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Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ coming to TV! June 3, 2013

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Entertainment, News.
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outNow we can speculate for real: Who will play Jamie and Claire?!

Why? Because OUTLANDER, Diana Gabaldon’s time-traveling romantic romp with our favorite Scotsman,  is coming to TV.

Starz has commissioned 16 episodes of the show from writer and producer Ronald D. Moore  (Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: First Contact).

Gabaldon posted this on her Facebook page:

All I’ve been told is that they do plan 16 episodes (spread over two seasons), they _hope_ to start filming around September, and (_if_ everything goes well with the production), it _might_ air in the spring. Good luck to ’em!

How they’ll ever figure out a cast is beyond me. And how they will tell Gabaldon’s cool story on TV — good question. But look how great Game of Thrones has turned out!

Read more:
Starz orders ‘Battlestar Galactica’ producer’s Sony series ‘Outlander’
Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series is coming to television
STARZ Orders ‘Outlander’ To Series

Forget about the ‘Dead Ever After’ spoiler May 5, 2013

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Charlaine_Harris

That’s right. Forget it. Who cares if someone in Germany got a hold of DEAD EVER AFTER and spoiled the ending on Amazon.com. (I won’t post it because you can easily google it. And yes — I read the spoiler.)

One scientist even says that spoilers don’t spoil a story. (In full disclosure this report on the scientist was written by my husband — a science writer!)

But I’m mostly ticked off at the number of fans who have been trashing Charlaine Harris — the creator of the  Southern Vampire series and who has given us these wonderful characters. (Just go check out her FB page and see some of the nasty comments. Be warned — you’ll see the spoiler.) They don’t like the ending. Cry me a river. You try writing a series and ending it so that everyone is happy. It’s her story. Let her tell it.

Here’s what Charlaine posted on her Facebook page:

“By now some of you know that a reader in Germany obtained a copy of DEAD EVER AFTER and decided to post the ending online. While this is unfortunate, I wanted to say this to all of you: Even if you *personally* are unhappy with the ending, please don’t spoil it for other readers. DEAD EVER AFTER goes on sale on May 7th; after that date, you are more that welcome to come here and tell me how much you like – or don’t like – the choices I’ve made for Sookie. But from one Sookie fan to another, I’m asking you all to please not spoil the book for other readers. Thank you so much for your continued support.”

We can all cite books and series of books in which we didn’t like how the story unfolded or we were disappointed at the ending.  We talk about it a lot. I blog about books I like and don’t like. But this is different. Folks have been downright rude and threatening.  Maybe you should read the book first to see how the story unfolds before declaring you aren’t going to buy it. Of course, that’s your choice as a reader. But have some respect for this wonderful author.

I find it sad that Charlaine Harris isn’t going to tour with this last book because she’s concerned about her fans’ reaction to the ending. Personally, I don’t blame her. I wouldn’t want to talk to a bunch of ungrateful, whiny readers, either. I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing why she ended the book the way she did, but I don’t think we’ll be getting that interview right away. I think Charlaine Harris will just want to keep out of the spotlight and work on her next creation. In the meantime, I am very excited about the May 7 release and will be reading it as soon as it hits my iPad!

Sneak peek of ‘Dead Ever After’! April 23, 2013

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News, Vampires.
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dead-ever-after-by-charlaine-harris-cover-3_4_r560 Interested in how the last Sookie book — DEAD EVER AFTER — begins? Penguin has released the    prologue. CLICK HERE to read. Hummmmmm — what do you think?

In other Sookie news: Charlaine Harris told SciFiNow that there would be devils in this book: ”

The plot will also feature the Devil. “Well, there’s a Devil, not the Devil,” Harris clarifies, “If I have the fae, some of whom are trying to become Angels, I think by implication it can be assumed that there are Devils, too.” To read the entire article — check out her comments on a HEA — CLICK HERE.

Top reads for 2013 January 6, 2013

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Book lists, Book picks, Fun stuff.
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Sorry for the lag between posts. Wish I could say I was out time traveling but it was something more mundane: work! However, I’m back. So here’s a look at my fave reads from last year and what I’m looking forward to reading in 2013. (This is part of a post I did for my friends at www.sookiestackhouse.com. You can read their faves here!) Did I miss any of your faves? Let me know in the comments section. Happy New Year!

MY FAVE 2012 BOOKS:

1. Poison Princess (Book No. 1 in Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole (This is a YA book but it’s a combo of a dystopian world/Tarot card characters and a smoking hot attraction between the heroine and lead male character. Great read.)

2. Iced (Dani O’Malley series No. 1) by Karen Marie Moning (Ending is predictable but I just wanna know more about the Fever world!)

3. Deadlocked (Sookie book No. 12) By Charlaine Harris. (Coming off the disappointing Dead Reckoning, I liked this second-to-last book in the series.)

4. Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr (Promising start to a nifty series set in world of daimons vs. witches)

5. Days of Blood & Starlight (Book No. 2 of Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor (Fantastic sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, whose opening line is “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”)

BOOKS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IN 2013:

1. Dead Ever After (Last of the Sookie books) by Charlaine Harris

2. Frost Burned (Book No. 7 of the Mercy Thompson series) by Patricia Briggs

3. Dead Silence (Book No. 4 in the Body Finder series) by Kimberly Derting

4. Endless Knight (Book No. 2 in the Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole (tentative title)

5. Burned (Dani O’Malley Book No. 2) By Karen Marie Moning

What do you think ‘Dead Ever After’ cover means?! October 20, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Here it is. The cover for the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series. Charlaine Harris revealed the new cover earlier in the week to USA TODAY. The 13th and final book in the series will be published May 7.

When asked why she was ending the series, Harris told USA TODAY:

“I felt that I’d told the story I set out to tell. I thought continuing it, which I could have done, would have been a disservice to readers who have stuck with me this long.”

Thoughts on the cover? I think it is bright. The colors pop more than on any other cover. All of her friends are on it — her shifter friends. She’s looking back at them. For support? To bid farewell? Is that a sunrise or a sunset? I think Sookie is wearing a lot of red — Eric’s fave color. Is she following the bats or saying goodbye to them? Are the bats leading her  somewhere or fly off? And what the heck does a rose, tomato and purple daisy signify? I’ll have to look those up for another post, but if you have any thoughts on this — post below!!

Melissa Marr’s ‘Carnival of Souls’ intriguing read but rushed October 14, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Book picks.
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I’m a big fan of Melissa Marr’s books and so I couldn’t wait to read CARNIVAL OF SOULS, a tale that revolves around the mistrust and hatred between daimons and witches. It’s an intricate YA story — and it will hold your attention — but it’s not fully developed and Marr obviously has a sequel planned. Here’s the description from the book that’s posted online:

In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures — if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father — and every other witch there — fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it’s only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

Marr’s story focuses on Mallory,  the daughter of the daimon ruler Marchosias. But she doesn’t know she’s a daimon. She thinks she’s a human because her mother let a witch — Adam — raise her in the human/witch world. He teaches her how to fight. And to fear and hate daimons. (Why did her mother give her up? Most daimon babies don’t survive the rough city.)

But other daimons — from the daimon world — have been hired by Mallory’s biological father and his enemies to find her. Mallory’s daimon father says she was stolen from him and wants her back. In the daimon world — daughters are meant for one thing — making little daimons. One of the searchers is a lower caste daimon named Kaleb. He finds Mallory and befriends her in the human/witch world.

But there are other story lines going on in Marr’s richly created world of daimons and witches, and if you aren’t paying attention it is easy to get lost in the different characters. There is Aya — who lives in the daimon world and has decided that despite her high-class birth, she will fight in a deadly competition that will let her help rule the city if she wins. She’s the only female to have ever entered and she is pitted against her former betrothed — Belias. Belias can’t understand why Aya won’t marry him, why she feels she has to fight (she does have a good reason!)  or why she doesn’t want to “breed.” He truly loves her and wants to protect her. This in itself or Mallory’s story alone would have held my attention, too. But Marr packs in the plot lines.

On top of this story, we learn more of Kaleb — called a cur in the book — and his packmate Zevi. The two are tight and are like brothers. Zevi heals Kaleb after each battle. We also have the back story of Mallory’s foster Dad — Adam — and his all-powerful sibling Evelyn.

I loved the different characters Marrs creates in this story. And the two worlds are so different, especially the daimon world with all of its rigid class structures. You realize that they are going to be part of the sequel or sequels. But I found toward the end that everything was speeding together too fast in the story. The ending was cramped. Another zinger plot point is flung in near the end of the story and all of a sudden — BAM — you are on the last page with a gigantic thud.

I was a bit flabbergasted at the way Marr just ended the story. Without spoiling anything, you know where the next book will pick up. I know this is what authors do now — especially in YA. But it’s a total downer to be left standing out there — giant cliff hanger — with such an abrupt ending. Despite it all — I really liked this story and want to know more. I would just advise you to wait until the sequel is out before reading CARNIVAL because then you won’t have to wait to find out what happens next.

Kresley Cole’s ‘Poison Princess’ a dark, racy thriller for adults and YA October 8, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Book picks, Reviews/summaries.
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If you like Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series for adults, you’re going to love POISON PRINCESS, her first   paranormal YA novel.

The story is dark — very dark — but Cole’s witty dialogue, creative new world and characters based on Tarot cards — the Arcana — and just the right amount of weird teen angst make this a page turner. Here’s Cole’s description from her website: (And scroll to the bottom to see YouTube video of her talking about the book!)

22 Arcana cards. 22 young assassins. May the best hand live.

Sixteen-year-old Evie Greene’s horrific hallucinations predicted the apocalypse, and the end of the world brought her all sorts of new powers. With the earth scorched and few survivors, Evie teams up with handsome and dangerous Jack Deveaux in a race to find answers. They discover that that an ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens have been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…

Her heroine is Evie — a popular Southern belle in high school who is dating a hunky quarterback and who seemingly has the world wrapped around her finger. But when we meet Evie, we are not in her cheerful high school world — but  in a different world — one that’s been laid to waste by something called the “Flash” with loved ones killed. It’s a world where lawless groups  roam the countryside. Zombie-like creatures are everywhere. And it’s literally every man – -because most women died in the “Flash”  — for himself. But when the story opens, Evie is being lured into an old house by a young man named Arthur, who is exceptionally cruel and evil — and a total mystery.

And that’s how Cole tells her tale. She alternates between the sadistic Arthur  and Evie’s past until we are caught up at the end and back in Arthur’s house. We go back in time to find out that her idyllic teen life wasn’t so perfect because Evie had visions of the end of the world. Her mother put her in an institute for the summer because she was worried Evie would follow in her grandmother’s footsteps — insanity. Or what Evie’s mother thought was insanity.

As Evie struggles to mainstream her way back into school and with friends, she meets bad boy Jackson Deveaux, a Cajun from the wrong side of the tracks who is fascinated by Evie and what is haunting her. They tug at each other — both repulsed and yet attracted to each other at first. It’s a pretty intense and hot relationship — just right for this story.

Cole weaves in the story of Evie’s visions — the strange creatures she sees. A witch, Death, a girl who shoots arrows and a boy who beckons to her as a friend. Bloody battles from ancient wars.  Evie sees desolate landscapes, death and oddly enough — plants. Evie is called the Empress in these visions and later on after the “Flash” but she doesn’t understand who or what she really is. Without giving too much away, I will say that Cole has based her characters on Tarot — what she calls the Arcana — cards. In the end, the story and subsequent books in this series will amount to a sort of THE HUNGER GAMES among these card characters. But the relationships are more complicated in this frightening post-apocalyptic world.

And then there’s Jackson — who is dark and handsome and not part of the Arcana — at least that we know in this first book. He seems to want to protect Evie, who — fast forward into the world after the “Flash” — is determined to find her grandmother, who was put away somewhere in North Carolina. Evie is convinced her grandmother is still alive and can help her figure out what her role as Empress should be in this new world.

Suffice to say, Cole leaves us with a giant cliffhanger and it’s going to be a long wait between this book and the sequel. But if the second book is anything like the first, it will be well worth the wait.

‘Take It Like a Vamp’ — an OK afternoon read but hero is sooooo indecisive …. September 10, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries, Vampires.
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On a whim, I downloaded Candace HavensTAKE IT LIKE A VAMP because I’d heard good things about the story. It’s a fast afternoon read and if you like the sexy vampire guy meets human girl and wants to protect her story, then this is for you. Here’s the book blurb:

“Vampire Nick Christos might’ve been born in the Middle Ages, but the good old days seem tame compared to the last eight years he’s spent ruling the Supernatural Council. His only respite is with his cute neighbor Casey Meyers, a woman he wants more than any undead man should. Sure, he’s forced to take a cold shower after every encounter, but there’s no way he’ll test his own strength by getting too close to a human, and he’s not willing to risk her life — not with bloodthirsty family on the prowl out to ruin Nick’s life.

When said Nick’s kin shows up, the innocent Casey is caught in the middle of a centuries old fight, and Nick’s biggest fear is realized. Now, instead of keeping his hands off his neighbor, he’ll risk everything to save the human he’s come to love.”

So Nick the vampire and Casey — who thinks she’s too plump — are neighbors in a condo that he owns. They’re best friends, although both are secretly in love with each other. That part of the story is cute and fun. She thinks Nick is out of her league, and Nick is worried about scaring Casey off. The friendship deepens though as Nick — who is high up on a supernatural council — has to get married. His big problem? He hasn’t told Casey he’s a vampire and he’s got a lot of enemies, including a nasty witch who wants Nick to herself, after him.

And that’s my biggest issue with the book. A lot of time is spent about Nick worrying about telling Casey what he is and why he needs to marry her. It’s totally annoying. I wanted to yell at him — just tell her and stop dragging her around and pulling her into danger! And I also got tired of the heroine who is insecure about her body. In this case, Casey says she has a little pouch instead of a flat belly. I’m guessing this is to appeal to all of us women out there without model bodies but I am sooooo tired of this formula. She’s way too insecure. Of course, Nick and his other supernatural buddies think she’s gorgeous. We so didn’t need to get into women’s bodies issues. (Notice the men never have body issues but I guess the book publishers know their female audience!)

That said, there were some really funny moments in the story. Casey has some good lines — like this: “It’s sad when your best friend makes your panties melt.” And the other characters are entertaining: Her Aunt “Teddy” who used to be a guy is pretty amusing and and Nick’s friend Linc, who is a clothing designer but 100 percent straight and hot. (I’m guessing Havens will write more about these other characters.) Havens also drops in references to current vampire books/movies like TWILIGHT and TRUE BLOOD.

The pace of the story is fast. And that’s what makes it an OK afternoon read despite some of the flaws I found annoying. When I got to the end — I almost wanted an epilogue or something. It just stopped so abruptly. Maybe she’ll write more. But if she does, I hope she sharpens up some of the characters a bit to make this is more of a top-notch read. If you’re looking for a more complex, witty story — like Kresley Cole or Patricia Briggs — totally skip this. But if you enjoy the occasional light stuff, you might like this.

‘Dragon Bound’ grabs top romance writers’ award August 4, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News, RITA Awards.
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The Romance Writers of America recently announced its writing awards and Thea Harrison snagged the top paranormal romance RITA honor for DRAGON BOUND.

I have not read DRAGON BOUND — which I just ordered for my iPad — but here’s the description from Harrison’s website:

Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful–and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in one another.

Ann Aguirre took top honors in the Young Adult Romance with ENCLAVE.

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

And Lorenda Christensen wins the 2012 Golden Heart for best manuscript with NEVER DEAL WITH DRAGONS by Lorenda Christensen won the 2012 Golden Heart for best manuscript. What’s it about? Here’s what Christensen posted on her website about the manuscript:

Myrna Banks is a lowly assistant in the Tulsa branch of DRACIM , an organization created to provide a reliable liaison between humans and the new race of genetically spawned creatures colloquially dubbed “dragons”. Her job is to do anything necessary to keep humans from being eaten by angry dragons while damage claims are negotiated on their behalf. But her usual schedule of muck boots and pig buffets is interrupted by a visit from Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago with a fist full of classified documents and more than a little piece of her heart.

Myrna would love to show Trian the door – and the bottom of her foot – but he’s at DRACIM by the request of Lord Relobu, North America’s reigning dragon lord. Relobu needs a neutral party to preside over upcoming negotiations between himself and the Chinese dragon court. If the talks fail, war between the dragon nations is certain – an outcome that would be devastating for the human population caught in the middle.

When DRACIM top brass turn down the job, citing employee safety issues, Myrna decides she has no choice but to offer herself as token referee in the high stakes dragon showdown. But the players aren’t all what they seem and Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.

And here’s the list of the rest of the RITA award winners — because we all need a great romance once in a while, eh?! (Did any of your faves get left off the list this year? If so, let me know in the comments section! Happy reading!)

Is there a little more of Sookie after final Charlaine Harris vamp book? July 24, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Yes. There might be a tiny bit more!

Charlaine Harris says on her Facebook page that she’s done writing the final installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series:

DEAD EVER AFTER is complete. I know I’ll have to do rewrites on a few sections after I read my editor’s notes, but the story is all there. Now to think about Australia and New Zealand!

And in response to the hundreds of comments on her FB page after announcing this she says:

The last book in the Sookie series will be published next May, and there may be some form of coda for avid readers, letting everyone know what the future of key characters will be.

Soooooo — pretty interesting. Let’s see if she gives us that addendum. Or not. I don’t know if I want it. If she doesn’t wrap it up in the book, is it worth knowing? What do you think? Do you want the coda? Or are you willing to let Sookie and the other characters RIP?

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