Spotlight & Excerpt: Dead Man’s Hex + Giveaway

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This is my post during the blog tour for Dead Man’s Hex by Ani Gonzalez. In Dead Man’s Hex Paranormal investigator Claire Delacourt’s working vacation turns into a cruise ship to hell and it’s up to her and her trusty hellhound Chihuahua, Pookie, to save the ship…and the world.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and the tour runs from 25 till 31 October. You can see the tour schedule here.

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Dead Man’s Hex (Drop Dead Witchy #2)
By Ani Gonzalez
Genre: Humorous Urban Fantasy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 27 October 2021

It’s a cruise ship to Hell. Literally.

Sun, sand, and ghosts. Sounds like the perfect working vacation, no? The supernatural cruise would be a chance to get a tan, enjoy a variety of cold drinks with colorful umbrellas, and make some money leading ghost tours along the Mid-Atlantic coast…or so I thought. I didn’t count on a seasick hellhound Chihuahua, a stowaway ghost, and a crazy cult cramping my style. Now I’m fighting Octonomicron acolytes, trying to keep myself in one piece, and save humanity at the same time. Oh, and that tan? So not happening.



“NO,” POOKIE said. “Hellhounds and water don’t mix.”
“Hey, it pays the bills,” I replied, peering at my laptop screen.
We were in the Delacourt Manor dining room, a relatively peaceful space with an octagonal table, carved wooden chairs, and a brand new and rather expensive brass chandelier. The morning sun streamed through the windows, enveloping us in a comforting, summery warmth. I sat at the head of the gnome-carved table, checking my calendar as my hellhound Chihuahua lay on his pillow, soaking up the rays.
It would have been an idyllic scene, if it weren’t for the claw marks on the dining room door and the deep gashes on the floor. My newly acquired home—my family’s ancestral abode, no less—had a few Lovecraftian drawbacks.
Pookie’s obsidian eyes narrowed. “You’ve always been cheap, but you weren’t this concerned about money before. Did the television gig money run out?“
“Not yet, emphasis on yet, but I have a mortgage now.” I gestured toward a wall sadly in need of fresh wallpaper. “And a house that needs, er, maintenance.”
Pookie laughed. “Are you worried about feeding the tentacled beastie in the attic? Let me reassure you as to that. The sustenance it requires is not one you find at pet stores, and I’m not volunteering.”
Sadly, Pookie wasn’t exaggerating, for once. I’d gone as far as to let the government’s paranormal strike team, PRoVE, investigate the whole house with their computers, sensors, and magic users. Their best guess was that our unwanted housemate consumed only magical energy, preferably the kind found encased in a magical being.
A hellhound like Pookie would qualify as a full meal. As would I, given my necromancy. My ancestors, all witches, had also made the grade, as they were all killed by something very much like my supernatural cephalopod roommate.
Yes, it turned out my ancestral home was literally trying to eat me.
Oh, not right now. PRoVE had helped me install protections, so the creature was temporarily contained. As long as the house was standing, the transdimensional hexes implanted in it would be kept at bay, giving me enough time to figure who had put them there, and how I could take them out.
The house—an undeniably gorgeous Victorian that had so much gingerbread trim it could pass for a wedding cake—was extreme, even in this neighborhood. Yes, I lived in the famously haunted town of Banshee Creek. Yes, many people lived in haunted houses in this Northern Virginia village. However, I was the only who kept a magical katana—now resting against the table beside me—around for protection.
Which left me with an extremely difficult mission, and a big pile of home repair bills. I had a successful career as a paranormal investigator and—ugh, I guess I have to admit this—influencer. However, keeping the house and its newly installed protections in one piece wasn’t cheap, which was why instead of focusing on handing my supernatural squid housemate an eviction notice, my attention was on the big pile of house repair bills.
I already had a frighteningly large estimate from the electrician and a similar one from the plumber. The roof, I already knew, was in bad shape. Liam Hagen, Banshee Creek’s resident contractor, was now touring the house and likely daydreaming about the luxury pickup truck he’d buy with my checks.
I needed money fast, and Danny Demento’s Paranormal Summer Cruise paid extremely well.
“Uh-oh,” Pookie sighed. “I know that look. It’s a prelude to an episode of epic bad judgement.”
“Hey, you turned your back on the luxurious demonic lifestyle of Gehenna Heights,” I replied. “In this plane, my spoiled hellhound friend, money problems are not a state of mind. We need the cash. Look, it’s just three days. That leaves us plenty of time to hunt down the Octonomicron cultists. I promise I’ll let you bite some of them.”
“You don’t think Captain Eileen was acting alone then?” Pookie asked. “I thought that was the official PRoVE theory. She’d been in the organization a long time, had become obsessed with this particular old cult, and decided to bring it back all by her lonesome by triggering their old traps and the supernatural critters contained within.”
“No, I don’t,” I replied. “And neither does Caine. He’s just using that for his reports. He hates admitting that he doesn’t know.”
Caine Magnusson was the leader of PRoVE. You may have seen the group’s all-seeing eye logo, watched its YouTube channel, or heard about its goofy antics as harmless paranormal investigators, and thus you may have surmised they were just a bunch of adventure-seeking bikers and eccentric academics. But, believe me, that’s just a cover. PRoVe was a government organization tasked with investigating supernatural occurrences. The organization was old—created by President Andrew Johnson by an executive order dating back to the 1800’s—and Captain Eileen Childs was by no means their first renegade. She was, however, Caine’s first brush with betrayal, and he had not taken it well.
Eileen, burning with the hatred of the supernatural that had caused her to study magic and join PRoVE, had read the Octonomicron books and fused them to try to kill me, Cole Hunt, the town’s guardian ghost, and Sara Parker, the vampire who managed the pizzeria. Caine felt the betrayal deeply and was determined to find the cause of it. However, we had found no leads regarding the Octonomicron books, so PRoVE’s official story was that Eileen had acted alone.
None of us believed it, though. Whoever the Octonomicron people were, it was clear they were many. They had a printing press, they had blogs, they were distributing materials. Oh, maybe some of their victims, like Eileen, acted independently, but there was a group behind it. One that had likely been around for centuries. One that had killed my family.
And I had to find out who they were.
That is, right after I got my roof repair estimate. Liam’s footsteps echoed through the house, the spring in his step sounding ominous. Anything that made my contractor happy would be bad news for my bank account.
I drew in a deep breath. “I’ll take the cruise job, put down the repair deposits, and leave Liam to fix the house. Then, I promise, we’ll go on a long, productive road trip and get to the bottom of this.”
I pulled up Danny Demento’s e-mail. All I had to do to secure a last-minute berth was reply and show up. The VIP treatment was nice, and it explained how Danny had been able to assemble such an impressive lineup of presenters, entertainers, and hosts for his trip. Nearly every high-profile paranormal investigator, medium, and parapsychologist I knew was attending.
“The job,” Pookie drawled, “is a weekend cruise down the Mid-Atlantic coast with a bunch of weirdos doing silly magic tricks. Trust me—there isn’t enough money in the world.”
“Danny Demento is not a weirdo,” I replied, typing in my registration information. “He is a marketing genius. He started with a national chain of seasonal Halloween costume stores, expanded into a line of haunted house attractions, and is now doing haunted cruises. He’s brilliant.”
And he was pulling out all the stops for this tour. The materials promised arcane rituals, esoteric knowledge, and the fulfillment of one’s secret dreams and desires. The itinerary itself was a series of run-of-the-mill coastal paranormal investigations—spooky lighthouses, haunted hotels, and ghost ships—but Danny made it sound epic. He even promised world domination. Typical Demento over-sell.
“He’s had more bankruptcies than I’ve had reincarnations,” Pookie replied. “The haunted house gig went kaput, and he had to sell the stores at a loss.”
He had me there. Danny’s finances went up and down like a roller coaster. When he was up, he was minting money, but when he was down, he went totally broke. This cruise seemed to be one of his upswings.
“You need to stop watching financial news,” I mused, reviewing Danny’s email. “It’s not good for you.”
Three days of sand and surf, surrounded by some of the most influential people in the paranormal industry. That didn’t sound too bad. I’d be able to gather information and check out if anyone had noticed the Octonomicron materials and their distinctive eight-armed symbol around. My colleagues were huge gossips, so that wouldn’t be hard. By the time the job was over, I’d have some idea of what my next step should be. Right now, all I had was a pile of Octonomicron books, Eileen Childs’s tapes, Sara’s haphazard memories, and a long list of questions.
Pookie yawned. “I’m a demon. I can’t resist a train wreck. I just don’t want to be a part of it.”
“But disaster hasn’t hit yet,” I continued. “He has money now, and he’s willing to pay a handsome fee. That’s the bottom line. You can stay if you want to, but I’m going.”
Pookie snorted. “As if you could get by without me.”
“Try me,” I said, hinting the send button.
Pookie’s eyes went wide. “Well, aren’t you the independent—wait, a minute. Are you taking the ghost guy? Am I being replaced by Mr. Tall, Dark, and Only Corporeal to You?”
My head snapped up. “The ghost—you mean Cole? No, he’s not coming. Of course not.”
Cole Hunt wasn’t just the town’s resident guardian spirit. He was also my old high school crush. He’d helped us defeat Captain Eileen, and he also wanted to solve the mystery of the Octonomicron. He thought there was an older and more dangerous force at work, and he would be a useful ally—
“Oooooh,” Pookie sighed. “Cole and Claire, sitting in a ship, K-I-S-S-I—”
“Oh, stop,” I said, scowling at him. “That doesn’t even rhyme.”
“‘Nipping’ would rhyme,” he replied. “But then he’d have to be a werewolf, not a specter.” He frowned. “Can a ghost even board a boat? Isn’t he stuck here?”
“He’s not going,” I said through gritted teeth.
Even if I wanted to have Cole around, which I wasn’t willing to admit, it wasn’t worth enduring Pookie’s teasing. And the hellhound was probably right. Ghosts tended to stay put. Cole was likely bound to Banshee Creek, the haunted town he was devoted to.
So, no beach trip with Cole Hunt. I wasn’t disappointed about that, not at all.
“Turn that frown upside down, witch girl,” Pookie drawled. “It’s not too late to back out from this sand flea-infested three-day cruise to beach hell.”
“Actually,” I said. “The confirmation e-mail just hit my inbox, so it is too late. We leave for Norfolk tomorrow.”
“Oh, wonderful,” Pookie said with profound insincerity. “I’ve longed to see Norfolk again. We had so much fun there the last time.”
And by ‘fun,’ he meant the exact opposite. The Norfolk supernatural community could be strange, not that I was judging or anything. We were all a few nachos short of a combination plate in this business, but Norfolk was missing an entire enchilada.
“I’m glad you’re so excited,” I replied, ignoring his sarcasm. “We leave in the morning, which doesn’t give us much time to pack.”
“Luckily, I travel light,” Pookie said.
“But I don’t,” I said, as I pulled up my work packing list.
Monster hunting didn’t require a large wardrobe, but my day job was a different story. I’d become a paranormal celebrity thanks to my stint as the host of the Celebrity Medium television show. I liked to think that my popularity was due to my scintillating personality and my deep knowledge of paranormal history, but looks were a big part of it. My lavender hair and stylish clothes were part of the draw, and that, unfortunately, required a lot of effort and a ton of luggage.
I got up from the table. “I better go hurry Liam up. If I don’t start packing soon—”
I jumped as a shrill scream rang out. The sound echoed through the room, making the thin glass of the old windows vibrate. Pookie yawned and glanced up at the ceiling.
“Did you warn Liam about the attic?” he asked.
“No,” I replied, leaping out of my seat, my heartbeat quickening. “I forgot.”
Luckily, I remembered to grab my sword before heading for the stairs.

First book in the series:
Hex Marks The Spot book cover
Hex Marks the Spot (Drop Dead Witchy #1)
By Ani Gonzalez

“Going to Hell is easy. Going back home is a different story.”

Amazon (Free Oct 29)

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About the Author:
I’m a USA Today bestselling author of paranormal romantic comedy and cozy mystery (whew, that’s a mouthful!) set in Banshee Creek, Virginia, The Most Haunted Town in the USA. My books feature feisty, irrepressible heroines dealing with a host of paranormal critters (ghosts, cryptids, pagan gods…the sky’s the limit) and mysteries. They find love and laughter (and sometimes corpses) along the way, and readers get to follow them every step of the way.

I love quirky towns with spooky stories, and, thanks to my books, I get to “live” in one year-around. In real life I live in a Virginia suburb (which is sadly lacking in ghosts) with my husband, three children, two cats, and one adorable dog.

Author links:

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Dead Man’s Hex. These are the prizes you can win:
– a $25 Amazon gift card
– a $15 Amazon gift card
– a $10 Amazon gift card

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Don’t Start Now + Giveaway

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Don’t Start Now
By Tara September
Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 182 Pages
March 1, 2021


“If you don’t wanna see me dancing with somebody, don’t show up … don’t start caring about me now.”

What can go wrong being stuck on a cruise ship with your ex and entering into a fake relationship with a sexy coworker? It might not be the Titanic, thank goodness, but Eve Richard’s heart is sinking by the minute and love is definitely going down.

Pulitzer-prize-winning war journalist turned small-town newspaperman, Adam Seager, has given up a lot for his work, country, and family, but not this time. He knows what he wants, and it’s his coworker, Eve. Her smile is the brightest part of his day and a daily reminder that more adventures are yet to come. When they are both assigned a travel feature on board a new cruise ship, it’s the perfect opportunity to let his feelings set sail.

Eve will never date another coworker or writer again. Been there, done that. Time to pursue her own writing dreams, even if it means bunking with the infuriating and complicated Adam Seager. So what if the butterflies he sets off in her belly can rival the waves outside their cabin. She intends to keep things strictly professional … that is, as much as they can be while also pretending to be a couple. Their relationship might be fake, but the pull to get to know more of him is real. Her reporter’s gut says there is more to uncover than meets the eye. But what will happen when they are back on dry land?


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Zip-lining with the salt of the ocean in the air and fragrant flowers filling his senses was much different than the time Adam had careened off a rooftop in Afghanistan with a makeshift rope and a questionable carabiner he prayed wouldn’t spring open. This time, without his ears ringing from a nearby blast and the fear of death minimal, soaring fifty feet off the ground was exhilarating. He could see why tourists enjoyed the adventure.

Adam’s excursion wasn’t over yet, though. Their tour package included a hike to see the famous cliff divers fly into the waters below.

The mile-long climb was easy. Not staring at Eve in her yoga pants as she trekked ahead of him, however, wasn’t. The path was single file, and being the gentleman that he was, he of course told Eve to go first while blocking Hugh from going next in line. The putz grumbled behind him the whole way.

Adam smacked another mosquito that landed on his forearm, wishing he wasn’t in swim trunks and a thick, cotton T-shirt, but rather something more protective and airier. But when the brush cleared, so did Adam’s thoughts as the vast ocean view appeared before them. He stood still at first, transfixed. Feeling a pull, he stepped closer to the steep edge than was probably safe. A pebble plummeted into the aqua-blue water below, which slapped at the jagged edges of the rocky cliff. The color of the ocean matched Eve’s captivating eyes.

“Close your eyes,” Eve said in a whisper beside him.

He wanted to turn to look at her, but he did as he was told.

“Take a deep breath.”

Again, he did as she instructed, his bare forearm brushing against hers as he dragged in a deep gulp of air. The mere touch sent goose bumps down his arm.

“Keep your eyes closed,” she warned.

“Are you going to push me off the cliff?”

Her sweet laughter at his question drowned out the waves and the sounds of other journalists nearby. It felt like it was just the two of them in that moment with the sun beating down, their scents mixing. “Because if you’d truly rather write alone, there are better ways to go about it.”

“Shh. Take another breath in. What do you smell?”

“Cherry bark and almond,” he answered immediately.

“Hmm … that’s interesting. I’ve never heard the scent of the tropics or ocean described that way before.”

“I wasn’t describing either of those. That scent is you, and it’s invading my senses right now.” He cleared his throat.

“Oh, sorry, it must be the sunblock.”

It’s your shampoo, he almost corrected. He could smell it whenever she was near, and it drove him crazy. Like an addict, he inhaled again.

“Good,” she said, praising the deep breath he took. “Now tell me, what do you feel?”

You. Her nearness surrounded him. I want to ride that gorgeous body of yours until you can’t sit anymore. Aloud, he replied lamely, “I don’t know.”

“Is your heart pounding? Can you feel the rush from being this close? You have goose bumps.”

“Yes, all those things,” he acknowledged.

“Then you’ll need to recall these feelings when you go to write about your visit.”

Considering that’s how he often felt when near Eve, that wouldn’t be a problem.

Bookstagram Tour

Check out the Bookstagram Tour here, which has its own giveaway!

About the Author

Tara September is a multi-award-winning contemporary romance author living in Southwest Florida. Tara holds a master’s degree in journalism from New York University. Previously, she was the Communications Manager at WWE and a PR Manager for The Walt Disney Company.

Fueled by an IV of green tea and Prosecco, Tara is finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about. Proud mom to twins and four cats, she also blogs over at When Tara Met Blog @tarametblog, a lifestyle and parenting blog of 16 years.

Grab a free short story at –>


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Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive an audiobook of Jesse’s Girl
One winner will receive an audiobook of It Might Be You
One winner will receive an audiobook of Mine to Five

Open to US and UK residents only
Ends September 1, 2021

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Espoused, by Jean Marie Davis

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Join Us for This Tour from August 16 to September 3!
Book Title:  Espoused by Jean Marie Davis
Category:  Adult Fiction 18+
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Literary, Humor
Publisher:  Wren Park Publishing, 264 pages
Release date: July 2021
Content Rating:  PG for the subject matter of adult relationships/marriage/divorce, but there is no bad language or explicit sex scenes.

(v.) to take in marriage; to make a marriage permanent by court decree;
the court-approved process by which couples may stay together beyond
the legal 15-year term.

In the contemporary world, fifteen years is considered the legal life cycle of a marriage. If a couple wants to stay together (married), they must hire a lawyer and petition the court to become Espoused.

After 14 years of marriage, Sara and Thomas Healy are still in love. Their decision to go to court to be espoused permanently is a source of great embarrassment for their children. Avery is ready for the benefits of uncoupling, and Sam really doesn’t need the social stigma of parents who decide to stay together, on top of everything else. Lame! Their espouse attorney, Gwen Stevens, has other problems. The judge for the Healy case is her nemesis, Carly Abraham, also known as “the Wicked Witch of the Bench.” Judge Abraham was previously married to Gwen’s husband Dennis, from whom she uncoupled after the allotted 15 years. She hates espouse lawyers on principle, and seems to have an extra dose of dislike for Gwen personally.

While the Healys struggle through the espouse experience—trial separation, uncouple counseling, and ongoing financial burdens—Gwen has to deal with the judge and her own struggles at home. In this fight for love, who
has the answers?

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Meet the Author:

Jean Marie Davis was born and raised in Huntington, New York. After graduating from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, she moved back to Long Island where she worked in the Marketing Research industry for over 30 years. She currently lives in Centerport, New York close to her daughter and son.

Connect with the Author:  ​Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook  ~ Goodreads


Tour Schedule:

Aug 16 – I’m All About Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 16 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 17 – Twilight Reader – book review
Aug 18 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 19 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Aug 19 – Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 20 – Lalitha’s World of Serenity – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 23 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 24 – Kam’s Place – book review
Aug 25 – Based on a True Story – book review
Aug 25 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 26 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Aug 27 – Lisa’s Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 30 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 31 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 31 – RebeccaReviewedIt – book review / giveaway
Sep 1 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Sep 1 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Sep 2 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Sep 3 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway

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ESOUSED Book Tour Giveaway

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