Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Announcing Spectral City Book 2 Title and Exclusive Draft Excerpt!

Dear Readers!

I'm thrilled to reveal the title for Book 2 in The Spectral City series, my new Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy / Supernatural Suspense with Kensington Rebel Base Books!

Coming October 2019


Book 2 picks up exactly where Book 1 leaves off. Our stalwart band of female psychics work hard to solve the maddening loose ends of an unsettling undertaker, a powerful family with something to hide, and a disturbing magician with something terrible hidden in his set, all while another of their best spirit operatives goes missing...

Because readers have fallen hard for Eve and Detective Horowitz, here's a first draft excerpt from A SANCTUARY OF SPIRITS. Enjoy!

First Draft Excerpt:

           The next morning, Eve left early to be down at the Mulberry street offices, hoping to catch Detective Horowitz checking in for his day before he was off to further untangle the uncooperative Dr. Font case. As luck would have it, they came around different corners and the moment the detective caught sight of Eve, he smiled.
           “Well, hello Eve, what has you at headquarters first thing in the morning?” he asked, forgoing ascending the front steps and instead crossing around to her at the intersection. “I dare not be presumptuous to think it would be me.”
            She chuckled and inclined her head. “It is, in fact, you, Detective.”
            He took a step closer, leaning in with a bemused expression.
            “You really refuse to call me Jacob, don’t you?” he asked, maintaining a partial smile, an inviting, curious expression, furrowing his brow as if by looking at her more closely he might figure her out. 
            “I don’t refuse… Jacob, I just… it…”
            “It reminds us we’re all business at the heart of it,” he said carefully. “Have it your way, Whitby.”
            Eve pursed her lips. She didn’t like the formality, it just… felt safer. “Well, I am here to ask you if you’d be willing to meet my parents. Today. Now, in fact.”
            “Why the rush? Do they have some foul-toothed British aristocrat lined up for you and you need me to stand in the way?”
            Eve couldn’t help but bark a loud, inelegant laugh at this, the sound so jarring a few passersby jumped and turned to her in disdain, which only made the detective join in.
            “God, I hope not another one,” Eve exclaimed. “I was threatened by it once, that’s when I asked you to court me in the first place and they haven’t pressed me since. But they do wish to thank you for helping Gran and me, they were very sorry they didn’t meet you the night of the abduction.”
            “It wouldn’t have been the best of circumstances to have been presented. And ruse of courtship or no, I think we’d all like to be on good terms.”
            “Absolutely,” Eve agreed. “That’s why I need you to come by and collect a device taken from our offices and take it to Bellevue. Please.” 
            “The hospital?”
            “Yes, father has just been accepted as a practitioner there. He’s been after a position for ages, we’re all very excited for him.”
“That’s wonderful. How can I help?”
“Can I tell you about it as we walk?”
“Lead on, Whitby,” he said, offering another charming smile. 
“I’m not keeping you from something, am I?”
“Oh, just a dressing-down by a few incompetent higher-ups who want to keep me ‘in my place’ regarding my persistence on the Font case, so no, you’ve come to my rescue.”
“While I’m so sorry to hear that, I’m happy to come to your rescue,” Eve said, feeling a surge of distinct pleasure at the idea of being a knight in shining armor to such a good man. 
            They turned and continued north along Broadway’s gentle angle, a central artery for so much of the city. 
            “So, what am I taking and where?” the detective asked.
“Father will be arranging for a contact in the mental pavilion to take a look at a strange box that was taken off our offices. We think it was created after our abduction, relating to whatever tests were being done on Gran, Cora and I at the warehouse. It may have something to do with brain study, an informal and tangential theory, but it’s all we have to work with. The spirits have said it was placed at our offices to interfere with our gifts.”
            “So you’d like me to liaise with a Bellevue clinician or with your father?”
            “Both. You see… I know I’ve mentioned my parents don’t like anything to do with the paranormal, which makes my life an incessant parade of frustration.”
            “My father truly wants to help but my mother is overprotective.”
            “Don’t I know the feeling,” the detective murmured with a little laugh.
            “Mother doesn’t want Father to even touch the device in question, and doesn’t want me handling it either. Not that it’s dangerous, mind you,” Eve assured earnestly, “I’d never drag you in the middle if I thought it was. But as a way to stop them quibbling and as a way to introduce you, if you show up and take it as the chivalrous hero, you’ll be seen as the charming and helpful man I know you to be,” Eve declared, clapping her hands together in a little victorious gesture.
            “I’m charming, am I?” he asked, looking at her, his tone not sly nor joking, he seemed genuinely touched.
            “Yes, Jacob, you’re charming,” Eve murmured with a nervous chuckle, looking away to hide the color that had become a common accent of late on her usually sickly-pale cheeks. “I’ve no doubt you can unseat any of their plans for a foul-toothed Brit to come claim a wayward American cousin,” she added and the detective joined her in a laugh; less nervous this time, more simply an expression of enjoying themselves despite themselves, which they’d done from the first with uncanny ease. They turned off Broadway onto Washington Place in comfortable silence, pleased by the brisk activity of the walk.
            They walked along the side of Washington Square Park and continued west along a row of townhouses on Waverly until Eve stopped before a brick and sandstone fa├žade that neatly matched the one beside. “Welcome to Fort Denbury,” Eve said. The curtains on the right were all white lace and open to the day, with window-boxes showcasing orange and yellow autumnal blossoms. The one on the left featured thick crimson brocade curtains, closed at the bay window, with a black mourning wreath on the door in honor of the dead.
            Horowitz glanced at Eve’s dress, always in mourning on account of her precinct and motioned towards the lighter side. “This way to your parents.”
           “How could you tell?” she asked with a chuckle, ascending the stoop.

(End of draft excerpt)
We'll have more excerpts and great news in the new year!

If you've not yet picked up THE SPECTRAL CITY, what are you waiting for? Please leave a review on your favorite retailer site! Reviews REALLY help! Thanks!

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Amazing press for THE SPECTRAL CITY!

Hello dear readers! It's been a great week for THE SPECTRAL CITY, my new Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy / Supernatural Suspense series! I'm SO thrilled that THE SPECTRAL CITY has been resonating with my steadfast readers familiar with my work as well as new kindred spirits; welcome!

Some lovely SPECTRAL CITY praise so far:

THE SPECTRAL CITY was named an editors pick in Supernatural Suspense by the site BookBub! BookBub joins the sites i09 and Smart Bitches in naming THE SPECTRAL CITY as a book not to miss this season!

Read The Gothic Library's full, rave review: "A New Generation of Gothic Heroines"

"The Big Apple loves its haunts, and Hieber’s work is both haunted and haunting, her spectral characters as developed as those of flesh and ink." - Jaden Terrell for International Thriller Writers

"Personable cast, snappy prose and intriguing premise.” —Publishers Weekly"The product of Leanna Renee Hieber's fascination with the spiritual world and the nooks and crannies of the city that never sleeps, The Spectral City is The Alienist with Ghost Detectives. You get 1890s New York rendered in fine detail, from the sconces around the lamps to the one and only Teddy Roosevelt, but the book also features a smart heroine working with a team of tragic, believable ghosts. There is texture on every page and it's a delight to read." —Jason Henderson, author of the Alex Van Helsing series

"You can tell that Hieber has written a number of paranormal books because her world building was excellent. I loved the amount of historical research and facts she added into this story." - The Lit Bitch

Over at Unbound Worlds I'm really proud of this essay I wrote about how my theatre training informs my fiction. I write about how throwing yourself off balance can create a visceral and incredible character arc, realized and put in practice from my classical and avant-garde theatre training, read my craft insight and advice here!


I had an incredible media tour speaking with radio outlets around the country about the new series, inspiration, my hopes for this series and also sharing some writing advice. One of my favorite interviews was with Travis on Boston's WPKZ radio, you can listen to the interview here.

I'm featured on this month's cover of International Thriller Writers' magazine! What an honor to be next to these industry titans like David Baldacci! In this interview, I discuss craft, inspiration, 19th century issues and more! Read it here.

You can see launch party photos, my favorite quotes from the book and more over on my Instagram.

Tantor Audio has THE SPECTRAL CITY, narrated by the acclaimed, award-winning narrator Tavia Gilbert, available for a wonderful download price of only $6.99! The eBook across platforms is only $3.99!

Cheers and Happy Haunting!

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Barnes and Noble
Audio book via Tantor Audio