The Wolves of Midwinter

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Modified Cover Reveal

First of all, we want to thank you so much for wanting to help us spread the word about The Modified! The cover reveal is set for Friday, August 31st. We really appreciate your support, and it means the world to us! Oh, and if you want to embed the Raffelcopter widget for the giveaway here’s the link to find it:

Or if you just want to Embed the code right away here it is:

***Below the break is the text for the cover reveal post. Just copy and paste, and feel free to add anything you want to it. This is just a sample post :)***


The Modified Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

What would you sacrifice to save the one’s you love? To save the one who holds your heart? To save the world?

Kenley Grayson is all too familiar with these questions.

After Earth is thrust into its first intergalactic war with an unknown race called the Bringers, our military forces begin to suffer heavy losses. Desperate for a solution, the Allied Federation issues a worldwide draft for every able seventeen-year-old to enlist. As Kenley turns seventeen, she finds herself thrown into the very war that took her older brother’s life.
This year’s draft is a little different than in the past though. A new program, known as the Magnus Project, has been introduced, and only the best and brightest qualify. Kenley is amongst a select few whom are chosen to join this elite group of soldiers, and as a part of this project, undergoes a modification procedure that leaves her and her peers endowed with powers beyond their wildest dreams.
As Earth continues in its struggle against the Bringers, Kenley is transported to a high-tech training facility, the Magnus Academy, to prepare for the major battle that lies ahead. It’s here that she meets the California heartthrob, and son of a legendary war hero, Landon Shaw. As unexpected feelings toward Landon begin to develop, Kenley wonders if this is the right time or place for romance to bloom, especially when those feelings start to interfere with her training.
With the weight of the world on her shoulders, Kenley is constantly reminded of how important she and the rest of the Magnus cadets are to the fate of humanity. She is one of the Modified, Earth’s last line of defense against utter destruction.

The Modified releases this Fall!

Like the cover for The Modified? Well then head over to Nathan Szerdy’s website and peruse his amazing collection of works. We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

The mom and son author duo, C.A. Kunz, thoroughly enjoys writing about things that go bump in the night and futuristic action-packed romances while drinking massive amounts of English breakfast tea and Starbucks coffee. To find out more about this duo and their books visit their blog, or find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Amateur Angel: Young Adult Novel Reader Promo

Author Karri Thompson has stopped by with an excerpt for the Amateur Angel Blog Tour:

     Something crunched beneath me, breaking my fall, and when I extended my arms, pressing my palms against the floor, I felt that same “something” against my back stabilizing me as I lifted my shoulders and scrambled upright. I inspected these additional appendages, turning first left and then right. Oh, my God! This is unreal! I was draped in a soft, flowing gown of pure white, and two of the most beautiful things I had ever seen extended majestically from my shoulder blades in a graceful arch. They were wings actually, honest to goodness, angel’s wings. And although I had trouble controlling them at first, within minutes of flexing, rotating, and rolling my shoulders in every direction, I could not only expand and contract them, folding them compactly against my back, but I could also flap them like a magical bird.  

Author's Links:
Website Purchase on Amazon Purchase on Barnes and Noble Facebook

About Karri Thompson

As a first-time author, I cannot express- not even in words- how excited I am about the release of my debut novel, Amateur Angel.  It took a lot of hard work and sleepless nights.  There were many disappointments and rejections along the way, but in the end, my persistence and determination eventually paid off.  In many ways, I think writing a novel is easier than finding an agent to represent it and then a publisher to buy it.  Two years ago, I almost gave up on my dream to become an author, but then my son, Kyle, wrote a special poem for me, and it inspired me to write a new book and try again.  The new book was Amateur Angel.

Here is his poem:
        You fail and you fail,
        You fix and you fix,
        You wait and you wait,
        Until you succeed.

I hung this poem in my closet and read it every day when I was getting ready to go to work and each night before I went to bed.  It is still there and always will be.  I know what I’m about to say will sound like a cliché, but based on my own personal experience, the best advice I can give anyone is to always believe in your abilities, hold your head high, swallow your pride, accept criticism and then learn from it, and most importantly, never give up.
I grew up in San Diego County and attended San Diego State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in education, and my teaching credential.  I am a high-school English teacher in the East County of San Diego where I also live with my husband, our son, and two dogs.
Being a lover of Victorian literature, my favorite author is Charles Dickens although I haven’t quite finished reading all of his books.  Someday I’ll finally finish David Copperfield- I promise.  If you are one of my students, you are either laughing or shaking your head at this.
I lead a very busy life, but when I’m not teaching, grading papers, or attending my son’s soccer games, I find time to write novels, my greatest passion.  

Author's Links:


Purchase on Amazon

Purchase on Barnes and Noble



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anne Rice Interview: Highlighting her Thoughts on Today's Vampires

   Author's Note: Since I've just begun an internship and classes this week, my blog is not a strong priority right now. This does not mean that I won't be making updates; they just might be more infrequent  over the next few months. Anyways, I really wanted to share this wonderful interview I did with Anne Rice about the issue of the growing domesticity of vampires. One of the grievances of readers of Deborah Harkness' fantastic series was the fact that her vampires were suspiciously lacking certain well-known classical features. Of course, Anne Rice deviated from the classical formula by allowing her vampires to view and admire their own reflections. This display of vanity was purportedly denied to the more monstrous incarnations of vampires because they are to remain tragically unaware of their own decayed state.

     Within many of these older tales, monsters supposedly have self-recognition issues. Antithetically, Frankenstein only garnered knowledge of his own monstrous state through the affrighted response that others offered him, besides the blind man who has the incapability of sharing in the collective fear that others have of Frankenstein's superficial display of monstrous features. In many ways, Frankenstein was revolutionary in the fact that Mary Shelly tried to psychoanalyze monsters before Freud later even introduced that concept into our rapidly expanding body of scientific knowledge.

     For many years, I've wondered why  modern vampires are currently envisaged currently as sensual beings that are aesthetically-pleasing. Due to Anne Rice's ingenious alteration to the mirror rule for vampires, her vampires are well-aware that they superficially appear as dashing,suave appearance. They have the talent of utilizing their preternatural senses, along with this facade of transcendent humanity, to succor gullible, inquisitive humans into responding to them in ways that are contrary to their nature. Just as vampire are inherently "abnormal," humans act in unpredictable ways when they effectively succumb to the preternatural powers of these vampires. Anne Rice effectively made the vampires the hybrid of Dracula and Frankenstein, by combining the  morally dark vampire character  of Dracula and deeply tormented figure that is Frankenstein's monster.

     Deborah Harkness allows vampires to be tormented, but she also allows them to assimilate into human society. The large overarching theme of the "All Soul's Trilogy" wonderfully reflects our modern plight of how society remain stable, whilst permitting the diverse populations of a pluralistic community to freely express themselves. This is the modern conundrum, and I love how Deborah Harkness bridges this conflict to the past within her second novel "Shadow of Night," and shows the remarkable similarities of the conflicts that existed in both the past and the present. I really don't want to spoil any specific information about the novel, but it really is a book that should be read, even if you have reservations about the way Deborah Harkness domesticates vampires, but still allow them to be deep, puzzling characters that continue to elude the reader.

   Anyways, here is Anne Rice's response to some questions I posed about this interesting evolution:

Interview with Anne Rice:
  1.What is your theory behind the growing domesticity of vampires? Do you seeing yourself as playing a significant role in influencing this phenomenon in recent vampire novels?  
Anne Rice: Well, obviously vampires are culturally up for grabs.  Different writers are envisioning them in different ways. We know this.  They started out as menacing and dangerous aristocrats in the works of Polidari, LeFanu and Stoker.  I followed in that tradition with Louis and Lestat and Marius, but exploring them as tragic heroes, suffering souls of acute sensitivity and vision who acquired great wisdom as immortals.   Then American writers began to domesticate them, presenting them as high school kids, small town dwellers,  ordinary people hunting their victims in every day places.  And we saw as the result, the great Jane Eyre myth (female encounters older mysterious menacing male who proves to be her lover and protector) developed by Stephanie Meyer in an everyday high school setting. Quite a creative coup.   And Charlaine Harris' highly creative visions of vampires in a Louisiana small town became quite campy, satirical and hilarious.  ---  Myself I have not participated in the domestication of vampires much.  Even the little biker character, Baby Jenks, in my novel Queen of the Damned is part of a larger mythos and is used to view the huge mythic framework of vampires and their destiny.   ----  I love to write about exceptional beings, and what makes them exceptional.  I am not an author who offers insights into "ordinary guys" or how vampires become ordinary guys or how ordinary guys become vampires.  I'm too hooked on the heroic, the alienated, the larger than life psyche.  Of course I see my heroes as metaphors for the predator, the alienated one and the hero in all of us. 

2. Vampires have become complicated lovers for select humans, philosophers, musicians, and many other uniquely human roles; what do you think the next evolution of vampires will look like? Will they still be "vampires?" 
Anne Rice: I have no clue as to what the next evolution will be.  But I do feel the vampire is here to stay in English language literature.  He or she is like the cowboy, frontier person, or detective --- a vivid and wonderful type that readers love.   And I have every confidence in the creativity of English language writers.  We'll see some amazing things.  Is there more explore? Yes, much much more.  I learned that when writing the Wolf Gift, even though it wasn't about vampires.  I had to think like an immortal supernatural monster in 2011, and I realized that there were new enemies to confront: technology, modern crime analysis, and the greedy interest of science in anything that might promise immortality.  So on it goes. 

Again, Thanks Anne Rice!! You are always so obliging to your fans. There is a reason that your fans have great respect for you.

Anne Rice Month is winding down... but a review of "Shadow of Night" will be posted on Friday. Also, I will post things that I neglected to post throughout September; therefore, I have just contradicted myself by saying that Anne Rice Month was winding down....I hope to post my feature on Frankenstein's Monster next week, along with my interview I completed for it.

  Additionally, I have some really nifty magazine scans to post for a final post about the history of the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

History of the Official Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club Part 2

Guest Post Written by: Suzie Quiroz, president of the Official Vampire Lestat Fan club
"There are always new fans who do not know the fan club story.  We have been in operation for 24 years!  It is hard to believe it has been that long, I guess time does pass quickly when you are having fun!  LOL

Maybe I will discuss the first Ball held in October, 1989 when Anne, Stan and Christopher Rice (age 11) came with some of her publishers from Random House (the paperback publisher of Knopf Publishing Group) with about 200 people attending.  For the first few Gatherings, we made specialty cakes.  Anne's editor and publicist "Loved" the three cakes we made of the paperback "Interview"; "Vampire Lestat" and "Queen".   Interview was red, VL was gold and Queen was black...the icing must have been nasty with all the food coloring!   Random House gave Anne a rubber skeleton (about 4' tall) which Anne put in the upstairs bathroom by the tv room...people were startled by it when they used the rest room!  We filmed the first Ball but I am not sure the tape survived Katrina (August, 2005), I lost a lot of signed books, comics, and manuscripts that Anne had signed for me.  I try not to think too hard about what I lost, but two really cool things did not make it out of my house intact...The gold coffin Anne used to arrive at the booksigning for "Servant of the Bones" (used in October 1996 or 97) and my two mannequins, Lestat and Louis.  I have replaced the Lestat and Louis mannequins, but the gold coffin was irreplaceable.  But when my house was checked for dead bodies, all they found were two mannequins...Lestat had lost a boot and his foot was spray painted orange and was sticking out of the big bay window.  I would have loved to have seen their faces when the found him!   LOL
The second Ball was at the Delta Steamboat boarding site by the MS River.  We had dressed some mannequins and made a banner for "Satan's Night Out" the band that awakened Lestat when he went underground.  Anne Rice, Vicky Wilson (her publisher at Knopf) and her publicist Janice Goldklang, Katherine Ramsland (her biographer) and David Campiti (Innovation Comic Books) were our guests.  Everyone there had a chance to go talk with Anne for a few minutes.  I think we all made an impression on Anne and her publisher."

If you haven't seen this video of Anne Rice's casket being dramatically led to one of the Vampire Lestat balls (Memnoch Ball in 1995 to be exact), you should definitely watch this!

More Information about the Memnoch Ball in 1995, the iconic ball:


"People have always thought that Anne organized all of the Balls, but in fact, she organized the Memnoch Ball, and what an operation that was!   The staff at St. Elizabeth's worked tirelessly on all facets of the Ball.  We had to get permission from the city to close the street in front of St. E's (Napoleon Ave.) and both side streets, Prytania and Perrier Sts.) to have enough space for the 1,000s of people that came to the Memnoch Ball.  St. Elizabeth's had two wings off each side of the main building facing Napoleon Avenue.  In the back yard between the two wings there was a tented area with tarot readers and other things going on such as the brass band parading in the video.  The Perrier St. side had the Abita Beer truck disbursing Victim beer.  Anne had purchased a vat of beer and my sister Melanie Scott had drawn the art work for the label.  On the Prytania St. side I believe there was a group of Cajun dancers teaching the crowd the dance steps...I was with Anne the on the small float in front of St. E's with Kirstin Duntst who had permission from Warner Bros. to wear the blue dress from the movie, Interview with the Vampire.  Her mom and aunt were in the crowd below.  Other costumed celebrities stopped by to say hi to Anne such as Linda Hamilton, James Cameron and Stan Winston who had seen Pumpkinhead in one of the rooms at St. E's with a framed poem Anne wrote about him.  So later, Anne had us send him a copy.
 " (Suzie Q.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Integration Bewitching Book Tour Promo

Bonfire Book 2
By Imogen Rose

Second Haiku warning:

A boyfriend missing
A lover must pay in blood
A princess must die

Welcome back to Bonfire Academy.

A Teaser Excerpt

Broken. I couldn’t think of a better word to describe it. I felt as if I’d been torn to bits, maybe even shredded. I was suffocating, surrounded by a wet tightness of skin and flesh all crusted together. My body was home to excruciating stabs of pain searing about randomly before a final thrust of sheer agony. I couldn’t tell if the source of the pain was within me or if I was being repeatedly sliced open with a knife. Did it matter? I felt as though it was only a matter of seconds before my thoughts would end.


My name. I flinched as the same voice repeated my name again and again. Why? Who was it? It—he—sounded familiar. I heaved as the voice triggered the memory of his face. Then, not being able to stop the bile from traveling up my throat, I gagged and purged, emptying my stomach completely. The next time he muttered my name, his voice was laced with disgust. But his revulsion couldn’t compete with my utter repugnance and disbelief at what he’d done. Him. Someone I had trusted with my life, even though the rule was clear:

Trust No One.
About the Author:
Imogen Rose is the author of the bestselling series, Portal Chronicles, which has attained cult status within indie literature and become a favorite among teens and adults alike. An immunologist by profession, Dr. Rose published her first work of fiction in 2010. She now writes full time and is currently working on her second teen series, Bonfire Chronicles. Imogen was born in Sweden and has lived in several places, counting London among her favorites. She moved to New Jersey in 2001. A self-confessed Hermès addict, Imogen freely admits to being obsessed with Kurt Cobain. She enjoys shopping, traveling, watching movies, and hanging out with her family, friends, and Chihuahua.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Background on the Official Anne Rice Lestat Fan Club

Guest Post Written by Suzie Q. (President of the Official Anne Rice Lestat Fan Club)"This is Suzie Q., President of the Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat Fan Club.  I would be happy to contribute a blog for Anne Rice Fan Month.  I was Anne Rice's first secretary when she moved back to New Orleans in 1988.  I met her at the Queen of the Damned booksigning back in October, 1988.  As we waited in line, friends Susie and Teresa and I discussed starting a fan club for Anne Rice.  She said "Lestat would love to have a fan club" so we collected 30 names of those left in line at the bookstore.  The fan club went on till 2000 with 1,000s of attendees at the annual Ball or Gathering of the Coven as we called it.  In 2002, I started holding the Ball again after listening to people complain about not having anywhere to go on Halloween weekend.  After Katrina, I was unable to afford putting on a huge Ball so I started up the fan club again.  Now we have moved to larger venue due to increased attendance and I also started the Undead Con, a conference where authors can network and we can learn about their books.  This is my third Undead Conference with Guest Author Sherrilyn Kenyon.  You can see the entire lineup on our website,"

Thanks Suzie Q., and if you're interested in seeing live updates from the group, they do have a Facebook page that you can check out!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Electric Angel Graphic Novel...A Very Real Possibility!!

    Personally, I love the cover for Sue Dent's fantastic novel that will most certainly be featured as a recommendation on this blog very soon (review&interview involving Sue Dent's clever candor). I've been very familiar with Sue Dent's books for nearly five years, ever since happening upon her book Never Ceese at my local library.

      In the following link (accessible via clicking the cover-art for Electric Angel above), you can read more details about this highly daunting, yet very real project. Within the coming weeks, you'll be hearing much more about Sue Dent, as part of Anne Rice fan month!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Review of "Discovery of Witches:"Anne Rice Fan Month

Deborah Harkness is definitely perusing the Book of Shadows here....

     Today is the official start for Anne Rice fan month, and I'm really stoked about the upcoming books that will be featured and all types of other assorted posts slightly related to Anne Rice. Some people might ask: Why are you dedicating a whole month to a theme that is pretty recurrent on this blog to the point of inane redundancy? While I have had many blog related to Anne Rice, I haven't been able to feature other books closely related in genre to Anne Rice's book either. Sometimes, I feel like other writers have gotten the cold shoulder with the myriad number of reviews I've done for Anne Rice books. At the same time, they are the posts that I feel most excited about writing. How do you combine both that enthusiasm and willingness to showcase other titles?  Eventually, I felt like I struck gold with my idea to have another blog theme in the same vein as my Zombie month. Through this, I wanted to explore titles that share some similarities with Anne Rice's books, yet the authors have their own distinct style.

First Featured Recommendation

Amazon(Kindle Copy)/Barnes&Nobles (Nook Edition)
Author's Web-page/ Author's Wine Blog (Wines Under Twenty Dollars; very exceptional blog with evidence of impeccable taste for wine)
Discovery of Witches (First Book in the All Soul's  Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness

Alchemical Transformation of my Opinion of the Book

Reading Progress(Taken from GoodReads Reading Progress Chart)

92.0% "I think some bad reviews were base purely off the very unsatisfying beginning portion"
92.0% "This is my biggest surprise book of the year. I really hated it, but the plot exploded and now its amazing."
70.0% "Wow! This book went from being horrible to being awesome, How does something this unprecedented occur?"
50.0% "The book has improved tenfold for me, though it still retains a few of its flaws (notably redundant description/excessive tea drinking..) But, there are definitely some more interesting developments in the plot! The auxiliary characters notably are really the best part, such as Marcus the vampire, and Hamish the daemon."
40.0% "So I hear the sequel is better, and I do love the history to keep going"
30.0% "Then again, I might just read small parts of it still, but read something on the side."
30.0% "I quit!! This book is absolute, glorified shit! (Pardon my french) It is not deserving of the torture involved wading through hundreds of undeveloped, yet over-described set pieces of stale, garish pleasure."
07/19 "Nevermind, the Twilight elements have invaded. Crap, let's get back to the academic discourse, please!!!"
07/19 "The reviews aren't wonderful for this, but I really like her writing style thus far. Then again, I'm a sucker for fantasy books with historical stuff. It reminds me of an Anne Rice book (who has her share of very bad reviews as well)"

How did I ever find myself falling irrevocably in love with this book? Admittedly, this book and I shared a deeply complicated relationship much like the two alchemical forces that the dynamic characters of both Dianne, a historian endued with magical senses, and a seemingly over-dominant vampire lover named Matthew represent. From the beginning, this book had the duplicitous trappings of a very bad Twilight fan-fiction. It was this part of the book that had me inwardly groaning and reproaching myself for endeavoring to read something that felt like a new version of Twilight. For the inner vampire purist, I especially did not like the fact that the vampires indeed were able to walk in the sunlight. This perturbed me greatly because I am fervidly attached to the model of the classical vampire that always must have an aversion to sunlight. What is this author doing? How could a historian, with great credentials, succumb to the temptation of redoing Twilight with a witch that acts familiarly like Bella Swan. From the crop of reviews on Amazon, this was the consensus among many readers. They felt like it was Twilight repackaged with far too many unneeded, decorous details about wine, Oxford architecture, a deceptively simple plot, and overcomplicated genetic details that try to provide a hypothetical, scientific explanation for the daemons, vampires, and  witches that secretly try  to coexist uneasily in the world.

     I nearly abandoned this book because the beginning felt so reminiscent of so many other works. It really is an easy novel to stop reading altogether initially,while wading anxiously through the first hundred pages or so. I really don't know what ultimately happened, but my feelings about the book were transmuted into a more assured positivity. Once the subtle fragments of a story trying to ambitiously move through the formative stages of the mundane beginning began to fall into place; the magic of the novel just miraculously took over and completely overwhelmed me. This was an anomalous experience to have a novel completely surprise me after the unexciting, pedantic beginning. This is a very rare occasion for a novel to shift gears and suddenly become a thoroughly engrossing experience that completely overwhelms you with its precise details, evidence of exemplary historical research, and truly complex plot. 

   By the end, both Diana and Matthew, the former Twilight caricatures, suddenly began to have more life and nuance. At about page three-hundred or so, I was racing through the novel at a relentless pace that was even more rare for me. (Actually, The Night Circus was the only other novel this summer that I felt offered a thoroughly engrossing literary experience).  Did Deborah Harkness purposely begin the novel with a mundane mood with a slight mix of eccentric magic in order to convey to us the dryness of Diane's pursuit of a life that wholly ignores her witch dimension? When she begins to realize her magical powers, this is when the novel begins to become enlivened and rich, as though we're vicariously experiencing her excitement over this very new, yet apprehensive discovery. Whether this effect was intended or unintended, I completely marvel Deborah Harkness' talent in really providing readers with a clear foil between the world void of magic and the world that is filled with abundant signs of magic. 

     Maybe, Amazon reviewers who reviewed this book tepidly never got beyond the mundane beginning to experience the awesome alchemical shift to a much more brilliant and enthralling novel. In about a week, I managed to read 581 pages. Coming from someone who is a chronically slow reader, 581 pages in one week is truly a very fast pace. While writing this, I am still in awe with how fast I read the novel that all my GoodReads and Twitter followers saw early signs of pure disgust with the novel.  My experience with this novel was certainly much like Eustace in the Narnia book Voyage of the Dawn Treader,where he initially is unimpressed by the magic of Narnia, and fails to be edified by it. Through a epiphany that naturally resulted from a deep experience with the elements of Narnia, Eustace is then changed completely. This is called the process of "literary alchemy." It is the staple process that all richly dynamic characters undergo, in order to experience profound inner change. This often parallels our own true experience with the mutable quality of the feeling of our lives. Diane experiences this kind of alchemical experience, and I happened to go through it as well in terms of my opinion of the book. 

    For all reluctant readers of this book, I highly recommend you try reading it and you might abhor it anyways. Or, you might immediately love it. There is also the chance that you potentially will share my experience which begin with pure revulsion and ended with great admiration for a novel that was meticulously plotted and very well-written. On another note, if you are a vampire purist, I dare you to step outside those dogmatic boundaries and try being open minded about other interpretations of the "vampire." Personally, I sometimes get a bit frustrated with the mental stalemate some readers find themselves in by placing legalistic restrictions on books that are fantasy and Sci-Fi. Yes, I initially felt a bit frustrated with the "purist" laws that these vampires in this story broke, but I felt it also matched the book's theme of nature and magic being elusive and thus surprisingly defying all our futile rules and restrictions. 

 If you haven't already, I highly recommend you read this book, and watch the author give us a glimpse of the world of Oxford that inspired her to write this novel!!

Glimpse of Upcoming August Posts: My Exciting coverage of Deborah Harkness' trilogy continues with a review of "Shadow of Night." Also, I'll have special guest blog posts about the Vampire Lestat Fan Club (written by the owner of this infamous club), an Anne Rice interview, plus Frankenstein week (involving an interview with the author of the wonderful unofficial sequel: Frankenstein's Monster), and an art/poetry contest featuring great prizes(specially chosen items for Anne Rice fans)