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Welcome! My name is Haley, I'm a 27 year old book-aholic. I'm a book reviewer for the RiverTalk Newspaper. I love reading YA, NA, and adult paranormal mostly, but I do go into other genres on occasion. If you want to talk more one on one about books, please don't hesitate to contact me on facebook or twitter, I love making new bookish friends!

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S.J. Harper is the pen name for the writing team of Samantha Sommersby and Jeanne C. Stein, two friends who met at Comic-Con in San Diego and quickly bonded over a mutual love of good wine, edgy urban fantasy, and everything Joss Whedon.

How is it writing as an author duo, compared to writing on your own? Would you say it's easier, harder?

Samantha: Easier? Harder? A bit of both. Harder in that we have to do more up-front preparation. It’s very important that Jeanne and I are on the same page. Easier in that I have a partner to brainstorm with and bounce ideas off of. Once the prep work is done, the writing goes very fast. I’ll let Jeanne talk more about our process.

Jeanne: As Sam said, we have to plot pretty extensively before we start writing. We know our characters, down to gathering pictures of how we think they look, where they live, their backgrounds, their tribulations. Then we start talking plot, A to Z, so that the next step is actually breaking those ideas down scene-by-scene. Once there, we divide the scenes up, write them, exchange and tweak them, and go on to the next. We work our way through the manuscript that way. We actually only get together two or three times a year to work in person.

What can readers expect from your recently released novel Cursed?

Samantha: Vengeful Greek Gods, a Siren turned FBI agent, a hunky Alpha Were, a smoking hot 2000-year-old, a mystery to solve, and some sizzling sex scenes.

Jeanne: Here’s the pitch we used to sell the series:

Without a Trace meets Angel, only this Angel is an age-old Siren turned FBI Agent who is cursed by a vindictive goddess and partnered with a hunky alpha werewolf. In search of redemption for past sins, they use the powers of seduction and strength, along with their knowledge of the supernatural and good old-fashioned detective work to rescue victims, bring Big Bads to justice, and capture one another’s hearts.

At the core, it’s urban fantasy—there’s a mystery to solve, plenty of action and suspense, and a romance arc, which will play out over the course of the series.

Do you each have a favorite excerpt from Cursed? If so what is it?


~Excerpt One~

Today is the last day of Dragon*Con, an amazing convention that happens every year in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend. As I ducked into the ladies room between panels, I hear someone in there speaking to someone on their cell phone—huge pet peeve of mine. Really? You can’t wait two minutes to call your friend, boss, husband…whoever? I immediately flashed on this scene from CURSED:

“Is that running water I hear? You’re not calling me from the ladies’ room, are you? Just because you can take a cell phone everywhere doesn’t mean you should.”
“I’m running late.” I turn off the water, step into the tub, and settle back against the bath pillow. “That was the bath running.”
The water is so hot that steam is rising. I close my eyes and for a second everything melts away. I can’t help myself—a contented sigh escapes my lips.
“Are you telling me you’re in the bath?”
“Focus on the question, Zack.”
“I’m trying,” he says. Then after a beat, “I could have focused just fine if you’d told me you were in the kitchen, doing dishes.”
“Okay, I’m in the kitchen doing dishes.”
“Too late. What was the question?”
“Guess what happened to Barakov’s first wife?”
“The charm of being married to one of the Keebler elves wore off and she went in search of a real boy?”
“You’re making fun of him because he’s short? I thought you told Barakov flaws were interesting.”
“Unless you’re an asshole. Then they’re fair game.”
“She disappeared, Zack. Went missing seven years ago without a trace.”
“Ho-ly shit!”
I smile.

Jeanne: I thought I might share a little of what Emma faces as a cursed siren. Love is forbidden to her and when she finds herself being attracted to Zack, Demeter quickly intervenes.

~Excerpt Two~ 

Demeter comes to me in a dream. She’s standing in my garden, dressed in a long gown that sparkles, its fabric sheer and woven from ice crystals. Everything about her is ice—from her translucent alabaster skin to her piercing cobalt eyes to her stark white hair, flowing past her waist and tinged with frost. She holds a sword in one hand, a severed head in the other. Blood from it drips onto the pristine pile of snow that has formed at her feet, staining it.
“Do you know who this is, Ligea?” she asks, turning the head so I can see the face.
No matter what name I currently use, Demeter always calls me by the first.
My stomach knots. “Yes,” I whisper, head bowed.
“His fate was in your hands. You had a choice. You made the wrong one. You betrayed him with your lust.”
“Not lust,” I cry, tears streaming from my eyes. “Love. He was my husband. I loved him.”
“Silence! You haven’t earned the right to love.” Demeter’s voice thunders into the night, her sparking anger splits the darkness like lightening. “You and your sisters lost that right when you lost my daughter.”
“But you got Persephone back.” Even as the words fall from my lips, I know I’ve made a mistake. We’ve been here before; she and I. You’d think I would have learned by now. I should never challenge Demeter.
The Goddess grows still. “You’d be wise to remember who you are talking to, Ligea,” she says, the soft tone of her voice more frightening than if she’d been yelling. “Or I may add another head to my trophy shelf.” A cold smile turns her features into stone as a thin layer of ice and frost forms outward from the edges of her gown, covering her skin.
She holds the head up once again. She turns it so I can see the face. A scream rips out of my throat.
This time, the head she holds is Zack’s.

What are you currently working on, can you tell us a bit about it?

Samantha: Jeanne and I are just finishing up Book 2 of the Fallen Siren Series – not yet titled. The deadline is September 15th and we’ll definitely be finished before that, which is a blessing. We’re planning to move right into plotting Book 3 and hope to have that proposal ready to pitch to our editor before the holidays.

Jeanne: In Book Two, Emma and Zack find themselves embroiled in another case with supernatural overtones. This time it’s missing high school girls from different areas in Southern California who seem to have nothing in common—until it’s discovered they all have big bank accounts. In the midst of trying to unravel the mystery, Zack and Emma become entangled with political tensions in the vampire and Were worlds. Not to mention the struggles they face in their relationship with one another. With so much uncertainty, Zack and Emma come to realize the only thing they can REALLY count on is one another…or can they?
Thank you so much for attending the Paranormal Ball today Samantha and Jeanne!
Add to Goodreads . Amazon . Amazon UK
Meet FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong. She's cursed. He's damned. Together, they make one hell of a team.

Emma Monroe is a Siren, cursed by the gods and bound to earth to atone for an ancient failure. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now that she works missing persons cases for the FBI, it could be just a rescue away. Unless her new partner leads her astray.

Special Agent Zack Armstrong just transferred into the San Diego Field Office. He’s a werewolf, doing his best to beat back the demons from his dark and dangerous past. As a former Black Ops sniper, he’s taken enough lives. Now he’s doing penance by saving them.

Emma and Zack’s very first case draws them deep into the realm of the paranormal, and forces them to use their own supernatural abilities. But that leaves each of them vulnerable, and there are lines partners should not cross. As secrets are revealed and more women go missing, one thing becomes clear: as they race to save the victims, Emma and Zack risk losing themselves.


javalotta said...

I like them all but fallen angels are my current fave.;)

javalotta said...

I like them all but fallen angels are my current fave.;)

Library Lady said...

Werewolves or any shifters really are my fave paranormal creatures.

Obsession with Books said...

This series sounds wonderful! I haven't read many books about sirens but I love were's so I'm definitely eager to read this - love the excerpts.

Thanks for sharing :-)

Unknown said...

Vampires, but it really depends on how cliché the author makes them.

Unknown said...

I am a vampire and Shifter junky, but I really love Dragon shifters.

Snow said...

Love both vampire and Shifters... my favorite tend to be cat shifters

Gretl said...

When I was little it was witches. Now probably vampires.

Kat said...

I'm torn between werewolves and vampires but I'm still reading other paranormal creatures that might change my mind. I know I'm interested in reading WitchStruck that has witches and witch hunters but sadly I was decline on netgallery to review. So I won't be reading any witches books

Em said...

I have no idea :) Way to many to choose from!

New said...

Vampires!! Defintely! Twilight :)