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Friday, October 26, 2012

Don't Fear the Reaper, baby...

...by Olivia Kelly

Hello everyone! I'm so pleased to announce that Darynda Jones, NYT best selling author, Rita and Golden Heart winner, is here today! 

I just happened to be browsing my local library's shelves earlier this year and stumbled across Darynda's third novel in her Charley Davidson series, Third Grave Dead Ahead. I had never read any of the series before, and didn't even realize it was a series, so I brought it home.

One of the best decisions I've ever made.  

I'm being serious. I love when I discover a new (to me) author and quickly become attached to the characters in her/his stories. I devoured Third Grave, then went back and got First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left, and swallowed them whole. Then I embarked on an aggressive conversion campaign that encouraged (rabidly) everyone I know, including my mailman, to read them. 

That's how I roll. 

So when Ms. Jones agreed to blog with us today, I was so excited I silently screamed for, like, five minutes. Okay, maybe not so silently. ANYWAY, she has a new book in the series coming out on October 30th (more kinda silent screams) called Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Since she was doing a round-robin of blogs, Darynda was nice enough to add us to her list. So, I sent her a bunch of questions (Olivia's Infamous Interview Queries!), which she answered with a minimum of eyerolling. I assume. I mean, I didn't actually see her answering them, but...

Okay! On to the interview!

Hi Darynda! Thanks for dropping by Lady Scribes. We are thrilled you are here! Can you give us a quick rundown on Charley and her unusual life for our readers who haven't read your series yet? 

Absolutely! Charley Davidson is a female PI who was born the grim reaper. As a result, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters is her intensely hot love interest and Charley learns that dodging bullets isn’t nearly as dangerous as falling in love. 

Now that you have four Charley Davidson books under your belt, can you tell us which was your favorite to write? Which was the hardest? 

You know, I’d have to say First Grave on the Right was probably the hardest, but that’s really due to the fact that I tried to mess with my ‘process.’ I learned a huge lesson. Don’t fix what ain’t broke. I am a plotter and I write a certain way. I messed with that and it took me way longer to finish that book than it should have. I actually don’t have a favorite book out of the four. I do, however, have a favorite scene. There is a rather explicit torture scene at the end of Third Grave. I am immensely proud of it, because I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull it off. I think it worked beautifully, and for some reason, it’s still my favorite scene even though Fourth has a couple of scenes that rival it. 

The idea of Charley as the Grim Reaper is such a fun idea. Was it something you mulled over or did she just pop up one day, demanding her fair share of a page?

Both, in a way. Charley herself popped into my head one day, literally. She was just there in all her demanding glory. However, at first she wasn’t the grim reaper. She was more like a snarky version of the Ghost Whisperer. But the story needed more oomph, and the grim reaper was born. 

You recently branched out to Young Adult with the Darklight series (which looks really cool and is near the very top of my TBR pile), but stuck with the Grime Reaper theme, sort of. Can you tell us a little about Lorelei and her world?

Certainly. Death and the Girl Next Door is about sophomore Lorelei MacAlister. Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace. Raised by her grandparents and leaningon the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact thather parents are never coming home. Life goes on and is as normal as can be until a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school and he seems to have a specific interest in Lorelei, something that never happens. To complicate matters even further, the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, night after night. Jared and Cameron instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity. What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real?

I know I can't be the only Charley and Reyes (Omg. *dies*) fan out there waiting oh-so-patiently for your next book. When will that be? And please say there will be more Charley books!

Thank you! With the release of Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet October 30th, we will definitely get more of Charley and Reyes. Their rocky relationship develops nicely in this book, though the rocks get sharper. And Fifth Grave Past the Light will drop in July 2013. But the series is open-ended, so who knows how many there will be when the dust settles? I am hoping quite a few. I even have a spin-off in mind. 

OH THANK GOD. More Reyes! I mean...wonderful! I look forward to reading them. Would you being willing to share an excerpt of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet with us? 

Since you asked nicely...

With renewed energy, I pulled back onto Academy— after hitting a
drive- through for a mocha latte— and had just started for home when
my phone rang.
“Yes?” I said, illegally talking on the phone while driving within the
city limits. Scoping for cops, I waited for Uncle Bob to stop talking to
whomever he was talking to and get back to me.
My uncle Bob, or Ubie as I most often referred to him, was a detective
for APD, and I helped him on cases from time to time. He knew I
could see the departed and used that to his advantage. Not that I could
blame him.
“Get that to her, then call the ME ay- sap.”
“Okay,” I said, “but I’m not sure what calling the medical examiner
ay- sap is going to accomplish. I’m pretty sure his name is George.”
“Oh, hey, Charley.”
“Hey, Uncle Bob. What’s up?”
“Are you driving?”
“Have you heard anything?”
Our conversations often went like this. Uncle Bob with his random
questions. Me with my trying to come up with answers just as random.
Not that I had to try very hard. “I heard that Tiff any Gorham, a girl I
knew in grade school, still stuffs her bra. But that’s just a rumor.”
“About the case,” he said through clenched teeth. I could tell his teeth
were clenched because his words were suddenly forced. That meant he
was frustrated. Too bad I had no idea what he was talking about.
“I wasn’t aware that we had a case.”
“Oh, didn’t Cookie call you?”
“She called me a doody-head once.”
“About the case.” His teeth were totally clenched again.
“We have a case?”
But I’d lost him. He was talking to another officer. Or a detective. Or
a hooker, depending on his location and accessibility to cash. Though I
doubted he would tell a hooker to check the status of the DOA’s autopsy
report. Unless he was way kinkier than I’d ever given him credit for.
I found his calling me only to talk to other people very challenging.
“I’ll call you right back,” he said. No idea to whom.
The call disconnected as I sat at a light, wondering what guacamole
would look like if avocados were orange.
I finally shifted my attention to the dead kid in my backseat. He had
shoulder-length blond hair and bright blue eyes and looked somewhere
between fifteen and seventeen.
“You come here often?” I asked him, but my phone rang before he
could say anything. That was okay. He had a vacant stare, so I doubted
he would have answered me anyway.
“Sorry about that,” Uncle Bob said. “Do you want to discuss the
“We have a case?” I said again, perking up.
“How are you?”
He asked me that every time he called now. “Peachy. Am I the case? If
so, I can solve this puppy in about three seconds. I’m heading down San
Mateo toward Central in a cherry red Jeep Wrangler with a questionable
exhaust system.”
“Hurry, before I get away!”

How many days again until the 30th? Too many! 

But, now comes my favorite part of the blog where I torture...umm...nicely ask our guest author to answer a few questions. *Evil laugh*

1) Plane, train, automobile or boat? Love trains! 

2) Dark chocolate or milk? (Please, please don't say white. That isn't chocolate.) White??? Ick. Dark all the way, baby. 

3) Cat, Dog, Fish, Snake or Bird? Pet, I mean. Not dinner. LOL, dogs and more dogs.

4) Place you would most want to vacation in. Place you would least want to vacation in. Most: Great Britain; Least: Saturn, because it is a frozen ball of ice with winds up to 2000 mph. I’m just not that fond of wind.  

5) If you had a choice, would you rather time travel to Renaissance Italy or the Roaring Twenties in Chicago? Or somewhere else entirely? I would have to toss a coin on that one. While I love the Renaissance, I am fascinated with the twenties and thirties and even have a YA series set in that time period. 

6) Would you rather explore the ocean's bottom like Jacques or space jump, a la Felix? I am utterly enthralled with Felix right now! I have to admit, if I could, I would totally skydive, albeit he actually space dives. So utterly cool! However, given the choice between the two, I think I’d have to explore the ocean’s bottom. I grew up watching Jacques and wanted to be a marine biologist for years because that’s what he was. Then I found out it requires lots of science.

Thank you so much for dropping by and hanging out with us today!
Thank you so much for having me! 

That's me! Stalking...er...meeting Darynda at RWA this summer! ;D

Have you read the Charley Davidson series, and if not, have you seen a doctor for that? And what would you rather do- space jump, dive-sea dive or shop Best Buy on Black Friday?


  1. I have indeed read them.. and i think i would rather sea dive.. (we dont really have black friday in canada)

    1. Ooo. Brave. I'm *such* a chicken. I would rather deal with the wackos here on Black Friday. The idea of putting my head under in the ocean gives me hives. ;D

  2. Yes, I've read them all and loved them! I think I would rather shop on Black Friday cause I have a fear of heights! Black Friday scares me too, it's just the lesser of two evils!

    1. Agreed! I once sat at the bottom of Sears Tower for almost two hours while my parents toured it, rather than be that high up. Of course, I had a book with me, so it wasn't really a trial...

  3. Another wonderful Interview! Tuesday is almost here!! YAY!! *shivers* i myself hate black friday and make sure im hidden safely away in my house.

    1. Oh, thank you, Marie! I love doing interviews- I always find out the most interesting things about my favorite authors. :)

  4. Hi, Darynda! Thanks for joining us today. Olivia has been pimping you for a while, so I've added you to my TBR pile. Soon!

    Um...I'll go with Best Buy on Black Friday. But with the caveat that I'd do it from the comfort of my own home, shopping online. :)

    1. Wait a minute! You found a loophole... ;D

  5. Yes! Read them all and her YA. Darynda's a friend! I would totally space jump!

    1. Oh my God, really?! You are either very brave or a little nuts, hahaha! I do NOT have the stones to space jump. I'd probably say a bunch of words I shouldn't on live media coverage, then pass out. Ha!

  6. LOL. Well... Let's see, I have deep sea dived (until I hear the Jaws theme in the dark recesses of my mind and have to jump back in the boat until my heart race goes back down) AND I've shopped at Best Buy on Black Friday before. I think I'm way to chicken to space dive. The other two aren't that bad... there aren't sharks at Best Buy, just insane people. I might pick deep sea diving again, in that case.

    1. I find it funny that you've had so many adventures, because you are SUCH a diva, haha! ;P

    2. So I'm an adventurous diva. :)

  7. Great interview. FOUR DAYS I CAN'T WAIT SOOOOOOOO PUMPED!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Me too! *Runs around, bangs into wall, falls down*

  8. Ha - a fellow ocean lover :-) I actually have a B.S. in Marine Science, all thanks to the early influence of Jacques Cousteau. Not that it is doing me any good *now*, lol, but I do so love the ocean and the mysteries of the deep.

    Anywho, all that aside, WELCOME to Lady Scribes! Great interview, and even though I almost exclusively read historicals, I've heard so many awesome things about this series, I definitely plan to pick it up. Good luck with your new release!

    1. Maybe you can go steampunk, Erin, and do a historical about an ether-fueled sub and her surly yet supa-fine captain. Heehee....

  9. Yep! Read them all and starting to shake with need for the next one! I'm fascinated with space, but would rather wait until the Starship Enterprise is built so I can explore with all the comforts of home, so I'll say I would rather sea dive...in clear warm water with lots of pretty (and friendly) fish. Shop at Best Buy on Black Friday? *shudders* I don't even go out on Black Friday.

    Terrific interview!

    1. Yes, if I was on the Enterprise, I could pretend I wasn't in space at all. That would be fine. Just make sure you aren't wearing the dreaded red shirt! Lol....

  10. Welcome to LadyScribes. Great interview! Your series sounds wonderful. I'm grabbing my Kindle now to download the first book!

    1. You will love it, Julie! It's right up your alley...

  11. I would space jump :) seems the more daring of the 3. I love Darynda books and Oct 30th can't get here fast enough

    1. Another space jumper! You people are insane. ;D Thanks for coming by!!

  12. Well here I am hanging my head in shame for not having yet read this series. Don't know why. Maybe it has something to do with not enough hours in the day. I know. That's a lame excuse. However, I'm really glad that Darynda agreed to chat today. I learned a lot about her and the novels. I shall definitely be reading them! Thanks!

    1. Connie! Get ye to a bookstore! ;D I completely understand, though. Sometimes I wake up, yawn, turn on my laptop, and next thing I know it's dinnertime! I swear, there's some sort of time/space continuum at my house...

  13. Great interview, Olivia. You have great energy in your writing!

    1. Oh, thank you! I just write the interviews I'd like to read, and hope they make enough sense to follow. Lol.... ;D

  14. Great interview and I loved Darynda's response on where she would least like to travel. Answers like that are one one the reasons I love her, and the Charley Davidson series, so much! I am going crazy waiting for Fourth Grave but it will be SOO worth the wait! As far as choosing one of the three adventures mentioned, because anyone daring enough to brave Black Friday is obviously looking for an adventure, I guess I would choose the deep sea. I think it would be so neat to see how serene life can be down below and what new caves or corners in the ocean I could uncover.

    1. Oh, that's a great point! I *have* snorkeled before, and in the 30 or 40 seconds before my panic attack hit, I did notice how peaceful everything seemed. And then I saw the 3 foot eel, and, well...let's just say I have a list of requirements now that must be met before I venture into a body of water larger than a puddle. ;D

  15. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Darynda! I'm one of the souls Olivia badgered endlessly until I read your books. Now I'm a fan and looking forward to the next!

  16. So glad to have you at Lady Scribes, Darynda! Congrats on the success of your series. I've heard wonderful things and have your first in my TBR stack. Best of luck with the new release!

  17. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Darynda. I haven't read your books, but I will soon or else Olivia will badger me forever. ;p

    Wishing you lots of success. :)

  18. I always look forward to Darynda's interviews. And I LOVE this series! While I was still reading the first book, I told a million people (slight exageration)to read it. :)

    1. I have to start on the DarkLight series. Maybe it can keep me happy in between Charley books. Oh, who am I kidding? I';; probably get addicted to those too! Haha....

  19. I can say I'm one of Olivia's converted. Somehow all your books ended up on my tablet. Not sure how that happened.

    What's wrong with Saturn. It's got all those cool rings. It's not Pluto.

    1. Saturn's Tourism Board thanks you, Beth.

      "Visit Saturn! At least we're not Pluto."


  20. Great interview! I loved both the questions and the answers. I just read First Grave (on audio, actually), and it was wonderful, so I'm glad to hear that there will be at least four more books, plus a new series. Yay! And I'm with you on Reyes, Olivia. Wow! I love heroes who are strong and vulnerable at the same time.

  21. Definitely yesss, i have read this series and i'm waiting for book 3 to come and still can pre-order for book 4, arghhhh so despresion to the max.

    I'm big fans of Reyes *devil laugh

    And ofcoure I'm a big fans of Darynda :D