Jan 31, 2011

New Vampire Releases for January 2011

The new year begins with a list of interesting vampire reads. Be sure to also check out the list of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal books on SciFiGuy.ca

Angel at Dawn (Novel of the Upyr)
by Emma Holly
Berkley; Original edition (January 4, 2011)

Five hundred years ago, Grace Gladwell had captured Christian Durand's  heart and then abandoned him in his darkest hour. Seeing Grace again  after all these years has sent Christian reeling-even though she seems  to remember nothing of the medieval soldier, he wants her more than  ever. But is Grace merely a pawn of the vampire queen who has set her  immortal sights on Christian?      

by Nalini Singh
Berkley (January 25, 2011)

An ancient and malevolent female immortal is rising in Manhattan to  reclaim her son, the archangel Raphael. Only one thing stands in her  way: Elena Deveraux, a vampire-hunter-and Raphael's lover.

Awakened (House of Night)
by PC and Kristen Cast
St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (January 4, 2011)

“My love, speak to me.  Tell me everything.”   Neferet went to Kalona, kneeling before him, stroking the soft, dark  wings that unfurled loosely around the immortal. 

“What would you have me say?”  He didn’t meet her eyes.
 “Zoey lives.” Neferet’s voice was flat, cold, lifeless.

“She does.”

“Then you owe me the subservience of your immortal soul.”  She started to walk away from him.

“Where are you going?  What will happen next?”

 “It  is quite simple.  I will ensure Zoey is drawn back to Oklahoma.  There,  on my own terms, I will complete the task you failed.”

Exonerated  by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High  Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on  Zoey.  Dominion over Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use  against Z.  But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is  being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there.  Being Queen  would be cool, wouldn’t it?  Why should she return to Tulsa? After  losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her  relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same  either…

And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim?  The Raven Mocker  refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when  no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their  relationship?  Does he betray his father or his heart?

In the  pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how  far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties  that bind one girl’s heart?

Blood and Destiny: Ladies of St. George, Book 1
by Kaye Chambers
Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (March 2, 2010)

When the past bites, bite back.

Ladies of St. George, Book 1

For  Destiny St. George, shapeshifting lioness and private investigator, her  best friend’s looming wedding is little more than a reminder of her  failed relationship with vampire king Marcus Smythe. Tired of being only  one of many mistresses—and dinner entrees—she’s stayed away from the  vampire scene altogether. Until a missing-person case forces her to seek  his help.

Knowing that pressing Destiny is not the way to  convince her to give their relationship another try, Marcus has been  waiting her out—and his patience is rewarded when she steps into his  nightclub. Now is his chance to lure her back into his arms. This time,  he plans to keep her there.

Destiny’s not sure which is worse:  working with Marcus, or trying to remember all the reasons she called it  off with him. And when it becomes clear the case is an elaborate trap  to avenge a millennia-old grudge, she finds herself caught between love  and instinct—while the clock ticks down on an innocent victim’s life…
Warning: Vampires determined to take more than a bite out of the heroine. A lioness sure that she’s going to have the last word.

Blood Maidens
Barbara Hambly
Severn House Publishers (January 1, 2011)

The new ‘James Asher’ vampire novel from the best-selling author - It’s  1911. War is coming, and according to one of the vampires of St.  Petersburg, the Kaiser is trying to recruit vampires. James Asher,  Oxford don and formerly on His Majesty’s Secret Service, is forced to  team up again with his vampire partner Don Simon Ysidro for a journey to  the subarctic Russian capital. Are they on the trail of a rogue vampire  with a plan to achieve the power to walk in daylight? Asher wonders. Or  is Ysidro’s real agenda to seek the woman he once loved?

by Cherie Priest
Spectra Jan. 25. 2011

Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist—even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files—documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the wilds of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen on her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride.

by J. F. Lewis
Pocket (January 25, 2011)

Crossed: A Void City Novel In spite  of his continuing hot-blooded affair with his soon-to-be sister-in-law  Rachel, Eric’s plan is simple: Give his vampire girlfriend Tabitha the  fancy wedding she’s always wanted, then head off to Paris for their  honeymoon in the hopes of tracking down his sire, the Empress vampire  Lisette. The City of Love proves anything but romantic when the True  Immortal rulers of Europe try to block Eric from entering the  Continent—and subject Tabitha to a series of challenges to prove her  vampire worth.

Back home in Void City, Eric’s volatile daughter Greta is  getting lonely and bored—and that’s not good news for anyone. And  when, like a bat out of hell, Lisette descends upon Void City to wipe  Eric and his brood off the face of the earth—forever—this much is clear:  the honeymoon is over.     


by Tracy O'Hara
Eos (January 25, 2011)

After centuries of secret conflict, humans and  parahumans have reached an uneasy truce. But unspeakable evil now  threatens the tenuous peace.

Teenaged  shapeshifters are being slaughtered by a sadistic serial killer who rips  their still-beating hearts from their paralyzed bodies. A task force  forms to halt the madness, including the vampiric Aeternus Antoinette  Petrescu, as well as Kitt Jordan and Raven Matokwe, members of enemy  Animalian tribes . . . and forbidden lovers.

 A centuries-old  blood feud has divided their shapeshifting peoples, and if their passion  is discovered it will doom them both. But past hostilities must be put  aside, for the killer they seek is but the first sign of the  all-consuming nightmare of The Dark Brethren.

by Janet Elizabeth Jones
Harlequin, Jan. 2011

To save his kind, Meical Grabian agrees to participate in a dangerous  experiment. One that takes his vampire's thirst for blood and leaves him  hungering for something new. An incubus can be sated only with passion  -- but what woman could love what he's become?

Yet when Caroline Bengal finds him abandoned in a snowy wood, she senses  his emotional turmoil and brings him to her desolate cabin. Caroline's  compassion and earthy beauty tempt the hunger Meical has desperately  been keeping at bay. And soon Meical is visiting Caroline's dreams,  seducing his prey while she sleeps.

But another predator has set his sights on Caroline, with more sinister  intentions. If Meical is ever to reveal his true nature to Caroline,  he'll have to earn her trust...and keep her alive.

The Kensei: A Lawson Vampire Novel
by Jon F. Merz
St. Martin's Griffin; Original edition (January 18, 2011)

Meet Lawson. A cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting  the Balance between vampires and humans, he is part cop, part spy, and  part commando -- James Bond with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with  unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle  conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home. In The Kensei, a  battle-weary Lawson heads to Japan for a little rest and some advanced  ninja training. But he no sooner steps off the plane than lands in the  midst of a Yakuza turf war orchestrated by a shadowy figure known as the  Kensei. With the help of Talya, a former KGB-assassin, Lawson must put a  stop to the Kensei’s organ trafficking networks, prevent the creation  of an army of vampire-human hybrids, and save his own skin in the  process.

Lone Wolf
Karen Whiddon
Harlequin (December 21, 2010)

Disillusioned from his time serving as a Protector under a corrupt  Council, Anton Beck has vowed to have nothing to do with anything Pack.  He is looking forward to a few months of peace and quiet deep in the Big  Bend Mountains of Texas. That quiet is shattered when he's abducted and  held captive with none other than his ex-lover-turned-nemesis, Vampire  Huntress Marika. But that's not all. She bore his miracle child. And  that child has been taken….

It becomes clear that an ancient Vampire  priestess is behind the kidnapping, but why? To exploit the child's rare  gifts? In a race against time, two former lovers must overcome  bitterness and broken hearts in order to save their daughter—and save  themselves in the process.     

Mercy Blade (Jane Yellowrock, Book 3)
by Faith Hunter
Roc; Original edition (January 4, 2011)

Jane, a shapeshifting vampire-hunter-for-hire, crosses paths with a  stranger who has arrived in New Orleans, enlisted to hunt vampires who  have gone insane-or so he says...      

My Fair Succubi (The Succubus Diaries)
by Jill Myles
Pocket Star  Jan. 2011


Living as a succubus has a bit of a learning  curve, but with sexy fallen angel Noah to scratch her sensual Itch,  Jackie Brighton is finally starting to feel ahead of the game. She almost doesn’t miss her gorgeous vampire master Zane—or his sinful, teasing mouth. She’s trying to convince herself of that, anyway.

But  Jackie’s past mistakes catch up with her, spinning her life out of  control once more. Just as her friend Remy’s inner demon comes out to  play, Noah and Jackie are arrested by the angelic Serim Council. When  Jackie seizes the chance to escape, she falls right into Zane’s waiting  arms. As she’s pulled into a game of cat and mouse between vampires and  angels, she finds she must also choose between the two men in her life.  Can she decide between Noah and Zane, or will she lose everything she’s  ever wanted? Because there’s more at stake than just her heart. . . .     

Night School (Blood Coven Vampire: Book 5)
by Mari Mancusi
Berkley Pub Group 
Available: January 4, 2011

After their parents' shocking revelation about their fae heritage and  an attack on their lives, the McDonald twins are forced to hide out deep  in the Swiss Alps at Riverdale Academy, a secret vampire slayer  training facility. And with no way to contact their vampire boyfriends  for rescue, they're going to have to play nice with the locals.

But when Sunny starts acting strange, Rayne realizes that there's more  to fear at Riverdale than getting staked by the student body-leading to a  showdown in Fairyland that may cost the twins their lives.     

Of Truth and Beasts - Noble Dead Saga
Barb and J. C. Hendee
Roc Hardcover (January 4, 2011)

In each of its novels, The Noble  Dead Saga has swept readers into a world of "Tolkienesque fantasy [and]  vampire-infused horror."* (Publishers Weekly)

Now, young  Journeyor Wynn Hygeorht finds herself cast into the wilds on a  dangerous quest for knowledge that may instead lead to her doom...     

Taken (Harlequin Nocturne)
Lilith SaintCrow
Harlequin (January 18, 2011)

Sophie never believed she was special. Avoiding a violent ex, she  can't remember the last time she truly felt safe. Then vampires murder  her best friend and Sophie is kidnapped by a dangerously sexy  shape-shifter. Zach insists that Sophie is a Shaman—someone with a rare  gift for taming his savage side—and he needs her to help him save his  pack. Now, with a malevolent enemy closing in, Sophie and Zach must risk  everything on a bond that may be their only salvation….     

Taken by Others
Jess Haines
Zebra; Original edition (January 1, 2011)

Once, New York P.I. Shiarra Waynest's most pressing problem was  keeping her agency afloat. Now she's dealing with two dangerous,  seductive vampires who have been enemies for centuries. The only thing  Max Carlyle and Alec Royce agree on is that they both want Shia - for  very different reasons. Max is determined to destroy Shia for killing  his progeny, while Royce's interest is a lot more personal. That's not  sitting well with Shia's werewolf boyfriend, Chaz. As the feud between  Max and Royce gets ever more deadly, a powerful vampire-hunting faction  is urging Shia to join their side. Shia has always believed vamps were  the bad guys, but she's discovering unexpected shades of grey that are  about to redefine her friends, her loyalties - and even her desires.

R. A. Nelson
Knopf Books for Young Readers (January 25, 2011)

R. A. Nelson takes us on a supernatural thrill ride, a modern-day  vampire story set on a NASA base and filled with space-and-science  intrigue. Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy—until the  lost night. She's shocked to wake up in the hospital one morning, weak  from blood loss. When her memories begin to return, she pieces together  that it was a man—a monster—who attacked her: a vampire named Wirtz. And  it was her very condition that saved her: a grand mal seizure  interrupted Wirtz and left Emma with all the amazing powers of a  vampire—heightened senses, rapid speed—but no need to drink blood. Is  Emma now a half-vampire girl? One thing soon becomes clear: the vampire  Wirtz is fierce and merciless, feared even by his own kind, and won't  leave a job undone.

Vampire Sheikh (Harlequin Nocturne)
by Nina Bruhns

Harlequin (January 18, 2011)

Demigod Seth is enraged. The recent defections of his two favorite  lieutenants have sparked a conflagration of fury within him and a bitter  need for vengeance. Someone will pay, and pay dearly!

Who better than  Josslyn Haliday? Her two scheming sisters seduced and destroyed his  friends, luring them straight into the camp of his mortal enemy.

What  Seth doesn't count on is Joss's own anger. After losing her parents as a  child, she'll now do anything to find her two dear sisters and bring  them back to safety.


Including making a deal with the devil—him. But how far is the soft, pliant temptress willing to go? 

This list also appeared on VampChix

Jan 25, 2011

The Vampire Apocalypse series by Derek Gunn - Guest blog & Contest

I recently came across Derek Gunn's Vampire Apocalypse series. This trilogy describes a post apocalyptic world where humans have become dominated by vampires. Derek kindly agreed to write about his best-selling series in order to introduce his vampiric world to readers of PVN.

Derek is offering one lucky commenter a copy of each title in the series. See contest details at the end of the post.


The Vampire Apocalypse series are action horror stories set in an apocalyptic world. The drying up of the world's oil resources leads to the fabled End of Days. Cities hoard power from nuclear and fossil-based resources and sell their power to other areas at exorbitant prices. Technology stagnates and communities grow ever more insular.

The Vampires are masters of the darkness but maintain control by day through the use of Thralls--humans who have been bitten but have not yet crossed over, and whose inhuman lusts make daylight as terrifying as night. In the midst of chaos, a small band of rebels lead a terrified existence, but their survival is threatened by the Vampire's new scanning procedures.

With communication kept to a minimum and attention focused inward, the Vampires rise from the shadows, where they have survived for centuries, and sweep across the globe. By the time word spreads it is far too late and Vampires enslave humanity and keep them in walled cities to breed. The Vampires have discovered a serum which keeps the brain inhibited from acting with any free will and keeps the population docile and compliant. Protected during the day by Thralls, men and women who have fed on a vampire’s blood but who have not yet died, the Vampires live an easy and unchallenged existence. The Thralls are all impossibly strong and their new powers brought with them voracious appetites that they have free reign to sate on the helpless captives.

In the first novel, Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder, a small band of survivors live serum-free. The group is kept small so as to remain beneath the Vampires’ radar, however, certain factions within the group continually push to achieve more. The story begins with an assault on a large country estate where these factions, led by Peter Harris, achieve a major victory. They kill one of the ruling Vampire Lords. This act gets the attention of the leader of the Vampires, Nero, an ancient who orders a public slaughter of innocents to draw the rebels out. The resulting battle sees the rebel forces saving over two hundred people and handing the Vampires a defeat that they swear to avenge.

Nero is the head vampire in the state in the first novel. He is an ancient vampire from Europe. He has fought with Alexander the Great and been part of most of the wars that have ravaged the earth throughout history. His is cunning, vicious and intolerant of failure. When the vampires began to rise from the shadows he left his homeland for the promise of slaughter, mayhem and power. His ruthlessness has seen him rise to the pinnacle of his kind in the new world. Tall and imposing his sunken features hint at his age but his eyes portray the cunning that has kept him powerful. The rebels have taken a major leap forward on his watch and the attention of his peers will soon sweep his way if he can not contain the outbreak.

Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder  The main kernel of this story came from the proliferation of ‘nice’ vampires that are so popular in fiction today. I never saw the vampire as an aristocratic figure, noble to a fault and lonely for a good woman’s, or man’s love. I always saw them as creatures who had moved on from being human over the centuries. They do not consider themselves human, most have probably forgotten they ever were. They are creatures ruled by base hunger. For all their power they are slaves to a gnawing hunger that rules there very existence.

I have written some diary extracts recently as part of a back story to the VA series. Over the course of the centuries we can see the changes going on inside the head of a vampire, how his thoughts of humanity, religion and his place in the world change him. I have tied this into the ‘real’ history of the world, offering a different view of how some of history’s events actually happened and the impact this had on the mindset of the vampire. They are short vignettes that try to go some way to explain how these creatures can change so drastically. Even the most noble would change their attitudes over centuries and humans are food after all. How often do you have to eat meat to no longer consider the source as intelligent? These extracts are available for free on my website with the first installment up already.

Another factor that influenced me was that most stories end where mine begins. The world is almost lost to a great evil but the hero saves the day. While I enjoy seeing good triumph I wanted to see what the world would be like if that hero never succeeded. But, powerful as they are, I don’t see the vampires taking over that easily, they are too dependant on darkness.

I introduced the concept of thralls to balance the war during the day and to add an element of man’s worst side. The first paragraph of the first book, A World Torn Asunder, tries to portray the decision everyone had to make in order for this world to descend into chaos. As Edmond Burke stated, The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing. There is no way the vampires can win if people remain true to themselves and to others. However, the world is a changed place, fossil fuels are gone, travel and communications are restricted to what communities can afford and everyone looks to their own. Into this bleak existence the vampires offer a way out, a guaranteed easy life instead of a slow, noble death.

The decisions made in communities all over America lead to the terrible world I imagined for Chapter One.
Vampire Apocalypse: Descent in Chaos continues the story from the first novel but is a stand alone story in itself. It mixes what is best about humanity with what is worst and spins a story of love, honour and betrayal against an apocalyptic background. Here I have tried to show that there is no black or white, good or evil. Shades of Grey predominate.

There are ‘new’ vampires and old vampires. The vampire hierarchy is based on centuries of carefully crafted rules that have been adhered to in order to maintain their secretive existence. Now that they rule the world the ‘new’ vampires see their place in it differently that their forebears. Some have risen high in the hierarchy, the world is a large place and the vampire numbers were restricted up until they rose up. For the war the vampires needed to increase their numbers far beyond anything that they can now handle.

Ancient rules and unspoken agreements no longer seem relevant in the world and there are resentments bubbling under the surface that threaten to pull the fragile peace apart.

The thralls, too, are looking to improve their position. Their masters are god-like in power but vulnerable in the daytime. They have seen what Harris and his group have managed to achieve and want to gain their secrets so they can improve their own position.

The problems of human nature raise their ugly heads within the small group of survivors also. There are new members to a community bursting at the seams and food is scarce. It is easier to blame someone rather than deal with the problems so certain members use these issues to raise their own position in the community.

Vampire Apocalypse: Fallout -  This book introduces more about the tenuous Vampire peace on a country-wide scale and delves into the fractious vampire hierarchy. We are introduced to a conspiracy within the vampire ranks that will have a huge impact during the series.

Harris and his team face more problems in their own community though as people scramble for power and survival. Rivalries are set to explode and their consequences could spell disaster for all the survivors. On top of all that there is a traitor in the human community and their timetable has suddenly been escalated.

The thralls grow more powerful. Alliances and bitter feuds are set aside in their quest for independence but theirs is a fragile command.

I also introduced another problem for a world without technology. What happens when the nuclear power plants are no longer manned with the correct people? How long would they continue to operate? What would happen if there was an accident?


*Derek is offering a copy of each title in the Vampire Apocalypse trilogy to one lucky reader.

*Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. 

*Contest is international. 

*Contest ends Feb. 8 2011 at 11:59pm EST

Jan 22, 2011

Bloggiesta Challenge

Maw Books is once again sponsoring the Bloggiesta challenge. 

To quote Natasha, Maw Books' energetic owner/blogger " Bloggiesta is scheduled for January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. The beginning of the year is a great time to evaluate your blog, see how you’re doing, and get re-energized for the rest of the year!"

I'm a bit late getting started but I'm in it now. Lots of cleanup work needs to be done on PVN - prettify the author interview page; add info to the guest blogger page; streamline contest entries; shorter, more frequent reviews - I'm way behind!; etc, etc

On Monday I'll post a brief summary of what I've been able to accomplish.

And Readers, if you have any suggestion on how to improve PVN please comment. I always love to hear from you!

Bloody Valentine - Vampire Book Review

Bloody Valentine
by Melissa de la Cruz
Hyperion Book CH (December 28, 2010)

Three tales center on characters of de la Cruz's young adult Blue Bloods series and highlight the romance and perils these immortals face.

Just Another Night in Suck City - Oliver Hazard Perry has lost the one person he loved most in the world. There seems no hope for his despair.

Always Something There To Remind Me - Allegra Van Allen yearns for the forbidden love of a Red Blood (a mortal).

Ring of Fire - Schuyler Van Allen prepares for her bonding ceremony with her beloved Jack but is unaware of the plot that could destroy them both.

Oliver's story was my favorite and the most adult in its appeal. The terrible depression felt by Oliver, when he loses the young woman he loved because she preferred another, grabs your heart. The wise words of the lovely witch Freya eventually help him come to terms with the hurt he suffers and even show him how to recall joy.

According to a footnote Freya will have her own series of books. She is such an enchanting character and I look forward to reading more about her adventures. She also has magic recipes that anyone can whip up in their kitchen. Included at the end of Just Another Night In Suck City is Freya's spell tinged recipe  - Scrambled Eggs for the Brokenhearted.

The author has developed a complex universe in which her characters live. This YA series has proven quite popular with Schuyler being chosen as a favorite kick-butt vampire heroine in a poll by Entertainment Weekly.

The young people are all quite wealthy. They attend expensive schools and have no material wants, but as vampires they have a host of problems to deal with some of them deadly even to immortals.

The author has constructed a much more complex world than at first seems apparent. Bloody Valentine allows a quick introduction to that world and some of the more prominent personalities - good and evil - that inhabit it.  Teens as well as those young at heart will enjoy this collection.

To aid those who would like to know more about these vampire elites, grab a copy of Blue Bloods: Keys to the Repository. It is chock full of information about "secret trysts, bone chilling murders, Angels, Demons, midterms" and more.

[A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. Thank you.]