Thursday, December 18, 2014

[Blog Tour] Excerpt + Review + Guest Post: Winter Wolf (Witch and Wolf #2) by RJ Blain


Winter Wolf
Witch and Wolf
Book 2
RJ Blain

Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Release Date: November 24, 2014


Book Description:

The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Available at   Amazon   iTunes   BN   Kobo

~ Excerpt ~

I slammed my car’s door, spun on a heel, and swore I would have a perfectly normal visit to the mall. All I needed was one little book. Even I could walk into a bookstore, pick up a novel, and leave without causing any trouble.

This time, I wouldn’t blow out the lights. There wouldn’t be a single power surge. I wouldn’t turn on every unplugged device in the electronics store on my way across the mall. In the ten minutes it would take me to get in and out, the only thing anyone would notice about me was the fact that I wore a high-collared sweater in late summer. I had a mission, and I would complete it without fail. The novel my agent insisted I read would be mine.

For a long moment, I considered turning around and getting back into my car. Dominic would forgive me if I didn’t start reading the book until tomorrow. I could call in a favor and ask someone to pick up a copy for me. Then I definitely wouldn’t run any risk of blowing anything up. If I had been smart, I would’ve just ordered the damned thing on the internet, but I had waited too long.

Fishing my cell out of my pocket, I unlocked the screen with a swipe of my finger. The charging icon mocked me. Despite running every battery-draining app I could find, the battery held a full charge. I opened another app, a devilish program capable of killing the battery in ten minutes. It wouldn’t, not with me around, but if I was too busy keeping my phone topped up, maybe my mall shopping trip would prove to be mundane.

I shook my head, laughing at my foolishness.

No one would notice my phone. No one would notice me for more than a second. They’d notice my clothes, and then they’d file me away as yet another weirdo wearing something strange to catch attention. L.A. was full of people like that.

I had no reason to worry. Even if I managed to embarrass myself yet again by losing control of my powers, no one would know I was the cause of unplugged electronics turning on or unusual power surges.

Straightening my shoulders, I fixed my eyes on the line of glass doors and marched my way across the parking lot.

In and out. No blown lights. No power surges. No feeding power to unplugged electrical devices. No charging batteries for strangers. I was in control, and I would charge only my phone.

Making my way to the entry, I paused long enough to hold the door for a little old lady who insisted on making her way through the regular doors despite her walker. I couldn’t blame her. If I lived to be her age, I wouldn’t want to rely on automatic doors either.

She thanked me with a pat on the arm. Flashing her my best smile, I slipped inside.

Nothing happened.


I could handle ten minutes in the crowded corridors. Maybe if I told myself that enough times, I’d believe it.


I actually enjoyed reading this book despite the beginning of the story. It seemed slow and I kind of disliked Nicole. Let's just say self esteem and how she view things made me angry and I couldn't appreciate her. But somewhere in the middle of the story throughout the ending the plot got better including the character if Nicole.

The romance was none existent if there was, it wasn't much. The story was more focus on Nicole, the plague, and how Nicole is the key to save them with the help of the other characters.

I never expected the mysteries that were revealed near the ending. At the same time I was laughing especially the secret about Nicole's memories. I enjoyed those parts more. It was kind of funny when Nicole learned about her past. I won't mention anything because it would spoil one the best or most likely the best parts of the story. Nicole's character improved especially with her time with Amber. I liked Amber. Both her and Nicole formed a bond quickly that they would protect each other.

There were some details that I found boring but overall the rest was okay. I didn't realize that this was the second book of the series. Luckily, you can read it as a stand alone but I want to read book one as well. I wished there was more to the ending though. It ended abruptly. When I was at the last part of the book, I thought, "that's it"?. I wished there was a more satisfying ending especially when Blain revealed those twists in the end.


On Writing Winter Wolf

Every novel has a story behind the story. Winter Wolf is no exception; most authors will talk about the inspirations behind the book, but I’m going to take a walk off the beaten track to talk about some of the challenges I faced while making this book a reality.

Winter Wolf, I sometimes think, was cursed from the very beginning. When I first started the novel several years ago, I had a great deal of fun with it; I wrote several drafts, playing with Nicole’s character in different ways until I found out who she really was—and all of the things she was capable of doing.

It wasn’t until I decided to pursue the novel for publication seriously that disaster happened. Or, should I say, a string of disasters happened.

It began with a flood. Of what, in my basement, you really do not want to know. It involved hazard suits, a great deal of disgust, and an emergency cleaning service. (Sewer systems are not impervious to damage, in case you were curious.)

While I’m trying not to fall behind schedule writing the novel, the contractors come and destroy my basement. Apparently, floods of this nature require a great deal of the structure of the house to be smashed to bits, carted away, and replaced. For the record, my house still hasn’t been repaired, although it’s clean.

I figured after that much bad luck, things had to get better, right?

It didn’t. If anything, my luck soured and spread to my editorial staff. Writing a novel is really hard work, and I couldn’t do it without the help of my editors. They poke me, prod me, keep me adhering (mostly) to my deadlines, and generally help keep me sane during the crush of deadlines. My one editor had to move unexpectedly. The other had really good fortune, although it meant I lost her as an editor as she got to pursue her dream job. My replacement editor had real life happen, so I had to find another person to fill her shoes.

At the end, Winter Wolf was finished! But it was a long, difficult journey. I’ve learned something very important from writing this book: inspiration and desire is only a mere facet of writing a book and finishing it. Sometimes, it takes brute willpower and strength of personality to finish what was started.

Winter Wolf was a painful novel to finish, but I’m so glad I stuck with it despite everything going on in my life.

Should you read it, I hope you walk away with even a fraction of the satisfaction I experienced when I could finally say, “I finished it!”

About the Author:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

RJ’s Favorite Books & Series in no particular order:

Anne McCaffrey's Pern

Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series

Jim Butcher's Codex Alera & The Dresden Files

Brandon Sanderson's Elantris

Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series

Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time