Thursday, October 30, 2014

Q+A with Danielle Ellison (Storm)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Danielle Ellison.  Danielle is the author of The Boundless Trilogy (Follow Me Through Darkness) and the Salt series (Salt, Storm).

Q+A with Danielle Ellison

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I started imagining when I was kid, and from there everything sort of took on it’s own life. I was a big reader, a big pretender, and I love shows. I started in fan fiction, then in playwriting, transformed into short literary fiction, and finally found my spot in young adult.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

I think it was my love of a life that could be more with magic. I don’t write only paranormal, but I love to write to escape—which is the same reason I read. Nothing screams escape like the paranormal.

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

  I want to teleport!! Which isn’t really magical, but I totally want it. I’d also settle for any sort of magic.

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

SALT was called "Buffy meets Charmed meets Supernatural” once  and as an avid television fan, that was a huge honor. I think Storm amps up all of that and it gets a little darker while still keeping the elements that people loved about SALT. Plus, it’s only $.99!

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

  I really like Cody Christian for Carter; he’s from Pretty Little Liars. And for Penelope, I like Maddie Hasson.

Storm (Salt #2) by Danielle Ellison.

Up until recently, Penelope was a witch with no magic. After having it stolen by a demon when she was just a child, Penelope had been forced to rely on sharing others’ powers as she went through the grueling training required to become an elite demon hunter. Now Penelope has more magic than she’s ever known. And when you’re this powerful, who needs salt to keep the demons away?

But power has a dark side.

Carter Prescott just wants to hunt demons and be with Penelope. But suddenly, witches who formerly had no magic are developing terrible, out-of-control powers. Now the world Carter swore to protect isn’t just endangered by malicious demons―it’s threatened by the same witches who once defended it. And Carter is horrified to see his girlfriend starting to change. Stronger. More powerful. Unrecognizable. It’s just a matter of time before Penelope changes into something far beyond his worst fears...

Release Date:  September 29, 2014
Genre:  Paranormal, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads.

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

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Keepin' it Weird Austin, Texas T-shirt Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Melissa the winner of our Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Austin Giveaway at From the Shadows.  Melissa will receive a Keepin' it Weird Austin, Texas t-shirt.

Thank you to all who entered!

*Giveaway winner drawn randomly using*

Monday, October 27, 2014

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Detroit with Laura Bickle

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.  This week's stop is Detroit and our special guide is Laura Bickle author of the Anya Kalinczyk series.

The Anya Kalinczyk series is set in Detroit, Michigan so it seems fitting that our guide for this week's Paranormal Road Trip be the amazing Laura Bickle.  Let's see what terrifying places Laura has planned for our tour.

Detroit's Top Five Spooky Places

As Detroit is the setting for my Anya Kalinczyk series, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to explore spooky places in the Motor City. By day, Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department. By night, she’s the rarest kind of spiritual medium, a Lantern. While other mediums allow spirits to use their hands and voices to communicate, Anya devours and incinerates them. With the help of her fire salamander familiar, Sparky, and an eccentric group of ghost hunters, Anya chases down unseen threats to her city.

Sparky and Anya have visited some of these chilling sites. Others are still on their bucket list. See what you think about some of these five spooky places in Detroit!

The Detroit Salt Mine. Unknown to many residents, a salt mine has stretched beneath the streets of Detroit for more than a century. The mine is vast (more than a hundred miles), cavernous, and smells like the sea. It’s easy to imagine that there are all kinds of light-averse creatures lurking in the dark. Anya and Sparky found a slumbering dragon in the depths of the mine, one that could devour the city if disturbed. What kinds of creatures might others find in this hidden underworld?

The Majestic. Many of Detroit’s speakeasies and bars date from the time of Prohibition, and a fair share of them are rumored to be haunted. The Majestic Theatre has been touted as the site where Harry Houdini gave his last performance (though there’s still some debate about that). Regardless, it’s rumored to be haunted by shadowy figures and ghostly applause. It’s still open for a variety of shows and one’s choice of food and spirits.

Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital. If this site isn’t haunted, it should be. The abandoned psychiatric hospital sits on the outskirts of Detroit, crumbling in place, since 2003. Weeds grow through the pavement, and the mid-century disintegrating building makes me think of a post-apocalyptic landscape. Stories of madness and untimely deaths have peppered its history, and no one really knows how many patients passed through its on-site morgue.

Fort Wayne. A perennial favorite of ghost hunters, the historic fort has gathered a collection of restless apparitions, disembodied voices, slamming doors, and untraceable footsteps. Built in 1854, the site has a nest of underground tunnels and its own partially-excavated burial mound that’s over 900 years old.

Michigan Central Station. Once a busy hub for rail travel, this magnificent building has sunk into disrepair. It seems that very little glass remains in its beautiful fa├žade, and the interior is little more than a shell of what it once was. Anya and Sparky have investigated Michigan Central Station, where they discovered that it’s a way station for ghosts traveling from our world to the spirit world beyond. Hopping the wrong train can take one to dark corners of the underworld.

Are there any spooky places in your local area that you’d like to share? Is there any place that you’ve visited that you’d bet your bottom dollar was haunted? Please share in the comments below!

Thank you Laura for giving us such a haunting tour of Detroit!  

To learn more about Laura Bickle and her books, please visit her website.  You can add the Anya Kalinczyk series here on Goodreads.

Readers, was this your first visit to Detroit?  Have you experienced anything supernatural in and around Detroit, Michigan?

What did you think of Laura Bickle's picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Tokyo, Japan with Steve Bein.  Next week we'll be traveling to Bruges, Belgium with E.J. Stevens (yep, that's me! *wink*).

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

World Zombie Day Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Library Lady the winner of the World Zombie Day Giveaway at From the Shadows!  Library Lady will receive a Zombie Survival Mini Journal.

Thank you all for the fun discussion of what we'd bring with us during the Zombie Apocalypse.  I took notes, you know, just in case. 

*Giveaway winners selected randomly using*

Friday, October 24, 2014

All Hallow's Read Giveaway

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

All Hallow's Read Giveaway

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.

We are giving away a GHOST LIGHT ebook to one lucky winner!

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us about a spooky book that you love.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Ebook available in choice of Kindle, PDF, or ePub formats.  Giveaway ends November 7, 2014 midnight EST.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Q+A with Georgeann Swiger (Cloven)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Georgeann Swiger!  Georgeann is the author of The Trinity of Souls series (Adorned, Cloven).

Q+A with Georgeann Swiger

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I started out writing news stories at a television station. When I left TV to raise my family, I found something was missing from my life. I realized I missed writing. That’s when I started penning short stories as a hobby. I joined a local writers group and worked on my skills as a fiction writer. After I won an award for the original manuscript of Adorned, I decided to pursue being a serious writer. I queried agents and publishers and started learning the ropes of publishing into today’s marketplace.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  I love anything and everything paranormal. Even as a kid, I couldn’t wait for a good scary movie to come on television. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, you name it, I like it. When I decided to write a novel, something drew me to the world of angels. After researching these heavenly beings, I knew I wanted to play up the idea of the Heavenly Hierarchy that ranks angels according to their status and assigns them specific jobs. When I found out the angels in the group known as the Powers were Heaven’s soldiers, a story started to form in my mind. Who wouldn’t love to read about a heavenly soldier who is sent to Earth to watch over a new angel learning to be a guardian? It was perfect material for a forbidden romance.

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

If I could be any paranormal creature, I would be a witch. A good witch. Like a fairy godmother that could cast a spell and make good things happen.

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

Readers are going to love the characters in this story. Every one of them is flawed and has their own little set of quirks that make them unlike anything readers are used to in the paranormal world of angels. I think when readers finish Cloven, they’ll look at angels in a new way. The story mashes up the stereotypical images of Heaven and Hell and gives readers a new perspective of what these places are like.

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

Anya really grows and comes into her own in Cloven. In Adorned, she’s a shy, quiet character that is a bit immature for her age. In Cloven, she doesn’t have time to be any of those things. The weight of the universe falls on her shoulders. She becomes tough, determined and fearless. For those reasons, I think in Cloven, Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr would be my ideal Anya.

When it comes to Micah, I have a poster that hangs by my desk that came from my hairdresser’s shop with is picture. I don’t have any idea of what the model’s name is. I’ve tried to research the photographer but haven’t been able to find anything about the model. I wish I could show you the picture, but it has a copyright. In my mind, nobody but the guy on the poster could be Micah. He’s cute, built and everything a heavenly soldier should be. ;)

Cloven (The Trinity of Souls #2) by Georgeann Swiger

What would you do if the only things standing between you and the angel you love were another angel and the fiery pits of Hell?

When Anya and Micah declare their love for each other, the battle for the souls of the star-crossed angels stretches across the heavens. With Heaven forbidding their love, Micah vows to protect Anya by sentencing himself to Hell.

But Anya won’t let him go without a fight. She goes into Hell after him, only to discover an angel from Micah’s past is willing to do anything to keep Micah in Hell.

With love and lies blinding Micah, Anya fights to get him to face his demons and return to Heaven, even if it means hearts will be broken.

The battle for the angels begins where it left off. Between Heaven and Hell is forbidden love.

Release Date:  October 21, 2014
Genre:  NA, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Add to Goodreads.

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

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blogging Strategies for Keeping Safe

Now, more than ever, safety is an issue for our community.  Bloggers and authors have become the recent victims of stalking and cyber bullying.  One author even went so far as to stalk a reviewer at her home and workplace, raising an important question.

What can bloggers do to remain safe?

While there is no one perfect solution, there are steps we can take to reduce the risk.  Here are a few blogging strategies for keeping safe.

Quick Tips for Maintaining Your Privacy and Blogging Safely
  • Pseudonym:  Using a pseudonym/nickname/alias is a great way to protect your anonymity.  If you pick a pseudonym that works with your blog name or the topic of your blog, you'll be safer and you'll get bonus points for building your brand and increasing your blog's SEO.  A win win!
  • Blog Email:  Setting up an email account for your blog is another way to keep your personal and blogging life separate.  If you incorporate your blog name into your email address, you'll again be helping to build your brand and your email addy will likely be much easier for your readers to remember.
  •  Phishing Scams:  Okay, if you took my advice, you now have a blog email address that is different from your personal email account.  Unfortunately, that doesn't mean your inbox is a safe place.  A good rule of thumb for email, as in life, is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  A stranger in Nigeria probably doesn't have a zillion dollars that they want to transfer to your bank account. 
  • P.O. Box:  While there are sometimes restrictions on shipping to post office boxes, getting a P.O. box is still a good way to route most of your mail to a location other than your home or business.
  • Ebook Only:  Book reviewers may also opt out of print copies (which must be mailed to a shipping address).  Most authors and publishers have ARCs in ebook format and sending is as simple as attaching to an email message (remember that blog email account we mentioned above?) or providing a download code.  With the rise of ereaders and the ease of loading reading apps, such as the free Kindle reading apps, to any computer, tablet, or smartphone, this option is available to more bloggers than ever before.
  • Computer Security:  One strategy for keeping safe begins with protecting your computer from outside attack.  Protect your personal information (and your blog!) by keeping all of your programs updated and backed up.  Make a schedule for backing up your computer, and your blog, and update your programs on that day.  Picking a day of the week as your backup/update day is a great strategy.  
  • Security Alerts:  It's also a smart idea to keep your finger on the pulse of computer security.  Scheduling regular updates is a great strategy, but sometimes you need to stay a step ahead of the bad guys.  One resource that I utilize is the US-CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) website's email alerts and bulletins.  If you sign up, you can get free bulletins sent to your inbox letting you know whenever new software updates are released or about a new security threat (like Beast and Poodle).
  • Check Privacy Settings:  Check your privacy settings on social networking sites.  Some, like Google+, will default to showing your birthday day and month.  (Note:  Many sites will return to these default settings when they've performed a significant system/site update.)  Information like that can potentially leave you open to identity theft and phishing scams.  My suggestion is to turn off any information that may make you vulnerable (real name, birthday, home address).  If you wouldn't want a crazy stalker to have it, turn the setting to private. Which leads me to my next suggestion...
  • Gut Check:  Before you do anything online, listen to your gut.  If the thought of sending that email, posting that photo, or sharing your personal information with someone makes you queasy, DON'T DO IT.  You are not obligated to share more than you are comfortable with.
  • Report Abuse:  If you are ever the target of bullying or stalking, let someone know.  If threats are made through a website or social network, report the person for abuse and for violation of the site's terms of service.  Most sites have a strict no tolerance policy for threatening behavior.  Abuse reporting will also begin a paper trail demonstrating a timeline of when the bullying/stalking began and that you attempted to take reasonable steps to make it stop.  If at any time you feel unsafe, contact your local authorities.
  • Blogging Community:  While some of my strategies promote keeping certain personal details private, that doesn't mean you can't talk about your situation with other bloggers.  If you're having a problem, it's likely that someone else has been there too and can share a bit of what they've learned from their own experiences.  The blogging community is a wealth of information and most of us enjoy helping our fellow bloggers.  Don't believe me?  Take a look at my Twitter timeline for the past week.  The blogging community is filled with many amazing people who will help you, and stand by you.  All you have to do is ask.

Have you tried any of these above strategies for having a safer online presence?  If so, how have these strategies worked for you?

Do you have any suggestions for keeping safe?

Blogging is incredibly fun and being a blogger means being part of an AMAZING community.  I was saddened to hear that some people were giving up their love for blogging due to feeling unsafe.  If you know of a blogger who could benefit from the above blogging strategies for keeping safe, please share my tips.  I'm also hoping that you will share your own ideas in the comments.  Stay safe and blog on!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Tokyo with Steve Bein

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.  This week's stop is Tokyo and our special guide is Steve Bein author of the Fated Blades series.

The Fated Blades series is set in Tokyo, Japan so it seems fitting that our guide for this week's Paranormal Road Trip be the amazing Steve Bein.  Let's see what terrifying places Steve has planned for our tour.

Tokyo's Top Five Spooky Places

1. Masakado no Kubizuka.  Kubizuka means “grave for a head,” and that’s what you’ll find if you get off at Otemachi station in Tokyo.  It’s not just any old head that’s interred there; this one belonged to Taira Masakado, one of the great warriors in the earliest days of the samurai.

In 939 he stood up against the Imperial house, and the histories have it that an oracle actually proclaimed Masakado to be the true emperor.  The sitting emperor wasn’t having any of that, of course, so he sent troops to kill the upstart.  Masakado insisted until the end that he was loyal to the law and to the empire, but he was surrounded, killed, and suffered the posthumous disgrace of having his head carted all the way back down to Kyoto to be put on public display.

The head didn’t care for that, so it took flight and soared all the way back to the sleepy fishing village of Shibasaki, which eventually became Edo, which eventually became Tokyo.  1100 years later the kubizuka remains, and the locals still venerate it.  Why?  Because if they don’t, they tend to get struck by earthquakes or typhoons.

2. The Prime Minister’s Mansion.  This is my very favorite story of modern Japanese history.  Last year, new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refused to move into his mansion.  He refused to say why, but the truth was common knowledge: he believed it was haunted.  I’m not making this up; mainstream media sources reported on this.  (Here’s one article.)

How does he know it’s haunted?  First, he’s got close to 100 years’ worth of ghostly rumors on his side.  Second, he used to live there.  He was prime minister before—briefly, from 2006-2007—and for all we know, he got a taste of some of those ghost stories firsthand.  Two things we know for sure.  First, he and his wife have been in no hurry to move back in.  Second, it’s pretty hard to imagine any US president being re-elected after refusing to move into the residence at the White House because of ghost stories.

3. Ueno Toshogu Shrine.  Apparently these samurai don’t take death lying down.  Like the Masakado no Kubizuka, the hilltop shrine in Tokyo’s Ueno Park is the site of a massive samurai rebellion.  In 1868 Japan finally shrugged off 265 years of military rule under the Tokugawa shogunate, reinstating the emperor as the supreme ruler of the land.   Two thousand shogun loyalists took their last stand against the Imperial forces, choosing the temple of Kaneiji as their battleground.

It didn’t go well for them or for the temple.  The 300-acre temple complex was all but destroyed, replaced today by a public park, the Toshogu Shrine, and the occasional cold spot in the evening—supposedly the ghosts of lingering samurai.  Tokyo summers can get pretty hot, so if you want to go have a nice picnic in the park, maybe a few undead guests wouldn’t be so bad.

4. Atsugi Naval Air Base. Kanagawa, a large prefecture in Greater Tokyo, is home to the Atsugi Naval Air Base.  Kamikaze pilots used to take off from here in the final months of World War II.  After the Japanese surrender, many of these pilots took their own lives, following the long-standing samurai tradition of preferring death to dishonor.  Rumor has it that you can still see their glowing red eyes floating in the hangar bay.

On the same base you can find BEQ 985, an old barracks supposedly haunted by a young man that wanders from room to room.  Those who have seen him say he’s the spirit of a Marine who was killed in a car crash in the 1960s.

5. Yokosuka Ikego Concentration Camp.  Everyone knows about the German concentration camps in WWII, but not everyone knows about the Japanese camps.  One of them was in Yokosuka, on the outskirts of Greater Tokyo.  Thousands of Chinese and Koreans were put to work and later killed.  Today it has become a housing base for US troops, which is not what I’d call ideal accommodations.  Living on the site of a former concentration camp has got to be pretty creepy.  The incinerators are still standing.

There are three gates into Ikego, and the one called the Middle Gate is the site of multiple ghost sightings.  People report hearing voices and footsteps, and a few have reported seeing a legless Japanese soldier in WWII battle dress crawling between the Middle Gate and the Back Gate.

Thank you Steve for giving us such a haunting tour of Tokyo!  

To learn more about Steve Bein and his books, please visit his website and don't miss our Q+A with Steve Bein here at From the Shadows.  You can add the Fated Blades series here on Goodreads.

Readers, was this your first visit to Tokyo?  Have you experienced anything supernatural in and around Tokyo, Japan?

What did you think of Steve Bein's picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Austin, Texas with Gerry Bartlett.  Next week we'll be traveling to Detroit, Michigan with Laura Bickle.

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop: Win Legend of Witchtrot Road

Welcome to our stop on the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!  In honor of Teen Read Week, we've chosen a spooky young adult book for our readers.

Keep reading for a chance to win a *signed* copy of Legend of Witchtrot Road.

Legend of Witchtrot Road (Spirit Guide #3) by E.J. Stevens.

Surviving agitated ghosts, irritated witches, angry werewolves, and the horrors of high school has never been so hard.

The night of Samhain may be behind them, but Yuki and her friends have only begun to face the challenges of their paranormal gifts. Tensions are rising--in the pack, at school, and within their tightly knit group of friends.

The tragic death of Wakefield High student Dylan Jacobs has emotions boiling over. The J-Team, Yuki's arch nemesis, have turned the entire football team against her. They claim that Yuki is a witch and blame her for the death of their fellow teammate. Will Yuki be able to solve the mystery of Dylan's death, and the legend of Witchtrot Road, before tempers flare and things turn violent?

Emma is the friend that Yuki turns to when things get tough, but she's been behaving strangely. Emma has been acting distant and seems to be coming down with a mysterious illness. What will Yuki and her friends do if their healer is truly sick?

Calvin has become Alpha and wants the best for his pack. He is a dedicated and compassionate leader willing to do anything for the good of his people, but will Cal be able to hold the pack together when a fiery, young werewolf comes seeking revenge?

Simon may still be a roguish playboy, but he is taking his role as Calvin's second in command deadly serious. Will Simon be able to focus on his pack duties when he is forced to face his dark, emotional past?

Release Date:  October 4, 2011
Genre:  Young Adult, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal Romance
Add to Goodreads.

Spooktacular Giveaway

We are giving away a *signed* trade paperback copy of Legend of Witchtrot Road and Legend of Witchtrot Road swag (bookmarks, postcard, and sticker) to one lucky winner!

To enter, please use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends October 31, 2014 midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and thank you for stopping by From the Shadows.

Let's hop!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Austin with Gerry Bartlett

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.  This week's stop is Austin and our special guide is Gerry Bartlett author of the Glory St. Clair series.

Keep reading for a chance to win a fabulous Keepin' It Weird Austin, TX t-shirt!

The Glory St. Clair series is set in Austin, Texas so it seems fitting that our guide for this week's Paranormal Road Trip be the amazing Gerry Bartlett.  Let's see what terrifying places Gerry has planned for our tour.

Austin's Top Five Spooky Places

The Driskill  Hotel is said to be haunted by several ghosts. The saddest to me is in room 525. There two young women committed suicide on their honeymoons. This was on the same day, twenty years apart. It’s said you can see them in the mirror of the bathroom there. Hmm. Think I’ll pick another floor. Even Colonel Driskill, the cattle baron who built the grand hotel on Austin’s Sixth Street (yes, right down from my heroine Glory St. Claire’s vintage clothing shop), is said to haunt the hotel. His cigar smoke sometimes lingers in the air even though Austin doesn’t allow smoking in public buildings now.

The Congress Avenue Bridge is home to one of the world’s largest urban bat colonies. So naturally Austin holds a Bat Festival every year. This is one reason I set my Real Vampires series here. With a town that has the motto “Keep Austin Weird” how could I resist? The stream of bats emerging at sunset every night during the summer is scary to me. Could there be a few vampires among them, enjoying the flight? I don’t want to know, do you? The  bridge is very close to Sixth Street too.

Traveling around Austin you’ll still see some of the Moonlight Towers, built in the 19th century after a serial killer terrorized the city. The Servant Girl Annihilator preyed on housemaids asleep in their beds who he then dragged outside to mutilate and kill with a knife between 1884 and 1885. The killer was never captured and some say he could have been the person who three years later showed up in London and began operating as Jack the Ripper. Perhaps the towers shed too much light on his bloodthirsty habits and that’s why he left Austin. Creepy for sure.

Buffalo Billiards is also on Sixth Street almost across from the Driskill Hotel. It was built in 1861 and was rumored to begin life as a boarding house and maybe brothel. Cowboys had a good time there. Now the employees are convinced it’s haunted—by children and a woman in Victorian dress. Ghost hunters went in to search for evidence.  They heard voices and footsteps. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need that. There’s a YouTube video if you’re interested.

Finally I couldn’t resist a funny one. There’s a Home Depot in Austin near my brother’s house. No, I didn’t bother with a picture since they all look alike to me. Seems the garden center there is haunted. A girl posted a story claiming her father, who was an amateur carpenter, died in his home workshop leaving the family in serious debt. They couldn’t afford a big funeral, just cremation. When it came time to dispose of the ashes, they decided to leave Daddy where he loved it most—in Home Depot. So they sneaked into the garden center and sprinkled him around the plants where he wouldn’t be noticed. Since then, a bald man with a beer belly has been sighted strolling the aisles out there. When you try to ask for assistance, he vanishes. Oh, well, guess Daddy’s happy. He spent a lot of time there in life and he left the credit card bills to prove it.

Thank you Gerry for giving us such a haunting tour of Austin!  

To learn more about Gerry Bartlett and her books, please visit her website and don't miss our Q+A with Gerry Bartlett here at From the Shadows.  You can add the Glory St. Clair series here on Goodreads.

Readers, was this your first visit to Austin?  Have you experienced anything supernatural in and around Austin, Texas?

What did you think of Gerry Bartlett's picks for spooky places?

 Now for a giveaway!

Paranormal Road Trip: Austin, Texas Giveaway

The author is giving away a Keepin' It Weird Austin, Texas t-shirt to one lucky winner!

To enter, please leave a comment on this post and include your email address so we may contact you if you win.  This giveaway is open to the US/CA/UK mailing addresses.  Giveaway ends Monday, October 27, 2014 midnight EST.

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited San Diego, California with S.J. Harper.  Next week we'll be traveling to Tokyo, Japan with Steve Bein.

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!

Friday, October 10, 2014

World Zombie Day Giveaway

Tomorrow is World Zombie Day.  Are you prepared?

Don't worry, From the Shadows has you covered!  We have just the thing you need for the Zombiepocalypse.

World Zombie Day Giveaway

We are giving away a Zombie Survival Mini Journal to one lucky winner!  

To enter, please leave a comment on this post and include your email address so we may contact you if you win.  This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.  Giveaway ends October 24, 2014 midnight EST.

What would you bring with you for the zombiepocalypse?

Flashlight?  Shovel?  Matches?  Your Kindle?  We're dying to know.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hunting in Bruges Cover Reveal Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Lisa B. the winner of the Hunting in Bruges Cover Reveal Giveaway!  Lisa will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Thank you to all who entered!

**Giveaway winner selected randomly using Rafflecopter**

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Technology and Medicine in Violet Storm by Anna Soliveres + Giveaway

Please welcome today's guest author Anna Soliveres!  Anna is the author of VIOLET STORM.  She will be sharing a special guest post on technology and medicine in her new young adult novel, Violet Storm.

Keep reading for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and other fabulous prizes!

Technology and Medicine in Violet Storm

In Violet Storm I introduce the concept of modification, a cure of sorts for a deadly disease called vaincre. Modification is a procedure whereby a patient's infected (or non-infected) parts are replaced or melded with synthetic materials and biological tissues to create a stronger, durable, and more powerful human. So now, in this new world, exists extraordinary augmented people known as Modi's.

I was first inspired by the idea of creating stronger humans (by using synthetic materials) when I first began to imagine what a stronger "me" might look like. When I was young, I was bullied from elementary all the way up until freshman year of high school. Back then I used to dream of being taller, stronger, faster. One of the ways I saw my dreams being fulfilled was by being genetically modified, but I also wondered what it would be like to be "rebuilt" with synthetic materials, making me inhumanly strong. The latter idea is where modification came from. I didn't want to label Modi's as a type of cyborg or venture into that territory. I wanted to create something a little more unique (without any robotics or programming). I had a really hard time forming or even explaining this kind of technology. It wasn't until I visited my local tech museum where I saw an exhibit on amputees and prosthesis. It was called biohybridization. And there it was: the starting point for modification.

Violet Storm (Modi #1) by Anna Soliveras.

Several hundred years into the future, The Cleansing, known to some as the End of Days, forced the government to create Arks to shelter its people. When Earth became habitable again, new territories rose up from the ashes: Agria, the City of Light, and the Outer Boundaries. For a while, they lived in peace.

A brilliant surgeon known for his invention of Modi’s—the only cure for the deadly disease, vaincre—has gone rogue with his experiments, and the Monarchy is desperate to shut him down. That's where Aeva Storm comes in, a champion athlete with an ego to match. Aeva is the surgeon's secret weapon against the Monarchy. And they'll never know what hit them. After reconstructing her body to become a Modi unlike any he's ever created, Aeva is forced into a fight against all odds. She'll have to break loyalties, hurt family, and turn her back on newly awakened love. Thousands of lives hang in the balance in a battle that will set forth a new era.

Join Aeva on her quest to see whether she's got what it takes to go up against the most powerful humans ever created.

Release Date:  March 28, 2014
Genre:  Science Fiction, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads.

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

If you would like to learn more about Anna Soliveras and her books, please visit her website.

Violet Storm Giveaway

The author is giving away a signed copy of Violet Storm, promo card (swag), $25 Amazon gift card, a Fitbit Zip!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.  This is a tour giveaway, so winners will be randomly selected by the author or publisher.  This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.  Giveaway ends October 14, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shadow Sight Limited Time Kindle Deal

I am excited to announce that SHADOW SIGHT, the first novel in the Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective urban fantasy series, will be reduced in price from $3.99 to 99 cents on Kindle for a limited time.

This is the first time ever that this book has been offered at a reduced price and this deal will only last a few days, so if you've been wanting to give the Ivy Granger series a try, now is the perfect time!

Shadow Sight (Ivy Granger #1) by E.J. Stevens.

Welcome to Harborsmouth, where monsters walk the streets unseen by humans…except those with second sight, like Ivy Granger.

Some things are best left unseen...

Ivy Granger's second sight is finally giving her life purpose. Ivy and her best friend Jinx may not be raking in the dough, but their psychic detective agency pays the bills--most of the time. Their only worry is the boredom of a slow day and the occasional crazy client--until a demon walks through their door.

Demons are never a good sign...

A demon attorney representing the water fae? Stranger things have happened. And things are about to get very, very strange as a bloodthirsty nightmare hunts the city of Harborsmouth.

There's blood in the water...

Kelpies have a reputation for eating humans. Unfortunately, Kelpies are the clients. When an Unseelie faerie this evil stalks the waterways of your city, you have to make hard choices.

The lesser of two evils...

Release Date: July 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Add Goodreads.

About the Ivy Granger Series:

The Ivy Granger series is an urban fantasy series written by E.J. Stevens. The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Ivy Granger, a psychic detective with ties to the paranormal underworld of Harborsmouth--ties that ensnare Ivy and her friend Jinx in the Machiavellian schemes of the city's teeming population of bloodsucking vampires and psychotic faeries.

Order Now

Please note that this sale is scheduled to take place October 7-10, 2014.  Retailers can change prices at any time, so be sure to check the price before purchasing.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination San Diego with S.J. Harper

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.  This week's stop is San Diego and our special guide is S.J. Harper author of the Fallen Siren series.

The Fallen Siren series is set in San Diego, California so it seems fitting that our guide for this week's Paranormal Road Trip be the amazing S.J. Harper.  Let's see what terrifying places S.J. has planned for our tour.

San Diego's Top Five Spooky Places

1. The Star of India, Harbor Drive, San Diego

This mysterious ship made of iron in 1863, is said to be haunted by many who died on board. There have been reports of passengers being touched by the ghost of a young boy who stowed away in 1884 and fell from rigging to his death. Others have reported hearing giggling and feeling cold spots around the base of the mast that held the rigging. Cold spots have also been reported in the chain locker where a Chinese crewmember was slowly crushed to death. The First Mate's cabin is said to hold a "dark presence" and passengers have reported having sheets ripped off them in the night. Others have reported the smell of fresh baked bread coming from the ships galley. Perhaps the ghost of a kind cook is in there preparing bread for all of the other mischief-makers!

2. Whaley House, San Diego Avenue, San Diego

Now a museum and historical landmark, this was the home of Thomas Whaley and his family. Later it served as the County Courthouse and was the site of a number of hangings. James Robinson (AKA Yankee Jim) who was hanged off the gallows in 1852 is said to oft be heard tromping about the house. If you miss him during your visit, perhaps you’ll come across the specters of either Thomas Whaley himself or his lovely wife Anna, who Regis Philbin encountered during a visit to the Whaley House in 1964.

3. The Hotel Del Coronado, Orange Avenue, Coronado

If you’re in the mood for a ghostly encounter while staying in the lap of luxury, try booking room 3312 at the Hotel Del Coronado. This beachfront Victorian era hotel is featured in book one of the Fallen Siren Series, CURSED. The hotel’s resident ghost, Kate Morgan, reportedly occupies her former room and wanders the grounds. Her apparition has been sited walking along the beach, in the gardens, and in the hallways. Within the room itself there have been reports of cold spots, electrical equipment spontaneously turning on and off, and objects being moved about the room by unseen hands. Poor Kate died of a gunshot wound to the head. Her body was found on the steps leading to the beach. Initially, her death was thought to be a suicide. But there’s since been some evidence that it was foul play. You can read more about the mystery in the book Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado.

4. Presidio Hill, Taylor Street, San Diego

Presidio Hill, located between Old Town and Mission Hills was where Father Serra dedicated the first mission in California on July 16, 1769. There’s a "storage shed" in the parking lot adjacent to the mission that locals call Witches Tower. A huge pentagram was built into cobblestones atop of this shed that was erected some time between 1928 and 1940 on what Is believed to be the same spot as a former jail house. Visitors have described seeing cloaked apparitions and strange darting figures. There have also been reports of possession on the site. Yikes!

5. Point Loma National Cemetery, Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego

This cemetery located just north of the city of San Diego is the final resting place for thousands of marines killed in action during World War II. Built atop one thousand foot cliffs, the site offers visitors who have come to pay tribute to the heroes buried there an amazing panoramic view of the skyline. But that’s not all. Many have reported witnessing these souls rising from their graves at midnight and walking, as if on patrol, along the edge of the cliff.

Thank you S.J. for giving us such a haunting tour of San Diego!  

To learn more about S.J. Harper and her books, please visit her website and don't miss our Q+A with S.J. Harper (the writing team of Samantha Sommersby and Jeanne C. Stein) here at From the Shadows.  You can add the Fallen Siren series here on Goodreads.

Readers, was this your first visit to San Diego?  Have you experienced anything supernatural in and around San Diego?

What did you think of S.J. Harper's picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Jacksonville, Florida with Rinda Elliott.  Next week we'll be traveling to Austin, Texas with Gerry Bartlett.

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Werewolf Academy Ebook Winners

Congratulations to Leah H., and Ashley M. the winners of our Werewolf Academy Giveaway here at From the Shadows.  Winners will receive ebook copies of STRAYS and HUNTED, the first two novels in the Werewolf Academy series by Cheree Alsop.

Thank you to all who entered!

**Giveaway winners randomly selected using**

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Q+A with Jandy Salguero + The Sending Giveaway

Please welcome today's guest author, Jandy Salguero!  Jandy is the author of THE SENDING.

Keep reading for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Q+A with Jandy Salguero

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

I can't remember not writing stories... My first success was in fourth grade when I wrote "Fluffy", a short story about an abandoned cat. It won first prize in a contest for the school, and I thought I was really hot stuff! :P

In my adult life, writing is something I need and crave. On my best or toughest days, it focuses, calms and makes me feel whole.

EJ:  What brought you to the fantasy/science fiction genre?

  Oh, Mrs. Schwartz, my seventh grade reading guru. It sometimes takes a special person to instill a life-long love of reading. She was that all-important person for me. It wasn't until I got into high school and college, though--to the detriment of my school work--that I discovered the rich worlds of fantasy and sci fi. I devoured series by Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, and many more, amazed that these worlds existed--and that no one had TOLD me about them!

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

  Oooo, that's a good one. I would be an animal shape shifter of some kind. The possibility of change is intriguing to me, and when I read that genre of paranormal, it's fascinating to experience the character's unique bond with nature.

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

We read to be engulfed by new worlds, to experience what we normally might never experience in our own lives--hotter romance, deeper love, vividly different surroundings, and life-altering events that fire us into stronger beings than we might have thought possible. The Sending has all of those components and will bring you on a fast-paced journey to experience them all.

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

  As a reader, when I see my beloved books translated to film, I find it distracting when big name actors are cast. Here's a list of my lessor-known picks for my main characters. Mara is latina, and a very intense person. Naya Rivera could pull that off beautifully. Daneel is that all-american good guy, whose safe, ordered world is turned upside in the first chapter of the book. For him, Jesse Roberts fits the swoon-worthy bill.

Other main characters:
Liam, funny, cocky yet fiercly loyal- Alex Fuentes
Mace, dangerously sexy- Tyler Hoechlin
Petra, blond, beautiful and wicked deadly- Katya Eltsina

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

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

The Sending (Senitha's Light #1) by Jandy Salguero.

A city's peace is shattered when two university students go missing, and only Daneel and his friends know the shocking truth of what happened. Finding themselves under attack, Daneel leads them in a race to escape the mounting violence.

Mara is willing to kill for the beliefs of the faction that raised her. But as she seeks out her mark, using a rare, mystical form of travel known as the Sending, Mara discovers a powerful connection that challenges the truth of everything she’s been taught.

While Daneel fights to protect those he cares for, Mara must choose whether to cling to the ideology of her home—or open her scarred heart to a searing attraction and the promise of a new life.

Release Date:  August 20, 2014
Genre:  Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads.

The Sending Giveaway

The author is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal cash to one lucky winner!

To enter, use this Rafflecopter form.  This is a tour giveaway, so the winner will be selected randomly by the author or publisher.  Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.  Giveaway ends October 13, 2014.

Good luck!

Update:  The Sending is FREE on Kindle now through Sunday, October 12th.