Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Q+A with Michele Vail (Undeadly)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Michele Vail.  Michele is the author of Undeadly.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I knew I wanted to be a writer from a young age. I started penning stories and poems around the age of 12. I loved reading and my English and literature classes were my favorite subjects. I was the typical diary-writing teenager, too, and soon my angst and worries found their ways into fictional tales and poetry.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

I love stories with supernatural elements. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, witches ... I loved it all, even before paranormal became so popular within fiction markets. My most recent fascination has been with zombies and reapers, and that's how Molly and her world came about. I wanted to answer the question, "How do you become a reaper?" I really enjoy ancient Egyptian mythology, and I thought: Making mummies is really close to making zombies, right? So that's where my zombie-making mythology begins.

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

Wow. This is a difficult question to answer. I would like to be able to clean the house with a twitch of my nose--much like Samantha from "Bewitched." Immortality would be great, too, simply because I would like to see how the world progresses with technology. I think there may come a day when we can fix the troubles that plague our world ... creating a place where no one goes hungry, war is irrelevant, and chocolate becomes an official food group.

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

  It's fun! Imagine a world just like ours only zombies and ghosts are commonplace. You can get a zombie made the same way you might order a custom suit or a flower arrangement. You can purchase machines that harness ghost energy, so you can have after-life servants. Or in the cases of movie stars and rock musicians, dying doesn't mean your career is over. Thrown into the mix is Molly, who has the ability to make zombies, but finds out she has a larger destiny and a secret past.

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

  I think Taylor Lautner should turn in his werewolf fur and go reaper. He'd make a great Rath, the boy who is preparing Molly for her eventual transition into reaperhood (and you know, saving the human world in the mean time). As for Molly, Jennette McCurdy has the right kind of attitude and look (I love her as Sam on "iCarly").

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1) by Michele Vail.

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

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

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blood and Mistletoe Release Party

Blood and Mistletoe, a novella in the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series, celebrates it's official release today.  Let's PARTY!

Blood and Mistletoe (Ivy Granger #1.5) by E.J. Stevens.

Holidays are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many of the residents are undead vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may prove deadly.

Ivy Granger, psychic private investigator, returns to the streets of Harborsmouth in this addition to the bestselling urban fantasy series.

Holidays are Hell, a point driven home when a certain demon attorney returns with information regarding a series of bloody murders. Five Harborsmouth residents have been killed and every victim has one thing in common--they are fae. Whoever is killing faeries must be stopped, but they only leave one clue behind--a piece of mistletoe floating in a pool of the victim's blood.

The holidays just got interesting. Too bad this case may drive Ivy mad before the New Year. Heck, she'll be lucky to survive Christmas.

Blood and Mistletoe is an Ivy Granger series novella.

BONUS:  Blood and Mistletoe contains an Ivy Granger series Pronunciation Guide.

Previous books in this series: Shadow Sight (Amazon / Goodreads)

**Blood and Mistletoe Giveaway**

We are giving away an ebook copy of Blood and Mistletoe AND an Ivy Granger series swag pack to three lucky winners!  Swag pack contains signed Shadow Sight and Blood and Mistletoe postcards, Ivy Granger magnet, Shadow Sight sticker, Private Eye logo sticker, and a gorgeous Blood and Mistletoe poster.

To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below. (We are trying something new this time. Let us know what you think!)  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends December 5th midnight EST.
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For more chances to win, visit E.J. on Twitter and enter the Blood and Mistletoe Twitter Party giveaway all day November 20th.  Use hashtag #BloodAndMistletoe and come join the party!

 Blood and Mistletoe now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine retailers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Post: Suzy Turner + The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw Giveaway

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Suzy Turner.  Suzy is the author of Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul, and The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw.

Keep reading for a chance to win fabulous prizes!

The man who inspired The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw

Earlier this year, I was invited to work on a movie called The Right Juice. It was a 'Brit flick' being filmed in the Algarve, where I've lived since I was ten (26 years). I was incredibly nervous but super excited at finally doing something I could only dream of, after all, it's not every day you get the chance to work on a movie. I was the Script Supervisor. It was a tough job for such a newbie but very satisfying.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it is where I got the inspiration to write my latest book, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw (a Morgan Sisters novel). It wasn't my experiences behind the scenes that inspired me but a guy I met. Granted, I did have some awesome experiences that would make a great book... but that'll be another story altogether!

Mark Killeen is an English actor who is buff, gorgeous and one of the most down to earth people I've ever met. A guy who loves to laugh, and to make people laugh. We instantly became pals and shortly afterwards I knew I wanted him to be in my next book. Okay, perhaps that wasn't quite possible so I'd have to create a character based on Mark, a character living in the capital of England. Declan Alexander isn't the leading man, per se, but his role is a crucial one.

Like the man he's based upon, Declan Alexander is a proud Londoner, in every sense of the word. But he's not your average guy, no. Declan is half angel and he spends much of his time helping those in need in London, England and beyond.

In the very first Morgan Sisters novel, Declan volunteers to look after the two adopted daughters of his close friend Patrick Morgan. But what Patrick doesn't know, is that Declan is, in fact, helping the girls join an ancient foundation that helps fight crime...

The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw (Morgan Sisters #1) by Suzy Turner.

Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange 'tattoo' suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they soon realise there's more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined.
Sent off to London for two weeks of 'work experience', the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural.
At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won't leave them alone.

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.

**The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw Tour Giveaway**

Author Suzy Turner is giving away fabulous prizes to celebrate the release of The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw.  Enter the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win a bracelet, keyring, Amazon gift card, and copies of The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Brush with Death Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Tanya1224, Nezu, and Diletta Dike Brizzi winners of our Brush with Death Release Party Giveaway at From the Shadows!  

Tanya will receive a signed trade paperback copy of Brush with Death by E.J. Stevens, Spirit Guide series trading cards, and a signed Brush with Death postcard.

Nezu and Diletta will receive an ebook copy of Brush with Death and signed Brush with Death postcard.

Thank you to all who entered!

**Giveaway winners selected using**

Q+A with Andrew Valentine (Bitter Consequence)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Andrew Valentine.  Andrew is the author of Bitter Things and Bitter Consequence.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

I wrote my very first book when I was 5 years old, called The Gods of the Monsters.  It was mostly a picture book, but some actual words did manage to make it onto the page.  Actually, not every word that made it onto the page was a real word in English.  The real ones included “monster” and “run” and “escape.”  But there were also a lot of almost-words, like “ahh!” and “n-n-no-noooo!!!”  You can probably imagine what the pictures were like based on that.

As I got older, I entered into an even more frightening phase in writing: romance.  I wrote my first romance novel when I was 11, called “The Little Black Books.”   They were all black, hence the name.  Do you know those small Mead notebooks, the size of a deck of playing cards?  I picked one up and filled it with imagined scenes of the kids in my neighborhood on “dates.”  These were highly romanticized dates—the older kids walked hand-in-hand on the beach, all dressed in white linen.  The younger kids played truth or dare in basements.  In retrospect, these books were really very chaste (lots of handholding and a little bit of kissing), but to my friends, it was absolutely scandalous.  And they couldn’t get enough of them.  In fact, I had friends who bought me more of those little Mead notebooks just so I would write sequels.  That could have been first series, if I had followed through!

Then, as a teenager, I started dating for real and all the romanticized images went out the window.  I suppose you can say my dating career influenced my return to the horror genre.
What brought you to the paranormal genre?

My professional writing for horror and paranormal romance began when I was going for my masters degree in psychology.   I was reading all these dense texts by Freud and Jung and others, and I just needed a break.  So I picked up an Anne Rice novel—Interview with the Vampire.  And I was blown away.  I thought immediately… “ppppfffftttth!  I could do this.”

Kidding around aside, Anne Rice’s work is incredible.  She’s brilliant and engaging and sensual… I was hooked.  I finished up my masters, but decided instead to focus on paranormal fiction rather than psychological fantasies.

The book I completed at that time was Bitter Things—my award-winning debut, which was published by the National Writers Press a mere 12 years later.  But they say that’s about how long overnight success takes.  Based on the success of that book, my publisher asked me to write another, which became Bitter Consequence.

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

  I write mostly about vampires, although there are some other supernatural elements to the novels.  While the vampires in my stories are not limited by some traditional impediments (like in my books, holy water doesn’t burn them; they can cross running streams of water; or they can’t enter a home unless they’re invited in).  I would like the supernatural talent to be able to cast no reflection in a mirror.  Especially on the mornings after I’ve been out all night.  Uggh…

Actually, I have a better one, and it’s one you don’t see too often.  It doesn’t appear in any of my books or stories, but I could really use it.  If I could have one supernatural talent, I’d like to be able to lay my hands over any mechanical or technological device and have it work properly.  Just like that.   My BlackBerry is a disaster.  My computer is frozen all the time.  Some unknowable red light glows on my dashboard.  A simple laying of hands, as the faith healers call it, could solve all that.

And I would call myself… Technocrati!  No.  How about… Technomorph?  The Technocrat?

Maybe I’ll just stick with Andrew Valentine.

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

Here’s a short synopsis:  Immortal love.  Immortal evil.  A woman must save her husband from an evil blood-goddess to prevent a supernatural war on the streets of modern New York in this groundbreaking tale of erotic horror.

It’s fun, exciting, sexy and smart.  It’s clever, with interesting plot points and characters with unique but relatable motivations.  It can be considered a sequel, or either can be a stand-alone.  So if you want don’t want to commit to several books, you can get a satisfying read out of just one.

I live and write in Westchester County, NY.  I was born and raised in Queens and Long Island and work in and around NYC.  There are also a lot of locations from these places that appear in my book.  As a matter of fact, we just took a bunch of publicity photos in the Cloisters in NYC—which is a medieval monastery, deconstructed in France and reconstructed, brick-by-brick, in Manhattan.  A silver sword plays a big part in the book, and we used one as a prop in these photos, and I had a lot of fun fighting imaginary zombies and vampires in this castle-like place.
So, while it’s complete and total fiction, there are elements of Bitter Consequence that are autobiographical.  There’s even a plot point that has to do with vampires in Italy--yes, ok, you’re right.  That IS an unfortunate coincidence with the Twilight series.  But my Italian-connection is different because it is directly based on my own family history.  The events in Bitter Consequence that take place in Italy are based on supposed events that happened to my own ancestors hundreds of years ago.

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

  The main character is Michelle Torro.  When I wrote this character, the TV show Friends was very popular and Courtney Cox was my physical inspiration for Michelle.  Today, I think Michelle could be played by Mila Kunis (Forgetting Sarah Marshall / Black Swan / Friends with Benefits), because she can be tough and unrelenting, or sweet and loving.  And she’s drop dead gorgeous.  Otherwise, I’m a big fan of Krysten Ritter (who plays the title character in The B in Apartment 23), especially her work in Breaking Bad, where she played a recovering junkie in Season 2.  As that character, Ritter shows intelligence, a willingness to manipulate when needed, and an easy, sexy charm, and in Apartment 23, she portrays great humor—all of which are hallmarks of the Michelle Torro character.

Jong Lee, Michelle’s arch nemesis—I originally wrote this character thinking of Lucy Lui, back in her Alley McBeal days.  Today I think Maggie Q would be an excellent Jong Lee.  Her turn in Live Free or Die Hard showcased her ability to play a hard-as-diamonds assassin, but her run as Nikita reveals the range of emotion she could bring to the character of Jong Lee.
Scott, Michelle’s husband, could be played by Ryan Gosling (Crazy Stupid Love / Drive)—because he can play vulnerable, while still retaining a rugged exterior.   Gosling can do so much with an economy of words, as seen in Drive, which would help make a great juxtaposition to some of the more verbose characters in the Bitter Consequence book (movie). The fact that he’s in amazing shape doesn’t hurt.

Kali, Michelle’s chief antagonist – I think Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire / Rise of the Planet of the Apes) would do a terrific job as Kali, mostly because I wrote it thinking of her.   She has a wonderful speaking voice, which is noted in the book, and she’s one of the world’s great beauties.  She also has a quality that draws you in and makes you care about whatever character she’s playing.

Dave, Michelle’s best friend, could be played by Justin Long (Live Free Die Hard / New Girl / Drag Me to Hell)—because he can be so easily written-off as a likeable but nebbish individual due to his boyish good looks, but underneath he has untapped reserves of strength and character.  He’d make an excellent counter balance to Ryan Gosling’s Scott in the film version of Bitter Consequence.

Xiamora, Michelle’s and Kali’s blood-mother—this is a character written for Zoe Saldana (Avatar / Columbiana / Star Trek), and not just because she’s from Queens, like me!  Like so many of the actors and actresses listed above, she has a great emotional range—but yet, she can convey the ancient, almost Zen-like wisdom Xiamora works toward.  And just because I think there’s an opportunity to gush, here, I just love the way she enters the bar in the Star Trek re-boot by JJ Abrams.  Talk about your heavenly bodies…  Ok, I’m a jerk.  I’ll stop now.  Zoe.  Sigh.

Bitter Consequence by Andrew Valentine.

In order to save her husband and herself, Michelle slays an ancient undead queen, inheriting her power, her people and her progeny.   What Michelle can’t know is that her triumph sends violent ripples through the supernatural world.

Across town, in a nightclub dedicated to dark desires and pulsing sexuality, the ancient blood-goddess Kali is struck down as a result of Michelle’s instinctual act of self-preservation.  Kali survives and awakens, with a physical need for revenge and an immortal thirst for power—the death of the ancient queen gives Kali’s own nefarious plans a chance for new life.

Michelle and this new, cunning immortal are thrust against each other, not in a battle for survival alone, but for the power to rule an unstoppable army of the dead.

Now she is entangled in a web of deceit where lives, loves and destinies are changed forever or lost completely—and all actions produce bitter consequences.

Thank you Andrew for joining us here at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Andrew Valentine and his books, please visit his website.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

All Hallow's Read Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Daniela winner of our All Hallow's Read Giveaway at From the Shadows.  Daniela will receive an ebook copy of Shadow Sight, the first novel in the Ivy Granger urban fantasy series, by E.J. Stevens.

Thank you to all who entered.

*All winners selected using*

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Month Before Halloween Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Stephanie winner of The Month Before Halloween Giveaway at From the Shadows.  Stephanie will receive a Halloween goodie bag stuffed with signed Spirit Guide and Ivy Granger swag, creepy skull rings, candy, and more.

Thank you to all who entered.

*All winners selected using*