Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guest Post w/ Katalina Leon + giveaway!

Hey all! Please give a nice welcome to Katalina who is joining us at herding cats & burning soup today with a lovely guest post and excerpt from her book The Strix

Don't forget to leave her a comment to enter the giveaway!


I’m Katalina Leon and I want to introduce you to “The Strix” book one in the Bag Of Tricks book series co-authored with Amber Skyze.

This is the short Blurb:

“After drawing a piece of amber from a witch's wish bag, Arcona awakens to a past life as a vengeful Celtic witch - a Strix, who used blood and sex magic to get her way. She turned the gladiator Tyr into a bloodthirsty Slayer. Now Tyr wants his revenge…”

That’s how The Strix starts but it soon gets so much more complicated. The Strix explores a few of my favorite themes chiefly that love is bonding and eternal, and we have lived before.

I feel deeply drawn to the age of the Roman Empire and all the drama it provides so this was a thread I found irresistible to follow.

The Strix is a vampire tale of enchantment gone terribly wrong but it’s also a story of redemption and connecting with our better angels. I loved that this story allowed me to write one woman’s two very different experiences, in two very different time periods with the same man.

Excerpt & Giveaway after the jump... 

(Arcona is in Salem speaking to witch Dame Bishop in the Silver Moon Scrying Shoppe. Dame Bishop speaks first. By the way Dame Bishop is named for Bridget Bishop the first victim of the 1692 Salem witch trials. In this story she’s one of the immortals.)

“Are you familiar with the legend of the Strix?”

“No.” Arcona shook her head, noting that the amulet was warming almost too quickly in her cool palm.

“You won’t find this myth in many books; few know or speak of the Strix. The Strix was a compilation of all ancient Rome’s guilty fears about the so-called barbarians they enslaved, punished, and brought under their own roofs as domestics, lovers, and lethal entertainment. The Strix combined fearful barbarian lore and Roman superstitions in a single horrific creature that traveled the night as a grotesque bird of prey, sucking the blood from innocent people and turning them against Rome.

“The Strix might start life as a worshipper of Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft and necromancy. She could be born Roman or Celtic and work as a healer, witch, or midwife, but somewhere along the way, hatred and the need for revenge against the oppressor corrupted the witch’s capacity for doing good. Rage and destruction took the place of healing acts. Stray witches made bargains with dark forces in exchange for the power to grant invincibility in battle to others, who in turn would walk the earth in violent wrath.”

Arcona grimaced. “The Strix sounds absolutely repulsive.”

“She isn’t, and by the way the Strix is always a she. The essence of Venus imbued the Strix with the power to seduce and sexually torment any young man she approached. She sought out strong, battle-worthy men. Her victims were powerless to refuse. At the climax of the sexual act, she’d drink their blood and send them into a violent rage. During these unnatural couplings, rarely but sometimes a male, Upir Likhyi, was created.”

Arcona was almost afraid to ask. “What’s an Upir Likhyi?” She struggled to pronounce the unwieldy words.

“It’s an old pagan Baltic term for wicked or foul vampire. It is a revenant, or undead soul, that seeks the thrill of blood sport and warfare. In ancient times many were recruited to secretly serve Mars.”

A shiver trembled up her spine. “We certainly don’t need any more of those violent, bloodsucking sorts hanging around, that’s for sure.” She laughed with nervous self-consciousness until she noticed Dame Bishop’s serious face. It was apparent she did not share the dismissive attitude.

Arcona struggled to compose herself. “I don’t mean to sound so disrespectful, because I love mythology too. It’s had a huge influence over human history, but myths are just a way to explain human desires and behavior. I’m a bit puzzled that you’re talking about the Strix as if it’s a real entity.”

Dame Bishop blanched. “It is a real entity. Make no mistake; every myth carries a grain of truth within. There are realms loosely tethered to this one far stranger than anything you can imagine. To say these realms are less real than ours is to profess the Earth is flat. It is a statement only the ignorant can speak freely.”

“I’m sorry.” Damn, she really put her foot in it. Arcona gently lowered the amulet back into its box. “Thank you for sharing this with me. It’s fascinating.”

She gazed at the skeletal bronze birds and strange craftsmanship one last time. “How exactly did you come across this? A rare artifact of this age seems like it should be safely stashed in a museum.”

“I agree.” Dame Bishop’s expression brightened. “Some associates of mine at the Universita di Roma know my interest in such things and were kind enough to allow me to examine the amulet.”

“I’m familiar with the University of Rome! My ex-husband once taught there. Who are your contacts; perhaps I know them?”

“I highly doubt it.” Dame Bishop’s mouth drew tense. “My colleagues are very private people.” Her gaze dropped toward the amulet. “Tomorrow it’s headed to the Smithsonian in an armored car. I just wanted to share it with one last soul before it continued on its journey to lie locked away in some sterile vault until the curators can figure out what to do with it.”

A heightened gleam shone in Dame Bishop’s eyes as she lifted the amulet from the box and held it toward Arcona. “Why don’t you try it on? Just to see what it feels like.” A sly smile crossed her lips. “This is a bit of living history. You may never get an opportunity like this again.”

Something about the amber riveted Arcona’s attention. The center of the amulet was translucent and glowed like a fiery ember. Against her better judgment about carelessly handling antiquities and possibly ill-gotten property, she reached for the leather thong and looped it around her neck.

The amulet hung heavy and prominent atop her breasts. Arcona glanced downward. This was a big, bold piece of ornamentation obviously meant to immediately identify its wearer as a witch who had wandered over to the dark side.

A loud knock pounded on the front door of the shop.

Arcona started.

“Excuse me.” Dame Bishop pulled the curtain to the back room aside. “Let me see who’s at the door.”

(Guess who’s at the door, could it be an enraged gladiator?)

The Strix is not for the faint of heart, but if you enjoy gritty life challenging erotic adventures with brave women who kick ass and gorgeous men who know what they want, check out The Strix!

“Claimed By Dragons” a sizzling hot dragon-shifter ménage co-written with Amber Skyze is book 2 in the Bag Of Tricks book series. Claimed By Dragons will be available September 28th!

Thank you so much for having me as a guest.
XXOO Katalina Leon

Get Your Copy!

TITLE: The Strix (Bag of Tricks)
AUTHOR(S): Katalina Leon and Amber Skyze
LENGTH: 234 Pages
SUBGENRES: Vampire, Shapeshifter, Fantasy

A cursed amber amulet unearthed in Pompeii flings Arcona into a past life of witchcraft, bloodshed, revenge and sexual slavery to the cruel Master of a gladiatorial school. This violent parallel world is populated with “Slayers,” blood-drinking immortals devoted to the gods of war and mayhem.

As a Strix, or malignant witch, Arcona once used sex and blood rituals to create a race of immortal warriors to unleash on Rome. Now it’s time to pay.
The gladiator Tyr was one desperately lonely lover she betrayed. Against his will, she turned him into Upir Likhyi, a foul vampire. For two millennia he’s lived a grim existence as a Slayer, in constant sexual arousal yet denied release; now, he's pissed off and wants revenge. He kidnaps Arcona planning to drink her dry and break the curse. 
Along the way Arcona and Tyr relive their sexual slavery at the hands of Rome and blood sport in the arena, but the real magic is they forgive and fall in love.
Too bad another Slayer wants them dead.

About the Author:
My name’s Katalina Leon, I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Loose Id Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

 Alright you lovely followers! There's a fantastic giveaway going on with the Strix blog tour. 

What's up for grabs?
Two $15 Amazon Gift Cards! 

All you have to do is leave a thoughtful comment :)  So leave some love for Katalina & don't forget to leave your email address so we have a way of reaching you!


  1. Thank you for having me as a guest. I love burned soup, yum : )
    XXOO Kat

    1. lol. Thanks for coming over Katalina! Sorry about that soup ;)

  2. Holy moly. That cover. THAT COVER. I don't have an insightful comment because I am speechless. If the book is half as good as THAT COVER, then I will be one happy reader.

    1. Cupcake (btw, you sound yummy! lol) Don't you love that man's eyelashes? sigh. I sure do.

  3. LOL The cover is gorgeous cupcake. The book is all that and more. ;)

  4. Great excerpt, sounds like a fantastic book. Love the cover, very sexy. Thx for a great giveaway.

    blinkysthebest at aol dot com

    1. Lona Thank you! Valerie Tibbs was our cover artist. She's done some of Amber's other Loose Id Books and those books and their covers are excellent. "Adrift" is my favorite.

  5. Hi Katalina! Very hot cover! I love kick ass heroines! And a dragon shifter menage doesn't sound bad either! These sexy books are added to my to-read list! Thanks for the awesome excerpt and for the chance to win!
    ehaney578 at aol dot com

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! The Bag Of Tricks series is packed with surprises, and lots of erotic thrills, I guarantee it. We wanted to create dense, sense-rich fantasy worlds for the reader to explore.

  6. This book sounds fantastic! Right up my alley of what I find enjoyable in a book. Great cover as well, it's as though it's pulling me in. Every time I look at it I see something different. Thanks for this giveaway :)

    1. Hi Cathy! have you seen the trailer yet? Real flying dragons ; )

  7. Love the blurb and excerpt, =) can´t wait for a chance to read more!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    best wishes & Happy Thursday!

    1. Thank you Linda! Happy Thursday to all!

  8. Gotta love a women who can kick ass. ;-)
    Bests of luck with the book.

    1. Thank you Renald, I like writing smart women who do everything right and still get pulled into trouble. I'm pretty hard on my characters. They might kick my ass if they ever catch me ; )

  9. Congrats on your release of BOTH books in the bag of tricks series!!

  10. Can't wait to pick this book up, it sounds fantastic. Congrats on the release :)
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  11. This book sounds fantastic!

    I am curious though, how does co-authoring work? I've seen books that are co-authored that have each author writing a different character's POV but I didn't see anything similar to that in the excerpt here. Did you split the parts of the book and then edit each other or sit down and actually write together? Sorry, I'm just curious as to how that process works.

    Thanks for having such a great giveaway!

    dmr8888 at yahoo dot com

    1. I always wonder about that too Alicia. Especially when they don't live near each other. Always interesting.

  12. Great excerpt!! I want moooooore!! :) I agree with all cupcakes, that cover is H-O-T! Hey, I know what I want! Can I have that man on the cover, please? Thanks!
    lissette_125 AT hotmail Dot es

  13. Wow, that blurb is incredibly intriguing. I love that it sounds like nothing I've read before. I'm always looking for something fresh.

    Jyl22075 at

    1. Love finding something new and unique too Jyl!

      Happy reading!

  14. Thank you for this giveaway! :)
    holliister at gmail dot com

  15. This sounds like a great book Thank you so much for the great giveaway!
    Latisha D

  16. Wow, this sounds like an amazing read and I'm so loving the cover! Cannot wait to get my hands on this

    Jolene A


  17. I now see that I'll have to fight for the man candy on the cover!
    Rome + hot guy + sexy scenes: me, devoring the book in one day! LOL! Congrats on your release Katalina and thank you so much for the giveaway! ^_^


  18. So mean to leave the excerpt at such an intriguing point. I've already spent my book budget for the month and now I really want this book.

  19. This book sounds really good. I enjoy redemption stories.

  20. Ancient backdrop, anti-heroes and heroines, and sexual tension that shows up just in the description? This sounds like a great book!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, and for doing a giveaway!


    a.sangreyblack at gmail dot com

  21. Great cover - I love redemption stories. Thanks for the contest.

    Good luck with the book.

  22. This sounds like a great book would love to read it!
    Thank you for the great giveaway!
    Latisha D

  23. Awesome cover! and the book sounds amazing! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  24. Great excerpt! And The Strix sounds interesting - especially since it seems to explore a non-traditional mythological/supernatural creature. Looks good.



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