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More werewolves coming — plus a blue moon! December 30, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Fun stuff.
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If you thought 2009 was a pretty good year for our furry friends (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Twilight sequel New Moon), 2010 is shaping up to be another decent year in Hollywood for the wolves.

Benicio Del Toro stars in The Wolfman , which opens Feb. 12. (CLICK HERE to read an interview with him.) MTV is making a TV show based on the 1980s movie Teen Wolf. And TV shows True Blood and the BBC’s Being Human will shift (no pun intended) their focus from vampires to weres.

Interesting werewolf side note: New Year’s Eve will feature a blue moon, which you can see if your skies are clear. CLICK HERE to read a post that explains a blue moon and how to view it.

Also, CLICK HERE to check out this Web site (werewolves.com) I found for all things werewolf. (There are many other nifty sites but this one caught my eye. Let me know if you have any other faves!)

Of course, there are a lot of fab wolf books out there. I’m looking forward to the release of Patricia Briggs’ SILVER BORNE on March 30. It’s book No. 5 of the Mercy Thompson series.

Looking for a good wolf book? CLICK HERE to see a few recommendations. (Or send me your faves in comments!)

Why we like vampire slayers, especially Buffy! December 29, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment.
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From LA Weekly.com

A friend was asking me who started a lot of this vampire craze because so many authors say it was them. But I also think a little TV show had something to do with the current popularity of the vamps. When Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out in the late 1990s, I thought it was a pretty funny and entertaining series. But check out this article from Reason.com by Virginia Postrel. Apparently there was a lot more going on in that series. Here’s an excerpt from her article:

Buffy assumes and enacts the consensus moral understanding of contemporary American culture, the moral understanding that the wise men ignored or forgot. This understanding depends on no particular religious tradition. It’s informed not by revelation but by experience. It is inclusive and humane, without denying distinctions or the tough facts of life. There are lots of jokes in Buffy — humor itself is a moral imperative — but no psychobabble and no excuses. Here are some of the show’s precepts, a sample of what Americans believe:

Evil exists. Evildoers deliberately inflict pain on others. Sometimes they do so because they enjoy watching others suffer. Sometimes they do so to assert or gather power. Often they seek both immediate pleasure and long-term gain. Whether they seek to rule the world or to humiliate high school losers, evildoers lack empathy. They lie. They manipulate the vulnerabilities of others. The truly evil are abetted by the weak and venal, who assist them out of fear, ambition, anger, or hate. The servants of evil are evil as well.

Redemption is possible. The once-evil can change. Vampires can reclaim their souls. Catty alpha girl Cordelia can learn to be nice. But true redemption exacts a price. Penitents must face what they’ve done. They must suffer. Faith, a second Slayer (long story there) who “went all evil and started killing people,” must willingly go to prison for her crimes. Andrew, the nerd manipulated by grandiose dreams of godhood, must admit that he, not some outside force, killed his best friend. There’s no cheap grace in the Buffyverse.

OK — That’s deep and more than I wanna think about tonight. But to read her whole article CLICK HERE. And let me know what you think. Was Buffy a pivotal factor in the current popularity of vampire/paranormal romance books? If not — who was or is?

Move over vampires! Make way for fallen angels! December 26, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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What’s the next big craze in the paranormal romance genre? Angels. Apparently, these celestial beings — especially the fallen ones — are all the rage in the publishing world and Hollywood. Several novels have done well in this area, including J.R. Ward’s COVET, Lauren Kate’s FALLEN and Becca Fitzpatrick’s HUSH, HUSH. Here’s an excerpt about the trend from an article in THE INDEPENDENT:

“These angels appear as normal angels but they are very dark. A bit like vampires. But instead of sucking blood they suck human energy and life force, which they need to survive,” said Megan Larkin, Usborne’s fiction editor. She has commissioned the children’s author L A Weatherly to write a trilogy about renegade angels, due out next autumn. … Analysts expect the new paranormal love interest further to buoy the young adult publishing category, which has seen sales rocket this year on the back of demand for vampire titles. … Fallen angels are also emerging as a major theme in Hollywood, with next month’s Legion, starring Paul Bettany as an errant messenger, the first of several similar movies in the pipeline. Earlier this month, Disney picked up the rights to Fallen, which is handily the first in a four-part series, and Will Smith is working on an adaptation of Danielle Trussoni’s Angelology for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

To read the whole article, CLICK HERE. (Reporter Susie Mesure provides a nice wrapup of  books and movies at the end!) CLICK HERE to read a summary by Dot (a regular contributor to this blog!) on J.R. Ward’s fallen angel novel, COVET.

Check out a video clip from the movie Legion, which opens next month and starts Paul Bettany:

Quiz: How much do you know about vampires? December 24, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Fun stuff.

"The Vampire" by Edvard Munch

This quiz is from USA TODAY. I didn’t think it was all that hard (Hint: got ’em all right), but give it a shot! Match the book with the deadly detail!

The Book

1. THE STRAIN by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

2. DEAD AND GONE by Charlaine Harris

3. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

4. DRACULA: THE UNDEAD by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

5. TWILIGHT series by Stephenie Meyer

The deadly details

A. One of the authors’ ancestors is a character in the novel.

B. When exposed to sunshine, the vampires’ skin looks like it’s dusted with glitter.

C. These vampires feed from their victims with a retractable stinger.

D. True Blood, a synthetic beverage, keeps these vampires from drinking the blood of humans.

E. Slayers of the undead have daggers strapped to their ankles under their party dresses.

CLICK HERE for the answers!

Christine Feehan gives fans 2 sneak peeks of upcoming novels! December 23, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News, Releases.
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More sneak peeks available online! Christine Feehan just added the first chapter of WATER BOUND in her members section on her Web site. She’s also posted the first chapter of WILD FIRE for everyone on the main site HERE. WATER BOUND, due out in late July, is about a sea urchin diver (Rikki) who lives in Sea Haven (home to the DRAKE SISTERS). Rikki rescues a mysterious man from the ocean. I’m curious how this one turns out. In WATER BOUND, she describes Rikki as a “high functioning autistic with sensory dysfunction.  I love her character and enjoy her reactions to things.  My hero, Lev Prakenskii is all about survival.  His instincts and her way of life are on a major collision course!” Christine feels very passionately about people and the challenges they face in life. In her last Drake Sisters book, HIDDEN CURRENTS, she tackled victim-turned-survivor issues. Some fans felt the sexual torture was a bit much, but Christine wanted to get her message across: People do survive and go on with their lives. (You can read my previous interview with her HERE!) WILD FIRE is book No. 4 in the LEOPARD SERIES and is due out in April. Happy reading!

The inspiration behind Karen Marie Moning’s Jericho Barrons? December 22, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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In an electronic newsletter earlier this week, Karen Marie Moning revealed to fans the real-life inspiration behind her sexy “love, love to hate or hate to love” character Jericho Barrons, a mainstay of  her fab FEVER series. It’s Eric Etebari, an athlete, model and actor who is probably best known for his role as Ian Nottingham in the TV series Witchblade.

KMM says she’s “long envisioned” Etebari as Barrons from the moment she saw him on Witchblade. “Dark, sexy, dangerous, complex, Eric Etebari played Ian Nottingham to perfection, served him up on a platter of enigma wrapped around sexual combustion, tied with a bow of playfulness matched only by his ruthlessness,” she writes. She has an  interview with him on her Web site HERE.

What do you think? Is he your idea of JZB? Here’s a YouTube fan video of him playing Ian:

Sookie update: Read 1st chapter of DEAD IN THE FAMILY December 21, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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It’s up. Charlaine Harris has posted Chapter 1 of her next Sookie Stackhouse book — DEAD IN THE FAMILY — on her Web site. CLICK HERE to get to the site and then scroll down to the bottom of the second leg of type at the top of the page and you see the PDF download. Tell me what you think! (Unless you are waiting for the entire book, which is due out  May 4.) Happy reading!

If you wanna take a nifty poll, check out my gal pals’ Sookie Stackhouse site HERE and take their poll after reading the first chapter. (Scroll down the page on the left-hand side and you’ll see the poll.) They also have a podcast where they talk about all things Sookie so if you haven’t had a chance to download it and listen — give it a go. CLICK HERE to access it from their site. (You can also download it — Last Bite Podcast — on iTunes and Blog Talk Radio.)

Coming soon: A vampire who works for the U.S president December 17, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Chris Farnsworth, a journalist buddy turned screen writer/novelist, just snail-mailed me the uncorrected proof for his new political thriller BLOOD OATH. Yah! He was inspired to write the novel when he came across an obscure fact about President Andrew Johnson: he pardoned an accused bloodsucker in 1867. Chris then penned his story about a very special secret agent — a vampire who has protected every U.S. president for the past 140 years. More on this story and hopefully a Q&A with the author before the book comes out May 18! CLICK HERE to read the LA Times preview by Geoff Boucher.

Book pick: Kathyrn Smith’s ‘Be Mine Tonight’ December 16, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries.
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I love vampire books. But I also like to hunker down with a good old-fashioned historical romance. So it’s nice to see that Dot from New York — a frequent contributor to this blog — is sending us a book pick about historical vampire romance! (Thanks Dot!) Got a fave book in this category? Let us know. Also, would love to  hear what folks are reading over the holidays! CLICK HERE to let us know what you’re reading or  leave a comment below. Now, onto Dot’s summary below!

I have been reading contemporary  vampire romance exclusively, and then I picked up Kathryn Smith’s BE MINE TONIGHT . (Don’t you just love it when you don’t have to wait for the next series book to be published?) and found historical vampire romance.  Who knew?  Not me!  But then I am fairly new to any romance genre.  I didn’t even know what I was missing until about a year and a half ago.  But now, new directions are opening up all the time.  I am now happily reading the second book in this series NIGHT OF THE HUNTRESS.

Kathryn Smith’s BE MINE TONIGHT, Brotherhood of the Blood, Book No. 1 (Vampire Romance Series). Here’s her book blurb from her Web site: In the 1300s, six soldiers went into a Templar building searching for treasure. What they found changed them forever, making them vampires – and unlike any other of their kind. The suicide of one of their own and events that followed drove them apart, but six centuries later, an ancient evil conspires to reunite them once more.

In BE MINE TONIGHT — set in 1899, right at the turn of the century — danger, action and romance abound. Prudence Ryland is ill and searching for the Holy Grail. Chapel, a vampire, is sent by the church to monitor her quest.  They ultimately find each other and a need to fight two very different evils. Chapel became a vampire when he drank from a mystical cup known as the Blood Grail, having mistaken it for the Holy Grail.  Chapel fears that instead of finding the Holy Grail what Pru will actually find is the Blood Grail and then she will become cursed — as Chapel believes he is cursed. Lots of romance mixed in with mythology, history and a great time period.

Here is the recommended reading order of this series, which follows  different couple:

  1. Be Mine Tonight (Chapel’s story)
  2. Night of the Huntress (Bishop’s story)
  3. Taken By The Night (Saint’s story)
  4. Let The Night Begin (Reign’s Story)
  5. Night After Night (Temple’s story)

Author of ‘Fever’ novels says she didn’t write series to make more money December 12, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
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Photo from Karen Marie Moning Web site.

Karen Marie Moning posted a long comment on her Facebook page today that addresses what must have been some troubling reader complaints/comments about the development of her FEVER series, including drawing out the series so readers would have to pay more for the story.  She explains why she is writing the series the way she is and even alludes to her battle with Lyme Disease. For those who haven’t read the novels, they are wonderful. The series tells the story of MacKayla Lane, who  travels to Ireland to track down her sister’s murderer, but is pulled into a  world filled with ancient secrets, vampires, the Fae,  other scary creatures and the sexy, mysterious Jericho Barrons. Fans are waiting for Book No. 5 — which Moning says will be the last book in the story.  Here’s her Facebook post:

There are many reasons the Fever series wasn’t released as one long book, the least of which is how difficult it would have been to hold at 2,000 pages. It certainly wasn’t so I, or my publisher could make more money. I find it easier to write romance novels and fewer people complain 🙂 The point is: I write one book a year and I get paid for one book a year, no matter what genre I write in. Writing one romance a year not only would have made the same amount of money, it was easier and less stressful. Some say I should have deleted 1000 of those Fever 2000 pages and made it a trilogy but that’s not the story I’m telling and, in the final analysis I have to write my stories as I see them and, if I’m very blessed (as I have been with you all) I get to be surrounded by and involved with wonderful people who not only like what I write but become an amazing community unto themselves. Another reason it wasn’t published as one book is because you would have had no books from me for 5 years. I hope you would rather have had it this way.

I have the utmost appreciation, respect and love for you guys who’ve had to suffer along with Mac’s journey. I know it hasn’t been easy. When this series first came to me and I committed to it, it was before I knew I had just contracted a disease that was going to disable me. I believed I would be able to write them at the pace of two a year. I didn’t know what the future held for me (or I might have given up before it even started. Good thing we can’t see the future.) I was always thinking about the series and how it would be—after all five were out in paperback—and how much fun to gulp them down back to back for under $40.00. But…the best laid plans of mice and me…yeah, ‘nuff said.

Don’t think that I don’t appreciate what you all have suffered. I do. And don’t think I was trying to get more money for more books. I would have made the same amount of money no matter what I wrote. Besides, I’m not that kind of person. Like you, I want good health, good friends, a job I love, and the ability to pay my bills without too much stress. Ironically, I could have made more money writing a different series. This one has been the cause of many headaches. Nobody knew how to market it, sell it, brand it, and I could certainly have used my time more wisely than spending it, trying to explain over and over again what I’ve been writing.

Still, I will never regret having written Mac’s story, because along the way I’ve met all of you and become part of a cyber world of readers who are truly extraordinary, and have wowed me with their talent, made me laugh, made me feel connected in my isolation, given me hope, and made it all worthwhile.

I feel your pain as you suffer along with Mac. My heart is in Shadowfever. I think it will be all you guys hope for and more. I’m loving every single second I spend writing it. It’s intense stuff! But I bet you didn’t know that I, too, will be glad when it’s over. 🙂

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