Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Human Element by Donna Galanti: Interview, review, & Excerpt


One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.


Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test.


With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.
Purchase A HUMAN ELEMENT here:

Felix ran from the cabin toward the trail down. "Come on!"      
Ben followed close behind, panic hitting him. Why did Laura leave? They were here to help defend her. Damn her! He never should have left her alone.
"Felix, why didn't you see this happening?"
"I did."
Ben grabbed the back of Felix's coat and lunged at him. Felix turned on one heel and swung his arm out, holding Ben off like a child.
Ben struggled to break free. "What is wrong with you? Why didn't you stop her? She's gonna die. I need to protect her."
"This is the only way, Ben. Trust me."
"She's the one person I've cared about in a long, long time. Please, don't let her die."
Felix released him. "I don't intend to. Now come on."
Felix turned away and ran fast down the trail. His massive body moved nimble over the rugged ground. He looked like a giant, dark beast lunging toward its prey. Ben could only run after him. There was nothing else he could do.
They hadn't run far when a deafening blast pushed them to the ground. The cabin exploded behind them in flames. Fire devoured old wood and metal, dancing upward toward the sky. The heat grabbed at them with fiery intensity. Ben could feel it burning his face and hands.
"Laura," he whispered, stunned by the violence aimed at them. Their enemy was real. And he was here. Felix and Ben turned and both ran faster down the mountain, lunging down the trail, grabbing branches to push themselves along.
Felix had to be right. Please, let Felix be right.  

5 Stars

I was surprised at how easily I was sucked into the story.  On the surface, it is an easy read that flows well even with the jumps back and forth between the past and the future.  Laura Armstrong and Ben Fieldstone are fully-realized characters that are likable and easy to root for.  Both have faced so much tragedy and loss in life yet still retain their basic goodness, regardless.  They demonstrate repeatedly that life’s knocks can never destroy the essence of goodness they each hold inside.   The monster X-10 is truly terrifying, evil, and yet tormented.  As bad as he is, there was a little piece of him that yearns only to be accepted and loved….he dreams of being a normal guy. Charlie.  There were times when I wished he could escape the prison of his condition, even though mostly the raw baseness of his actions made me revile him. Felix is another delightful addition to an already exceptional cast of characters. He is a shadowy presence and, like X-10 and Laura, is able to wield extraordinary power.

Is it truly just a roll of the dice that we are all born as we are?  Does the circumstance of our birth pre-determine the nurturing (or lack thereof) that will be afforded to us?  Indeed, the whole question of nature verses nurture brings yet another layer of complexity to this infinitely intriguing tale. 

This book is suspenseful, filled with action, and allows us to bear witness to a richly woven tapestry of actions and consequences. What havoc ensues when chance and fate collide? This novel is thought-provoking and incredibly entertaining. Also, it is exciting and uniquely original in concept. The characters linger in my memory. 

This book was provided to me by the author. I have received no other compensation and my thoughts are my own.

Reviewed by Laurie-J


Tell us about your next release.
Book 2, A Hidden Element, is more murder and mystery with a dash of steam! When one family’s son is taken, they learn it’s by the same unearthly evil that brutalized them fifteen years ago. In a race to find their son's kidnapper, they discover his horrifying mission that binds them all together and must sacrifice all again to defeat a new, terrifying enemy–an enemy that wants to rule the world, with their son as his heir.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
How dark and deviant I am, and that I like it.

What was the scariest moment of your life?
The day I said goodbye to my mother on her deathbed, and knew I would never share life with this amazing person ever again.

Have you attended a high school reunion? What did you learn?
That I’m still a loser and still afraid of nuns.

New York or LA? Why?
Neither. Need to be alone in the country with quiet and nature. One friend used to called me Ted Kaczynski because I moved to an old farm in the middle of nowhere in my 20s.


Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.

Hardest. Job. Ever.


Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extrovert? Why?
Extrovert. Which is funny. I love to be social but crave to be alone. Typical Jeckyll and Hyde Gemini.


What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m a rebel. Buck authority big time. Probably why me and the Navy didn’t work out long term. And why the nuns in high school were always calling me down to the office.

Donna Galanti is an ITW Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A HUMAN ELEMENT (Echelon Press). She’s lived from England as a child to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. If she couldn’t write she would bike, hike, and kayak every day. Donna lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs but sadly no ghosts. 

Connect with Donna here:

Reviewers are saying about A HUMAN ELEMENT:

“Be afraid. Be very afraid. And be utterly absorbed by this riveting debut that had me reading till the wee hours of the night. A thriller star is born. Don’t miss A Human Element.” – International Bestselling Author M.J. Rose

“A Human Element is an elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart. Highly recommended.” – Jonathan Maberry, New YorkTimes best-selling author of ASSASSIN’S CODE and DEAD OF NIGHT

Enter for a chance to win a digital copy of A Human Element.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
Follow the author on Twitter for another bonus entry.
Giveaway ends September 29th 11:59 PM Central Time.


nrlymrtl said...

This book sounds pretty interesting. You picked the perfect excerpt as it is a cliff hanger! With explosions.

To Ms. Galanti: I find it amusing that stinkbugs are acceptable and ghosts are missed.

laura thomas said...

It is great to see someone else loving this story as much as I did. I can't wait to read more of her books. Your review is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing. Hi Donna! It is nice to see your hard work recognized by such an awesome review. I am waiting for the continuation!!

DonnaGalanti said...

Hi Laurie, this was so fun to be on your blog again! Thanks for sharing the excerpt and for reading and reviewing A HUMAN ELEMENT. I really appreciate your time and for being such a gracious hostess. -Donna

DonnaGalanti said...

Nrlymrtl, your comment made me laugh! Yes, the neverending stink bugs here in PA are a fact of life. They are sluggish in the winter and fly around in the winter. I grew up in an old house with a ghost, so fully anticipated one in the old house I live in now. Perhaps, my ghost radar is off now that I'm an old lady :)

Laura, thanks for your sweet words! I literally just wrote THE END on the sequel 2 weeks ago so now on to editing! I hope you wont have to wait too long. :)

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

Sounds like this book is a combination of murder mystery and disaster story, both genres I like a lot. Guess I'll need to get a copy and read it. Thanks for the chance to win it!

Catherine Stine said...

Nice feature & interview. I've read this thriller and really liked it. Will tweet this review for you guys!

DonnaGalanti said...

Thanks for stopping by Catherine and for the mention - and the tweet!

And anyone here seeking a fantastic YA futuristic thriller check out Catherine Stine's FIRESEED ONE.

Teresa Thompson said...

Sounds like an exciting book. Right up my alley.
Thanks for the review and giveaway!