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Book trailer: ‘The President’s Vampire’ out this week April 24, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Coming out Thursday is THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE, book No. 2  in the Nathaniel Cade series by Chris Farnsworth about a vampire  sworn to protect the president and the United States from supernatural threats.  Here’s a description from the author’s site, but you can also read a chapter that the author has posted on his website HERE. (It’s got Osama in it …..)

When a new outbreak of an ancient evil—one that Cade has seen before—comes to light, he and his human handler, Zach Barrows, must track down its source. The President suspects the threat might have ties to a high-level defense contractor—a private, Blackwater-like security force whose hired mercenaries who take a very dim view of being forced to work with the President’s men. To “protect and serve” often means settling old scores and confronting new betrayals  . . .  as only a century-old predator can.

I liked the first book — BLOOD OATH — so can’t wait to see what’s next for  Cade and his human sidekick, Zach. Check out this nifty book trailer for the new book. Pretty cool.

Did you miss these?

Drawings: From Richelle Mead’s ‘Dark Swan’ comic book April 20, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Lately I’ve been getting a lot of Richelle Mead artwork for her upcoming comic book for  DARK SWAN: STORM BORN, which comes out May 18. (OK — who thinks of these book titles?) Here’s the description of the story:
Dark Swan: Storm Born follows Eugenie Markham, a free-lance shaman who battles ghosts and fey that sneak into our world from the Otherworld. When an alarming prophecy suddenly makes her every Otherworldly creature’s object of desire, Eugenie must dodge their advances while also fighting a dark power rising within her.

This is not to be confused with Mead’s  graphic novel — based on the wildly popular VAMPIRE ACADEMY series — which is scheduled to be released Aug. 23. USA TODAY got a sneak peak of some of the stills. And here’s a snippet from their story:

Adapted from Mead’s prose by Leigh Dragoon, the Vampire Academy graphic novel (Penguin/Razorbill) is slated to be released Aug. 23 — the same day the first chapter of Mead’s spinoff series, Bloodlines, arrives in stores and the same week her first baby is due.

You can see their COOL SLIDE SHOW and read the entire USA Today story HERE.

And here’s more artwork from the DARK STORM comic book. (All images courtesy of Sea Lion Books)

Book pick: ‘River Marked’ — slow first half but second part makes up for it April 17, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Book lists.
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Who doesn’t love the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs? But I think only her diehard fans will like the latest installment —  RIVER MARKED —  because it is such a disjointed novel.

The book’s title refers to an ancient evil monster that Mercy doesn’t even learn about until the second half of the book. And that’s the problem with the overall novel. Nothing really happens in the first part of the story.

We meet up with Stefan. who we haven’t seen since the horrifying events of BONE CROSSED. Mercy visits him and learns that he and his band are wasting away in some sort of weird apathy. And Mercy is determined to shake him out of it. Then we have Adam and Mercy’s long delayed wedding and honeymoon. We see just about every character important to Mercy. It was pleasant but in no way did it propel me toward the story in the second half of the book. And it just made me not want to read it. I had to force myself to keep going! (And I’ve never done that with a  Mercy book.)

But then, the second half of the story emerges and it is exciting. We finally get more info on Mercy’s father, her Native American heritage. Coyote, Hawk and Wolf return. And we find out why Mercy is always in the middle of trouble and change. We learn why she is able to do things others around her cannot. And we learn more about her strength and abilities.

Finally, we get to a great battle with the river monster — who shouldn’t be in the river but is and is causing death and destruction — and only Mercy and her friends can kill it. The lore and world building behind this part of the story is great. (And the magic fae walking stick makes an appearance and it plays a crucial part in the story. I wonder what will happen to it in the next story?)

I also like that Adam is with Mercy for most of this story. And while he wants to go alpha — and does a few times — he’s definitely married and cares for Mercy in a way we haven’t seen before.

Of all the books in the series, this one misses the mark in the first half, but than Patricia Briggs brings us right back into the thick of things later in the book with rich lore and great storytelling. (Where did she think up those creepy river otters?) I’ll be curious where she takes the next book. I’d hate to see Adam and Mercy fall into a boring domestic bliss. (We’ll know next spring!)

Old short story about a witch is an intriguing read April 10, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News, witch.
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I saw this on Twitter recently and so zipped through this fascinating short story — LUELLA MILLER — written by MARY WILKINS FREEMAN in 1902. It’s about a woman who drains the life out of anyone who helps her. Here’s a snippet, but if you want to read the whole story, CLICK HERE:

Close to the village street stood the one-story house in which Luella Miller, who had an evil name in the village, had dwelt. She had been dead for years, yet there were those in the village who, in spite of the clearer light which comes on a vantage-point from a long-past danger, half believed in the tale which they had heard from their childhood. In their hearts, although they scarcely would have owned it, was a survival of the wild horror and frenzied fear of their ancestors who had dwelt in the same age with Luella Miller. Young people even would stare with a shudder at the old house as they passed, and children never played around it as was their wont around an untenanted building. Not a window in the old Miller house was broken: the panes reflected the morning sunlight in patches of emerald and blue, and the latch of the sagging front door was never lifted, although no bolt secured it. Since Luella Miller had been carried out of it, the house had had no tenant except one friendless old soul who had no choice between that and the far-off shelter of the open sky. This old woman, who had survived her kindred and friends, lived in the house one week, then one morning no smoke came out of the chimney, and a body of neighbours, a score strong, entered and found her dead in her bed . . .

Pretty cool short story. Some folks who have written literary papers about this story say she was a vampire. Others look at the social message about service: Who chooses to serve and why … and what happens when service goes awry. (Maybe social service isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be?)

If you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think — especially about that last scene. (Hey — it’s  a short story so you should be able to read it in a snap!)

Mary Wilkins Freeman/Wikipedia

RITA finalists for the paranormal romance category April 3, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News, RITA Awards.

The Romance Writers of America recently released the 2011 finalists in the paranormal romance category. The winner will be announced July 1 in New York. To read the entire list of categories and finalists CLICK HERE.

I must admit, I’ve read just two on this list — WATER BOUND and UNCHAINED: THE DARK FORGOTTEN. I am familiar with a few of the other titles, though, but any of your favorites left off? Who do you think will win?

  • Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard (Berkley; Leis Pederson, editor)
  • A Highlander’s Homecoming by Melissa Mayhue (Pocket Books; Megan McKeever, editor)
  • Immortal Sea by Virginia Kantra (berkley Trade; Cindy Hwang, editor)
  • Marked by the Moon by Lori Handeland (St. Martin’s Press; Jennifer Enderlin, editor)
  • Rebel by Zoe Archer (Zebra Books; Megan Records, editor)
  • Sins of the Heart by Eve Silver (HQN Books; Tara Parsons, editor)
  • Unchained: the Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood (NAL/Signet Eclipse; Laura Cifelli, editor)
  • Water Bound by Christine Feehan (Jove; Cindy Hwang, editor)
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