Monday, December 31, 2007

The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks


The Undead Next Door
Love At Stake, Book 4
Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon Books
January 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-111845-6

When Heather Lynn Westfield attends the grand opening of Le Chique Echarpe, the last things she expects is to meet the owner. He’s a big name in the fashion world, and when he sees some of her sketches and offers her a job, Heather can’t refuse. Designing has always been a dream, but this job is about to get a whole lot more dangerous than it should. Jean-Luc has enemies, and when one targets Heather her new boss takes the responsibility he should by protecting her and the young daughter she has at home.

After losing lovers at the hands of his enemy, Jean-Luc chose not to get involved romantically with another, at least until there is no longer a threat. Life as a centuries old vampire isn’t always easy and when the fashion world begins to get suspicious that Jean-Luc is not aging, he chooses Texas as a place to hide-out. He figured that his self-imposed exile would be the worst time ever, but then he met Heather. Now his world revolves around keeping Heather and her family safe while they hunt his enemy and put an end to the threat once and for all.

The Undead Next Door is the fourth installment in the Love At Stake series. Heather’s quiet life is about to get a whole lot more exciting when the gorgeous Jean-Luc Echarpe comes to town and brings with him danger and the possibility of love. With a romantic tale that’s begins with secrets, Ms. Sparks engages readers from the first page. There’s possible danger at every turn, a touch of humor at the most unexpected of times and a love story that’s simply charming. The Undead Next Door can be read as a stand-alone, but this is such a fun series that if readers are able to they should enjoy it from the beginning.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Unquiet Dreams by Mark Del Franco


Unquiet Dreams
Mark Del Franco
Ace – Penguin Group
January 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01569-6

Connor Grey is a druid who lost most of his abilities, but what talent remains allows him to act as a consultant for the Boston Police Department. The latest case involves the mysterious deaths of a young human male and Alvud Kruge, an influential elf that organized a group called Unity. They were both killed in an area known as the Weird, and while the death of Alvud Kruge becomes a Guild investigation, Connor is sure there is a connection to the teen found murdered as well.

There’s a new drug on the streets, Float, and with two rival gangs at the center of the escalating trouble, the Weird has just become more dangerous than ever. The fight for turf and power has spread until all of Boston is at risk, and Connor with his limited magical powers may be the only one capable of stopping it before there’s nothing left to save.

Unquiet Dreams is the second book in this urban fantasy series. While helping Detective Murdock solve a murder investigation, Connor Grey is about to take on the Guild and do all he can to stop the destruction that’s already begun. Mr. Del Franco weaves a tale filled with magic, mystery and suspense. As the story unfolds, readers are drawn in by the action that flows from vicious murder to magical mischief, all delivered with a slightly humorous edge. With just the right questions left unanswered, Unquiet Dreams is a well-written story with characters that will charm readers back for another visit to the Weird.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper


Blood Dreams
A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel
Kay Hooper
Bantam Dell Books
December 31, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-553-80484-3

When her twin sister Paris got divorced, Dani packed a bag and returned to her hometown of Venture, Georgia. It’s more than a supportive visit that’s drawn Dani home, and as her vision-dreams become more focused Dani soon realizes that there is a killer nearby. It could very well be the same one who so recently terrorized Boston.

While the SCU is kept busy in the aftermath of a senator’s murdered daughter, the Haven team is working the new trail in Venture. Unlike the SCU, Haven is a privately-funded team of psychics that are able to work outside certain dictates of government.

Dani’s abilities have advanced, but the changes give her little insight to the changing vision-dreams she has each night. She’s sure that the killer has prepared a trap for the team members, but the true target is unknown. With the help of Sheriff Marc Purcell, a man who she still has feelings for, Dani and the team must hurry to save a team member before time slips away.

Blood Dreams is A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel and the first in a new trilogy. After years away Dani has finally returned to Venture, but a killer has settled in and home has just become a very dangerous place. Ms. Hooper pens a masterful paranormal suspense and fills her world with captivating characters. Fans of the Noah Bishop series will enjoy the opportunity to visit with the characters they’ve met in previous books. While it is not essential to have read previous books, this is the first book in the new trilogy and the ending may prove to be frustrating. Reading the next installment will be necessary to gain closure to the events in Blood Dreams.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, December 28, 2007

Interview - Adrian Phoenix


Darque Reviews welcomes Adrian Phoenix…..

Hi Adrian, thanks so much for sharing your time with Darque Reviews, and for giving the readers a chance to get to know you and your work.

AP: Hi Kimberly, thanks for giving me the opportunity to chat with your readers.

A Rush of Wings is your debut novel set to release with Pocket Books on January 8, 2008. Can you tell us a little about it?

AP: You bet! A Rush of Wings is a story of betrayal, shattered beliefs, and blackest secrets as Special Agent Heather Wallace trails a serial-killing sexual sadist to New Orleans. An unexpected twist leads her to Dante, gorgeous, talented – vampire, and the killer's next target. She tumbles into a deadly moonlit world of vampires, fallen angels and hidden experiments in sociopathology.

Caught in a web of deception stretching to the Bureau and beyond, Heather runs a desperate race – against time, against other agents, even against her own deepening feelings – to keep Dante alive, but she can't save him from his own stolen past. Or his destiny.

How did F.B.I. Special Agent Heather Wallace develop into a character for you? How about Dante?

AP: I created both Dante and Heather while gaming (fantasy RPGs), and I became very familiar with them as I played them, and shaped their histories, their families, and their darkest secrets.

Is A Rush of Wings the first book in a series, or is it a single title?

AP: It’s the first in a four-book story arc. Possibly more!

Can you tell us what you’re working on now, and what readers can hope to see in the next year or so?

AP: I’ve finished and turned in the second book, IN THE BLOOD, to my editor at Pocket. It has a release date of January 2009. I’m currently planning/preparing to write books three and four. I’m also working on a four-book dark fantasy story revolving around the poet John Keats and the lamia who saves him from death in Rome at the age of twenty-five. But my main focus at the moment is on Dante and Heather.

Where do you get the inspiration for a story?

AP: Music is a HUGE inspiration – from the music itself, to the lyrics, to individual stanzas, to the sound of the singer’s voice. Nine Inch Nails is my primary source for an emotional soundscape while I write. Others are Muse, Saul Williams, AFI, and movie soundtracks such as The Last Samurai, Batman Begins, Gladiator, Last of the Mohicans, Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest, in particular – among others.

What is your favorite part of writing? How about the part you dislike most?

AP: My favorite part is when I’m so into the story and the characters that the world around me fades and the words pour from my fingertips and onto the monitor in a white-hot rush and time no longer exists. My least favorite part is probably editing because it takes me out of creative mode, but editing is good. That’s when I get to whittle away the excess and reveal the story’s true shape.

What genre do you enjoy reading? Who are some of your favorite authors?

AP: I love reading so many genres! Fantasy, S/F, paranormal, horror, mystery, historical, you name it, I’ll read it. It’s the characters and the story that matters, not the genre. Some of my favorite authors are Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Caleb Carr, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Barb and JC Hendee, Kris Nelscott, James Ellroy...so many!!

How do you spend your free time?

AP: Hah! Free time! If I’m not writing/revising/editing, then I’m reading or going to movies. I also exercise – hiking, weights, yoga, belly dancing. I started belly dancing classes five years ago and really enjoy it.

What’s the best piece of advice that you can give to the aspiring writers out there?

AP: Write. Write every single day. Persistence and consistency pay off, so carve writing time into your day. I write in the evenings after work and on the weekends. And read like mad. You learn about story, craft, plotting, and characterization with each book you read – you learn what works and what doesn’t. Write. Write. Write. Network with other writers.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers before we go?

AP: Follow your dreams. Never give up no matter what anyone tells you. Want it enough to work for it and reach! You’ll make your dreams come true.

Thank you for joining us Adrian. Congratulations and the best of luck with A Rush of Wings! Hope to see more from you soon.

AP: Thanks for having me, Kimberly, and thanks to your readers, too!

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

You can visit Ms. Phoenix at her website, here:
http://adrianphoenix.com/

Her MySpace Blog here:
http://www.myspace.com/adriannikolasphoenix

A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix


A Rush of Wings
Adrian Phoenix
Pocket Books
January 8, 2008
ISBN# 978-1-4165-4144-8

The Cross Country Killer has moved on to New Orleans and FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace is there to find him. Another victim has died by the hands of the CCK, and this time the evidence leads Heather to Club Hell and its resident rock star Dante.

Dante is Nightkind, a vampire. He has little memory of his past, and what he does know has come in flashes. Lucien DeNoir stands by him and helps to ease his troubled mind, but Dante’s friends are dying and a madman has him marked.

Despite Dante’s reluctance to cooperate, Heather continues to issue warnings to the gorgeous young man who has more than captured her attention. There’s more to the case she’s been working than she knows, and now someone further up the FBI ladder wants Heather out of the way. Sticking with Dante may mean her death, or it could very well be the only thing that keeps Heather alive.

A Rush of Wings is an engaging urban fantasy and this author’s debut novel. Heather Wallace believed that the only monsters in the world were the sadistic human killers she tracked down in her job for the FBI, and then she met a vampire whose very existence challenged everything she thought she knew. Ms. Phoenix spins a deliciously dark and seductive tale filled with sadistic serial killers, sexy vampires, powerful fallen angels and secret experiments. The fast-pace and creative twists in the storyline makes this action-packed read one to remember, and the steamy romance will have readers eagerly looking for more of the same.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Twist by Colby Hodge


Twist
Colby Hodge
Shomi – Dorchester Pub.
January 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-505-52748-6

Flipping houses to pay for college has served Abbey Shore well, but her latest project has more in store for her than she had ever anticipated. Strange noises are emanating from a brick wall in her parlor that seems to serve no purpose in the house’s structure and Abbey is too curious to let it go. When the wall comes down, Abbey’s life and the lives of everyone she knows will never be the same.

Dr. Shane Maddox wishes he’d never met Abbey, and when she shows up one hundred years in the future he’s more than happy to lay the blame for everything at her feet. It was the Chronolotian, Lucinda, that changed Shane into a Tick, and because of those vampire-like traits Shane is still alive. He realizes that Abbey has triggered a portal in time, and now they have to find a way for her to return and set things straight.

Twist is a time-travel romance, and as the title implies there’s more to this story than the usual jaunt through time. Abbey knows little of her family history, but the time-twister she activates will open a doorway that not only leads to a devastating future, but enables her to learn her role as a Guardian. Shane’s life has been ripped apart and he blames Abbey, but no matter the outcome he’ll be by her side all of the way. Colby Hodge has done a fabulous job detailing this fictional world. There’s a delicious frustration factor that enhances the tension between Abbey and Shane, and it helps to give them a very realistic quality in both the present and the paranormal laced future. Twist has an imaginative storyline, vivid characterization and non-stop action that makes it impossible to set down.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Succubus On Top by Richelle Mead


Succubus On Top
The Georgina Kincaid Series, Book 2
Richelle Mead
Kensington Books
December 18, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-7582-1642-7

Life as a succubus is a never-ending job for Georgina Kincaid, especially when all she really craves is a little human normalcy. With a boyfriend that even a kiss could drain, her love life is difficult to say the least, but Seth is hanging in there and dealing with their strange arrangement.

A longtime incubus friend, Bastien, has come to town on a mission to cause the compromising position that will destroy the image of a local talk radio star. After moving in next door to his target, Bastien ropes Georgina in to help him achieve his goal. That’s an arrangement that makes even the easygoing Seth a little nervous.

Meanwhile, Georgina’s co-worker Doug is acting stranger by the day. His band is taking off with the help of a new drummer, but something more seems to be affecting each of the guys. Georgina’s not about to watch Doug destroy his life, and she’s the best chance he has to stop it.

Succubus On Top is the second installment in The Georgina Kincaid Series. Between taking on extra hours at work, keeping up her agreement as a succubus, and helping an immortal friend with his latest task, Georgina has little time left over for her very mortal boyfriend, Seth. He has been more than a little understanding, but with Bastien in town even Seth may have to question their relationship. Ms. Mead picks up the story where Succubus Blues left off and adds to the growing turmoil in Georgina’s life. This is a fast-moving read with plenty of action to keep fans riveted. There are several delicious plot twists that lead to some very sizzling sex scenes. Readers will be curious to see where Georgina and Seth’s relationship heads in the next installment.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cutting Loose by Tara Janzen


Cutting Loose
Tara Janzen
Dell
December 26, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-440-24385-4

Zachary Prade has been called back from his assignment to track down a woman he met while posing as a drug lord, Alejandro Campos. Lily has unknowingly drawn a lot of attention to herself by carrying an item given to her in El Salvador by a dying pilot. What she has is the key to unlock a file, and Zach has to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

Lily Robbins is startled to see Alejandro Campos, and even more surprised to learn that he’s a secret agent. He may also be her only hope of surviving the line-up of bad guys trying to either kidnap or kill her. In the midst of it all, the interest that began when she first spent time with Zach is still there and stronger than ever, but Lily knows that Zach is dedicated to his job. They still have to make it out alive before thoughts of the future can even come in to play.

Cutting Loose is the second book in this new series, a spin-off from the Crazy series. Zach is a professional, but with Lily around it’s easy to lose his perspective on the case he’s working when keeping her safe is always his first concern. Lily knows that it’s foolish to fall for a man like Zach, but her heart refuses to listen. Ms. Janzen writes another fast-action thriller complete with well-defined characters, beautiful cars and danger at every turn. A romantic thrill ride that you won’t want to miss. There is enough detail to read this as a stand-alone, but it does begin where the previous book, On the Loose, left off.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!







Chasing Silver by Jamie Craig


Chasing Silver
Jamie Craig
Juno Books
December 1, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-8095-7201-4

The last thing Remy Capra remembers is grabbing a handful of coins just before she fell through a window and ran for her life from Kirsten Henryk, the cop who wants to see her dead. Now she’s in Los Angeles, a far cry from the streets of Washington DC, and she has no idea how she got there. Stranger still is the fact that she appears to have traveled back in time.

Nathan Pierce is an ex-LAPD cop working as a bounty hunter. He’s chasing a local thug when Remy drops in out of thin air and causes him to lose Tian once again. It’s clear that the injured woman needs help, so Nathan offers it. Now they have double the trouble and the coin that somehow plays a part in Remy’s appearance, the Silver Maiden, is now at the center of it all. If their skills are enough to see them through, there’s still a threat that remains. There’s just no telling what the coin has in store for anyone involved.

Chasing Silver is an intriguing time-travel romance. Remy’s silent wish is answered when she lands at Nathan’s feet, and Nathan may have finally found a woman who doesn’t come with ulterior motives. Jamie Craig is a fantastic writing team, and while this isn’t their first book together, it is their print debut. The storyline is fun, brimming with action and well-paced. Remy and Nathan are characters whose strengths compliment each other while on the job and adds to the sizzling sex scenes. I look forward to more from these authors in the future.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, December 21, 2007

What books are you looking forward to in 2008?

2007 was a fabulous year of releases from our favorites as well as lots of new authors. 2008 promises to be the same. What releases are you looking forward to in 2008??

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Witch Child by Celia Rees


Witch Child
Celia Rees
Candlewick Press
July 13, 2001 (1st Candlewick Press printing)
ISBN# 978-0-7636-1421-8

Growing up with her grandmother in a small cottage near the forest was the only home Mary had ever known. When her grandmother is accused of witchcraft in 1659, Mary Newbury sees the reality of her future reflected in the last glimpse of her grandmother being taken to her death. A woman steps in and takes Mary away, preparing her for a journey with the Puritans to the New World. Her fare has been paid, and a box packed to give her a start, but otherwise fourteen-year-old Mary is on her own.

Arriving from England, Mary follows the others when they choose to travel deeper into the woods to find the family and friends of many of the other ship passengers. Despite the friendships she has made, it’s not long before Mary finds herself being accused of witchery. While it’s true that she’s a witch, young Mary has done nothing to draw attention, but once the first accusation is hurled her way there is little that can stop the inevitable outcome.

Witch Child is the story of a young girl who, despite her best efforts to fit in, finds herself in the deadly position of being labeled a witch. Ms. Rees tells this story in a very creative way, as pages from a personal journal hidden away in a quilt. This is a journey filled with emotion, and the author makes her fictional world easy to visualize. Wonderful young adult read.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, December 17, 2007

For All of You Lynsay Sands Fans....


Marta Acosta has a fabulous new interview up with Ms. Sands AND a chance for readers to win a copy of The Accidental Vampire. So pop on over there and comment! http://martaacosta.blogspot.com/ Good luck!

Into the Mist by Elizabeth Sinclair


Into the Mist
Elizabeth Sinclair
Medallion Press, Inc.
January 28, 2008
ISBN# 978-1933836-42-3

When she first stumbles into the library bloodied and confused, Carrie Henderson has no recollection of who she is or what’s happened to leave her out in the middle of a snow storm. Irma is there is greet her along with her family, and they soon guide her to Renaissance. A place where Carrie can heal and come to terms with the terrible shock she’s has as she begins to remember her past.

Dr. Frank Donovan has a past that haunts him every minute of the day. Emanuel, the elder of Renaissance, believes that Frank can be healed. He’s allowed Frank’s entrance to their village to help him see that the loss he suffered was not his fault.

Together, with the healers of Renaissance, Carrie and Frank will lend each other the support and caring they need to move on in a positive direction. They may even find the love in their hearts to set them free from the past.

Into the Mist is the sequel to Miracle in the Mist. Carrie is emotionally crushed by the abuse she witnessed, and trusting a man is the furthest thing from her mind. Frank is living each day feeling untrustworthy and avoiding entanglements. From the moment they meet the memories that haunt them begin to fade, and something new begins to bloom. Ms. Sinclair tells a beautiful tale that starts with some of the most devastating experiences in life and steadily flows into a loving romance. A fantasy that’s sweet, magical and wonderfully enchanting.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Queen of Dragons by Shana Abé


Queen of Dragons
Thief Series (Drákon), Book 3
Shana Abé
Bantam Books
December 26, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-553-80528-4

Kimber Langford, the Earl of Chasen, is the Alpha of their drákon tribe and does his best to ensure the safety of his people. The drákon are a race that has the gift to Turn, and while they live most of their lives as human they also have the ability to transform into smoke and dragon. Surprised to learn of the existence of a drákon princess, Maricara of the Zaharen, Kimber begins correspondence and offers help to the young drákon and her brother. Maricara denies needing help, and instead chooses to travel from Transylvania to England to deliver a message in person.

Upon her arrival, Maricara warns of the Others that are hunting the drákon. While Kimber finds the story hard to believe, he soon learns firsthand that what Maricara says is true as members of his own tribe have disappeared. In the face of impending battle, they must find a way to join together and save the drákon race from their enemy. For Kimber, he will also try to prove to the princess that his interest in her runs much deeper than she believes. Until he does, there is little hope that she’ll remain where he wants her, right by his side.

Queen of Dragons is the third book in the drákon Thief Series. While having been married and widowed at a very early age, Maricara’s youth shines through in her free spirit. Kimber wants to tame her for himself, but he’s about to find that this fiery female dragon won’t be caught until she’s ready. Ms. Abé has created a splendid fantasy world and led readers through a tension filled journey. As her dragons live and love, the threat of discovery forces the drákon into a fight for survival. In order to really enjoy this story, it would be best if readers had a better understanding of the background and started the series by reading The Smoke Thief and The Dream Thief beforehand.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Thirsty by M. T. Anderson


Thirsty
M. T. Anderson
Candlewick Press
August 9, 2005
ISBN# 978-0-7636-2750-8

With the usual issues a teen suffers through, Chris is your typical high school student. Then the changes begin manifesting in subtle ways, and escalate into sleepless nights and bloodlust. While Chris struggles for a note of normalcy in his life, his friendships and family eventually take a backseat to the turmoil he’s facing within. When ‘Chet’ pays him a visit and insists he’s been sent as an avatar of the Forces of Light to ask for help, Chris begins to think that he may actually have the chance to use what’s happening to him for the greater good. In return for his help, he’s been promised to be freed of the vampirism coursing through his veins. An opportunity he can’t refuse.

Avoiding the vampire community as best he can, Chris follows through with his end of the deal in placing a magic disk with the Vampire Lord, Tch’muchgar. Once done, Chris questions the wisdom of trusting Chet, and is forced to wait out the results of his actions. While Chris continues his personal battle to remain human, vampires are being judged and executed without trial. That’s a fate he could face one day soon.

Thirsty is a paranormal written for young adults and easily reads as such. Chris is on the cusp of change, and for him the challenges he’ll face are more than your average teen is forced to endure. Mr. Anderson pens a story of the trials of adolescence and adds a paranormal element that complicates that already difficult time in life. A fast moving and suspenseful read that’s pleasantly entertaining.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Heat of the Night by Sylvia Day


Heat of the Night
Dream Guardians, Book 2
Sylvia Day
Red – Avon – Harper Collins
January 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-123103-2

When the Guardian’s homeworld was invaded by Nightmares, they were forced to flee into a conduit plane, the Twilight, between their dimension and that of the human’s. The Nightmares are a race of shadowy parasites that the Elite Warriors, like Connor Bruce, continue to battle. When Connor suspects that the Elders can no longer be trusted, he and his team make plans for him to hop a stream into the human world by using a Medium to do it. There he’ll meet up with Aidan Cross who left the Twilight to live with the woman he loves. Lyssa also happens to be special, the one they call the Key, and her survival is essential.

Arriving at Aidan and Lyssa’s home, Connor meets their friend Stacey who is house sitting while they are away. Stacey works at Lyssa’s veterinary practice and is a single mother. Her son is away on a ski trip with his father, and while she usually makes the worst choices in men like her ex, she can’t help the instant attraction to Conner. As the danger grows around them, Conner must share the truth about himself, putting Stacey further into harms way. Now Conner will not only have to continue his mission, but protect Stacey and her family at all costs. The Elders are looking after their own best interests and continuing to grow in power, anyone who crosses them is expendable.

Heat of the Night is the second book in the Dream Guardians series. Stacey has had enough trouble with men to last her a lifetime, but meeting Connor slowly melts the wall that she has erected to protect herself. Connor has lived for centuries and never had an interest in settling down, but meeting Stacey has made him crave what he’s always denied himself before. Ms. Day knows how to spin a tantalizing tale and in this intriguing fantasy world she easily captures the reader’s attention. Action, suspense and love are just some of the elements that make this book sizzle. A sexy warrior, a willing woman, and their scorching sexual encounters will leave readers looking forward to their next steamy visit with the Dream Guardians.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lord of the Night by Robin T. Popp


Lord of the Night
Night Slayer, Book 4
Robin T. Popp
Forever – Grand Central Publishing
December 1, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-446-61785-7

Kacie Renault has come home to Winslow castle in Hocksley, England to pack a few of her things. She plans to move to the states with her boyfriend, Ben. When she arrives she finds that her father is away and there is only Erik to greet her. Erik’s a vampire, and not exactly at the top of Kacie’s list of friends with her pastime as a slayer, but Erik is about to become the only one who can save her.

Accused of slaying Sedrick, the brother of Erik’s friends, Michael and Ty, she’s about to find out what little tolerance vampires have when one of their own is killed. Michael is demanding Kacie’s life for his brother’s and Erik has refused, making it clear that he will protect her at all costs. The pact between Erik and Michael’s lair is now in jeopardy, and without it there will be little protection for the local humans.

A bit of snooping provides a startling discovery for Kacie, and armed with nothing more than the information she’s found she plans to use it to her benefit. The local chupacabras have hidden and gone undisturbed for centuries, but Kacie’s meddling could once again shatter the delicate balance between man and beast.

Lord of the Night is the fourth book in the Night Slayer series of paranormal romances. Kacie has her life all planned out, and wants no part of a vampire regardless of how sexy he is. Erik is about to show the slayer a side to vampires that she’ll never forget. Ms. Popp pens a well-detailed vampire tale and adds some intriguing twists. A fast moving storyline builds the tension that links slayer and vampire, while the sizzling chemistry between them quickly boils over. While part of a series, this book is easily read as a stand-alone.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Marked by Moonlight by Sharie Kohler


Marked by Moonlight
The Moon Chasers Series, Book 1
Sharie Kohler
Pocket Books
December 26, 2007
ISBN# 978-1-4165-4227-8

Claire Morgan is a school teacher with a meek personality when she ventures into the bad part of town to visit a student. She’s been tutoring Lenny for the SAT and he hasn’t been around for a few days. Knowing his situation at home isn’t good, Claire is hoping to get him back to school in time for the test. While she finds her student, she also finds a large dog that’s beyond reasoning and Claire is attacked. That’s when the changes begin.

Gideon March hunts lycans, but he has broken every rule when it comes to Claire. He knows that his job requires her destruction, but he’s sure that if they can locate the alpha before Claire makes a kill then she can be saved. His boss, Cooper, doesn’t agree. Now they’re in a race against the moon to eliminate the alpha they have yet to identify. If they don’t locate him in time, then Claire’s life is forfeit. Gideon hasn’t thrown away everything he’s worked for just to lose the woman he’s falling for in the end.

Marked by Moonlight is the first book in The Moon Chasers Series. When Claire’s life is changed by the bite of a lycan, she’s more than happy to embrace the woman who emerges. Gideon plans to stop the wolf within Claire before it ever gets a chance to be free. Ms. Kohler delivers a gripping tale filled with memorable characters, strong chemistry and steamy passion. Gideon and Claire will keep readers riveted and looking forward to the next exciting Moon Chasers adventure.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, December 2, 2007

One Bite Stand by Nina Bangs


One Bite Stand
Nina Bangs
Mackenzie Vampires, Book 4
Leisure – Dorchester Publishing
January 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-8439-5954-3

Daria can hardly believe her luck when Ganymede offers her the night manager position at the Woo Woo Inn. As a harpy, she’s expected to carry unsuspecting prey off to Tartarus, she really wasn’t expecting a callback for a job. Being a harpy hasn’t been an easy life for Daria, she’s never quite been scary or ugly enough. Her twin brother Kal has used his magic to change their appearance and help them fit in. Now’s her chance to shine, and with a judge among the guests at the Inn, Daria has no intention of failing.

Declan is a vampire from the Mackenzie clan sent to see what happened to some council members who previously went missing. What he finds is something evil with the intention of bringing the world to an end. There’s also the harpy that captures his attention and stirs up feelings that he’s kept under control for centuries. With some powerful non-human help, their plan is to bind Fenrir and prevent him from sacrificing Declan. If they fail, Fenrir will have the power to bring about a prophecy that will destroy the world as they know it.

One Bite Stand is the fourth book in the Mackenzie Vampire series. Every visit to the Woo Woo Inn, especially when cosmic troublemakers Sparkle Stardust and Ganymede are involved, is equal parts fun and dangerous. With the fabulous ability to entertain her readers through every page, Ms. Bangs has a writing style all her own. Wonderfully original, the story moves quickly and takes readers on an action filled adventure with a healthy dose of passion, sex and love. This is a well-rounded and enchanting paranormal romance.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs


Iron Kissed
Mercy Thompson Series, Book 3
Patricia Briggs
Ace
January 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01566-5

When Mercy’s ex-boss, Zee, asks for her help in discovering the killer in several fae slayings, she’s there to help in the best way she can. As a walker, Mercy has the ability to shapeshift into a coyote, and following scents is one of the things coyotes do best. Besides stumbling into things she should not be able to see, Mercy finds that there’s a common scent at the crime scenes she enters.

Before they can question the suspect, someone has gotten to him first, and no one will be getting answers from his corpse. The police arrest Zee for the murder, and Mercy isn’t about to stand by and watch her friend be railroaded into taking the fall on a crime he didn’t commit. Zee is being uncooperative, and it appears that the fae have turned their backs on the situation. Mercy’s caught the attention of someone who doesn’t want her to succeed, and he’d be more than happy to end her life to accomplish his goal.

Iron Kissed in the third book in the Mercy Thompson Series. With ties to the local wolf pack, Mercy has protection, but fighting this unpredictable enemy may prove fatal when the fae are involved. Ms. Briggs creates a new death-defying adventure for her characters, and adds a large dose of mystery. There’s a tension filled romance slowly unfolding, and lives will change when this sassy heroine makes her heartfelt decision. This is a fast-paced urban fantasy that’s highly entertaining and will keep readers intrigued from beginning to end. Good luck setting it down once you’ve begun.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Kitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn


Kitty and the Silver Bullet
Kitty Norville, Book 4
Carrie Vaughn
Grand Central Publishing – Hachette Book Group USA
January 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-446-61875-5

Kitty’s still gracing the airwaves with her weekly call-in show for the paranormal, but news that her mother is ill draws werewolf Kitty Norville back to Denver. It’s the one place she doesn’t want to be. Exiled by the pack leader, Carl, she’s under a death threat just for entering the city. When Carl gets wind of her arrival, and that of Ben, her werewolf lover, asking her to leave is the last thing on his mind.

There’s a fight for Master stirring between two powerful vampires, and Kitty is about to find herself in the center of the storm. Unable to take a neutral stand, Kitty and Ben join forces with Rick, the vampire set on taking the throne from Arturo, Denver’s current Master. As the plans are made and the battle moves forward, Kitty is forced to stand up to Carl and Meg, the alpha werewolves of her old pack. It’s all or nothing now, and if their coup fails, Kitty won’t live to see another moon rise.

Kitty and the Silver Bullet is the fourth book in the Kitty Norville series. Forming a two wolf pack with Ben, Kitty is about to face one of her worst fears. Kitty just hopes that she and her new wolf, Ben, are strong enough to survive. In one of the best werewolf series in print, Ms. Vaughn adds an exciting new adventure with a touch of mystery, tons of intrigue and continuing romance. With such big changes in Kitty’s life, readers will be anxiously awaiting her next escapade.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Winner - Lynsay Sands Book Giveaway


A big thank you to everyone who participated, and to Avon Books - Harper Collins who has sent me the set of galleys that include all three of the upcoming releases by Lynsay Sands. The Accidental Vampire, Vampires Are Forever, and Vampire Interrupted. They've also sent the promo item to go with each of the books.

The winner is......

Kara

Congratulations Kara! If you'd please contact me at darque reviews @ gmail.com (no spaces) with your mailing address, I'd be happy to get your goodies in the mail for you!

Thanks again for stopping by, and for all of the great comments....

Kimberly

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust by Jennifer Rardin


Another One Bites the Dust
Jaz Parks, Book 2
Jennifer Rardin
Orbit Books
December 12, 2007
ISBN# 9-780-316-02057-2

Sent to retrieve experimental body armor, Jaz and Vayl find themselves undercover at the Corpus Christi Winter Festival. Cassandra, Cole and Miles Bergman round out the team as their plans to eliminate Chien-Lung and recover the item take shape. Bergman has more emotional connection in this case than the rest of the team; it’s his armor that’s been stolen.

There’s an added complication, Reavers, who rip away and steal marked souls. Worse still, they may be connected to Edward Samos, the Raptor, who the team continues their hunt for. Lucky for Jaz, her emerging gifts enable her to see their shields and ultimately help in finding a way to stop the murderous creatures long enough for them to finish their assignment.

The bond of sverhamin and avhar grows ever stronger for Vayl and Jaz. Their talents strengthen, and for Vayl his latest change is something to behold.

Another One Bites the Dust is the second installment in the Jaz Parks series. Packed with paranormal beings and high-tech weaponry, Ms. Rardin weaves a marvelous tale filled with tension and non-stop action. The added humor, especially when Cole and Jaz are involved, is too laugh-out-loud funny to resist. The ‘welcome mat’ just did me in laughing.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Down Home Zombie Blues by Linnea Sinclair


The Down Home Zombie Blues
Linnea Sinclair
Bantam Books
November 27, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-553-58964-1

Homicide Detective Sergeant Theo Petrakos is perplexed by the mummified corpse they’ve found. With little evidence, the odd laptop found at the scene is an important lead in unraveling the mystery of the victim. With no one else available, transporting it falls in Theo’s lap. It’s not long before he sees first hand what did the killing, but it’s a bit more difficult to swallow that the creatures aren’t from Earth. Meeting the beautiful starship Commander, Jorie Mikkalah, is an eye opening experience for Theo. He soon finds himself fighting alien zombies side-by-side with the alien team trained to eliminate them.

Commander Jorie Mikkalah is on a mission to prevent biomechanical organisms from infesting Florida to breed. She’s also fighting for a captaincy, and if she fails this mission she loses that chance. Theo Petrakos is a Nil, and while it’s against their regulations to expose their presence, Jorie sees that his police training and open mind makes him a perfect ally on Earth. As they fight the zombies and try to locate the C-Prime who controls them, their plans are interrupted by the alien Tresh. The Tresh, having their own agenda, are about to complicate matters further.

The will to survive is a strong motivator, and so are the feelings that have developed between Jorie and Theo. Time is running out to implement their plan. If they don’t act soon and destroy the C-Prime, a new herd of zombies will join the old. Their small team may not have the strength to stop them, but they’re willing to die trying.

The Down Home Zombie Blues is a sci-fi romance that may make readers wonder what could be waiting out there in space, beyond what we can see. Jorie has a mission to complete, and Theo’s just the man to help her save the planet from the zombie’s destruction. With great focus on detail, Ms. Sinclair creates an alternate world where the evils of space have spilled onto the Earth. While initially surprised at the length of this book, it was a pleasure to see how quickly the story unfolded and how easy the author made it for readers to follow along without confusion. The storyline is convincing, the world is well-built, the characters are intriguing and the romance is as sweet as it is passionate. Can’t wait to see where Ms. Sinclair takes us next.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Devil Inside by Jenna Black


The Devil Inside
Morgan Kingsley, Book 1
Jenna Black
Dell – Spectra
November 27, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-553-59044-9

In a world where humans offer themselves as hosts to demons, Morgan Kingsley is an exorcist. Not all demons are invited in, some are illegal and have taken over a human host without their consent. Laws are in place to protect the population against the incredible strength a demon possessed human has. When someone is killed because of one, Morgan is called in to exorcise the demon. She tries to avoid her demon loving family, especially her brother Andrew, and balances her life with Brian, the boyfriend who’s everything she wants him to be.

When Adam White, demon host and head of the Special Forces who police for rogue demons, asks Morgan to exorcise a demon from his lover, she’s obligated to perform her job. Sure that this exorcism will be burned into her memory forever, Morgan isn’t surprised when it becomes an emotional affair.

Realizing that somewhere along the line something’s gone wrong, Morgan finds her life being shared with a demon. Being in a position she would never consent to is disconcerting enough, but when her life is threatened she’s left with no choice but to follow the demon’s suggestion. A suggestion that puts her in the hands of Adam, and into the middle of an ongoing demon battle that Morgan can only hope they’re strong enough to survive.

The Devil Inside is the first book in the Morgan Kingsley series. Morgan doesn’t like demons, she exorcises them, but when she finds herself possessed by a gorgeous demon that actually seems like a decent guy, she’ll have to admit that not all of them are pure evil. With characters you can’t help but love, and those you love to hate, Ms. Black begins her new series with a storyline that’s full of action and surprises. It’s sometimes dark, often loving and completely sexy.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian


Midnight Awakening
Midnight Breed Series, Book 3
Lara Adrian
Bantam Dell
November 27, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-553-58939-9

As the battle between the Breed vampires of the Order and the Rogues continues, Elise Chase searches for justice by killing Minions of the Rogues every chance she gets. Having lost her son just a few short months ago to Crimson, the drug that brings on Bloodlust and leaves little chance of recovery, Elise is exacting vengeance on those she holds responsible. Armed with nothing more than a dagger and a psychic ability that allows her to track those who took everything she loved, Elise finds herself in a dangerous situation. Without the knowledge to control her gift it’s slowly destroying her, and help from a powerful Breed warrior, Tegan, may be her only chance of survival.

Having lost the love of his life centuries earlier, Tegan knows the pain that the Breedmate, Elise, has endured from losing both the man she loved and the son they shared. Though he knows he’s crazy to offer his help, his need to protect Elise wins and Tegan finds himself walking the edge with the desire to take her as his own. Something much worse than the Rogues has been lurking beyond their sight, now it’s out in the world and the Breed warriors are the only hope of stopping it.

Midnight Awakening is the third book in the Midnight Breed Series. Elise is disposing of those she feels are responsible for the death of her son. Tegan knows he can’t force her away from danger, but he’s about to change her solitary life in a way that not even she can deny. It’s a difficult task to create a unique vampire romance, let alone a series, but Ms. Adrian has kept many elements of her stories fresh, fun and entertaining. This is an enjoyable adventure backed by danger, passion and a second chance at love for two lonely souls.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon - Edited by P. N. Elrod


My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon
Anthology – Edited by P. N. Elrod
St. Martin’s Griffin
December 26, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-312-37504-1

Stalked by Kelley Armstrong - Clay takes Elena on what he believes will be her idea of a special honeymoon, and ends up reaffirming his fierce reputation when they’re stalked by a mutt.

Heorot by Jim Butcher - Harry Dresden is called in to track a kidnapped young woman who just got married. What he finds waiting is a Grendelkin intent on keeping his prize.

Roman Holiday or Spq-arrrrrr by Rachel Caine - Cecilia’s marriage to Captain Liam Lockhart starts off with a near mutiny by the crew, but things turn far worse when she’s kidnapped by a pirate who believes she’s a witch.

Her Mother’s Daughter by P. N. Elrod - Dorothy Schubert hires a detective, Jack Flemming, to locate her missing husband just hours after their wedding. Dorothy’s no slouch when it comes to getting what she wants, and she won’t stop before she gets it.

Newlydeads, A Tale of Black London by Caitlin Kittredge - Jack Winter thought he’d lift Pete Caldecott’s spirits by taking her away to the comforts of a honeymoon suite, but there will be no rest with something dark waiting for them just beyond the fog.

Where the Heart Lives by Marjorie M. Liu - Lucy is forced into a job she quickly grows to love. There’s something about the woods that her employer won’t share, but it’s a secret that Lucy will soon discover first hand.

Cat Got Your Tongue? by Katie MacAlister - Raphael and Joy have taken a honeymoon at Fyfe Castle where ghosts are plentiful. They’re quickly pulled into a centuries old argument to free a spirit, but in doing so someone will be left with a curse.

Half of Being Married by Lilith Saintcrow - Kat and Mitch Black have been keeping secrets that emerge when they’re attacked by sanguine. Their honeymoon turns into work when teens turn up missing and Kat’s sure that there’s a nest nearby.

A Wulf in Groom’s Clothing by Ronda Thompson - Sam thought that marrying Laura, his soul mate, would break a family curse, but it hasn’t. Now he has to share the truth with the woman he loves and hope that she’ll truly stand by him through better or worse.

My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon is a fabulous collection of nine short stories from some of the hottest paranormal romance writers around. Each unique tale is a well-written, thoroughly engrossing visit with characters old and new. Fast, fun, and wonderfully enjoyable.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts


The Remains of the Dead
A Ghost Dusters Mystery, Book 1
Wendy Roberts
Obsidian – Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
December 4, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22268-8

With her company, Scene-2-Clean, Sadie Novak has a job that’s disturbing to most people. Cleaning up after murders, suicides or deaths that have gone unnoticed for some time is difficult. Having lost her brother, Sadie knows that her services are a big help to the families left behind. She also has a special gift, one that she usually wishes she didn’t. Sadie can speak to the dead whose ghosts have lingered at the scene.

With Zack Bowman, an ex-cop and Sadie’s employee, they tackle a job for a grieving mother who’s having a hard time believing that her son, Grant, killed his wife and then took his own life out of guilt. Trudy, the wife’s ghost that’s stayed behind, is trying to share the truth with Sadie, but someone is out to make sure that Sadie doesn’t have a chance to figure out the facts.

A stranger shows up on Sadie’s job, and thinking he’s a ghost, Sadie dismisses him. Later, when she realizes that Kent was no ghost, she looks into his connection to the deceased couple and begins to wonder if he could have had something to do with the deaths of his friends. With the help of Maeva, a psychic who was inadvertently pulled into the mystery, Sadie draws closer to solving the case. Now the killer is more determined than ever to stop her, even if it means permanently eliminating her to do it.

The Remains of the Dead is the first installment in the Ghost Dusters Mystery series. Sadie is a strong woman who has reluctantly accepted her psychic talent and is determined to help the ghosts that look for her help. When she finds herself tracking down a murderer who’d like to see her dead, she’s thankful to have Zack at her back and a new psychic friend by her side. Ms. Roberts kicks off her series with a fabulous mystery and a charming group of characters. A well-told mystery, a healthy dose of the paranormal and a taste of potential romance will keep you guessing through the twists and turns. Remains of the Dead leaves readers eager to discover where the next visit with Sadie and her friends will lead.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, November 23, 2007

AngelMonster by Veronica Bennett


AngelMonster
Veronica Bennett
Candlewick Press
HC – May 9, 2006
ISBN# 978-0-7636-2994-6
PB – August 28, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-7636-3407-0

At the age of sixteen, Mary is filled with romantic hopes and dreams. The day she runs away with Percy Shelley she thinks those dreams have been realized. Shelley is a poet, a free spirit that has shunned society and the wife and kids he has left behind to be with Mary. Along for what the girls believe will be a wonderful adventure is Mary’s sister, Jane, who’s changed her name to Claire.

What begins as a whirlwind romance soon becomes a series of events that bring death and heartache to young Mary. The death of a child is devastating, but for Mary that nightmare has visited her several times over. A life filled with grief over her lost children is difficult, but added to that pain is the dramatic changes in Shelley’s behavior, and the need to sedate him while he recovers from his breaks with reality. Mary’s a strong girl for all that she’s endured, but when she believes that Shelley has been unfaithful, it’s a blow to their marriage that never has the chance to be resolved.

AngelMonster is a fictional account loosely based on the young life of Mary Shelley and the difficult life that eventually led to her writing Frankenstein. Ms. Bennett pens an imaginative tale of romance and heartbreak. AngelMonster is an emotional roller-coaster ride that pins you to your seat and makes it impossible to set it down. Readers will experience the joys of love, the beauty of life and the tragedy of death. This is a young adult title that is best suited to mature readers.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove


Opening Atlantis
Harry Turtledove
ROC
December 4, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-46174-2

Part One - New Hastings: Edward Radcliffe strikes a bargain with François Kersauzon and he soon sets foot on Atlantis for the first time. Wildlife and vegetation the likes of which they’ve never seen inhabit the island, but it appears that no one has staked a claim and called it home. Life away from England where his family could be safe is all the incentive Edward needs. The Radcliffes, as well as the others who’ve joined them, settle in to a new life. The new settlements forming aren’t a problem for the little town of New Hastings, but when the wrong person decides he’ll force his way into ruling the land, there will be a high price to pay in keeping the freedom they worked so hard to obtain.

Part Two - Avalon: Red Rodney Radcliffe captains the Black Hand out of Avalon Bay and is well known throughout Atlantis for the plundering pirate that he is. William Radcliff lives a respectable life and runs a trading firm in Stuart. Both men are descendants of Edward Radcliffe through his son Henry, but they’re as different as second cousins could possibly be. William is done with having his ships robbed, and when the opportunity presents itself he’s more than willing to even the score.

Part Three – Nouveau Redon: It’s been three-hundred years since the first settlement, New Hastings, began in Atlantis. Roland Kersauzon has gotten word that France and England are at war and he’s securing the Nouveau Redon fortress for battle, should it have to defend itself. Victor Radcliff welcomes Major General Braddock from England, and soon the war spreads to Atlantis. War torn, a changed Atlantis will be left in its wake.

Opening Atlantis is the first in a new trilogy. In an alternate history where the world has an eighth continent, Mr. Turtledove details life in the first three-hundred years since settling Atlantis. The world-building, while created with some similarity to history, is just phenomenal. The characters are well-drawn, and as the centuries pass their relation to the original settlers is easily seen. If you’re looking for the usual fantasy or paranormal tale of Atlantis, you won’t find that here between these covers. What you will find is an action packed adventure bound to intrigue any reader who dares to wonder what might have been if the world were a slightly different place.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Winner - Happy Hour at Casa Dracula



A big thank you to everyone who stopped by to enter the contest or say hi to Marta Acosta!

The winner of a copy of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula is:

PamK

Please contact me at darquereviews @ gmail.com (no spaces) with your snail mail info so we can get your new book out to you.

Congratulations PamK! If you haven't read Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, or Midnight Brunch, you're missing out on a really good time. Like Marta suggested the other day....if you're not able to get a copy of your own, then check your local library. You'll be happy you did! :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lynsay Sands - Book Giveaway


The wonderful folks at Avon Books - Harper Collins have sent me a set of galleys that include all three of the upcoming releases by Lynsay Sands. The Accidental Vampire, Vampires Are Forever, and Vampire Interrupted. They release the end of December, January and February. That would be pretty wonderful to have your own set to read long before they hit the shelves, right? They've also sent the promo item to go with each of the books. All you have to do is stop by and leave a comment anytime between now and November 30th to be entered to win. One winner will win all three of the books and cute promo goodies that go with them. The winner will be announced on December 1st, so be sure to stop by and see if it's you!
Don't forget to read the interview with Ms. Sands while you're here!
Good Luck, and Happy Reading! :)

Interview - Lynsay Sands


Darque Reviews welcomes Lynsay Sands:

Hi Ms. Sands, thanks so much for sharing this time with Darque Reviews! We’re looking forward to getting to know both you and your work a bit better.

Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing, and how many books you’ve had published?

LS: I could tell you but it makes me feel so oldddd. Oh all right. Actually, I’ve been writing my whole life. However, my first book was published in April 1997. As for how many books, that would be 25 full novels (14 historicals, 10 Argeneaus and 1 contemp) 3 half books and 7 anthologies.

You have three upcoming releases with Avon Books (Harper Collins). The Accidental Vampire, Vampires are Forever and Vampire Interrupted. Can you tell us a little about your Argeneau vampire family and how many books readers can expect to find in the series?

LS: When I started the Argeneaus, I needed to find a way for them to be vampires but not dead and soulless, because I couldn’t see how someone soulless could love anyone. However, I also wanted them to be like the traditional vampires in some ways. Stronger, faster, with special mental abilities, etc. I also wanted them old, because there’s just something sexy about someone so powerful and whose seen and done a lot and been around ages and ages but chooses you for a mate. I mean, they’ve met a lot of women/men and yet the hero/heroine is the chosen one. It makes it more special. Those were my requirements when I started the series and my Argeneaus were the answer I came up with. They’re old, but their vampirism is based on science rather than some curse.

The Argeneaus, themselves, are really your typical family other than being vampires. They love each other, sometimes interfere, sometimes are thoughtless, sometimes take advantage, but are always there to back each other up when the . . . er . . . stuff hits the fan.

As for how many books, even I don’t know that. I keep coming up with new situations to explore, and issues to address and so long as those keep coming, the stories will too. They will not always be Argeneaus, however. In fact, the book I just mailed in was about Mortimer, one of the enforcers.

You recently had your story Run, Run, Rudolph published in the Avon Books anthology Holidays are Hell. Can you tell us a little about that story and where you got the idea for it?

LS: Run Run Rudolph is basically a continuation of my story in Dates From Hell. Here, Jill--the sister from the first story—has become the target of her brother’s ex co-worker; an evil scientist who turns her into a shapeshifter with the intention of performing some rather horrible tests on her. She manages to escape and make it to the parade where she’s supposed to be Mrs. Claus, but her nemisis follows and she finds herself on the run with a sexy Mr. Claus, using her new abilities to try to save them both.

Can you tell us what you’re working on now, and what fans can look forward to?

LS: I literally just finished corrections on my first Historical for Avon as well as writing the next Argeneau to be released sometime next year after the three coming out in early 2008. I mailed them out yesterday, and this morning started the next historical for Avon. It’s a Scottish Medieval.

What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?

LS: The beginning. Starting the story is always hardest. I usually haven’t got a handle on the characters yet and tend to fuss over and write and rewrite the first three or four chapters until I know who they are and what they’re like and how they’ll react to situations. After that they tend to take over and kind of tell me what to write. I know that sounds silly, but it’s just how it works for me.

You’ve written in several genres. Is one more enjoyable for you to work in?

LS: Not really, each has something to recommend it. My interest lies more with the situations and the characters than with the time period.

What genre do you enjoy reading? Who are some of your favorite authors?

LS: I love romance, but oddly enough, the first book I look for after finishing writing one of my stories (I never read while writing a book) is a horror. And my favorite author is Dean Koontz.

Have any authors been an influence to your writing?

LS: That’s a hard question. I don’t really know if I’ve ever been influenced by a writer, or just books in general. At least, I can’t pinpoint a certain book or writer who influenced me. I was writing in grade school, before I had actually decided what I liked to read, maybe even before I became a voracious reader. I sometimes think I was just born a writer, and rather than being influenced by another writer, it was probably a grade school English teacher, Mr. Brady, who influenced me the most. He used to assign us a story every Friday. It was “Write a one page story about such-and-such.” That story was to be collected the next Friday. However, the first time this happened, I went to him the following week and explained my story was fourteen pages long, but just wasn’t done yet.” I can still remember his expression as he dropped his pencil on the desk. After a hesitation, he said, “Well, then your assignment is to continue on with it and hand it in next week.” But it was thirty pages long and not done the next week, and so on. Most of my stories ended up being action adventures about 60 to 90 pages long that year and taking four or five weeks to write and he allowed it.

On parent teacher night, he pulled my mother aside and told her, “If you encourage this girl the least little bit, she’ll be published one day.” I really think his encouraging my creativity as well as giving me the freedom to not follow either the one page guideline or even his suggestions for what to write about is the reason I’m a writer today. That and the fact that my mother listened to him and did encourage me.

Did you have an interest in vampires before beginning your Argeneau series?

LS: Not at all, LOL. In fact, this series is all the fault of a writer friend of mine. I never even considered doing vamps until she suggested we do a vampire anthology together with another friend. I laughed and said, “Oh no! If I did a vamp they’d have to faint at the sight of blood or something silly like that.” The ideas I tossed out that night stuck with me and just wouldn’t go away until I sat down and started writing them. The Argeneaus are the result.

What do you do to unwind in your free time?

LS: I love to read which shouldn’t be surprising. I also love movies, painting and renovating our old house and long bubble baths, especially with a book and a glass of wine.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers or aspiring writers before we go?

LS: Just to thank them. They are the reason I get to do what I do.

Thank you so much for spending some time with Darque Reviews and for giving us a peek into your writing world. It’s been a pleasure having you!

Kimberly Swan,
Darque Reviews

Please visit Lynsay Sands website here:
http://www.lynsaysands.net/

Avon – Harper Collins can be found here:
http://www.harpercollins.com/

Vampire, Interrupted by Lynsay Sands


Vampire, Interrupted
Argeneau Series, Book 9
Lynsay Sands
Avon Books – Harper Collins
February 26, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-122977-0

Marguerite Argeneau had a miserable life with her late husband, Jean Claude. He was controlling and cruel to the point of her only joy being their children. Marguerite thinks that time in her life is behind her, but someone has other plans for her future.

When the opportunity arises for Marguerite to take on a job as a PI, she teams up with Tiny for their first case together. What starts out as tracking down Christian Notte’s birthmother becomes a complicated search into the past. When Christian’s father, Julius, joins their group, a centuries old secret is revealed.

Christian is desperate to learn his mother’s identity, but Julius has refused to provide any information. It’s a time from his life that Julius prefers not to revisit. He lost the love of his life, his lifemate. It’s been centuries since he had any interest in courting a woman, but with his son’s help, Julius isn’t about to let Marguerite slip through his fingers. In order to keep her he’ll have to share the truth of the past and put an end to Christian’s search. When the facts are revealed, the shocking reality may be too much to bear.

Vampire, Interrupted is the ninth book in the Argeneau series. The last thing Marguerite wants in her life is a man, but Julius Notte is not easily put off. In the midst of blossoming romance, the Argeneau family is about to learn a secret that someone is willing to kill to protect. With a fast-paced and creative storyline, Ms. Sands dazzles readers with a fascinating thrill ride of danger packed action and chemistry that won’t be denied. This is a touching story of second chances at love, and starting over.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Vampires Are Forever by Lynsay Sands


Vampires Are Forever
Argeneau Series, Book 8
Lynsay Sands
Avon Books – Harper Collins
January 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-122969-5

Woken before the crack of dawn to pick-up Thomas Argeneau from the airport is not Inez Urso’s idea of starting a good day. To make matters worse, Thomas leaves the airport without her. When she catches up to him in his hotel room she has plenty to say. It’s too bad that Thomas doesn’t understand Portuguese, because few of her angry words are in English. Still, the woman fascinates him from the moment he opens the door.

Marguerite Argeneau has gone missing and her family is in a panic. Thomas has been sent to England to track down his aunt from her last known whereabouts, and Bastien has sent one of his employees, Inez, to help. When Thomas realizes he has no blood, Bastien suggests he drink from Inez and then wipe her memory. From there it gets progressively more difficult. Someone wants them out of the picture, and they have no qualms in killing them if need be. Their search for Aunt Marguerite isn’t turning out to be very successful. If help doesn’t arrive soon, Thomas and Inez may not live long enough to unravel the mystery.

Vampires Are Forever is the eighth book in the Argeneau series. Inez has no intention of falling for a handsome man’s charms, but Thomas has waited centuries for her and he’s not about to let her go now. With the right mix of elements, Ms. Sands provides a compelling story of suspense, mystery and danger that will keep readers guessing. The well-written characters are engaging, and the romance that develops will leave you craving more of this author’s passionate tales of vampire lifemates.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

The Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands


The Accidental Vampire
Argeneau Series, Book 7
Lynsay Sands
Avon Books – Harper Collins
December 26, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-06-122968-8

When Elvi Black’s friends decide that she needs someone who can be with her forever, they take out a personal add looking for a male vampire. The Council gets wind of it and Victor Argeneau is sent as an enforcer to investigate. He and five others answer the ad. A few are quickly eliminated, but most remain. Victor’s week long visit with Elvi turns into far more than a job for the Council.

A trip to Mexico with her best friend Mabel changed Elvi’s life, and since her return Port Henry has never been the same. The town has been very accepting of the new Elvi, but it seems she knows little about being a vampire. As far as she’s concerned she has no sire, because an accident turned her. Just about the time that her friends arrange for her to meet men of the fanged variety, Elvi finds herself in danger. Someone is out to end her life, and her new suitors could be her only hope of surviving.

The Accidental Vampire is the seventh book in the Argeneau series. Elvi has no idea how to act as a vampire, but she managed to do well enough before Victor entered her life. Now, with his help, Elvi is about to have a crash course in living life as an immortal. Ms. Sands pens a delightful tale filled with tension, passion and more than a bit of comedy. This is a vampire romance that manages to be both humorous and sexy at just the right moments.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula - Book Giveaway


Have you read Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta? If not, now is your chance to win a copy of your own! All you need to do is leave a comment on this post any time between now and midnight Friday (November 16th). If you can also tell us the name of Marta's next book in the Casa Dracula series your name will be entered twice and you'll double your chance to win. Here's a hint: Scroll down and read Marta's interview.
Please be sure to check back on November 17th when the winner will be announced.
Good luck, and happy reading!

Interview - Marta Acosta

Darque Reviews welcomes Marta Acosta!

Hi Ms. Acosta, thanks so much for sharing this time with Darque Reviews!
We’re excited to learn more about you and your work.

To begin, can you tell us how you found yourself on the path to becoming an author? Was writing a profession that you chose, or did it choose you?

MA: I've always written, and I think writers don't really have a choice. It's what we do. We scribble in class, we send notes to friends, we write letters, and we dream up stories. Now the tough part was finding a way to get paid for writing. It's not as if you leave college with a degree in creative writing and walk right into a well-paid job as a novelist. My jobs usually had a writing component. While writing a press release isn't the same as writing fiction, business writing is still writing. I also wrote for fun, silly things to amuse myself and my friends, and I write freelance columns and articles.

My first attempt at a novel was a dark thriller. Editors liked it but said that it was too dark and "unmarketable." A few years later, I came up with the idea for a comic novel with vampires. I'd always written humor, so I don't know why I didn't think of writing a funny novel earlier. I probably didn't think it counted as "serious" writing.

You have a great series being published by Pocket Books. Can you tell us a bit about Happy Hour at Casa Dracula and Midnight Brunch?

MA: I say that these books are basically: vampires, margaritas, mayhem. Milagro de Los Santos is a young woman who lacks a decent income, real direction in life, and a worthwhile relationship, but she's funny, sexy, good-natured, and she's got a degree from a Fancy University (F.U.). After an encounter with an attractive man named Oswald, she becomes very ill and begins craving raw meat. She's kidnapped by an extremist group and then rescued by Oswald's family. The family has a genetic autosomal condition that makes them susceptible to sunlight. Oh, they also drink animal blood, and many people would call them vampires. The books cover Milagro's adventures with these people, their allies, and their enemies. Milagro is a "freak magnet," so she's always attracting eccentric new acquaintances.

What are you working on now? What can readers look forward to this coming year?

MA: I've just handed in the manuscript for the third book in the series, The Bride of Casa Dracula, which will be released in September 2008. Happy Hour at Casa Dracula comes out in mass market paperback in 2008. Right now I'm working on a gothic novel for young adults. It's dark (yeah, I've gone back to that), and the heroine is an orphan who is accepted into an elite, but mysterious all-girls prep school. I like stories about outsiders who must figure out how to live in society without compromising too much of their own identity.

Milagro de Los Santos has such a unique name, one with great meaning. Can you tell us how you came up with it, and how her story developed?

MA: I was trying to think of a silly name that had some significance, and "miracle of the saints" fit those requirements. Milagro manages to survive every situation and people are always telling her, "I thought you'd be dead!" She must also endure endless jokes about her name.

How many novels do you have planned for the Casa Dracula series?

MA: Oh, I'm totally flexible on this. I wrote the first novel as a single-title, and my editor liked the characters so much, she asked for two more. I'd be happy writing them as long as readers are happy reading them. I'm so fond of many of the characters that I have a problem limiting them so they don't clutter up the plot.

It was such a pleasant surprise to find that there is so much humor in your writing. Had you set out to write that way, or did your characters lead you in that direction?

MA: The comic situation came before the characters: what if you threw a poor, but smart and sexy young Latina in with a bunch of snobby, rich vampires? I wanted to spoof angsty vampires who spend 200 years longing for one woman. Please. Like a guy would wait that long. As some great philosopher once wrote, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."

The snarky grandmother, Edna, came to me fully-formed. I always know just what Edna will say. Milagro is a different story. I'm cynical, but she's not. Many times, I return to a scene and re-write Milagro's reaction so that it is something unexpected, yet true to her character. Her optimism sometimes comes out as cluelessness, but young people (and not so young people) are often clueless. I didn't want a heroine who was always right, yawn, and always good. I wanted someone who made mistakes, acted impusively, and had a prediliction to have fun.

Do you set aside a specific time for your writing each day?

MA: I keep to a fairly dull and regular schedule, sitting down at my computer in the morning and working until late afternoon. If I've got a deadline, I'll work around the clock. Unlike a regular job, you never really leave your writing. It's always there.

What genre do you enjoy reading when time allows? Do you have any favorite authors?

MA: I'll read anything, and I let my mood determine my reading. Sometimes I want a really twisted British mystery and sometimes I want an urbane comedy of manners. I may pick up a sci-fi novel, or a big, ole historical novel. I frequently turn to humor. A visit to the bookstore takes me forever because I'll wander into a dozen sections.

My favorite writers are all dead: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Henry James, Evelyn Waugh, Mark Twain, and P.G. Wodehouse.

I have to mention your Vampire Wire blog! You keep us updated on the hottest books, movies and T.V. in the paranormal genre. Can you tell us how that began?

MA: I have a great time on Vampire Wire, and thanks for mentioning it! Although I've always been a fan of paranormal entertainment, I never considered myself a "vampire novelist" -- but that's the label I get. So in order to reach out to other paranormal entertainment fans, I came up with the idea of a "one-stop shop" for links to reviews, interviews, and news about paranormal fiction, movies, and television shows. One of my favorite things about the site is that I get to promote other writers and bloggers.

When you find yourself with some free time, what do enjoy doing?

MA: I spend time with my family and friends, read, go to movies, and I'm a zealous gardener. I often write gardening articles, and I'm always at the speciality nurseries, talking with professionals, and spending too much money on plants. My dog passed away last week, but my mornings were always spent at the local dog park, walking by the bay while he dashed through the fields. I'll get another dog soon.

Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to share with readers or aspiring writers?

MA: To my readers, I'd like to say thanks for all the support! It's so encouraging to receive an email from someone who's enjoyed my books. To writers, my advice is not to get discouraged or impatient.

It’s always a pleasure Marta, thanks so much for joining us and sharing your time!

MA: Thanks, Kimberly, for having me! Darque Reviews is one of my favorite blogs and I'm amazed at all your reviews.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Please visit Marta Acosta’s web residence here:
http://www.martaacosta.com/

You can stop by her blog here:
http://martaacosta.blogspot.com/

Don’t forget to check out Vampire Wire here:
http://vampirewire.blogspot.com/