Feb 25, 2010

Blog Tour and Contest for Jordan by Susan Kearney

To celebrate the recent of release of JORDAN, Susan Kearney relates some of the background for this book and the others in the Pendragon Legacy series.

[See contest details at the end of the essay.]

The Legend of King Arthur

I’ve often been asked what inspired me to turn the King Arthur legend into a futuristic romance trilogy.  But here’s the truth . . . I came up with a futuristic series I wanted to write, then looked for a legend from Earth’s history that would complement my story idea.

That might seems backwards to most people, but there are several reasons for why this happened.  First, I tend to think about the future first—not the past.  Second, I wanted to try something different with this series, something I hadn’t done before.  And third, I wanted new readers to try the series.

Now using a popular ancient legend to try and win over new readers might seem like a cold and calculated way of going about creating a story.  But if my books aren’t popular I can’t continue to sell them.  And actually finding new readers who are willing to spend their hard-earned dollars on a genre they’ve never heard of—is no easy task.

So I tried to make the ideas of dragon shifting more palatable to readers.  I want them to feel comfortable and a good way to do that is to put a new twist on a time-honored legend.  And King Arthur Pendragon was perfect—especially with his last name.  In addition, not much is really known about King Arthur, including the exact century he lived.  As a writer this was a great opportunity for me to twist the past and insert it into my story.

But in addition to all of the above, King Arthur’s time was known for chivalry, brave deeds, bold men.  Alpha men.  Those were great character traits for my heroes.  So I didn’t just use past historical legend, I built upon the characters of knights.

And in  JORDAN, I took a murky, quirky character from the past, Merlin, and remade him into my kind of hero.  Bold, determined, pure Alpha male.  His woman had to come from Earth’s future - not so far into the future, just enough so that space flight to other worlds might be believable.  Just enough so that we could have adapted to new DNA.  Just enough that Earth was different enough for my stories to work.

Will I use other legends in future books?  It’s possible.  Stay tuned . . .  In the meantime, you should know each of my books while connected stands alone. You won’t feel lost if you start with Jordan and work your way backwards.

If you’d like to read more about LUCAN, RION, or JORDAN there are excerpts at www.susankearney.com


Thanks to Anna Balasi of Forever Romance five lucky readers will each win a copy JORDAN

This contest is open only to residents of the U.S. or Canada (No P.O. Boxes)

To be eligible do the following:

*Answer this question: What is your favorite character from the King Arthur legends?  (If you don't have a favorite pretend that you do and put down a name.)
1 point

You may also:

*Link this post to your own site or a social network site, and be sure to let me know the URL.  1 point for each link.

*If you are a follower 1 point

*If you are an email subscriber 1 point

If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.

Contest ends March 18 at 11:59 PM PST

Recently Completed Contests and Their Winners on PVN

This month PVN has been lucky enough to host several contests including a chance to win a copy of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi; Ecstasy Unveiled ; and Love Fang.

Contest sponsored by Pocket Books for Gentlemen Prefer Succubi by Jill Myles

Readers were asked to answer the following question: Does the guy on the cover look like a gentleman to you, why or why not?

There were several interesting responses. Here is a sampling:

"Gee, I'm hoping he's a gentleman. Is he available?"

"He has a handsome, fine featured face and that's enough to make him a gentleman to me. And with that bod who cares if he isn't, lol."

"Sorry but he is no gentleman, his eyes tell the story. He is too concerned about what he wants, for himself to be a gentleman. That doesn't mean he wouldn't be a great lay, just that he would quickly fall asleep afterward, and snore ungentlemanly."

"No, he looks like a very bad boy to me!! Can I have him??"

Read more here

Using Random.org 2 names were selected.
Congratulations to winners: Anna ♥  and Roxanne Rhoads

Contest sponsored by Forever Books for Ecstasy Unveiled (Demonica Series) by Larissa Ione

Readers were asked to respond to the following quesiton?

What do you think of the tattoo on Seminus's right arm and shoulder (see cover)?

Some thoughts:

"I like the tat but I think it should be a little brighter or sharper looking. It looks washed out."

"Location, location, location… I don’t think it’s all about the design but perhaps about the placement of it that represents something about him. That being said, I find the tattoo very appealing it is full intricate details."

 "I usually don't like guys with large tattoos like this. But it looks good on the cover. I'd like to think that it will be worked into the story."

"I see the tattoo as a mark of an assassin. Anyone who sees it, knows what he is."

Read more here

Using Random.org 2 names were selected:
Congratulations to winners Bethie  and  justpeachy36

Please send your mailing address to me at patriciaaltner(at)gmail(dot)com
I will forward this information to Forever Books

Contest for a signed copy of the humorous vampire romance book Love Fang by Susan Blexrud

Congratulations to winners Virginia C and Stephmartin71

Be sure to try Susan's delicious recipe for Choco-Kahlua Pound Cake

Feb 23, 2010

Barbara Monajem - Guest Blogger

Please welcome Barbara Monajem, author of Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil.  She is here to tell us about her new vampire book and offer a contest. Sunrise is a terrific vampire love story told with lots of humor.

[This contest is closed]

Being Irresistible Sucks
I’ve always thought that being extremely attractive must be inconvenient, to say the least. Not only do beauty and virility fade, but it’s too easy for people to look on the surface and see no further. What about intelligence and sense of humor? What about strength of character? What about genuine mutual liking? The whole idea of being irresistible is fascinating to me, because instead of encouraging true love, it might just get in the way.

Ophelia Beliveau, heroine of my upcoming novel Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil, is a vampire, but not really your standard vamp. I’m not crazy about the concept of undead. I’m fine with reading it, but I don’t feel comfortable writing it. There’s always this faint whiff of rot at the back of my mind, making it difficult to concentrate on the romantic aspects of the story. I keep worrying that my vampire will have bad breath! Weird, I know, but there you go. Although Ophelia is definitely amongst the living, she does have fangs, and she loves (and for her own sanity needs) sex and blood. Easy enough for an irresistible woman to get plenty of, right?

Nope. Being irresistible has caused her nothing but trouble – such big trouble that she’s sworn off men forever. This is awfully stressful for Ophelia – she has a drawer full of sex toys and eats a lot of raw meat, but she’s chronically unsatisfied, poor girl. When her garden is vandalized and her life is threatened, hunky cop Gideon O’Toole swears to protect her and get to the bottom of the threats. That’s not all he wants to do, of course, but Ophelia has secrets that mustn’t be revealed, and letting a cop into her life can only bring catastrophe. She’s determined to drive him away.


Gideon left the headlights on and the engine running, got out, and held the door open for his dog. “Put the gun away, Ophelia.” He walked calmly toward her. “It’s only me.”

“I know who it is.” Ophelia’s voice broke, and a tear spilled treacherously down her cheek. “Go away!”


“Don’t call me that! I am not sweet.”

She watched Gideon control himself and start again. “I brought Gretchen to stay with you. She’ll warn you if there’s any danger.”

How had he come up with such a blessed idea? “I don’t need her. Take your dog and go home.” Ophelia bit down hard, piercing her lip, ignoring the blood, fighting tears, wanting the dog like crazy. She felt so alone.

Anguish in his voice, Gideon said, “Ophelia, don’t cry. Honey, you can’t think I’d harass you after what you’ve been through tonight.”

“You are harassing me,” she choked out. “I am not honey. I am poison. Get the hell away.” Gretchen trotted up and stuck a cool nose under her hand. Ophelia’s fingers moved by instinct toward the dog’s curls, but she yanked her hand away, clenching and unclenching her fist, needing and wanting the animal so much it hurt. “Gretchen doesn’t want to stay with me. She’s yours. Take her and go away.”

“I discussed it with her on the ride over, and she agreed to stay with you.”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” Ophelia cocked the shotgun. “Get off my property and don’t come back.”

Gideon swore under his breath. “Stupid or not, Gretchen is staying with you.” As if on cue, the dog planted her butt on the drive.

“Damn it, Gideon!” Ophelia let out a scream of rage and fired, kicking up gravel far too close to Gideon’s feet. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t move a goddamn hair. “Don’t you get it?” she yelled.  “I’m trying to protect you from yourself. I am not safe!”

“‘That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard in my life,’” Gideon echoed in bitter mockery. “You could at least come up with an intelligent lie.”

Ophelia opened her mouth and shut it again. Pissing him off was what she wanted. Still, the disgust in his voice tore into her.

“I’m out of here,” he said. “I won’t come back unless you need me.” He turned to the dog. “Stay, Gretchen. Stay with Ophelia.” He got in his car and backed into the turnaround, flinging his last words through the window. “What makes you think I give a damn about being safe?”

If you could have one irresistible quality, what would you pick? A beautiful face? A compelling voice? Undeniable wisdom or genius? Do you think it would be more trouble than it was worth?

Author Bio
Barbara Monajem wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she writes paranormal and historical romance for grownups. She lives in Georgia with an ever shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

Now for the contest
[This contest is closed]

One lucky commenter will win a copy of
Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil and with it a pair of women's Valentine's Day socks!

The contest is open worldwide.

To be eligible do one or more of the following:
* Answer one of Barbara's questions - 1 chance
* Ask Barbara a question - 1 chance
* Link this interview to your own site or a social network site, and be sure to let me know the URL - 1 chance for each link.
*Be a follower - 1 chance
*Be an email subscriber - 1 chance
If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.

Contest ends March 9, 2010 at 11:59 PST

Feb 21, 2010

Beneath the Skin - Vampire Book Review

Beneath the Skin
by Adrian Phoenix
Pocket; Original edition (December 29, 2009)

From the publisher:

The dark pieces of vampire rock star Dante Baptiste's past are violently emerging, and it is only a matter of time before the Fallen discover he is the creawdwr they have sought for thousands of years. The destruction he left behind in Oregon threatens to reveal his identity as Fallen Maker and True Blood, exposing the young nightkind to shadowy predators -- mortal and supernatural -- who will do whatever it takes to win his favor...or destroy him.

When beautiful FBI special agent Heather Wallace went AWOL on assignment, she chose irresistible Dante over the shady government forces that now stalk them both. Heather has her own secrets of the past to uncover, but she is also the only one who can hold her nightkind lover together when his dangerous quest for the truth threatens to send him over the edge. And as she and Dante fi ght for their survival, she realizes they must work together to protect their future -- before his mysterious destiny tears them apart....


Dante's pain and his fight for sanity weaves The Maker's Song series together. His bond-mate Heather, a former FBI agent soothes him and aids him in his desperate search to heal his wounded soul. He has had a long difficult journey, but there is so much more that he must learn and do before coming into his own as the most powerful creation ever.

Slowly immortals and mortals learn that a True Blood Prince and a Fallen Maker has been born, kidnapped, tortured and programmed to kill. He has been and still is Project Bad Seed's most important subject. For Dante and Heather their love story rests in the heart of darkness.

At the end of In the Blood we witnessed the terrible fallout from Dante's fury as two factions, Elohim and Shadow Bureau seek control of him. The powerful rage provoked by Dante's mortal enemies left several dead and a deep crater where a large house once stood. Beneath the Skin continues the story.

Around the crater stands a stonehenge of angels some with faces of awe, others with looks of shock and dismay. When two FBI agents happen upon this scenario there is nothing in their backgrounds to explain what lies in front of them. One agent, a vampire, believes she hears beating hears within the angel statues. These are living beings, she tells her partner. And she is correct. Many Elohim (fallen angels), while seeking their creawdwr, were caught in the storm of Dante's passion.

Dante is a very powerful nightkind. His vampire mother was murdered soon after his birth. His father Lucien, now missing, was one of the Elohim.

A myriad of brilliantly written characters move throughout this dark, intricate story. Certain ones are truly evil while others are desperately trying to do what is right, something not always obvious. For me this series belongs at the top of any list of Urban Fantasy.

It is best to read the books in order of publications.

Book 1  A Rush of Wings   Read a Review

Book 2  In the Blood      Read a Review

[ Dear FTC, Beneath the Skin was sent to me by the publisher, and if they hadn't I would have gladly bought my own copy!]

New Vampire Releases for February 2010

Some Vampire goodies for February. Several highly anticipated titles are out like
Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison; Everlasting Kiss by Amanda Ashley;  Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 18) by Laurell K. Hamilton and more.

Black Magic Sanction
by Kim Harrison
Eos, February 23, 2010

Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter—and lived to tell the tale. But she's never faced off against her own kind . . . until now. Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment—at worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom, but trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and an ex-boyfriend turned thief. It takes a witch to catch a witch, but survival bears a heavy price.

by Bianca D'Arc
Samhain Publishing, February 2010

Three mortal women discover the loves of their lives…the vampires of their dreams.
One and Only
Vampire Atticus Maxwell stands at the edge of his own oblivion…until the faint heartbeat of a desperately wounded mortal woman calls him back. The terrible crash that almost took both their lives has brought him a woman who just might give him a reason to live again. No barrier to their love seems too great—until they learn the crash was no accident at all…
Rare Vintage
Marc LaTour is drawn to Kelly when she goes to work for the newlyweds Atticus and Lissa at their vineyard. He moves into the mansion on the pretext of needing a place to stay while his own home is remodeled. Then an upstart vampire challenges him to a fight to the death. Kelly is willing to trade her life for his—but can he save her from himself?
Phantom Desires
Dmitri Belakov enters the scorching hot dreams of the woman who just bought the farmhouse that rests above his secret lair. He must either bargain with her or kill her, but she is much too intriguing to dispose of so easily. When he discovers she is his One—his perfect match—he’ll do anything to keep her by his side…forever.

Dead, Udead, or Somewhere in Between
by J. A. Saare
February 7th 2010 by Eternal Press (first published 2010)

One bad corpse can ruin your whole day.

No one knows better than Rhiannon Murphy that one bad corpse can ruin your whole day.

She left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her—until now.

The deliciously good-looking vampire, Disco, knows her secret. When he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, Rhiannon discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.

But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

DECADENT MASTER (Masters of Desire, Book 2
by Tawny Taylor
Aphrodisia (February 23, 2010)

A closed door swings open…and Wynne Fischer enters an elegant bondage club for those who crave extremes of forbidden sensation.

Within the walls of Twilight, ultra-male temptation comes in threes: the muscular brothers Rolf and Dierk, and the mysterious Master Zane. Dominance is in their blood and the natural submissiveness of the inexperienced Wynne arouses the men beyond belief. Baring herself body and soul at their command, their captive is about to satisfy her most hidden desires as she explores the dark side of sexual passion…

Eleventh Grade Burns #4 (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod)by Heather Brewer
Dutton Juvenile (February 9, 2010)

Eleventh grade at Bathory High is draining Vladimir Tod. Joss, a professional vampire slayer and Vlad’s former friend, has moved back to town. The powerful vampire Dorian has an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad’s blood. And his arch enemy, D’Ablo, has brought Vlad’s Uncle Otis to trial for crimes against vampires. So much for dating. When the tables turn on Vlad, he has just enough time to return to Bathory for his final good-byes.

by Amanda Ashley
Zebra (February 1, 2010)

Daisy O'Donnell doesn't get the attraction some women feel for vampires. She likes her men with a heartbeat. And she's just met one who's full of life: Erik Delacourt, the unreasonably sexy man she keeps meeting at a popular L.A. nightclub called the Crypt. She barely knows him, but there's no resisting the connection she feels. . .
There's one important detail Erik hasn't gotten around to telling her yet. He's a powerful vampire out to hunt the Blood Thief who is draining young vampires all over the city--and who has just raised the stakes by destroying one of Erik's friends. To Erik, Daisy is a bright spot of innocence in a world of darkness and menace. He'll do anything--even lie to her--to keep her safe and pure.
If only he knew that Daisy has something of her own to hide. . .

FIRST DROP OF CRIMSON (Night Huntress World, Book 1)
by Jeaniene Frost
Avon (February 9, 2010)

The night is not safe for mortals. Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows—her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield—and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family's past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness—and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who lusts for a taste of her.
He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human—even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the nightmare together . . .
Because once the first crimson drop falls, they will both be lost.

Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 18)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Berkley (February 2, 2010)

When Anita Blake meets with prospective client Tony Bennington, who is desperate to have her reanimate his recently deceased wife, she is full of sympathy for his loss. Anita knows something about love, and she knows everything there is to know about loss. But what she also knows, though Tony Bennington seems unwilling to be convinced, is that the thing she can do as a necromancer isn't the miracle he thinks he needs. The creature that Anita could coerce to step out of the late Mrs. Bennington's grave would not be the lovely Mrs. Bennington. Not really. And not for long.

Real Vampires Hate Their Thighs
by Gerry Bartlett
Berkley (February 2, 2010)

Glory St. Clair loves soaking up Hollywood's vampire nightlife with her sexy Scottish lover, Jeremiah. Especially when she meets a vampire/ diet guru who promises to give her the body she's wanted for centuries. One problem: his clan and Jeremiah's are ancient enemies. But Glory's not about to let a stupid family feud come between her and slender bliss. Yet, she can't help but wonder...how much is she willing to risk for her hips? And how much (and precisely what) is she willing to lose?

The Thirteenth: A Vampire Huntress Legend (Vampire Huntress Legends)
by L. A. Banks
St. Martin's Griffin (February 3, 2009)

The final story in the now cult favorite Vampire Huntress series.

The entire Neteru Guardian team is on the run, having now been labeled as America's most-wanted terrorists following the gruesome demon battle that felled the Washington Monument and crashed the front doors of the White House.  The Anti-Christ is positioned for emergence, the powers of darkness have released the pale horse of the apocalypse, and half the Neteru team is pregnant.  Plagues from hell that ravage the country are being cited as stemming from bio-terrorism.  The nation is under martial law.  The Neterus and their team are underground.  If things weren't bad enough the Dark Realm breaks the sixth Biblical seal, which plunges the world into perpetual darkness…and irrevocably into the Armageddon.

Magic University Book Two: The Tower and the Tears
Author: Cecilia Tan
Ravenous Romance, February, 2010

Kyle is a college sophomore worrying about the usual things students do, like what he's going to major in and getting along with his dorm mates, but he attends a most unusual college. He's a student at Veritas, the hidden magical university inside Harvard.
Before he got to Harvard, Kyle hadn't even known he was magical. Now he finds he has a talent for sex magic and the erotic arts. Not only that, a girl in his sex magic class has a crush on him. Kyle looks forward to lots of "study sessions" together with Ciara and their friend Marjory, but when their professor is mysteriously attacked, Kyle finds himself embroiled in a mystery deeper than university department politics. Someone has been stealing magical artifacts and the dhttp://vampchix.blogspot.com/ean suspects Ciara, sending Kyle on a quest to discover the real culprit.

Kyle will learn sizzling sexual technique and unleash powerful magic on his incredible erotic journey, but is the study of sex really the route to true love? Perhaps what Kyle needs to learn about most is himself.

The Tower and the Tears is the second book in the Magic University series by Cecilia Tan. Bringing together myth, magic, eroticism, and the Tarot, the Magic University books are for all the adult readers of classic fantasy who want a bedtime tale of their own.

Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend
Mark Collins Jenkins
National Geographic (February 16, 2010)

Mark Jenkins’s engrossing history draws on the latest science, anthropological and archaeological research to explore the origins of vampire stories, providing gripping historic and folkloric context for the concept of immortal beings who defy death by feeding on the lifeblood of others. From the earliest whispers of eternal evil in ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, vampire tales flourished through the centuries and around the globe, fueled by superstition, sexual mystery, fear of disease and death, and the nagging anxiety that demons lurk everywhere.

In Vampire Forensics, Mark Jenkins probes vampire legend to tease out the historical truths enshrined in the tales of terror: sherds of Persian pottery depicting blood-sucking demons; the amazing recent discovery by National Geographic archaeologist Matteo Borrini of a 16th-century Venetian grave of a plague victim and suspected vampire; and the Transylvanian castle of "Vlad the Impaler," whose bloodthirsty cruelty remains unsurpassed.

Jenkins navigates centuries of lore and legend, adding new chapters to the chronicle and weaving an irresistibly seductive blend of superstition, psychology, and science sure to engross everyone from Anne Rice’s countless readers to serious students of archaeology and mythology.

Readers and authors if you know of any titles that I missed, please contact me with the information at patriciaaltner@gmail.com.


[Also posted on VampChix]

Feb 19, 2010

Blog Tour and Contest for Spider's Bite

 Spider's Bite: An Elemental Assassin Book
 by Jennifer Estep
 Pocket (January 26, 2010)

[The contest portion is closed]

My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way -- good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Read an ecerpt

 Contest  [This contest is closed]

Thanks to Pocket Books one US readers (No P. O Boxes please) will have a chance to win a copy of Spider's Bite

International readers. I will offer one copy of Spider's Bite to be sent from Book Depository.

*Answer the question:  What do you think of spiders? one chance
You may also: 
*Link to this contest on any of the social network sites or your own web page. Let me know the url:   One chance for each link.

*Tell me if you are a follower: One chance

*Tell me if you are an email subscriber: One chance

*If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.

*Let me know if you are a US or International reader.

The contest ends March 4, 2010 at 11:59 pm PST.