Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Winners - Marked series by S. J. Day

Thank you all so much for entering the contest to win one of 3 sets (3 books each) from S. J. Day’s wonderful Marked series. A big thank you to TOR, who kindly sponsored this great giveaway. Congratulations to Ms. Day on today’s release of the 3rd book in her series, Eve of Chaos!

There were 191 entries, and each entry was saved in the order it was received by date and time from all entry types combined (comment on post, Guestbook signature, Contest link and Wish list suggestions). The winners are:

#158 – Annalisa (comment on post)

#68 – Blackroze37 (Guestbook signature)

#103 – Zarantha (comment on post)

Congratulations winners! Please email me your mailing address at: Darque Reviews AT gmail DOT com.

To learn more about S. J. Day’s Marked series, please visit her website: HERE

To take a look at TOR’s books, please visit their website: HERE

To read reviews of each of the books in the Marked series, please feel free to visit the author’s page on the Darque Reviews website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review - City of Souls by Vicki Pettersson

A new review has been posted on the website for City of Souls by Vicki Pettersson. This is the fourth installment in Sign of the Zodiac and had been given a 'Starred Read'.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Witches Incorporated by K. E. Mills

A new review has been posted on the website for Witches Incorporated by K. E. Mills. This is the second installment in Rogue Agent.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Promo - Breath of Fire by Tammy Kane

Breath of Fire
Tammy Kane
Love Spell – Dorchester Pub
June 30, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-505-52816-2

Book Blurb:
When the dragon came to claim him, Karl knew his great plan had gone horribly wrong. If he had known the creature was real, he wouldn’t have scoffed at the villagers… and he certainly wouldn’t have been so quick to let them chain him to a rock. Mattaen Initiates trained as warriors, but no man could defeat a dragon.

“My name is Elera, daughter of Shane. And you, Initiate, are my virgin prize.”

She had vanquished the beast and named her price: one night with the virgin sacrifice she’d saved. He’d taken a vow of chastity, but Karl still had a man’s needs—and Elera’s sultry curves made him ache to taste his first woman. With one scorching kiss she shattered his defenses… and led him into a world of deception and seduction, where he’d be forced to choose between the brotherhood that had raised him and the woman whose courage set his heart on fire.

To learn more about Breath of Fire, please visit Ms. Kane’s website: HERE

You can ‘Browse Inside’ Breath of Fire: HERE

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Promo - Berkley Sensation - July 7, 2009 releases

Atlantis Unmasked
The Warriors of Poseidon
Alyssa Day
Berkley Sensation
July 7, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-425-22322-2

Book Blurb:
Poseidon’s warriors swore an oath eleven thousand years ago to protect humanity from those who stalked the night. Yet when a woman with an ancient Gift dares to claim the heart of one of Poseidon’s fiercest warriors, the world teeters on the knife’s edge between desire and darkness . . .

A warrior scarred…

Alexios survived two years of unspeakable torture at the hands of a vampire goddess. Now he’s been ordered to team up with a beautiful warrior and take on the most dangerous mission of his life: to retrieve the Vampire’s Bane. Without it, Atlantis can’t ascend to the surface and take its rightful place in the world. But when evil threatens, will Alexios be led by duty—or his heart?

A descendant of Diana…

Grace is part of the rebellion against the vampires and shape-shifters trying to take over her world. She is deadly with her bow, because when she takes aim, she never misses her target. But suddenly she’s focused on a damaged Atlantean warrior who sees her as a weapon, not as a woman. When thousands of lives are on the line, will passion overrule, or will her aim still be true?

When two worlds collide…Atlantis is unmasked.

To learn more about Atlantis Unmasked, please visit Ms. Day’s website: HERE

Breaking Midnight
The Fitz Clare Chronicles, Book 2
Emma Holly
Berkley Sensation
July 7, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-425-22867-8

Book Blurb:
Edmund is an elder among the upyr, a shape-changing race of immortals. Kidnapped by rivals, he's now a pawn in a deadly game to control the world, and only the love of the mortal beauty, Estelle, can save him.

To learn more about Breaking Midnight, please visit Ms. Holly’s website: HERE

Friday, June 26, 2009

Review - Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson

A new review has been posted on the website for Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson. This is the first installment in the Persephone Alcmedi series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Vanished by Kat Richardson

A new review has been posted on the website for Vanished by Kat Richardson. This is the fourth novel in the Greywalker series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Skin Deep by Mark Del Franco

A new review has been posted on the website for Skin Deep by Mark Del Franco. This is the first book in the Laura Blackstone series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Guest Post - Rona Sharon - author of Royal Blood

Blood, Fire, and Pillars of Smoke: The Rise of Vampires in Pop Culture
By Rona Sharon, Author of Royal Blood

As popular themes go, vampires may very well win the prize of "most commonly resurrected." You may love them, hate them, or are trying very hard to ignore them, but surely you have wondered at least once what made the damned princes of darkness so bloody interesting.

If you prefer "real world" storylines and are observing the phenomenon as a baffled bystander, you might be interested to know that thousands of years before achieving mass popularity in movies such as Underworld and Twilight, and TV series like True Blood, vampires had manifested in pagan mythology, monotheistic demonology, and spiritual rituals.

Throughout history, vampire myths appeared in nearly every culture. From the ancient Middle East (Mesopotamia, Judea, Egypt), these archetypical baddies invaded Europe, where they found fertile soil in Slavic paganism, and also materialized in Africa, Asia, and the Aztec Empire.

Curiously, the earliest vampires were females -- violent dark goddesses like the Sumerian Lilitu, the Egyptian Sekhmet, and the Indian Kali, all possessing immense supernatural forces. These vampiric goddesses had both the powers to create and to destroy, to give birth and to devour.

In the Dark Ages, tales of vampires sparked public hysteria. Corpses were exhumed and stabbed. It had taken the vampire various reincarnations, through the Hebrew Talmud, Arabian Nights, Boccaccio's Il Decameron, and eclectic poetry to reemerge as the suave ageless nobleman.

This 19th century "makeover" was a direct outcome of the violent volcanic eruption in Indonesia in 1815. The Judgment Day atmosphere caused by dark skies and a frosty summer inspired Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, as well as plays and operas starring the alluring vampire lord.

From this point on, the revenants' star was on the rise and shining ever so brightly with each literary, musical, or theatrical piece conceived (oftentimes as a result of consuming laudanum) in their honor. Lord Byron, Edgar Allen Poe, and Alexandre Dumas, to name a few, contributed to their eternal fame, but it was the Irish novelist Bram Stoker's Dracula that had the mightiest impact on the imagination and cast the glory of the bloodthirsty count and his court in perpetuity.

Evidently the public's fascination with vampires is not an original fad. The vampire is the most popular fiction character of all times. What is it about vampires exactly that appeals to so many people? And why, being familiar with this totally fictitious half-man, half-monster icon, people are still happy to spend their time on movies, books, and TV series that feature vampires?

Entertainment and escapism come to mind. As much as we are riveted by "real world" plots, sometimes the brain needs to zone out in fantasyland. This explanation is plausible, but it fails to prove why the vampire in particular outperforms any other fantastical creature.

We should keep in mind that the vampire has only recently assumed the role of the compelling, gothic, martyred, seductive, gorgeous, off-limits, struggling, sympathetic, romantic outcast in love with a human. The slick hunk in black leather pants, driving a sports car in a metropolis by night, was not the bloodcurdling image that had haunted the graveyards of our ancestors.

Granted, the spooky effect has value. Sexologists believe that scary moments stimulate the libido and therefore couples may bond effectively having watched a horror movie together. However, while this theory is bound to stick in your memory, it does not offer sufficient evidence, either.

Vampires, whether pale and beautiful or ghoulishly foul, have always been identified with death, blood-drinking, and sex, feeding on emotions such as love, guilt, dread, desire, pity, and sadism.
Far be it from me to undertake psychoanalyzing why we are obsessed with death, blood, and sex. In my capacity as a historical novelist, I choose to explore the mysteries of the human psyche through stories in the hopes of understanding why we were put on this earth and how we may improve our lot in life. Ironically, as I study the tapestry of man's fleeting existence, I see how the fruits of one generation's labor -- art, science, architecture, etc. -- are reaped by its successors.

Now, a vampire -- omnipotent, never-aging, and immortal -- may travel the centuries unscathed, unconstrained by a deadline in his pursuit of enlightenment and happiness. Would he or she be a cheerful voyager or one cursed with loneliness? Then there is the future to consider. What if the world and/or mankind are doomed to a cataclysmic end? Would anyone care to witness that?

Vampire symbolism is tied in heavily with the awareness of the powers of darkness, chaos, and the occult -- ancient mysteries that add a chilling dimension to the rich layers of history and cast a question mark on the future. Doomsday prophecies made for an absorbing read as I was doing research back in 2007 for Royal Blood, my Tudor Vampires novel. Here's an example:

"Awake, ye drunkards, and weep . . . For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion . . . Sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand . . . And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come."
– Book of Joel

The vampire -- a human lookalike possessed of superior abilities, as well as frailties, dependent on man for sustenance, multifaceted and obscure -- remains an enigmatic figure. Friend or foe? Through him, we get to experience latent fancies and scenes in which the secrets of creation are unraveled. Thank heavens for fiction, I say. The world, I predict, has not seen the last of the vampire crazes. The undead are here to stay, our prolific imagination will undoubtedly continue to produce them, and even the most discriminating realist may yet cross over to the dark side.

©2009 Rona Sharon, author of Royal Blood

About the Book:
Royal Blood
Rona Sharon
April 1, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-7582-2858-1

Book Blurb:
In the Tudor Court of 1518, your friends and enemies can be one and the same...

During the annual celebration of the Order of the Garter, Sir Michael Devereaux arrives in King Henry VIII's court on a mission for his benefactor. The celebration's endless feats and sumptuous women delight the charismatic newcomer, who becomes captivated by the enigmatic Princess Renée of France. But evil, it seems, has followed Michael to the court. Shortly after his arrival, an unknown killer claims several victims, including the Queen's lady-in-waiting, and the powerful Cardinal Wolsey asks Michael to help with the investigation. As he searches for the killer, Michael is haunted by disturbing images of the victims—flashes of violence that lead him to doubt his own sanity. Michael soon realizes that the key to solving the crime is connected to both the Pope's Imperial vault in Rome and a mystery from Michael's own past—revealing a secret that is so damning, it could forever alter the future of mankind.

Powerfully evocative and steeped with detail from the breathtaking era of the Tudors, Royal Blood is historical storytelling at its richest—an unforgettable tale of intrigue, passion, and danger.

About the Author:
Rona Sharon is the author of critically acclaimed historical novels of intrigue, passion, and danger. Her latest, Royal Blood, is a tale of lust and violence in the treacherous Tudor Court. From her home on the Mediterranean Coast in Tel Aviv, surrounded by thousands of years of history, Rona brings her passion for culture and travel to her writing and never fails to deliver a story that carries a punch . . . and a dagger.

For more information please visit http://www.ronasharon.com/

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Book Giveaway - Reminder - The Marked series by S. J. Day

Less than a week left to get your entries in to win one of three sets of the first three releases in the Marked series by S. J. Day! Please see the original post for instructions on how to enter:


Good luck, and happy reading!

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Promo - The Spy Who Haunted Me by Simon R. Green

The Spy Who Haunted Me
Secret Histories, Book 3
Simon R. Green
July 2, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-46272-5

Book Blurb:
Eddie Drood’s evil-stomping skills have come to the attention of the legendary Alexander King, Independent Agent extraordinaire. The best of the best, King spent a lifetime working for anyone and everyone, doing anything and everything, for the right price. Now, he’s on his deathbed and looking to bestow all of his priceless secrets to a successor, provided he or she wins a contest to solve the world’s greatest mysteries. Eddie has to win, because King holds the most important secret of all to the Droods—the identity of the traitor in their midst…

About the Author:
Simon R. Green is a full-time author who lives in Bradford-on-Avon in England. (right up the river from Shakespeare.) He has been writing for close to two decades and has well over 25 books to his credit, including the hugely successful urban noir Nightside series. He is a New York Times bestseller for his novelization of the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Review - Darkness Calls by Marjorie M. Liu

A new review has been posted on the website for Darkness Calls by Marjorie M. Liu. This is the second novel on the Hunter Kiss series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Huntress - Anthology

A new review has been posted on the website for Huntress. This is an anthology with Christine Warren, Marjorie M. Liu, Caitlin Kittredge and Jenna Maclaine.

You can also visit the author's pages:
Christine Warren: http://darquereviews.com/14912/142159.html
Marjorie M. Liu: http://darquereviews.com/14912/193980.html
Cailtin Kittredge: http://darquereviews.com/14912/149459.html
Jenna Maclaine: http://darquereviews.com/14912/194001.html

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - The Missing Ink by Karen E. Olson

A new review has been posted on the website for The Missing Ink by Karen E. Olson. This is the first installment in the Tattoo Shop Mystery series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review - Prey by Rachel Vincent

A new review has been posted on the website for Prey by Rachel Vincent. This is the fourth book in the Werecats/Shifters series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey

A new review has been posted on the website for Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey. This is the third book in the Felix Castor series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Promo - Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries - July 7, 2009 Releases

Desolate Angel
Dead Detective Mystery, Book 1
Chaz McGee
Berkley Prime Crime
July 7, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-425-22873-9

Book Blurb:
First in a series that takes readers into a new dimension in detective stories.

He was once a second-rate cop, a mediocre husband, and an absent father. But ever since he was killed in a drug bust gone bad, Kevin Fahey's been a lost soul in limbo. Until he encounters a dead victim whose murder he thought he solved, a girl who points him to a fresh body. And Fahey realizes he imprisoned the wrong man—and the true killer is still on the loose.

To learn more about Desolate Angel, please visit the author’s website: HERE

Where There’s a Witch
Bewitching Mysteries, Book 5
Madelyn Alt
Berkley Prime Crime
July 7, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-425-22871-5

Book Blurb:
Taking a break from her job at Enchantments, Stony Mill's finest mystical antique shop, Maggie O'Neill visits a carnival where she senses some bad spirits. And when a construction worker is suspected of killing a young woman, it's up to Maggie and the N.I.G.H.T.S. ghosthunting team to uncover the dark spiritual energy leaking into their town before it spoils everyone's fun.

To learn more about Where There’s a Witch, please visit the author’s website: HERE

Murder Under a Mystic Moon
A Chintz’n China Mystery, Book 3
Yasmine Galenorn
Berkley Prime Crime
July 7, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-425-20002-5

Book Blurb:
After medium Emerald O'Brien literally stumbles across the body of her friend's best buddy, the police blame the death on a cougar attack. But Emerald senses something else wandering the forest—a killer of a more human kind.

To learn more about Murder Under a Mystic Moon, please visit the author’s website: HERE

Poppy Done to Death
Aurora Teagarden Mystery, Book 8
Charlaine Harris
Berkley Prime Crime
July 7, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-425-22807-4

Book Blurb:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Last Scene Alive and the Sookie Stackhouse novels.

Not just any woman in Lawrenceton, Georgia, gets to be a member of the Uppity Women Book Club. But Roe's stepsister-in-law Poppy has climbed her way up the waiting list of the group—only to die on the day she's supposed to be inducted.

Sordid stories of infidelity in Poppy's marriage lead to a rash of suspects, and Roe begins to question her own heart. But her passion for the truth will drive her on—into the path of the cold-blooded killer.

To learn more about Poppy Done to Death, please visit the author’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Friday, June 19, 2009

Promo - Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson
June 9, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-7653-2030-8

About the Book:
One of the most surprising and talented writers to enter the fantasy scene in many years, New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings fast-paced visionary storytelling and unforgettable characters with a heady measure of dark intrigue and humor to the all-new standalone fantasy novel WARBREAKER (Tor Hardcover; $27.95; June 9, 2009).

Two princesses, the God King disconnected from his own religion, a lesser god about to play a bigger role than ever expected … and the every mysterious Vasher: the Warbreaker.

Welcome to a land where gods and royalty, citizens and renegades, and everyone else coexist in tenuous harmony. Beyond wealth and social status, one aspect levels them all: Biochromatic magic, the essence of breath; the power to see color, feel color, and produce color. The power to give life.

In a kingdom of exiled royals, an old treaty demands that the King of Idris send one of his daughters in marriage to the God King in Halladren. But instead of Vivenna—the oldest and more responsible princess groomed for this occasion since birth—her younger sister Siri is sent in her place to a fearsome gaudy city where color is wielded without consequence or care.

For behind the opulent curtains of Halladren lies a complicated and explosive court of politics and tangled relationships between gods and priests, prophecy and followers.

The fates of the major characters—the two princesses Vivenna and Siri; Lightsong, the reluctant god of bravery; and the wild card Vasher, the Warbreaker—will collide to determine the fate of the world, both the one on earth and the one beyond.

About the Author:
Brandon Sanderson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and currently lives in Provo, Utah with his wife and son. He teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.

He has been chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s A Memory of Light, the conclusion to the bestselling Wheel of Time® series. For fascinating behind-the-scenes information about the Mistborn trilogy and his acclaimed first novel, Elantris, visit him at http://www.brandonsanderson.com/.

Brandon Sanderson on using color for magic system:
“Using color as a fuel also grew from my desire to do an animation-based magic system. The concept of color as life fascinated me. When something dies in our world, the color fades from it—green plants become brown and human bodies lose their color, becoming pale as the blood drains to the bottom of the corpse. In a lot of ways, color is a representation of life itself.”

Video of Brandon Sanderson discussing Warbreaker:

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Promo - The View from the Bridge by Nicholas Meyer

The View from the Bridge
Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood
Nicholas Meyer
August 20, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-670-02130-7

About the Book:
In THE VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood (Viking/ On-Sale August 24, 2009 / $25.95 / ISBN: 9780670021307), Nicholas Meyer, the director and writer of the three great Star Trek films—Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country—delivers an enormously entertaining account of the making these films as well as his illustrious career in the movie business.

Raised in New York City and educated at the University of Iowa, Meyer never expected to find himself in 1981 being offered the chance to direct the second Star Trek film—his only experience with the cult series was through a friend that was a die-hard fan. But fresh from the success of his screenplay adaptation of his own bestselling novel, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, which earned him an Oscar nomination, and Time After Time, his directorial debut, Meyer accepted the challenge.

Meyer shares how he created the script for The Wrath of Khan, the most revered Star Trek film of all, in twelve days—only to have William Shatner proclaim he hated it. He reveals the death threats he received when word got out that Spock would be killed, and finally answers the long-pondered question of whether Khan’s chiseled chest is truly that of Ricardo Montalban. Meyer’s reminiscences of everyone from Gene Roddenberry and Laurence Olivier to Leonard Nimoy and Kirstie Alley (before Cheers and Jenny Craig) will appeal not only to the countless legions of Trekkies, but to anyone fascinated by the inner workings of Hollywood.

About the Author:
Nicholas Meyer
is a noted author, screenwriter and director. In addition to the Star Trek films, his many credits include an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of The Seven Per-Cent Solution (adapted from his New York Times bestseller), writing and directing the classic SF thriller Time After Time and directing The Day After, the controversial film about nuclear war that became the most watched movie ever televised. Most recently, he adapted Philip Roth’s novella The Dying Animal for the screen as Elegy, starring Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.

Author Tour Dates:
August 25 at 7:00 PM Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA)
August 27 a 7:00 PM Book Soup (Los Angeles, CA)
September 2, 7:00 PM Borders Northridge (Northridge, CA)
September 10, 7:30 PM Warwick’s (San Diego, CA)
September 14,7PM Prairie Lights (Iowa City, IA)
September 15, 7PM Barnes & Noble (E. 86th St, New York, NY)

To learn more about The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood, please visit Ms. Myer’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review - The Dark Reaches by Kristin Landon

A new review has been posted on the website for The Dark Reaches by Kristin Landon.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Best Wishes Always by Lucy Finn

A new review has been posted on the website for Best Wishes Always by Lucy Finn.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Promo - Berkley and NAL - Project Paranormal


Part of Penguin Group (USA)’s Just-Announced Online Network, the Series will Offer a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Popular Paranormal/Fantasy Authors and Novels

New York, New York, June 17, 2009 … Yesterday, Penguin Group (USA) launched its own online network called “From the Publisher’s Office,” with nine series featuring book entertainment for adults, young adults and children, it was announced by Penguin Group (USA) President Susan Petersen Kennedy. The network will feature several episodic online series, including “Project Paranormal,” which will give viewers a revealing and entertaining look at the popular paranormal romance and urban fantasy genres. The “From the Publisher’s Office” programming is original and customized for a wide range of audiences, and new episodes will be produced each publishing season. The network is now live on the Penguin Group (USA) website at http://www.penguin.com/thepublishersoffice.

Completely written, produced, and hosted by Penguin Group (USA) employees, “Project Paranormal” will feature bestselling star authors and fast-rising newcomers from Berkley and NAL, two of the leading publishers of paranormal fiction in the country. The series opens a window into the world of vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, fallen angels, and other creatures of the night.

“Readers of paranormal romance and urban fantasy are dedicated and passionate fans,” said Leslie Gelbman, President and Publisher, The Berkley Publishing Group. “With Project Paranormal, we’re able to give them a closer look at their favorite authors and books.”

In addition to candid interviews with the authors themselves, regular segments on “Project Paranormal” will include: Editor’s Corner in which the editors who specialize in paranormal and urban fantasy discuss their bestselling authors, the hot trends in the genre, and what they look for in a great read; irreverent man-on-the-street interviews; an insider’s look at how Berkley/NAL’s paranormal books get their distinctive looks in Under the Covers; and our editors’ tips on What’s Next in the genre.

“We are thrilled to be part of this exciting new program,” said Kara Welsh, Publisher of New American Library. “Our readers are very internet savvy and we think they will really enjoy this behind-the-scenes look.”

The debut episode of “Project Paranormal” is now available for viewing at Penguin.com and features an in-depth look at #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Ward discusses the popularity of her series, the vampire warriors who are at the center of the novels, and the women who love them. Executive Editor Kara Cesare —Ward’s long-time editor — will also take viewers behind-the-scenes of the novels, offering fans a peek at the editorial process in the Editor’s Corner segment. J.R. Ward’s latest novel is Lover Avenged (NAL, May 2009).

Upcoming episodes of “Project Paranormal” will feature bestselling authors Laurell K. Hamilton—whose latest Anita Blake novel Skin Trade (Berkley, May 2009) currently holds the #1 spot on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list—and Christine Feehan, whose most recent novel Burning Wild (Jove, May 2009) also debuted at the top of the bestsellers list. There is also a special comics-themed episode in the works, with a tour of Comic-Con in San Diego and an interview with author Marjorie M. Liu, who recently became the first woman to head up the writing for a major Marvel Comics series.

About Penguin Group:
Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Viking, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, The Penguin Press, Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books, Gotham Books, Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne, among others. The Penguin Group (http://www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

You can visit Penguin Group’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Review - Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell

A new review has been posted on the website for Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell. This is the first book in the Witchcraft Mystery series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Strange Brew - Anthology

A new review has been posted on the website for Strange Brew.

Authors included in this anthology are:
Patricia Briggs
Jim Butcher
Rachel Caine
Karen Chance
P. N. Elrod
Charlaine Harris
Faith Hunter
Caitlin Kittredge
Jenna Maclaine

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

Promo - Alpha and Omega:Cry Wolf, Vol. 1 by Paticia Briggs


Briggs's popular Alpha and Omega series to debut as Dabel Brothers comic books in August 2009 followed by the graphic novel from Ace in November 2009

New York, NY, June 11, 2009- Ace Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), announced today the publication of #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf, Volume 1 in graphic novel form. The Dabel Brothers, who previously partnered with Briggs to create comic adaptations of her bestselling Mercy Thompson series, will now adapt her first Alpha and Omega novel, Cry Wolf, into a comic series starting this summer. Ace Books will then publish a graphic novel edition of the first four installments of the Dabel Brothers comic series this fall. The publication of Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf, Volume 1 marks Ace's first foray into the graphic novel market.

The Alpha and Omega series grew from a novella of the same title, originally published in the anthology On the Prowl. This story, featuring two popular secondary characters from Briggs's bestselling Mercy Thompson series, was well received and Briggs decided to spin them off into a new series. The Alpha and Omega series began last year when Ace published the full-length novel Cry Wolf and will continue this August when a follow-up novel Hunting Ground hits bookstores.

"We already have a great relationship established with Patricia and are excited to be working with Penguin on this project," said Rich Young, Business Director of Dabel Brothers Publishing. "We think that this will be the start of another great relationship."

The Dabel Brothers will release the first issue of Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf in August followed by three more issues to complete the first volume.

Then in November 2009, Ace will release Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf, Volume 1, a graphic novel composed of issues 1 through 4 of the Cry Wolf comics.

"I'm so excited to work with the Dabel Brothers on the graphic novel adaptation of Patricia Briggs's novel Cry Wolf. Their work is stunning and I know they'll do her story justice. I can't wait to bring the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham to life through comics as well as in novels," said Executive Editor Anne Sowards.

Patricia Briggs is the author of 14 novels as well as several short stories, all in the fantasy genre. She is best known for her New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson series. Bone Crossed, the fourth installment in this series-and the first to be published in hardcover-hit bookstores in February 2009 to rave reviews and spent several weeks on national bestseller lists.

Promo - Darkness Calls by Marjorie M. Liu

New York, June 15, 2009 – If you haven’t heard of author Marjorie M. Liu yet, that’s about to change. This summer, she’s on fire with a number of major new projects: she has the new Dark Wolverine series co-written with Daniel Way, and the special NYX: No Way Home collection, both from Marvel, coming out in June. This will be followed by the urban fantasy, Darkness Calls, on June 30 and The Fire King, a paranormal romance novel, on-sale at the end of July.Marjorie’s ability to write suspenseful urban fantasy, timeless paranormal romance stories, and kick-ass action in comic-books—all at the same time—has earned her legions of devoted fans and landed her on The New York Times bestseller list last summer.

To reach out to her fans across the different genres and celebrate the upcoming release of Darkness Calls, the second book in her Hunter Kiss series, Marjorie has written a special letter from the hero, Grant, to his unborn daughter about how much he loves her—and her mother. It's a letter fans won't be able to find in any of the books; instead it will be released in four parts, over the next four weeks, in both audio and written format.

The first excerpt went up this week at the Romantic Times website, and fans are already raving about it, posting comments to Marjorie such as: “This letter is awesome. I don’t know how you do it. You are truly amazing and it is a pleasure and honor to be able to read your work.” And “That was a beautiful letter. I can’t wait for this book.”
Barbara Vey, who writes the “Beyond her Book blog” for Publishers Weekly, says: “I got to read the whole letter and yes, it made me cry...thanks a lot Marjorie!”

The second excerpt will be posted on the popular science fiction and fantasy blog http://www.tor.com/ on June 15th; the third excerpt will be posted on June 22nd on www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com, a book review site for romance novels “full of bitchery, snark and honest reviews.” On June 29th, the day before Darkness Calls hits stores, the complete letter will be released to select blogs and forums on major bookstore websites such as Borders and Barnes and Noble (other sites may still be added).

Marjorie says of Grant’s letter: "I'm excited about this promotion because I love being able to reach out to my fans: in person at romance conventions, or ComicCon, or online through my blog or twitter. I'd love to get all my characters at the same 4th of July BBQ and see what happens...but that's not in this letter!"

Giveaway - Winners - Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

A big thank you to all of the readers who stopped by to comment, and to those of you who shared the link on your own blogs as well. :)

The giveaway winners for Carpe Corpus are:


Alice's Dream



Brooke Reviews

Congratulations! Just send me your mailing address to darquereviews AT gmail DOT com and Ms. Caine's publicist will get those books out to you. :)

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Review - Haunting Beauty by Erin Quinn

A new review has been posted on the website for Haunting Beauty by Erin Quinn. This is the first installment in the Haunting series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Monday, June 8, 2009

Guest Post & Giveaway - Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine has been kind enough to share a guest post with us today. Thanks so much Rachel!

NAL – Jam (Penguin Group) has also offered to share a five book giveaway! (see below for details)


Rachel Caine is the New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series, as well as the bestselling Weather Warden and Outcast Season series. Her newest release, CARPE CORPUS (Book 6 of the Morganville series) went on sale June 2. CAPE STORM, the next Weather Warden book, will be out August 4.

Can I tell you a secret?

I didn't really intend to write the Morganville series. Or any vampire series. Or any young adult series.

Here's what happened: I got an inquiry from my publisher, who wondered if I'd be interested in writing a YA series for their NAL JAM line of books. I was ... to put it mildly ... a little thrown. "But I don't write young adult," I said. I was, at the time, writing the fourth book of the Weather Warden series, which is -- for language, violence, and yes, sex -- decidedly not YA. In fact, I didn't know anything about the YA market, other than it was vaguely on the other side of the store. So although I was deeply flattered by the inquiry, I was pretty much decided it wasn't for me. Especially since what the publisher was interested in was something vampire-themed.

Now, I'd done vampires before ... more than once. And I really didn't think there was anything I had to say about them, especially post-Buffy. How could I possibly come up with something new anyway?

I happened to call my dear (recently departed) friend Ter Matthies. She was one of those "long drive home" people you could talk to for an hour and a half about, oh, anything. During the call, I mentioned the YA thing. Ter immediately said, in that forthright way she had, "You obviously should do that."

"I should?"

"Of course."

"Um ... why?"

"Because you'd be great at it. You understand how to create interesting characters, and you think sideways. It's just a matter of writing characters that are younger, and making them believable. You can do that."

I think I spluttered "But ..." a couple of times.

"Don't think YA is like the old days," she said. "Most of the books I read now come from the YA shelves. There's incredible stuff over there."


"Really. They're telling the best stories over there. So just say yes."

"But -- they want something with vampires. And I don't want to do the good-guy vampire thing anyway."

"Then don't," Ter said. "How would you make it different?"

I happened to be listening -- believe it or not -- to a CD of the theme music from The Sopranos. "Well," I said, not quite seriously, "Maybe the vampires are like the Mafia. You pay them not to hurt you." I thought about it for a critical second. "Maybe they've taken over a small town. Isolated. And my younger characters are just trying to get by." We both talked about the concept of "blood money" for a moment, and thought that was kind of interesting.

Ter thought about it. "What else?" (She was great at asking this question. It's an awesome question. I ask it of myself, all the time.)

"Well," I said. "Maybe the reason they've taken over the town is that there's something wrong with them. Something they're trying to fix."

This time there was a long silence. "You mean, they're sick?"

"Yes," I said. "Maybe something like vampire Alzheimer's. Maybe they've lost the ability to control themselves at a certain point. Maybe they're really vulnerable now and can't make new vampires, so this is their last stand." I paused, and said, "It's like a nature preserve. They're predators, but they're beautiful, and they're endangered. So it's not a good versus evil sort of situation, except on a very personal level."

Ter, who regularly snarked about the deals made in Publisher's Lunch, was silent. I thought, Oh no. That really sucked.

Then she said, "A cross between the Mafia and a tiger preserve. I'd read that." And she meant it. "Write that. I dare you."

The rest of the conversation was about friend-type stuff ... how cool Alan Rickman was as Snape in the Harry Potter movies. How much we both loved Remus Lupin. How we really needed to spend more time together. You know. Life.

That was the spring of 2006, I believe. The first Morganville book came out in October 2006.

Because Ter dared me to do it.

I'm writing this because Ter was sick by the end of 2007, and slipped away from us in 2008, and I never did get to spend more time with her. I never got to properly thank her for pushing me beyond my limits, one more time.

That's the real story of Morganville. I said no. Ter made me think sideways, and look what happened.

And she was right about the YA shelves. There's so much good stuff over there, it's dizzying. Go look, if you're not already there.

Thank you, Ter. I love you.

This one's for you.

- - Rachel Caine

To learn more about Carpe Corpus, please visit Ms. Caine’s website: HERE

You can visit the Penguin Group website: HERE

Read a review of Carpe Corpus: HERE

Visit Ms. Caine’s author page on Darque Reviews: HERE

GIVEAWAY – How to enter:

This giveaway is for five copies of Carpe Corpus, sponsored by NAL/Penguin Group, and open to U. S. residents. There are two ways to enter:

1. To enter just leave one comment on this post anytime over the next week.

2. For a second entry, post the giveaway info on your blog or website and email me the link (DarqueReviews AT gmail Dot com) with ‘Carpe Corpus’ in the subject line.

The five lucky winners will be announced on Monday, June 15, 2009. Be sure to check back and see if you’re one of them!

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Winner - Cry Mercy by Toni Andrews

The winner of a copy of Cry Mercy by Toni Andrews is:


Congratulations Zita! Toni asks that you please contact her through her website (http://www.toniandrews.com/) with your mailing info. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Friday, June 5, 2009

Review - The Highwayman by Michele Hauf

A new review has been posted on the website for The Highwayman by Michele Hauf. This is the first installment in the Wicked Games series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

A new review has been posted on the website for Blue Moon by Alyson Noël. This is the second installment in The Immortals series. (Young Adult)

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - A Stroke of Magic by Tracy Madison

A new review has been posted on the website for A Stroke of Magic by Tracy Madison. This is the second installment in the Magic series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Review - Skinwalker by Faith Hunter

A new review has been posted on the website for Skinwalker by Faith Hunter. This is the first installment in her Jane Yellowrock series. This is a 'Starred Read'.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Amazon Ink by Lori Devoti

A new review has been posted on the website for Amazon Ink by Lori Devoti. This is the first release in her Amazon series.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Kiss & Hell by Dakota Cassidy

A new review has been posted on the website for Kiss & Hell by Dakota Cassidy.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Review - Dying Bites by D D Barant

A new review has been posted on the website for Dying Bites by D D Barant. This is the first installment in The Bloodhound Files. This is a 'Starred Read'.

You can also visit the author's page:

Please feel free to share any comments on this book here on the blog post. :)

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Promo - Dorchester Next Best Cellar Contest

Cell Us Your Novel
Publisher Seeks New Romantic Voices through Social Networking Venture

New York City—Dorchester Publishing and Textnovel announce their partnership in an innovative writing competition for aspiring novelists. Beginning today, authors ages 18 and older are invited to participate in America’s Next Best Celler, a literary challenge that pairs the emergent cellular generation with the traditional publishing model. The contest will award a guaranteed publishing contract with Dorchester, the publisher who discovered and nurtured the careers of New York Times bestsellers Victoria Alexander, Christine Feehan and Lynsay Sands.

America’s Next Best Celler utilizes Textnovel’s unique business model that allows authors and readers to create, read and share serialized fiction via today’s most popular and ubiquitous technologies. The site encourages readers to subscribe to developing works of fiction which are disseminated in chapter-length installments via cell phones and email over a period of time. Subscribers offer direct feedback to authors and vote for their favorite serials, fostering an intimacy between artist and fan similar to reality television.

Textnovel was created in response to the literary movement that exploded in Japan a little over two years ago which produced an entirely new genre that now dominates their mainstream publishing industry. In 2007, five of Japan’s ten best-selling novels originated as cell phone serials. Many of the serials, such as Love Sky written by a debut novelist and read by 20 million people, have been adapted for TV series and movies.

With faster cell phone networks and data plans now available, the U.S. market has the potential to experience even more success than Japan. “Textnovel’s business model could revolutionize the entire publishing industry,” says Brooke Borneman, Dorchester’s Sales and Marketing Director. According to Maho no i-rando (Magic Island), Japan’s first and largest mobile novel portal, the site has six million registered users, representing roughly 5% of the country’s population. “When applying this percentage to the U.S. population of over 300 million people, the potential to build name recognition for authors is simply staggering,” states Borneman.

A collision of multiple cultural and societal influences has created the ideal situation for the resurgence of the serial which traces its roots to Victorian era novelists Charles Dickens, George Elliott and William Makepeace Thackeray. “Our increasingly fast-paced and chaotic lifestyles have created challenges for many individuals who can’t or won’t make the time to read. Between fragmented attention spans, the enthusiasm and devotion cultivated by fan participation in reality television and the social networking revolution, we think the time is perfect to bring readers and writers together through Textnovel and we hope to discover America’s Next Best ‘Celler,’” says Borneman.

Dorchester is seeking contest entries in any of the following romantic sub-genres: historical, paranormal, urban fantasy, high fantasy, futuristic, romantic suspense or humorous contemporary. For complete contest details, including rules and regulations, please visit www.dorchesterpub.com or www.textnovel.com.

About Dorchester Publishing
Dorchester Publishing has published mass market books since 1971, making it the oldest independent mass market publisher in America. Known for its collection of best-selling romance novels, Dorchester also publishes award-winning horror, thrillers and western titles, as well as the Hard Case Crime line of pulp-style mysteries. In addition, Dorchester distributes the bestselling Family Doctor series of health guides in the US and Canada. Website: http://www.dorchesterpub.com

About Textnovel
Textnovel is a social network for authors and readers of serial fiction and the first English language cell phone novel website, allowing members to write and read fiction with their cell phones or computers, using text messaging, email and online tools. Textnovel also offers literary agency services to aspiring novelists. Website: http://www.textnovel.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Guest Post & Giveaway - Toni Andrews

Today we have Toni Andrews with us sharing her guest blog in the form of a video! How cool is that?

About the Author:
Toni Andrews likes to say it's easier to list the jobs she hasn't tried. From lifeguard to lounge singer, bartender to bill collector, door-to-door salesperson to corporate business analyst--Toni has been there and done that. Then, she decided that what she really wanted to be was a writer. After fifteen years in Southern California and seven in Miami, Toni returned to the lakeside cottage in Connecticut where she spent her childhood summers, where she writes full time.

After discovering that it’s not always easy for authors to get publicity, Toni took matters into her own hands in 2008 and began producing her own public access television show, So Many Books, which features authors of all genres and appears in over 150 towns in New England and New York.

Toni also writes romance novels under the pen name Virginia Reede.


As Toni Andrews:
Cry Mercy, Mira Books, June 2009
Angel of Mercy, Mira Books, May 2008
Beg for Mercy, Mira Books, September 2007

As Virginia Reede:
A Red Hot New Year (Anthology), Avon Red, December 2007
Men in Chains, Cerridwen Press, July 2007
Witch’s Knight, Ellora’s Cave, June 2007
Beastmistress, Ellora’s Cave, June 2006

Video Blog with Toni:

To learn more about Toni Andrews, her newest release Cry Mercy, and her Mercy Hollings series, please visit her website: HERE

You can read reviews of her series on the Darque Reviews website by visiting her author page: HERE

You can find out about a virtual book signing with Toni: HERE

Check out her book trailer:

For a chance to win a copy of Cry Mercy, just leave a comment for Toni. She'll draw the winner at random from the comments left! Good luck! :)

Thanks so much for joining us today Toni!

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com

Monday, June 1, 2009

Book Giveaway - The Marked series by S. J. Day

Darque Reviews has a wonderful new book giveaway sponsored by S. J. Day’s publicist at TOR books!

To learn more about the Marked series you can visit Ms. Day’s website: HERE

You can visit her author page on TOR: HERE

You can visit her author page on Darque Reviews: HERE

You can read a review of Eve of Darkness: HERE

You can read a review of Eve of Destruction: HERE

You can read a review of Eve of Chaos: HERE

About the Author:
S. J. DAY's resume includes a variety of odd jobs ranging from amusement park employee to POW interrogator. She's presently a full-time writer. A native Southern Californian, S.J. thinks there's no place like home, but she loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her to Japan, Holland, Germany, France, Mexico, Jamaica, and all over the United States. She's now hard at work on her next book.

About the Giveaway:
Ms. Day’s very kind publicist at TOR has offered to share three sets of the first three releases in Marked! That includes the books released to date, Eve of Darkness and Eve of Destruction, as well as the upcoming release of Eve of Chaos. Three sets, the first three releases in each! This is a release day giveaway, so you have the month of June to enter, and the winners will be drawn on June 30, 2009 just in time for the release of Eve of Chaos.

The rules: This giveaway is sponsored by TOR, and open to US residents only. There are four ways to enter; giving you four entries to win in the giveaway.

1. Leave a comment on the original blog post during the month of June.

2. Sign the Darque Reviews Guest Book on the website once between June 1 and June 30, 2009.

3. Post a link to the contest on your blog or website and email me the link at darquereviews AT gmail DOT com.

4. Check out the Wish List on the Darque Reviews website and send the title, author and release date with a link to where you found the information (Amazon, Author’s website, etc) of a book I’ve missed for the upcoming year. Email the info to me at darquereviews AT gmail DOT com between June 1 and June 30, 2009.

Four ways to enter, choose one or all four to increase your chances.

Good luck, and Happy Reading!!

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews.com