Bloodwalker – Mystery/Thriller by LX Cain

Here's a great new release – one of the best books I've read this year. See my review below and then an interview with the author LX Cain. Don't miss the giveaway at the end! Bloodwalker isn't fantasy or sci-fi but I totally recommend it as a tremendous read.


Lightning flashes. Another child disappears…

Zorka Circus’s big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, children vanish.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. He must find the culprit before anyone else disappears and his home is destroyed by the murders.

Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravedigging ghouls. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict code, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.

When more bodies turn up, the killer's trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable…

Buy Now: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Dancing Lemur Press
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I highly recommend this book. Very different to the usual Urban Fantasy or murder-mystery. I can tell the author did phenomenal research on Romania and the circus life, because the setting is incredibly vivid and rich – it sucked me right in so that I was among the circusfolk, along with their family and talent squabbles, walking through the thick mud between tents and trailers.

The mystery is a strong and chilling current flowing through the core of this book. It forced me to keep turning pages. Who was the villain? No shortage of suspects. Every time I thought I had it – another twist.

And then there is the plotline of a fascinating, almost sinister tribe of women to which the title refers. Their matriarchy is steeped in history, lore and ancient knowledge. Riveting. I became so invested in all of the characters, but rooted especially for the little Bloodwalker.

The climax is dramatic, intense and outright spooky in one of the most incredible settings I've ever read about. Once there I could not stop until I turned the last page.

One of the best books I've read this year. You'll love it, whatever genre you usually enjoy.


Give us a short teaser about Bloodwalker. What should we expect? What genre is it?

Children are disappearing. The strange part is it seems to happen every time the Zorka Circus leaves one of the Eastern European towns on its tour. Rurik, the circus’s Security Chief, thinks someone in the circus is behind it. But who?

Readers can expect a riveting mystery with lots of action and a streak of horror. It’s a genre mash-up of mystery, thriller, horror and fantasy—something for everyone!

What inspired you to write Bloodwalker?

I was fascinated with the idea of a sheltered society that’s superstitious and oppressive. Very often people in closed-off societies are so used to the rigid rules they live under, they don’t see them as wrong or believe in questioning them. If it was good enough for their grandparents, it’s good enough for them. It would take a lot for a young woman from such a group to begin to question and finally rebel against unfair rules, so I gave Sylvie plenty of problems to push her over the edge.

Making our characters miserable—it’s what authors do best!

The locations in your book are so rich and authentic. Have you been to or lived in Eastern Europe?

I’ve never been to Eastern Europe, but I did a lot of research. I became really good at using Mapquest maps and satellite pictures to scour countries for cities where I could put my circus. Once I had the locations, I read news articles about the places, browsed tourist review sites for details, researched flora and fauna, and looked at every picture I could find. Originally, I wanted the climax of the novel to be in Russia, but I stumbled on a polluted town in Romania with two abandoned factories. It became the town that’s featured in the finale (with a name change and some fictitious additions to make it super scary!).

How did you come to learn so much about the circus life? You really bring it to life in the book!

Research. Research. Research. I read everything I could find about circuses and performers. I watched lots of videos, including several of the big top being put together and raised. Fascinating stuff!

What’s your favorite part of the book? No spoilers!

Sylvie is a “bloodwalker” for her village, which means she prepares dead bodies for burial the way they did a hundred years ago, before mortuaries or funeral homes. My favorite parts were the anecdotes about times she was doing her job and things went wrong. The stories are a bit macabre and filled with black humor. I could write a whole novel on the weird ideas I came up with about mishaps when dealing with corpses!

How long did it take you from idea to formatted book?

Almost two years. The research, writing, getting feedback and revising took about a year. Then finding a publisher took 4 months (the first one I subbed to went out of business while I was waiting to hear from them!), and then cover design, final edits, getting ARC (Advanced Reader Copies) to reviewers, and final proofing took another 6 months.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I read a lot when I was a kid. I loved the sense of being taken away to other worlds full of adventure and scary things. I especially loved Sci-Fi, Thrillers, and Horror. The Horror novels of the 70s (like The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, and The Fog by James Herbert) inspired me as a young teen, and I wished I could become a Horror writer. I eventually did, after a thirty-year detour called real life and work.

What is an interesting or bizarre writing habit or quirk you have?

If I’m stuck on a plot point or can’t decide on something, I do the dishes or clean. The mindless activity helps my mind wander and find the answer. Or maybe it’s just the pretty soap bubbles…

Tease us about your next book? Will it be along similar lines to Bloodwalker?

I’m writing a novel now called Coldest Night. It’s about a wanted man who must come out of hiding when the tiny Alaskan town his wife and daughter live in suffers a toxic gas attack. It’s a Thriller but not very much like Bloodwalker.

However, I’m researching my next book, which will be more like Bloodwalker. It’s tentatively called Paris Underworld and is about a secretive society living in the Paris Catacombs who are being hunted by a serial killer. Since they’re illegals, they can’t go to the police. They know there’s only one man who has a chance to catch the killer. But that man was banned from their group for being a murderer himself.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I spend time on the internet and watching TV. But surfing the net and good TV shows inspire me with plot ideas, so even when I’m not actually writing, I’m usually thinking about writing!

What was the hardest part of writing Bloodwalker?

Everything. Coming up with the premise. Doing all the research. Outlining and then changing the plot ten times as I went along. Writing and re-writing. Getting feedback. Revising again and again. And again.


Win a free copy of Bloodwalker!

Click here if you can't see the entry form: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8f089dda5/

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The Europas — It’s time for a different kind of tech conference

awards3 (1) Let’s face it. Some tech conferences have lost their way. While TechCrunch Disrupt remains a firmly curated, media-driven, event, with hundreds of journalists attending, a couple of other conferences have really gone for scale. A minimum of 15,000 people, thousands of companies, echoing halls — and a lot of investors (and journalists) turning their badges around so they don’t… Read More


Spacio Pro Plans To Supercharge Open House Showings With A Smart App

pro-solution1 If software is eating the world, it’s also eating our houses. The real estate market changed radically when companies like Zillow unpacked the data around house sales. In theory you’d think there wasn’t much to do on house sales, but there remains a relatively untapped area. One of the next areas of change could be be in the ‘open house’ market, where houses… Read More


Speakers At The Europas Conference And Awards Reflect Europe’s Diversity, June 16, London

awards16 (1) The Europas Conference & Awards for European Tech Startups, on June 16 in London, is an annual celebration of Europe’s brightest tech companies. From a small bar in central London in 2009, it’s become a fixture of the European scene, with its highly curated daytime speakers and audience, which combines the key startup players in Europe, as well as the hottest newcomers,… Read More


For Readers: A selection of posts from past years

To herald the reveal of my new website (do you like it?) I thought I'd bring back my favourite posts for readers from the past few years. Grab a beverage of your choice and browse. The last one is just for fun, so don't miss it.



Vampires and demons! – Of Blood and Sorrow

Do you like vampires? Do you like demons? If you also like urban fantasy then this is a great read for you.

Erin might look like a human but she's part demon and works in a funeral home – how's that for an original setting? When a cadaver wakes up, surprised to find himself a vampire…. well, let's just say that things go from bad to worse. This book will keep you turning the pages to discover just how many types of demon walk among us, and some of them are bad-ass! As is the head-vampire-woman, and of course the book can't end without a confrontation with her! Great action. Great emotion! It's well-written books like this (And the author's 13th floor series) that are luring me into the urban fantasy genre.





Erin Driscol works the perfect job consoling fellow demons by feeding off their grief at Putzkammer & Sons Funeral Home.

When fledgling vampire Nicolas Reese comes to Erin for help, she learns the truth behind the legends and hides him from his sire and the vampire hunters who seek him. But when the Putzkammers begin to die one by one, Erin is caught between her act of kindness and the need to save her adopted family. Only by facing her own personal demons can she stop the slaughter and still rescue Nicolas from his dark fate.

Buy Now: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords
Add on Goodreads



Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She's married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents' own good and loves to pretend he's Batman. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not reading or writing, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and novellas published.  Of Blood and Sorrow is her first urban fantasy novel.

Connect with Christine: WebsiteBlog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads



Readers: What authors really want from you

Photo courtesy Angela Brown, friend and author

Photo courtesy Angela Brown, friend and author

Readers, what do authors want from you? Ha, that’s an open-ended question isn’t it?

I bet you answered “to buy all your books.” Yes, that’s true. Most of us desire to make a living from our writing, not so much to be stinking rich but enough that we can make writing our full-time career. That’s a win for readers too, since we can write more books.

You may also have said “to write awesome 5-star reviews.” Yes, please. I’ve spoken about reviews before, and we all know that lots of good reviews sell more books.

By now,  you’re thinking more like an author and might offer “to promote your books and tell all our friends.” Ding. Ten points! Word of mouth is much more powerful than even reviews. Reviews are the opinion of strangers. When you recommend a book in person, that endorsement carries significant weight because you (presumably) know what your friends like to read. How often do you not read a book when your BFF tells you “OMG, you just have to read this. I stayed up all night to finish it!” Authors dream of readers becoming such passionate advocates of our books.

Taking these three points as a given, what authors really want from readers is feedback and comments. Note that this doesn’t mean flattery and singing our praises because our latest book is “a complete masterpiece”. It means honest, down-to-earth and personal contact. You see, most writers don’t write to be rich or famous, we write because we want people to enjoy our stories. Hearing from readers is the high point of our days. A good review is nice, as is a post on Facebook or a tweet about liking one of our books. Even better is a personal message, a comment on our web sites or an email. Obviously I can’t speak for all authors here, since some don’t like to approached in such an intimate form as an email, but many of us love it. Even just a few words means a lot to us. That you went out of your way to comment or email is not something we take for granted.

Maybe you just want to say you enjoyed our book. Maybe it resonated with you in some way, reminded you of someone or that you found the theme or symbology meaningful. Perhaps there was something you didn’t like. Personally, I like to hear that too. Perhaps you wanted more mystery, more romance, or you just want to hear more about a particular character. All feedback is great. As authors we spend months or years creating something and then we throw it into the world for others to enjoy. The worst thing for us is to hear crickets. Did we move you, make you laugh, make you cry? Did you fall in love with a character, or hate a villain so much that you cheered when he got defeated?

Historically, authors have cultivated an aloofness I think; someone we readers fawned over at conventions or book signings. Or maybe it was just too difficult to engage with an author in the days before the internet or social media. Most authors I know today, love chatting with readers. Remember that all authors are readers too, and we love talking about books, yes, even – shock – other people’s books!

You have a chance to shape our future books too. Writing is fast becoming a collaborative effort in that if we know what types of books, settings, characters, or situations you prefer, we can tailor our future work. Tell us which of our books you liked best, and why. I’d like to know if more readers are interested in a sequel to Ocean of Dust than Necromancer, or vice versa. I like to think that’s a win for readers too. Many authors are collaborative in this way. It’s fun.

So, dear reader, there is a solid reason that we display our email address (or a contact form) on our web sites, and have social media profiles – to make it easy for you to contact us. Please do! Don’t be shy.



Summoned: By Rainy Kaye


Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.

Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets.

Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.

Summoned is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.


Find out more at http://www.summonedtheseries.com

Buy From Amazon  |  Enter the competitions to win stuff!


This was a great read. Wonderful debut book. Two things in particular made this a highly enjoyable read:

1. The characters. Dimitri is superbly written, full of attitude, guts and a deep personality. No wooden characters here. Despite the fact that he cannot turn down the onerous jobs he is commanded to do, such as kidnap, murder, arson, he has a moral compass that keeps us rooting for him, flawed as he is. The other characters are also well thought out and compelling to follow. Silvia in particular creeped me out as a spoiled, rich daughter who is messed up. She is determined to get her hands on Dim, but we know that would be a bad thing – for Dim at least.

2.The plot. We quickly learn the absolute control that millionaire Karl has over Dimitri, and learn the true nature of their insidious relationship. All through the book I was wondering how he was going to escape Karl’s clutches, or worse, Silvia’s clutches, since she “inherits” control of Dimitri after her father. The end is a pulse-racing rollercoaster of action with a rapid series of plot twists. I did not expect the outcome.

This is a refreshing change to endless werewolves and vampires, preferring to touch upon the myths of the Arabic culture instead.

My only complaint, a minor one, was that we don’t find out the cause and history of the master-control bond between Karl and Dimitri until the very end. I’d have liked to see some more hints and teasers throughout the book.

Solid read. Contains a lot of sex (though well written) and a couple of disturbing events. Be warned.

I received a free ARC of this book, but it in no way influenced my review or enjoyment of this book.

Be warned that this is not a YA novel and that the content is 18+. There is graphic sex and bad language.

The Author

Rainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at RainyoftheDark.com and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona. When not plotting world domination, she enjoys getting lost around the globe, studying music so she can sing along with symphonic metal bands, and becoming distracted by Twitter (@rainyofthedark) Follow Rainy on Facebook. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.




Office For iPad Review: Surprisingly Worth The Wait

Microsoft has launched new Office for iPad software, finally, after people have been asking for it since, oh, say, the day in 2010 when the iPad originally launched. The new apps are currently available for anyone to download, so you can scratch that four-year itch, but is it worth it? Read on to find out why Microsoft’s iPad-based productivity suite will be a lifesaver for some, but… Read More


Cover Reveal: Reborn – by Cherie Reich

Cherie Reich is one of the super talented writers of Untethered Realms. On May 23rd this year, she releases the first book in an exciting new YA epic fantasy series: The Fate Challenges. Take a look at the gorgeous cover:


To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Add it to your reading list on Goodreads, and check out Laura Sava, the artist of this fantastic cover. Here’s the full, wraparound cover for the print edition:



A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her ebooks include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy trilogy titled Gravity, and a fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.

Her debut YA Epic Fantasy novel Reborn, book one in The Fate Challenges, will be released on May 23, 2014.

Contact Cherie: Website | Blog | Newsletter signup

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