Born in TX; married.
Colorado Romance Writers' Heart of the Rockies contest, first- place award, and World On Romance Rose Award, best historical novel, both 2000, both for For Love or Country; PRISM Award, Texas Gold Award, and Anne Bonney Readers' Choice award, all 2005, and Borders Bestselling Debut Author award, 2006, for How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire.
For Love or Country (novel), Tom Doherty Associates (New York, NY), 2002.
(Contributor) Sugarplums and Scandal, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2006.
"LOVE AT STAKE" SERIES; NOVELS
How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Vamps and the City, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Be Still My Vampire Heart, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2007.
The Undead Next Door, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Kerrelyn Sparks's vampire romance series has won her rave reviews and an enthusiastic readership. The series opened with How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, which Sparks described in a Romance at Heart interview as a "vampire comedy thriller." The book gives the vampire theme a contemporary twist, with its undead characters living opulent lifestyles filled with their own cable TV channels, celebrity magazine, and other trappings. The novel begins when sexy vampire Roman Draganesti has a dental emergency, requiring treatment from the mortal human dentist Shanna Whelan. Shanna, comfortably settled in a new life under the Witness Protection Program, now discovers that the villains who have been after her have discovered her new identity and whearabouts. It is up to Roman, who has fallen hard for his attractive new dentist, to save Shanna from the ever-intensifying danger—and this danger threatens Roman as well, because Shanna's stalker is Roman's vampire nemesis. Susan Mobley, writing on the Romantic Times Online, praised How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire for its "fast-moving" narrative and plentiful humor. The novel received the Borders Bestselling Debut Author award in 2006.
In Vamps and the City, Darcy Newhart wants to resume her television career after living for several years in a vampire harem, but conventional paths are closed to her because everyone believes her to be dead. She sees her chance, however, with the Digital Vampire network (DVN). Darcy comes up with an idea for a reality show, "The Sexiest Man on Earth," in which a vampire harem chooses a new master from among several attractive candidates. To spice things up, though, Darcy has secretly added a few mortal men to the mix. But she doesn't know that one of these men, Austin Erickson, is a CIA vampire-killing agent. John Charles, writing in Booklist, observed that Sparks "skillfully infuses her writing with a deliciously sharp wit," calling Vamps and the City "wickedly fun." Romantic Times Online contributor Cheryl A. Hoahing expressed similar enthusiasm for the book, describing it as a "delightful novel" with "laugh-out-loud vampire humor" and "extremely likeable" characters.
In the series's third installment, Be Still My Vampire Heart, CIA vampire hunter Emma Wallace is out to avenge the vampires who killed her parents. Newly arrived in the United States from England, where she worked for MI6, Britain's secret intelligence organization, Emma begins cruising Central Park to destroy any vampires lurking there. When she meets Angus MacKay, however, her resolve is shaken. Angus, in full kilt costume, is a Scottish warrior who charms Emma and works hard to win her trust. He shows her that what she knows about vampire slaying is dangerously naive. Angus instructs her in the history of the evil vampires, the Malcontents, and presents himself as harmless. Little does Emma suspect that Angus is really the head general of the vampires, assigned to stop her from carrying out her job. Helen Hancox, writing in Curled Up with a Good Book, observed, "As a lighthearted read, [Be Still My Vampire Heart] works very well."
As its title suggests, The Undead Next Door is the story of what happens when a vampire moves into a new neighborhood. Jean-Luc Echarpe, head of the European vampire coven, is a famous fashion designer whose clients have included Marilyn Monroe. When couture writers begin whispering about Jean-Luc's uncannily youthful appearance, he realizes he needs to go into hiding for several years to avoid suspicion, after which he can reemerge and resume his career. He chooses the sleepy town of Schnitzelberg, Texas, and decides to treat himself to a final extravagant fashion show before going underground.
Things do not go as planned for Jean-Luc, however. After he agrees to hire aspiring designer Heather Westfield as his assistant, he becomes entangled in a plot against Heather's life—for she intervened when a crazed old man attacked Jean-Luc. Though Jean-Luc fends off the attacker, whom he recognizes as fellow vampire Lui, he realizes that Heather will never be safe until Lui is destroyed. "Heather is a particularly admirable heroine," observed Helen Hancox in CurledUp with a Good Book. "She's intelligent and works out the vampire/immortal thing before she's actually told." Romance Novel TV contributor Kathy Savas described The Undead Next Door as "romantic, funny and very exciting."
Sparks began her writing career with historical romances. She entered her first manuscript in several contests, but the story failed to attract any positive notice. Her second attempt, however, which she jokingly called "Insatiable and Saucy," received top honors in a contest, and the editor judge encouraged her to complete the manuscript. The result, For Love or Country, combines a romance plot with comic action. Set during the eighteenth century, the book tells the story of Quincy Stanton, a Boston ship owner and patriot who is recruited by his uncle to spy on the English. In disguise, he visits Tory homes in the area to learn what he can about British plans. There, he meets Virginia Munro—another patriot spy. Neither suspects the other's true role, and the need for secrecy complicates their growing attraction to each other. The pair's "bumbling attempts at subterfuge provide plenty of laughs," wrote a contributor to Publishers Weekly, though the reviewer deemed the book more "comedy of errors" than fully-developed novel. Booklist reviewer John Charles, enjoyed the book's "delightful characters and snappy dialogue," calling the result "pure fun." Cathy Sova, writing in the Romance Reader, described Quin as "delightful," noting that Sparks makes the character real by investing him with wit and humor. For Love or Country, Sova concluded, "is a standout debut—witty, charming, and featuring one of the most captivating heroes you're likely to encounter."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July 1, 2002, John Charles, review of For Love or Country, p. 1831; May 1, 2006, John Charles, review of Vamps and the City, p. 76.
Publishers Weekly, June 17, 2002, review of For Love or Country, p. 49; February 26, 2007, review of Be Still My Vampire Heart, p. 67.
Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (April 20, 2008), Helen Hancox, reviews of Be Still My Vampire Heart, and The Undead Next Door.
Kerrelyn Sparks Home Page,http://www.kerrelynsparks.com (April 21, 2008).
Romance at Heart,http://romanceatheart.com/ (April 20, 2008), author interview.
Romance Novel TV,http://romancenovel.tv/ (April 20, 2008), Kathy Savas, review of The Undead Next Door.
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (April 20, 2008), Cathy Sova, interview with Kerrelyn Sparks and review of For Love or Country.
Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (April 20, 2008), Kathe Robin, review of For Love or Country; Susan Mobley, review of How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire; Cheryl A. Hoahing, review of Vamps and the City.