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Monday, October 24, 2022

Searching: Dragons of New York by Rachel Graves - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hey, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Rachel Graves and her new book, “Searching: Dragons of New York,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Rachel and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!


Dragons of New York

Book One

by Rachel Graves


GENRE:  Urban Fantasy



A dragon terrified of being discovered by the government, Ravenna Drake is constantly on the move. When the woman who raised her gets cancer, Ravenna trades her nomadic work restoring black market magical goods for a steady job. But her cautious life ends after her name is found at the scene of a werewolf murder.

Dr. Ian Chen, a sorcerer bonded to a powerful relic, works for the government treating supernatural citizens. He insists on investigating when his patient’s body is discovered completely drained of blood. His search leads him to the beautiful but frustrating Ravenna Drake, who refuses to stay away from the case or follow his instructions.

As more bloodless bodies surface, threats from secret societies and corrupt politicians force the dragon and the sorcerer to work together. If Ravenna and Ian can’t catch the killer, the people they love the most may be the next to die.



His foot reached out to blur the circle and the ghost changed. Agony forced every other emotion aside. He couldn’t breathe, a heavy weight settled on his chest. Panic set in as he wheezed, his heart racing the way hers had raced. Was he experiencing her last minutes or just panicking at the emotions? Could he trust himself? Darkness started to crowd the edges of his vision. Not enough air. Sweat broke out along his back. Somewhere, Cloak was saying something, but he couldn’t hear it over the pounding of blood in his ears. He was going to die here. The blackness got closer.

“No.” The flood of emotions stopped immediately, as Drake stepped in front of him. “That’s not how this works. You don’t get to scream at him.”

His head throbbed, stinging like acid dripping down his face, but he could breathe again. The darkness receded. The first thing he saw was Drake moving into the center of the stain, acting as if the blood wasn’t there.

“I’ll give you enough energy to manifest, but start screaming again and I will end you, even if we haven’t heard a damn thing you’ve got to say. Understand?” She paused, then reached her hand out. A shaft of sunlight came in through the window and her hand seemed to glow. Then the end of it disappeared, replaced with a chest. The shape grew outward, a filmy light turning into a woman. The process took less than a minute, and he heard the sheriff whisper to God.

“Dr. Chen, she can talk to you now.” Drake said it with a very deliberate emphasis on the word talk. Whatever the ghost intended, it wasn’t going to stand up to her. A deep surge of gratitude coursed through him.



Word Crimes, a Writing Vice That Haunts Me and My Cure

I confess: words get stuck in my head, and I end up using them to death. In this book it was trinket. I needed a way to refer to magical objects and jewelry that wasn’t jewelry. Baubles and decorations never seemed to work. When I tried to describe a ballroom filled with rich people wearing expensive magical ornaments, it conjured up bizarre Christmas decorations as necklaces. After I stopped laughing, I realized that was not the way to describe heavy gemstone encrusted necklaces, earrings, hair clips, tie tacks, and other accessories.

So, trinkets. In roughly 125,000 words, I used trinkets 13 times. In early edits, I convinced myself that one word being .0001% of the words used in the book wouldn’t matter. But as I went through my final reads, it felt like trinkets was printed in a size thirty-font in rainbow colors.

I got rid of all but one.

I’ve got a similar story about a line of dialog that starts off with “Ick!” and then goes on to talk about the thing. If you’ve held a conversation with me, in text or in person, you’d know that “ick” is my go-to response for a lot of, well, icky situations. That makes sense for me, but for my three Harvard trained PhD’s to all say ick the same way I do? Nope. It had to go.

Writing dialog can be difficult. I generally write the way I speak, but my speech is influenced by so many things: my family, my education, the situation I’m in. I have none of those things in common with my characters so we shouldn’t have a lot of words in common. Being aware of it helps, but there are also a couple of tricks I use. The easiest is imaging someone I know saying the dialog out loud. It helps if it’s someone with a strong accent or that you identify strongly with a place or situation. If your dog walker sounds wrong saying something or you can’t picture your coworker reading it, should your character be saying it?

Another way to spot my word crimes, is to use a word cloud generator to visually see the words that pop out. For this book the most often used words included magic, ghost, blood, Raven, Ian, Cloak, and mother. That’s not a bad summary of big themes in the story, so I’m content.

My favorite trick? Picking someone I talk to on a regular basis and steal their speech pattern. One of the folks in my favorite coffee shop has a sweet as syrup Alabama accent and peppers her speech with phrases like ‘sweating like a sinner in church’. I’d never give a character all of her verbal quirks, but spread out over the course of a book her metaphors are real winners.

And last, but not least, don’t forget the value of Find/Replace in your favorite writing program. If you let it count up the number of times you’ve used a word, you’ll probably end up shocked enough to get rid of it. Or decide that it’s not nearly as icky as you imagined.



Rachel Graves writes mysteries that blend the supernatural with steamy, sexy scenes. Her work explores the many shades of gray found between the lines of right and wrong. Rachel's books focus on strong heroines who take charge of their own fate, their friends, and their families. Rachel is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and uses research skills honed getting a graduate degree in psychology to seek out rare folklore and magical creatures. Her writing incorporates popular monsters like vampires and werewolves as well as diverse creatures like selkies and yuki onna. Rachel has lived in a cursed town, taken far too many ghost tours, and counts down to every Halloween starting in November. You can read short stories and learn more about her on her website: http://www.rachelgraves.com.













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Rachel will be awarding a $50 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing my new book with the world!

  2. I really like the cover and think the book looks good.

    1. Thank you! I hope you'll let me know if you like it!

  3. I love the cover. How did you decide what to go with?

    1. I knew wanted something that showed Ravenna's inner dragon, but that also gave a hint another (hidden) dragon character. After sketching out designs for about a year, my cover artist directed me to a cover she'd done for a high fantasy piece with a dragon queen. I loved the dragon and was delighted when she combined it with my favorite model and a little magic.

  4. I enjoyed the guest post and the excerpt, love the cover and I can't wait to read Searching!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a terrific day!

    1. You're welcome! I hope you'll read it and let me know how you liked it. :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you! The second cover featuring Ian just got finished. While I love it, I think this first one will always be my favorite.