Spotlight & Excerpt: Blood Bound + Giveaway

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Blood Bound cover reveal - Courtney Maguire
Courtney Maguire has a new MM paranormal historical romance out, Youkai Bloodlines book 3: Blood Bound. And there’s a giveaway!

Two hundred years can strain even the seemingly eternal love of the youkai.

When Hideyoshi’s coldness drives them apart, Hiro finds comfort in his friendship with Takanori, a vociferous human man he met at a ramen shop and can’t seem to keep away from.. Everything Hiro had to fight for from Hideyoshi, Takanori gives freely, making it all too easy to turn away from his responsibilities–and Hideyoshi–in favor of something sweeter.

But while Hiro is off playing human, danger is brewing among the Youkai. Hideyoshi, still reeling from his breakup with Hiro, struggles to uphold the promise they made to the Hunter leader, Kyo, but the Youkai’s loyalty has been challenged by Hiro’s abrupt disappearance. With Hunters literally banging at the door, Hide must find a way to bring Hiro home or risk igniting the war they’ve spent the last two hundred years trying to prevent.

Warning: graphic violence, terminal illness, depictions of grief and depression/mental illness, suicidal actions

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Giveaway

Courtney is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47222/?

Excerpt

Blood Bound Meme
Chapter 1: Trainwreck
Spring 2004
You can live a hundred lifetimes and the world will still surprise you, hit you like a high-speed train and drag you along the rails before dumping you off a thousand miles from where you started. Sometimes, the ride isn’t as violent as all that. Sometimes, it feels like a vacation, an escape, like falling in love. But, the end of the line is always the same—a broken, bloody mess far from home.

Sitting on a hard cobblestone path in my two-day-old funeral suit, I stared at a pillar of granite with his name on it, a fifth of Jack in my gut and my soul shattered into a million pieces. Aikawa Takanori—the name of the train that hit me.

A broad shadow fell over me and I closed my eyes against it. I knew who it was, knew the sound of his steps, the way the air trembled in his presence. Sakurai Hideyoshi. He sat down beside me on the stone path without a word, so close our shoulders touched. Over two hundred years had passed since the day we met, and his nearness still made my skin prickle. His fingers brushed against mine as he slipped the nearly empty bottle of whiskey out of my hands and raised it to his own lips.

“You knew it would end this way,” he said, his voice low and cold. Not a judgement or an accusation, just a statement of fact.

“If you’re here to lecture me, you can save it,” I said, snatching the bottle back out of his hand.

There was something shocking about seeing him again, sitting there like an inkblot on my vision. The same solid frame, the same dark features, sharp as cut granite and just as immovable. How much time had I spent pounding myself against that hardness, like the ocean against a rocky cliff, trying to break it away? Now I observed him as if from a distance. Something bitter pushed up against my grief, but there was no room for it, so it settled back into my gut. He had been my home before Takanori, but now he was almost unrecognizable. He hadn’t changed, of course. I was the one who was different.

“How long since you’ve drank something besides whiskey?”

“Not since—” I broke off, my eyes darting to the gravestone. My hands trembled as I took a long pull off the whiskey bottle. It could have been hours or years, every second since that day stretched into an eternity.

“Come with me,” he said, pulling himself gracefully to his feet. I didn’t move. “Hiro.”

“I can’t,” I choked. I struggled to breathe around the ball of grief wedged in my throat. He was here for a reason. He wanted something and I couldn’t give it to him. “I’m not…ready…”

“He’s dead. It doesn’t matter if you’re ready,” he barked. The words were sharp, the edge of a blade iced over, and they cut deep.

He grabbed the collar of my jacket and yanked me to my feet. Without even waiting for me to catch my balance, he turned and stomped off down the path. It had been this way since the day we met, Hideyoshi plodding ahead without looking back, so confident I would follow. I found it comforting somehow, like nothing had ever broken between us. We would always be Hideyoshi and Hiro. The shape of his back would never change. He would never get sick and die.

I ran my hand over Taka’s name on the granite and felt my heart tugged in two different directions. Another train had come, this one promising to take me back to somewhere familiar, but part of me was afraid. What if I got there and found it wasn’t my home at all anymore, but just another strange place that would leave me even more broken?

But, Hideyoshi was right. Taka was dead, the home I could have had here reduced to ashes. I had nowhere else to go.

My chest constricted and I cursed under my breath as I ran to catch up to Hideyoshi, falling in step just a few paces behind. The sun was setting as we exited the cemetery and darkness fell quickly over the narrow streets of Tokyo. Neon signs lit up one by one with an electric pop as we passed, the early evening crowds already taking their places in the izakayas that lined the street and disappearing into basement bars. Hideyoshi led me all the way to Ikebukuro and the busy streets surrounding Sunshine City. Wires hung like spider webs overhead, feeding power to the garish artificial light. Loud music and cigarette smoke filled the streets and the smell of sweaty bodies started a scratching under my skin that had me gritting my teeth.

He stopped in the most crowded part of the busy street and looked over his shoulder at me for the first time. My gut clenched. I knew what he wanted. I scowled and shook my head, but he simply pinned me with those needle-sharp eyes that didn’t take no for an answer until I relented.

His silent command: Sing.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The scratching under my skin intensified and the sounds of the city died away as something else rose to the surface, something dark and dangerous. When my eyes opened again, the electric lights paled behind the glare of human life, every movement leaving a streaky after image in blue and white. My pulse sped and my mouth watered. I pulled in a deep breath and my voice rose from the depths with an old song, something traditional that took me back to a different Tokyo, and despite its terrible purpose, it warmed me. My heart swam in it, cleansed its wounds in it.


Author Bio

Courtney Maguire
Courtney Maguire is a University of Texas graduate from Corpus Christi, Texas. Drawn to Austin by a voracious appetite for music, she spent most of her young adult life in dark, divey venues nursing a love for the sublimely weird. A self-proclaimed fangirl with a press pass, she combined her love of music and writing as the primary contributor for Japanese music and culture blog, Project: Lixx, interviewing Japanese rock and roll icons and providing live event coverage for appearances across the country.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Undoing Time + Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Undoing Time
(The Timegathering Series)
by Rachel Dacus
Genre: Sci-fi – Time Travel Romance

Liv Pomeroy’s high hopes and lavish lifestyle come horribly undone when her fiancé runs off with her maid of honor. Swearing off love forever, she goes on a summer escape to Florence, Italy. Agreeing to help her cousin May raise funds for an art restoration project, Liv is astonished to find they share a genetic gift for undoing time. Soon she’s joining a team of time travelers who rescue history from those who would change it. And fighting her attraction to a sexy time traveling colleague, who just might turn out to be working for the wrong side in the American Revolution. A thrilling tale of time travel, romance, and espionage.

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Read an Excerpt

The announcement of another flight jolted her back into the present. It wasn’t her flight. She relaxed again into her seat and put her feet up on her carry-on.

In her pocket, her phone buzzed and Liv pulled it out. Seeing the name, she hesitated, but with a sigh swiped it open. The familiar voice that was synonymous with nagging trilled in her ear.

Her mom’s insistent soprano told her, “You don’t have to do this, Olivia.“

“But I do, Mother. You know Dad agrees with my going to Italy. He even set it up.”

“Flying off to another country isn’t going to bring Joel back to you.“

She tried not to shout at her phone. “Why would I want that asshole back!”

“Language, Olivia.”

But Liv was beyond parsing words. “If Joel comes back, they’ll arrest me for murder. Because I’ll kill him.”

“It’s a good thing you work in an art museum, around all those temperamental artists, where no one will notice your emotionalism.”

“I’m emotional because my almost-husband treated me like a piece of furniture. And my best friend helped him.”

“Olivia, you’re being impulsive.”

Liv realized she was again in danger of murder. Double or triple murder. First Joel, then her mother. Maybe Rita too. Good thing they were on the phone.

“Mom, I need to do something that matters.”

“Your life matters to us.”

It was Liv’s turn to pause. Because it echoed what Joel had said after she threw the ring. “You’ll never have the guts to make your life matter, Liv.”

She was done. “OK, Mom. They’re boarding. Gotta go.“ They weren’t, but this conversation had to end.

“Just remember Liv. Family is everything.”

Liv pretended to have already hung up before hearing that. She sank back into her chair and closed her eyes, letting the airport noise wash over her.

A few minutes later, an amplified voice rose over the hubbub. ”Flight 564 for Florence, Italy, boarding in fifteen minutes through Gate 17.”

Liv had just enough time to pop into the future and see this flight land safely. Florence Airport, 2:30 pm, she whispered. A familiar feeling tingled in her cells as time’s curtains parted. Heat rose from the concrete as Liv stood on the runway watching the plane—the plane she would soon board—as it bounced down and skidded to a stop, then taxied to its gate in the Florence airport.

Reassured, she jumped back, ready to board. Liv called her little trick undoing time.


About the Author:

RACHEL DACUS writes about history, love, romance, and art – usually with a touch of the supernatural. If time travel were possible, she’d hop over to Renaissance Rome, and then check out how the American Revolutionary War is going, and maybe visit an 18th century London artist’s studio. A poet and novelist, Dacus has published four novels and four poetry collections. When not writing, she listens to music, new and old, from indie and progressive rock to classical and jazz. Once a dancer, she’s now an avid walker, often twice a day — once for the Muse and once for the world’s liveliest Silky Terrier. She blogs about the writing life and has collected a wealth of writing and publishing resources.

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