I have every one of my fellow Paranormal Unbound authors on my TBR. Since I read disturbingly little paranormal–at least not while I’m writing it–I’ve only whacked away at a couple so far. Still, awhile ago the first book in Amber’s Blood Vine Series was on sale for only 99 pennies (it still is at Amazon so you should totally jump on that), so I downloaded it and waited for some free time. Which came in the form of exhaustion combined with a touch of some virus my kid brought home from school, but hey–we roll with what we got.
Short story? I wound up spending an unplanned weekend in bed, and reading the entire series back-to-back.
I think that’s the best summation I’ve got for how much I enjoyed these books. The mythos surrounding the vampires’ history was richly developed, and woven through the story line. The sex was sexy. The violence was horrific. The bad guys were (mostly) psychotic. The details about winemaking were enough to feel real, but not too overwhelming. Nothing felt predictable. I kept one-clicking because I had to be sure about how things would work out for everyone.
Which means, of course, that I got very attached to the characters. All awesome stuff.
Once in awhile I had to stop and consider how I felt about things, that’s always a good chance for mental growth. I even found myself thinking “damn, I wish I could write this way,” which is something I try never to think. Not that I don’t, but wishing for someone else’s muse is a little like wishing for someone else’s children. Still – if someone else’s kid has straight A’s and yours is in a corner licking the wall? You might experience a touch of envy. 😉 (side note: My kid was that wall-licker. This has totally happened to me.)
I loved the way the vampires needed wine from their homeland’s grapes. My brother-in-law (allegedly) can tell what sort of barrel a wine has been aged in just by tasting. Most of us don’t have that skill. Many of us, however, know wine in some form or fashion. We drink it in bottles or boxes or sip it at jazz festivals or get it handed to us in little Dixie cups by the lady at the grocery store.
It’s a beverage we associate with an abundance of life experiences, and the premise felt so unique.
I particularly fell in love with Pedro and Lucas. I think it’s hard not to.
About Blood Vine:
In Blood Vine, bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign.
When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can’t forget. After her husband’s suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time?
Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey’s PR expertise to reach them. After his wife’s death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally.
His secrets stall her PR plans. Her jealousy is stoked by the blissed-out beauties leaving his bedroom. At every turn, he utterly fails to resist her. When she discovers he is a vampire, will she be lost to the golden-eyed Hunters, or lose herself to the emptiness in her heart, before she can help him save his kind?
Find it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book. As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons—an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days.
Amber is an Episcopal Priest and student of religion. She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. Some people think it is strange for a minister to write romance, but it is perfectly natural to her, because the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that longing. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.
Her debut paranormal romance Blood Vine is now available from Omnific Publishing, and its sequel Blood Entangled will be available in July. She lives, works and writes in San Francisco.
Okay…I just downloaded it 🙂 Looking forward to starting the series given the awesome send up…
Yay! I hope you enjoy. Happy reading!
Elisabeth, what a nice surprise to wake up to this post in my inbox mid-family vacation! I am SO delighted you enjoyed the books.
It’s funny what you said about wishing for someone else’s muse. I think about that a lot, and have to tell myself I have to write in my voice, I can’t be someone else but only get better at being me. Just as I read this, I had been having the exact same feeling about Molly O’Keefe– I want to write like this! So, boy do I relate to that feeling, and also it’s so enormously flattering that you would say so 🙂
I’m so glad, Amber! You have an edgy and fearless writing style, and that’s something I’m sort of learning to re-find for myself after the stringent editing of traditional publishing. 🙂
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