Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blood Drive Giveaway WINNER!

Last Tuesday, I interviewed Traci Houston, the author of Blood Drive. The publisher send finished copies of this new hot vampire novel to every blog on the tour so we could give them away.

I had 3 entries for my giveaway of the novel and I used to pick a winner.

Comment #3 was left by Vivien (deadtossedwaves@...). Congrats to Vivien!

It is the winner's responsibility to check their email (including junk/spam folders) and respond within 48 hours, or another winner will be drawn.

To the 2 of you who didn't win, remember: you can download it on Amazon now!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blood Drive Tour: Interview with Traci Houston

For today's stop on this tour, I am interviewing Traci Houston, the author of Blood Drive! Be sure to read through to the bottom of this post.

1. How did you come up with the idea for Blood Drive?
Blood drive evolved overtime. I’ve said many times that I’m a big fan of ‘what if’. When I began reading vampire novels questions would pop up in my head. One day I picked up a pen and began answering them. I read quite a bit of romance too and was sometimes annoyed by the heroine. I can’t stand it when the heroine is whiny or weak. When she cries for pages about how she isn’t able to be with her love. I wanted Cara to be her own person, not an extension of the man she’s with. I wanted her to be real.

2. Without spoiling anything, what is your favorite part of the book, and why?
My favorite part of the book isn’t a particular scene, it’s the characters when they are all together and the way they interact with each other. Even if they’re fighting, I like the way they play off one another, nag, defend, and annoy. I like the idea of a cohesive unit. One that can’t be interfered with by outside forces. I didn’t want a love triangle, the tension is sometimes delicious but I didn’t want it for these characters. I didn’t want a traitor in the ranks because I wanted them to always be there for each other. These friends will never turn their backs on each other and never betray one another.

3. Do you have a playlist, or just a few songs in particular, that helped you write Blood Drive?
Blood drive was written to three cds. 3 Doors Down, Matchbox Twenty and Lifehouse. I played them as loud as I could without bringing the walls down. I like all types of music but I’ve found I write best to rock. I appreciate music that had a story and the three bands that I mentioned have a talent for making me see the music. See the story they’re trying to tell.

4. Tell us a little bit about your writing history. When did you first realize you enjoy writing, when did you decide to get published, etc.
I always dabbled at journaling when I was young but I never remembered to do it every day. In middle school I wrote a little poetry and when something upset me I would take out all my frustration on a piece of unsuspecting piece of paper. As a sophomore we had to do a report and I chose to do it on stars that died tragically, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and James Dean. I loved writing that paper. I liked the way I was able to put the words together and make them flow and evoke emotion. My English teacher entered into a contest and I never saw it again, it saddens me to this day. When I was seventeen I started my first book, Eternity. It still has no ending but I keep it sitting on my desk because someday I’ll find the words for it.

5. What was on your summer reading list?
I have a huge library, so this summer I took to organizing my books. As I was doing it I came across a few favorites and started re-reading them. Fear Nothing and Seize The Night by Dean Koontz. Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. Public Secrets and Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts. Next on my list is Simon R Green’s, The Spy Who Haunted Me. He’s also got a fabulous series about a Private investigator in a very interesting place called The Nightside.

6. Anything else you'd like to share?
I’d just like to say thank you to everyone for all of the support and positive feedback for Blood Drive. There’s always a little doubt when it comes to how others will like your work, I was terrified, but so far most everyone has enjoyed it so I’m thrilled and for the few that didn’t, I’m okay with that too. Not everyone likes the same thing. I just try to take what I can from the criticism and use it to be a better writer.

Thank you, Traci!

You can read my review of Blood Drive here, then download it on Amazon, and then go to Traci's facebook to tell her how much you love her debut novel.

If you've been following the blog tour since the start, you've already had 6 chances to win a finished copy...
Here's your 7th chance! Just leave me a comment with your email address.

Becoming a follower is not required; US and Canada only, please. If you do not include your email address in your comment, your entry will not be counted. Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST on Sunday, October 23. Winner will be drawn using, posted here, and emailed on Monday, October 24th. It is the winner's responsibility to check their email (including junk/spam folders) and respond within 48 hours, or another winner will be drawn.

UPDATED! This giveaway will now end 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, October 25th. Winner be drawn, posted, and emailed on Wednesday, October 26th. Thanks!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: Blood Drive

Blood Drive by Traci Houston

When a group of vampires rises from the dark of the humid Miami summer and murders her partner, officer Cara Evens gathers a group of allies with their own unique abilities to avenge her partner's death and save the city. To succeed she'll have to accept her own changing abilities, ignore her lust for a vampire and hide the one thing her enemies need to kill them all. [Source]

I joined this blog tour for 2 reasons. 1, I love a good vampire novel as much as the next person. 2, this novel is Traci Houston's debut novel, and I love to support new authors.

When the book opens, we meet Cara, our leading female, right away. After she finds her partner murdered, she takes on the mystery of discovering the truth about his death. She quickly realizes that there is more involved in this case than just a simple murder. When she meets Jonathan, a part of her that she was trying to hide suddenly resurfaces.

Cara must now learn to control her powers, while still trying to solve her partner's murder. As if that wasn't enough, there is the small matter of Jonathan, the vampire who is distracting her with lustful temptation.

Luckily, there are others out there like her, others who have powers beyond a normal human. They must all learn to get along (like first graders) and use their powers together to stop Christian, the vampire who is trying to basically take over the world. He wants something that Cara and her friends have, and he has resources that they don't have. If the otherkin can't collaborate and accept each other (and themselves), then Christian will enslave the human race and allow vampires to rise to power.

I love Cara as a character. It is so rare for female leads to be powerful and confident, while still feeling human emotions. Cara has her inner struggles, for sure, but she doesn't let them interfere with her goals. More importantly, she doesn't let passion take control. She keeps her focus on what is important.

What I didn't like: some of the powers of the otherkin are not fully explained or developed, merely mentioned in passing. Additionally, I felt that the middle chapters were drawn out, while some of the fight scenes were rushed. The abrupt ending turned me off a bit, as well.

Overall, I gave this novel 4 stars because I really like the complexity of the group, and how they interact with each other. They all seem to counter each other's strengths and weaknesses, and they are all truly loyal to each other. While vampirism is the underlying platform, themes like friendship, tolerance, and acceptance are interwoven within the plot to make this quite a contemporary novel.


I received an ARC of this novel to read for a blog tour.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Blood Drive" Blog Tour!

I am so happy to announce that I am a part of a blog tour that kicks off TODAY! The book is Blood Drive: A Vampire Novel, the author is Traci Houston, and the publisher is Writers of the Round Table Press Inc. Click here for the Goodreads description.

This blog tour is being hosted by Once Upon A Twilight. Here is the schedule of posts:

10/10 OUaT - Review
10/11 At Random blog - Interview
10/12 Bibliognome - Review
10/13 See K Read - Tens list
10/14 Me, My Shelf and I - Review (I'll also be posting my review.)
10/17 Good Choice Reading - Review
10/18 I Heart Reading - Interview (That's me!!)
10/19 Panda Reads - Review
10/20 The Garden of Books - When I'm not writing
10/21 The Secret Life of an Avid Reader - Review

So come back on Friday for my review, and then again next Tuesday, October 18 for an interview with Traci Houston. I'll also be giving away a finished copy of Blood Drive that day, so exciting!

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