Allison Pang Blog Tour


Allison Pang stops by SciFiChick.com today to discuss her recent release A Brush of Darkness, the first in a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance series from Pocket Books.

Romancing the Incubus

The working title of A Brush of Darkness was Shadow of the Incubus. An obvious title, given that Brystion, the “hero/love interest”, actually is one. Most people are probably aware of the general mythology of the incubus – a male demon who sits on the chest of sleeping women and has some form of metaphysical sex with her. Over time, the woman would get weaker and weaker and it was assumed the demon was slowly sucking the life out of her.

As the potential love interest in a book, it’s a pretty easy way to get some smexy times worked up…but I wanted to give Brystion a more relatable edge. Yes, he’s arrogant and a bit of an ass at times, but a good deal of that is defensive. Although he has the ability to make his potential lovers weak at the knees with a simple smile or a gesture, the truth of the matter is that much of how he presents himself is completely dependent upon their whims, even if the women themselves aren’t aware of it.

He’s forced to submit to their fantasies in order to drink their dreams (similar to the vampire needing blood concept), but as a result, there is very little of himself that is “him.” His physical appearance, his talents, even some of his mannerisms are directly influenced by their dreams. Naturally he’s a little bitter about it. Inwardly he despairs that he’ll never be able to do anything to change it. Hence the shadow bit of the original title – in a way, he’s living in his own shadow because he doesn’t really want to accept himself for what he truly is.

Of course, he does have an “actual” form, but he’s rather loathe to show it to anyone, particularly because he knows it’s nothing anyone dreams about. When Abby (our heroine) enters the scene he has his own reasons for attempting to seduce her (which I’m not going to get into here for spoiler reasons), but much of his motivation gets an overhaul as they work together to try to find his missing sister and her missing employer.

A major theme of the book is about acceptance – of things you can’t change, for example…but in this case it’s also about Brystion finally allowing someone to accept him for what he is, and in doing so, finally accepting himself as well.

Sneak Peek: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Super Bowl Spot

Make sure to tune in to the big game to see the full spot this Sunday.

Fans can also join Jack’s Crew to see an EXTENDED look at Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides delivered right to their phone during the Super Bowl.
Text PIRATES to DISNEY** (347639) to receive:
 A special EXTENDED look at the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides big game spot delivered straight to your phone
 Pirates sneak peeks, trivia and updates
 An opportunity to purchase tickets to the movie before anyone else.
**Standard message rates apply.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides sails into theatres May 20th, 2011 in Disney Digital 3D™.

Book Review: Vesper

Vesper, by Jeff Sampson

Emily Webb is a typical teenager who doesn’t feel like she fits in at school. But the night her classmate Emily Cooke is murdered, Emily W. begins experiencing a strange transformation. Each night Emily W. changes from a quiet, conservative girl to a brazen, wild girl on the hunt for something she can’t quite grasp. While the mystical transformation scares her, Night Emily is stronger and faster than Day Emily. And there is something alluring to her about Night Emily’s confidence and free spirit. But when another boy is shot, Emily begins to wonder if she may be a target as well.

Emily is a fascinating character who seems to have a split personality at first. But it’s soon obvious that something else is going on when she’s able to perform acts that no mere human could. Emily’s closest friend is a bitter girl who seems to detest everyone but Emily. I found it difficult to feel sorry for her when she feels that Emily is leaving her behind for new experiences.

The story unfolds slowly, from Emily’s point of view, as she deals with the after-effects of her sudden personality shifts and a little investigating – until realization dawns on her – and the readers as to what’s happening to Emily. This was a surprising and completely engrossing series debut with plenty of promise. Dark, captivating, and mysterious, Vesper offers a fresh spin on YA fantasy.

Received in January

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in January for review and/or giveaways:

Movies/TV:
Merlin: the Complete Second Season
Dark Skies: The Declassified Complete Series

Dial/Penguin Teen:
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Night Shade Books:
God’s War by Kameron Hurley
Never Knew Another by J. M McDermott
Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht

Harper Teen:
Faerie Path #6: The Charmed Return by Frewin Jones
Faerie Path #5: The Enchanted Quest by Frewin Jones
Vesper by Jeff Sampson
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Orbit Books:
Tempest’s Legacy by Nicole Peeler
The Spirit Rebellion by Rachel Aaron
The Spirit Eater by Rachel Aaron

Harper/Voyager/William Morrow:
Death’s Sweet Embrace by Tracey O’hara
A Kingdom Besieged by Raymond E. Feist
Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Roc Books:
The King of the Crags by Stephen Deas
Rising Tides: Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson

Ace Books:
The Griffin’s Flight by K.J. Taylor

Simon Teen:
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy: The Edge by Rudy Josephs

Obsidian Mystery
Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by Victoria Laurie

Viking Books:
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Daw Books:
Blackveil by Kristen Britain
Zombiesque by Stephen L. Antczak
License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr
Messiah: Apotheosis by S. Andrew Swann

Orion Books:
H. G. Wells Classic Collection by H. G. Wells

St. Martin’s Press:
The Kensei: A Lawson Vampire Novel by Jon F. Merz

Thomas Nelson:
The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster:
Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier

Pocket Books:
Venom by Jennifer Estep

OR Books:
Welcome to the Greenhouse by Gordon Van Gelder

Archaia Entertainment:
The Secret History: Book Fourteen: The Watchers
Lucid: Issue Three
Cyclops #2 of 8
Critical Millenium: The Dark Frontier #3 of 4
Fraggle Rock #1 of 3
Feeding Ground #3 of 6

Sourcebooks Fire:
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends:
The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee

Book Review: The Kensei

The Kensei

The Kensei, by Jon F. Merz

Lawson is a vampire, trying to keep the peace between vampires and humans. Arriving in Japan for a much needed vacation, Lawson soon finds himself entangled in trouble. As he jumps to the rescue of a young couple on a train, Lawson stops a would-be assassin. This brings Lawson to the local mob’s attention, led by the mysterious and deadly Kensei. To complicate matters, Lawson’s ex-KGB girlfriend is in town, investigating a trail of human organ-trafficking – that also seems to implicate the Kensei.

In a world where vampires are powerful, yet remain hidden, Lawson is a complex hero. He has the strength of a vampire, yet the mentality of a human. Which explains his forbidden relationship with Talya, a human. Lawson is brash and witty, with a good heart.

The Kensei has the feel of a heart-pounding spy novel, with vampires and ninjas – an irresistible combination. This is the fifth novel in the Lawson Vampire series, but the first that I’ve read. It reads completely well as a stand-alone story. Though, I can’t promise that after reading this novel, you won’t want to go back and read the rest of the series. Full of action, danger, intrigue, and suspense – this is pure excitement from beginning to end.

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