Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series by Libby Doyle Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

The Passion Season:
Book I of the Covalent Series
Libby Doyle

Genre: urban fantasy/paranormal romance

Publisher: Fairhill Publishing LLC

Date of Publication: March 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9972985-0-5

Number of pages: 556 in ePub
Word Count: 117,259

Cover Artist:

Book Description: In loving him, she overcomes her pain, but to discover his true identity would shred the reality she thought she knew.

He is Barakiel. Warrior. Exile. Hopeless romantic. Barakiel is Covalent, a race of ancient beings who use their great power to keep the elemental forces of Creation and Destruction in Balance. The Covalent Council exiled Barakiel to the Earthly Realm as the price of the treachery of his father, Lucifer, who wages perpetual war against it. Lucifer also relentlessly pursues his son. The Council thinks Lucifer views his son’s power as a threat, but Barakiel knows his father seeks to destroy even the memory of love.

She is Alexandra “Zan” O'Gara. FBI Agent. Army veteran. Recovering drunk. Zan’s troubled past left her with little interest in men, but she had never encountered anyone like the stunning Rainer Barakiel. Zan believes Rainer is a wealthy businessman with expertise in edged weapons who can help her with a case. From the moment she meets him she wants him more than she’s ever wanted anything, but her intense attraction is as frightening as it is thrilling.

This is their love story. As Zan’s deepening feelings for Rainer lead her to confront her emotional damage, he struggles to meet the demands of his home world so he will be free to love her, and to reveal his true nature. Through the gruesome crime that first brought Zan to his door, Barakiel learns that his presence in the Earthly Realm has placed some of its most vulnerable citizens in danger. Compelled to protect them, he undertakes a series of duties he may not survive, even as Zan rescues him from centuries of a deadened heart.

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Excerpt: The Meet
From part one, Vernal Equinox, Chapter 1
The front of the main building had a set of massive wooden double doors and a smaller heavy wooden door to the side with the bell. She rang, and when the door opened she forgot she was supposed to speak. He was gigantic, at least six foot eight, with broad shoulders and a lithe, athletic build. A few strands of his unruly, mid-length blond hair fell over eyes that seemed to be several shades of blue at once. They drew her in with more than their beauty, as if something primeval was hidden in their depths, just barely restrained. He faintly smiled. She knew her face was getting red.
[Internal] What the h*ll. Don’t be such a fool.
“Um, hello, I’m Special Agent Alexandra O’Gara of the FBI.” She stuck out her hand. “My office made an appointment.”
“Yes. I’m Rainer Barakiel. A pleasure to meet you.” His voice was rich and deep and he spoke with a slight accent. When he shook her hand, she held it too long. She still felt flushed.
“I, um, I appreciate you taking the time for this, Mr. Barakiel.”
“I’m happy to help.”
[Internal] God, so lame. He must have to deal with swooning women all the time, but I doubt he expected it from an FBI agent.
Turning gracefully, he showed her through the door. Zan tried not to stare at the way his jeans fit his hips, or the contours of his muscles beneath his gray cashmere sweater. Gripped by a strong urge to run her hands all over him, she was lucky his place was filled with fascinating things to distract her. Antiques and art were arranged tastefully in the open space, among brown leather couches and chairs and colorful woven rugs. Pale sun from high skylights glinted off a sunburst mosaic above the mantle of a huge concrete fireplace. Zan tried to concentrate on her surroundings, at least until her pulse slowed down.
“What a fantastic place.”
“Thank you.” He dipped his head toward her in an old-fashioned display of manners that she found charming.
“This whole property is great. What was it used for, before you lived here?”
“This land was part of the old Rohm and Haas Chemical plant you can still see as you enter. The facility was shut down in 2010.”
“I wish more people would reclaim these abandoned places by the river. Most of it just goes to waste, and meanwhile they’re developing Chester County farmland.”
“Yes.” He looked at her intensely. “I felt good about redeveloping a brownfield. I had to do a lot of remediation, but now it’s an excellent place to live.”
“All you need now is for the city to buy the front parcel and turn it into a park.” Zan gave him her best sunny smile, with an openness she knew made people trust her.
“That would be ideal,” he replied, “but I’m not holding my breath.” He returned her smile.
[Internal] My god, you’re beautiful. How are you that beautiful? Why am I here? The knives.
“Um, in the interest of not taking up any more of your time than necessary, these are the knives in question.” Zan held up the case. “Daggers, I think. Did Professor Carson explain where we found them?”

About the Author:

Libby Doyle is an attorney and former journalist who took a walk around the corporate world and didn’t like it. She escapes the mundane by writing extravagant yarns, filled with sex and violence. She loves absurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband.

Libby Doyle, author of The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series©
Where are you from?
I’m originally from South Jersey. Now I live in Philadelphia.
Tell us your latest news?
I reserved a table in Artists’ Alley at the Wizard World comincon in Philadelphia June 2 through June 5. This is going to be a big one. Half the cast of The Avengers is going to be there. I’m looking forward to seeing all the people in their costumes, meeting other artists, maybe spotting movie star. Of course, the main reason is to get the word out about my urban fantasy novel, The Passion Season. The book is about a superhuman warrior from another dimension who falls in love with an FBI agent, so I’ll fit right in at Wizard World.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in high school, mostly because I wanted to be just like the people who had written the books that enriched my life. I was an English major in college, but I wasn’t diligent about fiction like I should have been. Eventually, I went the practical route and became a journalist. Let me tell you, my first bylined story was quite a thrill. After I got a job as a reporter covering the courts I was inspired to go to law school. I went at night, and kept my full-time job, which was difficult. This gave me the confidence to write a novel. Nothing seemed daunting after that, and writing urban fantasy is a lot more fun than legal writing. (Biggest. Understatement. Ever.)
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I read the first review that let me know a reader found The Passion Season entertaining, and cared about my characters.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m a natural-born storyteller. I love to make people laugh, shock them or inform them. I was inspired by that self-knowledge. As for influences, I’ll name the work of Joss Whedon, especially Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel. Both those series had love stories, violence and funny dialogue. So does The Passion Season.
Do you have a specific writing style?
No. I’m adaptable. I learned that in journalism. In The Passion Season my alien characters, the Covalent, speak in a formal, elegant way, but the humans use more relaxed language. My female protagonist, Zan, is quite foul-mouthed. She used to be in the army.
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted something evocative. In The Passion Season my male hero, Rainer Barakiel (pronounced Ry-ner Ba-rack-ee-el) is attacked by demons at every change of seasons. They can only access Earth at the time of an equinox or a solstice, when a rift opens between dimensions. So the seasons have significance in the story. And, of course, a huge part of the story is the white-hot passion between Zan and Rainer.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No. The book is meant to be entertaining, a wild story to enjoy. That being said, there are themes. Barakiel is Covalent. The Covalent are ancient, powerful beings. The source of their power is Balance, the equilibrium of creation and destruction, order and entropy, love and hate. Barakiel sees violence as the solution to every problem, but he loves as fiercely as he fights and he has a well-developed sense of honor. His impulse toward violence is inseparable from his devotion to his duty.
I liked the idea of using this concept because I think we need to accept our flaws along with our qualities, a yin/yang thing. Bad temper? Maybe this aspect of yourself is inseparable from the strength of will you need to accomplish difficult tasks. Maybe it’s inseparable from your courage. Get down on yourself because people tend to push you around? Maybe your talent for conciliation could defuse a tense situation and help find a solution. The idea is to stop making value judgments and see things as more integrated. It’s an aspiration. I’m no Zen master.
How much of the book is realistic?
Considering my story involves aliens known as Covalent who travel through rifts in the fabric of existence to visit Earth from another dimension, not so much.  Where I want to be realistic is in the reactions of my characters. Their actions are consistent with their personalities. Also, I abide by the rules of this new world I have created. I worked hard to make sure my story has its own internal integrity.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, unless you count my experiences reading books. Things are much better than when I was young, but I remember a lot of passive female characters, both in books and on TV. Women whose sole role was to be rescued or protected. Even as a little girl, I rejected this. I guess that’s why Zan O’Gara, the female hero in The Passion Season, is so strong.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein and a Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle for teaching me the joy of imagination. The Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren, because what little girl wouldn’t be influenced by a scrappy girl with the strength of ten men and a polka-dotted horse? The Dune series by Frank Herbert for its pure world-building brilliance. Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo for a portrayal of suffering that has never left me. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, for its chilling portrayal of women forced to bear children for powerful families.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Even though he doesn’t write novels, it would be Joss Whedon, who wrote terrific scripts filled with hilarious dialogue for Buffy and Angel, but who also filled his stories with great characters and chills and spills. The man knows how to tell a story.
What book are you reading now?
Witch of the Cards by Catherine Stine
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m afraid I’m so busy that I’m not able to keep an eye on new authors. I recently read books one to three in Lindsay Buroker’s Dragon Blood series. She’s hardly new, but she was new to me. Great stuff.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on The Pain Season: Book II of the Covalent Series. This novel takes up where The Passion Season leaves off and never lets up. A real ripsnorter. I plan to releases The Pain Season on the autumnal equinox (9/22/16). In the world of my novels, demons surge through rifts in the fabric of existence at the change of seasons. Barakiel, my male hero, has to deal with them.
What would you like my readers to know?
I’d like them to know a little more about the Covalent because they’re unique to my novel. Rainer Barakiel, my male hero, is a warrior Covalent. This means he can gather energy from his surroundings and turn it into superhero-like strength and speed. Moreover, he’s a Warrior of the Rising, which means he’s directly descended from the first Covalent, the ancient ones who created that civilization. Warriors of the Rising are his world’s most powerful beings. Barakiel is a total badass.
His friend and mentor, Pellus, is a traveler adept, the type of Covalent who can travel between dimensions (with or without a passenger) using rifts in the fabric of existence. Unlike demons, Pellus isn’t limited to the rifts that appear at the change of seasons. He can use rifts that constantly appear and disappear like the perpetual breathing of reality. Demons can’t perceive these kinetic rifts. Only traveler Covalent can perceive the kinetic rifts. And Pellus can do more than that. As a traveler adept, the highest rank of traveler Covalent, Pellus can manipulate the properties of matter and energy. He can turn corpses to dust, create impenetrable barriers out of the air, and move light form one spot to another to conceal his activities (and Barakiel’s). He’s a badass, too, in his wise and measured way. Of course, so is Zan O’Gara. My book is filled with badasses.

Tour giveaway

2 copies of the ebook

2 signed paperbacks

$25 Gift Card from Amazon, iTunes or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice)

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  1. Passion is always in season, is it not?

  2. thank you for the chance to win )

  3. Sounds like an interesting read!

  4. Indeed, passion is always in season, but not for my characters until they met each other. They both had hard lives.

    Thanks for reading!

  5. Thank you for informing me aboutt his book.

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt and interview, thank you.

  7. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and the interview. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read! Totally can't wait to read this book!

  8. Thank you Ally! I'm glad you find it intriguing. And thank you all for visiting the site!