Saturday, September 8, 2012

Special Offers by M.L. Ryan : Guest Post, Interview & Excerpt






Hailey Parrish is quick-witted, irreverent, and hasn’t had a date in three years. She only wanted an eBook reader because her collection of paperbacks threatened to take over her small living space. Little did she know that the "special offers" that prompted the purchase included much more than a reduced price in exchange for a few ads. The device came pre-loaded with the essence of Sebastian Kess, an erudite womanizer with magical abilities from a parallel dimension. When she inadvertently releases him and he inhabits her body, she finally has a man inside her, just not in the way she imagined. And soon her predicament introduces her to yet another supernatural, the handsome could-be-the-man-of-her-dreams Alex Sunderland. Can Alex and Hailey find a way to return Sebastian to his own body, stay one step ahead of the criminals who want to keep him where he is, and not lose their sense of humor?







Today, it's my pleasure to welcome M.L. Ryan.  We're going to talk more about her book Special Offers and give you some scintillating samples and a chance to win a free copy, too, so stick around.....


Tell us about your book, Special Offers.
 
Special Offers is the first book in the Coursodon Dimension series.  The main character, Hailey Parrish, is quick-witted, irreverent, and hasn’t had a date in the three years since she divorced her philandering husband.
 
When I finally fell asleep, I dreamt I went on my first post-divorce date. The guy took me to a fancy restaurant, ordered lots of food and expensive wine and then ditched me for the voluptuous hostess. I was presented with the check but lacked any means of paying it. After negotiating a payment plan with the restaurant owner, which involved allowing him to indulge his foot fetish with my pinkie toes and some flavored whipped cream, I left the place and got into my car, which was really weird, because my date drove.
There in the parking lot were dine-and-dash and the hostess, groping each other with utter abandon. I revved up the engine, threw the car into drive and peeled out towards them. The headlights illuminated their stunned faces as I spun the car sharply, rolled down the window and chucked a lit Molotov cocktail - made from the empty wine bottle from dinner - at them and sped off humming the theme to “The Lion King.”
I woke up thinking I must be making progress. Usually in my dreams I ran them over after I set them on fire.
 
Her life is turned upside-down when she is inhabited by the essence of Sebastian Kess, a magically-inclined, supernatural being from another dimension who was trapped in her Kindle.  This predicament also introduces her to yet another supernatural, the handsome could-be-the-man-of-her-dreams, Alex Sunderland.
 
He looked at me with a thoughtful expression, as if he was trying to come up with the right words in answer to my questions. Finally, he said, “There’s really no simple way to tell you what I need to tell you…”
“Sure there is,” I interrupted. “Just blurt it out.”
“It’s very complicated and will require you to change the entire way you view your world. I can’t just blurt it out.”
I couldn’t imagine what he might tell me that would be so transformational. “Look, I’m hearing voices and I freaked out in front of essentially a complete stranger. This has been one of the worst days of my life and I’m not in the mood for this. Stop being so damn dramatic, Alex, and just give me the short version.”
“Sebastian is a powerful, magical being from another dimension whose essence was transferred to you through your Kindle.”
The nice thing about thinking that you are losing it is that you can just chalk up things like what Alex just blurted out to your insanity. I decided that, at least for the time being, I would accede to my wacked out psyche and play along.
“I changed my mind,” I replied finally. “I want the long version instead.”
Alex’s mouth curved into a small smile. “The world you know is not the only world that exists. Sebastian and I come from another plane, if you will, where the people have what you would consider magical abilities.”
“Uh-huh,” I murmured, not bothering to mask my skepticism. “Can you make something disappear?”
As soon as the words left my lips, the chair upon which Alex was sitting was gone. Even more remarkable, perhaps, was that he was still in exactly the same position as before the dematerialization occurred. Okay then. And then the chair reappeared. And Alex hadn’t moved a muscle.
I should have been able to come up with something witty in response to his demonstration. Or at the very least some comment loaded with my usual snark. But all that came to mind was “Whoa.”
 
Alex and Hailey must find a way to return Sebastian to his own body, stay one step ahead of the criminals who want to keep him where he is, and not lose their sense of humor in the process.
While I pondered the philosophical ramifications of Alex’s comments, Sebastian decided to insert himself into the conversation.
“Alexander has always been so cerebral about such things. Change occurs whether one accepts it or not. The only difference is how much energy one expends during the journey.”
“Sebastian says you’re over thinking the whole stubborn human thing.”
Alex chortled softly. “Sebastian is uncomfortable with the complexities of life.”
“He is mistaken, my dearest Hailey. I revel in complexity. It is the complicated that I abhor. Complex implies order with intricacy. Complicated involves convolution. Those are the subtleties that Alexander does not embrace.”
I was beginning to get tired of repeating what Sebastian was saying to me back to Alex. “Hey, don’t get me in the middle of some metaphysical pissing contest,” I complained. “It’s bad enough having someone else’s voice in my head; I can’t be expected to be Sebastian’s official spokesperson. You guys want to debate the fine distinctions between words and concepts, do it when you are hooked up and leave me out of it.”
“Of course, do forgive me. But please try to not get those lovely pink lace panties of yours in a wad over it.”
“My pink lace panties?” I sputtered.
“I’m sorry, is that not the proper terminology, panties in a wad? Modern slang can be so cumbersome.”
Now that he brought it up, I had put on a fuchsia thong after the shower incident. “How did you…wait, you said you were too gallant to look.”
“I said I’m not a degenerate, I didn’t say I lack normal masculine proclivities. I admit, I peeked. But you should not be self-conscious, my dear, you are quite lovely. And that’s truly a great compliment, considering I have been with thousands of women.”
 
In one sentence, why should we read Special Offers?  It has action, suspense, humor, sass, romance, magical beings and chinchilla-milk cheese.
Chinchilla-milk cheese?  How does that fit into the story?  You’ll have to read it to find out!
Lol!!  I will have to do that!  :)   Thanks so much for stopping in.  This has been a lot of fun!

 
 
 
Scientist by day, paranormal romance-urban fantasy author by night, M.L. Ryan has many stories rolling around in her head, and she finally decided to write some of them. She prefers literature that isn't saddled with excruciating symbolism, ponderous dialogue or worldly implications. She also doesn't like plots so reliant on love at first sight that it makes her feel like her head might implode. She lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and teenage son, four cats, two dogs and two adopted desert tortoises.




 
 

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Giveaway ends October 6th 11:59 PM Central Time.
 



 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Humanless by Teodora Kostova: Interview & Excerpt



The Gods are trying to kill her.
The Gods are trying to protect her.
The Gods will fall at her feet.

When Ava - a 18-year-old student from a wealthy family - meets Blake, she is stunned by his extraordinary beautiful appearance and unexpected rudeness. Little did she know, that he is Ares – the God of War himself, sent down to Earth to kill her. Something else she doesn’t know – he’s human and he has no intention of fulfilling his mission.
 
 
 

“If you even think about hurting anybody else ever again remember this moment. Remember that I spared your life. And don’t make me regret it,” said Blake and threw the man to the ground in disgust. He immediately stood up and ran. Blake turned around to face Ava who had wrapped her arms around herself and was shivering uncontrollably, more from shock than cold. He took off his jacket, draped it over her shoulders and, on an impulse, pulled her towards him and hugged her. She rested her head right under his shoulder and willed herself to stop shivering. 

“Did I scare you?” he asked. 

“No,” she replied. “I knew you were a show-off already.” He felt her smiling against his skin. He smiled too. 

“Nothing good ever comes from running away from me,” Blake said, referring to her storming out of the restaurant. Ava smiled again and felt her whole body relax against his. Sensing that, his arms tightened around her and she could hear his heartbeat quicken. “Come on, let’s get you home safely,” he said and she reluctantly separated herself from him. 

* * * 

The front door opened and Jason walked in, red faced and still puffing from his morning run. He passed by the two girls in the kitchen, opened the fridge and almost gulped an entire bottle of water in one go. They both stared at him because he looked quite sexy in his running gear, all sweaty and drinking water in a pose out of Men’s fitness magazine. 

“What’s up?” he asked after finishing the water and smiling at the girls. 

“Oh, nothing,” said Ava. “Posy’s got a date with my tutor,” she continued, smiling at Jason and fully enjoying Posy’s horrified look. 

“And Ava went on a date with a possibly very dangerous psychopath, enjoyed it, got attacked and almost killed somebody!” said Posy in revenge and walked away from the kitchen. Jason stood still for a moment processing the information. 

“You girls have very eventful lives,” he said at last and walked upstairs to get a shower. 

Tell us about your current release.

It’s the first book of a new paranormal YA series called Humanless, aimed at older readers. It’s set in London, for the most part, and it’s inspired by Greek mythology. But it’s not your usual myths and tales. I’ve changed and mixed them up so much, you won’t even recognize them.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story makes you feel. It doesn’t matter if it makes you laugh, cry or shout, or if you want to throw the book against the wall. If it extracts a strong reaction – it’s a good story.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career? Do they read your stuff?

The only person that reads my stuff is my sister who’s constantly nagging me to sit down and write because I have a huge tendency to procrastinate. My husband has never read anything I’ve written for some inexplicable reason. I might have to actually tie him up to a chair and make him read the book and threaten him that it’s either that or the whole 5 seasons of The vampire diaries.

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve had so many different jobs from translator, editor and journalist to PA, interior designer and entrepreneur. But once the novelty of the new job wears off, I always come back to writing. I find myself thinking of scenes and dialogues in every day-to-day situation – at the supermarket I imagine the check-out lady telling me she’s just won the lottery but intends to keep her job and me yelling at her that she’s crazy, for example. Sometimes it’s so messed up in my head, I don’t even make the difference of what’s real. I need writing as a release outlet for all that otherwise I might go insane in the very near future. It was on my 30th birthday that I decided I wanted to do that for a living, it’s obvious I can’t do anything else for too long because my attention span is shorter than a 5 year-old’s.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

First I wanted to be a chimney sweeper because if people touched me I’d bring them luck. I don’t think I’d actually thought the whole I’d-have to-clean-chimneys part. Later, I wanted to be a witch, to my mother’s horror. I still think it’d be so cool to be a witch!

If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?

Please don’t come in the morning! For the first 2 hours after I wake up I’m so grumpy and moody my own mother doesn’t want to talk to me. After that I magically transform in my usual sunny self. I love evenings, I could solve a math problem for you at 1 am but please don’t make me do it in the morning!

What one word best describes you?

Impatient.

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

Oh my God, where do I start? I love rewriting books in my head as much as I love reading them. It’s exactly what I did with the Greek myths for Humanless – I shattered them to pieces and something completely new and amusing rose from the dust.

 

 

Hi, my name is Teodora and I was born in 1981 in Sofia, Bulgaria. I've been living in London for the past 10 years with my husband Ted and my son Jason. 

I love writing for young adults - it's very challenging because teenagers can be a very tough, demanding and intelligent audience. I never run away from a challenge, though. High expectations make me step up my game and never get bored. And boy, do I get bored easily! My son has a bigger attention span than me. That's why I've been changing jobs constantly over the past few years - I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things. However, when the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. When I'm procrastinating, I love going to the cinema, run in the park, watch True Blood re-runs, cook Italian meals or get beaten at every Wii game by a 5 year-old.

 
 
Contact details and links
 

Email  |  Twitter  |  FacebookHumanless on Facebook  |  Blog  |  Goodreads 
 
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Giveaway ends September 29th 11:59 PM Central Time.
 

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:
Ebook/Paperback:
 

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:
Twitter
Facebook
Blog

 
 
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

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Giveaway ends September 29th 11:59 PM Central Time.