Mark of the Demon, by Diana Rowland

A quick follow-up thought on yesterday’s post on Author Entitlement.  I said the world doesn’t owe us a publishing contract, and that griping about not getting the success I “deserve” is tacky.  On the other hand, confidence is a must.  You have to have enough faith in yourself and your work to keep writing and keep submitting.

It feels like a balancing act, trying to find just the right amount of self-confidence and ego.  Too much and it’s easy to slip into entitlement.  Too little and you can get discouraged and give up.  It’s a little crazy, to be honest.  But then, you already knew writers were nuts 🙂


I got Diana Rowland‘s debut novel Mark of the Demon [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon] from Santa Claus this Christmas.  Thank you, Santa!

Kara Gillian is a young detective in Beaulac, Louisiana.  Also, she summons demons  (Like so many things, summoning isn’ t inherently good or evil; it all depends on what you do with it.)

Her first homocide case is to investigate the apparent return of the Symbol Man, a serial killer who tortures his victims and covers the bodies in occult symbols.  He vanished years ago, but now he’s back and killing at an even faster rate.

Not only does Gillian have to track and stop her killer, she’s also dealing with the fallout after accidentally summoning a Demon Lord named Rhyzkahl, a creature powerful enough to enslave our world if Gillian makes the slightest misstep.

I liked this book a lot.  It fits comfortably into the urban fantasy genre: tough heroine, nasty paranormal threat, a few hot sex scenes, and so on.  Sometimes urban fantasy starts to feel formulaic, but this time it worked well.  Nothing felt gratuitous, and Rowland’s background as a cop gave the book a much-appreciated level of realism.

Plotwise, there were a few times when it felt like Rowland was trying to hard to paint certain characters as suspicions, but overall the story worked really well, maintaining tension and raising the stakes with every chapter.  There were real consequences at the end, and without spoiling that ending, Rowland managed to take one element of the story which could easily have been cliche and write it in a way that made sense and worked.

You can read an excerpt at the Random House site.  And book two, Blood of the Demon [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon], comes out today.  I’m looking forward to it.

So, anyone else reading this series?  What do you think?