Friday, 22 November 2013

PSS Chronicles by Ripley Patton Book Blitz, Excerpt and Interview!


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Today is my post during the book blitz for the PSS Chronicles series by Ripley Patton.This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours .

The PSS Chronicles consist of 2 books so far: Ghost Hand (PSS Chronicles #1) and Ghost Hold (PSS Chronicles #2). To celebrate the one year anniversary of Ghost Hand, Ghost Hand will be free during this book blitz and Ghost Hold will be for sale for $0.99. Also don't forget to stop by the Facebook anniversary event

ghost handGhost Hand (PSS Chronicles #1)  
by Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age Category: Young Adult
Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
You can find Ghost Hand on Goodreads

You can download Ghost Hand for free here:
- Amazon
- Kobo
 
ghost holdGhost Hold (PSS Chronicles #2) 
by Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age Category: Young Adult

Blurb:Olivia Black is back.

Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.

Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.

Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.

You can find Ghost Hold on Goodreads

You can buy Ghost Hold here:
- Amazon
 
About the Author:

Ripley

Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.

Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.

You can find Ripley here:

- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Google+

Excerpt

Ghost Hand Excerpt:
 Five minutes into my Calc test, I glanced up and caught the new guy staring. I looked down, following his gaze, and saw that my fingers were shimmering around the edges. I yanked my hand into my lap and my pencil flew out of it, clattering to the floor. It landed in the aisle and rolled toward New Guy’s desk. He put out a foot, trapping it, and kicked it back my direction, his glance following its progress as it came back to me, bumping up against the thick sole of my boot. His eyes rose up my multi-buckled calf to my thigh, then to my lap, stopping at the spot where I was doing my best to hide my hand under my desk. But we could both see the pool of blue PSS energy, shapeless and pulsing, writhing at the end of my wrist stump. I looked up again, locking eyes with him. His expression was unreadable. He didn’t look surprised, or afraid, or alarmed. He just looked, his eyes fixed on my wacked-out hand, as if curious to see what it would do next. I gritted my teeth and tried to focus my PSS back into shape. I was not going to be this guy’s personal freak show. I could fix this. It was just mind over matter. But it didn’t work. If anything, the more I tried, the worse it got, expanding and losing even more definition. The burning sensation grew so intense I squeezed my eyes shut against it. All around me, I could hear the scrape and shuffle of students getting up and handing in their tests. I bent over my desk, trying to block my hand from view. For a moment, I thought about getting up and running out of class, but someone would see my hand for sure if I did that. Maybe if I took a deep breath, and calmed down, it would go back to normal on its own. As if in response to that thought, the pain suddenly eased off. I opened my eyes. New Guy was leaning over the edge of his desk, and there seemed to be something wrong with his neck. He kept jerking his head toward Passion Wainwright, the girl who sat in front of me. What did he want? An introduction? If so, his timing was utter crap. “Leave me alone,” I mouthed past clenched lips. He shook his head and gave an exaggerated nod toward Passion again, rolling his eyes in her direction. This time, I turned and looked. Something was crawling up Passion’s back. Not just one something. Five somethings. Five elongated, wisp-thin tendrils, winding their way up Passion’s chair, climbing her back, fluttering at the strands of hair that had escaped from her ponytail, making a moving, barely-perceptible pattern of bluish light on the back of her white turtleneck so faint I could almost convince myself it was an optical illusion. Except it wasn’t. It was my hand, my five fingers stretching impossibly and rising from under the front of my desk, groping the back of Passion Wainwright. I yanked my wrist in toward my body, but it made no difference. I couldn’t feel my hand, couldn’t control those fingers or call them back. Passion shivered, as if she felt a draft, and absently brushed an undulating tendril away from her neck. The thickest finger, the one in the middle, rose up along her spine, stopping at a spot right between her shoulder blades. It held level for a moment, weaving back and forth like some ghostly snake dancing to the tune of an invisible flute. Then it dipped forward, slipping silently through the thin cotton fabric of Passion’s shirt and straight into her back. She didn’t make a sound as she went limp, her torso gently slanting toward her desk; the tendril of PSS embedded in her back the only thing holding her up. I didn’t make a sound either, didn’t move, didn’t dare. What if moving made it worse? Oh my God, a voice yammered in my head, you think this could get worse? I could feel New Guy’s eyes boring into the side of my head. Obviously, he could see my PSS skewering Passion. Why didn’t he jump up and scream and point? How could he just be sitting there so calmly? I had to get away. From Passion. From everyone. But if I bolted, would my PSS come with me or stretch between my wrist and Passion like some horrible, incriminating rubber band? What would that do to my hand? What would it do to Passion? I had no idea. And before I could figure it out, the bell rang.   

Ghost Hold Steamy Excerpt: 
 Marcus crossed back to the faucet of the now-full tub and turned it off. He bent over and turned on the jets, which kicked up a lot more steam and a lot more noise. I was starting to melt inside my own clothes, and he must have been too, because when he turned back to me he was slipping his t-shirt over his head. "What are you doing?" I asked, my voice coming out a little strangled. "You and I need to talk," he said, letting the shirt drop to the floor. "Yes," I said, trying not to gawk at his chest and the way the steam swirled into it, his PSS shining back and coloring the mist a soft blue hue. "But can't we do that with our clothes on?" "We need to talk where I'm sure no one can hear us," he said, his hands going to the snap of his jeans. The zipper was next. He had on red tartan boxers. He slid the jeans down his legs, turned, slipped off the boxers, and stepped into the tub, sinking down into it with an audible moan. I stood there stunned. I had just seen Marcus naked. He'd just stripped to his beautiful bare ass right in front of me as if it were nothing. Yes, we'd been sleeping in a tent together for weeks, and making out, but when one of us changed clothes, the other still looked away. Marcus and I had not gotten naked together. We hadn't even come close, because I always held back. I couldn’t even bring myself to reach my hands inside his shirt. What if my flesh hand accidentally went into his chest and disrupted his PSS? Even worse, what if my ghost hand reached into him and pulled something horrible out? I was pretty sure either of those scenarios would be a serious buzz kill to our intimacy. "Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've had a bath?" he said, almost a purr, laying his head back on the edge of the tub and closing his eyes. "I—no—I haven't had one for like a month," I stammered, looking down at the tile floor, completely flustered. "Olivia," he said softly, and I looked up to find his eyes boring into me, dewy drops captured on those thick dark lashes. "Come here." I crossed obediently to the side of the bath, both relieved and a bit disappointed to find that the burbling of the jets obscured most of what was in it. Except his PSS chest. It glowed and pulsed like some half-submerged, cerulean, underwater treasure. Marcus put his hand out for mine. The invitation was obvious. This was crazy. There was no way we were going to be able to talk, coherently, in a bathtub together. "It's a big tub," he said, nodding at the other end, "and I promise to be good." Yeah, but it wasn't just him I was worried about. If I got in the tub with Marcus, I would be in the tub with Marcus. "But I—" I looked down at myself. I had on my sleeping tank with no bra underneath, my sweatpants, and underwear. "You have no idea how relaxing this is," he said, slipping his hand back into the water and closing his eyes. Either he was taunting me, or giving me a chance to undress without him watching. Probably both. "You bastard," I muttered under my breath. I slipped off my shoes and sweatpants and padding barefoot to the far end of the tub. I was not going in completely naked. I wasn’t that much of a fool. I kept my tank and underwear on and stepped into the hot swirling water. As I slid down into it, jets pounding my butt and back, the wet heat rising up and swallowing all my aches and pains in its pure liquid magic, I couldn't keep the moan from escaping my lips either. And I didn't miss the effect that sound had on my bath mate. One of his lean, muscular legs brushed mine, trembling. And his eyes widened. And his breath came a little faster across the water, far less relaxed then it had been only a moment before.

Interview

- What does Olivia like to do in her spare time?
Read, explore the woods and gullies around Greenfield, think morbid or snarky thoughts, glance at Marcus. She also does art, not painting but dark, brooding collages out of random things she finds lying around.

- How did your interest in reading and writing start?
I've loved to read for as long as I can remember. I read everything, science fiction and fantasy especially, and I can remember reading the encyclopedia set we had and almost every entry would give me an idea for a story. But I didn't really write anything significant until I was in eighth grade when my mom was terminally ill with cancer. I wrote my first poem about her impending death titled "When We Fly." I also wrote a science fiction short story for my English teacher about the sun suddenly getting too close to the earth, and she loved it, and a writer was born.

- Are there things you have in common with your main character Olivia or any of the other characters?
Well, Olivia and I are both introverts. I have somewhat of a fascination with death and I happen to love cemeteries and hate doctors. I once had a picnic on a sarcophagus in my favorite cemetery for a first date. Obviously, Olivia and I have also both lost a parent to cancer. And I have something in common with Passion. I too was raised in a Christian home, though my parents were wonderful.

- The books in the PSS Chronicles series are Paranormal Thrillers, what in this genre appeals to you and why did you decide to write this genre?
Well, first, I write genre YA because I love to read it. A writer should always write something they want to read. Plus, I have two teenagers so they help me keep the work current and enjoy the finished product. And as much as Paranormal Romance has been the go-to young adult genre recently, I don't find romance as compelling as action, adventure, or intrigue. Romance is fairly predictable. Either they end up together, or they don't. Including the thriller element in my books allows me to turn and twist the plot a lot more, which I find challenging and interesting. And of course, there can still be some romance to sweeten the pot.

- How did you come up with the inspiration for the PSS Chronicles series?
The main idea for PSS or Psyche Sans Soma, the birth defect that Olivia Black and other characters in the series suffer from, came from the real medical phenomenon of phantom limbs. I have a friend who is an amputee. Even though his right leg is gone, he can still feel it. He can feel the grass between his toes when he walks in the back yard. He can get a cramp in the middle of the night in the leg he no longer has. And this is true even of people who aren't amputees but were born without certain limbs. It seems our brain has a map of our body that isn’t limited to its fleshly manifestation. So, for the PSS series, I took that idea and ran with it. I asked myself, "What if those phantom limbs actually existed? What would they look, and act, and feel like? How would society react to them? And what power would they hold?'

What was the inspiration for Olivia?
Olivia is a combo of my inner Goth, my daughter, and the self I wish I'd been brave enough to be as a teenager.

How many books will the PSS Chronicles series contain?
Three or Four. I'm not sure yet. I have to see how long book three is first, and find out what happens.

Who designed the covers for your books and how went the process of developing them?
Kura Carpenter of Kura Carpenter Designs did Ghost Hand. I was really happy with her work and it ended up almost exactly as I'd envisioned it. I have a very personal connection to my covers. I often get visions of them in my head while I'm writing the book and that vision may even influence what I write or how things happen in the book. Because of that, I love and need to be involved in the process of cover design.

As much as I loved Kura's work for Ghost Hand, I decided to use Scarlett Rugers for the Ghost Hold design. Of course, I wanted it to match the first book while being its own unique thing. I think she did an amazing job with that. And I love the cover we ended up with. Just an interesting tid-bit, the cover for Ghost Hold was actually designed well before I wrote the end of the book and it certainly influenced the mood and details the reader encounters in the Eidolon scenes.

Which scenes do you find the easiest to write?
Whenever Olivia is being snarky, I find it almost too easy to write. My kids and betas help me cut back on some of that. They help me keep Olivia likeable. I guess I'm full of a lot of natural snark and Olivia is my mouth-piece for it.

Which scenes do you find most difficult to write?
The romance and the violence. In Ghost Hand there is actually a chapter titled "Blood and Romance" and it was really hard to write. For me, I hate for romance to be too sappy or cheesy, but I like real, sweet, genuine moments, so I'm always pulling back and making sure that's what I have. In books, romance is often written in a very formulaic way that we all know doesn't actually happen. And it can be hard not to fall into that pattern, but one of my recent reviewers said the relationship between Marcus and Olivia was one of the most naturally developing teen romances she'd ever read. I felt very proud of that. 

As far as the violence, it is just hard to put the characters I love through some of the stuff they have to experience. Sometimes, I just don't want to do it and so my inner muse goes on strike. When that happens, I just give myself space from the book and remember that trouble builds character- literally.  

 What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read, of course, especially YA. I like to hang out with other writers and bookish nerds. I love to hike and garden and generally spend time in nature or with my pets. And I love to travel when I have the money.

Favourites

- What is your favourite season?

Autumn for sure. I love, love, love it.

- What is your favourite time of the day?

Very late at night when everyone in the world is asleep except me and the cat.

What is your favourite animal?

Hawks. I have dreams about being a hawk all the time. And flying is awesome, by the way.

- What is your favourite colour?

Deep red.

Favourite quote from a book?

“You can't avoid orphan stories, child. Every story is an orphan story. We are all orphaned sooner or later.” 
 
Gabrielle Zevin, All These Things I've Done

 This or That?
Tea or Coffee? Neither I don't drink tea or coffee.
E-book or hardcopy? Both.
Cake or cookies? Cookies.
Cats or dogs? Both.
Books or movies? Both.

Laptop or desktop? Laptop. In bed. With a cat on top. 

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Imagination Designs
Images from the Meadow of Dreams kit by Irene Alexeeva