Spotlight & Giveaway: Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones

Posted July 9th, 2014 by in Blog, Spotlight / 59 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones to HJ!

Hi Darynda, welcome 🙂

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What would you say are the defining characteristics of your Novels?

Darynda JonesI’ve been writing since I was about five but didn’t start writing seriously until around 2002. It took me 7 years and 3 completed manuscripts to sell. My first published novel was First Grave on the Right, the first in the Charley Davidson series. I think if there was one specific defining characteristic in my novels, it would be humor. I can’t seem to write very serious. I try, but inevitably my characters will say something snarky and inappropriate. It’s weird.

Would you rather… visit the world 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future? Why?

If I were smart, I’d say the future. Then I’d come back and buy stock. But I love history so much, I would definitely go into the past. I would love to experience it firsthand, to see the clothes and the technology, to listen to how people spoke and to take in the scents and textures of the era. What a dream come true that would be.

Let’s talk about your newest release: Sixth Grave on the Edge

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here

SGOTEWell, the series is about a female PI who was born the grim reaper. Sixth Grave on the Edge is the sixth in the ongoing series and our protagonist, Charley Davidson, is being blackmailed into finding the whereabouts of a woman in witness protection who is about to testify against a crime lord. Naturally, that is not all she has to deal with as Charley’s world is full of twists and turns.

Please tell us about the characters in your book?

Charley Davidson is a coffee-addicted private investigator who moonlights as the grim reaper. She helps both the living and the dead solve cases and is often in more trouble than a girl has a right to. Reyes Farrow is her love interest. I won’t give the big spoiler away for those who haven’t read the books, but let’s just say he is a supernatural being himself and from the very worst part of the universe.

As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

Charley is always surprising me. I think I was initially surprised by her humongous heart. I mean, I know I write her and I control her every move, but sometimes a character will do something a writer doesn’t see coming, and Charley’s penchant for getting into the worst situations imaginable all for the sake of a client or a friend, putting herself at risk for others over and over, surprised me quite a bit. I didn’t expect her to be so caring.

What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?

One of my favorite scenes in this book happened on a tram car on the way up the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque. While trying to rescue a friend from the top of the mountain, Charley encounters a young departed girl who is haunting the Tramway.

Here is a snippet:

It didn’t take me long to figure out what the problem was, why Quentin wouldn’t take the tram back down the mountain. There simply weren’t many things creepier than a dead girl in rags staring you down. She must have picked up on the fact that Quentin could see her like she did with me. She stood in front of me, her long dark hair in matted strings over her face, hiding most of it. But her eyes shone through the strands. Especially when she got close, as in an inch from my nose, and glared, her eyes completely void of life. It didn’t matter which direction I turned, she was there, nose to nose, staring me down like a gangsta. She’d probably crawled out of a TV screen at some point in her life. Or death. Either way.
But I had to give it to Quentin. He was right not to want to come back down. She was creepy as heck. I didn’t want to take the ride back down either.
I’d taken out my phone and tried to talk to her, but she just stared. Not really seeing. I couldn’t even look out over the gorgeous landscape. If I turned to look out a glass panel, she’d appear in front of me, hovering outside the rail car, creeping me out even more.
“Look,” I said to her, gripping my phone harder, “cut this crap out and cross through me.” Everyone quieted and shuffled their feet. I couldn’t blame them. My one-sided conversations with the departed often sounded weird even on the phone. But I couldn’t help that now. “You are scaring people. Are you doing it on purpose?”
We were nearing the top of the tram, and I didn’t know if I could get Quentin down the mountain if she was still hanging around. Maybe I could make him close his eyes. But it would be better if she’d just cross.
I lowered my head and gathered my energy. I’d never tried something like this, but maybe I could make her cross whether she wanted to or not. I waited until the energy inside me calmed, then sent it out, softly, coaxingly, to lure her in. It seemed to be working. She moved closer to me. And ran smack into my face.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

LOL, they are all hard. But some are harder than others. For me personally, sex scenes are hardest to write of all. Not sure why. I’m by no means frigid. I like the stuff as much as the next girl, but if I don’t make the readers’ toes curl, I have not done my job, and that sometimes takes several passes to get it just right.

Since I doubt I can post a sex scene here, I’m sharing a sexy scene that shows the kind of interactions one can expect from Reyes and Charley.


“Hold that thought,” I said to Reyes as I spun around and scanned the hallway. “Duff!” I called out. “Show yourself this instant.”
He did, but he materialized at the other end of the hall.
“What are you doing?” I asked him.
“N-n-nothing. J-j-just s-standing here,” he said, his stutter more pronounced than usual. But he wasn’t looking at me. He was keeping his watchful gaze on Reyes and resembled a rabbit ready to bolt.
“Look,” I said, walking toward him, “I just have a few questions. I wanted to talk to you. Will you come here?”
“I-I’ll s-stay here, thank you v-very much.”
Aw, he was sweet. “You’re so welcome. But, really, I need to talk to you—”
I’d started to gesture to my door when I caught Reyes’s scowl in my periphery. I turned back to him. “What are you doing?”
“You’re intimidating him.”
“I’m standing here.”
“Yes, intimidatingly.”
One corner of his mouth lifted playfully. “And just how should I stand?”
“For starters, you can stop scowling at him.”
He let his gaze travel back to Duff, slowly, menacingly, then said, “But it’s fun.”
“Reyes Alexander Farrow.” I marched back to him. “Can you be nice to the departed or not?”
He lowered his head, pretending to be repentant, then looked at me from underneath his long lashes and said, “But Duff here isn’t just any departed, are you, boy?” He leveled another cold stare on him, and Duff disappeared.
“Damn it,” I said, backhanding Reyes’s shoulder, albeit lightly. “How do you know him?”
“Duff and I are old friends. He used to come visit me in prison.”
“What?” I glanced over my shoulder, but he was still gone. “Why?”
“He was keeping an eye on me.” He reached out and let his fingers glide along my stomach.
“Why would he do that?” I asked. I was always out of the loop.
“He was worried about you. Seems he’s smitten.”
Oh, man. Seriously? “He’s a departed, Reyes. It’s not like we can actually have a relationship.”
“If any human could have a relationship with a departed, it’d be you. And he knows it.” He slid a finger into my belt loop and tugged.
“Reyes, he’s harmless. Be nice to him.”
He ran a hand around to the small of my back, the heat of him almost too much to bear. It soaked into my skin and my hair, and caused goose bumps to lace across my skin, it was so hot. “I love that about you,” he said, picking up a lock of my hair and rubbing it between the fingers of one hand while pulling me closer with the other. “Your inability to see the bad in people until it’s too late.” He was being awfully flirtatious, almost as though he were trying to change the subject.
“Are you saying Duff is a bad person?”
“I’m saying you’re too good for him.”
I finally molded to him, letting him press against me. “I’m too good for you, too,” I said, teasing. But he didn’t take the bait.
“Agreed,” he said instead, a second before he lowered his mouth to mine, fusing us together like an arc welder. He wrapped his arms around me, the hold viselike, unyielding. The heat was blistering and surreal at once, and I felt it all the way down to my toes. He broke off the kiss and nipped at my ear. “I guess it’s a good thing you can have a relationship with a departed,” he said.
“Why’s that?”
“We can still see each other after I die.”
I tried to lean back to look at him, but Reyes went from cruising at a solid twenty-five miles per hour to flying faster than the speed of sound. In an instant, he had me pinned against the wall, the long fingers of one hand bracing both wrists above my head while the other slipped beneath my sweater. His hand slid around my waist and up my spine, his fingertips tracing the hollow line of my vertebrae.
“Probing for a weak spot?” I asked him softly, well aware of his penchant for severing spines.
“I know exactly where your weak spots are,” he said, and he proved his point by slipping his hand underneath my bra and cradling Will Robinson, teasing her crest with a soft squeeze.
Arousal leapt inside me so fast, I felt the world spin.
“And I know exactly where to probe,” he continued. He pushed my legs apart with his hips and pushed against me, the friction of our jeans causing a nuclear heat to build in my abdomen.
I tore one wrist free of his grasp and planted my hand on a steely buttock to pull him closer. He let a husky growl escape him. The deep sound reverberated through my bones, crashing like spilled wine against them. And like wine, the effect was intoxicating.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

For Charley I think Kat Dennings would great. She has incredible comedic timing and reminds me very much of Charley. And I just discovered a ringer for Reyes: Luke Pasqualino. He plays D’artagnan in the new BBC series, The Musketeers. Both are a little young for the roles, but they are perfect in every other aspect.

If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?

It would be for Charley, and I’d tell her, “Trust in your own strength and let go.” She learns more and more about her powers as the series progresses, but it usually takes a catastrophe for her to take a leap forward. She doubts herself so much and part of that stems from her stepmother. I think if she had more faith in herself, she would be even more powerful.

What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2014?

Right now I’m working on the eight in the Charley series, Eighth Grave After Dark and a novella in the author bundle Twelve Shades of Midnight. I have two releases coming out in October: the author bundle and another Charley book: Seventh Grave and No Body.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

Giveaway: 3 digital copies of any of Darynda’s books.

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Have you read any books in the Charley Davidson Series? Do you like humor in your books?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Info:

Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it’s time to learn more about his past, but Reyes is reluctant to open up. When the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap, Charley decides to go behind her mysterious beau’s back and conduct her own investigation. Because what could go wrong?

Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap—one with dangerous implications. Some very insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn’t come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear.

Add to that a desperate man in search of the soul he lost in a card game, a dogged mother determined to find the ghost of her son, and a beautiful, young Deaf boy haunted by his new ability to see the departed as clearly as he sees the living, and Charley has her hands full. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture only adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Good thing for Charley she’s used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.
Book Links:

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work including a prestigious RITA®, a Golden Heart®, 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. And she’s never apologized for it. Not once. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.
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59 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones”

  1. Linda

    I just picked up First Grave on the Right. I’m excited to start this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. nicholskathy

    I haven’t read any Charley Davidson’s books but I love humor in books – it just make the reading experience that much nicer! Thx for the giveaway!!!

  3. Kim Perry

    So far I’ve only read the first book in this series, but I can’t wait to get caught up! I love Charley!! I love how humor is worked into books.

  4. Stephanie Fredrick

    This is one of my favorite series. I love the humor, suspense and romance in it. I really want friends like Charley and Cookie, wouldn’t mind having Reyes too. 🙂

  5. Brooke

    I haven’t read any yet, but I recently picked up First Grave on the Right and can’t wait to dive into this fun series. Humor is a great asset.

  6. Terri

    I haven’t read any of Charley’s books but the excerpt really caught my interest. I’m going to start reading the series. I love humor in my stories. Love to laugh and it makes the characters more enduring.

  7. Lori Hopkins

    Yes, I own them all! I love Charley and would hurt someone over my books! Darynda is one of my fave authors! I was so excited to see this giveaway! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  8. Shelbie Knight

    I just completed her first novel, First Grave on the Right and I loved it, which frankly surprised me. The reason? Rarely, and I mean RARELY, do I ever find a novel, written from first-person POV, that I enjoy. Not only did I enjoy her writing, but I was so wrapped up in the story, the humor it contained, the complexity of the plot, that the perspective it was written from simply faded into the background. If you, like me, haven’t enjoyed many first-person novels in the past, DO NOT let this dissuade you from reading Darynda’s work; you would truly be missing something precious.

    As I write this, I am starting the second novel in the series, Second Grave on the Left and I can’t wait to see what Darynda does – or what Charlie makes her do – in this next novel. LOL! Great work Darynda! Hands to you *raises hands in the air clapping* for a spectacularly written novel!

    Lastly, yes I love the humor. It’s how I prefer to write as well. After all, life has humor, people are funny, we all have flaws. I prefer to write characters who closely represent what I see around me. It takes a lot of skill and creativity to not only write humor, but seamlessly. Otherwise, it’s slapstick.

    Wonderful feature!

    Shelbie Knight =)

  9. Stacy Nagatan

    I have not read any of this series but am very intrigued and would love to become a new fan!

  10. Kai W.

    I have read Fifth Grave Past the Light. I love the humor and the paranormal elements in the book.

  11. janinecatmom

    I have never read any of Charley Davidson’s books. but, this one sounds really good. I do like humor in a story.

  12. Michelle M

    I’ve read most of the series. I LOVE it! I laugh way too much when reading them. The humor is amazing.

  13. Janie McGaugh

    I’ve read this series (most of them on audio book, which are great!) and loved all the books. The humor is one of the best parts.

  14. Joan V.

    Although I haven’t read any of the Charley Davidson series yet, they are all on my wish list. I really enjoy having humor mixed with the novels I read. It often helps to move the plot line along and encourage dialogue.

  15. BookLady

    I love the Charley Davidson series and have read books 1-4. Charley and Reyes are one of my favorite paranormal couples. I really enjoy the humor in the series.

  16. Pam B


    I love this series – I have read the first 4 (need to catch up) and enjoyed them all. I do like humor in stories, makes things more fun!

  17. acm05

    I’ve read them all except this new release. Yes, I definitely enjoy some humor in my books regardless of the genre.

  18. Eva Millien

    Due to circumstances I have only read the first one and I loved it, so they are all on TBR and hopefully I will get to read them all. And yes, I love some humor in my books. Thanks for sharing the great interview and the giveaway.

  19. rrhiannon99

    Gotta love my Charlie books! They are the best. And, of course I love humor in my books! It is such a great part of life, and it’s one that I enjoy in my reading.

  20. Lisa Richards

    I’ve yet to start this book but I do have all the books in this series except the latest. I love books that make me laugh so this series is a must for me.

  21. KTB

    I’ve read all six of the Charley books (I was hooked at First Grave!), and I prefer humor in books..

  22. Kate

    I’ve read the first five books in the Charley Davidson series and I love them all. I can’t wait to get my hands and the next one. Actually I should say I’ve listened to them on disc. Lorelei King does such a wonderful performance. Darynda Jones please keep these books coming and thanks for such an entertaining series.

  23. Amanda Brown

    I have read the Charley Davidson Series up to date and its now my favourite series. I love humor in books, especially when I laugh out loud!

  24. mrsmac19

    I haven’t read anything in the Charley Davidson series, but I absolutely love humor in the books that I read! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  25. Erika

    I haven’t read this series yet but hope to start it soon! Love humor in books I read! Thanks!

  26. Diana Huffer

    I haven’t read any of this series but I’m certain I will! 🙂 I do enjoy a little levity once in a while, as long as it doesn’t affect the storyline. 🙂

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