Monday, December 23, 2013

Q+A with J.D. Horn + The Line Giveaway

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author J.D. Horn!  J.D. is the author of The Line, the first novel in the Witching Savannah series.

Keep reading for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Line by J.D. Horn!

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

JD:  I began writing as a teenager. On a real live typewriter, even. I always wanted to write, but I got derailed in college when I studied Comparative World Literature. My studies involved dissecting masterpieces, but never covered the creative process. The comparisons I made between the finished works of the greats and my own inchoate and immature efforts discouraged me. It took me several years to get past this. I wrote my first novel—as yet unpublished, although I still have hopes for it—when I was finally able to take joy again in storytelling. “The Line” will be my first published work and the first book of the Witching Savannah series. The Witching Savannah series continues in “The Source” and “The Void.”

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

JD:  I have always loved all things paranormal. I cut my teeth while watching “Dark Shadows”—imagine the thrill I got when Kathryn Leigh Scott agreed to review “The Line.” Frankly, though, it was my own real life paranormal experiences that cemented my interest in the supernatural. I had a Southern Gothic childhood, and when I reach inside to my creative space, the world of spirits and elementals has so far proven the most fertile ground.

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

JD:  We, as author and reader, share a supernatural talent. Together we build worlds. I don’t mean that in some trite and condescending way. I really do believe that reality is pliant. When you as a reader joins forces with an author, I suspect this union forms and nurtures a type of bubble universe that on some level truly does exist. Am I nuts? Maybe a little. I am currently writing the third book in the “Witching Savannah” series. In this third book, one of the characters will take up writing, and will begin writing about me.

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

JD:  Because it is about deeply-flawed people who want to live better lives than they have been living. Because in spite of the magic, the Taylors, Witching Savannah’s central family, face very human problems. Because even though it is the first of a series, the story leaves off at a satisfying place. Because Savannah itself is a central character, not just a throwaway location. Because even though it is one sweet young woman who acts as our window on the Witching Savannah world, the story encompasses a full cast of living, breathing, well-rounded characters.

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

JD:  Goodness! Emma Stone or Debra Ann Woll. Both are capable of portraying the mix of toughness, spunk and fragility that Mercy Taylor embodies. The second lady of the Witching Savannah series would be Mercy’s Aunt Ellen. From Ellen’s inception, I saw her as Kelley Menighan Hensley. Kelley can chew up the scenery when she sets her mind to it, and I think she would be perfect to portray the beautiful train wreck Ellen. Colton Haynes would be perfect as Jackson. He’s great at playing the really hot guy you just want to punch. Probably Sean McGowan as Peter, the good guy who makes a really bad choice, due to Sean’s boy-next-door appeal.

The Line (Witching Savannah #1) by J.D. Horn

Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical…

To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.

Despite being powerless herself, of course.

Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

In The Line, the first book of the Witching Savannah series, J.D. Horn weaves magic, romance, and betrayal into a captivating Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare.

Release Date:  February 1, 2014
Add to Goodreads.

Thank you J.D. for joining us here at From the Shadows!  To learn more about J.D. Horn and his books, please visit his website.

***The Line Giveaway***

Okay, now for the giveaway!  We are giving away one autographed copy of The Line, the first novel in the Witching Savannah series, by J.D. Horn.

To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post and include your email address so that we may contact you if you win.  This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.  Giveaway ends January 6th midnight EST.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bite Before Christmas Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Tracy K. winner of our Bite Before Christmas Giveaway here at From the Shadows!  Tracy will receive an ebook copy of Blood and Mistletoe, an Ivy Granger urban fantasy holiday novella, and a signed Blood and Mistletoe poster.

Thank you to all who entered.  Happy Holidays!

**Giveaway winner selected using Rafflecopter**

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Club Nexus Release Party Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Cherry Mischivous winner of the Club Nexus Release Party GiveawayCherry Mischivous will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook copy of CLUB NEXUS by E.J. Stevens.

Thank you all for partying with us!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Club Nexus Release Day Party + Giveaway

Today is the worldwide release of CLUB NEXUS a thrilling ebook special set in the urban fantasy world of Ivy Granger.

Keep reading for a chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card (or $15 book from The Book Depository), and a Club Nexus ebook!

Club Nexus (Ivy Granger #2.5) by E.J. Stevens

A demon, an Unseelie faerie, and a vampire walk into a bar...


A bargain gone wrong leads a highborn Unseelie faerie to life as an enslaved bartender with a taste for revenge.


Being a highly skilled predator doesn't necessarily put you at the top of the food chain at Club Nexus. A southern vampire with a hankering for blood and wanton violence may have bit off more than he can chew.


The demon attorney we love to hate has his eye on a certain rockabilly human. Too bad she's brought a crossbow loaded with holy water dipped bolts for this night on the town.


Just when Jinx needs a carefree girl's night out with Ivy, a smoking hot demon tries to buy her a drink. She really is the unluckiest human on the planet.

This Ivy Granger ebook special contains short stories set in Club Nexus, the hidden haunt of Harborsmouth's paranormal underworld.

Release Date: December 3, 2013

Club Nexus promises to thrill and tantalize fans of the Ivy Granger series.  Purchase your copy at,, or Barnes and Noble, or enter to win a free copy below.  Happy reading!

***Club Nexus Release Party Giveaway***

We are giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook copy of Club Nexus by E.J. Stevens.

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Want more chances to win?  Visit E.J.'s Twitter page or use hashtag #ClubNexusParty to join our one-day Club Nexus Twitter Party.  We'll be giving away Ivy Granger swag and copies of Club Nexus throughout the day December 3, 2013.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bite Before Christmas Giveaway

Happy Black Friday!  It's time for our annual Bite Before Christmas Giveaway here at From the Shadows.

This year we are giving away an ebook copy of Blood and Mistletoe, an Ivy Granger urban fantasy holiday novella, and a signed Blood and Mistletoe poster to one lucky winner!

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.

***Bite Before Christmas Giveaway***

To enter, use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway ends December 18, 2013.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Excerpt: Moth by Daniel Arenson

Today we have a special excerpt from Moth by Daniel Arenson.  Daniel is also giving away copies of Moth on Goodreads.  Goodreads giveaway ends November 30th.

Moth (The Moth Saga #1) by Daniel Arenson.

They say the world used to turn. They say that night would follow day in an endless dance. They say that dawn rose, dusk fell, and we worshiped both sun and stars.

That was a long time ago.

My people are the fortunate. We live in daylight, blessed in the warmth of the sun. Yet across the line, the others lurk in eternal night, afraid... and alone in the dark.

I was born in the light. I was sent into darkness. This is my story.



They entered the shadows, seeking a missing child.
            Torin swallowed, clutched the hilt of his sword, and gazed around with darting eyes. The trees still grew densely here--mossy oaks with trunks like melting candles, pines heavy with needles and cones, and birches with peeling white bark. Yet this was not the forest Torin had always known. The light was wrong, a strange ocher that bronzed the trees and kindled floating pollen. The shadows were too long, and the sun hung low in the sky, hiding behind branches like a shy maiden peering between her window shutters. Torin had never seen the sun shine from anywhere but overhead, and this place sent cold sweat trickling down his back.
            "This is wrong," he said. "Why would she come this far?"
            Bailey walked at his side, holding her bow, her quiver of arrows slung across her back. Her two braids, normally a bright gold, seemed eerily metallic in this place. The dusk glimmered against her breastplate--not the shine they knew from home, but a glow like candles in a dungeon.
            "I don't know," she said. "Yana has been strange since her parents died in the plague. Maybe she thought it would be an adventure."
            Despite himself, Torin shivered. "An adventure? In the dusk? In this cursed place no sensible person should ever enter?"
            Bailey raised an eyebrow and smiled. "Why not? Aren't you feeling adventurous now?"
            "No." He shook his head vehemently. "Adventure means sneaking out to Old Garin's farm to steal beets, mixing rye with ale, or climbing the old maple tree in the village square." He looked around at the shadowy forest, and his hand felt clammy around his hilt. "Not this place. Not the dusk."
            They kept walking, heading farther east, deeper into the shadows. Torin knew what the elders said. Thousands of years ago, the world used to turn. The sun rose and fell, and night followed day in an endless dance. Men woke at dawn, worked until the sunset, and slept through the darkness.
            Torin shivered. He didn't know if he believed those stories. In any case, those days were long gone. The dance had ended. The world had fallen still. Torin was a child of eternal sunlight, of a day that never ended. Yet now . . . now they were wandering the borderlands, the dusky strip--a league wide--that was neither day nor night, claimed by neither his people nor the others . . . those who dwelled in the dark.
            A shadow darted ahead.
            Torin leaped and drew his sword.
            A rabbit raced across the forest and disappeared into a burrow.
            Bailey stared at his drawn sword, eyes wide, then burst into laughter.
            "Protect me, brave Sir Torin Greenmoat!" she said, doubling over. "Will you defend me from the evil Bunny of the Night?"
            Torin grumbled and sheathed his blade, cursing himself. He had come of age last autumn, turning eighteen, and he had joined the Village Guard, yet it seemed Bailey would forever mock him.
            "Hush," he said. "It could have been them."
            She rolled her eyes. "They don't walk this far dayside, if they even exist."
            "How do you know?"
            Bailey groaned. "Everybody knows that. It's still too bright here. The nightfolk only live in the deep darkness." She lowered her voice. "It's dark as the deepest cave there, Torin. It's darker than the soul of a killer, darker than toast burnt in dragonfire, darker than the empty spaces inside your skull. So dark you can't see your own feet. That's where they lurk . . . scuttling, whispering, sharpening their claws . . ." She inched closer to him and smiled wickedly, the orange light reflecting in her eyes. "When all light is gone, that is where they'll . . . leap at you."
            She lunged toward him, clawing the air. Torin muttered and pushed her back.
            "This is no time for your games," he said. "A child is missing. Until we find Yana, I'm keeping my hand on my sword. And you should nock an arrow."
            She blew out her breath noisily, fluttering her lips. "Yana is thirteen, rebellious, and wants attention. We'll find her long before we hit the true darkness. Let's keep walking, and do try not to wet yourself." She winked. "I promise you, no bunnies will hurt you, Babyface."
            He sighed. She knew he hated that name. Even at eighteen, Torin still stood a little shorter than Bailey, and people often said he looked young for his age, his eyes too large, his cheeks too soft, and his chest too smooth. Torin had hoped that joining the Village Guard would make Bailey see him as a man, not a callow boy, but so far his hopes had been dashed. Standing almost six feet tall, preferring leggings and boots to gowns and slippers, Bailey wasn't easy to impress. Jumping at rabbits wasn't helping either.
            They walked on. Torin didn't wet himself, but with every step, his heart raced faster and more sweat trickled. As they headed farther east, the sun sank lower behind them. The shadows deepened, stretching across the forest floor like slender men in black robes.
            The forest began to thin out. Back in Timandra, in the full light of day, the trees grew thick and lush and rich with birds. Here in the dusk, they faded like receding hair on an aging man's scalp. The verdant woods dwindled into a few scattered trees, stunted and bent, their leaves gray. The soil lost its rich brown hue, darkening into charcoal thick with black stones. Another mile and the sun actually touched the horizon behind them, casting red beams between the last trees. The air grew colder and Torin hugged himself.
            "We should go back," he said, hating that his voice sounded so choked. "We've come too far. We're almost at the night."
            A lump filled his throat like a boiled egg, too large to swallow. Torin had seen the night before. Like everyone in the Village Guard, he had climbed the Watchtower upon the hill. He had gazed across the dusk, this withered no man's land, and beheld the great shadow in the east. But that had been different. In the safety of the Watchtower, the daylight upon him and the forest rustling below, it was easy to be brave. Now he walked toward the very lair of the beasts.
            "Scared?" Bailey asked, smiling crookedly.
            Torin nodded. "Yes and you should be too. They live near here." He took a shuddering breath. "The people of the night. Elorians." The word tasted like ash.
            Bailey snickered and kept walking, her braids swinging. "If you ask me, 'lorians are just a myth." She trudged up a hillside strewn with boulders. "People who live in eternal night, their eyes large as an owl's, their skin milk white, their souls pitch black?" She snorted. "It's just a myth to keep children away from the darkness."
            Torin followed reluctantly, though every beat of his heart screamed to turn around, to head back west, to return to the eternal daylight of his home. Bailey could snicker at the stories, but Torin wasn't so dismissive. If the world indeed used to turn, and day and night would cycle like summer and winter, would people not have lived here once? When the world had frozen, leaving Timandra in light and Eloria in darkness, would the people here not wither into twisted demons, hateful of the light, thirsty for the blood of honest folk?
            "Torin!" Bailey looked over her shoulder at him. The low sun painted her a bloody red. "Are you following, or will you run back to safety while I go looking?"
            He grumbled and trudged uphill after her. "If I turn back now, I'd never hear the end of it."
            She grinned and winked. "That's the spirit, Winky."
            He sighed. It was another name he hated. Years ago, while wrestling with Bailey, he had fallen upon a stone and scratched his left eye. Since then his pupil had remained fully dilated, hiding most of the iris. He could see only smudges from that eye now, a blurred world like a melted painting. Folks joked that his eyes were like the world's halves, one green and good, the other black and dead. To Bailey, he had simply become Winky.
            Since his parents had died in the plague ten years ago--a pestilence many claimed the Elorians had spread--Torin had been living with Bailey and her grandfather. The young woman, a year his senior, could always draw him into trouble. Whenever Bailey climbed the Old Maple, she would challenge him to climb too, then laugh as he dangled and fell. Whenever she ran across the fields, she'd challenge him to a race, then tease him relentlessly for losing. Torin had always been a little slower, a little clumsier, a little meeker, and even here and now--old enough to serve in the Village Guard, tracking a missing child through the shadows--she could goad him.
            He shook his head as he walked uphill. Sometimes he loved Bailey like a true sister. Sometimes he thought her beautiful, brave, and his best friend. And sometimes, like now, he thought her the most stubborn, reckless soul this side of darkness.
            Several feet ahead of him, she reached the hilltop, froze, and gasped.
            Torin's heart raced. He clutched his hilt and drew a foot of steel. For an instant, he was sure the Elorians were swarming toward her. He raced uphill, boots scattering pebbles, and came to stand beside her.
            His hand loosened around his hilt, letting his sword slide back into its scabbard.
            Bailey turned toward him, her eyes damp, and smiled tremulously. "It's beautiful, Torin. It's so beautiful."
            He looked ahead, saw the land of Eloria, and could barely breathe.
            Beautiful? he thought. It looked about as beautiful as the black heart of a viper.
            From the Watchtower back home, the night seemed a mere smudge of ink, a blackness that spread into the horizon. But standing here upon the edge of dusk, he beheld a new world. Lifeless black hills rolled into the distance. Beyond them, mountains rose against a deep indigo sky. Wind moaned, scattering dust and invading Torin's clothes with icy fingers. No plants grew here; he saw no grass, no trees, no life at all.
            Upon one hill, several miles away, rose the black obelisk men called the Nighttower, a twin to the Watchtower back home. Torin had seen it before from the safety of daylight, a needle in the distance. Seeing the edifice so close chilled him, a strange feeling like seeing one's profile between two mirrors, a vision familiar yet uncomfortably different. The Nighttower rose like a stalagmite from the hilltop, black and craggy. Some men claimed it was a natural structure, carved by wind and rain; others claimed the Elorians had built their own tower to observe Timandra. Even standing here, Torin could not decide, but he had no desire to get any closer.
            Above all else, even more than the barren stone and looming tower, it was the sky that spun Torin's head. Countless small, glowing dots covered the firmaments like holes punched through a black blanket. An orb floated among them, as large as the sun back home, glowing silver. It took Torin a moment to realize--it was the moon. He had seen the moon before from the dayside, a wisp like a mote of dust, but here it shone like a great lantern.
            "The stars and the moon," Bailey whispered. "I've heard of them. The lights of the night."
            He grabbed her arm. "Bailey, this is enough. We've crossed the dusk; this is Eloria itself ahead. This land is forbidden." He tried to tug her back downhill. "We go home. Now."
            She refused to budge. "Wait. Look, Winky. Down there."
            He followed her gaze, staring toward the distant land of darkness. A lump lay below upon the eastern hillside.
            "A boulder," he said.
            Bailey shook her head, braids swaying. "All the other boulders here are tall and jagged. This one's smooth."
            She pulled her arm free and walked downhill, heading deeper into the darkness. Torin cursed and looked behind him. Back in the west, the sun still shone and trees still grew; they were gray and twisted nearby, green and lush farther back. Far above them, he could see the top of the Watchtower and the blue sky of Timandra behind it.
            Home. Safety.
            He turned away, muttering curses, and began walking downhill after Bailey.
            "She always does this to me," he grumbled.
            Thanks to her taunts, he had fallen from trees, almost drowned swimming after her in the river, and nearly gagged during a pie eating contest. And now this--walking into the land of darkness itself.
            He drew his sword and held the blade before him. He had never swung it in battle; he wondered if that would change now. As he moved nightward, his boots scattering pebbles, he kept glancing around, seeking them. He had seen countless statues, paintings, and effigies of Elorians, and now those visions returned to him, mocking him with oversized eyes, sharp teeth, and claws. He sucked in his breath and held it.
            Bailey knelt ahead over the lump. She looked up at him, and the last beams of sunlight filled her eyes. They gleamed, two orange lanterns.
            "Torin," she whispered, voice choked.
            He crossed the last few steps toward her. He knelt at her side, looked at the shadow below, and lowered his head.
            We found her.
            Yana lay on her back, eyes glassy and staring. Her skin was pale gray, and her hands were still balled into fists. Three gashes gaped open across her chest, and blood soaked her tunic, deep crimson in the night. A steel star, its points serrated, pierced her neck.
            Bailey's hand shook as she closed the girl's eyes.
            "I think we should leave now," she whispered.
            Torin nodded and they lifted the girl. All the way here, they had taunted each other, laughing and groaning. They walked home in silence, leaving the darkness and returning to a day that seemed less bright.

Want to immerse yourself in the world of Moth?  Check out The Music of Moth by Ekaterina here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Q+A with S.J. Harper (Cursed) + Giveaway

Please welcome today's paranormal guest authors Samantha Sommersby and Jeanne C. Stein who form the writing team S.J. Harper.  Samantha and Jeanne are the authors of Cursed.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I really didn't start writing seriously until I moved to Colorado almost twenty years ago. I had played around with writing before that, but it was joining Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and getting involved in a critique group that made the difference.

Sam:  I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I came from a very pragmatic family and it never occurred to me that it was something I could pursue as a career. I put writing aside for graduate school, career, and family. It wasn’t until I was forty that I returned to it. My job was very demanding and I turned to writing as a way to relieve stress. Once I rediscovered that passion, there was no turning back. In 2007 I left my full time job – best decision ever.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

Vampire novels and movies have always been my guilty pleasure. Then I got hooked on Buffy, and the rest, as they say, is history!!

Sam:  And this is one of the reasons Jeanne and I are such good friends! I grew up watching “B” horror films and reading Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes before graduating to Stephen King and Anne Rice. Then there was the Buffy period – which I’ve never gotten over.

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

  I'd like to be an immortal. I'd love to be around to see where we go as a race in the next hundred years. Maybe it would be disappointing and/or appalling, but I'm an optimist. I'd like to think we'll finally see the errors of our ways.

Sam:  Supernatural talent? I’d love to have the ability to heal. Not just myself, but others.

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

I hope they find Cursed entertaining, sexy, exciting, well-written and clamor for more!! Emma is a great character, immortal but with human frailties. She and her partner, Zack, are FBI agents whose mission is to seek redemption by saving others. Emma was cursed for failing to protect Persephone. Zack is a werewolf whose past as a black-ops assassin still haunts him.

Sam:  As Jeanne pointed out, there’s something in CURSED for everyone. There’s a mystery to solve, some suspense, romance, magic. But most importantly are the characters. I really admire both Emma and Zack. They’re supernatural creatures, yes, but they are individuals readers can relate to. They’ve made mistakes, they have struggles, but they are resilient, heroic, and have wonderful hearts.

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

  For Zack, I picture a rugged David Beckham kind of character. For Emma, maybe Sandra Bullock, who can look both plain and glamorous with a change of hairdo. I'm not too versed on the younger actors and actresses of today, so I'll leave it up to you to come up with actors that fit the bill.

Sam:  My other thought might be Chris Hemsworth for Zack. Nina Dobrev for Emma. Vital, though, would be the chemistry between the leads. They would have to click and pull off being able to work side by side yet exude an underlying heat. With Emma and Zack it’s apparent they connect because they share a mission, they are alike on so many levels – but there’s also a subtext, an underlying passion.

Cursed (Fallen Siren #1) by S.J. Harper.

Meet FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong. She's cursed. He's damned. Together, they make one hell of a team.

Emma Monroe is a Siren, cursed by the gods and bound to earth to atone for an ancient failure. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now that she works missing persons cases for the FBI, it could be just a rescue away. Unless her new partner leads her astray.

Special Agent Zack Armstrong just transferred into the San Diego Field Office. He’s a werewolf, doing his best to beat back the demons from his dark and dangerous past. As a former Black Ops sniper, he’s taken enough lives. Now he’s doing penance by saving them.

Emma and Zack’s very first case draws them deep into the realm of the paranormal, and forces them to use their own supernatural abilities. But that leaves each of them vulnerable, and there are lines partners should not cross. As secrets are revealed and more women go missing, one thing becomes clear: as they race to save the victims, Emma and Zack risk losing themselves.

Release Date: October 1, 2013 (Roc)
Add to Goodreads

Thank you Samantha and Jeanne for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about the Samantha and Jeanne and their writing, please visit the S.J. Harper website.

***Cursed Giveaway***

We are giving away a Kindle copy of Cursed, the first novel in the Fallen Siren series by S.J. Harper.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post (include your email address so we may contact you if you win).  This giveaway is open internationally to anyone who can utilize a Kindle book.  Giveaway ends November 27, 2013 at midnight EST.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tyger Tyger Week

I love the Goblin Wars series and am excited to announce that Tyger Tyger, the first book in the Goblin Wars series by Kersten Hamilton, is FREE this week at Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon!

Read my review of Tyger Tyger here.

Download your Kindle, iBook, or Nook copy today!

**These deals change rapidly, so please check the price before clicking for download.**

Friday, November 1, 2013

All Hallow's Read Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Natalie the winner of our annual All Hallow's Read Giveaway at From the Shadows!  Natalie will receive ebook copies of THE PIRATE CURSE, the fifth and final book in the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal series, and GHOST LIGHT, the second full-length novel in the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series.

Thank you to all who entered.  Your comments were so much fun to read.  I hope you all had a spooktacular Halloween!

**Winners selected using**

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Q+A with Skyla Dawn Cameron (Demons of Oblivion)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Skyla Dawn Cameron.  Skyla is the author of the Demons of Oblivion series (Bloodlines, Hunter, Lineage, Exhumed, and Oblivion).

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

Pretty much as soon as I could hold a pencil.
From the moment my mother came home with me from the hospital, she would read to me, and I learned to read when I was about two and a half. Immediately I began telling stories, whether with my hundreds of Barbie dolls (all of which I still have!) or writing them down. I won several poetry contests in middle school, was an editor and writer for my high school’s newspaper later on, and pursued writing full time as soon as I graduated.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

I was a weird kid.  Like, really weird. Sees-and-talks-to-people-who-aren’t-there weird. I was also allowed to watch anything (my favourite show when I was seven was David Lynch’s Twin Peaks). I’ve basically had a paranormal bent to my work for as long as I can remember.
As an adult, I’d say paranormal—like a lot of genre fiction—gives us a lens through which we see and experience the truth in a way reality doesn’t. My favourite show continues to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even so many years after it’s been off the air, and one of the reasons was how masterfully Whedon showed emotional truth in the fantastical.

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

Who says I don’t have any supernatural talents? ;-)
Honestly, I’m simple sort of girl: I like the powers of a witch. Cursing is big in my family.

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

  I think the thing that makes this series a tough sell is also its greatest strength, which is the diverse cast of characters.
I imagine for a reader it could be a challenge going from narrator to narrator in the first three books—which are tied together but could be read as standalones—as it took a bit of an adjustment for me to write them. A narcissist vampire assassin to a demon-hunting nun to a socipathic quarter-demon mercenary? Yeah. Whiplash. But I strove with each book to give damn near every reader someone to root for, from the truly violent characters to the softer ones, so that if you’re thinking “Yeah, the nun main character really isn’t working for me”, there would still be someone snarky on the sidelines to bring a bit of fun. Once the full cast is assembled for the latter part of Lineage (book three) and for the entirety of Exhumed (book four), I think the diverse variety of characters previously introduced come together as a strong ensemble and play well off of one another.

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

  The Demons of Oblivion series has a rather large cast of characters—the first three books alternate narrators (look, I get bored a lot, okay?)—which should mean a huge list here of potential actors but I’ve always been at a loss for a few of them.
While she doesn’t look exactly like Zara Lain, Sasha Barrese as the demon bartender Casey in the show Supernatural makes a very strong contender. Tall, hot, and kickass, just give her blue eyes and make her a vampire assassin.
Henry Cavill would make a good, very pretty warlock Nate O’Connor. Mmm, sexy brooding...
If we’re talking contemporary actors, I’d like to see what Megumi Okina could do with my sociopathic merc Peri Takata. (If I’m not limited to contemporary, you can’t go wrong with Meiko Kaji.)
For Nicolette, a tall pacifist vampire with a sunny disposition, picture Jenna Elfman from her Dharma and Greg days.
The witch Mishka Thiering would be Amanda Seyfried, who could do both vulnerable and manipulative witch wonderfully.
The characters from Hunter present the largest challenge for me, however I just saw the latest ep of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the other night and I was quite taken with Pascale Armand. She has both a strength and vulnerability that would fit Ryann.
The psychic, Elliot Rhys, also has a very specific look I always drew a blank on but I actually think Fran Kranz (of Dollhouse, Cabin in the Woods, and Much Ado About Nothing fame) could pull that character off well even if he looks nothing like him.

Bloodlines (Demons of Oblivion #1) by Skyla Dawn Cameron.

After three hundred years of unlife, vampire Zara Lain has seemingly done it all, and she's now making a living as a successful thief-turned-assassin. Her newest assignment seems simple enough--kill the aging leader of the O'Connor Coven and his only heir, and she'll have another ten million in the bank.But in the dangerous world of the supernatural, few things are ever "simple."When a massive assault decimates the continent's population of powerful witches and warlocks, and its orchestrator has vampires being hunted down and captured, Zara realizes the tables have turned and now she'll be playing the hero. Forced to join with a smart-mouthed fellow vampire, a demonologist who's also a fan of hers, a recently widowed--and frequently brooding--warlock, and her best friend's mom, Zara's grudgingly willing to do what she can to save the day.If only people would stop ruining all her outfits...

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

To learn more about Skyla Dawn Cameron and her books, please visit her website.

As a special treat, Bloodlines is free for Kindle October 28th - November 1st!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Pirate Curse Release Party Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Amanda P. the winner of The Pirate Curse Release Party Giveaway!  Amanda will receive an electronic $15 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook copy of The Pirate Curse by E.J. Stevens.

Thank you to all who entered!

Didn't win?  Check out our annual All Hallow's Read Giveaway (ending October 31st).

Friday, October 18, 2013

All Hallow's Read Giveaway

It's time for our annual All Hallow's Read Giveaway!

We are giving away E.J.'s hot new releases.  Enter to win ebook copies of THE PIRATE CURSE, the fifth and final book in the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal series, and GHOST LIGHT, the second full-length novel in the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series.

The Pirate Curse (Spirit Guide #5) by E.J. Stevens

When Yuki starts smelling salt brine and seaweed, she finds her summer vacation hijacked by pirates...the DEAD kind.

Will the ghost of Black Sam Bellamy, Prince of Pirates, lead Yuki and her friends to treasure or terror?

Ghost Light (Ivy Granger #2) by E.J. Stevens

Ivy Granger, psychic detective, thought she'd seen it all...until now.

With a vengeful lamia that only she can see on the city streets, reports of specters walking Harborsmouth cemeteries, and an angry mob of faerie clients at her office door, it's bound to be a long night. Add in an offense against the faerie courts and a few foolish bargains and one thing is clear--Ivy Granger is in some seriously deep trouble.

Ivy Granger is back, gathering clues in the darkest shadows of downtown Harborsmouth. With the lives of multiple clients on the line, she's in a race against time. Ivy finally has a lead to the whereabouts of the one person who can help her control her wisp abilities, but will she put the needs of her clients above her own?

If Ivy doesn't find a solution soon, she could wind up a ghost herself.

***All Hallow's Read Giveaway***

To enter, tell us your favorite thing about Halloween (candy corn, costume parties, letting your fangs hang out...) in the comments below .  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends October 31, 2013 midnight EST. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Teen Read Week Giveaway

Happy Teen Read Week!

What is Teen Read Week?  Here's what the YALSA site has to say.  "Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)."  You can read more about Teen Read Week 2013 on YALSA's Teen Read Week website

This year's Teen Read Week theme is Seek the Unknown and we have some fab young adult paranormal books you can win in our annual Teen Read Week giveaway.

***Teen Read Week Giveaway***

We are giving away an ebook set of all five books in the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal series.

To enter, please comment on this post and include 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 27, 2013.

Do you have a favorite spooky book or series that fits the Seek the Unknown theme for Teen Read Week 2013?  Let us know in the comments.  (We love comments!)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

World Zombie Day: The Pirate Curse Excerpt

Happy World Zombie Day!

Lend me an ear, and your braaaaaaaaaaaaaains, for a fun excerpt from THE PIRATE CURSE.  In this excerpt, Yuki's dreams are being invaded by, you guessed it, ZOMBIES!

     It wasn’t long before my dreams were invaded by zombies.  Alien birds just aren’t all that interesting.
     These were total Romero zombies, lurching along in search of tasty brains.  I avoided the shambling walk of the nearest zombie and searched for a weapon.  Right on cue, a shovel materialized, but not in my hand.  The potential weapon was up the street, leaning against a coal shed.  This would have been awesome except for the half dozen zombies hanging out by the shed moaning “braaains, braaains” like a broken record.
     This dream was giving me two options.  I could attempt to run past the zombies and grab the shovel or forget arming myself and run in the opposite direction like flying monkeys were hot on my tail—flying zombie monkeys.
     I hesitated, unsure of what to do, and that’s when things got weird.  Well, weirder.  This dream was already up there on the bizarro scale.  The zombies were surrounded by feathers, I assume from grazing on the local bird population, but there were no longer any living plovers in sight.  Apparently, zombies have a mega big appetite.
     After consuming all the tiny bird brains, the zombies turned to larger prey.  This zombie town that had appeared on an empty alien world was suddenly filled with screaming humans.  Don’t ask me how.  I’m guessing dream logic is pretty flimsy.
     All around me zombies grabbed at the humans, trying to munch their brains.  But none of the zombies came toward me, which kind of ticked me off.  I mean, here I was standing in front of them with a perfectly tasty brain and nobody wanted to eat me.  I glowered at the zombies and the humans.  It was like high school all over again.  It just didn’t seem fair.
     I stomped over toward the shed, ready to work out my frustrations with the shovel, but was stopped by a tap on my shoulder.  A zombie was standing behind me, decaying eyebrow raised, holding a cracker topped with a dollop of brain.
     “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” he asked.
     I put my hands on my hips and narrowed my eyes.
     “No, I don’t have any Grey Poupon,” I said.  “I’m fresh out of condiments, but I do have a question.  What is so wrong with me? I mean, not that I really want you to or anything, but why don't you want to eat my brain?”
     He opened his mouth to answer, but I never learned what the zombie was going to say.  He wobbled, trying to catch his balance, as the ground at his feet churned.  A huge beetle burst up through the earth, raining soil on our heads.
     The zombies and the humans scattered, leaving me with a seven foot tall dung beetle.
     “Why would I want to eat your brain, child?” she said.
     "Um, never mind," I said.  "Bad dream."
     "Dreams hold knowledge, little one, they are never bad," she said.
     "Okay, right, I'll keep that in mind," I said.  I sighed, wondering what my dung beetle spirit guide could possibly want.  "So, um, what are you doing here in my dream?  Wait.  Is Cal okay?"
     "Do not worry, child," she said.  "Your wolf is safe.  This is about you.”
     I let out a shaky breath.  Cal was safe; there was nothing to worry about.
     “So, um, is this about the zombie dream,” I asked.  “Because honestly, I could use some dream interpretation on that one.”

For more info on The Pirate Curse, and a chance to win your own copy and an Amazon gift card, be sure to visit our The Pirate Curse Release Party page.  Looking for an autographed copy of The Pirate Curse?  Check out this giveaway over on Goodreads.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Pirate Curse Release Day Party + Giveaway

Today is the worldwide release of THE PIRATE CURSE, the fifth and final novel in the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal series by E.J. Stevens.

Keep reading for a chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card and The Pirate Curse ebook!

The Pirate Curse (Spirit Guide #5) by E.J. Stevens.

When Yuki starts smelling salt brine and seaweed, she finds her summer vacation hijacked by pirates...the DEAD kind.

Will the ghost of Black Sam Bellamy, Prince of Pirates, lead Yuki and her friends to treasure or terror?

A new Spirit Guide adventure you won't want to miss!

Release Date: October 8, 2013
Add to Goodreads.
Buy on Amazon.
Books in this series:  She Smells the Dead, Spirit Storm, Legend of Witchtrot Road, Brush with Death, The Pirate Curse
Add the Spirit Guide series to your Goodreads TBR list.

The Pirate Curse Release Party Giveaway

We are giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook copy of The Pirate Curse by E.J. Stevens.

To enter, use the easy peasy Rafflecopter widget below.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends October 28, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Twitter Party:  Join the party on Twitter October 8th for a chance to win more prizes.  Use hashtag #ThePirateCurse and be entered to win The Pirate Curse books and swag.  We're giving away ebooks, stickers, signed postcards, skull and bones candy, and more!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Talk Like a Pirate Day Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Victoria Z. winner of our Talk Like a Pirate Day Giveaway at From the Shadows!  Victoria will receive one The Pirate Curse t-shirt (size XL).

Thank you to all who entered!

Didn't win?  Visit From the Shadows, and participating blogs, Tuesday October 8th for The Pirate Curse Release Party and Giveaway.  We'll be giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card and a The Pirate Curse ebook.  Also, join the party on Twitter using the hashtag #ThePirateCurse October 8th and be entered to win fab The Pirate Curse prizes (stickers, signed swag, books, skull and bones candy, and more!).

**Giveaway winner selected using Rafflecopter**

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tales from Lovecraft Middle School Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Library Lady winner of our Tales from Lovecraft Middle School Giveaway at From the Shadows.  Library Lady will receive all four Tales from Lovecraft Middle School books.

Thank you to all who entered!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review: Substitute Creature (Lovecraft Middle School) by Charles Gilman

Today we're reviewing Substitute Creature by Charles Gilman.  This is the fourth book in the Tales from Lovecraft Middle School series.  Don't miss our Tales from Lovecraft Middle School Giveaway to win all four books!

Substitute Creature (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #4) by Charles Gilman.

When a giant nor’easter dumps a blanket of snow on the village of Dunwich, Massachussetts, Robert Arthur and his friends find themselves marooned inside Lovecraft Middle School. The kids have no choice but to spend the night—while snacking on cafeteria food, sleeping on classroom floors, and facing off against a mysterious substitute teacher who may have a sinister secret. The latest adventure in the Lovecraft Middle School series features more adventures, more outrageous monsters, and another terrifying lenticular cover!

Release Date:  September 24, 2013

Add to Goodreads

Book Review:

The first thing I noticed about this book was its cover.  Don't judge, this cover is hard to miss.  Seriously, I opened the package and may have dropped the book in surprise.  I then made a concerted effort to avoid looking at the holographic cover, especially after dark.  It's creepy!

Substitute Creature is an easy, middle grade read with enough spooky, quirky elements to hold the interest of adult readers.  If you've read the original H.P. Lovecraft stories, then you'll have the added treat of recognizing the mentions of Old Ones--though these aren't your typical Lovecraftian horrors.  The Old Ones featured in Substitute Creature reminded me of Star Trek's tribbles, but with very big teeth (and I'm assuming they don't make that grating chirping sound).

In addition to the Old Ones, there's also an evil mastermind, Crawford Tillinghast, and the substitute creature, Miss Carcasse.  I don't want to give anything away, so you'll just have to read the book to learn more about these deliciously creepy characters!

Though there were was a brief dull point early on in the book, this is a quick, easy read that builds momentum as events spin out of control.  Bad things are happening at Lovecraft Middle School and our trio of adventurous students--Robert, Glenn, and Karina (along with Pip and Squeak, Robert's two-headed pet rat)--are back to save the day.

I enjoyed this book and though it's targeted at the middle grade audience, I believe Substitute Creature will appeal to both young and adult readers.  This is a fun, little adventure inside the walls of Lovecraft Middle School.

Recommended to reluctant readers, young readers, and fans of spooky, quirky stories.  Readers who enjoyed the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine may enjoy this series.

Rating:  3.75 Shadows

Genre:  Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal

Warnings:  Creepy holographic cover

Books in this series:  Professor Gargoyle, The Slither Sisters, Teacher's Pest.

Enter our Substitute Creature giveaway.

Have you read the Tales from Lovecraft Middle School?  Let us know in the comments!