Author: Berni Stevens

Cover Reveal | #DarkChocLit embraces ‘Immortals of London’ series by Berni Stevens with the second of the series “Revenge is Sweet” Vampires, anyone?

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you know I’ve been smitten with the novelists who publish their relationship-based Romances with ChocLitUK for a good two years now! I love being on the cusp of learning about a ‘new release’ whilst I remain patient to see if the Digital First new ChocLit novel will make it to a print release further down the road of it’s lifetime. I don’t mind the gaps between the ebooks and the print editions – as it’s always given me the pleasure of balancing my ‘next ChocLit reads’ to include both Front List and Back List offerings. Thus, I am enjoying being a member of the Reveal Team at ChocLit whilst it gives me a chance to introduce my readers to a variety of sub-genres within Romance I appreciate picking up to read!

On my new position as a ChocLit Star member: Whilst I am part of the ChocLit Reviewers having brought reviews & guest author features to Jorie Loves A Story for the past two years, I have recently become a part of the Cover Reveal Team, as disclosed when I hosted the first Reveal on behalf of Sheryl Browne’s ‘Learning to Love’. This new team works with ChocLit providing honest feedback on ‘projects’ such as title & book cover design choices as well projects in development on behalf of the publisher. I accepted being a ChocLit Star as I felt my love of the stories would be a good fit to give in-depth responses to the projects pitched to the Stars. Therefore, this Cover Reveal is the first where my input as a ChocLit Star helped the reveal become possible!

Dance Until Dawn by Berni Stevens

The Immortals of London in sequence:

(previously called: the London Vampire Chronicles)

Dance Until Dawn | No.1 (review) (key excerpts are from this review)

Revenge is Sweet | No. 2

Follow Will Austen on Twitter!

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I had such a profound pleasure of joy reading ‘Dance Until Dawn’ as it simply caught me unawares – I was on such pins to read it, as I am not the traditional reader for #VampireRomance nor one who is readily inclined towards reading a heap of PNR (as I have the tendency to prefer ‘cosier’ story-lines which does not oft yield to be included in the same thread of thought of the ‘paranormal’); yet, from the moment I first picked up this particular novel, I was smitten! So much so, the novel was awarded one of my 2nd Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards! It was that incredible and unputdownable! Even for a girl who is shy about PNR and has the tendency to run in opposite circles from vampires & immortal creatures of the dark!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Let me illustrate my point by sharing key excerpts from my first reading of ‘Dance Until Dawn’:

My love of the setting:

I love lush depictions of a setting inside of a novel, and getting to know Hampstead (a northern corridor of a suburb to London) was quite a smashing find! I liked how it echoed a reminder to me of the East Village in NYC with the Heath being a bit like Central Park; this natural oasis in a highly dense metro city where you would not fathom to find such natural beauty amongst the city dwellers! I like finding places within well-known cities which take you a step outside the normal route of exploration; digging inside a little hidden niche where time and place were curated with care. I could definitely understand why Will wanted to take Ellie here, it was a way of giving her back a part of her soul.

On how Will Austen made a reader become emphatic to his cause:

Stevens has a keen sense on how to present Will in a way that is not quite attractive in the beginning yet gives you time to warm to him whilst reading what he is scribbling into his journal. He’s a bit like a newfound father trying to capture all the moments of a young babe’s life, as he’s quite protective of his ‘fledging’ as he refers to Ellie during her transition from human to vampire. It is through this incubator period both of them are seen in their raw emotional and most inquisitive states. A brilliant move on Stevens to give us something to chew on whilst we’re sorting out how we feel about Will!

The moment I knew I was hooked on Will Austen & Ellie’s story:

Whilst Will first took Ellie out and about under the cover of night, I started to warm up to him as a character because his brute exterior was starting to melt a bit more. He’s a complicated character because he’s brooding behind a past he doesn’t want to yield to Ellie, even if it means he is to become misunderstand by the reader at the same time. How this reminds me dearly of Buffy and Angel; how vampires by nature are private creatures who’d rather not show their inner selves to anyone, lest the person they believe has overtaken their heart. Despite a few flutterings of recognition, what I appreciated was the refreshing newness to Dance Until Dawn, as I don’t want to spoilt it but let’s just say by most vampire standards Ellie is lacking two key elements to her survival and this made me appreciate her even more!

The main takeaway I shared as a ChocLit Star was this: I liked how unpredictable her [Berni Stevens] characters are as they truly are going through personal growth and exploring who they are whilst we’re meeting them during times of crisis or change in their lives. It’s a clever style and one that won my heart!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

You can see then, why I was quite happily gobsmacked my first project as a ChocLit Star advisor was to comment on behalf of the potential title and cover design for the pending sequel of a novel that quite bewitched me!

I do want to share with you why I favoured the title ‘Revenge is Sweet’, as it speaks to why this series opener left such an impression on me a full year after I first read it!

The title that stood out to me most is “Revenge is Sweet” because it’s more encompassing than focusing on the heart of Ellie & Will’s relationship which is cornerstone to the series, but it has a more evolving concept past where their union of hearts can lead the reader. It would make sense Will would fight to the death to protect Ellie – as his bravery was well placed in Dance Until Dawn where you could tell when it comes to Ellie, Will Austen will do anything he can to not only protect her but to declare her as his to anyone who tries to go against him or her.

He’s obsessive that way! I could justify him taking revenge on anyone who questions or puts into jeopardy the order he’s tried to keep for himself, his friends and the order of vampires/immortals he considers ‘under his charge’ as it hints towards his personality and controlling complex.

I am keen, dear hearts, to hear what your thoughts are on behalf of the layout of the cover’s design and the title which was selected to aptly depict the heart of this sequel? Do you think those of us who are ChocLit Stars helped pin-point what to focus on? Have you read ‘Dance Until Dawn’? If so, what do you think on my justification on behalf of Will’s temperament? If you haven’t yet read the series, does this spotlight on the sequel intrigue you to begin reading it?

On 28 May #ChocLitSaturday celebrated Berni Steven’s upcoming PNR release (now known as ‘Revenge is Sweet’) to continue where Dance Until Dawn left off!

Replay the Chat via Nurph!

I am so wicked excited for this forthcoming title I cannot contain myself!

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Posted Friday, 10 June, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, ChocLitUK, Gothic Romance, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, Vampire Romance

Book Review | Jorie’s 1st-ever #vampireromance “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens A new paranormal trilogy by #IndiePub ChocLitUK! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 40 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

{ A Special #ChocLitSaturdays on my 2nd Blogoversary! }

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “Dance Until Dawn” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Growing up with Buffy & Angel:

I met my first vampire when I was thirteen whilst on holiday in New Orleans as I watched the motion picture “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry. Perry I knew from 90210 as most of us who grew up in the 1980/90s were an appreciator of the series; however, Swanson was new to me then, but would later re-appear in another favourite series “Early Edition”. My parents had a meeting they were attending in the city, so I vegged out seeing Buffy whilst consuming copious amounts of bread pudding; courtesy of ‘room service’. This first introduction led me to the tv series spin-off lateron, wherein I would come to feel attached to both Buffy and Angel respectively. For me, the appeal of the tv series faded when Angel left, which is why I said ‘good-bye’ to Sunnydale and hallo to Los Angeles!

Along the way, I have contemplated reading works of vampire fiction, as my best friend in high school had an affinity for them, yet personally I couldn’t get the appeal myself. I respected Anne Rice as a writer and researcher, but as far as soaking inside one of her novels? I fear I side-stepped the notion because I had a feeling based on what my friend disclosed to me, I would have a very difficult time appreciating the narrative as a whole. Other vampire works would come up in conversation, but I sided with my joy in watching the tv serials, until of course, Angel left my interest too by jumping the rails on story-lines and believability. A bit quirky perhaps that the ‘believability’ was an issue for me, but it was!

I settled into Gothic Lit and Southern Gothic Lit as a gateway into psychological suspense and Gothic settings of atmospheric intrigue as a way to encompass what I was attracted too without going full throttle down a rabbit hole I might not enjoy visiting. Strangely, it is within these realms of literature I found sure footing and have continued to find myself attracted to books published fitting under one or both of these card catalogue headings.

One novel stands out to me as being potentially a ‘vampire’ novel except to say, I have only read the first several chapters of it and am uncertain where it’s leading me in the end; this would be “The Accursed” by Joyce Carol Oates. When I first discovered this novel from my local library I cannot even properly recollect the joy in devouring her narrative voice and the gutting suspense of ‘wondering’ what was truly going on. Thus, if you have read this novel, do not spoilt for me!

On my connection to Ms Stevens:

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms Courtenay, Ms Harris, and Ms Gover, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms Stevens, either through #ChocLitSaturday chats or privately. We have been lightly talking about Gothic Lit and Vampire fiction since I first attempted to read Dance Until Dawn during Horror October 2014! I must say, it was through these conversations I garnished a newfound respect for Gothic Lit and even started to form a curiosity about reading Dracula as I had previously felt the novel was something completely different than it is! I find conversations like these quite the blessing, because you get to find like-minded persons who share your interests whilst endeavouring to expand your horizons in literature at the same time!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Stevens through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

Book Review | Jorie’s 1st-ever #vampireromance “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens A new paranormal trilogy by #IndiePub ChocLitUK! #ChocLitSaturdaysDance Until Dawn
by Berni Stevens
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Do you Believe in Love After Life?

At twenty-two, West-End dancer, Ellie Wakefield should be having the time of her life. The only problem is, since waking up in a three-hundred-year-old vampire’s leaky cellar, Ellie’s been very much dead. And to make matters worse, she’s found that an aversion to blood and a fear of the dark aren’t very helpful – especially when you’re a fledgling vampire.

William James Austen has fallen hard. He’s spent the last year loving Ellie from afar and now he’s finally able to be truthful about who and what he is. As the most powerful vampire in London, he’s used to getting what he wants. But this time, Will might just have bitten off more than he can chew.

*originally published as Fledging in 2011

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Also by this author: Revenge is Sweet Cover Reveal

Series: The London Vampire Chronicles, Immortals of London


Also in this series: Revenge is Sweet Cover Reveal


Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Gothic Literature, Romance Fiction, Vampire Romance


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th April, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 356

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Will Austen has his own Twitter! (@austen_will)

Read updates on the London Vampire Chronicles Blog!

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #ChocLit, #DanceUntilDawn OR #LondonVampireChronicles

About Berni Stevens

Berni Stevens lives in a four-hundred-year-old cottage in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, son and black cat. She trained in graphic design and has worked as a book cover designer for more than twenty years.
Books and art remain her passion, and her love of the paranormal began when she first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, aged fourteen. She is now on both the committee and the book panel of the Dracula Society, a society for fans of gothic literature and film.

Berni has had several short stories published, and her first novel, Fledgling, – a paranormal romance – was published in the US. This is Berni’s debut novel with Choc Lit and the first in a series of three.

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Posted Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Castles & Estates, Cemeteries & Graveyards, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Domestic Violence, England, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Geographically Specific, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Indie Author, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Modern Day, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Gifts, Romance Fiction, Singletons & Commitment, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Vampire Romance, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature

#OTBHorrorOctober | Schedule of Events & Bookish Delights of a Cosy Horror Girl! {1st Year Participant}

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Horror October 2014

Calendar of Events on Oh! the Books Host Site

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{ Reading Selections for Horror October 2014 }

 Focus One: Psychological Suspense | Thriller:

(note: all book synopsis links re-direct to Riffle>

  1. A Stitch in Time by Amanda James <synopsis> (moving to 1st November for SFN)
  2. The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber <synopsis>
  3. Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber <synopsis> (moved to November)
  4. A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber <synopsis> (moved to November)
  5. The Rose in the Wheel by S.K. Rizzolo <synopsis> (moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  6. Somewhere Beyond the Sea by Amanda James <synopsis(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronté <synopsis> (on hold)
  8. Up Close by Henriette Gyland <synopsis> (moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  9. Blood for Blood by S.K. Rizzolo <synopsis(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté (Part II of my journalling) <synopsis> (on hold)
  11. The Ripper’s Wife by Brandy Purdy <synopsis>
  12. Category 5 by Paul Mark Tag (synopsis) (previously read(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  13. Prophecy by Paul Mark Tag <synopsis>(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  14. White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy by Paul Mark Tag <synopsis>(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)

Focus Two: Cosy Horror | Cosy Horror Suspense (including ghosts):

  1. Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman <synopsis>
  2. An Uninvited Ghost by E.J. Copperman <synopsis>
  3. Old Haunts by E.J. Copperman <synopsis>
  4. Sinking Down by E. Chris Garrison <synopsis> (moved to SFN)
  5. The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull <synopsis> (moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  6. Dance Until Dawn by Berni Stevens <synopsis> (moved to SFN)
  7. Dracula by Bram Stroker <synopsis> (moved to SFN)
  8. The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James <synopsis> (moving to November)
  9. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill <synopsis> (re-scheduled for 2015)
  10. Ghost Stories by Edith Wharton <synopsis>
  11. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson <synopsis> (re-scheduled for 2015)
  12. The Door through Washington Square by Elaine Bergstrom <synopsis(re-scheduled for 2015)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The following is the tentative schedule for my 1st Participation in Horror October. Most of the schedule should remain as it is seen, however, there could be spontaneous changes to the line-up &/or I might include a few extras as I go through the fortnight!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Horror October Bingo
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Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by jorielov in #HorrorOctober, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Hop, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Blogs I Regularly Read, Book Blogosphere Regular Haunts, Classic Horror, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Horror, Horror October Bingo, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Library Find, Light vs Dark, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Psychological Suspense, Reading Challenges, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

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