Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Darynda Jones Stops By + Giveaway

Jennifer: First thank you so much for agreeing to answer a few questions today at The Book Nympho. For those that have not read the awesomeness that is the Charley Davidson series, can you give us a quick intro to it?

Darynda: Thank you for having me! As you’ve probably guessed, the series is about a female PI who was born the grim reaper. She solves mysteries for both the living and the dead. She has a best friend-slash-receptionist who is the coolest sidekick a grim reaper could ever hope for, a dark and mysterious lover who gives her more trouble than he’s probably worth, and an associate in the form of a skip tracer who once tried to have her committed. Along with the rest of her circle—some alive, some not so much—she attracts trouble like a wet floor attracts a lawsuit. But she does it with style.

Jennifer: I love reading Charley when I need a break from some of the darker Urban Fantasy books I read. Is it harder for you to write the humor and snark that the action scenes or are you a smart ass at heart like Charley and Cookie?

Darynda: Hahaha! I must be a smart ass at heart because I love this stuff! It's actually harder for me NOT to write snarky at this point. I have to tone it down in other projects and that is so much easier said than done.

Jennifer: Every gal should have a friend like Cookie. Is she modeled after someone you know in real life or did she just happen?

Darynda: I think everyone should have a Cookie. Cookie, is mostly from my imagination, but she was physically based on a friend of mine. I will base characters on people I know sometimes, just for a reference for physical characteristics. I like to combine people too. Like maybe the physical traits of someone combined with the sense of humor from someone else. If I ever find a Cookie, I’m going to kidnap her and force her to do research and go to the post office for me.

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)
Jennifer: I think that side characters are just as important as the main charter in a book. And you have some of the most interesting ones, like Rocket and Mr. Wong. Will Mr. Wong ever talk?

Darynda: While I'm not sure he'll talk, per se, he does have a major role in future events. However, because of the nature of an open-ended series, that role may not come to fruition any time soon. Let's just say that he is in Charley's apartment for a reason and it's a whopper. I have a spinoff in mind, and he is a pivotal character in my new world. And thank you! I completely agree. I love it when secondary characters aren't just wallpaper, but play important roles and are endearing. That is my goal.

Jennifer: Charley is the first grim reaper I’ve ever read about. Where did that idea come from? And will she always be the only one? I mean come on; there are a lot of people dying to meet her. (Yeah that pun was corny) It would be helpful if she could share the job with someone.

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)
Darynda: LOL! Funny. I have the world set up where there is only one grim reaper and he/she serves a term of about 500 years. (They don't live that long in human form, of course.) So, in that area, I did stick with the mythology of only one. The rest of the legends I kind of threw out the window. I came up with her because I just wanted something really different that wasn't being done a lot. A grim reaper seemed like the perfect entity. I love the juxtaposition of something traditionally thought of as dark being made of light.

Jennifer: I think the titles of the books are so fun, with using grave in each one. Do you get to title the books or is that left up to your editor/publisher?

Darynda: I title them, but I usually give my editor a few choices and she will choose. Fourth Grave was actually given to me by the incomparable Jacquelyn Frank one sleepy post-conference morning while she was waiting for the shuttle to the airport. LOL.

Jennifer: Do you see an ending in site for the series? In other words, do you have a number for how many books we can expect?

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)
Darynda: Well, my editor wants it to be ongoing, so there’s just no telling. I would love it to continue for quite a while longer. I adore writing about Charley and her antics. And, as hinted at, I have a spinoff in mind. I am actually really excited about it. But not to worry! I have many Charley books planned.

Jennifer: I’ve listened to all of your books on audio and love the narrator, Lorelei King. Do you get to give any input on the choice of narrator for your books?

Darynda: I didn't with the Charley books, but let me tell you, Lorelei was my favorite narrator anyway. When they told me they got her to this series, I was completely over the moon. Like "scream and jump up and down in my office" over the moon. I would have chosen her if they'd asked. It's fate! AND!!! She also does the Darklight series. She's amazing!

Jennifer: Reyes is one of my favorite sexy anti-heroes; I love that he is not a straight up good guy. Who do you envision (actor, sports star, rock star, etc.) when you write him? Cuz come on, a guy that can make you organism and not even physically be in the room. WOW

Darynda: Isn't he yummy??? When I wrote the high school scene in First Grave, I envisioned actor Jason Behr, and I think he could play Reyes with all that entails, but when I write him, I really just see Reyes. He has formed so solidly in my mind, it's hard to see anyone else. Still, Jason…. :)

Jennifer: You not only write the Charley Davidson series but you have also started a YA series. What can you tell us about it? How different is it writing YA than Charley?

Darynda: I wrote the first in the Darklight series years before I wrote First Grave, so I was thrilled when it later sold. It's about how one girl's life is irrevocably changed when the angel of death starts high school in her small town. Writing the two really aren't that different for me personally. I write with a rather young voice anyway, so YA is comes quite naturally, and I've written it MUCH longer than anything else. I just love the newness of YA, the discovery that accompanies it.

 Thank you again for having me!!!!

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.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet 
(Charley Davidson #4) 
by Darynda Jones 

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.

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!”


  1. I just stop to wish luck to all.
    You gonna love this book!!!

  2. I haven't read this series yet but I want to so badly. I was excited to see a giveaway so I jumped at the chance to win. Thanks!

  3. I havent read the series yet but I want to. It sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway. Tore923@aol.com

  4. Oh my , I love this series. Every time I got a book I finished it within a day or two. Love Charley, she is kick ass, funny and loveable. Reyes is just...hotness, best bad boy character

  5. Great interview! This series is awesomesauce! LOVE it! I'm looking forward to learning more about Mr. Wong in the future! That was great how Fourth Grave's title came to be-Lol! :-)

  6. Wonderful interview! I love the Charley Davidson series and can't wait to learn more about Mr. Wong! He's such an enigma!

  7. I'll be your Cookie, Darynda! It fits me to a tee--always loyal and a great #2, lol. Thanks for this great interview :)

  8. Great interview, excerpt and a great author!!! The series is laugh out loud funny and has one of the sexiest alpha males I've ever read! If I had to sum up the series in one word, that's simple...Reyes!

  9. Wonderful interview....I stumbled across The Charley Davidson series quite by mistake. What a fabulous mistake it was...I was hooked from the minute I started reading and am craving Book #5. The character and especially Reyes are so vivid...Want to see a little more Donovan and Swopes....can't wait.

  10. Love, love, love the Charley Davidson series! All the characters are so engaging and there are so many of them that I hope we hear more from in future books - excited to see that Mr. Wong will be a major factor and can't wait to see what it is! If you haven't had a chance to read anything from Darynda - you definitely don't know what you're missing! Pick up a copy, sit down, buckle up and hang on for a fast-paced, laugh out loud, adventurous ride!

  11. YES we all need a Cookie and Reyes in our lives.

    Thanks again to Darynda for stopping by and to everyone for your comments.

    Good luck to everyone in the giveaway.

  12. Darynda ROCKS and so is the cast for Charlie Davidson Series!! You guys will love it!!!

    Oh and spin off? wooot woot!

    I've got the book, no need to enter me, thank you!

  13. I loved this book!!! I am ready for a re-read already, LOL. Great series!!!

  14. I haven't had a chance to read the series yet but I've heard it's really funny which is always up my alley!

  15. These Books are Awesome! I even got my teen age sons into them! Thanks for sharing

  16. Why isn't the semester over yet??? I want to read this NOW!!!!

  17. Fourth Grave was my FAVORITE in the series so far. I absolutly loved the chemistry between Reyes and Charley.It seems to get better and better with every book, and now he is living even closer to her then ever before. One word describes this series...YUM!!

  18. I LOVE the Charley Davidson series - I was laughing so hard when I read the "First" book, that my autistic son looked at me and said "what's so funny?" And I've never looked back!

  19. Thank you so much for having me and to everyone for commenting!!! Good luck, all!!! ~D~

  20. I haven't read this series yet, but I really look forward to staring it!

  21. I love her attitude and the way her and Cookie interact. Is it hard coming up with the titles?

  22. I have myself a cookie, but I'm waiting on my Reyes hmmm so dreamy can't wait till I find one of him. Thank you so Darynda for these books waiting eargerly for the next installment.

  23. Darn it!! I was really hopping to get a better hint as to what the hell Mr.s Wong is doing standing in the corner. LOL Thanks for the chance!

  24. Love, LOVE this series. If you have not had the chance to read this one yet, seriously, put down whatever book you are reading right now and pick this series up, it is awesome! :-)

  25. I love reading any interview with Darynda. Thank you for hosting her on your page. I absolutely am in LOVE with the Charley Davidson series. I practically pee myself laughing lol. I would totally happy if this series lasted FOREVER.


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