New bestseller: Arcadia’s Choice, by Jesi Lea Ryan

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jesiversion2-2You love great writing, and BestSelling Reads delivers. Jesi Lea Ryan’s third book, Arcadia’s Choice, launches today. It’s the third in the series that includes bestsellers Arcadia’s Gift and Arcadia’s Curse.

Can’t wait? Here’s a sample:

IF I’VE GOTTA have the soul of another person living inside me, why can’t it be one who speaks French? I jiggled the mouse between two multiple choice answers on the computer screen, agonizing over my final French exam.

Sorry, honey, Kevin Ibrahim Ahmadi answered in my mind. Never took French. But look on the bright side. Thanks to me, you now are fluent in Pashto, Urdu, Arabic and speak a passable Punjabi.

I groaned. And what will those languages get me other than hit on by cab drivers and gas station attendants?

Ouch! That hurts…but you do have a point.

Hush up, and let me think.

French was the last exam of my high school career, and I’d been agonizing over it for an hour. You’d think all the time I’d spent at night studying rather than sleeping would have helped, and it probably did, but months of no more than four hours of sleep a night was getting to me.

I clicked the enter button, and the tiny hourglass spun lazily on the screen. My knee bounced with impatience. After what felt like forever, but in reality was probably only ten seconds or so, a new page rolled onto the computer screen. In big red letters, it read, “Passing grade: 92%.”

My knee stilled, and I leaned back in my chair, dry eyes still glued to the screen as if it might change with a blink.

“Congratulations. You’re officially a high school graduate,” said my tutor Wade while he thumbed through his iPad at the next table.

I blew a lock of hair out of my eyes. “It’s all sort of…anticlimactic, isn’t it?”

“What did you expect, balloons and confetti? You graduate from a virtual high school, you get a virtual graduation. Dr. Helbo has to sign off on some things. I’ll file your paperwork tomorrow, and you’ll get your diploma mailed to you in four to six weeks.”

Well, maybe not balloons and confetti, but when I envisioned my high school graduation, I had pictured one-size-never-fits-all robes, sitting through cliché-filled speeches and tossing my cap in the air. I had also always assumed my twin sister, Lony, would be there with me. It just illustrated how much my life had changed in a year.

What’s it about?

Arcadia is sick of being used and abused for her psychic gifts. It was bad enough to be exploited by a madman, but when the users are closer to home, she must decide how far she is willing to go for others, and when she needs to watch out for herself.

Some gifts just aren’t worth it.

“In this final installment, Ryan has brought all her characters full circle in a story that will sweep you up, and not let go–not even after the last page. She [Ryan] has seamlessly blended action, romance, paranormal elements alongside a truly tight plot into one helluva story. This is one book (and series) not to be missed!” —Shannon Mayer, author of the Rylee Adamson Series and the Nevermore Trilogy.

Where to find it

About the author

Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA.

She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in
Madison, WI with her husband and two fat kitties.

Visit her:

 

On Twitter? Say hi to @JesiLea!

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Friday Focus: Arcadia’s Gift by Jesi Lea Ryan

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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, unblinkiarcadiasgift_kindleng, 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 lsat 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.

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EXCERPT: Arcadia’s Gift by Jesi Lea Ryan

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Jesi Lea Ryan

Jesi Lea Ryan

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.Jesi

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.

 § § § § § § §

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Judging a Book by Its Cover by Douglas Dorow

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The old saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”

Authors don’t like that saying. We want readers to judge a book by its cover. We believe you can judge a book by its cover, and we spend time, energy and money to create a cover that reflects the story we’ve written and delivered in our books.

When you browse the racks in a bookstore or online, what gets you to sample a book or buy it? You see the cover, the genre it’s filed under, maybe look at the blurb. That’s all you’ve got. The cover needs to convey the essence of the story, the tone, the genre. The cover needs to make you want to learn more about it, open it, sample it, buy it and read it.

Here are some samples of book covers and blurbs for a few BestSellingReads authors from different genres. Do they work, get your attention, make you want to read more? You be the judge.

Douglas Dorow – THE NINTH DISTRICT

The Federal Reserve has never been robbed. 

FBI Special Agent Jack Miller, pulled into a high-profile case to mentor a new agent, finds himself in a clash with the toughest opponent of his career. The chase culminates in the bowels of the city, in the storm sewers and tunnels beneath The Ninth District Federal Reserve of Minneapolis.

(Book Bub) Suspense, intrigue, and dazzling plot twists power this tale of an FBI special agent and rookie investigator racing through the darkest layers of Minneapolis to chase a sinister Federal Reserve robber.

When I first published The Ninth District, I hired a cover designer -Carl Graves- and he came up with this cover.

9th

 

 

 

 

 

It was well received. People really liked it. Then I wanted to publish it in Spanish and I had to use a different cover designer. I worked with Ares Jun and he came up with this one.


Nuevo

 

 

 

 

 

To me, this one captured the story better than the first and I re-released the English version with this cover as well. Do you agree?

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Cover artist: Ares Jun

Shannon Mayer – SUNDERED

They were promised weight loss, the cure for Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and infertility; they were promised hope.

The side effects were anything but hopeful.

Mara and Sebastian are young, in love and newlyweds.Far too soon, they will face tests to their love that most others won’t survive. Their bond strengthens with each loss, destruction and unbearable race against time.  In each other, they find the will and hope to endure.  Hand in hand, they will face the darkening of humanity with strength and integrity and an undeniable spirit to survive; together.

“Sundered is a story that will steal a piece of your heart as you cheer for both Mara and Sebastian in this unconventional love story.  It is a story of love, hope, faith and the strength to carry on after the dark times come.”  -Reviewer

sundered
Cover by  Damon Za at www.damonza.com

Jesi Lea Ryan – 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 spiralingdepression 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…

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Cover by Phatpuppy Art.  http://phatpuppyart.com/

Helen Hanson – 3 LIES

#1 Technothriller on Kindle – # 67 in Kindle – Top 100 Paid BestSeller

At CIA headquarters, a young officer discovers that terrorists may have commandeered their computer systems to launch an unauthorized mission. Elsewhere, conspirators abduct nine people to manipulate the rules of their game. Two disparate ambitions — Clint Masters becomes the reluctant link in the chain of danger.

Ever since Clint’s almost ex-wife dumped him, he bobs along the Massachusetts coast in a sailboat with his black lab for company. He avoids all forms of technology, a counter intuitive effort for the burned-out founder of CatSat Laboratories. Tired of clutching the brass ring, he needed to untether, step off the corporate treadmill, and smell a flower. Fortunately, he met one, a beautiful, unspoiled woman who doesn’t treat him like a commodity. His relationship with Beth offers more promise than his marriage ever did, even if she is on dialysis for her recovering kidneys, until she disappears.

In spite of the evidence, her family refuses to admit she’s in danger. Without routine dialysis, she won’t survive. As Clint realizes that he loves Beth, damn-near ex-wife Paige sashays back into his life with disturbing news.

While the CIA young gun tracks his quarry, Clint enlists the help of two men to find Beth, a blithe Brit named Merlin, and Todd, his playboy partner-in-tech. But Clint must find Beth before her kidneys fail. And before someone unloads a bullet in his head.

Cover-380w

 

 

 

 

 

The artist magician is George Weiss from Tekeme Studios – www.tekeme.com

Can you judge the book by its cover? We hope so!! 

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Boost your reading experience with conventions! – by Jesi Lea Ryan

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image001For most of us, reading is a solitary activity–something we do to at the end of the day to unwind, or to pass the time waiting for the train.  If we want to be social with our reading, we might join a book club or go to a local book signing.  While all of these activities are wonderful, why not kick your reading enjoyment into high gear and attend a book convention?  Book cons take place year round and all over the world, and offer readers many benefits.

Meet your favorite authors and discover new ones

Conventions offer much more than a meet & greet with your favorite authors.  The fun, laid back atmosphere really let’s you get to know them as people.  Remember, writing is also a solitary activity, so for authors, cons give them an excellent opportunity to discuss their work directly with readers. While the big name authors might draw you in, sometimes the most exciting part is discovering new authors and books to read.

Whether it is in workshops, panels or through one-on-one conversations, these interactions will create memories.  After all, how many of you can say that you’ve played Apples to Apples with a bunch of erotic romance writers?  It’s also super cool to watch the authors interact with each other.

Tiffany Reisz and Andrew Schaffer - RT2013

Authors Tiffany Reisz and Andrew Shaffer – 2013 Romantic Times Booklovers Convention

 

Network with other readers 

The best way to find your next read is often from word of mouth.  Readers love to talk about the books and authors that excite them.  I first heard of Graceling by Kristin Cashore while at a sci-fi convention.  As soon as I got home, I ordered it, and boy was I glad.  Cashore is one of my favorite authors now. 

Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, conventions reward you for stepping outside of your comfort zone.  If you open yourself up and speak to other con attendees, you can not only get recommendations, but make new friends.  I recommend always wearing your name badge and carrying business cards to facilitate quick introductions.  People who recognize my name from Twitter will come up and hug me like we go way back.  (It just supports my belief that Twitter friends are real friends.)

Supplement your reading through learning

Panels and workshops are the heart of conventions.  Most cons offer a wide variety of programming to suit every interest.  I attended a workshop recently led by historic romance author Deeanne Gist on Victorian women’s clothing.  She started in her bloomers and ended up dressed for dinner out, explaining the history of the garments and how they are put on along the way.  It was both fascinating and exhausting to watch.  Later that same day, I went to a program on Scotland where we sampled whisky and haggis.  Yes, I choked down a bite.  It was gross, but now I can relate to the characters in my “hunky highlander” novels on a whole new level.

2013 RT haggis

Nasty haggis at 2013 Romantic Times Booklovers Convention

Free books!

I’m not going to lie, some conventions are pricey, but many of the smaller ones are very affordable.  Something that helps to offset the costs is all of the freebies!  Author swag, t-shirts and free books can be found in abundance.  In my experience, the larger the con, the more free books you get.  These are the free books I picked up last week at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention:

2013 RT books

This doesn’t include the several free ebook downloads I received as well.  The really cool thing is that most of these books are signed, and several are advanced reader copies, not even for sale in the bookstores yet. 

So which convention is right for you?  Well, that depends on what you like to read.  Below is a list with links to several of the large conventions in the United States, but if you are looking for something a little more local, you can always do a Google search or check with your local library/bookstore.

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention

 Book Expo America

 Bouchercon World Mystery Convention

 World Science Fiction Convention

 ComicCon

  World Horror Convention

  utopYA Con

 Authors After Dark

And if you happen to be in the Madison, WI area, feel free to come see me speak at WisCon (The World’s Leading Feminist Science Fiction Convention) on Memorial Day weekend. 

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Jesi

Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, Iowa. She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two fat kitties. On Twitter? Feel free to say hi! @Jesilea

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