Category Archives: Tokyo Supernatural

Updated Blurb for Mages in Manhattan

I belong to a Facebook group that shares blurbs and asks advice. I’ve spent a lot of time working on other author’s blurbs and reading the feedback of the more accomplished blurb-meisters.

With the benefit of that practice, I looked over my old blurbs and found them wanting. For example, the original blurb for Mages in Manhattan was more of a synopsis than an enticement to buy the book.

So I have rewritten the blurb to emphasize the action and stakes for my heroes.

Here is my revised blurb. Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

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Catching a magician is only half the battle

 

Trapping a free magician is like getting your very own genie. Youth, wealth, beauty, all can be yours if you succeed. However, failing to capture the magician means he owns you.

Magicians are powerful, too powerful to roam around unrestrained. For the safety of the magical community, they are routinely enslaved by witches’ covens or wizards’ councils.

If the “sponsored” magician is drained of his life and magic, that’s a small price to pay for continued security, right?

But rarely, a magician proves to be too stubborn, too tricky, and too powerful to tame. Scott Freeman is one of those free magicians. No one would risk trying to tame a magician like Scott.

Until he was injured in a battle with a Japanese spider-monster, a fight that wiped out most of his magical resources. Scott plans on laying low until he can recover from that closely fought battle. Laying low should be easy. He lives in Tokyo, Japan, far away from American covens and wizards. And he has money, lots of money, from his contracts.

But the Wolves of Wall Street have other ideas. They canceled Scott’s most lucrative contract and insisted on Scott coming back to Manhattan to renegotiate.

Of course, it’s a trap. But Scott is desperate, desperate enough take this risk. He also has two secret weapons; Kitty-Sue, his kitsune girlfriend, and Akiko, his ghost apprentice.

NOTE: This book contains magical battles, ravening werewolves, traitorous women, an easily offended magic sword, a shapeshifting ninja assassin kitsune, and lots of sex. If a two-person threesome shocks you, you might want to avoid this book.

 

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Another Tokyo Teaser

On my Facebook writer’s group, we will occasionally get writing prompts. I was intrigued by the below prompt and wrote a quick response. Let me know what you think.

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Prompt – You’re sitting at home one night when suddenly there is a frantic knocking at your door. When you open it, you see your main character standing in the doorway. Why is he/she/it there, what do they want?

***

The doorbell rang, and I checked the camera. Nobody there. Then the pounding started.

Who could it be? I peeked through the peephole and saw him. Six feet even, frosted hair, slim build, with some kind of messenger bag over his shoulder.

Why hadn’t he shown up on the camera? Never mind, maybe a delivery guy. He looked harmless. I opened the door to ask what he wanted.

He walked past me as if he owned the place. I grabbed the strap of the bag over his shoulder and shuddered at the touch of something unearthly. It felt like warm leather, but had it squirmed under my touch? I jerked my hand away.

“Who the hell are you?”

“It’s me, Scott Freeman,” he said.

I stared at him. I had only sold a few copies of that Urban Fantasy series. But it looked like I had a deranged fan. He didn’t look much like the Scott in my imagination. Why couldn’t my first stalker have been a cute girl cosplaying as a kitsune?

“Whoa, buddy,” I said. “I’m glad you’re a fan, but I think you should leave. Maybe we can meet for a beer somewhere.” Somewhere far away, with lots of people, maybe a police box nearby.

“No, you idiot!” he said. “It’s really me. Look, I can prove it.” He reached into the bag and pulled out a big goddam knife, more like a sword. I heard that ringing sound steel makes as it scrapes against metal.

Damn, a psycho with a sword in my home. Too much excitement for a part-time author.

My back was to the door, ready to push back and run. But he looked fit; he could probably run me down and run me through.

At the look on my face, he slid the sword back into the bag. It must have been one of those theater swords that collapsed because it was much too long to fit in the bag.

“Look,” he said, “I don’t want to hurt you, although you have made my life hell these last few years. I’m here to warn you about bleedover from my world.”

“Bleedover?”

“Yes,” he said, “it’s when the magical universe impinges on your gray world.”

“Gray world?”

“Quit repeating,” he said. “That’s what we call worlds without magic.” He looked around and shuddered. “The color of magic is missing in your world. Your damn imagination has caused a bleedover of magic from our world to yours.”

“But I like magic,” I said. “This world could use a little magic.”

“No, you idiot,” he said. Now, who was repeating? “Your world was safe until you wrote those books. Now magic is coming.”

“So,” I said. “Maybe I’ll get a kitsune girlfriend.”

He looked at my middle-aged paunch and sneered. I should have made him a little nicer. I shook as I realized I had started to believe him.

“Who do you think will come through first?” he asked. “The cute yokai, or the monsters?”

Check Out the New Site Header!

Hi TS fans,

I’ve been working on the site’s redesign, as well as commissioning new covers for the three books in the series.

Yes, I said three books. The third book should be out by the end of the year. As mentioned in previous posts, the third book will be called “Bar Sinister” and will feature our team of heroes in battles with mystic Yakuza gangsters, volcano spirits, and former foes.

I loved the covers prepared by my illustrator, Runno. His work is beautiful, containing details from the books that are only apparent to upon close inspection. Unfortunately, illustrated covers don’t sell well in Urban Fantasy. And my series needs to sell if I want to continue in this universe.

So I decided to go for a redesign. I contacted the talented Lou Harper at  Cover Affairs for a new take on my characters.

I will be doing a cover reveal later this year, but for a taste of Lou’s work, take a look at the new site header. It features new looks for Scott, Akiko, and Kitty-Sue.

Mages in Manhattan – Free Promotion 12 to 14 April 2018

For those who have following Tokyo Supernatural news via this website, now is a great time to jump into the series.

I’ve been invited to add my first-in-series book, Mages in Manhattan, to Uncanny Kingdom’s Giant Urban Fantasy Sale. During this promotion, you can grab my book for free, as well as find great promotions on other author’s books.

I’m very proud to be included in this promotion, as it includes many of my favorite authors.

Here’s the promo and link. Enjoy.

Giant Urban Fantasy Sale – Over 20 Books on Special Offer From 12 to 14 April!

A Ghost, A Magician, and A Kitsune Walk Into A Bar…

…then things get weird.

That’s the premise for the next Tokyo Supernatural book. Scott does a favor for Kitty-Sue, helping a human friend of hers quit her job at a sleazy Tokyo bar. How hard could it be to escort a girl out of a bar?

Pretty hard when the bar is owned by a mystical branch of the Yakuza. These unsavory businessmen take exception to Scott’s actions and try to take him out. Unfortunately for them, no one has ever bested Scott in a fair fight.

Did I say fair fight? There’s no such thing as a fair fight with the Yakuza. These mystic warriors have magical protections woven into their tattoos, protections that should protect them from almost any physical harm. But Scott has more than physical weapons at his disposal, much to the surprise of the Yakuza.

At the end of the fight, Scott finds himself the owner of the bar; something he had never wanted. That’s too much responsibility for a peripatetic magician.

Still, being able to hang out in an invitation-only bar that serves only top-shelf liquor, staffed by beautiful women, with Akiko’s ghost friends providing invisible security, seems like an easy life. As Kitty-Sue snarkily notes, Scott is right at home in sleazy bars.

Between Scott, Kitty-Sue, and the potent ghost-mage Akiko, almost no one can challenge them mystically. What could go wrong?

Of course, this is Scott we’re talking about. One night, Suribachi-Yama walks into the bar. The personification of the Suribachi volcano, with god-like powers, has a mission for Scott and won’t take no for an answer.

In this episode, we’ll see the return of Scott, Kitty-Sue, and Akiko. As well as the ever so-slightly-pregnant Ashley (the dragon of Lake Ashi). I’ll probably throw in a few more surprises.

I’m shooting for publication in September2018. Leading up to that date, I’ll be dropping sample excerpts here on the website.

Long term, I have a very rough outline for the fourth book in the series. If you were wondering how Scott and his friends will face off against the time-warping fae prince introduced in The Haunted Onsen, keep a look out for updates.

Why don’t you subscribe to my newsletter, so you will know when the next update comes?

The Haunted Onsen – Now Available

Hello guys! I’m so happy to tell you that my latest book The Haunted Onsen is now available on Amazon.

This book has a lot of action, a lot of new supernaturals, and a lot of heat.

I had a blast writing this book and filling it with action. Feedback from my editor on the first novel indicated I spent a bit too much time world-building, so this book conveys the backstory through dialog and actions.

I added a lot of new supernaturals, pulling from Japanese folklore, Thai tales, and western fantasy. Scott romances the dragon of Lake Ashi; dances with a Nang Tani tree spirit in Bangkok; fights a female Yaksha in Chiang Rai; and treks with Tar–Ooops! Can’t use that word. Ahem, jousts with the Jungle Lord.

Speaking of heat, of course, the magician manages to dally with some more supernaturals. It’s in his super-nature, after all. And Kitty-Sue can’t get jealous, can she? No, but she can turn the tables on Scott when she shape-shifts into a different form. You see, this other form has different appetites than Kitty-Sue.

So this time, to make the book more accessible, I have made both it and the first novel in the series, Mages In Manhattan, available to Kindle Unlimited users.  So take a look at the ‘Look Inside’ and see if this book titillates your taste for Tokyo. If you get the book, I urge you to leave a review.

As a bonus for my website visitors, here is one of my favorite scenes from the book.  Scott, Kitty-Sue, Princess, and Akiko are chasing clues to the ghost Samurai’s missing armor. The search leads them to Bangkok, where they receive a mysterious invitation, more of a command, to show up at this seedy Bangkok bar.

 

***

 

Four p.m. came and went with no appearance by our message sender. I was getting increasingly nervous. I fingered the pocket that held the letter from the man who had issued the invitation.

Seeing my nervousness, Kitty-Sue said, “Looks like our host is a no-show.”

“So, you’re suggesting we continue the mission without talking with this magician?” I said.

“Hell, no!” she said. “I think we should hunt him down and teach him a lesson. We can’t afford to have enemies on our backtrail.”

“Hunt him down,” I said. “How could we do that?”

“From the scent on that letter,” she said, “I could track him down.”

“Then, where is he?” I asked.

“His scent is all over this bar,” she said. “He must be a regular.”

All this talk about hunting and tracking brought back a memory. Taking out the envelope, I examined the handwriting. Who did I know that wrote in eighteenth-century script? “I’m beginning to think the note was from a colleague of mine,” I said, putting the envelope away.

“Colleague? Another knight?” guessed Akiko. Kitty-Sue’s eyes brightened at the question. Her attraction to royals was a sore point. I didn’t know if she was truly excited about royals, or if it was an act to tease me, but any mention of the royal family piqued her interest.

“A bit higher up than a knight,” I muttered.

“Really!” said Akiko.

“How much higher?” asked Kitty-Sue. There was even a thrum of interest from Princess. Was my entire team turning into royal groupies?

“He’s a viscount—” I was interrupted as Euterpe weighed in and the sound system changed songs to the old Gene Chandler classic, “Duke of Earl.” The dancers looked confused at this change in the playlist.

“So, what do you call your friend?” asked Akiko.

“He’s not a friend,” I said. “As a matter of fact, he’s promised to kill me on sight.”

Kitty-Sue looked at me through narrowed eyes. “What did you do to piss him off?” As if I had to be the problem.

“I saved his wife’s life after a mugging,” I said. The old song finished and a new oldie started, the theme song to an old cartoon about George of the Jungle. The bartender was pushing buttons on the sound system frantically.

“Why does he hate you for that?” asked Akiko.

“Remember how intimate healing is? How I had to touch Monica in Las Vegas to cure her? How much she enjoyed the process?” Akiko nodded and Kitty-Sue’s face soured. I continued, “In those days, my control wasn’t as good. I needed to get even closer to work.”

“By closer, you mean…” asked Kitty-Sue.

“It was the only way I knew how to do the spells,” I said. Taking a large gulp from my drink, I continued, “He’s never forgiven me. But I couldn’t let her die, as long as it was within my power to save her.”

She called your name in her dreams for months,” whispered the voice of the most dangerous man I had ever met. The cold chill of a steel blade touched my throat. I froze in place, then raised my hands slowly, fingers spread to show I wasn’t about to cast a spell. A subsonic thrum came from my magic sword disguised as an umbrella, and my palm tingled; I knew that Princess could flash to my hand in an instant. I also knew that my assailant didn’t need more than an instant to decapitate me. At the upward pressure of his blade, I slowly got to my feet.

He was so close I could see his profile out of the corner of my eye.

I glared at Kitty-Sue, my hyper-vigilant bodyguard, who had somehow missed the killer creeping up on our table. She mouthed a silent, “Sorry,” before turning her attention to my assailant. Blades of crystal were suddenly in her hands, and she said in a calm voice, “If you hurt my boss, you’ll never make it to the door.”

I noticed he kept me between him and Kitty-Sue, one predator acknowledging the danger posed by another. Even with my better-than-human hearing, I could detect no sounds from him. When stalking, he was as quiet as Akiko.

The tension was broken by Akiko. She slurped the last of her iced coffee, then waved a hand in the air like a student in class. As my attacker’s eyes flicked to her, she said, “I’m glad you can see me. So, what’s a viscount? Should I call you duke or earl?”

I finally heard him as he took a deep breath. “Neither. The correct form of address is ‘lord.’” The pressure of the knife blade eased a tiny amount.

“Lord what?” asked Akiko, leaning forward in interest.

“Lord Greys—” he started, then corrected himself. “Lord John. John Clayton.” His proper British accent had faded over the years; only the slightest trace remained.

“Well, Lord John,” said Akiko, “would you mind removing that knife from my teacher’s throat? I still have lots of lessons to do.” Tiny wisps of lightning gathered around her form, and her hair started to rise as she gathered power.

I like to think it was the sight of my allies—the inhuman kitsune killer; the ghost mage of unknowable power; the strangely thrumming Princess—that stayed his hand. But John had never let fear dissuade him.

Perhaps it was the genuine regret that he had heard in my voice about the incident with his wife.

The blade’s pressure eased, and he said, “Of course. I would hate to interfere with a lady’s education.”

 

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Lord, I love writing these books! I hope you will enjoy reading them. For more of The Haunted Onsen, get it here.

So far, I have published two 100K novels in the Tokyo Supernatural universe, as well as four short stories. And I still have dozens of stories to tell. I have the third book plotted out, as well as a few rough draft chapters. That book will probably be ready in February.