Paranormal Week Day 7: Spotlight on Deborah Harkness and All Souls Trilogy - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Paranormal Week Day 7: Spotlight on Deborah Harkness and All Souls Trilogy

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Paranormal Week In Review:


Day 7 of Paranormal Week brings you one of my favorite series ever, the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. The books are incredibly well written and researched, packed with suspense and mystery, brimming with passion and desire. This series, perhaps like no other, is simply perfection to me. It frankly has the nerdiness factor I delight in, the mystery and suspense to keep me enthralled, the romance to keep me swooning and the supernatural je ne sais quoi that keeps me riveted to the page. And what do I mean by nerdiness factor? Well, I absolutely love books that are so evidently well researched and well written… the story line so rich and layered that I find myself instantly immersed within it. In this instance, we are dealing with the mystery of finding an ancient book (Ashmole 782), written by a well-know bibliophile and student of alchemy, Elias Ashmole. What some of you may not know is that I am also a writer and English major so for me…mix up a discussion of old books and Oxford, challenge me with some intellectual discourse, throw in some vampires and witches… and then transport me to Elizabethan England, and folks, this is my metaphorical version of a book soul mate. No joke! I literally finished both books and then immediately read them all over again.

About The Series

This is the synopsis of book 1, A Discovery of Witches.

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. 

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

Why I Love These Books

As I mentioned above, I just love everything about these books. The story’s intellectual underpinning and erudite discussions fascinate me to no end.  And Matthew Clairmont…  well… he’s my number one book boyfriendever. He’s a geneticist and a fellow of All Souls College at Oxford University. Oh, and did I mention he’s a beautiful, brilliant, enthralling, enigmatic vampire? From the moment he first appeared on the pages of A Discover of Witches, I knew I was irrevocably hooked. Diana Bishop, our bold protagonist and well-educated historian, is equally intelligent and fiesty. She’s a witch of great power, although she doesn’t know it yet. Their relationship is a gradual burn despite an immediate spark, and it keeps you wanting for more with the angst, desire and romance that sets the pages ablaze. Through the story we learn more about this unlikely duo, about the alchemical bonds that tie them and about the powerful missing manuscript. In addition, for a girl who is obsessed with Britlish Lit, especially Elizabethan England, book 2 is beyond gratifying. These are the books I wish I could write. The books I won’t tire of reading. The books that are an inventive masterpiece of fiction. Pure literary gold.

Reading Order


  1. Discovery of Witches
  2. Shadow of Night
  3. The Book of Life (coming July 15, 2014)


Resources and Fun Stuff

Q&A with Deborah Harkness

(Sourced from

Did you know the end of the book when you started?

I knew the end of Diana and Matthew’s story very soon after I started. I wrote the first three lines (“it begins with absence and desire…”) first: that was my outline. Then I wrote chapter one of A Discovery of Witches. Then I wrote what I believe is the final chapter of book #3.

Who is your favorite character in ADOW?


Do you believe in magic?

Yes. I never disagree with Albert Einstein.

How did you research the book?  How long did it take you?

I’ve been studying European history between 1400 and 1800 since 1982. I have lots of notes.

Where did the idea to write the book come from?

From a vacation in Puerto Vallarta, where I walked through the airport and saw all the books about witches and vampires on the shelves. This made me wonder if there really are witches and vampires, what do they do for a living?

Where did the inspiration of a vampire that does yoga come from?

I was in a yoga class trying to do downward dog and while upside down I spotted someone who seemed to be balancing on a bit of their forearm and their ear. Obviously that person was not human.

Why is Diana so independent?
Why is Diana so dependent (on Matthew)?

Different perspectives are a beautiful thing, yes? I put these two questions together—the most often asked about Diana—just to show you that independence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

What chapters of ADOW were the hardest to write?

The chapters when Matthew abandoned Diana at Sept-Tours.

How long did it take to write ADOW?

I wrote the book in nine months and revised it for submission over the course of three months. Then I spent a further six months editing the book for publication.

I am very worried about Hollywood ruining the story.
Please tell me that you’ve not signed away all control over it.

I sold the rights to the trilogy to Warner Brothers because I trusted the producers, Denise DiNovi and Alison Greenspan, and the studio to take care of my characters and story. I do not have any control over the movies. I am not a filmmaker. I am a historian and a novelist. In order to keep teaching, researching, and writing, I need to keep doing what I do well and let others do what they do best, i.e. making movies. That said, when the production team asks for my opinion, I give it to them.

**A note from VBB: From what I read, most want Richard Armitage to play Matthew Clairmont in the movie. Here’s a video. What do you all think?**


About Deborah Harkness

deborahharknessMy life has been a series of left turns that nevertheless took me in the right direction (though it didn’t always seem so at the time). I went to college to be a theater major and ended up studying the Renaissance. I went to grad school to become a college administrator and loved to teach so much I became a college professor instead. I thought I wanted to be a Tudor-Stuart historian, and found myself a historian of science. I started blogging because a friend needed help on a project in 2006 and am still blogging about wine today. I started writing a novel in the fall of 2008, and it became a New York Times Bestseller in February 2011: A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The second volume in the All Souls Trilogy, SHADOW OF NIGHT, came out in July 2012 and debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller’s List. What’s next? The final volume of the trilogy, of course – The Book of Life.

Click here for full author bio.

Connect with Deborah
Website | Facebook | Twitter


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  1. Rita Luken said:

    This is one smart series. I love all the historical facts. I like how the second book was time travel. Can’t wait for book 3


  2. Lee T said:

    I have not read this series – but it looks great!


  3. Christina B said:

    Haven’t read this series, but based on your recommendation I think I definitely should! 🙂


  4. Bube said:

    This is one of the best series in paranormal. Wonderful story who blends love,fantasy,magic,alchemy and history 🙂
    Thanks for the interview,thanks for this wonderful blog post 🙂


  5. Mary Ann Atzrott said:

    Had never heard of this series until now…. will definitely be giving it a read!!! Thanks…


  6. Kim Perry said:

    Sounds like an interesting series! I’ll have to add these books to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!


  7. Louisse said:

    Great feature!!! 😀 I friggin’ love The All Soul series and I can’t wait to read the last book.


  8. terrie61 said:

    This is my introduction to this series…and I love what I have read so far. I am adding it to my “Must Read” list. Thanks for the introduction to this author and series. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway. Happy Halloween!


  9. Donna Reynolds said:

    Sounds like an amazing series will have to pick them up Thanks for the great giveaway and helping find a new auther for me.


  10. Alexandra A said:

    OMG Vilma, I LOVE this Paranormal Week! Thank you so much for those suggestions! I`m a big fan of paranormal books <3


    1. rfehostadmin said:

      Thank you Alex!!!


  11. Sheila said:

    I absolutely adore this series. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read this book. I’ve even been to Oxford since my first read, just to follow in the footsteps of the characters. If you haven’t listened to the audio book, I highly recommend the narrative talents of Jennifer Ikeda. Lastly, lovers of the series can get their Matthew fix by following These daemons campaign every day to have Richard Armitage as Matthew Clairmont in the movie.


  12. Stephanie F. said:

    I love this series and have been anxiously awaiting the Book of Life. It’s such a unique and intriguing story that just hooked me in.


  13. Alexandra A said:

    I`ve decided to start this series next 🙂


  14. Gilwen said:

    The firt book was ok and the second one a lot better. Now I can’t wait for the third 😉


  15. Sandra said:

    This series is by far one of the very best I’ve ever read, along with the Mortal Instruments and the rest of Cassandra Clare’s works about the Shadowhunters. Since I needed a theme for my master’s degree I’m writing about Diana’s and Matthew’s 16th century journey and I can’t wait for the outcome. May I ask if you have any additional material about the series that I might find helpful? Thank you very much for this post 🙂


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