Today I am so pleased to welcome Rhys Ford to Joyfully Jay. Rhys has come to talk to us about her latest release, Dim Sum Asylum. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thank you for joining me on the Dim Sum Asylum tour! And a huge thank you to the blogs who are letting me rent their space for the day!
Now a little bit about Dim Sum Asylum the novel. It was originally a short story in Charmed and Dangerous, a fantastic anthology created by JCP. When I was invited to contribute, I couldn’t type yes fast enough and so, the original short Dim Sum Asylum was created. Other authors have taken their contributions and expanded on them, delivering full length pieces but I hadn’t planned on doing that… mostly because of time.
Then Lynn West, the Editor in Chief of Dreamspinner Press, said to me; I want that story. One does not simply turn down Lynn and to be honest, I really enjoyed writing Roku. There was a lot about the world and his life I couldn’t fit into the short story and expanding Dim Sum Asylum would give me that chance.
So I folded it into the queue and after a few months of unstitching the short story and weaving in the pieces I’d always longed to put in, Dim Sum Asylum the novel was born. This is my first urban fantasy romance and I had a blast writing it. A lot of romantic tension, a bit of suspense and murder plus a whole lot of magical creatures and fantastical people. Oh…and there’s Bob the Cat.
Did I mention this blog stop’s giveaway? Because there is one. Comment, Rafflecopter or however the blog chooses to run its contest and enter to win a $20 gift certificate to the online store of your choice!
This tour is a serialized story featuring Roku MacCormick, the lead in Dim Sum Asylum and will be told over the blog tour stops. AND there is a separate giveaway on each stop so be sure to follow the short story, enter to win and grab a copy of Dim Sum for your ereader or bookshelf!
Wok This Way (A Dim Sum Asylum Short)
“What do you mean you haven’t seen her?” I kept my voice down so as not to wake the smoking moa ula hiwa roosting in the old man’s side yard but it was hard not to grab his shoulders and shake him. “She’s supposed to check in with you as a condition of her probation. “You and her parole officer. Sire, she’s your granddaughter. You agreed to keep her magic contained until the courts released her from her sentence. It’s the only reasons—”
“No use yelling at me.” Nakashima gave me a side-eye hard enough to make the gate dragons quiver then smiled as if he didn’t just kill me with the daggers shooting from his gaze. “Besides, if you wake the flame chickens up before the sun, they’ll just set their hutch on fire and I don’t have the time or money to replace it.
“If you want to find Murgatroid, you’re going to have to go to her friend’s house. She could be there. Or maybe down at the Golden Lotus. She was doing some card reading there for a bit of cash.” He sniffed in my general direction when I moaned in frustration. “It’s why I let the binding diminish a little bit. The girl’s got to work. I’m not going to take food off of my table to stuff down her gullet. Not when she’s perfectly good and able to make it on her own.”
Old Man Nakashima knew better. After all, he’d spent nearly forty years as a sitting judge for the Arcane Crimes Judicial system. Coming barely up to my shoulder, he was a skinny cricket-winged Japanese fae with a permanent sly expression carved into his face from a decades-old knife attack. He’d been a fair judge, not one to showboat or make monumental decisions but firm or lenient when he needed to be.
Except where Agnes Moonflower Murgatroid, his one and only granddaughter, was concerned. Then, Nakashima was a pushover and incapable of sticking to the one agreement the courts bent over backwards to keep Murgatroid out of a witch-binding cuff and jail; she had to not practice magic for one year and after that, undergo a court-appointed training program to teach her how to manage the wild arts she so desperately wanted to practice.
Like me, Murgatroid was a hybrid, half-fae and half-human, but unlike me, she’d pulled some heavy mojo in the magical ability department. The problem was she lacked discipline and “good enough” was pretty much the motto she lived her life by. That might work well when making a taco but when trying to craft a ritual or cast a spell, good enough didn’t cut it and substituting spell components for things that were “close” or “kind of similar” often proved to be disastrous. For the most part, she’d done some harmless things; turning an old woman’s cat purple instead of repelling its fleas or concocting spark brownies to help a dorm of university students retain their studying before their finals only to have every single one of them sprout a pair of massive curled horns on either side of their heads and speak solely Welsh for two weeks until the spell wore off.
Minor things but ones that caught the Arcane Crimes’ notice and after a few quickly settled law suits, Murgatroid was banned from practicing magic without further structured lessons.
A judgment she’d ignored.
The final straw came when she’d accidentally descaled the Eastern Gate dragon, leaving it pink, naked and pissed. Already grumpy by nature, the Eastern Old Lizard went on a rampage, destroying three buildings and eating a city bus before a wandering busker calmed her down with spell-infused serenade. Harming a protected species comes with a hefty price and Murgatroid was destined for cuffs, a small cell and possibly an all porridge diet when Nakashima begged to give her one last chance.
And they did. Except now I had three dead cooks, a matching set of good luck charms and a squish of slightly venomous aerial squids suddenly killing people left and right…and I could lay it all at Murgatroid’s dainty feet.
“Sir, it’s important.” I kept my tone level but there was a sense of urgency I needed the judge to hear. “I’ve got three victims lying in buckets at the Chinatown morgue and God knows how many else are out there we just haven’t found yet. Angus’ signature is all over the charms we found on these people’s bodies so she’s connected in some way. I’m not saying she killed them but she might be able to give me something to go on.”
He stood still, a wrinkled balding statue in the middle of a vegetable garden damp from the light mist falling down on us. A few feet away, the moa ?ula hiwa snored, a miniature off-tune pipe organ of ruffling feathers and smoke tendrils rising from the tips of their tucked in flaming wings. I don’t know why he kept that breed of moa. Their meat was inedible, tasting of ash and pumice, and every unfertilized egg they lay was cooked by the time it hit the nest. So unless the judge had an immense fondness of hard-boiled egg diet, a flock of moa ?ula hiwa was pretty useless.
But then the same thing could be said about my keeping Bob the Cat and I didn’t even have a hard-boiled egg to toss into my saimin at the end of the day.
“Three?” He finally asked, plaintive and soft.
“Three.” I wasn’t going to pull any punches so I added. “That I know of. Could be more. Each of the victims have a token she charmed for wealth and prosperity then received a delivery of rainbow-swirl airsail squids. Normally not deadly to fae or human but something in the spell, something she’d put on the charms amplifies their toxins. One good bite and then… well, there’s not much left of them but soup and a few brittle bones. So, sir, if you can tell me where I can find her, I’d really appreciate it.”
A crackle of far off thunder startled one of the chickens and it woke up, its comb alert and sparking as it looked around. Tsking softly to it, the judge crouched down, lightly stroking at its neck to settle it down. Without glancing at me, he sighed then murmured in a sad and defeated voice, “She is at the Yoshinaki Market, stall 431. She should be there until three this afternoon.”
“Yoshinaki Market?” My stomach twisted, knotting with a dread I didn’t want to acknowledge but when the old man nodded, there was no denying my panic. Yoshinaki was a typical Asian market on the surface but if you knew who to ask, there was a hell of a lot more to buy there than fish, vegetables and touristy crap. “You have to be licensed to sell spell craft items there. What the… how the hell did they let her have a stall? She’s… Pele’s hair… she’s not even supposed to be practicing.”
“She’s not selling magic… or at least not out in the open. People know her. Sometimes they ask for… things,” he shrugged, apologetic but his gaze was firm, refusing to back down from supporting his granddaughter. “Her boyfriend has a food stall there, mostly seafood, but… the one thing he is know for is… his grilled squid tacos. And the ones he likes to use, are the same kind that is killing those people.”
Follow the whole story on the Dim Sum Asylum Tour:
June 1 Rainbow Gold Reviews
June 2 Sinfully Gay Reviews
June 5 MM Goodbook Reviews
June 6 Joyfully Jay
June 7 It’s About the Book
June 8 Love Bytes
June 9 The Novel Approach
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that’s running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart… even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.
About Rhys Ford
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series, including Murder and Mayhem, a 2016 LAMBDA finalist. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
- Rhys’ Blog: www.rhysford.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhys.ford.author
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rhys_Ford
Rhys has brought a $20 ebook store gift certificate to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday June 9th at 11:59 pm EST.
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