Spotlight, Trailer, Review, Author Interview & Giveaway: Hawkesmoor: Novel of Vampire & Faerie by Anne Merino

Book Blurb & Info

Vampires, Romance and dark Celtic Mysticism fuse and blaze in this epic tale set in Manhattan, Yorkshire, England — and time itself.

Robin Dashwood, a handsome and charming British vampire with long gone aristocratic connections, is about to be thrown into an epic adventure that will shine light upon the rise of the vampire. This is the last thing he could imagine himself doing. Robin prefers to hide in plain sight, having devised a quiet life for himself in New York as a history professor in hopes of avoiding other more powerful vampires and their dangerous, decadent political machinations.

A chance encounter in a Manhattan art gallery introduces him to the beautiful Lady Caroline DeBarry and reveals a vicious murder from Robin’s human past. In search of answers to this historical mystery, he returns home to England and to Caroline who has captured his heart. As Robin uncovers the truth, he finds traces of a far more ancient and shrouded realm than even that of the vampire. This will shake the foundations of vampire lore and its brutal hierarchy, placing Lady Caroline in terrible danger and setting in motion events that will lead to a final bloody confrontation between a revenant army and humankind.

Hawkesmoor is the first book in a trilogy that will continue the eerie adventures of Robin Dashwood — a very British vampire.

Buy Links


Toot's Review by Betty Bee

As far as I'm concerned, this book was everything a good vampire story ought to be. Atmospheric, sexy, a little scary and just overall delicious! Robin Dashwood is a vampire, a college professor and a former Earl to an English estate that has recently fallen on hard times. Despite attempting to live as a normal man in New York City for hundreds of years, when Dashwood accidentally finds out that his ancestral home, Hawkesmoor is auctioning off most of its antique furniture and belongings, he feels a stab of guilt. After all, three hundred years earlier, when he was the only true heir to the estate, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances on the night of his betrothal party. After he vanished, the estate went to his alcoholic and womanizing cousin, Ambrose, who also married Dashwood's betrothed, Elizabeth.

After hearing what transpired since he disappeared, Dashwood begins to feel guilt not only for Hawkesmoor, but for the death of Elizabeth, who he begins to suspect was actually murdered by Ambrose. Of course, Dashwood decides that he must finally return to Hawkesmoor to set things right and discover what actually happened to his former love.

Anne Merino writes like she has as much love for vampire books as I do, and that's saying something! This one has a lot of heart and, if you'll forgive the pun, a lot at stake. I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book in this series and find out what happens to Dashwood. I came to love him as a protagonist both for his dark, brooding sexiness and his intelligent, quick-witted mind. I can't wait to read more of his adventures and more of his flirtatious relationship with the new owner of Hawkesmoor, Lady Caroline. Make sure that you don't miss out on this one! I give it 4.5/5 stars.

Author Interview

Interview with Betty Bee and Anne Merino

What’s draws you to the paranormal genre and why?

First, it is great fun to create a character who has unearthly powers like Robin Dashwood! He and Hawkesmoor were born of the things that I absorbed growing up with parents who were both intrigued by things paranormal. Their library had a large collection of books about ghosts, cryptozoology and all things speculative.

My father, despite being a classical philosopher and the author of scholarly books, never met a horror film he didn't want to watch. Often at the dinner table, he would suddenly announce something like “Blood on Satan's Claw is on the late show tonight! Who's up for it?” I was always up for it and together we sat through many spine-tingling adventures.

There is just something incredibly enticing about the possibility of the paranormal – a glimpse of a secret world existing alongside our own. As a writer, it's a thrill to pull back the veil and allow the reader a look into these hidden realms.

Can you tell us a little about your novel Hawkesmoor?

Hawkesmoor is a unique and refreshing take on the vampire novel, and is the first book in a trilogy. Book one begins in present day Manhattan – happily, a non-Coronavirus afflicted present – and shifts to the wild beauty of Yorkshire in the U.K.

The hero of the story is Robin Dashwood, a handsome and charming British vampire with long gone aristocratic connections. He has created a quiet life for himself as an NYU history professor in an attempt to avoid more powerful vampires.

A chance encounter in a Manhattan art gallery introduces Robin to the beautiful Lady Caroline DeBarry and reveals a vicious murder from his human past. In search of answers to this historical mystery, he returns home to England, and to Caroline who has captured his heart. As Robin uncovers the truth, he and Caroline are thrown into an epic adventure that will send them both spinning through time and space, dream and reality.

The book is named for Robin Dashwood’s historic home, Hawkesmoor Castle. While not a huge border castle such as Warwick Castle, is a very beautiful and noble residence filled with fascinating furniture and d├ęcor.

Are you a full-time writer or do you also work in another field? If so, what field?

In addition to writing, I am also the artistic director of a regional ballet company.

Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

Before having children, I was a night owl writer. I had ballet company class in the morning, followed by rehearsals and when our season was up in the theatre, performances as well. I would write long hand chapters on yellow legal pads during the day, between rehearsals, then go home to transfer the paragraphs onto the computer. Then I’d go on with the story until two or three in the morning. Children change everything! Suddenly I had to write whenever I could find a spare moment in between ballet and child care. Now, years later, I find that's become my modus operandi.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I think – if I had to winnow it down to one major influence – it would be my mother. Mum was such a lovely, lively and fascinating person with many interests. She always made life seem fun and full of intriguing possibilities.

My mother is Welsh and our family's bloodline is from the island of Anglesey in North Wales. Our recorded family tree begins in 60 AD after the brutal massacre of the Druids at Menai by the Romans. Our ancestors were part of a small group of Druids who, having survived the slaughter, fled deep into Anglesey and became farmers. Although they gave up the Druid nomadic life, they kept alive the ancient legends of Celtic elementals such as the Moon goddess, Ceridwen, the horse goddess, Rhiannon and the Tylwyth Teg – elemental spirits who guarded inter-dimensional portals in Wales. All of this rich background is woven into my writing in Hawkesmoor.

My mother grew up to become a notable modern dance choreographer in the UK and unsurprisingly, her signature pieces were examinations of various mythologies. She remained fascinated by Celtic mythology and all manner of things eerie. She enjoyed telling me all about the secret world of Anglesey. She was a voracious reader of murder mysteries, history and paranormal research. I remember lovely evenings in which she would read children's mystery stories out loud before I fell asleep – delightful diversions such as Barbara Willard's The Richleighs of Tantamount. (Incidentally, there is a little homage to Barbara Willard secreted in Hawkesmoor. I wonder if anyone will notice it!)

Mum taught me to see the world as an endlessly interesting place with secret universes and all sorts of mysterious things happening just below the surface. She encouraged me to write and was very patient about reading my first effort. When I was seven years old, I wrote a fifty page mystery story, Secret of the Thirteenth Pharaoh. My lead characters were the thirteen-year-old twins, Chip and Judy Powers. I thought those names were very modern and hip. Their father was a well-known archaeologist who worked for the government for reasons unclear even to the author. Chip and Judy had special licenses that allowed them to drive a car despite being thirteen. My seven year old self thought that was the living end in cool! Anyway, my mother made her way through all fifty handwritten pages and finally pronounced that I had talent. I was elated!

“But,” Mum added, “Before you break open the bottle of Coca Cola, you need to learn to write great, punchy opening and closing sentences.” She then fetched a number of good mystery stories and showed me how these crafty writers wrote a powerful opening and closing. To this day, I spend a lot of time pondering the opening and closing sentences of my stories. Thanks, Mum!

If you were casting the part of Hawkesmoor hero Robin Dashwood for a movie, who would?

What a fun question to answer!

It would be an interesting project to cast because Robin Dashwood has genuine presence derived from great physical beauty, keen intelligence and a kind of courtly grace from another era. My original inspiration for Robin Dashwood's aquiline appearance was – in my head – a breathtaking fusion of the young Peter O'Toole and David Bowie. I wanted a kind of fragile, pensive beauty that would belie his strength of character.

In 2020, I would look to English actor, Tom Hiddleston, who could absolutely bring all the elements of Robin Dashwood's complex requirements to life. I also think the wonderful Irish actor, Domhnall Gleeson would be terrific in the role. He has both a melancholy air and wry humour. I will also toss Benedict Cumberbatch into the ring. Over my lifetime I have seen dozens of Hamlets on stage and on the screen. His Hamlet for the National Theatre is, without question, the finest portrayal of this notoriously difficult role I have ever had the pleasure of viewing.

How long have you been writing? How long as a published writer?

Well, the aforementioned Secret of the Thirteenth Pharaoh happened many years ago and I've been writing ever since. For a long time it was purely for pleasure and to fill time between rehearsals. Other dancers liked to knit or crochet legwarmers while waiting, but I was utterly hopeless at that. All those short stories and novel fragments taught me a lot about writing, helping me to find my own style. Finally I published serious theatre criticism for Salem Press and that emboldened me to write some plays that were produced on Los Angeles stages. Then I thought I might actually tackle a novel and again and wrote a few for the experience of finishing an idea and to discover what genre I really enjoyed writing. Hawkesmoor is my first published novel. I’ve found the process of moving from wannabe author to published author absolutely thrilling – the culmination of a dream.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Any place with a great historical story attracts my attention. Extra points if the story contains melancholy apparitions or mythological creatures!

When I can get away from rehearsals or writing deadlines, my husband and I like to find such storied locations to spend the weekend. My husband is a film director and he’s passionate about the history of the film. On our honeymoon, we explored the Hollywood Forever cemetery and Forest Lawn, seeking out the grave sites of some of our favourite theatrical personalities – Peter Lorre, Darren McGavin, Tyrone Power, Maila Nurmi (Vampira), Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr. among many others. There is something profoundly strange, I feel, about the silence of these final resting places of such enormously vibrant personalities. Almost as if we, the living, can still sense the vacuum that was created after they bowed off this mortal coil. There are some paranormal Mt. Everests on my bucket list – the infamous Magnolia Plantation, the Lizzie Borden house, Leap Castle, Ireland, Glamis Castle, Scotland and Mt. Pleasant where The Mothman reportedly holds court. One day!

What are your favorite parts of Hawkesmoor?

Oh, gosh – that's an interesting question! I admit that I really like the historical sequences and in particular, one in which the hero Robin Dashwood has a vampire's version of a nervous breakdown in 19th century London. I'm also very fond of the romantic relationship between Lady Caroline and Robin. She's such a good sport – not whine-y or prone to hysterics, despite all that she comes to learn about Robin. And he, unreservedly, adores her. They are a great team and a truly romantic couple.

Author Info

Anne Merino grew up in Arizona and Wales before deciding to become a professional ballerina. After a long career dancing for notable companies in the US and abroad, she retired from the stage to write novels and plays. She lives in Northern California with her filmmaker husband, two sons and a retired working dog named Hector.

Author Links


This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 2 winners. This giveaway ends July 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

~To Enter~
Please fill out the rafflecopter below

Tour Info

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus June 1 Kickoff & Excerpt

Cremona Mythical Books June 2 Review

Lu Ann Rockin' Book Reviews June 4 Review & Guest Post

Jennifer Hines & Bigham's Literary Tryst June 8 Excerpt

Nadene Totally Addicted to Reading June 10 Review & Excerpt

Lisa's Writopia June 11 Review

Lisa's Writopia June 11 Guest Post

Bookgirl Goodreads June 12 Review

Dawn Bound 2 Escape June 16 Guest Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews June 18 Review & Interview

Kimberly Amazon June 25 Review

Jody Amazon June 30 Review

Jan Amazon July 6 Review

Rebecca Amazon July 7 Review

Gud Reader Goodreads July 14 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus July 17 Guest Review

Donna Amazon July 21 Review

Kathleen Celticlady’s Reviews July 27 Guest Review & Excerpt

Bernadette The Wicked Paul July 28 Review & Interview

No comments:

Post a Comment