General Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

By A.J. Aalto

Publisher : A.J. Aalto

ABOUT A.J. Aalto

A.J. Aalto
AJ Aalto is a proud native of the Niagara Region. Born in St. Catharines, she currently resides in Thorold, Ontario with her wonderfully peculiar husband Jason and two quirky kids, a puppy that drives her bonkers and two cats who are undoubtedly plotting her downfall. When not writing hor More...



The media has nicknames for Marnie Baranuik, though she'd rather they didn't; twice-Touched by the Blue Sense, a rare dual-talented psychic with a doctorate in preternatural biology and a working knowledge of the dark arts, she was considered without peer in the psychic community. Her first big FBI case ended with a bullet in one shoulder and a chip on the other, a queasy heart and a serial killer in the wind, leaving her a public flop and a private wreck. When the FBI's preternatural crimes unit tracks her down at her remote mountain lodge in Ten Springs, Colorado for her insight on a local case, she isn't particularly eager to stick her neck out again, but her quiet retirement is promptly besieged by a stab-happy starlet, a rampaging ghoul, and a vampire hunting jackass in tight Wranglers. Marnie figures the only real mystery is which one will kill her first. Too mean to die young, backed up by friends in cold places, and running with a mouth as demure as a cannon's blast, Marnie Baranuik is about to discover that there's no such thing as quitting time when you're Touched.

Excerpt from: "Please tell us about your latest work and what genre it falls into. My first dark urban fantasy novel will be launching soon, entitled “Touched”. The protagonist, Marnie Baranuik, is a bumbling forensic psychic and ex-preternatural biologist who has no social graces, and who would really prefer to hole up like a hermit, eat cookies and fail at Sudoku puzzles rather than solve ooky paranormal crimes. When a murder victim’s severed head appears in her mailbox, she no longer has a choice in the matter. Enter the FBI’s preternatural crimes unit, and Marnie’s hermit days are over. What were your inspirations for writing it? I was taking a break from writing an epic fantasy trilogy which had flaws so big they were melting my face. I decided to have fun with a character who had tons going for her, if only she could by some miracle manage not to cock it up. Because she’s a total spaz character, I get to throw mad crazy stuff at her—demons, psychotic psychics, a horny ex, an overly critical fuss-pot vampire, a ghoul or two—and watch her fumble, face-plant and fail spectacularly with most of it."

October 11, 2011 brilliant Slacker Heroes columnist Mark E. Stone did a review of Touched here that made me dance-around-on-tiptoes giddy for days, weeks…hmm, I’m still giddy, come to think of it.

November 23, 2011 the charming Gordon Bonett of Tales of Whoa fame did a fabulous review of Touched, which you can check out here.