Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Like #paranormal #ghoststories ? Review BETWEEN & become part of a promotions team! @Saphs_Books @ClarissaJohal

Second Place Preditors and Editors Readers Poll in 2012, Clarissa Johal’s novel BETWEEN is a “haunting” paranormal novel that will have you on the edge of your seat!

About Between:

As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn't come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.

After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.

As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life...but a battle for their salvation.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal
Author: Clarissa Johal
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Cover Artist: David Efaw
ISBN: 978-1-61937-459-1
Number of Pages: 300

Excerpt from BETWEEN:

The soporific sound of drumming rain soon lulled Lucinda to sleep and her book slipped to the floor. The flames in the fireplace burned down low. Muted light played across the living room window, mixing with the rivulets of rain from outside. There was a faint knock at the door. Startled awake, Lucinda checked the small clock that hung on the wall. One forty-nine in the morning. Who could be stopping by so late? Marny? No, she would have called first. Maybe an emergency with somebody’s pet.
“Just a minute.” Re-wrapping the blanket around herself, she went to open the door. As soon as she twisted the doorknob, the unlocked door flew open, blasting her with a gust of icy wind and rain. Lucinda let out a cry of surprise as she was temporarily blinded.
A man stood on her porch. As he stepped closer, he went from a gray, watery outline to a solid entity. His black sweater dripped with rain and lay like a second skin on his powerful-looking torso. Dark black jeans were plastered onto his equally muscular legs.
“Come in! It’s freezing out there!” Lucinda moved aside as the man stepped over her threshold.
“I apologize for knocking so late.” His voice was even and low. “I saw the light coming from within.” He bowed his head, running a hand through his short, dark hair. His eyes flickered up to meet hers.
Lucinda blinked, startled by their flash of shocking, ice-gray.
Darwin growled at him, hackles raised.
“Darwin!” Lucinda scolded. “Did you break down somewhere?”
The stranger paused before answering. “Yes. I broke down.”
“I’m so sorry! Do you need to use the phone? The only tow truck company I know of around here is probably closed for the night.”
He stood dripping in her front room, the water pooling darkly around his feet onto the hardwood floor.
“Let me get you a towel. You must be freezing.” She patted Darwin firmly on the head. “Darwin, stay put.” The dog sat, eying the stranger fixedly. Lucinda ran into the bathroom and grabbed the only towel she had, which had been tossed over the shower door. She hoped he wouldn’t notice it was slightly damp.
“Thank you.” He took the towel from her.
A shock leapt through their fingers as they touched. Lucinda pulled her hand back. The dying fire flickered off the hard planes of his jaw. She watched as he ran the rough, blue towel through his hair, light eyes never breaking contact with hers. She felt a chill steal through her. “I’ll add some wood to the fire,” she murmured, embarrassed for staring. She turned away to hide a blush stealing over her cheeks. “The phone is in the kitchen if you want to leave the tow truck a message.” The man walked behind her, and Lucinda turned with a start.
“My apologies.”
Her initial alarm dissipated as quickly as it came. She shook her head to clear it. “I’ll get you the phone. You don’t even know where my kitchen is.” Ducking around him, she pulled her blanket tighter. Red-faced, Lucinda returned and handed it to him. He ran a hand through his wet hair again, brushing it away from his forehead. She found herself staring at him. His face was attractive, but there was a darkness about it that made her feel slightly uncomfortable. Not a darkness of color — his skin was quite light — but from within. It made her heart beat faster. His eyes, however, burned a bright, clear gray.
“Thank you.” He ran his thumb over the mouthpiece of the receiver.
“Where are you from, Mister — ?”
“Excuse me?”
“The phone.” He handed it to her. “It is dead.”
Lucinda took the phone from him and listened to its silence. “The storm must have knocked out the lines. Damn it. I left my cell phone at work. I don’t have a car, or I would offer to drive you to wherever you’re staying. Are you just passing through?”
He raised a dark, arched eyebrow. “Now that is something you do not hear of these days,” he said in his low, even tone.
“What’s that?”
“Not having a car.”
“I know. I used to have a car, but the town is so small, I, um, decided to sell it when I moved here. My bicycle works fine.” His sudden smile was wide and slightly disarming. It left her feeling jumpy. Lucinda cleared her throat, gathering her thoughts and holding her hand out formally. “I’m Lucinda Bell. I’m the town veterinarian.”
“Cronan.” He slid her hand into hers.
The name stirred something within her. Something between fear and a feeling she couldn’t place. His icy grip was overly firm, and she fought the sudden urge to run. She drew her hand back and pulled the blanket around her again. “You’re freezing. Do you want a cup of tea?”
“I do not require anything to drink.”
“Okay.” Lucinda shifted her weight nervously. “Well, that’s three new people I’ve met recently. That never happens in this town.” Something indecipherable flickered across Cronan’s face. “Where are you staying?” Lucinda asked.
“I have yet to take up residence.” Eyes still appraising her, he ran the towel down his neck, catching water droplets in its thirsty folds. Lucinda’s gaze followed the towel. “Oh. Well, the closest place to stay is at the motel down the main highway.”
Cronan cocked his head slightly. A shudder of wind and torrential rain slammed against the windows.
“But, of course,” Lucinda continued, “you can’t possibly walk there in this weather. It’s about ten miles away, and it’s kind of late.”
“It is late.” His gray eyes studied her thoughtfully. “And I would not want to get into an accident.”
Her heart skipped a beat. “No, of course not. You can stay here tonight, Mr. Cronan. I don’t have anything for you to change into. I have a clothes dryer but…well, um, you can borrow a blanket while your clothes are in the dryer, if you want.” Lucinda felt herself blush and mentally kicked herself for it. Shut up! Shut up!
“I have not the need to change into anything presently.” He caught Darwin’s fierce glare and chuckled. “And please, call me Cronan.” His light eyes locked with hers again.
“Cronan,” she repeated. “That’s an unusual name.”
“It is a family name.”
“Oh.” Her heart hammered in her chest. Maybe this is a bad idea. The thought was pulled away like the tide, and her panic subsided as quickly as it came. The clock ticked loudly, marking their silence. “Well, you can sleep in here. The fire should keep this room warm. I would offer one of the other bedrooms but there’s no furniture in them.”
“Thank you, this will be quite comfortable, Lucinda.” Her name rolled off his tongue in an intimate way that made her face grow warm.
“You’re welcome.” Studying his face, she felt like she had missed something. “Let me get you a blanket.” Dashing into her bedroom, she realized too late that she was wrapped up in her only blanket. She fingered its worn saffron threads. His clothes are wet. And he’s probably colder than he’s letting on. Grabbing the sheet from her bed, she neatly folded the tartan blanket and wrapped herself in the sheet.
“Here.” She came back out and set the blanket down in the chair. Cronan glanced at it, his expression unreadable. “I have others,” she lied, “but this is my warmest one. Come on, Darwin.” She turned and walked toward her bedroom door, aware of his eyes boring into her back. She shut the door, and for the first time since moving in, she locked it.
Cronan stood alone in the middle of the room and gazed into the fire. Walking over to it, he pressed the damp towel against his face, inhaling deeply. A smile spread across his lips. He turned and his gaze fell upon the tartan blanket. Just as quickly, his smile faded like a memory.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:

Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.

*Member of the Author's Guild

Coming April 28, 2015 from Permuted Press
VOICES, a paranormal psychological horror

STRUCK, a paranormal gothic horror
(2014) Musa Publishing

BETWEEN, a story of the paranormal
(2012) Musa Publishing

*Second place in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012
*Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats
PRADEE, a young adult fantasy
(2010) CreateSpace
*Second round finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award Contest 2012
Short stories:
PIGEONS, published in the literary journal Susurrus
THE ROPE, published in the literary journal Susurrus

A WAY OF LIFE, published in The Sacramento Bee

Author Website:
Praise for BETWEEN:

Paranormal Reads: 4 out of 5 Bats
Lucinda is starting over in a new town. She has left everything behind after a tragedy happens. She is a vet and very passionate about her work. She also has a secret. She can see spirits and always has been able to. She has friends she has made in her new life and soon meets a guy. He seems different from other men and she is drawn to him. A passing stranger also seems to have a hold on her as well. Lucinda sees things and knows something is strange about the two men. She does meet a normal man and soon begins to fall for him. Will these strangers leave her in piece and let her live her life or do they hold the secret to her past.

At the beginning I was a little confused when reading this book and couldn't get into it. Then about halfway thru it I got hooked. Lucinda has so much going on. She has left her home to start over and wants nothing to do with her past. That past seems to be coming back to hunt her and she has to end up facing what she has left behind. She sees these spirits and the strange men seem to be a part of that. They know so much about her that they shouldn't. I really enjoyed getting to read about them because one I thought was going to be the good guy wasn't really that way. The guy she ends up dating has my heart. He tries so hard to be with Lucinda even when she acts strange. You end up getting a battle of good versus evil and what made them that way. I loved getting to see why they turned out the way they did. This book ended up being a great read and I love how it ended. It wasn't the ending I was expecting and I love that.

MommaSez: 5 Stars
Creepy, scary, haunting–just up my alley, lol. Lucinda is a newly transplanted small town veterinarian who is broken. Broken from years of seeing ghosts, broken from killing her fiancé, broken because of her tenuous relationship with her parents. As she begins to make friends and slowly rebuild her life, three new men come to town bringing fear, mayhem and a possibility of love. Unfortunately, Lucinda doesn’t know who to trust or turn to because two of the men exert a terrifying power over her–the power to stop her heart and make her sleepwalk to the cliffs. Eventually, when Lucinda is asked to take leave from her job, she realizes that she must choose which path to take–which man to choose.

Clarissa Johal writes a gothic romance that makes the hair stand up on my neck! The characters are not evil but simply human, fallible and reckless with others. Two of the characters (remember, I don’t give away spoilers) have hurt those near to them. In retaliation, they are forced to relive their lives, albeit in another century, in order to make things right. Their failed attempts made me sit on the edge of my seat and chew my nails. Between is one of those books that you simply can’t put down because it moves at a quick pace and the characters have a lot to lose. Five Stars!!

Escape Into a Book

I really enjoyed this book. Being that I hadn't read the description to this book I didn't know what to expect. From the title of the book it was safe to assume it had something to do with spirits and the author did a great job making it somewhat spooky mentioning about the presence watching her or moving something. But I was surprised to find out that it wasn't only about spirits, it was much more and I found myself enjoyed this story because it wasn't what I expected. I loved how original the idea was for this book, I haven't read a book like this one. I loved that this book was fast paced and kept my interest till the very end.

Shut Up and Read: 4 out of 5 Stars

I love a good ghost story, and this one did not disappoint. Though, in Between there is so much more going on than just ghosts. Really it was a story of learning to trust yourself as well as good versus evil.

I absolutely love the author's colorful descriptions. I've heard the saying painting a picture with words, and that is exactly what the author does here. Each sentence is vivid and alive. The settings were lavishly drawn, and the author was able to take the characters out of her imagination and bring them to life. I really liked Lucinda. She was a great lead, though she was not perfect; she made mistakes, like any normal person would.  

The other thing I really enjoyed about this story is that I had no idea which way it was headed. I hate being able to predict a book's ending halfway through, and with Between I was left guessing. Though I enjoyed how the story ended, I felt it was a bit abrupt. I would have loved a little bit more there to close things up. Overall a great story and one I would recommend.  

Demons do it Better: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Between kept me guessing. I had no clue where the story was going to end but I made a couple of guesses along the way and I was wrong.
I enjoyed all of the characters, they were distinct and all had their good points. The heroine’s best friend was fun and I especially enjoyed one of the male characters but was surprised when the author took him in a direction I didn’t see coming. That actually disappointed me a little because I liked him and he turned out to be a bit of a turd.

The writing was good and carried the story along. The ending felt really abrupt to me but not incomplete. Everything was wrapped up at the end.
Over all, if you’re a fan of urban fantasy that’s also a little paranormal romance, you’ll probably enjoy Between.

Musings From An Addicted Reader: 4 out of 5 Stars

Lucinda has always known she was unusual, seeing spirits is not something she willingly comes out and shares about herself.  However she has built a peaceful life for herself as a veterinarian.  When Lucinda finds that she now has three men in her life, everything begins to change and she realizes she is the center on a teeter totter between two men who are looking for their salvation, while the other is wanting to be more than a friend.  With her life being pulled in all directions, will Lucinda find the right path to take?

This reminded me a lot of one of the first Gothic mystery's I ever picked up.  It was haunting, unpredictable, and intriguing.  All the characters were unique and you’re drawn in from the first chapter.  Excellent read.

Happy Tails and Tales Blog: 4 out of 5 Paws

We’ve got the veterinarian who sees ghosts, including those of animals. She has had a major upset in life, so she tries to get away from it and everything else, by moving to a small town. She definitely gets a cool house and job out of the deal :) But then, she didn’t know what she was really getting herself into by moving into that house and that small town. Lots of creep factor enters here, LOL. 
Lucinda is a very interesting character. She’s almost depressed enough to scare me, but she has good reason. I commend her for her passion for animals, and I do believe that helped save her from the worse, and from herself. I don’t think it was her smartest move, with her depression, to move to a small town, where she knew no one. I also think she may have been a bit naive and trusting, but when you live in a small town, you never think bad things. I actually like Lucinda’s character, and I am looking forward to know more about her, and her abilities.
There are some interesting paranormal characters here. I won’t say more, but let it intrigue you. I wasn’t expecting them. :) Also, there’s a really well done plot twist. The author also has a way of telling the story which I liked. It’s got a Gothic feel with some almost past or historical elements going for this story. I think that was what made it seem different, which I really liked. I really enjoyed this one, and I would recommend it to my fellow ghost lovers, Gothic lovers, and historical paranormal lovers alike. :) 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How did you come up with the idea for BETWEEN?
Three years ago, I was working on a sequel to a fantasy novel when I had this weird “calling.” Two characters came to me in a rush; Lucas and Cronan from BETWEEN. They weren’t fantasy characters nor they didn’t fit into what I was writing but they wouldn’t go away. I kept setting them aside but they’d come back, stronger than ever. I put the fantasy sequel on hold, wrote non-stop for a month, and finished the first draft. That never happens! It usually takes me months to finish a first draft. A year later, my edits were finished, and two months later, BETWEEN was picked up by Musa Publishing. I’ve got my feet firmly planted in the Otherworld now, the ideas come faster than I can write them down.

What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?
I wrote my first short story in grade six. I was asked by the teacher to read it aloud to the class, which terrified me. After I was finished, I realized that I actually had everyone’s attention! I was shy and we moved every year, so I was always the new kid. When you’re in that situation, it’s kind of like being invisible. Finding my voice through story-telling made me realize how powerful writing could be. As far as continuing—truthfully? I think I’d go nuts if I didn’t write.

What made you choose the genre of paranormal gothic horror?
I started out writing fantasy fiction. I was working on the second installment to my PRADEE series when there were two characters that kept showing up on the page, over and over. They didn’t belong in fantasy novel, nor did they belong in my story! But their backstory came to me so vividly, that I set aside my series and wrote my first paranormal novel, BETWEEN. I’ve been pulled into the Otherworld permanently now. The ideas come faster than I can write them down.

For review copies or to arrange an interview, blog visit, or event with the author please contact Amber Marr

Promotions Specialist and Media Contact at Musa Publishing
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