Never Change by Shari Sakurai #bookreview #shortstory #vampires #LGBTQ #TuesdayBookBlog

Thane’s arms curved around his back and he felt the younger vampire trembling as he rested his head on Taku’s shoulder. So easily broken, Taku often forgot what it had been like in the beginning. For him things had been different, he reminded himself. He had already known what it felt like to take a life.

With Nagasaki in the grip of a bitter winter, two vampires struggle to hunt in the challenging conditions. When an opportunity to feed from a dying man presents itself, Taku insists that they take advantage of it. Yet his newly turned lover is left feeling devastated by their actions. Seeing Thane so distraught is more than Taku can bear and so he makes a decision to shield Thane as much as he can from the darker side to their existence. However his desire to protect Thane might one day cost him everything.

Never Change is a short story set in the Demon’s Blood universe.

I “met” this author through hosting Bad Moon Rising a few years ago. Although I haven’t read this series, no prior knowledge is required to read this short story.

I’m always a vampire fan – have been since watching the original Fright Night. Even when they were out of fashion for a while in the book world, I had faith they’d come back. I’ve never been one to bow to fashion anyway. It’s a bitter, cold winter in Nagasaki – not that the temperature affects Taku and Thane. But plenty of snow makes it difficult to hunt and limits their food sources. Not very many warm bodies are out and about. Being a fairly new vampire, Thane still struggles with their darker side. With years (centuries?) of experience, Taku is more practical about what they should do when coming across a dying man.

Don’t think the whole story deals with heavy themes. There’s a fun, light-hearted snowball fight between the two, and even a snowman. It’s a sweet novella, and I can tell I’d enjoy this series based on meeting these wonderful characters.

The Ballad of Mrs. Molony (The Hat #3) by C.S. Boyack #bookreview #vampires #paranormal #TuesdayBookBlog

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exist? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene. 

I’m a real fan of this series and, also being a vamp fan, was super excited to go on this hunting/staking adventure with Lizzie and the hat.

Working several part time jobs and playing in a band keep Lizzie busy enough, but she and the hat also have a duty to fight crime. Luckily, they can still make some money playing gigs at the same time. When Kevin asks Lizzie and the hat to help rescue his sister from a group of vampires, Lizzie wants to volunteer, but the hat is suspicious. Kevin is also a vampire, but not the dark, mysterious, sexy type – trust me on this. He doesn’t feed on humans, and he certainly doesn’t sparkle, but the hat wants to stake him anyway, nice guy or not. Having no choice but to give in, the hat loses this battle.

The banter between Lizzie and the hat is always a favorite for me in this series. Sometimes it’s like listening to an old married couple. Since discovering the internet (especially Amazon), the hat has discovered the joys of online shopping. Lizzie has to occasionally veto purchasing requests (I didn’t think the fog machine was an entirely bad idea) due to budget constraints. At least it keeps him busy (he doesn’t sleep) and out of Lizzie’s hair for a while.

I’m not a country music fan, so I was amused by the band’s attempts to slide some other non-country artists into the playlist by introducing them as cowboys. I also snorted out loud several times at the hat’s attempts to remember (more like poke fun at) Kevin’s sister’s name, Ida Rose.

At less than two hundred pages, this is a quick read. With humor, vampires (one that’s very memorable), banter, and music, this is another adventurous romp with the ever patient Lizzie and shopaholic hat. The fourth book in the series dropped recently, and I can’t wait to get started.

#BadMoonRising: Demon’s Life by Shari Sakurai #horror #LGBT #paranormal

During Bad Moon Rising, we’ve had a lot of discussion about being vampires and werewolves – pros, cons, hair, no hair, sparkling, etc.  In the featured book (scheduled for release November 4th) by today’s author, vampires are an endangered species.  Wonder why?  Welcome Shari Sakurai!

Would you rather walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight or spend the night in a haunted, abandoned house?

I’d say definitely a haunted graveyard. Abandoned houses tend to be home to massive spiders and I’m way more scared of them than ghosts!

Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf? 

Vampire! Of all the supernatural species, they are the ones that hold most fascination for me so I would be interested in experiencing for myself what it would be like to actually become one.

Would you rather be part of the X-Files team or Ghostbusters?

I grew up watching X-Files so I’d love to be a part of the team!

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in the same setting, where would you choose?

Nagasaki, Japan. The prequel to my novel Demon’s Blood is set in Nagasaki so it would be amazing to be able to write it whilst living in the city!

What is your favorite cover of all your books?  Why?

It’s so difficult to choose, but I would say Demon’s Blood. When I had all the covers for my novels re-designed I was especially pleased with how that one turned out. It just really illustrates the plot of the novel so well.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Too many! Mostly unfinished ones though. They are all stored in folders and I hope to be able to finish them all one day, in particular my fantasy novel which has been sitting in drafts for over ten years!

Out of respect for the relationship we once had I will spare your life. However, if you try to obstruct me again then I will kill you.

Vampires are now an endangered species. Possessed by the demon Kurai, Kokawa Taku has sworn to eradicate all those whom he deems inferior.

Determined to free Taku from the demon’s corruption Thane seeks help from Taku’s sire, Takata Koji. Thane’s search for answers takes him to Hong Kong where he learns the devastating truth. That in order to save Taku, Thane may have to kill him.

Refusing to accept this, Thane makes a decision that places the fate of all vampires in the balance. However Thane is unaware of the betrayal around him and that his actions will either save Taku or destroy him.

Pre-Order Link:


Shari Sakurai is a British author of paranormal, horror, science fiction and fantasy novels that almost always feature a LGBT protagonist and/or antagonist. She has always loved to write and it is her escape from the sometimes stressful modern life!

Aside from writing, Shari enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to (loud!) music, going to rock concerts and learning more about other societies and cultures. Japanese culture is of particular interest to her and she often incorporates Japanese themes and influences into her work.

Shari loves a challenge and has taken part and won the National Novel Writing Month challenge ten times!

Social Media:

Twitter: @ShariSakurai

The Island: Vampires of Merovingi #1 by Sarah M. Cradit #bookreview #vampires #fantasy

1789. Saint-Domingue. Hispaniola. West Indies. 

Etienne de Blanchefort has seen incredible success as a colonial planter in the Northern Province of Saint-Domingue. Though uprooting his family from France a decade past was a gamble, life in the tropical West Indies has been good to him, his wife, and four children. With France embroiled in their great revolution across the Atlantic, he harbors little doubt he made the right decision for his family’s future.

Until, that is, the arrival of his fiend.

Etienne’s practical nature cannot reconcile what he knows to be true of his world with what he cannot ignore about the abominable creature haunting his family and the island.

Nor can he ignore his wife’s terrifying dreams that slowly steal her vitality.

Or Victorine’s burgeoning free spirit and wariness of their way of life.

Or Nanette’s curious, furtive behavior as she hides in trees.

Or Marius’ secret new friendship with one he cannot name.

Or Flosine’s unsettling drawings of a man from a time long before theirs.

Etienne’s fiend will not stay elusive for long. He has a request. A very particular, very important request, one that will change the lives of Etienne, his family, and his descendants forever.

I’ve been a vampire fan since the original Fright Night movie with Chris Sarandon.  After the Twilight novels, vampire books flooded the market for a while, then receded, but I’m glad to see them making a comeback.  Maybe not quite as big of a splash this time, but that’s alright with me.  Since I’ve read all this author’s Crimson and Clover series, I was thrilled to learn she was starting a new series featuring vampires that fit within that same world.

Not having read a ton of historical fiction books, I appreciated the attention to detail and extensive research the author clearly performed for this book.  As always, her imagery is rich with description.  Although the first 25% of the book was a little slow for my taste, the pace moved along much quicker after that.

The Island looks to be the start of a riveting series and I look forward to meeting more of the vampires!

I received a digital ARC of this book from the author.

Atonement (Immortal Soulless #3) by Tanith Frost #BookReview #paranormal @TanithFrost

Among the dregs of vampire society, there’s no safety in numbers.

It’s been a year since the vampires of Maelstrom threw Aviva to the wolves. When her next assignment arrives, it’s clear that her elders haven’t forgiven her past sins. She’s to take a position watching over the clan’s weakest members: the old vampires who can’t be trusted to keep the supernatural world’s secrets. Locked away in a crumbling home by the ocean, they exist in isolation, nearly forgotten by the world. It’s a boring job, an assignment more insulting than her placement with the werewolves, and a terrifying warning of where she could end up if she doesn’t change her ways.

Aviva is determined to keep her head down, prove herself, and atone for her mistakes. But when a group of vampire hunters calling themselves the Blood Defenders attacks the home, Aviva has no choice but to step into her role as guardian and hit the road with a group of misfit vampires who are as much a danger to the world as they are to themselves.

When the Blood Defenders shatter the heart of Maelstrom’s power and leave them with nowhere to run, Aviva and her band of monsters have no choice but to stand and fight to save a world that despises them. –

I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that this series brings fresh fodder to vampire tales, and Atonement is most definitely no different in that respect.

New facets of both Aviva and reserved Daniel are revealed – especially Daniel, but some hard choices have to be made in their complicated and uncertain world.  Unrest and hidden agendas are present in the upper echelons of Maelstrom, and I’m anxious to see what develops in the next book.

The newest characters of ‘old’ vampires are a delightful addition, proving you should never underestimate or make assumptions about the older generation, and I hope to see more of them.

I appreciated that this story didn’t end on a major cliffhanger, but left enough questions and unresolved situations to carry over into the next book.  Highly recommend this series to paranormal fans.

I received a copy of this book from the author.


Resurrection (Immortal Soulless #1) by Tanith Frost #TuesdayBookBlog #paranormal #thriller @TanithFrost

Her gifts will be her salvation… or her downfall.

No one gave Aviva a choice about becoming a monster. Since the night of her murder she’s been forced to accept a new reality—burned by sunlight, dependent on the blood of the living, searching for her place in a dark world she didn’t believe existed until she awoke as a vampire.

She’s still struggling to accept her fate and master her dark powers when the news arrives: rogue vampires are torturing and killing human residents of the city, threatening the secrecy and uneasy peace of the supernatural world.

As the hunt begins, Aviva’s deliciously distracting trainer, Daniel, helps her seek out her unique strengths. The gifts she discovers are shameful in the eyes of vampire society—and they may be the only thing standing between a pack of ruthless paranormal killers and the unsuspecting humans they prey on. –

I haven’t read any vampire books since the Twilight Series, even though a glut of them were released during that time, most varying shades of the same story.  Tanith Frost has managed to pen an original vampire tale and a world that will suck (pun totally intended) you in.  No sparkly vamps here, folks.

Resurrection introduces us to Aviva, a complex, young vampire who had no say in the matter when she was created.  She struggles with what and who she is and what’s expected of her in this new life and is only beginning to understand her power.  This is a hierarchical and organized vampire world – vamps aren’t permitted to run rampant and feed on the general population, but things aren’t always as they seem, and that’s something I enjoyed about this book.  There’s a bit of a mystery, as a rogue group of vamps have taken matters into their own hands and Aviva is among those charged with tracking them down.  The supporting characters are all well-drawn and I especially look forward to learning more about mysterious Daniel.

With mystery, suspense, and a touch of romance, Resurrection is a dark, enticing, original read I’d highly recommend to paranormal fans or readers looking for a new take on vampires.

I received a digital ARC from the author.

The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3) by Justin Cronin #bookreview

In “The Passage” and “The Twelve“, Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity’s 26891429desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon but does silence promise the nightmares end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale.

“The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?”

The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew and daring to dream of a hopeful future.

But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy – humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.

One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate. –

The City of Mirrors is on my list of most anticipated books of 2016 – and with such a long wait after The Twelve – it was soooo worth it.

After over three years since the last book in this series was published, I needed reminders about what had happened to these characters and the author worked that into the beginning chapters in a clever way – things filtered through that foggy curtain in my mind and I couldn’t wait to get on with the story.  And what a story this is.  I don’t know if I can do it justice.

Peace, war, family, friendship, revelations, death, life, sacrifice, love – all are contained within this epic novel that’s such an incredible, bittersweet ending to The Passage trilogy.  All questions are answered – where did Amy go and what happened to the world?  What happened to Zero in his human life that spawned such hatred?  What about Peter?  Alicia?  Sara and Hollis?  I’d forgotten how deeply I care about these characters and although I hate to see the series end, I feel as if I had closure in learning their fates – good or bad – by the last page.

This is a hefty chunk of a book, but what a journey it is.  I laughed, cried (and it takes a lot to pull the tears from my ducts), put off most household chores for nearly a week while reading this, and I’m pretty sure my heart stopped a few times.  Unparalleled characterization, thought-provoking concepts, and brilliant writing.  If you haven’t started reading this series – what are you waiting for?  The City of Mirrors is scheduled for publication May 24th, 2016.

Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.


#BadMoonOnTheRise Day 30 Rotter Apocalypse by Scott M. Baker @vampire_hunters #books #zombies

bad moon on the rise

Welcome Scott M. Baker!  Today is release day for his book, Rotter Apocalypse!

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The zombie apocalypse is about to reach its inevitable conclusion, but not before it unleashes a few more nightmares on Natalie Barzagan, Mike Robson, and Windows.

After breaking away from the rest of the group, Natalie and her Angels succeeded in getting the vaccine to the government-in-exile in San Francisco where Natalie joins the military effort to clear the West Coast of the living dead.

Robson destroyed the rape camp that had kidnapped Windows, but not until after she had escaped. Along with the remaining vampires and a band of camp stragglers, he sets off to build a new compound.

Windows and the ten-year-old girl she rescued from the camp are taken in by a kindly widower who gives them the opportunity to start over and heal their wounds, emotional and physical.

Just as Natalie, Robson, and Windows are settling into their new lives, each will be confronted with a final life or death decision that will decide their fates.

How long have you been writing horror/thrillers and what drew you to the genre? 

I’ve been writing horror since 2003 when I began The Vampire Hunters trilogy and published my first zombie-related short stories—“Rednecks Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” and “Cruise of the Living Dead.” I’ve been working on the Rotter World trilogy, which concludes with Rotter Apocalypse coming out on 30 October, since 2010.

This is not the first genre I’ve written in. I worked for the CIA for twenty-three years so, when I first started back in the 1990s, my first books were about espionage. The first two manuscripts were amateurish and mediocre, and I never got them published, although I did hone my craft while working on them. The third book was a techno-thriller about North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons and blackmailing the United States. I had an agent and several New York publishers interested in purchasing the book; however, after the terrorist attack on 11 September, the market for that genre dried up overnight.

Switching genres was easy for me. I’m a Monster Kid from the 1960s/1970s. You know the geeky type. I had a stack of Famous Monsters of Filmland in my desk drawer, all the Aurora monster models on display, and a poster of Godzilla on the wall right beside Farrah Fawcett in a bathing suit. Making the transition into horror also gave me more freedom. When writing espionage and techno-thrillers, I had to follow certain guidelines and keep the plots feasible. I don’t have to worry about those same restrictions with horror, and I’ve had fun with it. Over the years, I’ve launched a vampire apocalypse in Washington D.C., had an alcoholic mall Santa battle zombie reindeer, and terrorized New Mexico and Florida with giant insects. I’m not even close to being finished yet.

How did you come up with the idea for your book? 

Coming up with the concept for the first book in the trilogy, Rotter World, was difficult because I wanted to provide an aspect on the story not found in every other zombie novel. I eventually settled on a plot involving vampires releasing a government-created Zombie Virus on mankind, only to have the living dead eat their way through both human and vampire species. A small group of humans and vampires who made it through the outbreak have put aside their differences and joined together in order to ride out the apocalypse. The détente lasts for several months until the doctor who created the Zombie Virus shows up at their camp and claims he has a vaccine that will nullify the outbreak, but it’s located in an underground military facility half way down the East coast. This small band that barely trusts each other now embarks on a road trip from Hell.

[SPOILER ALERT] In the sequel, Rotter Nation, the group returns to their base camp with the vaccine, only to find that the camp has been destroyed by a rape gang and everyone (except for one woman taken hostage) has been murdered. They split into two: one group travels west across a zombie-devastated country to bring the vaccine to the government-in-exile in Omaha, and the second attempts to rescue their friend from the rape gang. [END SPOILER ALERT]

For Rotter Apocalypse, I wanted to do something that is not frequently done in the genre, which is to show the final battles between humans and zombies. This is my favorite book in the series, and not because I cranked up the body count and gore to an all-time high. In a lot of the novels and films in this genre, the main characters fight until they’re eventually over run by the living dead. In Rotter Apocalypse, I explore how the survivors would reorganize and take the war to the living dead. The novel is violent, graphic, and depressing—which is exactly the feel I was going for.

If you could erase one horror cliché, what would it be? 

There’s once cliché in horror that I’ve always hated (although it’s mostly confined to film), and that is the female character being a helpless, screaming victim. Thankfully, it’s a cliché that has been correcting itself over the past fifteen years. It’s the main reason I find it hard to enjoy slasher movies. Yes, there will be women (and men) who will fold under pressure in a horror situation, but they’re the exception, not the norm. In my vampire and zombie trilogy I have several characters that are weak, cowardly, and easily manipulated; it wouldn’t be realistic without them. However, I include strong female protagonists in every one of my books. If I have to battle aliens or the living dead, I want Ripley and Alice by my side.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on two projects that I’m very excited about. The first is a series of young adult novels set in a post-apocalyptic world in which a failed anti-matter experiment renders the world’s electronic devices useless and opens several portals between Hell and Earth, allowing hordes of demons to pass through into our realm. The story focuses on a small group of survivors who have figured out a way to reverse the process and travel around the world to close the portals. The second is an adult-oriented series that takes place during World War II and pits Allied intelligence officers against Nazi Germany, which is waging a secret occult war against the West. I received my Master’s Degree in modern German and Soviet Studies, and am a huge history aficionado, so this is a project I’ve been planning for years.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m done with zombies. I’m working with a close friend to flesh out (pun intended) a concept about a U.S. covert operation that uses programmed zombies as weapons, a project which of course goes FUBAR and leads to the inevitable apocalyptic consequences. Think of it as a cross between Night of the Living Dead and Zero Dark Thirty.

Favorite horror movie and book? 

Only one? That’s like asking me to choose who is my favorite child.

Favorite zombie book: World War Z by Max Brooks. I loved the way that he breathed new life into the genre (again, pun intended) by covering the zombie apocalypse from the initial outbreak to the end of the war, and doing it an oral history format.

Favorite zombie movie: Resident Evil. It’s the combination of setting, building tension, and kick-ass action that makes this my favorite zombie movie. If I stumble across this movie while flipping through the TV channels before going to bed, I’m watching it no matter how late it is.

Author bio

Scott M. Baker was born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts and spent twenty-three years in northern Virginia unnamed (24)working for the Central Intelligence Agency. Scott is now retired and lives in Gainesville, Florida as a full-time writer along with his wife and fellow author Alison Beightol and his stepdaughter. He has written Rotter World, Rotter Nation, and Rotter Apocalypse, his post-apocalyptic zombie trilogy; Yeitso, his homage to the giant monster movies of the 1950s that he loved watching as a kid; The Vampire Hunters trilogy, about humans fighting the undead in Washington D.C.; as well as the novella Nazi Ghouls from Space (the title says it all). He is currently working on a series of young adult post-apocalyptic novels and a second series about Allied intelligence officers fighting Nazi occultism in World War II.

Scott has also authored several short stories, including “Cruise of the Living Dead” (a zombie outbreak aboard a cruise ship), “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly” (an alcoholic mall Santa battles zombie reindeer), “Last Flight of the Bismarck” (steampunk zombies), “The Hunger” (cannibalism during a zombie apocalypse), “Lebenden Toten at the Gate” (Nazis versus zombies at Stalingrad), “From Space It Came” (a giant spider from space), and the novella Dead Water.

When not writing, Scott can usually be found doting on the two boxers and two cats that kindly allow him to live with them.

Where to find Scott
Twitter: @vampire_hunters

Buy link




Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot

The Historian meets The Da Vinci Code in this exhilarating supernatural thriller set in Rome. Rival 16158492groups are searching for a document that holds a secret that could shatter the Catholic Church.

While in Rome, American Jesuit priest Thomas Kelly is called upon to reclaim a centuries-old document stolen from the Vatican. An enigmatic letter leads him to the work of a 19th century poet, where Thomas discovers cryptic messages that might lead to the missing manuscript. His search is unexpectedly entwined with that of Italian art historian Livia Pietro, who tells him that destructive forces are threatening to expose the document’s contents. As they’re relentlessly chased through the heart of Rome by mysterious men who quickly demonstrate they would cross any line to obtain the document for themselves, it becomes clear to Livia and Thomas that the pages hold a deep, devastating, long-buried truth. Livia, though, has a secret of her own: she and her People are vampires. But all this pales in light of the Secret that Thomas and Livia discover together—a revelation more stunning than either could have imagined.

Sam Cabot is a pseudonym for:

S.J. Rozan is the author of many critically acclaimed novels and short stories which have won crime fiction’s greatest honors, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero awards. Born and raised in the Bronx, Rozan now lives in lower Manhattan.

Carlos Dews is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature at John Cabot University where he directs the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation. He lives in Rome, Italy. –

I absolutely loved the The Da Vinci Code, not so much The Historian, but after reading the description of this book and a great review on another blog, and I had to have it.  Oh, and a priest and vampire working together?  That’s not something you see every day, right?

In adding vampires to this story, I thought the authors were taking a big risk – it could have gone either way.  But the scientific explanation of the origin of vampires and how they weren’t so different from humans was believable and handled well, adding a whole new dimension to the plot.  I particularly enjoyed seeing how Father Thomas Kelly processed and learned to deal with that information.  His reactions were completely authentic and he was a highly charismatic character, as was Livia.

The book wasn’t overloaded with religious information to detract from the plot line, which allowed the novel to progress at a good pace.  The differing points of view also added to the character development and allowed me to peek into supporting character’s minds and see their motivations.

The last chapter of this book revealed some shocking information – what a great ending! – although some people may be offended by it.  Overall, I enjoyed this book because of the secrets, fresh take on vampires, and how some characters dealt with questions of faith and prejudices.  A fast-paced thriller that deserves a read.

This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley.