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Monday, November 7, 2011

Blog Tour: Darker Still

Hello everyone! Today I have author Leanna Renee Hieber talking about her book Darker Still!
Check it out!

"The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...
Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul."

 How much research went into writing Darker Still?

I have a healthy background in the 19th Century, I studied it in college, and I also worked for many years as a tour guide in NYC, focusing my interests on the late 19th century and that was a great foundation for my sense of historic New York. From there I consulted my personal library of 19th century research books, (The King's Guide to New York City 1892 is unbelievably helpful!) I took many trips to the New York Public Library (the map room is awesome!) And as for the magic and the curse, I made a lot of that up as to how the magic is wielded, but the various components have researched and specific sources.

  What inspired you to write this story?

 It's been a lifelong desire of mine to write a "haunted painting story". As a kid I watched Sesame Street's "Don't Eat the Pictures" over and over again on tape. It's where the muppets get trapped in the Metropolitan Museum of Art overnight and there's a ghost of an Egyptian kid. LOVED that film. The next inspiration was The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The epistolary style I use, writing in diary entries, letters and articles comes from reading and loving Bram Stoker's Dracula (I also played Mina and Lucy in a few different theatrical productions). I also wanted to write a story where the girl saves the guy. So she does. Lord Denbury rocks, but he'd be so dead without Natalie!

  Can you tell us a little about what you are currently working on now?

The next Magic Most Foul book! I am so excited to continue this series and share more Natalie and Lord Denbury with you, along with fun new characters and some really spooky new situations. And I'm also involved with the musical that's being made from my debut novel!
More about that here:

  Tell us about the characters, Natalie & Jonathon. (About them, looks, character attributes, etc)

Natalie is seventeen years old, spirited, opinionated, haunted, fascinated and disturbed by the paranormal, and she suffers from Selective Mutism due to a childhood trauma and doesn't speak. Jonathon Whitby, Lord Denbury is eighteen, a handsome, gallant gentleman who is a gifted young physician who is targeted by unknown assailants and his soul is banished into a painting while his body is possessed and is up to no good. The two find a way to communicate and as its their souls that are connecting, their relationship gains an automatic intimacy and is dangerously improper- which adds to the thrill. It's up to Natalie to solve the mystery of Denbury's curse and thankfully she's brave and clever enough to do it.

  Are there any books you look forward to reading?

2012 is going to be amazing.
One of my bestest buddies in the whole world, Alethea Kontis, is releasing her unique take on fairy tales with ENCHANTED next spring. Saundra Mitchell is following up THE VESPERTINE with THE SPRINGSWEET and I cannot wait! Also I am a member of The Apocalypsies YA debut crew and I'm particularly looking forward to my fellow Apocalypsies debuts, especially Zoraida Cordova with THE VICIOUS DEEP and Eve Marie Mont's BREATH OF EYRE.

Thank you for being here today Ms. Hieber!

 About the author:

"Award winning, bestselling author, actress and playwright Leanna Renee Hieber grew up in rural Ohio inventing ghost stories.  She graduated with a BFA in Theatre from Miami University, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She has adapted works of 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays such as Favorite Lady have been produced around the country. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in Futuristic / Fantasy / Paranormal Romance. "
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Happy Reading!


  1. Wow, that 1892 tour guide would be fun to read. I just heard today that you can go to the New York library and get archives of old recipes and restaurant menus from the late 1800s and early 1900s. That would be a really interesting historical period.

  2. Yay Leanna! I adore her books:) I love that Natalie got to save the day, Johnathon definitely would have been in trouble if not for her. Can't wait to see whats in store for the two of them in the next book, thanks so much for the interview!

  3. Oh excellent interview this is a book I can't wait to read I've heard excellent reviews on it!

    Xpresso Reads

  4. Great interview, as always I love hearing how the author came to write their work. It's so interesting to me.

  5. I adored the Persephone books! Looks like some great ones coming up too. I can't wait to read Darker Still! I needs it so much! :)

  6. Aw, thanks, Leanna! *blushes* I adored Darker Still and am so crushing on Denbury. Do you have a title for the sequel yet?


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