Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We have a Winner in Isabel Brann's THE PORTAL Giveaway!

He’d always been her nemesis…or so she’d always thought.
To Celebrate the Release of THE PORTAL, Isabel Brann is giving away a 
$15 Amazon Gift Card &...

Gina W

The Portal
by Isabel Brann

Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Isabel Brann
Genre: Paranormal Romance Standalone 18+
Print Length: 127 pages
Available from: Amazon Amazon UK | Amazon AU
He’d always been her nemesis…

Quiet, solemn Amelia Mason never expected or wanted to become the Portal. But with her older brother’s death, she no longer has an option. Branded by Fate, the Portal is the human bridge between this world and the next. Her duty? To help lingering spirits cross to the afterlife. As if that wasn’t bad enough, her new job comes with a Guardian: Kyle Grant, the one man she can’t stand and the one who will stop at nothing to protect her.

… or so she’d always thought.

In order to defeat an evil spirit hunting the flatlands of Venezuela, Kyle and Amelia are going to have to put their dislike aside and work together as Portal and Guardian should. That is, if they can control the sizzling sexual tension between them.

Will they surrender to desire before it’s too late? Or will the madness of a long-dead man tear them apart forever?

Can the heat of passion burn brighter than the fear of loss?  
This guest post has had many beginnings. Three, in fact, but who’s counting? My goal was to impress you, to present you with this persona that you would immediately want to be friends with, someone impossible to dislike, like Scooby Doo or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I failed with all attempts, I must confess. It all went like this:
At first, I thought I should dazzle you with the story of my uncanny bravery, of how during a whole week, I faced a great challenge of daunting proportions with a strength of spirit only Leonidas and his 300 Spartans could ever reach. It was the week my heater broke and I had to take cold showers for seven entire days. I know, I know. You’re shuddering with fear and wowed by my fortitude. I ended up deleting that whole thing because I realized I wouldn’t want to make you feel inferior when faced with such courage on my part.
Then I thought, “Huh, maybe I should tell them something that will show them my serenity and aplomb in dire times.” That’s how I started writing about the one time when I was an exchange student in NYC and a cat-sized rat crawled out of my bathtub. However, in the end, I figured my screeching, Spanish-babbling and panic-induced call at one in the morning to my brother (who was in Venezuela so what the hell could he have done?) could have been misunderstood by you as cowardice and we wouldn’t want that, right? Right?
So then the lightbulb went on over my head and I said to myself, “I got it! Let’s amaze them with my shining social skills and unquestionable charming nature.” And thus I decided to tell you the anecdote about the day I was hanging my laundry to dry in the window of my rented room in the 6th floor and my bright, wet, red thongs fell all the way down onto the unsuspecting head of a poor fellow who was taking a stroll. (In this part, it should be noted that the thongs were really cute which mitigated the embarrassment somehow). I backspaced that narrative as well, mostly because all I could have said in my favor that day was that I somehow managed to outshine the red of the thongs with the blush on my cheeks.
After three failed attempts, here I was, without a story to tell you. I had wanted to be amusing, honest and strong while telling you about things that had happened in my past and that were no true reflection of me as a person. It is way easier to tell people what you do and what you’ve done, than who you are. Part of it, I think, is because most of us are still trying our best to find out that very thing.
I’m a Classics major, which means that I got a degree in something that is probably not going to give me a job and that I spent a lot of time reading and learning about Ancient Greek and Roman culture (I swear to you it is more than orgies and wine drinking). One of the things that has always fascinated me was the Oracle of Delphi, the cradle of ancient religion. There in that mountain you could find two phrases carved into the entrance of the temple. One of them said: γνῶθι σεαυτόν, which means “Know thyself”. No other motto has ever resonated quite as strongly within me as that one. And so in the end, I chose a different anecdote to tell you:
The day I swam with a shark.
That is, sadly, not as exciting as it sounds.
I was fourteen year old, on a Quinceañera trip to Mexico with a tour guide and about another fifty girls my age. I have always been a bit of a scaredy cat so when the opportunity for this trip came up, I made a promise to myself: I would try anything, I would take every chance that was given to me. I would take the word “no” out of my vocabulary and become the type of girl who was already to experience, to live to the fullest (at least for the two weeks the trip lasted. Baby steps, people, baby steps). It was that promise what brought me the worst stomach aches for my inability to say no to extremely spicy foods, it was also that promise what got me swimming in a small strip of beach in Cancún with a shark. A living shark, that is. And it was exhilarating. Not because it was a predator with pointy teeth, because let’s face it, they had probably fed that guy until he could look at me with nothing but utter disgust. No. It was so wonderful because I had dared to do it, because I had become someone more than I was.
I’m not telling you this because it was something I did. I am telling you because it was a point that defined who I am.
In a way, that is how it feels to become a writer. Jumping into the publishing world reminds me of jumping into that pool with the shark. As scary as it sounds on paper, when I did it, nothing happened. I wasn’t eaten by the shark, nor did the big guy start talking to me Harry Potter/Snake-style; and just so, by publishing my first book, The Portal, nothing is going to happen either. I am not going to be going into best-seller rank tomorrow or today (not that I would be angry about that!). And yet, despite how anticlimactic it was, and is, it felt and it feels wonderful just the same.
Because I did it.
Because I dared.
So if there is one thing you can take from this extremely long and unnecessary diatribe you have subjected yourself to is that you should always challenge yourself to be more, to be greater despite the way fear likes to get a hold of us. Who knows? You may find out, like I did, that the shark was nothing to be afraid of.
It didn’t hurt me. 
It made me stronger.
(Disclaimer: please, do not go swimming with sharks in the wild without adult supervision, or you know, just don’t!)


Isabel Brann

I'm a Venezuelan author who writes steamy, warm, funny paranormal romance. 

Connect with her on:
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