When Corsets and Deceivers Collide: THE DARK DAYS PACT Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway

Hello lovely readers, and thank you for visiting us on our tour stop of THE DARK DAYS PACT blog tour. I (Nancy) enjoyed reading The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman and devoured it in a day. I was quickly drawn into this world of deceivers and reclaimers, and how the protagonist had to learn to balance her duties as a daughter of society while learning to slay deceivers. So, you can imagine how we jumped at the chance to participate in this tour and interview Alison.

Summer, 1812. 

After the scandalous events at her presentation ball in London, Lady Helen has taken refuge at the fashionable seaside resort of Brighton, banished from her family and training as a Reclaimer with the covert Dark Days Club. She must learn to fight the dangerous energy-wielding Deceivers and prepare to face their master, the elusive Grand Deceiver.

As she struggles to put aside her genteel upbringing, Helen realizes that her mentor, Lord Carlston, is fighting his own inner battle.  Has the foul Deceiver energy poisoned his soul, or is something else driving him towards violent bouts of madness? Either way, Helen is desperate to help the man with whom she shares a deep but forbidden connection.

When Mr. Pike, the hard bureaucratic heart of the Dark Days Club, arrives in Brighton, he has a secret mission for Helen: find the journal left by a mad rogue Reclaimer, before it falls into the hands of the Deceivers. Coerced by Pike, Helen has no choice but to do as ordered, knowing that the search for the journal may bring about Lord Carlston’s annihilation.

Alison Goodman (www.alisongoodman.com.au) is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Eon/Eona duology, as well as a YASF thriller, Singing the Dogstar Blues, and the adult novel A New Kind of Death (originally titled Killing the Rabbit). She was a D.J. O'Hearn Memorial Fellow at Melbourne University, holds a Master of Arts, and teaches creative writing at the postgraduate level.


1.  Now you're back into Lady Helen Wrexhall's world and the stakes are higher than ever before! What do you want your readers to take away from her latest adventure?

First and foremost, I’d like my readers to have an edge-of-the-seat good time. There are some full-on dark moments in The Dark Days Pact, but also some laughs, a lot of action and a….KISS. Yes, Lady Helen gets some action (in the other sense of the word!).  Underneath all that, of course, are some of the themes I love to explore. Female power and gender roles. The oppression of womanhood. The obligations of family and duty versus independence. And the big one: what is love?

2.  How was writing The Dark Days Pact different from The Dark Days Club? Did you find it easier or more difficult, and how so?

The Lady Helen series is a trilogy and, although I’ve written the EON duology, I’ve never written a three-part series before so I’m learning on the hop. Like The Dark Days Club, the first book in the series, The Dark Days Pact stands alone as an adventure, but it is also Book 2 in the overall story arc of the trilogy and so it is Act II in the structure of the big story. That means a lot of action, paying off some of the setups in Book 1 and of course, setting up some real doozies to pay-off in Book 3. I found it both challenging and exciting, and at times completely mind-bogglingly complicated.

3.  The creatures that you bring to life in The Dark Days Club are horrifyingly fascinating, where did you derive inspiration to create these monsters?

I always knew that I wanted to create creatures that were not built straight from existing demonic mythology. Instead, I wanted to create something that would fit with the surprisingly hedonistic Regency period and somehow echo the decadence and violent passions that lurked beneath that era’s veneer of civility.  I started from the idea that the creatures were hidden in plain sight and fed on the energy of different human desires such as bloodlust, creativity and sexual yearning. From there I created the Deceivers who turned out quite horrifying! Of course, in the books, Lady Helen and her society view them through the Christian Hell and demon mythology because that is the vocabulary that they understand, but the Deceivers are in fact straight from the dark, twisted recesses of my mind (cue maniacal laughter).

4.  What are you working on now?

I am working on the third Lady Helen adventure, the final in the trilogy. I’m also writing some fun, light-hearted novellas about Lady Augusta and Lady Frederica, spinster twins, who help out women in dire need in the Regency. The first in the series –The Benevolent Society of Ill Mannered Ladies—will be released soon in an anthology called And Then…the great big book of awesome adventure tales, Volume 2.  Finally, I’ve had an idea for a third Eon novel, so I am developing that too.

5.  What is the nicest thing that a reader has ever told you?

I’m not sure it is nice, as such, but the most moving and humbling thing a reader has ever told me is that one of my books literally saved her life.  She was dealing with gender identity issues and told me that when she discovered the transgender character of Lady Dela in my book EON, she finally saw herself in a character who was strong and smart rather than just “other” and it gave her enough hope to carry on. As you can imagine, I was a total mess when she told me, and to this day, I remember how I felt both humbled and proud that something I had written had helped someone in such a way. I know a few other writers who have had a similar experience and the emotional impact of it has stayed lodged in their hearts too.

6. I love the Regency time period, which the series is set in, because it seems so romantic--but at the same time, I despise the way that women were treated then. How did the gender roles of the period influence your writing of Lady Helen and her story?

Ooh, now don’t get me started because this could turn into a four-page discussion of the terrible treatment of women through the ages! But seriously, gender roles are one of my obsessions and I always find myself exploring them in my fiction. One of my interests is how male and female power is perceived and in the case of women, how it is oppressed and deemed inferior. Like you, I also love the Regency era and one of the reasons I chose to set the Lady Helen series in the middle of that period was the chance to mash the Regency ideals of the feminine—basically to be obedient, subservient and ornamental—with a young woman who discovers she has enormous power.

7. What is on your TBR list of books and what books (besides your novels) do you recommend to your readers?

At the moment my TBR list is full of research material for the third Lady Helen adventure. I am reading the Bath Gazette from 1812, and the Sussex Advertiser, as well as articles about Bath sedan chairs and books about the Assembly Rooms.

In between all the research, I am currently reading Vigil and its sequel Corpselight by Angela Slatter, and Whose Afraid Too by Maria Lewis, the second in the Whose Afraid series. Both are urban paranormal adventures and are edgy, fun and well written, so I would definitely recommend them.

8.  If you were Lady Helen what would you hope to accomplish (and what would you be wearing while doing it???

I would have to say that the path that Lady Helen is currently on would most likely be the path I would take because there is a good deal of me in Helen, including her fashion sense. So, I would be wearing an olive velvet pelisse, a cream muslin gown and a stylish beret with green feathers, and as her alter ego, Mr. Amberley (yes, that’s a little Dark Days Pact tease) I would be wearing buckskins, a burgundy striped waistcoat, a black tail coat and a very good hat. Not to mention a particularly well-tied cravat!

Thank you, Alison for this lovely interview.

Follow these other blogs that are part of this tour.

Week One:
1/23 – A Page With a View – Like/Try/Why
1/24 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Interview
1/25 – Twinning for Books – Review + Mood Board
1/26 – My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post
1/27 – In Wonderland – Review
Week Two:
1/30 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
1/31 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Interview
2/1 – Xpresso Reads – Playlist 
2/2 – The YA Book Traveler – They Did What?!
2/3 – Icey Books – Guest Post
Week Three:
2/6 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
2/7 – Fiction Fare – Guest Post
2/8 – Forever Young Adult – Coming-Out Ball Mishaps
2/9 – Dark Faerie Tales – Interview
2/10 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Reasons to Read

Make sure to enter the awesome Giveway

Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Lady Helen books, including a paperback of The Dark Days Club and a hardcover of The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (ARV: $28.98), or to be one of five (5) second prize winners to receive paperback copies of The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (ARV: $10.99).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on January 23, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 13, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 14, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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  2. This was such a great post and interview! I really liked how the questions were not generic. Thank you for posting this :)

  3. Fantastic interview! I loved getting to know more about this story. I am so excited for the sequel!

    1. Isn't it great we get to spend more time with the characters!

  4. Sooo excited to jump into this series!!


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