Review: Falling Apart by Jane Lovering

fallingapartFalling Apart by Jane Lovering

In the mean streets of York, the stakes just got higher – and even pointier.
Jessica Grant liaises with Otherworlders for York Council so she knows that falling in love with a vampire takes a leap of faith. But her lover Sil, the City Vampire in charge of Otherworld York, he wouldn’t run out on her, would he? He wouldn’t let his demon get the better of him. Or would he?
Sil knows there’s a reason for his bad haircut, worse clothes and the trail of bleeding humans in his wake. If only he could remember exactly what he did before someone finds him and shoots him on sight.
With her loyalties already questioned for defending zombies, the Otherworlders no one cares about, Jess must choose which side she’s on, either help her lover or turn him in. Human or Other? Whatever she decides, there’s a high price to pay – and someone to lose.

The second novel in the series, follows Vampire State of Mind.”

divider-NEW

Jess and Sil are back. This time bigger and better. “Falling apart” picks up where Vampire state of mind leaves off. I thought Vampire state of mind would be a hard act to follow, but Jane Lovering expands her original world with new characters and new problems.

This latest instalment of an alternative history, York introduces zombies, like you have never seen before and new foes like the the “Britain for Humans” movement. As always, Jane Lovering brings new meaning to the phrase demon seed.

What made this book stand out for me, is that Jess and Sil’s relationship is of a realistic nature. Love does not always conqueror all when there are impossible issue to overcome. “Falling apart” never sugar coats or pretends that things will magically work out without putting in the hard graft.

Sil struggles with his demon symbiote and it is a constant fight for him not to let it take over and this creates the tension with his relationship with Jess. While Sil is “off doing vampire things”, Jess is torn between the man she loves and her job.

This is not your ordinary Vampire story. “Falling Apart”will make you laugh out loud and engage with the characters to the point where you yell at the book; willingly them to stop being so stubborn and do what their hearts tell them is the right thing to do.

Jane Lovering infuses her story with her trademark witty and sarcasm with Lovecraftian influences and creates a world that is so unique, that it makes Falling apart un-put-down-able. It is my suggestion that you read “Vampire State of mind” first before “Falling apart- I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

 line

VampirestateofmindVampire State of Mind by Jane Lovering

“Jessica Grant knows vampires only too well. She runs the York Council tracker programme making sure that Otherworlders are all where they should be, keeps the filing in order and drinks far too much coffee.

To Jess, vampires are annoying and arrogant and far too sexy for their own good, particularly her ex-colleague Sil, who’s now in charge of Otherworld York. When a demon turns up and threatens not just Jess but the whole world order, she and Sil are forced to work together.

But then Jess turns out to be the key to saving the world, which puts a very different slant on their relationship. The stakes are high. They are also very, very pointy and Jess isn’t afraid to use them – even on the vampire she’s rather afraid she’s falling in love with … “

divider-NEW

Vampire State of mind is a new and inventive twist on the vampire genre. I really was impressed with this book! A time-slip opens in Wales and it is a door way to other dimensions filled with supernatural beings. They start filtering through to our world and cause havoc. The themes are very Lovecraftian as well as being alternative history at its best.

I can’t remember when I highlighted so many paragraphs in a book before. There were so many funny lines, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. There was one line about using the television show “Buffy the vampire slayer” as an instructional video, that kept me giggling al day.

Jessica and Sil have a bizarre romance. At times it is more hate than love- but it adds another dimension to Sil’s demonic symbiot. There is a lot of the man left behind in their to make an impact. There are some very tender scenes about redemption and salvation towards the end.

Vampire State of mind is a roller coaster ride of excitement with added pithy retorts. It is a must read for Anita Blake and Kelly Armstrong fans. Jessica Grant is fierce heroine that can not be missed. She is the Yorkshire version of Buffy.

This is Urban Fantasy at it finest and a new chapter in British Vampire Mythology. Jane Lovering injects her trademark humour and plenty of kickass.

 

 

Vampire State of mind is currently free for a very limited time. Get your copy now and start of the summer with Jane Lovering.

Reviews: Something Witchy this way comes

hubbleHubble Bubble by Jane Lovering

Be careful what you wish for…
Holly Grey only joined the women’s group to keep her friend out of trouble – and now she’s knee-deep in hassle, in the form of apocalyptic weather, armed men, midwifery…and a sarcastic Welsh journalist.

Kai has been drawn to darkest Yorkshire by his desire to find out who he really is. What he hadn’t bargained on was getting caught up in amateur magic and dealing with a bunch of women who are trying really hard to make their dreams come true.

Together they realise that getting what you wish for is sometimes just a matter of knowing what it is you want… “

 

 

If you could cast a magic spell to get whatever you wanted. What would you wish for? I’d wish for a sequel to this book. What I really liked, is that the magic is based in reality. Was it magic? Or everything working out for the best. That is what I think real magic is, not having 100% proof but still believing. Not one over the top nose twitch here.

Kai is a wonderful three dimensional character full of angst and smouldering Welsh-ness. Holly is a strong modern heroine who doesn’t need saving; She lives by her own rules.

It was a lovely story full of redemption, friendship and love. I highly recommend this book, it is a fast paced, action filled, feel good story.

You won’t ever go wrong with a Jane Lovering book, each one is as good as the last one. Happy reading.

line

 

A2Dark Moon by Leisl Leighton

“Lately, Skye Collins has been unable to shake the feeling that she’s being watched. After a lifetime spent hiding her true nature, she knows that any unusual attention is something to be wary of. And the only attention she’s been receiving lately is from the intense and attractive Jason McVale.

Jason claims to know things about Skye that can’t be true, and it’s obvious he’s hiding secrets of his own. Yet despite herself, Skye can’t resist the attraction between them, and her surrender will set in motion a chain of events that will have consequences for everyone she holds dear.

Gradually, Jason convinces Skye that she has to trust him if she is to solve the riddle of her past and learn the truth about her power. But believing Jason means that her entire life has been based on a lie.

As her enemies gather strength and the danger increases, Skye is forced to accept who she really is. Will she risk everything and fight for those she loves? Or save herself and let them be destroyed by the forces of darkness? “

 

 

I always love a good paranormal yarn and this was no exception In Dark Moon- the Alpha Werewolf is looking for his pack Witch to break his packs curse. He finds Skye, who doesn’t even know if she is up for the job, as she has suppressed her magic.

I love how Werewolves and Witches are blended together to make this action packed story.

Jason and Skye have a lot of chemistry and there are moments of delicious sexual tension. Not to mention some very steamy romance.

Dark moon has a lot going on and it has a lot of personality.

If you love paranormal romance with plenty of action and attitude- then this is the book for you.

line

discoveryA Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

“Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestsellling ALL SOULS trilogy.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels… “

I loved the premise of an American, descended from Salem Witches, in Oxford. Matthew the ancient vampire is just delicious..

This was such a fin read and I wish I lived in a house like Diane’s; one that anticipated your every need. In the first book in the series, the story focuses on acquiring a alchemical manuscript and warding off all the other supernatural baddies who want it as well.

Finally a paranormal tale for adults. A discovery of witches is a fast paced read that is hard to put down. This is a series you can really sink your teeth into.

lineseason

Kensington Gore’s Twisted Tales: #6 Seasoning of the Witch by Kensignton Gore and K.A. Hambly

“There is only room for one witch in this town, and a Halloween cookery competition might just be the perfect arena for these two lifelong adversaries to have their showdown.

Cauldron Cove is a small town in America. Where Selena, and Morrigan, bitter rivals since their college days at C.O.W, ‘College of Witches,’ enter a television Halloween baking competition, each determined to get one up on the other.

They discover they both have a crush on the show’s swarve narcissistic presenter, Daniel Glover. Trying to impress him with their culinary ability, they set about sabotaging each other’s recipes and chances of winning the baking competition. But, things don’t go as they had planned. Selena discovers that Morrigan has been harbouring a secret involving an old flame, and things in this bewitching twisted tale, from horror legend Kensington Gore and great young writer K.A. Hambly, turns spellbinding live on air. “

May the best witch win…

Seasoning of the Witch is a delightful surreal story about a Witch, Selina. Selina is a culinary witch that bakes up trouble and wacky situations. Morrigan is her nemesis and tries to thwart Selina’s every move.

As over the top as “Bewitched” was, Seasoning of the witch is just as hilarious. Cauldron Cove is the setting for a competitive bake off and duelling witches. This novella has so much personality of its own that I wished it was a full length novel.

Not since the late great Roald Dahl has there been such a variety of truly bizarre and glorious tales. This is book number six in the series, but each tale is a stand alone. You can either read in order or pick and choice which tale inspires you. I am starting from the beginning with what is soon to be my favourite series.

Feature: Sci-fi / Star Struck by Jane Lovering

starstruckStar Struck by Jane Lovering

“Our memories define us – don’t they?

And Skye Threppel lost most of hers in a car crash that stole the lives of her best friend and fiancé. It’s left scars, inside and out, which have destroyed her career and her confidence.

Skye hopes a trip to the wide dusty landscapes of Nevada – and a TV convention offering the chance to meet the actor she idolises – will help her heal. But she bumps into mysterious writer Jack Whitaker first. He’s a handsome contradiction – cool and intense, with a wild past.

Jack has enough problems already. He isn’t looking for a woman with self-esteem issues and a crush on one of his leading actors. Yet he’s drawn to Skye.

An instant rapport soon becomes intense attraction, but Jack fears they can’t have a future if Skye ever finds out about his past …

Will their memories tear them apart, or can they build new ones together?

 

From the first line, I thought – this is classic Jane Lovering. Her trademark wit leaps off the page and starts the book off with a smile.

Jack Whitaker is a jaded script writer who is dark, brooding, disobliging and a tiny bit curmudgeonly. He isn’t your first pick for a Romantic hero. As Jane Lovering often extols the virtues of the Beta-male; I agree. Gethryn is the Alpha-male of the story, but he is so slick and full of himself- my money would be on Jack any day of the week.

Skye in many ways is like a blank page and since her accident, she has become a new person. Skye has a wicked crush on greasy Gethryn, and takes her time to figure out who she should be with.

Jack is such a contradiction – on the outside he is stern and enigmatic; but on the inside he is full of insecurities and doubt. That is Jack’s appeal, he is cerebral, creative and very delicious.

Jack understands Skye- and they compliment each other like bookends. Their scars are both physical and emotional; and it is that combined empathy that draws them together. It is very touching how they deal with each other.

Underneath all the sarky comedy- there is a serious under current about loss and learning to forgive yourself. No one or nothing is as it seems- it is all about how you perceive things.

There is rather a few earth shattering twists towards the end that you will not see coming. I have to admit I was a bit shocked by them.

Star Struck is full of complex emotions. The genius of Jane Lovering is that one minute she can make you laugh and the next make you cry. This book is going on my list of favourite books of all times. I loved this book!

Make sure to visit Jane Lovering’s blog for musings and updates on new releases .

 

Next up is a man who to me is the real life embodiment of Jane Lovering’s Jack Whitaker; minus the chain-smoking but just as charming.

 

The Canterbury Tales by Luke Bellmasoncant

Every ten years each spacer pilot must make the pilgrimage to Vale, where the mighty and all powerful Federal Galactic Spaceflight Licensing Authority resides. From all corners of the nine galaxies they come, on ships such as the GSS Canterbury.

To pass the time over their three nights journeying through the void each traveller tells their story. Volume One features the tale of the Smuggler, the Merchant, the Assassin and the Knight. Join them to hear their tales of rivalry, revenge, piracy, insurrection, daring escapes and adventure in this all new re-imagining of the original Canterbury Tales.

This is what Geoffrey Chaucer might have written if he’d owned a ZX Spectrum when he was 12 and wasted his formative years playing video games through the 1980’s.

Luke Bellmason weaves a series of plot-lines worthy of a Cardassian enigma tale, with an emphasis on storytelling and characters. Explore the parts of all those video games universes that your computer could never show you and begin your journey…

 

The Canterbury Tales by Luke Bellmason is exactly what a Space Opera should be. It is in the style of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and follows his matrix, but this is not a re-telling of his book. This is a truly unique and original work. Each tale has its own voice and it is as different as the person telling the tale.

The writing style is innovative, with short dynamic sentences- highlighting the taut urgency of the situations involved. What I really loved about this book is the portmanteau feel of it; It reminded me of techniques used in many Monty Python films. Wherein, smaller stories are told, that tie into a bigger picture.

Each story is a vignette that packs a powerful punch. By being dropped into the middle of the action- you aren’t weighed down by space facts and details. Instead, you are shunted from one action scene to another in a roller coaster ride of excitement..

The only thing that disappointed me about the Canterbury tales was its length. It felt like as soon as I got into a story, it was over so quickly. I suppose that is the hallmark of a good author- always leaving you wanting more.

This isn’t your stodgy Science fiction of the 1970’s; this is a vibrant fresh Sci-fi for the new millennium. Even if you aren’t particularly a science fiction fan, there is plenty of action and intrigue to satisfy the most selective reader.

I highly recommend this fast paced, action packed novelette.

DSC_0131_3_2EPBR: What inspired you to write the Canterbury Tales?

LB: It’s rather a long and convoluted story, and if you buy the book you can read all about the development process in great detail. As unlikely as it sounds the idea began as a board game based on the 80s classic video game Elite.
There were six character types in the board game such as, miner, scout, trader, bounty hunter,
pirate, etc. Then I came up with a good and evil version of each, so the good pirate was the Knight, the bad miner became the Slaver, the bad trader became the Smuggler. Then I took a book of plots and assigned each character a plot and a commodity type and started writing a series of short stories.
The idea to string them all together somehow came much later, but when I discovered Chaucer’s original Canterbury Tales I was surprised to discover he’d also written a Knight’s Tale and a Merchant’s Tale. The linking of the stories has now become another story of itself and I’m developing that element in parallel with writing the other tales.

bellmason1EPBR: You’re releasing the Tales in three volumes. Why did you decide to do it this way, rather than writing the whole thing in one go?

LB: It’s because I write extremely slowly. I simply couldn’t wait to put something out there and start getting feedback from readers. If I wanted to wait until it was all finished, I’d probably never get to the end. I think this is something that self-publishing allows that traditional publishing might not. Generally there isn’t much enthusiasm from publishers about short stories, which I think is a great shame.
Certainly, through writing the Tales, I’ve learned to appreciate what an art writing good short fiction is. When you start out, you tend to assume it’s going to take less time to write a short piece than a long one, but I soon learned that this wasn’t the case. The first four stories took about a year each! But, I am getting slightly quicker.

bellmason2

EPBR :When can we expect more tales?

LB: At the moment, I’m working on Volume 2, which will feature the tales of the Miner, the Slaver, the Spy and the Scout. This will hopefully be out at the end of the year, but if you’re especially impatient to read more you can find the Miner’s Tale on my blog.

The plan is that Volume 3 will come along in 2015 and then you can expect a complete edition soon after.

EPBR: In Jane’s book Skye goes to a fallen skies convention in Las Vegas. What kind of convention would you like to go to.

LB: I’ve not been to many conventions, but favourites are always gaming related. GenCon used to be in my home town and I used to go every year until it was moved to London and then stopped entirely. I like how gaming conventions bring people who’ve never met together around a table. My perfect convention would be one where all the celebrity guests sit down and play board games with you. I know Wil Wheaton is a big boardgamer, so maybe this idea isn’t so far-fetched.
EPBR: Hob-Nobs or Custard Creams?

LB: I’m more of a pink wafer man myself, but in the unlikely scenario that you’re holding a gun to my head and forcing me to choose, I’d have to go with Custard Creams.

Visit Luke Bellmason’s blog for sneak peaks and great articles.

startrekshipStar Trekking-

Long ago in a galaxy far away….or as I call it 1986. I discovered something so wonderful, it changed my life- and this is how it started:

Sunday was always my day with my father. So often he had to work Saturdays, that I hardly had time to see him some weeks, but Sunday’s were sacred. We would wake up early and watch repeats of Doctor Who and Star Trek together. After breakfast we would go to a baseball card convention, if one was local. One day we saw signs advertising a special Star Trek convention; without a word being spoken between us, my father promptly bought two tickets.

The day that would change my life finally arrived; dressed in my home-made blue science officer shirt, we set out to the Pennsylvania hotel in Manhattan.

stquotesAfter we did the tour of the stalls, which mostly consisted of multi coloured knitted Tom Baker Doctor Who scarves; we were herded into the conference hall.

There were a few speakers, production assistants on The Terminator film and the like, but the crowd was getting restless. I have to admit it was quite boring and you felt like they were just babbling on to fill time.

Then the house lights went down, a few Movie trailers were shown and a few disappointed people started to leave. Then the familiar theme music started and every one froze. It was the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and for forty-three minutes- not a sound was made.

comicbook guy

The house lights went up as the credits started to roll and I felt like I had a religious experience. I scanned the crowd to see if anyone else was a moved as I was. I do have to mention, the audience was predominately made up of middle-aged men that looked like comic book guy in Spock ears. As I watched those grown men cry just from the sheer beauty of the show- my only thoughts were “These are my people” and “I am home”.

That day will always remain a very treasured memory of time spent with my father and I am so grateful that we shared such a pivotal movement in my life together.

From that day forward my fate was sealed as Trekkie and a geek. Boldly going…nowhere- but loving the journey.

Also by Jane Lovering:
hubble
Hubble Bubble by Jane Lovering
Hubble Bubble has as many twists, darkness and drama as you would expect from the title, but its true strengths lay in its quieter moments and its humour. Any true romantic will be put under its spell.
Be careful what you wish for…
Holly Grey only joined the women’s group to keep her friend out of trouble – and now she’s knee-deep in hassle, in the form of apocalyptic weather, armed men, midwifery…and a sarcastic Welsh journalist.Kai has been drawn to darkest Yorkshire by his desire to find out who he really is. What he hadn’t bargained on was getting caught up in amateur magic and dealing with a bunch of women who are trying really hard to make their dreams come true.Together they realise that getting what you wish for is sometimes just a matter of knowing what it is you want…

pleasePlease don’t stop the music by Jane Lovering

Winner of the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year & the Romantic Comedy award.The panel of judges described Jane’s voice as ‘fresh and new with an unexpected hero’, and included WH Smith’s Matt Bates, Foyles’ Jonathan Ruppin, Jane Mays from The Daily Mail and The Bookseller’s Sarah Broadhurst. Please Don’t Stop the Music was singled out by the judges for its ‘dark undertones’ and for engaging with ‘issues a lot of people recognise’.

How much can you hide?
Jemima Hutton is determined to build a successful new life and keep her past a dark secret. Trouble is, her jewellery business looks set to fail – until enigmatic Ben Davies offers to stock her handmade belt buckles in his guitar shop and things start looking up, on all fronts.
But Ben has secrets too. When Jemima finds out he used to be the front man of hugely successful Indie rock band Willow Down, she wants to know more. Why did he desert the band on their US tour? Why is he now a semi-recluse?
And the curiosity is mutual – which means that her own secret is no longer safe …

 

 

 

Review: Vampire State of Mind by Jane Lovering

VampirestateofmindVampire State of Mind by Jane Lovering

“Jessica Grant knows vampires only too well. She runs the York Council tracker programme making sure that Otherworlders are all where they should be, keeps the filing in order and drinks far too much coffee.

To Jess, vampires are annoying and arrogant and far too sexy for their own good, particularly her ex-colleague Sil, who’s now in charge of Otherworld York. When a demon turns up and threatens not just Jess but the whole world order, she and Sil are forced to work together.

But then Jess turns out to be the key to saving the world, which puts a very different slant on their relationship. The stakes are high. They are also very, very pointy and Jess isn’t afraid to use them – even on the vampire she’s rather afraid she’s falling in love with … 

 

Vampire State of mind is a new and inventive twist on the vampire genre. I really was impressed with this book! A time-slip opens in Wales and it is a door way to other dimensions filled with supernatural beings. They start filtering through to our world and cause havoc. The themes are very Lovecraftian as well as being alternative history at its best.

I can’t remember when I highlighted so many paragraphs in a book before. There were so many funny lines, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. There was one line about using the television show “Buffy the vampire slayer” as an instructional video, that kept me giggling al day.

Jessica and Sil have a bizarre romance. At times it is more hate than love- but it adds another dimension to Sil’s demonic symbiot. There is a lot of the man left behind in their to make an impact. There are some very tender scenes about redemption and salvation towards the end.

Vampire State of mind is a roller coaster ride of excitement with added pithy retorts. It is a must read for Anita Blake and Kelly Armstrong fans.  Jessica Grant is fierce heroine that can not be missed. She is the Yorkshire version of Buffy.

This is Urban Fantasy at it finest and a new chapter in British Vampire Mythology. Jane Lovering injects her trademark humour and plenty of kickass.

Falling Apart is the next book in the series and it is going to be available June 6th, 2014 from Choc lit:

fallingapartFalling Apart by Jane Lovering

“In the mean streets of York, the stakes just got higher – and even pointier.

Jessica Grant liaises with Otherworlders for York Council so she knows that falling in love with a vampire takes a leap of faith. But her lover Sil, the City Vampire in charge of Otherworld York, he wouldn’t run out on her, would he? He wouldn’t let his demon get the better of him. Or would he?

Sil knows there’s a reason for his bad haircut, worse clothes and the trail of bleeding humans in his wake. If only he could remember exactly what he did before someone finds him and shoots him on sight.

With her loyalties already questioned for defending zombies, the Otherworlders no one cares about, Jess must choose which side she’s on, either help her lover or turn him in. Human or Other? Whatever she decides, there’s a high price to pay – and someone to lose”

 

I’m very pleased that I was able to have Jane Lovering answer a few questions for us:

janeEPBR: What inspired you to write VSOM?

JL:I’d read quite a lot of vampire fiction, but it ALL seemed to be completely US-centric, which I, never having been to the States because I am rarely allowed out, couldn’t relate to. Also, all the vampires were so… BUTCH. All Alpha-Males, dedicating to Saving Their Soul Mates (don’t get me started on the soul-mate thing..free will? What free will?). So I decided to write my own take on vampires. If vampires really were real, and really existed in Britain, what would we do? What would they do? Well, there would be a phenomenal amount of paper work involved, and someone would have to do it..and, if vampires used to be purely human, then surely there should be OCD vampires, and shy vampires and pretty rubbish vampires, just like there are people. They can’t ALL be gorgeous alpha-males stalking their soul-mates, because nothing would get done!
BUFFYSTABSo I took the view that vampires lived among us, and went from there…

EPBR: What is your favourite vampire book/film?

JL: I really loved the first few Anita Blake books from Laurel K Hamilton, before she got possessed by the porn fairy and started writing loosely-linked sex scenes. When Anita Blake was just a zombie raising necromancer and the vampires were threatening characters. So I’d probably say Guilty Pleasures is my favourite. Again, it’s US set and the vamps are very…well, I have the feeling bulging thews are probably mentioned somewhere, but I did like the kickass heroine. Before she just became ass.

EPBR: Who is your favourite vampire?

JL: I’m going to hark back to a book very few people have heard of, by Louise Cooper, called ‘In Memory of Sarah Bailey’. The protag in that is a vampire (sort of) called Keith (stop giggling, vampires are allowed to be called Keith). It’s a book I read years and years ago, and one that first made me sit up and take notice of vampires as something other than creatures in black cloaks with suspicious middle-European accents. That’s the vampires, not their cloaks, obviously.

 

Also by Jane Lovering:

 

pleasedont stopPlease Don’t stop themusic by Jane Lovering

 

How much can you hide?
Jemima Hutton is determined to build a successful new life and keep her past a dark secret. Trouble is, her jewellery business looks set to fail – until enigmatic Ben Davies offers to stock her handmade belt buckles in his guitar shop and things start looking up, on all fronts.
But Ben has secrets too. When Jemima finds out he used to be the front man of hugely successful Indie rock band Willow Down, she wants to know more. Why did he desert the band on their US tour? Why is he now a semi-recluse? And the curiosity is mutual – which means that her own secret is no longer safe …

 

starStar Struck by Jane Lovering

“Our memories define us – don’t they?

And Skye Threppel lost most of hers in a car crash that stole the lives of her best friend and fiancé. It’s left scars, inside and out, which have destroyed her career and her confidence.

Skye hopes a trip to the wide dusty landscapes of Nevada – and a TV convention offering the chance to meet the actor she idolises – will help her heal. But she bumps into mysterious writer Jack Whitaker first. He’s a handsome contradiction – cool and intense, with a wild past.

Jack has enough problems already. He isn’t looking for a woman with self-esteem issues and a crush on one of his leading actors. Yet he’s drawn to Skye.

An instant rapport soon becomes intense attraction, but Jack fears they can’t have a future if Skye ever finds out about his past … Will their memories tear them apart, or can they build new ones together?

[

 

Vampire1Romance and the Vampire

What is the primal allure that the vampire possesses? Why is the vampire such a seductive creature. In some ways, the vampire represent who we want to be by appealing to our vanity. We all want to be young and beautiful forever and vampires provides us with that. As part of the package comes the sense of power. The idea of living without fear, or the fear of death is an exceptional cathartic notion. I don’t know how many of us would refuse such an offer. You could argue that immortality is more of a curse than a blessing but it is something that we will never experience as mere humans.

Vampires represent total freedom. They are not tired down jobs or the pursuit of money. They don’t worry about heating bills- instead they flit from one place to another in search of hedonistic pleasures. Sexually they are free to have as many partners as they please regardless of gender. They are predators totally without consequences.

vampire1a

Vampires live off other people by imbibing blood, and they will feed indiscriminately. They have no compassion or empathy for their victims; human are just cattle for eating or playing with. If we look at the traits of the vampire and apply them to a human- you would call that person a psychopath; and it would be very fitting.

Why is that the vampire dances a fine a line of what will set our hearts a blaze and what would result in a restraining order in the real world. This is my problem with the Twilight series; although I did largely enjoy it- I found they got their romance mixed up with creepy. It felt like it was more about possession than loving partnership. Why do we dream of these supernatural scenarios but when they become reality with a human, the word stalker is used.

Fantasy is just that, and should remain in the realm. The kind of relationship between a human and vampire could never exist between humans, because that would be a very unhealthy co- dependant/narcissistic relationship. Probably best leaving the Eric Northmans’ of the vampire world to our dreams and romance novels.

samSamantha Tonge the author of Doubting Abbey stopped by to answer a few vampy questions for us:

 

ST: I would love to write a paranormal book, but not so much a vampire one – much as I love the vampire genre, I wonder what I could contribute to it now. I feel to add something of worth, I would have to come up with something REALLY original, which is difficult since there has already been so many successful takes on the concept.

 

dountingEPBR: What is your favourite vampire film and/or book?

ST: Oh, it has to be Twilight. I LOVED the books and ADORED the film series and have to admit to a wee bit of a crush on vegetarian vampire, Edward Cullen. To me, he is the ultimate romantic hero, torn between desiring the heroine but wanting to do the best for her. A great creation by Stephanie Meyer.

EPBR: Who is your favourite vampire?

ST: Much as I love Edward Cullen, I am also a huge fan of Klaus from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals series. He is a ruthless, unforgiving character who nevertheless occasionally shows glimpses of vulnerability. The baddies are always fun!

Samanatha Tonge has a dectective story in The People’s Friends Special No. 87  April 2nd, 2014 entitled “The Mother’s day jinx” be sure you get yourself a copy- I know I will.

 

 

Here are a few vampire series that are worth having a look at:

saintsOf Saints and shadows by Christopher Golden

A secret sect of the Catholic Church, armed with an ancient book of the undead called The Gospel of Shadows, has been slowly destroying vampires for centuries. Now the book has been stolen, and the sect races to retrieve it before their purpose is discovered: a final purge of all vampires. As the line between saints and shadows grows ominously faint, private eye Peter Octavian is drawn into the search. And he’ll do anything to find the book … for Peter Octavian is also a vampire.
Ostracized by his kindred for refusing to take part in the ‘blood song’, he cannot stand by and watch while they are destroyed. In a deadly game with a driven, sadistic assassin, the trail leads to Venice at the time of carnival, where the Defiant Ones, as the vampires are known, are engaged in a savage battle for their lives. Filled with plot twists, mystery, sex and violent death, Of Saints and Shadows is a spine-tingling thriller which opens the door to the world of The Shadow Saga.

tudorvampBlood of the rose by Kate Pearce

When vampire slayer Rosalind Llewellyn had to join forces with her enemy Christopher Ellis to defeat a rogue vampire threatening Henry VIII, their alliance led to a surprising passion. Reunited after a year’s separation, they now face a new threat that could destroy their last chance at happiness.

Today’s quiz is “Which character from Dracula would you be?” Don’t forget to check out the Facebook page and give us a like. I will be posting other book recommendations, freebie and competitions, so don’t miss out.  We love to hear from you so please post us your quiz result. Happy reading!

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.

chrislee drac

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”

http

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Refuge by Kirsty Ferry

refugeRefuge by Kirsty Ferry

“A legendary dagger in the hands of a vampire slayer… A nineteenth century girl with nowhere left to turn… A modern-day field trip to Lindisfarne… When worlds collide and the only way out is a choice nobody should have to make, where do you find your refuge? Set within the sanctity of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, off the Northumbrian coast, Refuge is a story interlinking modern day with a dark and terrifying past – and the story of the immortals who carry their hatred with them throughout the centuries.”

This is a multilayered book that spans many timelines. Normally that is very difficult to pull off but not only did Kirsty Ferry pull it off, she left you saying “Ahaa” at the end. This book was so well written, it was almost sculpted. From the start you can feel the gothic atmosphere and it immediately made me think of Stoker.

This really isn’t your predictable Vampire story- anything can happen and it often does, when you least expect it. Kirsty Ferry put a fresh spin on a tired genre by making her characters homicidal – verging on psychotic but yet, devilishly seductive. The relationship between Cassandra and Veva is a very complex and bizarre relationship; it reminded me of Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn in “Death becomes her”.

Refuge is steeped in historical details and it is a thrilling ensemble book who characters all come together for different reasons on a vampirical pilgrimage. These day walking vampires, have centuries of intertwining pasts together but it isn’t until they reach the Refuge, that it all comes to a climactic end.

I loved this book because it was fresh and interesting. I found the characters compelling and exciting. I highly recommend.

 

I was lucky enough to catch up with the author for some questions and answers:

EPBR: What inspired you  to write Refuge?

KF: It started from a romantic pocket novel I tried to write which was terrible – I ended up hating the characters and said jokingly to my cousin at my birthday party, ‘I hate them so much I just want to kill them off . In fact, I might just turn them into vampires or something to get rid of them.’ So she said ‘Do it!’ And I thought, ‘Hmmmm, yep, that would work.’ I wanted to write a story about a local place as well, having used Hadrian’s Wall in my previous novel, and thought I could centre the story on Holy Island – the last place you would expect to find a creature of the night. It all just fell into place from there. And I actually love my characters now. They are far more suited to the dark side of love!

EPBR: Do you have any other vampire plans for more books?

KF: I left Refuge open-ended. There is potential there for another story – I have a couple of characters who I kind of left hanging there subtly to bring them back from the undead again – but I haven’t thought about a plot yet. Maybe one day…

EPBR: Who is your favourite Vampire?

KF: Angel from Buffy- just has to be!

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

KF: Oh it has to be bookwise – Berni Steven’s Dance Until Dawn and filmwise, Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows.

*Tommorow I will be reviewing Berni Steven’s Dance Until Dawn

Also by Kirsty Ferry:

snow kirst

“Three eras. Three young women. Three Guardians, separated by centuries. Aemelia: the Christian daughter of a Roman Commandant. Meggie: accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. Liv: a twenty-first century teenager, intent on finding information for a project. When horrors from the past threaten her, Liv discovers she is a Guardian of the mystical Coventina’s Well. She must work with the spirits who linger there, and use their combined power to banish evil from the sacred spring. Set amongst the wild landscape of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, the Guardians must confront the tragic past and the potential future in order to help each other survive.”

 

venge of the modern vampire-

A strange metamorphosis has occurred to the vampire over that past 30 years. Vampires went from the mediaeval scourge of the darkness to vegetarian emos. That is a huge gap after all those centuries. So what happened?

Vampire have always been depicted as the spawn of Satan throughout history. From Vlad Tepes to Elisabeth Bathory- Vampires have always been evil predators that would kill you in seconds. I think it all started with Lord Byron’s Vampyre. He was the first to romanticized the vampire. Then came Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Still a bad boy, but he used seduction rather than brute violence to get his pray. However, when the first motion picture of Nosferatu hit the cinema in 1922, he was played by a rodent faced Max Shrek that in no way could be considered sexy.

It would take another twenty years before Bella Lugosi. Bella did make his Dracula a bit more sexier, but the character was still the evil villain. Twenty more years later we have the Hammer years with Christopher Lee reinventing the genre for a whole new audience.. Twice as sexy as Bella Lugosi but also twice as evil, not entirely at the modern vampire yet.

For another twenty years, vampires continued to be evil blood sucking bastards, but then “Interview with a vampire” hit our screens. The book had a cult following since it’s release in 1976 but it was not until Tom Cruise was mentioned that people took notice. Anne Rice’s vampires had humanity, albeit, possibly a soul. The talked openly  about regrettable mistakes and loss. Although widely remarked as being homo-erotic, here were vampires you could relate to.

The the flood gates opened- Vampire were cool and hip for the first time in history. “Buffy the Vampire” even made them quite lovable. Angel struggles with his vampire identity while trying to maintain relationships and his soul. For the first in history we have a non threatening male vampire would you would want to be friends with.

Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels and the subsequent television show brought us deeper into the political of vampirical hierarchy  and further de-mystified them. Then it happened- Twilight. If you listen closely, that sound you hear, is Vlad Tepes turning in his grave. With twilight we have the first emasculated vampire who would rather listen to emo music in a darkened room than feed off the villagers.

Yet again Vampires are repulsive- not because they have rat faces and feed of you like a parasite; but because they are angst ridden, emotional crippled teens. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the Twilight books, but they did nothing for Vampires Street Cred.

Maybe it is human nature to parody that which scares us, or we just reached a point where there is nothing more that can be added to Vampire mythology. Either way- the only vegetarian vampire that I will take seriously is Count Duckula and twilight sparkles should be left to My little pony. I am hoping that Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain Television series bring some gravitas to genre and some much-needed Vampire P.R. Luckily the Queen of Vampires, Anne Rice is here to save the day by releasing a new Lestat book called “Prince Lestat” It could not come at a better time to kick-start the vampire genre again.

This week I am very lucky that I am reviewing Four new vampire books this week. Each with its own unique spin on the genre. Vampires will always be with it, as they have been for centuries- but with the help of authors like Kirsty Ferry, Dan Ribot, Berni Stevens, Jane Lovering and Sarah Tranter;  Vampires can be exciting again.

 

I also caught up with the lovely Katie Oliver, Author of the “Dating Mr. Darcy Series” for some vampire Q&A:

prada-and-prejudiceEPBR:Would you ever write a vampire novel?

KO:I would!  I love a good vampire yarn (Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles,” and Matt Haig’s The Radleys, about a vampire family trying to ‘pass’ as normal, are genius).  But with so many great books already out there, the challenge is to write within genre conventions and still deliver a story with a twist. It’d be a LOT of fun to try, though..
Perhaps I could pen a vampire chick lit novel, with a female vamp who spends eternity shopping for shoes, and the perfect shade of… BLOOD? MWAH ha ha…

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

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice is evocative, scary, moody, and unforgettable. I fell in love with the nineteenth-century New Orleans setting – the moss-draped oaks, the antebellum mansions, the French Quarter, and the dark, mournful beauty of the bayou.  Sting read the book and liked it so much he wrote a song about it – “Moon Over Bourbon Street.”

EPBR: Who is your favourite vampire?

KO: As far as movie vampires go, Frank Langella was the first actor to bring sensuality to the role of Dracula, giving the famous fiend a sexy new dimension. For laughs, you can’t beat George Hamilton in “Love at First Bite” or the campy Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins in “Dark Shadows.” But my favorite literary vampire is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. As a suave gentleman of means by day and a ruthless bloodsucker by night, Count Dracula is diabolical and unparalleled in fiction. But my favorite vampire of all?  It’s got to be Sesame Street’s The Count, of course! One! One vampire bat! Two! Two vampire.

 

Here are some other great books for you to enjoy:

the radley'sThe Radleys by Matt Haig

“Move over, Cullens! The Radleys are an average family living in the suburbs –
they just happen to be vampires. As funny as it is scary!” (Bliss) “A refreshing
alternative to much of the paranormal fodder out there.” (The Bookseller) “We
should expect something different from the fare provided by Stephenie Meyer and
her numerous imitators. And we will not be disappointed.” (The Irish Times)
“Pointed, clever and witty.” (The Independent)”

 

 

 

 

discoveryA Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

‘Intelligent and off-the-wall, it will be irresistible to Twilight fans’ — The
Sunday Times ‘A bubbling cauldron of illicit desire…all the ingredients for an
assured saga that blends romance with fantasy’ — Daily Mail ‘An inventive
addition to the supernatural craze… Historian Harkness’s racy paranormal
romance has exciting amounts of spells, kisses and battles, and is recounted
with enchanting, page-turning panache’ — Marie Claire ‘A romp through magical
academia’ — Guardian ‘…a grand romance smartly dressed up in the fashion for
the occult…Sauced up with magic as well as being intelligent, the novel will
be irresistible to Twilight fans’ — The Sunday Times

 

princePrince Lestat by Anne Rice

To Be released October 30, 2014

The Vampire world is in crisis — vampires have been proliferating out of control and burnings, huge massacres, have commenced all over the world. Old vampires, roused from their earth-bound slumber, are doing the bidding of The Voice: which commands that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris to Mumbai, Hong Kong to Kyoto and San Francisco.

 We are back with the worlds and beings of Anne Rice’s legendary Vampire Chronicles — in present-day New York and Ancient Egypt, 4th-century Carthage, 14th- century Rome, Renaissance Venice; with Louis de Pointe du Lac; Armand the eternally young, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet; Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the Secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true child of the Millennia. These come together with a host of new, seductive supernatural creatures in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel, to seek out who — or what — The Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why.

 And, at the book’s centre, is always and forever the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw — the great ‘hope’ of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat…


Don’t forget to check out the Facebook page for news, freebies and other fun.

Today’s quiz is “Are you a Vampire” from the BBC Cult website. Don’t forget to post
your results, as we love hearing from you!