Friday, April 27, 2012

Q+A with Suze Reese + ExtraNormal Tour Giveaway

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Suze Reese.  Suze is the author of ExtraNormal.

Keep reading to learn more about the ExtraNormal book tour, and win prizes.  Grand Prize includes an ExtraNormal book bag stuffed with a Kindle, signed copy of ExtraNormal by Suze Reese, EN t-shirt, 5 signed EN bookmarks, and $20 Amazon Gift Card!

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I'm pretty sure I was taking notes in the womb. "Mom was crying again today. She says she's tired of being bloated, whatever that is." I got great grades in school, not because I was smart, but because I could pretty much write my way through anything. I was in my early twenties when I decided to try writing a novel. It took about 5 years and kind of stunk. It had good elements, but I hadn't learned about story structure, which is an entirely different skill set from writing.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

That's one of my favorite questions. It was a college science class. Science was something I avoided like the plague. But eventually they informed me that I would not graduate without at least one science credit. So I picked the most interesting-sounding one I could find: Evolution. And while the professor went on about the evolutional changes on our world, I daydreamed about a world that started out just like ours but evolved differently. By the end ExtraNormal was born. I did get an A in the class, so I guess I didn't daydream too much.

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

Well, this talent probably isn't cool enough to make it into a paranormal book, but if I were forced to pick just one I'd have to grab the house-cleaning nose twitch from Bewitched. (If you could see the room I'm sitting in you'd tell me to go for it.)

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

  I've been told it's unique from what's out there right now. It's a fairly complex story and yet doesn't take itself too seriously. There is what I hope a good balance of intrigue, romance, action, and humor. It takes a look at humans from an outsider's perspective, which I think gives readers a lot to consider.There are so many things we take for granted that Mira is just discovering--our food, our technology, our social situations. I've been told over and over that it sticks with the reader. They think about it when they put it down. In fact, yesterday I had lunch with a close friend who had just read an ARC of ExtraNormal. In fact we were meeting so I could pick it up from her. And mid-way through lunch she says, "I've just got to tell you. Three or our times during our chat I've had the thought that I need to tell you about this amazing book I just read. And then I go 'Oh that's right, she wrote it.'" Plus Jesse is very hot.

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

I didn't want to have a set image as I developed my characters, so I've tried not to "type cast" them. But my son tells me that Mira as she's depicted on my cover looks like Selena Gomez. And while I think she's a versatile actress, she's a little too short for my Mira. I think I'd have to pick Jessica Alba. She has the right look, has Mira's hint of sophistication, and as a bonus has had some sci-fi and paranormal roles. For Jesse I'm thinking Zac Efron. He'd have to dye his hair, but his eyes and smile are perfect. Orlando Bloom is my hands-down pick for Everett, who is supposed be the embodiment of the perfect male specimen. And maybe that's just my opinion of Orlando, but there you go. He is a little old to play a 17-year-old. In fact probably all of them are. But we're talking fantasy casting here, so I'll let Hollywood worry about the age problem.

ExtraNormal (ExtraNormal #1) by Suze Reese

Mira Johns is pretty much like any other teenage girl. Except that she knows how to harness electro-magnetic energy to communicate without words. And she's really, really far from home. Her assignment as an emissary to Earth sounds fairly simple: blend in, observe, and stay away from the planet’s primitive males. But after she finds one mysterious boy too irresistible for stupid rules, she realizes the real reason she's supposed to keep her distance: mates from her world can die if separated. But a series of serious accidents make it clear that someone wants to force her return. Mira decides her only hope is to uncover the truth to why she, the most mediocre of candidates, was actually chosen for this assignment—before the agency discovers her secret and sends her back home.

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

To learn more about Suze Reese and her books, please visit her website.

Suze Reese
**ExtraNormal Book Tour Giveaway**

Author Suze Reese is on tour for her new release ExtraNormal and giving away some fab bookish prizes.  Grand Prize includes an ExtraNormal book bag stuffed with a Kindle, signed copy of ExtraNormal by Suze Reese, EN t-shirt, 5 signed EN bookmarks, and $20 Amazon Gift Card.  Additional prizes include $15 Amazon Gift Card, two EN t-shirts, and autographed EN bookmark sets.

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is to US mailing addresses only.  Giveaway ends May 4, 2012.  Please note that this is a book tour giveaway.  Winners will not be selected by From the Shadows.  Visit the ExtraNormal tour page for more info.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Q+A with Jefferson Smith (Strange Places)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Jefferson Smith.  Jefferson is the author of Strange Places.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I first received critical acclaim for a recurring fantasy adventure serial I wrote throughout the sixth grade. My teacher and principal both loved it. I submitted my first story to the short-fiction market while in the tenth grade, thus securing my first official rejection. But to be honest, I started writing at about the same time I learned to print and I've been doing it ever since. My career as a special effects and animation consultant in Hollywood got in the way for a couple of decades, but I finally found my way back to telling my OWN stories about seven years ago.

As a long time explorer of the arts (writing, painting, animation, composing, etc.) I went back to school to do an unusual PhD program: I studied creativity theory for a doctorate in Computer Science, developing a technique for making humans more creative when they use multimedia software tools. As part of that research, I wrote a musical score for a strange world, and then I wrote a novel to go with it. The result is Strange Places, my first published work of fiction, which is also the first installment of a series called Finding Tayna. I'm now hard at work on the second book, due out at the end of this year, and the musical soundtrack CD will be out this spring. Meanwhile, I write regularly about these strangely intersecting topics (writing tips, software tools for writers, and creativity theory) on my blog: The Creativity Hacker.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  Believe it or not, like all good science geeks, I started out as a stubborn sci-fi nut. But over the years, I came to realize that what fascinated me most about those stories wasn't the actual fictional science part - it was the fabulous mental landscapes and imaginative story worlds that those authors were creating. More recently, as I've watched the acceleration of technology and its rapid proliferation throughout society, I've come to realize that science fiction, as I know it, is dead. Who needs fantastical predictions about the future of science when your nearest Best Buy or even Wal-Mart will have new eye-popping techno widgetry available tomorrow afternoon? We've become jaded to new technology, and the sciences have become so specialized that the only people capable of projecting those topics more than 5 minutes into the future are the specialist researchers themselves, who are usually horrible story tellers.

If you examine most of what science fiction is now doing, it's really just fantasy, dressed up in technological battle gear. I guess what I'm saying is that I didn't exactly come to fantasy consciously so much as I was brought here and abandoned by science fiction. But now that I'm here, I realize that I have always been here and science fiction was just an illusion from my youth.

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

No question. I would want to be able to see into the souls of others and find the one thing to say that would make them fall down laughing. Not only would this be a fabulous power for a writer like myself to have (since I work hard to make my writing funny as well as thought provoking and fantastical) but it would actually be a great super power, too. No evil genius can fight you if they're too busy clutching their sides, gasping for breath, and rolling around on the floor in hysterics. Better yet, nobody can stay mad at a person who can make them laugh, so I'd be converting all the bad guys into friends every time we clashed, and it's just a short walk between making them friends and turning them into good guys. So yeah, that would be my power of choice.

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

Imagine that you had lived your entire life in a gloomy orphanage run by cruel nuns only to discover in your teen years that you might not even be an orphan at all. You'd freak, right? "You mean I've been washing your laundry and scrubbing your floors all this time, and somewhere I might have parents who actually love me? I am so out of here!"

Well, that's exactly what happens for Tayna, my razor witted maybe-orphan. But leaving that orphanage proves to be just the beginning of her troubles. Not only does she know nothing about the world outside the walls, but she quickly learns that her family (if they really exist) are not even in our world at all, but in another, mythological world - one she'd never even heard of before that day. So how is she supposed to find them there?

So you've got this funny but lonely teen, searching for where she belongs, and kicking butt along the way. If she only knew how much her fans loved her, she probably wouldn't be so miserable, but then again, I wouldn't have a book, either. (Note to self: don't tell Tayna how many people out here love her. It would get weird.)

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

  I think Ellen Page would have made a great Tayna five years ago, but she's probably too old now to play a believable teen, so I'd want to use someone new and unknown. There are so many great young actresses out there and I really like working with people who are just getting started in their arts careers.

Peter Dinklage would be fabulous for my villain, the creepy Lord Angiron.

I wish I could have put Heath Ledger in to play the quirky and mysterious Duck Man. He has so many sides to him. I mean, who else could play a guy who wanders around town in hip-waders and a pink trench coat, saying inappropriate things to children in one minute, but who seems to have your back and acts like a trusted but quirky ally in the next? Since I can't have Heath, I think my second choice might be Jason Segal.

The real question, in my mind, is who would play Abeni - the mountain-muscled, dark-skinned Djin adventurer with the kettle-drum laugh? I can't think of a single actor I have ever scene on film who would be right for the part, so I'm going to make one up. Take Arnold Schwarzenegger's body, stuff him inside Denzel Washington for looks and charm, and then cram Woopie Goldberg down inside that skin to handle the comedy and the laughing. Yeah, that would be sweet. I shall call him Denzoopie Schwarzenberg.

Strange Places (Finding Tayna #1) by Jefferson Smith

Raised as a modern-day kitchen slave in an orphanage run by child-loathing nuns, and now stalked by disturbing strangers, thirteen year old Tayna gambles everything on a desperate journey of self-discovery that will lead her to the far corners of two strange and unfamiliar worlds: one filled with shopping malls and televisions, the other with Brownies, Djin and magic.

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

To learn more about Jefferson Smith and his books, please visit his website.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Q+A with Lynda Hilburn (The Vampire Shrink)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Lynda Hilburn.  Lynda is the author of The Vampire Shrink.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I started writing nonfiction as a teenager: journals, high school and college newspapers, then later academic articles and papers. I wrote a newspaper column in my local paper for 5 years called The Psychic Counselor. I didn't start writing fiction until 2004, when I decided to try my hand at writing a vampire book, since I was such a rabid fan. Since then, I've written and published 3 novels, 1 novella and 6 short stories.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  In addition to being a fan of the supernatural and paranormal (vampires especially), I also explored the metaphysical and occult. Talking to dead relatives was a normal occurrence in my family, so my invisible friends were my companions throughout childhood. Later I studied the tarot and utilized my intuitive/psychic abilities, all of which caused me to be slightly odd, according to the "normal" world. Combining all my interests as a writer has been a no-brainer.

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

Like my vampires, I would be able to travel via thought. They can move through time and space by intending to do so. That would be incredibly awesome. There would be no end to the places I could visit, the people I could meet and the experiences I could have.

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

  I hope readers will enjoy sharing Dr. Kismet Knight's transformation from skeptical psychologist to believer in the paranormal. Finding herself enmeshed in the vampire underworld causes her to question everything she thought she knew. Her relationships with master vampire Devereux and FBI profiler Alan Stevens create problems in her personal and professional life and my readers have divided into the Devereux camp and the Alan camp. Readers also tell me they like sharing Kismet's thoughts about her psychotherapy clients -- human and vampire.

The Vampire Shrink (Kismet Knight, Ph.D., Vampire Psychologist #1) by Lynda Hilburn

A sizzlingly sexy urban fantasy sure to feed the hunger of ravenous, vampire-loving fans. Kismet Knight, a brainy Denver-based psychologist with a stalled career and a nonexistent love life, is about to have her world rocked. Not only does her newest patient, Midnight, long to become a vampire, but the teenager insists that a coven of the undead hangs out at a local goth club. The always-rational Kismet dismisses Midnight's claims as the delusions of an attention-starved girl--until bodies start turning up drained of blood and the hottest self-proclaimed vampire ever to walk the face of the earth enters her office.  What's real? What's not? As inexplicable events and romantic opportunities pile up, along with the corpses, Kismet finds herself in a whirlwind of passion, mystery, and danger. But this tough and funny heroine--who doesn't do damsel in distress--is about to turn the vampire-meets-girl convention on its head.

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

To learn more about Lynda Hilburn and her books, please visit her website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shadow Sight ARC Sign Up

Earlier today we announced that Shadow Sight, the first novel in the Ivy Granger Psychic Detective urban fantasy series, has been scheduled to release July 24, 2012.  We also promised reviewers a way to sign up for an advance reader copy of Shadow Sight by E.J. Stevens.

Are you a book blogger interested in reviewing Shadow Sight?  If so, we have an easy peasy Google Docs signup form.

Reviewers will receive Shadow Sight ARCs (advance reader copies) in .pdf and .mobi formats by June 1, 2012.

Happy reading!

Shadow Sight Release Date Announcement

It's official!  Shadow Sight, the first novel in the Ivy Granger Psychic Detective urban fantasy series, is scheduled for a SUMMER release.

The official Shadow Sight release date is July 24, 2012.

Mark your calendars!  We will be having a huge release day party with giveaways happening here on E.J.'s blog, on Twitter, and around the blogosphere.

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 fae? 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 faerie this evil stalks the waterways of your city, you have to make hard choices.

The lesser of two evils...

Sacred Oaks Press

Interested in reviewing Shadow Sight by E.J. Stevens?  We'll be announcing Shadow Sight ARC sign up details later today.  There will be an easy peasy Google Docs form and an option to host a giveaway on your blog for Shadow Sight books and signed swag.

Newsletter subscribers will also be receiving their FREE signed Shadow Sight postcards May 2012.  Not signed up?  Click on the newsletter signup form and include your mailing address.  You can read E.J.'s April newsletter here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Royal Street Book Giveaway Winners

Congratulations Krystal Larson and Emily's Madness winners of our Royal Street Giveaway at From the Shadows!  Krystal and Emily will each receive a signed copy of Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson.

Thank you to all who entered!

**All From the Shadows giveaway winners selected using, unless otherwise noted.**

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Teen Lit Day and Rock The Drop!

Happy Teen Lit Day!

It's time again to Rock the Drop!

I'll be participating in Rock the Drop, a fabulous idea created by the readergirlz online community, again this year.  All day April 12th, I will be dropping signed copies of my Spirit Guide series young adult novels around New England.  Look for the Rock the Drop bookplate inside the front cover and enjoy.

To learn more about Rock the Drop, please visit the readergirlz Rock the Drop 2012 page.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Socialpunk Excerpt + Giveaway

Please welcome today's guest author Monica Leonelle.  Monica is the author of Silver Smoke, Tin Soldier, and Socialpunk.

Keep reading for a chance to win a new iPad 3 (or Apple or Amazon gift card worth $500), new Kindle Fire (or Amazon gift card worth $200), autographed hardcovers of Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle, and more.

As part of her Socialpunk Tour, Monica has provided From the Shadows readers with an excerpt from her new release.  Enjoy!

A small, blinking red light from just inside his eyelid reminded him of the news they sent him earlier that morning. The company had cancelled his funding and would shut down his project within three months. According to them, the project cost too much and took up too much space, and the inconclusive results couldn’t be published reputably, now or in the future.

Six years of his work, tens of thousands of lives at stake—and he could do nothing to save any of it. He bowed his head, letting his chin rest on the rim of his breakfast smoothie. The smoothie reeked of powder—crushed pills—but he supposed he had better get used to it. He wouldn’t be able to afford the luxury of real food after they canned him.

He closed his eyes and called up the camera view of one of his favorites, number 3281. She fascinated him; he couldn’t deny it. When he had designed her, her pre-teen rebelliousness lit fire in her eyes. A survivor, he’d thought. He’d meant for her to have it all—to grow up, to get married to the love of her life, and to have a beautiful family of her own someday.

But he had only given her sadness so far. Instead of creating a strict father, he had given her an abusive one. Instead of creating a loving boyfriend, he had given her a friend who could never love her. And instead of creating a strong, proud mother, he had given her a meek one, who watched the whole thing unfold and did nothing about it.

He looked at his last and final creation sitting in the chair across from him—his own son, not awakened yet. The law forbade him to have any children of his own, so this boy would substitute.

But he had done the unthinkable with this creation—he had bestowed on it his own thoughts, emotions, and decision-making processes. He’d given the boy his own mind, his own physical characteristics, his own wants and desires.

Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle

Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.

Thank you Monica for joining us here today at From the Shadows.

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

**Socialpunk Tour Giveaway**

As part of her Socialpunk Tour, the author is giving away a new iPad 3 (or Apple or Amazon gift card worth $500), new Kindle Fire (or Amazon gift card worth $200), 25 autographed hardcovers of Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle, and more!

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.   Please note that this is a book tour giveaway.  Winners will be selected May 1st, by the author (not From the Shadows), from participating blogs.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends April 30th.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Q+A with Ashlynne Laynne (The Progeny)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Ashlynne Laynne.  Ashlynne is the author of The Progeny.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  From the time I was eight and placed third in an oratorical contest, I was hooked. I was mostly a poet and songwriter before October of 2010- this is when I really got serious about my craft and honing it. I hope to place a piece of my original poetry in each of my novels. The selection, Blessed Eternity, appears in the epilogue of The Progeny and was written three years ago (and before writing novels ever crossed my mind). How's that for destiny?

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  I've always loved horror movies and I must admit I have a soft spot in my heart for vampires. Besides, have you seen how gorgeous they've gotten in the last fifteen years? What girl could resist them?

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

  I'd definitely be a vampire. They have the whole mind control charm thing and eternal life. Imagine the things a vampire could experience in an existence. What's a little blood consumption to live multiple lifetimes?

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

  The Progeny has something for everyone. Sci-fi enthusiasts will be wild for Ascher's back story and origins. Lovers of action will like the fight scenes and adventure elements. Romantics will swoon over the tender love story and forbidden love plot weaved in. Vampire lovers will love the vampire story while lovers of witch stories will love Shauna's story. There were just infinite possibilities for such a wicked couple and I've enjoyed exploring them all.

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

I wrote The Progeny with a picture of the fantastic actor, Thomas Dekker, staring at me everyday, for inspiration. I just love him, so it's no wonder that I wrote Ascher in his likeness. I think he is so ridiculously talented and he isn't hard on the eyes either. He would be the only choice for Ascher, in my opinion. For Shauna, Zoe Kravitz would be an awesome representation for her. Besides her beauty, she has an intensity that definitely comes through on screen.

The Progeny by Ashlynne Laynne

“No fate other than the one I choose.” The timeless creed, and tattoo, bore by the Rousseau’s— a vampire clan with the purest bloodline of any vampire family. Out of this clandestine group came one who was different, yet the same: Ascher - a half-bloodling— half- human, half vampire.

Ascher questions the purpose for his existence and which world he truly belongs to: the human world or the vampire world. Two months from sealing to Ursula— a prearranged union to a woman he abhors — he’s at his wit’s end. He knows if he calls off the sealing, the Romanian clan will strike with deadly force, but he cannot see eternity with a cold empty shell of a woman like Ursula.

Just when he thought life was complicated enough, he meets Shauna— a beautiful, bi-racial human wiccan — and immediately develops an unshakable attraction to her. She makes him feel alive and vital despite his origins and Ascher makes a decision that turns his immortal world upside down.

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

To learn more about Ashlynne Lane and her books, please visit her website.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

National Poetry Month Giveaway

Happy National Poetry Month!  To celebrate, we are having a poetry book giveaway.

**National Poetry Month Giveaway**

We are giving away a prize pack containing bookmarks, postcards, magnet, and *autographed* copies of From the Shadows and Shadows of Myth and Legend by E.J. Stevens to one lucky winner.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post (please include your email address so we may contact you if you win).  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends April 30th midnight EST.