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Category: Novels

Melissa de la Cruz is taking her Blue Bloods series to a whole new level with her new novel, Vampires of Manhattan, which is out now.


De la Cruz is transitioning the series from the Young Adult genre — traditionally for a more teen audience — to New Adult. The move is bold, since the New Adult genre is relatively new and still breaking into the book market. Novels of this genre typically follow characters in their early 20s and explore elevated themes, especially sex. Vampires of Manhattan won’t disappoint on that front.

De la Cruz said her favorite scene in the book happens when “Mimi and Kingsley reunited, because it’s so electric! Those two have so much chemistry!”

While the love story and sex is a big part of what makes Vampires of Manhattan part of the new adult genre, that isn’t all. The novel explores story lines with heartbreak, career challenges and death with paranormal characters.

“I think maybe the hardest part was letting go of their teen selves,” de la Cruz says of transitioning the characters from Young Adult to New Adult, “especially for Oliver, who’s changed a lot. He had transformed so much that, at some point, I was really worried about him. But he’s the Oliver we know and love in the end.”

With New Adult, de la Cruz was also able to create a different level of excitement around her characters and delve deeper into their personal lives as they become adults.

De la Cruz explained that she started writing the book exactly as readers will see in the opening chapter with Ara. “I wanted to create a new badass vampire character and she sprung to mind immediately.”

Vampires of Manhattan tells Ara’s story, beginning 10 years after the Blue Bloods defeated Lucifer. In the new peace and prosperity among vampires, coven leader, Oliver, holds the Four Hundred Ball, with all of society in attendance. And then we discover that things may not be as peaceful and prosperous as we thought as all hell breaks loose.

De la Cruz said the book’s big twist came as a surprise to even her. “Let’s just say the twist came very late in the writing of the book. I had a different ending, but once I stumbled upon this plot twist, I liked it so much I rewrote the book to match.”

Aside from Vampires of Manhattan, de la Cruz has several other projects in the pipeline. She told us she’s working on “a new book set in the world of Witches of East End that I can’t talk about yet as it hasn’t been announced.”

De la Cruz also teased what’s to come on the Lifetime series based on her Witches of East End books. “I can’t spoiler anything! But there is a really fun Freya and Killian plot in the 1800s that’s coming up and I was there when they filmed it. Also, the season finale is amazing and heartbreaking. The show just keeps getting better and better.”

The author is also already working on Vampires of Manhattan 2, among a handful of other titles, though she didn’t say when she expected the novel to be released.

“I just couldn’t let go of my Blue Bloods,” de la Cruz explained, “I love them. I grew up with the characters and I wanted to see what happened to them after the great finale.”

Fans and new readers will agree: Vampires of Manhattan definitely fills the void and then some.


Date: September 18th | Category: Authors, Interviews, Novels
View Comments // View All Comments (0) | Posted by Katherine


The Originals are heading from TV to book form.

Publisher Harlequin has signed a deal to publish three books based on the CW show, Media Bistro reports.

The books will be released in February, April and June 2015, to coincide with the second season of the show, which follows a vampire family over hundreds of years. They will be written by Josh Bank and Hayley Wagreich and consist of entirely new stories about the vampire characters.

Date: July 24th | Category: Articles, Novels, The Originals
View Comments // View All Comments (0) | Posted by Katherine

This could be the most interesting new TV show of the next year or so. MTV has ordered Shannara, based on the heroic fantasy novels by Terry Brooks, straight to series. The first season will be 10 episodes, based on The Elfstones of Shannara.

As io9 reported last year, the pilot is being written by former Smallville showrunners Miles Millar and Al Gough. Jon Favreau was signed up to direct, but is now just producing, due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, the first two episodes will be directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

It’s sort of interesting that they’re skipping over the first novel and adapting the second instead — but the second book is less obviously beholden to Lord of the Rings, and lets the show have an intense plot about the elves’ magic failing and the evil Dagda Mor trying to return to the world. It’ll be interesting to see MTV try to do something with the scale and ambition of Game of Thrones, but the youth-oriented snark of Smallville and MTV’s own Teen Wolf.

And like Adventure Time, this is another example of a series that takes place in a magical fantasy realm — that’s actually Earth in the future, after a calamity. [via Terry Brooks]

Date: July 14th | Category: Articles, Novels, Shannara
View Comments // View All Comments (0) | Posted by Katherine


Second in a series, A Dance in Blood Velvet by Freda Warrington is a follow up to A Taste of Blood Wine. Collectively they’re known as The BloodWine series, with two more I’ve yet to read. Let us begin with the simple acknowledgment I look forward to doing so.

dance.blood.velvet1What is this novel about? In an age of sound bytes, the easiest way to describe it might be “Interview With the Vampire meets The Black Swan.” If that intrigues, read further.

Begin with the era. Those strange, heady days after the end of the first world war (the so-called Great War) but prior to the Great Depression. When the Edwardian Age hung on for dear life in the face of a world we increasingly recognize as modern. The role of women challenged. Audiences demanding comfort while artists reel from the experience of world-wide trauma. Science making new strides while secret societies indulge in a quest for hidden, forbidden knowledge. Above all else this remains a time of myopia, of fervor over personal opinions held in a death grip, of gnawing doubt about Life and Meaning with extreme answers to both holding a deadly attraction.

Sound familiar?

Okay, this is a book review so it shouldn’t have to be said but all the same–SPOILERS FOLLOW. Really, if you don’t want to know anything at all about the plot of this book jump to the last paragraph.

The threads of the story pick up from A Taste of Blood Wine. Fiercely independent vampire Karl, that strange blend of conscience and ruthlessness, has turned his lover Charlotte into an immortal predator like himself. She, whose fragile docility proved nothing more than a mask worn by a heart at least as ferocious as his own, walks in sin-stained bliss but not without guilt. Much to the story centers around the very first time she becomes totally enraptured by a human. Karl and the other immortals–his daughter Illona, the strange ‘twins’ Stephan and Nilas, Pierre the nihilist–recognize this for what it is, the total fascination a living human can sometimes exert on a vampire, a desire deeper than blood. It can rarely end well. Charlotte goes to see Swan Lake with Karl. Both adore the talent and passion of Violette Lenoir, the prima ballerina. For Charlotte, such adoration becomes more. It leads her to watch every performance. To watch the dancer’s life, to force a meeting, to become part of the woman’s existence. Yet she comes across a fascinating, tormented soul in Violette–a woman twisted by guilt and tragedy, but unresolved passions poured into her art. In this brilliant dancer lies pain and hunger, blended with loneliness and disgust. To Charlotte, she becomes a riddle to solve, an object of worship, almost but not quite a friend or lover.

All this becomes entwined with the more violent events of the previous novel–the destruction of Kristian, fanatic sociopath who had been Lord of the Vampires. By sheer chance (or fate?) Karl and Charlotte had discovered the lair of an ancient, vastly cruel vampire who’d created a Book in the very place he’d tortured his victims. Both Book and lair become a trap for vampires, the shredded remnants of the dead boundlessly hungry for what had been raped from them. Thus Kristian had been led into a trap, weakened, and in the weird Crystal Ring–a dream like reality of frozen winds where vampires can travel and sleep–Karl had managed to tear his creator apart. But not before Kristian had sent a psychic demand from those vampires he’d trapped in the Crystal Ring to avenge him.

Now those vampires–barely conscious, weakened yet immortal still–wander like wraiths in the Crystal Ring. Two who had been friends of Karl make it out.

Katerina, an elegant creature of great beauty who regards Karl as her own, is rescued and Karl insists on nursing her back to strength, thus driving an emotional wedge between himself and Charlotte.

At nearly the same time, members of an occult order that had somehow gotten ahold of the ancient’s Book tried to use it to summon an angel from the astral plane. Benedict Grey and his wife Holly feel nothing but horror when Andreas–Katrina’s other lover and Karl’s good friend–appears in the circle. A wild-eyed mummified shape with fangs! Benedict in time feels more than horror. Ever in the shadow of his brother, the order’s leader, he sees such a successful summoning as proof of real power. How can he resist trying it once more?


Warrington does an especially good job of blending the idea of vampires as genuinely, inherently evil and yet at heart as human as ever they had been. As if to drive the point home, those vampires who seem to have lost their humanity stand in stark contrast to those struggling with what their essential nature. Intriguingly, in this series the bite of a vampire weakens a victim greatly, often causing some kind of madness and sometimes (like AIDS) leaving them susceptible to the slightest wound or infection. Within this universe she maintains as well a balance of enlightenment and mystery. Unlike (for example) Anne Rice, she offers more questions with each and every answer. People come to conclusions, but there’s no definite way to conclude any are right. Plus her writing is eminently readable. The characters remain vividly themselves, even if in many ways they take back seat to the ideas explored and the plot revealed–yet end up integral to both!


Date: July 4th | Category: Novels
View Comments // View All Comments (0) | Posted by Vixen Mistress
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