Friday, September 30, 2016

COLD SIGHT GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT

Meet the Extrasensory Agents…a team of psychics who can solve the coldest of crimes!

Aidan McConnell once used his special psychic abilities to help find the missing. But after the media made him the scapegoat for a child’s death, he retreated from the world and became a recluse.

Lexie Nolan is a small-town reporter with big vision. She was the first to connect a series of disappearances among teenage girls to a serial killer…but nobody will listen to her.

Lexie is in desperate need of help from the sexy psychic who's an expert in finding people. And even though Aidan loathes the media, he can’t help being drawn in to the passionate, beautiful reporter.

Nor can he resist helping her on this particular case. Because he knows the latest missing girl.

And he knows time to save her is running out.

Plus: EXTRA Content! Includes a bonus Extrasensory Agents short story!

COLD SIGHT was the winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Romantic Suspense!

Note: A version of this book was published as Cold Sight by Leslie Parrish. It has been edited and updated, and now includes a bonus short story.

Buy Links:

Cold Sight on Amazon:



Cold Sight on Nook


Cold Touch on Amazon (Pre-order, release date 10/31)


 I loved every single thing about both Cold Sight and Cold Touch when they were originally released! I've already downloaded Cold Sight to my kindle and can't wait to dive back into the Extrasensory Agents series from Leslie A. Kelly! OMG I adore the new covers for both books! I'm super excited to host Leslie on my blog today for the release of Cold Sight, and hope she visits again for each new release! Welcome Leslie!!!

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Leslie A. Kelly Guest Post

It’s been a rough year. A rough couple of years, actually.

Although I’ve written steadily since 1998—publishing about seventy books since then—last year I reached a plateau that many writers reach. First, I was dealing with some personal stuff that led to a severe bout of depression. My hubby and I had moved across the country to an area I really wasn’t fond of. We had become empty nesters—two of my daughters now live in Florida, and the youngest went away to college. I was far from my siblings and all my friends. I was having health problems and facing hip replacement surgery at age fifty! And I felt like my career had just completely hit a wall.  I was, quite frankly, tired of writing sexy category romances for Harlequin. Burned out on those for sure, so I declined to take a new contract.

So I quit. For a while, anyway. I called it taking “a gap year.” I focused on getting healthy physically (down 40 pounds and hip is doing okay! Yay!) and mentally (on antidepressants and they’re working! Yay!) It’s been a good year. A year I needed.

I haven’t written much during that time. I did work on a few proposals for my agent (one of which I’m very hopeful about right now—a sexy romantic suspense.) But it’s been a long time since I feel sheer, utter joy with my writing.

Until now.

You see, seven years ago, I contracted with NAL Books to write a series of paranormal romantic thrillers. My Black CATs series had done okay, but paranormal was hot and they wanted me to switch to that. I agreed, as long as I didn’t have to write vampires or shifters (not my thing.) They said okay, saying my idea for a detective agency where psychics with unique powers solved cold cases would be perfect.

And it was. Oh, my, it really was. Writing COLD SIGHT and COLD TOUCH was an utter joy. I truly loved the world I was creating. The Extrasensory Agents team, their wild abilities, the really brutal cases they had to solve—they were awesome. I loved the people, the settings, the stories, the subplots. Absolutely everything. Writing those books was easier than anything else I’ve ever written and I was very proud of them.

Reviewers loved the books, too. They finalled and/or won several prestigious awards, including a National Reader’s Choice Award for COLD SIGHT and a Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Aspen Gold Award, plus a Romantic Times Magazine nomination for COLD TOUCH.

Unfortunately, not enough people read them. So when it came time to negotiate a new contract for the next few books in the series, the publisher wasn’t interested. No more Extrasensory Agents. No more books from me period.

Did I mention this can be a really depressing business?

So, the years went by. Every six months, I would write to the publisher, asking them to revert the rights to COLD SIGHT and COLD TOUCH. Every six months, they would decline. Either the books were still available in print, or I’d sold just enough electronic copies to satisfy the terms of my contract. I heard from readers all the time looking for more of those books. But there was no way I could continue the series while someone else held the first two books. I had to have control over all of them.

Then…the magic day. I finally got a YES. A letter came in the mail releasing all rights to the books.

Believe me, I was ecstatic. So ecstatic that I immediately—not kidding, immediately!—sat down and started writing book three of the series. Mick Tanner, with his always-gloved hands, had been lurking in the back of my mind for seven years. I knew what his story would be about (his carnival background.) I knew who his heroine would be (another carny kid turned cop.) I knew which new characters I would be introducing to add to the team (a brother/sister act from the carnival sideshow.)

It flowed like water. On Day 1 I wrote 15 pages. I haven’t written like that in more than a year. And I’ve been barreling along ever since, loving being back in this world. I think about it day and night, I’m obsessed again, like I haven’t been in forever with my writing. I have no doubt that I can do this—and that surety, that confidence—is probably the best thing about this whole experience.

I needed it. Badly.

Just because I got the rights back to those books, however, didn’t mean I could just slap new covers on them and put them up for sale. I had always had some regrets about things I’d done in the original books. They were a little bloated. There was a bit too much narrative, and the pacing was too slow in places. I had also made some mistakes that weren’t picked up by my editor, the line editor, the copy editor…or me. ARGH! (I not only had changed a secondary character’s first name between one scene and another, I also switched the role of mayor between two.) I found the absolutely perfect image to go on the cover of book two—but the woman has blonde hair, not red. So I did some hair color switching in both books.

I also wanted to add something to COLD SIGHT. You see, COLD TOUCH had begun with a prologue about the trauma the heroine experienced, which inspired her gifts. And I knew COLD MEMORY would start with a prologue about Mick’s struggles as a kid. I have known since day one how Julia’s book will begin—flashing back to the death of Morgan Raines, her partner, her lover. (God, that scene is gonna break my heart!) I want the books to have parallel structure, for the reader to see a pivotal moment in each character’s life that took place long before the story began.

So I needed to go back to Aidan’s past. I had to tell his origin story. And it wasn’t hard to figure out where to begin. Now there’s a new epilogue that reveals a bit of Aidan’s history, while also foreshadowing the kind of man he would become. I really love it, and I hope readers will too.

For anyone who read COLD SIGHT during its original release, hopefully you’ll be up for a reread. There are no major plot changes; however, I think the book is tighter, and more exciting, especially with the added scene. Not to mention a BONUS short story at the end of the book.

While it wasn’t a big hit when it first came out, I’m really hoping this series takes off this time. But even if it doesn’t, I’m going to finish it.

Because I’ve finally rediscovered why I started writing in the first place.

I remembered that I like it. 

~~~Cold Sight Excerpt ~~~

Aidan drew a steady breath. Then sent his power flying.
Wishes and demands, fears and instincts . . . all spewed out of him and raced in search of answers to his deepest questions. His questing mind was like an enormous blanket held aloft by a flock of soaring birds. They dove closer to the earth and slowly draped Aidan’s consciousness over the entire town, insinuating itself into others’ conversations, thoughts, private moments.
He shrugged off the familiar sense of unease, ignoring the barrage of images that charged back at him through that small hole. Snippets and ideas, half-lost memories of people who didn’t even know they still existed deep within their brains, they all had to be sifted through.
“Vonnie,” he murmured. The name became a chant. “Vonnie, Vonnie.”
He looked for her, trying to find just her thoughts, just her memories in the ocean of them that were flooding his mind. He pictured her face, heard her laugh, and remembered the moisture on the glass as he’d taken it from her and the faint brush of their fingertips.
He wanted to see her alive and well, sitting on a bus somewhere. Anything that would allow him to let this go.
The tension grew, until he felt like he was being pulled toward that hole in the wall. Aidan was being drawn by a powerful rubber band that was wrapped around his chest, squeezing the breath out of him. It was so strong, it could suck him through the tiny opening, crushing him in the process.
One more tremendous push. Vonnie!
And suddenly he found her. It was brief, so brief, just a few seconds. He didn’t see her, didn’t feel her or gain any insight as to where she was. But he heard her, heard two words repeating over and over in her voice. Her terrified voice.
The king. The king. The king.
He dug deep for the strength and drove harder, needing more, trying to grasp the meaning of the words. Was she saying them? Thinking them? Were they real, or literal? Was she alive, or was this some echo of the last words she’d whispered days ago?
But he pushed too hard. The band snapped. The cement block flew back into place, cutting the connection instantly. He went flying too, stumbling across the kitchen until he ended up sprawled on the kitchen table with her words echoing in his brain. The king.
The word came with a faint whiff of gingerbread.

God help him. God help her, for the terror in that voice

2 comments:

Cindy O said...

I still have the original paperbacks on a bookshelf. I really liked the series. With it being so long since I read them I'm looking forward to the revamped versions coming out plus getting a new one.

Larissa Emerald said...

I have the original paperbacks, but I'd love to revisit the series on my Kindle. So glad you're writing again and rediscovered the joy in it!