Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Dark Bokor VBT

When it comes to the dark weavings of hoodoo magic, only a few can survive.

It's started. Bodies have been found in the French Quarter, torn limb from limb. The undead have been seen walking. For Detective Matthew Rieves, this is the worst news he can imagine. Having spent his entire life in Orleans Parish, Matt's no stranger to the bizarre. Though, despite the growing evidence, he still has a hard time believing in the occult. But when two hoodoo bokors vie for supremacy, it's the innocent civilians that pay the price.

For Jesse Dalembert, he'd left New Orleans to sever his ties with hoodoo. But when a friend is brutally murdered by the bokor's zombies, he returns, falling at once into danger and into Detective Rieves's bed. With their lives on the line, their simmering attraction flares into a passion they can no longer deny.

Working against time, can the lovers find a way to stop the hoodoo war, or will they fall victim to the dark magic, maybe becoming zombies themselves?


The urgent note of warning in Matt's voice stopped him. His gaze jerked toward the detective in time to see him draw his gun just as a large man, skin darker than Jesse's own cream and chocolate complexion, shoved a screaming woman from his path and continued toward him. Blood dripped from the machete clutched in his fist. The Haitian drew closer, and Jesse shuddered at the blank stare of the creature.

"Run, fool!"

It was hard to ignore the fear in Matt's voice. Jesse held his ground, waited, rocked on the balls of his feet. Every instinct told him to flee, but instead he focused his thoughts on the man. He held up his hand when the dead man reached him and felt the power emanating from the creature, a puppet controlled by someone else. Pity stirred in his heart for the person trapped within the walls of the hoodoo curse.

He pitched his voice into a command, knowing it would be impossible to resist as it wound through the man's tortured mind. "Tell LaPierre I need to speak to her."

The loud crash of shattering glass startled him, broke their connection. With an animalistic roar, the zombie lifted his machete and rushed him. Jesse dodged under the swing of the dripping blade, and then the man's large body slammed into him, knocking him backward. A strong arm around his waist kept him from falling, and he looked with confusion into Matt's savage face.

"Get moving!"

Hi everyone, now please welcome back the wonderful Dianne Hartsock. This is the 4th time I’ve had her here on my blog, and I love having her. So, since I've already interviewed you Dianne, I decided to pick some new questions for you. Are you ready?
Wait! *sips water, takes a deep breath* Okay, go ahead.

Do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks?
This is always a tough question. If it's something by a favorite author, I definitely go for the paperback. Otherwise, I read the e-book first and then buy the paperback if I love it. I enjoy having books fill my shelves and I love the feel of a book in my hands. Old habits, I guess.

How do you come up with your covers? Do you design them yourself, or do you have a designer?
For all of my publishers, I fill out the Art Form with a brief description of the main characters, the story's blurb, and what I'd like to see on the cover, the 'feel' I'm going for. Then the cover artist takes over. I see the mock-up cover when it's done, give my opinion/suggestions, then they do the final copy.

What 5 words would you use to describe your main characters?
Intelligent, Loyal, Sexy, Brave, Good-Hearted

So, where are you on your writing list right now? Any new releases coming out, new projects in the works?
I don't have anything new coming out until this February, a couple of stories in several anthologies. In the meantime, I'm working furiously on the sequel to my psychological thriller novel, ALEX. I'd like to have it done by the end of the year. Then I have a story to write for Project Fierce, due middle of February. After that I have a Christmas story to begin along with two partial stories to finish up and send off. Keeping busy!

Alright, we are now entering the rapid fire round, so first thing to cross your mind. Ready...go!

Vampire or Werewolf (or other)?
Vampire! Though I find gargoyles extremely sexy too.

Ghosts, Real or Myth?
I like to believe that there are some things we can never explain away.

Twilight, Cool or Ick?
Oh Ick! Sorry.

For the inner foodie...Dark or Milk Chocolate?
Definitely dark, especially truffles. Yum…

Sit Down Dinner or Fast Food?
Sit down dinner, but fast food if we're on a road trip.

Eat In or Eat Out?
I love to eat out for breakfast or an occasional dinner.

Cook or Clean Up?
Cook! Dishes are my least favorite chore.

And now for the sexy...Handcuffs or Blindfolds?
Blindfolds. I'm really good at not touching when asked.

Leather or Lace?
How about leather over lace? I like the hidden surprises!

Kinky or Vanilla Sex?
Vanilla that occasionally wanders into kinky. I save the really kinky things for my characters.

Alright, that's all from me, it was great having you again Dianne!
Thanks so much for having me back! Always fun here.

My Review:
3.5 stars

This was a very interesting book, and a new and unique take on the classic zombie novel.

I loved all the new info I learned. Before I read this book, I knew very little about Creole and Haitian voodoo/hoodoo and I had no idea what a bokor was. I am now very well informed. The author did a lot of research, and it shows through in her writing. From very detailed (and at times highly disturbing) instructions on how to make a bokor (zombie), to the history of hoodoo, this wasn't just a romance book, it was a learning experience.

Now, here's where I'm conflicted. While I liked how the story starts right away, my biggest problem (also) was that you are quite literally thrown into the middle of the story. All of a sudden, zombies are attacking, people have died before the story even begins, and these two are already on the case. While I liked getting right to the nitty-gritty, I also felt confused about what was happening, why, etc. For example, Matthew and Jesse have a big backstory together that's mentioned and talked about, which explained why they pretty much hopped into bed right away. Yet, I would have liked to see the beginning of their relationship. I felt like I missed the prequel novel, though this is supposedly a stand-alone.

Another thing that bugged me was the open ending. I assume it was meant to be a HEA/HFN ending, and yet I was left with lots of questions. (SPOILER ALERT) For example, now that everyone's dead, what happens next? Do they really just leave and walk off into the sunset together? What happens if Jesse doesn't take charge? (END SPOILER)

All in all though, this was an interesting and enjoyable book, and I would love to see more of Matthew and Jesse (maybe a sequel answering my questions??). I would definitely recommend this book, as it is a different take on the classic zombie book, and it is an entertaining (if often times gruesome) read.

Dianne will be awarding a $10 All Romance E-Books gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

November 26: Books on Silver Wings
December 17: Unabridged Andra
January 7: Reviews Unleashed
January 14: Deal Sharing Aunt

Author Bio and Links:
Dianne is the author of m/m erotic romance, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer. If she can’t be writing, at least she has the chance to create with the beauty of flowers and bring a smile to someone’s face. Currently Dianne lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with her husband, and both her children have chosen to attend colleges close to home, for which she is forever thankful. You can find out more about Dianne here:

Blog     |     Facebook     |     Twitter
Goodreads     |     Amazon Author Page

Buy link:


  1. Thanks so much for having me over as your guest today and for the very nice review. I like these characters too and am hoping to go back and write a novella continuing their adventures soon. :)

    1. No problem, I loved having you again Dianne. And I can't wait to see more of these characters.

  2. thx u for hosting this giveaway :)

    chiko_jubilee at yahoo dot com

  3. Thank you for giveaway,sound like a good read.

  4. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  5. Thanks for the giveaway!!
    Would love to read!

  6. Great interview! Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. Wishing everyone a wonderful and magical holiday season! evamillien at gmail dot com

  7. WOW who does not like a intelligent, loyal, sexy, brave, and good-hearted hero! Sounds great to me. Thank you for sharing with us.

  8. I learned about a Bokor from this as well.