Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Season Of The Witch by L.J.K. Oliva Interview & Excerpt

Season Of The Witch
Shades Below
Book 1.5
L.J.K. Oliva

Genre: urban fantasy/paranormal romance

Date of Publication: Oct. 1, 2015

Word Count: 99,733

Cover Artist: Amy Mateyka

Book Description:

Something wicked this way comes...well, more wicked than usual.

Georgia Clare needs help, and fast.  As the lone survivor of—and witness to—her coven's brutal massacre, she's felt the killer hunting her.  There's just one problem: the rest of San Francisco's witching community wants nothing to do with her, and the one man she can turn to doesn't do witches.

Darius deCompostela has done his best to steer clear of subversive affairs.  A private investigator and reluctant medium, the last thing he wants is to advertise his existence to the things that go bump in the night.  But then Georgia knocks on his door, and try as he might, he can't turn her away.

It's just one case, after all.  It's not like it's going to change his life…

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Excerpt 1

It was her third night in a row of frozen pasta for dinner.  Not that she was counting.
Georgia popped the top off yet another bottle of Corona and took a long draw.  She leaned back against the counter.  The microwave hummed behind her.  She glanced over her shoulder at the digital clock on the unused stove.  Sighed.
Nearly six o'clock, and still no sign of deCompostela.  The pang of disappointment in her chest chafed at her pride.  She should have known better than to believe he would stop by.  He'd already made it abundantly clear he thought she was out of her mind.
Truth be told, the possibility had occurred to her.  It had been a week since the new moon, and she hadn't seen hide nor hair  Whatever it was.  If not for the lingering scent of blood in her nostrils, she could almost believe she'd hallucinated the whole thing.
The microwave beeped.  Georgia took one last drag of beer, then set her bottle down next to the two that had preceded it and opened the door.  Fragrant steam rushed out; a heady blend of tomato, basil, and MSG.
Georgia reached in and grabbed the microwaveable plastic bowl, hissed and yanked her hand back again.  She scanned the kitchen for something she could use as a potholder.  Finally, she settled on a bunched-up paper towel.
The hairs on the back of her neck prickled as she pulled out the pasta bowl.  Georgia tensed, turned...
...Just in time to see her living room window explode inward in a hail of glass.  She let out a startled shriek.  A massive, dark creature suddenly occupied the space where her coffee table used to sit.
Everything else seemed to happen in slow-motion.  The creature straightened, shaking shards of glass off its dull black fur.  Its ears twitched towards her.  Its lips peeled back from its razor-sharp teeth.
Georgia's chest seized.  Recognition slammed through her.  The creature snarled.  Any lingering doubts she'd been harboring instantly evaporated.
It was here.

About the Author:

L.J.K. Oliva is the devil-may-care alter-ego of noir romance novelist Laura Oliva. She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her ste


Where are you from?
I was born and bred in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tell us your latest news?
Well, I just released a new book (Season Of The Witch - Shades Below, #1.5).  Also, my son just started preschool!
When and why did you begin writing?
Like plenty of people, I started writing young as a way to amuse myself, stepped away from it for a few years, then returned to it as an adult.  My husband and I had just found out we were going to have our son, and I wanted a job I would be able to do from home.  The rest, as they say, is history!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Fifth grade.  I co-wrote a book with a friend of mine, and our school "published" it and stocked it in their library.  I vividly remember all the time and plotting and head-scratching that went into that book.  It was my first time experiencing the work side of what it means to be a writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Initially?  Desperation.  But once things got rolling, I remembered why I enjoyed writing so much when I was younger: the thrill of discovery, getting to bring people that once only existed in my head to life on the page, exploring new places and cultures.  Once all that happened, I was hooked.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I would like to think my style falls somewhere between Dashiell Hammett and Janet Evanovitch, but really, I just try to leave out the parts people skip.
How did you come up with the title?
I played around with a few different titles, but Season Of The Witch was always the one that seemed to fit best.  Full disclosure: this is possibly because I've always loved the song.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Hmm, tough question.  Actually, I like to let readers find their own messages in my books.  Inevitably, they come up with things I never actively thought about, but that in retrospect ring very true.  I'm constantly rediscovering my own work through other people's eyes.
How much of the book is realistic?
I would like to think a fair portion of it.  I am an unabashed San Francisco-phile, so I always try to give people as realistic and honest a view of the city as I can.  And of course, I always try to draw my characters as realistically as possible.  Even the lore is pretty realistic, on some level: I've kept as close to actual belief systems and practices as I can.  The hoodoo, candle magic, curanderismo rituals; all are based on things people do in real life.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Haha, I wish!  Who wouldn't love to traipse around the city visiting secret witch clubs and chasing hellhounds with a guy like Darius?
What books have most influenced your life most?
The Redwall Series, by Brian Jacques, was definitely an influence.  They are the earliest books I can remember reading, and they were solid, well-written fantasy books.
More recently, I have been obsessed with Karen Marie Moning's Fever series, Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series, and the book Uprooted, by Naomi Novik.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Probably Karen Marie Moning. We've never met, but her books inspire me to be a better writer, and her Facebook page has helped me figure out new and better ways to market my own work.
Oh, and she totally follows me on Goodreads.  I'll be living on that for FOREVER.
What book are you reading now?
I recently picked up some awesome titles from authors who did takeovers at my Season Of The Witch launch party.  I'll be working through these for the next little while:
- The Girl (Sanctum, #1), Madhuri Blaylock
- No More Black Magic (Here Witchy Witchy, #1), A.L. Kessler
- Jewel (Norma Jean's School Of Witchery, #1), Rose Montague
- Niko (The Outsider Chronicles, #1), Kayti Nika Raet
- The Island And The Kite, Aurora Zahni
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I recently discovered Naomi Novik (on a recommendation from Karen Marie Moning, incidentally).  I read all 100k+ words of her book in one night.  Still catching up on my sleep...
What are your current projects?
At the moment, I am actively plotting the next book in my Shades Below series.  It's called The Devil's Disease, and I'm REALLY excited about it!  Lena and MacMillian are back, baby!
Once that's underway, I get to start pre-production work on the next novella in my m/m paranormal series, the Shades Below Shorts.  The Shorts are companion stories to each Lena/MacMillian adventure in Shades Below.  The new one is called Thicker Than Blood, and will take place in New Orleans.
What would you like my readers to know?


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