Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review ~ Dark Dates by Tracey Sinclair

BLURB: All Cassandra Bick wants is to be left to get on with doing her job. But when you’re a Sensitive whose business is running a dating agency for vampires, life is never going to be straightforward – especially when there’s a supernatural war brewing in London, a sexy new bloodsucker in town and your mysterious, homicidal and vampire hating ex-lover chooses this moment to reappear in your life…

Witty, sharp and entertaining, Dark Dates is a heady mix of vampires, witches and werewolves – with the occasional angel thrown in – and introduces Cassandra Bick, a likeable heroine destined to join the ranks of fantasy’s feistiest females.

My Review

Dark Dates by Tracey Sinclair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Move over Sookie Stackhouse here comes Cassandra Bick! Cassandra is your mere mortal (who has a gift) with supernatural friends and enemies. In the beginning, I must admit, I was a little confused with the flashbacks popping up, but after the first few chapters, I really got into it. Of course, it was setting up the background for a more thrilling middle and end. Although I never really quite figured out the dynamic with Cassandra and Cain, it was steamy to watch. Let's face it, Cain is just an enigma. On the surface, it seems he doesn't treat Cassandra very well, but something tells me, there is more to the story than we see. And then throw in Laclos, the sexy, egotistical vampire, and you have yourself a spicy little triangle! Plenty of action and twists with this book. I can't wait to see what is in store for Cassandra and friends next!

I received this book from the author for review.

View all my reviews

Great Book!

Interview with Tracey
How long have you been writing?
As long as I can remember – I used to write stories when I was really young, and I remember that one of the favourite things people could give me as a present was a notepad (that hasn’t changed!). I got my first story published in a magazine when I was 17.

What jobs did you have before you became a writer?
I’ve always had other jobs, to varying degrees of full-time, though a lot of these were writing related. But I’ve had a varied career that has included working in bookshops, subtitling film and television, working in a law firm and working for a legal publisher.

Tell us a little about your book.
It’s an urban fantasy / paranormal romance with a large dash of humour thrown in. It’s about a woman who runs a dating agency for vampires in London, setting them up with humans, and she finds herself getting drawn into a supernatural war. I wanted to write something modern that reflected the world we live in – one where we’re a little obsessed with vampires – and have a likeable, modern heroine. Hopefully I’ve succeeded!

What is one book you could read over and over?
Oh, there are a few, I think. Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos I like so much I named one of my characters after the author and I reread it every few years; Pride and Prejudice I never get bored of, and I have a handful of Terry Pratchett books that I reread whenever I am feeling a bit low and need cheering up.

What do you do in your free time?
I go to a lot of theatre – London has some of the best theatre in the world, so I’m very lucky, and I review for a theatre website so I get a lot of free tickets. That takes up an awful lot of time! Other than that, I’m not very exciting – mainly just hang out with friends, reading, watching TV.

How do reviews, good or bad, affect you?
I try not to let them affect me – I try not to read too many – but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get that ‘punched in the gut’ feeling when I get a poor review. And sometimes the good reviews freak me out as well, as I start to panic and think they won’t like the next book! But I’m also enormously grateful to anyone who actually takes the time to write a review (I have no idea how most book bloggers manage!) and ultimately, no matter what they say, you just have to respect that it’s that person’s opinion. There isn’t a single writer in the world who everybody likes – I’ve recommended some of my absolute favourite books to friends only for them to hate them, so I console myself that if writers I really admire get bad reviews occasionally, there’s no shame in me getting one!

When writing, do you plot and organize, or do you write then fit it all together?
I start off writing character sketches or short scenes, not in any order, but just to get a feel for the story and the characters, and that usually reveals the general direction of things, without any set structure. Then I do an unplotted, hand written first draft, which I don’t plan out – I like to give the characters a bit of freedom, and see where they take me. I usually know roughly how a book will end, but I quite often have no idea how to get there!

What is one thing you absolutely cannot do without while writing?
Notebooks and good pens (not expensive, just a very specific type – I’m insanely fussy about pens). I do all my first and second drafts, and my character sketches, in longhand.

If you could visit any place, where would it be?
I’m not particularly well-travelled so there are loads of places I’d like to visit – San Francisco, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Venice and Madrid are probably my top five.

Favorite food?
I know it’s boring, but either cheese on toast or veggie bangers and mash. I hardly ever cook for myself, but luckily a couple of my close friends are food bloggers, who like to cook me exotic meals – so I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they were, but they are usually delicious!

Do you have any hidden talents?
I wish I did! But no, alas. I don’t have a huge amount of visible talents, either! I just spend all my time writing…

Cat or dog?
Cat, definitely. I don’t have one at the moment, and I do like dogs, too, but definitely cats!

Anything you would like to add?
Just thank you very much for having me – support from bloggers such as yourself is invaluable to authors, and we really do appreciate the effort you put into it!

I really appreciate you taking time from your schedule to answer these questions.  

BIO: Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant.  A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. A keen blogger, she regularly writes for online theatre site Exeunt and science fiction site Unleash the Fanboy and her blog Body of a Geek Goddess was shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards 2011. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd) and is now dipping a toe in the digital self-publishing world with her new urban fantasy novel, Dark Dates.


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