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Where to send condolences to Charlaine Harris September 26, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Charlaine Harris, author of the popular Sookie Stackhouse series, lost her mother, Jeanne Harris recently, says a post on her fan website:

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Charlaine’s mother, Jeanne Harris, late this afternoon. Charlaine was able to be with her mother when she passed, and she and her family will now be taking time to privately deal with this loss.

In lieu of flowers, Charlaine asks that you please send donations in her mother’s name to the Tunica Library, where she worked for many years, or to her mother’s church.

The Robert C. Irwin Public Library
1285 Kenny Hill Avenue
Tunica, MS 38676-9501

First Presbyterian Church
1115 Main Street
Tunica, MS 38676

Please feel free to post your condolences on the thread we’ve set up for Charlaine: HERE.
Charlaine’s dedication of “From Dead to Worse ” to her mom:

Though she can’t walk or see quite as well as she used to, my mother, Jean Harris, remains the most complete person I have ever met. She’s been the bulwark of my existence, the foundation I was built on, and the best mother a woman could have.

3 books on my “to read’ list that come out in last part of 2010 September 26, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Book lists.
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What three books being released in the final quarter of the year am I hoping to polish off? I was feeling kind of deflated now that Karen Marie Moning’s final book in the Fever series has been pushed back to next year. But after my buddies at www.sookiestackhouse.com asked me for my picks, I discovered I shouldn’t be so bummed. There are lots of good books being released. Here are my three picks. I will update this with a link to the recommendations from the sookiestackhouse.com site (they have a good book selection/author interviews and reviews) when they post their list!

Crown of Crystal Flame by C.L. Wilson — Oct. 26

This if the final book in the 5-part series about Ellysetta Baristani and Rain Tairen Soul — the Fey king who finds his true mate in Ellysetta. She is the key to saving his immortal race. And the final story tells of their battle  against the evil Eld Mages. This is more of a  fantasy-romance series but it has so many elements of magic that I include it on my paranormal romance list. In the first novel, we learn that the Fey king , Rain Tairen Soul, lost the woman he loved  in battle. In his rage, he wiped out half the world. But thousands of years later, his immortal race is in danger and the evil Eld Mages are beginning to gain power.  But then Rain hears the call of his true soul mate, Ellysetta,  a woodcarver’s daughter with special powers. Yup — there’s a scandal because she is not  “nobility ” and her existence rouses the interest of the evil Elds.

Why I want to read it? Sometimes the stories drag a bit, but it’s a great world that Wilson builds. And I want to see how Ellysetta’s special powers and connections are resolved. If you like fantasy romance — this might be for you.

Here’s a book blurb on the final book from Amazon.com:

Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King—the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld. But the most powerful—and dangerous—Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul—will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it’s too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?

Wolfsbane (Aralorn) by Patricia Briggs — Nov. 2

I like everything I’ve read by Briggs, especially her Mercy Thompson series. WOLFSBANE is the sequel to MASQUES, which Briggs wrote 15 years ago and recently revised. It tells the story of Aralorn, a shapeshifter and a spy, who has a friend named Wolf, who helps her out of a lot of jams. But then she learns about Wolf’s past and finds out he’s a powerful sorcerer and shifter — and the two of them have to work together to save the royal family and people of her country from an evil sorcerer. The sequel picks up the rest of the story. Here’s a blurb from Amazon.com:

Shapeshifting mercenary Aralorn leads a dangerous existence. Now she must return home for her noble father, the Lyon of Lambshold, has passed away. But when Aralorn and her companion Wolf arrive, they find he’s not dead, but ensorcelled by the ae’Magi, using him as a conduit to destroy Aralorn and Wolf. She must overcome this mysterious mist or fall to the blackest of magic.

Why I want to read it? Because everything by Briggs is good. Her characters have a sense of humor, she’s great at building romantic tension without getting graphic — and she’s one of the best creators of worlds and beings without going overboard.

Devoured by Darkness  by Alexandra Ivy — Nov. 30
The Guardian of Eternity series by Ivy is one of my guilty pleasures. She writes about vampires, shifters and other odd creatures but tosses in a lot of heat and romance. I’ve read all of the books in her series — each one follows a different heroine and hero — and they’re just fun. OK — yes — some of them might seem a bit formulaic with the spunky heroine and the alpha male — but they’re fun reads. In book No. 7 — we learn about Tane, a character who popped up in her previous novels. Here’s a blurb from Amazon.com:

Tane is a Charon, sworn to hunt and kill rogue vampires. His new assignment seems like a waste of his talents – until he catches up with the jinn he’s been sent to capture. Half human, half demon, Laylah has a vulnerable streak that strikes right through to Tane’s cold heart. He should be furious when she uses her powers to bind them together, preventing him from dragging her before the Commission. Instead he welcomes any reason to stay close enough to touch, to taste, to seduce … Laylah doesn’t know why she was chosen to protect a child who may be the catalyst in a war between good and evil. But the mysteries of her past pale compared to the dangers approaching. Tane is devastatingly strong, breathtakingly sensual. And Laylah will have to trust in every ounce of that strength, because her enemies are drawing near, eager to destroy them both…

Why I want to read it: Because Ivy’s books are great for an afternoon or evening of escape, and Tane is one hot alpha male!


These are my picks. So what are your top 3 picks for the end of the year?

We know title of last book in Alyson Noel’s Immortals series … September 24, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Rats — the story of Ever and Damen has to end? Alyson Noel says the final book in the series will be called EVERLASTING and should be  out June 2011. But before that, we have another novel to relish. Her fifth book in the series — NIGHT STAR — comes out Nov. 16. The description on Amazon.com reads:

Night Star continues the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world.  In this installment, Ever and Damen face down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears—all in the hope of being together forever.  Night Star is guaranteed to mesmerize fans and leave them breathlessly awaiting the sixth and final book!

For those wanting a sneak peek, Alyson emailed out a link to a short preview of NIGHT STAR. CLICK HERE to read Chapter 1.

I simply cannot believe I missed her “Smart Chicks Kick It” tour stop here in the San Diego area last week. She has a few more stops. CLICK HERE for her schedule.

Book pick: ‘Haunted Honeymoon’ hip, urban fantasy humor at its best September 19, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries.
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Every  series has to come to an end at some point and Dot gives us her take on Marta Acosta‘s final book in the Casa Dracula series. Thanks again Dot — our resident vamp expert here on the PR blog —  and we’ll be posting another one of her book picks soon. If you’ve got a book suggestion for me or Dot — please let us know. And feel free to comment in the “What are you reading” tab at the top of the blog homepage. We love to hear what you’re reading and your recommendations!

***

Marta Acosta has written the final book in the Casa Dracula series: HAUNTED HONEYMOON.  This is where we will find out if Milagro De Los Santos is going to live happily ever after.

If you have been following this series you know that Milagro has had her share of disappointments, some sad and but most hilarious.  She was accidentally bitten by a vampire who refuses to admit he is a vampire, she has  stayed with the rest of his in-denial family, has been engaged and unengaged, and has pretty much met vampires from around the world and vampire hunters.

Coming into the fourth book we wonder if she will find happiness with Oswald,  the vampire who “infected” her or someone else. She has a roller-coaster life.  She is being hunted by evil anti-vampire forces, she is suspected of murder, she is kidnapped and she loses her memory.

Marta Acosta writes all of this with her trademark wit and wisdom.  We never once think Milagro’s life is silly. It is always actually believable.  We have become sideline champions of her happiness.  The supporting cast of characters each have their own well developed personalities.  There is fiesty Edna, mysterious Ian, and gay super security guru Gabriel to just name a few.

She’s  written a wonderfully original ending to a delightful series, one that you will want to devour all in one sitting. There is so much wonderful humor written by a consummate wordsmith, even the chapter titles are a stitch.  Here are a few:

“Once Bitten, Twice Snide”
“An American, a Broad”
“Good Help is Fine to Bite”

Start with book one and happily read through the entire series:

1.  Happy Hour At Casa Dracula
2.  Midnight Brunch
3.  The Bride of Casa Dracula
4.  Haunted Honeymoon

(An advanced copy of this book was provided to Dot by the publisher, Gallery books. But neither Dot nor I are paid to review books or interview authors. This is strictly a fan blog.)

DID YOU MISS THESE?

The next Mercy Thompson ‘River Marked’ cover, now due out in January 2011 September 14, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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OK — so I’m a little behind in my Mercy Thompson news but here’s my first look at the cover for the next installment about our odd little shifter who can fix cars. At first I thought RIVER MARKED wouldn’t be released until Spring 2011 but now it looks like the release date is January 2011. Yah!

Here’s the book blurb from Amazon.com:

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now. An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

Did you miss these?

Is this art a little too graphic for Outlander graphic novel? September 11, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Fun stuff.
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Apparently some of the artwork in Diana Gabaldon’s graphic novel THE EXILE, which is a retelling of the OUTLANDER story, was a little too graphic for some of the editors. I’m not gonna post it  here but you can take a look at it by visiting Diana Gabaldon’s blog if you CLICK HERE. She explains it all. Suffice to say, the artwork is of Jamie and Claire’s wedding night. I plan to buy the graphic novel. Hope  I can download it onto my iPad.

Spoilers for True Blood season 3 finale (So don’t read if you don’t want to know!) September 11, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News, True Blood.
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From True-Blood.net

Can’t believe that the finale for season No. 3  of True Blood is finally here. It’s titled “Evil is Going on,” and it was written by Alan Ball, so you know it’s gonna be insane! (The finale is on Sunday night — Sept. 12 — on HBO at 9 p.m. If you’re on the West Coast, you can pick up the East Coast feed at 6 p.m.)

I collected a few snippets  of small spoilers from a couple of sites. You can click on the link near each blurb to read the original source.

Burning Up At Fangtasia – True-Blood.Net

The photos are  all from the Fangtasia set (aka Alex’s Bar in Long Beach) and are part of the scenes involving Eric and Russell out in the sun. The presence of Anna’s stunt double suggests that Sookie will be involved in a fight scene at some point. Skarsgard’s stunt double was also on set (not pictured), and those tubes strapped to his back and arms, used for the prop blood, sure make it look like Eric is going to be very bloody before the end of the episode. CLICK HERE to see photos and video from set filming of finale.

Pam Fights to Save Eric & More in True Blood Season 3 Finale — OnTheFlix.com

Pam fights to save Eric & more in True Blood season 3 finale episode. Kristin Bauer who plays Pam told MTV’s Hollywood Crush  that Pam will be in a fight that’s both physical and emotional in an effort to save her maker Eric. She also said that there will be some twists and turns to occur. She stated, “For Pam, the next two episodes, she’s trying,she’s in an emotional battle and a physical battle trying to save Eric. It’s quite something. There are some twists and turns that happen. It’s really clever.” CLICK HERE to see the video interview with Bauer and read the article.

True Blood Serves Up a Shocking Finale — TV Guide

It ain’t easy being vamp candy. Fed up with being fed on, Sookie  is tempted to start a new life sans Bill — or any other bloodsucker, including Eric — in  True Blood’s third-season finale. CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article.

Short video clips from HBO True Blood website — better than spoilers!

CLICK HERE to see clip on Hoyt

CLICK HERE to see clip of Sookie.

CLICK HERE to see clip on Tara & Sam.

Book pick: ‘Demon from the Dark’ continues wicked fun in Kresley Cole series September 5, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries.
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The best thing about Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series: The wicked sense of humor in all of the paranormal romance and lust and adventure.

And she continues that tradition in book No. 8 of the series (or 10 if you’re counting the novellas)  — DEMON FROM THE DARK, where we find out where the Lore are being taken.

Carrow Graie — a powerful witch, warrior and enchantress — has been captured by The Order, an evil group rounding up immortals to destroy them. Carrow — a party girl who is on a “man-fast … Why bother with them? The good ones are always taken. Or they’re weirdly uninterested in a capricious wild child with continuous legal problems” — is ordered to lure Malkom Slaine into an Order ambush. The Order threaten to kill Carrow’s recently orphaned niece Ruby — who they’re also holding — if she doesn’t obey.

But her task isn’t easy. Malkom is a vemon — part demon and part vampire. He is deeply disturbed by his troubled past, which was mostly spent as a slave, who was beaten and betrayed repeatedly after he was forced to turn part vampire. So he trusts no one. But he falls hard for the witch, who seeks him out in Oblivion, a hellish plane with lots of weird, gruesome creatures and very little water. (Suffice to say — Malkom is into grunge when Carrow first meets him, so this reminded me a little of Beauty and the Beast at first.) Some of the most funny moments come when the two try to talk — mostly communicating with hand gestures — because neither speak the same language at first.

What happens when Carrow has to turn Malkom over? You’ll have to read because I’m not gonna tell!

But I will say that this latest book in the series has me wondering what Kresley Cole will do next. We learn a little bit about what’s happening to Regin the Radiant and her capture. We’re also introduced to a sorceress named Lanthe who has injured The Vrekener — a winged demon named Thronos. (She “persuaded” him to jump from a great height — without using his wings. And so he’s after her.)

And, we catch up with characters from the other books in the series like Mariketa The Awaited and her Lykae mate, Bowen, as well as Rydstrom and Sabine, and Conrad Wroth and his Neomi. The only character she left out — the odd and amazing Nix!!!! I wonder why because Nix usually figures prominently in just about all of the books.

However, if you like the books in this series — and I’m an unabashed fan of the entire series — you’ll gobble this one up. And then you’ll wonder whose story the author will tell next.

You can follow Kresley Cole on Twitter: @kresleycole. Or visit her website HERE.

DID YOU MISS THESE?

Is Barrons the Unseelie King? Latest KMM excerpt … September 1, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Fun stuff.
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This is the latest SHADOWFEVER excerpt that Karen Marie Moning sent out. Ummmm — does it give you any better ideas about the previous scenarios? It’s interesting she’s talking with V’lane and he finds her worthy of giving her info. Clues here to Barrons? Is he the UK? Or the Hunter? I am so confused on this one, although I found the background in this fascinating. (Do I need to go back and re-read her Highlander series again for more Seelie/Unseelie clues?)

***

“I heard Cruce hated the king, wanted his concubine, and cursed the Silvers to keep the king away from her, that he planned to take the king’s woman, and all the worlds inside the Silvers for himself,” I said.

V’lane shook his head, golden hair shimmering in the sun. “It was not so simple. Things rarely are. To use a human word, Cruce loved the king, first and above all.  The creator of the Unseelie is a being of unbearable perfection.  If he is indeed Fae, he is from the most ancient, most pure line that ever existed. Some say he is The Father of All. Some say he had outlived hundreds of queens before the time of the queen he slew. Many of the forms he can take are beyond even Fae ability to absorb. He has been described as having enormous black wings that can enfold the entire Unseelie Court.”

I shivered. I’d seen the hint of those wings in the White Mansion. I’d felt the concubine’s awareness of them, had empathically shared her fascination with their feathery touch on her naked skin. “I thought the queen was the most powerful of your race.”

“The queen is heir to the magic of our people. It is a different thing. That magic has never accepted a male of The True Race, although…”

“Although what?”

He gave me a sideways look from beneath his lids. “I tell you too many things.” He sighed. “And enjoy it too much. It has been a long time since I knew another worthy of confidences. There is an ancient myth that should all the contenders for the matriarchal throne be no more, the magic would likely gravitate toward the most dominant male of our race. Some say our rulers are your Janus head, your yin and yang: the king is the strength of our people, the queen is wisdom. Strength draws from brute force, wisdom draws from true power.  In harmony, the king and queen lead a united court.  Opposed, we war.  We have been opposed since the day the king killed the queen.”

“But other queens came along. Couldn’t the king make peace?”

“He did not try. Again, he abandoned his children. Upon finding his concubine dead,
through his act of atonement, he did what he had sworn never to do. By pouring all his dark knowledge into the pages of an ensorcelled tome, he inadvertently created his most powerful “child” yet. Then he vanished.  It is rumored among Seelie and Unseelie alike that he has been trying to—as you humans would say about a lame horse—put it down ever since.  The Hunter you saw the other night was allegedly the kings’ own for hundreds of thousands of years. It carried him from world to world, hunting his nemesis. The king, like any Fae, loves nothing so much as his own existence. As long as the Book is free, he knows no peace. I suspect if his Hunter is here in your city, the king is, too.”

I gasped. “In Dublin?”

V’lane nodded.

“In human form?”

“Who could say?  There is no predicting one such as he.”

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