Monday, May 30, 2011

Alayna Williams - Author Guest Post, Interaction/Chat, Book Giveaway


Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around—and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn’t need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.

Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards—and Tara’s increasingly ominous dreams—suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationship with the mysterious order known as Delphi’s Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen. . .


Delphic Oracle #2
Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN 978-1439182819

March 2011

Alayna Williams writes with power and poetry, combining old mythos with complete ass-kickery. You don’t want to miss this series.”
-National bestselling author Ann Aguirre 

Read a free excerpt here.

Available now from and Barnes & Noble.



Ancient and Modern Oracles
by Alayna Williams

The Delphic Oracle is probably the most famous oracle of the ancient world. The priestess of the Temple of Apollo, the Pythia, wielded a great deal of political influence over leaders who sought her advice and the priestesses who served the temple. The Temple of Apollo was sited over a crevasse in the earth emitting noxious vapors, leading to modern-day speculation that the Pythia’s visions were not sendings from Apollo, but toxic hallucinations. The Delphic Oracle operated from roughly the eighth century BC until 393 AD, when all pagan oracles were ordered to be dismantled by the Emperor. After that, no one knows what became of the priestesses.

I was intrigued by the idea of an order of women exerting subtle and powerful influence over the ancient world. I wondered what would happen if that order of priestesses went underground and survived to the modern day. What would their role in world events be? In DARK ORACLE, the title of Pythia is handed down through generations of women, all oracles with their own unique talent for foreseeing the future. Delphi’s Daughters are a secret organization, nudging world events and gathering information through vast networks of helpers. Their behavior is sometimes sinister, sometimes pure, but always secretive. No one but the Pythia herself knows how the puzzle of world events fits together, and her priestesses are often left in the dark, guessing at her motives.

In the worlds of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE, the current Pythia is a pyromancer. She sees the future in dancing flames. The heroine of the story, Tara Sheridan, is a cartomancer who uses Tarot cards to create criminal profiles. Other characters have abilities with scrying, astronomy, and geomancy. Delphi’s Daughters come from all walks of life: they are physicists, soccer moms, artists, farmers, and dancers. They are women just like women you know and walk past on the street. But they are women with a secret.

Tara's talents were a challenge to create. Use of Tarot cards requires both an intellectual understanding of the ancient symbolism of the cards, as well as the ability to make intuitive leaps from the cards to one's current situation. Using the cards in her work as a profiler, Tara spends a great deal of time in her own head. She's not a brash woman who rushes into situations with guns blazing. She's a thinker, a planner, and it's simply not in her analytical nature to shoot off at the mouth...or with her guns, when she can get her mission accomplished using less attention-getting means. She is accustomed to having to hide her talents from the people with whom she works, which makes her very circumspect...and isolated. Especially since she's survived an attack by a serial killer that has left her scarred for life. She's withdrawn from her work as a profiler and as a member of Delphi's Daughters.

In thinking about how such an order might survive into the modern world, I imagined the limitations inherent in being an oracle in a secret organization. It would require secrecy, sacrificing a large part of one’s life, and committing to a larger ideal. I decided that, as time passed, fewer and fewer women would be interested in unquestioningly serving Delphi’s Daughters. In DARK ORACLE, the order is dying out. Tara Sheridan has left the order after her mother died, refusing to return. After surviving an attacked by a serial killer that left her scarred for life, she is unable to bear children. And there are no young women in Delphi’s Daughters any longer.

The Pythia must try to continue the line, whatever the cost. She is challenged to convince the rebellious Tara to return. Or she must find new blood to move into the future, a new order for a new age. And blood will be spilled in the process.

-Alayna Williams


PhotobucketAlayna Williams has worked in libraries, criminology, and technology for several years. She lives in the Midwestern U.S. with her chief muse, owned by four mostly-reformed feral cats. Writing as Alayna Williams, she's the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE for Pocket-Juno Books. Writing as Laura Bickle, she's the author of EMBERS and SPARKS. More info on her urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here:


PhotobucketDARK ORACLE 

Delphic Oracle #1

Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN 978-1439182796

June 2010

DARK ORACLE is a scientific, paranormal read that takes readers on a wild chase. A subtle romance lends to the entertainment this read offers. Tara is a strong female who has many stories till waiting to be told. An interesting new series that is not quite like anything else! (4 stars)

-RT Book Reviews

Can an oracle change the future she sees?

Tara Sheridan swore off criminal profiling years ago. By combining Tarot card divination with her own intuition, she narrowly escaped the grasp of a serial killer who left her scarred for life. She put down her cards and withdrew from work and society. Now, Sophia, a member of an ancient secret society connected to the mythic Delphic Oracle, asks Tara to find a missing scientist who has unlocked the destructive secrets of dark energy. Tara resists— she fears reawakening her long-buried talents and blames Sophia’s Daughters of Delphi for the death of her mother. But, grudgingly, she agrees to search for the missing scientist, Lowell Magnusson.

Tara travels to Las Alamos National Laboratory, the location of Magnusson’s disappearance. She meets the serious, impatient, and highly attractive Agent Harry Li— and re-encounters her old partner, Richard Corvus. Corvus is now chief of the Special Projects Division, a position Tera might have held, had she not dropped out of investigative work. Corvus considers Tara mentally imbalanced and not to be trusted— but it may be Corvus who is untrustworthy.

Tara’s investigation and Tarot cards tell her Magnusson’s daughter, Cassie, may hold the key to her father’s plans, and that they both are in grave danger. Meanwhile, Corvus and the Daughters of Delphi have their own plans...and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Read a free excerpt here.

Available now from and Barnes & Noble.



1 signed copy of ROGUE ORACLE

One Winner ~ Till May 31st ~ Open Internationally



ArtemisG said...

Both books sound amazing. Tara seems very interesting character. Thanks for the giveaway!

Sammie Spencer said...

Wow!! These sound super-interesting. The idea of women subtly influencing the events of the world...oh wait...that actually happens. ;-)

Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Ren said...

Hi Alayna, thanks for stopping by and I enjoy your guest post.
Looking forward to read this series, sounds intriguing :)
How much book that you plan for this series? And what fun and hard part while you wrote the story?

Thanks for the giveaway too! :D

GFC Follower:Ren
sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

Toni said...

Thanks for stopping by Alayna! I have always gravitated towards the darker side of paranormal reads. I think after you shared a little background information on oracles, I am very interested in looking into these types of novels.

Thanks again for sharing with us today.

Momarabbit said...

Thanks Alayna for the guest post! It is always great to find a new series to read. I enjoyed reading exerts on this novel and hope to read it soon!

Melanie S. said...

I already have the book and just wanted to say hi and thank you for a great post!
wish you all the best, Melanie

tears_of_fire said...

This book sounds very different :) I like the covers as well. I will have to add it to my reading list. Can't wait :)

Read Between the Lines said...

wow would love to win this book

Read Between the Lines said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Read Between the Lines said...

the first book rocked I just need to purchase it now

lindalou said...

Your books sound very good... I'd love to win one as I've added them both to my TBR list! Thanks for the giveaway!

Alayna Williams said...

Thanks, Diana! Tara was interesting to write - she's definitely a more cerebral heroine, which was a lot of fun.

Hi, Sammie! I loved the idea of women running the world behind the scenes. ;-)

Thanks, Ren. The most challenging (and most exciting) parts of these stories involves the research. I relearned a lot I'd forgotten about Chernobyl, for instance, in ROGUE ORACLE. And I got to play with dark matter in DARK ORACLE.

Hi, Toni! I like the dark side, too. As Vader says: "Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies."

Momarabit, thanks so much for stopping by! :-)

Melanie S., thank you very much for trying my books! You made my day!

Thanks, tears_of_fire. I try to play with ideas that are a bit out of the box, and I really enjoy putting the pieces together.

Thanks, Anna! I'm glad that you enjoyed DARK ORACLE!

lindalou, thanks for adding me to your TBR list!

Unknown said...

Great post guys! I have been wanting these books for a while. I love that the main character is an oracle. In books and movies, the oracle is always some side characters we meet once and never see again. I never understood why they aren't main characters LOL! Is that why you chose it? It will be nice to read about a heroine with a unique ability. Thanks so much for this great post and giveaway. Can't wait for this :)

Jen B. said...

I would love to win. I have been following your posts around the web hoping to get lucky! Thanks for the giveaway. GFC follower.

Amy said...

I would love to read the Oracle books! I have heard many raves about these books on Goodreads.

Mary Preston said...

On my list as of now. How have I missed you before?

Alayna Williams said...

Thanks, Offbeat Vagabond! You're absolutely right - oracles never get any press. So I wanted to give one some stage time! ;-)

Hi, Jen B! Many hugs and good luck! :-)

Awww, thanks so much, Amy!

Thanks for including me on your list, marybelle!

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