Sep 22, 2010

Blood Oath - A Vampire Book Review

by Christopher Farnsworth

Readers who are tiring of kick-ass psychic lady vampire slayers and their not-vicious-like-the-other-ones vampire lovers might want to give Christopher Farnsworth's Blood Oath a try. What romance Farnsworth serves up is refreshingly perfunctory, definitely taking a back seat to punchy action set pieces that infuse the novel with a summer-movie vibe. Blood Oath is decidedly heavy on the testosterone, but in this season of increasing sameness in the genre, this female reader found it a nice palate-cleanser.

Our protagonist is Zach Barrows, a brash and talented twenty-something on the Washington fast track. Zach's greatest asset is also his downfall: Rarely does he think through his actions to their eventual consequences. That's how he finds himself bounced from the inner circle at the White House to the Siberia of the back rooms of the Smithsonian, where his new job/punishment awaits. It seems that Special Agent William Griffin ("Griff," of course) is retiring, leaving open a position vital to national security; Zach is assigned to replace him. What, exactly, does Griff do? Why, he "handles" America's most dangerous secret weapon: Nathaniel Cade, a vampire from the Civil War era who is bound by the titular oath to serve the interests of the President of the United States.

Cade operates far below the radar, a one-man black-ops wrecking crew. He does the dirty, plausible-deniability jobs that officials will later claim never took place. Cade is no scary-on-the-outside, vulnerable-on-the-inside bloodsucker. He is menacing through and through, so much so that Zach wets himself at their first meeting. Cade's oath prevents him from harming the suits who give him his orders, but affords no protection for anyone else. Fortunately and probably predictably, Cade's core of decency and honor, the last vestige of his long-sublimated humanity, modulates his behavior most of the time. But make no mistake: Cade is a badass, pitiless killer; few readers will lose their hearts to him, though many will come to respect him--and perhaps to sympathize with him--as the novel rushes from one action-packed scene to another.

Despite its nineteenth-century presidential vampire and his Frankenstein-like immortal foe (he's building new, zombie-like super-soldiers out of what's left of dead ones!),  Blood Oath feels utterly contemporary.  Corruption is rife, and shadowy agencies pull strings in plots that often seem in direct opposition to the government's purported goals. The bad guys range from treasonous government officials to zealous Islamic terrorists to a lazy, spoiled brat willing to sell out his country for an easy buck.  The paranoia is palpable; it quickly becomes clear that Zach and Cade can trust no one, maybe not even Tania, a vampire with murky ties to Cade whose motives may be suspect. There are a few political/moral undercurrents: a high-ranking figure turns out to be a traitor, an obsession with physical beauty leads to a horrors-of-plastic-surgery comeuppance, and the abuse of the soldiers' corpses after their death may be meant as an allegory for society's lack of appreciation for their sacrifice. But Blood Oath never dwells on the deep stuff.

Farnsworth's prose is charged but clipped, racing along at top speed. He knows how to turn a phrase; though the words might be prosaic, he has a knack for painting a scene in fresh, crisp shorthand. Bon mots a la Schwarzenegger pepper the dialogue, but manage to avoid being too hackneyed; occasionally, they are laugh-out-loud funny.

What a pity that beach season has come to an end, because Blood Oath is the perfect beach read, particularly for vampire lit fans who have had their fill of moaning, mooning vampires and the tough-talking slayers who love them.

This review was written by Sandy Rainey (using her own purchased book)

Dracula on iPad

The following is a press notice about a soon to be released (this Halloween!) iPad/ebook app featuring our favorite vampire Count. Looks interesting. Too bad I don't have an iPad!

Download a trailer about it Here

Toronto, Canada - The original vampire who gave us a reason to fear the dark is coming to Apple iPad as a whole new, frightfully interactive experience! PadWorx Digital Media, Inc., an independent developer of a new category of interactive eBooks for tablet PCs, announced today it will release Bram Stoker's Dracula on the App Store in time for this Halloween. Dracula will be the first eBook title for the Apple iPad built from the ground up on PadWorx Digital Media's proprietary game engine, giving readers the chance to experience a new level of entertainment through the combination of text, animation, gameplay, touch screen interaction, social media, original soundtrack and music, sound effects and more.

"Our new interactive version of Dracula is unlike anything I've ever seen on the iPad," said Jeffery Alan Schechter, director and producer at PadWorx Digital Media, Inc. "From fans of the original classic tale, to the blood and romance fans of the Twilight books and movies, to tech savvy enthusiasts, there are plenty of elements to keep everyone reading for hours. We've created original illustrations, animation, sounds and touch screen elements that work together with the text on each page, drawing readers in and allowing them to uncover a new tale worth telling."  Read more

Sep 20, 2010

Haunted Honeymoon - A Vampire Book Review

Haunted Honeymoon (Casa Dracula Book 4)
by Marta Acosta
Gallery Books, October 2010

Milagro de los Santos has gone through some wild times since joining the vampire community. Unlike others of this kind she was "made" not born. Mil is the accidental vampire. While kissing the handsome doctor Oswald Grant she accidentally tastes a tiny bit of his blood. No other human has ever survived this type of infection but Mil does and thrives - with some exceptions. She feels guilty that her engagement to Oswald did not work out. Her relationship with Oswald's cousin the gorgeous, sexy, charming Ian Ducharme (known, behind his back, as the Dark Lord) has an intensity that frightens her.

In an attempt to distance herself she agrees to write a second faux memoir for the self proclaimed guru Don Pedro who has made a mint on the first book ghost written by Mil. They meet up in London where she also encounters one of the local vamps, the free-spirited, and attractive Wilcox Spiggot.

The various threads that connect her to these people and others become horribly tangled and lead Milagro into the malevolent clutches of a secret organization whose torture methods almost destroy her. After narrowly escaping she heads back to the one place she ever felt safe - the beautiful ranch owned by Oswald's family. Here she hopes to heal. Unfortunately that healing at first proves illusive and becomes more difficult when she suffers sever amnesia. Mil remembers nothing about her life after her first meeting with Oswald.

Marta Acosta has written a superb ending for her Casa Dracula series. I have been eagerly following the adventures of Milagro de los Santos since book one, Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, (2006). I really hate to see this series close, but as the old cliche goes, "All good things must come to an end". Throughout author Marta  has combined a wild sense of humor with a believability of characters and plot. Haunted Honeymoon is no exception. Milagro is a terrific character. Too bad she isn't real. I would love to meet her!

Throughout her life she has suffered many difficulties, including an abusive mother, and lots of self doubt, but her strong spirit and joie de vivre  always got her though. In this novel she finally discovers where she belongs, what she wants to do, and who she wants to be with.

Enough back story is given so that  you don't have to read the first three books, but the experience is so much more enjoyable if you do. You really get to know the many wonderful, enchanting, quirky characters Marta has created for Milagro's world.

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula

Midnight Brunch (Casa Dracula Series, Book 2)

The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 3)

Sep 16, 2010

Cecilia Tan - Guest Blog and Contest

PVN welcomes back acclaimed author Cecilia Tan who is here to discuss the role of dreams in The Incubus and the Angel the latest installment in her engaging, erotic, paranormal Magic University series! 

[see contest information at the end of the interview]

In the Land of Dreams: Incubi in Magic University

I was always told in fiction-writing classes that a dream sequence was somehow "cheating." Then again these are the same writing classes that told me not to write fantasy or science fiction at all. I have always loved dream sequences and have always wanted to put my characters into lucid dreams. I started playing with this a little in MIND GAMES, my
paranormal erotic thriller (just out in trade paperback from Red Silk Editions) in which our telepathic heroine finds herself visited (sometimes stalked) in erotic dreams by someone from real life.

Imagine my thrill then, on seeing the movie INCEPTION, in which the
main action of the movie takes place inside dreams! When I saw the
film, I had already turned in the manuscript of my latest paranormal
romance (now in ebook from Ravenous with a Red Silk paperback due next
year), The Incubus and the Angel, and I thought, "surely if this film
can succeed so brilliantly with so much taking place in dreams, then
surely my novel will be OK!"

I had been worried that maybe too many scenes took place in the dream
world, but now I think readers will indulge in it just fine.

The Magic University books (The Incubus and the Angel is the third in
the series) take place at the hidden arcane arts college on the
Harvard campus. In my world, magical creatures being spoken of in
myths and legends are usually real, but not always in the way that
mundane folk think. For example, there are no vampires in my world,
but there are magicians who can train themselves to live very long
lives on a single drop of blood per month if they forego having sex.

The same is true of incubi and succubi. Myth has it that these demonic
beings visit in the night, having sex with humans, sometimes giving
them erotic dreams. In the world of Magic University, dreams are very
powerful. People have prophetic visions in dreams sometimes, and
overall in the world of the subconscious, a magic user is closer to
his or her inner power.

An incubus or succubus is created when a person desires another so
much that they pursue their desire through dreams. It's as if each
time they are thwarted in reaching their desire, they leave behind a
horny "ghost" in the dreamworld. The incubus or succubus continues
seeking satisfaction until it finds a dream it can enter where it has
sex with the dreamer. Sometimes the dream visit of an incubus is very
pleasurable, other times frightening, as the spirit cannot be denied.

And although the sex is purely mental, not physical, it can have
magical consequences. As Kyle learns in his studies, in the world of
sex magic, virginity holds great power. But a friend of his who is
visited by the incubus finds that a pendant she wears that was white
when she was a virgin has turned black. Of course, how do you catch
something that only exists in dreams? Sleep and dream yourself. Our
hero pursues the incubus across the erotic dreamscape himself.

I hope everyone who reads the book has sweet dreams afterward.

About the Author: Cecilia Tan is a writer, editor, and the founder of
Circlet Press.. She is the author of many books, including Mind Games,
The Hot Streak, White Flames, Edge Plays, Black Feathers, The
Velderet, and Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, as well as the Magic
University series of paranormal erotic romances, and the currently
ongoing web serials The Prince's Boy and Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

She has the distinction of being perhaps the only writer to have
erotic fiction published in both Penthouse and Ms. magazines, as well
as in scores of other magazines and anthologies including Asimov’s,
Best American Erotica, and Nerve. Learn more at

Related Links
The Magic University Series: Info page

Print Book buy links:
Mind Games
The Siren and the Sword
The Tower and the Tears

Ebook buy links:
Mind Games
The Siren and the Sword
The Tower and the Tears
The Incubus and the Angel


One lucky winner will receive an ebook copy of one book (winner's choice) from Cecilia's Magic Universe series.

To enter the contest answer this question: Do you believe in lucid dreaming?

Be sure I have access to your email.

Contest is international and ends Sept. 24, 2010.

Sep 14, 2010

Scott Baker, Author of Vampyrnomicon - Guest Post

Please welcome Scott Baker as he once again visits PVN. This time he is here to introduce readers to the second book in his Vampire Hunters series:Vampyromicon

The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon 
by Scott Baker

Within the vaults of the Smithsonian Institute lies the key to finding The Vampyrnomicon, the Book of the Undead that contains the history and secrets of the vampires. According to legend, whoever possesses the book can establish a vampire nation on earth - or destroy the undead once and for all. With an opportunity to end the war against the undead so close, Drake Matthews is determined to find the book.

But the vampires also want The Vampyrnomicon. When Master Chiang Shih and her coven of the most powerful and dangerous vampires arrive in Washington to claim the book as their own, the hunters find themselves facing their most deadly enemy yet. With the stakes so high, so is the ferocity of the struggle.


Jessica Reynolds stood by the open manhole. The pungent odor of ammonia and human waste wafted out of the sewer, stinging her eyes and churning the bile in her stomach. Holding her breath and squinting against the discomfort, she leaned forward and stared down the access tunnel, but could not see the bottom. Despite the noon sun glaring overhead, its light penetrated only a few feet down the access tunnel, rendering the sewer ominously dark. Jessica did not have to see what was down there to fear it. What lurked below the streets of Washington was deadly. Dangerous. And evil.

She stepped back from the manhole and walked over to the midnight-black Dodge Ram. "Tell me again why you're going down there?"

"To flush out the nest," said Drake Matthews. He slid on his brown leather jacket.

"I thought we destroyed the nest a few nights ago?"

"We did." Drake slid three wooden stakes into the special pouch stitched into the jacket lining. A bolt of pain from the cracked ribs he received in that struggle shot through his chest, a reminder of just how close a call they actually had.

"Why the rush? We haven't recovered yet from the last battle."

Alison Monroe stepped around from the open door of the Ram and joined Drake and Jessica. She loaded shells into a shotgun. "Because one master escaped. If we wait too long, she'll create another nest."

Jessica looked over at Alison, who wore her usual vampire hunting uniform, black leather pants with a black turtleneck sweater, both of which she filled out quite nicely. Jessica tried unsuccessfully to curtail her jealousy. "How large could the nest get in only five days?"

"Masters have been known to sire up to two vampires a night. And each of those vampires can sire vampires of their own." Alison finished loading the shotgun. "You do the math."

"Fifty-one, to be exact." Jim Delmarco joined the group. "That's assuming that each vampire sired two vampires a day every day over the past five days."

"Why are you so sure the nest is here?"

"It's more of an educated guess," said Jim. "This was where the police found the car that was stolen near Wolf Trap the night we destroyed the nest. Assuming the surviving master stole the car to make it home, and assuming she parked it near the nest, then this is as a good a place as any to start looking."

Jim reached under his jacket and pulled out a folded map, spreading it out on the Ram's lowered tailgate. Jessica leaned over to look at it. The map showed the sewer system underneath Washington. Superimposed on the map in light blue ink was a street map of the city. Several streets had red ovals hand-drawn around them, with a small red ‘X' in between the ovals. Jim placed his finger on the ‘X'.

"This is where we are. Where the police found the stolen car. I drove through the neighborhood two days ago, covering every street within a half-mile radius of this location, and noted all the abandoned buildings. There are more than a dozen closed stores on this and the adjacent street. A boarded up school two blocks to our west. And a whole street of condemned row houses three blocks to the east."

"We'll start our search at the row houses and work our way back." Drake unholstered his pair of Glocks and inserted into each firearm a magazine containing ten .40 caliber hollow-point rounds filled with holy water. He chambered one round into each Glock and slid the weapons into his twin shoulder holsters.

"Why won't you let me go with you?" asked Jessica. Although relieved that Drake did not expect her to crawl through the sewer, part of her resented that Drake would be down there relying on Alison rather than her. "I can take care of myself."

Alison rolled her eyes.

Drake was more diplomatic. "I need you up here to make sure no one blocks the manhole in case we need to get out in a hurry."

Jessica feigned a smile. "I think I can handle that."

"I know you can." Drake took Jessica's hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze, then turned to the others. "We ready?"

Jim finished folding the map and slid it into the pouch beside the two bottles of Heaven's Fire, homemade napalm laced with chunks of crystallized holy water. He closed and secured the flap. "I guess so."

Alison switched on the high-powered flashlight she had taped to the shotgun's barrel, then pulled back the slide to load a round into the chamber. "Let's kick some vampire ass."

The hunters stepped over to the open manhole. Drake crouched down and lowered his legs into the opening. When he had his footing on the access ladder, he began to climb down.

"Drake," Jessica called after him. "Be careful."

Alison stepped directly in front of Jessica. "Don't worry. I'll take care of him." She followed her boss into the manhole.

Jim entered last.

Jess stood alone in the street, cursing herself for being so useless.

Read Scott's Blog

Buy a copy of Vampyrnomicon

Read Scott's previous post on PVN

Sep 7, 2010

Steve Unger - Guest Blog and Contest

Today PVN welcomes Steven Unger author of the new book In the Footsteps of Dracula: A Personal Journey and Travel Guide which he describes as perfect "for the armchair traveler with pictures and descriptions, in memoir form, of every site in England and Romania that is closely related to either Bram Stoker's fictional Count Dracula or his historical counterpart, Prince Vlad Dracula the Impaler...



By Steven P. Unger

My obsession to travel to every site related to either the fictional Count Dracula or his real historical counterpart, Prince Vlad Dracula the Impaler, grew out of a visit to Whitby, England, where part of the novel Dracula takes place.  I stood on the cemetery hill where, in Bram Stoker's Dracula, Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray spent hour after hour sitting on their "favourite seat" (a bench placed over a suicide's grave near the edge of the cliff), gazing out toward the "headland called Kettleness" and the open North Sea beyond—while Count Dracula slept just beneath them.

In my mind's eye, I could see the un-dead Count Dracula rising at night from the flattened slab of the suicide's gravestone to greedily drink the blood of the living.
The graveyard where Count Dracula spent his days sleeping in the sepulcher of a suicide looks the part that it plays, with its weathered limestone tombstones blackened by centuries of the ever-present North Sea winds.

That graveyard made the novel more visible, more visceral, to me, and I wondered if the sites in Transylvania and in the remote mountains of southern Romania would evoke the same feelings. As I was to discover—they did.

Old Parish Church Cemetery—Whitby, England

At that moment I decided to visit and photograph every site in England and Romania that is closely related to either Bram Stoker's fictional Count Dracula or his historical counterpart, Prince Vlad Dracula the Impaler—to literally walk in their footsteps and to write a book about my experiences.

Goth Girls Adorning Whitby's Bram Stoker Memorial Seat

Eventually I traveled along the Dracula Trail alone, using only public transportation, to some places that I'd seen before and to others I had only dreamed of, trying my best to systematically strip away the layers of myth about Count Dracula and Prince Vlad the Impaler to find the reality within.  I discovered in broken stones and parchments signed in blood why Prince Vlad's monstrous deeds in life would brand him forever with the name of Vlad Ţepeş (pronounced Tzeh·pish), Romanian for Vlad the Impaler, soon after his death.

In my research and travels I discovered two fascinating coincidences that link the historical and the literary Draculas.  First and foremost is that Bram Stoker chose to name his villain "Dracula," based on the translation of the Romanian word "dracul" into "devil," never knowing that the historical Voivode (Prince) Dracula he had read about was also Vlad Ţepeş, with a horrific and compelling biography of his own.

Vlad the Impaler Surrounded by his Victims

Bram Stoker's Transylvania was the pipe dream of an armchair traveler with a genius for writing:  real enough for the 19th Century reader, but bearing little resemblance to any Romania that ever existed.  For example, Stoker wrote of "hay-ricks [haystacks] in the trees" based on illustrations of Transylvanian haystacks built around stakes, with the ends of the stakes poking out like branches.  Thus, generations of Dracula readers assumed that Transylvanians put their haystacks up in trees.

  Haystacks on Transylvania's Borgo Pass

    The second coincidence is the uncanny resemblance of the real Castle of Dracula—Vlad Ţepeş' fortress at Poenari, which Stoker had no knowledge of—to Count Dracula's fictional castle in Transylvania.  Perched on a remote peak near a glacial moraine in the Făgarăş Mountains of southern Romania and mirroring Count Dracula's fictional castle at the top of the Borgo Pass almost stone for stone,Poenari remains pristine and almost inaccessible.

The Fortress Ruins at Poenari

One of my favorite places on the Dracula Trail is Sighişoara, in Transylvania, the birthplace of Vlad Ţepeş.  I was enchanted the moment I entered Sighişoara's Upper Town.

All at once I was in the middle of a perfect storybook medieval village enclosed by thick fortress walls, with cobblestone streets and Easter-egg-colored houses leaning every which way.  Guarding the town square was a spire-roofed and turreted 14th Century clock tower replete with carved wooden figures that circle a track to mark the passage of time.  In one window, a drummer plays to signal the hours; below the drummer, the angel of the night replaces the angel of the day at the final stroke of midnight.  In another window, gods and goddesses appear, changing for each day of the week.

 Piaţa Cetăţii—Sighişoara

But let's get back to Poenari, the real Castle of Dracula.  I had traveled to other remote, forbidding places before entering the almost lightless forest of Poenari.  Near Albania's southern border, I hiked the Vikos Gorge, a dozen miles from the nearest stone-housed village.  I baked beneath the unrelenting sun of the Timna Valley close to the Red Sea, where 120º in the shade is considered picnic weather.  But never before or since have I felt the apprehension and isolation I did while climbing to Vlad Ţepeş' mountaintop fortress at Poenari.  The forest was as quiet as a tomb; I can't recall hearing the song of even a single bird.

The ascent was exhausting.  At last I arrived at the lone approach to the fortress, a wooden footbridge (see top left of photo).  Of all the places I explored that are associated with Vlad Ţepeş, only at Poenari did I feel that he was somehow still keeping watch.  Thousands of boyars and their families had been force-marched there from Tărgovişte to die rebuilding the castle for Prince Vlad; it was here that his treacherous brother Radu stormed the fortress with cannons, reducing the once courtly residence into broken turrets and formless rubble.  And it was here that Prince Dracula's wife cast herself from the highest window of the eastern tower, choosing a swift death over the torture of the stake.

Walk along the top of the thick fortress walls of Poenari, look northward, and you can see part of the Transfăgarăşan Road, leading to a glacial moraine and one of the deepest lakes in the world.  (According to local legend, a dragon sleeps at the bottom of the lake, and the villagers nearby will caution you not to throw stones in the water lest the dragon awake.)  The view south from the fortress is straight down, to the Arges River far in the distance, and even farther, the road to Curtea de Arges.

 Footbridge to Poenari Fortress

 The Transfăgarăşan Road, as seen from Poenari

Parts of this article have previously appeared in Romar Traveler.

In the Footsteps of Dracula: A Personal Journey and Travel Guide, is published and distributed by World Audience Publishers

Upcoming signings will be held on:

Saturday, October 16th, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Borders, 2765 E. Bidwell St., Folsom CA 95630 (916) 984-5900

Sunday, October 17th, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Copperfield's Books Petaluma, 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma, CA 95404 (707) 762-0563

Saturday, October 30th, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Borders, 2339 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95825 (916) 564-0168


Steve is offering two lucky readers a copy of  In the Footsteps of Dracula.
Winners may choose paperback or pdf copy.
To enter: Name your favorite Dracula site (city, country, etc) for ONE chance to enter.

Be sure I have access to your email address.

Contest is open world wide and ends Sept. 14.

Sep 5, 2010

Knitting the Vampire

I am quite new to the knitting world. Only recently have I learned how to make a simple one piece baby sweater as well as easy to knit booties and hats.

When it's time to branch out I plan to do something a bit more challenging. So imagine my delight when I came across this book - Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn by Genevieve Miller (Potter Craft; Original edition (September 14, 2010).

Go to scribid for a brief preview of the book. Also check out the blog site.

Many of my knitting friends cannot understand my fascination with vampires. Perhaps a book such as this one will open their eyes to the joys of frolicking with the immortals.

Publisher: "Surrender to the allure of knits inspired by the immortals we all love to fear. If you adore Twilight, True Blood, or The Vampire Diaries, this collection of 28 imaginative and beautiful projects is sure to captivate.

   • Black capes are so 1897, instead get stylish with the dead sexy Sidhe Shrug.
   • Unleash your inner shapeshifter with the Werewolf Hat.
   • Keep warm while holding hands with your vampire by wearing these Bellisima Mittens.
   • Around humans? Use the Blood Bottle Cozies to disguise your beverage.

Whether you are wandering the Carpathian Mountains or the bayous of Louisiana, these smoldering projects—for knitters of all levels—will keep you well protected, no matter what you attract."

Coming out in mid-September these patterns should allow champion knitters to have one or two pieces ready for Halloween. That does not include me of course.

Just for grins I checked out vampire knit (and crochet) patterns on Ravelry

 Vincent the Vampire [knit] designed by Jennie Eveleigh Lamond

 Going Batty [knit] designed by Alan Dart

Eclipse Socks [knit] designed by Julie P. Miller

Count Vlad the Blushing Vampire [crochet] designed by Stephanie Garcia

Any readers have Vampire or Halloween craft ideas to share? Email me at


This Week on PVN Sept. 5, 2010

Upcoming Event

Steven Unger joins PVN on Tuesday, Sept. 7 to tell readers about his travels while writing his new book In the Footsteps of Dracula: A Personal Journey and Travel Guide  This book is perfect "for the armchair traveler with pictures and descriptions, in memoir form, of every site in England and Romania that is closely related to either Bram Stoker's fictional Count Dracula or his historical counterpart, Prince Vlad Dracula the Impaler..."

Contests on PVN

The contest for Sin Undone (Demonica, Book 5) by Larissa Ione ends on Friday September 10. There will be five winners! Go Here

This September one PVN email subscriber will win a copy of Demon Possessed by Stacia Kane. See information on the right hand column for signing up as an email subscriber. Contest is open world wide.

Contest Winners

Debbie has won a copy of Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil by Barbara Monajem.
Read about Barbara's new book Tastes of Love and Evil  HERE 

The winner of the PVN August email subscriber contest is josielefay
Please contact me at



Sep 2, 2010

New Vampire Releases for August 2010

There are lots of terrific books to choose from this August. Treats for vampire lovers of all ages.

Almost to Die For: A Vampire Princess Novel (Vampire Princess of St. Paul)
by Tate Hallaway
NAL Trade (August 3, 2010)

From the publisher: Twilight meets The Princess Diaries in the new series from the author of Honeymoon of the Dead

On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker learns that her so-called  deadbeat dad is actually a vampire king. And he wants Ana to assume her  rightful position at his side, in spite of the fact that she has witch's  blood running through her veins-from her mother's side.

Too  bad witches and vampires are mortal enemies. And now Ana's parents are  at each other's throats over her future. It's up to Ana to make a  choice, but deciding your eternal destiny is a pretty big deal for a  girl who just wants to get through high school.

Born to Bite: An Argeneau Novel (Argeneau Vampires)
by Lynsay Sands
Avon (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher:

Legend has it that Armand Argeneau is a killer in the bedroom . . .

But with all three of his late wives meeting unfortunate and untimely  ends, is this sexy immortal a lover or a murderer? That's what Eshe  d'Aureus intends to find out. As an enforcer, it's her job to bring  rogue vampires to justice, even if the rogue in question makes her blood  race red hot.

Armand knew she was trouble the moment Eshe  roared into town on her motorcycle, clad in tight black leather. She  claims she's hiding from dangerous fiends, though he suspects something  more. But after three wives who've all had trouble remaining, well,  undead, Armand is reluctant to open his heart again. Then strange  accidents start to happen, each deadlier than the last, and Armand  realizes he may not have much time to prove he's a lover, not a slayer.

Stop by on Monday for Lynsay Sands Day!  We'll give away a copy of Born To Bite!

Burning Up (Berkley Sensation)
by Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra, Meljean Brook
Berkley (August 3, 2010)

From the publisher: Bring these four authors together and it's sure to ignite a spark...

Angela Knight pairs a vampire warrior and his seductive captor in a battle against demonic predators.

Nalini Singh returns to the world of her Psy-Changeling series as a woman in lethal danger finds an unlikely protector-and lover.

Virginia Kantra continues the haunting tales of the Children of the Sea in her story of a wounded soldier rescued by an enigmatic young woman.

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series about a woman who strikes a provocative-and terrifying-bargain for freedom.

Chosen (Anna Strong Chronicles, Book 6)
by Jeanne C. Stein
Ace (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher: Anna Strong's primitive vampire instincts are getting harder to control.  And a new enemy wants to take advantage of that fact, for Anna has been  chosen to shape the destiny of all vampires-and all humans.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)
by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher: Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When  sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her  destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and  something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where  vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets.  Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of  demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious  Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium  Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare  ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's  more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at  nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and  hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London  Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to  help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two  best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and  blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in  his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search  draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to  destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose  between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the  world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Dark Peril (Carpathian)
by Christine Feehan
Berkley Hardcover (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher: A new Carpathian novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Dominic of the Dragonseeker Carpathians is on a desperate mission, in  the very heart of enemy territory. Solange Sangria is one of the last of  the jaguar people. She has long been fighting to save women who are  able to shift from the hands of the man who slaughtered her family and  everyone she loved-her own father. They are two warriors who have lived  their lives alone. Now, a the end of their time, they find each other, a  complication neither saw coming.     

Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker
by Syrle James
Avon,  August 2010


Syrie James approaches Bram Stoker's classic Dracula with a breathtaking new perspective--as, for the first time, Mina Harker records the shocking story of her scandalous seduction and sexual rebirth.

Who is this magnetic, fascinating man? And how could one woman fall so completely under his spell?

Mina Harker is torn between two men. Struggling to hang on to the  deep, pure love she's found within her marriage to her husband,  Jonathan, she is inexorably drawn into a secret, passionate affair with a  charismatic but dangerous lover. This haunted and haunting creature has  awakened feelings and desires within her that she has never before  known, which remake her as a woman.

Although everyone she  knows fears him and is pledged to destroy him, Mina sees a side to him  that the others cannot: a tender, romantic side; a man who's taken full  advantage of his gift of immortality to expand his mind and talents; a  man who is deeply in love, and who may not be evil after all. Soon, they  are connected in a way she never thought humanly possible.

Yet to surrender is surely madness, for to be with him could end her  life. It may cost Mina all she holds dear, but to make her choice she  must learn everything she can about the remarkable origins and unique,  sensuous powers of this man, this exquisite monster, this ... Dracula!

Death's Excellent Vacation
Charlaine Harris (Editor)
Ace Hardcover; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)

From the publisher: The editors of Wolfsbane and Mistletoe and Many Bloody Returns deliver a new collection-including a never-before-published Sookie Stackhouse story.

New York Times  bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Katie MacAlister, Jeaniene  Frost-plus Lilith Saintcrow, Jeff Abbott, and more-send postcards from  the edge of the paranormal world to fans who devoured Wolfsbane and Mistletoe and Many Bloody Returns.

With an all-new Sookie Stackhouse story and twelve other original  tales, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner bring together a  stellar collection of tour guides who offer vacations that are  frightening, funny, and touching for the fanged, the furry, the demonic,  and the grotesque. Learn why it really can be an endless summer-for  immortals.

Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark Series, Book 8)
by Kresley Cole
Pocket (August 24, 2010)

From the publisher: From New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this  scorching tale of a demon outcast poisoned with vampire blood and the  vulnerable young witch he vows to protect—even from himself.

Malkom  Slaine: tormented by his sordid past and racked by vampiric hungers,  he’s pushed to the brink by the green-eyed beauty under his guard.

Carrow  Graie: hiding her own sorrows, she lives only for the next party or  prank. Until she meets a tortured warrior worth saving.

In  order for Malkom and Carrow to survive, he must unleash both the demon  and vampire inside him. When Malkom becomes the nightmare his own people  feared, will he lose the woman he craves body and soul?

Dick and Jane and Vampires
Laura Marchesani (Author), Tommy Hunt (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap (August 26, 2010)

From the publisher: When innocent Dick and Jane meet a creepy, cape-wearing vampire, the unexpected happens: he becomes their friend! Dick and Jane and Vampires  borrows from the classic stories and art we all know and love, but adds  an of-the-moment twist: a vampire, illustrated in the classic Dick and Jane style.       

by Karen Essex
Doubleday; 1st edition (August 10, 2010)

From the publisher: In this wonderfully transporting novel, award-winning author Karen  Essex turns a timeless classic inside out, spinning a haunting, erotic,  and suspenseful story of eternal love and possession.

From  the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept  Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts  the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the  Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them  through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening  preternatural powers.

Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale  is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms,  mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets  and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a  mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally  make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium. 

Bram  Stoker’s classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had  no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for  the first time, the truth of Mina’s personal voyage, and of vampirism  itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more  sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could  have expressed or perhaps even have imagined.

Emma and the Vampires (Jane Austen Undead 1)
by Wayne Josephson
Sourcebooks Landmark (August 1, 2010)

From the publisher: What better place than pale England to hide a secret society of gentlemen vampires?

In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen's Emma,  screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most  handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware  of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for  matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with  delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith  declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she's the one who  wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been  hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart-his (literal) undying  love for her... A brilliant mash-up of Jane Austen and the undead.

Fangs: The Vampire Archives, Volume 2 (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)by Otto Penzler
(Mass Market Paperback - Aug 31, 2010)

From the publisher: The second immortal volume in this dark and fantastic series, Fangs is a  scintillating and sinister collection of vampire stories and part of  the now legendary Vampire Archives. Including Clive Barker, Anne Rice,  Arthur Conan Doyle, and Many Many More. . .

Featuring: bloody fangs; dark and foreboding crypts; mysterious nighttime apparitions; languid ladies


Infinite Days (Vampire Queen) 
by Rebecca Maizel
St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)

From the publisher: "Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than one."

Those were some of Rhode's last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.

It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lay in the sun. Taste.

Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust. I never expected to fall in love with someone else that wasn't Rhode. But Justin was...daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream.

I never expected to be sixteen again...then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me..."

Kiss of the Rose: The Tudor Vampire Chronicles
Kate Pearce (Author)
Signet (August 3, 2010)

From the publisher: First in a sexy new series that takes a bite out of the court of King Henry VIII

Desperate to defeat King Richard III and gain the crown, Henry Tudor  made a pact with the Druids binding him and his heirs to the Druids'  struggle against vampires. Ever since, the Llewellyns, a vampire-  slaying family, have been in the king's employ. Now Henry VIII reigns,  and his father's bargain has been almost forgotten-until bloodless  corpses turn up in the king's bedchamber. To save the king, Vampire  hunter Rosalind Llewellyn must form an uneasy alliance with Druid slayer  Sir Christopher Ellis. But soon, Rosalind must face an unthinkable  truth: that her sworn enemy may be her soulmate...

Kisses from Hell
by Kristin Cast, Richelle Mead, Kelley Armstrong, and Alyson Noel
HarperTeen (August 24, 2010)

From the publisher:

Truly, Madly, Undead-ly

This irresistible collection features stories of love amid vampires by five of today's hottest authors—Kristin Cast (Tempted), Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy), Alyson Noel (Evermore), Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning), and Francesca Lia Block (Pretty Dead)

From a fugitive vampire forced to trust a boy who might work for the  group bent on destroying her to the legendary romance of two immortals  whose love compels them to risk everything, this heart-pounding  collection brings new meaning to the words "love you forever." Whether  you're into romances that are dark and moody or light and fun, these  stories will quench that insatiable thirst for enchanting tales of the  beautiful undead.

Love Bites (Vampyres of Hollywood)
by Adrienne Barbeau
Thomas Dunne Books (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher: With her customary wit and dead-on satire, Barbeau skewers  Hollywood and vamp lit alike, casting the paparazzi as werewolves and  certain Hollywood “monsters” as the genuine article.

Ovsanna  Moore is a Hollywood siren, horror film legend, and cut throat  producer. She also happens to be a 450-year-old vampyre. In the  follow-up to the much acclaimed Vampyres of Hollywood, Adrienne  Barbeau paints a wonderfully sly portrait of cinematic vampyres, as well  as the nature of celebrity, and the entertainment industry. Her “Scream  Queen” credentials make her the only author who could combine such a  fastpaced, edgy plot with tongue-in-cheek references to the inner  workings and vanity of Hollywood. A whirlwind of action, Love Bites is a clever take on vampyres readers will never forget. 

Romeo and Juliet and Vampires
by William Shakespeare and Claudia Gabel
HarperTeen (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher:

"You are deluded, Romeo. Vampires do not have the capability to love. They are heartless."

The Capulets and the Montagues have some deep and essential differences. Blood differences. Of course, the Capulets can escape their vampire fate, and the Montagues can try  not to kill their undead enemies. But at the end of the day, their  blood feud is unstoppable. So it's really quite a problem when Juliet, a  vampire-to-be, and Romeo, the human who should be hunting her, fall  desperately in love. What they don't realize is how deadly their love  will turn out to be—or what it will mean for their afterlives. . . .

This riotous twist on the ultimate tale of forbidden romance is simply to die for.

Sin Undone (Demonica, Book 5)
Larissa Ione (Author)
Grand Central Publishing (August 24, 2010)

From the publisher:

As the only female Seminus demon ever born,  master assassin Sinead Donnelly is used to being treated like an  outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she'll die before  she'll relinquish her freedom again. Then Sin's innate ability to kill  her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that  sparks a firestorm of panic and violence.

Half-werewolf,  half-vampire Conall Dearghul is charged with bringing in Sin to face  punishment for the plague. And she's no stranger: He's bound to her by  blood, and the one sexual encounter they shared has left him hungering  for her raw sensuality. Worse, Sin is the underworld's most wanted and  Con soon learns he's the only one who can help her . . . and that saving  her life might mean sacrificing his own.     

Tastes of Love and Evil
by Barbara Monajem
Dorchester Publishing Co. (August 24, 2010)

From the author:  Rose Fairburn is on the run. Her vampire nature can’t protect her from everything, especially not herself. Now, when she should be worried about escaping her past, she can only think about one thing. Her kind can’t live without blood or sex. Love they must forego. 

Jack  Tallis can slake her thirst. Tall. Handsome. Trustworthy. And not a man alive can resist a vamp’s allure. But…Jack can. And he has other secrets, like why underworld hit men are on his trail.  How  he can vanish into thin air. Love suddenly seems possible, but the  shadows hide mysteries darker than Rose can even dream, and all will be revealed in the fetish clubs of one strange Louisiana town….

Vampirates 5: Empire of Night
Justin Somper (Author)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (August 24, 2010)

From the publisher: After the surprising revelation of the Tempest family history, twins  Connor and Grace face a newly-defined future marked by their Vampirate  roots. Meanwhile, Sidorio's evil Vampirate Empire continues its  expansion, making it tragically apparent that no ship is safe. As for  the pirates, they have a new mission: wipe out the vampirates.

There's  a bloody battle brewing in the seas, and each crew will need all hands  on deck.  And, this time, Grace and Connor may find themselves fighting  for their lives-or against each other.

The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon
by Scott M Baker
Shadowfire Press, August 20, 2010

From the publisher: Hunters and vampires seek The Vampyrnomicon, a book that could destroy the vampires...or mankind.

Within the vaults of the Smithsonian Institute lies the key to finding  The Vampyrnomicon, the Book of the Undead that contains the history and secrets of the vampires.  According to legend, whoever possesses the  book can establish a vampire nation on earth - or destroy the undead  once and for all.  With an opportunity to end the war against the undead  so close, Drake Matthews is determined to find the book.
But the vampires also want The Vampyrnomicon.

When Master Chiang Shih  and her coven of the most powerful and dangerous vampires arrive in  Washington to claim the book as their own, the hunters find themselves  facing their most deadly enemy yet.  With the stakes so high, so is the  ferocity of the struggle.

A Vampire Is Coming to Dinner!: 10 Rules to Follow by Pamela Jane and Pedro Rodriguez
Price Stern Sloan; Pop edition (August 12, 2010)
Ages 4-8

From the publisher: Read along as the narrator of this story comes up with some very  practical rules for dealing with a vampire. But rules are meant to be  broken, aren’t they? From feeding the vampire garlic to filling the  house with mirrors, the narrator is doing just that! With ten full-page  gatefolds and a pop at the end of the book, kids will love seeing which  rules are being followed and which aren’t!

A Vampire's Vindication 
by Alexis Morgan
(Kindle Edition - Aug 1, 2010) - Kindle Book
Harlequin Nocturne Bites (August 1, 2010)

From the publisher:  Keelie Bronson and Griff Tyler have been adversaries for years,  locked in legal battles and enmity over Keelie's belief that Griff was  responsible for her father's death. But when Griff's control over his  vampire clan comes under attack, Keelie may be the key to clearing his  name.

When Griff and Keelie finally meet face-to-face, neither of  them are prepared for their fierce attraction. Soon, a moment of  weakness unleashes a passion that cannot be denied. But Keelie still  wonders: is Griff a good man, or is he the monster she always believed  him to be?

Wanted Undead or Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil

by Janice Gable Bashman and Jonathan Maberry
Citadel (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher: Discover the nature of Evil- and how to kick its butt!

These  days you can-t swing an undead lycanthrope without hitting a Minion of  Evil. They-re everywhere-TV, film, the basement-right behind you! It-s  never been more important to know what you can do to keep them at bay.  Garlic? silver bullets? holy water? torch-wielding mob?

From  today's foremost experts on nightmares-come-to-life, this indispensible  guide identifies and describes mankind's enemies-supernatural beasts,  ghosts, vampires, serial killers, etc.-and unearths effective  time-proven responses to each horrific threat.
  • Separate fact from fiction, the deadly from the merely creepy.
  • Learn when to stand your ground and when to run screaming for your life.
  • Determine which monster-specific heroes to call and their likelihood of success.
  • Consider your own potential as a Champion for Good, Conqueror of the Damned.

Whether  were talking ancient vampire hunters or modern-day FBI profilers, it's  good to know someone-s got your back in the eternal struggle between  Good and Evil. And this book, with over fifty illustrations, as well as  commentary from luminaries like filmmaker John Carpenter, author Peter  Straub, and the legendary Stan Lee, provides all the information and  reassurance you need to sleep soundly at night. Just not too soundly.

When Blood Calls
by J. K. Beck
Bantam; Original edition (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher: Attorney Sara Constantine is thrilled with her promotion—until she finds  out that she must now prosecute vampires and werewolves. The first  defendant she’ll be trying to put away? Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger  with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.

When  Lucius kisses a beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he’s  hoping only to avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he’s planning to  kill. But what starts as a simple kiss ignites into an all-consuming  passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows that Sara is determined to see  him locked away—unless he can convince her that he’s not a monster. And  that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.     

Wuthering Bites
by Sarah Gray
Kensington (August 31, 2010)

From the publisher: When a young orphan named Heathcliff is brought to Wuthering Heights by  the manor's owner, Mr. Earnshaw, rumors abound. Yet the truth is more  complicated than anyone could guess. Heathcliff's mother was a member of  a gypsy band that roamed the English countryside, slaying vampires to  keep citizens safe. But his father was a vampire. Now, even as  Heathcliff gallantly fights the monsters who roam the moors in order to  protect beautiful, spirited Catherine Earnshaw, he is torn by compassion  for his victims - and by his own dark thirst.

Though Catherine loves  Heathcliff, she fears the vampire in him, and is tempted by the  privileged lifestyle their neighbors, the Lintons, enjoy. Forced to  choose between wealthy, refined Edgar Linton and the brooding,  increasingly dangerous Heathcliff, she makes a fateful decision. And  soon Heathcliff, too, must choose - between his hunger, and the woman he  will love for all eternity...

[This list was originally published on VampChix]