Today is a very special day indeed as it ushers in the FIRST (of hopefully many) Book Blog Tour that has been hosted on my site. If you have been following the tour, GREAT! You are one up on those just discovering it. If not, learn more about both the book and the author at her website, after you read my entry of course! =0) Being stop number three (which we are) is exciting...readers have been exposed to the title a bit, but not overly so and thus are hungry for more. My offering to satisfy that hunger comes in the form of not only a review of the title, but a character interview with one of its heroines! Let's jump right into it, shall we? The Book Blog Tour visiting us today is in support of......
Feeling less than together at this point, she drives around town until she ends up at her sister's doorstep. They plan a weekend getaway to Thunder Bay to relax their cares away. On the drive, the unexpected occurs.....a thick fog envelops the road and them! It is as thick as pea soup (no, I've never had pea soup, but I've heard it's really thick) and there is no way they can go anywhere. Lucky for them they somehow managed to wind up outside a quaint old house with an interesting elderly couple. But wait, something is not quite right. The house looks like something from back in the golden days (no plumbing, no cell service...) and the neatly paved road they were driving on is now gravel. Strange occurances throughout the night do not allow their sense of foreboding to rest, and at sunrise they take leave back the way they came...or is it?
My thoughts on the book...where should I begin. First off, let me say I did enjoy the story overall. When I first heard the "vampire, time portal, and fantasy" terms used as a partial review, I was intrigued but also skeptical. Although I have read several fantasy-type books and one or two vampire novels (at this point), I haven't toted the "I-read-this-genre" flag for very long so I wasn't sure what to expect. Don't get me wrong, I know lots of folks that LOVE everything sci-fi/fantasy, but for me it depends on the book itself. The title, although attention grabbing, never really found a great fit to me within the story. I mean normally you can relate it to something or someone in the book, and while yes BLOOD is featured (heck, it's a form of payment for a large portion), I never really understood the THUNDER reference. Also, I do need to make mention of the fact that although not at an extreme level, there is some sensous material as well as two mentions of rape (not detailed, just mentioned as events that occurred). Readers of this book are probably more suited to be adults or at least late teens to avoid any unnecessary awkward conversations. Moving on....
The characters are all great, but some stick out a bit more than others (it's a fact of life...er, books...). Sarah is silently stronger than she seems and Christine is definitely not just a pretty face. Gervis may have been kept apart from normal social interaction for quite some time, but he is nothing short of a gentleman when interacting with the female staff. Lord Radek, what can I say....he's the villian one loves to hate (yet don't be surprised if you fall for his "charms" during certain parts)! Hillard is one character that, despite his broody, remove-myself-from-polite-society attitude that has been associated to similiar characters in both TV (think Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and film (can't think of the name right now, but you know you've seen them), still manages to surprise you with his earnestness. Yes, yes, I could go on and on (okay, okay...I'll stop), but I digress....we have something else for your reading pleasure. An interview! (YAY!) Oh, but wait...it's not just any interview, this is a character interview! (Confused? Hang on....) Yes, the author was kind enough to let us interview one of the strongest female characters in her novel (and of course the one name I left off in my previous summary...hehe) and the results of that session follow...
CHARACTER INTERVIEW GUEST
Welcome! I hope that you can hear me okay and that the gateway, I mean fog is not interfering with the reception. I just wanted to ask you a few questions regarding your involvement in Ms. Voss' recent novel....
Of course, I’m happy to be here.
When you first learned of the gateway, did you ever envision yourself traveling through it to another land?
Well, everyone in the area has always known about the gateway. It has been around longer than anyone can remember. No one really knows if it works in both directions. Either way, I would never even think of leaving Donner. I have unfinished business here.
Given the ruling class of your society, did you ever want to become one of them?
*laughs* A vampire? Well, I would not mind having their strength or invulnerability. I could not deal with the diet, though. And I have no interest in oppressing the people of Donner. I think it takes a special kind of ... person ... who would want to take on that job.
The bond between Hillard and yourself is pretty intense. What is the real story behind this connection?
I first met Hillard one day about ten years ago while I was out hunting. My parents had both ... died ...a few years before and I had basically stopped talking to any other people. I knew what he was as soon as I saw his eyes. Apparently he had been following me as I hunted for quite some time. He had heard what Radek had done to my family and was watching out for me.
I avoided him as much as I could for the first few months until one spring day when I accidentally came upon a mother bear and her cubs in a clearing. It was a pretty scary situation until Hillard showed up.
It was amazing. Hillard just stared at the bear and you could almost see the aggression leaking out of her. She and her cubs left shortly afterward and I took off back to my cabin as quickly as I could.
After that, Hillard started leaving freshly-killed animals outside my door every so often. I guess he did not want me hunting by myself anymore and he knew that I would not welcome his company.
Everything changed one winter night when he showed up at my door himself. He was not injured anywhere that I could see, but he was extremely weak. He had been supplementing my food supply at that point for more than six months and, despite my hatred of vampires, I could not just leave him outside to die. I brought him inside and after trying, unsuccessfully, for a few days to nurse him back to health, I gave him some of my blood. We became friends after that.
Tell the truth...did you ever harbor any romantic feeling for Hillard?
I might have at the beginning, if he had ever given me any indication that those kinds of feelings would be welcome. He is a very attractive, very handsome man ... er, vampire ... after all. But he discouraged anything except friendship for so long and I had other things on my mind.
You were so cordial to Sarah even though she was less than trusting of you. That shows a lot of character! When you went to stake out the castle and find out what was happening to aid in rescueing her sister, you were gone much longer than anticipated. What really happened to you?
I spent a lot of time talking with Giselle about Christine. Christine was the first “Traveller” who was ever offered such nice accommodations in the castle. While having her outside of the dungeon could make rescue easier, it also made things a bit harder because there were more people keeping an eye on her. I had to make sure which room she was in and how exactly the rescue would take place. Once I heard about Radek’s plans to go looking for Sarah, though, I left the castle and ran back to my cottage as fast as I could.
What was going through your mind when you guys stormed the castle? It took a lot of bravery to carry out the mission you were assigned...did you ever think you might not succeed?
The only thing in my mind at the time was that I wanted Lord Radek dead. It was never a mission that had to be assigned to me or something that I could fail at. Ever since my parents’ deaths it was all that I lived for. He had oppressed and tormented the poor people of Donner for so long that he deserved no better than the most horrible death.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with your audience?
I just want to thank you for interviewing me. I think it is one of the most unusual experiences that I have ever had.
***ONE MORE THING!**Interested in getting your own copy of the book? You are in luck! Ms. Voss has been kind enough to set up a special deal good for this tour only! If you go to CreateSpace and use code 3Z8WYLY2, you will get 25% off the normal price! You'll have to hurry though as the code is only good until November 30th!
Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!