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!