Chloe is in love with a fictional character. His name is Lucien and he is part of the Dark Riders series written by her favorite author.
But the problem (other than the love of her life isn’t in reality) is that the author died and there will no longer be a eight book. Completely devastated, Chloe has a mental breakdown at work and falls asleep in the lounge.
When leaving the office and walking through the parking lot at midnight, Chloe gets hit with a supernatural force that transports her in a alternate reality in which the characters of her book are very much alive.
Determined to give the story a proper ending, Chloe has made it her mission to make things right and that includes not giving into her tempting Lucien.
This book was great. From the time I started it I couldn’t stop laughing at how serious Chloe felt towards her characters. Listen I have been emotional over characters and freak out a bit but Chloe was WOW!
But don’t take it as if I didn’t like her. I liked Chloe because she was true to the book. She was witty and sarcastic but other than that there was no real personality to her. She lived and breathed that series. I felt that Chloe should have been more developed.
However, that didn’t deter me away from the book. What I liked about the story was the fact that it was just cute. There wasn’t a lot of back-story for the characters that Chloe loves and I understand why. But I didn’t feel anything for them at all. But the enthusiasm Chloe felt to get the story done in the “right” way was contagious. The energy in this story was very high which made for a quick fun read.
What I didn’t like about the story was the relationship between Chloe and Lucien. It was very childish. The I want you but can’t have you the I am going to throw a fit because I don’t she wants me; that right there made me believe that Chloe and Lucien were more teenagers than grown men and women. I felt that there wasn’t a developed romance between the two and there no steam or chemistry. I didn’t see or even feel it until the end of the novel.
You instantly know when you found the author of your dreams; fun, passionate, knowledgeable and so completely serious all at the same time. Readers meet Travis Luedke a wonderful author who provides a breath of fresh air in genre (paranormal romance) so often used. Interview by Tania Lasenburg, Travis explains not only his thought process when writing but how serious self-publishing really is.
Were you always a writer? If not what did you do before you decided to publish your first book and why did you decide to leave it?
I started writing in 2010. It wasn’t until 2012 I decided to self-publish. Once I saw everybody doing it, I knew it was time. I love the control I have over every step of the publishing process.
Control freak? Yes.
Why did you choose romance paranormal? What it is about that genre that you feel draws readers
and writers in?
I have always been a fan of escapist fiction like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, and Peter Straub. I found horror novels based on the supernatural were my Brian Lumley taught me the dark, wicked beauty of vampires. Then I discovered Anne Rice. I loved The Vampire Chronicles, but these creatures never had any sex! I wanted vampires who get it on, seducers. With Laurell K. Hamilton I finally found the full, combo meal deal. Vicious predators, sexy seducers, and gobs of smoking-hot sex; I’m a total addict now. PNR is my guilty pleasure, and that’s what I write. I have my cake and eat it too. My vampires live in the real nightlife of today: back alleys, ghettos, strip clubs, casinos, drugs, prostitution, escorts, mafia, cartel. All that good stuff.
I like it dark, gritty, violent and sensual, with thriller intensity. I blend these elements into my own wicked cocktail.
How has your experiences been in the publishing world? Is there a lot of networking? Sucking up?
Or did you have an easier time because your writing spoke for
I pretty much splatter myself on every major social media platform. You could call me a social media junky. I spend more time there than I do actually writing. For those who like a dark, gritty, sexual read, my work does speak for itself, and the Nightlife Series cover art oozes sensuality. Honestly, publishers trying to combat obscurity need to get creative, get guerilla. It’s all about metadata and Amazon’s internal SEO, keywords and categories. We have to grab eyeballs with freebies, giveaways, discounted sales. Our main advantage over traditional publishers is our ability and willingness to sell for less, and give books away. I know, it sucks. We write our masterpieces only to give them away?
But Amazon is the self-publishers best friend. A massive freebie campaign, giving away twenty thousand books, is
really a smart move. Everybody debates the pros and cons, but this is the best way to get our books in front of thousands of eyeballs. For prolific authors with a series, numerous titles available, a fat ass freebie run brings loads of attention to our other books.
What in your daily life allows you to stay creative?
I have a constant stream of ideas. Never dries up. My critique partners look at my ideas and give me a score on the suckometer (usually needs a lot of work). They know my writing intimately, and they bring me back down to reality. It’s easy to become consumed with a new idea. I need my team to point out the gazillion flaws in my genius (lots and lots of flaws). Either it sticks, or the idea is discarded for something better. A novel is constantly evolving, right up until the moment I click publish. The real problem is putting away the social media to focus on writing. Social media will consume your life, an addiction worse than drugs.
Finally, how has your writing changed from your first book to your last?
Its sexier, meaner, leaner, tastes great, and less filling. I write the light beer version these days, a minimalist approach. Lots of chopped clauses. A sprinkle of touchy-feely. Some wall-smashing, toe curling sex scenes. Sift in a few pounds of crushing violence and cover it in blood frosting (several quarts of arterial flow sprayed across the room). I have a lot of fun with my writing. Got no problem getting into the mind of villains. It’s the heroes I always struggle to write.
To know more about the always active Travis Luedke or simply enjoy some good
Tana’s world includes vampires. It also includes a place called Coldtown in which all vampires, found and caught, are sent to live. This is also a place where humans wanting to turn can go. Ultimately, most people in Coldtown never leave.
Tana wakes up one day after a party in a bath tub with all her dead classmates surrounding her. Left is her infected (bitten by a vampire) ex-boyfriend and an unknown vampire that seems to cause more trouble than good. Abandon by her father for assuming she’s been bitten, hunted down by the police for being at the party, Tana goes to Coldtown as her last hope.
The author creates a new myth for new vampires. If you don’t drink human blood for 88 days then you will not become a vampire. This is the whole concept of the book. Tana watched her mother go through these motions and ended up getting her killed. So in a chance to redeem herself Tana fights tooth and nail to make sure her ex does not drink anybody’s blood even though it risk her life and others around her.
I didn’t like this new myth even though it was creative. It takes away from the vampires we all know and love. Same ways Stephanie Myers made them sparkle; it just takes away from the true monsters they are to be supposedly.
What I thought was unbelievable was how Tana was running around with two vampires and didn’t get eaten alive by them. Don’t get me wrong her ex tried but he was a just turned vampire with that much control not to bite her? Really?
Finally, Tana was passed out in the tub in the bathroom are you saying that those vampires that took out a whole graduating class couldn’t sense her? I mean I guess she was that drunk? I’m not sure but I wanted a better reason for why she was missed.
Sera has been hiding at her college for the past three years since a
traumatizing event that took place her senior year of high school. She is withdrawn and stays away from men. That is until her roommate and best friend convinces her to go to a party in which she meets Liam and everything she has known completely goes out the window.
This book was okay enough but I call baloney. One Sera who has been closed up for the past three years meets Liam who she is instantly attracted to and decides to spill her secret after the second day of meeting him -.- Who does that? I was completely thrown off at how easy she gave away that information.
The writing was sub par. It lacked depth, passion and motivation. I liked the fact that this centralizes around a college frat house however, I didn’t like how Liam only became a vampire (yes vampire) the year before and now all of a sudden is so in control and perfect with who he is. In what story, new or old, does a vampire only take a year to be so freaking perfect?
Although the book wasn’t full of clichés it was too simple for a vampire story and in no shape or form did it leave me wanting more.
Overall the book gets 6 out of 10. It could have been a whole lot better and realistic (for a vampire novel).
Tania Lasenburg is a communications major that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles
In her first collection of short stories Holly Black brings readers a range from vampires, werewolves, faeries and other supernatural beings. This short collection also gives readers a preview/idea of her latest book “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” which despite the title it was a pretty good read.
“The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” is the only story that left you wanting more. It brought out my curiosity because I wasn’t expecting vampires and I honestly have no idea why I wasn’t expecting vampires. I think the characters were a bit weak but I am going to chalk that up to it being a short story. But this story leaves quite a bit of questions so I am interested in the actual book.
“In Vodka Veritas” is a story in which a private schools’ Latin class put a spell on their peers at a school prom. This story was also the weakest story in this collection. It really lacked in development of the main character and it lack follow up. She led you on (which is a good thing) but fell short in making you in love with the story.
“The Poison Eaters” is also another story that didn’t quite work out for me. It truly was a short story in every sense and didn’t leave any questions as in whom what or why. Everything was answered but it didn’t leave much to the imagination.
Over this entire book get 9 out of 10. For the first time, I actually found a book that is both well written and creepy . . . so very creepy.
Tania Lasenburg is a communications major that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles
I loved Winterhaven. It written well had just the right amount of suspense and sappy teenage supernatural love. However I felt that Mirage, book2, was a bit weak.
It’s senor year for Violet McKenna, her friends and her vampire boyfriend. Excited for a stress-free new year, Violet realizes different when she starts having visions of bad things happening to her friends including her boyfriend attacking her best friend Whitney. So Violet is on the fence about whether to stop the future or let it happen; causing a very stressful year.
Here is my issue with the book; it was boring. Granted nothing exciting can happen every chapter of the book, but there was too much down time within the book. If I didn’t already enjoy the first book it would have been hard for me to continue this second one.
Also Violet didn’t push hard enough with her boyfriend for me. He was experimenting on a cure and she noticed the changes in him but didn’t confront him about it or tell me that it seemed wrong. I understand she didn’t want to tell him about the vision she had but she knew what he was doing wasn’t healthy and it was a good idea to have her silent on that issue.
Violet, just like in the first book, decided to be strong or gain strength at the end of the book as if it wasn’t needed throughout the entire read.
Mirage gets an 8 out of 10. Mostly because I am looking forward to the final book and the author despite its flaws did leave me wanting more with the ending.
Before I can even begin to tell you about this book you need to know that now I officially know why people are obsessed with the book and/or the true blood series.
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in a small town about an hour away from New Orleans. She also happens to be a mind reader; because of this she keeps to herself, doesn’t really go out and doesn’t date. However, ever since vampires became known to the world she’s been hoping one will pop up in her small town.
Well one did and his name is Bill and unlike everyone one else in that town, Sookie cannot read his mind which is a relief for her. As exciting as Bill is for her, things get rocky when her coworker is killed and Sookie doesn’t think she is so safe anymore.
This book was a great read. It was very modern and truthful about vampires. Bill was great because he wasn’t trying to hide what he was or use to be for Sookie; it was kind of like “it is what it is” type thing and I thought it was great. Sookie also didn’t annoy me as much as I thought she would. Yes, she had her moments when she couldn’t decide if she truly wanted an honest life with bill but I wasn’t too annoyed with that.
Harris did a good job with the setting and describes life in a small town to a tee. However, there was a scene or there is a big part of the book that reminds me of Twilight. Stephenie Myers released her book in 2006 and then Harris released her book in 2008. Hmmmmmm There is nothing wrong with being influenced by other writers; but I really thought that what Harris did was unnecessary. The book is great and it wouldn’t have lost any readers if it didn’t have that “twist.”
The book gets 10 out of 10. I picked up the book with the thought of hating it and I was pleasantly surprised. I do plan on reading the next book but I’m not sure if I will be reading all 10. I think that is excessive for a series.
Making and breaking your favorite reads since 2017