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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Book Blog Tour: Thunder and Blood by Stacey Voss

Hello, everyone and welcome to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Whether you are a new visitor or an "old hat" (not literally an old hat, it's just a saying...), hopefully you will enjoy your time on my site as much if not more than you anticipated!  (Don't deny were anticipating your arrival at my site all day, weren't you?) 

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......

Thunder and Blood
Stacey Voss

What do you get when you mix one part history, one part fantasy, and stir in vampires for good measure?  A rather interesting read as it turns out!  Sarah and Christine are sisters, yet for all of their similarities, they are very different people.  Christine is the beautiful one (or at least the one that knows it) and loves the attention it provides her with.  Sarah is the married one that is insecure due to past secrets she keeps locked away from childhood and the newly minted dent in her world-facing armor created by her husband cheating on her.  Yup, that's right...after a rather interesting day at work where she gets sent home early, she finds the loathsome (sorry, read the book and you'll agree this was only a minor description of him) creature with their half-dressed neighbor in her own kitchen! 

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? 

After miles of driving, they seem to have gotten nowhere or at least not anywhere they recognize.  The girls split up, Sarah remaining in the car as she is nursing a cold while Christine goes for help.  Hours later, she has not returned and a feverish Sarah sets out to find her.  Neither girl is alone.  Christine has ended up in the hands of a less than trustworthy Lord Radek while Sarah's travels are being aided by the rogue named Hillard who just might be more than what he seems.  Will they be able to uncover the mystery that has enveloped them?  Better question still, will either girl make it out alive?

I originally came across this title thanks to Twitter (gotta love that cute little birdie icon and site!)...the author, Stacey Voss, was offering book bloggers the chance to read her eBook for FREE as well as advertising for her blog tour.  I of course jumped at the chance to read the book, but held off on committing to the tour until after I read some of what I would be helping to support (hey, you can't judge a book by its cover....I had to see what what inside!).  After reading the first 24 pages, I was more than happy to offer my blogging services (okay, more like ability to ramble on about a book that I read and happy to share my opinion about).  This being my first book blog tour, I wasn't certain what would be needed.  I had seen some on other sites, but each one is a bit different.  It was quite refreshing to see that her main request was simply an honest review and that if I did not like it (please note:  I DID like it!), to suggest others that might.  KUDOs to Ms. Voss on such a forward thinking attitude!

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, 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'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...



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.


Thank you Adelaide for a little more insight into your world!  Special thanks to author Stacey Voss for organizing this interview and making this stop along her blog tour!  Be sure to check out her website October 18th as she is planning to release a short story that takes place BEFORE Thunder and Blood but it explains the origins of a young girl we meet in the next installment, Thunder and Ice.  (Can't wait!)

One more interesting tidbit for all those aspiring writers about this new author is that the majority of the book was completed during her involvement in the November 2007 Nanowrimo event!  (for those just learning about this, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and it's a challenge issued each November to write an ENTIRE book - to learn more, check out their site!)  ALSO:  The author will be responding to any questions or comments you have throughout the day right feel free to speak your mind!

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour as it makes its way through the blog-o-sphere for more reviews, interviews and giveaways!  Stacey Voss' next stop is on October 13th over at The Book Faery Reviews!

Author Stacey Voss
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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!
until next time...happy reading!


Kimberly H. said...

You have written here that Adelaide has "unfinished business" still in Donner.
Unless I glossed over something, didn't she close that part of her business at the end of the novel?

I am trying to ask without giving spoilers.

Stacey Voss said...

She did. But it's hard to do an interview with a character that finishes their business in quite that way. It might have been a slip in tense on her part. Probably better if she had said that she "had" unfinished business in Donner.

Tales of Whimsy said...

What a very interesting premise. Cool!

Molly said...


When writing your book, do you base any of the characters traits on people you know or have met in life???


Stacey Voss said...

I don`t usually base my characters on other people. Sarah is pretty much who I was when I was 24 (although my husband didn`t cheat on me, my marriage had just ended) and Adelaide is based appearance-wise on my best friend. Everyone else is completely fictional.

JoJosBookCorner said...

Hi again Stacey,
i still think this book tour is awesome. i have been following your tour *shakes head* no im not a stalker...just a new fan!!
my questions today is:
do you have an idea on how many books you want for this series, or are you even going to make it a series?

Keep up the Awesome work !!!
Good luck on the rest of your tourQ

Michelle Santiago said...

Hi GMR! Congratulations on your first book blog tour! And thank you for looking at my blog and leaving that nice comment. :)

As for Thunder and Blood... it sounds like an interesting read. i love your summary of it and i enjoyed reading the adelaide's character interview :)

Kimberly H. said...

Where you tempted to put more of your real life into your characters?

And to JOJO, your not the only one who has been following the whole tour.

Gina said...

Quick note to all those that have left questions for Ms. Voss, she's still "here"...just had a small snag with some emergency baby-sitting. Rest assured she'll be popping back in soon....

Michelle: No problem! My blog is on the newer side as well (although if I think about it, it's been live about 5 months..WOW!) so I understand the desire for input/feedback. =0)
As for the book tour...yes, I'm excited...(even more so if Twitter would work again...*SIGH*)...and glad that you enjoyed the character interview. Wasn't sure how it would go...never interviewed a literary character before, but she was most accomodating. =0)

A. F. Stewart said...

Great interview, a very intriguing character.
I loved the review, and yes, pea soup is thick. Very tasty, too.

Stacey Voss said...

Hi Jojo. I know that there's at least three more books in the series - the sequel that's in the works "Thunder and Ice" and two prequels. I'm not sure if there will be more. We'll just have to see where the story takes me.

Hi Salamandergrey,
I was never really tempted to put other people in my book. It's funny, my ex-husband thought I had put his wife in it (although neither of them had read it) and the idea had never entered my mind. I prefer it all to be fiction, it makes it more entertaining to me.

GMR - Thanks for explaining my predicament. It's hard to type with a ten-month old around. :P

Stacey Voss said...

I just want to thank G. for being such a wonderful and understanding host today. I had a great time and I have to say that the baby I was watching loved the media player on the right side of your site!! That's how I kept her occupied when I was reading all of the fantastic comments and questions from the readers!

Hope to see you at the next stop on Tuesday!


Gina said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and special thanks to our guest, author Stacey Voss, for gracing us with her presence and a glimpse inside her wonderful book! (glad the music helped with the baby!)

Let's keep the conversation rolling...after all, the tour may be moving on to it's next stop, but the post is yours to enjoy!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

I've seen 'buttons' for book tours on various sites but to be honest didn't fully understand what they were until today. Congratulations , you did an excellent job.

Gina said...

Petty Witter: Thank you so much! It was a lot of fun....didn't know how the interview with a fictional character would go. =0) Glad I could help "explain" the blog tour too...first time I encountered them I wasn't too certain what went on either.

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