Tuesday, August 2, 2022

It’s a whole new world … A Wicked one @lunajoyawriter

Wicked Crown: The Wicked, Book 1

Luna Joya

City Owl Press


It’s a whole new world …


There are hints even in the title – Wicked Crown – that this book’s darker than Luna Joya’s The Legacy Series (all of which I've devoured). The characters are complex, with a history that’s complicated – dare I say, borderline anti-hero. The path toward love, though, often contains redemption.


As an International supermodel, Vori is one of the most-recognized faces, but few truly knows her darkest secret. With time running out on a dark vow that’ll cost her everything, she needs a union, to find the last of a treasure she’s seeking and ultimately to save more than one realm.  An enemy of the witch Senate, Perry has long since been forgotten, left for dead or might as well be.  The odds of happiness stack against them, but destiny and desire bring them together. 


Beneath the rich storytelling also lies the beauty and the beast trope. We all know beauty isn’t only skin deep. Joya’s luscious writing echoes the longing that runs throughout the novel.


Here’s a favorite passage highlighted in the reading:


“Did I?” The wind whipped through the stripped trees, sweeping Vori’s hair across her sharp cheekbones and creamy skin. “Or did I make it worse?”


Part of the magic of Joya’s interweaving storylines is how she brings it altogether. Each book stands on its own. But there’s a hint of familiarity that runs throughout. A few special guest appearances from the Legacy Series in Wicked Crown leaves the reader wondering: Foe or friend.


Wicked Crown: The Wicked, Book 1

Luna Joya

City Owl Press


Available on Amazon for a sale price of .99 cents


B&N ($4.99)


Until next time,

Louisa Bacio

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Unapologetic Romance: Flames, Flirts & Festivals

Each story within Flames, Flirts & Festivals features a special event during the year. While A.M. Roark’s short highlights a modern-day Hogmanay and Up Helly Aa, Alexa Santi’s tale “Masquerade” invites readers to a ball on Halloween night in 1812 where a lost love may not be truly lost.

I started this reading experience with “Can’t Help Falling … in Edinburgh” by A.M. Roark.


Women of a certain age run out of fucks. A.M. Roark’s story “Can’t Help Falling … in Edinburgh” takes place post-divorce for the main character Natalie. She travels to Scotland to fulfill dreams and experience new adventures. Of course, she also runs into a hottie Scotsman, Graeme, to help light the fire.


An engaging wit runs through Roark’s tale, especially for some parts that feel like inside jokes. She had me at Nakatomi Plaza. (If you get it, you get it.)


“No, Graeme. I think you’re pretty close to perfect.” My voice drops, wavering slightly as I look up into his eyes, “Don’t fuck it up, okay?”


The novella is satisfying and filled with emotion, and the unapologetic tone is refreshing. If you have the pleasure of knowing Roark in real life, you can hear her through these words. As Roark writes, “pretty close to perfect.”


I haven’t yet had the pleasure of finishing all the stories, but I have high expectations.




Flames, Flirts & Festivals: A Diverse Short Story Romance Anthology


Authors:  Everleigh Allen, A.R. Bell, Brianne Gillen, Milly Gray, Allegra Johnson, Chele MacCabe, Maida Malby, A.M. Roark, Saharra K. Sandhu, Alexa Santi, Heather Scarlett, Catherine Stein


Flirting always gets me into trouble. Flaming hot trouble ...

From Samhain to Up Helly Aa, these sizzling stories by award-winning and bestselling authors will whisk you away to celebrations around the globe. Featuring spectacular locations, diverse characters, and rich storytelling, you're sure to find something to love.

Come join the fun as we eat, drink, and live happily ever after. 


Available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-retailers.



Friday, July 8, 2022

The Sexuality of Valkyrie (spoilers Thor: Love and Thunder)

 This blog contains potential spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder, in particular concerning the character of Valkyrie. If you don’t want to know, please don’t read on.

Before the release of Thor: Love and Thunder, there was speculations and discussions on how the movie might address the sexuality of the warrior Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson. In Thor: Love and Thunder, now King Valkyrie now watches over New Asgard. 


In an interview with “Behind the Movie” on Fandango, Thompson was asked what the vibe was with Natalie Portman, and if there was any connection there between the characters. 


“Valkyrie is someone who is deeply steeped in her love of sisterhood.” Thompson responded. “I think also it’s delicious that she is another version of Thor.”


In fact, during the filming of the movie, shots of Thompson getting close with Taika Waititi and Rita Ora, and the idea of a real-life threesome made the possibility even more delicious – to borrow a word from Thompson. (If you want to see them, do a search for their names on Twitter … circa May 2021).


With Valkyrie, there are three (maybe four) references that address her love of women.


1) After ribbing Thor about what’s happening with Jane, Valkyrie says that she’s on the same “team” as Thor, aka Team Jane. 


2) Korg draws Valkyrie out about her lost love, referencing the death of her lover of another Valkyrie warrior on the battlefield. Valkyrie brushes him off that she’s better off not thinking about it. 


3) Brief flirtation with one of Zeus’ fair maidens. 


4) Gorr uses the loss of Valkyrie’s sisterhood as proof that the gods do not listen for cries for help (not as directly related; however, in light of the conversation with Korg, we’re drawn back to the idea of her lost love.)


Thor: Love and Thunder shows a fair representation of LGBTQ+ characters organically. There’s not much to draw a conclusion of bisexuality. The only reference to male appreciation is when Zeus strips a chained Thor, and viewers get a flash of golden buns. I mean, who wouldn’t appreciate!


If Marvel is thinking about an origin film for Valkyrie, I’m down for it. If it’s just going to focus on the love she’s already lost, please don’t. It kinda feels like finally get a Black Widow film, well, after the events of Endgame. 

Until next time, 

Louisa Bacio

The teens and I, Thursday night showing of Thor: Love and Thunder.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/louisabacio


Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/louisabacio

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Monday, July 4, 2022

A Wicked Paranormal Romance by Luna Joya

Wicked Crown (Wicked Book 1)

By Luna Joya

When a blood vow comes due, a supermodel/goblin princess must team up with a bad boy witch to collect seven cursed jewels and stop a supernatural killer from destroying the world in DISCOVERY OF WITCHES meets SUICIDE SQUAD.


She’s not who—or what—she appears to be. Neither is he.


Supermodel Vori would be happy to stay in the human world, blissfully ignoring her true nature. But no. The blood vow she once made requires her to return to the Goblin Court. And since going alone would mean consenting to an arranged marriage, she needs a fake husband. Someone no one would miss if there was an unfortunate…accident. Vori knows the perfect man for the job.


Witch Perry used to be a hotshot lawyer. But that was before he made all the wrong choices, wound up in league with a demon, and was left to rot in prison. Now, he has a second chance. He can finally earn his redemption. Too bad his last hope is the woman he ghosted two years ago.


It’s not long before Vori and Perry realize they aren’t as different as they thought—and that the line between enemies and lovers can be razor thin. But if they want their happily ever after, they’ll first have to stop a supernatural killer and survive a royal smackdown. Should be easy for a goblin princess and her dashing antihero, right?


If only.

Available via Amazon


Fake marriage/Fake fiancé


Bad boy/Villain/Antihero

One bed (because I can’t help myself)

Second Chance with a dash of enemies to lovers snark

Beauty and the Beast (But she’s both. Or maybe he is.)


“Hello, Perry.” 


He opened his eyes, sure he’d imagined her. But no. She walked out of the shadows, tall, ethereal, and pissed off judging by the glare.

She was here. 

He stood too fast. His head spun like a demon-summing circle. “Vori?”

“You’re a hard man to find. You took off on me two years ago without a word. I understand you’ve been preoccupied—joining a demon-led cult, almost killing witch Senate heirs, prison, jailbreak, being locked up again. You could’ve just said you weren’t interested.” 

“I shouldn’t have left you that night.” The truth he’d waited so long to tell her rushed out.

“But you did.” She twisted her mouth into a mockery of the supermodel smile that flashed from magazine covers. “How was your time in witch jail? Not so good, it seems.”

“I…” He couldn’t admit it. Not to her. Not the horrible crimes he’d committed. The witch world would never forgive him. Hell, he didn’t blame them.

“I know what you’ve done.” Her condemning tone made it sound like he was being sentenced for his crimes. 

“Then why are you here? How?” Maybe that was the better question. “I didn’t hear you come in. Not your footsteps outside. Not the door opening. Not your breathing. Nothing.” He inhaled. “Wildflowers and rain.” The same scent he remembered from when they’d met, the scent he’d had to lean close to breathe in over the smoke and booze and sweat of the nightclub. “I couldn’t smell your perfume a minute ago. How’d you get in?”

“Getting in is the easy part. It’s the getting out that seems to be difficult for you. I let you out once, and here you are locked up again.” She sounded as if his being recaptured was an inconvenience.

“Why did you help me?”

“Were you faking the speechless act at the prison? So I wouldn’t know who you were?”

“No.” Although he should have. Running into a love interest while not looking your best was one thing but seeing a crush while imprisoned took it to a whole other level.

She lifted her chin. He’d seen her strike that pose on a fashion runway. “The night we met, you told me you’re a survivor above all else. Were you lying?”

“I never lied to you.” He hadn’t.

“You didn’t die in the demon’s Revelare, and you made it through whatever torture the witch Senate dished out. So I’m assuming you possess some self-preservation skills even if you were a witch out on Halloween.” She huffed a disapproving noise. “Not a wise choice.”

No, it hadn’t been, but not for the reasons she might think. He’d been tricked into going to the club for information about his sister Lili’s murder. How could he have known the woman who’d walked into the club looking exactly like his dead sister was a demon-summoned succubus wearing her skin? He’d followed the creature out of the club and into the ranks of the Revelare. 

Vori flicked an Arctic gaze over him, one so unlike the looks she’d given him that first night. “I have a proposition for you.”

“Yes?” Despite the way she wielded her proposition like a death sentence, the promises and possibilities of that word had the electricity under his skin jumping toward her. He slammed what little of a lockdown he could on his powers, but not before sparks danced across his fingertips. 

She gestured toward the magic as if it hadn’t surprised her. Or scared her. “We can deal with that as well.”

“Stolen magic that’s devouring me from the inside out isn’t something you deal with. It’ll kill me if the Senate or Revelare can’t finish me off first.” 

“Don’t be so dramatic, Sparky.” She laughed. Not a polished giggle. No, this was more of a snort. It should’ve been annoying, off-putting, anything but attractive. Why did everything about her have to be so sexy? “I’ll figure out a fix for your demon powers.”

“Male witches don’t have active powers.” He recited the universal truth.

“Yes, I know the rule. Everyone knows the rule. But here you are with powers. That magic should’ve killed you when the demon put it inside you. Or scorched through you the first time you invoked it. Yet, you live. I’m counting on your ability to survive. Or that you’re so very expendable if something unfortunate were to happen.”

Her last words had all his internal alarms screaming danger, danger, but he couldn’t seem to worry when she was here. With him. Again. “What do you need?”

“I need you for a job. A five-day, make it out alive and you walk away with your freedom gig.”

“Doing what?”

“I need a husband. You in?”

About Luna Joya

Award-winning author Luna Joya writes steamy witch romances with mysteries, strong heroines, and the heroes who love them.


Fluent in sarcasm and penal code, Luna prosecutes crimes by day and writes at night. A survivor of traumatic brain injury with steel body parts, she lives in SoCal with her combat veteran husband and their two-pound terror of a rescue pup.


Amazon: https://amzn.to/3arysxr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunajoyawriter

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/luna-joya

Website: https://lunajoya.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Agent & The Outlaw -- Lily Riley #NewRelease

The murder of a marquis, an accidental kidnapping, an elite vampire death squad, and a beast stalking the French countryside? All in a day’s work for a member of the les Dames Dangereuses.

As the most enviable comtesse of the tonne, Charlotte de Brionne was almost satisfied with her wealth, power, and rather tepid marriage, until her murderous husband betrayed her.

Now she has seized the chance to make a more adventurous start with les Dames Dangereuses, an order of women spies in service to the French crown. But her latest assignment is rudely interrupted when she is kidnapped by a crossbow-wielding madman, who turns out to be not at all mad only rather surly and annoyingly handsome.

Lieutenant Antoine de Valle has no idea what to make of the exasperating, untrustworthy, and frustratingly beautiful woman he’s suddenly saddled with, but his honor demands he see Charlotte safely home. Especially since it’s his fault she accidentally witnesses his murder of a marquis, ends up on the wrong end of a brutal vampire death squad, and barely survives an encounter with the Beast of Gévaudan.

In fact, the more Antoine tries to keep Charlotte safe, the more trouble they find themselves in. And the harder it is for Antoine to remember his honor in the face of Charlotte’s dangerous charms.

Publisher: Mystic Owl
Print Length: 282
Language: English
Genre: Paranormal Historical Romance
Publication Date: May 19, 2022
Buy Link: mybook.to/AgentandtheOutlaw
Check out the series: mybook.to/LesDamesDangereuses

Love the Les Dames Dangereuses series and want to stay up to date on Lily Riley's next release? Follow Lily on Amazon here: author.to/LilyRiley or check out her website: 

Review from Publisher's Weekly for The Assassin and the Libertine:

Scandal, seduction, and supernatural secrets animate Riley’s deliciously decadent debut and Les Dames Dangereuses series launch. In 1765, a blood plague is spreading among the Parisian poor, turning them into vampires. For many, it’s a better fate than starvation as a human. As one of few courtiers infected, “legendary rake” Étienne de Noailles is appointed the vampire emissary to His Majesty. Though he tries to advocate for vampire rights, he’s treated as little more than a threat and a lust object at Versailles.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lily Riley is a romance novelist currently focused on historical paranormal books that feature a little bit of cheek and a lot of steam.

Her second novel, The Agent and the Outlaw, publishing under the Mystic Owl imprint of City Owl Press, comes out May 19, 2022.

When Lily isn’t writing about dreamy supernatural beings in 18th century France, she enjoys sipping champagne, eating cake, and dancing naked by the light of the full moon.

Excerpt One ​CHARLOTTE 

It wasn’t often that I desired bloodshed. In fact, the only other time I truly wanted to murder someone had been a year ago, when my former husband summoned a demon to try to force my cousin to love him. It didn’t quite work out for him, and needless to say, it made for a rather awkward evening. 

“Do you ever wonder what they do with these reports?” I asked, stamping my seal into the hot wax on the thick sheaf of papers. “Sometimes I think they don’t even look at them. They couldn’t possibly read them all—every scrap of only occasionally useful information from every agent. I’ve half a mind to test the theory and slip in some dirty words to see if anyone says anything.” 

Firelight flickered around the room, casting an amber glow upon the towering shelves of books lining the library of my cousin’s impressive château. Daphne, Duchesse de Duras, agent of the Order, leader of their women-only sect called les Dames Dangereuses, and my best friend, peered at me over the rim of her champagne glass. 

“Charlotte, I’ve read your reports. There aren’t any more filthy words than the ones you already use. I’ve seen seasoned agents blush beneath their masks while reading them. Perhaps you should consider a career as a writer of erotic novels.” 

“I would truly excel,” I preened. “I know so many good synonyms for male anatomical features. Quivering rod. Virility spear. Throbbing manhood.” Daphne rolled her eyes to cover a smirk. 

“Silent flute.” 

“Speaking of silent…” She looked at me pointedly. 

I grinned and handed her the sealed folio—thirty-six pages of tightly scrawled script outlining an avalanche of evidence of the Marquis de Sade’s crimes. Treason, blackmail, extortion, sexual abuses, violence against innocents…it had been months of grim and grueling work, and my biggest investigation since joining les DD. At court, all the aristocrats knew of the marquis’s villainous tendencies, but no one had the temerity to bring charges against him. As a member of court, he was “one of our own.” At least, until Daphne and I had come along and forced the issue with the Order—the long-shadowed organization of powerful men in France who tasked themselves with the safety of king and country, but which operated in a sort of gray area just outside the law. 

“What is to be done about his associates?” I asked. 

She raised a brow at me and drained her glass. “I thought you handled that already.” Her displeased tone implied she hadn’t approved of my methods. 

“Oh, chérie, just because I killed a vampire doesn’t mean it was an indication of my feelings about the poor souls suffering from the blood plague. You know I’m all for integration of vampires and humans—I have been since the plague took hold of Paris years ago, really—and you know how much I love you and Étienne. Your hematic preferences don’t bother me one whit. But truly, that bastard was evil. I mean, really evil. Quite possibly as evil as my former husband, may he rot in Hell,” I said earnestly. 

“Charlotte, he’s imprisoned in the Château d’If,” she replied. “Not technically dead. Probably mad, but still quite alive.” 

“Well, it’s almost the same thing, isn’t it? And the Order gave me his falsified death record after all that unpleasantness a year ago,” I grumbled. 

“Yes,” she replied drolly. “‘All that unpleasantness.’ Summoning a demon and murdering several people—including my own awful husband, as well as the king’s mistress—is what you would call unpleasant.” She chuckled. “No, chérie, it’s not that I disapprove of you staking a vampire who certainly deserved it, it’s just that you killed him before he could tell us who Sade’s other associate was. We know he had more than one highly placed individual feeding his depraved desires.” 

“Well, honestly, Daphne, it’s not my fault a supernatural kidnapper ended up being so frail as to die when he was stabbed a few times--” 

“Twenty-seven times.” 

“Twenty-seven times then. But really, who’s counting?” 

“You did. It was in your report!” 

“Because I’m nothing if not efficient. Not only did I dispatch a villainous bloodsucker—no offense—but I wrote a fully accurate report on the matter. You’re lucky you have me as a lieutenant for les DD, you know, especially when I’m here working while you’re out having glorious carnal fun with your dashing rake of a fiancé.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Witches and weres and demons, oh my! #NewRelease

Midnight Magic

This unforgettable set is full of witches and warlocks, vampires and demons, werewolves and fae.
Enter countless magical worlds filled with sassy heroines and mystical creatures brought to you by USA Today and bestselling paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors.

Witch Switch 
by Louisa Bacio

How do you fight evil when it’s yourself? 
Rafe turned away from an arranged marriage for one based on love. His choices, though, left the woman he loved in danger.
Cheyenne took her inherited witch powers for granted until she needed them most when the jilted bride wants revenge.
Together, Rafe and Cheyenne must unravel which witch is real in the ultimate Witch Switch for power and love.

Available NOW!


Join the Midnight Magic Facebook Group Hop

☆  Prizes include items such as paperbacks, ebooks, swag, audiobooks, gift cards, character namings & more!
☆  Join the groups, enter the giveaways, and discover new authors
☆  Bacio Book Babes is giving away a $10 gift card
☆  You can find all the participating groups here:

Make your wish with this Midnight Magic set!

Louisa Bacio 




Thursday, April 28, 2022

Happy release day: Magic Mayhem!

What happens when the magic goes away?

Pink cover with a wave in darker pink. Magic Mayhem by Louisa Bacio

The Nightshade Guild: Magic Mayhem, Book 17  

Through waves of chaos, can love surface?

As Sea Mage of The Nightshade Guild, Serena Moon lives on the line between land and water. But when magic goes awry, mayhem follows. 

All she thinks she knows comes crumbling apart when Serena can no longer control her shift between human to mermaid form, leaving her stuck in mystical limbo. 

As king of the sea dragons, Peder wars between the desire to fix everything and the realization there's things he cannot. He craves time with Serena but refuses to use force. 

With the continuous onslaught of unseen forces trying to destroy them, Serena and Peder learn to rely not on their magic, but themselves...and each other.

On sale now:







Celebrate release day!


Check out the complete multi-author series on Amazon.

Until next time!

Louisa Bacio

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bUtOyT




Thursday, April 7, 2022

Finally Home: What does Spider-Man & Billie Eilish have in common?

Phone lights at Billie Eilish
Crowd turns on lights at Billie Eilish show at The Kia Forum

Finally Home 

(Spoilers: Spider-Man: No Way Home, Billie Eilish LA show)


For someone who considers herself an introvert, and often prefers time alone than being in a large crowd, there’s nothing like the amazing exhilaration of a positive shared experience. 


On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, I saw my first large arena concert, Billie Eilish, since before March 2020. At one point, I worked as a music journalist, and attended upward of three shows a week. Live music fuels the soul. That feeling of the reverberations vibrating through the body cannot be captured elsewhere. 


I attended the show with my 15-year-old and two of her friends. The tickets had been bought during the period when we’d been home way too long, and I longed to get out—again. Fortunately, Ticketmaster now offers a kinda “layaway” plan with Klarma and I didn’t have to feel guilty about shelling out $500 in concert tickets. It broke down into much-more manageable payments. 


A energetic opener by Duckwrth set the stage for the evening. It proved to be “SuperGood.” Ironically enough, Duckwrth also is known for the single “Start a Riot,” which was featured in Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. (It all connects …).

Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell

Eilish played a combo of older and newer work. Some of the best moments came while watching the interaction between Eilish and her brother/collaborator Finneas O’Connell. At one moment, she highlighted their “Oscar-winning” track “No Time to Die.”


And I realize that teenagers know the lyrics much better than me. Today, I asked Alexa to play Billie Eilish, and I was happy to see the lyrics scroll across the screen.


Shared experiences


The first time since the pandemic started I felt this sense of connection with others was opening night of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Excitement filled the air. The theater was packed, like I hadn’t seen it for years. 


Now, if you haven’t seen it – spoilers ahead – but it’s been out for a LONG time, and these are no longer hidden. But OMG, seeing the three lead actors on screen at the same time – the audience cheered! 

Scene from Spider-Man:
No Way Home
Credit: Dancing Teen

We were in this together. 


Eilish talks about environmental conservation, equity and protection of others. She seemed to really “see” the crowd in the far back and high-up areas. Unlike others who may not act upon it, she offered a major surprise for the audience: A second stage on the other side of the arena.


What were originally our nose-bleed seats became very much closer when Eilish switched stages, and elevated via a moving platform. Those who were in the front, suddenly were in the back.

The experience lasted for a few magical songs, and was very much appreciated. 


What I didn’t miss:


Billie offered two “rules” for the concert: 1) Don’t be an asshole, and 2) No judgment. We’re all equals, and deserve to have a good time. 


Unfortunately, there’s some “judgment” of people who acted a bit of the first:


1) To the couple totally being “as one,” and macking down in front of us for 90% of the time and blocking the view of the stage, be considerate of others. 

2) To the guy directly NEXT to me coughing the entire time, not wearing a mask, and lifting the collar of his shirt to cough inside it, come on! We’re more than two years into this! I wore a mask as to not capture any of the spray that hit my arm, and took a shower when I got home. Thankfully, he left early and we were able to spread out, breath and enjoy. 


Unlike the will they or won’t they encores of the past, Eilish informed the crowd there were “two songs left,” and at the end the lights came on. 

Billie Eilish hovers above the crowd.
When the concert was over, I picked up the trash from my teen and her friends, and carried it out. There is hope for our future.


We are all in this together. 


Louisa Bacio