hot motorcycles, limitless money, and ancient mansions teeming with the undead, while Gailene must rise from devastation, rage, and vengeance to become a powerful vampire leader in the New World. Both women are forced to overcome their circumstances, one of privilege, one of destitution, to gain the power that will save themselves and the man they both love from the retribution of their creator.

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

To learn more about Stuart Land and his books, please visit his website.