Jul 29, 2010

New Vampire Releases for July 25, 2010

July brings plenty of good reading for lazy days at the beach or dark and stormy nights. Enjoy!

Blood Law: A Novel
by Jeannie Holmes
Dell (July 6, 2010)

From the publisher: To stop a vampire killer, she’ll have to slay her own demons first.

A provocative and savvy vampire, Alexandra Sabian moves to the sleepy hamlet of Jefferson, Mississippi—population 6,000, half vampires—to escape the demons lurking in her past. As an enforcer for the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigations (FBPI), Alex must maintain the uneasy peace between her kind and humans, including Jefferson’s bigoted sheriff, who’d be happy to see all vampires banished from town. Then really dead vamps start turning up—beheaded, crucified, and defanged, the same gruesome manner in which Alex’s father was murdered decades ago. For Alex, the professional has become way too personal.

Things get even more complicated when the FBPI sends in some unnervingly sexy backup: Alex’s onetime mentor, lover, and fiancĂ©, Varik Baudelaire. Still stinging from the betrayal that ended their short-lived engagement, Alex is determined not to give in to the temptation that soon threatens to short-circuit her investigation. But as the vamp body count grows and the public panic level rises, Varik may be Alex’s only hope to stop a relentless killer who’s got his own score to settle and his own bloody past to put right.

Bloodsuckers: The Vampire Archives Volume 1 (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
edited by Otto Penzler
Vintage (July 27, 2010)

From the Publisher: The Vampire Archives is the scariest, hungriest, undeadliest collection of vampire stories ever assembled. Dark, stormy, and delicious, once you’re in its clutches there's no escape. From the first to last bite, it's a bloody good read.

Including Stephen King, Tanith Lee, Dan Simmons, Bram Stoker, and Many Many More


·        The macabre dens of the immortal
·        Unexpected guests
·        Shadowy figures
·        Ancient mysteries 

by Jeri Smith-Ready
Pocket, July 10, 2010

From the publisher: WHAT’S BLOOD GOT TO DO WITH IT?

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin seems to finally have it all. A steady job at WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll. A loving relationship with the idiosyncratic but eternally hot DJ Shane McAllister. A vampire dog who never needs shots or a pooper-scooper. And after nine years, it looks as if she might actually finish her bachelor’s degree!

But fate has other plans for Ciara. First she must fulfill her Faustian bargain with the Control, the paranormal paramilitary agency that does its best to keep vampires in line. Turns out the Control wants her for something other than her (nonexistent) ability to kick undead ass. Her anti-holy blood, perhaps? Ciara’s suspicions are confirmed when she’s assigned to a special-ops division known as the Immanence Corps, run by the Control’s oldest vampire and filled with humans who claim to have special powers.

To a confirmed skeptic like Ciara, it sounds like a freak fest. But when a mysterious fatal virus spreads through Sherwood—and corpses begin to rise from their graves—Ciara will not only get a crash course in zombie-killing, but will be forced to put her faith, and her life itself, in the hands of magic.

Dark and Stormy Knights
P. N. Elrod, editor
St. Martin's Griffin (July 20, 2010)

From the publisher: It was a dark and stormy knight, and nine dark defenders embarked upon a most perilous quest….

They’re the ultimate defenders of humanity—modern day knights who do dark deeds for all the right reasons. In this all-star collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors bring us thrilling, all-new stories of supernatural knights that are brimming with magic mystery and mayhem.

John Marcone sets aside his plans to kill Harry Dresden to go head-to-head with a cantrev lord in Jim Butcher’s Even Hand.  Kate Daniels is called upon for bodyguard duty to protect Saimen, a shifter she trusts less than the enemy in Ilona Andrews’ A Questionable Client.  Cormac must stop a killer werewolf before it attacks again on the next full moon in Carrie Vaughn’s God’s Creatures.  And in Vicki Pettersson’s Shifting Star, Skamar gets more than she bargained for when she goes after a creature kidnapping young girls—and enlists the aid of her frustratingly sexy neighbor.

When everything’s on the line, will these knights complete their missions and live to fight again another day?  Find out in Dark and Stormy Knights!

Includes stories from:
Ilona Andrews
Jim Butcher
Shannon K. Butcher
Rachel Caine
P.N. Elrod
Deidre Knight
Vicki Pettersson
Lilith Saintcrow
Carrie Vaughn

Eternal Kiss of Darkness
by Jeaniene Frost
Avon (July 27, 2010)

From the author: An immortal war has been brewing in the darkness...and now one woman has stumbled into the shadows.

Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she's only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he'd seen it all. Then Kira appears - this fearless, beautiful....human who braved death to rescue him. Though her burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.

But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story by Adam Rex
Balzer + Bray (July 27, 2010)

From the publisher: Doug Lee is undead quite by accident—attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But it's just not the same.

Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her—hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, the laws of vampire existence are complicated—it's not as easy as studying Dracula. Especially when the star of Vampire Hunters is hot on your trail in an attempt to boost ratings. . . .

Searing, hilarious, and always unexpected, Fat Vampire is a satirical tour de force from one of the most original writers of fiction today.

The Girls with Games of Blood
by Alex Bledsoe
Tor Books (July 6, 2010)

From the publisher: Listen to what I tell you, son, every word is true

The sisters haunt the night, and might fight over you

Nothing can steal your soul and stamp it in the mud

Like being the new play-pretty for the girls with the games of blood . . .
The old song warns of the beautiful Bolade sisters, Patience and Prudence, whose undying rivalry was said to stretch even beyond the grave. But Count Rudolfo Vladimir Zginski has never heard the song. A suave Continental vampire, staked to death more than sixty years ago, he has risen to stalk the Southern nights of Memphis, Tennessee, circa 1975. Although new to the modern world, he has quickly developed a taste for its hot blood, willing women, and high-speed automobiles.

Yet the seventies are not without their perils, even for so cunning and ruthless a predator. Zginski’s insistent pursuit of a cherry 1973 Mach 1 Ford Mustang soon brings him into conflict with a legendary redneck sheriff with a short temper and a big baseball bat. His dangerous fascination with an enticing undead chanteuse and her equally seductive sister, threatens not only his own ageless existence, but that of the small group of modern-day vampires he has grudgingly taken under his wing. Zginski has already escaped limbo once, but can he free himself from the tangled web of the girls who play games of blood?

Alex Bledsoe, author of Blood Groove, returns to he world of the undead with a tale of fast cars and vengeance that never dies. . .

by Cynthia Eden
Kensington Brava, July 1, 2010

From the publisher: Cynthia Eden returns to the realm of the Other, where the supernatural bounty hunters of Night Watch work hard and play harder...
Sandra "Dee" Daniels is a vampire's worst nightmare. Sure, she couldn't get up to five-six in the highest heels money can buy--not that she ever wears heels. But the monsters in her past and the stake in her boot are enough to keep most bloodsuckers interested in staying undead out of Baton Rouge.

But there are changes afoot on her turf. Rumors of a Born Master in town--a vampire so powerful he can make the streets run with blood. And a new face in Dee's dive bars and alleyways--Simon Chase, a strong, sexy shadow with a haunted past of his own. Simon knows a lot about the dark side of Dee's work. He knows even more about how to make her body spark with desire. But the hot lust shimmering between them is only the beginning. Because Simon also knows a secret that will change Dee's life--if she can live long enough to uncover it.

Love Sucks!
by Melissa McKenzie Francis
HarperTeen (July 27, 2010)

From the publisher: AJ Ashe may have gotten rid of her vampire stalker and her evil ex-teacher, but things are hardly back to normal. For one thing, she still has to maintain a strict look-but-don't-touch policy with Ryan, her hot ex-boyfriend-turned-stepbrother. For another, she has to learn to control her vampire superpowers—which means more than a few dates with Lex, mind-reading professional vampire trainer and too-sexy-for-his-own-good bad boy.

And as if that's not enough, she happens to be the key to her father's plans to take over the world . . . and he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants.

All this and she's still got to plan the prom. Being a teenager is tough, but being a teenage vampire just flat out sucks!

My Love Eternal
by Liz Strange
Lyrical Press, Inc (July 1, 2010)

From the publisher: Blood, sex and eternal life... What more could a girl ask for? Tall, dark, and sexy, as well as fabulously wealthy, Giovanni is everything a girl could ask for in a lover. There's only one catch. He's been undead for more than three hundred years. When Rachel is drawn into Giovanni's world, she learns that the rules of human existence mean nothing in the world of vampires.

This, however, is a fair price to pay for a love that will last forever. Hunted by the Desmarais family, who carry a centuries-old vendetta, Rachel and Giovanni travel to the ends of the earth in order to stay one step ahead. Can their love survive, or will their eternity together end? Content Warning: Violence, sexual encounters with the undead.

Mozart's Blood
by Louise Marley
Kensington (July 1, 2010)

From the publisher: As a young soprano in the eighteenth century, Octavia Voss was bitten by a vampire patroness during a sexual tryst with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and was imbued with the essence of his astonishing musical gifts. Since then, Octavia has enjoyed several careers as a celebrated soprano, taking on new identities to disguise her ageless beauty, and acquiring an assistant and companion in Ugo, a mysterious man who possesses a secret of his own. Together they travel the world for her performances at all the great opera houses. But during a run at La Scala, Octavia draws the attention of a secret vampire hunter who will do anything to make her talents his own.

Shadow of the Vampire
by Meagan Hatfield
HQN Books (July 1, 2010)

From the author: Even vampires should never sleep with the enemy.

Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers.

Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds herself consumed by his fiery passion. A passion Declan battles, as well. Will he be able to resist the fire of lust she kindles within him and keep revenge in his heart? Or will he risk everything to quench the burning desire and claim the vampire as his own?

THE SEASON OF RISKS: An Ethical Vampire Novel
by Susan Hubbard
Simon and Schuster (July 6, 2010)

From the publisher: The vampire sects are at war—and war among vampires is fought not with weapons, but with minds. 

My name is Ariella Montero, and I know a secret. Telling it will change everything.
Half-human and half-vampire, Ari confronts the darker sides of vampirism, and herself, as the sects deploy new technologies to battle for influence and power.

But beyond these challenges lie greater risks: Ari’s relationship with Neil Cameron, the first vampire to run for the U.S. presidency, must be kept under wraps from even those she trusts most.

When scandal inevitably erupts, Ari is forced to face the consequences of her actions, learning the hard way that love demands delicate negotiations between memory and desire.

Twice Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel by Chloe Neill
NAL Trade (July 6, 2010)

From the publisher:  Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit, Chicago's newest vampire. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene-and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Unfortunately, someone is gunning for Gabriel, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals-not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries-old master vampire.

Unchained (The Dark Forgotten)
by Sharon Ashwood
Signet (July 6, 2010)

From the publisher: Faced with a custody battle for her daughter, monster-killer Ashe Carver has hung up her stakes and taken a job at the public library. But then after centuries guarding a supernatural prison, the dashing Captain Reynard strides into her world. He has only weeks to live unless Ashe finds the thief who took his soul-and he's too drop-dead gorgeous to die...

Undead and Unfinished (Queen Betsy, Book 9)
by MaryJanice Davidson
Berkley Hardcover (July 6, 2010)

From the publisher:  Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor is having a tough time getting through the Book of the Dead-until the Devil strikes a bargain. She offers Betsy a chance to finish the cursed (literally!) thing, and finally discover all its mysteries. There's just one catch...

Betsy and her half-sister Laura have to go to Hell long enough for Laura to embrace her dark heritage (after a rebellious youth of charity work) and finally make nice with her mother, aka Lucifer. That means interacting with their family's past. In doing so, they're impacting the future in ways they never anticipated. Of course that's what Mother wanted all along. Damn her.

Vampire Boy's Good Night
by Lisa Brown
HarperCollins (July 27, 2010)
Ages 4-8

From the publisher: When the sun goes down and everything is wonderfully cold and dark, a vampire boy and a little witch go searching for children in the night.
But this is no ordinary night. It is Halloween, and what they find may surprise them. .

Vampire High: Sophomore Year

by Douglas Rees
Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 13, 2010)
Young adult

From the publisher:  In the satiric and funny sequel to the witty Vampire High, Cody's hopes for a great sophomore year at Vlad Dracul are dashed when his train wreck of a cousin, Turk Stone, moves in and messes with his life.

Turk's a brilliant teen artist and goth with a sky-high ego . Her attitude infuriates the vampire (jenti) students, especially the dark, brooding Gregor. But something changes in Turk when she stumbles on the abandoned nineteenth-century mill in the forgotten district of Crossfield and immediately claims it as her new arts center project.

Though Cody resents his cousin at first, he has his own reasons for helping make Turk's dream come true. But Crossfield has many secrets, and a mysterious vampire army called the Mercians will do anything to make sure they stay hidden. And when he takes on the Mercians, everything Cody has learned about courage and determination his freshman year at Vampire High will be tested.

The Vampire's Kiss (Silhouette Nocturne)
by Vivi Anna
Harlequin (July 1, 2010)

From the publisher: Olena Petrovich had seen more than enough death and destruction in her three hundred years. Now the vampiress fought as a CSI agent. But nothing about this crime scene seemed right—including the arrogant outsider from Interpol who challenged her authority. Sexy and cocky, the human was downright irresistible…even to a vampiress who should know better.

Though Cale Braxton was out of his league facing the vampires, lycans and witches of Nouveau Monde, he matched Olena in the one way that mattered—passion. Olena had sworn she'd never love—and lose—again, especially a human with his own demons. She and Cale lived in two different worlds, but after only one kiss, Olena wondered how she could ever spend eternity without him….

Missed in June

Blood Feud
by Alyxandra Harvey
Walker Books for Young Readers (June 22, 2010)
Young Adult

From the publisher:  It's been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she's made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That's if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.

The clans are gathering for Helena's royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha's reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.

This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan's and Isabeau's perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.

[Compiled by Patricia Altner. Previously published on VampChix]

Jul 27, 2010

Alex Bledsoe Guest Blog and Contest

Today PVN welcomes Alex Bledsoe author of The Girls with Games of Blood (Tor, July 2010). Alex tells us his thoughts on this question: Would an author of vampire stories be interested in actually becoming one of the undead?

[See contest details at end of post]

[This contest has ended]

by Alex Bledsoe

Lately it seems I've been doing nothing but writing blog posts about vampires to raise awareness of my new vampire novel, I've written about the book from the perspective of its place in the lineage of literary vampires, its relation to its predecessor (Blood Groove), the influences of its setting (1975 Memphis), even why I'd want to write this sort of novel with the market is glutted with them. But it occurred to me that no one's ever asked me whether I
would like to be vampire myself.

I think a lot of people, maybe most, think they would jump at the chance.  The perks are legendary: immortality, superhuman strength, domination of others.  Depending on what mythology you're using, you may or may not be able to endure sunlight, but since most cool things happen in the dark, it might be a fair trade.  Certainly if you're a vampire of the True Blood school, your evenings are positively filled with extracurricular activities.

Some of the down sides are also well known.  Any human being you get close to will age and die, either by your hand or the passage of time. You're vulnerable in your sleep, and (again depending on your mythology) you may be susceptible to things like crosses, garlic and holy water.  You might have to sleep in a coffin, maybe even on a layer of grave dirt.

But there are other aspects, more subtle, that are what give me pause. The dependence on blood, for one.  In Love at First Bite Dracula complains, "How would you like to dine on nothing but a warm liquid protein diet while all around you people are eating lamb chops, potato chips, Mallomars?"  It's a good question, because really, that's it: blood, or starvation. No substitutions, no impulsive stops
for greasy fast food.  Some stories get around this (the titular substance of True Blood, for example), but ultimately it's such a defining part of a vampire's existence everything else pales in comparison (no pun intended).  I mean, sure, I like pizza once a week, but I also like to vary the flavor.  That wouldn't be an option as a

Not to mention the moral issue of where that blood comes from. Most vampires take their blood from unwilling victims, and many drain their victims dry. It takes the slogan "meat is murder" to a new literal level.

There's also your biological status as a corpse.  Unless you're one of those newfangled scientific vampires, you were once alive, and now you're not.  You can't say "undead" without "dead," and that state must feel weird.  Would you lose your sense of things like temperature, speed, even time?  Without the sense of pain, would you start hurting yourself just for the hell of it?

And if you're a closed system, unaltered and unalterable, what are your priorities?  It's something I've often wondered: what exactly did Dracula do with all that free time?  I mean, we've got plenty of evidence of the way human consciousness changes over a lifetime, but what about over multiple lifetimes?  Or would your status as an
undead corpse lock you into your personality the same way it does your physical appearance?

If I write another vampire novel, I'll try to address some of these questions.  But for now, I can honestly say I have no interest in really being a vampire.  As Dracula also says in Love at First Bite, "How would you like to go around dressed like a head waiter for seven hundred years?"

No thanks. I'm definitely the flannel-and-denim type.


Leave a comment about the post. One lucky reader will win signed copies of Alex's vampire novels Blood Groove and The Girls with Games of Blood.

That's it!

[If your email is not associated with your comment ID please include it in your comment.]

The contest is open worldwide and ends August 3, 2010.

Read a REVIEW of The Girls with Games of Blood

Read a REVIEW of Blood Groove

[This contest has ended] 

Jul 25, 2010

This Week on PVN July 24, 2010

On Tuesday July 27 Alex Bledsoe author of The Girls With Games of Blood visits PVN.
Girls features centuries-old vampire Baron Rudolf Zbinski who is making a new 'life' for himself in 1975 Memphis. This is the second book centering on the highly calculating, amoral Count, a captivating character.

Read a review of Girls With Games of Blood.

Read an interview with Susan Hubbard author of the vampire novel Season of Risks, Book 3 in the Ethical Vampire series. Enter the contest to win a copy of Season. The worldwide continues until Tuesday July 27 at midnight.

The contest for Sharon Ashwood's book Unchained has ended.  The winner is Dottie (Tink's Place). The winner was selected by using Random.org

The Dead Guy, a friend of Sharon's, had written a plaintive, funny letter about the downside of being a vampire. Readers were asked to give DG advice. It was great to see that PVN readers have terrific senses of humor:

"I would give the dead guy a three month subscription to a vampire dating service so he could meet a nice dead girl."

"He needs a bar of chocolate - chocolate always helps to get through the day (or night) ;) "

"Dear Dead Guy, No one likes a sad sack - a positive attitude is everything. Try a new buzz hair cut, they are stylish and easy to maintain...."


Items of Interest

'Twilight' and 'Priest' Only Have Vampires In Common

Black Vampires Through the Years