First let me start this post by thanking all those who participated in our To Forum or Not To Forum poll. The verdict was overwhelmingly FOR the establishment of a forum here at VRB.com — 89% of 80 votes cast. (See Results Here)

So, beginning today, you are able to join up and begin posting at our new bulletin board.

Here's a little review of the VRB.com Forum features:

  •  "Reading Group/Book Club" Board
    Yep, we'll be reading one book a month and holding discussions!
    Register and cast your vote now for what books we'll read and discuss in July and August.
  • "Cast That Character" Board
    A place to have a little fun where you'll be able to name who you'd cast as your favorite vampire romance book character(s) in a film or television production.
  • "Reader Recommendations" Board
    Recommend books to your fellow readers.
  • "Introduce Yourself" Board
    A place for you to introduce yourself to your fellow readers.
  • "Chit-Chat" Board
    A board where you can talk about most everything.

You will need register to use the board, and we urge you to read the forum rules and disclaimer, and the guidelines for participating in the reading group and book club.  Our biggest rule is to "be nice and respectful" of each other and the authors and books. We want this forum to be a fun place for intelligent, thoughtful and civil discourse. So get ready, folks, it's "post" time!

Here’s a list of known upcoming vampire romance releases for June 2007.

June 1
June 5
June 10
  • Wicked Angels (Michele Hauf)
June 26
The Rest Falls Away by Colleen GleasonRises The Night by Colleen Gleason

VRB.com has something very special for our fourth giveaway!

The ever-gracious and generous Colleen Gleason is offering up the first two books in her fabulous Gardella Vampire Chronicles — The Rest Falls Away and Rises the Night (June 5, 2007) — both autographed, AND a signed vampire hunting stake. That's right, two autographed books and an autographed replica of a Gardella vampire hunting stake! What a treat!

To enter, simply leave a comment to this post, responding to one of the following:

  • If you've read The Rest Falls Away:
    Who do you prefer – the brooding and mysterious Venator Max or the so-bad-he's-good Sebastian? And why? (If you answer this one, please don't give away too many details in case other entrants haven't read the books yet.)
  • If you haven't read The Rest Falls Away:
    Watch the official trailer for The Rest Falls Away at Colleen Gleason's Web site then return here and name two things Victoria must balance in her double life.

The drawing will be held on Monday, June 4 and the lucky winner announced soon after, here at VRB.com and also notified by e-mail.

Please read the Official Rules before entering.
Residents outside of the United States are not eligible for this contest.

A little legalese…

The vampire hunter stake included in this giveaway is a replica, not a toy. The winning entrant agrees to use said replica in legal and appropriate manner, and agrees to assume full responsibility for compliance with all current and future applicable state and federal laws and regulations in regard to proper and legal use of the replica by herself/himself or others. VampireRomanceBooks.com may not be held responsible for illegal or inappropriate use of the replica, including but not limited to damages or injury resulting from improper use, illegal use, use by minor representing herself/himself as an eligible entrant.

Whew … we really dislike that so much fine print is necessary but, sadly, it is prudent in today's world to include it.

And because I can't stand to end this post with legalese…

If you haven't read this series, you're missing something special. Colleen has created a very tangible universe of contrasts, characters that make you sit up and take notice, and a battle between good and evil that enraptures the imagination. These books are highly intelligent, relentlessly intense, and written with undeniable passion.

It's drawing day for the giveaway of the two autographed copies of Lina Gardiner's Grave Illusions, and with the use of an old hat, we had an unbiased party dip their hand in and pull out two names this morning.

The lucky readers are:

  • Brenda Powell
  • Betty Johnson

Congratulations, ladies! And special thanks from VRB.com and Ms. Gardiner to all who participated in this latest giveaway!

Stay Tuned

TOMORROW (Saturday, May 19) we will announce a very special giveaway from a new and fabulous vampire romance books series by an up-and-coming author. The entry term will only be from May 19 to June 1, so be sure and get your name in the hat quickly. You don't want to miss this one, dear readers!

I just love a happy ending, don’t you? I mean, I think that’s why most of us read romance books anyway. We’re all looking for that storybook ending after pages of angst, hardship, death, destruction, mayhem, danger and, of course, all that sizzling passion. It’s satisfying to know that things work out for the characters we like, particularly when things so often do not in our own lives. It’s romantic, and yes, often sensual escapism, but hopefully, most of the time, there’s a good deal of character building and relationship exploration in between.

When Darkness Comes (Guardians of Eternity) by Alexandra IvyI do love when an author takes time to develop the relationships between characters, giving them time to explore and test each other’s boundaries and limits, giving them time to discover secrets and nuances to each other, especially while all hell is breaking loose around them. Doing so gives a fullness and immediacy to the story and to the central relationship of the book. Such a book is difficult to put down. It draws you in, plays your heartstrings, keeps you on edge and in suspense, and titillates all in one.

Thankfully, there are loads of great authors out there in the vampire romance genre capable of casting a spell over readers with well-told tales of passionate romances between powerful, sexy heroes and strong, sensual heroines that play out against the backdrop of supernatural struggles with life-and-death consequences. Alexandra Ivy shows she is just such an author with When Darkness Comes, the first volume in the Guardians of Eternity series.

Our hero is Dante, an arrogant, dead-sexy vampire who is nursing a good measure of bitterness over having been forcefully enslaved as a guardian to The Chalice, a human female who carries within her a powerful spirit being that keeps the Darkness in the world at bay. Our heroine is Abby Barlow, an unassuming but headstrong woman whose hurt-filled past has led her to imprison herself in a low-ceiling life, fearful of opening herself up to further hurt despite longing to break free and really live.

Her pure heart and spirit draw Dante like a moth to a flame while she is frustrated and befuddled by her attraction to the man who annoys her to no end. Fate intervenes, pushing them together when Abby, the one woman who stirs Dante’s cold, empty heart, becomes The Chalice. For the first time, he finds himself willingly committing to the task that has yoked him for 300 years, while Abby is thrust into a dark underworld she hadn’t known existed and now pursued by evil forces bent on destroying her so that their Prince can rise to power again. Together, on the run, they dodge evil wizards and their acolytes, zombies, demons, and witches with questionable intentions, all the while battling the immense passion that smolders between them, threatening to ignite at the slightest provocation.

When Darkness Comes is laden with action and suspense, the relationship between Dante and Abby powerful, emotionally and sensually charged to the nth degree. Their gradual bonding brings untold peace to Dante and draws Abby out of her self-imposed solitude, teaching her to trust and allowing her to blossom into the woman and lover that Dante knew she had the potential to be, all of which ultimately makes When Darkness Comes a romantic’s delight.

Have you read When Darkness Comes? If so, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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I’m an admitted lover of Egyptian history. I don’t study it or even search out books about it to read in my spare time, so I wouldn’t exactly call myself an aficionado. But, if you mention anything about the ancient culture, people or their art, I get this silly little giddy feeling inside. I suppose, more than anything, you could say I am charmed by the mystery and achievements of a great and powerful civilization that all but vanished overnight, and I sure would read a book about them if you put it in my hands, which is why I picked up Elizabeth Guest’s Night Life.

Night Life (Pharaoh's Rising) by Elizabeth GuestOkay, so the cover art helped, too. In fact, that’s what caught my attention. I know what you’re thinking, it was the gorgeous guy on the cover, but sad to say, delightfully sexy as he is, it was the hieroglyphics and the superimposed sarcophagus that caught my attention. There’s just something magnetic about that imagery. Maybe it harkens back to my college days when I studied the Egyptian art and culture during art history — it was my favorite part of the course. They were certainly a fascinating people, incredible craftsmen, engineers and artisans, but so much mystery surrounds them still — and you know how we humans love a mystery. The mystical and enigmatic air that permeates ancient Egyptian history creates a very fertile field for the imagination, and Elizabeth Guest happily sows that field with Night Life, the first installment in the Pharaohs Rising series.

The premise in this opening chapter is a dazzling and intriguing one: bringing the last and greatest Egyptian king back to life — as a vampire — to exist in modern times. The great Merneptah Seti, betrayed to his death by those closest to him, has awakened from his tomb and now walks the earth as Adrian King, a multi-billionaire ruling over his financial empire from the Royal Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He is a man out of time but not out of place. He is powerful, sometimes ruthless, but nevertheless honorable. He is a king and behaves as a king, regal and wise, and defiant of the sickness within him that would make him an Eater of Blood and Breaker of Bones. It is a battle he fears he is close to losing even as he senses the encroachment of a malevolent presence, but he is resolute. He will not surrender to the blood cravings and he will face head-on those who would destroy him. His only solace is found in his dreams and the beautiful woman who has haunted them for millennia — the gifted Egyptologist Dr. Christine Day.

Christine is a modern woman whose passion is the past that has enamored her family of archaeologists for generations. All her life she has searched for Merneptah Seti, her uncanny vision into the past guiding her and fueling her “waking” dreams of a mysterious lover who takes her like no other. What will she do when she suddenly and unexpectedly learns that the men are one in the same, and alive and well in Las Vegas, Nevada? What will he do when he discovers that the woman of his dreams is real and standing in his kingdom in Sin City? What will they do as ancient evil approaches, intent on death and destruction?

To find out, you have to read Night Life, which I found to be a delightful, if fictionalized, look into the past, and a welcome diversion of mystery, suspense and romance on a lazy weekend. Her characters are vividly drawn, the story compelling, and the passion between Adrian and Christine sublimely romantic and erotic. I am anxious to read more in this series, though, I do hope that Ms. Guest fleshes things out more in the next installment. This was a book I wanted to go on a little longer; it was good but left me hungry for more, particularly to read more of her intricate descriptions that pay homage to the artistry and grandeur of a civilization that is evidenced now only in relics and eroding monuments in the sand.

Have you read Night Life? If so, please feel free to leave a comment to let us and other readers know what you think!

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I love the Darkyn book series by Lynn Viehl. They are dark and edgy with incredibly distinct characters and great plots. The latest entry in the series, Night Lost, isn’t quite as dark or edgy as its predecessors, but I loved it all the same.

Night Lost by Lynn ViehlThe difference in tone stems from the lead characters, Gabriel and Nick (Niccola), neither of whom has that hard edge that the other characters seem to have. But that’s not a bad thing. They’re just different, tender in a very human way. They’ve both endured incredible hurt and their vulnerability inspires deep compassion and loyalty in the reader — the same compassion and loyalty they inspire in each other. There is an almost innocent quality about them, making their story a compelling one, often tender and erotic

Their paths first cross in the land of dreams. Nick is a thief in search of a religious relic, driven by tragic events in her past, the green man in her dreams her only solace in a life on the run. Gabriel is a centuries-old vampire being held by the Brethren, wayward priests who seek to rid the world of vampires. After nearly two years of being tortured at their whim, his only remaining link to life and sanity is the young woman who comes nightly into his dreams. Their bond is forged in that realm of nonsensical imagery but it is genuine, ultimately drawing Nick to Gabriel’s prison with a plan to free him, and subsequently flourishing despite their efforts to stifle it and the machinations of the Brethren bent on destroying them.

Running parallel to Gabriel and Nick’s journey, is a continuation of events that began in Dark Need.

Richard, the high lord of the vampires, still holds the mate (Dr. Alexandra Keller) of the American leader of the Darkyn (Michael Cyprien) and wants her to find a cure for the strange mutations of his body. The street-smart and saucy American doctor is, of course, disinclined to help the man who kidnapped her, and Michael is ready to storm the Irish stronghold and take her back. On top of that, Richard must contend with power plays from within the castle walls.

The cocktail of intrigue, power, politics, angst and love make Night Lost a well-rounded read and well worth the cover price. I am very eager to see where Ms. Viehl takes the Darkyn next. I suspect we may see more of Nick and Gabriel in future volumes, and a showdown with the Brethren surely looms in the future. But time will tell, and so will Ms. Viehl.

Have you read Night Lost? If so, please feel free to post a comment and let us and your fellow readers know what you think.

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Hey, folks, there are only 10 days remaining until the drawing for the two autographed copies of Lina Gardiner's Grave Illusions!

To learn more about the book giveaway and/or to enter, visit this post

After a weekend of data entry, I'm thrilled to announce that our Authors & Titles reference is up and running. That's right! We have pages started for every vampire romance author we could find and listed all the book titles we could find in an effort to give you as complete a listing as possible.

I've taken every step possible to ensure the information I have is accurate and complete, however, I suspect there is some information that may need to be corrected and that updates may need to be made to title lists, but at least we've got a great foundation on which to build.

Check it out today!

As you do so, you may also notice that the Authors & Titles library is now run via a wiki — a change prompted because of disappointment with the slow-going process of creating the author/title pages in WordPress. Talk about a difference. I was able to get the list together in a weekend using the wiki software. Absolutely amazing!

A Note to Authors

If you wish to edit your page, including adding a short bio, editing and/or updating your titles list, Website and blog links, please contact us for a password. Or, if you'd prefer we make any additions or changes then just contact us, providing the complete and up-to-date information for your page, and we'll add it as soon as possible. 

If you're a vampire romance author but your name isn't on the list, then definitely contact us with your information so that we can add you! 

*Note: Unfortunately, due to the pervasive nature of spam on the Internet, the wiki currently is not open for public modification.

Night Lost by Lynn ViehlThe vampire-romance-new-release fairy forgot to tell me that the latest in Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series, Night Lost, is out!

That was a nice surprise to find on the shelf at the book store, but it made me grumble, too, because I couldn't let you know it was coming. So here's your notice in case you haven't stumbled across it on the shelf yet.

Night Lost is the fourth book in the series, the previous three being: Dark Need, Private Demon and If Angels Burn. This is a great series, dark and edgy with a scientific bent — and what great covers! I can't wait to read this installment.

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