Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The History Behind The Skinwalker's Apprentice + Giveaway

Today we are celebrating the release of The Skinwalker's Apprentice by Claribel Ortega with a guest post by author Claribel Ortega and a fab giveaway!

This History Behind
The Skinwalker’s Apprentice

     The Skinwalker’s Apprentice is a book about two witches and the events in their lives leading up to a treacherous race against time that holds the fate of the magical world in the balance. But behind the spells and witchcraft, The Skinwalker’s Apprentice – which is part of the Empire Witch Series – is inspired by real life events and residents of NYC.
     In TSWA, we meet Goody Garlick, a nurse maid who aids one of the story’s heroines Margo Pennyfeather. Goody Garlick was an actual resident of what was then known as Easthampton, Long Island (now East Hampton) and she was accused of witchcraft thirty five years before the Salem witch trials began. This little known story is also shrouded in mystery, as Garlick lived on the island until her death, but no records of her death or burial site has ever been found.
     Aside from Garlick, Lion Gardner, the settlement’s founder is also talked about briefly in TSWA, and one of his direct descendants, Live Pirrotti, contributed artwork to the book.
     For the next book in the series, Emerald Kipp and The Riddle of The Timekeeper, the character of The Timekeeper is inspired by real life New York resident, the late John Votta. Votta was nicknamed The Timekeeper for his daily hobby of shouting the time to NYU students, and helping them stay on time for class. He was a small man of less than five feet tall and was a cherished part of the NYU community.
     Votta passed away in 2012 but through Riddle of The Timekeeper, his spirit lives on in an alternate magical NYC.
     In a New York Times article from 1879, NYC resident Henrietta Snowden was nicknamed “The Witch of East Broadway.” Snowden plays a pivotal role in Riddle of The Timekeeper, and her character is described much like the actual person she was based on – unusually tall, with a penchant for trouble and an array of cats and dogs living in her apartment, all with small silver coins tied around their necks.
     There are many more characters inspired by little known NYC residents weaved throughout the story, with more to come as the series progresses. Author Claribel Ortega also plans to include obscure but magical places in the upcoming books, such as the inspiration behind the iconic yellow brick road from The Wizard of Oz, which is located in Peekskill, New York.

The Skinwalker's Apprentice by Claribel Ortega

New York City 1984: It’s Emerald Kipp’s sixteenth birthday, and nothing has changed. She’s still the biggest loser in school, she’s still trying to find a place for herself and yeah, she’s still a witch. Her last year of high school is turning out to be the worst yet, and Emerald thinks it can’t possibly get any worse. Unfortunately for her, she’s dead wrong.

East Hampton, NY 1658: The Pennyfeathers are the black sheep of their small English settlement. As hard as they try to keep the family secrets just that, the magical bunch just can’t seem to fit in. But when a High Priestess witch chooses 16-year-old Margo Pennyfeather as an apprentice, Margo’s luck finally begins to change. What she doesn’t know, is there’s a lot more to her apprenticeship, and to being a witch, than she could ever imagine

Discover the mysterious beginnings of The Empire Witch Series in The Skinwalker's Apprentice: An Emerald Kipp Novella.

***The Skinwalker's Apprentice Giveaway***

The author is giving away a signed paperback copy of The Skinwalker's Apprentice and a Forever 21 Prize Pack including: posh stackable rings, cameo bow necklace, and shopper tote (design may vary).

To enter, use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is a tour giveaway and winner's will be drawn by the author, agent, or publisher.  Book tour organized by YA Bound Book Tour.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: Elements Series by Mia Marshall

Today we are participating in the Elements series cover reveal.  Check out these newly designed covers for Broken Elements and Shifting Selves by Mia Marshall!

Broken Elements (Elements #1) by Mia Marshall

“It’s happening again, Aidan. We didn’t stop it, after all.”

As an elemental, Aidan Brook holds the power of water at her fingertips. A descendant of the earth’s oldest magic, she can cause tides to ebb and flow, put out house fires without calling 911, and give anyone who’s annoying her an impromptu shower.

But even her magic has its limits. After it fails her one terrible night, she hides from the world and everyone she once loved, trying to escape the memories that haunt her. Ten years later, her exile is brought to an abrupt end when her former best friend appears on her front porch. An elemental killer is once again murdering her friends, and she must return to the scene of her own crimes.

Lake Tahoe proves more than she bargained for. Between a sadistic killer, some clever FBI agents, an annoyingly attractive landlord, and way too many new roommates, she has a pretty full plate. Add in a past she’s desperate to escape and her own uncontrollable powers, and Aidan Brook is having a very, very bad month.

Shifting Selves (Elements #2) by Mia Marshall

Aidan Brook's world was shattered when the actions of a brutal murderer revealed long-buried secrets about her past--secrets even she didn't know. A powerful elemental, Aidan discovered she possesses the wrong kind of magic. It's a secret that could cost her sanity—or even her life.

What she needs is some peace and quiet. What she gets is a phone call from a division of the FBI so secret it doesn’t even have a name, asking for her help with a series of shifter disappearances.

Before Aidan can settle into a new routine of pancakes and evenings by the fire, the case develops claws. She quickly finds herself caught between uptight bears, deadly mountain lions, overprotective parents, and unhappy federal agents. Throw in a stalled romance with an enigmatic shifter and the slow dissolution of her chosen family, and it’s hard to say which will drive her mad first: her magic, or her chaotic life.

Add the Elements series to Goodreads.

To celebrate the cover reveal, both books are on sale starting February 17, for 99 cents each!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ivy Granger Series on Pinterest

Hello lovelies!  I've been traveling over the past few months doing research for an upcoming series, but I'm back in my writer's cave until April.  There are many exciting new things coming from the world of Ivy Granger this year, so be sure to follow my blog From the Shadows and subscribe to my newsletter.  *wink wink*

One piece of news I'm happy to share is that the Ivy Granger urban fantasy series now has it's own Pinterest board.  Yay!  Check out the Ivy Granger Series Pinterest board and let me know what you think.

Okay, time to duck back inside my writing cave like that pesky Punxsutawney groundhog (is it Spring already? please? please?), but keep watching this page for more updates.  A very reputable little bird told me that a sneak teaser from Burning Bright (Ivy Granger #3) will be making an appearance soon!

Haven't read the first books in the Ivy Granger series?  Don't know where to start?  No problem!  The reading order is Shadow Sight (Ivy Granger #1), Blood and Mistletoe (Ivy Granger #1.5), Ghost Light (Ivy Granger #2), and Club Nexus (#2.5).

Friday, February 14, 2014

Q+A with Colleen Oakes (Queen of Hearts)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Colleen Oakes!  Colleen is the author of the Elly in Bloom series and the Queen of Hearts series.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I always wanted to be a writer – in fact, in 4th grade I declared to my parents that I was going to write books.  Being a novelist was always in my mind, but I had things to do, like graduate from college, get married, learn about wine, you know, important things. In 2007, I was living in St. Louis, working at an insanely busy florist. One night, after working late, I was driving home and the idea for Elly in Bloom (my other series) occured to me. That night I sat down and wrote the opening chapter, and the writer that always nestled under my heart came bursting out in a gloried, insane frenzy.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre? 

There are definitely paranormal elements to Queen of Hearts.  I have always been drawn to the darker, more macrabre side of stories.  I like a little scare, a creep, an unanswered mystery.   It was so gratifying to write them into Wonderland which is already a very strange place.  Someday I would love to write a really good ghost story - it's on my bucket list.

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

I would love to be able to move things with my mind, or with my hand. I would hope to be like Jean Grey, but I would probably turn out all power hungry like the kid from Chronicle.

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

  I believe that Queen of Hearts is different than any other fairy tale retelling out there, simply because it's the story of a princess who became a villiain. We are going to see a girl being very, very bad and very, very heroic.  I think that prism of her character will attract readers who are looking for a little bit more dimension in their characters and in their Wonderland.

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

  I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to this, it's probably over-the-top. Dinah, without a doubt, would be cast as the extremely talented Mae Whitman, who stars in Parenthood. She was my inspiration for Dinah from the first pages of the novel.  I would love to see maybe Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Wardley, Michael Caine as Harris and Tom Hiddleston as Cheshire.

Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts #1) by Colleen Oakes

Not every fairytale has a happy ending.  This is the story of a princess who became a villain.

A Father’s Betrayal. A Kingdom with a Black Secret. A Princess Slowly Unraveling.

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Release Date: February 14, 2014
Add to Goodreads.

Happy release day Colleen!  Thank you so much for sharing it here with us at From the Shadows.

To learn more about Colleen Oakes, please visit her website.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: The Queen of Zombie Hearts

Today is the day! The cover of Gena Showalter's THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS is here! We're so excited to be able to share this with you as it joins an already stunning set! Ready to see it? First lets take a look at the first two covers in the series!

It all began with ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND...


Now get ready to EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!

The Queen of Zombie Hearts (The White Rabbit Chronicles #3) by Gena Showalter.

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

On-sale date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Add it to your TBR!  Goodreads

About Gena:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, the Angels of the Dark, the Lords of the Underworld, and the Otherworld Assassins series.  In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.  She lives in Oklahoma with her family and menagerie of dogs, and truly believes love conquers all.

The White Rabbit Chronicles Giveaway:

1 complete set of The White Rabbit Chronicles (first 2 books sent as soon as the giveaway is over and the winner will get the first hardcover of book 3 when it's available!) US/Canada Only

To enter, use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Repossessed Swag Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Linda H. winner of our Repossessed Swag Giveaway!  Linda will receive a swag pack (bookmarks, postcards, pin) from author Shawntelle Madison.

Thank you to all who entered! 

**Random.org was down today (doh!), so winners have been drawn using the old paper in a hat routine.**

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cover Reveal: Claimed by a Demon King by Felicity Heaton

Today we are joining a Cover Reveal party.  Feast your eyes on the cover for Claimed by a Demon King by Felicity Heaton.

What do you think of the cover?  Let us know in the comments (we love comments)!

Claimed by a Demon King (Eternal Mates #2) by Felicity Heaton.

The moment the demon King Thorne of the Third Realm set eyes on the mortal huntress Sable, he knew she was his fated one. The fiery, dangerous female awakened hungers he had never experienced before, a dark craving and passion that has consumed him in their time apart. As the lunar cycle wanes, she enters his world again and nothing will stand in the way of him claiming his forever with her—not the relentless assault from the Fifth Realm or the dark elf male determined to seduce her out of his grasp.

Intent on achieving the coveted position of commander at Archangel, Sable leads her small team into the dark underworld and the Third Realm, to a war where her allies are the very creatures she normally hunts—vampires, werewolves, and demons. Her eagerness to lead the deadly mission has everything to do with winning her promotion, and nothing to do with the kingdom’s brash, lethally seductive demon king—a king who stirred fierce desire and wildfire heat in her with just a look and an innocent touch when they first met, and has been in her wicked dreams ever since.

As the gathering storm between rivals unleashes irresistible passion that flares white-hot and the heat of the battle brings life-shattering realisations, can Sable place her duty before her heart? Or will she surrender to her deepest desires and be claimed by a demon king?

Release Date: February 22, 2014

Add to Goodreads