May 30, 2010

This Week on PVN (May 30, 2010)

Master Vampire Esteban and his lovely assistant Lyla will be visiting PVN on Tuesday June 1. They have both graciously agreed to an interview. Please welcome them!

[There will also be a special contest]

Last Sunday May 28, Lana Griffin, author of the vampire novel Dusk, interviewed me on her blog site. Many thanks, Lana.  Go here to read the interview

The contest for a copy of Dark Lady's Chosen (Chronicles of the Necromancer) by Gail Marin ends at midnight (your time) Monday, May 31. There is still time to enter.  Go here

The winner of the contest for Dunbar's Curse by Faith V. Smith is Stella (Ex Libris)!
Congratulations, Stella!

The winner of the contest for Sonya Bateman's Master of None is Lady_Graeye! 

May 27, 2010

The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove - Vampire Book Review

The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove
by Marta Acosta

Young Adult
[To read a free copy, click on the title]

"ON THE NIGHT that I die, the storm raging outside is not as fierce as my stepfather raging inside.

"His hand is so sweaty that I am able to pull out of his grip. I run through the kitchen, past my mother’s body. My foot slides in the pool of scarlet blood on the cracked yellow linoleum floor. I wrench open the back door and run outside."

This is how The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove begins. Jane Williams  has seen her mother murdered then she too was shot by her stepfather. Running into the woods Jane feels the gentle touch of tree branches pulling her to safety. She wants to stay there forever, but this is not the time. In the hospital trauma room her heart restarts and she's back in the real world.

Now orphaned she enters into the difficult world of the state foster system. Her tough spirit and the friendship of others help her to to put her mind in her work and when she does she sees herself progress and get the excellent grades she never thought possible. This becomes a source of pride and satisfaction, something unattainable in the group home she's been assigned to. Eventually she comes to the attention of the headmistress of Birch Grove Academy and is offered a full scholarship at this elite school. A terrific opportunity, or so it seems, but is it too good to be true? Not at first anyway. She makes friends with a fun group of girls and Mrs Monroe, who runs the school, invites her to almost be a part of the family.  Jane, who believes herself to be as plain as her name, finds  younger son Lucky Monroe very attractive. In return he is attentive to her at times, and at others practically ignores her. His older brother has a wild side but knows how to be a true friend.

On most levels things look good for Jane, but there is something sinister about the atmosphere at Birch Grove, and Jane becomes the target of someone or something that wants her gone.

What is so appealing about Jane is her strength in the midst of terrible hardship. She learns that persistence pays. Despite the sinister undercurrent  Jane finds a place where she can belong and can overcome whatever life throws her way. Although it isn't initially apparent the vampire theme does play a part in this story. As Marta says, "Fans of the Casa Dracula series will notice a few similarities, as well as major differences."

This is the kind of book I wish I could have read when I was a teen. Jane is an inspiration to any young girl who doesn't fit in or underestimates her own strengths. Shadow Girl is a lovely, spiritual, uplifting story.

New Vampire Releases for May 2010

Some lovely choices this May for vampire lovers of all ages. Several are geared to the teen market like the first title about the young descendant of Dr. Van Helsing.

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising
by Jason Henderson
HarperTeen; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)

From the publisher: The Van Helsing name reborn
Fourteen-year-old Alex has no idea that he's descended from the world's most famous vampire hunter, but that changes fast when he arrives at Glenarvon Academy and confronts two vampires in his first three days. Turns out Glenarvon isn't the only school near Lake Geneva. Hidden deep underground lies an ancient university for vampires called the Scholomance. And the deadly vampire clan lord known as Icemaker? You might say he's a visiting professor.

When two of Alex's friends are kidnapped by Icemaker, it's up to Alex to infiltrate the Scholomance and get them back—alive. Assisted by the Polidorium, a top-secret vampire-hunting organization with buried ties to the Van Helsings, Alex dodges zombies, bullets, and lots—and lots—of fangs on his way to thwarting Icemaker's plans and fulfilling his family destiny.

Blood Born
by Linda Howard and Linda Jones
Ballantine Books; Original edition (April 27, 2010)
(missed this one last month, sorry!)

From the publisher: When the human and the vampire worlds collide, there will be hell to pay.

Luca Ambrus is a rare breed: vampire from birth, begotten by vampire parents, blood born. He is also an agent of the Council—the centuries-old cabal that governs vampirekind, preserving their secrecy and destroying those who betray them.

When a cryptic summons leads him to the scene of the brutal killing of a powerful Council member, Luca begins the hunt for an assassin among his own people. But instead of a lone killer he discovers a sinister conspiracy of rogue vampires bent on subjugating the mortal world.

All that stands in their way are the conduits, humans able to channel spirit warriors into the physical world to protect mankind. Chloe Fallon is a conduit—and a target of the vampire assassin who’s killing them. When Luca saves her life, an irresistible bond of trust—along with more passionate feelings—is forged between them. As more victims fall, Chloe and Luca have only each other to depend on to save the world from the reign of monsters—and salvage their own future together.

Christopher Farnsworth
Putnam Adult; 1 edition (May 18, 2010)

From the publisher: The ultimate secret. The ultimate agent. The President's vampire.

Zach Barrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he's partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound by a special blood oath, Cade has spent more than 140 years in service to the president, battling nightmares before they can break into the daylight world of the American dream.

Immediately Zach and Cade receive their first joint assignment: one that uncovers a shadowy government conspiracy and a plot to attack the Unites States with a gruesome new biological weapon. Zach soon learns that the world is far stranger, and far more dangerous, than he ever imagined . . . and that his partner is the least of his problems.

BLOODBORN: Ulrika the Vampire
by Nathan Long
Games Workshop (May 25, 2010)

From the publisher: Newly made vampire heroine Ulruika must adjust to her life as a vampire in the midst of an investigation into the death of one of her Lahmian sisterhood

Circus of Sins
By Natasha Rhodes
Solaris (May 25, 2010)

From the publisher: When young Hunter recruit Kayla Steele is bitten by a werewolf, she thinks it's the end of her world. However, little does she know that the real end of the world is not far off. Master vampire, Harlequin, has made a deal with the devil, and plans to commit the ultimate sin by killing an angel and triggering the Third War in Heaven... which could wipe out mankind forever. Kalya must join forces with her ultimate enemies, the werewolves, in order to stave off Armageddon and save the man she loves from the clutches of Hell - or die trying.

Dead in the Family: (Sookie Stackhouse Book 10)
by Charlaine Harris
Ace Hardcover; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)

From the publisher: After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she's angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he's under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry...

 Jess Haines is a new author for Zebra with Hunted by Others, the first book in her H&W Investigations Series coming out in May. This one is about a detective who may become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil. The mention of a possible love interest with a mesmerizing vampire has piqued my interest.

Enemy Lover
by Karin Harlow
Pocket Star (May 25, 2010)

From the publisher: When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T. Because with the Last Option Special Team, it’s do or die. . . .

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, Special Ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right-hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.

Honeymoon of the Dead
By Tate Hallaway
Berkley Trade; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)

From the publisher:  In wintry Wisconsin, occult bookseller-and witch-Garnet Lacey isn't immune to the cold. But even though her new vampire husband doesn't actually have a pulse, love will keep them warm-if the honeymoon doesn't drive them apart.

Thanks to a vengeful frost demon, instead of a gothic honeymoon in Transylvania, Garnet and Sebastian are stuck in exotic Minneapolis, Minnesota. And with gods and goddesses running amok all over town, Garnet can't seem to find much quality time for her new hubby...

Infinity (Chronecles of Nick #1)
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Berkley Trade; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)

From the publisher:  At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

by Lynn Messina
HarperTeen; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)

From the publisher: "Christmas wont be Christmas without any corpses."
The dear, sweet March sisters are back, and Marmee has told them to be good little women. Good little vampire women, that is. That's right: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy have grown up since you last read their tale, and now they have (much) longer lives and (much) more ravenous appetites.

Marmee has taught them well, and so they live by an unprecedented moral code of abstinence . . . from human blood. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy must learn to get along with one another, help make society a better place, and avoid the vampire hunters who pose a constant threat to their existence. Plus, Laurie is dying to become a part of the March family, at any cost. Some things never change.

This horrifying—and hilarious—retelling of a timeless American classic will leave readers craving the bloodthirsty drama on each and every page.

by Michelle Rae and  Andrea Norville
Adams Media (May 18, 2010)

From the publisher: Interest in all things vampire is at an all time high with the success of the "Twilight" series. "Love at First Bite" is for those who can't get enough of vampires. It includes over 200 recipes like: Cold-Blooded Gazpacho; Blackened 'Like My Heart' Bass; Bloody Mary Fondue; Coffin Cakes; Hot Cross Buns; and Blood Orange Mimosas. This humorous, one-of-a-kind collection provides real recipes for fang-watering meals.

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Ace (May 25, 2010)

From the publisher: Kate Daniels cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to deal with-especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community.

And now there's a new player in town-a foe that may be too much for even Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family.

MOON SWORN (Riley Jenson, Guardian, Book 9)
by Keri Arthur

Dell (May 25, 2010)

From the publisher: Shape-shifting werewolf and vampire Riley Jenson is through with death—causing it, solving it, surviving it. Her soul mate, Kye Murphy, is dead—and at Riley’s own hands. Not even the seductive embrace of her vampire lover, Quinn, can fully ease her mind, for she has begun questioning everything that makes her Riley—including her job at the Directorate.

Now, the ritualistically slain bodies of ex-cons have started turning up. Reluctantly, Riley takes the case, but something even worse is waiting in the wings. A vicious enemy from her past is determined to strip Riley of everything that gives her life any meaning: her lover, her brother—and even her own identity. Can Riley survive this ultimate assault? All she knows is, she must fight one last time to find answers, before everything goes dark forever.

Moonshine: A Novel 
by Alaya Johnson
St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)

From the publisher: Imagining vampires at the heart of the social struggles of 1920s, Moonshine blends a tempestuous romance with dramatic historical fiction, populated by a lively mythology inhabiting the gritty New York City streets

Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, Zephyr agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity worker cover to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss. What he doesn’t tell her is why. Soon enough she’s tutoring a child criminal with an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir’s request—not to mention attempting to resist his dark, inhuman charm.

Spirit Bound Vampire Academy #5
Richelle Mead 
Razorbill (May 18, 2010)

From the publisher: Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

Still Sucks to be Me: More All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton Smith, Teen Vampire
by Kimberly Pauley
Mirrorstone (May 11, 2010)

From the publisher: With vampire boyfriend George and best friend Serena by her side, Mina thought she had her whole life—or rather afterlife—ahead of her. But then Mina’s parents drop a bomb. They’re moving. To Louisiana. And not somewhere cool like New Orleans, but some teeny, tiny town where cheerleaders and jocks rule the school. Mina has to fake her death, change her name, and leave everything behind, including George and Serena. Not even the Vampire Council’s shape-shifting classes can cheer her up. Then Serena shows up on Mina’s doorstep with some news that sends Mina reeling. Mina may look a lot better with fangs, but her afterlife isn’t any less complicated!

In this eagerly awaited sequel to the popular Sucks to Be Me, Kimberly Pauley addresses many of her fans’ most pressing questions (Will Serena become a vampire? What happened to Raven? What’s next for Mina and George?) with signature humor and breezy bloodsucking style.

Vampire Kisses 7: Love Bites
by Ellen Schreiber
Katherine Tegen Books; 1 edition (May 18, 2010)

From the publisher: As a mortal girl dating a vampire, Raven knows that love isn't always easy. Now that Alexander's parents have returned to Romania, Raven and her dreamy vampire boyfriend are happy to resume their cryptic romance.

But soon another visitor comes knocking: Sebastian, Alexander's best friend, arrives for a stay at the mansion. At first Raven is wary, then thrilled—this is the perfect chance to learn more about her darkly handsome boyfriend and his past. Raven has been wondering whether Alexander will ever bite her and make their love immortal, and Sebastian could be her guide to the love habits of Alexander and his kind. But when Sebastian falls for a particular Dullsvillian, will another mortal beat Raven to the bite?

Vampire Mistress (Vampire Queen)
By Joey W. Hill
Berkley Trade (May 4, 2010)

From the publisher: Joey W. Hill returns to the dark and seductive landscape of her Vampire Queen novels as a desperate woman named Anwyn finds herself trapped between the desires of two men, each with his own mission of the night: vampire hunter Gideon Green and vampire Daegan Rei. But when Anwyn is attacked by a rogue bloodsucker, Gideon and Daegan must become allies in order to save the woman they both love.

Vampire Vendetta
Alexis Morgan
Silhouette Nocturne (May 1, 2010)

From the publisher:  As the lone survivor of his vampire clan, Seamus Fitzhugh lives only for revenge. And now that he's infiltrated the compound of his enemy his chance has come…until he rescues a stunning hybrid from certain death. Megan Perez is a woman on the run from her own demons, and she's a distraction that could cost them both their lives. But the passion that burns between them is too hot to ignore, and not even the threat of danger can keep them apart.

Now their fates are intertwined—for better or worse— as they risk everything to experience the ultimate sensual release, as evil closes in all around them. Seamus must weigh how far he will go in the pursuit of vengeance…and love.

Vampireology: The True History of the Fallen (Ologies)
by Archer Brookes, Nick Holt, and Various
Candlewick; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
For ages 9-12

From the publisher: Explore (if you dare) the true history of the Fallen Ones — and follow the fate of a 1920s investigator lured by a beauty with violet eyes.

Long before the term vampire was born, long before Bram Stoker fictionalized this being’s ways, blood-drinking demons were banished to Earth by Michael’s host of Angels, or so the Bible describes. Now this rich, mesmerizing resource, written in 1900, sheds light on what happened hence to the three vampire bloodlines — especially the tortured souls known as the Belial. Interspersed are booklets, flaps, and letters between a young paranormal researcher who discovered the book in the 1920s and an oddly alluring woman who seeks his help. Among the phenomena explored are:

* vampires’ genealogical origins, attributes, and range
* myths about the making of vampires
* secrets of vampires’ powers and shape-shifting skills
* tips for spotting vampires, protecting oneself, and fighting back
* case studies of famous vampires — and vampire hunters — through history
* a shocking overview of vampires "living" among us

by Elizabeth Barrial; D. H. Ahair
Ulysses Press (May 1, 2010)

From the publisher:  What girl can resist a dark, brooding, neck-nibbling boyfriend whose forbidden love adds to the intense attraction and sexual excitement? But it's not easy for a mere mortal to hook up with a vampire — unless she knows all about these mysterious creatures of the night.

That's where Vampires Don't Sleep Alone comes in. The authors of this revealing book have ventured deep into the hidden world of vampire lust, romance, and sex to find answers to the questions on the lips of every red-blooded American girl.

From basics like "Where can I find a cute vampire?" and "How do I get his attention without becoming dinner?" to trickier issues like "What if I want to have sex with the lights on?" and "Is his feeding cheating?," Vampires Don't Sleep Alone covers and uncovers it all. The author's clever advice, sexy tips, and proven tricks allow readers to meet, attract, and ultimately bed the vampire of their dreams.

Originally published on VampChix