Darynda Jones!!!

Get Lost in This Story…

So many people have been dying to get their hands on this book.  Now you can!

From the publisher:

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.  Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light."  But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.  Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all.  In fact, he might be something else entirely.   But what does he want with Charley?  And why can’t she seem to resist him?  And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order. 

It’s my pleasure to host my friend Darynda Jones at Get Lost in A Story today!  Not only is she superbly talented, but wickedly funny and one of the nicest people I know. 

Darynda is the winner of the 2009 Golden Heart® for Best Paranormal Romance for her manuscript FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT.  She was born spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. After the Golden Heart final, she pimped herself as best she could, landed an amazing agent and sold to St. Martin’s Press in a three-book deal.

Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, aka the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

She can be found at www.daryndajones.com.

Heather:  How often to you get lost in a story? 
Darynda: Every chance I get. Reading is an integral part of writing, and I so very much love to read, so that’s a plus. I try to read everyday.

Heather:  What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Darynda: I’m a very eclectic reader. I pick up anything from Nora to Stephen and everything in between. Love me some JR Ward, Julia Quinn, Stephen Hunter, Terry Pratchett….I could go on and on. Still, romance trumps all.

Heather:  What’s the first book you remember reading?
Darynda: The first book I ever read that didn’t have pictures in it was a horror for teens called Grandma’s House or Grandma’s Ghost. Something like that. I remember it vividly. It was very disturbing and it fascinated me that I could be so bone-chillingly scared from a book. Little did I know….

Heather:  What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Darynda: I’m a Beauty and the Beast kinda gal, though I do love Cinderella. The best part is, in our society I get to read and watch new versions of these stories over and over. It’s like Heaven when someone takes these tales and reworks them. I can’t get enough of it. A friend of mine, Gabi Stevens, has a book coming out in April that does just that. It’s called As You Wish and let me tell you, I got completely lost in that story. Could not put it down. That’s the joy of reading. That’s what it’s all about.

Heather:  What’s your favorite cartoon character?
Darynda: Bugs Bunny! I always wanted to be him growing up because he was so smart and so clever and he had the cutest smile. I try to emulate him in my books, getting my heroine into a mess of trouble and asking myself, “What would Bugs do?”

Heather:  What turns you off like nothing else?
Darynda: Arrogance.

Heather:  Be honest, when reading 1st person...do you miss the hero’s POV?
Darynda: Surprisingly, no. While I love the hero’s POV, I think not having it lends a certain air of mystery to him. We wonder what he’s thinking, what he’ll do next. And if the writer is very good, she can give us clues into his thought process with subtle words and actions that speak volumes.

Heather:  If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Darynda: I would probably go back to my day job as a sign language interpreter. I absolutely love interpreting and I get to learn so much in the process. Even, yes, in kindergarten! I have been humbled by the fact that we are never too old to learn from children. And my new knowledge often finds its way into my books. In Second Grave, there is line that was a direct result of learning to read in a classroom I was working in. “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking and it says its name.” I giggle every time I hear that.

Heather:  What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Darynda: Start outlining another.

Heather:  What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Darynda: Getting to spin tales of romance and intrigue full time. Honestly, what could be better? I feel like I’ve died and gone to Heaven. Hopefully, that won’t actually happen for a while yet.

Heather:  Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Darynda: Coffee! With lots of fake cream and fake sugar. And sometimes artificial (okay, fake) flavors.

Heather:  What color would you make the sky if it wasn’t going to be blue anymore and why?
Darynda: Blood red, because it would be creepy and cool at the same time.

Heather’s GOTTA ASK – Darynda’s GOTTA ANSWER  J

What is the most fascinating thing you learned while researching or writing this particular book?

Darynda: Probably that the grim reaper doesn’t actually “kill” like most people believe. In almost all mythology, the grim reaper, and/or various versions of it, either escorts the dead to their final destination or “takes” the dying while they are making the final transition. So the person is either already dead or is already dying. This works well for me. I hardly wanted my heroine grim reaper to be a serial killer, running amok, taking lives willy-nilly. That wouldn’t make her very likable.


Who or what is your favorite paranormal character? Do you like vampires best? Werewolves? Ghosts? And if you are so inclined to answer, why? (Burning curiosity here.)


One commenter will win his or her choice of a signed hardcover or an audiobook.

Thanks so much for being with us today, Darynda!  Where can your fans learn more about you on the web?

**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Be sure to join us tomorrow, when Heather hosts historical romance author Courtney Milan!


  1. Hi Darynda! Thanks so much for being with us at GLIAS today :)

    I am so excited your release day is here, though I didn't get to go out and buy it yesterday, due to the Snowpocalypse here in the Midwest! My poor DH is shoveling through 2' of snow right now to get out of the driveway, so I don't see a trip to the bookstore in my future today, either, but by the weekend? I am SO reading about Charley!

  2. Darynda, I can't wait to read this. What an amazing cover! You've got me curious about this unknown Entity. I just love paranormals.

    Vampires have always been my favorites, every since I was young. There was this book, An Old Friend of the Family, by Fred Saberhagen, that was first released in the 80's. The vampire is the protector of a family, summoned by reading from an old book. I just loved the thought of this gentlemanly vampire protecting the young heroine and her family while keeping his true nature from them (until he has no choice, of course). And my older girls and I just started watching Being Human on the Sci Fi channel, where a vamp, a werewolf, and ghost live together. We're really enjoying it so far.

    Heather, you made me grin. Isn't this snow insane? It's up to the middle of my Suburban. It's been a while since SE Kansas was hit this hard. We'll be digging out for days...not that there's anywhere to go. No grocery stores or anything else were open yesterday or today. The world might start turning again tomorrow, but with - 8 temps? I think I'll stick with hot chocolate and my books. :)

  3. Good morning, Darynda. Okay, I need you to turn your palms over and stare at your fingertips. If you have any pads left, go ahead and answer. We are so delighted to have you at Get Lost in a Story. And I have to say I love FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT and Charley Davidson. Loved your answers, especially your explanation of learning from children. Boy, is that not the truth.

    Gosh, my favorite paranormal character would probably be Jack Williamson's Will Barbee in "Darker than You Think." Williamson inspired such authors as Ann Rice and Stephen King. Must be something about New Mexico that inspires the paranormal. Darynda, knock 'em dead and then let Charley take over. Wishing you huge success on your debut and your future books.

  4. Wow, a female grim reaper! The book sounds fascinating. My reading tastes can be pretty eclectic too.

  5. Welcome, Darynda! So excited that your book is finally out. :)

    I don't think I've read a book with paranormal creatures that I've loved as much as certain vampire books... But I think like so many things, it's in the execution, not the creature.

  6. Wow, I love the idea of a female grim reaper!!! This story sounds soooooooooooo interesting!! Love the cover!! And I have to say I prefer ghosts, to vamps and werewolves... Ghosts are just more "REAL" I guess!!!

    Wishing you the best of luck!!



  7. Darynda, what a great interview! Congratulations on your release.

    For paranormal characters, I'd have to go with wizard/sorcerer types, like Harry Dresden. Doesn't hurt that the guy playing him on the TV show was pretty hot. ;)

  8. Darynda,

    Congrats on the new release! I'm kinda partial to occult detectives, male or female!

  9. Hi Darynda,
    I loved reading your book and now I'm anxiously waiting for #2...write faster...LOL. Major congrats on your new release! Enjoy the thrill of seeing it on the book shelves.

    As for paranormal...I"m a ghost fan, but those wonderful ones like "Ghost and Mrs. Muir"


  10. Thanks so much, all!!!

    @Heather, thank so much for inviting me. I really enjoyed this interview. Lots of fun! And I can't wait to buy your books, too!

    @Gillian, I have always loved vamps and they were definitely my first love in the paranormal realm. That book sounds amazing! I've never heard of it. Have to look that one up. Thanks so much!

    Hey, @Donnell! Thanks so much for stopping by! I have to say, I was lucky enough to take a graduate class from Jack Williamson before he became unable to teach. I loved that man and he was so encouraging and just amazing to work with. All the grad students, about six of us, would go to his house, sit around his kitchen table and talk shop. It was an incredible experience to be learning from a master storyteller and one I will always cherish.

    @Katy, thank you so much. I love to read pretty much anything. Hope you like FGOTR! Charley is......interesting. LOL

    @Maureen, yeah, those vamps are hard to beat, though I am curious about which ones you love so much. I am a fan of everyone from Ann to Stephanie, lol.

    @Andrea, thanks! I thought a female grim reaper would be fun to do and I was right. So much fun and so many stories yet to tell. I do love ghost stories. Always have. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Abigail, thank you so much! This was such a fun interview. Oh, and I love Harry Dresden SOOOOOOOOOO much. I love the world Butcher created. One of my all-time favs.

    @Gjillian, so good to see you again! :) Super congrats on all your sales, girl! Can't wait to get my hands on them!

  11. Oh! That looks GOOD!! I am going to have to add it to my Wish List!! :)

  12. Hey Darinda! I got this site of your tweets... I love me some vampires but have lately gotten into them "fallen" angels...LOL (any paranormal does it for me) I guess because it is more "fun" for the imagination! I am gonna read your book ! Just had to comment :)

  13. I can not wait to read this! I would say I'm into vampires. I think it's the mystery behind them that draws me in.

  14. @tgoswife, thank you!!! Hope you like it!

  15. @Kathy, thank you so much for stopping by! I love fallen angels too. Who am I kidding? I love all paranormal entities/creatures. So much fun! I hope you enjoy First Grave!

  16. I'm really looking forward to reading your book. I've loved the Grim Reaper as a character since reading On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony. I really like your idea of using the reaper as an avenging angel for murdered souls.

    As far as favorite paranormal creatures, I would have to say werewolves. They just seem more primal. I'm currently working on writing a paranormal romance with a Valkyrie as the heroine who is trying to track down a werebear that is terrorizing the neighborhood.

  17. @jjfisher23, I couldn't agree more. That mystery is to die for. So yummy!!! Thanks so much for coming!

  18. @Jean, thank you so much!!! I'm so glad you liked it. Woohoo! And I'll try to write faster! LOL.

  19. @rscottsteele, I haven't read On a Pale Horse, but wow, that sounds good. I'll def check it out. You manuscript sounds amazing!!! Keep going! What an interesting concept. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  20. After coming across this book by accident and listening to the sample of the audio book I can't not wait to get it from the bookstore on Friday and read it... It sounds awesome.

  21. I am so excited, I have been waiting for a new writer to wow me! Can't wait!!

    Melinda Clerico

  22. My favorite.... that is a tough question... Can I have a half Vamp half Were.. then I can get the best of both worlds...

    Thank you so much for a chance to win your book. You are a new author to me. But I have seen a lot of buzz about this book.

    Kelly M

  23. Hi Darinda! I just followed a tweet from Joan Swan and now I have you on my TBR pile - at the top, of course. I can't wait to read it!
    I love the idea of a female Grim Reaper. It's good to see this genre expanding and achieving commercial success.

    Generally, my favorite paranormal characters are Mages, although I will always have a special place in my heart for the Vampires of Lindsay Sands and Tanya Huff, and the Werewolves of Patricia Briggs.

    Btw - I am so jealous that you got to read Gabi's new book already.

    Laurel N

  24. can't wait to read this it is my kind of book.

  25. Will Kate meet Charley? Will Ranger or Morelli buy a copy behind Stephanie's back; will they want to appear in Charley's adventures? And, Jim, my goodness will he stay loyal to Kate? Is there a hamster lurking somewhere? Darynda, I so look forward to discovering these answers and to finding out if you lure me into your sleuthing family as deeply as Kate and Stephanie brought me into theirs. An adventure beginning soon, very soon. (Hope the tongue-n-cheek puns are ok; I could not resist bringing my current favorite sleuths into the discussion; Charley will be a wonderful addition.)

  26. As a major fan girl of the series 'Dead Like Me' I am fascinated by the premise of this book! I cant wait to read it.
    I love all paranormal creatures. The first book I clearly recall from childhood was
    'The Secret World of Og' and I have loved magical stories ever since.

  27. Hello Darynda! I love the cover of that book!

    I like shifters the most. Warm-blooded, animal strength and instincts. They are usually controlled by their emotions and aren't as reserved as a vampires.

  28. This book sounds intriguing. I go by streaks--I'll read a bunch of murder mysteries, then several romance novels, then paranormal stories...and sometimes all three are in the same book. :-) I've read a few of Jayne Ann Krentz's "Arcane Society" novels, and there's something about a "superhuman" character that is appealing to me.

  29. Hi Darynda,

    I first heard about your book through J.R. Ward's forum and I was curious about the book. I have not read it yet but I hope to in the future. The excerpt reminds me of a show I used to watched called "Dead Like Me" and was sorry when the show was canceled.

    I enjoy most of the various paranormal characters out there though one of my favorites is J.R. Ward's vampires. The thought of living breathing alpha males sends shivers up my spine and the way the Brothers are so attentive to their shellans is the stuff made of dreams. It's a fascinating world to read about and I am anxious to read her latest in March. Her Fallen Angel series is great as well. After reading the likes of Stephenie Meyers, J.R. Ward, Alexandra Ivy, J.K. Rowling, and Larissa Ione, I would say that vampires as well as werewolves and wizards are on my top list. The first two are fascinating in their own right and I enjoy them because most are portrayed as Alpha males who live with passion, courage and a mysterious air that draws you in. I enjoy reading about wizards as well because I grew up getting lost in the world of Harry Potter and there was a time where I had hoped to get a letter from Hogwarts when I was eleven years old. Much to my disappointment that didn't happen but it didn't deter my love for Harry Potter. I loved the fascinating world that was created and found myself wondering what it would be like to have such powers. Ok I am rambling but I do enjoy paranormal romance and it's rare that I pick up a romance that I don't enjoy.

  30. You know, I had this really lengthy comment in mind, filled with gushing about how happy I am that FIRST GRAVE is finally available and I've been so looking forward to it and all that. And then the question of vamp, weres, or ghosts and...

    ...The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Really. Do I need to say more? cos I don't have words. I just sigh : )

  31. Saw about you surfing and "talking" to my BDB and Dark Hunter RPG's, where I lose myself with the friends and family I've made there. I have read thousands of books over the years, but vamps, weres, fallen angels, and good ole VW mechanics, they just capture my attention! I can look over at my bookcase with my Ward, Kenyon, C. Harris, Kim Harrison, C.L. Wilson, P.C. Cast, Rice, Briggs and heavens knows much, much more of , what I consider, my friends books stand, in reading order no less! I tell my friends, if they don't see me with a book..I'm sick! I guess I should stand up at the front of the room and say "hello, my name is Sheila and I'm a bookaholic". I'd be telling the truth. I have so many favorites, Rices' Lasher. All the BDB guys, the Dark Hunters. Even as far back as Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows, boy oh boy...Each and every one of them holds a special place in my heart and I love them all! Can't look at a VW without wondering how Mercy is! (thank goodness she has Adam to take care of her!) And as much as I love True blood, not one of my friends wants to watch it with me because I read the books and see the skipping around, stuff NOT in the books but in series KILLS me! I'm hopeless...sigh. Thank you for your work. I'm snowed in and cannot get the 2 blocks to pick your new one up. Yeah..I'd be jonesing if I didn't reread the ones I have at the moment. Thank you for new meat for the grinder, mean that in a very nice way!! Come on snow..thaw! Don't let some people hurt your feelings or piss you off, there are ALOT less of THEM than us die hards. Promise.Nice to meet you. I shall be keeping a eye out for your books, but you'll need to write faster!! LOL!!! Thank you for the new people, places and adventures you'll take us on. I'm buckled up Buttercup....Hey let's go on a magic trip, I'm ready. Peace, Sheila

  32. Hi Darynda..Ordered your Book from BN But still waiting Snow is holding everything up..The moment I read a Bit about "First Grave on The Right" I just knew I had to read it..My Current UF/Paranormal Authors are Seanan McGuire and K.Moning..Have Shadowfever to start..I prefer Vampires and Fae...Fallen Angels Hush,Hush and Crescendo..YA excellent...I was a Huge Anne Rice fan ..Finding some Authors that I like in the Genre..And Now you!!! Also reading "Greyfriar" and just finished The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor ,Vampire Slayer By Lucy Weston ,,I did love it..My daughter will read your book as well,,She might enter your contest She Lives in Latham,NY and I am in VT....I am excited to get your book and share my thoughts on BN and Goodreads...Much Success

  33. Ugh, had to get out in this weather and buy a mattress! LOL.

    @Gabby, thank you so much! Isn't that recording great? Lorelei is just perfect. I was so thrilled when I learned that she was doing the recording.

    @Melinda, I sure hope I wow you!!! If I don't, you can send me a mean email. Or order a voodoo doll in my likeness. It's only fair.

    @Kelly, nice choice!!! I loved Scott Speedman in Underworld. Both! Yes! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    @Laurel, I love me some Briggs!!! Right there with ya. And, yeah, I was so lucky to get to read her book before anyone else! Woohoo! And did I mention how much I loved it??? Oh my gosh. And that cover! ZOMG!

    @myboo63, thank you so much! Hope you like!

    @Peg, tongue-in-cheek puns are perfect!!! LOL. Loved this. And I love your taste in reading. :) Hope I can measure up. (Oh the pressure!)

    @Angie-la, I didn't even discover Dead Like Me until long after I'd written First Grave. Someone told me it was about a female grim reaper and I was sold! Love the series. Sad it ended.

    @StacieDM, I am so in love with that cover, it's unreal. LOL. You know, I have a friend who hates vampires because they are cold. I'd never even thought about it, but it must register somewhere in my psyche, because my hero in First Grave is VERY hot, like literally hot, and he has a reason to be. So I must like warm things too. LOL.

    @Melinda, I do the same thing! I go through phases of pure romance to romantic elements to something completely different like Stephen Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger series. And Jayne Ann is awesome. Love her writing. I met her this summer and thanked her for the quote, but the room was really loud and I don't think she had any idea what I was talking about! LOL. Oh well, next summer I'll try again.

    @Megan, JR has a way with vamps, doesn't she? So very sexy!!! I love her books and the world she's created. And I really love that she liked First Grave so much. LOL. She has been such a great advocate. It's very surreal. And who didn't want to go to Hogwarts??? I LOVE Harry Potter. Love, love, love!

    @Jen, HAHAHA!!! This just cracked me up. Thank you so much for stopping by!

    @Sheila, you are my kind of people. Thank you so much for the support and the kind words. It's been so nice to meet you as well and I fully expect you to keep in touch! LOL.

    @Susan, thank you so much for ordering the book! I love all of those too. I have yet to read Crescendo. It is on my list. I also write YA and have been writing it much longer than anything else, but oddly enough, First Grave sold first even though I wrote the YA that sold before it. It is called Grimsight and will be out in 2012. So much fun!!!

    Thanks so much everyone for stopping by!

  34. I can't wait to read this book. I have had it on my wishlist for months now. Definitely going to be buying this one soon.

    I love all paranormal beings. Vampires are my favorite. They were the first paranormal heroes that I ever read. My favorite character is Zsadist from Lover Awakened. I just have such a soft spot for him. I also really like Nix the everknowing from Kresley Cole. She just cracks me up.


  35. Darynda, welcome to GLIAS. All the buzz on your book is fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Your take on the grim reaper sounds like fun. Thanks for joining us today.

  36. So glad, @Danielle! Thank you!!! Oooo, love Zsadist!!! And Nix is awesome! Good choices!!! LOL

  37. @Cat, thank you so much for having me! What a fun experience!

  38. So far I'm enjoying this book... unfortunatly would love to have this actually working on my Nook instead of having to read on my computer screen but we'll see

  39. Micaela wrote :

    I like the idea of a red sky ......

    D Who's your favorite paranormal Author and character?

  40. Ok don't know how to delete the above post this should be one post...PLS Disregard the above

    I like the idea of a red sky ......

    My Favorite paranormal character is Zsadist (lover awakened J.R Ward). I like Vampires the best... they're sexy and powerful ..ahhh Such fascinating creatures....Fangs...bite marks…sigh...What is there not to like???

    I loved z from the second he was described! I love him the most because J.R writes his parts with soooooo much passion... everything he does is over the top...love the hard ass guy who loves to snuggle up to his girl.... how can you NOT love him! ugh...delish...his book really touches the soul. Even if you have never experienced what he did you can feel his pain and suffering...And when you see that he finally accepts Love and loves in return you are truly Happy...I cried through this whole book....and the fact that he has a voice of an angel....OMG I can go on forever....what I'm damaged goods Kinda girl ;)

    D Who's your favorite paranormal Author and character?

  41. @Rosemarie, I know, right? I still haven't heard back from them. Bless your heart for braving eye strain to read it on your computer.

    @Micaela, loe Zsadist!!! So right there with ya! I love so many. I love JR soooo much! Also Patricia Briggs, Christine Feehan, Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole, I could go on and on. If I was forced under threat of certain death to pick a fav, it would def be my homegirl JR. She rocks so hard!

  42. Congratulations tgoswife! You've won Darynda's drawing. Please e-mail with your address and preference of hardback or audio book to getlostinastory@gmail.com