Sunday, January 19, 2014

Arcadia Novels, by Jeso Lea Ryan - Author Interview and My Review

I was provided a review copy from Promotional Book Tours to facilitate a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

By Jesi Lea Ryan

Most people who experience death don't live to tell about it.

 When sixteen year old Arcadia "Cady" Day wakes in a hospital after experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, she finds her family in tatters. With her twin sister gone, her dad moved out, her mom's spiraling depression and her sister's boyfriend, Cane, barely able to look at her, the only bright spot in her life is Bryan Sullivan, the new guy in school. When Bryan's around, Cady can almost pretend she's a regular girl, living a regular life; when he's not, she's wracked with wild, inexplicable mood swings. As her home life crumbles and her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning...  

 Think high school sucks? Try being an empath who has to experience everyone else’s suckage on top of your own. (Literally.) In the months since her family life imploded and her psychic gifts began to arise, Cady has struggled to figure out how she can fit into her normal life without going crazy from the constant presence of emotional energy. Her grades have tanked. Her best friend is afraid of her. And she begins to have doubts about why her boyfriend, Bryan, is really keeping her around. But a chance meeting with another gifted girl online opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Unfortunately, this new world comes at an awful price.

 Find The Arcadia Novels here: Amazon (Arcadia's Gift)/Amazon (Arcadia's Curse) AUDIBLE Audio Book of Arcadia's Gift

My Review:

A whole new paranormal twist with empath "Cady" coming into her own after the tragic loss of her twin. Weaving in the idea of great loss and tragedy with a great and awesome gift, author Jesi Lea Ryan creates an original story full of characters easy to identify with for YA readers.

A fabulous main character, Cady will win over your heart with her down-to-earth personality. This may be paranormal fiction, but the relationships and characters are refreshingly real and relateable. 

I definately recommend trying this series, and can't wait for the third book to come out. I already have my own hopes for what will happen to the main characters.

Author Interview: 

I had the chance to interview the author of the Arcadia Novels, Jesi Lea Ryan, and I am excited to be sharing her responses her on the blog today. Let's learn a bit more about her as an author and her books, shall we?

1. What inspired you to write the Arcadia Novels? Why paranormal fiction?

This series was the first time I ever tried my hand at writing paranormal fiction. I had been reading a lot of it, both young adult and adult, and wanted to give it a shot. There are so many books out there about vampires and werewolves already, so I wanted to do something different. I've always been drawn to psychics, so it felt natural to write about them.

2. Why did you decide to make Arcadia an empath? Do you see it as a blessing or a curse?

I chose to make my main character a psychic empath mostly because I had never read about one before, and I could sort of make up my own rules. Besides, I couldn't think of a worse fate for a high school girl than to have to experience everyone else's teen angst on top of her own. So in that way, I see psychic empathy as a curse. But then Arcadia is able to find good in her abilities, so they are a gift as well.

3. As a girl did you ever wish you had a special gift? What gift would you have wanted?

I'd absolutely love to be able to communicate with the dead. I've had a few "unexplained" experiences in my life. It would be nice to get confirmation that those experiences were real. I also would love the ability to teleport. I love to travel, and I want to see the world. Unfortunately, travel takes money and time. Can you imagine being able to think yourself to a place in an instant? How cool is that?

4. You did an amazing job of writing about grief and loss with the characters in the book. Was this from past experience? Where did your insight come from?

Thank you. Writing such emotional scenes are much harder than you'd think. I really haven't experienced the levels of loss and pain that Cady did, so I wouldn't say I draw on personal experience. I haven't had someone very close to me pass away suddenly. But I do read an insane volume of books. Through fiction, I've lived thousands of lives. I guess you could say I draw from the experiences of other characters I've read.

5. Any hints you can share with us about the 3rd book in the ARCADIA trilogy?

Well, I left Cady in a pretty sorry state at the end of ARCADIA'S CURSE, so I have to find a way to patch her back together.  I can't tell you a lot, but I will say that even though Cady's story will wrap up in the third book, I may not be completely done with these characters yet. In fact, there is a certain emotionally damaged house mate who is bugging me for his own book...

6. Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

I am hard at work on ARCADIA'S CHOICE. While I don't have a release date yet, I expect it to be out late spring or early summer. In the mean time, ARCADIA'S GIFT has just been released in audio book.  Look for it on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

Lastly, I want to say thank you to all those who have taken the time to read my books. Being an author has been a life-long dream of mine. I'm still shocked and amazed every time someone I don't know personally reads one of my books. I'm also grateful to all of the book bloggers, yourself included, who have lent me valuable support. I thank you.

Author Bio:

Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA. She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two exceptionally naughty kitties.

 Stalk Jesi Lea here: Facebook/Twitter/Website/Blog Andrea
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