Review: Dance Until Dawn by Berni Stevens

berniDance Until Dawn by Berni Stevens

“Do you Believe in Love After Life?

At twenty-five, West-End dancer, Ellie Wakefield should be having the time of her life. The only problem is, since waking up in a three-hundred-year-old vampire’s leaky cellar, Ellie’s been very much dead. And to make matters worse, she’s found that an aversion to blood and a fear of the dark aren’t very helpful – especially when you’re a fledgling vampire.

William James Austen has fallen hard. He’s spent the last year loving Ellie from afar and now he’s finally able to be truthful about who and what he is. As the most powerful vampire in London, he’s used to getting what he wants. But this time, Will might just have bitten off more than he can chew.”

 

I found Dance until Dawn positively seductive! Ellie wakes up in a new gothic world of vampires. She is totally confused and that confusion leads to some of the most humourous one liners. There is some truly wonderful dialogue in the book and that is what carries it to a new level. Most of the early part of the book  is just Ellie and Will in one room getting to know each other and those kind of claustrophobic scenes are very well written. Berni Stevens writes in such a way that there are no distractions; it is just a singularly driven piece of written art.

Will is such a delicious character. He has a very tragic past but he still maintains his humanity. He is a cross between an old-fashioned gothic hero and an empathic modern man. This book really alters the misconceptions of what you may think vampires really are.

What really struck me about Dance Until Dawn was the fact that Will and Elinor were equals. They took turns rescuing another from various spots of bother. I found that very refreshing. I can not wait to see what Berni Steven’s writes next.

 

ericI caught up with Berni Stevens for a few Questions and this is what she had to say:

EPBR:What Inspired you to write dance until dawn?

BS: My inspiration initially was the desire to put London on the vampire map so to speak. The market suddenly became awash with paranormal romances from about 1992 onwards, but they were all American. All the television vampire series were American too, until Toby Whithouse came up with Being Human. (No pressure then!)

EPBR:What is your favourite vampire book and or film?

BS: Favourite book is a given – it has to be Bram Stoker’s Dracula which I have read over and over again. Favourite film is a little more difficult. I love the old Hammer Dracula films with Christopher Lee, even though the scripts leave a lot to be desired, they are still very dark and Gothic, and Christopher Lee is one of the best Draculas ever. (Apparently he detests being associated with the role these days, so he won’t thank me for saying this.) The Hunger, with David Bowie is another favourite, and for sheer madness, Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn.

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EPBR: Who is your favourite vampire?

BR:t has to be Count Dracula, although I love Spike from Buffy and Eric from True Blood too 

EPBR: What are you working on next?

BR: I’m working on the third book in the series, which features a lovelorn werewolf and a beautiful rock singer!

I’d like to thank Berni for all her support and the wonderful interview. I will be looking out for what she does next. Visit her website to keep up to date with her latest releases.

 

To continue our theme of fresh new vampire novels. No mention could be complete without the next book:

vampsovVampsov 1938: A Spectre haunting Europe by Daniel Ribot

“Ludmilla Vatinashkaya already struggles to balance the challenges of marriage and family with her promising career as a captain in Stalin’s army when she is ordered to direct Vampsov, a covert unit created to fight the most implacable enemies of the Soviet Union: vampires. Astonished and initially skeptical, Ludmilla takes her unit on a thrilling and violent trail of destruction as Vampsov hunts down the blood sucking enemies of Socialism. With the help of Vassily, a dark and brooding creature who denies his very nature for his love of the fledgling Soviet state, they confront the most notorious monster of all in his Transylvanian lair.

Vampsov 1938, brings to life in luscious detail the Stalin-era Soviet Union. Daniel Ribot has beautifully navigated this turbulent page of history to create an an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that’s hard to put down and impossible to forget. “

Fascist Vampires, The Cold war, Political allegories! This book has it all from fast paced action scenes to political intrigue. I don’t want to say too much and ruin anything for anyone but I was blown away by this book. This is a proper vampire story- no sparkles here. Incredible historical research and all fit in with a non stop thrill ride. Once you start you wont be able to put it down. This is an incredible debut and the author  is on the top of the list of writers to watch out for.

me!bwDaniel Ribot lives in Leicester in the United Kingdom and writes all kinds of stuff up to and including science fiction and urban fantasy. He is too fond of travelling and has spent long periods in France, Mexico, Spain and New Zealand as well as the rain-lashed British Isles. He also holds the only PhD in Mexican comic books on the Eurasian landmass. If the circumstance should arise that he develops any hobbies, interests or any of life’s significant milestones, he promises to let everyone know.

Isaac Asimov, Michael Moorcock and Jules Verne first fired Daniel’s imagination as a reader. His later explorations of particularly Latin American magical realism (Borges, Carpentier, Asturias, Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa and Bolaño), opened up his mind to the possibilities of fantasy as a vehicle to express serious ideas. He is a founder member of ‘The Speculators’ (Leicester’s SF/Fantasy writers group) and the Phoenix Writers. Daniel blogs (on writing, music and comics) at: http://floppybootstomp.wordpress.com

I managed to track Dan Ribot down and ask him and answer a few questions for us:

EPBR: What inspired you to write Vampsov 1938: A spectre haunting Europe?

DR:  I was inspired when during a discussion down the pub, I argued that Vampires would make natural Nazis, given their love of blood, soil and aristocracy (‘Count’ Dracula, no less!). My fave vampire film has to be the first Blade because vampire killers should look cool in shades.

EPBR: What are you working on now?

DR: At the moment I am working on the sequel to Vampsov 1938 which I have called (Imaginatively enough) Vampsov 1940. It ties up a lot of the loose ends left over from the first volume including what happened to Lieutenant Gansz and the links between Russia’s vampires and Leon Trotsky. It also develops the relationship between Ludmilla and her husband. So far it has been an entertaining book to write. I hope to have a finished draft in the near future”

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The kettle is on at EPBR because you never know who is going to drop by. Rhoda Baxter is a wonderful novelist with such warmth and wit; has a book coming out in the Summer with Choc lit.

drjanuaryDoctor January by Rhoda Baxter

If you keep looking back, you might miss what’s standing right in front of you …

Six months after a painful break-up from Gordon, Beth’s finally getting her life back on track. She has faith in her own scientific theories and is willing to work hard to prove them. She’s even beginning to see Hibbs, her dedicated lab partner, as more than just a lousy lothario in a lab-coat and goggles.

So when Gordon arrives back from America without warning and expects to be welcomed back into Beth’s arms, she’s totally thrown. She also quickly begins to see that Gordon isn’t the man she thought he was … Hibbs has always held a candle for Beth, but he can only wait so long for her to realise there’s more to life than being patronised and bullied by the one who’s meant to love and protect her.

Will Beth forsee the explosive nature beneath Gordon’s placid surface before he destroys everything she’s worked for, both inside and outside the lab?”

rhodaNow to catch up with the wonderful Rhoda Baxter for some vampy questions:

EPBR: What is your favourite vampire book?

RB: Vampire State of Mind by Jane Lovering (I know Jane’s a friend now, but I was a fan way before I met her. You know what they say ‘don’t meet your heroes, they’ll only get drunk and talk about the Tena lady). I loved this book because it didn’t take vampire sexiness too seriously and mixed the fantastical with the really very normal. Although, come to think of it, that book would never have been written if it weren’t for Buffy…

EPBR: Who is your favourite Vampire?

RB: Lestat from The Vampire Lestat (by Anne Rice). In Lestat you have the ultimate innocent corrupted, a superb villain and a chance for Tom Cruise to really act. What’s not to love?

EPBR: What are you working on next?

RB: Well technically, I’m writing a book about a girl called Olivia who is going to be best man at her best friend’s wedding. But really, I’m procrastinating, writing blog posts, mucking about from Twitter and generally doing anything but writing. I will get to it. Honest I will. I just have to polish the sink again…

Thank you Rhoda Baxter and Dan Ribot- it was a pleasure having you here today. Tomorrow I will be reviewing Jane Lovering’s Vampire State of mind, and I assure you -you are in for a treat!

Today’s quiz is “Which Vampire Diaries character are you?” Don’t forget to visit the FaceBook site to give us a like and find more fun, freebies, competitions and recommendations; and don’t forget to post the results of the quiz. We love hearing from you. Now I will leave you with a classic vampire film: George Hamilton’s “Love at First bite”. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Review: Dance Until Dawn by Berni Stevens

  1. I’ve never liked vampires, but Choc Lit seems awash with them, and I think I must have been bitten when I wasn’t looking… I love this book. Vampires are definitely the new good guys.

  2. Thanks for the comments about me, Rhoda…I promise not to get drunk during our forthcoming ‘Talking Moments’…

    And I’m off to buy Berni’s book for my Kindle now – it’s creaking under the strain of so many fantastic Choc Lit books!

  3. Okay, here’s a confession. I’ve never read a vampire book, or even watched a vampire film. So maybe I’ve been missing something. The only way to find out Bernie is to read your novel, Dance until Dawn. How can I resist such a lovely cover!

  4. I fell in love with Berni’s front cover but having read the description I just have to read and its a series … just love series. I’m also now intrigued by Rhoda Baxter’s Doctor January, I had no idea it had a vampire element, so will be downloading that one too!

    • Sorry Jules, I may have misrepresented Doctor January. There is no vampire element to that book. The wonderful Rhoda Baxter came on to talk about this week’s Vampire theme and I wanted to mention her forth coming book. I hope you would still like to read Doctor January, Rhoda is a wonderful story teller. Sorry fir the confusion.

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