Blogtober (#25) | Book Blitz, Excerpt, Author Secrets + Giveaway: Things She's Seen by Pat Esden

6:30 AM

I was originally going to post this on the 13rd, but my queue seemed to take its schedule as a friendly suggestion vs. an actual thing! Better late than never, although it's not truly *late* and I'm definitely being dramatic, but! Let's get back on track here: the second installment of Pat Esden's Northern Circle Coven is here! That's right: Tuesday saw the release of Things She's Seen and you guys are SO going to love this paranormal story.  

Things She’s Seen
Pat Esden
(Northern Circle Coven #2)
Published by: Lyrical Press
Publication date: October 22nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
The coven’s under investigation. Its future is in peril. And for one troubled young psychic, the coming battle will threaten her newfound freedom—and brings back a dangerous desire . . .
Exploited as a child medium, Emily Adams escaped to grow up on the streets—and hit rock-bottom. She took shelter with the prestigious Northern Circle, intent on staying only long enough to get back on her feet. But the Circle is still reeling from a devastating supernatural attack and betrayal. And vengeful High Council of Witches investigator Gar Remillard is determined to make Em surrender the truth—and disband the Circle forever.
When Em’s psychic ability allows her to see Gar is haunted by a formidable ghost, her attempts to free him challenge Gar’s rugged French Canadian heart and rancorous loup-garou instincts. But even as their new alliance and past connection kindles into raging desire, a malevolent force rises up to destroy them—the Circle and even the High Council.
With all she’s grown to love on the line, Em must draw on her darkest nightmares and alliances with the dead to outwit and out magic a force who can imprison souls with a flick of the fingers and command legions of wraiths with one word. . .

I walked in the mist between worlds,
a ghost among the dead,
a child more lost than those I freed.
Journal of Emily Adams
New Dawn House. Albany, New York.
Slush splattered the police cruiser’s windows. Em focused on the schwup-shuwupp of the windshield wipers and tried not to think about the stench of vomit coming from the seat beside her.
Her stomach cramped. She folded forward. The floor. She needed to hit the floor this time. But the target was a narrow space, and the wooziness in her head and the handcuffs biting into her wrists made it impossible for her to lean far enough forward.
Relax. Breathe deep, she told herself. Sit still. Stay quiet.
She swallowed the taste of bile and turned slowly toward the side window, swiveling only her shoulders so the seat wouldn’t squeak and the handcuffs wouldn’t rattle. Beyond the slush-coated glass, motels flickered into view, darkness returning as they passed. An inn materialized. A life- size statue of a horse. Old-fashioned streetlights glimmered in the haze. Wet snow. Empty streets…
Her head bobbed, eyes closing. Her thoughts wavered toward oblivion. How much had she drunk, anyway? A bottle. Two. Wine. Vodka. Gin. She remembered them all. She remembered. A concert. They were going to one. Or everyone else had. No money. No ticket. Tired. Cold. A stretch limousine. Unlocked. She needed to lie down. Sleep for a minute. She’d be gone before the owners returned. The limousine’s overhead light flashed on. Someone screamed. Security. Police. She didn’t remember having drugs on her. No needles. Never needles. The cop had asked her about that.
Her forehead thumped the window, snapping her back to her senses. Slush and haze. Slush and haze. The rhythm of the windshield wipers. The world dipping and reeling—
A voice touched her ear. You stand at a crossroads, my child.
She jolted fully awake, her sixth sense screaming for her to look out the window.
In the haze, a ghost stood on the sidewalk at the entrance to a city park. Congress Park, the sign said. An older woman. Modern. Not someone from the distant past. Statuesque. Stylish coat. Boots. A cashmere scarf flowing out from around her neck. Her gray hair piled on top of her head, defiantly exposed to the elements.
The ghost of a witch.
Em knew that’s what the woman was with profound clarity, a lucidness that defied her drunken state. A lucidness that was as strong as Em’s gift for seeing and speaking with the dead.
The witch’s gaze locked onto Em’s—and across the distance she offered Em a choice to either be accepted or refused. In that frozen moment there were no second chances. This was it. She could stay on the road she was traveling or take a new one. No promise the new road would be easy—it wouldn’t be. But what Em chose to do would make all the difference.
Not just for her, but for the ghost on the sidewalk and for others as well, the living and the dead. 

Author's Secrets Q&A:

What inspired this particular story?
THINGS SHE’S SEEN is the second book in the Northern Circle Coven series. The idea for it came to me when I began to brainstorm HIS DARK MAGIC (Northern Circle Coven, book 1). I quickly decided that I wanted each novel in the series to be from the point of view of a different coven member with their own backstories and hardships to overcome. THINGS SHE’S SEEN is from Emily Adams’s point of view. In HIS DARK MAGIC there are hints about her alcoholism and devastating past as the world’s youngest psychic medium. It was this background that inspired THINGS SHE’S SEEN. I wanted to write the story of a woman successfully recovering from addiction and a crushing past—the story of a survivor finding a new family and love.

Who is your favorite character of all of the books you’ve written and why?
It probably is Em. Despite all she’d been through, she never gives up. She also doesn’t just care about herself—in fact, she will risk anything for the underdog or those she loves. She is my definition of a powerful woman.

Do you see yourself in your characters?
It isn’t something I always do consciously, but there is a part of me in every character. I am a recovering alcoholic, so it was easy for me to draw on my early sobriety when writing Em’s emotions, feelings and reactions. Other characters have qualities I admire, like Gar’s willingness to defy the High Council of Witches’ laws when he feels they are unjust (though in his case doing so often gets him in trouble).

Where do your story ideas come from? If they come to you in the middle of the night, do you get up and write them down?
My story ideas usually do start as flashes of scenes or lines of dialogue. I’m more likely to get those while driving and listening to music. I keep pens in my car and in my bag, along with notepads and a recorder.

When I’m deep into drafting or revising a novel, I get a lot of ideas when I take a break from the computer. Walking the dog, showering, taking a nap—they all work equally as well. As far as in the middle of the night goes, yes. I used to keep a pad by the bed, but now I’m even more careful to not lose those flashes of inspiration. I’ll turn on a light and write things down at my desk or sometimes even turn on the computer and open a fresh document. What probably irritates me the most is when I work on a tough section of a project until I’m exhausted, then go to bed only to have the solution come to me just as I’m drifting off to sleep. Why couldn’t it have come to me before I shut off the computer and crawled into bed?

Why do you write adult contempoary fantasy and paranormal novels?
I love the idea of magic being real. I like taking the mundane day to day life and turning it into a grand adventure where anything is possible. I also love a hard-earned HEA.

Pat Esden's Playlist for Writing Things She's Seen
Listen here on Spotify!

This is a playlist of the songs I listened to while writing THINGS SHE’S SEEN. Some of them like Way Down We Go and Sober by Lorde helped me get into Em’s head. Others like Saturn Rising, Some Kind of Gypsy, and Sirens Crypt put me in the right place for writing specific scenes. I Am Here reminded me of Em’s determination. Life In Her Yet speaks to the horrific past that drives her. Sick of Losing Soulmates? Well, it was the lyrics that made me chose that song. And Photograph and Lorraine are for Gar because sometimes doing the right thing hurts.

Way Down We Go—KALOE
Some Kind of Gypsy—Stu Larsen
Slow Dance In A Parking Lot—Jordan Davis
Saturn Rising—Veigar Margeirsson
Darkness—Leonard Cohen
Sirens Crypt—Freudenthal
I am Here—Pink
Life In Her Yet—Rag’n’Bone Man
Sick of Losing Soulmates—dodie
Photograph—Ed Sheeran
Lorraine—Peter Bradley Adams
Two High—Moon Taxi

Author Bio:
Pat Esden would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts.
She is the author of the contemporary fantasy Dark Heart series from Kensington Books, and the Northern Circle Coven series. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society's Mythic Circle, George Scither's Cat Tales Anthology, and the Fragments of Darkness anthology.


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