Monday, October 20, 2014
A. J. Aalto Canadians rising star in Independent Authors
Independent Author AJ Aalto is the new rock star of adult paranormal books. Her character Marnie Baranuik is a Canadian born and bred psychic known as a groper/feeler. She's a foul mouthed, petite blonde who gets her psychic abilities from her bonded vampire, collectively known in this new universe as Cold Company. Unlike other paranormal books that seek to romanticize the relationship between vampires and humans AJ Aalto takes a new and slightly more twisted approach to the genre. In her world vampires bond with humans in a symbiotic relationship that allows the vampire to maintain sanity and a connection to the ever changing world around them and the humans they bond with receive different types of pyschic powers and an above average life span. The humans don't live forever and thus the vampire inherits a new human bond when the older one dies of old age. The vampire and their wealth is held in the name of the human they are bonded to and is passed down through a family like a favored family heirloom. Yes you read that right in AJ's universe vampires are more like property and less like all powerful masters of the universe. That's not to say that the vampires lack personality Marnie's bonded vampire in this series is Lord Guy Harry Drepenstedt and he has as much personality and yes vampiric power as Marnie does. He is humorous and impeccably dressed as we've come to expect from our fictional vampires he's also dangerous, though it's easy to forget that last part until AJ brutally reminds us.
In the first book of the Marnie Baranuik Files, Touched, we are introduced to Marnie and are told that she is "retired" from her paranormal investigation. She once worked for the F.B.I.'s paranormal division to attempt to catch a vampiric serial killer but was thwarted by a bullet to the chest. Touched is a fast paced comedy of errors from the first page all the way to the last. Marnie is your quintessential anti-hero. She isn't brave or gifted in weaponry. She's not the first person you would expect to see working with the F.B.I and she knows her limitations and that they don't stretch very far. Though Marnie has a PhD in Preturnatural biology she gets queasy at crime scenes and has zero aptitude for taking orders or even defending herself. Marnie is the ordinary girl who keeps finding herself in extra-ordinary positions where she has to think fast, a skill she swears she lacks, or die. The only real talent our anti-hero has is in self preservation and in that area she excels. Her botched investigation attempts are half the fun of reading this series, the other half comes from the richly detailed world that AJ Aalto has created for all of us to play in.
Expect to see some very adult material in both language, Marnie loves to cuss and is proud of her swear word vocabulary, and because she is bonded to a vampire has a higher than normal sexual appetite so there are some sex scenes in this first book. I do have to say that I don't mind sexual scenes in my fiction as long as they don't detract from the actual story. It's a fine line to walk and AJ Aalto walks that line like a skilled professional writer. Marnie's love life is as awkward as it is steamy mixing both realistic elements with the better than real life sex we've come to expect from our fiction. You cringe in embarrassment and laugh out loud at some of her sexual escapades then pant from the sheer hotness of it. All of it liberally dosed with swear words and innuendo.
There are currently three full length novels and two short novella's in this series and each one builds from the last. You can find all of the Marnie Baranuik books at Amazon and Booktrope all of them very reasonably priced at below $10.00 per book.