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.

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!