Mar 31, 2009

Sharon Ashwood - Interview

A big welcome to Sharon Ashwood author of paranormal romance/adventure Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten. Sharon describes herself as "a free-lance journalist, novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky." Besides being an excellent writer, she also has a wicked sense of humor.

Sharon thanks so much for this interview!

PVN: You have created a complex world for Ravenous. Holly, the main character comes from a family of witches. Please tell us about Holly and her family.

Sharon: Holly Carver and her grandmother are the only family members living in Fairview at the moment. Holly’s parents are dead and her older sister, Ashe, has moved away.

Despite the fact that her magic was damaged during a childhood trauma, Holly is in charge of the Three Sisters Agency, their family spellcasting business—she does a lot of ghost-busting, finding lost items, getting rid of imps, and so on. She’s having a tough time running it alone, so she takes Alessandro along when she needs muscle. It’s a good arrangement - he’s chipper when he has a legitimate reason to beat something up and, with a vampire around, no one stiffs her on the fee.

PVN: Holly's love interest is Alessandro, a vampire. What is his story?

Sharon: Alessandro is the dark hero trying to break free from old loyalties and find his way into the light. He’s 600 years old and has spent much of that time as the champion swordsman of the vampire queen, Omara. He was the only survivor of an attack on his clan, and she took him in rather than let him perish so he owes her a debt of loyalty.

At the same time, he’s in love with Holly. (Enter angsty drama, because no author can have two strong women interested in the same hero and leave well enough alone. It’s a natural law.)

Alessandro’s what I call a thinking alpha hero. He’s an aggressive predator, but he knows when to take a step back and work smart. He knows he has to give Holly space to do her thing. When his loyalty and his love come into conflict, he tries to find an honorable solution—which would work better if everyone else played by the rules, too. Eventually he has to make some huge choices and start kicking butt.

PVN: What do you think makes vampires so romantically attractive?

Sharon: My vampires are dangerous. Their bite carries a venom that gives a huge erotic buzz but turns their lovers into mindless addicts. This may sound like fun, but zombie love slaves are high maintenance and never do their own laundry.

Unfortunately, vamps can’t really *enjoy* themselves without biting. This is why Alessandro hasn’t pursued Holly the way he would like to—he doesn’t want to rip away her free will.

To me, this sums up the push/pull vampire attraction. You want them even though they’re extremely bad for you. They’re not safe; vampires belong to the realm of death itself. It brings to mind Keats’ poem:

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath . . .

PVN: Omara, the vampire queen, is so fascinating. She is beyond egotistical yet very much a diplomat. How did you come up with this character? Have you known someone like her?

Sharon: Omara is a composite of a number of people I’ve known who were brilliant, charismatic, talented and truly had the greater public good at heart. Unfortunately, they were extremely difficult on a one-on–one level. They contributed a lot to my violent fantasy life.

Omara is actually a sad character. She’s unable to have real relationships because she can’t let control over any situation slip. The more vulnerable she feels—and vulnerability is essential if you’re actually going to share yourself with somebody—the more she fears loss of control. The result is someone who is manipulative and hurtful. And yet, she’s essential to the vampire’s survival in the political arena. It’s no wonder Alessandro has extremely mixed feelings about her. The only reason he survives their relationship is because he has a strong sense of his own worth. In the end, though, Omara respects him.

PVN: In the world of the Dark Forgotten Hell has a very different connotation than that of the Judeo-Christian tradition. (Or maybe in some ways not so different.) Would you describe your take on it?

Sharon: The “hell” my characters encounter is not a fire-and-brimstone hell but an alternate dimension created through sorcery. However, as Alessandro says, it’s so bad it may as well be the real thing.

This alternate dimension is called the Castle. It’s a dungeon for all the supernatural creatures (like demons) the ancients could round up and shove in there, regardless of whether those creatures were good or evil. They’ve been captive for thousands of years and now everyone’s afraid to let them out because they’re going to be really mad and/or really crazy. One key ingredient to closing the portal to the Castle is a Carver witch, like Holly. Unfortunately, the last one to close that portal died. (Cue ominous soundtrack)

PVN: There are a variety of paranormal creatures in your novel. The changelings were something new to me. Would you tell us about them?

Sharon: The changelings resemble the nosferatu of the old horror films. They’re vampires that didn’t Turn properly and, unlike other vamps, their human personality perished during the change. Regular vampires hate them because they’re uncool and disgusting.

Periodically, the two groups wage war for territory. The last time they did this, the changelings lost badly and everyone assumed they had died out. Then they saw Revenge of the Nerds and dared to dream large . . .

PVN: There will be at least one sequel. Would you mind telling us something about it?

Sharon: The next Dark Forgotten book is Scorched and, according to the all-seeing eye of Amazon, it will be out on December 1, 2009. In this book, the Castle is a primary setting so we learn more about the residents, its history, and what goes on there. I think of it as a sex, death and resurrection story—kind of shamanic, actually, with a lot of fairy tale elements. I finished the most recent draft a few days ago, and I was absolutely exhausted! The ending is a pretty wild ride. One of these days I need to have a quiet hero who solves everything from an armchair.

PVN: . Describe your writing environment and your writing day.

Sharon: I have a full-time job and I’m also taking work-related university courses, so creative time happens around that. I typically write in the evenings between 7:00 and 10:00ish and then whatever I can on the weekends. I guess I work about an 80-hour week, but I wouldn’t give any of it up right now. I love to write but I like to eat, too.

PVN: Do you have other writing projects?

Sharon: I’ve done a lot of freelance work for newspapers, although I don’t do much of that now. Too many vampires, too little time. Right now I’m in the planning stages of a third Dark Forgotten book.

PVN: Where can readers find you on the Internet?

Sharon: My website is I’m also on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and I blog at, which is a group of five paranormal authors. We have a great time there!

PVN: What do you do to relax?

Sharon: Occasionally one of my cats sits on the keyboard, and I have to stop working until it moves.

Seriously, I don’t get a lot of time to relax (see #8 above), but I do love to read (I get through about a book a week) and I really enjoy a few TV shows. My favorites right now are 24, Supernatural, and I’m getting into Fringe. I love the fact that I never know what they’re going to do next. I love that the mad scientist really is mad.

PVN: Fringe is a favorite of mine as well. It's one of the more creative series on broadcast TV.

Sharon, what a fun interview! I really appreciate your visit to PVN.

Now for the Contest information:

One lucky commenter will win a copy of Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten

For a chance to win do one (or more) of the following:

*Comment on any subject from the interview. Each comment on a different subject counts as an entry.

*Ask Sharon a question. Each question counts as an entry.

*Link to Patricia's Vampire Notes and send me the URL. Each link counts as an entry.

Be sure to include your email information so that I will be able to contact you.

The contest will end Friday April 3 at 11:59 PM ET

Mar 29, 2009

Upcoming Event - Interview with Sharon Ashwood

On Tuesday March 31 stop by and read an interview with Sharon Ashwood author of the paranormal romance Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten. You will enjoy this post which shows off Sharon's sharp wit.

Mark your calendars. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of the novel.

A Drop of Red - Book Review

A Drop of Red (Vampire Babylon Book 4) by Chris Marie Green. Ace, March 3, 2009

Dawn and Costin are in London searching for its Vampire Underground. Costin must erase every Underground in existence along with the Dragon before it rises. Only then will he be able to regain his soul. Dawn had helped him destroy the Underground in Hollywood. She suffered because of it. For a time she became a vampire, but when her creator died she once again regained her humanity. But before that happened she was forced to make a difficult decision. Costin resided in the dying body of Jonah Limpet. Dawn believed the only way to save him was to use the blood exchange and turn him into a vampire. Now he is the fledgeling vamp trapped in another's body relying on a woman, albeit one he is cares about deeply, for his training and sustenance. ( He's a macho kind of guy. )

The story opens with the horrifying death of Kate by a group of teenage school girls who have embraced the dark life of the undead. Kate's death is the first lead to London's Vampire Underground. Natalia, a psychic from Romania, joins Costin, Dawn, and Kiko ( also a psychic but a damaged one ) in the hunt. Frank, Dawn's father and now himself a vampire, works with the group to track down any information on the local master and his followers.

Green has created a dark, complex vampire world where many vampires have lost their conscience and think nothing of perpetuating evil. Not all are like this, of course. Costin and Frank have retained their humanity and will see to the destruction of those who slaughter innocents.

Book 4 in the Vampire Babylon series is probably not the best place to start for a new reader, but the author offers enough back story so it is possible to follow without too much difficulty. In an afterward Green tells her readers that ' by the time you get to Book Six, the mystery, character, and mythology arcs introduced in this installment will be resolved. ' The characters are vivid and the plot compelling. A Drop of Red makes an excellent addition to any vampire aficionado's TBR shelf.

Night Rising (Vampire Babylon, Book 1). Ace, 2007

Midnight Reign (Vampire Babylon, Book 2). Ace, 2008

Break of Dawn (Vampire Babylon Book 3). Ace, 2008

The Path of Razors: Vampire Babylon, Book Five.
Ace, August 4, 2009.

Mar 24, 2009

Vampire and Paranormal Fiction for 2009 Part 1

A Kiss of Ashen Twilight (Kindle edition) by Rae Lori. Lyrical Press, Feb. 2009.
(Also available from Lyrical Press in ebook format.)

From the publisher: "Will it be love or death when fairy and vampire come together?
An attack on her family drives Ariya to seek protection at the Ashen Twilight House. Once there, she encounters only more danger, along with the dark rescuer who haunts her dreams.

Jace Archane is a vampire on the hunt, and distractions like Ariya are the last thing he wants or needs.But their survival might just hinge on one another when a vicious elemental creature threatens the underground world of Nightwalkers, Lycans and Shifter Elves. Caught between a shared enemy and otherworldly love, Jace and Ariya must unite before fear can tear them apart."

PVN says: The author has built a fascinating complex world. More so than you find in many paranormal romances. Kiss is the first book in a projected series by Lori.

Read an excerpt

Book two Within the Shadows of Mortals will be available from Lyrical Press August 3, 2009.

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance by Trisha Telep (Editor).Running Press (March 9, 2009)

From the publisher: Fall in love with someone out of this world.
If love transcends all boundaries then paranormal romance is its logical conclusion. From the biggest names around, here are 24 tales to take you to another time and place.
Let Alyssa Day, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Cheyenne McCray, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, Maria V. Snyder, Carrie Vaughn, Allyson James Marland and others show you powers beyond your wildest imaginings.
Within these pages mythical beasts, magical creatures of all shapes and sizes, heart-stoppingly handsome ghosts, angels, and mortals with extra-sensitive sensory perception play out the themes of extraordinary desires.

The Accidental Human (Accidental Friends, Book 3) by Dakota Cassidy Berkley Trade (March 3, 2009)

From the publisher: Wanda Schwartz is raking in the dough selling Bobbie-Sue Cosmetics—and she’s a pro at recruiting new saleswomen. So, she’s shocked when a man comes to one of her in-home parties—a very hot man. Heath Jefferson is sure to put some extra spin into a lot of women’s color wheels.

When Wanda is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. With a werewolf and a vampire for best friends, she has options that most ordinary people wouldn’t. As Wanda ponders what to do about her mortality, Heath reveals he has secrets, and one of them is that his former bloodlust has turned into an old-fashioned lust—for Wanda. And he’s already given up too much to lose the love of his lifetimes.

As Shadows Fade: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason
Signet (March 3, 2009)

From the publisher: Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead.While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella Legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro - the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith's obsession with him. But it is Lilith's obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must fight side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation; a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.

Read an excerpt.

ReVamped (Void City, Book 2) by Jeremy F. Lewis Pocket (March 10, 2009)

From the publisher: Eric has lost his strip club, his Mustang, and even Marilyn, the elderly love of his (mortal) life. Even his body was obliterated. In short, they almost got him. But when you're a vampire, "almost" is a very important word. With a little magical help from his friends, Eric is restored to corporeal form, but his treasured Mustang gets caught up in the sorcery and winds up with an unlife of its own. Now, along with "Fang the 'Stang," he's out to save Marilyn from one of Void City's most powerful soul-stealing demons. But salvation comes at a high price, forcing Eric to venture into his own worst nightmare, Vampire High Society, to uncover the truth about the origin of his powers.

At the same time, Eric's ex-girlfriend, Tabitha, has begun to wonder exactly what it was that she admired about those High Society Vampires in the first place. Her quest to find her own place in this deceptively vicious circle may lead her right back to Eric's side -- if her little sister, Rachel, doesn't kill her first. And Eric will need all the help he can get, because it looks like someone is after his soul, too. Blood will flow, fangs will be bared, and the claws will come out, because revenge is never pretty...and Eric has plenty to pass around.

The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even by Julie Kenner. Ace (March 31, 2009)

From the publisher: High school junior Beth Fraiser thirsts for revenge against the star quarterback, who turned her into a vampire. Only that’s easier said than done, what with the interference of two fearless, attractive vampire hunters, who are convinced that she’s a candidate for slaying herself.

A Drop of Red (Vampire Babylon) by Chris Marie Green. Ace Trade (March 3, 2009).

From the publisher: If you run out of vampires to destroy at home, there’s always work overseas…

Hollywood stuntwoman-turned-vampire-hunter Dawn Madison, along with her comrades, managed to wipe out the Los Angeles Vampire Underground—and uncovered not only her own dark family heritage but also a terrible truth about the man she loves. Now she’s determined to find the next vampire lair, hoping it will help her to make more sense out of her life.

When a new Underground is found in England, Dawn and a vampire-fighting team are dispatched to carry the fight to the enemy in London. Dawn knows by now how deceiving appearances can be—and she is about to find out that it’s not only the beautiful people of Hollywood who are willing to bargain with evil…

A Vampire's Claim by Joey W. Hill. Berkley Trade (March 3, 2009)
The third installment in the Berkley Vampire Series
Erotic Romance/BDSM

From the author: Lady Daniela has never taken a full human servant. At two hundred years, she’s always put it off, having a bachelor’s attitude toward bonding with another, even an inferior human. However, on her return to her sheep station in Western Australia in 1953, she meets Dev, a war veteran and laconic bushman, who has the talents to help her reclaim her station from her mother’s lover, who usurped her position there forty years before.

But after she takes care of that nasty bit of business, she’s also intending to rid Western Australia of a corrupt Region Master who is 500 years old and therefore over twice her age and strength. While a full human servant, particularly one with Dev’s unique talents, can augment her skills and resources, the more she gets to know him, the more reluctant she is to bind him to her in a way that might get him killed. But Dev has his own thoughts on the matter, and she will soon find it’s easier for a vampire to survive in the desert sun than for her to survive without him by her side.

Excerpt: Must be 18 or older!

Vampire 101: Book One of the Modern Day Vampires Series by Paige Tyler. Whiskey Creek Press, April1, 2009.

Being a Vampire Isn't What It Used to Be!

See this Blog Post for more information

Deadly Desire (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 7) by Keri Arthur. Spectra (March 24, 2009)

From the publisher: Guardian Riley Jenson always seems to face the worst villains. And this time’s no different. For it’s no ordinary sorceress who can raise the dead to do her killing. But that’s exactly what Riley expects to find at the end of a trail of female corpses used—and discarded—in a bizarre ritual of evil. With pressure mounting to catch one fiend, another series of brutal slayings shocks the vampire world of her lover, Quinn. So the last thing Riley needs is the heat of the upcoming full moon bringing her werewolf hormones to a boil—or the reappearance of a sexy bounty hunter, the rogue wolf Kye Murphy.

Riley has threatened Murphy with arrest if he doesn’t back off the investigation, but it’s Riley who feels handcuffed by Kye’s lupine charm. Torn between her vamp and wolf natures, between her love for Quinn and her hots for Kye, Riley knows she’s courting danger and indulging the deadliest desires. For her hunt through the supernatural underworld will bring her face-to-face with what lurks in a darkness where even monsters fear to tread.

Secret Life of a Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 6) by Kerrelyn Sparks.
Avon (March 31, 2009)

From the publisher: Lara Boucher will do whatever it takes to get that coveted promotion to detective. She knows that something strange was happening at the incredibly handsome Jack's party. Working that out will have to take a back seat to discover why so many college girls have gone missing. But the last thing she expects when she goes undercover at the so-called 'spa' is to run into Jack again - or to feel such a strong attraction. The last thing Jack wants is to become the kind of man his father was. But that's just what's required if he's going to bring down this latest ring of Malcontents. Drawing on his legendary Casanova lineage, Jack works his way into the group. But will he be able to show Lara the man he really is without jeopardizing their mission? And can Lara ever trust a man with so many secrets?

Forbidden Nights with a Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 7) by Kerrelyn Sparks. Avon (April 28, 2009)

From the publisher: Vanda Barkowski is in trouble.

As the owner of a hot nightclub, she's more unconventional than most of her fellow vampires, and if some think her a little out of control, then so be it. But after three former employees filed a complaint about her temper, Vanda is sentenced to an anger management class. Worse, Phil Jones agreed to be her sponsor. Phil, the mortal who is forbidden to her . . .

If Vanda knew who—or what—Phil really is, she'd reconsider her attraction to him, for his true nature is wilder than anything she'd ever imagined. He has tackled the beast within and now is the perfect person to help Vanda with her rage . . . if only he can keep his cool when she makes him so undeniably hot. But with rogue vamps on the loose, will they ever have their forbidden nights?

Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, Book 11) by Jim Butche. Roc Hardcover (April 7, 2009)

From the publisher: The Warden Morgan has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council—and there’s only one, final punishment for that crime. He’s on the run, wants his name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Someone like Harry Dresden...

Now, Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep a less-than-agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head—someone like Harry

Mortal Sins (World of the Lupi, Book 5) by Eileen Wilks. Berkley (February 3, 2009)

From the publisher: FBI Agent Lily Yu and her werewolf lover are embroiled in a series of murders, each linked to a form of dangerous “death magic.”

The Seance by John Harwood. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (February 3, 2009)

From the publisher: A haunting tale of apparitions, a cursed manor house, and two generations of women determined to discover the truth, by the author of The Ghost Writer Sell the Hall unseen; burn it to the ground and plow the earth with salt, if you will; but never live there . . .” Constance Langton grows up in a household marked by death, her father distant, her mother in perpetual mourning for Constance’s sister, the child she lost.Desperate to coax her mother back to health, Constance takes her to a séance: perhaps she will find comfort from beyond the grave. But the meeting has tragic consequences. Constance is left alone, her only legacy a mysterious bequest that will blight her life.
So begins The Séance, John Harwood’s brilliant second novel, a gripping, dark mystery set in late-Victorian England.
It is a world of apparitions, of disappearances and unnatural phenomena, of betrayal and blackmail and black-hearted villains—and murder. For Constance’s bequest comes in two parts: a house and a mystery. Years before, a family disappeared at Wraxford Hall, a decaying mansion in the English countryside with a sinister reputation.Now the Hall belongs to Constance. And she must descend into the darkness at the heart of the Wraxford Mystery to find the truth, even at the cost of her life.

Also see Vampire Fiction for January and February 2009
More Vampire Fiction for January and February 2009

Mar 23, 2009

Vampire 101 by Paige Tyler

On April 14 Paige Tyler will be a guest blogger at Patricia's Vampire Notes. Here is a look at her upcoming book. Remember to mark your calendars!

Vampire 101: Book One of the Modern Day Vampires Series by Paige Tyler. Whiskey Creek Press, April 1, 2009.

Being a Vampire Isn't What It Used to Be!

Savanna Royce is a weekend Goth-girl who has always been fascinated with vampires. She doesn’t really believe in them, of course, but that changes when she is bitten by a rogue vamp and left for dead.

Fortunately, two-hundred-and-seventy-eight-year-old vampire Kaige Travers is there to rescue her. Unwilling to let her die, he turns Savanna into a vampire to save her life, not knowing if she’ll thank him or hate him for it.

While Kaige is teaching Savanna what she needs to know about being a vampire, neither of them can deny the chemistry that’s there. Somewhere between getting her registered at the local vampire admin office and teaching her how to order blood on the internet, they fall for each other, fast and hard.

A hot, paranormal romance!

Mar 19, 2009

Private Midnight - Book Review

Private Midnight by Kris Saknussemm. Overlook Hardcover (March 5, 2009).

Birch Ritter, a heavy set, middle aged cop is in the midst of a second divorce. He is miserable and cynical about his life. The only thing of importance to him is his work as a detective. Now even that is slipping away. He lives amongst the bars and pool halls in a down trodden area, and has few friends.

Jack McInnes, police officer — cold, calculating — someone Birch detests and has stayed away from, walks into the office one day and drops a business card on Birch's desk, then leaves without a word.

Despite misgivings Birch dials the number on the card and a short time later meets the enigmatic Genevieve in her upscale home. She knows why he has come she tells him. He wants to see life through a different window. She can show him that. She ties a yellow scarf around his eyes and old, painful memories come flooding back. Subsequent visits bring physical and mental anguish. Some test his sanity but always he feels an urgent need to return. At times he can think only of Genevieve and the intense misery and the unique sexual pleasure she gives him.

At first he assumes that the phantasmagorical world with perverse erotic situations that she provides him must be drug induced. Then he decides no, not that, something else but what? And how does she know the most minute details of his life and his inner most thoughts. Not possible!

Birch narrates in the manner of a crime noir detective story. His down and out life and the suffering soul underneath captures the readers interest and even a readers heart. The downward spiral brought on by Genevieve fascinate and frightens. She has an infernal magnetism that could be the mechanism of Birch's destruction or transformation. Private Midnight is a complex, psychological thriller with a dark and unusual paranormal element. Don't miss this on

Kitty Raises Hell - Book Review

Kitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville, Book 6) by Carrie Vaughn.Grand Central, March 2009

Kitty and Ben return to Denver after their wedding and a hair raising adventure in Las Vegas. Kitty almost became the werewolf sacrifice for an ages old vampire goddess and her were-tiger followers, the Band of Tiamat. With several unusual helpers she managed to escape but the troublemakers were still out there. Read Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville, Book 5) for the full story.

Denver is home, but at the moment is not a safe haven for Kitty. Her friends note how time and time again trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes. Kitty is now a celebrity after outing herself as a werewolf. She hosts a popular weekly radio show called the Midnight Hour where talk of anything paranormal is a legitimate topic.

It so happens that the crew from a popular supernatural reality TV series plans to film in Denver, and Kitty is eager to have the investigators as guests on her program. The Paradox PI people have equipment set up at an old mansion rumored to be haunted. Kitty joins them in their van as they watch the feeds from the cameras inside the house. Suddenly a violent shudder overtakes the van , everyone is thrown around until finally the van falls on its side. No one saw who or what attacked them. This invisible force leaves a telltale odor of fire and brimstone.

The PI investigators agree to help uncover the kind of entity behind the attacks. One night after KItty and Ben's restaurant New Moon has closed, all assemble for a seance using a Ouija board. Contact is made but then,Without warning, a monstrous fire erupts. Those in the group barely escape with their lives. The attacks escalate and people begin to die in a most horrible way. Kitty suspects the Band of Tiamat has set loose a demon capable of infinite evil, and neither she nor her friends know how to stop it.

Kitty Raises Hell is a wild, exciting ride with more than a few terrifying moments. It is a much darker tale than its predecessor. No question, Carrie Vaughn knows how to tell a story!Although Dead Man and Raises Hell can be read separately, to best understand the plot read the books in sequence.

Read my review of Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand