Interview: Jo Denning (Dead Blood City) ~ #BookTour #Excerpt

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Hello and Welcome All!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Jo Denning author of Dead Blood City.

Hi Jo, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

For those readers not familiar with you, would you please tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a reluctant millennial just trying to get by in this mid-apocalyptic world that we live in. I am a behavioral health therapist and licensed social worker by trade. I am also a vegetarian with one doting husband and two carnivorous cats.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I enjoy high fantasy epics and noir crime thrillers. I wanted to see if I could combine these two genres in a way that is appealing to readers. Thus Dead Blood City was born.

What do you do when you are not writing?

To be fair, most of my free time is devoted to writing stories about monsters gaslighting humans. But I can also be found playing RPGs as a backstabbing rogue and attempting to travel the world.

What are some books you have enjoyed recently?

I enjoyed the Solstice Huntress series by Lindsey Devin and the Demons of New Chicago series by Kel Carpenter. I love a solid urban fantasy series with political intrigue and a fresh take on myth and magic.

Tell us a few Fun Facts about your upcoming book?

Hush Hush City, the sequel to Dead Blood City, will release in spring of 2023. The next book in the Saoirse Reilly series explores other lesser known vampire myths as Alderisi struggles to maintain control of his territory. We also learn more about the mysterious Dr. Emrys Somerled. He and Reilly make an unlikely pair as he helps her control and grow her psychic abilities. Even with all that on her plate, Reilly must investigate the dysfunctional family of a recently murdered Boston Brahmin.

Give us insight into your main character(s).

Saoirse Reilly is a police detective with psychometric abilities. She can see the past by touching people or bodily matter, such as blood. Her visions result in her feeling out of place in pretty much every situation and she drinks heavily to dull this pain. Reilly is very loyal and empathetic. However, she is very hard on herself and has trouble communicating her feelings to others. She can easily come across as callous.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I most enjoyed writing Chapter 15: When the Trumpet Sounds. It offers the most insight into two of my favorite characters, Aiden Ward and Domenico Alderisi. Both have experienced abuse and tragedy but they deal with it in very different ways. These characters act as foils for each other and this chapter illustrates that well. I also enjoyed writing a first-hand perspective of the compulsion skill that readers have only heard a bit about up until that point.

Readers should read this book…

If they enjoy dark, fast-paced thrillers or urban fantasy novels with realistic character development. This book is about myth and magic. It’s definitely about crime and punishment. But, most of all, it is about the joys and sorrows of being human. I would be honored for any reader to join me on this journey to grow stronger in the face of suffering.

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.



Dead Blood City

Series: Saoirse Reilly, Book One
Author: Jo Denning
Publisher: Leabhar & Fola Publishing House
Pages: 333
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Crime Thriller
Release Date: January 21, 2021
Publisher: PIE Publishing / Awakening Resource Center, LLC
Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0-9858579-9-8; 329 pages; $15.99; E-Book, $5.99


“Drowning might be like going to sleep. It would be nice to sleep forever – leave everything behind in the waking world.”

Detective Saoirse Reilly commits to finding a missing child before dying by suicide. While investigating the kidnapping of Delaney Bascom, she is snared in the supernatural underbelly of Boston, Massachusetts. She will have to face her demons if she hopes to bring the girl home.

Reilly has the dubious support of Emrys Somerled, a forensic psychologist with a cellar full of secrets, and Domenico Alderisi, an impossibly youthful club owner with a bad habit. Meet these suspicious characters and more alongside Reilly as she begins to see the world for what it really is.

The blood moon is coming.

Will Reilly save the girl and find a reason to live?

Book Website – Amazon


“I’m sorry, Ma’am. Ma’am, you can’t go in there!” Finn’s alarmed voice jarred me out of the vision.

She pushed past him before I could make it to the door. I recognized her instantly. “Mrs. Bascom, you can’t be here,” I said as we collided.

“Where is my daughter? You are gonna let me in my own house or-” Delaney’s mother went silent when she saw it.

The blood.

We were close enough that I felt her sharp inhale. I felt more than that as she collapsed against me. Her pure horror bled into me. Cold sweat dampened my skin. My heart pounded faster and faster. I couldn’t breathe.

“Ma’am,” I choked out.

“Oh god, oh god, what happened to my baby?”

My hopes of getting some space from her and her many, many feelings were dashed. I went down with her, trying my best to stay present and support her. Her fingers burrowed into my skin as a sob disrupted her panicked rambling.

“I know. It’s okay.” I patted her back in some awkward rhythm while I babbled. I wasn’t sure if it was for my benefit or hers.

Mrs. Bascom pulled back. She looked beautiful even with her face crumpled in anguish. Her fragrance, coconut and chocolate, might have been pleasant under other circumstances. Paired with the syrupy copper in the air, it was enough to make me nauseous. The artificial light of the entryway illuminated the salt tracks on her face.

She clasped my hands in hers, and everything else faded away. The chorus of our breath was the only sound. We were one and the same. I saw Mrs. Bascom’s life through her own eyes and bore witness to the depth of her love for her daughter.


The nurse maneuvered my arms to cradle my newborn daughter just so. An unfamiliar emotion rushed through me—uncontainable love with an undercurrent of fear. But I felt certainty when I gazed into Hunter’s joyful eyes.

I felt fear when Delaney leapt off the swing set and pride when I realized my daughter was fearless. She would need to be brave to make it in this life. I felt rage when the doctor told us she would never go to college or work or find love. When he told us she would never be like ‘other people’ I knew he was wrong. He had to be wrong.

I felt despair when I saw Delaney’s tear-streaked terracotta skin. I told her ‘Black is beautiful, my Black is beautiful, your Black is beautiful.’

My heart overflowed when she placed in her school science fair. That was when I knew she would be alright.


Jo Denning is the author of the Saoirse Reilly series. She has spent her career as a behavioral health therapist supporting kids and teens who struggle with addiction. Jo began writing supernatural crime thrillers as a way of processing the traumatic things she has seen and heard. Her characters may be supernatural but their stories, their fear, and their pain are real. So, too, are their triumphs over impossible odds.

When she’s not writing, Jo enjoys baking, drawing, and watching trashy reality TV. She makes her home somewhere in the contiguous United States with her husband, one fluffy cat, and one barely domesticated cat.

Her latest book is the urban fantasy crime thriller, Dead Blood City: Saoirse Reilly Series Book One

You can visit her website at or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, TikTok and BookBub.




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I'm an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, animal & book lover. I'm the owner, reviewer & mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy & my favorite shifters are dragons.

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