Today I am so pleased to welcome M.A. Church to Joyfully Jay. M.A. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Shadow’s Embrace. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

Shadow's embrace banner


Hey, everyone, my name is M. A. Church. Recently I was asked what was the inspiration for the Daemons of San DeLain series, and the answer is kind of funny. So, before I answer that, I should mention that until here recently, I wasn’t into buying pre-made covers. Oh, I looked at them, but none ever caught my fancy… until one did, lol.

I bought it, and suddenly the floodgates opened! I ran across several I liked and bought them too. Because of course I did. I went from having no pre-made covers to having more than I knew what to do with. I swear, it’s addictive.

The cover for Chasing Shadows was a pre-made. Within seconds of seeing it, an idea took root, and I knew I had to have it. I also met a new cover artist! I had been wanting to write a story about demons, and to me, this pre-made fit what I was looking for. It was pretty obvious that the cover model was turning into some sort of creature, since he had black veins running across his face.

Well, the demons turned into daemons—a paranormal who wears a human façade and can use the shadows as portals. A nickname for them is shadow demon. Before I knew it, a whole paranormal community came into existence and was based in San DeLain, California.

There are the merfolks, werewolves, vampires, dragons, and gargoyles, just to name a few of the paranormal running around there.

And hunters. Did I mention the hunters? Oh! There’s also an organization who is kidnapping paranormals in order to obtain their DNA so they can inject it into humans to make super soldiers. And you won’t believe who is running this whole show! I’ll give you a hint—it’s not a human, lol.

The main characters of Chasing Shadows are Austin and Kage. Kage, of course, is my daemon, and he’s the monster under Austin’s bed when Austin was a child. My human, Austin, is well aware paranormals exist. In fact, he makes a living writing about it.

Shadow’s Embrace is book #2 and releases January 13th which seems kind of poetic since there are definitely things that go bump in the night in this series. Book #2 also follows Kage and Austin, as will the final book.

But just because that series ends, does not mean the ongoing saga of San DeLain is over. After the daemon series will be the Dragons of San DeLain. The final set of books in this world will be the Gargoyles of San DeLain.

After that, we’ll have to see where my muse takes me!

Preorder badge


“Beliefs about dragons vary considerably through regions,” Kage said, smoothly shifting lanes. “But dragons in western cultures have often been depicted as winged, horned, four-legged, and capable of breathing fire. Sounds like the Fire Court, doesn’t it?”

“Well, considering I haven’t seen someone in dragon form, I wouldn’t know,” Austin pointed out. “I’d love to change that.”

“That’s right, you haven’t seen Hudson in his natural form—just partially shifted. One day you might be allowed to witness a dragon shifting.”

“That would be fabulous. And probably terrifying.”

Kage checked the rearview mirror before speaking. “I’ve seen Hudson in his natural form, and they are daunting. The partial shift you saw that night you were almost kidnapped was just that, a partial.”


“Yes. Honestly, it was hardly even a partial. They have another humanoid form with even more dragon-like features. That one is almost as scary as the dragon itself.”

“Another form? Right. Right. Yeah, I remember Hudson’s eyes that night looked like a cat’s—the pupil was slitted.” Austin sighed fondly. “That was certainly a night to remember.”

“I agree.”

“I mean, I almost got kidnapped, I finally got to meet you, I found out what you are, you almost kissed me while yelling at me, and I learned dragons exist.” Austin ticked off each one on his fingers.

“I think you were more excited about finding out dragons exist than meeting me.”

Austin poked Kage in the shoulder. “Don’t be ridiculous. The whole reason I was almost kidnapped was because I was trying to get information about you. Finding out about dragons was just a happy coincidence.”

Kage chuckled. “Please make sure you tell Hudson he was a happy coincidence. I’d pay good money to see the look on his face.”

“Yeah, no. Do I look stupid? He’s a dragon.”

“Overgrown lizard, you mean.”

Austin snorted, choked, and spluttered out a laugh. “Oh my God.”

“Anyway, speaking of dragons, the Fire Court dragons are winged, horned, four-legged beasts who breathe fire. They can be all red or a blend of reds, yellows, and oranges and they have control over all types of fire. They also love to fight and are the most powerful of the dragons.”

“Wait, they have control over all fire?” Austin goggled. “They can do more than just breathe fire?”

“Remember, dragons are magical creatures, so yes, they can conjure fire in any form.”

Austin bounced in his seat. “Any form of fire or any form the dragon happens to be in?”


“Both? That’s amazing.”

“Uh-huh. I guess. On the other hand, ask Hudson how many things he set on fire while learning to use that talent.”

“While I think having control over fire is certainly a handy ability, I also think what you do is much more fascinating. You saved us when we went over that cliff, after all. Fire wouldn’t have been any help then.”

Kage pursed his lips. “Sounding jealous, was I?”

“Just a tad.” Austin rested his hand on the console, palm up.

Kage immediately joined their hands together. “Sorry. The more primitive side of me gets stirred up when I hear you admiring another male’s ability. Even if that male is my best friend.”

“I invested seventeen years of my life in the monster under my bed, Kage. A little fire breathing isn’t going to lure me away or turn my head. Just saying.”

Kage lifted their hands and kissed Austin’s knuckles. “I know. It’s a ridiculous reaction.”

“Hey, I get it. I see how men and women look at you. Makes me want to scratch their eyes out.”

“I’m not really sure why I’m reacting in this way. I know Hudson is no threat to our mating. Neither are his dragons. They know I’ll drop them in the nearest volcano if they even touch you without your permission.”

“Good Lord. And also? There will be no sacrificing anyone to the volcano gods.”

“I’ll do my best.”

Copyright © 2023 M.A. Church


Kage: Am I still a monster? Very much so. Am I loved? Absolutely. Will I burn it all down to protect my mate? You better believe it. Hunters have come to San DeLain once again, and they’re targeting humans and paranormals for their sick experiments. Many have gone missing. Some for many, many years. Then new information comes to light, and plans are made to raid their top-secret lab and bring home those taken.

But no one is safe, especially Austin.

In the midst of all this, an old flame returns, bringing chaos into their lives. But not all is as it appears to be.

Austin: Kage is still my monster, even if he’s no longer under my bed. I claimed him, and no flame from the past is going to take what’s mine. But the ex isn’t the only danger lurking in the shadows. The hunters have struck close to home, and something heartbreakingly evil is exposed, shocking the paranormal community.

Especially Kage.

What is real? And what is nothing more than a mimic of the real thing?

Buy Link: Amazon


M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market or watching her beloved Steelers. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children.

She is a member Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.


M.A. has brought a copy of both books in the Daemons series to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, January 15th at 11:59 pm ET.


  • 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.
FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post
%d bloggers like this: