Thursday 4 May 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway - Playing With Fire by R.J. Blain

Playing With Fire
Author: R.J. Blain
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Pages: 323
Genre: Fantasy/Romantic Comedy

Book Description:
Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.

What do you get when you mix gorgons, an incubus, and the Calamity Queen? Trouble, and lots of it.

Working as the only human barista at a coffee shop catering to the magical is a tough gig on a good day. Bailey Gardener has few options. She can either keep spiking drinks with pixie dust to keep the locals happy, or spend the rest of her life cleaning up the world’s nastiest magical substances.

Unfortunately for her, Faery Fortunes is located in the heart of Manhattan Island, not far from where Police Chief Samuel Quinn works. If she’d been smart, she never would have agreed to help the man find his wife.

Bailey found her, all right—in the absolutely worst way possible.

One divorce and several years later, Bailey is once again entangled in Chief Quinn’s personal affairs, and he has good reason to hate her. Without her, he wouldn’t be Manhattan’s Most Wanted Bachelor, something he loathes. Without her, he’d still be married.

If only she’d said no when he asked her help, she might have had a chance with him. While her magic worked well, it came with a price: misfortune. Hers.

When Quinn’s former brother-in-law comes to her for help, he leaves her with a cell phone and seventy-five thousand reasons to put her magic to the test. However, when she discovers Quinn’s ex-wife is angling for revenge, Bailey’s tossed in the deep end along with her sexiest enemy.

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No one in their right mind would ever license me as a private investigator, but that didn't stop people from coming to me when they needed something found. Fortunately, I liked my job as the only human barista at Faery Fortunes Coffee and Book Shop. Most came for a cup of joe and left too buzzed to read a thing, but who was I to complain? People paid top dollar for their pixie dust infused latte, and they tipped me well not to judge them.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t so fond of Chief Quinn. When he walked through the door, bad things usually happened to someone—me. For him to come in five minutes after opening, long before the sun even thought about rising, he needed something, and it wasn’t a cup of coffee. Why couldn’t he want coffee? I could deal with making him a drink, and I’d double his dose of pixie dust to keep him happy.

I gave the espresso machine a defiant swipe of my cleaning cloth before stepping to the counter to deal with Manhattan’s Most Wanted Bachelor. Without my help, he’d still be married, too.

What a way to start the day.

And to think people wondered why I refused to help find anything for anyone anymore. The reason stood across the counter from me. Chief Samuel Quinn, aged thirty, hotter than sin, and my heaven and hell rolled together in one smoking tall, dark, and handsome package, hated me for good reason. It was his fault, too. He had been the one to ask me for help finding his wife. I had found her all right, right in the middle of teaching a college stud the nuances of the reverse cowgirl.

If no one asked me to find something or someone again for the rest of my life, I’d be a very happy woman.

“Chief Quinn, what a pleasant surprise,” I lied. “Can I get you something? A dark roast, cream, no sugar, light on the dust?”

Why couldn’t I have been blessed with forgetfulness? I knew my worst nightmare’s favorite drink, and I had to make it for him first thing in the morning. Of course I knew it. He came in at least three times a week to torment me. Screw it. Who was I kidding? Instead of the coffee, he could take me instead. If I had to put up with the hassle of dealing with him, why couldn’t I enjoy it, too?

“Cream, no dust, and make it a large, Bailey.”

Alarm bells tinkled in my head. Since when did Chief Quinn address me by my first name? On a good day, he snapped my last name like he worried it would contaminate him. “Of course, sir.”

The faster I made his coffee, the sooner he’d go away. I’d love every second I spent watching him go. In less than a minute, I had his drink ready, and to lower the risk of him spending any extra time with me, I chirped, “It’s on me today, Chief Quinn. Have yourself a nice morning.”

If it meant we parted without incident, it’d be well worth the five bucks.

He saluted me with his cup, flashed a hint of a smile, and walked out the door. Facing him was hell, but I glimpsed the heavens when he left, and if my panties hadn’t caught on fire under my jeans, I’d be very, very surprised.

“You’re drooling, Gardener,” my boss squeaked. The moth fairy, with just enough pixie heritage to dust glitter when she wanted, fluttered over my shoulder, her tiny arms crossed over her chest. “Reverse cowgirl.”

“Stop reminding me!” I wailed, slumping over the counter. “He hates me. Worse, all I think about when he struts in is taking off my clothes and giving him my panties. I think they caught on fire this time, Mary. Why couldn’t he have had one of his cops find his wife instead?”

“You just want to indulge in some guilt-free fantasizing like every other hot-blooded American woman in the city.”

“Exactly. This is why no one in their right mind asks me for help. I ruin everything.”

“Except my coffee, which is a miracle. Now that we’ve had our daily dose of excitement, can you handle the shop on your own for an hour? We’ll call it even on the coffee.”

Was she serious? Alone for an hour on a Monday morning forty minutes before rush hour? If she thought I’d be all right alone, she was completely cracked. I could already hear her if I dared to complain about my shift. What could possibly go wrong in an hour? Didn’t I like my job? The list went on and on and on. I smiled so I wouldn’t cry. “Sure, Mary. I can last an hour.”

“You’ve gotten better at lying. Your smile didn’t even slip that time. Try not to die while I’m gone. Good humans are so hard to find.” Mary zipped out of the shop through the pixie door and dove through the window of an idling sports car.


Sports car? Red, convertible, top up despite the nice summer morning? I leaned over the counter and squinted. Yep. My boss had just ditched me for a ride in Chief Quinn’s car. Sometimes life really wasn’t fair.

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 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.

Author Links:


R.J. Blain is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
•    By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
•    One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive $25 Amazon Gift Card.
•    This giveaway ends midnight May 31.

Good luck everyone!


Blog Tour Organised by:


  1. The book description and excerpt sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. Love the cover too.

  2. Great excerpt, sounds like an awesome book. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

  4. RJ - Why do you like writing? Do did you decide to become a writer? Thank you for the excerpt & giveaway.

  5. Hi, Beth! Good questions. I think I like writing because I get to explore a world I can't in my real life. I also like asking what if questions, so I blend the best of both worlds! As for why did I become a writer? I'm going with temporary insanity that may never wear off. :)

  6. What do you enjoy doing besides writing?

    1. Hi, Natalie! I love reading. I am really looking forward to Robin Hobb's book next week, I am currently reading Cold Reign by Faith Hunter, and Ilona Andrews' White Hot is after that. Rawr! I also like playing with my cats and playing computer games with my husband. :)

  7. Oh my goodness, it seems like Bailey keeps dipping herself in to a deeper hole.

  8. I like stories with a touch of humor, even excessive humor.

  9. who inspired your characters?

    1. Hi, Wigget! That's actually a tough question for me to answer. I try really hard to avoid using real people as models for my characters. It happens sometimes, but generally, I try to model my characters from stereotypes and then make them as real as I can from there. I often end up reading a lot of human behaviour books as a result.

      I avoid using similarities to myself above all, too. (I'm boring; I'd make a terrible book character. I would be the heroine who threw her hands up in the air, suggest people fix their own problems and go read a book. Oops.

  10. I want to go to a place that serves drinks sprinkled with pixie dust. Sounds like such a fun read.

  11. Enjoyed the excerpt. Sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

  12. I enjoyed the excerpt.

  13. This sounds like a fantastic book! Loved the excerpt.

  14. What inspires you to write?


    1. Hi, Edye! A lot inspires me, but I think one of the more interesting of my inspirations might be my curiosity about human nature at what drives people. I am always wondering about this when I am writing a book.

  15. What was your inspiration for the book?

    1. Hi, Bailey!

      This book was a bit weird. Often, curiosity inspires my books, especially about human nature, but this one was a mix of a dare, tired of the same old same old romances (of any genre), and wanting to write something different than paranormal thriller / suspense with some romance added in!

      Thanks for your question.

  16. Thanks for this giveaway :)

  17. Rj, do you already have ideas for the next book? About about a female james bond type of thing.

    1. Hi, Cindy! I've already written the second book. It's called Hoofin' It, and it'll release a bit later this year, and features a former cop as a hero--it has some James Bond style elements to it, though no actual spies. (Well, sorta.) The third book is called Whatever for Hire, and will be releasing in December--the heroine from Whatever for Hire tends to be the action adventure spy type!

      The Magical Romantic Comedies will have a lot of variety. There's going to be one called Serial Killer Princess, and it's probably one of my favorites to play with. :)

  18. This book seems to have a lot going on and I love that it has mystery to it as well. Sounds good!

  19. Bailey sounds like a good character. This story sounds like a lot of fun!