Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ecstatic Evil by Amanda McNeil (Review and Interview!)



Amazon Digital Services

Release Date:
July 2011

Tova Gallagher has a problem, a huge problem. She’s a halvsie, which means she’s part human and part supernatural. Tova is being forced to choose a side, human vs supernatural, good vs bad. Her mother has emphatically said she would disown Tova if she went to the evil side, but Tova can’t let that influence her. She’s determined to make her own decisions.

As part owner of a bookstore, Tova is perfectly happy living a little bit in both worlds. She doesn’t want to choose. To make matters even worse, she meets a mysterious, sexy hunk. There’s no way she can tell him about her halvsie heritage.

When Tova realizes there’s more to Greg than meets the eye, she wonders if there is any future for them or is it all about sex. Should this be a factor in her life-changing decision?

This is a short paranormal romance that sizzles – it practically scorches your fingers as you turn each page. For a short story, it packs a huge punch. Readers will be totally engrossed in Tova’s plight and want to see how she gets out of it. It’s a quick, captivating read from a brand new author.

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

For reading challenges…

2012 Self-published Reading Challenge
2012 ARC Reading Challenge
2012 EBook Reading Challenge

I’d like to take a moment to welcome author Amanda McNeil to the Socrates’ Review Blog. I just finished reading her debut book, Ecstatic Evil, and Amanda has graciously agreed to do an interview for us. Thank you, Amanda, and welcome!

To start things off…

What made you decide on a writing career? Did you ever want to do anything else?

I know a lot of authors say this, but I didn’t choose writing. Writing chose me. If I don’t write, I feel as if I’m losing my very sanity. That said, of course you can write without choosing to share it, but I want to tell stories that enrich other people’s lives, perhaps because reading has so blessed my own.

Why did you choose to write for the paranormal genre?

Although I am personally a skeptic and an agnostic, I was raised in a religion that is incredibly rich with larger than life tales. I think sometimes I miss that element of my life. A belief in things that others can’t see and that I may one day myself see. Creating a world where for this woman demons and angels are a tangible part of her life thus appealed to me. The romance was just a natural touch, because who doesn’t enjoy some of that in a story? ;-)

Do you intend to write or have you already written for any other genres?

Yes! I have two short stories published. “The Tale of Leroy of the Backwoods of Vermont,” which is a humorous zombie squirrel story (seriously). Also, “The Most Lovely Morning,” which is literary fiction. I also love writing scifi, urban fantasy, and horror. Additionally, a lot of my works tend to explore either the modern experience of cities or that of rural New England mountain culture, which I find endlessly fascinating.

Why do you think there is a sudden surge in the paranormal genre? Readers are loving the books more than ever these days.

Perhaps for some of the same reasons that I chose to write paranormal myself. People miss having that dash of mysticism in their own lives. We understand so much more of the how the world works now than we used to. There aren’t as many frontiers either from a scientific or explorer perspective. The paranormal genre allows us to indulge in that human desire still, particularly when our own lives can be boring. Of course, the librarian in me also says that popularity breeds popularity. If you have one hit in a certain genre then more people write it, more publishers publish it, it is more visible and reaches more people, etc...

Where do you do most of your writing? Describe the setting for us.

The short answer is in my studio apartment. ;-) But what does it look like? I live in an attic apartment in Boston. My apartment was originally servant’s quarters. The ceiling is eaved and most people who are not short like myself (5’4”) have issues walking through the whole thing while standing up straight. My Ikea couch conveniently is right next to a window that overlooks the city skyline, so I generally sit there with my laptop, a cup of something with a dash of alcohol in it, and my kitty purring next to me.

Do you outline your books or do you just sit down and let the words flow?

It’s kind of a mix of the two. I write the first ¼ to ⅓ of the book via the let it flow method, usually because when I start writing I have just a scene in mind. Eventually a full story pops up in my head, and I will dash down literally around ten words to help me remember where things will ultimately be going. This isn’t set in stone though, and trust me, things change all the time.

Is Ecstatic Evil part of a series? If so, what is the next book?

It was originally intended to be part of a quickly publishing series, since the only one setting a time-line for it is myself. I didn’t foresee the fact that other ideas would demand my attention before that, though, so I now think there will be one entry a year. The next book has no title yet, but the plot is almost entirely present in my head. It is set during Thanksgiving, and Tova finds herself trapped into going home to her previously ostracized demonic side of the family. I am hoping to release it in November, naturally. :-)

With all the various social media outlets around, do you communicate with your fans often?

I do my best to! There is of course my blog Opinions of a Wolf ( where I review other author’s books and also periodically touch base about my own writing and my personal life. I also have a twitter account (amandamcneil) that is currently private, but I allow most people who are obviously real people to follow me, and I follow them back and chat when I have time. I also am quite active on GoodReads and approve everyone who asks to be friends there. That is the extent of it so far. My facebook presence is purely personal right now, and it felt a bit premature to set up a fan/author page there!

Do you have any other books on the horizon that we can look forward to reading?

Yes! My next book is entitled Waiting For Daybreak and is due for release in June of this year. It is about a young woman with Borderline Personality Disorder who survives a zombie outbreak in Boston that mysteriously only affects those people without a psychiatric illness. The story thus explores the serious topic of what is normal but wraps it in zombies (and, yes, a love interest).

Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog, Amanda!

1 comment:

  1. Nice review and interview :) Fun to meet the author too


Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog! I always love reading comments and getting to know my readers!

After some careful consideration, I've decided to become an award-free blog. Although I appreciate and am honored by each and every award I've received, your comments and friendship are enough award for me. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness.

Due to way too many spam comments, I disabled the Anonymous User comments. We'll see if this works, otherwise I'll have to go back to word verification.