Friday, January 11, 2013

VBT: Review, Giveaway, and Interview with Charles O’Keefe author of The Newfoundland Vampire

Like every other geek alive, Newfoundland native Joseph O’Reily secretly wants to be a superhero. At thirteen he fantasized about being a vampire, and ten years later he’s still fantasizing – but mostly about a beautiful redheaded woman who has eyes only for him. The one thing different about Joseph’s adult fantasy is that, amazingly, it comes true one night when he goes to a local university pub. Cassandra Snow, literally the woman of his dreams, invites him to her place for an evening of personal pleasure. Of course he’s not going to say no. But when strange things start happening afterward, Joseph quickly learns that not all dreams should come true.

The Newfoundland Vampire

Series: Book One

Title: Charles O’Keefe

Genre: Horror/Paranormal/Vampire

Penumbra Publishing

ISBN: 978-1935563853


Number of pages: 224

Word Count: 86,737

Purchase links: Amazon, Kindle, Canada, Kindle UK, Amazon UK, !ndigo

Here's an excerpt for you!

‘I’ve been waiting for you,’ the stunning redhead purred, turning from the bar to face him. She had not told him her name, but he felt as if he’d known her all his life. Her pale beauty gave her an ethereal softness, and her catlike eyes glowed with subtle power that drew him to her. She wanted him...

Grabbing the worn metal handle on the heavy wooden door of Bitters Tavern, Joseph O’Reily rolled his eyes toward the dusky fall sky and snorted at his lame fantasy. Yeah, right. Like that’s really going to happen to me, here in a pub in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

He had replayed that familiar scene in his mind almost every time he came to Bitters, and in the last five years while attending Memorial University, he’d come here a lot. His little fantasy hadn’t come true yet – not even close – and he was quite sure it never would. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying some innocent role-playing, where he starred opposite a beautiful redheaded woman enamored of him. He had pretty much accepted this was the only way he was likely to get lucky – in his dreams.

He walked into Bitters and eased the door closed behind him. The warm dark wood reminded him of a cabin deep in the forest, and the familiar smell of beer and French fries gave him the cozy feeling of being at home. Bitters wasn’t the typical hook-up spot that played annoying loud music. Instead, the proprietor offered activities like movie night that Joseph actually enjoyed. In fact, movie night was the reason he’d come in after finishing classes and assignments this afternoon, and making a quick trip to check on his parents’ house and take care of the cat while they were vacationing in Florida. Now he had the rest of the evening to himself. He sucked in a deep, satisfying breath and turned, surveying the bar. Then he saw her.

His cozy feeling disappeared, replaced by a jolt of excitement stabbing his chest. He’d been coming to Bitters at least once a week since he’d started school, but had never seen her before.

There she sat, alone at the bar, stirring her drink with her index finger, her fabulous flowing red hair haloed in the bar lights like a crown of fire. He considered just walking up to her and saying hello, but quickly dismissed the idea. While he had become more outgoing in the past few years, he was still shy, and previous experiences approaching strange women in bars had consistently resulted in dismal failure. He just wasn’t smooth enough like some other guys. Despite the allure of this woman, he wasn’t in the mood for another rejection.

* * * * *

Even before the door opened, she sensed his feelings rolling off him in waves – loneliness, boredom, rejection, and inadequacy. His quaint little fantasy of meeting a ravishing redhead at the bar was endearing ... and perhaps prophetic.

As he entered the bar and looked around, she dipped her finger in her drink, absently stirring it. Without looking directly at him, she saw him clearly with her superior vision. She felt that instant when he noticed her, and she suppressed a smile.

In the last ten years that she’d been keeping tabs on him, he’d improved tremendously, growing to be a handsome man – tall with dark hair and dark brown eyes. But at twenty-three, he still lacked the confidence to forge meaningful relationships with others, especially women. He always felt different, isolated. She could certainly relate to that.

Still, she’d known for some time there was something special about him, something that drew her to him. He had the connection to her that the others did not, a connection to her blood and her past. He possessed strength of character, and his behavior consistently revealed a genteel kindness to all living things. She knew he would fall desperately in love with her and defend her with his very life, if need be. And it could come to that, sooner than she suspected. After nearly two hundred years of running, she couldn’t stay safely hidden for very long before that controlling bastard would find her again. She pressed her lips together, dismissing thoughts of him.

Casually she sipped her drink as Joseph walked by, pretending he didn’t see her. She smiled. Watching him for a decade had required careful planning and effort. She didn’t want to rush things – this was too important to be left to chance or whim – but she was running out of time. He was the right one, and he was ready. Tonight she would give him the incredible gift he deserved. And she would finally have the mate she deserved.

Did you like what you read? You can enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post for a chance to win an ecopy of this book! The winner can choose the format.

About the Author :  

Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Esther. He works as an inventory manager and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, acting, and of course fantasizing about vampires.

Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter

I had a chance to interview Charles O'Keefe. This is what he shared with me:

Out of all the books you've written, if you could live in one of them which would it be and why?

I have just one book published and another written so far. They are both set in the same world but still the choice is obvious, The Newfoundland Vampire. I’ll admit I’m cheating here, Joseph (the main character in the novel) is me as I was at 23 (minus the vampire part of course!). Like most people, I wonder how my life would have turned out if I made different choices and this book was (to an extent) an exploration of that. Also the way I present vampires they are in full control of their minds (they have their soul if you will) and they are a tantalizing notion that I for one would go for. Who wouldn’t want to be young forever, immensely strong, fast, have enhanced senses and be loved by the woman of your dreams? Obviously, I would choose to be Joseph at least most of the time.

In what scenario do you do your best work?

I can write anywhere on my iPad but my best work is done at home, in the morning, on my kitchen table, with my laptop. I am a creature of habit and I enjoy the routine of getting up early and writing for a good 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.

What are you working on and when can we expect it to be out?

I just completed the rough draft for book 2 for The Newfoundland Vampire (tentatively called “Killer on the Road") and while I can’t make any promises my hope is that it will be out no later than July of 2013 (hopefully sooner)

Which books have been on your tbr shelf the longest?

“The Gathering Storm” by Richard Sanderson, I am waiting for the last book in The Wheel of Time to come out before I read this one and the other two.

Paper or plastic?

Paper but I only if I can’t use my own bags, I buy them everywhere I can and even put at least 1 in my car so I don’t forget. I do whatever I can to help the environment.

What food can't you live without?

Interesting question, after thinking it over I think the food I’ve loved the longest and eaten consistently since I was 14 is popcorn. Not just at the movies, I need it at least once a week or I don’t feel right. I can have it without butter but it’s really not the same. lol! I really wasn't expecting that. :D

Inside or outside?

I suppose I’m more of an indoor person. I do love to be out in the summer time (or when I’m on vacation in the winter). Living in a colder place (it snows here off and off usually for at least 7 months of the year) you get used to doing a lot of activities inside.

Ice cream in a cone or dish?

In a cone, it’s fun to eat a whole dessert and not even have a dish to worry about.

What is your favorite sport?

You know I generally don’t like sports at all but if I had to pick I do enjoy boxing, at least to watch.

What is your favorite or least favorite veggie and fruit?

Seeing as I’m a vegetarian I love lots of different kinds. My favorite fruit is oranges (only the kind you can peel with your fingers though!). Favorite vegetable, potatoes, they are so flexible and homemade fries is something I love dearly. Yummmm!

What is your favorite animal?

Cats (I have two). I like an animal I can pick up and pet (also they have such nice fur). Cats have such distinctive personalities they are always interesting and enjoyable to be around.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Screaming children, so I suppose more specifically people who bring them to public places (obviously I don’t have children). I do have children and people that take screaming children to public places get on my nerves as well. I especially hate it when I go to a decent restaurant and there are babies crying or kids being noisy. In my mind if I am paying for a nice meal I should be able to have it sans noise! I never took my kids to nice restaurants until they were old enough to act properly!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

You’re welcome! Thanks for the great questions Brenda and for having me; it was a pleasure to be here.


My thoughts:

First let me say that this book would be most appropriate for adults.
For some reason, I was expecting the book to be somewhat cheesy. I was pleasantly surprised that The Newfoundland Vampire far surpassed my expectations!

Joe O’Reily is your typical geek next door. He is a shy, reserved, trivia loving  vegetarian. He is taken by surprise one night when his dream girl approaches him at a bar.  

Cassandra Snow is a vampire with plans for Joe. She approaches him one night and then puts her plan into action.

I really liked Joe's character. I mean a geeky vamp? A completely original idea that makes it easy to root for Joe. I like how he keeps his commitments and friends. I feel bad that he has so much to contend with. Finding a way to accept being a vampire who is a vegetarian is not easy.

I'm not sure whether I like Cassandra or hate her. I really dislike the way she manipulates Joe.  Her backstory helps me to not judge her too harshly.

I think Charles O'Keefe has perfected the viilain with John Snow. He is truly bad to the bone.

The plot had mystery, some horror (not too much), romance, and action.

I am really looking forward to getting some answers in the next book.

I recommend this book to those who like vampire books but want something different.

I received a copy of this book from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for my honest opinion. I honestly liked this book a lot! It was a refreshing take on vampires. 

Leave your answer to one of the questions that I asked Charles O'Keefe or leave your own question for him.


I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please leave a comment!


  1. The cover has something really retro in my opinion^^

    hum my favorite sport is swimming because it's the only one i can practice ^^

    (g+ done)

    1. Yes I agree about the cover.

      That's why I was some what expecting the book to be cheesy.

      Swimming is cool. :D

    2. Hi Brenda and Miki :)

      I like swimming too (and Pilates) but I just can't say I enjoy watching them. Yeah the cover definitely has a cheese factor. I am going to have book 2 cover look different. Thanks for the comment

  2. +JMJ+

    While reading the novel's description and the excerpts, I suspected that the author had written himself and his dreams into the main character . . . and his answer to one interview question confirmed it! Nothing wrong with that, of course. I'm just sharing a "live stream" of my thoughts. =)

    I guess my question for Charles is:

    Is it harder to write a main character who is different from you or to be objective when writing a main character who is very similar to you?

    1. Hi Enbrethiliel :)

      Yes that's true, Joseph is certainly me. Good question. It was a challenge, when I was doing editing (along with my super editor at Penumbra) I realized that I had become personally attached to certain chapters. The chapters were stuff that I had done and feelings I wanted to express. There were though, rather dull and did nothing for the story. So learned that when you write a character so close to yourself you have to be prepared to sacrifice for the good of the story and of course that while Joseph has a lot in common with me, he's not me and I had to separate the two. I hope that answers your question, thanks for the comment! :)

  3. Great interview and great book! I love the blood exchanges the best! Good luck with the tour Charles!

    1. Hi Tasha and Brenda :)

      First, thanks so much for being a part of my blog tour Brenda, I really appreciate it. And thanks for the wonderful review! I'm so glad you enjoyed my book. Lots more interesting things will happen to Joseph and Cassandra in book 2.

      Second, thanks Tasha! I always enjoy interviews (Tasha was nice enough to give me my first one) and I agree the blood exchanges were a lot of fun to write, so glad you enjoyed them. Thanks again, best of luck to you too with Common Descent (out in February I hear =) and quitting smoking! :-)

  4. Canadian Pride!! Love that this is based in Newfoundland!

    Oh and my favourite sport is volleyball :)

    1. lol! Do you like to play it or watch it?

    2. Hi Veronica :)

      Volleyball, well I'm a guy, it is okay to watch sometimes ;) Thanks! I'm from Newfoundland so it seemed natural to set it here. Our winters suck but Newfoundland is the kind of place that get's in your blood. Where are you living? Somewhere with snow? =)

  5. Well, I eat ice cream in a bowl now cause it cuts down on the calories, so I can enjoy my treat without feeling bad.

    1. Hi Emily :)

      Ice cream in a bowl is good too. I actually haven't had ice cream in a cone in years, most people don't keep them in their house. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Great interview and great book! I love the blood exchanges the best! Good luck with the tour Charles!

  7. The book which has been in my TBR the longest is Let It Snow.

    1. Lol! The heroine and bad guy's last name is Snow. :D

  8. Hi Brenda and Anne =)

    I'm a slow reader and I'm back into comic books the past year or so now. I also plan on reading more of Hemmingway's stuff, while depressing he was an amazing writer.

    I wanted to comment on something you said at the end of the interview. It's funny because I had the exact same thing happen to me (with children at a restaurant). My wife and I were out for our anniversary dinner at a fancy type place and this woman had a baby (couldn't have been more than 6 months) who screamed for 1.5 hours straight. It was so bad servers came over to her and took turns with the baby (trying to quiet him or her down) and our server apologized to us and said he didn't know why she wouldn't leave. Just very inconsiderate I think. I can imagine children to be stressful at times but just making everyone else suffer seems very selfish and rude. So I'm glad to hear you agree with me and wouldn't do that =) Young children and fancier restaurants just don't mix well (in my experience).

    Great to see all the comments! Thanks all =)