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