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Sneak peak of Kresley Cole book cover: Lothaire (and we know the heroine) May 24, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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From KC's Facebook page

We have to wait until next year read to read Book No. 11 in Kresley Cole’s fab and funny IMMORTALS AFTER DARK series. But she just posted two big shockers on her Facebook page. We have a cover and title for the book — and it’s gonna be about the old ancient one. It’s simply titled LOTHAIRE.

And, since we all wondered who Lothaire is sooooo devoted to — and who could even love him — we don’t have to wait until 2012 to find out. Nope — it’s not nutty Nix. Here’s what KC posted on her Facebook page

The cat’s out of the bag! Lothaire’s heroine is revealed. Her name is . . . Elizabeth Peirce, and she is the first mortal IAD protagonist, a character we’ve met before, not his original Bride, a being of untold power, and on death row. (And at least one of those statements is false) Which do you think are true? p.s. for those of you who’d wondered if his heroine would be Nix . . . I’ve had her hero picked out from the very beginning of this series (he’s the only one who can handle Nucking Futs). Lothaire and Nix have a surprising history though, and in the future, you’ll see why they could never be more than just friends/enemies  🙂 As a matter of fact, several shocking secrets will be revealed in this book …

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These are fun: True Blood preview videos! May 16, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment, HBO, News.
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OK — I think these TRUE BLOOD previews are pretty fun. June 26th can’t arrive fast enough! (Love it in this first one when Sookie says, “Alcide, stop making that noise.”)

And here’s the second one, where Sookie says, “Oh great, now I have to deal with witches?”

5 questions with Chris Farnsworth — ‘The President’s Vampire’ May 12, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Last year in his debut novel BLOOD OATH,  Chris Farnsworth introduced readers to Nathaniel Cade, a vampire who has sworn to protect the nation and its leader from evil. And for the past 140 years, Cade has been the government’s super secret weapon, safeguarding every U.S. president from nightmarish fiends, terrorists and odd things that go bump in the dark. Now, in THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE, Cade is back. And it’s not spoiling things to say something very bad happens to Osama bin Laden in the very first chapter (does this guy know how to launch a book or what?), that Cade  has to battle some bizarre but very smart lizards as he tracks an ancient evil that he’s encountered before. And the conflict is enough to make Cade — the ultimate killing machine — think twice about his original blood oath.

Chris, on book tour right now for THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE, kindly took the time to answer a few questions about the series. For folks in San Diego, you can hear him speak Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, which is celebrating its 18th birthday with a series of authors and book signings throughout the day. And yes — there is birthday cake! (For more info, go to MG’s website for event info.)

And now — a few questions and answers from Chris. (You can visit his cool website at www.chrisfarnsworth.com):

Q. Cade is a monster — but he’s on “our” side. How do you write him so the monster doesn’t become well — the evil monster? Isn’t it in his nature — somewhere — to turn to the dark side?
A. It’s a constant tightrope walk for Cade between good and evil. He has to keep the monstrous parts of himself on a leash, only letting them out when he’s hunting other monsters. It takes a lot of willpower. For me, the trick to writing Cade is that he doesn’t think of himself as a hero. He knows he’s a monster. It requires inhuman control on his part to restrain himself from giving in to his baser instincts, even with the oath backing him up. Fortunately, he’s not human.

Q. Where did you get the idea for Snakehead (lizard) transformations? (I didn’t know you were so gruesome!)
A. I am, unfortunately, a very twisted person. Inside my head is not always a fun place to be. But the Snakeheads were born of necessity: I wanted a monster who could threaten what it meant to be human by its very existence. Fortunately, H.P. Lovecraft had already provided the basic template in his classic “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” He wrote about an amphibious race created by interbreeding between humans and monsters. I decided to insert Cade into the Lovecraft mythos, and have his enemies use the DNA of the Innsmouth families as a weapon.

Q. Cade & Zach: Talk about this interesting manboy relationship. Cade’s always having to bail out his butt. And isn’t Zach a bit overly trusting for a politico? Why does Cade put up with him?
A. Zach serves a lot of important purposes — for starters, he can walk around in direct sunlight. But he also provides a reminder to Cade of what it means to be human. When he needs a check on his vampiric side, Zach is there to show him what he lost when he gave into his bloodlust. As for trust — politics is all about trust. As cynical as people are about politics — both inside and outside the government — it all comes down, in the end, to people keeping their promises. This is why no scandal will topple a politician unless there’s that stink of hypocrisy about it. In politics, we still judge people on what they say they will do more than their actual performance. Zach is a product of that environment. It’s what makes him a good political operative. But unfortunately, he’s learning that the penalties for trusting the wrong person in this world are more than a lost election.

Q. Tania …. C’mon …. chicks want the girl and the romance in this thriller. Will we see more of her?
A. Tania is very much a part of THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE and will be around Cade for some time to come. She views Cade as her property and she gets very territorial about anyone else trying to kill him. She’s also driven to try to find out why Cade has so much more willpower and self-control than any other members of her kind. She’s not sure if what he evokes in her is love or competition, but she’s determined to figure it out. Cade, for his part, finds that Tania evokes feelings he’s not supposed to have. It’s going to make it very difficult when one of them finally has to kill the other.

Q. What’s next? Are you already writing book No. 3? Can you update us on movie stuff etc?
A. Book Three is well under way. It will take place against the backdrop of the 2012 election as Cade has to protect the president from an unkillable serial killer. The movie continues to advance, slowly but surely. A new screenwriter is working on the script, and the producer remains committed to doing it as his next project. Just like everything else in Hollywood, it all happens gradually — and then very suddenly.

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Photos: Charlaine Harris on her only book stop in California! May 11, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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I couldn’t make it to the DEAD RECKONING book signing with Charlaine Harris at  Mysterious Galaxy here in San Diego on Tuesday, but the bookstore folks sent me a couple of photos of the event! And if you missed this event, you’ve got a second chance to meet some cool authors on Saturday again at Mysterious Galaxy. (Check out the info after the photos!) And if you missed my Q&A with Charlaine — CLICK HERE to read.

Charlaine Harris, Mysterious Galaxy staff. Photo by Bob Morris

Charlaine Harris fans pack Mysterious Galaxy. Photo by Bob Morris

And there’s more!

The Mysterious Galaxy bookstore is celebrating its 18th birthday this weekend! As part of the celebration, these authors will be at MG signing books on Saturday. For more info
visit www.mystgalaxy.com or call 858.268.4747. (Oh — there will be bday cake and giveaways!)

10 AM: D.J. MacHale – Morpheus Road: The Black
11 AM: Barrie Summy – I So Don’t Do Famous; Janni Lee Simner – Faerie Winter
12 PM: Thomas Perry – The Informant; Earlene Fowler – Spider Web
1 PM: Christopher Farnsworth – The President’s Vampire; Jonathan Hayes – A Hard Death
2 PM: Maryelizabeth Hart and 12 contributors – San Diego Noir
3:30 PM: Jack Campbell – The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught

Charlaine Harris: 5 questions about Sookie, end of the series, killing Bill May 9, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Photo by Sigrid Estrada

Charlaine Harris is smack dab in the middle of her DEAD RECKONING book tour, but she took time out to answer five quick questions from me. As usual, Charlaine  won’t give away  much, but she always tells us a little something! Note — no spoilers or anything. These are just general questions. I’ve posted the rest of her book tour schedule below. For those of you in San Diego, she’ll be signing  DEAD RECKONING — book No. 11 in the Southern Vampire series — at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore on Tuesday (May 10) at 5 p.m. If you haven’t had  chance to meet her, go hear her talk. She is really fun!

Q. You’ve said you have 2 more books in the series. I once heard that you knew when you started the series that you
wrote the ending first. Is that true? And — won’t you miss Sookie? Isn’t she a big part of your life?
A.
It’s not true that I wrote the ending first, but it’s one of the first passages that came to me when I began writing the books. I did know very early how the series would end. I’ll miss Sookie, who’s been with me for so many years, but I also look forward to new creations.

Q. Is it true that you once thought about killing off Bill?
A. I thought about it and went so far as to write the scene, which was GREAT. But in the end it seemed like the wrong decision and I cut it out. Normally, no one would know about this –I’m just fond of writing death scenes — but unfortunately, it leaked.

Q. True Blood. I know you like the character of Jessica. Why? Any other characters you like in the series that you don’t ‘have in your books?
A. I think Jessica is a perfect foil for Bill, and it would have been fun to write her. I’m pretty content with the books as they are, for the most part.

Q. Can you talk about how your life has changed — or not — since the success of your book series and later the HBO show? Is it harder now to juggle writing and speaking engagements etc? Do fans stop you at the grocery store to ask about Sookie/Eric/Bill?
A. Yes, yes,  yes. My life has changed for the better (I have more money) and it’s more complicated, since the books and the television show have become more successful. My time just gets eaten up by extra stuff that has nothing to do with the writing. These are great problems to have! But problems, nonetheless.

Q. Do you think your vampires can really, truly love? They’ve been around for so long. But can they really love — especially a human?
A. Isn’t that the big question?

DEAD RECKONING BOOK TOUR

DENVER, CO
Wednesday, May 11, 7:00 PM – TATTERED COVER BOOK STORE, 1628 16th St, Denver, CO 80202, 303-322-1965

KANSAS CITY, MO
Thursday, May 12, 7:00 PM – BARNES & NOBLE, 4751 West 117th Street, Leawood, KS 66211, 913-491-4535

HOUSTON, TX
Friday, May 13, 12:00 PM – MBTB AUTHOR LUNCHEON SERIES, The Briar Club, 2603 Timmons Lane, Houston, TX 77027, 713-524-8597 or 1-(888)- AGATHA – This event is ticketed and limited to 200 people, the ticket includes the purchase of a book.

Friday, May 13, 6:30 PM – MURDER BY THE BOOK, 2342 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005, 713-524-8597 or 1-(888)- AGATHA

KNOXVILLE, TN
Saturday, May 14 – WJXB-FM AUTHOR SERIES, Knoxville, TN, 865-656-2975 – Exact location to come. B&N will be handling booksales

INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Sunday, May 15, 3:00 PM – BARNES & NOBLE, 14709 US Hwy 31 North, Carmel, IN 46032, 317-844-2501

DETROIT, MI
Monday, May 16, 7:30 PM – NICOLA’S BOOKS, The Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI 98104, 734-662-0600

Book pick: Ending of ‘Hard Bitten’ makes up for super slow, repetitious start May 8, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News, Reviews/summaries.
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It’s been a while since my buddy Dot has had a chance to file a book pick. She’s been reading a lot of historical romances but jumped back into the paranormal world to bring us this review of Chloe Neill’s latest book in the Chicagoland Vampire series: HARD BITTEN. Here’s what Dot had to say about Book No. 4:

If you have been hiding under a rock then you haven’t heard all the buzz about the ending in this most recent edition to Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series. It is a shocker and I’m not about to spoil your fun in finding out for yourself. My warning is just be careful reading reviews because many do contain spoilers and it would be a shame if you found out too early.

That said — and you knew I’d have to have a qualification somewhere — the first half of this book deserves a two or three stars, but the last bit deserves five stars. So for an overall ranking, I settled on 4 stars.

There is so much repetition in the beginning that I was truly ready to toss in the towel. How many times does Merit have to repeat the same report? Obviously, to every secondary character in the book. A simple-Merit told the Ombudsman(Mallory, Ethan, Luc, Morgan, Tate, Jonah, Catcher, Jeff, etc.) what went down – would suffice. But with each repeat we are treated(?) to the entire, or almost the entire, retelling all over again.

OK, with that rant out of the way, I think the ending is priceless. It is a testament to the author’s bravery to write it as she has because there will be fallout. I thought it was fitting and will make the fifth book in the series a must-buy. The ending made all that repetition worth slogging through. If you’re a fan, you won’t be sorry if you read this book. I cannot wait to see where Chloe Neill takes this series. So often later books in a series start to wither and we wish the author would end it all and put us and the characters out of our misery. I have a feeling we are in for a real treat with the continuing of this series.

As with most series you would do well to start with the first book and proceed through each in turn.

1. SOME GIRLS BITE
2. FRIDAY NIGHT BITES
3. TWICE BITTEN
4. HARD BITTEN
5. DRINK DEEP (coming in November)

One more day until ‘Dead Reckoning’ release! Here’s a sneak peek! May 1, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Only one more day until we get DEAD RECKONING, book No. 11 in the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse series. This preview has been out there for a little while but in case you haven’t read it — and are dying for a little bit of a sneak preview of what’s to come — check out Chapter 3 that Penguin released. You can read the chapter by clicking here. This is a long chapter. I’m interested in what folks think about this part — which comes at the end of the chapter:

“Is there something you want to tell me?” I asked, frightened of the answer. But anything was better than not knowing.

“Eric got a letter—” Pam began, and before I could register that he’d moved, Eric had whipped around, reached over the seat, and seized her throat. Since he was still driving, I squawked in terror.

“Eyes ahead, Eric! Not with the fighting again,” I said. “Look, just go on and tell me!”

With his right hand, Eric was still holding Pam in a grip that would have choked her if she’d been a breather. He was steering with his left hand, and we coasted to a stop on the side of the road. I couldn’t see any oncoming traffic, and no lights behind us, either. I didn’t know if the isolation made me feel good or bad. Eric looked back at his child, and his eyes were so bright they were practically throwing sparks. He said, “Pam, don’t speak. That’s an order. Sookie, leave this be.”

What’s in the letter?

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