Today we welcome Vanessa Skye, Aussie author of Bloodlines to Booklover Book Reviews.
Detective Alicia “Berg” Raymond is lying. She’s lying to the Chicago Police Department, to her boyfriend, Captain Jay O’Loughlin, but most of all, she’s lying to herself-about her past, her future, and her ongoing addiction. As Berg investigates a series of brutal rapes and sinks under an ever-increasing caseload, she finds herself juggling every aspect of her life-finding justice for victims of crime, keeping her own sordid past buried from her colleagues, struggling with blackmail that threatens to push her over the edge, and protecting her lover from the details of all of it.
Wrapping her damaged head around living in a state of domestic bliss she’s certain she doesn’t deserve, Berg is driven by the need for justice and a determination to stop a rapist before any more innocent lives are ravaged. But when enemies from the past threaten her present, she is once again vulnerable to the demons that have plagued her every day of her life. It’s only a matter of time before her lies unravel and the fairy tale she’s finally started believing implodes… but the biggest threat of all, as it turns out, is her very own bloodline.
Can she save herself, and the casualties of crime, from the lurking darkness waiting to strike, or will her own mistakes drag her under-this time for good?
(TWCS Publishing House, available in ebook and paperback)
What inspired you to write Bloodlines?
Bloodlines is the third and final book in my crime fiction series, so I wanted to wrap up this ‘Edge of Darkness’ series nicely and make sure there weren’t any loose ends. The first book in this series, The Enemy Inside, was actually inspired by a recurring dream I had every night for about a year, back when I was working in PR eight years ago. I never would have guessed that three books would be the result!
I am also inspired by the concept of justice, and if it really exists anymore, and I love knowing what motivates people to do the things they do.
Would you say this novel is plot or character driven?
Like all my books, Bloodlines (and indeed the entire ‘Edge of Darkness’ series) is character driven. I find plot-driven comes off as contrived. I try to give my characters a life of their own, and the space to let them take me, and the reader, on a journey. As such, the characters have taken me to places I didn’t think I’d go, and the endings of the books have turned out quite differently!
Tell us a little bit about your main character.
Berg is a female detective in Chicago. Because of her broken childhood, she is quite damaged and is driven to get justice for those who cannot get it for themselves. She is at war with herself, and the fight between her law-abiding side, and the side that believes in an eye for an eye, plays out in all three books. Think Lisbeth Salander, with maybe not quite so much crazy. Berg’s a fantastic character to explore as a writer, quite the anti-hero, but also lovable.
What type of reader do you think would most enjoy the Edge of Darkness series?
The ‘Edge of Darkness’ series is for those readers who love mystery/suspense/thrillers/crime fiction. There is a decent helping of sex and violence, so no readers younger than 18.
It’s not all scary, there is a love story throughout all three as well. I’d like to think that ultimately, the series is about hope.
You are an Australian author, yet the Edge of Darkness series is set in Chicago?
Talk about making it hard for myself! I starting off writing the books set in Sydney, but it just wasn’t working. So I switched the setting to my third favourite city on earth (after Sydney and Melbourne), Chicago. It involved a hell of a lot more research for me, but the story just seemed to ‘fit’ better there. As any author will tell you, sometimes you just have to go where the book leads you.
Do you have any other titles in the pipeline?
The first three books I wrote (The Enemy Inside, Broken & Bloodlines) are all crime fiction. I have another book being released in 2015 (June) called Koven, and this is a paranormal thriller. I’ve also just finished writing an erotic thriller (possibly called Evidence), so stay tuned!
There will also be at least one sequel to Koven, and likely more books after that as my head always seems to be full of stories. Berg also keep popping into my head, so there will perhaps be a another stand-alone book for Berg in the future.
I treat writing as my full-time job, writing every day, four days a week (I have two young children as well). There was obviously a lot of research involved in writing crime fiction. I had to ensure that all the forensic and criminal aspects were 100% correct, because fans of this genre are very particular (as am I!). So I have many, many forensic/investigative/psychology textbooks at my house. I’ve enjoyed writing the two other books (Koven & the tentatively named Evidence), as they were more imagination than fact, which was a relief!
Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers?
Yes, lots! Just write. Don’t be worried about whether you are ‘good’ enough or ‘qualified’ enough, just write for the love for writing. Don’t write thinking you’re going to get rich! Write the story for yourself, because as soon as you write for others it will come across as disingenuous. You can’t please everyone, so as long as you’re happy, that’s all you can aim for.
I personally don’t believe in writers block. I try to write about 10,000 words a week, and if they suck (which they often do) I can at least edit them. Also, write through ‘writers block’. The simple act of writing will start things flowing again, and you can edit the not so great words.
The Edge of Darkness series is available from:
Book Depository | Amazon | B&N | Kobobooks | Booktopia | TWCS
International Book Giveaway
To celebrate the release of Bloodlines in January 2015, Vanessa Skye has generously offered 3 signed paperback copies of the first book in the ‘Edge of Darkness’ series, The Enemy Inside, for giveaway:
- open internationally
- extra entries for spreading the word via Twitter [+2] and Facebook/Google+/Webpage [+4]
- extra entries for registered participants of the Aussie Author Challenge 2015 [+1 for challenge commitment and +1 for each review link submitted to date as part of the challenge] – there’s still plenty of time to sign-up!
- entries close midnight 31 January 2015
- the winners will be randomly selected and must respond to my email requesting their mailing address within 5 days otherwise their prize will be forfeited and another winner selected
SORRY, ENTRIES CLOSED – Winner announced HERE