Getting sooo close!

Two more days before Depth of Return is released! I can’t believe the summer of waiting for it is almost over. My blog tour is underway and I’m getting many wonderful comments on my posts. It’s so much fun hearing from new readers and old fans.

Two posts are up: click HERE and HERE

Three more posts to come — two next week and one the week after. Then I’m probably going to go into a serious let down, especially since we’ll be thinking about moving home from camp and I’ll have to admit that the cold white stuff that falls out of the sky that I won’t name right now is on the way.

I’m anxious as I always am before a release — will people like it? Will it get horrible reviews? Will people get what I was trying to do? Will anybody even buy it? Should I have done this, that, or the other? I have the eBook version, but I can’t even look at it because I get a sick feeling that I should have gone over it one last time before I sent it back to my editor. I know I’ll see things I NEED to change. But it’s too late. My print copies should be arriving shortly. (Though I expect that might be delayed — my publisher just got hit by a hurricane. They’re okay, but caution us that things are running slowly.)

It’s a tough thing to throw characters I’ve been nurturing for over a year out to the world to be picked apart by reviewers. I try to remind myself that it’s my book that’s being reviewed, not me. But the bottom line is that the two are one and the same.

And the strangest part is that since I write under a pen name, I can’t even talk about the fact that I’ve just published a novel with most of the people I know. (I work in a school and need to keep my other life private for obvious reasons.) I’ll have to pretend that nothing much happened over the long weekend, that I didn’t just do something that most people don’t do. I have published young adult fiction under another name, so my students know I’m a writer and my work is in the school library, but still, it’s hard.

But what I try to remember is that I’m doing what I love and I’m having success at it, and I’m have a new novel coming out on Monday and I AM SO EXCITED!

Reviews for Another Healing

Dreamspinner Press put together this page of reviews for Another Healing.

Readers love Another Healing
by M. Raiya

“I don’t believe I’ve ever had an overwhelming urge to immediately turn around and read a book again from cover to cover as soon as I finished it.”
—Hearts on Fire Reviews

“You will need to get this book because it is amazing and you will fall in love…”
—MM Good Book Reviews

“At the very heart is a lovely concept of not being judgemental and helping others.”
—On Top Down Under Reviews

“Very seldom does a book start out strong and continue that way to the end. This one does just that while providing love, friendship, angst, darkness, hope, fear, and mystery.”
—World of Diversity Fiction

This is the perfect time to get a copy if you don’t already have it, so you have a chance to read it before Depth of Return comes on September 5.

HERE is a link to my author page at Dreamspinner Press where you can find  Another Healing and preorder Depth of Return.

And HERE is a link to my author page on Amazon.


Blog Tour Schedule

Okay, I’m going on a blog tour!

I’ve had sooo much fun writing the posts and doing an interview and choosing the excerpts and taking some photos. I can’t wait until they go live and I can share them. But for now, here’s where I’m going to be:

August 29 — MM Good Book Reviews
September 2 — Prism Book Alliance (Interview)
September 7 — My Fiction Nook
September 8 — Love Bytes
September 13 — Dreamspinner Press Blog

I will put out links when they’re up. There will be drawings for a free book from my backlist at Dreamspinner Press and chances to chat with me about the topics I’ve chosen, or anything else. So exciting!

Depth of Return Excerpt

Today I want to share an excerpt from Depth of Return. This is the beginning of the novel, and it’s actually the first scene I wrote. I was just getting to know the characters, too. That’s how I usually work — I just get an idea and the characters’ names in my head and jump right in.
All I knew for sure when I started was that North was a very, very talented witch and that he’d been hurt by the last student he trained. I also knew that he was grumpy on the outside and kind on the inside. I knew that Alan had just found out he was a demon and was very confused about the whole thing. Pretty soon the characters had hold of me and took over, and before I knew it, I had a novel.
You can preorder it HERE

Chapter One
“WHO ARE you?”
The setting sun limned the man standing on the end of the dock in a reddish aura and shadowed his face inside the hood of his sweatshirt. I wasn’t getting any closer until I knew what the hell was going on, so I held my canoe offshore about twenty feet, which wasn’t easy in the choppy water. Typical for a summer Vermont day, the wind had picked up late in the afternoon.
The man raised a hand in greeting. “Mr. North? I’m Alan Holsen.”
Like hell he was. “I was expecting a kid.” There was a beat-up red car parked beside my old truck in the dirt parking lot, so I knew he’d driven himself there.
“What? I’m twenty-one.” He sounded honestly shocked that I expected otherwise. He pushed back his hood to reveal curly hair that looked red, but then, the sun was making everything look that shade. I couldn’t see any of his features. Given that he was standing on a dock above me, it was possible he wasn’t as tall as I initially thought, but no way was this guy the ten-year-old demon who was supposed to be there. Arnold knew I preferred to train children. After my last disastrous result training an adult, I couldn’t believe my coven would send me another. What were they trying to pull on me? The text Arnold had sent the day before implied he’d be dropping off a kid. Bastard.
“You aren’t here to convince me to move back to town, are you?” I called. Town was miles away down the dirt road that ended in the tiny parking lot.
“Where’s your stuff?”
He turned so I could see he wore a backpack.
“Why did Arnold text that he was sending me a ten-year-old?”
“I don’t know. Autocorrect?”
Bullshit. “I never take anyone over fifteen.”
“I’m sorry,” he called back.
Sorry for me, or sorry for himself? I started to imagine the message I would send Arnold as I put my paddle back in the water and swung the bow of the canoe around. “Go home, Alan Holsen, and finish training with whoever started you.”
“No one has started me, Mr. North. I just found out.”
Was he kidding me? That must have been a hell of a shock, finding out that late that he was different from almost everyone else and that he was going to have to spend the rest of his life hiding a big secret. At twenty-one I had known for sixteen years that I was a witch. Training this guy would be even worse than taking over a job someone else had botched. He must’ve had the talent of a mealworm, not to have found out sooner. Caruthers could handle him just fine. “Go home, kid,” I called over my shoulder. “Good luck.”
I turned the canoe firmly and headed back toward my island. I would send Arnold a text as soon as I got home, and then I’d throw my damn phone in the pond.
I was so frustrated with my coven. They seemed to think they could foist everybody off on me with the excuse that I was so talented that I was obligated to teach the next generation. I didn’t mind a kid once in a while—preferably quiet ones who would shut up and do as I said—but not a guy that old. No way was that much testosterone coming into my cabin. No memories would awaken, thank you very—Holy shit.
A sea monster reared its head up out of the waves before me.
Good detail in the green scales, nice point of light in the red eyes, even drops of water coming off the horns. It opened its mouth and roared. The sound had good bass, but the highs were a little nasal. Tonsils looked impressive, and the tongue that snaked at me was perfectly forked. Huh. Maybe not a mealworm after all.
I conjured a dragon that swooped down out of the sky straight for the sea monster. In an instant, the monster dove and vanished with a lot of nice bubbles. I turned in my seat and raced my dragon, breathing a blast of fire, at the figure on the dock. The young man gazed at my creation until it vanished over his head.
“That was fantastic.” He pumped one hand into the air. “I could feel the heat.”
I snorted. I could have roasted him if I wanted to.
“Okay. Do you get seasick, like most demons?” I finally called.
“Absolutely not. I swear it.”
Damn. There went my last excuse. I could not stand the sight of anyone being sick. I growled under my breath and sent my canoe back toward the shore. I’d give him a week of my time. That was it. No more. It wasn’t my fault I had a soft spot for sea monsters.
But if the guy was lying and puked in my canoe, he was going overboard.

One Month To Go

In exactly one month, Depth of Return will be released! September 5 is the big day! I will be going on a blog tour to celebrate — stay tuned for details. So excited. Everything is on schedule and looking good. (It is also the same time the new school year will be starting for me and I’ll be moving my youngest daughter back to college, so if I become slightly hysterical, bear with me.)

Here is the tasty blurb to tantalize you all:

Betrayed and left for dead by his lover, North has retreated to a secluded island to nurture his coven of witches and their demon partners. His group uses the magic of starlight to bring as much peace to the world as they can. It is enough. North has no desire to look for love again.

When an accident on a carpentry job reveals he is a demon, Alan Holsen is sent to North for training. Alan possesses a rare healing ability—one he might be able to use to close the old wounds in North’s heart. While North teaches Alan magic, Alan teaches North to love again, and they both struggle with leftover resonance of their haunted pasts.

Just when they dare to relax, North’s old enemy returns, and sets his sights on Alan. To save him North must enlist the aid of neighboring covens, and he learns he isn’t as alone as he thought. But in the end, only North’s love for Alan and the power of the stars have any chance of saving them.