Bookish News


Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones Release Day Celebration

Posted on Oct 30, 2012 with No comments

Oct 30, 2012


Winner of the Hallows Madness Cauldron!

Posted on Oct 29, 2012 with No comments

Oct 29, 2012

We have a winner:

You take it all!
Please contact us within 24 hours to confirm your win. 


Positive Encounters by H.A. Fowler :Character Skit, Interview, and Review

Posted on Oct 28, 2012 with 1 comment

Oct 28, 2012

Today we have Best-Selling Author, 
H.A. Fowler 
Read a wonderful Character post below
 followed by super great interview. 

Character Skit 
Starring Briggs and Winnie

It's deep fall in the city, a hard one, the kind that forces kids to wear heavy jackets over their Halloween costumes. A short, heavyset woman hustles into the coffee shop to get out of the wind, weighed down by a heavy, unfashionable laptop bag. She hustles to the counter and orders -- French roast with cream and artificial sweetener, she's kind of blah that way -- then turns to glance around the small crowd sitting at the smattering of bistro tables around the café.

The couple she is looking for sits to her left in the darkest corner, allowing them to both hide and keep an eye on people passing outside by the large picture window, or entering the front door. They've seen the woman long before she noticed them. She is their writer, their creator, and they are intimately attuned to her movements.

The woman moves to their table, trying not to whack people with her bag, and sits down with them, the only one of the trio with her back to the room. Considering their story, she's not entirely surprised that they're cautious.

They are, however, polite. Both stand when the woman arrives, and sit when she does.

"It's good to see you again," she says. "How have you been?"

The man is handsome in a movie star way, tall and lean with dark, carefully groomed hair. He frowns, deep green eyes piercing to the center of the newcomer, the only person in the world with more dangerous power over them than his Maker. He hadn't wanted this meeting in the first place, believing that it placed both he and his lover in peril. They had long since left the city and all its painful memories behind. The owner of Positive Encounter despised him, and he has never been sure that she would let him and his lover go without a fight after the way he defied her.

If he had been alone when it came to fight or flight, he would have chosen the former. But when it came to his lover, Winnie, the danger to his love was not worth his pride. He didn't trust his fictional creator any further.

Winnie, on the other hand, insists that people who read how they began should know what happened after she and Briggs left Positive Encounters and the city.

"We're doing really well," she reports, a small, lushly curved young woman with golden blonde hair spilling in loose waves over her shoulders. She is dressed simply, but with classical elegance, a soft cotton sweater and skirt that suggest wealth, but also simple taste, with practical knee-high soft boots to match.

"Obviously, I can't tell you exactly where we moved, but… it's beautiful. We have a house in the country with a ton of animals: horses and goats and chickens, a dog and a bunch of cats. I love it so much -- it's a warm, quiet life like the one Briggs and I both dreamed of. But we live close enough to a city that we can take in a show or a museum exhibit whenever we get the urge. We also travel a lot. I spent most of my life hiding from excitement, and even though we have to be careful, I still want to see everything I possibly can. Being with Briggs," she gives him a warm smile, "Makes all of that possible. I feel safe with him, no matter where we are or what we're doing."

Apparently, Briggs can't help himself. The scowl he's been wearing since the writer sat down melts away, and he looks at Winnie with unbridled affection. The writer realizes this is her in to address him.

"Briggs, what about you? You left a pretty exciting life here, a regular job and supply of blood at Positive Encounter. This has been a big lifestyle change for you, hasn't it?"

His smile fades as he brings those eyes to rest on the woman. "Ms. Fowler, no offense, but my life here was not exciting. Positive Encounters, as they have the nerve to call it, is nothing but a fancy drug den and a brothel. I was chained to it by my hunger and my guilt for what I did to Duncan in her human life, and she took full advantage of that. I can hardly even call those years before I met Winnie a life at all. I existed, drifting, trying to survive from one horrible act in service to the thirst and the next. I was a monster." He looks to Winnie once more, and gives her a slight, warm smile. "Winnie brought me back to my humanity again."

Whew. That was more than the writer could have hoped to hear from the usually stoic vampire.

"I'm glad to hear you're both so happy. What's next for you?"

Winnie's blue eyes sparkle with delight -- she doesn't seem terribly nervous at all. "I don't know. That's part of what I love so much about life with Briggs. I never know what to expect. We might snuggle in front of the fire at the house with a cup of cider, or make love by the shore in the full moon light. Heck, we might be eating pizza in Italy tomorrow. Every night is an adventure."

He doesn't look away from his lover. "I wish I could take you to the Middle East. Or Africa. Someday, perhaps, there will be peace there, and I can show you the wonders of those places. But next, I think, should be the Far East. We've been to some of the former Soviet states, but not China."

"Oh, I would love to see China! The Great Wall? Could we?" She holds both of his hands in hers as she gazes at him with love and wonder.

"Of course. Anywhere, my love." He kisses her knuckles softly.

The writer feels like a third wheel… which she is. These two are clearly in a world of their own, and have no desire to add more. But there is a final question she wants to ask.

"I wonder… Winnie, do you think you'll eventually become a vampire?"

The happiness pops like a soap bubble, and their faces fall as both turn to her. Briggs slumps visibly, his eyes down. Winnie, on the other hand, appears angry.

"He won't turn me," she says. "He says it's an abomination, and he won't put me through what he goes through every day. It's not fair, if you ask me. And I'm not giving up trying to change his mind until the day I die."

"Stop saying that, Winifred," Briggs says softly, suddenly far less the fierce, protective alpha male he had been a few moments ago, and more like a man broken by an impossible choice. "I love you. You don't know what you would become if I made you like me."

Winnie reaches over and tips his head up to look at her. "Briggs, my love… don't you know that I think you are amazing? That what you are is beautiful and miraculous? Together, neither of us would have to suffer. We both know how to survive without hurting anyone. I don't want to leave you when this short mortal life is over. I want to be with you forever."

Briggs turns away from her ad looks back at the writer. "This, and the question of danger from my Maker, are the only stains on an otherwise wonderful life. Both will be addressed, and even they don't shadow my gratitude for Winnie coming into my life. Even if we only have sixty years together, it will be the best time of my existence. What else do you want to know?"

The writer wants to know a great deal more, but the emotion between Winnie and Briggs is high, and she realizes there is a great deal more to this story that needs to be told than can come from this single meeting in a crowded coffee shop.

"Only what you want to tell me."

Winnie reaches across the table and takes the writer's hand. "I owe you everything for him. I do. Like Briggs said, we have our troubles, but I wouldn't trade any of them for the half-life I lived before. I was so alone, and now… now I have him, and I can't think of anything better. Everything is an adventure, a brand new experience, a miracle. So please… look into our lives again. Visit us when you can see everything we are. We would be so happy to have you."

"But not tonight," growls Briggs. "Tonight we have to leave this town before Duncan realizes we're here. If she doesn't already."

The writer wonders just how much trouble Briggs and Winnie are really in. Now after talking to them, her curiosity is piqued.

"Okay," she says, rising. The pair stands along with her and there are handshakes all around. "Thank you too for meeting with me. I wish you nothing but happiness."

"Thank you. For everything," says Briggs with uncharacteristic warmth.

"Please. Tell more of our story," repeats Winnie. "And go easy on us, if you can."

The writer nods and turns from them to head out into the cold once more. She hopes that the troubles they mentioned won't get in the way of their obvious happiness. Of course, a good story requires conflict, and their problems aren't simple ones.

But she won't know for sure until she visits their life again.

  Interview with H.A. Howler
  Hello Heather,  it's wonderful to have you here today!

1. Heather, can you tell readers a Little about yourself?
Glad to. First of all, thanks for having me. I'm loving Hallows Madness! It comes at my favorite time of year, ending with my favorite holiday, so having a month long hop is just the thing.
As for me, I'm a full-time writer from the northern tundra of Upstate New York. I do freelance work for a living: copywriting, website copy, newspaper and blog articles for various companies on topics from green living to travel. My true love, of course, is fiction. Especially urban/dark fantasy and paranormal romance. I consider myself incredibly lucky to spend pretty much all day every day writing!
When I'm not putting pen to paper (I still do that!) or typing away, however, I enjoy yoga and meditation, cooking, travel (especially by train), and being owned by two pushy cats. I'm also a massive TV geek from way back! Guess what my favorite shows are -- if you guess genre shows, you're right. Angel and Buffy were my all time favorites, but I've got a long list of others I adore. If it's dark and mysterious, I'm there!
As most writers are, I'm a voracious reader. My favorites are exactly what I write, of course, but I'll read almost anything, and try to keep my reading list varied for the sake of my reading. I haven't kept track of the UF/PNR genres for a few years, so I'm scrambling to catch up on some of the great newer authors who have joined the scene.

2.   Could you tell readers about Positive Encounters in your own words? 
Positive Encounter is a story about a shy, lonely woman named Winnie Mulligan who has lived her life hiding from the world. She's not unhappy, precisely, but she feels unfulfilled. One day she overhears her co-workers in the ladies' room talking about how hot it was to be bitten by a vampire at Positive Encounters. She does her research, and finds out that it's a way to have a great adventure in a tightly controlled environment. The vampires and clients are supposed to be bound by a set of rules called the "Encounter Commandments" -- to keep the vampires in control and the client safe.
Can't go wrong, right?
Well, Winnie goes through the extensive screening procedure, signs on the dotted line, and schedules her "Encounter." When she meets her Host, sexy but troubled vampire Briggs Aubrey -- who, without her knowledge has been stalking her since she signed up -- the rules go right out the window, and anything can happen.
It's a love story, it's erotic, yes. It tells a story of how two lonely people/creatures can be changed by finding each other. But I think, underneath the story is also kind of creepy. Besides the fact that Briggs is obsessed with Winnie before he even meets her, just the concept of Positive Encounters is frightening: people putting their lives on the line for a thrill. It's not exactly bungie jumping, after all, it's a hungry predator making a meal out of you, and all that's standing between you and death is the predator promising to follow the rules.
But people are that lonely and that bored that they think this is acceptable just because the vampires say they won't hurt you. While Winnie and Briggs seem to have found something special, you never know what might happen next. Duncan isn't saying the things she says just to be mean, she's really telling the truth, and you have to wonder if Winnie has made a mistake by dismissing her. The creepy nature of the story, the question of whether Briggs' hunger can really remain under control even if he falls in love with Winnie, gets lost in the passion. Just like things that are bad for us often get forgotten in the rush of infatuation, love, and lust in real life.

3.  What inspired you to write this particular genre?
      I've been in love with vampire stories since I was too young to be reading them. LOL. I read "Interview with the Vampire" when it first came out in paperback -- I was a little kid, and I had to sneak. I've been a vampire fan ever since. It started with horror, of course, there wasn't really much vampire fiction around besides horror back then, with the exception of Anne and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, who writes the highly underrated St. Germain series. It's as much historical fiction as vampire stories, and a lot of fun.
As time went on, paranormal romance was born, and as I always loved romance too, I was immediately addicted. Back in those days, however, you had to scour bookstore shelves looking for vampire romances. Slowly, the genre increased. Around the same time, Urban Fantasy was born with the Anita Blake Series. PNR and UF sort of grew together through the 90's, and after Buffy, really exploded. Both genres were everywhere. I was writing Buffy fanfiction and reading every PNR and UF book I could get my hands on -- fanfic is where I got my writing start. It's a great way to learn how to write, find your voice, deal with feedback, and make some great friends.
So if I had to break my inspirations into short form, I would say that Anne Rice, Laurell K. Hamilton, and the Buffy writers and cast (because they were really the ones who brought the story to life) influenced me to write in this genre. Actually, I decided to take the plunge when reading Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters when they first came out. She and I had such similar voices and senses of humor, and she wrote such great, hot stories, I thought, "Yeah, this is what I'm going to do." 

4.   What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
    I honestly cannot tell you! I've been asking myself that for years, and I could babble all day about my theories. In simplest terms -- vampires in PNR/UF are incredibly sexy. But I think the fascination goes a lot deeper than that. As a species, they're both amazing and tragic. On one hand -- and this is all predicated by whose universe the vampires are in, of course, because their characteristics vary -- they have unbelievable powers. They're faster, stronger, more agile than human beings. They never get sick, never age, and barring a visit from all the hunters out there nowadays, never die.
   One of the biggest draws for me is that these beings literally have all the time in the world, to do anything. Go anywhere. Learn whatever they want. Human beings have such limited lifespans, we have to pick and choose what we get to experience in our brief years. Vampires don't have those restrictions. I look at my TBR list sometimes and I think, "I will never be able to read or write all the books I want to in my lifetime." A vampire wouldn't have to say that!" Of course, not having to deal with aging or death are definitely positives.
   It's interesting and tragic that vampires are, as Doctor Who once said, "fixed point(s) in time." The world keeps moving and changing around them, but they remain the same as they did the moment they changed. They are, essentially, spectators to life and history. Of course, I like vampires who are active in the events of the present time -- if you're there, why not get in it? You're strong, smart, and nigh indestructible, you should be a hero… or at least a villain. ;)

At the same time, they're tragically not in the world, either. They're creatures separated from everyday life because of their nature. Some vampires are monsters or at least amoral predators because of this. Some try to use their powers for good (love a vampire hero!). Some are really broody and upset about it, although this kind of vampire has gone sadly out of style (except in YA, and I'm not really interested in that genre). Vampires who miss their humanity or wish they were still part of the world, aren't. They live forever, watching people and civilizations crumble and die, while they remain. I think that's sad, the other side of the "cool, I can read all the books!" coin.

Finally, I totally have a neck thing. Vampire bites are hot. There's an incredible eroticism about two creatures sharing life force that way. Now, this isn't to say that it's a real-life kink for me, because bloodplay is nasty and dangerous as a rule. But in fiction? Share away!

5.  How did you come up with the name?
   Positive Encounters is the name of the company that offers "Encounters," the "safe" vampire bites. It's kind of ironic, considering the nature of the Encounters. The vampires are basically luring their meals into a cage and feeding from them. It's hot and orgasmic for the clients, too, but they're in more danger than they think. The company calls themselves "Positive" just to deflect people from considering that danger.
    I named the story "Positive Encounter" (singular) because it actually was positive, at least for Winnie and Briggs. Is Winnie still in danger? Probably… Briggs does have a problem with his hunger. But for the moment, they've saved each other from lives that made them unhappy. Both get to break away, supported by the other. It's a positive Encounter.

6.  What is your favorite scene from the book?
It's really only a few scenes, but of course, my favorite scene is the steamy one!

7.  Do you write in different genres?
I write in a number of alternative and darker genres, including horror, dark erotica, BDSM, and m/m under a different pseudonym, A. Sangrey Black. I also write a lot of different styles under the PNR/UF umbrella. Fairies, Werewolves, Incubi and Succubae, dark or sweet, I follow the inspiration where it takes me!

8. What books do you have coming out next?
I have a LOT of irons in the fire, so to speak, so the next year is going to be very busy. My first BDSM Paranormal Menage will be released in November from Cobblestone Press under my A. Sangrey Black pseudonym. It's called IF WISHES WERE SHADOWS, and it's a big departure for me, publishing-wise. I wrote in the genre when I did fanfic, but this is my first foray into the darker side when it comes to original fiction! I'm both excited and nervous!

9. Where can readers find you on the web?
I'm all over the place. LOL. The core of my network is my blog, Bloodthirsty Muses: I have a main page at, and of course you can find me at all the usual places: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
 Look for links at my blog!
10.  What is genre is  your favorite to read?
Guess! Definitely Urban Fantasy with a STRONG romantic element. Paranormal romance is second. My very favorites are series that have a single kick-ass heroine and one guy. They have their ups and downs, but I'm more drawn to one established couple than a new one in every book.

My all-time favorite series is actually Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books -- nowhere NEAR UF/PNR, unless you count the first book's time travel. I also adore J.D. Robb/La Nora's In Death series. You'll note that they share in common a strong primary couple. But I also still love the Anita Blake series (although I can't keep track of the lovers anymore. I'm an old fashioned Jean-Claude/Richard/Anita girl anyway), Kim Harrison's Hallows series, and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters.

My reading tastes are fairly broad outside of romance and UF though. I like biography, horror, and philosophy books best, with a good dose of humor.

Thank you so much Heather, I look forward to reading more of your books.
Best of luck!

Thank you very much! This has been a lot of fun!

My Review of Positive Encounters by H.A. Fowler
I gave this short story a 3


Positive Encounters by H.A. Fowler is the perfect vampire short story.  If you ever dreamed of being bitten by a vamp, then Positve Encounters is your destination. Fowler delivers readers into a world of hunger and passion, were the need for blood and fantasy have created a gold mine. This interesting story brings Winnie and Briggs together and readers are sure to enjoy. 


Guest Post: Compelled by Words Review & Giveaway

Posted on Oct 27, 2012 with 1 comment

Oct 27, 2012

Hello friends!
Today, we are over at Compelled by Words for a great review of 
Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Please stop over for this great review and giveaway!


Guest Post: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 with 6 comments

Oct 23, 2012

A Discovery of Witches 
(All Souls Trilogy, #1)
By Deborah Harkness

Format: Audio Book
Narrated by Jennifer Ikeda

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Viviana's Review

Where to begin with this book! I really, really liked it! Let’s get some things out of the way first. Yes, it’s long! Yes there are a lot of details. True, that for Diana’s age and intelligence (she has a Ph.d), she seems very naïve and even a bit immature. In fact, I would have liked it better if Diana would have been younger and still had her Ph.D., which I know is very plausible. It would have made her behavior a bit more acceptable and understandable. The good news is that you do grow to like her and you actually forget her age as the book is extremely well written. It was also a bit slow in the beginning and the middle. However, the world that was created and its characters are fantastic!! This is definitely an intellectual read though it’s done in a manner where everyone can follow without feeling ‘lost’.

To read my full review, please visit my blog Viviana, Enchantress of Books

About Deborah

I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and have lived in western Massachusetts, the Chicago area, Northern California, upstate New York, and Southern California. In other words, I’ve lived in three out of five time zones in the US! I’ve also lived in the United Kingdom in the cities of Oxford and London.

For the past twenty-eight years I’ve been a student and scholar of history, and received degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University, and the University of California at Davis. During that time I researched the history of magic and science in Europe, especially during the period from 1500 to 1700. The libraries I’ve worked in include Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the All Souls College Library at Oxford, the British Library, London’s Guildhall Library, the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Newberry Library—proving that I know my way around a card catalogue or the computerized equivalent. These experiences have given me a deep and abiding love of libraries and a deep respect for librarians. Currently, I teach European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

For her full bio, please visit her website.

And now for some fun!!! Giveaway time!!!

Double Sided Book Marker/Thong
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Below is information for the next installment in the series "Shadow of Nights"

Available for purchase at 


Jennifer Ashley: Author Showcase

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 with 1 comment

Oct 21, 2012

Jennifer Ashley is your go to author for something romantic and dreamy!  
Readaholics Anonymous and Cinfully Wonderful Reviews can't get enough of Ashley!
For those of you who are not familar with Jennifer Ashley we've decided to put together an array of books and her bio for potential new fans.


Jennifer Ashley

Jennifer    New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.
     Jennifer's/Allyson's/Ashley's novels have won RWA's RITA award, the Golden Quill, RT Reviewer's Choice awards, and the Prism award, among others. Jennifer's novels have been also been translated into nearly a dozen European and Asian languages.
    Jennifer enjoys writing and reading above all else, but her hobbies include cooking, hiking, playing flute and guitar, painting, and building miniature rooms and dollhouses. 

Readaholics Anonymous

One of my favorite series by Jennifer is her Highland Pleasures series, I love her historicals.  I enjoy how they transport me to amazing scenes on far away lands. Her characters are bold and daring but set in just the right setting every time.  
   I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series titled: The Seduction of Elliot McBride.  It will be the 5th book in the series.  Go to Jennifer's site for the complete list of books and the reading order.

Highland Pleasures
Series site
Madness of Lord Ian new cover
The Madness of Lord Ian

by Jennifer Ashley
Leisure Books | May 2009
Berkley Sensation
August 2011
(Ian and Beth)
Highland Pleasures Book 1 

   I currently have her Pirate series on my to be read pile and her shifter series.
Jennifer Ashley has this amazing ability to give back to her fans and is always so kind and generous to the reading community.  Hallows Madness 2012 has been a great success in part to generous donations and support.  I'll let Cindy tell you more about Jennifer's shifter series.  

Cinfully Wonderful Reviews

I love Jennifer's Shifter series, it all began with Pride Mates and I've had to get ever book afterwards.
Love the series, and the author!
Visit her site for more amazing titles. 

Review & Giveaway Two Week's Notice by Rachel Caine

Posted on Oct 20, 2012 with 3 comments

Oct 20, 2012

Book 2
Revivalist Series

After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife—with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost. Thankfully, some things have changed for the better; her job at the rechristened Davis Funeral Home is keeping her busy and her fragile romance with Patrick McCallister is blossoming—thanks in part to their combined efforts in forming a support group for Returne addicts. But when some of the group members suddenly disappear, Bryn wonders if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…

I gave this book a 
Two Week’s Notice by Rachel Caine is morphing into a motley of undead twist and turns! Fabulous follow up to Working Stiff, book 1 in the Revivalist series. Bryn is back  and is coming to grips with her life as one of the undead. She knows that she is just one step away from becoming maggot chow if she doesn't keep taking Returné, the drug that keeps her among the living dead. She has joined forces with Patrick, Manny, and Joe and has begun a new life, one in which she no longer has to answer to Pharmadene for her daily fix.  Just when she thought she was making head way, wouldn't you know that Pharmadene rears it’s ugly head. Bryn will now help those who have just joined the ranks of the walking, talking, dead. Bryn still believes she will find her sister, who was kidnapped, but we still have unanswered questions.  Caine takes this story to new heights with new details emerging and keeps things steamy with Bryn and Patrick. I can’t wait for the next book in the series coming out in February, “Terminated”.    Excellent story, a must read, for fall.

The first book in the Revivalist series is titled

Buy Now!


Win Two Week's Notice fill ou the form below!

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Just in case you find yourself in need of a few books, check out what our
Mega Hallows Madness Cauldron
has in store for one lucky winner and make sure to sign up to Win!

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Hallows Madness Bingo #3

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 with No comments

Oct 19, 2012

Tonight's prize 
Seduced by the Vampire King (Vampire Warrior Kings, #2)

Best of Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wild Cat by Jennifer Ashley Review & Giveaway

Posted on with 1 comment

Hello friends, today Cindy and I are
 giving away 
not 1 but 3 Autographed copies of 

Wild Cat
by Jennifer Ashley
to 3 lucky winners!

Heartbroken from the death of her mate three years ago, Shifter Cassidy Warden is tracking down his mysterious killer-one who could bring danger to all Shifters. But Detective Diego Escobar rekindles the flames of her mating desire. And once the fires begin, nothing and no one can put them out...
Please visit for a chance at winning 


Just in case you find yourself in need of a few books, check out what our
Mega Hallows Madness Cauldron
has in store for one lucky winner and make sure to sign up to Win!

Remember to watch 
  Tonight at @9:00 PM EST
Readaholics Anonymous

Vampire Variables: Guest Post by Fangs Wands and Fairy Dust

Posted on Oct 18, 2012 with 4 comments

Oct 18, 2012

By Stephanie Takes-Desbiens

Are they shiny or do they have a sun allergy?
Born of Lilith or alien fathers?
All blood diet, any red liquid, or food with a blood supplement?

Any and all of these are characteristics of popular vampires in books, TV or film. I think this is one of the more fascinating aspects of fantasy world building.

The next time you find yourself reading a vampire novel, or watching a vampire TV Show or film, take a look at the vampire characteristics.

Special Powers:

Some vampires have no special powers beyond the ability to rock a red satin lined black cape.

But many do have a special power, or the world building in the book or series allows vampires certain enhanced abilities.

Get Misty for me:
Some vampires, including Christine Feehan’s Carpathians and Dana Marie Bell’s Gray Court vampire, Jaden, can turn to mist and/or take other forms.  Other vampires like those on True Blood or Lynsay Sands Argeneaus are pretty much solid. If the Nanos living inside the Argeneaus could figure out how to do it they would because their job is to faciliate survival and create the abilities that would help.

Charlaine Harris’ and True Blood’s Eric Northman can both fly as can Christine Feehan’s Carpathians. In the past, this flight was imagined as a bat form. Lately I haven’t seen vampires who turn into bats.

Feehan’s vampires also have an animal form they can take.  While this is not entirely unique, This is not the most popular of special powers and most creators of vampire universes leave the shifting to other species.

Mind Reading, pre-cognitive visions and other ESP: A good example of this would be the Cullen family in Twilight: Jason can influence mood, Alice has visions, and Edward can read minds.

Vampires are known for a severe allergy to sunlight, but the issue really goes from it being a non-issue to there being no light at all that is tolerable.

The Cullens never sleep, don’t have coffins in their basement, and are able to go out in the sunlight, but don’t expose their skin on sunny days because they sparkle. This is why the Cullens live in the Pacific Northwest and call in sick on sunny days.

Laurell K. Hamilton’s vampire friends in the Anita Blake series can’t run about in the daylight but older vampires can wake up before sunset.  Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland vampires are also adverse to sunlight.

The Argeneau clan can go out but their particular physiology uses blood to repair all types of damage. If you’ve had skin cancer you get this one big time.

Some authors don’t offer explanations for vampirism.

In some books the vamps are a separate and unique species that coexists with humans. In most of these cases they are not turned from humans. Often their human mates share their longevity. They are still the top of the food chain.

Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed are this type of vampire. They are the result of a alien ship which crashed on earth.  Only males can be Midnight Breed and there are a special set of human females capable of breeding with these males.  They can have children and until very recently those children were always male.

Some vamps are created, mystically, magically, 
bloodily or via virus, chemical or technology:

Lynsay Sands’ vampires, sorry—they prefer Immortals, were  the result of medical experimentation that either went really wrong or really right. You can be born or turned, and it is possible to have children.  The Immortals in this series were created in Atlantis when nanotechnology went beyond repairing the infection or disease they were designed to cure.  Those “nanos” stayed active and continued to repair someone with the little Artifical Intelligentsiae running around in their bodies. The nanos use blood to do their repairs and they also gave the immortals the enhancements they would need to stay fed.

Lilith, Cain and other biblical origins.

Jaye Wells’ recently ended series featuring the vampire/mage hybrid Sabina Kane and her sister Maisie arose from biblical origins.  Cain was cursed because of his fratricide, to roam the earth forever and bear the mark of Cain—red hair.

The  Brotherhood of Blood Vampires were Templar Knights who found the false Grail which then turned them all into vampires.

We recently had a season of TRUE BLOOD when the vampire bible is taken literally and Vampires were created in God’s Image. I am uncertain where Lilith came into being and what she had to do with vampires.  Some have her as Adam’s first wife who was put aside.  They are the Undead.

Often Vampiric origins are just assumed and not explained. 

Vampires considered Undead are rarely able to breed so vampires create progeny by turning humans into vampires.
This can be
Classic/mystical:  via tranfusion and exchange, or
Modern/Bloodstream: insertion of whatever chemical or technology causes vampires into the bloodstream.

Food and Drink:

As Edward demanded from Bella, Ask what do we eat!

This runs the gamut from a full blood diet to everything. In a Katie MacAlister book I read a while ago vampires, or Dark Ones can slowly start eating again if they find their beloved.
Twilight’s vampires can’t eat anything but blood. Nor can Laurell K. Hamilton’s or Molly Harper’s (although Molly’s can drink other liquids if blood is included.

Lynsay Sand’s Argeneaus can eat, however they tend to lose interest after a few hundred years. One sign that they have found their lifemate is a renewed interest in food.  Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires can eat. Of course they never gain weight and, other than the sun, they have no allergies or digestive disorders.


There are two types of teeth, pointy fangs or straight. 
Twilight vamps have straight teeth which, as Bella says, they are really sharp. The classic vampire is fanged.
Some vamps have fangs that retract, like the vampires on True Blood. Others just have to be careful when they smile because they are already there. 

What did I miss? What have You noted?
What special vampire characteristic is most interesting to you? What have I left out?

Thank you so much Stephanie, for the fabulous post!  
You have been a such an inspiration and mentor
 and have a very special place in my heart.

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Laura Kaye Interview & Giveaway

Posted on Oct 17, 2012 with 19 comments

Oct 17, 2012

Hello everyone!
Today we have the super talented Laura Kaye with us and she’s agreed to answer a few of my questions.
Please stick around for my review of 
Seduced by the Vampire King along with a giveaway.
Seduced by the Vampire King (Vampire Warrior Kings, #2)
Book 2
Vampire Warrior Kings
Dana: Hello Laura! I have a few questions for you, today.
Laura: Great! I’m so glad to be here! *grins*

Dana: Laura, can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to write in this particular genre?
Laura: Absolutely! I write paranormal and contemporary romance and my ninth book, a contemporary called One Night with a Hero, releases this Saturday. I grew up in a family that believed in the supernatural. Friday nights would find us around my grandmother’s kitchen table listening to her or one of the other adults recounting a story about something supernatural that had occurred in the past or evidence that their house was haunted (my grandmother’s and two of my aunt’s houses were haunted, and weird stuff was *always* happening in them). As a reader, I was always drawn to stories about the supernatural, so it was natural for me to be drawn to writing these kinds of stories, too.

Dana: What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that intrigues you and drives you to write?
Laura: In general, I write about the paranormal because it’s full of possibilities: That maybe there is more than meets the eye. That maybe things exist we can’t perceive. That maybe magic is alive in our world. Plus it’s just incredibly fun! I grew up reading Anne Rice, so vampires have always been my favorite paranormal creature. One of the things I enjoy about writing them is there are so many different ways to describe a vampire and its powers—the mythology and literature is so broad you can really craft them in a way that’s all yours. And I think they’re the ultimate tortured bad boy—what’s not to love about that?

Dana: What inspired you to write Seduced by the Vampire King?
Laura: Seduced by the Vampire King is the second book in my four-book dark paranormal miniseries, the Vampire Warrior Kings. Each book is set in a unique setting, and as I’ve always wanted to go to Moscow, Russia, that seemed like a great choice! So, I was inspired to write this because it was part of the series, but, beyond that, I was inspired to write the characters of Nikolai Vasilyev and Kate Bordessa because I wanted to pair up two kick-ass people who wanted completely opposite things out of life and love and see what happened. The result was a lot of fun to write! 
Dana: Please tell us about your book in your own words. 
Laura: Seduced by the Vampire King uses the enemies-to-lovers and opposites attract themes to pair together a vampire king so tortured by guilt over the deaths of his brothers that he vows never to mate with a human heroine who runs to the far side of the world to escape her destiny as a chosen mate for vampires, something she just cannot accept. When the meet in the middle of a life-and-death situation, everything they thought they knew about who they are and what they want is challenged.

Dana: What is your favorite scene from the book? Without spoilers of course, LOL
Laura: Ooh! It’s a tie between the dark-alley scene where Kate protects Nikolai and the dungeon scene! Mwuhaha!

Dana: Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
Laura: I totally did! I have been doing setting research on where each of the vampire warrior kings in the series will live, and trying specifically to find real historical buildings to use as their headquarters and lairs. In the series’ first book, In the Service of the King, I used Northern Ireland’s Dunluce Castle. In researching Seduced by the Vampire King, I discovered that there are a huge number of abandoned historical buildings all over Russia—it has one of the highest abandoned building rates in the world. Nikolai Vasilyev lives at an abandoned “castle” called Vasilievskoe—see some awesomely creepy abandoned castles of Russia here.

Dana: What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
Laura: LOL! When I was researching my first novel, a vampire romance called Forever Freed, I wanted the hero, Lucien Demarco, to own a motorcycle, but I wasn’t sure which one. So I went to my town’s Harley Davidson dealer and the guys showed me all the different models, let me sit on them, and gave me advice. That was a lot of fun. They asked if I wanted to do a test drive but as I’ve never ridden a motorcycle in my life, I had to decline! 

Dana: Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
Laura: I’d say that almost all of my characters have little pieces of me in them. One of the best examples would be Her Forbidden Hero’s Marco Vieri, who suffers from the long-term effects of a head injury he received while serving in the Army Special Forces in Afghanistan. His injury and his post-injury symptoms were based off of a head injury I had in 2008. 

Dana: Do you write in different genres?
Laura: Yes! I primarily write paranormal and contemporary romance, but I’m also co-authoring a historical fiction right now as well.

Dana: What are your guilty pleasures in life?
Laura: Hmm…I enjoy reality TV like The Voice, American Idol, Project Runway, and The Apprentice, not to mention anything paranormal or creepy—True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Revolution. I love chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and peanut M&Ms. Those are probably my more everyday types of guilty pleasures!

     Thank you so much Laura for stopping by and sharing your Seduced by the Vampire King with us all. 

I look forward to your next amazing story. 

Laura: Thank you so much for hosting me here! What fun! 

About Laura Kaye:
Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of over a half-dozen books in paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with all things paranormal. A published non-fiction author, Laura’s work as an historian and training as an archaeologist help her create vivid and accurate portrayals of other times and places. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Don’t miss Laura’s upcoming contemporary romance, 
One Night with a Hero, which releases on October 20 and
 includes an absolutely hilarious Halloween scene!


 ~ My Review ~

Seduced by the Vampire King (Vampire Warrior Kings, #2)
Book 2
Vampire Warrior Kings
American exchange student Kate Bordessa has fled to Russia to escape her family's hopes that she'll become one of the Proffered, human women who feed and mate with elite vampire warriors. But when she stumbles upon a wounded vampire in the streets of Moscow, she's instinctively driven to protect him--and feels an undeniable spark of desire.

Grieving over the deaths of his brothers, Vampire Warrior King Nikolai Vasilyev has thrown himself into battling his enemies, focused only on vengeance. Until the attack that brought him to Kate. Their sexual attraction explodes into a night of uncontrolled passion--a night that marks them as mates. Is their connection strong enough to convince them to embrace a destiny neither of them was expecting?

I gave this book a 
Seduced by the Vampire King by Laura Kaye delivers another fabulous vampire induced reading feast. This short story was a wonderful addition to Kaye’s Vampire Warrior series. Nikolai is a super hot hero, in the depths of snowy Russia. Nikolai and Kate keep warm in this sizzling, sexual read. A terrific read that carries you away. I can’t wait for more.
Buy Now!

Just in case you find yourself in need of a few books, check out what our
Mega Hallows Madness Cauldron
has in store for one lucky winner and make sure to sign up to Win!
Laura Kaye will also be donating a book for our cauldron. 

Remember to watch 
 Fridays at @9:00 PM EST
Readaholics Anonymous
Today is the last day to sign up!

Laura Kaye will be the sponsor of this week's bingo! 
This Week's Ebook Prize 
Seduced by the Vampire King (Vampire Warrior Kings, #2)
Book 2
Vampire Warrior Kings

Best of Luck!


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