Getting Lost in Darynda Jones's Stories

Good Morning, Get Lost in a Story friends, Susan here. I'm so excited to have Darynda Jones on the blog today! I had the pleasure of meeting her in Califorina at the RWA national conference in July, and she's every bit as nice as she is brilliant. I confess, I'm one of her biggest fans--LOVE her Grave series! Okay, enough of my fangirl blather...

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a RITA®, 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. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

The Book…

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans. 

What They’re Saying…

“If you enjoy Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, you will certainly enjoy Charley Davidson.” Suspense Magazine
“Smart, wickedly hilarious.”Publishers Weekly

“A true paranormal princess has been proclaimed.”  Night Owl Reviews

“…and let’s be honest—the sex is pretty hot.”   Library Journal

Get your copy…


  Amazon        B&N       Powell's       BAM        Indie Bound
          iTunes                Nook              Kindle

Let's chat with Darynda...

Susan: Darynda, thank you so much for joining us today here at Get Lost in a Story. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my family tree lately—you know, my maiden name is Jones. Do you have family in the Carolinas by any chance?
Darynda: Thank you for having me! I’m thrilled and honored. Just love this blog. I’m not sure if I have any family out your way, but surely we’re all related in the end. We’re probably cousins or something!

Susan: See, I just knew when I read in the bio on your website about how as a child you created inappropriate stories for Barbie and Ken to act out that we must be related. I thought I was the only one who did that...
Darynda: Ha! Yeah, it seems so wrong now, but there you have it. No use in apologizing for my lewd behavior. Sadly, things only escalated from there.

Susan: And you married a rock star, just like me—of course mine can’t sing a lick. Is your husband the kind of rock star who sings, plays guitar, and lives on a bus, or is he the REAL DEAL, like mine?
Darynda: Well, mine got over the touring thing a long time ago. He says that’s for younger guys who don’t mind living on cheese and crackers. But he has a group and they record now, both original works and cover songs. They are fantastic! Oh, and he plays guitar.

Susan: How are the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys dealing with Mom being a “Paranormal Princess”—and I’m quoting the AP here, right?
Darynda: LOL, yes you are. I love that quote! No idea why. *grin* My sons are very proud. I’ll give them that. But they’re not big readers and won’t read anything I’ve written, which is probably a very good thing. :)
Susan: So, just in case any of our readers today haven’t discovered and fallen in love with the Charley Davidson series yet, let’s introduce them. Charley Davidson, the main character in your Grave series, is The Grim Reaper, and her hero, Reyes Farrow, is the Son of Satan—but he’s misunderstood and estranged from his father. Right?
Darynda: Yes, Reyes is quite estranged from both his otherworldly father and the man who “raised” him, if that’s what you’d call it, on Earth. He was sent from hell to find the portal, aka, a grim reaper, but when he saw Charley, he fell in love and waited for her to be born, to become the reaper on this plane. That being said, Charley is probably a bit more than he bargained for. She is sarcastic to the extreme, a tad high maintenance, and lives on coffee and chocolate. Other than that, she’s fairly everyday, besides the fact that she’s the grim reaper and solves cases for both the living and the dead.

Susan: For the record, I love, love, love this series. What do you suppose was the seed that sprouted these characters?
Darynda: The whole thing started when I envisioned Charley. She popped into my head one morning as I was dozing between the alarm and the snooze button, and I knew she was the character I’d been waiting for. I wanted someone sarcastic and full of snark and sass. But deep down, she is very caring. She uses sarcasm as a defense mechanism for a life that has not been easy. When I decided to make her the grim reaper, I knew I needed a hero just as strong, and Reyes Farrow was born.

Susan: Suspense Magazine compares the Charley Davidson series to Janet Evanovich’s
Stephanie Plum series. That’s exciting! I like Stephanie Plum as much as anyone, but I see Charley as much more competent. What say you?
Darynda: Well, thank you! I don’t mind that comparison. I love what Janet did with Stephanie. She created a unique, fun character and put her in an unusual (especially at the time) situation. I love that she’s not all badass, but kind of relies on a little help from her friends and a lot of luck. I’m not sure how Janet would feel about the comparison, but I am completely flattered.

Susan: So Book Four, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is hot off the press— congratulations! I noticed on your website that you recommend the books be read in order, so as to avoid spoilers. I’ve read them in order, and I’m glad I did. Have you given any thought as to how many Charley books there will be?
Darynda: Right now, the sky’s the limit. I’m so lucky in that my editor wants the series to continue. At this moment, not really sure how many there will be, but I do know exactly what will happen in the very last book. I’ve already started a spin-off when that happens that will knock readers for a loop. But hopefully I won’t need to use it for a very long time. It’s my secret weapon.

Susan: Things have happened pretty fast for you since that 2009 Golden Heart win. You have four Grave series books—and a short story—out, and I heard you have a YA series forthcoming. Is your head spinning? Please tell us about the new series!
Darynda: I am doing this interview on the very day the first in the YA series was released, so actually yes, my head is spinning a bit. It’s a timing thing.

DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is about a girl whose life is irrevocably changed when the Angel of Death starts high school in her small town. What she doesn’t know is that he was sent for her. What he doesn’t know is that when the time comes, he won’t be able to take her. And that’s when their world gets turned upside down.

For this series, I knew I needed a to-die-for hero, and I think I found one in Jared Kovach. Still, his transformation onto this plane has not been an easy one. After all, he walked through the dusts of our planet as it was being formed. He’s traveled to the farthest reaches of our universe, felt the pull of a thousand black holes. He’s witnessed the formation of a million suns, seen the blinding sparks as they burst into stars. And yet humans fascinate him more than anything else. Especially one in particular. And becoming one of them, walking the earth as though he belongs, has been the biggest challenge he’s ever faced. He’s fought demons, waged wars, taken the lives of thousands in the blink of an eye, but nothing prepared him for the reality of life on Earth.

Susan: Do you travel much? What is your favorite place you’ve visited so far?
Darynda: I travel quite a bit for conferences and such. I love everywhere I go. It’s ridiculous. I especially love DC and New York. I have yet to travel out of the country. I can’t wait though!

Susan: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Darynda: Oh, man, I love it all! Everything from historical romance to serial-killer thrillers to zombies. I love paranormal anything and adore science fiction. Lately, I ‘ve been reading a lot of YA. There are just so many stories! I wish there were more hours in the day for that reason alone.

Susan: What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?
Darynda: Kiss of Steel by Bec McMasters (currently reading), Lover Reborn by JR Ward (LURVE!), Poison Princess by Kresley Cole, (Can’t wait!) The Supernova Saga by CL Parker, and I’ve been dying to read both Jim Butcher and Lee Child, so #5 is a toss up. (I know, I’m so behind)

Susan: What was the first story you remember writing?
Darynda: I was five or six and I wrote a play so close to Cinderella, it would have screamed lawsuit. You know, if it’d actually gone anywhere.

Susan: What is your biggest vice?
Darynda: The internet. GAH!

Susan: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Darynda: Read or watch TV/movies.

Susan: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Darynda: Pretty much all of them! OMG, I have been so fortunate. I got to quit the day job and write fulltime. I hit the NY Times best sellers list. I won a RITA. It’s funny because with ever goal you meet, another one takes its place. So, I do have new goals, but as far as dreams, I am living them right now. 
Susan: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
Darynda: My husband's sense of humor. Unless he’s the reason I’m having a bad day.

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

Susan: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
Darynda: Sadly, none of my quirks are interesting. I tend to sign randomly as I talk. That’s almost interesting. Almost.

Susan’s GOTTA ASK: What is your favorite scene in Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet?
Darynda’s GOTTA ANSWER: Oh, wow! Okay, my favorite scene. That’s tough. While I could spout out exactly which one is my fav from Third Grave without a second thought, Fourth is harder. For some reason, there are several that come to mind. So, without being cliché and saying it’s the sex scene (because I really, really like that scene), I will go with the scene that features Cookie’s margaritas and the consequences that lie therein. I giggled while writing it. Out loud.

Susan: What’s up next for you?

Catch up with Darynda online...

Twitter:     @Darynda
Blogs:        http://www.darynda.com/category/blog/
Pinterest:    http://pinterest.com/darynda/

Darynda has a question for you—and she’s having a drawing! Winner gets her choice of DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR or FOURTH GRAVE BENEATH MY FEET (this drawing is open to international entries). Don’t forget to leave your email address with your response in the comments section to enter the drawing.

What is on your nightstand right now?

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address. 


  1. Yay! What a great interview, Darynda's in the house. Too many books to count. I'm reading I, Alex Cross, by James Patterson and The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Silenced by Allison Brennan. Playing catch up! Darynda, so happy for your success, and it's so deserved. Thanks for joining us here today! Good job, Susan!

  2. Darynda is a new-to-me author so I'm not familiar with her works. But after reading about her stuff here, makes me think I am definitely missing something.

    Right now, I'm reading The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens. Up next, it's a toss-up between Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith or Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson or Donors by Jeffrey Wilson.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  3. What a great interview, ladies! Charley sounds like my kind of heroine.

    As for what I'm reading, I have a TBR pile nearly as tall as I am (and that's saying something)! Right now I'm in the middle of the ARC of Other People's Baggage, which is a delightfully funny mystery novella collection, and next in my stack is HPR's The Other Woman.

    Thanks for sharing, Darynda, and thanks for hosting, Susan!

  4. Charley ROCKS!! Everytime i hear people talk about the Charley Davidson series, i smile thinking of the wit and excitement she always gets herself into, and how in the end, Reyes finds some way to help her...mmmm love these books!

  5. Great questions and responses! But Charley doesn't just live on coffee and chocolate, let's not forget Burritos and other fast food.

  6. Awesome interview!! Thanks so much for the contest.
    careysabala at cox dot net

  7. A spin off? Now, I won't be able to stop wondering what it will be. Love Darynda and her books! Thanks for the great interview!!

  8. Darynda is such a terrific author! I love both the Charley Davidson and her new Darklight (YA) series. What a wonderful interview!

    I'm currently reading Mate Claimed by Jennifer Ashley and up next is Christine Feehan's latest.

  9. HI, Darynda! Congrats on all your successes!

    On my nightstand is my Kindle, where I am reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Up next is Secrets of a Wedding Night (in book form) by Valerie Bowman.

  10. Great interview! I've compared Charlie to Stephanie PLum a bit myself. :)

  11. Oh - on my nightstand right now - I am currently reading Sacrifice the Wicked, book 4 in the Karina Cooper series, and will then promptly move on to Mortal Ties by Eileen Wilks.

  12. I LOVE, LOVE Darynda! Thank you for such an awesome, interesting and insightful interview. Currently I am reading Death and the Girl Next Door by the fabulous Darynda Jones. I am only a little way in so far but this book has pulled me in the exact same way First Grave on the Right did when I was first introduced to Darynda and Charley. Darynda's writing has a way of grabbing hold of you and not letting go. I can't wait to see what happens next! :)

  13. Technically my kindle is on my nightstand with lots of books waiting to be read. =) I just finished a book and I'm not sure what I'm going to be reading next. I'm thinking it's going to be Playing at Love by Ophelia London. I am a sucker for second chance at love stories and hers looks really good.

    I'm a huge fan of Charley and I love Darynda's books! I definitely can't wait to get my hands on both books. I've heard a lot of good things about Death and the Girl Next Door and I can't wait to read it.


  14. Hi Darynda and welcome back to GLIAS.

    Great interview...love the answers. And love the premise of your books. WOO HOO to your bountiful success. Thanks for joining us today.


  15. I must have 20 books stacked on my nightstand along with my Kindle Fire. I am slowly trying to get to them, but it is taking forever since I can't seem to stop buying books. Great interview and I love Charley. Thanks for the chance.


  16. City of lost souls, but if you look at my dresser it is stacked with my TBR that is so behind because of my own writing. Loved the Q&A Thanks so much. jokestner at yahoo dot com

  17. I don't keep books on my nightstand, but I do have two full bookshelves in my room. :D When I read in bed, it's from my iPhone, and I'm reading Thea Harrison's True Colors: Elder Races.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  18. well, believe it or not, it's a Janet Evanovich book "Seven Up". I enjoy Stephanie Plum and laugh hysterically while reading about her, BUT I sound like an asthmatic seal (my husband's words) when I read about Charley Davidson!

    I love EVERYTHING I've read by you, Darynda. Every time a new book comes out, I go back and re-read the other books first. :)

  19. This grimlet is reading J.R. Ward's Dark Lover for a book swap. I dread starting a new series right before FGBMF comes out, but a girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do.

    wkonsunshine1 at gmail dot com

  20. The goddess test by Aimee Carter


  21. Awesome article/interview! Love all things Darynda! :-)

  22. Right now, I'm reading Spellbound Falls by Janet Chapman.

  23. Right now I have my Nook, and a hardback copy of Hank Phillippi Ryan's The Other Woman. Very soon I will also have a copy of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet! :)

    Thanks so much for a greta interview, Darynda!

  24. Quite a lot actually. I finish a book usually before bed and forget to take it back to the shelf for weeks. Currently Im reading Hidden Salem so thats there. A couple of the Guardians of Eternity books City of Fallen Angels. A couple of the Chicagoland Vampires series. The latest Dean Koontz. The Legend that is Michael. And a few others.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  25. I currently have Low Pressure by Sandra Brown (almost finished), The Seduction of Phaeton Black and Pushing the Limits. I try to read one book at a time but like to have several closy by :)


  26. Thanks everyone for stopping by to comment! The winner of the drawing is : careysabala at cox dot net


  27. Thanks everyone so much for stopping by! I love this blog. It was great fun to be here!

  28. Too many books! Like The Help and Hunger Games.


  29. Too much! However, the book I'm currently reading (about to start) is Immortal Hope by Claire Ashgrove. My nightstand holds a random and haphazard collection of papers, remotes, my netbook, my ipod/dock, candles, an egg containing slips of paper marked with a book title (this is how I choose which book I read next) and a water bottle.

    AquarianDancer at gmail dot com