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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Spotlight & Excerpt: Salad on the Side + Giveaway

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Salad on the Side - Karenna Colcroft
Karenna Colcroft has a new MM paranormal romance out, Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat book 1: Salad on the Side. And there’s a giveaway!

Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias, and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him, too.

But his neighbors have a secret: They’re a werewolf pack, and Tobias is their Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle, he learns the truth in a hurry–and in the most painful way. Now he’s a werewolf too, and as a vegan is at war with his wolf aspect, who craves meat.

With Tobias’s help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life. But can he protect the pack and his lover from a werewolf seeking revenge against Tobias?

Warnings: References to sexual assault.

This is a rerelease.

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Excerpt

No! Oh, God, anything but this!

That was the first conscious thought I’d had since the wolf had bitten down. I didn’t know what it meant at first.

Then I opened my eyes. Nothing looked right. Everything around me appeared flat and muted. I definitely wasn’t in the garden anymore, but since I couldn’t see things properly, I couldn’t tell where I was. Inside, somewhere. Not my apartment. I was lying on a floor; that much I could tell.

When I tried to stand, my legs didn’t want to cooperate. Then I caught a glimpse of my foot.

It was covered in fur.

Shit.  Wolf bite. Wolves didn’t live in Boston.

Maybe werewolves did. Even though as far as I knew those didn’t exist.

I tried to see my body. Fur, check. Pretty off-white color, or at least I would have thought it was pretty if it didn’t cover me. Snout protruding out far enough to see, check. Four paws with claws sticking out from the end of each… finger? Toe? Didn’t know what to call them. Check, anyway.

Shit.

At least my head moved the way I wanted it to. I glanced around, trying to gain some sense of place. This time, I spotted two humans crouching nearby. One of them was Tobias. Even as a wolf, I recognized the regret and sadness in his expression.

Tobias was there, and that meant he knew what had happened to me. My brain refused to go any farther than that.

The other human… After a second, I recognized her too. The hair color gave it away, perfectly matching the color of the fur on the wolf that bit me.

Fucking Melia. She eyed me with a contemptuous smirk which vanished quickly when Tobias glanced at her over his shoulder. He turned back to me, and Melia glowered. “He should be dead.”

“Fortunately for you, he isn’t,” Tobias snapped. “I thought you’d learned better control than this, Melia. Clearly I overestimated you.”

Melia bowed her head. “I’ll do better in the future. He could have died.”

As a wolf, tone of voice wasn’t quite as obvious to me as it was when I was human. But something in the way Melia spoke caught my attention. She meant what she’d said. I should have been dead, because that had been her intention. Maybe I was wrong, but the fury and contempt in her eyes confirmed it.

I snarled and tried to stand, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to get those four legs under me. Tobias raised his hands and took a couple steps toward me. “Kyle, easy,” he said softly. “We aren’t going to hurt you.”

“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Melia said. “Tobias, I didn’t mean—”

“Shut up, Melia,” Tobias ordered without taking his eyes off me. “You’re here to see the results of your poor control, not to make apologies. I don’t think Kyle will accept your apology easily.”

I managed to move my head in something resembling a nod. Fuck if I’d ever forgive the bitch! It hadn’t been my fault I’d wandered into the path of a frigging werewolf. Like I’d even known there would be a wolf in the garden. It wasn’t the sort of thing people usually considered when going out to pick strawberries. “Oh, I’d better be careful; there might be a werewolf out there.” Right. Not outside horror movies.

Hopefully they’d figure out soon how to change me back so I could get things ready for my dinner with Tobias the next night. I’d be sorely pissed if that had to be put on hold.

The next night. Except I didn’t think it was “next” anymore. I had no clue how long I’d been unconscious. The sunlight streaming through the window beside me pretty clearly told me that it wasn’t night any longer. But if it wasn’t night, why was I still a wolf? Didn’t werewolves only shift when it was dark?

I blinked at Tobias and he caught the question. “It’s your first shift, Kyle. You changed while you were out cold and it’s going to take your body and mind a little while to coordinate so you’ll go back to human. That’s how it works for all of us our first time. And we can shift whenever we want.”

All of us.  Now I couldn’t prevent myself from grasping the truth. The truth Tobias and Mrs. Frelich had been so damned determined to keep from me. Tobias was one of the wolves. And he’d probably made sure none of the other neighbors would ever see anything he didn’t want them to. Tobias, the man I lusted after, was a fucking werewolf. I didn’t even know what to think about that.

“You have to eat something, Kyle,” Tobias said. He crouched low to look me in the eye. “You’ve been unconscious for three days, since Melia attacked you. You don’t know how sorry I am about this. I wanted to protect you from it.”

Even in my current form, my heart and a couple other things responded to his words. He did care about me. Maybe at our dinner he would have admitted all this to me. Though I certainly understood why he’d been reluctant. Without seeing it for myself, I probably wouldn’t have believed him.

He might have told me the truth, though, and if I’d believed him, if I hadn’t thrown him out, who knew where things might have ended up? I knew where I would have wanted them to end, whether Tobias was a werewolf or not.


Author Bio

Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.

Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)

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Book Blitz: Insidious Scars + Giveaway

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Happy publication day to author Natalie J. Reddy! Just look at this beauty! Read on for more info about Insidious Scars (Scars of Days Forgotton #5)!

Psst! There’s also a giveaway!

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Insidious Scars 
(Scars of Days Forgotten Series Book 5)
by Natalie J. Reddy
Publication Date: May 17th, 2022 🎉
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

This is what she’s been training for…

Jyoti has felt like an outcast all her life. Living among Psi with extraordinary power can be isolating and dangerous when you have no power of your own. But in weakness there is strength, a strength Jyoti’s mother has been training her to use to her advantage. When rumors of war begin circulating, Jyoti is offered an opportunity to help protect her people. However, it would mean giving up what she loves most. But when she finds out about a weapon that could cause the destruction of all mankind, she begins to question everything, even her own heart.

What do you do when protecting the greater good means you’ll lose everything you love?

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About the Author

Author

Natalie J. Reddy is a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.

Natalie realized at an early age that she had a passion for storytelling and that passion followed her into adulthood. There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it’s in her own writing or the writing of others. Natalie is the author of the Scar of Days Forgotten series, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.

When she’s not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.

To keep up to date on upcoming books, subscribe to Natalie’s newsletter at nataliejreddy.com

Natalie J. Reddy | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads


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