October 15, 2012

BLP #1: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

at 10/15/2012 05:46:00 PM

~*~Theme Song of the Day: Anna Sun by Walk The Moon~*~

Hello again! Today is the first day of the Blog Launch Party for my bloggy! Yay! We have a great lineup which can be seen on my Upcoming Events tab. We have new giveaways every day so check in once a day to enter giveaways for awesome goodies! Now onto the good stuff. Today I will be reviewing First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones. It all started with an ad on Goodreads. I normally don't pay very much attention to ads unless they have shoes in them. And fortunately, the ad featured a pair of skull sandals. :] I requested the book at my local library and started to read. Darynda/Charley's witty dialogue and sass won me over by page 2! I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to anyone who are unfamiliar with the paranormal romance genre. I was already a fan of the paranormal romance genre, but I had never heard of Darynda Jones. The cover looked interesting and the synopsis was intriguing. I am not very good with expressing emotions with words when describing a book or writing style of an author, but I will do my best. Darynda's writing was entertaining, humorous, with a big dose of "What just happened?!?!?!?!" Whenever I read a book, a mental picture of what the characters look like usually pop up by the middle of the book. For Charley, she was done by the first chapter. Other members of the cast are Cookie, Charley's sidekick/office assistant/bff, Angel, Charley's ghost partner, and Reyes, yummy blast from the past and love interest. There are more members of the cast, but these are the ones more mentioned. They all came to mind after a few more chapters. I find that Darynda's style of writing was simple (in a good way), easy to understand and easy to follow along. The plot was a steady journey through a homicide case which lead to a surprising twist. Oh and another thing. REYES FARROW! Every heroine needs a hot male co-star. :] He's gorgeous, sensual, hot, enigmatic, gorgeous, skilled, and did I mention gorgeous? :D


Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

Once I got the ball rolling and started reading, I could not stop reading. Despite the fact that I had a paper due in 24 hours, I kept on reading until I was at the end. I already reviewed this book on Goodreads, but I'm just rehashing the deets on this blog. Charley Davidson, the heroine of the series, is a PI living in New Mexico and she uses her gifts to seeing dead people to help out her uncle, a detective on the APD. I have conflicting problems about this part. Yes, I know that as he harnessed her powers for his own gain, but at the same time he brought justice to the lives lost to crime. Sigh, you see what I mean? It's conflicting to pick a side and stay on it. :( Charley talks about it like it's not a big deal, but she has feelings! Another plus about this book is the extremely male and hot! hero Reyes Farrow, the sexy dream man who has been visiting Charley in her dreams. Right off the bat, Charley tells us of the mysterious stranger that visits her dreams and as she puts it, "plays doctor with me." LOL. I love the witty banter that is Darynda's writing style. It's funny to the point where I could barely breathe from laughing too hard. The other characters in the Charleyverse, is Garrett Swopes, another hottie with a body. He works with the APD and is a skip tracer. He basically tracks people down either for jumping bail or on the run. Initially Swopes is a little bit of  a jerk in this book because of previous events, which include a lot of liquor and Uncle Bob's loose lips. Other characters include Charley's stepmother Denise, whose favoritism shows between Charley and Gemma, the older sister. Gemma is presented as a scholarly, ambitious type, who takes after Denise in her snooty attitude. Charley's dad is a retired detective who runs a bar, not much is mentioned about Charley's family in this book other than the strained relationships, but I'm sure more behind the scenes will be brought to light as the series progresses. 

The plot of this story is a triple homicide which leads to a surprising turn of events. I really liked the flow of this plot. Usually a story has several revelations, a huge climax, and a resolution, with a few loose ends to be continued in the next book or left to be assumed. Darynda got it all done in one "swope." <---- HAHAHA did you get that? Anyways, this book is fantastic read especially from such brilliant imagination. This different take on the Grim Reaper certainly makes it more appealing since Charley has such big heart that's scarred from run-ins with human nature. All of her emotional suffering makes her more endearing and perfect for the job of reaper because she's sympathetic to the plight of others, despite her occasionally bouts of ADD. I totally recommend this book to anyone who wants to dip their toes into the romantic paranormal genre. I'm talking to you N. Kunka! And you too, T. O'Bryan! :] So in honor of this wonderful book and the first day of celebration for my blog launch party I am giving away a $15 Amazon giftcard, which will be emailed to the winner so leave your email in your blog comments. Remember the rules of my giveaways! You have one week to claim your prize or I will give it to the runner up. Giveaway ends on the 23rd of October, so get your entries in ASAP!

Tomorrow we will have the lovely Viviana Izzo, the Enchantress of Books, guest posting a book review and giveaway. See you all tomorrow and thanks for joining the celebration! :]

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The lovely lady herself!

For reasons known only to the Big Guy upstairs, NYTimes and USA Today Best Selling author Darynda Jones won a Golden Heart® for Best Paranormal Romance with her manuscript FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT. But even before that, she couldn’t remember a time she wasn’t putting pen to paper. When she was five, she would pick up a pencil and notepad, scribble utter chaos onto the page and ask her mom to read her masterpiece aloud. Thankfully, her mother would play along.  Later, she wrote plays for the neighborhood kids, made up stories for her brother as he played cars, and fell in love with Captain Kirk. Those raging, seven-year-old hormones only fueled her imagination, prompting her to create fantastical stories for Barbie and Ken to enact with plots that were horridly inappropriate to repeat in polite company.
After years of being repeatedly sent to the principal’s office for daydreaming in class, she managed to make it to high school where she almost finished her first manuscript. Sitting with her BFF in a corner booth at the local Tastee Freeze for hours at a time, she wrote a post-apocalyptic story about a group of teens who bore a remarkable resemblance to the members of Van Halen and were trying to escape the tunnels of a huge government fallout facility decades after World War III had destroyed the surface of the earth. It was a science fiction version of The Warriors and destined to be a classic.
Life was good. Writing was good. Then she graduated and the real world came crashing through. She forced the dream aside in favor of sustenance and shelter, got married to a local rock star, and had at least two kids that she can think of, the oldest of which was born Deaf, probably to spite her. When he was five, she packed up her boys and moved to Albuquerque to put him in a Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing program. The rock star stayed behind with the business, and they took turns going back and forth on the weekends to see each other for seven really long years.
While in Albuquerque, Darynda decided to see the cup half full and go back to college while she still had enough brain cells to make it worth her while. After graduating Summa cum Laude from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Sign Language Interpreting, she moved back to her hometown and got a real job. Several in fact, mostly teaching at a local college and interpreting pretty much everywhere. Based on personal experience, she does not recommend having more than three jobs at any given time.
But bit by bit, the desire to write needled it’s way back to the surface. Unable to squelch it any longer, she started writing seriously again in 2002 with one goal in mind: A publishing contract. Unfortunately, she sucked. Thank goodness practice makes perfect and three complete manuscripts later, she won that Golden Heart, landed an amazing agent and sold to St. Martin’s Press in a three-book deal.
She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press, the Charley Davidson series and the Darklight Trilogy. She hopes you enjoy reading them as much as she enjoys writing them. 
Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Me and Darynda at RWA 2012 Anaheim. I was so happy I almost burst into tears :]

*~*~*NOTE: Author biography and pic from author's website, here~*~*~


Unknown on October 16, 2012 at 7:04 AM said...

Love your blog Lisa! Darynda is one of my all time favorite authors!

Unknown on October 16, 2012 at 9:45 AM said...

Love the blog Lisa! Love Darynda! Love 1st Grave. :)

Unknown on October 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM said...

Hey Lisa!

Congrats on the new blog! Love DJ and all her books. If you have time, check out Katie Lane's series Deep in the Heart of Texas which begins with Going Cowboy Crazy. DJ highly recommended the first book on Goodreads. Oh boy, was she ever right!!! Best regards and take care. ((Hugs)) Mel

pc on October 17, 2012 at 10:50 PM said...

Love the humor in Charley's series!

Wendy on October 19, 2012 at 6:56 AM said...

Darynda is a fun and quirky writer. I love the humor and style of her books. They are easy to read AND listen to..although it's hard to not hear the Stephanie Plume books when you listen to them..because it's the same narrator..haha I've got the first book of the Grave series and I can't wait to get my hands on the other books. I will definitely be reading all her books because I just love her writing. Thank you.

Unknown on October 22, 2012 at 7:34 PM said...

Awesome Post Lisa!!! :)

Holly Bryan on October 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM said...

Wow, thanks so much for letting me know I won, Lisa!! I still don't see an email from you, though I did get your tweet... can you maybe resend? My email is hmbryan(at)alumni(dot)duke(dot)edu. THANKS!


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