Thursday, October 26, 2023

Book Tour + #Giveaway: With A Blighted Touch by J. Todd Kingrea @JToddKingrea @RABTBookTours



Date Published: 10-24-2023


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In Scarburn County, Tennessee there is a small mountain community called Black Rock, known for its unusual and prevalent blight that affects all vegetation . . .

When an unexpected death forces Christopher “Kit” McNeil to return to his small hometown in the Tennessee mountains after eighteen years, he must confront his past and a secret he’s kept since he was twelve.

A talented guitarist with a history of bad choices and even worse luck, Kit soon reunites with an old friend and learns about recent disappearances and mysterious deaths in the area. They begin to wonder if it’s connected to what they witnessed in the woods when they were kids and if a creepy local family is involved. Stranger still, almost half of their high school graduating class has died.

When more shredded bodies begin appearing, Kit becomes a suspect. But what he discovers is even more frightening—evil has set its sights on him and his friends and it won’t stop until it gets what it needs.

Can Kit and his friends band together in time to stop this ancient evil? Or will a new reign of terror that the Cherokee once called Uyaga be unleashed to roam the earth once more?



Interview with J. Todd Kingrea

    How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

    I’ve written a total of five books that have been published: two non-fiction (Carrying on the Mission of Jesus and Bullied! Confronting and Overcoming Six Major Obstacles to Church Effectiveness) and three fiction (The Witchfinder, The Crimson Fathers, and With A Blighted Touch). The Witchfinder and The Crimson Fathers are the first two parts of my Deiparian Saga trilogy. The final installment, Bane of the Witch, will be released in 2024.

    It’s hard to pin down which was my favorite since each of them had their own special moments in their development and writing. I enjoyed The Witchfinder because it was my first attempt at writing a novel. The Crimson Fathers allowed me to build on that one, and Bane of the Witch will bring the entire storyline to a close. With A Blighted Touch is my first shot at a horror novel and I really enjoyed seeing that one come together.

    If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

    There are no plans for a sequel at this time. That doesn’t mean I won’t revisit Scarburn County somewhere down the road but right now I’m focused on getting Bane of the Witch ready for publication. I also have another manuscript about a single mother and her daughter and a cult that I’ll be pitching my publisher after that.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    Obviously, The Witchfinder, The Crimson Fathers, and Bane of the Witch are all linked by virtue of their characters and storyline. The other projects have all been stand-alone titles.

    How did you come up with the title for your book?

    It took a while! For some reason I’m the type of writer who can’t get started until I have a title in place. I sifted through a number of different words that were related to the main character and the plot, and just kept trying them in different combinations. With A Blighted Touch captures the cursed nature of the town of Black Rock, and the peculiar problem of Kit’s touch.

    How long did it take you to write this book?

    It took about six or seven weeks to write this one. The titles in the Deiparian Saga took a lot more time. Each of those are approximately 40,000 words longer than With A Blighted Touch. It helped that I didn’t have to plan for future events to link into each book (as I did for the trilogy).

    What does the title mean?

    With A Blighted Touch refers to a curse upon the town of Black Rock and upon main character Kit McNeil. His history of bad luck isn’t just because of his poor decisions—although like all of us it does play a part—but because he was singled out by an ancient evil spirit. There’s no rhyme or reason why Kit was selected; this torturous entity simply enjoys causing suffering and misery. The blighted nature of the town, and of Kit’s life, are linked in a way that he never could have imagined.

    What did you learn when writing the book?

    Well, I didn’t learn a lot about Uyaga (the malefic spirit) that’s for sure! What the characters discover in the book is essentially what I found during my research. Although based in Cherokee lore, there was practically nothing about Uyaga anywhere. I’ve had some reviewers wish for more details and background about Uyaga, and I agree! I’d love to have been able to include more. There just wasn’t much to begin with so I took some artistic license to create it.

    I also learned a lot about a real-life small town that served as the basis for Black Rock. It, too, has a history of peculiar events, unanswered questions, and an unhealthy number of deaths for such a small community. A close friend of mine who’s familiar with that area provided a lot of detail that helped me develop Black Rock and its underlying horrors.

    What surprised you the most?

    About the research, nothing really. My friend and I have known each other for 10 years and I’d already heard a lot about where he grew up. So, there wasn’t a lot of information that took me by surprise.

    With regard to the writing, I was most surprised by how fast I was able to complete the first draft. As I mentioned earlier, as a stand-alone novel I didn’t have to spend time trying to ensure that events from a previous book tied in properly, or that events in With A Blighted Touch would fit with future installments. That allowed me more freedom to just tell one single story rather than juggling all the characters and plotlines from a trilogy.

    Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

    Oh yes, but with only two or three exceptions, they’ve almost always been supporting characters in the Deiparian Saga. Those two or three, while being central to the story, have still been secondary main characters. So far I haven’t killed off any fan favorites. So far…

    What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

    I envision myself in each scene. I take what I know about their past, their current goals and motivations, and their ultimate purpose, and use those to help me understand how a character will act or react in each situation. Growing up I played a lot of “Dungeons & Dragons,” then shifted to the “Call of Cthulhu” role-playing game. That taught me to not only role-play, but to give depth, meaning, and history to the non-player characters in the games. I was creating each character, imbuing him or her with a personality, preferences, prejudices, goals, and obstacles. I still approach character development in my writing the same way.

About the Author

BHC Press has published the first two books in my post-apocalyptic epic fantasy Deiparian Saga, "The Witchfinder" (which was nominated for the Pushcart Prize) and "The Crimson Fathers." The final installment, "Bane of the Witch," is slated for release in 2024. If you’re interested you can find out more on my author’s page at I am a member of the Horror Writers Association and write Blu ray reviews for “Screem” magazine. I have also written short stories and game material for the “Call of Cthulhu” role-playing game.


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Todd said...

Thank you again for your support! I really appreciate it!

Michael Law said...

This looks good. Thanks for hosting this giveaway today.