Spotlight, Author Interview & Excerpt: First Bite + Giveaway

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First Bite
An Accidental Vampire PI, #1
by Avery Daniels
Genre: Paranormal cozy mystery
Publisher: Blazing Sword Publishing, Ltd.
Date of Publication:  May 1, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-7355663-6-8
ASIN: B09XP9TS5N
Number of pages: 298
Word Count:  57,425
Cover Artist: Molly Burton 
 
What’s a positive thought girl to do when she finds herself one of the undead? Recite plenty of affirmations and use those new toothy skills to assist her PI boss, of course.
 
In 24 hours, Misty Summers had the worst date of her life, was bit by a vampire, and her PI boss may close his business as he goes through a divorce. Looking on the sunny side, she decides to use her new vampire assets and become the investigator to keep her job and income. She doesn’t know what her future holds, but it can’t be any worse! When she starts following up on a missing woman’s case, she finds herself in the middle of murder. Even with her positive thinking and affirmations, she is finding her new reality daunting. But she vows to take a bite out of crime in her small lake resort town.
 
If you like Duffy Brown, Nancy Warren, Nova Nelson, Dionne Lister, Trixie Silvertale, and Leighann Dobbs, then you’ll love this series with a quirky intelligent sleuth, small town lake setting, and tantalizing mysteries. Misty Indigo Summers is a positive thinking kind of gal and a most unlikely vampire and PI. 
 
Buy these fun and clean cozy mysteries and start enjoying Misty’s adventures today!

Excerpt:

“I never want to see you again.”  I slammed the passenger side door. Roger sped off in his red truck, his dragging muffler sounded like a tray of silverware ground in a garbage disposal.  That ended the date from hell.  He took me to a cheap restaurant, we saw the budget dollar movie, and I had to pay for my own popcorn.  I can understand being on a budget, truly, I get it. But then to get all handsy in a parking lot, right under a parking light!  He had the nerve to get upset when I said no.  I had to slap him.  When he slapped me back, I elbowed him in his jewels.  The complete jerk.

There was a sickle moon hanging lazily in the sky and a cool autumn breeze rustled the gold and russet leaves.  I walked faster to warm up.  I hadn’t brought a coat since I’d expected to be driven.  A gust whipped my hair across my eyes and I swept it back.

 I took a deep breath and wondered at the smell of autumn, the slightly sharp tang in the crisp air.  I wrapped my arms around myself.

The bright side was I stood up for myself and put an end to his assault.  Unfortunately, I’m stranded after eleven in a rougher part of town on a Sunday night with nobody around.  I wish I could strangle Roger’s pencil neck.  I can walk off my anger; we don’t have an Uber or such in the small town of Majestic.  I needed to recapture my positive vibes anyway, so a walk would do me good.  

Another positive item to the evening was I didn’t spring for a new or previously owned dress for the evening.  It would have been wasted on the moron, anyway.  I wore my deep purple sleeveless turtleneck and black pants.  It was classic and more than he deserved.  My best friend, Courtney, had assured me this blind date would be different.  Oh, it was different, all right, and not in a good way.  

I’ve never actually had a good date, not one single good memory of a date.  Tears
stung my eyes.  Enough negativity.  I recited my mantra.  I am ready for the perfect man for me.  I am working on myself to be the person who will attract my perfect partner. After yet another disheartening experience, it’s all I can do to not blame it all on myself.  Nope, the right man is coming to me.  Yeah, okay.  I may be trying to convince myself more than attracting Mr. Right into my life.  I’m okay with that at the moment.

My low-heeled strappy sandals slapped against the sidewalk, an exclamation point with every step.  There wasn’t any traffic, and I had a couple of miles to go.  Other than my footsteps, it was quiet except for a dog barking in the auto salvage yard behind me. But I felt a presence and knew I wasn’t alone.

I sped up.  I was speed walking now and my heart pounded.  This really wasn’t a good area.  Majestic was a modest-sized town, just big enough to warrant two canines on the police force.  I didn’t want to find out firsthand about the seedy side of town.

Were those footsteps behind me?  I stopped abruptly. I heard a scuff, then nothing.  My senses screamed run, and even though my sandals weren’t the best for it, at least they were strapped on.  I grabbed hold of my purse strap to keep my purse with me.  I didn’t care how it looked; I took off running for everything I was worth.  My mind continued to yell, faster, faster!

One instant, it was a clear sidewalk in front of me, and the next I ran into a man who had just appeared.  My mind reeled at his abrupt materialization.  His eyes were strange; even in the dark, his eyes bore into mine.  I took my purse and aimed for his head. He moved so fast I barely saw a blur.  Next thing I knew, the guy was behind me, had pinned my arms, and was trying to give me a hickey!  

Worst day ever!

 There just is no positive way to look at any of this night.  I struggled, scratched, and kicked but was losing my energy quickly.  I remember slumping to the ground. I think he was still attached to my neck.

I wanted to keep fighting, but I couldn’t even stay conscious.


Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
I knew I wanted to write a cozy paranormal. I looked at the paranormal cozy mysteries available now and most had the main character as a witch except for Immortality Bites mystery series by Michelle Rowan. I love the witch character, but I wanted to try something a little different so I went with a female vampire lead. I wanted to make her a very unlikely vampire, so she is a positive thought person who says affirmations. I decided she would be newly turned so it is all new to her. To switch it up a little, I made the potential love interest a witch. I had just a basic idea of the murder and killer when I started writing it.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I learned about the illegal trafficking of wild animals as research for the book. It is a two-way smuggling deal: animals from abroad like Africa and smuggled here while our wildlife like bears and cougars etc are smuggled to other countries. This has caused outbreaks of diseases back and forth. The Pangolin, a mild-mannered little animal is the most trafficked animal in the world, usually to kill for the scales and for exotic meals. I was deeply touched by their plight.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
I was surprised at how the characters really took over and asserted themselves on the page. I know it sounds crazy, but when I really tap into who the character is, they come alive on the page and the writing just flows.

4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?
Since Misty is turned in the first few pages it references her becoming a vampire, but also how she gets bitten by the detective bug when she decides to pick up the cases when her PI boss abandons the business to save his marriage.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
No, I didn’t use anybody I know for the characters in this book. But in my other series, Resort to Murder, a few characters were inspired by actual people.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Not specifically, no. I have done that before in books and I didn’t consciously do that this time. Because Misty is a positive-thought believer there are affirmations and such, but it wasn’t meant as a lesson.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
I really enjoy Misty, she is fun to write with her always looking for a silver lining.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
The killer is always hard. To write a character, even a villain, you must get into the character. It’s somewhat like an actor getting into character for a role. This is why I don’t write serial killers!

9. What are your immediate future plans?
I am already putting together notes and ideas for the next book to continue Misty’s adventures. But I’m also writing my second in the Elizabeth Grant thriller series under the pen name C.G. Abbot. Thrillers are intense, so I write on a cozy as a break from the thriller as I go. So be looking for the next Accidental Vampire PI, “Second Chance”.


About the Author:

 
Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. 
 
She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table. 
 
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Book Blitz: Scenic Views, by Beth Dolgner

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Scenic Views
by Beth Dolgner

Series
Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast

Genre
Adult
Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Publisher
Red Glare Press

Publication Date
December 1, 2021

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GUESTS ARE SEEING THE DEAD AT ETERNAL REST BED AND BREAKFAST.

Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast seems quiet after Emily Buchanan sends the resident ghosts on a mission to find her late husband’s spirit. When she begins hearing strange noises, Emily doesn’t think it can be paranormal. After all, there are no ghosts left in the Victorian mansion. Right?

Emily realizes she bought more than a mirror when she finds herself face-to-face with a ghost trapped inside it. The ghost’s story leads Emily to an historic mansion that has been wreathed in mystery for years.

As the suspects add up, so do the number of threats Emily and her friends are receiving. Someone among the living desperately wants them to give up the search for clues. Emily worries even more about her safety when she finds out something evil is lurking just outside the town of Oak Hill…

SCENIC VIEWS, the fourth novel in the Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast series by paranormal cozy mystery author Beth Dolgner.


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Sign up for Beth Dolgner’s newsletter and receive a FREE copy of GHOST OF A GUEST, a novella-length crossover story linking the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter series to Dolgner’s cozy mystery Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast series. DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY TODAY!

 


About the Author

BETH DOLGNER writes paranormal fiction and nonfiction. Her first book was the nonfiction Georgia Spirits and Specters, which is a collection of Georgia ghost stories, followed by Everyday Voodoo. Beth made her fiction debut with the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter paranormal romance series, set in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to writing, Beth also gives presentations on Victorian death and mourning traditions as well as Victorian Spiritualism. She’s always up for going looking for ghosts, too, just like her characters. You can usually find her haunting the historic cemeteries around her home in Berlin, Germany.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: In Vineyard Veritas, by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: In Vineyard Veritas

Author: Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid

Publisher: Eine Kleine Press

Cover Artist: Clancy Nacht

Release Date: January 21, 2022

Genres: LGBTQ Cozy mystery, trans man

Tropes: Amateur sleuth, favorite aunt dies, going back home again, mystery

Themes: Coming back home, finding where you belong

Heat Rating:  0 flames

Length:  206 pages

It is a standalone story. 

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In wine, truth. In vineyard… mystery.

 

Blurb

Local police summon retired CTO Geraldine Thorn from her Austin lake house to Kitsch, Texas, the small town where she grew up, when her beloved Aunt Tilda is found dead at her vineyard home, presumably from a slip in the bath. Upon arrival, Gerry discovers Tilda’s eclectic group of friends—including a much, much younger lover—and rivals. When they realize Tilda’s slip wasn’t an accident, Gerry enlists the help of a handsome Texas Ranger with secrets of his own.

 

Excerpt 

“Howdy. Ms. Geraldine Thorn? This is Sgt. Hale Alexander with the Texas Ranger Division Company F.” Hale’s voice was a pleasantly raspy tenor with a thick East Texas drawl. “The Arguello County PD requested my assistance with a mysterious death. A Lt. Klaus gave me this number. He said, and I quote, ‘May you have the joy of her,’ and washed his hands of this affair. Don’t think you’ve got a fan, ma’am.”

“I’m friendlier when I’m not upset about my aunt dying.” Gerry felt a pang of frustration, but she appreciated that this guy sounded like he’d be reasonable. “I appreciate you looking into this. Things aren’t adding up.”

“Well, ma’am, this is highly irregular, involving the Rangers in this kind of thing, but I’m on my way to Kitsch now from Waco, and we’ll see what there is to see. The autopsy report had some discrepancies, so your gut may hold true. Don’t go quotin’ me on that, all right?” Hale cussed under his breath, and the sound of a car horn interrupted their conversation.

Sounding calmer, he resumed, “Anyhow, I’m gonna have to view the body before she’s laid to rest, if that’s all right with you, ma’am. I understand you’re gonna wanna get closure, put her in the ground soon’s you can, but this is important.”

“Of course. I just came from the funeral home, I can let them know to hold off picking her up.” She paused and looked up and down the street. “Is there any way I could join you? I just want to… I think if I saw her with my own eyes it would help me wrap my head around what happened.”

Discrepancies. That sounded… positive? Not exactly that, but it was nice to hear that she wasn’t totally losing it. “If she’d had too much wine and slipped in the tub— that would make sense, but opioids? I just… and there’s a young man, and… there are things that don’t add up. I want to do right by my aunt.”

“That’s admirable, ma’am. But are you sure you wanna see your aunt in that state? She’s been autopsied, and she’ll be nekkid as a jaybird on that slab. It’s gonna stay with you.” Hale didn’t shoot her down, which was something. If anything, he sounded supportive. There was a steadying warmth in his tone even over the phone.

“She wouldn’t like my delicate sensibilities getting in the way of finding out what happened if someone did this to her.” Seeing Tilda’s body wasn’t something she was looking forward to, but she needed to know. “I’ll be all right.”

“All right then, ma’am. Text me your address to this number, and I’ll swing ’round and nab you. You’re not gonna wanna drive after. I’m an hour out.” Hale’s drawl was comforting. While Gerry wasn’t really a small-town girl, she had a feeling Hale’s good ole boy persona would play well in Kitsch, and no one was going to turn away a Ranger’s inquiries.

“I’m already downtown. I can…” She looked around and then shrugged to head to her car. “I’ll just go home, and text you the address. It’s on a vineyard, so it’s a little out of town, but I imagine an investigator shouldn’t have too hard a time finding it. Thanks.”

 

 

About the Authors 

Together, Texans and platonic life partners Thursday Euclid and Clancy Nacht write queer novels that span genres, with intense romances and a seamless shared narrative voice.

They published their first co-written novel, the m/m rock star romance Black Gold, in 2010, and now have over a decade of award-winning collaborations under their exquisite belts. Recent titles include the twisted romance His Fake Prison Daddy and the Phisher King series, in which an uptight federal agent and a bratty hacker go from enemies to lovers while solving a hate crime.

Though Elder Millennial trans man Thursday and Gen X gender outlaw Clancy live three hours apart, they are inseparable. Their friendship is a perfect example of the Grumpy/Sunshine trope, which makes Thursday very happy. Clancy thinks it’s all right.

 

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