5 x 5 – KRISTEN PAINTER & the Five Books That Inspired Her

December 11, 2012 Five by Five, General, Giveaways, Guest Post 31



The first thing that drew me to Painter’s HOUSE OF COMARRE series was the incredible cover art by the Spanish artist Nekro.  I was instantly drawn to it by the black, white, and red color palette, the golden tattoos, and the intricate, gothic detail that frames every cover image.  The world Painter creates within the books is equally as arresting as the art that covers them.  I love Painter’s ability to give us something fresh in a genre that has seen it all.  Her concept of “blood rights” is unique – humans known as Comarre are born and bred to feed vampire nobility, the rights to their blood sold off to the highest bidder.  They are prized possessions, property.  They have no freedom or independence.  The heroine of the story is Chrysabelle, a coveted Comarre, who is making a bid for freedom and Painter makes Chrysabelle a force to be reckoned with.  I love that she doesn’t come out of the gate as kick ass, rather she is smart and strategic, never revealing her true capabilities until necessary.  And Mal…so tragically tortured.  Double cursed and forced to hear the voices of all he has killed.  When these two are thrown together, fireworks erupt and Painter does a wonderful job of drawing their attraction out.  This has become one of my favorite worlds and one of my favorite series.  I love Painter’s originality, deceptively strong heroine, her ability to give a great twist, and the dark world she’s created where blood is power and freedom is precious.





1.  Illusion by Paula Volsky

This is probably the first dystopian I ever read and I’m sure back then, I’d probably never heard the word dystopian. But this book is so much more than that label. It’s lush and dark and also sometimes bleak. If you haven’t read it, please do. Prepare to miss a day or two until you reach the end.


2.  Until Forever by Johanna Lindsey

What can I say about a story that revolves around a 1000 year old Scandinavian sword and the woman that pulls the weapon’s owner into the present day? It’s the kind of campy, comfort read that I still reach for on occasion. It’s fun and it’s entertaining and it’s the book that made me think, “Hey, I should really try writing one of these…”


3.  Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

I’ve been an Authurian Lit nerd since way back and this is a seminal piece of work that puts the female characters up front and center. Not to be missed. A thousand pages of fabulousness.


4.  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

After reading this, I became a convert to the unexpected twist, something I try to do whenever possible in my own work. Yes, this is a male YA, but don’t let that stop you from reading it.


 5.  Anything by Shakespeare

I read a lot of Shakespeare when I was young. For fun. Yeah, I was that kid. But you really can’t deny the Bard’s way with words. I mean, the man invented the words puking, eyeball and alligator, just to name a few of the thousands he’s credited with coining. He’s kind of the Godfather of Writing.



Mal – Anything that might provide a way to remove his curses.

Chrysabelle – Her mother’s journals.





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About the Author

A little about me: I’m a former college English teacher, but I’ve held a crazy mix of other jobs including maitre’d for Wolfgang Puck, personal trainer, and sales for Christian Dior Bijoux. On the writing side of things, I’m a two-time Golden Heart finalist and have been on the board of three different RWA chapters. What can I say? I like getting involved. I’m not adverse to bossing people around either.

My forays into writing have been as varied as the jobs I’ve held. I’ve written poetry, articles for magazines, short stories, paranormal romances (that include fantasy, contemporary and steampunk genres) and now I’ve found a home with urban fantasy. I love worldbuilding and few genres give you the kind of license urban fantasy does.

I’m also the co-founder of the award-winning writer’s site Romancedivas.com. I blog occasionally at www.fictionistas.blogspot.com and tweet at twitter.com/Kristen_Painter more often than I should. You can also find me on my Facebook author page here: www.facebook.com/KristenPainterAuthor

I live in FL with my retired Air Force husband and a horde of feline dependents. I’m represented by The Knight Agency.


Please visit KRISTEN at her favorite spots:


31 Responses to “5 x 5 – KRISTEN PAINTER & the Five Books That Inspired Her”

  1. Cat @ Addicted 2 Heroines

    I love Chrysabelle! This is an awesome series. Would love to have a signed copy of Blood Rights. All of the books on Kristen’s list sound interesting, but Ender’s Game is the one that stands out to me.

    Great post and giveaway!

  2. Samantha Lee

    Blood rights.

    Nekro is an amazing,and can’t wait to try Kristens books

  3. Annie Slasher

    I would love to read Illusion. I swear I am the only person on the face of the planet that did not like Enders Game! LOL It was well written and with a big twist for sure, but something about the thought of little boys…OK my full complaint would be a total spoiler! Anyhoo. Thank you both for this great post!

    • Brooke Banks

      Don’t worry, I didn’t like Ender’s Game either. So at least we have each other. LOL

  4. Opal

    I would love to read Blood Rights.

    And why am I not surprised that you got lured in by the cover art? 😉

  5. Braine Talk Supe

    I’m an eclectic reader like KP. I read a lot of Shakespeare when I was younger too, fancied myself a poet. I’ve had phases where I read a lot of Romance, then moves to fantasy, then modern gothic stuff. Never been into Sci-fi much though.

  6. nrlymrtl

    Paula Volsky – my good friend also recommended this book. I should probably also read Mists of Avalon – my man says it is excellent. Ender’s Game is phenomenal, and Speaker for the Dead even more so.

  7. Barbara Elness

    I would choose Illusion by Paula Volsky, it sounds great. Out for Blood would be my choice of Kristen’s books.

  8. Giulia A.

    I’d choose Illusions. It seems great! *_*
    Anyway, thanks for the awesome giveaway! >:<

  9. Sophia Rose

    I’m a big Shakespeare fan and quote his plays frequently so that’s what I would pick.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  10. A.J. Larrieu

    Great post! Those covers really are amazing. I’ve never seen anything else like them. I’ll definitely check out this series.

    Ender’s Game is one of my favorites, too. But if I win, I’d like the Mists of Avalon. I’m ashamed that I’ve never read it!

  11. Jenn

    I would choose Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I have never read anything by him even though his books have been on my to-read list forever.

  12. Brooke Banks

    I’d choose Mists of Avalon for my pick.

    Illusion is going to have to go on my to-read list as well.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. rissatoo

    I’d choose Ender’s Game. Not because I haven’t read it, though…because I keep giving my copies away! (It was also the book I gave out on World Book Night last year — so cool to share it with 20 strangers!)

  14. Jolene A

    Great post and great books!!

    I would love the first book, Blood Rights

  15. Amy R

    I would choose Illusion. I love dystopian books but have never heard of that one!