Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Vampires in America Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Barbara Kuhl winner of our Vampires in America Giveaway here at From the Shadows!  Barbara will receive her choice of ebook from the Vampires in America series by D.B. Reynolds.

Vampires in America by D.B Reynolds

Thank you all for entering!

**Giveaway winner randomly selected using Random.org**

Monday, June 29, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination London with Brooklyn Ann

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination London with Brooklyn Ann author of vampire paranormal romance Scandals with Bite series

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

This week's stop is London and our special guide is Brooklyn Ann the author of SCANDALS WITH BITE vampire paranormal romance series.

Brooklyn Ann's Top 5 Spooky Places in London

Hello everyone, I’m Brooklyn Ann, and I’m going to share some creepy places in London, the setting of my historical paranormal romance, BITE AT FIRST SIGHT.

Saint Pancras Paranormal Road Trip London

Saint Pancras Old Churchyard
I've included this one because it features heavily in my series. Believed to be the oldest center of Christian worship, the church was actually moved in the 14th century. It was the burial place of many historical figures, including writers William Godwin, Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and Dr. John Polidori. Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley allegedly had meetings at her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft's grave to plan their elopement. As for Polidori's burial, there's a fun scene about in my first book, BITE ME, YOUR GRACE.

Charles Dickens also mentions the graveyard in A TALE OF TWO CITIES as a frequent site for grave robbers who took cadavers for physicians to study.

Which is interesting because BITE AT FIRST SIGHT opens with my heroine, aspiring physician, Cassandra Burton doing just that. Unfortunately, Rafael Villar, interim Lord Vampire of London catches her and mistakes her for a vampire hunter. And that's when the fun begins.

Bleeding Heart Yard Paranormal Road Trip London

Bleeding Heart Yard
Originally part of Hatton Garden, the courtyard got its name from the murder of the second wife of Sir William Hatton. According to legend, Lady Hatton was dancing with a stranger and stepped outside with him to view the gardens. She never came back in and later she was discovered "torn limb from limb, but with her heart still pumping blood."

Paranormal Road Trip London

Hunterian Medical Museum
This one isn't haunted. Just creepy.  A museum was founded by the Royal College of Surgeons which displays the artifacts of Surgeon, John Hunter.
Lots of creepy stuff, which my heroine, Cassandra would doubtless find fascinating.
I'll let the images speak for themselves.

Spaniard's Inn Paranormal Road Trip London

The Spaniard's Inn
Since the hero in BITE AT FIRST SIGHT is known as “The Spaniard,” I had to include this one.

Built in 1585, the inn was a notorious hangout for highwaymen. In fact, it is said that the father of infamous highwayman, Dick Turpin, had been a landlord for a time. Down the road from the inn there used to be a tree where many highwaymen were hung.

The Inn got its name either from a visit from the Spanish Ambassador, or from two Spanish landlords who fell in love with the same woman and dueled over her. The loser of the duel is said to haunt the inn. Other ghosts mentioned are a woman in white and the spirit of Dick Turpin.

Romantic poets, Lord Byron and John Keats (both mentioned in my series) used to hang out there and allegedly, Keats penned my favorite poem , Ode to a Nightingale, in the gardens.

Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker also mentioned the Spaniard's Inn in their books.

Paranormal Road Trip London

Tower of London
Built by William the Conqueror in 1078, The Tower of London is considered to be one of the most haunted places in England. One of the first ghosts to be spotted there was Thomas Beckett, a priest who was murdered right at the Traitor's gate.

Other ghosts include Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Arbella Stuart, Princes Edward V and Richard (who'd mysteriously vanished in the tower until their skeletons were discovered beneath a staircase) and even whole squadrons of spectral soldiers.

Apparently the BBC filmed a paranormal investigation of the hauntings in the Tower back in 2001. I don't know about you, but I'm going to see if I can find it online or to rent somewhere!

Thank you Brooklyn Ann for giving us such a haunting tour of London!  

To learn more about Brooklyn Ann and her books, please visit her website.  You can add the Scandals with Bite series here on Goodreads.

Bite at First Site by Brooklyn Ann scandals with bite vampire romance

Have you ever experienced anything spooky in London?  I know that I had a few scares and thrills when visiting the Tower of London. *shivers*

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

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited London with Pippa DaCosta.  Next week we'll be traveling to Maradaine with Marshall Ryan Maresca.

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

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Q+A with Dan Wells (The Devil's Only Friend)

Q+A with Dan Wells The Devil's Only Friend dark urban fantasy

Please welcome today's guest author, Dan Wells!  Dan is the author of the John Cleaver dark urban fantasy series, including the new release THE DEVIL'S ONLY FRIEND.

Q+A with Dan Wells

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I started writing in elementary school--the stories I remember explicitly were in second grade, but I suppose I may have started as soon as I learned to write. I continued like that all the way up through high school, writing short stories and poems and comicbooks and even some attempts at long novels, but I didn't really take it seriously as a career until college, when a creative writing teacher told me that it was possible to make a living as an artist. No one had ever told me that before, and it changed my life.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

I started writing fantasy because I'd always been a reader of fantasy, so I never seriously considered writing something that didn't have a strong speculative or supernatural aspect to it. After five failed epic fantasy novels--my writing group always liked the writing, but never really dug the stories themselves--I decided to try my hand at a modern mystery about serial killers, because I've always been kind of an armchair expert in the subject, and love studying about them in my spare time. I put a supernatural monster in it because, well, that's what I love. Why wouldn't I put it in there? I don't know exactly what genre the John Cleaver books are--some call them horror, some call them urban fantasy, some call them thrillers, some call them paranormal--but I just write what I love and let other people put a label on it.

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

  I want to fly. I can think of a dozen or so powers of paranormal categories that would be more useful--how great would it be to read minds, or stop time, or shapeshift?--but flight is just way too cool to not choose. Just launching myself into the sky, free to go anywhere and swoop around and feel the wind rushing past me, that would be the best thing ever.

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

My new book is called The Devil's Only Friend, and it's the first in a new trilogy about John Cleaver, a teenage sociopath who hunts demons. There's a previous trilogy about him, starting with a book called I Am Not a Serial Killer, but this one's written so you can jump right in without feeling lost. I like to describe the series as "teenage Dexter in an X-Files episode," and it's a perfect fit for fans of things like Criminal Minds and Supernatural. The basic premise is this: John Cleaver is obsessed with serial killers, and has an innate skill in stalking people and planning how to kill them, and he uses that to help an FBI team hunt demons. The more they learn, though, they realize that some of the demons have noticed they're being hunted, and are starting to fight back....

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

  Funny you should ask, because the first book in the series, I Am Not a Serial Killer, was just filmed as a movie this Spring! They're working on editing and final effects right now, and the plan is to have a final edit done this fall, in time to submit to some of the major film festivals like Sundance and SXSW. The lead actors for that story are John, his mom, and his neighbor, who turns out to be the first demon John hunts; the actors are, respectively, Max Records, Laura Fraser, and Christopher Lloyd. If all goes well, we'll impress the festival crowds and get picked up for wide distribution, and be in theaters as early as fall of 2016. Fingers crossed.

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

The Devil's Only Friend John Cleaver horror urban fantasy by Dan Wells

The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver #4) by Dan Wells

John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they've killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he's always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can...

...but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war.

John doesn't want the life he's stuck with. He doesn't want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn't want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn't want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn't want to kill people. But as the song says, you can't always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.

When John again faces evil, he'll know what he has to do.
The Devil's Only Friend is the first book in a brand-new John Wayne Cleaver trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells.

Release Date: June 16, 2015
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads.

To learn more about Dan Wells and his books, please visit his website.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination London with Pippa DaCosta

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination London with Pippa DaCosta author of City of Fae

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

This week's stop is London and our special guide is Pippa DaCosta the author of CITY OF FAE.

Pippa's Top 3 Spooky Places in London

London is a city of many layers, and what you see on the surface is just a fraction of the city itself. Beneath the bustling streets, lying dormant and forgotten, old tube tunnels echo with phantom trains, disused and silent train stations adopt an apocalyptic air, and underground Victorian-gothic reservoirs hide a hidden beauty. So let’s descend below the streets and see what we find...

The London Underground’s Plague Pits & The Bank Station Ghost

The London Underground network is over 140 years old and used every day by thousands of people. You’d think, with that many people around, it wouldn’t be spooky, but it’s an odd place of tumultuous noise and a restless quiet between the ebb and flow of the trains and passengers.

The Victoria Line, built in 1960, ran into complications when the boring machine hit a ‘Plague Pit’ unearthing thousands of skeletons. When the Bubonic plague ravaged London in the 17th Century, huge pits were dug to bury the dead. Nobody truly knows where exactly they all are, and some are still being discovered. At the Depot on the Bakerloo Line, just behind the walls of a dead-end tunnel (used to stop runaway trains!) there lies another plague pit.

At Bank Station, the ‘Black Nun’ haunts the platform, searching for her brother, who was executed in 1811. Bank is another station, which during its construction, workers are said to have hit a plague pit. Today people report cold spots, odd smells and an overwhelming feeling of sadness at the station.

This is just a few of the many spooky sightings on the London Underground. So, the next time you visit the Underground, perhaps in that moment when an unnatural quiet befalls the platform, be aware, there are things behind the walls, almost close enough to reach out and touch you.

Highgate Cemetery

With more than 170,000 people buried here, Highgate Cemetery opened in 1839 to help ease the problem of where to bury London’s dead. Wealthy Victorian’s built vast gothic monuments and crypts in an effort to outdo one another in death. It is said that ghosts haunt its fringes, assaulting those who wander too close, and even a vampire stalks the leafy avenues.

The Tower of London

Perhaps one of the most spectacular and infamous places in London, and one of the most haunted. The headless ghost of Anne Boleyn has been reported at the site, as well as the two young princes, Edward V and his brother Richard who’s skeletons were discovered under a staircase at the White Tower. In life, the two princes were deemed illegitimate and sent to the tower. They vanished, allegedly murdered by their Uncle, the Duke of Gloucester.

These are just a handful of London’s spooky places. A city as old as London has many tales to tell.

In Pippa DaCosta’s new urban fantasy book, City of Fae, it’s not ghosts who reside beneath the city streets, but the alluring and predatory fae.

Thank you Pippa for giving us such a haunting tour of London!  

To learn more about Pippa DaCosta and her books, please visit her website.  You can add City of Fae here on Goodreads.

City of Fae by Pippa DaCosta paranormal urban fantasy London

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

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Malibu, CA with D.B. Reynolds.  Next week we'll be traveling to London with Brooklyn Ann.

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

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Q+A with Sharon Ashwood (Possessed by a Wolf)

Q+A with Sharon Ashwood author of Possessed by a Wolf paranormal romance

Please welcome today's guest author, Sharon Ashwood!  Sharon is the author of the Dark Forgotten Series and the Horsemen series, including her new release POSSESSED BY A WOLF.

Q+A with Sharon Ashwood

EJ:  When did you begin writing? 

I’ve always written for my own pleasure—I think I started on walls and moved to paper sometime in grade school. I began seriously writing novels with publication in mind about 10 or 12 years ago. The best thing I did was join a couple of critique groups.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre? 

  Stories to do with magic and the supernatural have always been my go-to books. I particularly like the collision between the supernatural and “normal” worlds—there is a great potential for both humor and conflict when realities collide. My natural style is just between paranormal romance and urban fantasy.  I seem to love chase scenes and blowing things up.

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

Hm. Maybe the ability to go for days without sleep?  Or make time stand still while I finally got some quiet hours to work?  All my desires seem to be about getting through my to-do list—maybe I really want to be The Flash!

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

Because my werewolf hero, Faran Kenyon, is adorable. He’s a definite alpha wolf, but he is funny and smart. Of all the heroes I’ve written, he’s the one I wouldn’t mind keeping for myself. For one thing, he is a trained chef and can pamper his guests with delicious meals. For another, he knows his jewelry. Well, he was a jewel thief once so if he goes to buy something for his lady love, he knows what he’s looking for.

I think what I like most about Faran is that he got a rough start in life but is better for it. Sure, he carries some scars, but he’s wise. There’s a lot to be said for someone who really knows himself and is ready to take on an honest, intense relationship, even if it’s a challenging one. 
And oh, he has to work for his happy ending in this story!

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

Jessica Chastain might be a good fit for Lexie Haven, the heroine. She’s got the long red hair and the same spark. Faran--definitely Chris Hemsworth.

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

Possessed by a Wolf by Sharon Ashwood paranormal romance

Possessed by a Wolf (Horsemen #3) by Sharon Ashwood.

Wolves mate for life… and wolves never forget their first love.

Royal photographer Lexie Haven wasn't expecting to see her ex-boyfriend Faran ever again. She could accept that he was a spy, but a werewolf? No way. No matter how good they had been together, she has very personal reasons for steering clear of monsters. That is, until he literally crashes into a royal gathering in all his furry glory—and with a gunman on his tail.

Within minutes of seeing each other again, the two estranged lovers are on a collision course. For now, Lexie is a prime suspect in the heist of a priceless ring, and only Faran can help her find the jewel and restore peace to the royal kingdom. But first, Lexie needs to trust in second chances and the supernatural.

Release Date: May 1, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Add to Goodreads.

To learn more about Sharon Ashwood and her books, please visit her website.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Malibu with D.B. Reynolds + Giveaway

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Malibu with D.B. Reynolds author of Vampires in America

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

This week's stop is Malibu, CA and our special guide is D.B. Reynolds author of the VAMPIRES IN AMERICA series.

Keep reading for a chance to win a Vampires in America book by D.B. Reynolds!

D.B.'s Top 5 Spooky Places in Malibu

1.  Leonis Adobe

We begin our haunted tour not in Malibu, but in Calabasas, a city passed by Cyn & Raphael and the gang every time they opt to take the freeway back home to Malibu. It also happens to be very close to my own house; it’s where my Starbuck’s is, and my Barnes Noble bookstore, too. But mostly we’re starting there because of Leonis Adobe, considered to be one of the most haunted sites in Los Angeles County. Right in the heart of Calabasas, it’s an historic site surrounded by hotels and restaurants, with a few longhorn cattle lazing in a dusty corral. The adobe was home to Miguel Leonis, who was a very successful and ruthless sheep baron in the mid 1800’s. Miguel died after imbibing a bit too generously—he felt off his wagon (no pun intended) and was crushed when it rolled over him. He is one of two ghosts who have been reported at the site, with the sound of boots dropping to floor in his upstairs bedroom, and a strong soap scent. Apparently Miguel was a clean fellow.

The more interesting ghost, however, is that of Miguel’s common law wife, Espiritu Chujilla. Espiritu owned half of what would become the Leonis Adobe ranch. Miguel wanted the property for himself, so he bought half and “married” Espiritu in order to acquire her share. Unfortunately when Miguel died, his will failed to acknowledge their marriage. He left only $10,000 (some say it was far less than that) to his “faithful housekeeper” Espiritu, and the rest to his siblings. Espiritu challenged the will—you go, girl!—and after a protracted and widely publicized court battle, she won half of the estate, then valued at $1 million, and this was in 1889! She lived in the house until her death, and there are many reported incidents of her haunting the house, ranging from passersby seeing her in a long, black dress on the balcony, to a friend of mine who attended a séance at the house, during which Espiritu spoke to her personally.

2.  Camarillo State Mental Hospital

Hopping on the 101 freeway, we take a detour to the north, in order to visit what was once Camarillo State Mental Hospital. Build in 1936, it housed thousands of patients, including children, and rumor says they endured shock treatment along with many other inhumane practices. The hospital closed in 1997, and is now part of a California State University campus, but witnesses tell all sorts of creepy stories, about moving objects, voices, windows slamming and strange knocking. It’s worth noting that former residents routinely referred to the hospital as “Hotel California” long before the Eagles’ hit song. And I can attest personally that if you listen on a very quiet day, you can still hear the screams of the patients.

3.  Las Virgenes Road/101 Freeway

But we’re heading for Malibu, so it’s back to the 101 freeway, moving south this time, so we can drop down to the Malibu coast. We stop briefly at the intersection of Las Virgenes and the 101 Freeway, which is the entrance to Malibu Canyon from the San Fernando Valley. This area is haunted by a man who was killed by a drunken driver, and by the driver himself who is said to have committed suicide over the event. If you catch the light just right, the accident replays, forcing drivers to swerve to miss a phantom white car.

4.  Malibu Creek State Park

Finally, we hit the beach and Malibu Creek State Park which is home to what everyone agrees is the very haunted Hunt House. Park rangers who live next door have reported hearing music on weekends, and feeling an eerie presence. It’s one of several structures standing in the park, including the other, even more haunted location, Blandings House. This house serves as a headquarters for park rangers, and they report regular levels of activity, including footsteps when no one is around, unexplained voices, scents of coffee and cigars, and lights that inexplicably turn on and off. And these are park rangers, guys—not dope smoking hippies!

5.  The Vampire Condo

Continuing north, we end our tour at the one-time home of yours truly. These condos, sitting on the sands of Malibu beach, were once home to the very vampire who inspired Vampires in America. There’s the balcony where I used to sit in the moonlight and dream of powerful and beautiful paranormal creatures. The balcony where one night, my tall, dark and handsome next door neighbor—never seen in daylight—emerged to tell me in his midnight voice all about vampires, while the silver of his eyes reflected the shifting mercury of the moonlit ocean. I started writing furiously . . . and never saw him again.

Thank you D.B. for giving us such a haunting tour of Malibu!  

To learn more about D.B. Reynolds and her books, please visit her website.  You can add the Vampires in America series here on Goodreads.

Deception Vampires in America paranormal romance by D.B. Reynolds

Vampires in America Giveaway

We are giving away winner's choice of ebook from the Vampires in America series by D.B. Reynolds.

To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post and include your email address so that we may contact you if you win.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends June 30, 2015.

What did you think of D.B.'s picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Clifton Heights, NY with Kevin Lucia.  Next week we'll be traveling to London with Pippa DaCosta.

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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

E.J. Stevens at Authors After Dark Atlanta 2015

E.J. Stevens at Authors After Dark AAD Atlanta 2015

I am SO excited to announce that I will be attending Authors After Dark 2015: Hijinx in Hotlanta this summer. The full event runs from Wednesday, August 12th through the morning of Sunday, August 16th, BUT there is a special 2 Day Ticket available for Friday and Saturday.

This is an AMAZING book event featuring your favorite authors, including Sherrilyn Kenyon, Suzanne Johnson, and Cathy Clamp!

Come party with us in Atlanta!

Parties, TWO balls (Tiara Ball and Bump in the Night Ball), panels, book signing with over 100 authors...you don't want to miss this.

Registration includes four meals with the authors (yes, we're crazy, but we don't bite!), the balls, panels, signing, and tons of free books and swag.

I hope to see you there!

Are you going to AAD 2015?  If so, let me know in the comments.  I'll be setting up meetup times to geek out with my readers and blogger friends. I'll also have free signed postcards, free Dropcards with audiobook samples, and free Shadow Sight ebooks for everyone who stops by my table.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Q+A with Tina Connolly (Seriously Wicked)

Q+A with Tina Connolly (Seriously Wicked)

Please welcome today's guest author Tina Connolly!  Tina is the author of SERIOUSLY WICKED.

Q+A with Tina Connolly

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

I didn't really start writing till after college. I ended up on night shift in a call center which meant that A) I couldn't do theatre, and B) there was a lot of downtime. I joined forces with a couple other folks in the call center and we started a critique group. Which meant I had to write stories for the critique group to crit. I remember it being hugely hard for a long time. As an inveterate bookworm, I had a lot of knowledge about what a good story/book looked like, and zero knowledge of how to make one. So there was a big disconnect as I struggled to write something as good as the things I loved reading.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

You know, a lot of Seriously Wicked probably came out of my love for funny YA stories (Ellen Conford was one of my big author crushes growing up.) But of course one of my big loves is fantasy, so even the funny YA story had to have some witches in it. ;)

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

It would definitely be some sort of teleportation or flying. I loathe driving and am not terribly fond of airports either, but I have family and friends all around the world I wish I could see more often. If only I could pop in and out for tea (or cocktails!)

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

  Well! It's a lighthearted book about a girl who's stuck living with a wicked witch. It's a fast, fun read, full of dragons in garages and demon-infested boy-band boys, so in my quite humble opinion it would be perfectly delightful for whiling away any time you need whiled away.

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

  Oh, you know what, I coincidentally actually just answered this over at My Book, The Movie.  I came up with Kiernan Shipka as our plucky heroine Cam, and Rila Fukushima as head girl Sparkle, among others.

Also, I totally imagine witch Sarmine as Meryl Streep from The Devil Wears Prada, right down to that fabulously perfect haircut.

I'm a little stuck on the perfect boy-band boy though – if it were ten years ago I'd go with Zac Efron for the acting/singing/comedy chops, but I'm not sure whom to cast now. He needs to be able to switch between sweet boy-band boy and cold-hearted (but Elvis-imitating) demon on a dime. Suggestions...? :D

Thank you Tina for joining us today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Tina Connolly and her books, please visit her website and you can learn more about Seriously Wicked below.

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one.

Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch.

Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose—and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.

Now Cam’s suddenly got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.

To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch...will that mean she’s wicked too?

Release Date: May 5, 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads.

Do you have a question for Tina Connolly?  Ask away in the comments section. We love comments!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Audiobook Release + Giveaway: Blood and Mistletoe

We're celebrating the audiobook release of BLOOD AND MISTLETOE with a fabulous giveaway.

Just in time for Audiobook Month!

Audiobook Release Blood and Mistletoe by E.J. Stevens urban fantasy Ivy Granger series

Blood and Mistletoe (Ivy Granger #1.5) by E.J. Stevens, narrated by Melanie A. Mason and David-Wilson Brown.

Holidays are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many of the residents are bloodsucking vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may prove deadly.

Ivy Granger, psychic private investigator, returns to the streets of Harborsmouth in this addition to the bestselling urban fantasy series.

Holidays are Hell, a point driven home when a certain demon attorney returns with information regarding a series of bloody murders. Five Harborsmouth residents have been killed and every victim has one thing in common—they are fae. Whoever is killing faeries must be stopped, but they only leave one clue behind—a piece of mistletoe floating in a pool of the victim's blood.

The holidays just got interesting. Too bad this case may drive Ivy mad before the New Year. Heck, she'll be lucky to survive Christmas.

Genre:  Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads.

Now available in audiobook at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes!

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.

About the Author

E.J. Stevens author of the Ivy Granger urban fantasy series.

E.J. Stevens is the author of the SPIRIT GUIDE young adult paranormal romance series, the HUNTERS' GUILD urban fantasy series, and the award-winning IVY GRANGER urban fantasy series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

When E.J. isn't at her writing desk, she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

About the Narrators

Melanie Mason voice actress narrator Blood and Mistletoe

Melanie A. Mason:  There has never been a moment when Melanie Mason wasn’t interested in telling a story, either one of hers or someone else’s. She is an accomplished Actor, Director, Audiobook Narrator and Voice-Over Artist. Her voice work includes Web Spokesperson, anime, commercial and film. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance and an MS in Information Science, with a focus on Storytelling. She has been a University faculty member for over a decade teaching Communication Studies and Broadcast Communication.

David Wilson Brown voice actor narrator Blood and Mistletoe

David Wilson-Brown:  Actor, director, and audiobook narrator David Wilson-Brown has been a storyteller since he can remember.  His numerous credits range from stage, to film, to voice-over work for numerous anime and live action projects.  He received his B.F.A. in performance and his M.F.A. in acting.

Blood and Mistletoe Audiobook Giveaway

We are giving away a BLOOD AND MISTLETOE audiobook download, signed postcard, and button to one lucky winner!

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Audiobook available to anyone who can download books from Audible.com.  Giveaway ends June 30th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy Audiobook Month!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Clifton Heights with Kevin Lucia

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Clifton Heights with Kevin Lucia

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

This week's stop is Clifton Heights, NY and our special guide is Kevin Lucia author of THROUGH A MIRROR, DARKLY and THINGS SLIP THROUGH.

Kevin's Top 5 Spooky Places in Clifton Heights

Clifton Heights, New York – the Adirondack town of Things Slip Through, Devourer of Souls, and Through A Mirror, Darkly.

Clifton Heights is a modestly sized Adirondack town between Old Forge and Inlet.  Two miles past Old Forge, you take a left off NYS Route 28 North onto Route 79 East, and you’re in Clifton Heights after a twenty minute drive. The Heights is one of the minor mountain ranges of the Adirondacks – definitely no comparison to White Face or Blue Face Mountain – but still picturesque in that uniquely recognizable Adirondack way.  Clifton Lake is just big enough to offer fishing and swimming for the locals, not big enough to attract too many tourists.

Main Street in Clifton Heights is lined with the sorts of local-run shops and eateries you’d expected in a town like this.  We certainly aren’t a tourist-magnet like Old Forge or Lake George, but we’d like to think we offer our best face to everyone who visits. We pride ourselves on our appearance, while retaining our own unique identity.

The Adirondacks, of course, is rife with stories of haunted places, and Clifton Heights is no exception. In fact, it could even be said that Clifton Heights has some of the most ghostly locations in all of Adirondack Park.  According to a town survey The Tribune took last Halloween, here are the top five most “ghostly” locations in Clifton Heights.

Old Webb Clifton Heights Paranormal Road Trip

5. Old Webb
Old Webb  - as it’s affectionately called by the locals – was formerly a primary school in the Webb County School District, about five miles outside Clifton Heights town proper. Back in the seventies, it was closed due to “low enrollment” and “district rezoning,” though many have found that explanation to be suspicious over the past few decades. Even more oddly, the school was closed with a rapidity bordering on mass evacuation. Stories abound of entire classrooms full of desks being left behind, as if one day, the entire school simply walked out en masse.
Several attempts to re-task the building failed. It stands empty and abandoned, and is a known party location for teenagers on Saturday nights over the summers. Though there’ve been no recent reports of hauntings, the story of Old Webb’s closing still raises eyebrows, as folks wonder if something else besides “low enrollment” led to the school’s demise.

Ampitheater Raedeker Park Clifton Heights Paranormal Road Trip

4. Ampitheater, Raedeker Park
In the eighties, Raedeker Park had an outdoor amphitheater and bandstand which played home to concerts, plays, and the weekly summer movie. Over the past ten years, however, it has fallen into disuse and disrepair.  Rumor has it that a ghostly presence started making itself known during the early nineties; a woman singing a mournful tune too soft to make out. The official story from the Town Board is simply that for now, restoration expenses aren’t cost effective, but stories still circulate that over the summers, if you happen to wander over to the amphitheater ruins after visiting Raedeker Park Zoo, you might very well hear a mournful woman singing a soft tune.

Abandoned Gazebo Clifton Heights Paranormal Road Trip

3. abandoned gazebo, Bassler Road
On Bassler Road, just past the Commons Trailer Park and before old Bassler House are the remains of what was once a wonderfully maintained flower garden and koi pond. Years ago, the owner, an elderly Vietnamese man named Mr. Trung, was found floating face down in the koi pond, an apparent victim of death by heatstroke. All that remains of the garden today is the overgrown pond and the old, tattered gazebo at its center.
Though children of all ages make yearly pilgrimages to old Bassler House, no one ever goes near the gazebo, despite its rather innocuous appearance. Stories tell, however, of people driving by the gazebo at night and seeing a dull, greenish haze drifting up from the koi pond, as well as a shadowy form lurching toward the gazebo. Those who live nearby will swear that on a certain night every summer, what sounds like thousands of bull frogs rumble from the koi pond and the gazebo.

Bassler Road Clifton Heights Paranormal Road Trip

2. Bassler Road
Bassler Road, which leads out of town to the interstate, mostly owes its reputation to the 1992 disappearance of a local girl, Jenny Tillman, eighteen years old. After a fight with her mother, Jenny Tillman packed a bag and stormed out of their trailer in the Commons Trailer Park on Bassler Road. She was never seen or heard from again. Since then, stories have circulated of a lonely girl in white hitching alongside Bassler Road. Coincidentally, the number of fatal car accidents on Bassler Road over the years – even before Jenny’s disappearance - seems excessive.  There have also been reports of a strange, shadowy male figure hitching alongside Bassler Road, but in all the cases, the tellers were warned off picking up this hitcher by some deap-seated, primal fear.

Bassler House Clifton Heights Paranormal Road Trip

1. Bassler House
Bassler House is a run-down Victorian farmhouse sitting in the middle of a long-fallow corn field off Bassler Road, outside town. Unoccupied since the mid-fifties, when Harold Bassler (a linguistics professor at Utica College) and his wife Marge disappeared without a trace, it has become the epitome of the “small town spook house.”
Legends abound of strange lights and sounds coming from the old house at night, and dozens of tales of its haunting have been passed down over the generations, told second and third hand from adolescents and teenagers who have dared explore its ruins. In the eighties, a local boy fell through a rotted floor to his death, and in the nineties, two brothers vanished without a trace the night they  bragged to friends of going to Bassler House to look for “nudie books left by them football players always partyin there.” Despite the tales, Bassler House remains a favorite sight for daring, intrepid youth and teenagers.

Thank you Kevin for giving us such a haunting tour of Clifton Heights!  

To learn more about Kevin Lucia and his books, please visit his website.  You can add his books here on Goodreads.

Through a Mirror, Darkly by Kevin Lucia

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

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited San Francisco, CA with Celia Breslin.  Next week we'll be traveling to Malibu, CA with D.B. Reynolds.

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

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Q+A with Linda Grimes (The Big Fix)

Q+A with Linda Grimes (The Big Fix)

Please welcome today's guest author, Linda Grimes!  Linda is the author of the In a Fix series, including THE BIG FIX.

Q+A with Linda Grimes

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I wrote my first novel when I was eleven. Pure fanfiction, before I even knew what fanfiction was. At the time, I was obsessed with Trixie Belden mysteries. Likewise anything to do with horses. So, naturally, I combined my passions and wrote Trixie Belden and the Kentucky Derby Mystery. The "mystery" concerned bad guys drugging the racehorses to make them run faster. Such a sophisticated (or perhaps "jaded" is a better word for it) thought for an eleven-year-old. Alas, there wasn't much of a market for fifty pages of painstakingly handwritten words, no matter how faithful to the Trixie Belden universe. It was doomed from the start to a life sentence in the drawer.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

It's funny, but all that "paranormal" stuff just feels normal to me. It's "normalcy" that seems off-kilter somehow. (I suspect I have an odd mind.) So, when it came to telling stories, it just seemed "normal" to go "para." 

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

  Naturally enough, I'd jump at the chance to be an aura adaptor, like my characters. Being able to look exactly like another person—at will—strikes me as a handy ability to have, in a multitude of situations. Especially on a bad-hair day, or when my jeans are feeling a tad snug.

Barring that, I would love to be invisible. Well, maybe not all the time—that would probably get old fast. But being able to disappear whenever I wanted … now, that would be cool. It appeals to my nosy-but-introverted nature.

Or, you know, super-strength, so I could beat the snot out of anyone who ticks me off. Not that I'm *cough* violent or anything in real life. But as long as we're fantasizing …

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release, The Big Fix.

  Um … would it be terribly ill-bred to quote Publishers Weekly? I like how they put it:
“Self-referential humor combines beautifully with fast-paced action and suspense. The warm, merry vibe of Ciel’s large family and the continuity from previous books are simply added bonuses to the exceptionally well-told story.”  —Publishers Weekly, starred review for The Big Fix

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

  This is always a tough one for me to answer, because no actor I know of looks exactly like Ciel, Billy, or Mark. But there are "types" that come close.

Hannah Spearritt (from the British TV show Primeval) reminds me of Ciel, in both build and spunky personality. Or possibly Britt Robertson (from the TV show The Secret Circle). In any case, someone petite, who exudes terrier-like determination and spirit, would be an ideal fit.

Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries) and Matt Bomer (White Collar) are dark-haired, blue-eyed charmers like Billy. They both have that certain sense of fun and mischief a good Billy-type demands.

Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), with short hair, could play the intense, dark-blond CIA agent, Mark—infuriatingly alpha, but with a gentle side that peeks out occasionally.

Of course, to be truly certain (about the guys especially), I'd have to interview them in person. Strictly for *ahem* professional purposes. 

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

To learn more about Linda Grimes and her books, please visit her website.  You can learn more about her new release,The Big Fix, below.

The Big Fix by Linda Grimes

The Big Fix (In a Fix #3) by Linda Grimes

Linda Grimes’s sexy and hilarious urban fantasy series that began with In a Fix and Quick Fix continues in The Big Fix.

Aura adaptor extraordinaire Ciel Halligan, who uses her chameleon-like abilities to fix her clients’ problems—as them—is filling in on set for action superstar Jackson Gunn, whose snake phobia is standing in the way of his completing his latest mega-millions Hollywood blockbuster. There’s only one thing Jack fears more than snakes, and that's the possibility of his fans finding out he screams at the sight of one. Going from hero to laughing stock isn’t part of his career plan.

Seems like a simple enough job to Ciel, who doesn’t particularly like snakes, but figures she can tolerate an afternoon with them, for the right price—which Jack is offering, and then some. What she doesn’t count on is finding out that while she was busy wrangling snakes for him, his wife was busy getting killed. When Ciel goes to break the sad news to the star, she finds out Jack was AWOL from her client hideaway at the time of the murder.

Ciel begins to suspect Jack’s phobia was phony, and that he only hired her to provide him with an alibi—but if she goes to the police, she’ll have to explain how she knows he wasn’t really on set. Up against a wall, Ciel calls on her best-friend-turned-love-interest Billy, and her not-so-ex-crush Mark, to help her set up the sting of a lifetime.

Release Date:  May 12, 2015
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination San Francisco with Celia Breslin

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination San Francisco with Celia Breslin

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 Francisco, California and our special guide is Celia Breslin author of the TRANQUILLI BLOODLINE urban fantasy series.

Celia's Top 5 Spooky Places in San Francisco

I love my hometown of San Francisco.  It’s a beautiful combo of nature and architecture, has some of the nicest weather all year round (I’m including the awesome fog in that assessment!), excellent cuisine, abundant arts, and more.

For the lover of the paranormal, there are a ton of spooky spots to explore, some of which make an appearance in my vampire series, The Tranquilli Bloodline. Here are my top five picks for your road trip pleasure.   Enjoy!

1. The Armory – Located in the Mission District, this 200,000 square foot reproduction of a Moorish Castle was constructed in the early 1900s and used by the San Francisco National Guard. Today, it’s owned by an adult entertainment company. Tours are available for all five floors of this historic building (including the production studios).  My favorite floor by far is the wonderfully creepy basement:  a vast, cavernous space with visible remnants of its days as an armory (indoor rifle range!). Mission creek runs through the basement floor in the exposed concrete, adding to the spooky vibe.

2. Alcatraz Island – Also known as “The Rock,” Alcatraz sits in the San Francisco Bay, and is home to a large seabird population, the West Coast’s oldest functional lighthouse, and, of course, the infamous maximum, high-security prison, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. You can guess the spookiest part, right? They say ghost of ex-cons haunt the prison. Take a nighttime tour and let them shut you in a one of the 9ft by 5ft cells…if you dare.  ::shiver::

3.  Sutro Baths, Ocean Beach – Once upon a time (1896), this bathhouse was the world’s largest, indoor swimming facility. Located near Ocean Beach and below Cliff House, Sutro Baths burned to the ground in 1966 (arson). Today, you can hike around the ruins then venture into the spookiest spot of all: the cave. For the best spine tingling experience, try it at night, when the fog swirls and the wind whips and wails, and the waves crash over the beach. Some say if you light a candle and leave it in the tunnel, a ghost will pick it up and fling it into the ocean…

4.  Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park – Modeled after NYC’s Central Park, Golden Gate Park is a gorgeous expanse of greenery in San Francisco. It’s also the most visited park in the U.S. Located west of the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden, Stow Lake is a great spot for picnics and a boat ride. If you venture there at nighttime, beware of the lake’s resident ghost, the White Lady. Barefoot and dressed in a white dress, rumor has it she lost her baby in the lake then drowned herself in the early 1900s. There’s also a statue near the lake of a woman and two small children. They say it moves when the White Lady is on the prowl.

5. Mission Dolores Cemetery – What’s spookier than a cemetery? Mission Dolores Cemetery is the oldest burial ground in San Francisco and the resting place of city founders, criminals, and thousands of First Californians (the Ohlone). It’s also one of the locations in Hitchcock’s 1958 classic film, “Vertigo.” You’ll find the cemetery next to the oldest building in San Francisco, Mission Dolores. Tour both, but don’t be surprised if the hairs on your nape stand at attention as you wander through the cemetery gardens, among the ancient tombstones and silent sentinel statues. Spooky energy, even on a sunny day…

Happy Spooky Travels!

Thank you Celia for giving us such a haunting tour of San Francisco!  

To learn more about Celia Breslin and her books, please visit her website.  You can add her Tranquilli Bloodline vampire series here on Goodreads.

Haven Tranquilli Bloodline by Celia Breslin

Have you visited San Francisco?  Ever experience anything of the supernatural kind in and around San Francisco?

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

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Boston, MA with Nancy Holzner.  Next week we'll be traveling to Clifton Heights, NY with Kevin Lucia.

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