Stake-Out by Lily Luchesi (Plus Interview!)

4 Stars. 

I received this lovely book from author Lily Luchesi in exchange for my honest review. Thank you again and for providing me with an interview!

The book follows Detective Danny Mancini as our main character who has been put on early retirement following a murder case in which he uncovers a 200 year old vampire; the problem is that nobody believes him. We then jump to two years later when Mancini is visited by the beautiful Detective Angelica Cross who manages to persuade him to join a covert FBI branch which deals with all things mythical and unworldly. Mancini is then tasked with the hunting of the rogue vampire, Vincent, who he came into contact with 2 years earlier. Will he catch his target or will he be taken over by his visions from a previous decade? 

I love it when some of my favourite genres come together. The story is very explosive and fast paced from the beginning which definitely captures your attention and mine! The writing is easy to read which I also like in a book and the characters were intriguing. Our two main characters, Danny and Angelica, work well together and also bounce off each other. There was a lot of twists throughout the dialogue and the use of flashbacks to make the story a little different. There is numerous quotes from songs/TV at the beginning of each chapter too which makes for the atmosphere and also adds more to the 'something different' style. 

There was plenty of things to keep me guessing throughout this story and I enjoyed this book overall for adding something new to the genre. I'm not huge on romance but the elements that were added to this book worked and I did enjoy them. It was also nice to see a new take on the whole vampire story too. Another great addition was seeing the character of Angelica being more headstrong and confident compared to females with issues as a main character. 

Overall, definitely worth a read for something new in the vampire/paranormal genre. Also a great start to a new series that will be well read. Also, if you like something quick and a little shorter, here is a book for you!


Lily was also kind enough to answer some of my questions regarding her writing career and experiences. I will include a short biography too. 

Lily Luchesi biography: Lily is a young author/poet and the paranormal detective series is her first published series. Lily has been interested in poetry and writing since a very young age. Lily also has a heightened interest in all things 'dark' and vampiric. Please read more about Lily and her books on her Goodreads profile:

1. So I have recently finished the first book 'Stake-out' which is part of a series. What were the inspirations/ideas/background to the series? 

I wrote Stake-Out one evening after watching my favorite crime TV show (Motive), and had been sitting and thinking, What would happen if a cop's perp wasn't human? The prologue was set from that thought, and I just kept writing. I barely thought, I just saw scenes before my eyes and wrote them down. At the end of the book, I realized it wasn't going to be a standalone because I had too many ideas for these characters.
What inspired the rest of the series? Nothing and everything. I kept getting ideas and I kept writing them down. Some of the things within the books, the subplots about judging people and xenophobia, were inspired by real life events, but the main storyline came in a blur.

2. Reading into your background, you began your career writing poems and then moved onto novels. Why the change to novels/short stories and do you prefer this type of writing? 

I did write poetry first. My mom was a poet as well, so I guess it was inhierted. When I was little I received books of Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson's poems, and those were also huge inspirations for me. I always did want to write novels and short stories, because ever since I can remember I was always making up scenarios with imaginary friends and acting them out. It wasn't until I was fourteen that I finished a novel (one day I swear I will tweak and release it), and not until twenty-one that I was published. It was a natural progression, and one day I will release a book of poetry.

3. How do you develop your plot and characters? Some writers like to do research and plot out their ideas, do you do this or something different? 

With the Paranormal Detectives series, my main character Danny was not plotted, he just was there, ready and waiting for me. With Angelica (my other main character), she was a bit more complex. Currently, I finished writing the fourth PDS book, and am now on the fifth, and I am STILL learning things about her. She is an enigma even to me. My secondary characters (there are many you will meet as you read each book) were all plotted out individually, but Angelica is my little riddle I am still trying to unravel.

4. What would you say are the most difficult aspects of being a writer and how do you overcome them? 

I have two different things that make writing hard for me, personally. One, I am dyslexic. In writing this interview, every other word has needed autocorrect, so it is very frustrating. Two, I suffer from severe depression, anxiety, and insomnia, which makes it hard to get up every day and find the emotional energy to write. I have had to overcome a lot in order to keep even some semblance of a schedule. And of course, the anxiety makes taking criticism very painful as well, but these are all things I am willing to battle to live my dream.

5. How difficult/easy was it to publish your first novel? Would you have self-published had you not been picked up by a publisher? 

It was Hell. I received many rejection letters, one of which was so cruel that I cried for days and then decided to quit. Give up, go back to med school, and become a psychologist as was my original plan. My mom told me, "Look, I read this book. I think it's got a lot of potential and deserves to be published. If you won't self-publish, then at least send it out to a few more places. You're too good to quit." So I sent it out to one more place, Vamptasy Publishing. And I received not only a contract for this book, but they wanted to publish EVERY book in the series, as soon as I'd written them. So, yes, the road to getting published was hard, but it was so worth it to have found this wonderful home for my books.
I might have eventually self-published, but I am glad I did not. A publisher might get a cut of your work, but it's much better working with a company behind you. Vamptasy provides cover artists, in-house editors, ISBN costs, and much more. But more than that, it's a family. There are over a hundred people--authors and staff--who work there, and each one brings something wonderful to the table. I have grown so much as an author because of their advice and guidance. It isn't just about having a publishing house, it is about making new friends who become like family.

6. Is there any advice you would give to aspiring writers, whether this be about the writing process or post-production? 

Advice for the writing process is: write now, edit later. Don't worry about anything, not plot holes or character development or ANYTHING, until that first draft is done. The rest can wait till the second draft. Also, though every so often a new genre is popular, don't write it if it isn't your thing. Write the kind of book YOU want to read.
For the post-production, make sure your cover artist is epic. Your cover sells your book. I have been told by every single person who picked up my work that it was my cover art (all of which are done by the fabulous Rue Volley) that made them want to read it.

7.If you weren't writing now, what would you be doing? 

Studying to be a psychologist. I have studied psychology since I was thirteen, and took a break between graduating high school and going to college due to a tragedy that occurred in my life. It was in that break that I decided to try my hand at writing. I might not be topping Amazon or buying a mansion in the Hills, but I am so happy with my career.

So, thanks again Lily! And happy reading :)


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