Monday, September 26, 2011

Guest Post by Jaz Primo!

Paranormal Fiction is Out of This World!

Hi, everyone! I'm Jaz Primo, author of the urban fantasy Sunset Vampire Series, and I'm proud to be with you today to discuss a topic near and dear to my heart: Paranormal Literature. The paranormal genre has become a mainstay in today's popular literature, and has exploded into a multi-million dollar industry in less than a generation. The paranormal segment of literature is among the fastest-growing genres in the world today. In fact, the genre has grown so large that it's no longer merely relegated to the sole label of "paranormal." In recent years, paranormal elements are bleeding ubiquitously into the romance, urban fantasy, young adult, and even science fiction genres with wanton abandon. But what is the essence of paranormal literature that has launched into the success that is has today? Let's examine this further...

The dictionary loosely defines paranormal as phenomenon "unable to be explained by science and therefore mysterious." The umbrella of elements that fit neatly underneath the canopy of paranormal are numerous. In recent years, a host of paranormal creatures are once-again abound in modern literature, including vampires, all manner of were-creatures and shape shifters, ghosts and revenants, angels and demons, fairies and fae, humans with psi-abilities, aliens, and undead creatures such as zombies. And yet, that merely touches the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Human folklore from around the world is replete with references to other-worldly and under-worldly beings and entities, thereby creating a wealth of creative sources for aspiring authors to draw from. One question remains: Why does it seem that paranormal literature is so popular all of the sudden?

As previously noted, human history is riddled with folktales, stories, and parables that include references to paranormal creatures and elements. People are inherently drawn to mysterious stories, and in the past, such references were used to help explain the functioning of the universe around them or to gain clearer insight into the human condition. One only has to look back to the Greek and Roman cultures, or Native American tribal histories, to see how strongly paranormal beings or stories have influenced or shaped the development of those societies. Granted, we have no way of knowing if ancient peoples fully believed in such gods and creatures, but it is apparent to archaeologists and sociologists that those cultures were greatly influenced by them. Today, though were are deemed far more technologically advanced in explaining the nature of the universe around us, people are still drawn to the mystique and intrigue surrounding paranormal entities and the creative stories surrounding them. While the exact catalyst for a renewed interest in all things paranormal is difficult to determine with precision, it is worth venturing that both film and television should receive some of the credit in capitalizing on an initial societal interest, and subsequently growing that following using visually-captivating creations via the latest technological advancements in visual and auditory special effects.

And yet, special effects and entertainment industry executives aside, no matter the mechanisms for feeding people's hungry paranormal appetites, the truth remains that compelling prose by equally-captivated writers and authors is at the root of paranormal's recent success. Without sound story and character development, people's minds would not be tempted to continue delving into such mysterious realms. As the author of vampire-related paranormal and urban fantasy storylines, I can only hope that readers will continue to be smitten with all things paranormal!

I hope that you have enjoyed our brief discussion of the paranormal genre. And hopefully you will appreciate the review of my debut novel, Sunrise at Sunset, on this blog and consider reading my Sunset Vampire Series. The first novel, Sunrise at Sunset, was published in October 2010, and the second novel, A Bloody London Sunset, was published in May of this year. A third installment, Summit at Sunset, is being released this November. All novels are available in both trade paperback and multiple eBook formats from major retailers including as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Apple iBookstore. My sincere thanks to Beatrice for her review and for the opportunity to appear on My Kingdom for a Book. And, of course, many thanks for her support of the Romancing Your Dark Side Paranormal Blog Tour that I'm currently participating in with six other wonderful authors.

Before I go, here's the teaser for Sunrise at Sunset:
When is a bloodthirsty predator the best protection against a psychotic killer?
When the predator is both a vampire...and the woman you love.

“We vampires are focused and tend to shape our own realities.”
My name is Katrina Rawlings, and I am a vampire. I declare that with neither pride nor ego. I am simply nature’s most dangerous predator. On occasion, it’s a very valuable quality. It helped me protect Caleb Taylor one day when he was very young. But that single, traumatic day is behind him now; wiped from his memory, or so I hope.
Caleb has finally matured into a rather striking young man, and believe me, I like what I see. I’ll readily admit that there are issues for us to confront and overcome, though a sense of mutual commitment isn’t one of them. I’m feeling hopeful for our future together, in fact. But an adversary from my past has returned to haunt me, and she’s trying to get back at me through Caleb. That was her first...and last...mistake. I’ll protect my Caleb at all costs, and I’ll make her regret the day she was born.
So, I suppose that I’m not just a vampire. I’m about to become someone’s worst nightmare!

You can also find or follow me at the following locations!
Facebook:!/pages/The-Sunset-Vampire-Series/223514840998333 Twitter:   @jazprimo

Monday, September 19, 2011

Promise by Kristie Cook plus Giveaway!

I am part of the Romancing Your Dark Side Tour, and today I am reviewing Kristie Cook's first novel in the Soul Saver series, Promise! I'm also giving away an e-copy of this book, and I'll include instructions on entering the giveaway at the end of my review.

Alexis has moved many times during her childhood because of her special abilities. Her mother refuses to tell her exactly what she is, but she is not human. She is able to heal faster than normal, and when she's angry, she's got enough strength to knock a nasty ex-boyfriend across the room with one punch.

She and her mother Sophia move to Florida where Alexis is already enrolled in college. On her first day of class, she literally runs into Tristan. She has a knack for knowing who is good and who is evil, and Tristan screams good guy to her. They begin getting to know one another, despite the misgivings of Alexis's mother. As time goes on, her mother is forced to start answering some of the big questions that Alexis has about who and what she is.

I'm not sure what I expected of this book, but I was blown out of the water! I really loved it. I started out feeling like it was more a novel that belonged in the Young Adult genre. The more I read, the more I felt like it was for grown-ups, too.

The romance was perfect for me. It moved slowly with the those moments that make your heart(and other parts) tingle! I'll be honest, there was a little bit of a wet panty factor going on. There wasn't a lot of profanity. It's not something I usually notice the presence or absence of, but one of the characters said "son of a witch!" a lot, and that made me chuckle a little. No one I've ever known has used that particular phrase when they were trying to avoid cursing. Toward the end, the f* bomb got dropped a few times, and that startled me.

I got the feeling that the author was a Christian. It doesn't bother me--I've read multiple Inspirational fiction novels, and even some paranormal that include characters who claim Christianity as their religion. I've also read some overly preachy sci-fi. I did not at all feel like this author was preaching at me, trying to convince me that Christianity was right. It was an undertone in the book instead of being an overtone.

The writing got better as I got farther into the book. There were some times at the beginning that I noticed some places where I would have written a sentence or two differently. The story pulled me in quickly enough that I quit noticing any places where editing might have been needed.

Overall, I highly recommend this book! I liked the characters, the story was strong, and the writing was strong as well. If you like the Sookie Stackhouse novels, Jessica Anderson's Skykeepers novels, and the Anita Blake novels, you will most likely enjoy this novel. It's not really like any of those books--it's a twist I haven't really read in any novels before.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11/2001

I have not watched any news coverage about the attacks on September 11, 2001 since that day. I've rarely talked about my memories with anyone. I don't want to follow the crowd of people who are talking about their experiences, but it seems like it is time.

I was late to work at the small private college where I worked that morning. My brother had been sick and was home from school. I don't think he had anything to do with my tardiness, but I don't remember.

I listened to the radio during my drive and heard the announcers say that a plane had flown into the first of the Twin Towers. My first thought was that it was a joke! It was at the same time the cruelest joke I could imagine.

I reached my office still very disbelieving. It was much quieter than normal. I found one of the professors at a TV, and then I believed. They were showing the smoke, the collapse of the towers. The people walking out of the cloud of dust from the Twin Towers' collapse. The worst was the people choosing to jump from the top of the Towers and die as opposed to waiting for the buildings' collapse.

We watched hours of coverage that day. They replayed the same scenes over and over. There was a girl there whose father worked in the Twin Towers. She was beside herself with worry over his safety. I knew nobody in New York City, no one who worked in the Towers, and I watched with numb detachment. I don't remember if I cried or not.

It didn't stop with the Twin Towers, either. We heard about the Pentagon being hit and the plane that was bound for Washington, D.C.

The stories were, and still are heartbreaking. I am proud beyond measure of the Fire Department and Police Officers in New York City. They heroism, their bravery exemplifies what a Fire Fighter or Police Officer should be. They are among the noble professions. Those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice that day are among the saints, I truly believe. There is no more tragically magnificent way to die than to die saving the life of another.

I am a child of the cold war, but I remember nothing of it. The first tragedy I remember is the explosion of the Challenger. I remember the Oklahoma City Bombing vividly. After 9/11 happened, a bombing seemed so much less terrifying than using airplanes filled with innocents to commit terrorism. It was also terrifying simply not to know who had committed these crimes against the American people for so long, even though there were suspicions.

My world has always been safe. September 11th changed that.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Grief Examined

Where there is great love, there is also great sorrow.

I am one of those people who has a great capacity to love others. I have found so very many wonderful people in the world! I consider myself very lucky and I would never trade my friends for anything in the world. I would even dare to say that my friends are more awesome than your friends! Just kidding. I hope that you have friends as generous, caring, and reliable as mine.

At the same time, it hurts to have so many wonderful friends. It hurts to live most of the way across the country from my friends. I miss my California friends all the time. I wonder how their school years are going and if my little gang is getting together at Canter's diner to have lunch or dinner without me. Just being friends on Facebook isn't enough. I want to be close enough to go out to dinner with them, too.

It also hurts when they die. I had a dear friend from California pass away over the weekend. She was smart and funny. She was generous with her heart and her home. She was everything you could want in a friend. She was diagnosed with cancer about a week before she died. If cancer is the thing that's going to get you, it's the best way to go--right away before the chemo, surgery, and pain can eat away at your joy in life. At the same time, she deserved the right to fight! I can't find words for my hatred of cancer.

I've begun to wonder how much grief one soul can absorb and not completely unravel. I feel like I've barely recovered from one loss when another hits. It is magnified so many times, an algebraic effect. Every time someone I love dies, I remember the pain of all those other deaths. I re-live the grief of the other deaths on top of the new one.

I think that some people have the inclination to draw away from others and close their hearts to loving new friends and family. I don't do that, but my greatest wish is that the people I love stop dying.

Rest in Peace
Sandy McCoy
Ron Bramon
Harold Sweet
Margaret Reese
Helen Classcles
Avery Edward Adkins McCoy
Amy Rion Chesbro
Anne O'Donohue Lainhart

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Developing a Title, Guest post by B.K. Walker

First, let me apologize for the tardiness of this blog post. A dear friend of mine passed away over the weekend, and I've been somewhat mired in grief over that. 

Secondly, I have 2 e-copies of B.K. Walker's Night Secrets to give away! Anyone who comments on this post, follows me publicly on Google Follow, votes in my poll, follows me on Twitter, and retweets the contest will be eligible. Please leave one comment per entry! In addition, each person who comments will be entered in a contest to win a free Kindle! Check out for more information and for an expanded schedule of the Romancing Your Dark Side book tour!

I think this has to be the second worst thing in writing, editing being the first. Title creation does take some time and creative thinking. We want the title to be catchy, to make a reader think "What's this about?" If you were looking to buy a book, the first thing you look at is the cover, the second thing the title. If a title said something like, "The Life of Copper Dugan", that isn't so interesting, but if it read, "The Life and Times of Copper Dugan" or "Would the Real Copper Dugan Please Stand Up", now that's more likely to have the reader turning the book over to find out more.

So how do we authors come up with titles? It's a process, and sometimes we have the title before we even write the story, but that's a rare occasion, at least for me. Usually the title will come to us in an "Ahh hah" moment during the writing process. Other times, we have to work it out, sit down and really think about our story, what does it tell, what words would represent it best. Sometimes it's easy to come up with a title, other times it's mind boggling. For Night Secrets, it was easy to come up with the title as Night Secrets, a club in the story plays a significant role in the storyline. This is where a lot of the action takes place, not to mention that it's also a secret underground where vampires seek sanctuary. This making it the basis of all of the Night Secret books, it was an easy decision.

For Near Suicide, the main character was in such a turmoil that her entire life she thought about committing suicide, and when I revised this I just needed to think of something that also represented being Near Suicide, and with the cover I developed, Death Upon Me was what became close to tell what the story was.

Immortyl Kisses is based on the kiss of an immortal, and just to change it up a bit I changed the spelling.

Dares And Dreams, again was based on a bar in the book, where a lot of the action takes place. I have a tendency to lean towards a specific name in my storyline that I can create a decent title from.

I usually find something in my story that I can base a title on though. An overall theme that is both intriguing and telling of what the book is about. I will admit too, that I've even used a Title Generator. These are fun because it just randomly generates a title, and if I see one I like, and many times I do, I can pick one that best fits my story. The trick is for me, if it makes me want to find out more from a book, then most likely a reader would too.

Find BK Walker:
Facebook -
Twitter - @bk36

BK Bio:
BK Walker currently lives in Central Pennsylvania with her three children, Brittney, Hunter and Danny, her dogs Rancid, Sadie and Haven, a cat named Whiskers and a goldfish named Fat Albert. She has always had a love for reading and writing, even as a child she created stories reading them to her stuffed animals. With a love for vampires and werewolves, you will not be disappointed with her writing as she mixes up the paranormal juice. Aside from writing, BK also supports Indie Authors organizing virtual book tours, helping them to market and promote their work. Her book review site, BWB Reviews, is just another small way she contributes to the reading world. With many stories floating around in her head, she writes when she gets the time between working as a Pediatric Home Care Nurse, being a single mother, and continuing her college education in Graphic Art Design. When BK's not fighting with her muse, Mouthy Mary, who has much to say way too often, you will find her at a baseball game with her children, or relaxing with a good book in her hand.
Night Secrets Blurb:
Keara Crosby had the perfect life. Her family was not hurting for anything. When her parents are suddenly killed, Keara must learn to live without them. After mourning their death for two months, Keara starts to live again. She follows her favorite band, hangs with her best friend Jared, and falls for the new kid on the block.
When her favorite band is playing at Night Secrets, a new club downtown, she takes her first outing since her parents death and finds this mysterious boy watching her. Mesmerized by his lapus blue eyes, she can't help but feel drawn to him. Her body responds to him in ways she never thought possible, and she needs to figure out why. What is it about Channing that has her yearning for his touch?
Not only is Keara drawn to Channing, but the owner of Night Secrets seems to be drawn to her. Giving her special treatment, she can't help but wonder what he's hiding, and the sense she's seen him before. When she's attacked in the parking lot, her world turns inside out, literally. Keara will soon learn that secrets of the night, just may be the death of her.
     Tonight was the night ‘Shot In The Dark 357’ would be
playing at Night Secrets. I wasn’t exactly sure where it
was downtown, so I drove around earlier today to see if I
could find it.
     It was on the south side of town, in what used to be an
old abandoned, run down factory. Pretty much in the
middle of nowhere, I wondered how they thought they
would make any business out here. They did fix it up nice
though with the outside being black, with a shiny exterior
that reflected like a mirror around the entire building.
Painted on the left corner of the front, were the words
‘Night Secrets’, angled in a white ghostly script that
dripped beneath each letter like wet paint from a paint
     I couldn’t help but think how perfect the name was, as
the whole place put off a secretive, seductive effect.
Tonight would be their grand opening. No wonder
Buddha seemed so excited, they were the band chosen
for the grand opening.
     I rummaged through my closet looking for the perfect
outfit. It would have to be black, to match the theme of
the club. That seems to be all I wear anymore anyways.
     I settled for black jeans with a baby tee that sported
‘SITD 357’ in florescent green, with my new Buddha
hoodie. I straightened my hair, pulled money from my
wallet along with my ID to place in my back pocket.
Doing a quick turn around in the mirror, satisfied, I
headed to the club.
     Jamison met me at the bottom of the stairs, holding
my keys. “Thank you Jamison.”
     “Anytime Miss Keara.” He grinned.
     I smiled and kissed his cheek. “Don’t wait up.”
     Pulling into the club I couldn’t believe all the people
surrounding the building. The parking lot was full, people
lined up from the door of the club, down to the street
corner. It was going to take forever to get inside.
     I drove around in circles for fifteen minutes before I
finally found a parking space and pulled in, centering my
car perfectly between two others. Turning off the Jeep,
nervousness swarmed me. I wished Jared could have
come. Jared had made plans to go to dinner with Russell
though and he was going to try and stop in before the
night was over.
     I anxiously looked around the parking lot, pausing on
my rear view mirror. ‘Him’. What is he doing here? Our
eyes locked in my mirror. His eyes seemed to glow even
brighter than before in the moonlight and again I couldn’t
bring myself to look away. He was beautiful.
     Demanding my eyes to blink, which took extreme
effort it was almost like being hypnotized by ‘him’. When I
reopened my eyes, he was gone. I took a steadying
breath wondering if I imagined it, then departed from my
car to wait in that dreadful line.
     There was a lot of excited chatter in the long line.
Everyone was waiting in anticipation, not knowing what
to expect once they got inside and a lot of talk on how
great it looked from the outside.
     I stood there listening in to a couple of girls, watching
their reflections through the building. Feeling someone
grab my arm I turned sharply to see who it was, meeting
dark eyes.
     “I’m sorry. I thought you were my girlfriend.” He was
my height with long dark brown hair, a go tee, and silver
hoops in his ears. His voice was deep, mysterious with
an edge to it.
     “It’s okay.” I answered, eyes wide with surprise.
     After several seconds, he loosened his grip on my
arm, looking around in search of his girlfriend. Watching
him walk away, feeling bad he had lost her in this
treacherous line, I noticed he kept glancing back at me
causing a bit of unease in my gut. Why does he keep
looking at me? He already established I wasn’t her.
     “Keara!” I heard my name being called. I looked to
see where Buddha was, already recognizing the Irish
     “Hey Buddha.” I yelled back, raising my hand.
     “Aye. Come on girl. Yer comin’ wit me.” He grabbed
my hand and led me inside. “Wait till ya see this place. It
so grand.” He said with enthusiasm.
     Following behind him, I realized I’d probably follow
Buddha to the ends of the earth. As long as he had his
     We walked past a bouncer checking ID’s at the door.
Very very tall, an obvious well built body builder his arms
were huge, the muscles bulging from under the sleeves
of his tee. He was wearing dark glasses and I wondered
how he could see in this darkness. He gave Buddha a
nod as we passed by.
     “He didn’t even ask to see my ID Buddha.” I
     “He'd be a weird one. I 've not ’eard em speak much.”
Buddha whispered back.
     We walked through the main doors into an entry way
coming to a narrow hall, coat racks lining each side.
There were several doors on either side of the hall after
the coat racks, with tinted double glass doors at the end.
That’s where we were heading.
     Buddha opened the door and stood off to the side
waiting for me to pass. I smiled at him, “Thank you.”
“It’s me pleasure. Wait till ya see this bloody place
     I couldn’t believe it. This place was beautiful. You
would never know it was an old factory the way it looks
now. As soon as you walked through the doors, you
could hear music playing. A mild classic rock, not too
loud, yet not too low you couldn’t hear it at all. In the
very front of the room, just past the doors, were a set of
stairs, leading to a circular bar. The bar was shiny and
black, and sat about five feet off the ground floor. The
platform that surrounded the bar was big enough to have
five people standing next to each other with their arms
outstretched and was full of people.
     There were tables on the ground floor, all stationed to
be able to see the stage that was off to the back. The
floors were glossy black, with the words Night Secrets in
the center with the ghostly dripping effect as on the
outside of the building. The stage too was black, with the
white letters again against the back wall.
     This was just the ground level. As I looked up, there
were three more levels of floors, all able to overlook the
stage. It was almost like a cell block, without the cells.
Each level had a railing to keep patrons from falling, and
there were people hanging on them looking down to the
ground floor. Large screen televisions hung on the wall
and from the ceiling, displaying the video to the song that
was playing.
     I was in complete awe. It was beautiful, shiny and
new. “It’s amazing.” I managed after realizing Buddha
was staring at me.
     “I told ya. Ya wer n’t gonna believe this here place. It’s
purdy awesome eh?”
     “I don’t think there are words to describe it Buddha. It
must have cost a fortune!”
     “I’m sure it did. I ‘ave n’t met tha owner yet, but I ‘ear
he’s purdy extravagant.”
     I continued to look around. This place was just too
amazing. I have never seen anything so….amazing.
Wow. Just wow.
     Buddha excused himself to go get sound checked.
Wandering around like a kid in a candy store, wanting to
see everything they had, I went up the first flight of stairs
to the next level. The stairs were cement, but had black
carpet lining them. At the top of the stairs, the walls were
of that mirrored black like outside. A bar centered in the
middle, in the shape of a horseshoe and the floors were
shaped in a half moon, with stairs at each end. There
were several doors again off the back wall, and tables
lined up in between the doors. Black stools lined the bar.
Again the bar was shiny black, and this time I could
see that Night Secrets was engraved in the wood of the
bar, which was stained black, the letters stained white,
and a clear lacquer finish on top. Behind the bar were
mirrors, and in front of the mirrors were shelves lined with
     The bartender here was built, much like the bouncer
at the door. His hair was black, his skin was pale, and
he too wore dark sunglasses. What was up with the
sunglasses? How can they see? It’s just as dark in here
as it is outside. Weird.