Here’s the songs I listened to as I wrote the latest Riley and Beck adventure (see Spotify playlist embed below):
O Come O Come Emmanuel (Enya) – the book is set right before Christmas and it’s even snowing in Atlanta.
Arise (E.S. Posthumus) is a song for Riley’s latest demonic encounter.
Wanted (Hunter Hayes) – I can imagine Beck humming this tune when he’s thinking of Riley.
Ulaid (E.S. Posthumus) -- But things are afoot in Scotland as well.
Start A Fire (Unspoken) -- Simon Adler (Riley’s ex-boyfriend) returns in MIND GAMES. After he nearly died in the first book, then had his mind screwed over by an evil Archangel, he’s been on a sabbatical, trying to come to grips with his loss of faith. This song indicates that his quest was a success. I, for one, am thrilled that Simon is BACK and way more badass than before.
It’s You (Michelle Branch) -- No matter how bad things get, Riley and Beck are a team, a love forged in both the good times and bad.
Invictus (Immediate) – Because this song is a great background to demon trapping!
The Fire (Sons of Midnight) -- This song reminds of the fire of love that burns bright between Riley and her guy.
Stars Align (Lindsey Stirling) — I’m a lover of Lindsey’s music, so it seemed only fair to include this song in the playlist. In many ways, stars do begin to align in this book for reasons I cannot tell you (yet).
The Avengers (Alan Silvestri) seems to fit the moment when Riley, Beck and Simon confront a certain demon.
The witches and the summoners are up to their old tricks in MIND GAMES, so Earth Wind and Sky (Blackmore’s Night) is perfect for them!
Writing battle scenes is never easy. To get in the right mood I have to listen to certain songs. For the one near the end of the book I used:
160 BPM (Hans Zimmer) from his Angels and Demons album. It just fits the series (and this book) so well. This one could easily be included in every Demon Trappers’ playlist.
Indra (E.S. Posthumus) It is just such a big, strong score, perfect for sword slashing and Hellspawn fighting.
Gabriel’s Oboe (Ennio Morricone) — At the end of the book, Beck’s emotional admission to Riley is both heartbreaking and sad. Still, it gives us so much hope for these two.
As we move closer to MIND GAMES’ debut, here’s the various links as to where you can purchase your copy. Note: B&N does not post the book for sale until the launch date (sigh). I’ll update their link on Saturday.
****CreateSpace is my book printer, and if you enter a specific code (65XHV8WA) you will receive 5% off the price of the book. Or you can buy it through Amazon (or eventually B&N), whichever works great for you.
Looking for signed copies of my Demon Trappers series? And a grand afternoon out at one of Atlanta’s most historic sites?
Oakland Cemetery has the first two books of my series in their gift shop, all signed and ready to go. For those of you who know the series a number of major scenes happen in this glorious graveyard. The “Blackthorne” mausoleum is actually the Richards mausoleum. Who knows, you might even get to chat with Martha, the cemetery’s guardian angel. ;)
My thanks to Tim Wright, who arranged for my books to be in the shop! Please support this unique and wonderful historic site. I adore this place!#OaklandCemetery
A few folks have asked for the text of my speech at Moonlight and Magnolias. Here’s a PDF version. I was very honored to speak to such a talented group of writers. I’m hoping what I had to say to them was of value. #GRWMM15
M&M GRW Featured Author Speech (Jana Oliver)
So… my news. It’s convention news. Really cool convention news.
A couple weeks ago I get this call from Ilona Andrews (yes, the NYT bestselling urban fantasy author) asking if I would like to be part of a *very special convention* next September. In New Orleans. The Big Easy.
Then she explained how the convention would go down, who were the organizers and the participating fellow authors.
She asked, “Yes, No, Maybe?”
I said, “Hell, yes. Count me in!”
First thing different about this convention – it’s being hosted by five major authors (Jeaniene Frost, Melissa Marr, Ilona Andrews, Kelly Armstrong and Jennifer Armentrout).
Second –They’re CAPPING THE REGISTRATION so readers can spend *loads* of quality time with the authors, both with the ones they love and the ones they’ve yet to read. Which means y’all better reg early or you’re going to miss out.
Third – the authors participating were all *hand selected.* As in you had to be invited to attend. (I’m still giddy about that).
To add icing to this multi-tiered cake, the Mistress of All Things Vampiric (Charlaine Harris) is a Special Guest, as well as literary agents Nancy Yost and Merrilee Heifnetz.
The other authors include (and wow is this a list!): Lara Adrian, Jeanette Battista, Jenna Black, Rachel Caine, Kresley Cole, Zoraida Cordova, Cora Carmack, Jay Crownover, Kimberly Derting, Sonali Dev, Kami Garcia, Molly Harper, Kevin Hearne, Wendy Higgins, Beverly Jenkins, Sophie Jordan, Laura Kaye, Katie McGarry, Chloe Neill, Jana Oliver, Pamela Palmer, Aprilynne Pike, Kristen Proby, Gena Showalter, Rachel Vincent, Jaye Wells, Sarah Wendell, and Samantha Young.
Fourth: there are all sorts of extra goodies going on (NOLA tours) during the convention besides the big signing and the panels.
So please check out the website for more information. I’d love to see you folks in New Orleans next year. It’s going to be a glorious weekend and I am thrilled to be asked to participate.
It is with great pride I reveal the cover for the next Demon Trappers’ book (MIND GAMES — Oct 31, 2015).
My very talented cover artist is Clarissa at Yocla Designs. (http://yocladesigns.com/) Since I was partial to the UK’s original cover concepts, I obtained permission to use their incredible demon/angel wing graphic. Clarissa blended that into an atmospheric Atlanta background and this is the stunning result. I LOVE the colors so much!
Why is Riley wearing a blue robe? You’ll have to read the book to see (evil grin). Old friends return, new enemies emerge. Riley has to make a choice in this book, one that will change her (and Beck’s) futures forever. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy the story as much as I did writing it.
The book will be available in print and e-book (but not in the stores) Oct. 31st this year. Right in time for Halloween.
As the Tangled Souls 99 cents sale continues (see previous post), here’s a bit more about my very unique characters. Leave it to me to pair a Wiccan and an Irish Catholic in a romance.
The heart of any novel is the lead characters. Not only do they have to be believable, they have to possess a complexity that warrants the reader’s interest. In short, the characters better have a strong “back story” (their personal history) and compelling “issues” that must be resolved over the course of the novel.
Authors spend a great deal of time working out those elements to ensure the story is strong. To that end, I purposely chose to make Tangled Souls’ two lead characters from opposite ends of the religious spectrum.
Douglas O’Fallon is a red-haired Irishman who has lived in the US for a number of years. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, which is reflected in his career as homicide detective in Los Angeles.
He’s Roman Catholic and rather devout, despite two divorces. He and his priest (O’Fallon’s former partner and ex-homicide detective Avery Elliott) are best friends. Now a private investigator, O’Fallon has a deep distrust of most things supernatural, which is awkward since he’s psychokinetic (has the ability to “pull” images off everyday objects). That “gift” makes him very uncomfortable, if not physically ill, especially when he was working crime scenes. In fact, he took early retirement just because of that problem.
My hero is cynical and stubborn, but a romantic; a man who has lost at love more than once and yet still believes he’ll find the right lady. His “history” and his disdain for psychic charlatans immediately puts him at odds with my heroine, Gavenia Kingsgrave.
Gavenia is from a different faith tradition: she’s Wiccan, as is her aunt. Her “gift” came to her late in life, just a few months before, and now she’s a Shepherd, tasked with helping the souls of the dead to make the journey toward The Light (Heaven). It’s a difficult and heartbreaking job with a high burnout rate. Her Ethereal Guardian (Bartholomew Quickens) is trying to teach her the ropes, but even Bart isn’t allowed to tell her everything.
In addition to the “job” stress, Gavenia has some serious emotional issues stemming from a horrific event when she was a teenager, making it hard for her trust men.
So we have one pigheaded Irishman going head-to-head with an equally stubborn woman, both with romantic baggage. Put them on the mean streets of L.A., with a murder mystery to solve and dangerous ghosts on the loose, add in a dash of romance and that’s Tangled Souls. Personally, it’s one of my favourite tales if nothing more than for Gavenia and O’Fallon’s love story. #TangledSouls #99cents #Ireland #MurderMystery
Tangled Souls, my adult paranormal romantic suspense, is currently on sale for 99 cents (99 pence etc.) for the e-book edition. It’s available worldwide on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, ibooks and GooglePlay and will remain on sale until Friday, July 17 at midnight PDT. A print edition is also available.
Finalist for four Romance awards!
Wiccan Gavenia Kingsgrave’s psychic gift, the ability to talk to the dead, comes with strings attached. As a Shepherd, she escorts them into the hereafter, but not all the souls want to cross over, and some can be downright vicious. When her latest case involves a heart-breaking hit-and-run victim, Gavenia is stressed to the max. The last thing she needs is a no-nonsense private detective on her tail, even if he is a handsome Irishman.
Former homicide detective Douglas O’Fallon possesses his own psychic gift, one he’s denied for years. Hired by a wealthy client to prove Gavenia’s a con artist, he’s skeptical of the witch’s claims she can speak to the dead. If he finds her gift to be genuine, then he will be forced to accept his own. When their two cases intersect, opposites attract. But will they able to set aside their differences long enough to outwit their foes — both the living and the dead?
Why I wrote Tangled Souls (from a 2013 author interview):
This story had a long gestation, some ten years in the making. During that time I have returned to the manuscript when my schedule permitted, though the story is still pretty much as it was back at the beginning. Gavenia and O’Fallon have always waited patiently for their tale to be told and now it’s their moment in the sun.
The original idea for the story came from an article about a lightworker who helps the dead across the Veil. Back in 1983, she and other like-minded folks were in the middle of a ritual when the spirits of dead soldiers walked through the walls of their room, drawn by their “light”. Shaken by the experience, the woman pointed the soldiers toward the Veil and they crossed over. It was only later she realized that the exact moment the soldiers had appeared is when the Marine barracks was bombed in Beirut, leaving countless dead.
That story has remained with me for years, and I decided to write a book about a Shepherd and a PI who learn to accept the gifts they’ve been given and, along the way, find love. Hope you enjoy Tangled Souls.
Yes, I went there. Couldn’t resist. Here’s the post over at MyKindaBook.com
So who’s your favorite villain?
And the winner is...
There are a number of fairy tales I’ve enjoyed over the years, but I’ve always been rather fond of Cinderella. I figure it’s because I was an only child who got stuck with washing the dishes or sweeping and dusting the house. Especially scrubbing the pots and pans. Argh. I could totally resonate with Cinder.
When I was young, I *adored* the notion that a fairy godmother would appear out of nowhere, offer me a luxe evening out in a fancy gown, transported to the ball in a gilded carriage (formerly a pumpkin) with a fat coachman (a rat) and footmen (who were once lizards). Then I’d spend the evening waltzing with a handsome prince. How cool was that? Of course, our house was entirely free of any of those kinds of critters, and I was shy one fairy godmother. Still, a girl can dream, right?
Of course, now that I’m older, I see the holes in the story (especially Disney’s version). First off, Cinderella’s family doesn’t recognize her at the ball? How does that work? Apparently she also had a third-rate fairy godmother or the enchantment would have lasted until dawn. As soon as the clock struck midnight – POOF — the gown, the coach and the footmen are history. Except for that lone glass slipper (or the pair of them if you’re into the Disney version). I don’t know about you, but dancing the night away in a glass shoe sounds like agony. Blister city. Still, there it is just waiting for the prince to pick it up right after Cinderella flees the castle. A prince, I might add, with no name other than ‘Charming’. If that’s the best his parents can come up with, I worry about that family.
But then let’s be honest — Prince Charming isn’t that bright. He spends hours dancing with Cinder, falling madly in love with her, but does he ever bother to ask her name? Nope. If that’s not bad enough, the next morning (after he’s found the girl of his dreams), Charming can’t remember what she looks like. Instead, he goes around jamming the glass slipper on every maiden in the kingdom in hopes it’ll fit. What would have happened if another girl had the same size feet? He could have ended up marrying Matilda the milkmaid instead of his beloved Cinderella. Still, he is a dashing hunk, an accomplished dancer, and comes with a title and a castle, so we can cut him some slack. This is a fairy tale after all.
In Disney’s quest to sanitize the Grimm’s often gruesome tales, they didn’t bother to mention that the two evil step-sisters perform radical surgery on their feet in an attempt to fit into that slipper. As if our erstwhile royal wouldn’t notice the maimed and bloody footsies. Euuu… Cinderella, of course, slips her dainty toes into the shoe and bingo, she’s claimed by her guy. And instead of taking that opportunity for payback, the chance to kick some step-sister butt, Cinder is so sweet she forgives her cruel siblings and offers them a place to live in the palace.
Okay, I admit that’s the adult me talking. The little girl in me still loves the idea of a night on the town with a handsome (though fairly clueless) prince, dancing in a gorgeous gown while being admired by the entire kingdom.
Every girl should have at least one night like that. Cinderella got hers and that’s why I love this tale to this day.
Jana is an international & multi-award winning author in several genres including young adult, paranormal romance and urban fantasy.