Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Ink Exchange
The World of Wicked Lovely, Book 2
Melissa Marr
Harper – Teen
April 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-121468-4

Leslie is leading a less than pleasant life. With her mother gone and her father living in a bottle, this 17 year old is left to fend for herself against her brother and the drug dealing friends he uses her to appease. This is a side of Leslie that she tries to keep hidden, even from her best friend Aislinn.

Deciding to do something for herself, Leslie saves the pay and tips from her job as a waitress to get a tattoo. The ink that draws her in is an elaborate design that with bind her to a darkness that Leslie knows nothing about.

While she briefly gains the confidence and strength she seeks, Leslie’s new ink will draw her further into a world where the forbidden attention of Niall, a man sworn to the Summer King, may be the only chance she has to escape. In the end it will be more than escape she needs to see her through; it’s her sense of survival that will give her the strength to do something that no mortal before her has ever accomplished.

Ink Exchange is the second installment in The World of Wicked Lovely. Leslie has no knowledge of the world that her best friend has become a part of, and that act of protection on Aislinn’s part may leave Leslie at risk to lose her mortal life. Ms. Marr takes readers to the darker side of the faeries and shows how blurred the line that separates the dark and light really is. This is a well-detailed escape into a fantasy where worlds overlap, survival is the greatest of strengths and things aren’t nearly as clear as they appear to be. Dark, dangerous and wonderfully wicked, Ink Exchange thoroughly entertains and teases readers with a taste of unlikely heroes that will leave them wanting more of the same. Leslie’s story is an enchanting edition to The World of Wicked Lovely and will appeal to teens and adults alike.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Key to Conspiracy by Talia Gryphon

Key to Conspiracy
Gillian Key, ParaDoc, Book Two
Talia Gryphon
Ace – Penguin Group USA
April 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01576-4

Though she’d prefer not to, Paramortal psychologist, Gillian Key, leaves Romania and her handsome Master Vampire, Aleksei Rachlav, behind when she’s recalled by the Marine Corps for a special mission. With her handpicked Re-Con team, Gillian is sent to Northern Russia under the cover of helping in a search and rescue after a major earthquake. Their true mission is tracking down kidnapped children in the hands of traffickers and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

While she and her team complete their mission in Russia, an unrelated job waylays her on her return trip and puts her in more danger than ever. Separated from Aleksei, Gillian is more susceptible to Dracula and his minions. When an evil she thought she left behind appears in the flesh, it’s all Gillian can do to get away. With a whole lot of help from her friends, Gillian plans to make it back to Romania and to Aleksei, the former patient she’s waited years to explore a relationship with.

Key to Conspiracy is the second book in the Gillian Key, ParaDoc series. Gillian enjoys her work as a Paramortal psychologist, but when the Marine Corps calls she’s duty bound to take on a new mission. With the dark prince Dracula still on the loose, danger is inevitable. Ms. Gryphon revs up her romantic urban fantasy series with new threats and action-packed danger. Chemistry sizzles between characters and their relationships move to a new level while the fight to break the dark prince’s hold continues. Key to Conspiracy can be read as a stand-alone story, but for a better understanding of the evil Gillian faces readers should start with Key to Conflict.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Interview - Laura Anne Gilman

Darque Reviews welcomes Laura Anne Gilman!

Hi Laura Anne, thanks so much for sharing your time with Darque Reviews! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and your work better.

Free Fall is scheduled for release on May 1, 2008 with Luna Books. Can you tell us about Wren Valere’s newest adventure?

LAG: In Free Fall, Wren does something she’s sworn never to do – she takes herself as a client, making a Retrieval that only she can pull off. Except it’s not just her, of course – Sergei and P.B. aren’t going to let her go it alone, no matter what she thinks. A lot of what’s been building in the past few books really comes to a head, here, and the piper is definitely paid. It was a lot of fun – in the cruel author sense of the word – putting them through the grinder. But don’t worry – they have their lighter moments, too. And yes, we do learn a lot more about the fatae, the non-human members of the Cosa Nostradamus.

This is the 5th book in The Retrievers series; can you give readers a little background on the previous books?

LAG: The books follow Wren Valere and her partner Sergei Didier. Wren is a Retriever, which means that she uses magic (‘current,’ in the parlance of the Cosa Nostradamus) to steal items for her clients. Sometimes the jobs are on the up-and-up…and sometimes they’re not. Over the course of the series, Wren and Sergei both develop their rather rocky personal relationship, and become more and more involved in the larger world of the Cosa, especially when Sergei’s former employers get involved….

You’re also beginning a new series this year (2008), the first of which is titled, Illumination. Can you tell us about The P.U.P.I. series and how it relates to The Retrievers series?

LAG: Actually ‘Illumination’ is the title of the short story that will kick things off, in the forthcoming anthology Powers of Detection II. The first book is still searching for a title, as it’s only now being written. PUPI, or “the Pups,” were introduced in the Retrievers books – Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigation. In the convoluted, often volatile Cosa, where human Talent are split into freewheeling ‘lonejacks’ or the more formal Council, and the non-human fatae have grudges that go back generations, two men have decided there is a need for an impartial, fact-driven investigative team that took no sides except that of the (magical) evidence, to deal with the inevitable situations where normal police and courts can’t be brought in.

The first book in that series won’t be out for a while (we still have the sixth Retrievers novel, BLOOD FROM STONE), but I’m already really excited about it!

Have any of your characters become a favorite for you?

LAG: Hrm. P.B., certainly – the demon was only supposed to be a walk-on character in STAYING DEAD, and he sort of moved in and took over, to become Sidekick #1. And Bonnie endeared herself to me enough to demand her own series! But actually, my surprise favorite character is Duncan. Such a cold, ruthless, and yet [in his own bigoted way] honest character, I was fond of him even as I despised him. He was certainly a challenge to write!

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would you choose and why?

LAG: Rorani, the dryad. The thought of being part of such an old tree, with such a sense of history…being that grounded and a part of your surroundings is very appealing, especially considering the pretty constant chaos of my life.

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

LAG: Starting the revision process. Telling the story the first time is fun. Layering it, so that all the details in my head make it onto the page, is the crafty, brain-tickling part I enjoy maybe the most. Fixing problems that crept in during the telling and layering… I stall out like a cranky car going uphill. I rely on my editor not only to be fresh eyes and brain to find the problems I’ve overlooked or pretended weren’t there, but to tell me about them in a way that jumpstarts the car and gets me moving again. Thankfully, she’s very good at that – I read her notes and start thinking “oh, yeah, okay, I can approach it that way….”

What are you working on now? What can readers look forward to next?

LAG: In addition to working on Bonnie #1, I’ve sent off the revised manuscript for BLOOD FROM STONE, the sixth Retrievers novel that will be out in May 2009. But before then there will be an unrelated e-novella (“Dreamcatcher” out in August 2008), and two paranormal romances under the name Anne Leonard – THE NIGHT SERPENT and DAUGHTER OF THE SEA. They’re more in the traditional romance-with-paranormal vein, rather than being fantasy, so we’re putting them out under a different name.

For short fiction, my stories “Illumination” (Powers of Detection II), “Wolfling” (from Abyss & Apex), and “apple, not a fairy tale” (Aeon Speculative Fiction) should be available before the end of the year (publication updates are posted on my website and in my Livejournal).

Plus, there’s an entirely unrelated project that my agent has out with potential publishers now. It’s huge fun, a second-world fantasy rather than the mostly-familiar setting of the Cosa Nostradamus.

I like to keep busy, yeah.

What inspired you to become an author?

LAG: I’m not sure I was inspired so much as hard-wired. There was never much doubt in my mind that, whatever else I did with my life, writing would be part of it. The ‘author’ thing still catches me by surprise – when people ask me what I do I saw “writer” because hey, I write. Active tense.

I suppose the inspiration I got was being raised in a household that was not only filled with books, but where “I’m gonna write books” was greeted not with “suuuure you are” or “good lord, why?” but “all right, that’s a tough career, but if that’s your dream, go for it!” My mother is a short story writer, and my uncle was in publishing, so I learned early on what I was in for. That didn’t stop me either from writing, or having a 15 year career as a book editor myself. Like I said – hard-wired for this career. It was either that or go for my PhD in history, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of any more 8am classes…

Is there a hobby you enjoy when you have some free-time?

LAG: Cooking. I love good food well-prepared, and the alchemy of taking seemingly unrelated ingredients and transforming them into satisfaction. My friends say I should have my own cooking show – “The Improvisational Chef.”

I’d never do it professionally, though – a good hobby should be something you pick up only when you’re in the mood, not because you have to. Otherwise, it becomes a source of stress, not pleasure. We have enough stress in our lives, there’s no need to add any more!

I think that’s a large part of why I write, actually. To help take some of the stress out of other peoples’ lives…

Thanks so much for joining us and sharing your time and answers. The best of luck with Free Fall!

Kimberly Swan,
Darque Reviews

You can visit Ms. Gilman’s website, here:

You can visit her blog, here:

You can preorder Free Fall, here:
Amazon – Free Fall

Free Fall by Laura Anne Gilman

Free Fall
Retrievers, Book 5
Laura Anne Gilman
May 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-373-80267-8

Wren Valere is a Retriever paid to find valuables that have been lost or stolen. She’s also a Talent with the ability to channel, store and use electrical current in a magical way. Manhattan is the town she calls home, and being among those that make up the Cosa Nostradamus Wren feels a responsibility to stop the torture and deaths going on around her.

Sergei Didier is a Null who runs an art gallery, and once worked for the Silence. The Silence was formed to protect the average humans, the Nulls, from those like Wren with Talent, and the variety of Fatae like her demon side-kick P.B. If Sergei wasn’t convinced that their purpose had been compromised before, falling for Wren cured him of any lingering disillusion and his ties to the Silence were brought down to a minimum of contact.

For his own safety, Wren needs Sergei to keep his distance. He’s addicted to what Wren’s current can do to him, but his very human organs aren’t designed to take such abuse. Wren senses something wrong within, and her control is becoming more difficult to keep in check. Sergei wants to protect her, but with the Cosa’s trouble mounting while trying to save those being used by the Silence, Sergei’s life would be in further danger. Wren has a goal, and once she’s committed she plans to see it through to the end.

Free Fall is the fifth book in the Retrievers series. Wren has much to deal with in the ongoing battle against the Silence, and the changes within her are beginning to cause concern. With the self-imposed separation from her lover Sergei making everything more difficult, Wren’s patience is about to snap and set her on precarious path. Ms. Gilman fills the pages with magical action, and edge of your seat suspense. The love between the heroine and the unsung hero continues to run deep, and like each previous story in the Retrievers series Free Fall has been well-written, is wonderfully exciting, and immensely entertaining. The story will provide readers with some intense moments that will leave fans stunned by the surprising outcome.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong

Personal Demon
Women of the Otherworld, Book 8
Kelley Armstrong
March 25, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-553-80661-8

Hope Adams is a tabloid reporter and an Expisco half-demon who can never get enough chaos in her life. Owing Benicio Cortez a favor is never really a good thing, but when it’s time to pay-up, Hope has little choice. Asked to take on an assignment infiltrating a gang who’s causing trouble for the Cortez Cabal, Hope transforms into a young woman with the ability to detect chaotic thoughts that’s sympathetic to their cause.

Karl is a rebel werewolf and a man who once was close to Hope. When he discovers that Benicio has put her in danger, he flies in to remove her from the life threatening position. When Hope refuses to leave, Karl finds himself embroiled in the deadly drama playing out.

Members of the gang have gone missing, and the Cortez Cabal has become a larger target than Benicio originally thought. The arrival of his youngest son Lucas is a welcome sight, but the danger continues to escalate. It will take combined skills and power to stop their enemies, but discovering who they’re up against will be the most difficult task.

Personal Demon is the eighth book in the Women of the Otherworld series. Told from the viewpoint of both Hope and Lucas, readers are given the advantage of seeing the story play-out from within the gang as well as the Cabal. With a well-built fictional world, fabulous characters and a solid plot, the talented Ms. Armstrong shares the next action-packed installment to her Women of the Otherworld series of books. A strong paranormal romance and a well-planned mystery, make Personal Demon a story that readers won’t want to miss.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian

Midnight Rising
The Midnight Breed, Book 4
Lara Adrian
Bantam Dell
March 25, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-440-24444-8

On vacation in the Czech Republic, tabloid reporter Dylan Alexander comes across a hidden cave. Inside is what appears to be a crypt, but it’s the hieroglyphics decorating the walls that capture her attention until she realizes she’s not alone. Rio, the Breed warrior who’s currently occupying the cavern, is awakened by her presence. Seeing what she believes to be a vagrant, the reporter in Dylan sets out to find a story in what she sees and begins snapping pictures.

Rio’s mission was to destroy the hibernation chamber, and with it any evidence of the ancient vampire like alien that occupied it. Devastated by the betrayal of the woman he loved, and severely scarred inside and out from her treachery, Rio thought to end his own life in the process. In the end he hadn’t been able to do it and now a human had too much knowledge of the Breed.

It seems that Dylan is not your average human; she carries a secret without her knowledge and has a talent that she denies. With the oldest among the Breed turning up dead, their anonymity is more important than ever. Rio will either convince Dylan that her place is in his world or send her back with no memories of meeting him or those he must protect.

Midnight Rising is the fourth book in The Midnight Breed series. After suffering the aftermath of extreme betrayal, Rio thought that any will he had to live was gone. Rio’s mind may be changed in meeting Dylan, but their future is in her hands. Ms. Adrain continues her fabulous series with an entertaining and detailed blend of conflict and steamy romance. Breed fans will love this latest installment, while new readers to the series will want be back for more after getting this tempting taste of the Breed. Veil of Midnight is currently due to release in December 2008.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Book Giveaway at Vampire Wire...

To celebrate the sale of her next two books to Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, Marta Acosta is giving away a copy of the new edition of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula each day. Stop by and comment to enter.

Congratulations Marta! :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

One Foot in the Grave
Night Huntress, Book 2
Jeaniene Frost
Avon Books – Harper Collins
April 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-124509-1

Cat Crawfield is half-human, half-vampire, and spends her time slaying vampires. Now she’s working as a Special Agent for the government doing the job she loves, but Cat’s life has become riskier than ever because someone has a contract out on her. With the hunted stalking the hunter, her life has just gotten a whole lot more dangerous.

Her latest assignment leads her to a vampire who may be her biggest threat. When Cat has the opportunity to destroy her target, she hesitates because this particular vampire has special meaning to Bones, the vampire she left behind. It’s a decision that could very well cost Cat her life.

Just when she least expects it Bones reenters her life and pulls Cat back into the emotions she worked so hard to forget. As truths are revealed, and the past catches up to those around her, Cat tries desperately to convince herself that she doesn’t need Bones or his help. Bones has already made his decision, and this time there’s no chance he’s letting her walk away.

One Foot in the Grave is the second installment in the Night Huntress series. Cat may have been forced into her job position, but she does her job with unmatched skill when it comes to eliminating the rogues. Sometimes even the best need help, and Cat will have little choice but to rely on the vampire she’s tried to forget. Ms. Frost does a fabulous job of bringing further details from the past into the storyline while the lives of her characters move steadily forward. Packed with action, sizzling romance, and a surprise ending, fans are sure to enjoy this new edition in the Night Huntress series.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Embrace the Night by Karen Chance

Embrace the Night
Cassandra Palmer Series, Book 3
Karen Chance
April 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-46199-5

As the reigning Pythia, Cassandra Palmer has new responsibilities as well as new talents. Her will to remove the geis that’s determined to bind her to Mircea leads her on a quest to recover the Codex Merlini. The Codex is a book of powerful spells that would be too dangerous in the present, but a trip to the past to uncover a counter-spell may be Cassandra’s only chance to stop the geis of reaching its goal.

Mircea is a master vampire that’s slowly going insane. His only hope for survival is to carry through with the magical binding of the geis, or have the spell removed. It’s a difficult task in his current state, but when Cassie uses her powers to shift to the past the Mircea of another time will help her accomplish the quest. There’s still no guarantee that the spell will be broken, but the possibility outweighs the risk in trying.

Pritkin is a war mage with a long and secretive past that’s quickly catching up to him. While he generally keeps to himself, he’s taken on helping Cassandra find the Codex. His reasons will strain the tentative relationship he has in helping Cassie, and leave her to wonder if he’s really friend or foe. For reasons he had planned to keep to himself, Pritkin must find that Codex and ensure that no one gains the power that resides within.

Embrace the Night is the third book in the Cassandra Palmer series. Cassandra can’t risk becoming a servant to Mircea or the vampires, so she needs the Codex Merlini. Once found she’ll have to guard it with her life, because the spells it contains could endanger the entire world. Ms. Chance continues to expand her well-built world with time-travel, fantastical beings, steamy romance and the non-stop action her wonderful series provides. This is a fast-moving read that’s hard to set down, and it will no doubt leave readers eager for future installments in the Cassandra Palmer series.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Slave by Cheryl L. Brooks

The Cat Star Chronicles, Book One
Cheryl L. Brooks
Sourcebooks – Casablanca
April 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-1-4022-1192-8

For the past six years Jacinth has traveled from planet to plant searching for her kidnapped sister, Ranata. Believing that she’s been taken to Statzeel, a planet where all women are slaves, Jacinth poses as a man to purchase a slave of her own to act as her master. This will allow her the freedom to search for her sister without being taken as a slave herself.

Cat was taken as a slave at a young age, and has been in servitude all of his adult years. Back on the slave market he’s bought and freed by Jacinth, but he’s unwilling to leave the woman who showed him such kindness. Born on a planet that no longer exists, and possibly the last of his race, Cat has no home to return to as a free man.

Tracking down Ranata will be a dangerous journey for Jacinth and Cat. What they’ll find along the way will threaten their future and tie them together in ways they never dared hope for.

Slave is the first story in The Cat Star Chronicles. After spending years searching for her sister alone, Jacinth finds the help and companionship she needs in Cat. Theirs is a relationship built on trust and survival that will quickly grow to more. Ms. Brooks creates a detailed sci-fi world and sends her characters on a journey to alien planets in their search. This is an erotic romance with a creative plot, and while I usually enjoy a first person narrative it was difficult to get through in this story. The protagonist’s internal dialog is peppered with exclamations that seemed unnecessary, and in the end I was unable to establish a connection with her. The character that did capture my attention was Cat. He’s intriguing, sweet and sexy. The next installment in the Cat Star Chronicles, Warrior, is currently due to release in October 2008.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pursuit by Elizabeth Jennings

Elizabeth Jennings
Forever – Hachette Book Group USA
April 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-446-61891-5

Charlotte Court’s father has been hospitalized for pancreatic cancer and as she returns to his room for a visit she walks in on his murder. Shot and unable to go to the police, or home, Charlotte flees Warrenton, NY, and finds herself a fugitive wanted for the murders of her father and his nurse.

Robert Haine, CEO of Court Industries, wants it all and when seduction doesn’t work, he’s willing to have the Courts murdered to get it. Things don’t go nearly to plan where Charlotte is concerned, and Robert hires someone to track her and take her out of the picture.

Matt Sanders was a Navy SEAL when he was nearly killed doing his job. After months in a coma and rehab when he awoke, Matt chooses to take his old buddy Lenny up on his invitation to recover in San Luis, Mexico. That’s where he meets his Angel, Charlotte. She’s a woman he’d do anything for, and keeping her safe is only the beginning. With the help of a friend who owns a top security company, Tom Reich, they plan to clear Charlotte’s name and ensure that justice is served. Someone is very determined to stop that from happening.

Pursuit is a romantic suspense. Charlotte’s life is irrevocably changed and she finds the strength to locate a place to stay where she feels relatively safe. With Matt’s help she’ll take back her life and see that the men who killed her father pay the price for what they’ve done. Ms. Jennings takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride as the heroine runs for her life and finds love along the way. This is an engaging story with plenty of action, suspense and romance to thrill and entertain.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

A Stranger's Touch by Cait London

A Stranger’s Touch
Aislings Psychic Trilogy, Book 2
Cait London
Avon Books – Harper Collins
March 25, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-114051-8

Tempest is one of triplets born three minutes apart, and she’s been gifted with the ability to learn the history of an object or person she touches. While it’s an amazing talent, it has made for a difficult life. In order to protect herself, she wears gloves unless she’s certain about what she’ll touch. She’s been badly used once, and escaped, but Tempest won’t allow herself to be used that way again.

In search of a brooch that’s important to her family’s history, Tempest follows the trail to Marcus Greystone. He’s a dangerous man to Tempest, one she once shared a night of passion with before she left without a word of goodbye. Now he needs her help to find the truth about the terrible accident that killed his parents years ago, and he’s not taking no for an answer.

There’s a stalker after Tempest, and the family fears that he’s actually after each of the girls in turn. The women are at their most vulnerable near large bodies of water, and that’s exactly where Tempest needs to be in order to help Marcus. Searching for answers is a danger to her life, but the answers once found could be more dangerous to the people she holds most dear.

A Stranger’s Touch is the second book in the Aislings Psychic Trilogy. Tempest protects herself by rarely using her gift of Psychometry, but when it comes to those she loves she’s willing to take the risk. Even if it could cost Tempest her life. Ms. London weaves a paranormal romance through a suspenseful mystery of hidden love and murder. A Stranger’s Touch is mystical, dangerous and sizzling with chemistry.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dragons Wild by Robert Asprin

Dragons Wild
The Dragons Wild Series, Book 1
Robert Asprin
Ace – Penguin Group USA
April 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01470-5

As Griffen McCandles graduates from the University of Michigan he assumes he’ll be brought in to the family business with his Uncle Malcolm. What he gets instead is a sit-down chat about dragons that sends Griffen’s world spinning in a whole new direction.

Not wanting to be in service to his uncle, Griffen pays his sister Valerie a visit, explaining that she too has dragon blood running through her veins. As the stakes get higher and his life is threatened, Griffen takes a college buddy up on an offer in New Orleans. There he’ll work along with a dragon and eventually take over his gambling business in and around the French Quarter. A much better offer than those prior who had wanted to bring Griffen in to work for them, earning him none of the power a nearly pure blooded dragon would want.

Griffen settles into his new life, strengthening the hold that Mose had in the area while he learns to accept his role of leadership. The dragon powers are just beginning to manifest for both Griffen and Valerie, and just in time. There are some very unsavory dragons who believe that if they can’t have Griffen under their control, then he should be eliminated. The carefree life he led as a small-time con is over, and Griffen’s battles to keep power have just begun.

Dragons Wild is the first book in a new urban fantasy series. Learning that he’s a dragon has changed Griffen’s life in a big way, but nothing could have prepared him for what followed. Mr. Asprin adds his own twist to the myths and legends in this entertaining tale of dragons. At a smooth and steady pace the protagonist begins his change into a dragon, giving readers glimpses of his potentially powerful future. While I can’t say that any one thing stood out, the reader learns about the dragon world with detail and dialog that makes it an easy story to follow. This is an entertaining start to a new series and should have readers looking forward to the next installment.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Magic Burns
Kate Daniels, Book Two
Ilona Andrews
Ace – Penguin Group USA
April 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01583-2

Every seven years the usual changes between tech and magic are disrupted, and for Kate Daniel’s her jobs as a mercenary and working for the Order are about to become a lot more complicated. As the flare builds to release, the magic fluctuates higher than usual in Atlanta and the difficulties become magnified. The worst of the flare’s effects is the ability for gods and goddesses to manifest and bring with them their battles for power as they use or destroy everyone in their path.

As Alpha to the local Pack, it’s Curran’s responsibility to keep his people safe. When someone breaches their security and steals the Pack’s maps Kate is called in to locate the thief and retrieve their property. It’s not long before Kate tracks down the culprit, but she runs into many obstacles along the way, like a young girl whose missing mother may have the answers they need. Finding her, in the midst of the flare’s chaos, may prove to be an impossible task. With the battle raging all around her, Kate will be lucky to survive this round, but Curran could be just the man to save her.

Magic Burns is the second book in the Kate Daniels series. Kate is settling in at her job for the Order and doing mercenary work with her partner Jim on the side. When the flare hits Atlanta, every skill Kate has will be tested, even those she’s been careful to hide. Ilona Andrews builds a strong world that’s full of magic, intriguing characters and supernatural action. This fast-paced tale is vividly detailed and has the beginnings of a romance fans will be anxious to read more of in Kate’s next adventure. While Magic Burns can be read as a stand-alone story, new readers won’t want to miss Magic Bites to learn more of Kate’s background.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, March 9, 2008

House of Whispers by Margaret Lucke

House of Whispers
The Supernatural Properties, Book One
Margaret Lucke
Juno Books
March 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-8095-7158-1

Claire Scanlan has moved back to California and left her life with a cheating husband behind. She’s gotten her license and a new a job as a real estate agent, but her first listing will be a very difficult sell. Especially when Claire is forced to come to terms with a talent she’s spent most of her life denying.

Her boss has sent Claire and her equally new colleague Avery to meet with a potential client to discuss the house he has on the market. Trouble is the client’s family was murdered there. After months in the hands of other agencies, it’s their hope to be the one that can finally sell it. Avery plans to make sure that it’s her name on the commission, but Claire is just as determined.

Ben Grant is still mourning the loss of his brother and his family while he does the best he can to raise Eden, his surviving niece. Then Claire comes into his life and what he believed was true of the murders is now in question. Truly solving the mystery of the family’s death is the only way they can ever move on, and Claire intends to help the deceased do just that.

House of Whispers is the first book in The Supernatural Properties series. Claire is doing everything in her power to make a new life for herself, but a meddlesome coworker and a few insistent ghosts are about to make it a very difficult process. Ms. Lucke pulls readers into her story with an intriguing murder mystery, and adds a bit of romance and the paranormal to the mix. This is an entertaining and suspenseful tale with a sweet blossoming romance. Readers will see more in The Supernatural Properties series in Ms. Lucke’s next installment, Mansion of Desire.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rogue by Rachel Vincent

Werecats, Book 2
Rachel Vincent
April, 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-7783-2555-0

Faythe Sanders is a werecat and the daughter of their Pride’s Alpha. Having to prove her strength among the werecats who are primarily male isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that Faythe takes on to help ensure her future in the Pride.

Toms are turning up dead and human women are missing. The rogue doing the killing has to be found and stopped. Marc, the Pride’s Enforcer and Faythe’s boyfriend, is teaching her the ropes in proper procedure. What they don’t expect is that Faythe’s past is catching up to her in a rather brutal way. Her prior insistence to do things her way will play a role in the current murders, and leave Faythe to face the responsibility for a crime committed against the laws of her Pride.

Rogue is the second book in the Werecats series. Faythe is one strong and determined female, but the less than conventional life she’s led compared to most members of the Pride may be putting everyone she cares about at risk. Ms. Vincent shares an entertaining and suspenseful paranormal tale filled with murder, mystery and romance. Readers are in for a surprise with an unexpected twist while the Pride deals with more of the fallout from the errors Faythe has made. I’ll be looking forward to the next installment to see how this heroine faces the serious challenges ahead of her.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Interview - Linda Wisdom

Darque Reviews welcomes Linda Wisdom!

Hi Linda, thanks so much for sharing your time with Darque Reviews! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and your work better.

Your new paranormal romance,
50 Ways to Hex Your Lover, just released from Source Books on March 1, 2008. Can you tell us about it?

LW: Jazz Tremaine is a 700 year young witch who works as a curse eliminator during the day and a driver for All Creatures Car Service at night. She’s snarky, sexy and funny. And not too many witches have a ghost haunting their car. The only curse she wasn’t able to eliminate. Except now, her life is turning upside down when Nick Gregory her vampire ex lover shows up. He needs her help in taking down a killer of vampires. The only thing is, Jazz doesn’t want to spend too much time with Nick because she’ll just fall into bed with him again and that never goes well.

Jasmine Tremaine is a witch, Nikolai Gregorivich is a vampire. What made you choose to put them together in their on and off relationship?

LW: When I thought of the man who would take on Jazz, I soon realized a vampire, someone who’d been around for centuries, could be the only one who could handle her. Even if it means dodging fireballs she can throw all too easily.

Fluff and Puff…of course we have to hear about those naughty little slippers. How did they come about?

LW: We all have our form of comfort items. Teddy bears are great, but I’ve always had a thing about bunny slippers. I have quite a few stuffed animals wearing bunny slippers including a wolf. Fluff and Puff just sort of popped up, said they were magickal, that they were protected from punishment and they pretty much ate anything. There are times I’m convinced my own bunny slippers are out partying at night.

There are a variety of supernatural beings in Jazz’s world. Which was your favorite to write about, and why?

LW: Wow, that’s tricky. Irma, the cranky ghost was a blast to write, but I’d have to say Dweezil, Jazz’s boss at the car service. He could be the only one of his kind, has his collection of erotica, is so cheap he makes Scrooge look like a philanthropist, and believes the world is out to get him.

Will we see more of Jazz Tremaine in the future?

LW: In the fall!! I don’t have the exact month yet. Hex Appeal begins several months after 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover ends.

Can you tell us what you’re working on now, and what readers have to look forward to next?

LW: I’m waiting word on the next few witch books and I’m also trying a Young Adult urban fantasy.

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

LW: Writing a synopsis! I hate them. To me, it’s easier to write the whole book than write a synopsis.

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

LW: I enjoy most genres, paranormal, contemporary romance, mystery, romantic suspense, sci fi/fantasy. And so many great authors out there. Yasmine Galenorn, Annette Blair, Candace Havens, Jim Butcher, Laura Anne Gilman, Linda Fairstein, Charlaine Harris, Maryjanice Davidson, Carrie Vaughn. As I said, a lot!

Do you have a hobby, or something you enjoy doing when you find some free time?

LW: Reading, of course. I also have a spoiled rotten Yorkie/Chihuahua I love to play with. Bogie’s 16 and still loves his walks. And a great way to get out and figure out what’s next.

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

LW: For aspiring writers, just keep on as long as you have absolute faith in your work. For readers, if you buy Jazz I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing.

Thanks so much for spending this time with Darque Reviews, Linda. We wish you the best with 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover!

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

You can visit Linda Wisdom here:
Witchy Chicks

Or at MySpace, here:

You can purchase 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover, here:

Barnes & Noble

50 Ways to Hex Your Lover by Linda Wisdom

50 Ways to Hex Your Lover
Linda Wisdom
Sourcebooks, Inc.
March 1, 2008

Jasmine Tremaine was banished by the Witches’ High Council and has been on her own for close to 7 centuries. With each offence comes time added to her banishment, and the Council is more than happy to remind her.

Driving her classic T-Bird, complete with a ghost named Irma, Jazz makes most of her money as a Limo driver for Dweezil, and picks up extra cash by removing curses. She has a very human roommate, Krebs, a hungry pair of bunny slippers, and a thunderous temper. Then there’s Nikolai Gregorivich, the sexy vampire who has been in and out of her life for nearly 300 years. Theirs has been anything but a smooth relationship.

When vampires start disappearing, Nick seeks Jazz’s help. After decades of being apart the spark between them is stronger than ever, and staying focused on the task at hand becomes more and more difficult. When an old enemy they believed dead resurfaces, the possibility that he’s responsible for the missing vampires quickly becomes the most likely answer. Now Jazz and Nick will have to find a way to stop him without losing their own lives along the way.

50 Ways to Hex Your Lover is the first in a new series. Ms. Wisdom carves her niche in paranormal romance with unique characters, a sizzling romance, and a supernatural mystery to solve. With a strong magical element and a nice touch of humor, when push comes to shove there’s no stopping this witch from getting things done. Readers can look forward to Hex Appeal, coming this fall.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Crime Seen by Victoria Laurie

Crime Seen
Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 5
Victoria Laurie
Obsidian – Penguin Group
September 4, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22201-5

While recovering from a gunshot wound, Abby Cooper has been staying with her boyfriend, Dutch, who’s an agent for the FBI. Worried that Abby’s injury has healed physically, but that she hasn’t been able to move on psychologically, Dutch asks for her help with a few cases that have him stumped. As a psychic intuitive Abby is sometimes able to tap into a crime, and with the help of her crew she can find missing pieces. While not everyone believes in her talents, Dutch has seen first hand what she’s capable of. He’s hoping that by using her talents she’ll want to return to the life she enjoyed before her injury.

Teaming up with her P.I. friend, Candice, the two women set out to crack one of Dutch’s cases without letting him know. It seems that a man innocent of a deadly crime has been wrongly accused and is serving someone else’s sentence. In order to gather the information they need to prove who the real killer is Abby will have to go undercover as an employee at the company owned by the murderer. This is definitely not one her safer plans.

Crime Seen is the fifth book in the Psychic Eye Mysteries series. Abby Cooper may not be as quick to throw caution to the wind this time around, but her talent and need to see justice served takes over. Those admirable qualities are about to land her in a very tricky situation. Ms. Laurie dazzles readers by writing what she knows and using it as the strong backbone of her stories. The characters are intelligent and the action will have you at the edge of your seat. Crime Seen picks up where Killer Insight left off, leaving no gaps in the series. Readers will be eager to join Abby in Death Perception, her next Psychic Eye Mystery.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Winners - Fangland Book Giveaway!

Hi All! Hope you’re having a great weekend. Three winners have been chosen from the bowl to win a copy of Fangland. Thanks to all who commented, and congratulations to the lucky winners. Here they are:




If you’ll send your mailing info to me at: darquereviews @ gmail . com (without the spaces of course!) I will get them in the mail the beginning of the week.