Tonight the spotlight is on Louann Carroll, a very talented author. She prefers sci-fi and paranormal romance. Thank you so much Louann for participating in the blog tour. Louann also has a special offer: two free e-books each of A Shadow of Time and Gemini Rising, for the first four people who leave comments. Enjoy the read everyone!
Louann Carroll is a Native Californian living in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her husband, Dennis.
Mother to three children, she is an avid rock, fossil, and gem hunter who enjoys sharing her finds with family and friends. She is a student of alternative religion, archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology.
After leaving her position as C.E.O. in the Bay Area, she has pursued her writing career with much success. Winner of the 2010 Crescent Moon Press award for best novel, she has gone on to write radio talk shows and articles on adoption.
She is the author of Gemini Rising, a sci-fi romance, A Shadow of Time, a paranormal romance, Journeys, The Adventure of Leaf, and numerous children’s stories.
Title: A Shadow of Time
Author: Louann Carroll
Genre: Paranormal romance with a dash of horror
Social Media connections:
Release Date: July 2012
Where to buy:
A Shadow of Time @ Amazon
Other places to purchase:
This review is for: A Shadow Of Time (Paperback)
A Shadow of Time by Louann Carroll was a little different story from my usual read. I seldom have dreams about novels I’m reading, but this one must have hit a nerve. It scared me. Of course, I like someone to try to scare me.
Kellyn O’Brien has just been widowed, has a young son, and is four months pregnant. Not a position most young women would want to find themselves in. On top of that, she learns her husband lied to her from the start about his family. He told Kellyn he’d been adopted, the same as she had been. After he dies, Kellyn is left pretty much penniless, but she soon learns her son has inherited her husband’s family home. After the shock wears off she learns she could be set up pretty much for life with both children, all she has to do is move into Shadow Ley, a large home located in the California foothills, with her children. Doesn’t seem like much of a hardship, until she gets there.
Shadow Ley is not what it first appears. There is strange goings on there, such as rooms that magically clean themselves, furniture and floors repaired right in front of them. And there could be a djinn living beneath the enormous home named Shenahobet, a guardian of sorts, and he might have evil in mind where Kellyn, her kids, and her new friends, are concerned. Kellyn and her friends soon learn they have more in common than they thought even. All of them have experienced strange dreams about past lives, but after Kellyn’s arrival what were once only strange dreams become realistic visions during the daylight hours. Everyone is at a loss as to the meaning behind them.
A Shadow of Time is a novel one has to pay close attention to because of all the different twists and turns we take, not only in the present, but with lives they may have lived in the past. How much of their past lives are connected to the present, or even the future? Shadow Ley and Shenahobet are the connection Kellyn needs to figure out before one or all of them ends up hurt or killed. Somewhere in the past a wrong was done and if they don’t find a way to correct it, these friends are destined to keep reliving it over and over again.
I enjoyed this story and the twists and turns involved as it escalates toward a surprise ending.
Amazon 5 Star Review by M. E. Wilson
This review is for: A Shadow Of Time (Paperback)
A Shadow of Time by Louann Carroll is a rich, complex story. Carroll deftly leads us through, interweaving the past with the present and taking us from the normal to the supernatural. Her characters are realistic and likeable. The heroine, Kellyn, is well written and easy to care about. Kellyn’s love for her son and unborn child act as the catalyst that lands them in Shadow Ley, her late husband’s family home.
Winding through dreams of the past to decipher the mysteries of the present, Kellyn and her friends inevitably move into areas none of them had ever imagined, literally, figuratively and magically.
The story is an easy, fast read that leads to a satisfying and surprising ending. If you like fast-paced, supernatural stories, with twists and turns, this is a very good one. Enjoyable, well executed and fun.
Other Work: Gemini Rising, Book One, an apocalyptic romance series. Book Two, The Light and the Flame to be released soon through Crescent Moon Press.
Packed with prophesy, pain and passion; with love, devastation and renewal, Gemini Rising is the memorable introduction to what promises to be an epic intergalactic/interdimensional series that will rock sci-fi readers to the core. This first book is set in the near future in the United Socialist States. America is plagued with many of the consequences that today’s conservatives believe we will face if our government continues down its current liberal path. Yet, as frightening as this future world becomes, it didn’t once occur to me to put this book down. Simply put, it’s one of the most amazing, yet unsettling books I’ve ever read. For Ms. Carroll, it’s a crowning achievement, so masterfully written it can do nothing but win every award for which it’s certain to be nominated.
The mystical love story of Noah and Kate is both sweet and awe-inspiring. It drew so many tears from me in spots that I had to stop reading to mop up the flood. Otherwise, I was completely lost in this book. The ceiling could have fallen in on me and I wouldn’t have noticed. Kate, despite all her initial wailing, resentfulness and depression over each and every danger, adversity and harsh condition she had to face, always rises to the occasion. She is probably a more authentic heroine than we sometimes see in romance novels. Accustomed to Jason’s overbearing and demeaning attitude toward her, she’s a typical woman forced to face adversities so monumental that she’s ill equipped to handle them. Noah, on the other hand, is a complete rock, solid and enduring in his devotion to o Kate and to his mission to save humanity.
Gemini Rising is a truly superb book, arguably the best futuristic novel to come down the pike in quite sometime. Don’t miss it. Its anticlimactic ending will leave you with what Ms. Carroll calls a “haunting echo” of what is to come sometime in 2013 with the release of The Light and the Flame, the first of several highly anticipated sequels.
Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.
A Shadow of Time
This scene takes place when Kellyn first sees Shadow Ley, the mansion she has inherited from her deceased husband.
After discovering Jackson was more than two hours from San Jose and an hour or more away from a decent mall, the first pangs of leaving surfaced. However, Kellyn was determined to make this work. Day before yesterday she had finally ordered the moving van which left about fifty bucks in her pocket—just enough gas money to get her to the foothills.
Mr. Shaw informed her that once she arrived, a debit card and checkbook with a balance of five thousand dollars waited for her. She planned on arriving today then hitting the bank tomorrow. After that, it was shopping for them both. Scott needed new pants, plus his shoes were getting small. They would need warmer clothing, too.
The Honda shuddered as it took a deep rut, forcing her to focus. Globs of mistletoe hung from twisted branches scraping the car’s roof. Glancing in the rear-view, Scott gazed at her with concern. Another half-mile and she began to wonder if there was a house.
She downshifted to climb another hill, and as she crested the top, she gasped then pulled over to the side of the road. On a knoll overlooking the city, pines and oaks surrounded the hillock where Shadow Ley reared a gargantuan head. Sunlight streamed onto white clapboards and a meandering front porch. The only part of the house that wasn’t white was the slate gray roof that seemed to go on forever.
Shocked, she stared at the monstrosity. Where was the Victorian she had envisioned: the turrets, tiles, and warm colored paint? Where were the windows shining in the sun and the overgrown garden she was going to lose herself in? This wasn’t a house. It was a giant deformity! It was huge, off center, and more work than she’d ever be able to handle.
She cocked her head, examining the architectural monstrosity while trying to make sense of the situation. A rabid shadow shimmered around the periphery of the house that made the creation look ugly, unwanted, and somehow, soiled. Were those gargoyles on top of dormer windows?
Her stomach plummeted as she contemplated rambling around the interior, her fear of large spaces overwhelming her. Long and low slung, the porch hugged what looked like a Colonial mansion with a Georgian flair—a miserable gothic mess with an eclectic sense of humor. The boarded-over windows were dark and lifeless, the lawn out front brown and unkempt. Three chimneys sprang from the roof. Two in front, one in the back.
“Man,” Scotty shouted. “Come here.”
Turning in her seat, she gazed at her son, perplexed. His imaginary friend was as real to him as she was.
“See Man, Mommy?” His blue eyes shined with excitement as he tried to get her to see his invisible friend.
As usual, nothing was there. Man was a figment of her son’s imagination, brought on by the death of his father, an opinion espoused by his pediatrician.
Exhausted, she gazed at the littered floor of the automobile. Animal crackers decorated the space in-between the door and the seat. She sighed, a strange longing coming over her. I want to go home, she thought. I just want to go home.
1 When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first book as a kid. Scribbled pictures sat atop misspelled words in a child’s attempt at written communication that no one would read. You’d think that would have stopped me. In the early nineties, I wrote my first children’s book, Journeys. Published by Galde Press, the book is available at Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. After that, I wrote several more children’s books for my kids and grandchildren. I self-published them as they were more for myself and my family than anyone else, but then people started to buy them. I left them on Lulu where every now and again someone purchases one. I don’t market them at all.
In 2010, I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest with Gemini Rising (under a different name) and made it to the quarterfinals. After that, I submitted the same novel to Crescent Moon Press for their annual contest and won. The rest is history.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wanted to be so many things. I wanted to be an archaeologist, a palaeontologist, a doctor, a wife, mother, physicist, so I gave up and became a writer. It was/is the only way to feed all my passions. I adore research.
3 What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?
Again, my passions range far afield. I write paranormal and throw in some horror. I write apocalyptic and throw in some horror and paranormal. After the Gemini series is completed, I plan to write paranormal criminology. I mix it up so I don’t get bored. (I wouldn’t want to bore my readers, either.)
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?
A burned out house in Jackson, CA, just the fireplace standing started the story of A Shadow of Time. My research into physics finished it. Metaphysical dimensions abound and so do the lives time crosses and re-crosses. I love old stuff and I adore science. Combining them is so much fun!
In Gemini Rising, I used the angst gripping the world today and turned the earth on its ear. Then my characters needed to learn how to survive in an upside down world. After than I threw in some today type mythology, (aliens) and the story took care of itself.
In the Light and the Flame, Kate, my MC from Gemini One, must cement her bond ship to Noah. The way to do that is not through love, but through pain. She will confront Belial, crowned prince of Hades before finding her way back home.
In Redemption, a young boy with paranormal abilities turns to drug abuse as a way of self-discovery. When he decides to face himself and what he has created, he discovers that life is much more than it seems.
It has been a wonderfully challenging experience. First off, I had to learn to take criticism from my editor. There were a few belly blows before I got that she was just trying to make my work better. Now, I am very thankful for her.
Then, there’s the marketing and getting over the I’m an author? thingy. It is quite challenging to the ego. I prefer a humble, quiet existence, and I had to learn to put myself out there. I’ve had two mediocre reviews and both came with crushing blows, but I’ve since moved on.
6. Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I market in the morning (which includes blogging) and write in the afternoon Monday through Friday. I take the weekends off if possible. I prefer absolute quiet. I’m a write by the seat of your pantser which means I have no idea what will happen next to my characters. This movie starts playing in my mind, color and all, very action oriented, and I just write down what I see. I had this vivid thing happen to me last week that totally creeped me out.
While driving home from work, this scene started to play out in my mind. I had this strange sensation that I had opened one eye and peeked into another dimension where all this was happening in real time and I was just recording it. It was so vivid, I didn’t write for an entire day. Just thinking about it gives me the chills.
7. How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
The places are real places and the character names are the people around me. When I get into other dimensions and worlds, I try to keep them true to mythology, but, occasionally, I make up a name. I love telling a family member they are starring in my next novel. The woman on the front cover of Gemini Rising is my daughter. I had to describe her and the artist got her down totally. I was/am still very impressed.
8. In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?
My main character, Kellyn O’Brien, from A Shadow of Time is my current favorite. Here she is, widowed and pregnant, with a three year-old she has to lug around. She has no money, no job, and no home when she discovers she’s inherited a mansion and a ton of money. The question is then asked, how far will she go to keep what she’s inherited?
9. Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
In A Shadow of Time, I use theoretical physics as the antagonist, a real theory in which there exists multiple dimensions, through which we cross. That idea germinated when I read an article about a tiny paddle scientists put into a bell jar. To make this semi-easy to understand, they sucked out all the air from the jar and forced the paddle to vibrate. In one dimension, the paddle stood still and in the other dimension, it vibrated. The observers (scientists) were able to see the paddle as it vibrated and stood still with the naked eye. Now that got my imagination going.
10. How did you/do you market your work?
I blog, I guest post on other blogs, I Facebook, tweet, and hang out on Goodreads and Facebook. I also have Crohn’s disease, which gave me my inspiration about my paranormal criminology book. My detective will have Crohn’s disease and 10 percent of all earnings from the series will go to the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation. Not an easy subject to talk about, but I blog each Thursday to my brothers and sisters stuck at home or in the hospital. Thank heaven my job does not require physical work.
11. Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?
I ran in front door, pins and needles following me in my wake, seriously gasping. My husband had called me at work to let me know the package was there. He didn’t open it, (he’s such a sweetie) and there it lay on the kitchen table waiting….
I picked up the box and ran my fingers around the edges, feeling all the bumps and craters in the cardboard, then I tried to rip it open but it was a lot harder than it looked. Eventually, packing knife in hand, I dug in, ripping and tearing, frustration mounting. Finally, there they were. All ten copies, beautiful color copies, staring at me with my name in print blinding me. Freaked out, I realized there was no turning back. I had suck my name on this book for better or worse.
Taking a deep breath, I picked up a book. I reveled in the silkiness of the paperback, the sharp edge, and the ruffle of paper as I thumbed the copy. Each novel fit so nicely into its cardboard container that I hesitated to take another out. The box would look so incomplete. Besides, I might scratch the cover.
I kept that box with me for the next several hours. I would pick up a book then put it back until my husband (laughingly) threatened to take it away from me. Eventually, people started to ask for copies and I began to give them away. Yes, I said give. I can’t sell anything to anyone. If I have a copy, it is given as a gift. The last one I had went to the Aircraft carrier USS Stennis. I hear they have a poor library and maybe A Shadow of Time will spice it up.
12. Favorite authors?
Stephen King, John Saul, Simon Toyne, and Rosemary Rogers.
13. Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?
I go and write a blog or do something else as long as it has to do with writing. Discipline is the key. You must sit down and write even if you don’t feel like it.
14. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
If you love it—write. If you don’t—find something that you do love to do and you will never work a day in your life. Don’t expect financial windfalls. Oh, it happens, but most of the time it is the love of the craft that keeps you going. You will get bad reviews—not everyone will like what you write. Take the good with the bad and learn from it.
15. Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it?
As I said, I have just finished The Light and the Flame, the second book in the Gemini series, am working on the third, and last (I think) novel. After that, I will finish the Redemption series.
Thank you so much for having me on today!