AAD Author Spotlight: Kristen Painter

Former college English professor.  Two time Golden Heart finalist. Blogger. AAD Author. Kristen Painter wears a lot of hats. And she has dipped her toes in several genres from romance… to poetry… to steampunk… and most recently urban fantasy. Kristen was kind enough to spare some time to chat with me about her House of Comarré series and a few other tidbits. Check it out:

Jen: Right off the bat, it must be said that the cover art for Blood Rights is absolutely gorgeous.

Kristen: Thanks you!

Jen: Did you get any input there?

Kristen: The fabulous folks at Orbit found Nekro, the artist, and he did the art, then Lauren at Orbit put it all together. I had some input, but just minor tweaking stuff.

Jen: What did you think?

Kristen: LOVE it. LOVE. Like majorly.

Jen: For those who have not read Blood Rights yet, what can they expect?

Kristen: Hopefully, a fun, fast-paced read and a glimpse into another world not so unlike our own.

Jen: Where will Mal and Chrysabelle go from here in Flesh and Blood?

Kristen: Now that would be telling, wouldn’t it? Hah! Let’s just say…more trouble awaits.

Jen: Is there a set number of books planned for the series?

Kristen: Yep. There will be five books in total and possibly a spin-off series if things go well.

Jen: I was so sure the Mal and Chrysabelle relationship would was going to go farther in Blood Rights. Will there be more romance between them in the later books? (Please say yes.)

Kristen: YES! Remember, it’s five books, so having everything happen in the first book wouldn’t have worked. I promise that things will keep progressing for them!

Jen: You do have several romance books under your belt, ranging from PNR, to contemporary, to steampunk. Which is your favorite genre to write and why?

Kristen: It tends to be whatever I’m writing at the moment. Does that make me fickle? lol

Jen: What other authors do you enjoy reading?

Kristen: I love Louisa Edwards’s contemporary chef romances and Roxanne St. Claire’s romantic suspenses. I love a good Victoria Alexander historical, too! Outside the realm of romance, I’m currently digging back into comics and graphic novels. A lot of my fellow Orbit authors have some great stuff out there too. I’ll pretty much read anything you put into my hands.
Jen: I spend way too much time playing on Twitter. What is your biggest time-sucker?

Kristen: Twitter! And tv. I love tv. There, I admitted it. From reality tv to Law and Order marathons to the BBC, I watch too much. I have to really use it as a reward or I’d have zero brain cells left. I should probably add online shopping to the list of time-sucks too. Man, I wish I could get paid to shop. I’d BANK!

Jen: Your favorite guilty pleasure?

Kristen: Besides chocolate and playing with my cats? Going to movies with my husband. Because we both work at home, we can sneak off for matinees and a lot of times we have the theater to ourselves. It’s pretty awesome.

Jen: What are you looking forward to most from AAD in New Orleans this year?

Kristen: Um, everything? My husband graduated from Tulane, so we go to NOLA quite a lot. I know the city fairly well and love to spend time there. There’s one particular meal I’m looking forward to having — besides beignets and hot chocolate at Cafe Du Monde — actually, there are about five meals I’m really looking forward to. lol Oh, NOLA, I love you but you do not love my waistline!

Jen: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.


Kristen: Thanks for having me! I’ll be chatting tonight (and giving away some books) in the Knight Agency chatroom at 9pm eastern, so stop by and say hi!

Review: Blood Rights

Reviewed by Jen

Chrysabelle is a comarré, the ultimate blood source for a vampire.  From birth, she was molded into the ideal: in beauty, countenance, and blood purity.  But now her patron –her blood-master– is dead, and she is suspected not only of killing him, but stealing a magic ring in his possession.  Now Tatiana, a deranged and power hungry vampire, is hunting for her and will stop at nothing to accomplish her task.

Chrysabelle takes refuge on the other side of the world, with her aunt Maris. She hides the golden sigils that mark her as comarré and tries to assimilate into human culture.  But it doesn’t really work out. She crosses paths with Mal, a cursed and outcast vampire. And through a string of events neither intended, he becomes her new patron.

Mal doesn’t need any new problems.  The curse he lives with keeps him on the edge of sanity.  His only companions are a spirit and a shapeshifter tied to him by circumstance. He can’t feed properly; he is shunned by his kind.  Yet, something in him calls to Chrysabelle. I’d like to say this turned into a romance, but I can’t.  There are moments it seems so close, but we don’t quite get there.  Grr.

They do, however, become something of a team… working together against Tatiana.  As the book unfolds, we learn more about her dark plans and what they’ll mean for the world.  We also learn more and more about the comarré: their secrets and their legacy. The world building is unique and complicated, in parts. It took me awhile to feel invested in the story. The first half didn’t grab me the way the second half did. There was too much time spent from Tatiana’s POV. Way too much.  And honestly, I think the book may have been better served with some tightening up, especially early on. Things just didn’t feel like they were really moving forward for awhile.

I did become more invested over time.  Of course, part of that was me being greedy for the moments of connection between Chyrsabelle and Mal.  And while they never did get where I wanted them to be, I think there is definite groundwork to move in that direction in later books.  Tatiana makes for a formidable villain and the big reveal about her at the end actually managed surprise me, so kudos to the author for that.  There were some strong secondary characters, as well.

I feel pretty confident that I’ll read the next installment in the series. Hopefully, it will pick up the pace a bit and give me more of the connection between our hero and heroine that we saw the beginnings-of in this book.  3 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Blood Rights
by Kristen Painter
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Orbit