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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Interview with Author Darynda Jones and Giveaway

Today I am uber excited to welcome one of my favorite people to RFTC, author Darynda Jones. I am a big fan of Darynda's Charley Davidson series and I am so happy she could stop by and share some info on newest release in the series, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet. So please everyone give Darynda a very warm welcome.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a RITA®, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Places to find Darynda:

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Sure! My name is Darynda Jones and I write the Charley Davidson series, a paranormal mystery/urban fantasy story about a female private investigator who was born the grim reaper, and like Charley, I live in New Mexico. I’ve been writing for many years and sold my debut book, First Grave on the Right in 2009. I have since published 5 books with St. Martin’s Press and have several more on the way.

I’m a fairly boring person. I try to be cool, but it just doesn’t happen. I like to do things like reading and writing and watching movies. I have two beautiful sons who are both taller than I am now. I have a degree in sign language interpreting (my oldest son was born Deaf) and was an interpreter for many years. And my husband and I just celebrated our 29th anniversary.

Did you always want to be a writer?
I have been writing since I was a kid. Even before I could read I would pick up a stick and pretend to write a story. I was never a doodler like all my friends. When I doodled in the margins of my papers, I wrote words that I loved. I would write anything. I started with plays and poetry and advanced to short stories and news stories. If it could be written, I’d do it. But it wasn’t until I was in high school that I realized I wanted to BE a writer. I thought you had to be a stone genius or have a major addiction to even consider writing as a career. I was neither a genius nor an addict, but a friend convinced me I would write despite these drawbacks.

What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I plot like there’s no tomorrow. I can hardly start a manuscript without my three distinct outlines. They are like road maps and I get completely lost without them, not to mention writer’s block.

Where do your ideas come from?
Absolutely everywhere. Nothing is sacred in my world. And there are layers attached to that. I might get a nibblet of something from a story a friend told me or a nugget from something else that happened to me on the way to the store. Anything and everything goes into this process.

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
A female PI who was born the grim reaper spends her days solving mysteries for both the living and the dead and her nights being seduced by . . . (oops, ran out of characters.)

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I love just about every genre out there. I will read anything, but I love romance of any kind, mystery, thrillers and science fiction.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
If I had to choose just one, I would choose The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. It’s historical romance without a hint of paranormal aspects anywhere, but that book taught me so much. I think it was a timing thing. I was working on my first manuscript when I read it and suddenly so many things clicked for me. Her writing was fresh even though it was historical romance. Her hero was dark even though it is a Regency set piece. Her heroine was fun and independent even though those traits were not valued then. I loved everything about this story and reread it often.

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Sex scenes. Hands down.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, and Jeaniene Frost. I love them all so much and I would totally pick their brains, asking them much the same questions you’ve asked me here. :)

Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Right now I am working on the fifth in the Charley Davidson series, Fifth Grave Past the Light. This one will be a bit creepier and will give Charley a run for her non-existent money. Should be loads of fun!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME, DANIELLE!!! I love visiting your blog.

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it. In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |
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 stuff s 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 case?”

“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!”

Click for more info.

1 lucky winner will win themselves a copy of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

To Enter:
  • Leave a comment answering the question: What do you love about the Charley Davidson series? 
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love that Charley is smart, sexy and manages to retain her human goodness even with all her 'job' entails!

  2. What's not to love. Charlie, Reyes, and Cookie are all such great characters. I am looking forward to reading Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet.

  3. I love the banter between Charley and Reyes. There is great humor in the books.

  4. I love the exchanges between the characters. Charley is so funny

  5. Reyes! Do I need to explain! LOL the series is great, thanks for this chance :P

  6. I love Charley's mind. It cracks me up the way she drifts from here to there in two seconds.

  7. I love that Charley is a smart ass! I love that it makes me laugh out loud. And just about everything else about the series.

  8. I love Charlie and her fanatics! Throw in some McSteamy, Reyes, and her BFF Cookie and let the good times roll!

  9. Oh, Charley always always makes me laugh. I want to hang out with her, Cookie, Gemma and Aunt Lil! LOL!!

  10. I love everything about Charley, her ADD, her attitude, mr. wong, LOL.

  11. I love Charley's hilarious thought process. I can't wait to see what happens next.

  12. Darynda, I love you! (Can I be the fifth person at that dinner please?)

    And as for why I love Charley, there's a very simple explanation. She's one of my idols! She's smart, snarky, witty, and so much more. (And let's not forget Reyes either! Yum!)

  13. I love the humor in the series. It makes me smile even when I think about the books.

  14. I have not read any of this series yet but have been really wanting to. The series sounds great, love a funny, snarky, book.

  15. I love the banter between Charley and Reyes. There is great humor in the books.

  16. I love how she is a new twist on supernatural characters, and how funny it is. She's sarcastic in a great way!

  17. It was love at first read for me with First Grave and I have been hooked on Darynda each grave and girl next door since. :) I think what I love most about the Charley Davidson series is that it makes me laugh a lot. I have had so many people stare at me for grabbing my stomach with tears coming out of my eyes because of the hilarity of Charley, and she does it without even trying. Oh and then add Cookie to the mix and I am just gone. I also really like that Charley is strong and uses that sarcastic, witty way she has to get through the muck of life and never let's things get her down too much even though I am sure deep down it does. And I would be silly if I didn't mention one other thing, er person, that I really love in this series - Reyes!

  18. Great interview! I love this series so much! The characters, the storyline, the humor (I literally LOL) and the chapter titles are just awesomesauce :-)

  19. Love the interview and the awesome excerpt!! Darynda doesn't disappoint in Fourth Grave!! Thanks for hosting!

  20. I love Darynda!!! Great Interview ladies!!!

  21. I'm still boggled by 29years married!! Congrats, Darynda and hubs!!! Love it!!

    Great questions, Dani! Of course, Darynda could answer back in quotes from the Declaration of Independence and I'd still be like, "Phenomenal!!! Darynda is brilliant!!!"

  22. Love the interview rip the book away so I can help around the house like now he is yelling honey u going to the store yet!!!! Love your books so much they r great reads.

  23. Love all things about the series but will say i enjoy reading Cookies parts a lot.
    Great interview.

  24. Love this series! Thanks for the great interview.

  25. I haven't read any of the books. Would love to win them. I've heard great things about the series. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Damaris (Maris)

  26. What i love about the Charley Davidson Series is..EVERTHING!! I love how funny and snarky Charley is and i adore how her and Cookie get along so well and how Charley seems to find a ton of excitement wherever she there is that sexy as sin, Reyes Farrow that just gets me hot. Awesome series.

  27. LOL, thank you guys SO much for stopping by!!! And thanks for having me, lovely girl. I am honored. And I am honored that you guys took time out of your day to visit. GROUP HUG!!!

  28. I love how Darynda weaves humor and suspense together so flawlessly. I have never had a novel that had me biting my nails on the edge of my seat and then falling out of my chair laughing before this series. Plus Reyes is an uber hottie.

  29. I have not read any of this series yet. However, after reading the excerpt and interview I am intrigued and this will be next on my list. Thanks.

  30. I absolutely love the relationship between Charley and Cookie and of course Reyes ** SIGH **! I can't wait to read the new book! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  31. The series is just hysterical. I lol often, especially while my husband is trying to sleep. I kept shaking the bed while trying to hold in my laughter one night while reading Charley's antics and poor hubby woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. Since he couldn't sleep anyway, I insisted on reading him the funny parts as I got to them. For some reason, he wasn't as amused as I was lol. Darynda is super talented. After reading the first book, I found her website and IMMEDIATELY became a stalker....uh, I meant fan. Yeah,fan. NUMBER ONE FAN though. Totally.

  32. Yay! Cool interview. I like the Twitter-style question. That's a great way to think of it.

  33. The interaction between Charley and Reyes, Charley an Cookie, Charley and Ubie and of course with her Dad! An the funny parts!!! They are awesome.

  34. Hands down its the humorous dialogue, but I love the blend of mystery and romance too.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  35. All of it, i love all of it. The series sure is a load of fun.

  36. All of it, i love all of it. The series sure is a load of fun.

  37. I have not read any of the Charley Davidson series, yet, though I've read a lot of good things about it.

  38. Haven't read this series yet.

  39. I love Charley! I was hooked with the first book when she said she arrived at exactly 5:30ish! Loved it!

  40. I love the entire series, and everything about Charley.. I've been reading the books and started laughing out loud in the middle of the ah well, everyone needs something to laugh about there!


  41. I haven't read this series yet but have heard fabulous things about it and plan to very soon!

  42. I haven't read the Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones but I would like to start!

  43. I love Charley because she is so smart and tough while dealing with all the ghosts around her. I also love Reyes who is very hot and sexy.

  44. Darynda's books were the first I had read that dealt with reapers and death. LOVE how humorous Charley is, even though I get weird looks from my cats and husband when I bust out laughing. Also love Danger and Will Robinson!

  45. Funny, sarcastic, coffee loving, kick ass chick... What is there not to love? Did I mention super hot Reyes!