Posts Tagged ‘Vampire books’

When Nicole Whitcomb’s car runs off a Colorado mountain road during a blinding snowstorm, she is saved from death by a handsome, fascinating, and enigmatic stranger.

Snowbound with him for days in his beautiful home high in the Rockies, she finds herself powerfully attracted to him. But there are things about him that mystify her, filling her with apprehension. Who is Michael Tyler? Why does he live in such a secluded spot and guard his private life so carefully? What secret—or secrets—is he hiding?

Review of Nocturne: From the desk of Shelley DeWees (The Uprising) …

“Never have I had such an intense relationship with books as when I was a young girl. I raged inside them and lived a double emotional life, half real girl, half inhabitant of a distant world, and I chose book neither because of, nor in spite of, their artistic merit, only for their ability to pull me through the looking glass.”
–Caitlin Flanagan, What Girls Want: Vampire Novels Illuminate the Complexities of Female Desire

It’s Saturday afternoon. The rain is lashing against the windows of your bedroom, obscuring your view into the outside world and in turn, hiding yourself from anything beyond your immediate surroundings. A delicious sense of solitude creeps through you, and you know you’ve got all day to sit and soak it up…no job, no husband, no nothing to distract you. Relieved and carefree, you toss yourself on the bed and carefully unfold the book you’ve been waiting to read, the book you’ve been toting around in your bag for weeks or clutching to your chest like some kind of emotional armor. You’re quickly absorbed once again, lying on your stomach with your legs in the air, and hours upon hours of unbroken silence pass before you know it while your brain floats on a cloud of imagination…

Typical Saturday? Maybe in our most magnificent fantasies. Or how about in our memories?

Losing yourself in a book is truly a remarkable thing. The moment when you look at the clock to realize that midnight has come and gone is a special one, not to be taken lightly. That is, of course, until you become conscious of that fact that, yes, you have to be up in 3 hours and to work in 5. And therein lays the problem. Somewhere along the path of growing up we lost the ability to retreat into our heads, forsaking our giggly girl-reader for a woman almost-reader with a car payment and a pension plan. We traded away the gift of reading trashy, poorly written books that take you somewhere else in favor of using our adult scrutiny to decide whether a book was “good.” When you were a girl, a book became “good” simply if it gave you the giddy feeling that 40-something men must get when they get an unexpected glimpse of pornography: “a slingshot back to a world of sensation that, through sheer force of will and dutiful acceptance of life’s fortunes, you thought you had subdued,” says Caitlin Flanagan, author of “What Girls Want: Vampire Novels Illuminate the Complexities of Female Desire.

Fortunately for us and our shriveled imaginations, it’s never too late to get it back. Thus, I’d like to introduce you to a vampire romance where the characters are predictable and the plot is laughably absurd. The weak woman falls hopelessly in love with a too-perfect man, surrounded by an idyllic setting where gender roles from the 1960’s abound….and no, I’m not talk about that other vampire series. Nocturne, the newest gift from Syrie James, is infinitely better written than that other thing, far better in terms of structure and development but equally silly and delicious.

Nicole Whitcomb, with her lovely red-headed beauty and underdeveloped common sense, drives off the road in a winter storm and is saved by the overly enchanting Michael Tyler. She wakes up in his perfect house among his flawless made-to-attract-her life and…big surprise…falls for him. But wait! He’s a VAMPIRE! What, didn’t you know that? Whoa. Their story unfolds just as you would expect, and the no-I-can’t-yes-you-can banter progresses just as it did in that other novel series. However, the sexual energy builds and the two characters finally succumb to their urges…very well, by the way.

I found myself glued to the pages of this novel, despite its definite installment under the “brain candy” column. A slight glimmer of the teenager I once was showed her face once again, and I dissolved into giggles and gasps like a silly school girl. My adult brain got to take a hiatus for awhile, sipping on margaritas while my imagination hummed into motion, and only shouting in protest at one or two points. It’s not artistic literature, but Nocturne will grip you like books once did, upstairs in your room, hidden away while still in plain sight. It was a unique moment, something that I’m a bit embarrassed to admit (but that must be my overachieving adult side talking).

Excerpt from Nocturne:

Nicole’s heart began to beat erratically. She’d heard scary things about mountain men who’d lived too long in isolated places. Who was this guy? He seemed cultured and spoke very formally, as if he belonged in the Queen’s court or in a palace surrounded by servants.

What was an Englishman doing in this remote corner of the Colorado mountains, unless he was hiding from something? But if he was a killer, surely he would have murdered her already, instead of carefully tending to her wounds. Wouldn’t he?

“You haven’t told me your name,” she said, straining to keep her voice even.

“Haven’t I? I beg your pardon. Michael Tyler.”

“How is it that you live up here? I thought this was national forest land.”

“It is. But there are pockets of private land scattered throughout.”

“Do you live here all year long?”

“I do.”

“By yourself, or …”

“I live alone.”

Her questions seemed to annoy him. He stood up and Nicole sensed that he was about to leave the room. In an effort to lighten the mood—or maybe just to put herself more at ease—she glanced at the grand piano and said with a forced smile, “So I take it it’s either you who plays that piano, or the resident ghost?”

A surprised twinkle lit his blue eyes. He sat back down in his chair with the first hint of a smile. “Definitely the ghost. Watch out for her. She plays at the oddest hours and has been known to leave candles burning in the most unlikely places.”


“A raven-haired beauty. From her clothing and hairstyle, I deduce that she’s from the previous century. Which is strange when you consider that I only built the house ten years ago.”

Nicole laughed. His smile was charming. His accent was so lovely, she could listen to it all day long. Maybe there was nothing to be afraid of after all…” (Read a longer excerpt here.)

Syrie James

More links:

Read Full Post »

Jane Austen, Vampyre Critic

Jane Austen, Vampyre Critic

Inquiring Reader,

Here then is Lizzie’s last letter to her sister relating her adventures with Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. She had divided her thoughts into three missives, not wanting to burden Jane with all of her emotions at once. For another take on the book, please click here and read Laurel Ann’s well thought out review on Austenprose and a favorable review on Austenblog. Three bloggers, three points of view.

My dearest Jane,

Well, what a crock, as they say in 21st century America! I’ve had to delve a full 250 pages into Mr. Darcy Vampyre to find out what was going to happen to us. And then the plot was so rushed and jumbled that I never did received an adequate explanation of how vampyres came to be, or what exactly Mr. Darcy ate in order to survive for 150 years. Upon my honor, Jane, I am aware that men are not particularly conversant when it comes to giving out details, but I’d had no notion that Mr. Darcy suffered from a verbal disability. He could not for the life of him adequately explain his strange tale. In describing one of the most important events of his life – that of turning into a vampyre – he took all of 21 words. (STOP!: Major Spoiler Alert: “The woman turned to me, her fangs dripping red and then she was next to me and my neck was pierced”).

Ms. Anne Rice took pages and pages to describe the writhing tormenting death that humans go through to turn into vampyres, and even Ms. Stephanie Meyers hinted that the transformation was quite unpleasantly painful, but all I got from Mr. Darcy was twenty one itty bitty little words. In addition he made it sound as if turning into a vampyre was an ordinary event, with Mrs. Reynolds, the housekeeper, choosing to join the merry Pemberley vampyre band, although, to give Ms. Grange her due, my husband’s face WAS shadowed as he related these events.

Any discerning reader knows that Ms. Meyers can’t write her way out of a paper bag, but at least with Twilight she told a rousing good tale. Ms. Meyers also gave the reader ample glimpses of Edward Cullen’s mental torment and extraordinary physical skills. Ms Grange’s story of my life with Mr. Darcy is, frankly, missing the otherworldly touches and sensuality that vampyre fans have come to expect as their due. (Either that or humor, which is also absent. And you know how I am renowned for my BITING wit, hah!)  Her hints about my husband are so thinly scattered in 5/6th of the book that they left me feeling confused rather than threatened. To say that suspense was lacking in our tale is to state the obvious. In the instances when Ms. Grange eschewed Bram Stoker’s lore, her vampyre rules seemed jerry-rigged, for they sprung up from nowhere, unsupported by a well thought-out back story. I could never quite tell (except in a few meagre scenes at the end) which super powers my husband had supposedly acquired, how ancient vampyres ruled their vampyre empire, or how conflicted Mr. Darcy felt watching those he loved grow old and die whilst he lived on forever.

Never was a more sensual and sensuous vampyre created than The Vampire Lestat, and I felt that my Mr. Darcy deserved at the very least the rich, decadent and multi-layered descriptions that Anne Rice gave to her own vampire. But it was not to be. There was a lot of telling in this book, but very little showing, and scent and touch were largely missing. Ms. Grange turned Mr. Darcy into a milque toast vampyre when I frankly would have preferred someone darker.

To add insult to injury, I am also suffering from a major letdown. When Mr. Darcy and I finally came together as one, Ms. Grange glossed over our glorious moments in a single paragraph. I kid you not. My love for Darcy SAVED him from eternal damnation and hell, (and crumbling buildings, fissures, and falling statues). I think that at the very least I deserved to sing soprano as our entwined souls soared to the rafters! Instead I merely trembled and weakened. I’m done and refuse to lend my good name (and Mr. Darcy’s) to another sequel. My husband and I are headed for England and the hallowed halls of Pemberley, for I am genuinely concerned about your last letter. Your cryptic statement informing me that our friends the Misses Dashwood were abducted by a giant octopus leaves me most anxious to use my zombie slayer warrior skills to save them.


Mrs. Darcy, Once sang alto, now sings soprano

Mr Darcy, Vampyre coverVic gives this book One and 1/2 fangs out of four fangs, mostly for trying, for as a travel log the book is quite satisfying. Read the other reviews here:

Read Full Post »

colin darcy as vampireInquiring readers,

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange took me one month to read. For 200 pages the interminable plot seemed to twist in endless slow circles, like flotsam in the wide Sargasso Sea, before true vampyric action began. Mrs. Darcy’s (nee Bennet’s) letters, recently uncovered in a dusty attic, illuminate what actually transpired in her mind as she traveled from castle to castle during her honeymoon. Her first letter to her sister Jane can be found in the post below, or in this link. Her third letter can be read at this link. Here then, is the second of three installments. So much hoopla has surrounded this highly anticipated novel, that I felt it incumbent upon me to share all three of Lizzie’s letters.

My dearest Jane,

I must be going mad, for inexplicably I find myself living a life I would never have chosen inside a book entitled Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. First, the author, Ms Grange, has got my character wrong. Had Mr. Darcy announced before our wedding that he was planning to take me on a Grand Tour of the Continent instead of a proper honeymoon, I would have delicately persuaded him to take me to Pemberley, for it was inside that grand edifice that I expected to be fully made his bride! Instead, we have been wandering over Swiss hill and Italian dale on an aimless journey, with Mr. Darcy disappearing at the most inopportune moments. For 200 pages I have been consorting with strangers for whom I care not one whit. One even let slip that she believes she is 500 years old, at which point I heard the cuckoo clock strike thirteen times.

Jane, I am most perplexed at my husband’s continued lack of “amore”. He gives me “looks”, not of the yearning variety either, but simply “looks.” Having observed barnyard animals and their straightforward approach to reproduction, I have a good notion of where my wifely duty lies (for as we both know our parents were sadly lacking in educating us on this topic), and I know that begetting an heir requires more than merely looking. Thus I was as all prepared to shut my eyes and think of England as Mr. Darcy had his wicked way with me, but Ms. Grange has my Fitzwilliam shirking his husbandly responsibilities! In fact, I feel as if I’m trapped inside a book whose plot seems to have no point

I’ve had so much alone time on my hands that, as with Father’s study, I’ve spent hours in my husband’s Venetian library pouring over his enormous collection of books. He seems to have a strange fixation with vampyres, owning dozens of ancient, well-thumbed tomes containing vivid descriptions of immortal beings who must suck the blood of humans to survive. Does Mr. Darcy believe he is a vampyre, as the title of Ms. Grange’s book suggests? If so, is this the reason why he has been avoiding me? But of course this could not be so! For I’m as hot blooded a woman as they come, and what self-respecting vampyre could resist the rich red corpuscles pulsing through my blue veins? I have one bulging vein on my left wrist that is particularly tempting, not to mention those  that lie close to the surface of my neck. The ancient books also describe vampyres as suffering mightily from internal struggles, for they are doomed to kill those they love or turn them into vampyres, but frankly, the biggest struggle Mr. Darcy has demonstrated in this novel thus far is deciding on whether to join me for dinner  and …

Pray, is that a noise coming from the corridor? I must lay my quill aside, for perhaps it is my husband finally coming to claim my virginal self.

Mr Darcy, Vampyre coverAdieu for now! Your ever hopeful sister,


  • Living Girl Reads suggests that Henry Crawford, predatory male that he is, would have made a better vampyre. What think you?

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: