Guest Post and Giveaway: Bone to Pick by TA Moore

Today I am so pleased to welcome TA Moore to Joyfully Jay. TA Moore has come to talk to us about her latest release, Bone to Pick. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!



This blog tour is a bit of a departure for me. Usually I do a short story split between the blogs. However, that didn’t really work with Bone to Pick (the characters had met, briefly, before the start of this story but it didn’t go well. Someone might have got punched; someone might have deserved it!). So instead I thought I would give you a spoiler-free introduction to the cast of characters you’ll be meeting in Bone to Pick and tell you a little bit about how I came up with them — and maybe a bit about what I have planned for the future. I hope you enjoy meeting them! I love them all, even the terrible ones.

Cloister Witte: Sheriff’s Deputy

Back in May 2017, when I was visiting Rhys Ford, I decided to write a short story for the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar. It was going to be actually short (a departure for me, since most of my short stories clock in around 20,000 words) and pretty uncomplicated. Family! Reunions! Forgiveness! Christmassy to the max! It was basically a man realising that sometimes people who’d wronged you really meant it when they said they were going to do better.

Cloister Witte MoodboardTo be honest, seeing as my most recent Christmas at that point had been ‘Whole lot of family members died in December!’? It was probably never going to work. However, I had just finished the final edit on Dog Days and I was full of confidence.

I opened my notebook and prepared for some painful brainstorming…only to find a guy with a broken nose and his search and rescue dog already chilling out on the doorstep. I mean, it usually takes me hours flicking through a Baby Names book and about a dozen false starts before I can decide on a name.

Not this time, there he was fully formed —  Cloister Witte, a man with a dark past and a cute dog.

Not only did Cloister knew who he was, he knew what he did, what he wanted, and who he wanted – which was a pain in my brain I will go into more in Javi Merlo’s later in the tour!

I called it ‘Cynical at Christmas’ (because I sometimes suck at titles) and it was probably the easiest short story I had ever written, albeit with the occasional stop to email people about SaR proceedures, until I was about 15,000 words in. That is the point where I realised that a: I needed to give Cloister a novel and b: that this wasn’t the story I needed to introduce him in….and maybe c: a story about a building collapsing at Christmas probably WASN’T in the spirit of the Advent Calendar! The final straw for ‘Cynical at Christmas’ was when I caught myself cutting out lines and phrases because they were too good to use in a short, these were for the novel.

So I mothballed the original short story (might go back to it one day though, with a lot of tweaks!, since it is relevant to Cloister’s story) and started to work on Bone to Pick (because sometimes I come up with good titles!).

There were a lot of changes made from what I originally imagined for the story — about 70,000 words worth of changes! — but Cloister stayed pretty much the same the whole way through. Still the same broken-nosed dude who turned up at the threshold of my brain in San Diego and hung around until I did what he wanted.

I think he’s pretty cool!


Five (non-spoilery but interesting!) Facts About Cloister Witte

1: Cloister was partially inspired by a friend of my family who used to be a dog-handler in the Paras. He is a huge, Welsh dude with two spaniel/poodle crosses, so there was a lot of variation introduced. However, the idea of joining the army to get away from where you grew up and who you grew up with? Came from him. He also used to do a lot of Search and Rescue work, although his current dog hasn’t really taken to the training. (It FOUND the missing person on the moors, but then crawled in the sleeping bag with them and dozed off.)

2: Cloister has a much younger half-brother that you will meet someday. Probably because he’s going to get arrested and will drop his big bro’s name to try and get out of it. Even though they haven’t seen each other since Cloister left home.

3: Vincent Witte, Cloister’s stepdad, is also his paternal uncle. Because they are that kind of family. Part of the reason Cloister doesn’t talk about his family much is because he thinks he needs some sort of diagram to help people keep it straight.

4: Cloister doesn’t like cats. He doesn’t dislike them or anything, they just make him vaguely uncomfortable. His house was full of dogs growing up, but they never had cats and he just finds them a bit opaque. Cats, however, love him.

5: Cloister’s nose has always looked like that. It’s part genetics and part a pre-natal break after a difficult delivery. He used to be self-conscious about it, but looking like a bruiser means he doesn’t have to get into as many fights as he would otherwise.


bone to pickCloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother—find the missing and bring them home.

He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.

This time the missing person is a ten-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks less and less likely that Drew will be found alive

Title: Bone to Pick
Author: TA Moore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 14/08/2016

Buy the Book:


Thank you for having me over today to talk about my new novel Bone to Pick by TA Moore, which will be available from Dreamspinner Press on August 14.


TA MooreTA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.

She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.


T.A. has brought a $20 Dreamspinner Press store gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, August 10th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.


  1. Oh wow, this one sounds pretty interesting! Thanks for the post!

  2. I absolutely loved this book. I’m really pleased to hear the hint of more. ?

  3. I pre-ordered Bone to Pick and am downloading this baby at midnight when it releases! Can’t wait. My family thought we weren’t cat people either. Then one stray older kitten found and adopted us, and now between us all, we have five cats! So watch out, Cloister! : D

    • Pretty much what happened when I was a kid too. We’d always had big dogs, then this little scrawny stray moved into the backyard and, well, who couldn’t fall in love with a kitten that almost got kidnapped by a gull? And yay! Hope you enjoy Bone to Pick, I had the most fun writing it. Awkward as Cloister could be;)

  4. That sounds interesting! Thank you for the blog post.

  5. LOL – I love how Cloister ruined your planned Advent Calendar story.   Thanks for the post.

  6. James Escol says:

    Cats, however, love him. 😉 Looks like Cloister is someone that’s NOT hard to love. ?

  7. Joscelyn Smith says:

    This sounds awesome, I can’t wait to read it. Is it connected to Dog Days?

  8. This book sounds really good! I’m adding it to my wishlist. Thank you for the post and insight into the characters.

  9. Cloister sounds pretty cool (and his brother intrigues me already)…

  10. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Hi T. A. the book sounds fascinating and I enjoyed reading about Cloister Witte, I’m looking forward meeting more of the cast members. shirleyann2400 (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. Ashley E says:

    I TOTALLY relate to number 3. It’s like, “well my cousin married my step-step counsin, and then his aunt married her dad, and then….”

  12. Thanks for the post, this sounds like such a great read!

  13. Nothing better than an officer and an agent. Sounds fantastic! :-)

  14. Wow, this one sounds amazing. Just the type I love to read. Thanks

  15. Love the cover and I have to admit this has piqued my interest. Thank you for sharing those non-spoiler facts =)

    • Excellent! And I know, Anne is just amazing. I always feel a bit of a slacker when she does my cover to be honest! I’m meant to be there, directing things. Instead I just ramble a bit about the book, and then go ‘oh my god, it’s perfect!’ when she delivers the image.

  16. Thanks for the post, Tammy. This part “Cloister Witte, a man with a dark past and a cute dog” totally captured my eyes *lol*. I mean, CUTE dog!!


    • 😀 Bon Bon is adorable! I based her on my childhood German Shepherds 😀 (my betas keep telling me to stop putting puppies in my books, but I am a rebel and wrote one that had to be there instead :D)

  17. I loved this book. Cloister and Javi are two of the most interesting characters I’ve met lately. I’m so happy there is more on the way! 😉

    • Thank you so much! 😀 That’s so sweet. And yep, I’ve plans for them, such plans. *rubs hands together a little evilly, but not too much* 😀

  18. Big dog lover here, so you had me at “cute dog”! Looking forward to reading your newest novel…

    • 😀 Thank you! Hope you enjoy it *bounces*. And I realised the other day that every book but one I have written so far has a dog in it (actually no! there is a dog, it just doesn’t belong to my main cee). I am so weak for cute puppies 😀

  19. You described perfectly through Cloister how I feel about the cats :) But cats aside, your new book sounds great! Congrats on your upcoming release!

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