Feb 29, 2008

Bending to Break - a vampire novel

A review of Bending to Break by A J Hampton. Cacoethes Publishing, 2007

Kayden Grey is bitten by her former lover Jullian, the most handsome and powerful of vampires. He meant to turn her into one like himself, but strangely enough Kayden manages to keep remnants of her humanity making her a half-breed. She has become one of the creatures she despises. The beautiful Kayden has spent her life hunting vampires and demons. The brothers Elijah and Micah, well known demon hunters, have joined her uncle's group after one such demon murdered their sister. Kayden and Micah are made hunting partners but they squabble continuously trying to hide an obvious lust for one another.

One night, in a cemetery, while patrolling for undead creatures they are attacked and overpowered by a succubus, a type of being which lives on the intense passion of others. All sexual reticence disappears leading to hours of ecstasy. When the lusty night comes to an end a chagrined Kayden wants to track down the succubus and kill it. That proves a long, difficult task allowing several opportunities for Kayden and Micah to lose their inhibitions. Along with a strong story line and a cast of exciting characters there are a number of erotic, lustful, scenes of steamy lovemaking.

Feb 25, 2008

New Vampire Books for 2008

Below are titles either published or to be published in 2008. I wanted to get this out quickly so they aren't listed in any particular order. I'll try to do better next time. No doubt there are many titles I have missed and so will keep a look out for more throughout the year. If you know a title that should be listed either send an email to paltner@verison.net or mention it in the comments field. These will be posted in a future blog.

The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake Book 4) by Kerreyln Sparks, Avon, (January, 2008).

Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, Book 4) by Rachel Caine. Signet (June, 2008)

Blood Noir
(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 16) by Laurell K. Hamilton. Berkley, (June, 2008)

Staked by J. F. Lewis. Pocket (March, 2008)

Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready. Pocket (May, 2008)

Biting the Bullet
(Jaz Parks, Book 3) by Jennifer Rardin. Orbit (February, 2008)

Midnight Reign (Vampire Babylon, Book 2) by Chris Marie Green. Ace Trade (February, 2008)

Romancing the Dead (Garnet Lacey, Book 3) by Tate Hallaway. Berkley Trade (May, 2008)

One Bite Stand (MacKenzie Vampires, Book 4) by Nina Bangs. Leisure (January, 2008)

Vampires Are Forever (Argeneau Vampires, Book 8) by Lynsay Sands. Avon (January, 2008)

The Mark of the Vampire Queen (Vampire Queen, Book 2)
by Joey W. Hill. (February, Berkley)

The Vampire of New York by Lee Hunt. Signet (January, 2008)

Scions: Resurrection (Silhouette Nocturn, January, 2008)

Sucker Bet ( Vegas Vampires, Book 4) by Erin McCarthy. Berkley Trade (January, 2008)

Bond of Fire (Texas Vampires, Book 2)
by Diane Whiteside. Berkley Trade (January, 2008)

Child of a Dead God: A Novel of the Noble Dead by Barb Hendee and J. C. Hendee. Roc Hardcover (January, 2008)

One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 2) by Jeaniene Frost. Avon (April, 2008)

Dead Over Heels
by MaryJanice Davidson. Berkley Trade (May, 2008)

The Outlaw Demon Wails (Rachel Morgan, Book 6)
by Kim Harrison. Eos (February, 2008)

From Dead to Worse (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 8) by Charlaine Harris. Ace Hardcover (May, 2008)

Undead and Unworthy (Queen Betsy, Book 7)
by MaryJanice Davidson. Berkley Hardcover (July, 2008)

Just One Bite (Dead End Dating, Book 4) by Kimberly Raye. Ballantine Books (July, 2008)

Because Your Vampire Said So (Broken Heart, Oklahoma, Book 3)
by Michele Bardsley. Signet Eclipse (May, 2008)

Bitten to Death (Jaz Parks, Book 4)
by Jennifer Rardin. Orbit (August, 2008)

Feb 9, 2008

A Vampire Novel by Mayra Calvani

Embraced by the Shadows by Mayra Calvani. Twilight Times Books, 2007

Sadash, the vampire, first notices Alana Piovanetti while she vacations with her family in Istanbul. She is very young, a child really, but he is drawn to her. Three hundred years ago he would not have hesitated to drink of her blood - all of it. Not now, however. Since that long ago time he has vowed not to take advantage of a child. He watches as she gazes at a painting of a red-haired angel being thrown out of heaven. Her coloring is very much like that angel. Later in the story this painting and the angel's appearance will be important.

Twelve years later Alana is living in Puerto Rico where she was born and raised. She recently found a job as the manager of the new 'in' place called El Cuevo del Vampiro. She does not consider herself qualified - she was a philosophy major in college, but the owner's representative assures her she is exactly the right person for the job. That same night the erotic dreams begin. Dreams of a man like no other she has known takes her in his arms and seduces her in away she never imagined possible. Later she meets Shadash the man of her dreams who is even more alluring in the real world. He shows her what the life of an immortal is truly like. Vampires never age and can never be destroyed even by fire. Alana wants to be with him forever, but what about her dearest friend Valeria. How could she watch as this person she loves ages and dies?

Mayra Calvani has created a sensuous world of mystery and dark, complex romance. The fascinating characters and their tantalizing story will keep readers engrossed from the first page to the last.

See an interview with Mayra Calvani
Read a review of Mayra's novel Dark Lullaby

Feb 8, 2008

Review of Second Jaz Parks Novel

Another One Bites the Dust by Jennifer Rardin. Orbit, 2007

This second installment of the Jaz Parks series, finds Jaz and her CIA partners in Corpus Christi, Texas for the Winter Festival . A treacherous Chinese agent is in the area. He has stolen a secret weapon, one so dangerous that Jaz and her vampire partner Vayl, both highly gifted agents where the supernatural is involved, have been sent to Corpus Christi in order to retrieve the weapon - a near impossibility - or to keep Chien-Jung from using it - also close to impossible. Vayl, a vampire of the good guy variety and the agent in charge, decides that the group, which includes Bergman, a brilliant creator of gadgetry with little patience for most things supernatural, Cole, who is also a sensitive like Jaz and can detect troublemakers before anyone else can even see them, and Cassandra, a several hundred year-old psychic who knows a bit about casting spells.

Immediately after arriving in Corpus Christi Jaz encounters a demonic force which first impersonates its victim and then devours its soul. This entity, says Cassandra's mystical database, is difficult to kill, but when fighting this monster called a reaver, Jaz finds a way. A good swift sword thrust, for those who dare to get up close and personal, will do the job. There are other evil beings for Jaz and friends to overcome thanks to the brilliant imagination of author Jennifer Rardin. At the moment the top of the must-destroy list is Chien-Lung, the man who has now learned to use the stolen weapon. It is a biological suit designed for combat soldiers which will give them all the fearsome attributes of a fire-breathing dragon. The only way to regain the suit is to kill the wearer.

The novel's brisk pace propels the plot but still allows the reader to understand the interconnection of the characters and the personal baggage each brings to their job. This is especially true for narrator and heroine Jaz Parks. Throughout the story Jaz has blackouts accompanied by terrifying dreams that include sleep walking, often putting her in perilous situations. Each time, fortunately, someone like Cole or Vayl find her in time to save her. The dreams always concern her twin brother David blaming her for causing the death of his wife Jess as well as Jaz's fiancé Matt. So disturbing are the dreams for Jaz she must solve the mystery behind them before she can give proper attention to the current case.

The special connection Jaz has with Vayl strengthens. Since the moment she gave her blood to him, at a time of his desperate need, the intensity of their bond has grown. Although there is a sexual tension in the companionship they enjoy, it remains for now firmly in the background.

Through Jaz's barbed humor and salty language the reader is taken on a thrilling action packed adventure. Book three of the Jaz Parks series Biting the Bullet is available as of Feb. 2008.