Jun 30, 2011

New Vampire Releases for June 2011

Lots of fun books to choose from this month from many well known authors, but there is one one in particular I would like to mention, Jennifer Rardin. June marks the publication of  The Deadliest Bite  the final episode of her fabulous Jaz Park series. What Jennifer had in mind for other projects we will never know. Sadly, she died in September of last year. Her imaginative voice will be sorely missed.

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Burn the Night: The Final Dark Days Novel
by Jocelynn Drake
Harper Voyager, June 28, 2011

The Great Awakening approaches . . .
After eons in exile, the naturi have broken their chains and now roam the Earth bent on revenge. It is the sworn duty of Mira, the Fire Starter, to protect the nightwalker race—though even she may be powerless to withstand the horrific onslaught. As Mira and her brave lover, the vampire slayer Danaus, stand ready to do battle, thousands of winged shapeshifters darken the skies. The war of ultimate extermination has begun, and the battleground is Mira's home turf.

The humans don't yet recognize the doom descending upon them. And the nightwalkers will surely perish unless they unite with outcast naturi who claim to want peace. But these unexpected "allies" are the same demons who have long worked for Mira's destruction—and in these darkest of days the lines between friend and foe will blur treacherously before the bloody end of all things.

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Chicks Kick Butt
by Rachel Caine, Kerrie L. Hughes
Tor Books, June 7, 2011

Chicks are awesome--and never more so than when they are kicking some serious vampire/werewolf/demon/monster butt.

Chicks Kick Butt is an anthology that features one of the best things about the urban fantasy genre: strong, independent, and intelligent heroines who are quite capable of solving their own problems and slaying their own dragons (or demons, as the case may be).

Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Rachel Caine, Chicks Kick Butt features original stories from thirteen authors, eleven of whom are New York Times bestsellers:
- Rachel Caine (with a story from her bestselling Weather Wardens universe)
- L.A. Banks
- Rachel Vincent
- Karen Chance
- Lilith Saintcrow
- Cheyenne McCray
- Susan Krinard
- Jeanne Stein
- Jenna Black
- Susan Krinard
- Jeanne Stein
- Jenna Black
- Elizabeth Vaughan
- Carole Nelson Douglas
- P.N. Elrod
- Nancy Holder

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Deeper Than Midnight (The Midnight Breed, Book 9)
by Lara Adrian
Dell, June 28, 2011


At eighteen, Corinne Bishop was a beautiful, spirited young woman living a life of privilege as the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. Her world changed in an instant when she was stolen away and held prisoner by the malevolent vampire Dragos. After many years of captivity and torment, Corinne is rescued by the Order, a cadre of vampire warriors embroiled in a war against Dragos and his followers. Her innocence taken, Corinne has lost a piece of her heart as well—the one thing that gave her hope during her imprisonment, and the only thing that matters to her now that she is free.

Assigned to safeguard Corinne on her trip home is a formidable golden-eyed Breed male called Hunter. Once Dragos’s most deadly assassin, Hunter now works for the Order, and he’s hell-bent on making Dragos pay for his manifold sins. Bonded to Corinne by their mutual desire, Hunter will have to decide how far he’ll go to end Dragos’s reign of evil—even if carrying out his mission means shattering Corinne’s tender heart.

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The Darkest Heart

by Thea Devine

Gallery, June 21, 2011

Ever since a terrible fire killed her older son, one ambition has ruled Countess Lazlaric. Desperate to continue the family legacy, she is determined that her rakehell second son wed and produce an heir. Now, she’s found the perfect bride. A distant relative, writing to beg for help, is ideal for her secret plans.Alone in the world, beautiful raven-haired Senna Landseth finds more than just Drom Manor’s isolation sending a shiver down her spine. Countess Lazlaric seems overly eager to welcome her, strange noises fill the cavernous corridors of the gloomy manor, and she senses she is being spied upon. Then a note mysteriously appears, inscribed with chilling words: “I’m watching you. Nicolai.”

In the years since the fire that supposedly destroyed him, Nicolai Lazlaric has inhabited the world of a vampire, consumed with seeking revenge on the creature who turned him. Now, it is time to return to Drom Manor. But Nicolai has no idea how badly the Countess wants an heir—or that his hated brother’s prospective bride is residing there. Senna’s unexpected presence upends Nicolai’s plans, for he can think only of possessing the beautiful innocent, of taking her in a blood-binding seduction from which she will never escape. . . .

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The Deadliest Bite (Jaz Parks)

by Jennifer Rardin

Orbit, June 2, 2011

I have two choices. Carve Brude's name into Hell's bile-encrusted gates. Or lose my soul.

After an assassination attempt on Vayl, I find myself pulled into a tangled web that takes the gang to Romania. So how will I save a ghost, rescue a demon, and cheat the Great Taker out of a soul he's slavering for while defeating my nastiest foe yet so that Vayl can, at last, cherish a few precious years with his sons? With careful planning, major violence, and one (hopefully) final trip to Hell.

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Deeper Than Midnight (The Midnight Breed, Book 9)
by Lara Adrian
Dell, June 28, 2011


At eighteen, Corinne Bishop was a beautiful, spirited young woman living a life of privilege as the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. Her world changed in an instant when she was stolen away and held prisoner by the malevolent vampire Dragos. After many years of captivity and torment, Corinne is rescued by the Order, a cadre of vampire warriors embroiled in a war against Dragos and his followers. Her innocence taken, Corinne has lost a piece of her heart as well—the one thing that gave her hope during her imprisonment, and the only thing that matters to her now that she is free.

Assigned to safeguard Corinne on her trip home is a formidable golden-eyed Breed male called Hunter. Once Dragos’s most deadly assassin, Hunter now works for the Order, and he’s hell-bent on making Dragos pay for his manifold sins. Bonded to Corinne by their mutual desire, Hunter will have to decide how far he’ll go to end Dragos’s reign of evil—even if carrying out his mission means shattering Corinne’s tender heart.

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Embrace the Night
by Crystal Jordan
Aphrodisia, June 1, 2011

Chloe Standish went looking for a one-night stand to erase memories of her cheating ex - and found the hottest sex of her life. A witch and biochemist who's working on a cure for werewolves, Chloe knows all about magic, yet Merek Kingston evoked a spellbinding lust beyond anything she'd ever felt. But now her ex-boyfriend and research partner is dead, his part of the formula in terrorists' hands...and the detective in charge is Merek, the same man who's haunted her dreams ever since their frenzied night together. Chloe is the one person whose future Merek can't predict...the only woman who could make him break every rule just to possess her again. Nothing will stop him from protecting her, and an explosive passion too primal, too perfect to forget...

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Everdark: The Dark Ink Chronicles
by Elle Jasper
Signet, June 7, 2011

When Savannah tattoo artists Riley Poe is ambushed by an undead enemy, she inherits some of the traits of her attackers-and a telepathic link with a rampaging vampire. Now, she's experiencing murder after murder through the victims' eyes. And her new powers will not be enough to stop the horror-or the unending slaughter...

Frostbound: The Dark Forgotten

Sharon Ashwood

Signet; Original edition (June 7, 2011)

As a snowstorm locks down the city, someone beheads the wrong girl. Vampire-on-the-lam Talia Rostova thinks it was meant to be her. And now she's the prime suspect in her own botched murder and the prisoner of her smoking-hot-neighbor: a hellhound. And the hot-blooded Lore was bred to serve and protect, so he's not freeing Talia until he's sure she's the prey and not the hunter..

Goddess With a Blade
by Lauren Dane
Carina Press (June 6, 2011)
Kindle edition

Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she's a supercharged hunter with the power to slay any vampire who violates the age-old treaty.

A recent string of murders has her at odds with Las Vegas's new Scion, the arrogant and powerful Clive Stewart. The killings have the mark of Vampire all over them, and Rowan warns Clive to keep his people in line—or she'll mete out her own brand of justice.

Though her dealings with Clive are adversarial to say the least, Rowan is intensely aware of her attraction to him. But she can't let it distract her from her duty—to find and battle the killer before more women die.

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by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, Jeanne C. Stein
Berkley, June 7, 2011

Four of the bestselling names in romance and fantasy come together in this collection of thrilling novellas featuring powerful women who know how to handle a hex or two...

New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews spins "Magic Dreams." Shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau finds herself in deep waters when she must challenge a dark being to a battle of wits or risk losing the man for whom she secretly longs.

In "Ice Shards," New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn returns to the Otherworld as Iris Kuusi, a Finnish house sprite, journeys to the frozen Northlands to confront the crazed shadow of her former lover and break the curse that is keeping her from marrying the man she loves.

National bestselling author Allyson James takes you to Magellan, Arizona, where Stormwalker Janet Begay and her friends are trapped by a powerful curse. It will take every bit of magic simmering beneath her skin for the Stormwalker to survive being "Double Hexed."

From national bestselling author Jeanne C. Stein comes "Blood Debt," in which bounty-hunter-turned-vampire Anna Strong is visited by three witches who ask her to right an old magical wrong. Anna will have to live up to her last name to make it through alive.

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Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 20)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Berkley Hardcover, June 7, 2011

The #1 New York Times bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series continues!

A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect "monsters" are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, U.S. Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

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Hunt the Moon: A Cassie Palmer Novel
by Karen Chance
Signet Select, June 7, 2011

Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you'd think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn't work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world's chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

But someone doesn't want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens- including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.
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Memories of Envy: A Vampire Memories Novel
by Barb Hendee
Roc, June 7, 2011

Reluctant vampire Eleisha Clevon has made a home for herself and other vampires in Portland, Oregon, teaching them to feed without killing. But vampire Simone Stratford wants nothing to do with her. Simone loves to feed, and to play twisted games with her victims before striking. When Eleisha and her protector, Philip Brante, go to Denver to search for Simone, what they find is far worse-and more seductive-than either one bargained for.

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The Reluctant Vampire: An Argeneau Novel
by Lynsay Sands
Avon, May 31, 2011

Has this immortal finally met her match?

Rogue hunter Drina Argenis (from the Spanish side of the Argeneau family) has been many things in her years as an immortal, but bodyguard/babysitter to a teenage vampire is something new. There's an incentive, however: the other vampsitter, Harper Stoyan, may be Drina's life mate.

Trouble is, having just lost a life mate, Harper is resigned to being alone. He's completely unprepared when sexy and unpredictable Drina bursts into his life to reignite his passions. Can Drina, with a little matchmaking help from their teen charge, tempt this reluctant vampire to take a chance?

Or will a dangerous, unseen renegade kill Drina and Harper's one chance at happiness?

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Vampire School: Casketball Capers (Book 1)
by Peter Bently, Chris Harrison
Albert Whitman & Company, July 1, 2011

Lee and his best friends Billy and Bella are on the St. Orlok's casketball team. They're all getting ready for the big game against the Chaney Street Werewolves. But when the other team arrives, it seems that some of them aren't planning on playing fair. Lee needs a plan - fast! Will he manage to foil the cheats before the whistle?

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Vampire School: Ghoul Trip (Book 2)
by Peter Bently, Chris Harrison
Albert Whitman & Company, July 1, 2011

lee and his best friends Billy and Bella head off on a class trip to the County Fair. But when they arrive, there are some very strange characters hanging around. Could they have anything to do with all the robberies in town? The vampire friends decide that it's up to them to get to the bottom of this.

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Vampire in Atlantis (Warriors of Poseidon)
by Alyssa Day
Berkley, June 7, 2011

The most unexpected of all allies to Poseidon's warriors has proven to be the fiercest-Daniel, a vampire and Night Guild mage. But even the strongest alliance can be destroyed when a vampire's oath crosses paths with a maiden's quest, and an eleven-thousand-year-old desire is reborn.

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The Vampire Narcise (Regency Draculia)
by Colleen Gleason
Mira, May 24, 2011

Skilled in the seduction of men, both mortal and immortal, Narcise Moldavi is the greatest weapon in her twisted brother's war among the Dracule. Until she falls for Giordan Cale.

Her first searing encounter with Giordan seals their fierce connection for their eternal lives. But Giordan's vow to help Narcise escape her brother's rule is followed by a betrayal more agonizing than sunlight.

Wounded but determined, Narcise ensnares vampire hunter Chas Woodmore in her quest for revenge and to reclaim her life. He wants her, worships her, will kill for her. And the Dracule never forget a wrong— nor do they forgive.

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Vampires: The Recent Undead
Edited by Paula Guran
Prime Books, March 22, 2011

The undead are more alive today than ever. Immortal? Indeed! Nothing has sunk its teeth into twenty-first century popular culture as pervasively as the vampire. The fangsters have the freedom to fly across all genres and all mediums - there''s even apps for vamps. Whether roaming into romance, haunting horror, sneaking into science fiction, capering into humor, meandering through mystery - no icon is more versatile than the vampire. Slake your insatiable thirst with the best sanguinary stories of the new millennium: terrifying or tender, deadly or delicious, bad-ass or beneficent, classic or cutting-edge.

Jun 27, 2011

Laura Kaye - Guest Blog and Contest

Please welcome Laura Kaye a multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance. Today Laura introduces PVN readers to her amazing vampire world.

She is also offering one  lucky commenter an ebook of  Forever Freed plus some surprises.  [See rules at end of post]

The Vampires in the World of Forever Freed

Thanks to Patricia for having me here today to talk about my new release and share my vampires with you. I’ve been an avid reader of all things paranormal and supernatural—especially vampires—since I was a kid, so it’s such a thrill to have written a vampire story of my own. Forever Freed is about a reclusive, empathic vampire who falls in love with a woman he planned to kill and her daughter, then fights his ancient guilt, bloodlust, lie by omission, and an old vampire rival who threatens everything he holds dear.

Here’s the blurb:

A heart can break, even one that no longer beats.

I stalk my new neighbors, a single mother and her child, drawn by the irresistible scent of their joy and love. I crave their blood, starved for some healing respite from my ancient grief. Now to lure them into my grasp.

But they surprise me. Little Olivia accepts me without fear or reservation--talking, smiling, offering innocent affection that tugs at my long-lost humanity. Her mother, Samantha, seeks me out when she should stay away, offering sweet friendship, and calling to the forgotten man within me. They lure me instead

Ah, Dio, Lucien, run and spare them while you can...

*grins* So, today, I thought I’d introduce you to the vampires of Forever Freed’s world.  All of the vampires share the following attributes:

ABILITIES:  Supernatural strength, speed, hearing, eyesight; don’t age; supernatural ability to heal; ability to charm another’s will, although this is not absolute; ability to daywalk, though not in direct sunlight; ability to go long periods of time without sleeping [called “trancing”]

WEAKNESSES:  Direct sunlight, silver, holy water, decapitation—surest way to kill

The Hero:

Lucien Demarco [Turned 1895. Empathic.].  He’s hot, he’s fanged, he’s brooding, he’s Italian, he’s wonderful with small children—what more could you want? *grins*  Lucien has a strong empathic ability that has been a source of torment for him since being turned in 1895 in a gruesome scene that left his then wife and daughter dead.  His empathy forces him to feel his victims’ emotions when he feeds, so even though he can charm them into calmness, if they’re evildoers, he feels that about them, and feels he’s drinking it inside of himself.  The alternative?  Isolate and starve himself as much as possible.  Until he has a chance meeting with Samantha and Ollie Sutton.

The Ithaca Coven:

Seven vampires reside in North Ithaca, New York, and they are essentially Lucien’s adoptive family.  Days after being changed in 1895, they found him, abandoned by his maker, and took him in.  He lived with the Ithaca Coven for forty years, then broke out on his own.  But they’re still a major part of Lucien’s life.

Here they are:

Griffin [Turned 1760. Mesmerizer.]  Griffin is the oldest and most powerful of the Ithaca vampires and made the decision to bring Lucien into the coven when they found him in 1895.  He’d been dying after a battle during the French & Indian War when an ancient Native American vampire found him and turned him.  Griffin turned everyone in the coven except for Lucien and Anna.  He is mated to Henrietta.

Jedediah [Turned 1789. Gift not yet disclosed.]  Jed is smart-mouthed, quick-witted and loyal to a fault.  He’d been dying of a sickness while trying to build a homestead out in the wilds of New York when Griffin found and changed him—the first person Griffin ever changed, largely because he’d been in such dire need of companionship.  He is mated to Rebecca.

Henrietta [Turned 1792. Healer.]  Henrietta, or Henny, as Ollie calls her, is the next most powerful vampire in the coven.  A midwife in life, she is able to heal most, but not all, injuries and illness with her touch.  She is one of the four Ithaca vampires turned/saved during an Indian raid on western New York that occurred during the Northwest Indian War.  She is mated to Griffin.

Catherine [Turned 1792. Empathic.]  Catherine is the most beautiful vampire of the coven and the only one unmated.  She is also Rebecca’s older sister.  Catherine’s empathy is stronger than Lucien’s—whereas he can only sense emotions within close proximity, Catherine can sense emotions over distance, particularly with people with whom she’s had, er, certain connections.  She regularly has romantic liaisons with human men.  Aside from his human wife who died, Catherine is the only other woman with whom Lucien had a romantic relationship before he met Samantha.

Rebecca [Turned 1792. Not gifted.]  The youngest of the Ithaca vampires was only 17 when saved/turned after the Indian raid. She is also Catherine’s younger sister.  Rebecca is passionate, effervescent, and brutally honest.  She is mated to Jed.

William [Turned 1792. Gift not yet disclosed.]  For a long time, William was in love with Catherine and had a relationship with her, but it was generally one-sided.  Thus, when Catherine developed feelings for Lucien, William was immediately jealous.  His animosity and other actions, particularly turning three girls with attributes similar to Catherine’s, were ultimately what chased Lucien from the Ithaca coven.  Mated to Anna, who he turned.

Anna [Turned 1938.  Not gifted.]  Turned by William in a fit of desperate jealousy and loneliness, Anna ultimately forgave and fell in love with William. Her love healed the part of William’s personality so filled with rage and frustration.  Mated to William.

The Detroit Coven:

A large number of vampires make up this coven, though most are newer and pawns of the Laumets, the bad guys of the story.  Lucien worked for the Laumets from the 1950s through 1990.  Having gotten free, Lucien wants to stay free of them.

Four are most worth noting:

Antoine Laumet [Turned 1731.  Not gifted.] Antoine Laumet is the ruler of Detroit, a position that comes from his long history with the city.  Indeed, Antoine Laumet is based on a real person, the man who actually founded the French fort (Fort Ponchartrain) that was the forerunner of the city (the British changed the name to Detroit during the French and Indian War).  The Jesuits did not have nice things to say about the real Antoine Laumet, so he’s a perfect character to turn into an evil vampire overlord in the story.  And I love weaving history into my tales, as I did with the Indian raids and Northwest Indian War, also real.  Mated to Magena, who he turned.

Jacques Laumet [Turned 1731.  Not gifted.] Antoine’s only surviving son, Jacques is second in command of the Detroit coven and also based on a real person.  Jacques is small and slight in stature and rabidly jealous of Lucien, who his father grew to develop some paternal affection for, especially when Lucien saved his life in an assassination attempt in 1990.  Unmated.

Magena [Turned 1763. Telepathic.] Magena is the most powerful vampire in the Detroit coven. Her telepathy includes not only the ability to read other people’s minds but, through touch, she can also show those thoughts to another person.  A victim of the fighting during Pontiac’s Rebellion, Antoine found and saved her.  Ever since she’s felt torn between a sort of gratitude to him and respectful affection, and a resentment borne out of the fact that vampirism violates her native religious beliefs.  Mated to Antoine.

Langston Brown [Turned 1975. Free of bloodlust.] Newly hired as the director of the Detroit Medical Center blood bank, Langston remembers the friendship Lucien extended to him back when they’d both worked for Laumet and offers to provide Lucien with guilt-free sustenance.  His lack of bloodlust has been a challenge at times, but is useful for Laumet in gaining control of this blood supply.  Unmated as he has an unrequited love.

The Maker:

Lazar.  Despite several decades of trying to find him to exact revenge, Lucien as yet knows nothing about him.

So, you’ve now met the vampires in the world of Forever Freed.  A lot of these details are real sneak peeks in to the series, as they’re revealed and discussed more in the (as-yet) unpublished prequel than in this book.

I’d be happy to answer any questions, but, also: What are your favorite vampire attributes or special abilities?

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

Website: http://www.LauraKayeAuthor.com
Blog: http://laurakayeauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/laurakayeauthor
Twitter: @laurakayeauthor
Sign up for Laura’s Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/d9ruD

Buy Forever Freed, and use this DigiBooks Café code for a 20% discount: e3d9d10a3c - http://tiny.cc/iydy4


*Laura is offering an ebook of Forever Freed plus signed romance trading cards and some other swag {by mail) to one lucky reader.

*Ask Laura a question, OR answer her question -What are your favorite vampire attributes or special abilities? - for a chance to win.
* Be sure contact information is included with your comment.

* Contest ends July 6, 2011 at 11:59pm EST

* Contest is limited to US and Canadian residents.


A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance with four books releasing in 2011, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong.  Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with the supernatural.  Though an avid fiction writer as a teenager, a career as a historian took her in other directions until recently.  Now that Laura’s inner muse has awakened, she’s constantly creating new story ideas!  Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Jun 21, 2011

Brendan P. Myers - Author Guest Blog and Contest

A warm PVN welcome to Brendan Myers author of Applewood  (By Light Unseen Media, May 15, 2011) Brendan will discuss the writing of his recently published vampire novel and will offer a signed copy of the book to one lucky commenter. [see contest details at end of post]

I’ll begin by saying thanks to Patricia for providing this forum to discuss my new vampire novel, “Applewood.” Thanks as well to the loyal readers of this blog for indulging me.

I remember years ago, reading a quote by Stephen King, in which he said what he did was something akin to being a paleontologist, finding that first small bit of bone sticking up out of the ground, then lovingly and painstakingly brushing away all that dust and dirt until the entire skeleton – in his case, a completed story – had been unearthed.

I think what he meant by that is often, even he has no idea where a story is going until he sits down and writes it. Of all the stories I’ve written, “Applewood” comes closest to my experiencing what King was talking about.

For example, I didn’t even know there were vampires in it until they showed up (though once they did, it explained a lot.) What I had in the beginning were ruminations on growing up in a small town, and reflections on the friends I managed to make. I had some sketches about a place where you couldn’t take a step or two without tripping over some piece of history or other, a place very much like the town where I grew up.

Applewood” begins with a man coming home to a neighborhood that’s now abandoned and fenced off from the outside world. When I wrote it, I had no idea why he was coming home or why his neighborhood had been abandoned, but I was very curious to find out. He returns to the house where he grew up, and memories begin flooding back.

It turned out, he didn’t have an easy time of it growing up. Compounding the natural awkwardness of adolescence, his mother had recently died, and his father taken to drink. He’s been experiencing strange visions, flashbacks to times and places he has no business knowing about. Though he’s been blessed with a couple of close friends, they’re all mostly outcasts, bullied by the adults in their lives and by their peers, who run roughshod over their town, their school, and their lives

When to my surprise the vampires did arrive in “Applewood,” making the lives of my characters even harder than they were, I was determined to do what I could for them. There would be no wet nighttime feedings or bloody daytime stakings. I would ensure that none of my beloved secondary characters would succumb to the onslaught, and my main characters – the friends I had so lovingly crafted over long weeks and months – were not in any way to be maimed or killed (or worse) by the outbreak.

Alas, the book had other plans; the bones of this particular dinosaur had a shape of its own.

I had an awfully good time writing it. I hope you have a good time reading it. If you like traditional, 1970s, non-sparkly vampire mayhem, if you enjoyed “The Lost Boys” and are partial to coming-of-age fare like “Stand by Me,” then “Applewood” may just be the book for you.

Most sincere thanks for reading.


* Brendan is offering a copy of  Applewood to one lucky reader.

* Leave a comment for Brendan about this post for a chance to win.
* Be sure contact information is included with your comment.

* Contest ends June 28 2011 at 11:59pm EST

* Contest is limited to US and Canada

Jun 15, 2011

Interview with Hellhound Lore & Contest Sponsored by Author Sharon Ashwood

PVN is delighted to welcome Lore, Alpha Hellhound of Fairview, a town of intense supernatural activity and the location of The Dark Forgotten series by Sharon Ashwood. Although Lore has appeared in all books of the series it is in the most recent, Frostbound, where readers get to know Lore, up close and personal.

[See contest info at end of post]

Lore, many thanks for taking time from your very busy schedule for this interview!

Hello, Patricia, and thank you for inviting me to PVN. 

Do you like being temporary sheriff of the supernatural community while Alessandro is out of town?

Yes and no. I get to beat up a lot of vampires. That’s entertaining. Despite working for Alessandro from time to time, hellhounds and vampires don’t get along all that well. We put in a hard day’s work, maybe grab a beer.  They’re all about the politics and fashion.

But I’m getting off topic. This is a busy time in Fairview. There’s an election on—the first time a non-human has stood for office—and a lot of people from out of town are showing up and causing trouble. And then there’s this freak snowstorm. And the free-floating evil, arson, and you know how it goes. Suddenly the calendar is fully booked.

What exactly does it mean being the Alpha Hellhound?

The Alpha is the pack leader and can be male or female. It is a position of great responsibility, because ensuring the pack’s welfare and happiness is your primary purpose. That could be anything from defeating an infestation of ghouls to setting up a baseball team. You are the go-to person for all decisions, great and small. There’s little time for a personal life, but it’s a great gig if you have control issues.

The biggest challenge I have is teaching the pack to fit into modern human society. We are newcomers here, and there are different customs to learn. For instance, I understand that taking females captive is not typical behavior in your society. There’s a new discovery every day.

Many PVN readers know little about Hellhounds. Would you tell us a bit about your group - anything you feel comfortable sharing.

Hellhounds were bred in ancient days from the guardians of the dead. We are half-demons and have power over all passages between one state and another, especially the ways between birth and death. We hunt down evil to keep those sacred roads safe. We can take the form of a hound or a human at will.

For the record, and because so many have asked, fleas are not a problem and no hellhound has ever drunk out of a toilet.

Why is it essential that as Alpha you choose a lifetime mate?

The hellhound belief is that there must be a strong, mated Alpha pair before a pack can breed. It is also believed that we reincarnate and seek out our mates from lifetime to lifetime. As Alpha, I am expected to take one of the females of the pack as my mate.

There are plenty of grandmothers in the pack who have nothing better to do than to play matchmaker. I swear they’ve got a betting pool going.  No place is safe from ambush.

I understand that it is impossible for Hellhounds to lie. Doesn't this sometimes cause uncomfortable moments?

Um, yes. More than I can say.

You also have a gift for prophecy. How does that manifest itself?

Usually in dreams, or sometimes with what humans call a migraine headache. I don’t find it a particularly helpful talent. For instance, last night I dreamed that I was cleaning the fridge and found a baby dragon in the vegetable crisper. Outside of the fact that maybe it’s past time to clean the fridge, what do I make of this? That dragons will eat all my carrots? I haven’t a clue.

There was a time when you ran a smuggling operation within the Castle. Why was that?

When the pack first escaped from the Castle, many were left behind. I was one of the few with the means to slip through the Castle entrance, and many goods are rare inside the Castle walls. Putting those two facts together, I saw an opportunity.

I bartered for the freedom of the lost hounds. A pair of shoes and a bottle of wine for a life. It was crazy. There was a danger that I would be recaptured, but I could not leave even the least of my pack behind. What kind of a leader would I be?

If it's not too painful would you mind describing life in the Castle?

The Castle is an ancient, interdimensional prison for supernatural creatures. The hounds were shut inside it thousands of years ago. It is a place of stone and torchlight, a lawless hell where demon warlords roam free and fight for territory. Many of them made us their slaves and soldiers. I did not see the sun or breathe free air until I was a grown man.

How is your friend Sylvius, a former incubus, adjusting to life outside the Castle?

My young friend has been recruited by a modelling agency. As a former love god who is not yet twenty years of age, I think he has a bright future in front of the camera.

Do you have a preference for which form you take - human or hound?

Both are entirely natural to me. I spend more time in human form, because so many tasks are easier that way. Opposable thumbs and all that. However, I do like to go out with friends and chase Frisbees if the weather is good.

What are your plans for the future?

The future is uncertain. I have met a beautiful vampire named Talia Rostova. At first, I thought she was a killer and took her prisoner. I’m still not sure if she’s innocent, and I can’t let her go until I know the truth. Honestly, I suspect she’s in more trouble than she’s admitting. I know it’s against every hellhound law, but what would be the harm in getting to know her a little better? If I could convince her to trust me, I might be able to help her.

Tell us about your Boswell  - Sharon Ashwood.

She’s patient and works hard, but she’s only a human. It would help if she had superpowers.  Then she could write our stories down much faster. She’s also slow in other ways. I had to keep at her and at her to write my story. I had to be, pardon the reference, like a dog with a bone! But once readers started asking for my story, she finally got with the program.

Anything else you would like to add?

If anyone is interested in Frostbound, but has not read the rest of the series, please know that this book can be read as a stand-alone novel. If you like it, you can catch up with the others afterward.

Excerpt of Frostbound


*Leave a comment on the blog to win one of the Sharon Ashwood's Dark Forgotten books—reader’s choice.

     Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten
     Scorched: The Dark Forgotten

     Unchained: The Dark Forgotten

     Frostbound: The Dark Forgotten

*Be sure to leave contact information.

*This contest is open internationally.

*Contest ends June 22, 2011

Visit Sharon's website to read excerpts and see the trailers!

Trailer for Frostbound

Jun 13, 2011

Hot Hellhound Alert!

On Wed. June 15 Lore, the fabulous Hellhound featured in Sharon Ashwood's Frostbound, will be visiting PVN for a fun filled interview.

In addition Sharon will offer a book from her Dark Forgotten series to one lucky reader!

Read a review of Frostbound

Save the Date - June 15, 2011

Anno Dracula - Vampire Book Review

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the publication of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula Titan Books has reissued this classic novel which posits the question, what if the Count (as imagined by Bram Stoker) had survived?

Below is my review written when the book was first released.

Newman offers a vivid recreation of the Victorian era, but with a sly twist. Jack the Ripper prowls Whitechapel killing prostitutes in a most brutal manner. But, as it turns out, this madman is Jack Seward, one of the vampire hunters known to devotee’s of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In Newman’s universe, however, Seward and his pals, Harker and Van Helsing, are defeated by Dracula. This Prince of Wallachia,  also known as Vlad Tepes is now Prince Consort, Lord Protector and, husband to Queen Victoria. For the elite of society it becomes important to cultivate prominent vampire friends of the Prince, and if possible to convince one of these creatures to “turn” them. This social game goes on at all levels. Even the prostitutes killed by Jack the Ripper are vampires - although a diseased, sickly variety -  whose lives remain as hellish as before.
There are many characters mixed up in the race to find the Ripper and stop the killings. Among these are two of note, one a “warm” police detective, McKenzie, who does his duty while cringing at the brutality of Dracula’s minions, and the other, Kostaki, a soldier companion of the Prince who “turned” at the same time, and goes about doing Dracula’s bidding - impaling still the  punishment of choice.  Yet in their efforts to track the Ripper, Kostaki and McKenzie find a grudging respect for one another.  Kostaki even demonstrates a glimmer of a conscience reawakened through his association with the mortal detective.
One of the most charming characters in recent vampire fiction is Genevieve,  who received her dark kiss 500 years before, making her even older than Vlad Tepes. This gives her a bit of an advantage in society for among vampires age is greatly revered. She works as a nurse among the poor, a ministering angel loved by warms and vampires alike. It is she along with her mortal lover Beauregard, who must in the end confront the evil Prince Dracula.
This story engages on many levels. Besides being literate and witty it describes the social swirls that pervaded the late nineteenth century. Newman  also gathers an ensemble of Victorian characters - historical and fictional. Part of the fun of reading this novel is seeing where they will pop up.  The author has created an engrossing, entertaining story that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. (A shorter, earlier version of this story appeared under the title Red Reign in the anthology, The Mammoth Book of Vampires, edited by Stephen Jones.) Review by Patricia Altner.

[Kim Newman wrote about the inspiration for Anno Dracula on Io9.com]

Jun 2, 2011

New Vampire Releases for May 2011

It's a couple of days late but here, finally, is the list of new vampire books for May. My favorite title for this month is
Attack of the Vampire Weenies: And Other Warped and Creepy Tales

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Almost Final Curtain: A Vampire Princess Novel (Vampire Princess of St. Paul)
by Tate Hallaway
NAL Trade, May 3, 2011
Craving the spotlight is in her blood.

Ever since high school student Anastasija Parker discovered she was vampire royalty, her life has been sort of crazy. The half-vampire- half-witch just wants some normalcy, and trying out for the spring musical seems like the perfect fix.

But when the ancient talisman that stands between vampire freedom and slavery to witches is stolen, Ana has to skip rehersal and track down the dangerous artifact before someone uses it to make this year's curtain call her last...

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Always the Vampire

by Nancy Haddock

Berkley Trade, May 3, 2011

It's not easy being a dutiful maid of honor when you're a vampire in the Sunshine State...

Cesca Marinelli has been slacking on her duties as a vampire princess, but she will be the best maid of honor ever for Maggie's Victorian wedding. However, when her mostly-human honey, Saber, falls ill due to a magical construct called the Void, she knows she'll have to go beyond the call of bridesmaid duty...

The Void is affecting every supernatural being in Cesca's afterlife, including her shapeshifter ex, Triton. To counter the Void's reign of terror, Cesca must fully summon her vampire powers-which may lead to her own doom.

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by Brendan P. Myers
By Light Unseen Media, May 15, 2011
When a mutilated body is found in the woods near the central Massachusetts town of Grantham, Scott Dugan comes home for the first time in more than twenty years. He returns to the decaying house where he'd grown up, one of many derelict homes in the long-abandoned neighborhood of Applewood. More than two decades earlier, Dugan and his tightly bonded group of friends had been struggling with the same pains that plagued millions of teens like them--bullies in school, broken families, money problems, relationships. But the evil that revives to spread through Grantham confronts them with a far darker and more destructive adversary.

In 1861, Grantham sent its own home town war hero, Colonel Alexander Pope, and a company of locals to fight for the Union cause in the Civil War. Marching through the isolated rural regions of Georgia, the Colonel and his soldiers discovered a horrible secret hidden behind the lovely facades of the plantation mansions. When the veterans of Grantham came home, they brought something else with them. Now that something else has awakened once more to grow and feed. Dugan and his friends are among the few who realize what's happening to their town. They band together to ferret out information about the history of the Colonel and to fight the threat. But victory, if it's even possible, will come at a terrible cost. Some, like Dugan, will never be the same.

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Ascension: A Dark Breed Novel
by Sable Grace
Avon, April 26, 2011
The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed—vampyre, demons, shape shifters—and mankind fight their last battle for survival.

Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen . . . and the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission—to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity—Kyana has no choice but to accept.

She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort . . . Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motive and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist. For it could only mean the undoing of them both . . .

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Attack of the Vampire Weenies: And Other Warped and Creepy Tales
by David Lubar
Starscape, May 24, 2011
A boy steals a ticket to an amusement park and gets the ride of a lifetime—literally. The first day of middle school turns into a free-for-all when the gym teacher offers a “get-out-of-gym-free” card. Sick of his sister’s vampire wannabe friends, a kid decides to teach them a lesson at their next party. But the tables are turned when some surprise guests show up.

Critically acclaimed author and master of the macabre, David Lubar, is back with thirty more warped and creepy tales for fans of his bestselling Weenies story collections, which have sold more than 1.7 million copies to date.
Don’t be a weenie. Read these stories. If you dare!

Bite Club (Morganville Vampires, Book 10)
by Rachael Caine
NAL Hardcover; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
Young Adult

After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire- accompanied by her friends and frenemies-to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11)
by Charlaine Harris
Ace Hardcover; First Edition edition (May 3, 2011)

With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

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Empire of Fear: An Epic Vampire Novel
by Brian Stableford
Skyhorse Publishing, May 31, 2011

“Richly detailed . . . sure to fascinate history buffs—alternative and otherwise.”—Publishers Weekly

In an epic novel the Washington Post called “riveting,” Brian Stableford brilliantly imagines a world ruled by a powerful aristocracy of vampires: long-lived, extraordinarily handsome humans who are immune to pain but must drink the blood of their common subjects.

The story begins in seventeenth-century London and spans three hundred years—moving from England to the heart of Africa, to Malta, and finally to the New World. Edmund Cordery, Mechanician to the court of Richard Coeur-de-Lion, believes that vampire beings must have a natural explanation. But when his discoveries make him dangerous in the eyes of his masters, Edmund entrusts his learned secrets to his son, Noell, who in turn becomes a fugitive. When he returns to Europe he faces the awesome might of Coeur-de-Lion and the infamous Vlad the Impaler. This classic has been translated into five languages and “turn[ed] the typical vampire story on its ear” when it was published, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. [Reprint of a classic!]

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Forever Freed
by Laura Kaye
The Wild Rose Press, May 3, 2011
A heart can break, even one that no longer beats.

I stalk my new neighbors, a single mother and her child, drawn by the irresistible scent of their joy and love. I crave their blood, starved for some healing respite from my ancient grief. Now to lure them into my grasp.

But they surprise me. Little Olivia accepts me without fear or reservation-talking, smiling, offering innocent affection that tugs at my long-lost humanity. Her mother, Samantha, seeks me out when she should stay away, offering sweet friendship, and calling to the forgotten man within me. They lure me instead.

Ah, Dio, Lucien, run and spare them while you can...

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 4)
by Chloe Neill
New American Library; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters  announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against  supernaturals-and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest  signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors,  things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan  Sullivan are...tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and  Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp  attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get  your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom  of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her  side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark,  and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the  attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's  supernatural society-a world full of vampires who seem ready to fulfill  the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that  you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands...

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Jace (Shadow Wranglers)

by Sarah McCarty

Berkley Trade, May 3, 2011

He had one need.
She had one hope.
Together they have one chance...

Vampire Jace Johnson was not a family man until he met Miri. But their forbidden relationship ended when she disappeared. After a year of searching, Jace finds Miri in a Sanctuary enclave.

After a year of cruel experimentation by the Sanctuary on her werewolf form, Miri is no longer the passionate wife Jace remembers. She only lives to rescue the daughter Jace never knew they had.

Now, they must overcome the tragedy of their pasts if they are to reclaim the future they both desire...

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Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever.
by Caissie St. Onge
Ember, May 10, 2011
For Jane Jones, being a vampire is nothing like you read about in books. In fact, it kind of sucks. She's not beautiful, she's not rich, and she doesn't "sparkle." She's just an average, slightly nerdy girl from an ordinary suburban family (who happens to be vampires.) Jane's from the wrong side of the tracks (not to mention stuck in the world's longest awkward phase), so she doesn't fit in with the cool vampire kids at school or with the humans kids. To top it all off, she's battling an overprotective mom, a clique of high school mean girls (the kind who really do have fangs), and the most embarrassing allergy in the history of the undead, she's blood intolerant.

So no one's more surprised than Jane when for the first time in her life, things start to heat up (as much as they can for a walking corpse, anyway) with not one, but two boys. Eli's a geeky, but cute real-live boy in her history class, and Timothy is a beautiful, brooding bloodsucker, who might just hold the key to a possible "cure" for vampirism. Facing an eternity of high school pressure, fumbling first dates, or a mere lifetime together with Timothy, what's a 90-something year-old teen vampire to do?

Fans of the Vladmir Tod Chronicles, You are So Undead to Me, and Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side will feast on this deliciously readable, smart, and fantastically funny debut.

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Vampire Kisses 7: Love Bites
by Ellen Schreiber
Katherine Tegen Books, May 17, 2011
As a mortal girl dating a vampire, Raven knows that love isn't always easy.
And will Alexander ever make their love immortal?

It's a couple of days late but here, finally, is the May list of vampire book releases.

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, and then thrilled—this is the perfect chance to learn more about her darkly handsome boyfriend and his past! 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?

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Vampire Kisses 8: Cryptic Cravings
by Ellen Schreiber
Katherine Tegen Books, May 17, 2011
The morbidly monotonous Dullsville has finally become the most exciting place on earth now that Raven is madly in love with her hot vampire boyfriend, Alexander, and a crew of vampires has taken residence in Dullsville's old mill. Raven discovers Jagger's plan to open a new club, the Crypt, right here in Dullsville. But is it her dream come true or her worst nightmare? Raven and Alexander have to figure out what the nefarious vampire has in store for Dullsville's teen and vampire population. Can Raven convince Jagger to listen to her plans to make the Crypt the morbidly magnificent dance club it could be? Will it be safe for mortals and vampires alike?

And as Sebastian and Luna's relationship heats up, Raven wonders about her own amorous fate: Will Alexander ever turn her? Does he crave her and does he want to spend eternity together? And what does she really want?
With cryptic secrets and cravings, this eighth installment in the Vampire Kisses series is a romantic and mysterious thrill ride.