First Winner of the Nancy Haddock – Always the Vampire Contest

Hi Everyone,

Sorry its taken so long to announce the first winner.  My internet at home crashed 3 days ago.

The first winer is ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,: Camille.  Becuase we aren’t sure where you live, could you please send me an email at : belles74@hotmail.com.

Once we have figured out whether you are an Aussie or US resident, we can then do the next drawing.

HUgs

Bek

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Digitalis – Discarded Heroes Series – Ronie Kendig

The vividness of the description of a marine suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with the flashbacks makes your heart ache and tears well up.  I read this book on one of the days leading up to ANZAC Day, which is a day similar to Veterans Day in the US and I think that added depth and colour to this very real issue.  In this book we have two people of separate journeys both trying to deal with PTSD in their own way.  Having seen just what this problem can do to people and the different ways it has of manifesting, I am in awe of Ms Keading’s sensitive handling.

We have Colton, a Marine. Cowboy, loving son and father who finds it near impossible to get past his flashbacks.  Then we have Piper who has lost a brother to the cause and whose father has put her in a position of great risk.

This book is about learning to trust again.  About learning that the biggest threat isn’t always an external one but the secrets we internalise trying to stop them doing harm.

There is a lot of action going on in this book.  The only thing that disappointed me was the death of a secondary character was somewhat glossed over.  I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next book in the series Wolfsbane

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Shining the Spotlight on Nancy Haddock & Always The Vampire Contest

Today I’d like to one of my favorite authors Ms Nancy Haddock.  Not only is she a wonderful writer but a lovely lady and this blog will always have room for her.

Its wonderful to have her drop by to promote the latest installment of Cesca’s world in :

Always The Vampire

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

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

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

What a Character!

I’m SO thrilled to be here in Australia with Bek for the launch of my new book, Always The Vampire! Okay, so I’m not physically in Australia enjoying fall weather, but I’m there in spirit!

Here’s something you might not know about me. I never intended to write a vampire book. Why not? Simply because there were so many marvelous authors writing amazing vampire books! Nope, I was happily working on the first book in a cozy mystery series … until the fateful day I saw a certain Jif Peanut Butter commercial. That’s when the vampire bug bit me.

The TV commercial entitled Sleepover (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05ErnE93sNU for a short clip) features two 5 to 6 year-old girls. The little sleepover hostess attempts to put her guest at ease by suggesting things they can do. At one point, the hostess says something like, “We can play Crazy Eights or we can watch this Princess Vampire tape.”

Folks, I about snorted coffee out of my nose! I knew I hadn’t heard the line correctly. I knew vampire anything wouldn’t be in such a commercial. But that’s what I heard and I couldn’t stop laughing!

Then I started thinking. If there were a real Princess Vampire video for six-year-olds, what kind of character would the princess be? A Disney-pretty princess with tiny fangs who rides a unicorn to do battle with an evil witch? A Romanian princess who, abducted as a baby, grows up a waif until she saves her natural parents from a carriage accident and the family is reunited? Or, hmmm. What if the Princess Vampire was a grown-up and a character in a romance?

Though I set the Princess Vampire concept firmly on the back burner of my brain and returned to my cozy mystery, the emerging character wouldn’t go away. She resurfaced in quiet moments to show me snippets of her life, both vampire and pre-vampire, and I jotted notes on every scrap of paper handy. Eventually, she took over my dreams, and I had no choice but to put the vampire character front and center.

Most authors I know say that writing characters is like getting to know new friends, and they are right! During the early stages of developing Francesca “Cesca” Marinelli, I’d walk the streets of historic downtownSt. Augustine,FLto see the city – past and present – through Cesca’s eyes. I took Cesca shopping to discover her tastes, and to dip into her memories of shopping inSt. Augustineof the 1700s. Soon she took on a life – or afterlife – of her own. So much so, that Cesca has her own treasures.

This retro shaped clock is the first item Cesca bought (with my credit card).  

And here is the statue that reminds Cesca of her wizard pal, Cosmil. (Okay, it’s a stretch, but Cesca’s into “ocean” anything.)

 

Cesca loves dolphins, and her human-dolphin shifter friend, Triton.

This is round wall piece is a stepping stone relief made by a local St. Augustine artist, and is one of Cesca’s most recent prizes. (Still not a likeness of Cosmil, but it’s so unique!) 

   Thank you so much for joining Bek and me for launch day of Always The Vampire! It’s an honor to have you visit, and please drop by one of my cyber locations page any ‘ole time.

Website: www.nancyhaddock.com

Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nancy_Haddock_Books/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Haddock/86984510891

Twitter ID: http://twitter.com/#!/nancyhaddock

Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/nancyhaddock

 I wish you a marvelous, merry month of May!

 Oh, oh, and that Jif commercial? The real princess line is “Princess Moon Fire.” If you watch the YouTube clip and pause it at just the right time, you’ll be able to read the title on the video label.

Now to celebrate Nancy dropping by, its your turn to join in.  To celebrate the release of Always the Vampire, let us know what inspires you and the winner(s), one from the US and one from Australia will receive a copy of Living La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing and Always the Vampire.

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Always the Vampire – Oldest City Vampire #3

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

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

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

I’ve been hanging out for this book since the end of Last Vampire Standing.  As soon as it arrived on my doorstep, I dropped everything I was doing to read it. Just opening the first page and starting to read was like walking into an old friend’s house and continuing the last conversation you were having.  This book is darker than the previous two; the Void has become more of a malicious entity rather than a nameless black mass.  The void is attacking those supernatural/preternatural beings that Cesca holds dear. However in this instalment we find out just who and what controls the Void

I loved how Ms Haddock added the light and shade to this book.  The phrase that kept jumping into mind was “it’s the intent of the person holding it that makes an item either work for good or evil”.  Cesca comes into her powers and instead of them changing her into something she feared, they stabilise and centre her.

Yes Cesca could be put in the class of “save the world” heroine’s however don’t read into this as meaning that there is a political heaviness to this book.  All the characters complement each other with each having different strengths and weaknesses.  Cesca is the lead character but doesn’t overpower the reader or the other characters.  I loved the relationship between her and Saber as well as the sibling like relationship she has with Triton.

We get the chance to finish the journey started in La Vida Vampire. Ms Haddock has written three wonderfully crafted suspense/mysteries while not making them dark or dangerous.  They are light and refreshing with genuine emotion.

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Last Vampire Standing – Nancy Haddock

 

Last Vampire Standing by Nancy Haddock

Cesca Marinelli is on an afterlife high until a budding stand-up comic, Jo-Jo the Jester, escapes from his Atlanta nest looking for sanctuary. Jo-Jo may put a new bite in comedy, but things hidden in the shadows aren’t so funny, and one of them is hiding an energy-sapping plague that’s knocking off the country’s head vamps. Will Cesca get the last laugh, or will a killer be the last vampire standing?

What can I say that I haven’t said before? I love this series.  It’s light, entertaining, refreshing for the lack of “darkness” and funny.  After dragon’s being my all time favourite fantasy characters, dolphins come close to the top of my favourites list of “real” animals.  Now for those of you who have read La Vida Vampire and now Last Vampire Standing, dolphins appear everywhere.  From Cesca’s old friend Triton, to a stuffed toy in her bedroom and I believe even her jamies.  These little details are what make this book stand out.  The attention to even the smallest details

In this book, Cesca’s world is expanding.  We meet Jo-Jo who when trying to be serious if funny but when trying to be funny kind of makes a hash of it.  She has been practising some of her super powers but now with Jo-Jo on the scene, Saber is determined for her to learn and use ALL of her skills.  This leads to a very funny scene that involves a bridge and Pandora in panther size that gave me the giggles.

Cesca has got a quasi permanent stalker and a really HOT man in Saber.  He is a man who is fully aware of himself and happy in his skin.  There is none of the possessiveness in him that to often litters the paranormal genre.

There is the mystery/suspense element that makes the detective in me sit up and start taking notes.  I eagerly turn the pages looking for the clues.  I want to know more about Pandora and Cosmil as well as the Void.  I loved Cesca’s sassiness with Triton.  In my opinion she was way too nice on him when giving him a piece of her mind.

These books have a permanent place on my keeper shelf and they are on my go to shelf when all other books are looking blah. These books are “curl up on a comfy couch, settle back and let the world just wash away” books.   I can’t wait to get my hands on Always The Vampire that’s due out on the 3rd of May

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La Vida Vampire – Nancy Haddock

With a day job, family and a child who plays way to much sport, my love of reading and reviewing can sometimes take a backseat.  I don’t often get time to reread books I have reviewed and put on my keeper shelf.

Happily with the release of “Always a Vampire” just around the corner, I made time to sit down and re read La Vida Vampire.  This character is such a quirky vampire that you just wish she was real and that you could hang with her.  Don’t be fooled by the early description of her as “,,, Gidget with fangs and an accent”  She is all vampire but with some brilliant extras.

This book is part paranormal, a little bit of history, throw in a drop of mystery and suspense swirl it all around and a whole lot of fun.  Cesca is a character  who has made a conscious decision to not follow the norms of vampire life.  You have to giggle when you find out that she has to hold her nose to drink blood.  She is more interested in getting her life back on track and enjoying her under life.  That’s her way of describing herself.  She has a heartbeat, albeit a very slow one as well as a pulse.  Cesca is more interested in fitting in rather than standing out and being a BAD NASTY vampire.

In a genre where most paranormal books are dark, intense with a bit of tortured and scary thrown in, Ms Haddock finds a balance with fun and light without completely throwing out the rules of vampire lore .

By the end of this book, I wanted to jump of a plane and fly to Florida just to see the world through Ms Haddocks eyes

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Ascension – Sable Grace Release Date 1st May

Ascension: A Dark Breed Novel

The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed — vampyre, demons, shape shifters — and mankind fight their last battle for survival.

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

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

When I opened this book, I didn’t know what to expect.  I hadn’t read the back blurb but the front cover appealed to me.

To begin with it was a bit confusing to work out what was going on.  In brief there are gods, demi gods, Lychen (werewolves) Dark Breed (vampires both good and bad) demons and leeches as well as the kinda slug icky creatures.  Kyana is a half breed.  She has overcome her bloodlust and now works as a tracker for Artemis Goddess of the Hunt.  Her job is to find the people that the gods want protected called the Chosen.  The Chosen are humans who have been marked to replace the gods now that their powers are waning.

Add to the mix, the gates of Tartarus have been unlocked and with all matter of demons are spewing forth you get an idea of the landscape. Kyana and Ryker’s mission is to find the key that will lock the gates of Hell again so that the dead demons stay dead.

This book contains a huge amount of information dumps but instead of jarring you out of the story, they pull you in more.  I liked the matter of fact way the characters accept the different types of beings in this world.  There is good and bad but not really any interspecies quibbling or fighting.  It’s more all the beings on the good side, uniting to protect humans.

The intimate scenes are sensual rather than the wham bam thank you m/am or the hard core goes for hours that you often find in this genre.  I seriously didn’t want this book to end.  I got to the last page and couldn’t believe it ended where it did.  I have so many questions left unanswered I felt myself go “But but but WHERE’S THE REST?”

I’m unashamed to admit I have been sucked into another series.  I want more and I want it now.  And WOW the sucker punch of Hades,,,, Just WOW!

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