15 Jun 2014

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Birth of the Vampire (The Vanderlind Realm #1) by Gayla Twist



Dorian is a vampire who doesn’t believe in love. Haley is a human who doesn’t believe in vampires.

At seventeen, Haley Scott’s life is pretty miserable. She lives with her uncle in a small town where she has absolutely no friends and barely any social life. Haley knows for a fact that there are very few people on the planet who care if she lives or dies.

Dorian Vanderlind is a vampire with a past he’s reluctant to face. He visits his cousin as a favor, only to find himself entangled in the enticements of the mortal world.

What happens when these two are thrown together in the most complicated of circumstances? Find out in Birth of the Vampire ~ Book 1 in The Vanderlind Realm. 

My Thoughts

Haley Scott is a down on her luck teenager. Her mother is literally crazy, and she has bounced between foster care and her mother's care for most of her seventeen years. She is currently living with her occasionally abusive, borderline alcoholic half uncle Kevin (her mother's half brother). Haley isn't popular, has no friends and she tends to keep to herself and coast along without being noticed.

Dorian Vanderlind, the vampire, is spending the Christmas with his aunt and cousins at the family castle. Intrigued by his cousin Jesse's infatuation with a mortal girl, and teenage mortals altogether, Dorian attends a party with his cousin. It's at this party that he meets Haley.

Although there is no romamtic connection between the two, Dorian finds himself fasinated with Haley. She seems smarter and more mature than her peers, and she has interesting theories about vampires and immortal life.

When Haley abruptly leaves the party, Dorian feels the need to follow her. As a result, he is there immediately after Haley crashes her car. In a moment of weekness on Dorian's part, he decides to turn Haley instead of letting her die. But becoming a maker isn't all that it's made out to be for Dorian. He finds himself with a typical teenager on his hands, and although he finds Haley fascinating, they don't have that 'bond' that they are supposed share. He marvels at her ability of being able to control her bloodlust. He also finds himself faced with a decision - pull Haley in to line, or stake her.

Birth of the Vampire is the first of Gayla Twist's novels that I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I connected easily with the characters and found the story quite entertaining. Haley was quite humorous at times, both with the way she spoke and the way she thought. Dorian was an 'old soul' - mature and wise. Bet hey! He's a vampire! He's been around for a while!

The story is told in alternating points of view. Mostly Haley and Dorian's. While I'm not a great fan of alternating POVs, I did feel that this story needed it. Haley and Dorian are so different, I needed to be placed in both their heads to understand them better. However, towards the end of the book, as Haley and Dorian we around each other more, I found that the POV changes were retelling the same thing, just from the other's eyes.

If you are looking for a good paranormal read that will keep you entertained with the story, then I recommend reading Birth of the Vampire by Gayla Twist. I look forward to seeing where Haley and Dorian's journey takes them in the future.

I was gifted a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating

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Author Interview

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I have a business degree, which explains why I’m a writer... I have written dialog for video games and comic books, but I prefer to write my own ideas in novel form.

What were your favourite books as a child, and have they influenced the way you write today?

Very young – Fox in Socks

Chapter books – 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith – read it over and over again, dozens of times

A little older than that – The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Lifelong love – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I used to know when I was ready to break up with a boyfriend because I would start craving P&P.

What is a typical writing day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you follow a regular routine?

I have a toddler so I have to grab time when I can. On weekdays, I write while she is at play group and when/if she naps. I write in the office that I share with my husband. If he’s at his desk, I use my noise cancelling headphones and listen to sounds from the beach.

Do you set a daily writing goal?

Yes – Weekdays I try to write 2K words a day. Weekends, I try to write 1K words a day. Sometimes I make it. Sometimes I don’t.

What motivates you to write?

If I don’t write them down, then I’m just making up stories in my head. I’m constantly running dialog.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Finding the time. Focusing on one project. Finishing that project.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

Not really. (Touch wood.)

How did you come up with your book title(s) and/or series names?

My two series – The Vanderlind Castle series and The Vanderlind Realm – use the last name of my sister’s best friend. I’m not sure if she knows I’ve borrowed it. I just always thought it sounded cool.

As far as book titles, I thought of Call of the Vampire while dozing early one morning and the other titles followed from there. I get a lot of good work done while dozing.

Do you have favourite character from your own book(s) and why?

I’m usually crushing on whatever male lead I am currently writing and love my female lead. – So currently Dorian and Haley. – I just really get into whoever I’m writing at the moment.

Can you describe your writing style in 25 words or less?

I use way too many commas and the word “just” too frequently. I have to go back through and edit them out.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would its title be?

Tall Woman, Short Country – I love to travel and have been to a ridiculous number of places. The fact that I am almost 6 feet tall has led to some interesting encounters, usually not all that pleasant.

What are your current favourite books and authors?

I have a writer-crush on Neal Shusterman.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

I can stick my foot in my mouth in almost any situation.

Quick Questions:

E-book or print?

Print, but only because I stare at a computer screen all day.

Favourite colour?

Green! Second favourite? Purple

Favourite season?

Fall (Or Autumn, if we’re being fancy.)

Favourite holiday?

Not sure. Ground Hog’s Day? Isn’t that everyone’s favourite?

Coke or Pepsi?

I don’t drink either anymore, but when I was growing up it was Pepsi.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee, but sadly I’ve had to switch to decaf.

Dogs or cats?

Cats...? Although some dogs are fun. Tough call.


When I was a kid, I was afraid of vampires. I still have to sleep with something covering my neck. Usually just my hair, but my neck can’t be exposed.

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