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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Focus Friday: Arcadia’s Gift

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By Jesi Lea Ryan

Nine By Night-E-BOOK Cover2
“I better go—”

“Are we ever going to talk about it?”

We spoke at the same time, our eyes finally meeting, the pale green of his irises locked on mine like a trap. I couldn’t turn away. My breath caught in my throat. His hand moved to fall heavy on the shoulder of my down coat.

“I can’t talk about it, Cane. I-I don’t want to. It was wrong.”

A fire lit in his expression as he ran his fingers down my arm and clutched my hand. His fingers were as cold as mine, but joined together they created kindled warmth. That warmth nudged on the mental barrier between us, trying to worm its way into my head. I was sure I would pay for it with a headache later.

His eyes shone with damp heat. “Cady, I can’t stop thinking about that night. About our kiss.”

“Not our kiss,” I said, yanking my hand out of his and struggling to stand up on stiff legs. “You kissed me. Big difference”

While that was true, we both knew I had kissed him back with a ferocity that stunned both of us, and the memory of which stung me with guilt whenever Bryan—my sweet, kind Bryan—brushed my lips with his.

“You don’t have to go,” Cane called, walking after me. “I’ll leave. I didn’t mean to ruin your birthday or your time with Lony.”

I stopped and turned to him. A shadow of shame and guilt clouded his face. It was the face of an angel, perfectly handsome and symmetrical. He was almost too beautiful to look at directly for fear of never getting his image off your burnt retinas. That shadow over his features looked grotesque and unnatural and immediately made me want to wipe it away.

“Cane,” I said, my voice breathy and low. “We can’t do this. I know how you feel about me. I don’t get why, but I know your feelings are real.”

“Even if I could hide how I feel from you, I wouldn’t want to.”

“It doesn’t matter, Cane. I’m with Bryan.”

“Do you love him?”

Arcadia’s Gift by Jesi Lea Ryan is one of the nine urban fantasy novels included in the NINE BY NIGHT box set.

Nine books, nine authors—99 cents!

Where to get this set of books

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 exceptionally naughty kitties.

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Friday Focus: The End of the Line by Jesi Lea Ryan

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EndOfTheLineCover“By any chance is the girl glaring at me like she wants me to spontaneously combust your girlfriend?”

I glanced back in the direction of my truck. Lony stood leaning against the side, snapping her gum, her eyes hard with jealousy. I sighed and turned back to Carly.

“Yeah, that’s her.”

Carly’s lips curled into a sly grin. “Does she realize we’re cousins and this isn’t Arkansas?”

Actually, Carly is my second cousin, and I hadn’t seen her in almost two years, so no, Lony doesn’t know we’re related. All Lony sees is her boyfriend talking to a good-looking redhead wearing a tank top cut low enough to stop traffic.

“Lony is kind of…intense.”

“Lony? You’re dating Avalon Day? I’ve heard of her.” Carly gazed past me again, nodding with appreciation. “She’s pretty. Or would be if she smiled.” Carly shucked my arm with her fist. “Kind of cliché for the football stud to date the popular cheerleader, huh?”

I lifted a half grin at her, but the comment cut a little too close to the quick. That’s exactly what I’ve felt like lately, a walking cliché. When I started dating Lony, it hadn’t seemed a choice so much as an inevitability.

Lony is gorgeous, all blond streaks and curves in the right places. Outgoing, crazy and fun… She has a gravity to her that pulls people in, making her seem like the center of the universe. I’m in awe of that talent. My popularity stems mainly from my throwing arm and my ability to knock baseballs out of the park on more or less a consistent basis.

“So how was France?” I asked.

Carly’s eyes light up, and she starts telling me about her study abroad program in Marseille. Lony’s stare burns a hole in the back of my head. I am so sick of fighting with her–or rather, having her fight with me. Most of the time Lony yells and whines while I sit in silence. I know my lack of outward reaction just pisses her off more, and maybe that’s why I do it. I don’t know. But lately we fight more than we make up, and I’m exhausted. Impulsively, I reach up and brush a lock of Carly’s hair back, knowing Lony is watching.

Carly stops speaking mid-sentence, flicks her eyes back to Lony and grins.

“Oh, I see what you’re doing. You’re purposely making it look like we’re flirting to tick her off.”

I heave a deep breath and drop my hand. “Yeah, maybe.”

“Are you trying to get her to break up with you?”

I shrug with one shoulder. I don’t really think Lony will break up with me. Not that I’m such a great catch or anything…more like her favorite fashion accessory. “Sometimes I think it would be easier if she did.”

“The End of the Line” is a prequel story to Jesi Lea Ryan’s first novel, Arcadia’s Gift.

The story is available for free on her website (in exchange for signing up to receive her newsletter), and on Smashwords. It’s also available for 99¢ on Amazon.

About the Arcadia series:

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…

About the author

Jesi Lea RyanJesi 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? Feel free to say hi @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 Curse by Jesi Lea Ryan

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Arcadias CurseI hated the idea of going to some strange guy’s bedroom, but no one else seemed to think it was weird. Swallowing my nerves, I trudged up the steps to the boys’ floor. I followed the hall to the room directly above mine where soft light shone beneath the closed door. Inside, I could hear music, a violin set to a dubstep beat. Before I could knock, a husky voice called out.

“Come in.”

I bit my lip and reached forward to turn the knob, but the door popped open on its own. Creeeepyyyy. Bastian was lying on his made bed, propped up by pillows. He’d removed his button down and wore only a black tank and worn jeans. Holy cows, even his feet were tanned and sexy.

“Can I help you?” he asked, one brow raised and holding a Nelson Demille novel in his hand. Curiosity, smug amusement and slight irritation met me.

“Um, well, I guess I’m on your team…you know, for chores. I’m told you don’t like to cook, and well, I’m okay at it. So, like, what do you want for dinner? I mean, what should we do for dinner tomorrow? Obviously, you’ve already eaten tonight.” God, my dumbassery knows no bounds! I pressed my lips together to keep from running off at the mouth.

He looked at me with a hard expression. “I don’t need a partner. See if someone else wants your help.” He turned his attention back to his book.

I was already pissed off from being ignored by my boyfriend. I wasn’t going to sit back and take attitude from this guy too.

“Really? You don’t need a partner?” I popped my hand on my hip and gave him my best stare down. “Because those kids downstairs seem to think you do. In fact, they’re pretty excited that I know how to prepare food without using a microwave.”

He glared at me and I felt his annoyance spike. “Fine, Emo Girl. You do the cooking, and I’ll do the cleaning, and we won’t have to even cross paths.”

My mouth dropped. “Emo Girl?”

One corner of his mouth twitched like it wanted to smile, but couldn’t quite manage it. “Yeah, Emo Girl. Now, if we’re good, I’ve got things to do.” He held up his book.

Just then, the collar of my t-shirt snapped back against my neck and started dragging me out of the room. I clutched at it with both hands, stumbling backwards into the hallway. When I cleared the doorway, the bedroom door slammed closed, and my shirt loosened.

For the love of Ian Somerhalder, what in the hell was that?!?

Apparently, I’d been tossed out of a room by my own t-shirt…and nothing else. My face must have gone pale, because Alejandra’s eyes widened seeing me march into the TV room a moment later.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

Reed, sitting in the recliner to my left, started to smirk, no doubt reading my freaked out thoughts. I quickly stepped away from him.

“What exactly is Bastian’s little psychic talent? Because something really weird just happened to me.” I kept fingering the collar on my shirt, afraid it would choke me again.

Reed laughed. “Bastian’s a kinetic. He can move objects with his mind.”

“No freaking way!”

“Way.”

“I’m sorry,” Alejandra said, hiding her giggle with her hand. “I thought I told you. You know his magic show? Well, those aren’t illusions he’s performing. He actually uses his mind to move things.”

“That’s so creepy!”

Zach snorted. “You have a girl who breaks into your dreams, another who talks to the dead, a boy who reads minds and another who can tell you that your phone is about to ring in less than a minute and you’re just now getting creeped out?”

 

Arcadia’s Curse:

Think high school sucks? Try being an empath who has to experience everyone else’s suckage on top of your own.  (Literally.)

In the months since her family life imploded and her psychic gifts began to arise, Cady has struggled to figure out how she can fit into her normal life without going crazy from the constant presence of emotional energy.  Her grades have tanked.  Her best friend is afraid of her.  And she begins to have doubts about why her boyfriend, Bryan, is really keeping her around.  But a chance meeting with another gifted girl online opens up a whole new world of possibilities.  Unfortunately, this new world comes at an awful price.

Jesi Lea’s Amazon page

 

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DSC04838Jesi 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 naughty kitties.

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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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