October 11, 2012

A little bit of Hunter anyone?

Well, I am very excited to announce that I have two stories published in a brand new Paranormal Romance Anthology: Midnight Surrender. I've included a story with Channie and Hunter that is kind of a prequel to Enchantment. And, I'm introducing you to some brand new characters, Jonathan and Franklin. They're the twins in my new book, River's Recruit.

You can pick up a copy for FREE at Smashwords: http://bit.ly/MidnightSurrenderFree
or for $2.99 at Amazon: http://bit.ly/MidnightSurrender

(If you go to Amazon, don't be afraid to "report a lower price" so they might try to match it ;-)

Here is an excerpt from The Gathering:

Channie wished she’d thought this through a little better and thrown a pair of jeans on under her gown or at least brushed the tangles out of her hair. She combed her fingers through the worst of it as she walked towards the privy. When she was certain Momma couldn’t see her, Channie gathered the loose fabric of her gown into her arms and left the path.
Bluestem grass, heavy with dew, tickled the backs of her knees. A mosquito buzzed past her ear. Channie swatted at it then cast a bug-be-gone spell on herself. She should’ve done that before ever stepping outside. Hopefully, the chiggers weren’t out yet. Channie’s legs itched just thinking about it.
When she found Hunter leaning against the sycamore tree, one bare foot propped against the trunk, Channie’s stomach muscles tightened. And it had nothing to do with dried apricots.
Hunter’d grown since the last time she’d seen him. A lot. His shoulders were broader too.
Channie wanted to ask him how he’d learned to bounce across a protection spell on his shield; but he was cocky enough without her acting all googley-eyed.
She let go of her gown and jammed her fists on her hips, trying her best to look annoyed instead of impressed. “What’s so important it couldn’t wait ‘till morning?”
“What happened?” Hunter pushed away from the tree and traced the bruise on Channie’s forehead.
Startled by the tenderness of his touch, Channie turned her head. “It’s nothing. Just a bruise.”
“I thought you were apprenticed to Ms. Wisdom. How come you didn’t heal it?”
“I’m not allowed to use healing magic until I pass my herbology exams.”
“You better get someone to heal it for you soon or it’ll leave a scar.”
This time, when Hunter touched her, Channie held perfectly still. She didn’t even breathe.
He brushed his fingertips across her brow and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Are you gonna be at Spring Gathering?”
Channie nodded.
Hunter edged closer. He trailed the back of his fingers down Channie’s jaw, leaving behind a path of fire and goosebumps.
Channie’s pulse thundered behind her ears as Hunter leaned in. He whispered her name — her real name. “Enchantment.”
She gasped and jerked away from Hunter when she realized her power-name was influencing him. She pulled her magic back inside her body and hoped he hadn’t noticed.
Hunter blinked and shook his head, as if coming out of a trance. He rocked back on his heels and jammed his fists in his pockets.
Most of the time, Channie loved her power-name, and the sound of it on Hunter’s lips warmed her heart. But right now, she didn’t know which was more embarrassing — the fact that she wasn’t in control of it; or that Hunter thought she was trying to enchant him. 
Channie squirmed as Hunter chewed on his bottom lip and studied her. She wished she knew what he was thinking. Should she try to explain and apologize or just keep her mouth shut?
Hunter lowered his gaze to his feet and flicked a pebble across the ground with his big toe. “When you get to The Gathering, tell Lovie Schmidt that you want to talk to her in private — and do it in front of her momma.”
“What?” Lovie Schmidt was not supposed to be a part of this conversation.
 “Once you’re outta sight, tell her to meet me inside O’Riley’s barn.”
Anger lit up Channie’s energy field like a hay field on fire. “You’ve got some nerve dragging me out here in the middle of the night! If you think I’m gonna cover for you so you can sneak off with somebody else you better think again!”
“Whoa.” Hunter’s eyes widened as his jaw dropped. After a moment, a grin spread across his face. “You’re jealous.”
“I am not!”
“You’re mad because I asked you to help me sneak off with somebody else. So, that means—”
“It don’t mean a damn thing!” Channie whirled around and stomped back to the cabin with Hunter’s laughter ringing in her ears.

Here is an excerpt from Down the Rabbit Hole:

The sound of bell-like laughter floated up from the trail.
Franklin froze then started backing away before the girls were even in view. “I’m gonna puke.”
He bolted into the bushes like a frightened deer.
Heather squinted her eyes and leaned forward. “Was that Franklin McKnight? Is he drunk?”
Time to intervene. “H-h-hey H-Heather, I’d like t-to talk to you as s-soon as I m-make sure J-Jonathan’s okay. He’s had a little too m-m-much to drink.”
Jonathan held his breath to make his face turn red and hoped that would convince Heather that she had the boys mixed up. 
“Of course, do you need any help?”
Tyler smacked Jonathan on the back. “I’ve got it covered. You go talk to Heather while I make sure your drunken brother doesn’t fall down a mine shaft or something.”
“Um … okay.” Jonathan swallowed loudly and rubbed his palms on his jeans as if they were sweaty. Franklin wasn’t the only one that could act. “D-do you w-wanna g-g-go somewhere t-to talk?”
Heather lowered her gaze and peeked at him from under thick lashes. She was actually sort of cute. Jonathan grabbed her hand and led her back down the trail, away from the fire and the crowd. He didn’t want an audience in case this blew up in his face, so he waited until they were out of everyone’s line of sight to turn his full attention to Heather.
She stared at their linked hands and grinned. “So … what’s on your mind, Franklin?”
“I… uh… yeah, well… I was w-wondering if you w-would go to H-h-homecoming with me?” Jonathan’s voice cracked when he said ‘me’ but Heather didn’t seem to notice — or maybe she just didn’t care. The way her eyes lit up when she smiled changed her whole face. Why hadn’t he noticed her before? Maybe because she’d never smiled at him. She was more than just cute. She was adorable. And perfect for Franklin.
She stepped forward and put one trembling hand on Jonathan’s chest. “I would love to go with you.”
Jonathan smiled, flashing his dimples.
Heather rose up on her toes, slipped her hand behind his neck and tugged.
For the first time in his life, Jonathan didn’t know what to do when a girl wanted to kiss him. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but if Franklin found out, he’d never forgive him.
Heather made the decision for both of them. Jonathan kept his mouth closed and his eyes open. The snap of a twig alerted him that someone was close.
He pulled away just as Franklin stepped around the bend. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t need to. The look of betrayal in his eyes said it all. He shook his head then stepped off the path, giving Jonathan and Heather a wide berth.
Jonathan grabbed Franklin’s shoulder as he passed. “Wait. I can explain.”
Frankie jerked out of Jonathan’s grasp then ran down the trail.
“Where do you think you’re going?” There was nothing down there but the parking lot. Franklin wouldn't leave without him. Would he? Of course he would. Jonathan didn’t like leaving Heather alone on the trail, but he needed to straighten things out with Franklin. 
She should be fine as long as she went back to the group around the fire.
“Heather, sweetheart, I need you to go back to the party and find your friends. Stay together and stay away from Rich and his group. I need to see what’s up with that crazy brother of mine, but I’ll be right back.”
He’d forgotten to stutter, but Heather just nodded her head and started walking back up the trail.
Jonathan was about halfway to the parking lot when the hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Two guys were pulling a very drunk girl off the trail into the bushes. Not cool. He had no idea who the guys were, but either they’d heard about the party and decided to crash it or they just stumbled on to it and decided to take advantage of the opportunity — and the intoxicated girl they were half-carrying-half-dragging between them.
Jonathan didn’t know her name, but he’d seen her at school. She was only a freshman. What sort of perv takes advantage of a drunk kid?
“Where do you guys think you’re going with the jailbait?”
“None of your business, punk.”
Since there were two of them and only one of him, Jonathan struck without warning or mercy. A gut-busting sidekick dropped the big guy on his right to his knees. Before he hit the ground, Jonathan threw a right cross to the jaw of his scrawny companion. It snapped the creep’s head back a good six inches. But it only made him mad. Never judge a book by its cover — or a potential rapist by his size.
The guy danced around with his elbows tucked in and his fists in front of his face like a boxer. He obviously knew how to fight. Jonathan didn’t mess around. He knocked the guy out cold with a round-house kick to the side of his head.
The perv was lucky Jonathan and Franklin had switched identities. If he’d been wearing his hiking boots instead of Franklin’s running shoes, the blow might have killed him.
The girl he’d just rescued was too drunk to walk. Jonathan wanted to get to Franklin, but he couldn’t just leave her lying by the side of the trail. He picked her up, tossed her over his shoulder and carried her back to the bonfire. She thanked him by puking down the back of Franklin’s parka.
When he got back to the party, Jonathan lowered the girl to the ground, yanked his arms out of Franklin’s ruined parka and turned it inside out. He used it to position the girls head so she wouldn’t drown in her own puke if she threw up again. He grabbed the first halfway sober girl he saw and enlisted her help.
“Hey, Carrie, do you know this chick?”
“She’s just a freshman. What’s she doing here?”
“Getting herself raped.”
Carrie’s eyes widened and her mouth formed a little “O” before she frowned.
“A couple of guys were hauling her into the bushes. I roughed ‘em up pretty good, so I don’t think they’re going to be a problem, but can you keep an eye on her? Make sure she doesn’t wander off. I gotta go find my brother.”
Jonathan suddenly felt light-headed as the last of the adrenaline from the fight left his body. He sagged onto the log next to Carrie and grinned when his car keys poked him in the butt. Franklin wasn’t going anywhere without him. 

October 07, 2012

Another Successful Blog Hijack!!!!

 Psst! Jesi Lea Ryan here.  Welcome to my sneak-attack blog tour! 

Charlotte is busy working on her new book and forgot to lock her computer.  So I’m taking over her blog for my own nefarious (shameless?) purposes.  I have to hurry though before she comes back.  (Hee, hee!)  Read to the end and you have a chance to win a free e-book!

I want to take a moment to tell you about my new young adult, paranormal romance, Arcadia’s Gift

 Most people who experience death don’t live to tell about it.

When sixteen year old Arcadia “Cady” Day wakes in a hospital after experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, she finds her family in tatters. With her twin sister gone, her dad moved out, her mom’s spiraling depression and her sister’s boyfriend, Cane, barely able to look at her, the only bright spot in her life is Bryan Sullivan, the new guy in school. When Bryan’s around, Cady can almost pretend she’s a regular girl, living a regular life; when he’s not, she’s wracked with wild, inexplicable mood swings. As her home life crumbles and her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…

I am so excited to share this book with the world!  Cady is such an amazing character.  I think what I like best about her is that she has to deal with some seriously heavy family issues in addition to her new gifts.  Because of this, both teen and adult readers will be able to find different ways to relate to her on an emotional level. 

Where did the idea for Arcadia’s Gift come from?  I honestly don’t remember.  I knew I wanted to write a young adult paranormal, since I read a lot of young adult literature.  Vampires are a tad overdone right now and werewolves just don’t appeal to me.  (Hello? Doggy breath is NOT sexy!)  I seem to recall the character of Cady forming in my mind first.  I wanted her to be as realistic as possible.  I truly believe some people have psychic abilities, so it seemed natural to develop them in Cady.  Once I figured out what those abilities would be, the story of how she got them unfolded naturally. 

Why set the story in Dubuque, Iowa?  My first novel, Four Thousand Miles, was set in England. While I have been to England and all of the places in my book, I had to do a ton of research into the setting, the culture and the speech.  With Arcadia’s Gift, I chose to set the story in my hometown of Dubuque where I am intimately familiar with the city.  Cady goes to the same high school I attended, lives in the neighborhood I used to live in and hangs out in the places my friends and I used to haunt on Saturday nights.  What I discovered is that I felt a greater emotional connection to this story because I could draw on my sense of nostalgia. 

The other reason I chose Dubuque is because it hasn’t been done before.  I can’t think of another young adult novel set there, can you?  Bordered by the Mississippi River on one side and the Great Plains on the other, Dubuque is unique to Iowa for its incredible bluffs and hills.  It truly has a natural beauty.  The landscape plays a strong role in the plot of the novel. 

What’s next for Arcadia?  Nice try!  I’m not giving you any spoilers.  I can tell you that Arcadia’s Gift is the first in a planned trilogy.  The second book, Arcadia’s Curse, is planned to release in May or June 2013. 

Oh, crap!  I hear Charlotte coming, so I have to dash!  Before I go, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my novel.  Tell me what you think of it in the comments and leave your email address for a chance to win a copy of Arcadia’s Gift!!

~Jesi Lea Ryan, Future Bestselling Author and International Hijacker of Blogs


It felt like ripping… ripping through me, ripping from me. A deafening roar reverberated all around as I lay flat on my back, drowning the shrieks and screams echoing on the river valley walls. My eyes were wide open, unblinking, but all I could see were abstract forms in shades of black, gray and red. A searing burn cut across both of my thighs as if I’d been struck by a flaming hot iron. My flesh melted and bubbled, absorbing the phantom burning metal and shattering my femur bones like glass. Although I was screaming as loud as I could, the sound was distant, like someone screaming under water.

A hub of activity swirled around me, but I had the distinct feeling of being alone… alone in hell. I groped around on the cool soil at my sides, sparse patches of long grass and loose gravel, trying to remember where I was and what had happened to me. The pain prevented any coherent thoughts.

Voices. Panic all around me. Yet I was alone in my hell.

A flash of heat seared through my head, pounding rhythmically. Rust coated my tongue. The heat began to sink down my torso, leaking out of the stumps left under my hips. I sucked in jagged breaths as I realized that the heat was my blood, pumping through my arteries and spilling onto the cool ground.

No! I don’t want to die! Again, the screams tore out of me. No one answered my cries.

My body grew colder. The pain faded to numbness. They say when you know that you are dying, your life flashes before your eyes. I knew I was dying, but curiously, it was my twin sister Lony’s life that came to me in last minute mourning, not mine. I saw her love for me, even if we fought more than talked these days. I saw her fierce hope that our parents would reconcile their failed marriage and reunite, before nothing remained to salvage. I saw her boyfriend, Cane, and the lost promise of young love. A swell of love and pain filled my chest when I pictured Cane. It made no sense…I didn’t even like him.

The forms in my vision began moving more slowly, becoming even darker. I struggled to reach out to them, but my arms were as heavy as iron weights. I opened my mouth to scream again, but only rust flavored foam escaped my throat and rolled down the corner of my mouth and into my hair. The skin on my face broke into a cold sweat as I steadily bled out.

It was almost over. I wanted my mom.

A shock of pain ripped through my chest as my heart raced, running out of blood.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

The faster my heart pumped, the less time I had left. My back reared up, head scraping the ground. My lungs heaved, panting. The forms in my vision swirled so dark they blended with the night. I reached out desperately with my hands, fingers not even finding a hand to hold. Breath rattled in my chest as it left my body for the final time and the whole world faded to black.

Arcadia’s Gift is available for purchase at the following retailers: