Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


RJ Blain
Grave Affairs
Following an accusation of being a necromancer with no way to prove her innocence, Detective Kirani Kinsley Ramons turns in her badge and flees to Dragon Heights, Wyoming for a fresh start. In Miami, few understand the difference between a necromancer and the descendant of dragons. In Dragon Heights, nobody cares. With weekly rains of unusual composition, dragon-kin and human alike vying for the right to become the next dragon in town, and magic lurking around every turn, there is no better place for Kinsley to hide her skills and history. But when the local brothel workers are attacked and the bodies of would-be dragons begin showing up with alarming frequency, Kinsley revisits her past and makes the painful decision to hunt the hunter for the sake of her neighbors and new friends. With her trusty carbunclo kitten at her side, she delves into the dark world of dragons and the city they call home to catch those behind the attacks before they can strike again. What she doesn’t know may awaken the sleeping beast, forever changing her destiny.
In Daniels’s playful and inventive urban fantasy debut, a young former police detective is forced out of quiet anonymity in the Wyoming town of Dragon Heights when brothel workers in her neighborhood begin suffering attacks. When she faced accusations of necromancy, Kinsley Ramons chose to flee the magic-hating city of Miami rather than risk shaming her fiancé Eric or harming his career as he ascended the police ranks. As the child of two dragons, Kinsley chose to take her chances in magic-friendly Dragon Heights, she takes on magical bounty work while renting an apartment from a local madam.

Set in 2167, the story quickly upends Kinsley’s broke and hungry status, as connections she’s begun forging among powerful locals plus some lucky events—including a bond with a rare and delightful cat-like creature called a carbuncle—find her smothered in wealth and goodwill, risking unrelatability. Kinsley, though, insists on making her own way and proving her competence and independence, though her investigation at times seems to take a backseat to her indulgent friends and family and the antics of her slowly increasing menagerie of magical pets. Readers on board with such fun, and the fantasy of wealth, will have a ball.

A rekindled romance with her fiancé is played more as a running gag than a source of tension or emotional connection, and both author and protagonist seem to relish making him jump through hoops for Kinsley. But while the procedural and romantic elements are secondary, Daniels excels at joyous invention, offering a charming guided tour of a magical future where dragons are social juggernauts, magical kittens are gluttons for mashed potatoes, and plagues of butterflies or hummingbirds are just another Friday. This is perfect for readers who want a bit of magic and a touch of danger to spice up their indulgence fantasies.

Takeaway: Cozily inventive urban fantasy bursting with fun magic and characters.

Comparable Titles: Lauretta Hignett, Jenna Wolfhart.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A