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Dancing in the Dark

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John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

Best Mainstream Novel
2nd Place

#1 - 4th Quarter 2004
#6 - 1st Quarter 2005

2004 Finalist
Horror Category

Recommended
Read

Best Horror Novel
2nd Place

~John Douglas, FBI Profiler (retired)
Criminal Behavioral Consultant and
New York Times
best selling author of
Mindhunter
, Journey Into Darkness, Man Down and many others,
June 18, 2004

"T. D. McKinney creates a powerful and compelling debut novel, Dancing In The Dark. This marvelous dark romantic fantasy is filled with vibrant characters who resonate with the reader--a criminal profiler, his vampire mistress, and a vicious serial killer--along with an eccentric, colorful supporting cast. The author weaves a rich tapestry reflecting the faded elegance of New Orleans in all its decadent glory. T. D. McKinney presents the sinister twists and turns of a serial killer’s mind with accuracy and flare. This is an author who really did their research. It shows in the wonderful details of criminal profiling.  Dancing In The Dark has a future as a best seller, and T. D. McKinney is an author to watch."

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~Fallen Angel Reviews, On-line Review Magazine
FallenAngelReviews.com

from Reviewer & Editor, Michelle
May 2, 2005

Rating:  5 Angels ~  "Recommended Read" for May 2005!

An arrogant serial murderer is stalking and killing the women of sultry New Orleans and with each full moon another body is discovered; there have been over twenty victims so far. Special Agent Jack Niemczyk and his NOPD liaison Captain Remy Lambert have worked together on this case for months and are no closer to solving these murders than when they started. They turn to Alec de Leon and his woman Baby for help to find this killer, but to Jack’s surprise, get a lot more than they’ve bargained for.

Jack feels like he’s stepped into another world - one where nothing is as it should be and nothing makes sense; perhaps he has. He is sucked deeper and deeper into the web of his surroundings as the story unfolds, he can’t seem to get a handle on this case, and he’s started a very interesting relationship that will have serious repercussions.

Dancing in the Dark drew me in from the very first paragraph. There’s a jaded and unbelieving FBI operative, a boyishly good-looking Cajun cop, some wild, otherworldly vamps and a villain that drips pure evil; in short, everything needed for a phenomenal story is right at our fingertips. Dancing in the Dark is wonderfully gritty, terrifyingly authentic, and blackly humorous, with incredible paranormal elements and dramatic characters.

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~Road to Romance, On-line Review Magazine
RoadToRomance.ca

from Reviewer, Tina Burns
February 18, 2005

FBI profiler Jack Niemczyk is on the worst case of his life. In his almost twenty years as a Special Agent, Jack has delved into the minds of some of the craziest criminals and sickest serial killers. This latest serial killer case, however, is causing him some serious problems. Someone is killing women, draining their blood, and dumping them on the streets of New Orleans. Jack and his partner, Remy Lambert, are no closer to solving the case than when they first started. That is until Remy decides to ask the local Master to assist in finding the killer. Jack is a little confused as to why the local police, more importantly Remy, would ask for assistance from someone who seems to be nothing more than a criminal himself and whose wife looks like a hooker.

Baby is no hooker. She’s the Queen of the New Orleans vampires and she’s set her sights on having Jack. Baby gets to have her cake and eat it too when she lures Jack into her embrace and makes him her pet while at the same time, she is the local vigilante looking for Jack’s serial killer. Pure lust and desperation allow Jack to overlook the fact that his “lover” is a killer. Has Jack bit off more than he can chew in allowing himself to be the “kept” man of the Queen Vampire? Will they solve the case before more women are killed? Or will Jack’s life be destroyed and the killer roams free?

T.D. McKinney builds on the mysteriousness of New Orleans with her eclectic cast of characters and nail biting suspense. She enhances the book with glimpses from the mind of the killer that will put chills up your spine. Jack’s tendency to look at the case with scientific eyes is reminiscent of X-Files Mulder and at times was frustrating until he finally realized that he was dealing with vampires. I’m interested to see how the series will continue. DANCING IN THE DARK is wonderfully dark and erotic. Anyone up for some DANCING IN THE DARK?

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~Romance Junkies, On-line Review Magazine
RomanceJunkies.com

from Reviewer, MB
Genre: Suspense/Intrigue
February 8, 2005

Rating: 5 Blue Ribbons (highest rating)

For FBI Special Agent Jack Niemczyk, New Orleans has become a city of frustrations.  From bosses that seem determined to thwart him at every turn to a partner who keeps more secrets than the mighty Mississippi, Jack just can’t seem to get a straight answer from anybody.  Then along comes Baby Roxton, wife of the local crime boss with secrets of her own to conceal.  For Jack, Baby is a distraction and an aid, taking him deeper into the darkness of his own, and his suspect’s mind. 

Baby, the tormented consort of Alec de Leon, becomes fascinated with Jack’s acceptance of her in all her guises.  From the flamboyant hooker-clad woman of the dance clubs to the dark huntress of the French Quarter, he accepts her completely and totally with no reservations.  There’s no way that she’s going to allow such a man to escape her. 

 

DANCING IN THE DARK delves deep into the mind of FBI Special Agent Jack Niemczyk as he discovers that there are more than just criminals hunting in night.  Frustrated by a major case that seems to be going nowhere, Jack starts his own private investigation aided by New Orleans Homicide Detective Remy Lambert and Baby, the Queen of New Orleans.  What begins as business rapidly becomes personal.  Baby and Jack's spiral into love and lust is a delicious treat both for the jaded FBI profiler and the reader. 

 

DANCING IN THE DARK has so many twists and turns that by the end of the book, you're panting for more.  Ms. McKinney is deft in her writing, each paragraph has many layers of meaning, clues are dropped in the most unexpected of places, and despite a large and varied cast, you never forget that the focus of the book is Jack and Baby’s relationship, in all its forms. 

 

So many good things could be said about this novel that I could go on for pages and pages.  So I’ll close by saying that this is a grand entrance into a richly layered world, I can’t wait for the next installment to appear.

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~The Romance Studio, On-line Review Magazine
TheRomanceStudio.com

from Reviewer, MB
Genre: Suspense
January 21, 2005

Sensuality: Spicy
Rating: 5 Hearts (highest rating)

He hated his case, his partner, and New Orleans. All three represented the greatest frustrations of FBI Profiler Jack Niemzyck’s life. Having trained under some of the best and brightest Mindhunters the FBI ever employed, Jack was considered the best of the new generation of profilers. Having his new case stonewalled was not helping his professional reputation, but then again neither was having the local crime boss’s mistress taking a sudden interest in you, your work and your case.

Bold and brazen, Baby Roxton is the Queen of New Orleans in more ways than one. Her flashy dress style is more suited to a woman half her age, but she doesn’t care. She’s completely comfortable with what she is, the dominate female vampire in the city. She takes what she wants when she wants it. And she’s set her sights on Jack.

For a first novel from a new author, Dancing in the Dark is a wild ride through the underbelly of New Orleans. The book is as dirty and gritty as the city itself; so achingly real that this reviewer could easily picture her vampires trolling the city seeking new prey or new playmates. There’s a surprise on every page – be it the realism of yet another crime scene or the paranormal delights of the vampires. The mystery is as solid as the ground it’s built on. Ms. McKinney takes you into both sides of the investigation, the criminal’s dark mind and the profiler’s determination to hunt him down, with a skill and ease I’ve only seen in well-established authors. While those seeking a hot and heavy romance may be disappointed by the lack of explicit detail, Ms. McKinney’s writing is such that I never missed a beat of what was happening between the characters and never noticed the lack. Dancing in the Dark is a multi-genre novel that truly defies convention and leaves the reader wondering what kind of trouble Jack Niemczyk will find next as he falls further and further beneath the spell of Baby Roxton.
 

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~Coffee Time Romance, On-line Review Magazine
CoffeeTimeRomance.com

from October Reviewer of the Month, Sheryl
October, 2004

Rating: 5 Cups (highest rating) - Very Rare, Extraordinary Read

Jack along with his liaison officer for the New Orleans Police Department, Remy Lambert is now trying to catch the serial killer who is targeting the women of the New Orleans area. Now with the help of The Master of the vampires they seek to find the killer and bring him to justice, only they hope to get him before he kills any more women.

Special Agent Jack Niemczyk works for the FBI and is trying to find the serial killer in his current case. He is also unaware of whom he is involving himself with until he finally sees who they are…Vampires.

Baby Roxton is the Queen and wife of Alec de Leon, King of New Orleans and a vampire. Asked to help Jack catch the serial killer, she does not expect to find herself drawn to Jack, or making him her pet.

Dancing In The Dark is a dark story of death, passion and finding that dreams differ for everyone. Jack is a FBI agent who at first does not believe his own eyes until he becomes a part of the events. Baby is a woman vampire whose seductive charms are hard for some people to overlook. I enjoyed the way these two characters interacted with each other and those around them. This is a story that I would not have chosen myself but having read it, I’ve found it an enthralling and exhilarating book to read and hope that there will be more written about these characters.

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~Enchanted in Romance, On-line Review Magazine
EnchantedInRomance.com

from Staff Reviewer, Nicole
June 3, 2005

Rating:  4 Unicorns

Baby is the Queen of the New Orleans.  Vampires - definitely no hooker like some would think. She first set her eyes on Jack and just knows she must have him. She lures Jack to her, embracing him and makes him her pet. She is also the local vigilante on the lookout for the serial killer he is trying to catch. Will Jack want her when he knows the real her? 

Jack Niemczyk is a FBA profiler and on the worst case of his career. In his whole 22 years as a Special Agent he has dealt with lots of crazy Killers, but this one is causing him some serious problems, someone is killing woman in one of the weirdest ways he has ever seen: they are draining the blood out of the woman and then dumping them on the streets. Jack, with the help of his partner Remy Lambert, is nowhere closer to solving this gruesome case then they were in the beginning. But then he meets this beautiful woman that makes his heart and other parts of his body go "OH wow, I must have her now".

When Jack meets Baby, he feels such strong feelings of passion for this woman. The passion and his desperation to catch this sick killer let him overlook her other side, the side that is a killer. Will the two of them be able to catch the killer and solve this violent case before they get killed? Will Jack and Baby be able to work out there differences to have a future together?

This book was full of action that kept you on the edge of your seat. I could not put this book down; it was that good. If you have not read this wonderful Vampire Romance, then go to get it now, you will not be sorry.
 

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~The Scary Reviewer, On-line Review Blog
TheScaryReviewer.BlogSpot.com

Genre: Suspense/Intrigue
February 8, 2005

Rating: 5/5  (highest rating)
 

First up, one of the best twists on romantic suspense I've read in a very long time, T. D. McKinney's bestselling Dancing in the Dark.

When a conservative profiler meets a flamboyant vampire queen, sparks fly, setting off a delicious dance that leaves you panting for more. Throw in a serial killer hunting old New Orleans and you have a page-turner of a mystery with tons of unexpected twists.

For FBI Special Agent Jack Niemczyk, New Orleans has become a city full of frustrations. From a boss that seems determined to thwart him at every turn to a partner who keeps more secrets than the mighty Mississippi, Jack just can’t seem to get a straight answer from anybody. Then along comes Baby Roxton, wife of the local crime boss with secrets of her own to conceal. For Jack, Baby is a distraction and an aid, taking him deeper into the darkness of his own, and his suspect’s, mind.

Baby, the tormented consort of Alec de Leon, becomes equally fascinated with Jack’s acceptance of her in all her many guises. From the flamboyant hooker-clad woman of the dance clubs to the dark huntress of the French Quarter to the conservative politician, he accepts her completely and totally with no reservations. There’s no way in hell that she’s going to allow such a man to escape her.

Dancing in the Dark delves deep into the mind of FBI Special Agent Jack Niemczyk as he discovers that there's more than just criminals hunting the New Orleans night. Frustrated by a major case that seems to be going nowhere, Jack starts his own private investigation and is eventually aided by New Orleans Homicide Detective Remy Lambert and Baby Roxton, the vampire Queen of New Orleans. What began as a business proposition between them rapidly becomes personal with Baby and Jack's spiral into love and lust a delicious treat both for the jaded FBI profiler and the reader.

With as many twists and turns as the streets of old New Orleans itself, Dancing in the Dark leaves the reader breathless and begging for more. Ms. McKinney is deft in her writing, showing experience that many a first-time author doesn't have, each paragraph holds many layers of meaning, clues are dropped in the most unexpected of places, and despite a large and varied cast, you never forget that the focus of the book is Jack and Baby’s relationship, in all its forms. Dancing in the Dark is a richly written trip into the darkside of love and lust, leaving many things to the reader's imagination; however, you know everything that happens between Jack and Baby. Amber Quill Press has released a book for the keeper shelf, well worth the additional expense to get the paperback edition rather than settling for just the ebook.

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~Amazon.com, Customer Reviews  
Amazon.com

Overall Customer Rating: 5 Stars!  (highest rating)

Reviewer:  Ms. R. C. PIKE
November 24, 2004
5 Stars!
    Excellent
.  As someone who loves crime fiction and is fascinated by the vampire myths, this book was just what I was looking for. T.D.McKinney has merged these two genres seamlessly to create a compelling and dark tale that is as addictive as a vampire's blood. I could barely put the book down, and the very real characters have stayed in my mind. I look forward to reading the sequel, and hope it won't be too long coming!
    Thank you, T.D.McKinney, for this wonderful book.

___________________

Reviewer:  Nightnurse
November 24, 2004
5 Stars!
    Excellent!
  The author has brought together my two favourite genres in one explosive novel...the story of a serial killer at large and a dedicated FBI profiler on his trail, and the magic ingredient, a powerful family of super sexy vampires who may, or may not help him. The story captures your attention and sweeps you along on a terrific ride, and ultimately leaves you wanting more....so more please !

___________________

Reviewer:  S. Mihan McKenna
December 30, 2004
5 Stars!
   The classic scenario...
of not judging a book by its cover. While the cover art for this novel can be initially off-putting, don't let the illustration fool you. This is not a book about transvestites, though that would have been entertaining in its own right.
   This is a book about crime, crime fighting, vampires, lovers, underworld intrigue, the FBI, dirty dealings, sexual escapades, and much more. It's set in New Orleans and shows an obvious love for the grand old city, despite showing the readers all sides of her- the good, the bad, and the ugly. There's a great possibility for sequels in this universe, and I challenge you not to want to read more about Jack and Baby when you're done.
   This is the ultimate escape- the perfect book for passing the time on airplanes. While not for the squeamish or faint of heart- it is very graphic in both sex and violence- for people who love crime novels, vampire novels, and the city of New Orleans, this is one wild and very entertaining ride.

___________________

Reviewer V. Pierce
November 20, 2004
5 Stars!
   Exciting new author and genre
,  In mixing vampires with the newly popular world of criminal profiling, T.D. McKinney has gifted us with a creative and suspenseful new genre that reaches beyond the usual boundaries of mystery or paranormal novels. Her characters are intriguing because they have interesting flaws that make them compelling rather than the usual, cloying stereotypes. The storyline is erotic and suspenseful both in the characters' relationships and the twists & turns the action takes. I highly recommend this book and look forward to seeing more from this author.

___________________

~ MeriBeth McCombs,
Professional Reviewer,
April 22, 2004

"With a protagonist that might have been lifted straight from the life of legendary profiler John Douglas, Dancing in the Dark delves deep into the mind of Special Agent Jack Niemzcyk as he discovers that there is more than just criminals hunting humanity in the night.  Frustrated by a case that seems to be going nowhere and leadership that seems determined to thwart him at every turn, Jack starts his own private investigation aided by New Orleans Homicide Detective Remy Lambert and Baby, the Queen of New Orleans.  What begins as business rapidly becomes personal.  Baby and Jack's spiral into love and lust is a delicious treat both for the jaded FBI profiler and the reader.  Dancing in the Dark has so many twists and turns that by the end of the book, you're panting for more.  Hopefully, it won't be long before The Shield and the Darkness book two appears to satisfy the craving for more of Jack and Baby."

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

~Russell L Smith M.S.,
President BRACE Analysis, Inc.,
www.BRACEanalysis.com ,
May 1, 2004

"Before reading Dancing In The Dark, I profiled its main characters as UNSUBS based on the input ratings of the author, T. D. McKinney, using the BRACE Character Profile. The characters were unique, very well defined, and very intriguing. A "blind" profile never does complete justice to a character, but to me these characters were each a story by themselves. The best way to tell you about Dancing In The Dark is to let the characters speak for themselves. A few excerpts from their BRACE Character Profiles:

 

"Baby has more than issues. She is a full blown narcissistic, antisocial psychopath who acts out her every desire and impulse. To make matters worse, she is highly intelligent, which translates into some very sophisticated and deviant fantasy activities which she will force others into. She is aggressive, sexually and otherwise. She will use sex for power and control, and she will use power for pleasure. There is a strange combination of intensity, immediacy, controlled emotionality and attention-seeking but not histrionic, insensitivity to others, and a high capacity for successfully exploiting and manipulating others. Her desire for power and control is matched only by her active pursuit of pleasure and comfort. Add her strong psychopathic tendencies and this is the profile of a serial killer. To be a good guy, those being killed would have to be less than human. You mentioned vampires. She could be one."

 

"Jack Niemczyk is very intelligent, thinks in terms of and is motivated by power and control, very much consistent with a narcissistic personality disorder but a very sophisticated one who uses excellent analytic and anticipatory skills and is able to adapt rapidly ... not blinded cognitively as most narcissists. Very assertive ... definitely not dependent or borderline in personality. He has the capacity to think like a subtle psychopath ... and does ... but is not antisocial. He has some unique obsessive-compulsive and avoidant characteristics related to desire. Very powerful character. Looks like a good guy but dangerous."

 

"Jean Claude DuValliere is an intelligent, sensitive, independent, self-assured individual who paradoxically displays a sympathetic interpersonal deference and social avoidance. On the surface, he appears narcissistic, confident, and even flamboyant, but there is a tension about his presentation. He wants to express more of himself than he does and he is either fighting against, over controlling, or sacrificing his desires. He is self-restrained, and paradoxically not one to actively compete for the power and control that would allow his personal expression. Why-why not? Definitely not dependent, but he defers to others. And, there is a fragile quality about his demeanor, but there is more underlying strength than weakness. He would not be someone to intimidate, though he may appear to be. There is an extreme existential need for closeness and a drifting lack fulfillment but this is an intelligent, very gentle individual with a fearless quality at his core."

 

"This is the darkest character so far. [Rene Devereau Beaumont]  But, not antisocial in nature or motive. There are psychotic features ... unreasonable, even unfathomable desires ... and a surface level of behavior that is dead even for equal cognitive-behavioral-existential influences. What you see is what you get, but it is not as simple as it appears. Underlying the rather prominent pathology is an intense desire for very focused, simple pleasures. It is not a power issue. But, it is a narrowly focused desire. There is a strange multiple personality configuration in her character. [She turned out to be a he] Many paradoxes, but she holds together well as a whole. She controls more than she wants to, expresses very slightly more than she wants to, and is possessed much more by the present than the future. She has an easy capacity to reek havoc on other, but her desire is for an idiosyncratic experience, not dominance or control. She essentially wants to be possessed, but is willing to do it herself. This is gothic."

 

"UNSUB is a paranoid psychopath with strong narcissistic and antisocial tendencies. He aggressively seeks dominance --- and dominance is his desire --- which is truly fulfilled only in fantasy. Reality is no match for UNSUB's imagination. There is a very powerful driven quality about his behavior ... at crisis level ... he is obsessed, perhaps to the level of being possessed. The existential tension is extreme and the level of unfulfilled pathology is awesome and consuming. In spite of his existential crisis, he is able to keep his wits about him ... but his range of interests is narrow and each waking second is spent to further satisfy his increasing sadistic sexual appetites. He does not allow anything to get in the way of his passion and need for intensity and control. Simple murder is beyond him ... and his pathological obsessive-compulsive nature is barely contained at all. No doubt, he's a serial killer."

 

Now, prepare for Dancing In The Dark!"

 

John Douglas     Fallen Angel Reviews     Road to Romance     Romance Junkies     The Romance Studio     Coffee Time Romance     Enchanted in Romance     The Scary Reviewer     Amazon     MeriBeth McCombs     Russell K. Smith
 

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