Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Passion Season by Libby Doyle!

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: Damonza.com

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 hell. 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?”
“Superficially, yes.”
“Well, someone conducted some kind of ritual in Independence National Historical Park. We wouldn’t be that concerned with weird people doing weird things at night, but we found a human spleen. We tested the DNA and ran it through the database and discovered that the spleen came from a body found this past winter by the Philadelphia police. All its internal organs had been removed. The police called us because they thought it might involve organ trafficking, but we never found any evidence of it, so we weren’t much help. No one ever filed a missing persons report on this man, and Philly PD was never able to identify the corpse, let alone solve the crime.”
“Disturbing,” he said.
“Very. We thought if you could tell us something about the knives it might give us some insight into what this whole thing was about, maybe generate some sort of lead. They look old, and Professor Carson said you are an expert in antique bladed weapons.”
“Yes. I collect them. I’ve learned a lot over the years.”
“Let’s take a look,” Zan said. He led her to a massive carved table to the left near the kitchen area. She opened the case and laid the daggers out on a cloth. After he leaned down to scrutinize them, he said they were ceremonial daggers and asked if he could pick them up. Zan told him that because they were evidence, he would need to wear latex gloves. She handed him a pair. He tried to put one on for a minute, then frowned at her.
“I’m sorry. It’s too small.”
Zan stared at his hands. They were huge, but not meaty. They looked like they could crush a man’s skull, but also assemble a fine Swiss watch.
[Internal] Or maybe gently touch me.
She felt the heat rise to her face again. He raised an eyebrow.
“You can use the glove like a handkerchief and just pick it up that way,” she said, fixing her gaze on the floor.
Picking up a dagger, he held it level with his eyes. When he had done the same to all four and they were back in the case, he motioned Zan closer and directed her to lean down. He showed her the intricate motifs and the manner in which the blades were joined to the hilts. He explained that from these features, he could determine that the blades were ceremonial, made in France in the late 19th century. She struggled to listen to what he was saying. That impossible face was so close, and she could smell him. He smelled like a pristine forest in the spring.
My review 
Wow! This is a cool concept, especially if you like sciency unique lore. The Covalent series is based in part on chemistry and bonds, covalent bonds to be specific. Now I didn't like chemistry in college but I liked this book lol! Oh and we need to add a little angel bit in there and we're good to go. You know, good vs evil, heaven vs hell. There's angel guardians who are part of the falling during Lucifer's rebellion issues lol. And these warriors fight the demons and corruption. A lot is based on a balance which I totally get with the covalent bond thing. And before you throw this one out the window, it's not science in boringly plain blah, it's done super well that you totally don't realize you just learned chemistry cuz you were so wrapped up in good writing. And I won't lie- the world building is fantastic! I think that was my favorite part. And of course we have great characters, good romance, fantastic action, but seriously, I wanna see this world! Oh ladies, for those of you who like some steamy romance- pick this one up!! 

So Barakiel- a guardian- and Zan- a human- have a complication. Guardians can't be with humans. But he has a bond with Pellus- not a romantic Bond though. It's something you'll understand when you read. And their relationships between them and then the plot of fighting the good fight. I can't go into too much detail without spoiling or getting all wordy and then it's no fun. I will also say I find this one to be more on the paranormal romance side than UF but no matter. The writing is well done, it's unique, and I loved that. Again I really loved the world building. Just too cool!! I look forward to seeing where this series can go!! 4.5 PAWS! 

Libby Doyle Interview

Question: First, tell me a little about your book.

The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series, is a paranormal romance that leans far into urban fantasy. I think fans of both will enjoy it. It’s a wild ride! Book II in the five-part series, The Pain Season, will be published in late September. 

This novel is for adults. It contains foul language, violence, explicit sex, and descriptions of sexual violence. Like I said, it’s a wild ride! Also, as the first in a series, some storylines are left unresolved. A few readers have described it as a cliffhanger, although the book does not end in the middle of action.

In the main, it’s a love story, but the book includes sword fights, a murder mystery, a ton of interpersonal drama, hot sex, and a dose of alien political intrigue.

Question: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?

My love of reading. I devoured books from a young age. They lit up my imagination and created the impulse within me to tell stories. I have to thank my mother. She was about to pack her gaggle of kids into the car for a 1,700 mile drive and ferry ride to her tiny hometown in Newfoundland, Canada. She wanted to keep me quiet so she got me a book to read, the only one she could find at the supermarket that seemed appropriate for a kid. It was The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I had never encountered anything so fantastic in my life. Game over. 

Question: What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?

The Passion Season is my first book. I was inspired by my love for the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel. While the story is much different (my paranormal creatures are aliens, not vampires) the stories have a few things in common: a badass female protagonist, a noble male protagonist with a painful past, an intoxicating, dangerous love story, and funny dialogue.

Question: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 

No. My book is wild! It features inter-dimensional travel, bloodthirsty demons, political intrigue on an alien world and “Satan”-worshipping monks. I put “Satan” in quotes because in The Passion Season, Satan is not a fallen angel who tried to usurp God’s power.  He’s an alien who rebelled against theleadership of his world. My male protagonist is his son.

The aliens in my novel, the Covalent, often visited the Earth when human society was primitive. They viewed it as their playground and they became part of our mythology. When they behaved too badly for their leaders to ignore, the Covalent Council handed down a law, and the Covalent were forbidden from traveling to Earth any longer.

Question: How do you chose when/which characters die in your books? 

My characters die if the plot demands it.

Question: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m intrigued right now by Catherine Wilson. She wrote the “When Women Were Warriors,” series. She’s not new, just new to me.

Question: Who do you look up to as a writer?

Margaret Atwood, because she says profound things about our society with dystopian fiction, and Kazuo Ishiguro, because he’s such a master of tone and pathos.

Question: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

Yes! I’d split it in two! I was a little old-fashioned in that I thought a book should have a lot of meat on its bones, but in the eBook world, shorter is apparently better.

Question: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I am always careful to make sure I come up with different ways to illustrate the emotions being felt by my characters. On a first draft I may use the same description too often. During editing make sure I use rich and varied actions to convey emotion. 

Question: What book are you reading now? Or what genre?

Witch of the Cards by Catherine Stine (evidently, I’m on a women named Catherine kick). The book is historical fiction, with shades of paranormal and romance. I’m digging it so far. Wonderful detail.

Question: Who designed the cover? And do you help with them? 

Damonza.com. And yes, I gave them suggestions as to the cover. They came up with a few versions and let me choose. They did a great job. I love it. 

Question: Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?

Writing is extremely hard work, but writing fiction – especially a ripsnorter of a tale like my novel – is a lot more fun than newswriting, which I used to do for a living, or legal writing. I’m a lawyer nowbut my job doesn’t call for much writing. I can pour all my effort into my fiction!

Question: If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose? 

Pellus, my male protagonist’s friend and mentor. He can travel between dimensions and manipulate the properties of matter and energy. He can change liquids and gases to solids and vice versa. He can bend light, channel electricity and break into computer systems. Who wouldn’t want those powers?

Question: Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?

Beloved, by Toni Morrison, because it is a masterpiece.

Question: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

I hope they’ve enjoyed this interview, and that they enjoy my book. Whether it’s me or someone else, support an indie author today! Buy an eBook! Many cost less than a fancy coffee.


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 lovesabsurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband.


Mailing Listhttp://eepurl.com/bWvolH

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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