Blood Numbers ~ giveaway

Blood Numbers by C.F. Kreitzer
Genre: YA Dystopian

There are only two kinds of people left on the earth: Donors and Recipients.

Sixteen-year-old Aston Vazeto hates the idea of selling her blood for money and is determined to be the first Donor in New World history to never donate.

But after a suspicious accident at her father’s power plant leaves her family diving deeper into poverty, Aston has no other choice except to enter the annual blood auctions, where Recipients bid on the richest blood. With the highest test results ever seen, Aston’s blood becomes the most sought-after in history, and will likely bring a large price at auctions.

When her friends are caught tampering with their donations, they are arrested and tortured. Knowing she puts her family’s safety and income at risk Aston takes advantage of an opportunity to escape donation facility drugs meant to keep Donors complacent. Free to feel and free to love she is caught between Gannet, a kind facility technician, and Marcus, a sarcastic rebel like herself. Dancing at Blood Auction Balls and kissing a donor in coat closets under the stairs has Aston confused between joining the uprising she hears rumors about or merely following the life her blood was meant to lead.

Goodreads * Amazon



I grew up with a pretty normal childhood, running barefoot in the Appalachian mountains, playing with turtles and innocently killing them by leaving them on their backs so I could play house with them again the next day. I don’t think  I always dreamed of being an author. It was just something I did. I made up stories about my dead turtles. I named my fingers and let them battle out family feuds. I wrote about myself in my journal when what I wished would happen was better than what actually did (sorry, Mom for the scare. I still promise I never really snuck over to a party and kissed my brothers friend). What a wonderful surprise when something “I just did” suddenly became something others enjoyed. I’m so forever grateful to my publisher for giving me a chance to share my not-so-normal stories with the whole world.

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Giveaway Swag!!!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

What is something unique/quirky about you?

I can whistle like a cricket? Lol.

Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!

I was born with a blood disorder called polycythemia which means my blood is too thick. It’s possibly why I’m so fascinated by blood. I’ve never been able to donate blood or plasma. I found out recently I also have a blood disorder called Von Willebrands, which means I bleed easily so maybe that balances out the thick blood, I don’t know. When I was born doctors wanted to do a complete blood transfusion. My dad refused, and a team of nurses stayed with me overnight. Somehow things worked out, and now here I am writing books about donors and blood banks.

Where were you born/grew up at?

A tiny town in the Appalachian Mountains called Low Moor, VA

What kind of world ruler would you be?

Probably a very inconsistent one. I’m no good at keeping up with schedules or routines. I’m a “live by the seat of my pants” kind of person, and it drives my husband crazy. But we get a lot of things done and have a ton of amazing adventures.

What are you passionate about these days?

Right now I’m super into magic books. I just finished a contemporary magic book and then watched the Witcher on Netflix. Now I want to write a full-on dark fantasy novel.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

We may have just moved solely for the purpose of having a bigger bathtub. A hot bath with a fun Netflix show or good book is my favorite thing to do.

How to find time to write as a parent?

 I think I’ve gotten really good at just zoning things out. Daniel Tiger no longer phases me. I also am a crossing guard, so five times a day I get to sit in my car, watch for kids coming to cross the road, and think all about my books. I’d say about 40% of my books are written on my phone in the car.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I wrote my first book. I typed “The End” and felt so much accomplishment. Writing a novel was so exhilarating and exciting to know all the in’s and outs and the behind-the-scenes parts of a story was so much more fun than reading. I got addicted pretty quickly. I wrote five full-length novels, six picture books, 3 short stories (one that won Silver Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest), and won a few flash fiction contests all in the first two years after writing that first book. I’ve discovered that writing is everything that has made me weird my whole life. Now in the writing world I’m suddenly completely normal.

Do you have a favorite movie?

While You Were Sleeping” is one of my all time favorite movies, but “Labyrinth” is a close second. If I could combine those two that’d be a super cool story.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

All of them. This dystopian I think would be a cool Netflix series. After everything we’re going through now with COVID-19, my story is super relevant.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Oh that’s a hard one. I love frogs, and collect little trinkets of them, but I don’t know if I’d consider myself one. I also love owls. I collect those too. As a writer I’m probably something that hibernates. Like a bear. Mostly because I can’t stay consistent with my writing. I’ll go weeks without turning my computer on and then sit down and write 40,000 words in a week.

What inspired you to write this book?

Well first off, like I said, I’ve always had a fascination with blood and donations, since it’s something I have no experience in. But the idea for this specific story started when my husband decided to donate plasma one year in order to have a little extra Christmas money. He saw other fellow teachers there, and it made me a little sad that they were making so little that they had to risk their health in order to afford things for their families. And then he got sick, and my husband never gets sick. Anyone who’s ever been in a plasma facility knows what I’m talking about when I say they’re a little trippy. Poster children on every wall and weird messages talking about how your donations save people are all over the place. The idea of a society separated by the need for blood formed, and the donors were patterned off my poor husband who gave so much for us to have a great Christmas one year.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have lots of ideas all over the place, but something that seems to stay consistent is my angsty romance that I just can’t get enough of. I am querying a science fiction suicide story right now that has a lot of magical realism, and I’m sending in book two of this series to my editor next week. Lots of exciting things happening that I’m super stoked about.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?

Yeah. Originally the best friend, Lazuli ( pronounced La – zoo- ligh) wasn’t supposed to be a main part of the story. As it evolved, though, she became a huge component to several plot points and subplots. I have lots of small stories that were her version of the story that I’ll probably put up somewhere sometime for fun.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Blood Numbers?

Oh man, I really got to know and love these characters. It’s weird when critique partners would give suggestions, and I knew my fake people so well I could say “nah, they would never say that.”

My main character is Aston. She’s a 16 year old donor who, as the fourth daughter of a man who wanted sons, was raised with strong opinions about their government. She is an artist. She’s impulsive and very naïve. She’s a bit selfish but has good intentions which is part of her story arc. She doesn’t want to admit it but she has a thing for her technician, Gannet. He’s got a pretty face but is clearly a robot to the system because of the drugs given to donors. When Aston finds a way to avoid the drugs, she doesn’t think she could ever be with someone so robotically happy all the time. Which is what makes Marcus so appealing even if a bit annoying. He’s rugged and sickly but free to do as he pleases. His determination and zeal draws her in even though her parents would never approve of a low-numbered sickly donor.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book? 

I knew I wanted a society divided by blood, the infected on one side of the wall that bid on healthy donors’ blood in order to be cured, and donors on the other side who are so poor they’re willing to donate themselves to death. But the idea for the characters came actually from watching Aladdin with my kids. Telling too much about that though would give too much away so you’ll have to just read the book:) * wink wink*

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

My husband is a birder. I think without realizing it I patterned Aston’s father after my husband. I love the kind of Dad he is and he loves birds, so I put a lot of the names of birds that we joked about naming our kids. Gannets are sea birds; Lazuli Buntings are beautiful blue birds, and Aston- well that’s not a bird. I actually took a job working at an apartment complex called “The Aston” the day I started plotting the concept in my head. It only seemed fitting.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The surprises. I always knew the basic skeleton of the  story. I knew I needed to get from one plot point to the next, but the way I would get there sometimes was so exciting. “Yes, a ball! And at the ball there will be this crazy awesome thing that happens that leads us right to this ridiculous conflict!”

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

Um, my husband, the Biologist, helped me come up with it, but I always thought it sounded kinda cheesy. I originally wanted Book One to be called “Donors”, and Book Two would be “Recipients”, and who knows what Book Three would be. But my husband kept insisting and then my critique group too. Then when the publisher took over they also agreed that they liked it more.

Who designed your book covers?

Ashley Litersky with Immortal Works Press.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Actually, yeah there’s a couple things. Now that I’m writing the third book there are a few ideas that come up that would have been really cool to put some foreshadowing about in book one.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Aston calls her mother Mam and she is sort of the villain of book one. It was actually one of the characters that was the most fun to write. I kept having to call my own Mom though and make sure she knew I wasn’t writing about her, haha. I knew she would be concerned about what others thought about my relationship with her and so let me take this opportunity to say: my mom is one of my best friends. Mam however is an awfully nasty product of the system. She is patterned after the mother in Pride and Prejudice. I took all the rude and awful things about Mrs. Bennet and magnified them. She was the one voice in my head that was louder and more obnoxious sounding than Aston’s.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

Weirdly enough it’s a torture scene. It’s a moment when Aston learns to have compassion on her own mother from seeing another mom get tortured. It helps her understand a little about why her mom is the way she is, and I cried through the whole thing. Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, after all, was only trying to get her girls married in a society where that was the only prospect they had. Would she have been a different kind of mother if they lived today where girls are free to grow up and be astronauts and presidents of companies?

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I actually found Gannet to be a much more interesting character than I originally realized. He felt so mysterious even to me. I think I’d pick him and want him to just show me his childhood home and tell me about his story. He’s one I’d love to write a backstory for as well even though I know the basics of it in my head.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

I have the reins but my characters definitely are vocal. Most of the time they were the ones leading from plot point to plot point. Lazuli wasn’t really unpredictable but just kept popping up as the solution to certain plot predicaments. She was somehow always the answer for how to answer certain needs for conflict. I put the poor girl through a lot, the poor thing.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

One of the things that makes my book super interesting now is how relevant it is to our times. A society that recovers from biological warfare after viruses spread through and killed a third of the earth population? A new government that separates and quarantines society based on health? A system that is organized to take plasma from the recovered and inject it into the sick in order to save them? This is what we are experiencing now with COVID-19! The American Red Cross has agreed to team up with me and I’m holding a national blood drive on May the 4th and will be at the Provo Utah Library to help American Red Cross! They are asking for anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to please donate plasma. The very first patient that received this treatment recovered in record time. It’s so crazy to read headlines that I made up in my novel. Even if you haven’t had COVID-19 please consider donating blood. The American Red Cross helps save lives everyday but their blood bank has dwindled significantly with the shut down. Use the link redcrossblood.org and enter your zip code to find your nearest blood drive. Using hashtag: #BloodNumbersDrive share a picture proving your donation whether a sticker saying you gave blood or a picture of you donating on any social media and be entered for extra chances to win Blood Numbers t-shirts, tattoos, and pens.

What did you edit out of this book?

There was a dream sequence that gives a huge foreshadowing of the end but the editor didn’t think it was super necessary. I love reading that kind of thing the second time through though once you know the ending and can say “Oh my gosh it totally told me right here and I didn’t even notice!”

Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

Stephenie Meyer. I know she gets a lot of flak in the writing world, but no matter what you want to say about her writing she is an amazing story teller. She’s also who really opened up the world to this idea of stay-at-home moms turned authors. I remember years ago listening to her say in an interview that if you have an idea just write it. She is a big inspiration to me.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about book or the writing process of the book.

A vertical transfer virus is what I based my virus off of. It is technically a thing in biology but has never really occurred yet. It’s when a virus is passed down from mother to child. It’s, in the simplest of terms, making cancer a virus. So not only can you catch it if someone sneezes on you but then once you have it, it attaches to your DNA and you can pass it on to your posterity as well. Writing the backstory about the virus and the wars was actually more exciting than I thought it would be. The first draft version of the story didn’t have a whole lot about that. Originally I wanted it to be more about the romance but, then a reader mentioned that she was up late telling her husband about my book and all he had questions about were the wars. How did they get that way? What is the virus and why is it scary? It helped me realize I needed more about the details of their world and went back to the drawing board.


I’m excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Blood Numbers by C.F. Kreitzer

Back in Time… Writing Wednesday

Did you participate in last week’s #WritingWednesday post? It was a thank you letter. If you haven’t posted your response, click HERE so you can do that now. Then, make sure you check in here ~ every Wednesday ~ for the latest #WritingWednesday writing prompt! Now, back to today’s regularly scheduled post…

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today, I’m writing in the voice of Tommas, a character in my current WIP.

Today’s writing prompt:

If you could go back in time exactly 10 years and give yourself some advice, what would you tell yourself?

Never tell. Keep your powers hidden.

You see, as a psychokinetic I’m valuable, or dangerous, I guess it depends on who you ask. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have my powers, but then again, I don’t remember much from my early childhood. At first it was small things; moving a glass across the kitchen table, turning out the lights without touching the switch, or making my parents or friends think someone has tapped them on the shoulder from across the room.

At first, my parents played it off as parlor tricks, sleight of hand, magic. They weren’t sure where I was learning it, but they seemed impressed. At the very least, they were entertained. I let them believe what they needed to believe, that none of it was real.

I should have kept that secret.

As I’ve gotten older, my powers have gotten stronger as did my ego. When other metamorphs were discovered, I should have stopped using my powers. I should have realized the danger they put me in. I was careless and people I loved got hurt. That’s when they found me. That’s when my life changed.

© 2020 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt [If you could go back in time exactly 10 years and give yourself some advice, what would you tell yourself?] inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 


Looking for daily writing inspiration? Check out my latest publication: #WRITINGPROMPTS

Who Can Benefit from Using #WritingPrompts? Everyone! Whether you’re an avid writer or just someone who is interested in the creative and/or therapeutic art of writing, #WritingPrompts is for you. Studies show that maintaining a daily handwritten journal, or creative writing notebook, can: 1. improve memory, 2. enhance creative expression, 3. lower stress, 4. build self-discipline, 5. eliminate writer’s block, and so much more! Writer’s Block Got You Down? Eliminate It, One Day at a Time! When it comes to writer’s block, the struggle is real! If you’ve ever sat at your computer, typewriter, or with pen in hand, but couldn’t get a single word on paper, then you know what writer’s block feels like. #WritingPrompts is the solution you’ve been looking for! Within the pages of #WritingPrompts, you will find over 700 writing prompts that you can use in order or at random, the choice is yours. Jump-Start Your Creativity with over 700 Unique Writing Prompts! Good writing takes time, practice, and unique ideas. Why not jump-start your imagination with these unique writing prompts and watch as you find your voice and become a more confident writer in just one year.


What books have you added to your May 2020 reading list? Comment below and let me know!


Brian Finney ~ Author Interview

It’s always a pleasure when I get to welcome another author to my site to do an interview. Today, I got to interview Brian Finney, author of Money Matters.

Brian Finney, a professor of English, has published eight books on subjects ranging from a biography of Christopher Isherwood (awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Book Prize for the best work of non-fiction in 1979) to Terrorized: How the War on Terror Affected American Culture and Society, published on Amazon’s Kindle in 2011 and as a paperback in 2018. In 2019 he will be publishing his first novel, Money Matters, an unconventional detective novel in which a woman with no experience uncovers the whereabouts of a missing person with connections to the powerful CEO of a mutual fund company, a politician running for governor in California, and a drug cartel. Money Matters to be released on August 22, 2019.

Born in London, he obtained a BA at Reading University and a Ph.D. at the University of London. He spent three years as an officer in the Royal Air Force and five years in management at Joseph Lucas Electrical and Standard Telephones and Cables. In 1964 he transferred to the University of London where he taught and organized courses in the arts for its Department of Extra-Mural Studies.

In 1987 he emigrated to Southern California. After two years as a Visiting Professor at the University of California, Riverside and subsequent adjunct positions at UCLA and the University of Southern California, he became a full-time professor at California State University, Long Beach, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus in the Department of English.

He is married to fine art photographer J.K. Lavin and lives in Venice, California.


Money Matters by Brian Finney

She’s poor and naïve. They’re rich and dangerous.

At once a painful coming-of-age novel, an exciting amateur sleuth tale and an intriguing narrative involving social issues (immigration and wealth disparity), Money Matters has mystery at its core. This emotionally charged debut novel is firmly embedded in Los Angeles culture over the 2010 mid-term election.

Jenny, the 27-year-old inexperienced protagonist, faced with the tragic disappearance of a friend, is forced to take on financial tycoons, corrupt politicians and the treacherous Baja drug cartel in her search to uncover the truth.  Jenny’s investigation takes her into the twilight world of undocumented immigrants, which leads her to seek the help of the handsome director of an immigrant rights organization to whom she is strongly attracted. But will the deadly enmity of the rich and powerful thwart her search and end her budding romance?

Buy it on AMAZON today!


Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…

What is your name and do you write under a pen name?

My name is Brian Finney, which is the name I write under.

Where do you call home?

I live in a 1908 craftsman house in Venice, which has been my home since 1987. Before that I lived in England.

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?

I am a retired Professor Emeritus of English. I enjoyed teaching in Southern California universities, especially at California State University Long Beach where I was a member of faculty from 1989-2015. So many of the students at Cal State have fought hard to make it there and they are a pleasure to teach.

What is your family like?

My wife is a professional art photographer, and we have a small mixed terrier rescue called Willow and an unusually affectionate black and white cat called Zia.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

I used to think that I wanted to be a film director. But I came to realize that movie directors have far less autonomy over the finished work than do authors. So I’m happy with what I chose.

Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love?

I was about seven or eight when I first fell for a girl the same age. I remember leaving a love note for her in a known hiding place and that was about as far as the affair got.

What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?

After rebutting a poor parody of Samuel Beckett in a letter to the editor of the Irish Press, I was asked to write a short book about Beckett’s difficult later prose works. That led me to write to him, and then meet him in a Paris cafe when I clammed up for the first twenty minutes while he talked about productions of his plays.

Who is your role model?

In England after graduating I had to do national service, which I fulfilled as an Education Officer in the Royal Air Force. Occupying such a marginal role made me determined to enter the mainstream of business life. But after five years in industry, when I was offered the position of Factory Manager I realized that I would be trapped by that materialist world for life. Instead I took on a position at London University as tutor-organizer and went on to obtain a doctorate and turn full-time academic.

What is your favorite film based on a book?

Women in Love. Apart from The Rainbow, this is my favorite novel by D, H. Lawrence, whose shorter fiction was the subject of my PhD thesis. Ken Russell’s 1969 film was written by Larry Kramer who said that slightly over half the script was directly from the novel, and much of the rest came from Lawrence’s other writings. The settings are beautiful and Russell is strongest when representing strong emotions.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment?

It is and always has been narrative fiction. I spent much of my life teaching and writing about it, and now I am writing my own novels.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?

I’m reading the paperback version of Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of the Lion, which is about the lives of immigrants building Toronto in the early 1900s.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?

My latest book is Money Matters, a debut novel published in 2019. Brief description: A young woman disappears. Jenny with no experience as a detective investigates. Confrontations with big money and power leave her radically changed.

Is the Above book part of a series?

No.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?

I had a clear idea of what I wanted for the cover. It was really well designed by Carl Graves, Extended Imagery.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

A major theme of the novel is the power of big money in today’s American society. Money Matters is really two titles – matters of money ad money really matters. Once published it got listed among a lot of books counseling readers how to manage their money. Thank goodness I added a subtitle, A Novel.

Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it?

I have a four-minute preview of the audiobook of Money Matters on my website: https://www.bhfinney.com/books/money-matters/

In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her?

The narrator and lead character of Money Matters is Jenny. 27-years-old, she hasn’t got her life together. She has two part-time jobs and is renting a bedroom and bathroom from her rich realtor sister. In the course of her investigation she is forced to reject almost every aspect of her existing life and make her life anew.

What is your character’s greatest strengths?

She is kind-hearted, open-minded and opposes her materialist society.

And what are his/her greatest weaknesses?

She starts off being too compliant and lacks true self-knowledge.

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Unlike her self-serving sister, she instinctually does things for others. In other words, she has a social consciousness that stands opposed to most characters’ desire for personal satisfaction even if it is at others’ expense.

What first gave you the idea for your latest book?

My latest book, a novel, dramatizes modern America’s substitution of conspiracy theories and untruths for facts. It is set in 2020 Oakland, California, and concerns a couple in their thirties who enter a crisis in their lives as the coronavirus spreads to the United States. I felt driven to write a novel that explored the parallels between the invasion of the external virus and of the virus of misinformation (the infodemic) that has infected so many aspects of our country.  

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

I’m both. I start off plotting the outline shape of my novel. But when I come to write each episode I turn into a pantster by allowing the characters and dialogue to dictate the direction it takes.

Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time?

For Money Matters I allowed my development editor to erase any parts of the WIP that did not advance the action. But I don’t want to write a heavily plotted book. I want to write a work of fiction that is both a page-turner and raises larger issues that we all face in our lives today.

Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?

My last two books were self-published. Prior to them I wrote five critical books published by mainstream publishers, including an award-winning biography of Christopher Isherwood published by Faber & Faber and OUP New York.

If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?

Self-publishing my work gave me the freedom to control every aspect of the process, from matters of content and style to production and marketing. So for marketing Money Matters I employed Coriolis Company that has done an amazingly professional job promoting the book.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

Get an editor. A copy editor. A development editor. It’s worth the expense.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing?

Allow your characters to assume a semi-independent status. Let them determine what they would do or say in any situation. Don’t impose your own ideas on them or through them.

Where can my readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

Website | Instagram | Twitter


Storiebook Charm ~ giveaway

From National Bestselling author Melissa Bourbon comes a small town magical story with a heart-stopping hero, a sigh-worthy romance, beautiful writing, and characters that jump off the page. Get ready to be charmed by Storie and Reid, and watch out for the twist!

Storie Bell is a witch. Not the kind that lives in Harry Potter’s world. No, she is more like Glinda, the good witch of the North, minus the munchkins and Dorothy. But a witch trying to blend in in a small southern town is no easy feat. She’s grown up believing that mortals and witchcraft don’t mix.

Storie thinks the biggest threat to her future—opening The Storiebook Cafe, where happy endings begin— is Reid Malone, the very man she ran away from years before. He seems hell bent on getting in the way of her bookstore’s grand opening. But when a mysterious woman from Storie’s past shows up and makes claims that leave Storie confused, she rethinks her entire future.

Goodreads * Amazon


Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Melissa Bourbon, the author of the Magical Dressmaking Mysteries (A Seamless Murder, A Killing Notion, A Custom-Fit Crime, Deadly Patterns), sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name, Misa Ramirez. She gave up teaching middle and high school kids in northern California to write full-time amid horses and Longhorns in north Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love-hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

I’ve written cozy mysteries, caper mysteries, and romantic suspense novels. A light paranormal romance is a completely different type of book. Weaving in just the right amount of magic into a contemporary romance takes more finesse than you might imagine. Turns out it’s right up my alley, though. It’s how I’d like the world to be. Making Storie a witch gave me the opportunity to bring that big of magic into my writing. I can’t wait to do it again!

What inspired you to write this book?

The whole concept for the Storiebook Café, the bookstore/café in the book, was inspired by a store of the same name in a little Texas town called Glen Rose.  Glen Rose is a cute little town, and the owner of the store, also named Storie, just sparked this idea.  I asked her if I could base a book off of her store and name, she said, “Of course!”, and I went to town writing!

Basically, Storie is a down-on-her-luck witch who’s not very good or experienced at what she does (for a variety of reasons).  She and her friend, Harper, set up a bookshop/café in Whiskey Creek, and she runs into Reid Malone, a man she once had a, um, run-in with years ago.  They don’t see eye to eye on things and sparks fly.  It’s a lot of fun!

Please tell us about your latest release.

I’d love to! Storiebook Charm is a short contemporary romance with a light paranormal twist.  It’s about Storie Bell and Reid Malone and the love story that began for them twelve years prior to when the actual story takes place.  It’s Southern, has a little spicy, and is a lot of fun.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

The moment when Storie first realizes that maybe Reid Malone isn’t so bad is a favorite of mine.  She thinks he’s going to do (and want) one thing, but he does something different and that surprises her.  It felt right and was a great way to bring them together, even if later in the scene a big conflict rips them apart again.

Storiebook Charm (A Spellbound Novel 1) by Melissa Bourbon – Genre: Light Paranormal Romance

What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?

I visited a nudist resort when I was researching Bare-Naked Lola, the 3rd book in my Lola Cruz mystery series.  Talk about surreal.  It was a very interesting experience.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

Sometimes, when writing sex scenes, I struggle a little bit.  My mom is my biggest fan and when she first bought Silent Echoes, I was horrified that she’d be reading the sex scenes.  She laughed and said she knew she’d be shocked that I knew the things I wrote about!  I’m 53 with 5 kids, so I got a good chuckle out of that. Still, I always think, holy smokes, my parents might read this!

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

My nighttime ritual includes reading just before I go to bed.  I have a NOOK and that’s typically what I read on these days.  If I don’t read just before bed, something feels off.

What can readers expect next from you?

I’m working on a new mystery series. The series is Book Magic, and the first book is as yet unnamed. I’m so excited about it. It’s about a bibliomancer. I am also finishing up book 6 in my Bread Shop cozy mystery series. I have lots of balls in the air!


Storiebook Charm (A Spellbound Novel 1) by Melissa Bourbon
Genre: Light Paranormal Romance
I’m so excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Storiebook Charm (A Spellbound Novel 1) by Melissa Bourbon Genre: Light Paranormal Romance

Curse of the Blacknoc Witch ~ giveaway

Tori V. Rainn is a Texas-based fantasy novelist who is on a lifelong mission to inspire her readers through the power of imaginative storytelling. During her creative journey, an array of her short stories have been showcased in various online zines. It all started when she took a writing course at Writer’s Village University, which earned her a Creative Writing Certificate. The moment she penned her first story, she knew writing was her ultimate calling and greatest passion.

When she isn’t crafting thrilling plots, you can find this avid video gamer watching her favorite shows, collecting unique knives, or going on meditative walks in the heart of nature. She is also a chocoholic and tea aficionada with an unquenchable sweet tooth. Above all else, Tori enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.

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Curse of the Blacknoc Witch

by Tori V. Rainn

Genre: Fantasy

Samuel dreamed of being a lot of things, but a monster trapped in a forest realm never entered his mind. The Blacknoc Curse wasn’t supposed to be true, only a children’s story meant to persuade them away from evil. Yet, here he was tasked with hunting cursed kids. There’s nothing left for Samuel except the horror surrounding him.

Layla, a young girl tormented by the same curse, is dropped into the terrifying forest every night, running from the monsters intent on taking her life. She meets Samuel and vows to save all the children, especially Samuel, from their torment.

Working together can they defeat the Blacknoc Curse?

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Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I’m the typical introvert who couldn’t contain her wild imagination. In my late teens, I started dabbling in writing. Since I didn’t really know much about writing I couldn’t really go too far until I took an online writing course that explained the basics of fiction writing. Once I understood the basics it was like something clicked within me. I wanted to learn more and write more. I wrote short stories, and then eventually took on bigger projects like novellas and novels.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Laid-back. Goofy. Loyal. Creative. Pensive.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think the first time I made it official was when I decided I wouldn’t treat it as a hobby anymore. I had to change my state of mind. I wanted to stop dreaming and make my dream of getting published a reality. I invested more time in reading about the craft of writing. I tried to write more, even when I didn’t feel like it. Another process was slowly coming out of my shell and letting others read my work for feedback. I think it’s the little steps taken that slowly start to define who I am as a writer.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

How about my current one? Curse of the Blacknoc Witch. I’m sure most know it’s every author’s dream to get their book adapted into a film. I wouldn’t mind seeing my book as a Netflix movie. Not as a series but a movie. How cool would that be, right? I’d imagine awesome CGI to portray the monsters and the magic. A real forest shot in the dark to show the setting. Ah, I could dream though.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Curse of the Blacknoc Witch?

The main characters of Curse of the Blacknoc Witch are Samuel Fawcett and Layla Marlowe. They’re teens who are both hunted by a wicked curse. Samuel was a teen at one time before transforming into a monster. He’s supposed to hunt and eat all the wicked kids but he was given a choice and uses that chance to protect the weak. Layla is under the protection of Samuel. She’s bent on breaking the curse for herself and the others who are tormented by the curse. Samuel may not have hope for a new day but Layla holds onto that hope for a day to come.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

I google names for inspiration but I’m very picky about choosing the names of my characters. The name I pick usually reflects the personality of my character. If the name matches who the character is or symbolizes them or their circumstance in any way, that’s the one I’ll usually go with. For example, I could not decide between using Layla or Lilith. Both names can have a similar meaning. ‘Of the night’ or ‘beauty.’

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed watching the interactions between my main characters, but really it was just a blast to see some of the action scenes unfold. Monsters fighting monsters. Kids fighting monsters. So much fun. I love action scenes!

Who designed your book covers? 

I’m in love with the cover. Abigail Owen at The Wild Rose Press, Inc designed the cover. She did such a great job of capturing the feel of the book. The story takes place mostly at night in a forest. It has a witchy and fantasy feel all while setting that dark mood. My publisher lets you have a small say in the cover. I had the option of including one important element in the cover. The designer worked those awesome witch knots you can see at the corners of the book.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

As a reader myself, I just like to sit back and enjoy the ride. So a note to the readers, I do hope my stories can be that escape for you like the way I enjoy books. My characters are to inspire and entertain and it is my wish that they are that influence for you.

 Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

Eep, I really must sell it here, huh? Well, it’s filled with twists and turns, and if you don’t mind a little creepy in your story about two unlikely heroes filled with fantasy elements, romance, a sprinkle of humor, and action, then I do believe this is a must read for you.

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?

It would probably be a scent that reminded me of herbs to match the witchy part and with a tinge of pine or forestry to match the setting.

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

Most of the time, I use an outline. An outline is like a map that helps me see where I’m going. I like to have a plan to follow.  Depending on how much detail you put into the outline, you can only see as far as the light sprays. Without any light, I feel like I’m walking blindly and this can be chaotic. Now, sometimes chaos is good. It’s rare but I do like to write by the seat of my pants. The results can be positive if you’re in search of something spontaneous.


Thank You – Writing Wednesday

Did you participate in last week’s #WritingWednesday post? It was about moms. If you haven’t posted your response, click HERE so you can do that now. Then, make sure you check in here ~ every Wednesday ~ for the latest #WritingWednesday writing prompt! Now, back to today’s regularly scheduled post…

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today, I’m writing in the voice of Tanja, a character in my current WIP.

Today’s writing prompt:

Write a Thank You Letter to Someone!

To all the kids I once knew…

Thank you, for laughing at me when my pants were just a little to short or the knees were worn with holes. Thank you, for whispering when I passed in the hall and taping ‘kick me’ signs to my back. Thank you, for turning your back when I was getting beaten in the locker room then pretending not to notice the tears as my mascara ran down my face.

Thank you, for all these things and more, because you are the reason I’m standing taller, stronger, and so much more powerful here today. You are the reason I laid down my fear, my frustration, my doubt, and picked up my mother’s sword and claimed what was rightfully mine. You are the reason I speak to the dead, raise them from their eternal slumber, and punish the living.

You are the reason I’m coming!

© 2020 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt [Write a Thank You Letter to Someone] inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 


Looking for daily writing inspiration? Check out my latest publication: #WRITINGPROMPTS

Who Can Benefit from Using #WritingPrompts? Everyone! Whether you’re an avid writer or just someone who is interested in the creative and/or therapeutic art of writing, #WritingPrompts is for you. Studies show that maintaining a daily handwritten journal, or creative writing notebook, can: 1. improve memory, 2. enhance creative expression, 3. lower stress, 4. build self-discipline, 5. eliminate writer’s block, and so much more! Writer’s Block Got You Down? Eliminate It, One Day at a Time! When it comes to writer’s block, the struggle is real! If you’ve ever sat at your computer, typewriter, or with pen in hand, but couldn’t get a single word on paper, then you know what writer’s block feels like. #WritingPrompts is the solution you’ve been looking for! Within the pages of #WritingPrompts, you will find over 700 writing prompts that you can use in order or at random, the choice is yours. Jump-Start Your Creativity with over 700 Unique Writing Prompts! Good writing takes time, practice, and unique ideas. Why not jump-start your imagination with these unique writing prompts and watch as you find your voice and become a more confident writer in just one year.


What books have you added to your May 2020 reading list? Comment below and let me know!


A Case For the Yarn Maker ~ giveaway

A Case For the Winemaker (Ainsley McGregor Book 1) by Candace havens
Genre: Cozy Mystery

The closer she gets to the truth, the more she finds herself drowning in trouble.

It’s an exciting time in Sweet River, Texas, and the whole town’s talking. Maybe, a little too much. Former English professor Ainsley McGregor has gambled everything on her new business: Bless Your Art, an artisan market where local artists sell their wares and teach classes.

The bright, white space is filled to the brim with colorful art, yarn, jewelry, pet treats, antiques and even a few medieval weapons. Oh, and there are wine tastings. Everything’s better with wine. Ainsley is surprised by how well things are going–right up until the moment her Great Dane finds a dead body. With her friend accused of the murder, it’s up to Ainsley to find the real killer.

As the suspect list grows longer, Ainsley has her work cut out for her. The task is made more difficult by the fact her brother, the sheriff, doesn’t seem to want her help. If she doesn’t wrap up the case soon, she might be the next wine, um, one to die.

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A Case for the Yarn Maker (Ainsley McGregor Book 2) by Candace Havens
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Spin a yarn…at your own risk.

Everyone at Bless Your Art in Sweet River, Texas, is excited about the Yarn Goddess (yes, that’s her real name) coming to town. Ainsley McGregor has set up a special event at the local community center, but when old Mrs. Whedon doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the Goddess about using quality yarn, a fight breaks out. Who knew the octogenarian had ninja moves like that?

It’s all fun and games until George Clooney, Ainsley’s Great Dane, finds Ms. Yarn’s dead body in a booth at Bless Your Art. Now the prime suspect is Mrs. Whedon, and while she’s not the easiest woman to get along with, there’s no way she’s the killer. At least, Ainsley doesn’t think so. As this yarn unravels, Ainsley and her quirky friends learn some interesting things about the case and the Goddess’s checkered past. But there’s a killer on the loose, and George may be the only thing protecting Ainsley from certain death.

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Would you like a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Bestselling author Candace Havens has published more than 25 books. Her novels have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion, Write Touch Reader Awards and National Readers Choice Awards. She is a Barbara Wilson Award winner. She is the author of the biography “Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy” and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities from George Clooney to Chris Pratt. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews with Hawkeye in the Morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

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I am proud to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about A Case for the Yarn Maker by Candace Havens.