Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tour: Bloodlaced


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 he 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 his 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 he 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 he loves most.

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

Publisher: City Owl Press (September 29, 2020)
Releases on: September 29, 2020
Genre: LGBTQIA Dark Historical Paranormal Romance
Language: English
ISBN 9781648980152


I found Mahiro right where I left him, hunched over his papers in the glow of the firelight. A pot of tea steamed on a tray next to him, filling the air with its sharp aroma. He reached for it, shivering and rubbing his arms, but stopped short as he caught me in his peripheral vision.

“Oh, Asagi.” His face lit up, and he beckoned to me with a wave of his hands.

“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Goshujin-sama.” I bowed before quickly closing the distance to drape the robe over his shoulders. He sighed in relief, pulling it practically up to his nose. I knelt at his side, took up the teapot and poured the green tea into a gold-embossed cup. Mahiro poked his fingers out of the robe, wiggling them in my direction, and I passed the cup into them.

“You are wonderful,” he said, his face emerging from the robe to take a long sip.

I bowed, my cheeks hot. How was I wonderful? When I started to stand, he stopped me with a hand on my arm.

“Would you sit with me?”


“I am so bored with all this,” he said, kicking at the little table in front of him. “The business of running a house is tedious. Your presence would be a welcome distraction.”

I nodded and settled back down, topping off his teacup when he held it out to me. He hummed as he drank, closing his eyes and savoring the warmth. He was, in a word, mesmerizing. Despite the impropriety, my gaze drifted up to watch his eyelids flutter, dark lashes on cheeks slightly reddened from the cold. Once again my fears and worries melted away, replaced by an unfamiliar serenity. Part of me wanted to resist it, to hang on to the anxiety that had become so familiar. Comfortable was dangerous. It was like sitting on a pillow over a pit of vipers. Any instant, it could be snatched away, dropping me unaware and unprotected to my doom.

“How are you settling in?” he asked, his dainty lips hovering just over the edge of the teacup. Steam curled around his nose. “Are you comfortable? Aside from Kira’s outburst, of course.”

“Yes, Goshujin-sama. Thank you.” Warmth rose in my cheeks, and I lowered my eyes, picking at the edge of my fingernail.

“I must apologize for her,” he said. “She is a good girl, but excitable.”

“It’s no problem, Goshujin-sama. It’s not an uncommon reaction.”

“Even so, I would expect better from her.” His nose wrinkled in distaste.

“You won’t punish her, will you?” I said, a note of concern in my voice.

“No, of course not.” He held out his teacup, and I refilled it again as we dropped into a thoughtful silence. My gaze ventured upward again, this time focusing on his slim fingers around the cup. “How long were you with your previous house?”

“Oh, um…” I swallowed hard, my heart skipping a bit. “A little less than a year, Goshujin-sama.”

“Not long at all,” he said, his eyebrows bouncing. “Though, with that beast, I am sure it felt like an eternity. You must be happy to be free of that place.”

I opened my mouth to express gratitude, but the answer stuck in my throat as a cold knife of loneliness sliced through me. Tears sloshed around inside me again, and I clenched my fists in my kimono in an effort to hold them in. Mahiro’s bright expression flickered as he noticed my silence.

“Or perhaps not,” he said softly, his teacup dropping to rest on his knees. “Did you leave someone behind?”

I nodded, dabbing at the corners of my eyes with my fingertips.

“A lover?”

Yutaka’s face flashed in my vision, and I pushed it away. “No, sir.”

Mahiro arched an eyebrow, eyes narrowing. “No?”

“There was…a boy.”

His face softened. “How old?”

“Nine…” I paused as I remembered his missed birthday. “No. Ten.”

“Your son?”

“No, Goshujin-sama.”

“But you love him as one.”

“Yes, Goshujin-sama.” My mangled heart burst, and I pressed my hand to my mouth. When was the last time I told him I loved him? Had I ever told him? Regret piled hard upon my guilt. Surely, he knew how much he meant to me, that I would suffer that man’s abuses a hundred times over if we could just trade places. But that there was room for doubt made me hate myself more than ever.

Mahiro placed a hand over mine on my lap. His fingers were warm from his tea and soft as velvet. 

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About the Author:
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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