Monday, May 28, 2012

Inkarna on an ereader near you

My “heart” novel I wrote in 2011 has finally hit an ereader near you. Yep, if you’re one of the growing newer generation of readers who’ve taken to onscreen reading, then you can now buy and download Inkarna before the print release.

Ash, the main character, appears to have captivated some of my early reviewers, and I’ve selected some of their thoughts on the novel to whet your appetite.

Ms. Dorman has a wonderful hand with description. I felt as if I were familiar with Cape Town when, in actuality, I've never set foot there. Ms. Dorman's love of South Africa is evident on each page. At just under 300 pages, this novel is rich and complex, dark and intriguing and well worth the time it takes to read it. It is not a fast read because attention must be paid to the details, the Egyptian terms and concepts and all the twists and turns of the never predictable plot. – Amy Lee Burgess, author

I FELT for this man. Beyond the sex-appeal of his external appearance, I became invested in his world and thoughts, feeling much like I'd emerged from underwater after a lovely and energetic swim when I finished the story. INKARNA is truly a one-of-a-kind story and dismisses the now rather common concepts of vampires, werewolves, and even demons. It is indeed the "different" novel you've been looking for. – Carrie Clevenger, author

This is one of those rare cases in which I've sat down to sample a new work and ended up finishing the novel in a single setting. Dorman's writing voice is so self-assured, it's as though she's speaking directly to the primal levels of a reader she already knows in and out. Dorman weaves a captivating paranormal tale using tragically, endearingly imperfect players drawn straight from the human morass, and if you haven't been there yourself, you'll feel right at home by the time she's done. – Serenity J Banks, author

And, if you don’t have a kindle, don’t despair. You can download the kindle app free for your cellphone or computer, or even an online reader via select internet browsers. All you need is a credit card and a twitchy mouse finger. Oh, and nook fans are catered for too.

Amazon (US) 

Amazon (UK)


Follow me on Twitter @nerinedorman for further updates or check out my website.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

#newsflash: Terminatryx live at World Goth Day

And I pause in my regular schedule of blogging events to bring you news from my mates in Terminatryx, one of South Africa's darkest stars in metal.

Live at World Goth Day
Saturday 26 May
@ Mercury, De Villiers Str, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, ZA

South Africa's female-fronted industrial-metal band Terminatryx will hit the stage as the official live act at Cape Town's World Goth Day celebration event, Carnevale Di Sangue! The show will focus on the band's live renditions of the remixes from the Remyx v1.0 album, and include a few surprises, a live track debut and be the official launch of the new Obsession music video.

Gotham The Entity, Phoenix and DarkPower have joined forces to bring you a night to remember, taking over the entire Mercury complex. Two dance floors, DJs, live stage, Wolf Clothing stall, Tonto Brand rings and much more.There will also be a performance by Ms. Golden Delishas, and short films selected by BlackMilk.

The Carnevale di Sangue (Carnival of Blood) theme is a masked ball in the Venetian tradition. Masks are required on entry - those arriving without masks can obtain one at the door at a small surcharge.

Venue: Mercury Live, De Villiers Str, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, ZA
Time: 9pm
Entry: R30 with mask / R35 without mask

The event will also host the launch of the new Marilyn Manson album Born Villain, with CD give-aways (from Sheer) during the Terminatryx live set, as well as a custom skull ring from Tonto Brand.

Terminatryx CDs, DVDs and T-shirts will be on sale.

Terminatryx is proudly associated with Paul Bothner Music, WildFire Tattoos & Piercing, Wolf Clothing, Tonto Brand

Terminatryx Live Facebook Event Page
Carnevale Di Sangue Event Page
Like the band page at
Join the group page:
Terminatryx album & remix combo video clip:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Soul Screams with Sara Jayne Townsend

Today I welcome Sara Jayne Townsend to my blog. She's here to chat about her latest release, a collection of short fiction. We've walked a long path together; I've edited two of her Lyrical Press novels, Suffer the Children (paranormal thriller), and Death Scene (crime).

ND: So, Sara, Soul Screams... You've gone for 13 horror stories. Obviously the number was intentional. [laughs] Did you write them all in a short space of time or were they collected over a while?

SJT: These stories were written over a period of 20 years. The earliest ones were written when I was 17.  In some ways they are a map of how my writing has evolved over the years.

ND: Which of the stories is your favourite? And why?

SJT: That’s like asking a parent to pick their favourite child…

I like them all, for different reasons. The Thirteenth Floor was my first published story, and I have an affection for it for that reason, flaws and all. Possibly the story I think is one of my best is The Guitar, though others may disagree.

ND: Are there any real-life anecdotes/occurrences that found their way into this collection?

SJT: Quite a lot, actually. The most autobiographical is To Dream of an Angel. The writing group in the story is based on one I used to belong to, and the conversation about dreams that starts the story actually happened. The meditation exercises that the main character participates in, involving a knife and a talisman, and the visions she has, also happened to me. However, the real-life story ended a bit happier. My boyfriend did not die as a result of all this, like Jenny’s does.

Trio is another story inspired by real-life people and events. The trio in this story is based on me and two friends I used to hang out with as a teenager. We met through a drama group, as the characters in the story do. Happily, though, unlike the characters in the story, my real-life friends are still alive and well.

ND: What scares you?

SJT: Most of my fears are abstract ideas. Loss of identity is a big fear I grapple with – I pride myself on being an individual, for all my quirks and foibles, and I have an irrational fear it will be taken away from me.  It’s one of the reasons I kept my name when I got married.

Featureless and distorted faces scare me. Mannequins with no features in shop windows still give me the creeps. I think this is possibly tied in with the loss of identity fear – a person with no face has no identity.

I can quite cheerfully watch all manner of gruesomeness in horror films without batting an eyelid, but one thing I do get very squeamish about is damage to eyes. The film Jeepers Creepers had a lot of that, and it really creeped me out, thoughmost horror fans wouldn’t rate it as a particularly scary film. I can watch someone being eviscerated or gutted without being put off my dinner, but if someone takes a weapon to someone else’s eyes in a film, I have to look away.  I can’t explain why.

ND: Hahaha... Eye violence gets me too. Are there any underlying themes that recur in this collection, now that you can take a step back?

SJT: Rather a lot of them, actually. I’ve always used my writing as a way of trying to deal with emotional baggage, so there are recurring themes that pop up a lot – things I was evidently having trouble dealing with at the time. Many of them reflect my own personal fears. The most obvious theme is death – in 12 of the 13 stories, at least one person dies a horrible death. Betrayal by a loved one is another recurring theme.  Loneliness, isolation and despair also feature a lot.  Cheerful stuff!

Soul Screams releases in June and will be available in e-book format (Amazon for Kindle, and Smashwords for other formats). There will also be a print version. All buy links will be featured on Stumar Press’s website. Check for further details.
Buy links will also be featured on my website  where you can find out more about me and my writing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

#Review: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Title: Good Omens
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

The first time I read Good Omens, I must have been in my early teens and picked up the dog-eared, cracked-spine copy that was at the public library in Hout Bay. I still remember reading it in my mother’s car while she went to check in on my grandparents at the retirement village. The book had been borrowed so often pages were falling out, and the library had tried to tape the volume together.

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to trot this novel out again now that more than 15 years have passed since I last read it, and I must admit I have mixed feelings about the work in hindsight. First off, let me say that I absolutely adore Pratchett and Gaiman. I devoured piles of Discworld novels as a teen and Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels had a lasting impact on me. But something about Good Omens is just “off” for lack of better description.

The main gripe I have is that the story suffers from “too much awesome”. Pratchett and Gaiman shoehorned in too many elements which hampered the build-up of tension and resulted in an ending that went out with a whimper rather than a bang. This is the danger of having a large cast of characters and a multiple viewpoints written in an omniscient style. And it’s exhausting keeping up with everyone, with scenes that flitter hither and thither.

A big problem with this story, I feel, is the humour, which is possibly the reason why I failed to finish Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and also can only stomach Pratchett’s writing in isolated instances. Much like Monty Python and his ilk, I can only tolerate this sort of humour in small servings, and I always want it tempered by presenting it within a stronger narrative. I found the constant dry commentary exhausting after about a third of the novel and, consequently, struggled to finish reading all the way to the end. So yes, a large part of my feelings of meh-ness toward this novel lies with me. I don’t think I am quite the reader for this novel.

Granted, I did find the authors’ characterisations amusing, but to get back to that comment of “too much awesome”… The novel loses steam early on so much so that I think the only way to really enjoy it is to read it in short bursts over a few weeks instead of an intense sitting.

Good Omens is a stab at some of the classic 1980s horror, with a big nod to works such as The Omen. If you enjoyed that story, then you’ll probably pick up a few of the hints tossed into Good Omens. The only character I felt an inkling of affection for was Adam and Dog, and feel if the story had been centred more around his doings and his gang, it might’ve had more impact. Some readers have complained that the story’s “too preachy” and that it descends into moral nihilism. Maybe it’s just that I tend toward nihilism at times that this didn’t bother me too much. It’s quite clear that far more people love this story than hate it, and it must be remembered that the reader is the final arbiter.

At the end of the day, Good Omens gets bogged down by its large cast of characters, multiple story arcs and by its reliance on its own cleverness. I did appreciate the skits, which are Pythonesque at times, yet this is not the best offering from either author. I can see where they come from, and probably conceived this novel out of a conversation where a number of “what ifs” were dropped. Granted, this is still a fun, light-hearted read which takes a stab at contemporary society and, for that alone, is worth reading. At no point did I feel like flinging the book across the room either, but I’ll echo what a lot of other readers have said. If you want to see Gaiman or Pratchett at their best, rather look to staple fare such as the Discworld novels, the Sandman graphic novels and American Gods.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wild Arcana with Lux Zakari

Lux Zakari and I have known each other for quite a while now. I've had the privilege of having her as my editor and I can say with all honesty that I love her fiction as much as she loves mine. She writes what I'd term as erotic fiction for women who are looking for sharp characterisation and narrative in addition to the erotic elements. Definitely a thinking woman's writer who leaves you well satisfied to the last page.

Today I welcome Lux to my blog for a little Q&A, and we're chatting about her most recent release, Wild Arcana.

ND: Wild Arcana balances the story from a handful of characters. Multiple points of view can be quite tricky. How did you manage to give each character a meaningful story arc?

LZ: Wild Arcana is made up of several intertwining stories in one because it was actually supposed to be several books—both Trey’s and Shane’s storylines were meant to be separate stories, and Kri’s was half-borrowed from a previous collaboration I’d written with a friend. In the end, I decided I’d rather experiment with weaving them in with everyone else’s storylines.

I honestly don’t remember where I came up with the ideas for what happens to Brand and Disa, but I did know that in the beginning, my goal was to write a story guided by tarot cards. I intended to achieve this by not having any kind of plot in mind; I just wanted to start writing, and when I got stuck, I’d choose a tarot card at random and try to make it work. Somehow, this idea evolved into following the already existing storyline in the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana, as well as getting the opportunity to recycle and reuse some half-formed ideas. I tried to keep each story arc meaningful by considering them as separate from the get-go, then I went back and laced them together more tightly.

ND: So, who ended up being your favourite character? Why? Any parts of his/her development that jumped out at you?

LZ: It’s really hard not to like Brand. As the son of a couple who had a one-hit wonder in the 1980s, he’s been living the easy life, doing little but sleeping around, selling weed, and having a good time. When his cop boyfriend finally has enough and calls an end to their relationship, Brand attempts to throw himself into the party mindset and move on, but despairs when he recognizes how meaningless his life truly is. He’s jaded, lazy, and careless and makes horrible decisions, but he’s also pensive, honest, and sweetly but sarcastically self-deprecating. I had fun writing him; I enjoyed the challenge of trying to rouse readers’ compassion for a drug dealer, and his scenes with his best friend Disa are some of my favorites. I loved writing their bratty banter and the challenge of keeping it both nasty yet affectionate.

Speaking of Disa, she’s another character who really grabbed me. She begins the story as a sexually manipulative pleasure-seeker—someone who gets off on breaking hearts and exerting her power over men—yet she is probably the one who undergoes the most growth, transforming from a cruel, relatively unsympathetic woman into someone to root for. Despite her carelessness when it comes to the boys, she is an incredibly loyal friend, which is demonstrated in her relationships with Kri and Brand. I also thought her sex scenes wound up being the hottest, and of all the characters, she’s the one with sequel potential, should I choose to go that route.

ND: You feature multi-racial and gay relationships in the story. Did the characters just jump out at you fully formed and shout "write me?" or did you purposefully set out to create such diversity?

LZ: It was a purposeful move on my end. I admittedly wanted to reach a wider audience, but more so, I just craved the variety; it’s no fun to perpetually write about white blondes, brunettes, and redheads rolling around together in a strictly m/f way. Plus, given the New York City setting, their lifestyles, and ages, the diversity just made sense.

ND: All your characters have quite fabulous lifestyles. What are the unique challenges each faces, in your opinion? Each of them gets their just deserts. Are there some especially piquant moments you can share without giving away the plot?

LZ: I believe I can sum up all the character’s drama with a blurb from the blurb!:

SHANE, the movie star. He arrives at a rehabilitation clinic for his sex addiction only to be enticed in ways he never thought possible...

TREY, the contractor. He looks after his friend’s deeply troubled stepsister under the guise of remodeling his New York City high-rise, but soon faces temptations that test the bonds of friendship and his self-control...

KRI, the Japanese heiress. Regrets haunt her when she learns she’s pregnant and must leave her lover at the insistence of her strict, traditional father...

BRAND, the high-profile drug dealer. He wrestles with demons of his own after his boyfriend—a cop—ends their relationship over his questionable career path...

DISA, the wayward tennis player. She has her sights set on talk show host Jules Rohan with no idea just how much truth lies in his bad-boy reputation...

I don’t know about their challenges, but one of mine was whipping up those fabulous lifestyles of theirs! Often I get bogged down and distracted with logistics, but with this story, I just had suspend my disbelief and go with it, and hope readers do, too.

As for something spicy, would a brief excerpt suffice? The following is in regards to Shane, suffering in rehab for his supposed sex addition with more than just a crush on his tasty group leader, Cyndi, when he gets an intriguing message online:

The message read, “You think I don’t notice you, trying not to notice me, but I do.”

Shane arched an eyebrow and clicked on NYLunatic’s profile, which revealed only the user’s gender, female. He couldn’t imagine who it could be. “You sure you have the right person?” he typed.

“Shane Gunder. I’m definitely sure.”

He started at the woman—if it was truly a woman—identifying him so accurately. Aside from the past month, he rarely found reason to go online, and his username was not something he gave out liberally. “I take it I know you then?”

“Of course you do. You fantasize about me all the time. You’re probably fantasizing about me right now.”

He stifled a sigh. He had no desire to play mind games with idiots on the internet. “Yeah? And who exactly is ‘me’?

“I’m hurt you don’t already know. Should I describe myself to you?”

“If you must.”

“Red hair. About five two. Pale skin. Freckles in places you wouldn’t believe. Wore a green dress you wanted to tear off me today. Currently not wearing much underneath it.”

Shane swallowed hard. No way. Cyndi? Knowing his username? Knowing his problem and coming on to him anyway?

“I want you to do me a favor, Shane. I’m going to tell you a fantasy of mine, and I want you to come thinking about me. Okay?”

That wouldn’t be difficult. “I thought we weren’t supposed to beat off while in the program.”

“Please. I know you do it anyway. And I can tell just by looking at you that you do it while thinking about me. So drop the pretense. I find the truth much sexier.”

“Fine.” He drew another cigarette from the pack and let it dangle from his mouth. “Let’s hear this fantasy.”

Shane lit his cigarette and smoked in a nervous silence for the next few minutes while Cyndi wrote her reply.

His heart hammered in his chest, both excited and scared to death of what Cyndi would say.

Finally, her message appeared. “The hallway of the center is completely silent. I find my office and slide my key in the lock. The door opens with a click. I step inside the room and shut the door behind me without turning on the light. Then I feel him behind me. Shane.

“He pulls my hair to the side and kisses my neck as his other hand works at tugging up my dress. His hand untangles from my hair and pushes the neckline of my dress down, exposing my tits, as the other hand makes a circle around my clit. I start to moan but his hand silences me, and he plunges a finger in my dripping cunt. Soon his hand is replaced with his cock.

“Then there’s a knock at the door. It’s my colleagues, fresh from the meeting and wanting to know if I’d like to get dinner. I can hear them breathing, separated from me by only a weak door. God, what would they think if they walked in and saw me getting screwed by one of the people I was supposed to be helping? So much is at stake here, but I can’t push him away. I want this too much…”

ND: How did you borrow from the themes of the Major Arcana to shine through in the story? This sounds like it could have been quite tricky--with the very real danger that you'd shoehorn a plot to fit the theme. How did you get past this?

LZ: I was actually grateful for the opportunity to have the Major Arcana’s basic formula/plot line to follow, with the added bonus of having the freedom of interpretation. I definitely don’t consider myself to be a tarot guru; I doubt myself too much when doing readings, and I never know if the answer is just my wishful or negative thinking. But I know enough about the Rider-Waite basics to know what themes I needed to have in each chapter.

I remember in the beginning assigning each character to a chapter and its corresponding card. I knew I wanted to start and end in a similar way, with the same character, and certain events had to happen at certain times. And I tried to be “even” with the character assignments—“Oh, it’s been awhile since we heard from Shane, let’s give him something to do here” or “I need to wrap up this storyline about here, but that can’t happen until this other one ends,” and so on. Man, I’m getting exhausted just remembering all that! But the plotting was fun, and I liked sneaking the tarot themes into the details—be it in a prop, event, someone’s name, or just the way something was phrased. I’d like to think of them as little Easter eggs for readers with a little bit of a background in tarot!

ND: You've recently embarked on a self-publishing career. What challenges have you faced and how has your considerable experience in small press publishing prepared you for this endeavour?

LZ: Having experience with small-press publishing was helpful in that it gave me a boost in regards to exposure, and working as an editor helped me become a better writer for sure; I’m more critical of my own work. The challenges I’ve faced are, unfortunately, marketing ones. I don’t have the budget or the time to do anything elaborate right now, but I’m experimental! I have some ideas up my sleeve. Also, because anyone who knows how can publish a novel these days, I think it’s hard for readers to trust what’s truly worth their time and money. I definitely need to do more to prove myself to them.

But I’m really enjoying self-publishing. The world of publishing is changing; authors have more control, provided that they want it. An author friend of mine pointed out that if you have a good editor and cover artist in your corner, as well as marketing know-how, you’re pretty much good to go. I also have a background in art, so now I’m dabbling in creating my covers, such as the one for Wild Arcana, so to be able to combine my love for writing and art (and control freakiness) is absolutely perfect for me.

ND: You've got a tasty short up as a free read. Can you describe Across the Way in three words?

LZ: In the words of red-scrunchie queen Heather Chandler: “Shower-nozzle masturbation material.”

I’m deferring to MS Word here, which believes “shower-nozzle” is one word. However, it also thinks synonyms for “information” are “in a row,” “in sequence”… Bug alert!

ND: Any future works readers should look out for?

LZ: Right now, I’m in the process of editing my next novel: Single, Cool, and Fine: How to Get Laid as an Ex-Teen Idol. It’s about how a struggling musician, who had fame when he was young, is in the throes of a divorce, only to realize that, because of his lifestyle and early marriage, he has no idea how to date. So, at the urging of his friend and younger brother, he takes to reading fan fiction about himself in order to gain dating tips and advice on how to be the guy everyone wants him to be. I can’t tell you how excited I am about it. So far, it’s my most favorite story I’ve written; I had such a good time writing it, and I can’t wait to unleash it upon the world!

# # #

Wild Arcana is available on Smashwords or Amazon.

To download Across the Way for free, visit its page on Smashwords or Goodreads.

Find Lux Zakari at her website or email her.

Alternatively, follow her on Twitter @luxzakari, Goodreads, Tumblr or Facebook.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Inkarna available in print, on preorder

Well, the big day is almost upon me, but my publisher let me know this morning that Inkarna (Dark Continents Publishing) is now available on preorder at Amazon .

So, in the spirit of being totally stoked, I’m encouraging you to go and place your preorder (while the book is on special) so long and, if you need a little convincing, here’s what some of my early readers over at Goodreads had to say about the novel:

“The world building in this book is fantastic. A new and original idea, Dorman mixes occult principles with a heart-wrenching story. This is a must-read, people!” – Synde

“Dorman weaves a captivating paranormal tale using tragically, endearingly imperfect players drawn straight from the human morass, and if you haven't been there yourself, you'll feel right at home by the time she's done.” – Serenity J

“Inkarna is truly a one-of-a-kind story and dismisses the now rather common concepts of vampires, werewolves, and even demons. It is indeed the ‘different’ novel you've been looking for.” – Carrie Clevenger

“Richly descriptive and always engrossing, Inkarna is a terrific change of pace from the usual paranormal with its Egyptian-inspired mythology and challenging main character.”

All I’ll add is that I’m rather fond of Ash as a main character. I felt incredibly comfortable in his skin by the time I was done. And, you never know, there may well be additional stories in the pipelines.

Oh, also, don’t forget that there’s a standalone misadventure available that’s kinda but not quite a prequel, where Ash joins forces with Carrie Clevenger’s Xan in a misadventure that I can best describe as Indiana Jones meets the X-Files. And it’s on special this month to raise funds for cancer research, so go grab Blood and Fire here.

If you’re not already stalking me on Twitter, shame on you @nerinedorman

Monday, May 7, 2012

Born of Blood with SB Knight

Today I welcome author SB Knight to my blog. He's hear to share a little about his most recent release, Born of Blood.

ND: In a nutshell, tell us about Born of Blood.

SBK: Born of Blood is book one of the Blood Chronicles. It shares the story of a family hunted, stalked, and preyed upon by an immortal monster. This prime evil knows no bounds and will do anything to have what he wants. What does this being of fear want? He wants permanent immortality and only one person can grant him that. Now, Jesse stands squarely in the focus of this demonic creature. She, and all those who would help her, must fight to survive.

ND: Was there any special research you had to conduct? If so, give us a bit of dirty.

SBK: Well, the idea for the story was born while watching a television special on the History Channel about the top ten most notorious women serial killers in history. One in particular caught my attention, Elizabeth Bathory. I know, she has been in vampire novels before and actually made into a vampire but there was one small element about her story that capture my imagination. I grabbed that element and ran with it. My next round of research was into different aspects of vampire lore. I was looking for little known myths and the possibilities of new ideas of my own. I also researched the important objects in the story such as the cross and locket. I can’t tell you why but it was important for me to see those items to truly get the essence of their importance in the story. This doesn’t even include the brainstorming I did on character development!

ND: Was there any specific scene you found difficult to write? Why?

SBK: Oh yes, the scene where Sam and Jesse express their love was rather tough. It is more than your typical love scene because of the overall importance and meaning of it. I believe I rewrote that scene three, maybe four times before I felt like it was right.

ND: If there were three authors you'd blame for your current affliction of writing, who would they be?

SBK: Oh, there are a few but the top three would be J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, and Robert Jordan. After I started writing I listened to every Stephen King interview I could find just to learn how to be an author.

ND: Soundtracks... Many authors listen to music while they're writing. Were there any particular bands/musicians that featured on your playlist? Tell us a bit more about the sounds that turn you on while writing.

SBK: I really don’t listen to much music while writing as I do much of it in the living room. I listen to a lot of music while developing my stories. When I am brainstorming, researching, and…well, daydreaming I listen to rock music like Nightwish and Within Temptation. I also listen to epic battle music at times too such as 2 Steps From Hell and Immediate Music. That really gets me going!

In short:
Who're your three top upcoming authors to watch out for? 
Not counting me? Karen Cote, Ellen Maze, and Mike Arsuaga

Your dream holiday destination? 
Sydney, Australia for New Year’s celebration

Your favourite book you've reread umpteen times? 
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Death by milkshake?
As long as it is chocolate and thick

Scariest spider experience? 
I was working in an attic one day without my hat on and I walked toward a far corner. I hit a massive spider web; it wrapped around the top of my head. I felt something move down the back of my head and move down my back behind my shirt. I was scared because I didn’t know if the spider was on top of my head or on my back. Yes, I was a little freaked out but I jerked my shirt off and quickly brushed the top of my head off. Luckily for me, there was no spider on my…just web and some dirt. It was still unnerving though.

Check out SB Knight's website here.

Buy Born of Blood on Amazon, Amazon UK, MuseItUP Bookstore and Bookstrand

About SB Knight...
SB Knight has seen his poetry and short stories published in both books and magazines. Now, with the publishing of his first novel he has achieved a goal and dream set many years ago. Currently he has completed the sequel for Born of Blood and is currently working on another project.

SB Knight is the creator of The New Author; a blog that started as a learning tool but has since grown into a community of friends and peers. He is also co-owner of Premium Promotional Services where authors can find the help they need to promote their book on the Internet.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#Review: Sword & Blood: The Vampire Musketeers

Title: Sword & Blood: The Vampire Musketeers
Author: Sarah Marques
Publisher: Prime Books, 2012
Buy it on Amazon

What’s not to love about the idea of vampire musketeers? The idea bites me about as much as honest-to-bad-ass vampirates, and I admit it freely, that I love stories of swashbuckling and derring-do. If you’re looking for Anne Rice’s self-absorbed wangst-filled Louis, or Meyer’s glittery fangless offerings, then step away from this book please, and allow those of us who love dark adventure with an undercurrent of eroticism to enjoy the story.

Marques treads familiar turf for fans of Porthos, Athos, Aramis and D’Artagnan, and she adds a twist by plunging France into the depths of darkness. Vampires walk among men, and they are enjoying an ascendancy over mankind. Humanity is under siege, and the church has fallen, for Cardinal Richelieu is a vampire. The musketeers are the only force that stands between the king and queen of France and eternal damnation; and the lusciously evil Milady is the seductress who aims to tip the balance in favour of the undead.

While the musketeers pay lip service to the truce between man and vampire, they go out at night to wage a desperate war to stem the tide of darkness. Of course matters become less clear-cut for them when Athos himself is turned, and exists tenuously in that grey area that leaves him not wholly human.

First off, kudos to Marques for creating a believably grim setting. I could feel the characters’ desperation and gained the impression that civilisation as a whole was slowly plunging into a new dark age. We follow the story from the points of view of Athos and D’Artagnan, who each find themselves dragged deeper and deeper into trouble. Each has to fight preconceptions and, as the story progresses, find their fates inextricably bound.

Overall, the writing is clean and fast, though Marques does occasionally lapse into wordiness, which makes the pace uneven at times. There were a few moments where I felt she went a bit too quickly on key scenes, but this did not detract much from the overall experience. I’d also have liked a bit more detail on the actual sword-fighting, since this is key to the action sequences. Only one part felt a bit shoe-horned in—Athos’s scene involving a wolf cub—it seemed a bit random and too convenient, and could have safely been left out without damaging the narrative flow.

Will I read the rest of the series? Hellyeah. I’ll be honest and say I don’t think this is going to appeal to everyone, as the writing style tends toward classic, historical literature, and absolutely lush, gorgeous descriptions, but this is a novel that worked for me on many counts. I cared about the characters, and I was left wanting more, and that’s what matters. At the heart of it, this is a tale of high adventure that’s packed with action, which revisits an old favourite and paints it with a Gothic palette.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guest blog: A word from DM Youngquist

Hello everyone. I’d like to thank Nerine for allowing me to take up some of her time in cyberspace with a little guest blog. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nerine off and on for the about a year and half now, and she’s been kind enough to offer me a slot before. She’s a darned good editor, and better writer, and I fell in love with her book Inkarna, which we’ll be releasing through Dark Continents Publishing come June. I truly am looking forward to working on more projects with her in the coming year, as she’s got some great ideas we’re putting into place at the moment. But more on that when the time is right.

I suppose I should introduce myself before I get much further. In the publishing world, I go by DM Youngquist. For the simple reason that by the time you get David M Youngquist on a book cover, there’s not room for a title. And as most of you can tell, I’m a Yank as well, but don’t call me that here in the US. I’m a Midwestern River Rat by breeding, and proud of it. I’ve also been a teller of tales since I could pick up a crayon and make marks on paper. But since I am a Midwestern River Rat, and live in flyover country, I had about as much chance of being published by a big New York house as my horses did of growing wings.

So in 2010, myself and five other writers took our destines in hand, and put together Dark Continents Publishing. We had some crazy idea that we could fix what was wrong with the publishing world and make a living doing something we all loved. Something that made our hearts sing. I know there were people out there taking bets we wouldn’t make it a year.

Well, I’d like to know who put money on the long shot, ‘cause I’d sit them down and buy them a beer. We celebrate the one year birthday of DCP on May 1! It has been a year of insanity. A year of frustration, and a year of joy that cannot be described. We’re still here. We have great writers, amazing books, and awards nominations on three continents. Sometimes, it still takes my breath away.

When I talked to the rest of our board members at DCP as to what we should do for our birthday, we had to step back a minute or two and think about it. I mean, we’re all busy. We all have family, we all have day jobs, and we all write and do jobs within DCP. But we honestly do appreciate the support of our fans and the people in the industry, and we wanted to do something special for you all. So we came up with a plan.

Through the month of May, we’re going to have a combination of a book sale and cancer research fundraiser. There’s a lot of reason behind doing things this way, but the primary motivation is simply this: Most of our lives have been personally touched by cancer, and we want to help beat this monster back to the hell it was released from. My father has dealt with skin cancer. My uncle Harry DeVrieze died of lymph cancer last fall. Tracie McBride’s father was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer. William Meikle’s dad, Barclay is fighting the scourge as well. It is a deadly intimate part of many of our lives.

So, in May, when you log into the DCP website ( you’ll see that all of our books will be discounted ten percent. We will donate ten percent of sales to The American Cancer Society in the name of some of the people we love or have lost who have dealt with this disease.

Now in addition to this, we have some prizes set up for you to win when you purchase. If you buy just one book for our extensive catalog, you’ll go away with a warm feeling from saving money, and knowing we’ll donate some of this to cancer. You’ll also have our thanks in the purchase and belief in our company.
If you buy two books, any two books from our website, you’ll be entered to win our second place prize. That prize includes a hand turned mug made for us exclusively by Jeffery Goard, who is the artisan potter at The Prairie Arts Center in Bishop Hill, Illinois. ( One pound of custom roast coffee from Bishop Hill, a Dark Continents Publishing tee shirt, and a Zombie Fiend “Fiend it like you mean it” tee shirt and a book of choice from our catalog.

If you buy three books, you’ll be entered to win first prize. A mug, the coffee, the shirts, the book, a zombie killing kukri knife from M-Tech, a print of Out with the Boys by Mitch Foust, and a signed original cover by James Powell.  

If you buy four books or more, you’ll be entered to win our Grand Prize. This consists of the coffee mug, the coffee, the shirts and the book. In addition, we’ll add a US Army Bug-out bag for when the Z-Poc hits, two signed covers by James Powell and one of our authors will make you famous by naming a character in their story for you. We can’t guarantee your character will be a hero or a mass murderer, but you’ll have the chance to be in one of our books.

We’ll also be adding to the prizes here and there as the month goes on, so keep checking our website, blog, and Face Book wall for updates and detail.

And one little thing I took on myself to set as a goal: If we reach the $1,000 mark to donate to cancer research, I’ll shave my mustache off for the first time in 27 years. Neither my wife, Fay, nor daughter Michaela has ever seen me without it. Even my mom said, “I don’t recall a time in your adult life that you haven’t had it.” I know most guys shave their head to show support for cancer research, but to me, this is more dramatic. Who knows, maybe some of our more hirsute DCP family members will volunteer as well.

Thank you again, Nerine, for letting me use a little of your space. I appreciate it. And thanks to you folks in advance for being so supportive through our first year. Good luck in the drawing, and we’ll see you around the web. I'm hoping we get that far as well.

PS. We'll also cover the shipping and postage.