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Debut Print Book: Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.


Name of debut release: Wicked as They Come

Release date: 03/27/2012

Publisher: Pocket, S&S

2 sentence summary: When hospice nurse Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal steampunk world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits.

Genre: paranormal, steampunk, romance

Characters: Tish Everett is an Atlanta hospice nurse who just wants to get over a relationship gone bad and take care of her dying grandmother.
Criminy Stain is a magical and wicked Bludman, or blood drinker, who runs a traveling circus in a world called Sang. He’s like an extra-naughty Mr. Darcy.

What makes this story different: My world fuses a steampunk Victorian-type world with a new twist on vampires. Half the population are blood drinkers called Bludmen, but instead of being rich and perfect, most of them are oppressed by the humans and forced to live in ghettos in the cities. The animals are blood drinkers, too, and the folk have more to worry about from bludrats and bludbunnies than the Bludmen. Criminy is an unusual, playful twist on the typical alpha male, and the carnival adds a quirky goth flavor to the tale.

Is this a series?: Yes, the Blud series

Why you wrote this book: After watching the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and getting addicted to the album Like Vines by The Hush Sound, I dreamed that I woke up naked in a very strange world and saw a dude leaning against a tree who looked like a naughty, long-haired Mr. Darcy. That became Criminy Stain, and I had to write the story just so I could spend more time with him.

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? This is my third book and my first sale. The first book I wrote was a tragically flawed story about a married woman who accidentally slept with the Greek god Zeus, and the second book was a middle grade adventure about basement goblins and talking attic rats.

What’s your writing process? I get obsessed with a story idea, chew on it for a while, write a loose outline, and dive right in. The first draft usually takes around a month, but the rewrites and edits take forever.

Your next published book. Wicked as She Wants, out spring 2013 with an e-novella out this fall called The Mysterious Madam Morpho.

The last book you read that you loved. Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races entirely captured my attention with a new mythology and lyrical prose. And The Fault in Our Stars just destroyed me to bits.

The last book you read for research. Um… Fifty Shades of Grey. *shifty eyes* For research.

The romance book character you most identify with. Elizabeth Bonner from Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness books. She’s as quietly rebellious as I am.

You can check out more about Delilah S. Dawson and her books at


Guest Reviewer


  1. Ren
    May 02, 2012 @ 10:31:48

    Okay, this sounds awesome. I’ve been desperately hoping for something fresh, and this is the first description in ages that’s been able to spark my interest. Off to sample…

  2. Jenny Lyn
    May 02, 2012 @ 10:53:38

    On the cover it looks as though his left arm has been hacked off. O.o Aside from that, it still cool, and she does have a very interesting premise.

  3. Mireya
    May 02, 2012 @ 11:35:29

    I am on the same boat as the above commenters. Sounds quite interesting, my paranormal mojo, which had been on hiatus, is back, so I think I am getting a print copy and bringing it with me during my vacation, which starts in a week or so. I was actually looking for a couple of new books to try as I am not sure how the tablet is going to work out due to its low battery life.


  4. kamluen
    May 02, 2012 @ 12:37:52

    Read this book.loved it.loved the worldbuilding.very. interesting premise.nice bookcover…yummy criminy…will read book2…….

  5. cbackson
    May 02, 2012 @ 13:27:06

    @Jenny Lyn: The cover makes me think of Mystery, that ridiculous dude who purports to teach men how to pick up women. I’m pretty sure this is his going-out outfit.

  6. kathybaug
    May 02, 2012 @ 13:39:19

    I read this book and give it a “B”. Great worldbuilding. I had some issues with the flow of the book. I can’t tell you what they were now, that’s why I’m not a reviewer, but I would certainly recommend this to other readers looking for something different, and I plan on trying the next in the series. ::Bludbunnies:: :)

  7. Sharon
    May 02, 2012 @ 14:12:10

    Criminy Stain! This may be my favorite name of a hero EVER! And who could resist an extra-naughty Mr. Darcy?

  8. Delilah S. Dawson
    May 02, 2012 @ 18:18:55

    Thanks so much for the post, Jane! And I hope y’all enjoy Wicked!

    p.s. I had to go look up Mystery, per cbackson’s comment, and OMG, CRACKING UP. Criminy does look a little like that, if more dangerous and with long hair. And he sounds a lot like Buffy’s Spike. Well played!

  9. Karen W.
    May 02, 2012 @ 18:56:03

    I just finished this book & LOVED it!!! I’m just so sad that I have to wait another *year* for the next book in the series! Waaa!!!

  10. Susan
    May 02, 2012 @ 19:20:35

    Glad to see so many readers liked this. It’s in my (ridiculously long) Kindle queue, so I’ll have to move it up.

    Talking attic rats–I hope they get recycled into another book at some point.

  11. Delilah S. Dawson
    May 02, 2012 @ 20:06:58

    Karen, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The e-novella out this fall is an entire romance in itself and clocks in around 35k, so it’s… a third of a book? =) And includes a bludbadger fight.

    As for the attic rats, I still totally love that middle grade book and hope that it’ll see the light of day some time in the future. I pitched it as a cross between The Borrowers and Labyrinth.

  12. Superkitty
    May 02, 2012 @ 20:59:25

    Yeah, I read the description for this book a couple of weeks back and added it to my wishlist because it sounds *original*, so I’ll buy it for sure. I’ll even give the author a pass for reading Fifty Shades of Grey. ;)

  13. Peggy P
    May 02, 2012 @ 21:15:57

    I just finished this book last week after reading a review somewhere (where? where?) – and I really enjoyed it … I am way over vampires but this was good – and different. The world building was great and slightly off kilter from our world but in a good way. Can I just say how much I loved Criminy?! What a great name … my next dog I swear, will be named Criminy Stain though I hope that is not prophetic! Thoroughly enjoyed this book, a damn fine read with competent writing and memorable characters.

  14. Elizabeth McCoy
    May 02, 2012 @ 22:08:24

    …I must get this in physcopy so I can potentially share it around. I am intrigued.

  15. Delilah S. Dawson
    May 03, 2012 @ 09:10:52

    Superkitty, the problem isn’t that I read 50 Shades of Grey. The true travesty is that I then bought 50 Shades Darker…

  16. Fran
    May 03, 2012 @ 16:31:44

    You had me at “He’s like an extra-naughty Mr. Darcy.”

    I am adding this to the tbr pile.

  17. Elizabeth McCoy
    May 06, 2012 @ 19:57:30

    Bought! Read! Enjoyed!

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