Hello folks! Today I am pleased to not only kick off Amy Lee Burgess's Buy the Book Tour for her newest book in her WOLF WITHIN SERIES, but also host her on the day that ABOUT FACE is to be released! Cool title, huh? So without further ado, heeeere's Amy!

Today I’d like to talk about romance.  Liam Murphy and Stanzie Newcastle’s romance in particular. When I set out to write the first novel in the Wolf Within series, Beneath the Skin, I knew it would be a paranormal romance, but I wanted it to be different than other shifter novels I’d read.

Most of them have one guy/one girl and a mating bond that they recognize when they first meet and they can’t fight.  I wanted to try something different and I also wanted my hero and heroine to be in their thirties and thought it would be fun to try my hand at second-chance love. 

Both of them lost their first bond mates to accidents.  Stanzie’s bond mates, Grey and Elena, were killed in a car crash on Stanzie’s thirtieth birthday.  She was driving and was left feeling enormously guilty and grief-stricken as you can imagine.  Her pack, Riverglow, was unsupportive and she was brought before a tribunal. Although she was cleared of the charges of driving under the influence and killing her bond mates, Riverglow threw her out anyway and she went to Boston where she spent two years living in exile away from everyone Pack. 

Liam Murphy’s bond mate, Sorcha, fell down the stairs at her workplace and died of the injuries.  She was four months pregnant and Liam had to deal with that loss as well. His pack, Mac Tire, supported him, but he left anyway to live in Belfast and grow vegetables in his back garden while he tried to cope with his overwhelming grief.

Now some people say there should be a happily ever after ending to all paranormal romances. I don’t believe that. While I don’t advocate unhappy endings, I’m a firm supporter of the Happily For Now style, especially in a series that follows the same character. You want some dramatic tension, don’t you?  Romance ups and downs provide some great tension and a fantastic opportunity to layer and build the characters. 

Here is where I admit I did not set out to write a series. Beneath the Skin was a NaNoWriMo novel – one I was determined to finish in fewer than one hundred thousand words and submit to Lyrical Press for publication.  I’d been writing for years, but my novels to that point were epic tales at least four hundred thousand words long and I knew that was way too big to try to submit to a publishing house. 

But once I finished Beneath the Skin and it was thankfully accepted by Lyrical, I realized I could write a series. Stanzie’s voice was fresh in my head and there seemed to be lots of stories to tell, especially since I’d set it up that she and Murphy were Advisors to Councilor Jason Allerton and poised to go on investigations and adventures for the Great Council.

The reason I didn’t give Beneath the Skin a Happily Ever After ending was because I thought that since the novel’s timeline covered barely more than a week, it was far too soon for Stanzie and Murphy to fall in love. Instead, they fell in like and realized how lonely they’d been without their packs and, especially in Stanzie’s case since the series is told from a first person perspective, that maybe she really is ready to not just love again, but live. 

I’ve pretty much broken the Happily Ever After Rule in every novel so far.  The third novel, Hidden in Plain Sight, has the least Happily for Now ending of them all and Inside Out, the fourth novel, throws a huge wrench into the works when Murphy breaks up with Stanzie and leaves her to go back to Dublin.  This happens at the beginning of the novel and so two-thirds of the adventure she’s on her own. Sacrilege!

By this point, I think everyone is convinced Murphy loves Stanzie even though he hasn’t said it.  Stanzie has admitted to herself (and thus to the readers) that she loves him, but she hasn’t said it to him either.   They keep missing each other in this regard because of events that are happening in real-time as well as experiences that haunt them from their pasts. Sometimes I just want to take their two heads and smash them together, but since romantic tension is good for plot lines, I’ve so far resisted.

So now we’re up to the fifth book, About Face, the one that I’m on tour with right now.  I’m sweating this one because I know people are waiting to hear Murphy’s explanation for leaving Stanzie.  I’ve gotten email from readers who are incensed with him and tell me he’s got a lot of groveling to do.   Then I’ve got others who are serenely convinced he must have a damn good reason and they trust him. 

The romance figures prominently in this novel because this is the make or break novel.  Murphy and Stanzie will both work through their problems and admit their love for each other or…they won’t.  You’ll have to read to find out, but I promise you the ride will be fun, exasperating, poignant, exuberant and all shades in-between.  I warn some of you though, in typical Stanzie/Murphy fashion, they both think they’ve got the upper hand, so I’m not sure how much groveling Murphy is going to do.

I always love to get reader feedback, so please email me at and tell me whether you think Murphy’s reason for leaving was good enough and if you are happy with the outcome, whatever it is, between him and Stanzie.

Meanwhile, enjoy the book!

About Face (Book #5 of The Wolf Within Series)


Stanzie’s job as Advisor to the Great Council is discovering other people’s secrets. When those secrets are being kept by the ones she loves most, can she find the courage to expose them?

Under orders from a Councilor, Stanzie journeys to Dublin and the MacTire pack. Her mission: warn her estranged bond mate, Liam Murphy, to abandon his overzealous search for the man responsible for the death of his first bond mate. Not only is he endangering himself, but also disrupting the delicate balance between opposing factions in the conspiracy threatening to tear the Great Pack apart.

Liam needs Stanzie’s help to protect their Alpha, who has entangled himself in the conspiracy’s deadly web. But he also desperately wants her back. In a race against time, Stanzie and Liam discover enemies often wear the faces of friends.

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, sexual situations, some violence
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance


Our fingers were still linked when I opened my eyes hours later. The bedroom smelled of sex--of us--and while he wasn't snoring, Murphy’s breath was slow and heavy, the way I remembered from the nights we’d spent together in America.
For a moment I was filled with such aching happiness I almost expected to levitate off the bed. But then I remembered everything, and black despair bit into me so hard I wondered I didn't bleed.

He’d rolled off me at some point, but we were still on top of the covers. I let go of his hand and slid off the bed. I found his t-shirt and my panties, put them on and fled to the living room.

The remains of our dinner had congealed on our plates on the table. The lights were still on, and I got as far as the sofas before my legs went out from beneath me and I couldn't breathe.

Murphy appeared like a ghost in the bedroom doorway. His eyes were very dark.

“Can we talk about it, Stanzie?”

“What’s to talk about?” I drew one of the throw pillows defensively close to my stomach.

I loved him but he didn't love me. I’d tried so hard not to let that overwhelm me and make peace with it. Of all the people in his life he protected, I was the last on the list and that’s not where I wanted to be. “You chose Paddy and Mac Tire over me, and I guess I get that, but it hurts.”

“I had no idea you loved me.” His tone was raw and desperate. “I thought I was doing the right thing. You didn't need to be put at risk in this, and I thought I could--”

“What? Don’t lie to me, Liam. You didn't want me involved because you’re going to do something stupid to save Paddy and your father. Why should you martyr yourself for them?”

“Paddy came to me for help,” Murphy shouted and the muscles in his face strained as he struggled to regain control. “He had nowhere else to turn, don’t you see? It’s not like I could tell him to go screw himself. He’s my best mate.”

“But it’s okay to tell me to go screw myself, I guess. I’m your bond mate. You wouldn't come to my tribunal. You threw me out like so much garbage when Paddy told you his problems. And you couldn't even tell me why. You’re so hell-bent on saving everybody, but it’s always on your terms and you have to be the one to give help--you never want it in return. I would have helped you. I would have done anything for Paddy--he’s my Alpha--but you decided what was best for me in your typical high-handed Liam Murphy fashion, and to hell with what I thought, what I wanted.

“And then tonight you take advantage of the fact I love you so you can, what? Have sex?

Haven’t you screwed anyone in four months, or have you just screwed people over?”

His face blanched of all color, and he stared at me, his dark eyes bottomless.

“That wasn't just sex. Did that feel like just sex to you?”

“No, not to me. I love you. But that’s what it was to you. Will you please leave me alone? I’m tired and I want to go to sleep.”

“Stanzie, I know you’re tired, but we've got to talk about this.”

“In the morning. Maybe.” I turned away from him because I couldn't stand to look at the entreaty in his eyes. In a heartbeat I’d be across the floor to him, and screw that.

He abruptly gave in. “Look, you take the bed, I’ll sleep out here.”

“No, I’ll stay out here.” I was ten seconds from tears, and I wanted him gone so he wouldn't see.

“Stanzie, take the bed.”

“No,” I shouted, and the damn tears poured down my cheeks. “It smells like us in there, don’t you get it? And us is a lie. Just let me do what I want, goddamn it.”

He opened his mouth to argue, but then, defeated, retreated and did as I asked.

Whoo! Love that excerpt!

Now, here's more about Amy:

Amy Lee Burgess is a transplanted New Englander living in Houston, Texas with two dogs and lots of DVDs. In an attempt to bond with the city after being forced out of New Orleans post-Katrina, she turned to her writing. Determined to finally finish that novel she'd been hacking away at since high school, Amy managed to come up with a wolf shifter character named Stanzie Newcastle. She and Stanzie have been BFFs ever since.

In addition to Stanzie, Amy has also forged a relationship with several vampires, a witch or two, and other assorted supernatural creatures she hopes will entertain her readers. But she will always have room for coffee and butterscotch squares with Stanzie.

In addition, Amy is hosting a giveway! Just click below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tell us what you think. Are you a paranormal romance reader? If not, has the above excerpt convinced you to give it a try? I think I'm going to have to go back to book one and check out this series! 


  1. Thanks for kicking off the tour! Buy links can be found here:
    They are up! :)
    The series order is:
    Beneath the Skin
    Scratch the Surface
    Hidden in Plain Sight
    Inside Out

    I love to talk about Stanzie and Murphy, so please let me know what you guys think! :)

  2. Happy Release Day, Amy! And glad to have you back! Loved your excerpt! You've sold me! I'd like to purchase a copy. Do you suggest reading the series in order?

    1. Hi! I do suggest reading in order, but I wrote them so that they can stand alone. Each novel picks up a few days/months after the last one and while the situations in each novel are separate, there's some overlap. I don't leave loose ends, but I do evolve on past situations which are referred to. So there will be spoilers if you read out of order and decide to go backwards. Some people don't mind that though!

  3. Congrats on your new release, Amy. I love a series, and yours looks fantastic.

    1. Thanks for coming by to chat with us today, Joanne! We appreciate that you took time out of your day to join us on Amy's release day.

  4. Oooooo. This looks incredibly intriguing!
    -R.T. Wolfe

    1. Doesn't it, though? I never thought I'd be into paranormal romance, but a good story is a good story. I appreciate you stopping by with the release of your third book in the BLACK CREEK BURNING series approaching soon. Can't wait to get my hands on that book, too!

  5. Amy- thanks for being here on your release day and best of luck with the rest of the tour.

    If you'd like to follow the rest of Amy's tour you can find her itinerary at:

  6. Thanks for giving my blog tour such a great kickoff, MJ! I never thought I'd be writing paranormal romances, but I love my wolf shifters!


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