#BookTour ‘n’ #Interview “A Message in Poison” by BJ Magnani

A Message in Poison by BJ Magnani BannerMay 9 – June 3, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

book cover

I’m excited to have an interview with author BJ Magnani during my stop on the book blog tour. Read on and meet a true queen of all poisons!

Thank you for spending a little time with us here on Nesie’s Place today, BJ! Do you prefer BJ,  Barbarajean, or Dr. Magnani?

I choose the name depending on the setting: BJ ( informal and fun), Barbarajean (serious and elegant), and Dr. Magnani (full-on work mode)! Or sometimes, “The Queen of All Poisons.”

Tell us about yourself… where you’re from, your profession, family, hobbies, guilty pleasures.

I am the mother of two grown children, an equestrian, guitar player, rock climber, and lover of all things nature and science.

I’m originally from New York but came to Boston for my medical training. I’m a board-certified clinical pathologist with a specialty in toxicology. I was the former Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine (Tufts Medical Center) and Chair of the College of American Pathologists Toxicology Committee.

I’ve had a blessed life and believe in giving back. Therefore, part of the proceeds from my novels helps support the College of American Pathologists Foundation See Test & Treat program, which provides education and free cervical and breast cancer screening for women in need. Everyone should have equal health care opportunities.

Your books deal with death by poisoning. Why poison? What inspired you?

You write what you know, and I know poisons! I worked with some formidable toxins as a scientist, and my clinical work focused on poisons and drug overdoses. How better to educate the public than through a rich story. I always thought that Michael Crichton provided some education through his novels. Each of my novels contains information at the back of the book for science lovers: book 1 in the Dr. Lily Robinson series, The Queen of All Poisons, has a poison ‘appendix’ at the back of the book,  book 2,  The Power of Poison, contains some information on molecular weights, and my new book, A Message in Poison, has information about the periodic table. I’m a science nerd.

I also write a monthly poison blog which you can find on my website

The Poison Blog | BJ Magnani

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I am traditionally published through a small independent press (Encircle Publications) located in Farmington, Maine.

How long have you been a writer?

I started writing short stories as a high school student, then stopped to pursue a career in science (MS, PhD, MD.) So for most of my life,  I have been writing scientific articles related to my work. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that I started writing fiction again at the urging of the editor-in-chief of a scientific journal who was interested in educating scientists through a fictional character, and that was the birth of Dr. Lily Robinson. Dr. Robinson is the brilliant toxicologist exploited by the government for her knowledge of poisons as she is recruited as an assassin to eliminate terrorists from the world.

Pantser or Plotter?

I am more of a pantser than a plotter, although I have a general idea of where I want to go. I’m always surprised when I end up in a place I hadn’t anticipated.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

I read a variety of genres and non-fiction too.

What are you reading now?

Currently, I’m reading a memoir and a romance novel, but I mostly like medical or science thrillers.

Where do you get the most writing done?

Here is a picture from my back deck. The beauty of nature inspires me.

bj magnani cloud pic

What’s your next project or release?

A Message in Poison (book 3 in the Dr. Lily Robinson series) was just released on April 20th, 2022—book 1, The Queen of All Poisons, is the start of Lily’s story, which continues into book 2, The Power of Poison) and I’ve just started the 4th book in the series. I also recently finished writing a romance novel—I believe in stretching as a writer.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

It’s never too late to start writing (this is my 4th career—teacher, scientist, pathologist, fiction author) and write what you love. And keep writing.

Many thanks to BJ Magnani for spending time with us today!

Read on for an excerpt, and learn more about her latest release, A Message in Poison. Grab a copy and enter the giveaway!

Be sure to stop by on June 3rd for my review of this medical thriller mystery!



Sparks fly as Dr. Lily Robinson-the brilliant academic pathologist and covert assassin for the U.S. Government-investigates two seemingly unrelated deaths alongside her lover, Agent Jean Paul Marchand, and D.C. Medical Examiner Dr. Logan Pelletier.

A U.S. Senator and the president of a developing nation are found dead in their beds. As governments thousands of miles apart react to the fallout and begin their investigations, no one claims responsibility, and no motives are clear. Yet, the cause of death implies a link between the two—one that only a mind versed in poisons and politics can decipher. With her personal relationships teetering on the brink and her loved ones facing foreign threats, Lily must unravel the mystery and uncover a plot more calculating than anyone could imagine—but it may be too late.

A Message in Poison, the third part of the Art of Secret Poisoning trilogy (The Queen of All Poisons and The Power of Poison), continues with twists and turns as Dr. Lily Robinson travels the globe, stares down death, and finds herself at “another crossroad, another choice between life real or imagined…”

The fast-paced action juxtaposes nicely with the personal dilemmas Lily faces as she uncovers a new plot that forces her to reconsider her talents and place in the world.
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Mystery / Thriller

Published by: Encircle Publications

Publication Date: April 20th 2022

Number of Pages: 278

ISBN: 1645993256 (ISBN13: 9781645993254)

Series: A Dr. Lily Robinson Novel, The Art of Secret Poisoning Part 3

Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Read an excerpt:

I’ve done some terrible things in my life. Big lies splash in my wake and follow me until the water creeps into my lungs. I’ve murdered many people who deserved to die. I take the phrase ‘pick your poison’ literally. My arsenal of natural toxins and poisons hidden deep within a freezer provide enough variety to mimic natural death. The cool salt air at my seaside cottage coaxes plants in my poisonous garden to yield the natural killers that I need. And I have collaborators around the world who can provide for me what my garden cannot.

Yes, it’s true that I’ve spent much of my life taking care of patients as a physician and taught a generation of medical students. But it was this very expertise in toxicology that captured the attention of our government. They seduced me and then orchestrated a transformation from consultant to assassin. Some say it’s my jewel-green eyes, raven-colored hair, and even my stiletto heels that tend to disarm my victims. They are blinded to the truth. With eyes closed to the Hippocratic Oath, I travel the world, eliminating terrorists and traitors with poison, stealth in a bottle, in the name of preventing mass destruction on a global scale. Our small covert counter-terrorism team weeds out threats at home and abroad—sanctioned killing, the price of doing business. I’m told that ‘the good of the many outweighs the good of the one.’ It’s become my guiding mantra, allowing me to rationalize this dual existence.

I hide my secret life beneath the cloak of justice, and I’ve discovered that others do too. So I ask you if you’re sure you know the truth about those around you. This last year of my life has been fraught with revelations that I didn’t see coming. For more than twenty years, I thought my baby, my little girl, had died in the Colombian jungle. Not only did I learn that she’s alive, but I discovered that she’s attending the same medical school where I have my academic appointment—a life-changing disclosure. I tremble when I think that we may have brushed by each other not only at the university, but in my fleeting past. I look back and see momentary images of familiarity etched in my mind. Was my beautiful Rose right in front of me while I wore blinders of guilt and despair?

JP, my lover, and partner in our covert government band, grasps my turmoil. Desperate to soothe my soul, he promises that life’s twists and turns can only make us more resilient and resolute. Facing the wind, my body stands tall and hard like a tree firmly rooted in the ground. Having no support on its own, a vine uses its tendrils to clutch to the broad trunk. My stories are like this vine, ever climbing, ever strangling—a complicated life that requires both brilliance and strength.


Excerpt from A Message in Poison by BJ Magnani. Copyright 2022 by BJ Magnani. Reproduced with permission from BJ Magnani. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

BJ Magnani

BJ Magnani (Barbarajean Magnani, PhD, MD, FCAP) is the author of the Dr. Lily Robinson novels: The Queen of All Poisons (Encircle Publications, 2019), The Power of Poison (Encircle Publications, 2021), and A Message In Poison (Encircle Publications, 2022.) Lily Robinson and the Art of Secret Poisoning (nVision Publishing, 2011) is the original collection of short stories featuring the brilliant, yet deadly, doctor. Dr. Magnani is internationally recognized for her expertise in clinical chemistry and toxicology, has been named a “Top Doctor” in Boston magazine, and was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Laboratory Medicine Professionals in the World by The Pathologist. She is Professor of Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (and Professor of Medicine) at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, and the former Chair of both the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Toxicology Committee and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Tufts Medical Center.

Follow BJ Magnani on:
BookBub – @bjmagnani
Twitter – @bjmagnani
Facebook – @bjmagnaniauthor

Join us for an InstaParty at #bjmagnani!!


Tour Participants:

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#AudioTour “The End of Hatred (Etherya’s Earth Book 1)” by Rebecca Hefner

Author: Rebecca Hefner

Narrator: Devon Wilcox

Length: 11 hours 8 minutes

Series: Etherya’s Earth, Book 1

Released: Aug. 12, 2019

Publisher: Rebecca Hefner

Genre: Paranormal Romance

These are dangerous times on Etherya’s Earth….

Slayer Princess Miranda, heir to the throne, has hated the Vampyres for a thousand years. Since the Awakening, she’s fought to protect her people, choosing to be a warrior more than a royal. When a female Vampyre washes up on the shore of her compound’s riverbank, she seizes the moment to take the offensive.

Sathan, King of the Vampyres, distraught at his sister’s disappearance and captivity, agrees to travel with Miranda to resect the Blade of Pestilence, also hoping to change his people’s state of endless war. Although the woman hates him due to the constant raids on her compound for the Slayers’ life-giving blood, he can’t help but admire the stubborn and strong princess.

As their journey progresses, both begin to understand that they are aligned in their hatred of Crimeous, leader of the Deamons, as well as their hope for peace between the Slayers and Vampyres. Determined to fight their growing attraction, they forge a tentative truce. But old wounds run deep, and trust is scarce. Their faith in each other must remain strong, or all will be lost….

The Etherya’s Earth series is best listened to in order so that the listener can enjoy the evolution of the characters. After all, the author loves a good twist and wants the listener to uncover them organically. However, listeners of romance, rest assured, each audiobook has its own featured hero/heroine and a happily ever after ending.

Check out the Etherya’s Earth Box Set, only at Chirp!

USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Hefner writes steamy paranormal and sci-fi romance as well as contemporary romance under the pen name Ayla Asher. Rebecca is a huge science dork who loves karaoke and she’ll probably try to make a TikTok with you if she ever meets you in person.

Devon Wilcox has loved manipulating his voice to sound like different characters since he was a kid. Rebecca chose him for this series because of his deep, magnetic voice and his talent expressing multiple character emotions.

Q&A with Author Rebecca Hefner
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • I make up a lot of words in this series so I make sure to send my narrators voice notes with the correct pronunciation. One of my favorite things about writing fantasy romance is that I can make up names of people and places and they’re not weird (well, not too weird!).
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • I grew up in a small town in North Carolina in the 80s where misogyny was rampant. Most girls were told to go to college to find a husband. I thought that was absolutely ridiculous and always felt a healthy urge to fight the patriarchy. Therefore, you’ll see a lot of kick-ass women in my books who are fighting the same battles.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I love listening to audiobooks! Before I became an author, I was a medical sales rep and had a huge territory. I drove all the time and listening to audiobooks got me through the long drives. When I became an author, I promised myself I’d make all my books into audiobooks. It’s super-expensive and sometimes I worry I might have to sell a kidney (ha!) but I’m determined to offer all my books in audio format because I want them to be accessible to as many people as possible.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Yes! I’m a huge science dork who went to Governor’s School for Physics and actually know a ton about time travel! That inspired me to write my steamy sci-fi time travel trilogy, the Prevent the Past series. Book 1 is called A Paradox of Fates and follows a brilliant scientist who must solve time travel to save the world. A handsome, mysterious soldier appears at her scientific hub and she’s instantly attracted to him before lots of twists occur. I loved writing that series! If I could time travel myself, I’d love to go back in time and live amongst the Ancient Greeks or some other ancient culture. Just for a few days and then I’d probably need modern conveniences again!
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Yes! Some of the best scenes I’ve written have happened in my dreams. I usually wake up and rush to my journal to write them down so I don’t forget.
  • What’s your favorite:
    • Food – I love traveling solo and spent a month in Japan in 2018. Sushi is my absolute favorite food and I could eat it every day!
    • Television show – Dark on Netflix enthralled me and is my favorite show from the past five years. It’s a twisty time travel show with great character development and I was hooked from the first episode.
    • Movie – This one’s always a toss up between When Harry Met Sally and Terminator 2…which couldn’t be more different, but hey, you like what you like!
    • Band – I am a pop music, boy band lover and not ashamed to admit it. I Want It That Way is my daily “pump up” song when I need a boost.
  • Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
    • The twistiness and time travel aspects of Dark are present in my Prevent the Past series. Arderin from The Darkness Within loves human pop music even though she’s a Vampyre and she references it quite a bit.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I just released my free prequel to the Etherya’s Earth series called The Dawn of Peace. I want everyone to be able to read my books and figured writing a free prequel was a great way to create a low-barrier entry into the series. It’s a steamy enemies-to-lovers tale with “only one bed” and it was so fun to write! I’m also working on a new series under Rebecca Hefner and one under my contemporary romance pen name, Ayla Asher.


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