Friday, July 04, 2014

Interview with Michelle Rowen and Giveaway - July 4, 2014

Please welcome the fabulous Michelle Rowen to The Qwillery. From Fear to Eternity, the 3rd Immortality Bites Mystery, was published on July 1, 2014 by Signet.

Do you start your next mystery with the killer, the victim, or the plot?

The heart of my mystery series is my main character, Sarah Dearly, fledgling vampire. Everything that happens plot-wise in the books stems from her, so she’s where I start. What hasn’t she experienced? What does she need to learn? What “creature” do I want to focus on? In BLOOD BATH & BEYOND I stuck with vampires to establish the series. In book 2, BLED & BREAKFAST, I shifted over to ghosts and witches. In book 3, FROM FEAR TO ETERNITY, there’s a djinn on the loose, and enchanted objects up for sale at an exclusive auction. The mystery and the plot seem to evolve organically from there.

Do you outline a book before sitting down and writing?

I do outline before I write, and I usually gravitate to the three act structure. I like to know generally what’s going to happen and especially how everything is going to end (key in writing a mystery), so I spend a lot of time brainstorming and working on essential plot points before I even think about starting to write.

What is your process for developing a character like Sarah Dearly?

I’ve been working with Sarah for ten years now and she was the star of my original non-mystery paranormal romance series Immortality Bites, so I know her pretty well by now. She is unique to any character I’ve ever written since she developed herself without much input from me. My original notes on her wanted her to be a bookworm who hadn’t experienced much from life until her transition to vampire. As soon as I started writing her, however, she turned into a sarcastic trouble-magnet who’s led by her heart and gut (sometimes, unfortunately for her, more so than her brain).

This is a bit more Urban Fantasy than a typical paranormal cozy. What attracted you to this middle ground for a mystery series?

I like to think that the Immortality Bites Mysteries defy categorization. It’s a bit mystery, a bit paranormal romance, a bit chick lit, a smidge of horror, and a whole lot of urban fantasy. “Cozy Mystery,” to me, means that it’s an amateur sleuth who’s doing the mystery-solving. Sarah definitely fits that bill. A cozy will also have a dead body early in the story. Everything else is up to my imagination and I sometimes do like to paint outside the lines and let my characters do whatever they like without being overly defined by genre.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing and how long does it take you to write a book?

When I’m writing first drafts, I like to immerse myself in the book and characters. They are constantly in my thoughts as I work out scenes and pesky plot points. I would describe myself as a binge writer, since when I write first drafts I like to do between 10-20 pages a day consistently until I’m done. If I have time, I let the first draft sit for a few days, then I’ll read it over and start my second draft, which usually takes me longer to write than the first one since I’m going slower and looking closely at the details. On my current schedule, I can finish a book (not including the initial brainstorming or the copy edits, etc.) in 3-4 months.

In literature, who is your favorite mystery/suspense character and who is your favorite paranormal character?

Tough question… so many I love – Victoria Laurie’s Abby and M.J. J.D. Robb’s Eve. Evanovich’s Stephanie, Jim Butcher’s Harry, Karen Marie Moning’s Mac and Barrons. They’re all so much fun to read… I can’t pick a favorite!

Are paranormal mysteries here to stay or are they a current fad in publishing?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of being a published author, it’s that I have absolutely no idea what’s the future of publishing. For me, I absolutely LOVE paranormal mystery and the freedom it gives authors to write whatever their imaginations offer up. I love the fun, the romance, and the whimsy that’s accepted in this sub-genre. And I hope very much that it’s something that’s here to stay!

From Fear to Eternity
An Immortality Bites Mystery 3
Signet, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 page

Newlywed vampires Sarah and Thierry de Bennicoeur have their whole undead lives ahead of them. And with Thierry’s job as a consultant for the Ring sending them across the globe to solve one vampire crisis after another, eternity may never have a dull moment.

Sarah was hoping the honeymoon would literally last forever, but when Thierry receives a mysterious invitation to an auction held in an old Beverly Hills mansion, it’s clearly time to get back to work. Thierry hopes to win a powerful amulet containing a wish-granting djinn that has eluded him for centuries. Unfortunately, Atticus Kincade, head of the vampire council, also has his eye on the item.

When the auction’s host reveals his unpleasant history with Thierry, and Sarah discovers a talking head in the freezer, things get even weirder than usual. But when the amulet goes missing, and everyone is suddenly trapped inside the mansion, the undead guests find themselves in mortal danger—and Sarah had better be careful what she wishes for.

Qwills Thoughts

Sarah Dearly has been a favorite character of mine since her first appearance in the paranormal romance Bitten and Smitten (Immortality Bites 1 / 2006). I followed her escapades and that of her boyfriend, master vampire Thierry de Bennicoeur, through 4 more novels ending with Tall, Dark and Fangsome (2009). I was thrilled when I found out that Sarah and Thierry were coming back in a paranormal mystery series, aptly titled Immortality Bites Mysteries. This was not a stretch because the PNR series always had Sarah and Thierry fangs deep in some mystery or problem to solve.

From Fear to Eternity, the 3rd installment in the Immortality Bites Mysteries, is a ridiculously fun romp. Think Clue (the movie) with vampires, other paranormal beings and a more interesting mystery to solve. There is humor, but something deadly is happening.

Sarah and Thierry are their usual wonderful selves. Sarah has matured over the course of both the Immortality Bites and Immortality Bites Mystery series, but she's still innately optimistic. She follows her gut instincts (much to Thierry's chagrin) and is usually right to do so. Thierry is still calm and collected and Sarah brings out the best in him. He even smiles every now and then! They are wonderful foils for each other and their banter and relationship is top notch. The supporting cast includes some old favorites and some really interesting and unexpected new characters.

From Fear to Eternity has a very uplifting ending and feels like the wrap up novel of the series. I hope not. I really want to read more mysteries featuring Sarah and Thierry or any sort of novel featuring Sarah and Thierry. 

From Fear to Eternity is a fun, fast-paced mystery with wonderful characters. This is a 'who done it' that kept me guessing and guessing. There are some fabulous twists and turns and some huge surprises. If you're a fan of paranormal cozy mysteries this is a absolute must read!

Note: You can read From Fear to Eternity without reading any of the prior novels in either series but you would be missing out.

Previously in the Immortality Bites Mysteries

Blood Bath & Beyond
An Immortality Bites Mystery1
Signet, August 7, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Sarah Dearly is adjusting to life as a fledgling vampire, satisfying her cravings at vampire-friendly blood banks. But when her fiancé Thierry takes a job with the Ring—the secret council in charge of keeping vampires in line—Sarah’s about to get more than a taste of danger...

Being engaged to a centuries-old master vampire can be challenging—especially when he takes a job with the Ring. Thierry’s in for fifty years of nonstop travel and deadly risk. It’s enough to make any woman reconsider the wedding...any woman except Sarah, that is.

Traveling with him to Las Vegas for his first assignment, they encounter a child beauty pageant contestant from hell, as well as a vampire serial killer leaving victims drained of blood, potentially exposing the existence of vampires to the whole world. But when Thierry’s truly ancient history comes back to haunt him, and he’s accused of a crime he didn’t commit, it’s up to Sarah to clear his name before their immortal lives come to an end.

Bled & Breakfast
An Immortality Bites Mystery 2
Signet, June 4, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Fledgling vampire Sarah Dearly knew what she was getting into when she married master vampire Thierry de Bennicoeur. As an agent of the Ring, Thierry is sent all over the world to solve vampire crimes and keep them secret from humans. And now Sarah’s on the job with him—for better or worse.

Right after their wedding in Las Vegas, Sarah and Thierry get their next assignment: Three vampires have gone missing in Salem, Massachusetts, and they need to find out why. Their contact in Salem turns out to be a local lothario with a penchant for witches, but before he can help them, he suddenly goes up in smoke—leaving behind nothing but a stain on the ground and a seemingly impossible mystery.

Did a witchy ex-mistress cast a deadly spell, or is there something even more sinister happening to the vampires of Salem? Getting to the truth may require raising the undead, with a little help from the owners of a vampire-friendly bed and breakfast. But uncovering Salem’s darkest secrets may drag some of Thierry’s own past into the light.

You may read a fun interview The Qwillery did in 2013 with Sarah and Thierry here.

If you'd like to see what Sarah was up to prior to the Mysteries
(click on each novel to see it at the B&N site)

About Michelle

Michelle Rowen is the national bestselling author of many paranormal novels for adults and young adults, including the Immortality Bites Mysteries. BLED & BREAKFAST, the 2nd book in the series garnered not only a Top Pick from RT BookReviews magazine, but also their Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. The 3rd book, FROM FEAR TO ETERNITY, is now available for you to sink your fangs into! For more info about Michelle and her books, follow her on Twitter @michellerowen and visit her website at

Website  ~  Twitter @michellerowan  ~  Facebook

Goodreads  ~  Tumblr  ~  Pinterest

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of From Fear to Eternity by Michelle Rowen from the publisher. US ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59PM US Eastern Time on July 13, 2014. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. My favorite vampire would be Jean Claude from the Anita Blake series from Laurell K Hamilton . I love how funny he can get in dramatic moments .

  2. I love the Argeneau series.. It is really a whole different universe. LOL

  3. I still like Dracula - the very first.

  4. One of my favorite vampires is Bones. He is smart, funny and sexy. Plus he has a great accent.

  5. Jean Claude is one of my faves.

  6. Favorite vampires...well there's our good ol' Bela Lugosi Dracula that I cannot skip! And I have to say my first vampire does hold a special place in my heart and that's Aubrey from Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' Demon in My View. He was more evil in her first book, but he turned anti hero in this one and I totally fell for him! Didn't hurt that the heroine was named Jessica either! ;)

  7. Love vampires! One of my favorites is Jean Claude from the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  8. There are a lot of vampires that I really like, but some of my favorites are Jeaniene Frost's Cat and Bones, as well as Mencheres and Vlad.

  9. I'd have to go with the classic... Dracula! Thanks for sharing!