The Touch of Twilight (Signs of the Zodiac Series #3)

( 181 )


On the surface she's a sexy, sophisticated socialite, at home among the beautiful people of the Las Vegas upper crust. But Joanna Archer inhabits another world: a place ordinary humans cannot see . . . a dangerous dimension where an eternal battle rages between the agents of Light and Shadow. And Joanna is both.

Stalked by an enigmatic doppelganger from a preternatural realm, Joanna can feel the Light failing—which is propelling her toward a ...

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The Touch of Twilight (Signs of the Zodiac Series #3)

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On the surface she's a sexy, sophisticated socialite, at home among the beautiful people of the Las Vegas upper crust. But Joanna Archer inhabits another world: a place ordinary humans cannot see . . . a dangerous dimension where an eternal battle rages between the agents of Light and Shadow. And Joanna is both.

Stalked by an enigmatic doppelganger from a preternatural realm, Joanna can feel the Light failing—which is propelling her toward a terrifying confrontation with the ultimate master of evil, the dark lord of Shadow: her father.

Vegas is all about winning big . . . or losing everything. To save her friends, her future, her worlds, Joanna Archer must gamble it all by fully embracing the darkness inside her.

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Editorial Reviews

Kelley Armstrong
“Pettersson’s paranormal world is as original as it is compelling. The action comes fast and furious. Like Las Vegas itself, this is an adventure that’ll keep you up all night.”
Kim Harrison
“The Scent of Shadows came out of nowhere and slapped me silly. … You’re going to love this.”
Charlaine Harris
“...Read at your own risk —it’ll keep you up past your bedtime.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060898939
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/27/2008
  • Series: Signs of the Zodiac Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 485,874
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicki Pettersson

Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sign of the Zodiac novels, a six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll always consider that glittering dust bowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).


Las Vegas native Vicki Pettersson always loved to write, but a post-college stint in public relations convinced her that "working on assignment" was not the career for her; so she did what any self-respecting Vegas girl would do: she became a showgirl by night... and a closet novelist by day. A decade later she also became an instant bestseller with the back-to-back releases in her dark urban fantasy series, The Scent of Shadows and The Taste of Night. She'll appear in November's Holidays Are Hell anthology, and The Touch of Twilight: The Third Sign of the Zodiac will follow in June 2008.

Author biography courtesy of Eon.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating excerpts from our interview with Pettersson:

"I used to be a Las Vegas showgirl. In fact, dancing in the Folies Bergere at night was what enabled me to write during the day. It gave me the time and space to learn and grow, and at the end of the day I could pack away the laptop and go hang with my friends in the lights and sequins and feathers. It was a great way to spend my 20s, and the perfect compliment to the sedentary writer's lifestyle. So that's my real advice to aspiring authors: expose yourself nightly to thousands of strangers! It worked for me!"

"I was born and raised in Las Vegas, which I've found is even more interesting to people than my having been a showgirl. (No, I did not live in a hotel growing up!) It was a drastically different scene back then, and rather boring because there wasn't a whole lot for kids to do. Before the Mirage was built in 1989 it was pretty much a small town with a big, bright bulge in the middle, like a snake that'd swallowed a light bulb. Like other locals, I can still reach down past the glitter and the fast pace, and trace the remnants of that small town like the lines on my palm. It's still there, if you know where to look."

"Being a mother has made me a better writer. My baby has made me faster and bolder and smarter, and taught me I can do things I might never have attempted before. An odd fact of motherhood is that you'll do things for your child that you'd never do -- or ask for -- for yourself. Isn't that strange? So I was determined from the get-go that I wasn't going to blame my child for my own professional failures. Whatever I do or don't accomplish lies squarely on my shoulders. So there are sacrifices I have to make right now -- getting up at 4:30 in the morning is one of them -- but that's nothing compared to the rewards, and I know this time is fleeting. So I'm careful not to squander it. Being a mother is a wonderful asset!"

"I've recently begun getting into Mid-Mod Century culture and design. I've suddenly become conscious of all the small affinities I have for the '50s and '60s: I love Hepburn-esque dresses, cocktail culture, and I've always romanticized the Rat Pack days (I used to say that I was a showgirl 20 years past my time). I'd really like to buy one of the older Mid-Mod homes, with their sharp angles and clean lines and cinderblock patterns and butterfly roofs, but the areas these homes are in (in Las Vegas) need to be revitalized a bit before I jump on board with that."

"I used to daydream that Elvis was really my father. (Yes, such are the dreams of a child raised in Vegas!) But he was performing in town around the time I was born and my mother was totally cute -- and I can do the lip thing, 'Thank you very much' -- so I thought it entirely feasible!"

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Read an Excerpt

The Touch of Twilight

Chapter One

The country-western bar rocked on its pilings with music and conversation, laughter and line dances—and an obscene number of ten-gallon hats—all competing with the glint of the club's lights to obscure my sightline. It didn't matter. The scent of the Shadow alone was enough to alert me to her presence. Even the sweaty masses, with their perfumes and deodorants and soaps, could do nothing to mask the pungent rot of a demon masquerading as a human being.

A cigarette flared on the lips of a man to my left as I slipped smoothly across the straw-strewn dance floor, squeezing the grip on my crossbow through the open zipper of my designer clutch. Raucous laughter erupted ahead and to my right as bellies filled with the Jell-O shots that would eventually be blamed for this night's folly. The band rocked hard in front of a plate-glass window suspended beneath a slanted rooftop, and the lights of the Las Vegas Strip sparkled enticingly in the distance.

My awareness of all this was cursory. Acridness was building in the back of my throat, and the tang of soured skin made me wince as I neared the bathroom door, but I held my breath once there, stilled my movements, and steeled myself for battle. Regan—Shadow agent, astrological Cancer of our enemy Zodiac troop, and would-be rival for my true love's affections—possessed hearing so sharp she could make out wings beating in the air. She could taste unbridled emotion as if sipping from a cup, and given the chance, she could scent me too.

My nostrils flared as I breathed in deeply, and it was there . . . the petal-soft top note of singedroses powdering the air, just shy of cloying. The heart note like milk so recently gone sour a dulled palate wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

The base note of slick, hot vomit.

With aching slowness, I gripped my conduit in front of me, slipped off my kitten heels, then lowered my chin and widened my stance.

You are the Kairos, the fulcrum upon which hinges the paranormal battle between good and evil. Your every action is loaded with meaning, charged with energy, and linked to your legacy.

My troop leader's reminder fired like a rocket through my mind, and I shot back a mental rejoinder as I kicked open the door with a splintering crack.

How's this for action?

But the sitting area was empty, and I immediately sidestepped my way to the cluster of stalls, stopping short when something sharp and unnaturally shiny caught my attention. An ice pick lay angled across the vanity, projecting homicidal intent as clearly as a chalk outline. I recognized it as Regan's conduit, her paranormal weapon, the only thing that could truly destroy one of us. A blow from an enemy's conduit would slay you, and a conduit turned against its own controller would erase their existence so completely, they were scrubbed from supernatural history. Not even a footnote left to speak to their existence. And Regan's was lying right there in the open.

Stupid bitch. I took a step toward it.

"I wouldn't, if I were you."

I whirled toward the stalls in time to watch a slim, delicate, and deadly hand appear. It held one of the tiny, teasing devices I'd found littering my ex's modest tract home. It was the reason I'd come here to kill.

Lowering my own conduit, I stepped down. One mean twitch of her thumb, and a man would be blown to bits just outside these doors. My man.

"Come on, superhero," Regan taunted, coming into full view. "Show me your scariest super face."

Though expected, Regan's appearance always startled me. Her dark bob was exactly chin length, as if she'd measured it with a ruler while cutting it, and hadn't let it grow a centimeter since. Her build was more compact than when we'd first met, but then mine used to be as well, and that's what jolted me. That's who she'd been designed to imitate. Me. Before I'd been turned into a white-hot, slick-curved, brick-house blonde.

"Where is it?" My voice had turned unnaturally raspy for a woman. It happened when I was extremely pissed.

"His watch." She shrugged, watching me carefully, eyes lingering on my bare feet. "I told him I could get a great deal on a TAG Heuer. He loves it."

She sauntered across the powder room to perch herself on a stool designed like a mini-sawhorse, still holding the detonator aloft. I smirked as, one-handed, she began putting on lipstick in a shade I used to favor. Cute. She'd taken the blueprint of my former features—the way I wore my hair, the skin tone, and eyes—twisting the details in small ways to make them her own. The clothes she wore were still conservative, if a tad tighter than mine had been, and her jewelry was more dramatic, playing off deceptively delicate features.

Regan's beauty regimen, and her near-pathological need to test me, had her slyly setting the detonator down and whipping out a simple black compact. Not trusting that this too wasn't a detonator in disguise, I only watched as she used a cut sponge to reapply cover-up to a scar below her left ear. I wasn't privy to how she'd gotten that one, but I knew Vanessa had nearly caught her three weeks ago with her hinge-bladed fan, and sure enough, Regan lifted her shirt to reveal the still-angry scores above her waist.

Unlike wounds from mortal weapons, conduits always left scars . . . again, if we survived them at all. Ordinarily one had to work to conceal the raised scars, but this concealer went on smoothly and the scar vanished, leaving her belly flawless in its mirrored reflection. Whoever had mixed the compound, I admitted grudgingly, had known what they were doing.

"Isn't Ben even a little curious as to why his sweet 'Rose' has so many scars?" I asked acerbically. Now that my immediate plans for murder, mayhem, and revenge had been foiled, I decided to keep her talking until I came up with a plan B.

The Touch of Twilight. Copyright © by Vicki Pettersson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 181 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 183 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A kick-butt heroine with attitude and sophistication

    In this third installment of the Zodiac series, Joanna Archer finds herself being stalked by a mysterious female otherworldly being that is neither Light nor Shadow. Is this creature friend or foe?
    Pettersson delivers action, twists and turns and a touch of romance leaving the readers wildly entertained.
    She's got the gift of getting you to really care about the main characters, feeling for them, and wanting to know more.
    Like the rest of the series, this was a real page-turner.
    Read the first two before you read number 3.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    read the other previous books of this series before this one...

    Once again great reading material, make sure you read the books in the order they came out in the series or it will be hard to follow the plot and lessen the experience.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I love this series!

    If you haven't read the first two books in the them! In fact, I suggest that you purchase all three books currently in the series at once! It was a refreshing change of pace to read a paranormal book that didn't contain vampires, werewolves, and witches! I love the main character Joanna Archer. She is a strong, independent woman that doesn't mind getting her hands dirty, or taking care of her own problems. What I like about the series is that the storyline is unique, the characters each have their own strengths, and villains that you'll love to hate, like Regan! These books will have you laughing, loving, hating, and crying! I was very impressed by this series and have recommended it to all of my friends. I am axiously awaiting the next book in the series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Vickie Pettersson Gets Better and Better!

    I absolutely love all of Ms. Pettersson's Zodiac Series. Please write more and more. I usually don't gush over much of anything but these book are some of the best fantasy I've read. Move over Charlaine Harris, this could be a great television series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    I Love this Series, The Zodiac Series

    Joanna/Oliva Archer is part light and part shadow. In this book she is being stalked by a doppelganger from a preternatural realm. She is still fighting off her Father, the Tupla and trying to protect her old boyfriend Ben from the Shadow Agent, Regan. We meet up again with all of the agents of the light and some of the shadow agents. These books are fast paced and great fun. Once I pick one up, I have a hard time putting it down. I guess I will have to wait at least a year for the next one in the series. What a great series, so different. I love the Zodiac Series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    I was happy with the outcome of this book. I loved what happened in the end between Ben and Johanna but I hated the way Hunter was treated. Johanna has grown as a person. She is finally coming to terms w/ her new life. If you are a Johanna Archer fan, you will be extremely happy with this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    Wanted it to be over but didn't want it to be over!

    This book drove me crazy (in a good way)! The story was not going the way that I really wanted it to go but then I couldn't think of a better alternative. Pettersson really does a good job giving the reader just enough without making the whole story sugary-sweet. The third installment in this series still finds Joanna (and others in her troop) questioning her shadow side's dominance. Some questions are finally answered but the ending definitely left an opening for the next book...can't wait!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a tale that is impossible to down

    Light and Shadow are constantly are war with one another. In Las Vegas, Zodiac Troop 75 keeps the Shadows in check protecting mortals from adversaries who would harm, kill, or convert them to evil. One of the newest members of the unit is Joanna Archer, who now looks physically like her dead sister Olivia. No longer mortal, she cannot have a relationship with the love of her life Ben, but she refuses to let her evil Shadow counterpart Regan lure him into something malevolent.---------- A doppelganger is being formed in an alternate reality, but is investigating Joanna before coming to our realm by tearing holes in reality and if not stopped the world will cease to exist. Her father, the evil Tulpa, meets the doppelganger and knows Joanna who is part light and part shadow can stop it. He wants them work together to destroy it. The troop leader wants Joanna to let him change Ben¿s memories forgetting Joanna from the time she changed into a superheroine. The moves Joanna makes will determine who rules. She must find the strength to let Ben forget her, but doesn¿t know if she can.-------------------- Part urban fantasy, part mystery and part pulp add up to a tale that is impossible to down as the audience will want to know how the problems are resolved. Vicki Petterson keeps readers¿ attention with several red herrings and unexpected twists. Fans will feel for the heroine who has so much on her plate topped off with what to do with the man she loves.------------ Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Addictive and Frustrating

    Vicki Petterson has created a leading character that absolutely gets under your skin in more ways than one. You truly sympathize with this heroine, yet at the same time can't help but want to slap some sense into her. The ups and downs in this particular book of the series are truly frustrating. The love triangle keeps you on a tight edge. Over all, I enjoy the way this author ensnares you with her plot and enjoy it every time it all comes together in the end. I love it when a book makes me forget that its characters are not just characters in a book. Couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Good read

    Book three has 343 pages. On to book four. Very good series, a fun read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    Great book

    This is a great book hard to put down. Dont miss out on this series.

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  • Posted April 22, 2013


    Takes you into another world for good vs evil without all the religious stuff. Vicki is redundant about previous happenings (must be because they are meant to "stand alone") and Joanna aka Olivia seems to whine alot. I keep expecting the heroine to learn from her mistakes and smarten up, maybe she will. Her attitude about Hunter seems very immature. Over all the action is fun and the characters wonderfully detailed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013


    I totally recommend this awesome read. In order to appreciate the story, you should read the first two books in order. This will not disappoint. I'm soo thrilled with this series and can definately add to my lists of favorites!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    Very Enjoyable

    I have really enjoyed this series this far. I love being able to follow characters as the change and grow across a series. Olivia/Joanna has a lot of angst that I can relate too. I have been immediately starting on the next book in the series because I just have to know how she is faring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    Pace slowing...

    ... compared to first two books in the series, felt like it dragged at times.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Most frustrating heroine EVER-Skip this...

    Book 1...I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, she was new to the super heroing business, was bound to make mistakes but surely she'll learn from them and grow as a character.
    Book 2...hmmm wait, still making the same mistakes, putting herself, mortals, and the light in danger. She's not growing as a character, not becoming any better of a hero.
    Book 3....hrmmmm, still the most worthless hero ever. I was willing to chalk up the mistakes she makes in the first two books to being new to the hero business, but by book three I believe she's been at it for a year now, and she is STILL MAKING THE SAME HORRIBLE decisions. I mean if I was the tulpa I'd tell her to stay on the Light side, Id be afraid of the damage she do to my team if we let her come over. Over all she's got the most out of control obsession with Ben, she doesnt learn from her mistakes, she constantly threatens her "arch nemesis" but is so easily beat down ever time I dont understand why any of the shadow's take her seriously, she's screwed up the lives of multiple mortals, and ruined the life of one of the changlings and the changling's sister (which im sure she'll eventually bungle around to fixing sometime in a future book). More often than not she has to be rescued by someone or let go by the shadow. The only good thing that came out of this book...we finally get done with Ben, I was actually hoping someone would kill him off by the end of this book if some other resolution wasnt found. Dont read this book, chalk up the first 2 as a loss and move on. From what I understand from reading reviews the very tiny little itsy bitsy bit of growth we got out of her in this book all reverts in the next one anyways. Meh Im done with the series.

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Series seems to be slowing down

    When I first began reading Vicki Pettersson's Signs of the Zodiac series, I was thrilled. The characters were compelling enough to get to know and the storyline concept of urban superheroes of the Zodiac was something new in the realm of paranormal fantasy fiction. Now in Book Three, the series seems to be slowing down with not much plot development and less character growth. The personality of the protagonist, Joanna Archer, is also beginning to devolve into the usual bitchy and bitter attitude that dominates female protagonists of most urban fantasy/paranormal fantasy series. Do all modern female protagonists have to be bitchy towards their colleagues/friends/family in order to have the storyline revolve around them?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 183 Customer Reviews

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