Monday, March 30, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Sonoma County with Sharon Hamilton

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Sonoma County California with Sharon Hamilton

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.

This week's stop is Sonoma County, California and our special guide is Sharon Hamilton author of UNDERWORLD QUEEN, the third novel in the Guardian Angel paranormal romance series.

Sonoma County with Sharon Hamilton

I live in the beautiful Wine Country of Sonoma County, California. Within 20 miles of our home are nearly 400 wineries. Such lush backgrounds (and I’ve lived here for over 45 years) make for great sites for my stories.

My Vampires of Tuscany series (Honeymoon Bite, Mortal Bite) both take place in the town of Healdsburg, which is my favorite place to take friends when they come to visit. In fact, I’m arranging a book signing for authors next February 20th at Coppola Winery I’ll be talking more about very soon.

My hero’s family, the Monteleones, have a vineyard tucked into the hills of the Dry Creek Valley. A wonderful lovemaking scene takes place among the old vines at the ending, but a luscious “first bite” takes place there as well. The little town has upscale shops and tourist bars where the henchmen of the Monteleones, the dark vamps and brothers three, the Jetts, like to hang out and pick up their FB (not spelling it out here but you can guess what I mean). I also have sex scenes over aging wine barrels and romps on concrete floors that smell of decades of spilled fermented grapes. Not only is there beauty in the area, the smells of the region fill my head with so many fantasies. I simply cannot walk into a barrel storage room and not think of these scenes.

In my Heavenly Lover book, Claire (who is a guardian angel) slips away from her human lover and stands with the angels in a store display and surprises Daniel. They sit in the square in Healdsburg and watch families with children walk by, while she’s pondering giving up Daniel so she doesn’t hold him back from the human life he was destined for. The setting of the square makes these two scenes possible. Daniel and the bad girl, Audray, have sex in the bathroom of one of the tasting rooms in Heavenly Lover. Audray’s gallery, Craven Image, is located on the square right where there is indeed a very eclectic studio displaying just the kinds of canvases my Brazilian painter-hero, Daniel, paints.

Even my Navy SEALs have Sonoma County connections. Nick comes back to help his sister sell her struggling nursery located in Bennett Valley, where Matanzas Creek Winery exists today in SEAL The Deal. Kate works in a family-owned winery in Healdsburg in SEAL Of My Heart.

I’ve traveled to Italy for research, and taken a Mediterranean cruise for story locations and ideas. Ah, but that is another story for another time!

Thank you Sharon for giving us such an intriguing tour of Sonoma County!  

To learn more about Sharon Hamilton and her books, please visit her website.  You can add her Guardian Angel series here on Goodreads.

underworld queen paranormal romance by sharon hamilton

Have you visited California?  Ever experience anything of the supernatural kind in and around Sonoma County, California?

What did you think of Sonoma County?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Fairy, Texas with Margo Bond Collins.  Next week we'll be traveling to New Orleans with Kristen Painter.

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Q+A with Jessica Minyard + Stones and Finger Bones Giveaway

Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard author interview and giveaway

Please welcome today's guest author, Jessica Minyard!  Jessica is the author of Stones and Finger Bones.

Keep reading for a chance to win Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard.

Q+A with Jessica Minyard

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  That’s hard to say. My “official” bio says I wrote and illustrated my first story in the fourth grade, but I’m sure I was writing before that.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal fantasy genre?

I’ve always been here, I suppose. I grew up reading Lloyd Alexander, Gail Carson Levine, Donna Jo Napoli, Anne Rice, J.K.Rowling, Jennifer Fallon, and Sara Douglass. Although, Douglass might have been too heavy for my 12/13 year old self.

If there was something fantastical, otherworldly, or mythical about a book, I was reading it. So it just came as a natural progression that I started writing fantasy.

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

  The ability to quickly move from one place to another. Teleportation. Flying. Disapparating. Anything works.

Commuting makes me ragey and I would save so much time!

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

  Magic! Mayhem! Kissing! Handsome rogues! Narcissistic sociopaths! What’s not to enjoy?

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

  Ack. This is a hard one! Truth be told, I really have no idea. I know some writers like to cast their characters, but I am not one of them. If someday, somehow, Stones was being made into a movie, I would not want to be involved with the casting process, because I would fail miserably!

Let me give it a try though…

For Aurelia, I might cast Rose Leslie, because she’s a ginger and has an interesting face.

For Rycen, Alexander Uloom is the winner, because of the intensity of his eyes and his mouth. It was hard to find someone with a mouth I liked. Just Google him. I promise you won’t be disappointed!  

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

To learn more about Jessica Minyard please visit her website.  You can learn more about her book Stones and Finger Bones, and enter for a chance to win, below.

Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard author interview and giveaway

Stones and Finger Bones (The Black Towers #1) by Jessica Minyard.

Aurelia Barone, Jewel of Starry Stone, harbors no illusions about the purpose of her life as heir to the throne. But after two failed betrothals, she starts to feel like nothing more than a pawn being moved aimlessly about a game board.

Until the night she loses everything.

Kidnapped by a wise-cracking mercenary with more than one identity, Aurelia embarks on a mission across land and sea to avenge her father’s death.

But an evil is rising from the ashes of memory. Insidious magic is stirring. The dregs of a once-powerful nation are thirsty for blood and revenge.

They seek to harness Aurelia. To tempt her. To manipulate her.

And if necessary, to destroy her.

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Add to Goodreads.

Stones and Finger Bones Giveaway

The author is giving away a signed paperback copy of Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard, and four prints of hand painted, original character portraits!

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  This giveaway is a Book Tour giveaway, and the winners will be randomly drawn by the author or publisher.  Giveaway ends April 9, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 23, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Fairy, Texas with Margo Bond Collins

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Fairy, Texas with Margo Bond Collins

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.

This week's stop is Fairy, Texas and our special guide is Margo Bond Collins.  Margo is the author of the Fairy, Texas young adult paranormal series.

Margo's Top 5 Spooky Places in Fairy, Texas

In my novel Fairy, Texas, the town is a small, but thriving, community—there's a high school, a downtown, a few restaurants, even a Sonic drive-in.  In reality, Fairy, Texas was never as big as the town in the book, and is now a something of ghost town (appropriately enough for this feature!).  But the fictional version of Fairy is based on several of the nearby towns in North Central Texas, where I grew up, and there's no lack of  spooky to be found. So the following list includes the spooky places in and around Fairy, Texas—and the towns that inspired the novel.

1. Fairy, Texas

Originally called "Gap," but later re-named after the local schoolteacher, Fairy Fort Phelps (sometimes listed as Felps), who grew to be only 2'7".  There is little left in Fairy other than a few buildings and the cemetery.

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Fairy, Texas cemetery

2. McDow's Hole

McDow's Hole, a small, natural reservoir, was a logical place to settle. Near modern-day Dublin, Texas, this watering hole was also the site of a nineteenth-century mystery. In the 1860s, Charlie and Jenny Papworth moved to the area with their young son Temple, and soon had a second soon. Not long after their second son was born, Charlie received word that his parents had died and that he had inherited their furniture and would have to travel 200 miles to pick it up (the nearest train station at the time).  When he left, he asked his wife to spend the nights with one of two neighboring families.

But one night Jenny never arrived at either home. The next day, the neighbors found no sign of Jenny or her infant, but there was blood on the floor of her cabin—and her five-year-old son Temple was discovered cowering under the bed.  Jenny and the baby were never found.

Ever since, there have been tales of Jenny and the baby haunting the area, showing up in the cabin itself and floating above the water of McDow's Hole itself. And despite the fact that the land is now closed to trespassers, people still make the trek out to wait to see Jenny Papworth and her baby late at night.

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Fairy, Texas McDow's Hole

3. Hico, Texas

In 1879, two men broke into the home of Hico resident Ike Malone and threatened to kill him. The townspeople sent out riders to catch the men, and they were temporarily imprisoned in a shed belonging to the Malone family. But late at night, a mob of roughly seventy-five men arrived, and the robbers were shot to death.  By 1882, the reports of ghostly sights and sounds from the shed were common enough that the local paper printed a story about them. The shed is long gone, but many of the buildings in this Texas town boast ghost sightings.

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Fairy, Texas Hico, Texas

4. Granbury, Texas Opera House

The Granbury Opera House was constructed in 1886, and performances began in 1891, often consisting of traveling shows. Plays are still performed in the Opera House, and various people associated with shows have reported hearing footsteps pacing the balcony and seeing a man in a white shirt, dark pants, and tall boots.

Perhaps most interesting is the local rumor that John Wilkes Booth was not, in fact, killed after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, but instead escaped to Granbury to live under the pseudonym John St. Helen with his cousin (a woman whose maiden name was, in fact, Booth), where he performed bit roles at the Opera House, served drinks at a bar next door, and drank alcohol only once a year—on the anniversary of Lincoln's death, when St. John would get blindingly drunk and quote Shakespeare.

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Fairy, Texas Granbury Opera House

5. Stephenville, Texas UFO Sightings

 The latest batch of UFO sightings—centered in Stephenville, Texas, but occurring across this particular stretch of Texas—occurred in 2008 and 2009. Strange lights moving through the sky were reported by dozens of eyewitnesses and have not been explained.  These sightings bear a resemblance to those discussed in an 1891 newspaper article from Dublin, Texas.  (All I know for sure is that I spent my entire childhood watching for UFOs from my home in Stephenville—and they didn't appear until I had moved away!

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Fairy, Texas UFO sightings

Thank you Margo for giving us such a haunting tour of Fairy!  

To learn more about Margo Bond Collins and her books, please visit her website.  You can add her Fairy, Texas series here on Goodreads.

Fairy Texas young adult paranormal by Margo Bond Collins

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

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Kingsholme, Faerie with C.T. Adams.  Next week we'll be traveling to Sonoma County, California with Sharon Hamilton.

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

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Unbreakable Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Nrlymrtl the winner of the Unbreakable Book Giveaway at From the Shadows!  Nrlymrtl will receive a hardcover copy of Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers.

unbreakable by w.c. bauers book giveaway

Thank you to all who entered!

*Giveaway winner selected using*

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Q+A with Lori Sjoberg

Q+A with Lori Sjoberg author of Grave Vengeance paranormal romance

Please welcome today's guest author Lori Sjoberg!  Lori is the author of the Grave paranormal romance series, including Grave Intentions, Grave Destinations, and new release Grave Vengeance. 

In GRAVE VENGEANCE sexy, alpha male Dmitri, a former KGB spy turned reaper after death (*fans self*), and tough as nails reaper Gwen must team up to defeat a deadly rogue ghost.  I can't wait to read this one! 

Q+A with Lori Sjoberg

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

I started writing fiction about ten years ago, after I got hooked on the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I was waiting for the next book in a series to come out, and during that time I discovered the wonderful world of fan fiction. Like an addict, I read everything I could find, and when I finally ran out, I started writing some of my own and discovered that I enjoyed it! After a while, I decided to try writing something original with my very own cast of characters. Who knew playing with the voices inside my head could be so much fun?

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  I’ve been a fan of the paranormal genre since I was a kid. But I think the thing that sealed it for me was my ninth grade English teacher’s reading of The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. She brought that story to life in my mind, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

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

  I was going to say vampire, but I don’t think I could handle the whole blood sucking thing. So instead I’ll go with the ability to manipulate time. Because, why not? Who wouldn’t want to be able to go back in time and fix the things you royally messed up?

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

Readers who love action and adventure in their paranormal romances should really enjoy Grave Vengeance. It’s the story of two reapers, long-time bitter enemies, who are forced to work together to capture a reaper who’s gone rogue. Dmitri and Gwen share a complicated history – in their former lives, Dmitri was a KGB spy while Gwen was an FBI counterintelligence agent. The adventure they share is loaded with action, suspense, sexual tension, dark humor, and a boatload of snarky banter. And even though it’s the third book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone.

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

  For Dmitri, I’d pick Henry Cavil. He can play dark and brooding really well, and thanks to his physical training for the role of Superman, he’s got the build to play the part. As for Gwen, I’d pick Jennifer Lawrence. She’s a great actress, has the ability to do action roles, and can be really snarky when the situation calls for it.

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

To learn more about Lori Sjoberg and her books, please visit her website.  You can also read more about her new paranormal release, Grave Vengeance, below.

Grave Vegeance by Lori Sjoberg paranormal romance

Grave Vengeance (Grave #3) by Lori Sjoberg.

Handsome and haunted, he's a reaper who prefers to work alone. But Fate has other plans for him and the sassy secret agent who shot him in another life—if their pasts don't catch up with them first.

Dmitri Stavitsky has never played well with others—a Soviet KGB spy in life turned reaper after death, his work of bringing souls to the other side is best done alone. But orders from the top soon place him alongside fellow reaper Gwen Peterson, the American counter intelligence agent who took his life so many years ago.

Now, as a ghost from Gwen's past resurfaces with the power to steal reapers' souls, the two have no choice but to set aside their differences and apprehend the rogue together. But their cross-country mission soon ignites feelings Dmitri thought he was no longer capable of—for the woman who helped destroy him. With an ancient force and a small army against them, he'll have to let go of old grudges or risk his future with Fate hangs dangerously in the balance.

Release Date: January 19, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Add to Goodreads.

Have a question for Lori?  Ask away in the comments.  We love comments!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Kingsholme, Faerie with C.T. Adams

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Kingsholme Faerie with C.T. Adams

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.

This week's stop is Kingsholme, Faerie and our special guide is C.T. Adams.  C.T. is the author of THE EXILE, the first novel in The Fae series, and co-author of A Tale of the Sazi series, the Thrall series, the Magic series, and the Blood Singer urban fantasy series.

Keep reading for a chance to win The Exile by C.T. Adams!

Kingsholme, Faerie

     A wrinkled brown creature the size of a small child wearing a blue dress comes running up and hands the tour guide a note, before running off.  Reading the note, the guide pales, blinks several times, and looks around before visibly straightening.  Squaring her shoulders, the tour guide turns to face our group with a bright (if not particularly sincere) smile pasted on her beautiful features.
     “Ladies and gentlemen, while I know you were looking forward to a tour of the palace grounds and complex as the culmination of your tour of the capital—known as Kingsholme to the lesser Fae—I’ve been advised that a change of circumstance has necessitated our cutting the tour short.  I’m very sorry, and if you check with your travel agents in a day or two, the company will have arranged a partial refund . . .”
     “What’s happened?” A voice in the back of the crowd asked.
     “Nothing you need to worry about.  But we do want to get you back to our start point as soon as possible so that our human mage can . . .”
     “Do I hear fighting?  Was that a gunshot?”  A young woman in a yellow sundress looks around in obvious alarm.
     “There is absolutely nothing to worry about.”  The tour guide’s voice is commanding and all fifteen members of the group turn to her—to find that her previously fairly ordinary beauty has been transformed into something shining, compelling and irresistible.  “Follow me,” she commands.
     Bemused, the group falls into line, following her through a doorway that seems to lead into the thick stone walls that buttress the east gate to the palace grounds.  Inside, the stygian darkness is cut by the guide’s glowing form and a shimmering crystal clutched in her right hand.  As the last of the visitors clears the doorframe the door closes with an ominous thud that seems to echo, the sound oddly muted by the layers of dust that coat the narrow stairs that lead steeply downward.
     “You are being given a rare privilege—few have ever been allowed to move freely through the complex of tunnels beneath the city.  Come along.”
     “Doesn’t seem like much of a privilege to me.”  A man in the back mutters.
     “It’s awfully dirty in here.”  The woman in yellow complains.
     “Come along!”  The tour guide’s words have a power that is impossible for the tourists to resist.  So follow, they do, on what turns out to be an exhausting trek through a confusing maze, deeper and deeper into a darkness that somehow is more frightening because it is so obviously not empty.  Huge cobwebs and active spiderwebs adorn corners, the webs filled with the hollow husks of insects, and, more disturbingly, the skeletons of small pixies.
     “These tunnels were created generations ago in a cooperative effort between some of the greatest mages our people have ever known and the dwarves who were then our allies.  They honeycomb the ground beneath the entire city and provided a means of surreptitious travel for the royals and their servitors so that they could leave the city discreetly.  They’ve not been used much in millennia, but the quality of the construction shows in their excellent state of repair.”
     “That path to the left,” she gestures with the hand carrying the crystal so that it illuminates a narrow way that goes forward only a few feet before narrowing and turning to the right.  “Leads to one of our holy places, with ancient standing stones.  It is a lovely place, but well guarded by the pixies and their allies.”
     “Let’s go there.  I want to see pixies.”  The woman in yellow looks around, trying to gather support from the other tourists, who, for the most part ignore her, staring blankly and adoringly at the tour guide.  “LIVE pixies.  And I want out of this dark, dirty, tunnel.”
     “Pixies can be very dangerous.  And that is not our path.”  The guide admonishes.  “We’re taking the right tunnel.  If you look you can see footprints in the dust where a group has gone before us—quite recently from the look of it.”  The plastic smile has returned, with even more wattage, so the woman in yellow subsides.  “It is a fairly long hike, but it will take us to an inn frequented by members of the Guard.  It is very safe there, the food is excellent . . .”
     “I could go for some food right now.”  A man of about twenty, handsome, with a full beard, grins.
     “And,” the guide continues, ignoring the interruption, “it is very close to the edge of the city.”
     “Why does that matter?”
     “There are prohibition spells built into the foundation of the city that make it impossible for anyone to open a veil within the confines of Kingsholme.”
     “But I thought you said that the King had a permanent portal linking his daughter’s home to the palace.”
     “I did.  But it is the only such portal.  The prohibitions had to be circumvented to create it—and the amount of power required to do so was stupendous.  And that portal has now been destroyed.  Now come this way.”  She leads them forward, keeping a surreptitious eye on the woman in the yellow dress who keeps turning to look longingly toward the other path.
     “The prohibitions were installed to prevent magic being used to transport large groups of troops, devastating weapons and the like, into the very heart of our power.  But it means that we’re forced to use physical means of travel rather than magical within the city.”
      “So do you use magic to move around outside of the city?”  The bearded man asks.
     “Of course.  In fact, there are the King’s Gates—actual gates located in positions throughout the kingdom and guarded by members of the King’s Guard.  They can be used to travel between one area of the kingdom to another in the blink of an eye by magic.  It’s very complex magic, but very convenient.
     “Will we get to use one of the gates?”
     “No.  I’m afraid not.  Now this way please.  Be careful, the way narrows quite a bit.  We’re almost there.”
     “But . . .”  The woman in the yellow sundress stops, unwilling to go any further.
     “Move along.”
     The tour guide is now shining like a star.  Walking purposefully up to the woman she takes her by the hand.  The moment their skin touches all of the woman’s resistance melts away.  “Come along.  We’re almost there.  You need to go back home.”
     “Yes, home.”
      “But I want to stay. Not here in the tunnels—ugh.  But with the Sidhe, in Kingsholme.  Can’t I stay.”
     The tour guide’s eyes soften, and she squeezes the woman’s hand.  “I wish you could.  I would keep you.  But now is not the time.  You must be kept safe.  And Faerie isn’t safe for humans right now.”
     A disembodied male voice comes to them from the darkness of the tunnels they’d just left.  “It never has been.  And never will be.”

Thank you C.T. for giving us such a haunting tour of Kingsholme!  

To learn more about C.T. Adams and her books, please visit her website.  You can add her new novel Exile here on Goodreads.

The Exile paranormal urban fantasy by C.T. Adams

 The Exile Book Giveaway

We are giving away a trade paperback edition of THE EXILE by C.T. Adams 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 and Canada.  Giveaway ends April 3, 2015 midnight EST.  Good luck!

What did you think of C.T.'s picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Kennian with E.L. Tettensor.  Next week we'll be traveling to Fairy, Texas with Margo Bond Collins.

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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Q+A with Melanie Karsak

Q+A with Melanie Karsak author of paranormal romance novel Lady Macbeth Daughter of Ravens

Please welcome today's guest author, Melanie Karsak!  Melanie is the author of the new paranormal romance novel Lady Macbeth Daughter of Ravens.

Q+A with Melanie Karsak

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I’ve always written. When I was a kid, I used to write newspapers for fun. I remember writing a play when I was in 5th grade. It was about a mafia lounge singer named Emerald Skye. Apparently, I’ve always been a bit eccentric. I started my first novel when I was 13. I finished my “real” first novel when I was 18. It was a hot mess high fantasy, full of clich├ęs, but our first anything is never any good. When I was in college I finished writing my first serious novel, which is under revision and slated for 2016 publication, and I’ve been writing ever since.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

  Someone recently asked me why I write across so many genres (zombie, steampunk, historical). I found the question a little puzzling. No matter what genre I’m working in, I am always writing fantasy. I see myself as a fantasy author. All of my stories, no matter the genre, have a paranormal element. Readers are sometimes surprised to find vampires and shape shifters (minor spoiler there) in my “zombie” series, The Harvesting. My new novel, Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens, looks like a historical but only if you count fae people, alternative dimensions, and living and breathing Goddesses as historical! I can’t stay away from the paranormal element. Right now, I’m writing a novella, Ink, which is a dark fantasy romance about a mermaid.

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

  I would definitely want the ability to bend time. I would love to be able to move around, see the past, visit the future, talk to my 16 year old self about a lot of things that aren’t important. How awesome would it be to see places long gone, historical people, or have a glimpse of the future? I need your time turner, Hermione!

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

  I released 4 works in 2014, one in each of my series.

The Airship Racing Chronicles, my steampunk romantic adventure series, is great for a reader who loves an Indiana Jones style treasure hunt, a romantic theme, and might like a steampunk environment. I released the second book in this series, Chasing the Green Fairy, last year. This series is set in an alternative 1823 and features Lily Stargazer, my hot mess pro airship racer.

The Harvesting Series, my dark fantasy/zombie mashup, is a great series for people who like a lot of action. It features a zombie apocalypse event but then Layla, my butt-kicking main character, soon begins to realize there were more creatures in our world than we ever realized. Our death has a significant impact on them.
I also offer a novella, Midway, in this series. It features Cricket, my carnie girl, who plays an important role in the series. You can read Midway before or after The Harvesting.
The next novel in this series, The Shadow Aspect, will be released this summer!

My third series is my most recent and a labor of love. Lady MacBeth: Daughter of Ravens is the first book in a 3-part saga that tells the story of Lady Macbeth, as featured in Shakespeare’s play, from the perspective of Lady Macbeth. We meet her when she is very young. She is initiated into a coven of the ancient Goddess, finds herself as an initiate of the Wyrd Sisters, and meets her soulmate, Banquo. My other two series are very action-oriented. This series is more of a slow burn working its way toward an inferno. It’s a great book for a reader who likes a slower, richer reading experience.

The Falling in Deep Collection: Tales of Mermaid Romance.  I am working with 14 other authors on a unique collection. This summer, 15 award-winning and best-selling authors are presenting a collection of mermaid novellas, one released each week. We’d love for you to keep in touch with us on that project.  See our lovely covers and join our newsletter here.

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

  Oh, fun! For Layla, I would totally cast Olivia Wilde. She looks like Layla in my head. For Lily, I would probably cast Evangeline Lily (from Lost). Lily needs to be someone rugged and lovely in a unique way. Evie would be great. For Lady Macbeth, I would cast Scarlett Johansson with black hair. Lady M. needs to be someone with striking beauty. Scarlett would be perfect!

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

To learn more about Melanie Karsak and her books, please visit her website.  Additional information about her new release, Lady Macbeth Daughter of Ravens below.

Isn't that cover gorgeous?

Q+A with Melanie Karsak author of paranormal Lady Macbeth Daughter of Ravens

Lady Macbeth Daughter of Ravens (The Saga of Lady Macbeth #1) by Melanie Karsak

Something wicked this way comes . . .

Gruoch is born to rule, but long before she becomes Macbeth’s queen, ancient forces claim her soul.

Marked from birth by the old gods, Gruoch is initiated into the ancient religion of her ancestors and begins learning the mysteries of the Goddess Cerridwen. But not everything is as it seems. Soon the Battle Goddess Morrigu imposes her will, and Gruoch finds herself at the mercy of the Wyrd Sisters.

With King Malcolm plotting, the Wyrd Sisters schooling her in arcane craft, and haunted by dreams of a raven-haired man she’s never met, Gruoch feels her fate is not her own. That is, until she meets a druid named Banquo. Gruoch’s heart is swept away when Banquo awakens something in her more powerful than duty, magic, or destiny: love.

This retelling of Shakespeare’s classic work leads readers through an unforgettable saga of one woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.

Release Date: December 3, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Add to Goodreads.

Have a question for Melanie Karsak?

Ask away in the comments section. We love comments!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Kennian with E.L. Tettensor

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Kennian E.L. Tettensor Master of Plagues

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.

This week's stop is Kennian and our special guide is E.L. Tettensor.  E.L. is the author of the Nicolas Lenoir dark fantasy detective series, and the Bloodbound fantasy series as Erin Lindsey.  Kennian is the setting of her new release, Master of Plagues.

E.L.'s Top 5 Spooky Places in Kennian

Inspector Nicolas Lenoir has a troubled relationship with his adoptive hometown of Kennian. In the eyes of a cosmopolitan foreigner such as he, Kennian lacks sophistication – in its food, culture, politics. It lacks anything passing for reasonable entertainment. One thing it doesn’t lack, however, is spooky places.

Kennian is a city of wet cobblestones and steaming sewers, of narrow, twisting alleys and squalid tenements bathed in the sickly glow of gaslamps. Something of a backwater, at least compared to the more refined cities of the continent. It’s also a crossroads, a sort of frontier between the “civilised” nations of Humenor and the savage lands beyond, where nomadic Adali graze their vast herds and practice their unfathomable dark magic.

As an inspector of the Metropolitan Police, Lenoir has seen some of its darkest, most disturbing corners, but it’s these five that haunt his nightmares.

1.  Merden’s shop. In the heart of the market district, wedged between a tailor and a butcher, lies the business and residence of the famed Adali soothsayer, Merden. Its anonymous storefront would never draw the eye of anyone who didn’t know what he was looking for. Inside, though, it’s a veritable museum of the macabre, stacked to the rafters with the accoutrements of dark magic. Dimly lit by tapered candles, the shop frightens more by virtue of what is implied than what is actually seen. Horns dangle in spirals and spikes from the rafters. Smooth orbs of glass glint in the dark. Woven twigs and dried bushels of herbs swallow the light; the sharp facets of crystals throw it back. Enter on the wrong day, and you might have to step carefully to avoid a brace of pheasants suspended from the doorframe, blood dripping noisily into a tin pail below.

2.  Abandoned cathedral.  Centuries old, nobody can quite recall why it was abandoned, but it’s been boarded and chained for as long as anyone can remember. It’s been thoroughly looted – probably more than once – and its old oak doors show signs of violence in their pitted, charred shapes. Built atop the ruins of a pagan temple, its catacombs are lined with hundreds, if not thousands, of skeletons, skulls and femurs packed together like paving stones. Not surprisingly, these catacombs have been used for dark magic, and recently.

3.  Merriton’s.  Injured Kennians who can’t afford to see a proper physician – meaning about four fifths of the city’s population – are obliged to seek the services of Merriton, the barber. Now and then, Lenoir is called down to the barber’s shop for a case, and he dreads it like nowhere else in the city. It buzzes with flies and smells like a butcher’s on a hot day, but that’s nothing compared to the sights – bloodstained rushes, rasps and bone saws, rusting iron implements whose grim purposes can only be guessed at. It’s enough to make a cosmopolitan man like Lenoir think he’d woken up in the Dark Ages.

4.  Fort Hald.  Kennian’s main prison is grim enough to give any “hound” pause to reconsider his career in law enforcement. Vermin skitter in the corners of mass cells so packed that it’s hard to tell one pallid figure from another. Madness is common among the cursed denizens of this place, and a blessing too, for it spares the mind from facing head-on the full battery of horrors Fort Hald has to offer.

5.  Biller’s Lane.  For any other Kennian, the alley behind Biller’s Lane is nothing special – just one more cramped canyon of brick and stone. But to Lenoir, this place is forever tainted, steeped in a supernatural chill that seeps into the very marrow of his bones. It was here that he stumbled across the Darkwalker, an encounter that left him scarred – physically as well as emotionally. To this day, the flesh around his ankle is blackened and numb, a mark of the enchanted scourge wielded by the champion of the dead. Lenoir barely managed to drag himself into the sunlight at the end of the lane, there to watch as the spirit’s flesh melted from its face, only to regenerate the moment it stepped back into shadow. Lenoir will walk as many blocks out of his way as it takes to avoid that alley, now and forever more.

Thank you E.L. for giving us such a haunting tour of Kennian!  

To learn more about E.L. Tettensor and her books, please visit her website.  You can add her Nicolas Lenoir series here on Goodreads.

Master of Plagues dark urban fantasy detective novel by E.L. Tettensor

What did you think of E.L.'s picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited New York City with Susan Wright.  Next week we'll be traveling to Kingsholme, Faerie with C.T. Adams.

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

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Author Reader Con NOLA Ticket Giveaway

Looking forward to Author Reader Convention NOLA?  Then I have a surprise for you.  I am giving away an ARC NOLA ticket to one lucky reader!

Keep reading for your chance to win.

Author Reader Convention NOLA

Author Reader Con 2015 will be in New Orleans July 30 - August 1st.  Here are a few reasons why you should join us.

  • Enjoy the tours and fun of the French Quarter with the authors
  • Cover Models
  • Speed Date the authors
  • BTS E-Magazine Red Carpet Awards
  • Book Signing 
  • Panels
  • Games
  • Hollywood Ball

E.J. Stevens at ARC NOLA

I will be at Author Reader Con July 30 - August 1, 2015.  Come hang out with me in the Author Lounge on Friday, July 31st and stop by my table Saturday, August 1st.  I'll also be at a few of the mixer events, including the author and reader dinner Friday night and the dance party/ball Saturday night.

In addition to the convention, I'm also organizing a Ghost Tour on July 29th, and a Cemetery Tour on August 2nd.

Come join me in the French Quarter for a week of bookish fun and paranormal thrills!

ARC NOLA Ticket Giveaway

I am giving away a reader ticket to Author Reader Convention to one lucky reader!

To enter, leave a comment on this post letting me know that you'd like to win, and include your email so that I may contact you if you win.  Easy peasy!  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, open to anyone who is able to attend the Author Reader Convention. Giveaway ends April 3, 2015 midnight EST.

Good luck!

Speculative Fiction Southeast Convention 2015

Speculative Fiction Southeast Fantasy Convention Orlando 2015

I am excited to announce that I will be attending the Speculative Fiction: Southeast convention in Orlando, Florida.

Speculative Fiction: Southeast

Here's what the official SF:SE website has to say about the event:

SF:SE—Speculative Fiction: Southeast—is an event for all lovers and artists of Speculative Fiction, a term encompassing Horror, SciFi, Fantasy, Paranormal and Weird.

E.J. Stevens at SF:SE 2015

Speculative Fiction Southeast Fantasy Convention Author E.J. Stevens

I will be at Speculative Fiction: Southeast convention September 25 - 27, 2015.  I'll be doing panels and I'll have a table on Author Avenue.  Stop by my SF:SE table for:
  • Autographed Books
  • T-shirts
  • Tote Bags
  • Mini Posters
  • FREE Pens
  • FREE Signed Postcards
  • FREE Audiobook Samples
  • FREE Shadow Sight Ebooks
More details about the book signing and my panels coming soon.

SF:SE Banshee Promo

The staff at SF:SE 2015 are offering up a special one day convention ticket promo on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. 

SF:SE Speculative Fiction Southeast Fantasy Convention Ticket Banshee Promo

Details below (copied from the official SF:SE website).

For one day only, take advantage of this AMAZING discount we’re calling the BANSHEE PROMO. On 12AM St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th), we open the portal, through which pale-haired girl ghosts will deliver VIP registration for the price of GENERAL ADMISSION registration.

That’s a WHOLE WEEKEND of SF:SE magic.  That’s a WHOLE WEEKEND of early admittance to all programming. (and other stuff, like LARPquesting and masquerade ball-ing. Check out TICKETS for VIP info.)  That’s a $119 DISCOUNT. Yeah, we know, it’s insane.

Go get it, Leprechauns! One day only, 12AM to 11:59. March 17th.

Visit the SF:SE 2015 website to take advantage of this limited time deal.

I hope to see you there!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fierce: Sixteen Authors of Fantasy with Mercedes Lackey $100 Giveaway

The authors of FIERCE, a limited edition 99 cent fantasy book bundle, are generously giving away $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Read on to learn more about the Fierce fantasy collection.

Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime!

Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order. Journey between kingdoms of dragons and lands of anarchy as tales of magic and mayhem unfold.

About the Authors and Titles:

Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets

Stuck watching over four Herald trainees on circuit, Elyn is at her wits’ end—and that’s before a town asks for help with a ghostly infestation.

Michael G. Manning – The Blacksmith’s Son

A journey to discover the secrets of his past reveals a magical heritage and embroils Mordecai in a deadly battle for the future of mankind.

K.F. Breene – Chosen

Prophecy has foretold that when war threatens the world, the Chosen will appear to help the Shadow Warriors reclaim their stolen freedom and lead them out of the Land of Mist.

Morgan Rice – A Quest of Heroes

Thorgin, an outsider and a dreamer, fights to become a warrior in an epic quest that finds him at the center of a maelstrom of royal plots and counterplots that threaten him and everyone he loves.

Michael James Ploof – Whill of Agora

When Whill learns the truth of his lineage, he sets out to face his father’s murderer, but what he learns along the way will change his life—and the realm—forever.

Daniel Arenson – Requiem’s Song

Weredragons, men call them. Monsters. Cursed ones. People who can turn into beastly reptiles. Together they will forge a nation.

Note: Want to learn more about Daniel Arenson?  Check out his previous interviews and guest posts here at From the Shadows!  Character Guest Post: Erry, Character Guest Post: Kyrie Cross-Novel Character Interview, Character Interview: Eliven, Character Interview: Neev and Romy)

Kate Sparkes – Bound

When a young woman accidentally saves the life of an enemy Sorcerer, she finds herself drawn into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever imagined.

David Adams – The Pariahs

Two sellswords—a half-elf and a half-orc—find their war over before it even begins. But trouble is stirring on the home front, conflict which threatens more than just their lives.

Amy Raby – The Fire Seer

Taya must use her fire visions to investigate a series of murders, but the Coalition of Mages has partnered her with her old nemesis, the man who used to bully her when they were young.

C. Greenwood – Magic of Thieves & Betrayal of Thieves

In a province where magic is forbidden, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival—concealment.

David Dalglish – The Weight of Blood

When half-bloods Harruq and Qurrah Tun pledged their lives to a death prophet, they only sought escape from their squalid beginnings. Instead, they become his greatest disciples, charged with leading his army of undead.

K.J. Colt – Bear Heart

In the savage lands of Ruxdor, young Klawdia must fight the champions of four rival clans to defend her future as the first female chieftain.

Shae Ford – Poison

A bandit girl is taken from her home and thrust into a complex world of lords and ladies, where she learns that she must kill to survive.

Endi Webb – The Maskmaker’s Apprentice

Masks of legend. Masks of power. Those who dare to wear them trifle with the old powers and risk ruin and mayhem. But a young apprentice maskmaker cannot contain his curiosity, and accidentally unleashes a deadly terror upon an unsuspecting world.

Michael Wallace – The Dark Citadel

A slave boy and a young queen lead an alliance of spies, servants, and merchants to stave off the encroaching armies of a dark wizard.

Terah Edun – Blades of Magic

As an unstoppable war breaks out, a young girl enlists in the military to unravel the secrets surrounding her father’s execution.

Release Date: March 10, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Add to Goodreads.

And now for the giveaway...

Fierce $100 Giveaway

The authors are giving away winner's choice of a $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash.  

To enter, use this Rafflecopter form.  This giveaway is part of a book tour.  Winners will be randomly selected by the author or publisher using Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends 3/15/15. 

Good luck!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Karen Memory Book Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Barry H. the winner of the Karen Memory Book Giveaway here at From the Shadows!  Barry will receive a hardcover copy of Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear.

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear steampunk fantasy

Thank you to all who entered!

*Giveaway winner randomly selected using*

Book Giveaway: Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers

Today we have a special book giveaway for our readers.  Tor Books is offering up a hardcover copy of UNBREAKABLE by W.C. Bauers, and this book looks fantastic!

Book Giveaway: Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers

Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers.

The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration—until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet's populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother.

Meanwhile, the RAW's most bitter rival, the Lusitanian Empire, has been watching events unfold in the Montana system with interest. Their forces have been awaiting the right moment to gain a beachhead in Republic territory, and with Promise's Marines decimated, they believe the time to strike is now.

Release Date: January 13, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Add to Goodreads.

Unbreakable Book Giveaway

We are giving away a hardcover copy of Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers to one lucky winner!

Do you read science fiction?  Want to win?

To enter, please leave a comment on this post, including your email so that we may contact you if you win.  This giveaway is open to US and Canada.  Giveaway ends March 20, 2015 midnight EST.

Good luck!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination NYC with Susan Wright

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination NYC with Susan Wright

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.

This week's stop is New York City and our special guide is Susan Wright.  Susan is the author of the Allay urban fantasy series.

Susan's Top 5 Spooky Places in NYC

New York is a city that has it all, including lots of creepy places. That’s why I had a hard time narrowing down my list to just 5!

I’ve picked out the truly weird stuff, the places that stand out even in the Big Apple. There are also plenty of more mildly creepy places like the Chelsea Hotel, which has a reputation for ghosts, or the underground remains of the Lovelace Tavern outside 85 Broad Street, a popular party spot in the early 1800s until Lower Manhattan burned.

These five are my all-time favorite spooky spots in New York City:

Roosevelt Island TB Hospital (map)

Everyone can see the huge ruins of the TB Hospital because they’re exposed on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island. Among the locals, it’s the most discussed spooky site in the city. You used to be able to walk among the fallen-in buildings, and it was best to do it on a rainy day when you could see the clouds and gray water all around you through the open window frames. Then you could feel how incredibly isolated it is, even while you’re completely exposed. Now the last remaining ruins are barricaded off by a chain link fence, but the park goes all the way to the tip of Roosevelt Island so you can walk all the way around the ruins and get a great view of the old place.

City Hall Subway Station (map)

The subway station under City Hall is a glorious place that was closed in 1945. It’s got towering arched ceilings made of patterned brick that are lit up by natural light pouring through the ornate wrought iron and glass skylights placed in the street overhead. You can see it—like it’s been caught in time—by staying on the 6 train past the final stop at Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station. The train takes a big curving turn-around to go uptown under City Hall, letting you see the slowly moving panorama of a time gone by.

Staten Island Ship Graveyard (map)

It’s the freakiest thing – one minute you’re driving along ordinary road along the Arthur Kill, the waterway that separates Staten Island from New Jersey. Then suddenly the trees part and all you can see is a bay filled with dead ships. Some ships have sunk so the skeletons of their prows stick out, and others are rotting low in the water or turned on their sides in various states of decay. It’s such a sight of ruin and devastation that it’s hard to forget once you see it.

Brooklyn Navy Yard (map)

There are several spooky spots in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I ran a Trap-Neuter-Return project in the BNY for years, so I saw every nook and cranny. The 300-acre site holds a vast Naval Hospital Annex where a dozen buildings sit frozen and empty because of asbestos. There are also giant skeletons of ship-building warehouses, with the glass all shattered and the deep water slips murky and oily between them. You can take a tour of BNY if you don’t have access to the industrial complex that has grown up on the site in the midst of the ruined buildings.

Ridgewood Reservoir (map)

The reservoir sits oddly enough on a hilltop in Highland Park. It was decommissioned in 1898, but there was still water in it until there were a number of drownings in the 70s. To reach it you have to go past the Cypress Hills National Cemetery with its white tombstones in neat rows undulating over the hillside. Then you have the climb up the crumbling steps to the overgrown forest at the top, emerging into a wilderness that seems like it’s been transported hundreds of miles from New York City in an instant. But be careful – you’ll see signs of people living in there though you rarely see them. It’s not your usual walk in the park!

Thank you Susan for giving us such a haunting tour of New York City!  

To learn more about Susan Wright and her books, please visit her website.  You can add her Allay series here on Goodreads.

Confessions of a demon Allay urban fantasy series by Susan Wright

Have you visited New York City?  Ever experience anything of the supernatural kind in and around New York City?

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

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Australia with Cassandra Page.  Next week we'll be traveling to Kennian with E.L. Tettensor.

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