Blog Tour + Giveaway: Bound (Chinatown Demons #1) by Rhys Ford

Bound (Chinatown Demons #1) blog tour makes a stop at BMBR today! Author Rhys Ford brings the goodies in celebration! She breaks down the idea behind Chinatown Demons, shares a bit about shapeshifting and hosts a great giveaway: win your choice of online retailer gift certificate ($20)! Good luck! 

See our review of Bound HERE

Take it away, Rhys!


An Alternate San Francisco, Just A Step To The Left Of Our Own Glittering City —

When I began to write Bound, I knew I wanted to have a bit of fantastical combined with a dash of Asian horror. Sort of. The monsters in Asian mythology are usually a bit odd and driven by fierce emotions, usually revenge. There were bits and pieces I wanted to pull together as well as give a shout out to inspirations along the way. Since I’m going to be writing this as a serialized saga, it allows me to tease out bits and pieces of the world as I go, which is a lot of fun.

There’s a long argument of the pros and cons of having a paranormal world that’s hidden or out in the open. I’ve done both, most notably in Ink and Shadows for hidden and blurring the lines of hidden and open in the Hellsinger series. For the Chinatown Demons serializations, I wanted to do a hidden world where only the very wise could see the dangers but people knew something was off about the supernatural. Kind of a step away from the world we live in now.

So with all that being said, let’s talk about world building and what the underlying layers of the Chinatown Demons’ worlds hold.


At each stop, enter to win a $20 gift certificate to the online retailer of your choice! Be sure to enter at every stop!

I’ve spent the last few post talking about Xian and not really focused on the world per se but right now, with the first book, a lot of that is nebulous for the reader and I don’t want to give too much away because let’s face it, letting it unfurl around you is the best way to learn about a world. That said, there’s always a few things about world-building that HAVE to be built before you can start writing it. Or at least some kind of template to give you structure.

Especially if you’re going to talk about shapeshifting.

If you’ve not read Bound, you might want to skip this post *grins*….

TA Moore and I have a long standing argument about shapeshifting. I feel it needs to obey the laws of physics and she wants to push the “I Believe” button and says its magic. Never mind about where all the mass and energy goes. To some extent, I can agree with magic but there has to be a logical explanation for the transformation and really, the mass remains the same. Notice an evil grin here.

Because you know, if someone turns into something like a cat, they’re going to have to weigh the same as that cat as they do a human.

In the case of a bakeneko, we’re talking over one-hundred and eighty-five pounds of solid muscle packed down into cat form. Which means, it’s not going to be lovely for anyone trying to pick up and move a bakeneko. Or if said cat demon jumps up on your lap while you’re lounging on the couch. This leads to a complication in world building that the writer will have to take care with. And trust me, this added weight comes with a whole host of problems. Luckily, in the case of a cat form, this means I can use the cat’s natural limber and bone-shifting body to my advantage. So a bakeneko jumping and landing on a dumpster can adjust its weight distribution so as not to cave in the lid. But could a tengu or a dog warrior do the same? And will there be dog warriors? Another question… but in the case of weight, probably not.

A bit part of adding physics to your world building…which you should… is keeping track of inertia and energy distribution. I can have a cat demon absorb energy impact where I couldn’t have another type of demon do the same. And what would that look like? Will the energy disperse outward? This would create craters in the asphalt and concrete as well as smash anything they landed on.

This also applies to the physical characteristics of the shapes taken on by shifting. An animal’s form has different forces in their bites or attacks, something that would come in handy during a fight but of course, limiting the form means a smaller amount of damage but what if that damage comes from a greater weight ratio. It would increase the amount of damage a bakeneko could do compared to a mundane cat. In the case of the cat demons in this world, they are significantly larger than the standard house cat, more along the lines of a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat simply because it makes folding the mass into a smaller space an easier thing to do. The energy needed to fold that amount of physical material into the spaces between atoms is huge and while I don’t address it immediately in the first book, the transformation will change the temperature of the air and possibly even make the air around the shifted demon warmer than usual since they’re bleeding off that energy to maintain their smaller form.

Which explains of course, why cats are so much warmer than we are… and why the hell they’re so heavy when they lie on your lap.


Bound, Chinatown Demons, Book One

Chinatown, San Francisco.

A different place — another time— and where the city’s streets keep secrets, shadowy mysteries SFPD Inspector Spencer Ricci needs to dig through after he finds himself on a case involving a dismembered, mummified man in a restaurant’s locked storage room.

Spencer drags around a lot of baggage, including an ongoing battle with the bottle and a long career as an LAPD detective he’d set fire to in a blaze of booze-soaked mistakes. San Francisco is supposed to be a new start but his old ghosts haunt him, beckoning him back into his self-destructive bad habits. Bad habits that include contemplating doing dirty things with the wrong kind of guy and this time, it’s a sleek, cold-tempered medical examiner named Xian Carter with a complicated reputation.

For a century-old demon, Xian Carter is content with his secretive life. Hiding his nature from the mundane world, he blends in with the city’s inhabitants as best he can but even the best of predators make mistakes. Delving into the mysteries of the dead provide a welcome distraction from endless nights and hiding in plain sight amuses him, until something supernaturally wicked comes knocking on his door with an extremely hot, broody Inspector close behind.

Murder makes for strange bedfellows and this one is no exception. The twists and turns of the case leaves Xian and Spencer on a wild goose chase after clues but Xian can only hope there’s a human at the end of the trail—because the last thing San Francisco needs is another predator.

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Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and is a two-time LAMBDA finalist with her Murder and Mayhem novels. She is also a 2017 Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Awards for her novels Ink and Shadows and Hanging the Stars. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Harley, a grey tuxedo with a flower on her face, Badger, a disgruntled alley cat who isn’t sure living inside is a step up the social ladder as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.

Rhys can be found at the following locations:

Facebook Group: Coffee, Cats, and Murder:
Twitter: @Rhys_Ford 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can win a $20 gift certificate to an online retailer of your choice giveaway, courtesy of author Rhys Ford. Giveaway ends December 13th, 2020 at Midnight EST! Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner. Good luck!


  1. I love these posts giving more background on the world you created. I look forward to reading this story.

  2. The physics of cats (whether cat demons or not) has always been a mystery for me... thank you so much for the lovely posts and the wonderful explanations ;)

  3. Loved the book. I’ve never considered the physics of shifters. I just go with the flow, accept the magic and read the stories.

  4. Looking forward to reading this book!

  5. got my copy, now to find time to relax & enjoy :)

  6. I can go either way with depicting shifting.

  7. I am excited! Still gotta finish finals, first...

  8. I figure each author makes up their own rules about how magic works...otherwise dragons would be a lot less intimidating, right? Glad to see there's a new series, but given my impatience, I don't think I'll start it until there are more sequels, lol.

  9. I enjoyed the post and it was interesting reading about shapeshifting. I so looking forward to reading the book too.

  10. See, this is why I respect and love you as an author. You put a great deal of thought into the whys and hows of things. And thank you for the pronunciation! It was driving me nuts!

  11. Rhys, I love the worldbuilding posts, and a special thank you for the audio on how to pronounce Xian's name. I bought the book, now to find time to read and relax.

  12. I love the cover! The colors are great.

  13. Very excited for this book, and I'm loving these glimpses into the world -building.

  14. I bought the book but not time as yet to read it.

  15. Very excited. I have always wondered about the physics shifting and how shoving the weight of a grown man or woman into something so much smaller would work.

  16. I'm was looking forward to anything Rhys Ford!!!

  17. Thank you for the post. I do enjoy reading about shifting experience in novels and how that affects the characters.

  18. Demon cats seem only a bit more mystifying than ordinary cats!

    --Trix, vitajex at aol dot com