Spotlight, Excerpt & Author Interview: The Raven and the Pig + Giveaway

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The Raven and the Pig
by Lou Kemp
Genre: Magical realism

As the music dies, the magician Celwyn is mortally wounded.  His darker, immortal brother Pelaez brings him back, barely, with his magic. The party of protagonists travel on the Nautilus to the Cape Verde Islands and the healer of immortals.  During the journey, Professor Kang and Bartholomew can not tell if Pelaez will keep his brother alive.  Captain Nemo is ready to evict Pelaez forcibly, and keeping Celwyn alive is the only thing that restrains him.

After Celwyn is saved, the healer requests payment for his services. This sends the adventurers to the catacombs in Capuchin where their experience is one they will not forget. Before it is over, several of the protagonists question why it seems everyone from warlocks and vampires to witches, seem to be congregating in their world. Before it is over, some of them become surprising allies, and a few of their allies turn against them.

In part II, work on the new flying machine begins in earnest bringing attention from the Mafioso and a cherub-like warlock called Duncan.  After a final battle with Duncan, the flying machine is destroyed and everyone at their compound is murdered by one of their own.


The rolling hills near Odessa, north of Constantinople 1867

With each step he took, Professor Xiau Kang sensed the intensity, and importance of what he would find. Above all, he felt the weight of his sadness. He had done his best to ignore that there was no guarantee Captain Nemo had located Thales, if Nemo failed to find him, Jonas Celwyn would be dead within a matter of days, perhaps hours.

A long time ago, on the Zelda, the magician had doubted a mechanical man could feel. Kang paused, swaying on his feet as he fought to regain his control; at this moment, the automat knew real despair, a wrenching grief that they would lose Jonas. He swallowed hard and walked faster, climbing to the top of the berm.

There she was! The long black submarine lay still in the water. A single sailor stood on patrol, and another perched in the cage on top with a spyglass.

Kang called, “I’ll get Mr. Celwyn. Please let the Captain know we’re here.”

Conductor Smith joined him as they ran back to the coach. The others had seen them and began unloading the magician onto the stretcher that Kang had fashioned for this moment. He skidded to a stop and grabbed Celwyn’s hand.

“The Nautilus is here. It isn’t far.”

In the distance, a low hum reached them; the sound sputtered and grew stronger.

The magician’s eyes opened slowly, like a thread from his memory raised his lids, impelling him to look. Everyone, including Jonas, gazed upward, as if they had already known what was to come.

The noise grew louder, and then a bright yellow flying machine crested the low hills and headed toward the estuary.

“Yes!” Kang shouted, raising his fist in triumph.

The plane swerved to the north, banked, and then flew toward them again in a wide arc.

“Oh, my God, it’s Bartholomew,” Elizabeth exclaimed.

Bartholomew wore a broad smile and his scarf fluttered in the breeze as he sailed over them. He waved. As he banked again, the engine revved and he turned, descending for another pass. Celwyn raised himself onto an elbow to wave back.

“Hurry,” Kang said. “Bartholomew is going to land. We have to get Jonas onto the ship.”

Author Interview:

1. What inspired you to write this book?
The Violins Played before Junstan began when I wanted to write a story for the Mystery Writers of America anthology Crimes by Moonlight, edited by Charlaine Harris. It had to be something unusual, and Jonas Celwyn came to me. The catalyst was that he was a magician and immortal.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?

I’m a better writer, and a better judge of which points of view I needed the story to be in—which one works best to propel the story or explain it.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?

How I identify with Celwyn and the protagonists, and enjoy them. They are friends.

4. What does the title mean?

The violins represent the power behind Celwyn’s magic. Junstan was where he was supposed to deliver Professor Kang.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?


6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?

Yes, each of the books has a strong moral thread and even stronger band that binds the protagonists together. Beginning with book 2, Pelaez’s hatred of war propels the story.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?

The scene in the forest when Nemo wakes up after an attack to find Celwyn passed out on top of him.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

I’ll answer this as the one that was the most fun since none were challenging. Pelaez is a complex, moral, and immoral, character.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
Finishing book 5.

Author Bio:

Early work was horror and suspense, later work morphed into a combination of magical realism, mystery and adventure painted with a horrific element as needed.

I’m one of those writers who doesn’t plan ahead, no outlines, no clue, and I sometimes write myself into a corner. Atmospheric music in the background helps. Black by Pearl Jam especially.

More information is available at I’d love to hear from you and what you think of Celwyn, Bartholomew, and Professor Xiau Kang.

2009 The anthology story Sherlock’s Opera appeared in Seattle Noir, edited by Curt Colbert, Akashic Books. Available through Amazon or Barnes and Noble online. Booklist published a favorable review of my contribution to the anthology.

2010 My story, In Memory of the Sibylline, was accepted into the best-selling MWA anthology Crimes by Moonlight, edited by Charlaine Harris. The immortal magician Celwyn makes his first appearance in print.

2018 The story, The Violins Played before Junstan is published in the MWA anthology Odd Partners, edited by Anne Perry. The Celwyn series begins.
Present The full length prequel, The Violins Played before Junstan, to the Celwyn book series is published on Kindle. The companion book, Farm Hall is also published where Pelaez, another immortal magician and Celwyn’s brother, makes his first appearance. The remaining books in the series: Music Shall Untune the Sky, The Raven and the Pig, The Pirate Danced and the Automat Died, will be available beginning in August 2021.





Lou Kemp will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner, a 2nd randomly drawn winner a mug and pen with the book image and a 3rd randomly drawn winner will win a eBook via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Book Blitz: A Royal Mind, by Abigail Elizabeth Black

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A Royal Mind

The Kingdom of Ignis, Book 1

by Abigail Elizabeth Black

Young Adult, YA Adventure Fantasy

Date Published: January 10, 2022


Aster has always felt something was wrong with her. Her friends and family have always made her feel crazy for her constant daydreaming. Then one day everything changes all thanks to an old family journal. Now Aster has to decide whether she can accept her purpose and embrace her destiny. Or will she allow darkness to keep her from being who she’s meant to be?


About the Author

Abigail believes in the power of a good book. A good book can take readers of any age on an adventure that will stay with them forever. That is the goal she has for her books, to provide a lasting adventure. Her inspiration stems from reading Ella Enchanted over and over again until the pages started falling apart, and of course traveling through the wardrobe into Narnia age after age. When she’s not teaching or working on continuing her own education. She’s filled boxes of notebooks with stories, and it wasn’t until she was stuck at home that she eventually self-published her first book Adelyn’s Amazing Adventures. When she isn’t writing she’s crocheting, reading fantasy, scanning through Pinterest, and drinking coffee.

Contact Links



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RABT Book Tours & PR


Book Blitz: Once Upon Academy + Giveaway


The ONCE UPON ACADEMY VOLUME 2 Anthology is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $25 Amazon GC courtesy of the authors, & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.


Authors: Breezy Jones, Cara North, Elle Klass, Marie Long, Valerie Puri

Pub. Date: January 7, 2022

Publisher: BLK Publishing

Formats:  eBook

Pages: 431

Find it: Goodreadsbooks2read

Preorder for 2.99 before the price goes up to4.99!


Once Upon Academy, where fairytales are real and princesses really do get happily ever afters.

To kick off the end of our first semester, Once Upon Academy is hosting the annual Winter Ball. A night full of magic, love and happy endings. Join the descendants of classic fairytale characters as they navigate the prestigious halls of Once Upon Academy. Get boujee on the most magical night of the school year and experience a fairytale kiss under the mistletoe. It’s a night you don’t want to miss.




Grab the winter ball teaser chapters free right now here –

And anyone that preorders the anthology can get some goodies in the mail like a school map and invitation to the ball! Send your confirmation # and addy to  Limited to the first 50 pre-orders.



1. My whole body screamed to jump his bones.

2. “You’re not gettin my wand, asshole.”

3. My eyes traveled the length of his rock-hard body and I bit my lower lip.



One stroke of a ring could conjure true love.

1. He stared dreamily into her green eyes and watched fondly as she flipped her ginger braid around her pointer finger. It was something she did unconsciously quite often.

2. Grenna slid onto the velvet seat beside Jenn who had beamed tangerine all day. Whatever was eating her up yesterday was forgotten in her exuberance of the ball. The entire school buzzed with excitement and sparkled from the moment she woke up. It was in the enchanted air surrounding the school.

3. Grenna forgot all about the djinn as the werewolf appeared to be coming straight for her. Her feet, frozen in fear, wouldn’t obey her mind’s insistence in running! She pulled her hands over her head and lowered herself to her knees. She was dead. This is what the djinn dragged her out here for. He planned to kill her, not trap her. The bravery she felt moments earlier was replaced with horror as her life flashed before her eyes.



1.The Headmistress widened her eyes. “Zeke! What are you doing? Get out of here now!”

The pang of alarm in the Headmistress’s voice gave him pause as he panted behind the column next to her. Part of him felt obliged to obey, but his wolf empowered him to remain. He shook his head slowly.

     Protect the Headmistress at all costs.

2.  “Watch me.” A tickling sensation traveled up Perle’s arm from the buildup of static electricity. For a moment, she thought back to her final exam, and the little white target on the dummy’s forehead. Ms. Fitcher’s lecture echoed in her mind. “Small target. Center. You see everything.”



1. “Good grief!” I couldn’t take it anymore. “Hi. I’m Balen. You are asking the same questions a second time around. There is no chance that anyone will access your room without your knowledge. Your room is on the fourth deck in the corner with a single window small enough no one could come through it. You are in one of the single rooms. I even know your room number because you asked three times.” 

2. After unlatching the lock, I pushed it outward and into the morning sunlight. I pulled it back and decided it was indeed a footprint. A large footprint on the outside of my window on the third floor of this building.



1.“Looks like you’re free for getting ice cream later, Ryder.” Rebecca said, sweetly behind me. She was so oblivious. The heat in my chest spread as anger and frustration overtook me. Rebecca had no clue what she just destroyed.

2. Smiling down at the card, I thought about all the new possibilities that opened up with my magic tricks. I didn’t have to fake my tricks anymore; I could actually perform them.

Join the Once Upon Academy Facebook Group!

About the Authors:


Breezy Jones

Breezy lives in a small town in Florida with her husband, daughter, son and four furbabies, as a SAHM. If you ask what first got her into writing, she’ll tell you it was over the ending of Divergent. She remembers laughing at the first person to suggest that she could write a book, but chose to give it a shot. When she’s not writing Breezy splits her time among her many hobbies; reading, repainting dolls, makeup and graphic design, just to name a few. These things don’t come without a cost; coffee and wine. While writing hasn’t always been her goal, she has fallen in love with building a world from nothing and watching it flourish.



Facebook: apiratespleasur






Cara North

Cara North is a romance writer, podcaster, and USMC veteran. She enjoys writing a variety of fiction, but always romance.









Elle Klass

Elle Klass is an award winning author. She currently lives in Florida with her family. To date she has written and published over twenty books, in varying genre’s including mystery, suspense, psychological thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi and contemporary fiction. When she’s not writing she’s spending time with family or friends, traveling, relaxing at home watching ghost and horror movies or listening to an audio book.








Marie Long

Marie Long is a novelist who enjoys the snowy weather, the mountains, and a cup of hot white chocolate. She’s an avid supporter of literacy movements.











Valerie Puri

Valerie Puri is an author of Paranormal, Fantasy, and Young Adult.  As an author of both short stories and novels, she enjoys the flexibility of writing tales of any length. Her favorite aspect of writing is the ability to create something out of nothing. She loves building worlds readers can visualize and filling those worlds with complex characters and storylines. Valerie believes that the experiences we have in life are just stories waiting to be written. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, or listening to audio books. She is a Florida transplant, but part of her will always call the Midwest home.



Facebook: valerie.tait.94



Giveaway Details:

1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon GC, International.

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