Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Winner - Casa Dracula Giveaway with Marta Acosta

Hello happy readers! 

Thank you once again for visiting and sharing your time with us Marta!  One lucky winner wins one book of their choice from the first 3 Casa Dracula books!

The Winner Is:
Elizabeth Kolodziej

Congratulations Elizabeth!  Please email me through my blogger profile with your book choice and mailing address so that Marta can get your copy out to you!

Happy Reading!

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Q and A With Marta Acosta - Book Giveaway Too!

Hello there Readers!  Marta Acosta, the author of the Casa Dracula series, and Nancy's Theory of Style, is visiting with us today.  Feel free to ask her a question in the comments, or simply leave her some fan love.  A lucky commenter will winner's choice in winning one of the first 3 books from the Casa Dracula series!  Be sure to check back on September 29, 2010 to see who the winner was!

Hi Marta!  It's always a pleasure to visit with you, thanks so much for joining us today for this Q and A. 

Thanks for having me here!  Darque Reviews is one of the first paranormal/urban fantasy review blogs I discovered, and it’s still required reading for me.

DR:  Saying goodbye to Milagro is tough for us fans who have really grown to love her.  I can only imagine how difficult it is for you.  What will you miss most about Milagro?

I’ll miss her optimism and happy-go-lucky nature.  She may grumble and snark, but she’s generally so cheerful no matter what she’s suffered.  I love that about her.  I’d want to hang out with her and hear her loony ideas.  I want to go hear a band with her and read the crazy horror stories she writes.  Many times when I was writing, I’d have to stop myself and think, “No, that’s how a normal person reacts.  How would Milagro react?”  She finds the good side of things.

DR:  You did an amazing job of answering questions and wrapping things up in Milagro's world.  How did you know it was time to end the Casa Dracula series? 

I wrote the first book, Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, as a stand-alone.   I never expected to write a series, or even to stay in the same genre.  When my editor asked for another, I thought, “How in the heck do I say anything else?”  These additional books have been both a challenge and a treat for me, because I was always discovering more that I wanted to say.  Milagro’s quasi-friend Thomas Cook tells her, “You’re a happy ending sort of girl,” so I wanted to give her a wildly happy ending for this part of her life.

I think the temptation of writers and publishers is to keep going forever with a series and to churn them out so fast that the books rapidly decline in quality.  I didn’t want to do that to Milagro.  I wanted her to go out at her strongest. 

However, if any publisher asked for a few books about Milagro’s adventures with her fabulous husband, I think I could manage that!  You know, a little like Nick and Nora of The Thin Man – parties, danger, clever banter, mayhem. 

DR:  With the Casa Dracula series coming to a close, we're all curious about your future plans.  Can you share what you're working on now, and/or what we might see in the upcoming year?

My next big project is working on my young adult gothic, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove, with my editor at Tor Books.  This book will come out in 2012.

Next year, one of my stories will be published in The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance.  I’ve never written romance before, so I hope readers like it.  I was researching romance websites to find out how graphic sex scenes were supposed to be!  I settled on “really sensual, but no clinical details.”

My other big project is a gritty, sordid adult gothic that takes place both in the present and in the 1850s.  I don’t want to give out any more yet, except to say that it’s a very dark tale and one I’ve been wanting to write for years.

DR:  One book that fans can expect to see in print is The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove.  What can you tell us about it?

Thanks for mentioning it!  I love this story of a foster girl who is accepted into the elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls.  Jane is quiet and watchful, but determined to make a better life for herself and she believes she can do that through excelling at school.  She works really hard to achieve a security that most kids take for granted.

Jane is finally able to escape her dangerous neighborhood and miserable foster home for a place that’s not only attractive, but safe.  Or so she thinks.  Even though Jane is stunned by being at a school which offers her so much academically as well as living quarters and spending money, she wonders why she’s been brought there.  She discovers that the headmistress has secrets – but so does Jane.

DR:  Just for fun...What one guilty pleasure do you wish you could give up?  Why?  (a T.V. show, a snack food, a drink, etc)

I have a love-hate-hate relationship with reality shows, like Project Runway, even though I know they’re heavily scripted and edited.  I’d love to turn them off and do something productive, like going through all my filing.  Also, can Michael Kors please wear something besides the same black jacket, black t-shirt and black pants? 

DR:  Is there anything else you'd like to share with us before you go?

Just that I hope that readers will pick up my Casa Dracula series and follow the adventures of smart, sexy, quirky Milagro.  These are romantic comedies, so while you won’t find a brooding alpha male who solves all the problems, you will find a lot of laughs, eccentric characters who will entertain you, and heroine who grows and matures, while still retaining her sense of fun.  The comment I get most from fans is “I want Milagro as my friend,” and I think new readers will feel the same way.

Where to find Marta:
Marta's website:

Thanks so much for spending some time at Darque Reviews, and thank you to the readers for making Marta feel welcome!

Kimberly, thanks so much for having me here!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review - Haunted Honeymoon by Marta Acosta

Casa Dracula, Book #4
ISBN# 978-1416598879
Release Date:  October 5, 2010

About the Book:
Will she get another chance with the vamp that got away?

As the only human to survive vampire infection, Milagro de Los Santos has become quite a celebrity among the blood-drinking elite. Too bad the perks of her condition—increased strength, super-fast healing—don’t pay her condo fees. There are other complications too. She feels guilty about her fling with decadent, enigmatic Vampire Council member Ian Ducharme, and she pines for her ex-fiancĂ©, Dr. Oswald Grant . . . the fabulous man whose kiss changed her life.

It’s when Milagro—upset by Ian’s attentions to his neighbor—travels to London and enjoys a sexy flirtation of her own, that the blood really hits the fan. Suddenly, those around her are dying gruesome deaths and Milagro’s being interrogated. Who would kill to set her up as a murder suspect?

All she wants to is turn back the clock and have another chance to make things right.  No sooner has she escaped to Oswald’s ranch than an accident obliterates her memory.   Will the murderer come after her, and will amnesia spark a romantic do-over with Oswald—or will Milagro make all the same mistakes before she ever gets to say “I do”?

My Thoughts:
Haunted Honeymoon is the fourth, and final, book in the Casa Dracula series.  I've loved the free spirited character of Milagro de Los Santos since meeting her in Casa Dracula, and it's her fierce will to experience life that has kept me captivated with every book since.  Ms. Acosta is a master storyteller who wraps this series up with an action packed journey to the very end.  Haunted Honeymoon is fast-paced, fun, and filled with the unexpected.  Fans won't want to miss a word of Milagro's ultimate escapade!

If you're new to the Casa Dracula series what are you waiting for?  Be sure to start at the beginning for maximum enjoyment. 

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Winners - Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole

Hi there happy readers! Here are the winners for the Demon from the Dark giveaway:

Congratulations to the winners, thanks so much for joining in! Please use the email address in my profile to send your mailing info.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Giveaway Reminder - Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole

Last chance to get your name in to win one of 5 copies of Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole!  Giveaway ends August 31, 2010 at 6am (EDT).  See the original post HERE for details!

Good luck, and Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review - Tomb with a View by Casey Daniels - Starred Read

Tomb with a View
A Pepper Martin Mystery, Book #6
Casey Daniels
Berkley Prime Crime - Penguin Group USA
ISBN:# 9780425235515
Release Date: July 6, 2010

About the Book:
Cemeteries come alive for amateur sleuth/reluctant medium Pepper Martin.

Cleveland’s Garden View Cemetery is hosting a James A. Garfield commemoration. For tour guide and reluctant medium Pepper Martin this means that she’ll surely be hearing from the dead president himself. And when she’s assigned to help plan the event with know-it-all volunteer and Garfield fanatic Marjorie Klinker, she’ll wish Marjorie were dead...too bad someone beats Pepper to it.

My Thoughts:
Tomb with a View is the sixth release in the Pepper Martin Mysteries series, and quickly immerses readers into Pepper's latest adventure with one of Garden View Cemetery's permanent residents. Ms. Daniels has a smooth writing style that she skillfully uses to keep fans guessing throughout her stories. Tomb with a View is a mystery that involves the dead just as strongly as the living, and it's one of many intriguing elements that make reading the Pepper Martin Mysteries so wonderfully addictive. With twists, turns, and surprising revelations from history, this mystery is sure to keep readers fully engaged until the very end. I'd happily recommend any book from this series, and am eagerly awaiting Pepper's next ghostly adventure.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Funny or Die - Pizza Training with Sam Trammell

Had to share this funny video with Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte on True Blood) that you can find on Funny or Die.  The video has nothing to do with were animals, vampires, or the paranormal, but if you like him as an actor this should make you smile.
*Slight adult language, not work safe.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Giveaway - 5 Copies - Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole

Here's a fabulous opportunity to get your hands on a copy of Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole! The wonderful Associate Marketing Manager handling Demon from the Dark, at Simon and Schuster, is sharing 5 copies for giveaway here at Darque Reviews.

All you have to do to be in the drawing is leave a comment on this post letting me know if you've read previous books in The Immortals After Dark series, or if this will be your first (answers have no impact on drawing), and become a follower of the blog (if you have a blog, and aren't already following). This is sponsored by the publisher and is only open to US residents. Giveaway ends August 31, 2010 at 6:00 AM (EDT) and winners will be posted later that day. Good luck, and Happy Reading!

Demon from the Dark
The Immortals After Dark
Kresley Cole
Pocket Books - Simon and Schuster
ISBN# 9781439123126
Release Date: August 24, 2010
Excerpt: Browse Inside

About the Book:
From New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this scorching tale of a demon outcast poisoned with vampire blood and the vulnerable young witch he vows to protect—even from himself.


Malkom Slaine: tormented by his sordid past and racked by vampiric hungers, he's pushed to the brink by the green-eyed beauty under his guard.


Carrow Graie: hiding her own sorrows, she lives only for the next party or prank. Until she meets a tortured warrior worth saving.


In order for Malkom and Carrow to survive, he must unleash both the demon and vampire inside him. When Malkom becomes the nightmare his own people feared, will he lose the woman he craves body and soul?

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews