July 3, 2014

Blog Tour ~ Sacrificial Muse by Maegan Beaumont ~ Guest Post & Giveaway

Author Maegan Beaumont has become an absolute favorite of mine since I read her first book Carved in Darkness last year. It has been an honor to read, review and help promote her follow up book, Sacrificial Muse - I hope this tour intrigues you enough that you will pick up her books and give them a read!

There are lots of great blogs participating with Guest Posts, Author Interviews and more, so please check them all out (schedule at bottom of page) - and of course, be sure to enter the fabulous giveaway!

Fade to Black

A few months after I signed with my agent, I flew to Chicago for his agency’s annual client conference. It was my first time attending, having only been picked up officially that August, so I was a bit out of my depth. I was in a strange city full of complete strangers. I had absolutely no idea where I was going or who I was going with. If you know me at all then, you know that these are things that usually send me into a tailspin… but I maintained. I kept it together. I did not hide in my hotel room until it was time to check out.

I was very proud.

As we were waiting for the train to take us into the city for dinner, I listened to people talk—“Hi, I’m blah, blah. Blah, blah has been my agent for 2 years.”
“Oh, I know you. My name is blah, blah. I’m with blah, blah.”
(not trying to be disrespectful—just don’t want to use names… or maybe I just don't remember them.)
“So, what's your name and who are you with?”
It took me a few seconds before I realized someone was talking to me.
“Ah… My name is Maegan Beaumont and I’ve been with Chip for a few months.”
I sounded like I was introducing myself at an AA meeting, but I managed to get the words out without any nervous stuttering.

Again—I was very proud.

Suddenly, the young woman standing in front of me whirled around and after a few seconds of scrutiny, said, “You’re Maegan Beaumont?”

Oh. God. What did I do? The juvenile delinquent in me was screaming—No. No you are not. Deny, deny, DENY!!


She smiled. “I joined the agency the same week Chip received your manuscript and it was the first thing he gave me to read. I couldn’t get past the first five pages. I still think about it,” she said. “I’m pretty sure it scarred me for life.”
I didn’t know what to say. What did that mean? Was it really that bad? Before I could say anything, she saved me from imploding.
“Oh, no. It was really, really good… but it was too intense for me,” she said. “Most writers have this fade to black moment where they choose to leave the rest of a graphic scene to the reader’s imagination. I kept reading your work, waiting for the fade to black… but it kept going. I kept reading, waiting for it. Fade to black… I kept thinking, when is it going to fade to black? Fade to black. Dear God—FADE TO BLACK!!” She mimed flipping through pages, her eyes as wide dinner plates.

She stopped and smiled at me. “I took it back to Chip and said, “It’s really, really good and really, really disturbing. Here you go—you should read it. And now you’re here.”
I had no idea what to say—again. I felt like an apology was in order but I swore to myself a long time ago that I’d never apologize for anything that I’d written. Maybe I should offer to pay for her therapy…

She turned out to be the one person I really connected with in Chicago. We split a pizza and she admitted that I was nothing like what she expected. I took it as a compliment. We really didn’t talk about my work again (although, she did ask me if my husband was afraid to go to sleep around me...) but her reaction has stuck with me. Nearly two years later and I still think about it.

Fade to Black.

I’ve tried writing that way but it felt… almost like a lie. What I’d put on paper was not what I really wanted to say—the problem was, what I really wanted to say was pretty freakin’ disturbing. I was worried what my family would think. I was worried how, if it was ever read by the general public, I’d be regarded (remember, nice girls don’t write about torture…). Would the parents of my children’s friends think I’m a depraved lunatic and keep their kids away from mine?
I was afraid of offending someone. I was afraid of disappointing everyone. I was afraid of what people would think.

I was afraid.

But you can’t write with fear—not if you want write with honesty and passion and all the things that make a book worth reading. Good writing isn’t always pretty or pleasant. It isn’t about what people want to hear. It’s about what you have to say. As soon as I realized that, I was able to let go of all that worry and doubt and just write. Instead of fading to black, I kept the lights on. I threw open the doors and windows and wrote.
And what I wrote scared me. Not the actual content… but it scared me that the words came from me so easily.  That I was able to go there without any real effort at all. I felt the strong desire to delete it off the page before anyone else saw it. I didn’t. I considered cutting it from the book. I didn’t do that either. I’ve come to recognize that feeling this way is a sign that I’ve written something that will affect people. And if we’re not affecting people with our words, then what’s the point?

Truth is, there’ll always be people who will be offended. There will be some who are disappointed or disturbed by the things I write. Who will see me differently. Who will build pre-conceived notions about what I’m really like. And as much as I wish it weren’t so, I can’t let any of that dictate what I write. I’ll go crazy if I do…

So write what you want. Say what you need to say, in the most honest way possible. Don't let fear or doubt decide what you put on paper. You deserve better than that, and so does your reader.

Fade to black. Or not...

It's totally up to you.

Title: Sacrificial Muse
Maegan Beaumont
Release Date:
July 8th 2014

Publisher: Midnight Ink
Add to Goodreads
Read my review here
Sabrina opened the red envelope and saw one word...

 Mox. Soon.

After learning the identity of the serial killer behind her 83 horrific days of rape and torture, Sabrina Vaughn has suffered more physical and emotional wounds than she can handle. Despite reeling with pain both old and new, Sabrina is given a second chance as a San Francisco homicide detective. But as reporters dog her every step and hordes of mail pour into her office -- from supporters and nutjobs alike--Sabrina falls deeper into a pit of humiliation and anxiety. When nine red roses repeatedly show up on her desk, followed by an ominous red envelope addressed to Calliope, Sabrina realizes that a new killer is targeting her. She is his chosen muse, and the Fates require sacrifice.

“Are you hurt?”
Eight months gone and that’s all he had? It was a stupid thing to say and the look she gave him told him so. Michael shifted in his boots, forcing himself to meet her gaze directly. 
“You really shouldn’t be here,” she said, her expression carefully schooled into a look so passive she made the Dalai Lama look like a rage-drunk lunatic. He’d seen that expression before—it was usually followed by a severe ass-kicking.
Still, he pushed her, hating the panicked edge he heard in his voice. “Answer me—are you hurt?”
Sabrina tossed the gun onto the bed. Another bad sign. The last time she’d disarmed herself in front of him she’d rabbit-punched his kidneys so hard he’d pissed blood for three days. “No,” she said, crossing the room, her confident stride interrupted by a slight limp she tried hard to hide. Each footfall that brought her closer felt like a kick in the gut—a reminder of just how much his need for revenge had cost her. She reached past him to yank the curtains closed, letting her gaze drop to the envelope in his hand. “You went through my jacket.”
“Sure did. Who’s Calliope?”
Her eyes narrowed just a bit, enough for him to know he was pushing it. “Didn’t your mother ever teach you that reading other peoples’ mail is rude?”
He shrugged. “Nope. She was too busy fishing me out of the drunk tank and nursing me through withdrawal to sweat the small stuff. Who’s Calliope?”
“I am,” she said, going for the envelope in his hand.
He’d been afraid of that. He held it out of reach. “What does it say?”
Her hand snapped out and latched onto the envelope and pulled but he held on. “Coming here was stupid.”
“I know… and I’m getting a bit tired of repeating myself.”
She pulled again, shaking her head. “It doesn’t matter. It’s nothing.”
Nothing doesn’t usually come written in Latin, on handmade paper.”
“Nothing or not, it’s got nothing to do with you.” She pulled again. This time he let her take it, suddenly very much aware all that stood between them was ten inches of space and a bath towel.
He shifted his gaze to the pile of clothes she’d left on the floor. “There’s blood on your jacket. Are you sure you’re okay?”
She shook her head. “It’s not mine,” she said without offering further explanation, stepping around him to get to the other side of the bed. There, she picked up her SIG and stowed it in its holster before dropping it on the nightstand, the envelope along with it. “You didn’t come here to do a welfare check, O’Shea,” she said over her shoulder, giving him a side view of her face and neck as she rifled through the duffle on the bed before pulling out a flimsy wad of black fabric. “So, what do you want?”
Great question. One he didn’t have a ready answer for. Especially when what he wanted and what he was allowed to have were two completely different things. He took a mental step back, distancing himself from her and the messy tangle of emotion seeing her brought up. “I need to talk to you about—”
He’d seen her naked before. Spent six weeks in this very room watching every move she made and he’d done it with an almost Zen-like level of detachment. He’d viewed her in parts—torso, shoulders, legs, back—she’d been a promise he’d made. A means to an end. Nothing more.
This time, when she dropped the towel, he didn’t see parts—he saw her and it was enough to stop him cold. “Jesus,” he hissed, averting his eyes to the lamp on the table next to her.
“You came here to talk to me about Jesus?” she said as she wound her long wet hair into a bun, tucking its tail into the coil to hold it in place. Somehow, with her hair up, she seemed even more naked.
Her tone drew his attention and he found himself looking at her again. “No,” he said, nailing his gaze to hers. “I want to talk to you about Jaxon Croft,” his tone harder than he intended.
She stepped into a pair of shorts, if you could call them that, smoothing them over her hips before she reached for the second wad of fabric and shook it out. Her full breasts swayed gently, drawing his attention for a split second before he looked away. He could see her movements in his peripheral as she gathered up what he hoped to God was a shirt and pulled it over her head.
“Croft? What about him?” she said, drawing his attention again. This time she was clothed and settled on the bed, cross-legged, using the towel to squeeze excess water from her hair.
“He was in Jessup a few weeks ago, asking questions about me. And you.” he said, coming around the side of the bed to stand in front of her.
“I know,” she said, giving him a quick glance. “It started the day after I woke up in the hospital.” She arched an eyebrow at him, giving him a cynical smile. “He’s very… persistent.
“He follows you?”
She leaned over and reached into her duffle, pulling out a comb. “Everywhere I go,” she said as she ran the comb through her long hair.
He felt something ugly crawl around inside his chest. Something impulsive and ruthless. Something that’d lead him to put two in the back of Croft’s head without a moment’s hesitation if he let it go unchecked. “Has he approached you?”
She stopped combing. “Approach? Has Croft approached me?” She shrugged. “I guess you could say that.”
Something about her tone stiffened the back of his neck. “What did he say to you?”
“Oh, you know—blah, blah, blah, I’m blackmailing you—blah, blah, blah.” She said it so nonchalantly that it took him a second to comprehend what she was saying.
“Is Croft why you’re here instead of home?”
She stared at him for a moment as if trying to decide how much of her life was his business and he was suddenly sure she’d tell him to mind his own. Instead she looked away, down at something on the nightstand. The note card he’d found in her jacket pocket. She shrugged. “Val asked me to leave,” she said, finally looking at him again. “Things have been… difficult for us since I’ve been back.” She said it like she’d been on a business trip instead of abducted and shot by her own brother. “But the situation with Croft certainly isn’t doing me any favors.”
“What does he want?”
She shrugged. “You. He’s got this silly idea that I know your deep, dark secrets and he’s given me thirty-six hours to decide who I’m going to throw under the bus—you or Strickland.” Despite her blas√© attitude, he could see it. She was scared and pissed off—a dangerous combination where Sabrina was concerned. 
“I don’t understand. What did Strickland do?”
She gave him a sad smile. “The usual. He trusted me.”
He jammed his hands into his pockets while fighting to keep from looking away. “So… which one of us is getting run over?” Strickland was her partner. He’d stuck it out, risked his career to help her. He’d been there for her in ways that he never had been and never could be. It was simple: Strickland had earned her loyalty and he hadn’t.
“Neither of you. Croft gave me thirty-six hours to make up my mind. That’s all the time I need to make things right.”
It took him a moment to realize what she was saying. Whatever her plan was, it ended with her in the lions’ den. He shook his head. “No. I won’t let you.”
“Really? And just how are you going to stop me, O’Shea?” She chuckled a bit. “You can’t. Not without exposing yourself.”
He said nothing, forcing his expression to remain neutral but the look on Sabrina’s face told him that she knew him better than he’d hoped.
“You can’t kill him.”
He met her gaze, surprised by the level of urgency he found there. It’d never occurred to him that she might actually care about what happened to Croft. The thought made fighting his ugly impulses harder than he would’ve imagined. “I’m pretty sure I can.”
She swiped a hand over her face before looking up at him. “If Croft turns up dead, I’m the first person who’s gonna get looked at. I have a perceived history of killing people who test my patience, remember?”
He remembered. The last time they were together, bodies started dropping and it was Sabrina who took the heat for it. Not something he’d be willing to risk again unless it was absolutely unavoidable. “Thirty-six hours? Why so long?” he said, lowering himself to the bed, cutting her a long look. “He’s got to know you’d find a way to wriggle off the hook.”
            “My guess? He’s hoping I use the time to call in the cavalry. Which is why your being here isn’t just a colossal waste of time, it also wasn’t your smarted move ever.” She set the comb aside and unfolded her legs, drawing her knees to her chest to prop her chin against them. “You should’ve phoned this one in, O’Shea. Or better yet, just trusted me to keep my mouth shut.”
He sighed, running a rough hand over the top of his head. “I need to know what he knows. How much he’s been able to dig up on me. If FSS has sprung a leak, I need to find it before Livingston Shaw does.” Because if Croft could connect him to Sabrina, so could the person feeding him information. If Shaw found out about Croft and his source, she was as good as dead. Or worse—much worse.
Sabrina shrugged. “He’s not much of a sharer when it comes to you. All he’s told me is you’re not someone worth protecting.”
Whatever Croft was, whatever he really wanted with him, the man was honest. He stared at her for a long moment, unsure of what to say. Finally he cleared his throat. 
“They never are, you know.”
 “Never what?” she said, tipping her face to rest her cheek against her knee.
“My moves. They’re never smart when you’re involved.” He fought the urge to look away from her, focusing on the way her long lashes brushed against the pale skin of her leg. “You have a way of making me do the stupidest things.”
Sabrina gave him a rueful smile. “I’d say I’m sorry but it’d be a lie, considering one of those stupid moves saved my life,” she said, skewering him with a dark blue gaze that caused his heart to pound, fast and uneven, against his chest. “I know it was you that day in the woods, not Carson. You promised you’d find a way back to me and you did. You saved me.”
Her words gnawed at him, razor-sharp teeth that sank in a bit deeper every time he breathed. On impulse, he reached over and wrapped a hand around her ankle to pull her leg flat against the bed. The movement revealed the scar he’d only caught a glimpse of so far, a raised, silver-dollar sized knot of hard tissue punched into the top of her thigh, a long-line incision running through the middle of it. The bullet must’ve shattered and they’d had to operate—
The second she realized what he was looking at, she tried to jerk her leg back but he held on, keeping it straight.
“Don’t,” he said quietly, running a slow hand up the length of her leg until it was parallel with her hip, skimming his fingers along the raised lump of rigid flesh. It was red, warm to the touch, as if it’d happened weeks ago instead of months. He imagined Wade standing over her, pulling the trigger. The terror and hopelessness she must’ve felt but would never admit to. “Whatever I did, it wasn’t enough.” It never was.
He let his fingers glide, finding smooth skin as he traced a feather-light touch along the inside of her thigh. He could feel a slight tremble, a quivering in her muscle along with a sharp intake of breath, soft and slow as she let it out. She dropped a hand to cover his where he touched her and for a second he was unsure if she would pull him closer or push him away.
“Michael, I—”
He forced himself to stop, leaning forward until his forehead rested against hers, relishing the feel of her breath against his face for a moment before he pulled his hand from under hers and stood. “I should go.” He shoved his hands into his pockets, not at all surprised when her face fell into its usually guarded expression. “I’m staying across the hall, won’t be here for more than a few days. I’ll try to stay out of your way and I’ll try my damnedest not to kill Croft while I’m here.” He felt his mouth quirk a bit.
“Is that a promise?”
He didn’t answer; just let his gaze drift to the note card on the nightstand beside her. Was it from a guy she was seeing? Probably that cop who had a thing for her, what was his name? Nickels. He’d looked like the kind of douche who’d write love letters in Latin. Just remembering his name was enough to make him homicidal.
But what did he expect? He’d left her and the cop hadn’t. It didn’t matter that he hadn’t had a choice or that he’d wished every second of every day that things could be different. The fact was, they weren’t and they never would be. She’d moved on—it wasn’t her fault he couldn’t do the same.
He cleared his throat, trying to dislodge the bitter lump that’d settled there. “Goodnight,” he said, forcing himself to finally turn and walk out the door.

From Sacrificial Muse by Maegan Beaumont. © 2014 by Maegan Beaumont. Used by permission from Midnight Ink Books, www.midnightinkbooks.com.

Book #1

Published May 8th 2013 by Midnight Ink
Add to Goodreads

Past horrors bleed into a present day nightmare

Fifteen years ago, a psychotic killer abducted seventeen year old Melissa Walker. For 83 days she was raped and tortured before being left for dead in a deserted church yard... But she was still alive.

Melissa begins a new life as homicide inspector, Sabrina Vaughn. With a new face and a new name, it's her job to hunt down murderers and it's a job she does very well.

When Michael O'Shea, a childhood acquaintance with a suspicious past, suddenly finds her, he brings to life the nightmare Sabrina has long since buried.

Believing that his sister was recently murdered by the same monster who attacked Sabrina, Michael is dead set on getting his revenge--using Sabrina as bait.

Maegan Beaumont is the author of CARVED IN DARKNESS, the first book in the Sabrina Vaughn thriller series (Available through Midnight Ink, spring 2013). A native Phoenician, Maegan’s stories are meant to make you wonder what the guy standing in front of you in the Starbucks line has locked in his basement, and feel a strong desire to sleep with the light on.
When she isn’t busy fulfilling her duties as Domestic Goddess for her high school sweetheart turned husband, Joe, and their four children, she is locked in her office with her computer, her coffee pot and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, and one true love, Jade.

July 3rd – 17th

Thursday 3rd July

Author Interview
Mythical Books

Review & Spotlight/Promo
The Book Reading Gals

Guest Post & Spotlight/Promo
The Book Faery Reviews

Angie’s Reading Dungeon
A Book Junky's Obsession
Loves All Things Books
K&S Book Blog
BabyCakes Book Blog
Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Bookworm Betties

Friday 4th July

Jodie's W.I.N.E. List

Saturday 5th July

Sexyways of Reading
Indy Book Fairy
Pinky's Favorite Reads

Monday 7th July

Interview & Spotlight/Promo
My Book Chatter

Guest Post & Author Interview
Writing Dreams

Review & Guest Post
Sarah Aisling

Best Books
Sweet Treat Reading Reviews
Here Is Some of What I Read
Who Picked This?
Cajun Book Lover

Tuesday 8th July

Guest Post & Spotlight/Promo
The Cavanaugh Connection

Review & Guest Post
Words I Write Crazy

Spotlight/ Promo
Some Like It Hotter

Wednesday 9th July

Review & Spotlight/Promo
Blue Chrysalis Book Promotions

Thursday 10th July

Author Interview & Spotlight/Promo

Review & Spotlight/Promo
MHZ Book Reviews and Giveaways

Guest Post & Spotlight/Promo
Kelly's Thoughts On Things

Friday 11th July

Romance With a Bang

Sunday 13th July

Kims Book Blog

Monday 14th July

Guest Post
To Read Or Not To Read

Tuesday 15th July

Guest Post & Spotlight/Promo
Amazeballs Book Addicts

Review, Guest Post & Spotlight/Promo

Book Talk Reviews
Book Friends Forever

Wednesday 16th July

Crystal's Many Reviewers

Thursday 17th July

Mad Love Book Blog

All Is Read with LexyPat

Any Date

There For You Editing


1 comment:

  1. generous treat! Ben and I really have pleasure making use of your recommendations in what we need to do in a months time. Our list is a mile long so your tips are going to be put to excellent use. call card

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