Bloodline By Vicki Vass: Review/Giveaway/Interview

Jun 10, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Fantasy & Fangs, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets

by Kathleen Costa

This week we have a review of a fun paranormal, cat related, mystery by Vicki Vass called Bloodline, and an interesting interview with Vicki. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Bloodline and a cool mug from Vicki. We also have a link to order it from Amazon.

Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery by Vicki Vass
Review by Kathleen Costa

Salem, Massachusetts 1692
“‘Run, Terra,’ Elizabeth’s screams reached me from within the barn. I could see the lanterns flickering like fireflies through the woods. ‘Run, run, Terra, now.’ Her frantic voice followed me as I darted through the thicket. Brambles cut through me, slashing at me as I pushed my way down the hill toward the stream.”

Chased through the woods outside Salem by angry witch hunters with hounds, seventeen-year-old Terra Rowan doesn’t understand what has happened worrying about the safety of her friends…Betrayal? She follows the river to mask her tracks knowing it leads to the ocean. Hiding quietly in a cave, hearing the angry voices coming nearer, fingering the potion in her pocket, she feels she has no choice…she drinks it. Darkness!

Asheville, North Carolina 2017
Terra is safe, but in what form has been difficult to get used to. Terra had morphed into a cat, and for the last 325 years, she has been searching without success for the potion or spell that would return her to her human form. She has made friends who look out for her, offering food and shelter, like Mrs. Twiggs, owner of The Leaf & Page, an exotic tea shop and vintage bookstore, who seems sympathetic to a Wiccan lifestyle, but no matter how Terra tried (Morse Code blinking), to Mrs. Twiggs she is still just a cat. Then there is Lionel, a homeless man who loves chess and music, whose most prized possession is his guitar, who plays a tune to which Terra feels oddly connected, and who Terra believes has magic in his past. He talked of ‘crossroads,’ the turning point in one’s life. His, he says, is Asheville.book

Through unfortunate circumstances, Terra becomes acquainted with ‘Abigail girl,’ who has been struggling all her life with hearing voices, and now, it includes her surprising ability to understand Terra the cat. She thinks she is crazy, but Terra calms her fears and begins to share her world and the idea that Abigail, with an ancient scent to her aura, just might be part of the Oakhaven bloodline of witches that dates back well before the Druids. Could this be a link that saves them both? Complicating Terra and Abigail’s connection is the murder of a close friend, coming across possible Wiccans, opening bloodlines, uncovering disturbing memories, additional deaths, of course, and discovering something evil lurking nearby…

I was extremely entertained by this first book in Vicki Vass’s new series a Witch Cat Mystery with the premise of a witch-turned-cat as the heroine exciting, and to me, unique. It is not juvenile hocus-pocus, but an engaging paranormal cozy which intertwines events in the past and present with a murder mystery and a fascinating look into goddesses and white witches of legend and lore. This page-turner intricately weaves together contemporary events with Terra’s memories of the fateful events surrounding her life in Salem during the witch trials. That part of the story is just as compelling and important to the events surrounding Abigail in the present. I enjoyed the growing BFF connection between Terra and Abigail along with the exploration of herbs and potions and knowledge of Wiccan folklore. Vicki has created several intriguing characters (favorites are Terra, Abigail, and Mrs. Twiggs) who develop well throughout the story, but I love Pixel. If I were a cat, that would be me…eat and sleep all day long with bursts of loyalty and support for friends. You’ll love the climatic conclusion, which provides a cathartic “Take That!” wrap up. Read the interview to see if Vicki ‘spills the beans’ on the next Terra story.

Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery earns 5+/5 Witchy Felines!

Our Guest…Vicki Vass
Author of Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery

KRL: It is great to have with us Vicki Vass celebrating the release of Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery. Can you give us a mini biography of ‘Vicki Vass’? Who is she and what influenced her to become a writer?

Vicki: Thanks for having me. I started my career as a journalist and for a number of years worked for the Chicago Tribune covering city government, school boards before moving to features where I wrote about shopping. I can never remember a moment when I didn’t want to write. I wrote short stories in grade school before writing half-finished novels in high school. I went into journalism at the urging of my uncle who was a long-time editor for the Chicago Sun-Times.

KRL: I love having a little magic or marvelous creatures in my ‘cozy’ stories, and including a connection to the Salem witch trials is engaging. What influenced you to veer into the paranormal and write this magical mystery? Did you find challenges writing a paranormal theme?

Vicki: I have been fascinated for years by the Salem witch trials, particularly after reading The Crucible. Writing a paranormal stemmed out of watching two of my main characters on a daily basis and pondering what went on in their heads every day. This story rather wrote itself, evolving as I moved it along.

author

Vicki Vass

KRL: What research or influences did you rely on to write about witches, magic, and other magical creatures?

Vicki: I spent hours reading a scientific book about Appalachian folk medicine and reading books about the Salem witch trials. I also researched ancient goddesses. The magical creatures mostly came out of my head as I was writing, evolving as the story evolved.

KRL: Do you have a favorite paranormal story, movie, or television show from your childhood or currently as an adult? Have you had any experience with magic…or witches or Wiccans?

Vicki: I loved Bewitched as a child. I thought the show very clever. I cannot think of any other magical influences. I read Harry Potter through book four and enjoy watching movies about mythical creatures such as How to Train Your Dragon. I haven’t had any personal experience with magic or witches. . .that I know of.

KRL: Are any of your characters based on real people…friends or family? Names changed to protect the innocent, so to speak. Of course, I love Terra Rowen in and out of her cat form and Abigail Pierce and her journey, but my favorite character is Pixel. Are you like Terra or Abigail in some way? Is there a character with whom you identify?

Vicki: I think every character is loosely based on real people. Terra and Pixel are based on my real-life cats. Watching their antics is what propelled me to write about a witch cat. Abigail is based on my niece. I don’t think I am necessarily like either one of my characters. If I identify with any of them, I would have to say Terra because she is resourceful.

KRL: How did you go about getting published? Did you try self-publishing or a publishing house? Do you have any anecdotes to share about getting your work published?

Vicki: I have been published with two independent publishers and found that I still had to handle all the marketing, so I decided to self publish this work. I am also in the process of self publishing my other books after taking them back from my publisher. I can teach a course in what not to do in publishing—about 20 years ago I submitted a romance manuscript to Harlequin. I received a nice rejection letter back personalized with recommendations on how to fix the manuscript. I threw them in a drawer where they sit to this day.

KRL: Writing is often a very personalized activity. How do you go about writing? What is your process? Do you outline, keep notes, just start typing? Do you have a writing team or editors that are part of the process?

Vicki: As a former journalist, I try to set deadlines. I aim to write at least two pages a night and ten on each weekend day. I do not write an outline so the stories often take quite a bit of editing as I have to move things around. My husband is my writing team. He and I sit down together, brainstorm ideas and plot. He is much better at plotting than I am.

KRL: We know you write, but what do you read? Is there another author who inspires you or one you might consider a professional or personal hero?

Vicki: I read constantly, and I have several writer heroes, including Jane Austen and Margaret Mitchell. Right now I am reading the history of the Romanovs, a fictional biography of Mary Todd Lincoln, and the Gift Shop by Charlotte Armstrong, an old mystery that I enjoy.

KRL: What can we expect from you in the future? Any sneak peeks for Book 2: A Witch Cat Mystery?

Vicki: Now I don’t want to give anything away, but Book 2 is tentatively titled The Witch’s Apprentice and will reveal more of Abigail’s background as well as continuing Terra’s quest. I am currently working on Book 5 in my Antique Hunters Mystery series featuring my real-life best friends, and then Book 2 in my Gem Hunter series. There’s never enough time.

KRL: So many authors say writing is all encompassing, but do you have any favorite movies you like to watch? Any television bingeing? What about music you enjoy or hobbies that take up what free time you may have?

Vicki: Too many to mention. In terms of movies, I am addicted to romantic comedies as well as musicals. I have been known to binge watch a series. I recently watched all of Season 1 of Goliath on Amazon followed by Sneaky Pete. I watch Homeland. I am a huge fan of the Crown on Netflix, Victoria on PBS, and of course, Downton Abbey. I enjoy all sorts of music from country to rock to pop. My other hobbies include playing with my two Australian shepherd puppies and of course, shopping.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Vicki: I have an interest in gemology myself. I’ve searched for gems, including rubies, emeralds, and hiddenite in North Carolina. I found a 10-carat citrine, 0.50 carat emerald, and several rubies. I also scour antique stores and estate sales for antique and vintage jewelry. I am still waiting to find that perfect tiara (I was named after Queen Victoria, true story).

KRL: This has been fun. Is there anything you would like to add?

Vicki: Thanks, this has been fun!

Thank you, Vicki, for joining us and sharing a little about yourself and your books.

Become a Big Vicki Vass Fan!
Facebook Like www.facebook.com/vickivassauthor
Facebook Friend www.facebook.com/vicki.tedeschi
On the Web www.vickivass.com

To enter to win a copy of Bloodline and a mug from Vicki, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “bloodline,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 17, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.

felizbannernew

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

54 Comments

  1. I keep hearing amazing things about this book. I need to pick it up ASAP!

    Reply
  2. Love Bewitched! I always like witch related stories. Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Reply
  3. Witch related mysteries are great fun! I have always been intrigued with books with witches in them. A few summers ago we went to Salem, Massachusettes for vacation. It was a great time! I would love to read this new book!

    Reply
  4. salem and witches and black cats….oh how fun!!

    johnnabooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Reply
  5. I’ve read the book & would love to win this great giveaway.

    Reply
  6. Thank you for the chance to win this book. I am always looking for a new author to read

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the opportunity. It’s on my to be read list!

    Reply
  8. I love Cozy Mysteries. This series sounds promising.

    Reply
  9. Sounds like my kind of book! Cats & witches, oh my!

    Reply
  10. Can’t wait to read this book!

    Reply
  11. Love read stories set in Salem and
    Witches. Thanks for the chance.
    Sounds intriguing.

    Reply
  12. Sounds like a good read. Am adding to my wish list

    Reply
  13. Looks very interesting..totally different approach then most cat and witch books..lllooking forward to reading it…

    Reply
  14. This is definitely a book I can sink my teeth into. Vicki’s writing always involves a pleasant evening of reading.

    Reply
  15. book sound great, would love to read

    Reply
  16. I loved this book! Winning a paper copy would be incredibly awesome! My review can be found on both Goodreads and Amazon. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you buy a copy or ask for it at your local library.
    Thank you for the interesting interview. It is always fun to see how much you have in common with an author whose work you enjoy. I came from Chicago, spent half my childhood in Appalachia, have had a long time interest in the Salem Witch Trials and absolutely adored Bewitched, (I have the DVD collection which I still watch). I also enjoy Jane Austen, Gone With the Wind is one of my favorite books and I am fascinated by the Romanovs. History is definitely interesting!

    Reply
  17. Sounds like a fun read! kckendler at gmail dot com

    Reply
  18. I’d love to win a copy of this book but will plan to read it none the less.

    Reply
  19. Great review and interview, Kathleen! I look forward to reading this intriguing book!

    Reply
  20. Nice. Always appreciate stories about my mountains 🙂
    knturnbull at outlook dot com

    Reply
  21. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

    Reply
  22. Looks like a good story

    Reply
  23. Hello Vicki! Bloodline sounds great! Thanks for the chance.
    isisthe12th(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  24. Sounds so good! I really want to read more.

    Reply
  25. Tell Terra that being a cat is many times better than reverting to a human in this day and age.

    Reply
  26. I like going to Salem MA on Halloween. Great people watching. I also adopted my black cat in Salem and he has fangs that hang out of his mouth so naturally we named him Barnabas. The book sounds like a good read. I like to read books based in Salem. pgenest57 at aol dot com

    Reply
  27. Love cozy mysteries! Would love to win this!

    Reply
    • Oops—lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

      Reply
  28. This sounds like a great story line. Love witches and cats. Thanks for the chance to win.
    bobntoni@aol.com

    Reply
  29. This story sounds like a fascinating read and I’m adding it to my TBR summer pile.

    Reply
  30. What a great opportunity to win an intriguing book.

    Reply
  31. I like books with cats, or humans turned into cats. Cats are fun to watch.

    Reply
  32. Have the book!

    Reply
  33. I loved watching Bewitched, and still love watching the re-runs. Bloodline sounds like a interesting read. Thank you for the chance! Buzymom2008(at)wowway(dot)com

    Reply
  34. Thanks for the chance at a copy!

    Reply
  35. I look forward to reading this book! Casmith (at) aol (dot) com

    Reply
  36. Love anything about cats…I have 8 of them 🙂 parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

    Reply
  37. Thank you for the chance to win this awesome book!

    Reply
  38. Thank you for this contest! I haven’t had a chance to read any of your books yet. I will, though, because these are the type of books I love to read. 🙂

    Reply
  39. Love the cover for Bloodline. The blurb is good & I’m looking forward to reading this one. I ordered it earlier in May 🙂 Thanks for the interview, it was great!

    Reply
  40. This book sounds amazing. Like that Salem and Asheville are featured in the book. Can’t wait to read.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  41. Sounds like it would be a lot of fun to read…thank you for the chance. Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

    Reply
  42. I’m from New England and, as a retired UCC minister have always been intrigued by the “history” around Salem. als(at)foxgull(dot)com

    Reply
  43. This sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks so much

    rockergoddess2002 at yahoo dot com

    Reply
  44. Would love a chance to win this book, sounds just like the sort of read I would enjoy. Fingers crossed!!

    Reply
  45. The story sounds very interesting. I’m curious as to what prompted you to use Asheville, NC as a location in the story.

    Reply
  46. I have this book in my TBR pile. I’m looking forward to it!

    Reply
  47. Gemology sounds like soooo much fun, I wish I could go with you. With my luck, however, I would find a prime chunk of some cursed stone feared throughout the world for centuries. Lol

    Reply
  48. We have a winner!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SUBSCRIBE NOW!

podcast

powered by TinyLetter

The gold medal for all-around wonderful kitty could easily go to darling Chicken Little! This cutiepie never misses an opportunity to hoot it up with her friends, explore any nook or cranny, and make it her mission to check out whatever happens to be going on. Chicken Little came along way after suffering a toe injury calling for immediate amputation. She's all better now and you can't even notice she's missing a rear toe. What an adorable combination she is of fun-loving spirit and sweet, deep affection, a girl who will easily capture hearts in a forever family that cherishes her. Precious Chicken Little would love to be your most darling doll! Check her out on the Cat House website to learn more.