BBNYA Finalist Spotlight: Bloodlaced, by Courtney Maguire

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This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 50 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight blitz tour for each title. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website or take a peek over on Twitter: @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (If you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Youkai Bloodlines, #1
by Courtney Maguire
Publisher: City Owl Press
Length: 314 Pages
Genre: Paranormal
Age Category: Adult
Date Published: 29 September 2020

Kanjin hardly view their servants as human. Even less so when they are different.

Asagi is different. Both a man and a woman.

In the wake of his failure to protect a boy they saw as a son from their abusive master, Asagi is sold into the house of a young nobleman, Mahiro, who is the opposite of everything Asagi has ever known—gentle, kind, and generous.

Mahiro bonds with Asagi and their friendship blooms into a deep and profound love. But when Asagi is poisoned out of jealousy, Mahiro reveals himself to be youkai, a demon who feeds on blood, and he has no choice but to turn Asagi to save their life.

Asagi awakes reborn, strong, and eternally youthful. But the price for Asagi’s new life is high.

The blood of the innocent.

Just as Asagi’s trust in Mahiro falters, the boy they failed to protect, now a man, reappears.

New master, same threat.

With both a literal and proverbial monster at the door, Asagi must decide what it means to be human to protect what they loves most.

If you like Bella Forrest, P. C. Cast, AJ Tipton, or Anne Rice, you will love this beautiful dark paranormal fantasy romance.

Content Warnings: physical abuse, sexual abuse (off-page), self-harm, blood, graphic violence

Amazon CA / Amazon US / Goodreads

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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Spotlight & Giveaway: We Come with Vengeance, by H.G. Muralee

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We’re celebrating the release of We Come with Vengeance by H.G. Muralee. Read on for details and enter to win a fantastic giveaway—A copy of the map’s book, a postcard of the Felix character art, and an enamel pin for House Leigh-Van, along with a paperback.


We Come with Vengeance
(Kaier Chronicles)
by H.G. Muralee
Publication Date: March 14th, 2023
Genre: Speculative Fiction/ Steampunk Sci-Fi

The war has stretched on for twenty years, and the soldiers, civilians, and nobles are exhausted. Towns grow more desolate while war technology continues to advance, leaving the rest of Kaier behind.

Felix—heir to House Leigh-Van—harbors resentment for the war that has claimed his sister’s life and his father’s ethics. Regardless, he follows his orders and is content to remain equal among his fellow soldiers.

When a routine stop for repairs puts Felix at the epicenter of a brutal attack impacting civilians rather than soldiers, he struggles to continue separating his ethics from his duty. He’s privately ambivalent but publicly supportive of his uncle—the king—when whispers of an underground rebellion start to circulate. The rebellion is gaining traction and could soon make a serious play at ending the war.

But when even the tactics of the resistance begin claiming lives as quickly as the war itself, Felix starts to wonder who will survive to see the peace they’re fighting for.


Amazon | B & N | Book Depository

About the Author


H.G. Muralee was born and raised in North Carolina. She graduated from Western Carolina University with a degree in Criminal Justice and works as a paralegal. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading far too many books, watching The Great British Baking Show, learning her husband’s native language, and playing with her dog, Oliver.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Embers of the Past, by Lucille J. Knight

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Embers of the Past
Elements of Chaos, #1
by Lucille J. Knight
Genre: Sword & Sorcery, Dark Fantasy

Legend tells that the dragons of Ryuutachi gifted humans with the power of elemental magic long ago. Those born attuned to one of the seven elements were revered, but their arrogance led to ruin and suffering, unbalancing the natural order. Now they are feared and despised, forced to hide their gifts or be persecuted for the sins of their forebears.

Taoru is a single father who will stop at nothing to protect Lian, his only daughter, but what can he do when the greatest threat she faces is herself? Can he keep their magic secret and Lian safe from impending war? Or will he lose everything he holds dear?

Wujun is consumed by the many secrets kept from him. He knows only that his parents died when he was an infant, leaving him a vast fortune and cryptic allies. They care for him, protect him, but in doing so isolate him from the rest of society. Then he meets Kentai, a haunted, mysterious swordsman and at last he has a friend. Can he hold on to this blossoming connection or will the ghosts of the past shatter his hope for a better future?

Fate’s tangled web is about to entrap them all. Are the mages destined to return balance and stability to Ryuutachi? Or will their magic plunge the land into eternal chaos?

Amazon / Goodreads


Bright scorching flames blazed around Lian’s body, licking her exposed skin, coiling around her limbs and torso. She could feel their powerful heat as they writhed and lashed, but she remained impervious to their wrath. She gazed upward, high above the raging fire to its source, and was filled with a feeling of awe and fear. A beautiful, serpentine creature towered in the sky, its great crimson mane shining with fiery hues as it reared back, taking another deep breath.

Lian braced herself, her stance wide, arms bent with her fists clenched parallel to her ribs. The second blast bathed the slender woman in molten fury, and once again, she endured. She had taken the dragon off guard; she could see it hesitating, sizing her up, trying to figure out how she, an ordinary mortal woman, still stood defiantly before it. This was the perfect opportunity to strike back!

Still maintaining her pose, Lian reached into the depths of her soul to where her own wild inferno always burned. She drew that power upward with little coaxing, just as her father had taught her when she was a child. Her mouth opened wide, and a second later, flames, every bit as hot as those of the dragon’s, erupted from her. The gout of fire slammed into the unsuspecting dragon, inciting a roar of surprised outrage. Her blast had done no more harm to the dragon than its had to Lian; she made her point all the same.

As the flames tapered out, a broad grin spread over Lian’s face. Few had the gall to breathe fire back at a dragon, and the rush of adrenaline-fueled courage made her feel downright giddy. The dragon was regarding her more closely now, watching as her smirk turned into a laugh. It really should have seen its own face, she thought.

Much to her disappointment, the fight was over. The dragon lowered itself down, yellow eyes penetrating to her very spirit. Its lips parted, and she braced, thinking it was about to attack again after all, but instead, it spoke.

It’s, no his, voice was like nothing she had ever heard before. The deep rumble reminded her of standing in a circle of roaring bonfires. Yet, in contrast, his tone was gentle and imploring. Lian’s body relaxed, her demeanor turning somber.

Byetzu, Tiyomi. Rise to the Heavens and rain purging flame upon the broken, wicked world.” The words echoed, reverberating through Lian’s heart, bones, and mind. “Byetzu!

About the Author:

Headshot Large (1)Raised in a small town in South Central Alaska, Lucille J. Knight discovered her passion for writing at a young age and cobbled together a tremendously awful Star Wars fan novel by the time she finished middle school. As an adult, she began her career as a freelance ghostwriter before launching into indie publishing for herself with her debut novel Hexen Blood: Damnation. Lucille presently writes and publishes from Missouri.

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