Thursday, 2 June 2011

Eternal Hearts - Review, Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

Toni Tutoro just wants to go home. Banned from Chicago's vampiric society after cutting a swath of violence through the city, she must now successfully complete an investigation for the Lord of Chicago to regain the right to live in her hometown again.To ensure Toni's safety during her probationary period, Drake Black, a feared assassin, is secretly contracted to protect her. Even with direct orders to keep his relationship professional, and his own personal vow to never get involved with a female vampire again, Drake finds himself drawn to Toni in ways he can't explain. But unbeknownst to him...he's tied to one of the people who drove Toni to her night of destruction.
Drake's legendary heritage holds the key to Toni's survival and success, but will she be able to forgive his connection to the brutal night that robbed her of those she loved most? Will Drake be able to forget the betrayals in his past and risk taking one more chance? But most of all - can they find a way to reach each other in the darkness?
**Summary taken from Goodreads**
Disclaimer: Provided by author for an honest review


Purchase:
|Amazon|Books a Million|Kindle|Smashwords|All Romance|

Eternal Hearts by Jennifer Turner is the second book in her Darkness Within series. Book One  Eternal Seduction i fell in complete love with, such a different premise to the vampire world and characters that were not your typical hero/heroine. Very outside of the box and i loved it. So i was super excited for book two to finally be here. 
Eternal Hearts does not disappoint. Here we meet Toni and Drake, an assassin and a fledgling in need of protection. I was intrigued with Drake from ES and although i would have liked him to be a bit more badass assassin like, he was a lovely character, page after page he was funny, charming heart warming, a man's man and just the man for broken Toni who had a past full of horror angst and pain. 
While i did feel bad for Toni, her constant mood changing made me a little dizzy and a lot more irritated, i wanted to yell "pick a mood and stick with it for at least 6 pages!" She reminded me of a stroppy teenager at times, or a toddler hyped up on sugar, I wasn't invested in her as i was in Logan from ES but i liked her. 
My Odin made an appearance again, if you read my review for the previous book you know i loved the God of War, i really hope he gets a book! 
The plot moves along nicely, I was more interested in the character building though, there's a few characters for the future im hoping, some of the world politics lost me, nonetheless Eternal Hearts delivers a great tale, I love the characters Ms Turner has given us so far, everyone should read this series, the writing is brilliance, dragging you into a world of good and bad and the most unusual heroes and heroines that you can't help be charmed by. 
Im already anxious for book three. 

Favourite Quotes: 

Unfortunately for her, he’d left his heart in a different shirt and his give-a-shit was broken. 

And a funny quote from my Odin, God Of War. Lurrrve him! 

Odin snorted behind Drake, so loud, he was sure the people in the next state heard it. “Undead slut of the night. That’s awesome. I’m so gonna use that the next time I see his mom.”Jake let out a sigh as a look of complete resignation washed over his face. “Are we gonna start with the mom jokes again? Because, se-riously, like I told you the last time, my mom’s dead. She’s been dead for over three hundred years. You need to get some new material.”  


The last thing she needed to be doing was ogling some hot guy who had…the most depressing set of blue eyes she’d ever seen.



I give Eternal Hearts 4 sparkles out of 5 - a sheer ride of awesome.  

                                                 ======================

And now, i'm happy to welcome to Bear's talk corner, Author of the Darkness Within Series, Jennifer Turner. 


Hello Jennifer, thank you so much for stopping by Sparkly's today..  
 Thanks so much for having me, Sparkly! I’m absolutely thrilled to be here. :) 

 
1: For someone who hasn't read your Darkness Within series yet (silly people!) can you tell us a little about it, its world, politics, characters?  
 You know, I think the series blurb I had to write for my agent probably sums up the Darkness Within world better than anything I could come up with right now. And I think it’d be fun to share it here because it’s not something readers would normally see. This is actually the blurb that editors at major publishing houses see when my series goes out on submission. :) 
 The Darkness Within series is more than just a place where immortal things go bump in the night. It’s a world darker and sexier than anything you know, filled with more mystery and intrigue than you’ve ever dreamed of. Why should a Fledgling vampire sit in the dark, brooding over his cursed condition, when he can live in the lap of luxury by manipulating the humans around him? Why should an Ancient vampiress settle for influencing a few mundane humans, when she can raise an army of Fledglings to carry out her darkest whims?
The denizens of this world don’t want your pity – they want your blood.
Cursed to forever war against each other, vampires now stalk the night beside their prey, hidden behind a veil of deceit and manipulation. And while the Fledglings scramble to earn power and prestige by secretly influencing select humans, it’s the Ancients who move the Fledglings as pawns, building empires, deepening age old rivalries, and crushing opponents with moves centuries in the making. However, in the eternal shadow war that is supernatural society, even the Ancients dance under the twisted strings of a bitter feud that began well before their time.
But Fledgling to Ancient, only one thing lightens the darkness and calms the beast that rages within. Even more for the damned – love – is the highest prize. With it, anything is possible and even the darkest of monsters can be redeemed. Without it, their connection to humanity severs and even trusted friends become expendable once they’ve outlived their usefulness.   
Everything is sacred and nothing is forgotten when immortality lies at your feet… 

2: Eternal Seduction was one of my favourite books of last year, how did the idea of making your heroine a homeless drug addict come to you, and was the shock factor for your readers a big part of making her that way?  
 The idea for Logan actually came to me while I was standing in the bookstore. I kept picking up book after book where the beautiful heroine had a high paying job/fancy house/college education, and I wondered what would happen if a heroine didn’t have any of those things. I wondered, what if she didn’t have a job, or a high school diploma…or even a home? Then I wondered, what if she isn’t what most people would consider pretty? What if, since she lives on the streets, she isn’t able to shower regularly and is really skinny because she isn’t eating the way she should be? Believe it or not, a lot of my ideas actually come from a good “What if?” session. And that’s exactly how Logan was born. :)  

As for the shock factor, I wasn’t really going for that response – but more for the opportunity to present readers with the story of an overlooked character. I think a lot of times in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genre, you get a heroine who’s had some sort of intense trauma in her past, which lends a strength and a toughness to the character that makes her seem emotionally untouchable. But, most of those stories begin with a heroine who, even if things aren’t going very well for her at that moment, still has a basic education, a home of some sort, and a job, or at least a way to get money. Very rarely do you open a book and see the heroine at what most would consider rock bottom, on the very first page…and that’s what I love about Logan. To the world at large, she probably couldn’t get any lower – but to her, she’s just living another day the best way she knows how.  

3: Kerestyan, now Drake and Odin (I don't need his book to add him to my list already!) are all my new book boyfriends (i thank you greatly!) was one easier to write than the others? who gives you the best lines?  
 You’re very welcome. ;) 

Hmmm. I’m not sure any one character is necessarily easier to write than another is, but I think each definitely shines in their own special place while I’m writing.  

For example, Kerestyan is always a challenge for me to write because he’s such an odd mix of ancient and modern. He tends to stick with a fairly anachronistic speech pattern and always uses big words, so when he breaks the formality and says something crazy like, “Because that’s how I roll.” I practically die laughing at my computer. As does Odin, who happens to be in the scene when Kerestyan makes that comment. ;) 

Drake, on the other hand, is just plain fun to write. He’s a younger character, and he has a charming arrogance about him that makes him very playful. He’s always trying to slip humor into scenes where I least expect it, and what’s worse is – he’s damn good at it. So yeah, Drake definitely wins the fun award. :) 

And Odin…dear, sweet, misunderstood Odin…he’s practically a comedy machine on steroids. He always has something to say, and usually whatever comes out of his mouth is laugh out loud funny. To be honest, I never really know what he’s going to say until he finally says it…and more often than not, I either end up sitting at my computer shaking my head or drying my eyes because I’ve been laughing so hard. He’s just plain crazy. And yes, without a doubt, he always gives me the best lines. ;)  

4: Eternal Hearts, the second in your Darkness Within series sees a very tormented Toni meet Assassin Drake, can you share a little about these two characters? 
 At its core, I think Eternal Hearts is a story about two people who are afraid they don’t deserve to be loved. Toni and Drake have both made mistakes in the past that they aren’t proud of, but each is constantly striving to be better in their own way. Even though she’s a young vampire, Toni holds tight to the people she cares for and never lets an opportunity slip by to show someone how much they mean to her. Whereas Drake has been supernatural since birth, and while his friends aren’t always the most humane beings on the face of the planet - he never asks them to be anything more than themselves. 

I can also tell you that in every book I’ve written thus far, there’s always been the potential for the hero or heroine to end up with someone other than who I originally thought they would. And twice now, it’s actually happened to me. ;) But never once over the course of writing Drake & Toni’s story did either one of them ever glance in another direction. For me, they’re a perfect representation of a couple that was just meant to be together.    

5: Each city has a Lord, does it always have to be an ancient, or can a Fledgling fight their way to the top of the food chain, so to speak?  
 It’s definitely possible for a smart Fledgling to fight their way into becoming the Lord of a city. However, nine times out of ten, it will only happen if said Fledgling has the backing of an Ancient or another powerful supernatural. 

6: I liked the idea of Servios, is there ever a time they would be turned to full vampire? (this is where i step forward and volunteer for Odin *cough*)  

LOL! And I’m very sure Odin would have you. After all, he’s a sucker for a lady with a British accent. ;) *Insert very BRIT sounding squee here*
Servios have and often do become full-fledged vampires, but the decision regarding when and why usually depends on the Master. Some vampires won’t create a Child unless they’ve served as a Servio for a specific and usually extended amount of time. Think of it almost like an internship, where you work to learn all the rules and hazards, and then come out more prepared to take the big step into true immortality. Other vampires will tell you, “Once a servant – always a servant.” They tend to see Servios as second-class citizens and can’t imagine one of them actually earning fangs, let alone passing their curse to one of them. 
To be honest, at least the way I see it, the decision to turn a Servio into a Child gets more complicated the older a vampire is. If you’re a 10,000 year old vampire, and your personal Servio has been with you the majority of that time, chances are they’re more of a friend to you than a servant. You’ve probably come to depend on them during the day, will most likely listen to their council for better or worse, and you might even love them in some ways (and/or vice versa). Turning that beloved friend into a vampire can be a risky gambit. Vampires are constantly in competition with each other for food, power, and prestige. Is it really a good idea to put someone who knows you so well on even ground with you? What if the new relationship between Sire and Child sours? Your former Servio, now Child, probably knows your deepest, darkest secrets…and more importantly, there’s a damn good chance they know when and where you sleep. 

7: Now for the question that's been burning in my mind just waiting to be asked: WHEN is My Odin getting his book? *grins* Is it book three? *crosses all crossable parts* 
 Odin’s book, Eternal Embers, is book #5 in the series. And if I get everything I want in the next few months or so (unless my agent sells the series to a major publisher for a bazillion dollars – which I do want – but that’s besides the point ;) you should have Odin in your hands in October of 2012. :D  

8: If book three isn't Odin's *insert sad face here* can you tell us who is next, and what to look forward to plot wise? Is it Vouclade? *crosses fingers again*  
 The answer to who gets the next series book is below. ;) However, Vouclade & Kasey’s story will be told via the Ascension novella trilogy. And the first novella, Ascension: The Revelation, will actually release sometime this summer. I’m thinking mid to late August. The novellas run parallel to the Darkness Within series, but don’t fall into the overall plot arc connecting the series books. Plus, Vouclade’s a darker character, being an immortal mad scientist and all, and his story is too long to be told in one book – so he gets three very long novellas. :) 

The image for Tober on Jen's Website is the Diesel man!
Umm.. HAI Oktober!!
9: Oktober, i was really intrigued with, he's a character that demands attention, and although not a conventional hero *laughs* i'm sure if you can turn a drug addict into a worthy heroine, you can do the same for Tober, will we see him again?  
 Oh, you’ll definitely see Oktober again – and rather soon too. Book #3, Eternal Embrace, belongs to him and Lydia. And as for what you can look forward to plot wise, here’s the back cover blurb: 

Lydia Vincent finds little worth in anyone or anything, save herself and her ability to see the truth in everything. At least, what she perceives to be true. She's not looking for love, not looking for acceptance, and she certainly doesn't need some man messing up her life.
Forced to endure a malevolent ritual thousands of years ago, Oktober sees the world through the jaded eyes of a predator. He's a cold-blooded killer, whose only use for humans is food. But he’s about to get the shock of his immortal life – because the one human who won't fall to the curse of his blood – is the one woman who doesn't want a damn thing to do with him.
When the rise of an Ancient enemy lures Oktober and Lydia together, can Oktober ignore the dark instincts urging him to kill her? Can Lydia put her past behind her and find a way to accept Oktober as he is? Can destiny withstand two people who'll fight it to the bitter end...even if it means dying? 

10: And finally, Which of your characters do you love the best? Is it Odin? it's Odin isn't it? *laughs*  
 I do love Odin…I admit that freely and with great pride. ;) However, if I had to pick a favorite right now, I’d have to go with Oktober. There’s just something so jaded and totally unapologetic about him that I can’t help but to love him. I don’t want to give any spoilers or too much info away about him, especially since his book in next…but I’ve never written a character that blatantly refuses to change the way he does. He is who he is, and makes no excuses for the way he sees the world. I just love everything about him…even his frequent need to eat people…and not in a good way. :D 
He REALLY eats people, folks! bones and all! yet you will love him! Squee! 


Thank you so much for talking to me today, Jennifer, as a rabid fan of your Darkness Within series i am waiting with bated breath for Odin.. i mean Book Three!  
 Thanks so much for having me, Sparkly. :) I really do appreciate how hard you work to bring authors and readers together! I wholeheartedly believe one of the main reasons I have so many awesome readers is because of blogs like yours. So THANK YOU! :) 

Jen has so kindly offered TWO PRINT Books for an International Giveaway. One prize will win a PRINT book of Eternal Seduction and Eternal Hearts! Thank you SO much Jen, you're made of the awesome! 

To Win is SIMPLE! Best comment/question left for Jen about VAMPIRES wins! 
NOW CLOSED!!!! So HURRY!! Please leave a means of contacting you

Find Jen:

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16 Speak to Me:

Jenn said...

Bears, you know i loved Seduction 'cause of you. Cant wait to read Hearts, it's waiting in my pile to be read lol!

Hmmm this Oktober, EATS like nom nom on people? he sounds like my kind of evil bad boy -laughs- i look forward to meeting him!

great review and interview babes, you and your Odin obsession tres funny!

Jen Turner said...

Hi, Sparkly! :) It's almost 11 AM over here in the US, and I'm showered, caffeinated, and ready to go. But first, I just wanted to say thank you again for your review of Eternal Hearts, and for having me as a guest on your blog. Odin and I both love you for it. ;) So how are you this morning, or afternoon…since I think you’re about 5 or so hours ahead of me?

Dehviousangel said...

Oh god, Vin Diesel! excuse me while i just lick i mean say hi to him -chuckles-

Love that review, it's been a while since i read Eternal Seduction but i could never forget Logan, what a heroine she was!

I have to mirror Jenn in her intrigue over Oktober, he doesn't sound like a standard run of the mill hero, and that always piques my interest.

Hi Jen! great interview, Any tidbits on Odin's book ? :)

oh, and did it make you chuckle to have God of War such a craftsman in sewing? -giggles-

Sparklybearsy said...

Jen, Odin loves me! Excuse me while i twirl like a mad freak! Lafff!! He will sew my wedding dress, decided! heheh!

thank you so much for being at Sparkly's, so happy you're here!

Jen Turner said...

@Jenn It's a pleasure to meet you. :) So happy to hear you enjoyed ES too. And yes, Oktober actually eats people. He consumes an entire hot chick that he met at a club in EH. ;) He definitely fits into the "evil bad boy" category!

shame said...

Fabulous review Bear! Now that I have the time I will definitely give this series a glance, since you have yet to steer me wrong!! And you know how I love me a stubborn man, and looking at who and what book three is about, I'll be sure to get caught up before its release!

Jen Turner said...

@Dehviousangel I'm a Diesel fan too. Oh, that voice of his... :) If only all men had a voice like that!

Logan is probably, to date, my favorite heroine. But, Lydia, who happens to be Oktober's woman, is actually a lot like Logan - just younger and for different reasons. :)

As for tidbits on Odin's book...hmmm. I can tell you that if you think Logan was detached for a heroine...you ain't seen nothin' yet. Because Odin's woman, Dahalia - she takes cold to a whole new level. ;) But, of course, Odin's never been one to turn down a challenge!

My husband is the one who created Odin, actually to be honest, he created all of the Nelek characters. I just get to run wild with them. :) And while there are certainly times when I giggle about Odin's talent for sewing, I also love the irony that someone like him wasn't turned into a vampire for the abilities you'd think. And I can't wait to share the scenes where Odin's sewing, because he finds such peace in it and takes so much pride in what he creates. That one quirk just adds so much to his character...at least in my opinion. :)

Jen Turner said...

@Shame Thanks for stopping by. :) If you love a stubborn man, then Oktober is definitely the one for you. I think I only have one other character who refuses to change as much as Tober does...and that's Stefan. :)

Jen Turner said...

Oh, and if anyone would like to see Stefan Nelek, you can follow this link to see the character portrait I had an artist do of him! ;)

darknesswithinnovels.com/art

Odin's next! :D

Minx said...

BEAR! This series sounds so awesome!! and Odin likes Brit girls, nice I could be in there *wink* I will return with a question coz I am asleep and sleep typing again... off to bed.

Great review and interview

Janna said...

I agree with your observation about Drake being a funny and charming heart warming guy. :) Great review!
And lovely interview too. I think between the two of us we pretty much asked Jen everything there is to know. ;) It was bound to happen that we both asked her about Odin's book, lol.
Can't wait for Eternal Embrace to be released!

Jen Turner said...

@Minx - Welcome, welcome. :) Odin does like the English ladies...I have proof. ;) Sleep typing...just think about how much trouble that could get someone into! LOL!

@Janna - I'm sure if you and Sparkly tried you could stump me even more. ;) I don't think I've had an interview yet where I didn't get asked about Odin's book. Like I said, I never thought he'd be such a favorite. :)

jaymzangel said...

Wow, fab Q & A, bt. Gotta love an author who answers questions so throughly. I'm intrigued & will def add this one to the TBR pile. As for Odin, who doesn't love Brit girls, I ask you? ;)

Jen Turner said...

@jaymzangel - Thanks for stopping in and for adding EH to your TBR list. :) I actually have a few characters who were born in England, and they're always looking for a taste of home. ;)

Mar said...

I enjoyed the interview...it's really great to see an author LOOOOVE so much what she does and it totally shines through.

Sounds like a great series, mama wants!

Good job, Clarita!

Sparklybearsy said...

Thank you all for commenting. A winner at random will be chosen and contacted.

Thanks again, Jen, you rock for stopping by!! =)

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