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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Twilight Thursday

Guest Post, Giveaway

and Review of The Vampire Shrink

Please help me welcome special guest Lynda Hilburn to the Moonlight today! She's here to talk about a very popular figure in the paranormal genre - vampires - and how they influenced her book, The Vampire Shrink. And, oh, yes, she WILL be giving away a copy to one lucky person today! So read on to find out how to snag your copy.

Give Me That Old Time Vampirism
Lynda Hilburn

Readers often ask me why my main vampire character, Devereux, has such old-fashioned speech patterns? Why his language is so formal? Why he doesn’t use contractions or modern slang?

Well, besides the fact that he’s 800+ years old, and he spent most of those years in Europe speaking several other languages, he’s very stubborn. He only arrived in the USA thirty years ago, and he sees no reason to change his ways. Prior to the events of The Vampire Shrink, he mostly ignored contemporary culture. Sounding like someone out of a gothic horror or romance novel allows him to march to his own drummer – to keep an aloof distance from the norm.

But why did I write him that way?

My love of vampires is all about the old, European guys. Of course, I adore all vampires, but my obsession began with the scary, non-American versions.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula was the first book I became enthralled by (pun intended) as a kid (much to my mother’s dismay!). The dark tale of the terrifying-yet-compelling bloodsucker altered my view of what could be possible. That book really changed everything for me, both as a weird kid and as a writer.

Later, Anne Rice’s dangerous vampires, with their old-world roots, added to my addiction.

The 1980 movie Dracula, starring Frank Langella as the arrogant Count, combined horror with overt sexuality in a way I’d never seen before. I’m embarrassed to say how many times I’ve watched that DVD over the years!

So, as much as I enjoy immortals who are Elvis look-alikes with southern accents, mono-syllabic warriors, or thoroughly American charmers, there’s just something about the frightening, elegant ancients that puts them into a class of their own.

And besides, Devereux simply refused to join the 21st century, so it was either write him as he wanted to be or find another undead lust object for my psychologist heroine. LOL.

The USA version of The Vampire Shrink released April 3, 2012. Here’s a blurb:

A sizzlingly sexy urban fantasy sure to feed the hunger of ravenous, vampire-loving fans.

Kismet Knight, a brainy Denver-based psychologist with a stalled career and a nonexistent love life, is about to have her world rocked. Not only does her newest patient, Midnight, long to become a vampire, but the teenager insists that a coven of the undead hangs out at a local goth club. The always-rational Kismet dismisses Midnight's claims as the delusions of an attention-starved girl--until bodies start turning up drained of blood and the hottest self-proclaimed vampire ever to walk the face of the earth enters her office.

What's real? What's not? As inexplicable events and romantic opportunities pile up, along with the corpses, Kismet finds herself in a whirlwind of passion, mystery, and danger. But this tough and funny heroine--who doesn't do damsel in distress--is about to turn the vampire-meets-girl convention on its head.

Lynda’s contact information:

Book Trailer:

My Review:

I'm not what you would call a true vampire fan in that I don't have to watch every movie/show or read every book dedicated to the genre to get my fill. I'm rather choosy when it comes to the subject. So, in order for something dealing with vampires to catch my attention, it has to be something different. Something special.

I am happy to say that The Vampire Shrink fits both criteria. First, the title. How intriguing is that? How can you not be drawn into a book with a title like that and the premise to boot? Take a look:

Denver Psychologist Kismet Knight, Ph.D., doesn’t believe in the paranormal. She especially doesn’t believe in vampires. So what happens when she finds herself neck-deep in the vampire underworld?

Kismet is smart, witty and attractive. She’s respected in her field, successful and prosperous. She’s followed all the rules – done everything right. So, what’s the problem? Her life is empty. There’s no passion. No vitality. No excitement.
That is, until a new client introduces Kismet to the vampire underworld, and a drop-dead gorgeous, 800-year-old vampire named Devereux. Kismet isn’t buying the vampire story, but can’t explain why she has such odd reactions and feelings whenever Devereux is near. Kismet is soon forced to open her mind to other possibilities when she is visited in her office by two angry bloodsuckers, who would like nothing better than to challenge Devereux by hurting Kismet.
As Kismet gets pulled deeper and deeper into the vampire subculture, she struggles to hold onto her professional ideas about what is and isn’t “real.” The more she finds herself attracted to the charismatic, handsome Devereux, the more out of control her life becomes.

When one of her clients shows up in her office almost completely drained of blood, Kismet finds herself immersed in an ongoing murder investigation. Kismet is questioned by irreverent, handsome FBI profiler Alan Stevens, who warns her that vampires are very real. And one is a murderer. A murder who is after her.

In the midst of all this, Kismet realizes she has feelings for both the vampire and the profiler, but even though she cares for each of the men, facing the reality that vampires exist – along with all the other supernatural insanity she discovers – is enough of a challenge. For now.

(Blurb from the author's website)

With a build up like that, I was immediately intrigued. I had to read this story and see now the premise played out. Could the book possibly live up to it? In a word: yes. It was a fascinating take on the vampire genre and it kept me intrigued to the end. And in a world inundated with books about vampires and vampire lore, that's a hard thing to do. With many of the others, I couldn't help feeling I'd read that already, but The Vampire Shrink put a twist on the genre that made it fresh and interesting. Paranormal creatures (or do thy just think they're paranormal creatures?) that need to talk about their problems with a psychiatrist? How...normal. That in itself helps you connect to these characters because they feel a little like you.

But of course, it's not all about paranormals in need of therapy. There are fantastic characters - Kismet is a no nonsense heroine who doesn't believe in vampires until she meets one, and Devereux is, in a word,  delicious - an intriguing paranormal world, a love story, and oh, yes, plenty of danger to go around as the vampire world undergoes a power struggle. Love, danger, vampires, and a showdown. What more could you want in a paranormal book?

So if you like the genre, love vampires, or just want to read a good story, The Vampire Shrink might just be what the doctor ordered (sorry for the pun).


For a chance to win your own copy of The Vampire Shrink and read it for yourself, please leave a comment on this post and an email address so we can contact you if you win. Good luck!

1 Moonbeams (comments):

elaing8 said...

Great post and review.Thanks for the chance to win a copy.Can't wait to read it.