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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.

‘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.

Season 4 of ‘True Blood’ ends with a big whimper September 11, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in HBO, News, True Blood, Vampires.
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Did Sookie choose Bill? (Not with that ugly robe!) > HBO

It’s Halloween in Bon Temps (or Samhain if you’re one of the witches) for the season 4 finale of True Blood — and we get lots of tricks and treats in “And When I Die.”  But seriously — what was Alan Ball and his team of writers thinking? This was a total snoozer of a finale. Here’s why: (Spoiler note — don’t read if you haven’t watched the show!)

How did Marnie tie up both Bill and Eric? > HBO

DEAD MARNIE WALKING
Marnie takes over Layfayette’s body and forces Jesus to give her his magic. And then she kills him. No shocker there.

This fork scene made many of us grimace. > HBO

Then she somehow (we never see this) finds Bill and Eric, binds them with silver to a pyre and proceeds to burn them to death. Just as the vamps are in flames, Sookie, Holly and Tara arrive (they figured it out) and chant a spell that calls the dead to help them. Antonia and Gran and a bunch of deadskies show up. Gran pulls Marnie’s spirit out of Layfayette’s mouth (kind of gross) and then Marnie is persuaded to shuffle off into the night with the other dead to her rightful place. I thought this whole ending to the Marnie storyline totally weak, given the buildup in the previous shows. I was disappointed this is how the writers concluded the major story arc of the series. (Sigh — and it started out so well, too!)

Lafayette seems to be OK. I wondered for a minute if Alan Ball would really kill him off — but then thought — NOT. (Later, Jesus shows up while Lafayette is trying to sleep and says goodbye.)

DEADLY SPIRITS AT MERLOTTE’S?
Sam lays Tommy to rest. Sookie gets her job back.  And ohhhh — I wondered if Rene would show up, and he sure does. (Remember, it’s Samhain — when the dead are closest to the living — and Sookie, Holly and Tara cast that spell to bring dead spirits around!) He

Is Scott Foley gonna wreck havoc with Terry & Arlene? > HBO

warns Arlene about Terry, saying the dude is bad news and that his ghosts won’t remain quiet for long. He says she should run from Terry. Meanwhile Terry’s Marine buddy Scott Foley — who has this creepy look on his face when he finds out Terry is married — also comes to town. Seems like Terry saved his life twice. Terry thought the guy was dead …. just saying …. but is he a bad ghosty? Not sure where this is going but might be interesting. Again — another big foreshadowing for the next season. Alan Ball likes to just drop new stuff in at the last minute.

THE H-J-J TRIANGLE
Thinking he’s doing the right thing, Jason tells Hoyt he slept with vampy Jessica. Guess what? Hoyt doesn’t take the news well and gives Jason a pretty good pounding. That night, Jessica — dressed as a naughty Little Red Riding Hood — shows up at Jason’s house, and yeah — big sex scene follows. But afterward, she tells Jason she just wants to be friends — with benefits — but nothing more. Puppy dog Jason agrees. After she leaves, the Rev. Newlin shows up on Jason’s doorstep and he’s sporting fangs. (Trick? Is The Rev. really a vamp or is it a Halloween gag he’s pulling on Jason? Anyway — he can’t come into Jason’s house unless Stackhouse does something stupid — like invite him in.) This part of the series is still fun and entertaining. You want to see what happens next season with these folks.

MEANWHILE, IN THE SOOKIE TRIANGLE
Sookie — after feeding crispy critters Bill and Eric at the same time — decides she can’t choose between them because she loves them both. So, she won’t be with either of them. Glad she’s dumping them both — although it took her forever to get her lovey-dovey lines out.  Personally, Bill in the HBO series is more likeable than in the book — where she kicks him to the curb for some time. But Eric is just plain sappy in the TV series. He has a lot more edge in the book and I hate the “nice” TV Eric. Blech on both of ’em. (And what was with the matching ugly robes?) Now, there is some good news. Don’t forget Alcide. He dumps Debbie Pelt and makes a pitch to Sookie. Could get interesting. At least he has a pulse and fab abs.  Since the TV series is veering away from the books, why shouldn’t she hook up with the hunky Alcide. (Ummm — not sure how he’s gonna take the news about Debbie — see below.)

Holly is the only "fairy" who showed up in the last episode. > HBO

WHO IS REALLY DEAD?
It appears the evil Debbie Pelt. The she-wolf comes at Sookie with a shotgun but winds up hitting Tara, who leaps in to save Sookie. Ummm — shot to the head. Sookie gets the gun from Debbie and — after hesitating for just a sec — blows off Debbie’s head in the kitchen. She’s a goner for sure. (Sookie also offs her in the book series.) But Tara — I’m thinking it would be mighty hard for her to recover from that head wound unless one of the vampires gives her a ton of blood. Now — wouldn’t that be ironic. For once, a vampire could help Tara? But I think she’s a goner. Remember, they foreshadowed her death earlier in this episode when she and Sookie talk about growing old and sitting on the porch together. So not going to happen.

THE DYNAMIC DUO
I did enjoy watching  Bill and Eric team up to kill vamps.  They get rid of Nan, who was fired from her position as spokeswoman for the American Vampire League. She came to kill Bill and Eric but then started to talk about teaming up. But her fatal flaw? Shooting off her mouth about Sookie and her fairy blood. So, the vamp boys offed Nan. Yup — she wound up as a sticky patch on the King’s floor. Let’s see if they can stick together in season No. 5.

Hey -- who let out the King? > HBO

ODDS & ENDS
–Is Marcus really dead? Or is that him snarling at Sam at the end? Or is it another wolf from the pack, bent on revenge for their leader’s death?
–What is with the goofy Andy and Holly scene at the end? He gives her a big hug. I’m wondering when nympho Fairy with the ET finger will show up? Remember she made him promise to protect her — always? (OK — and where are the Fae? We open up the series in their land but then — that’s it. Hardly a mention of ’em.)
–No big surprise to see that Russell Edgington has managed to claw his way out from his concrete prison. Can’t wait for him to get back into the storyline.

DID WE LIKE?
Might be me but if Sookie started to cry one more time I was gonna whack her. That’s not the Sookie we know. Good grief, the last scene was of her wailing for help with a mortally wounded Tara in her arms on the kitchen floor. Get a grip girl! And while I thought season 4 was good overall — really funny and witty in so many places —  I can’t help but feel the pacing of the last two shows was off. It was much slower and — frankly — not all that surprising. Doesn’t mean I won’t tune into season No. 5. In fact — can’t wait. But I hope they pick up the pace and lighten up a bit. And please turn off the faucet Sook!

FAVE LINES
Jesus to Marnie: “You can’t trade magic like f****** Pokemon cards.”
Pam to Ginger: “I’m so over Sookie and her precious fairy vagina and her stupid name.”
Eric to Sookie/Holly/Tara: “Excuse me, we are feeling a little crispy here.”

OK — so what did you think?

True Blood: Which regular dies in season 4 finale? September 7, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment, HBO, News, True Blood, Vampires.
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Eric & Sookie in Season 4 of HBO's True Blood. Photo: HBO

I’ve been on vacation — even from vamp blogging — but am back and am getting ready for the season 4 finale of TRUE BLOOD this Sunday. Here’s the official description of the finale from HBO:

SUNDAY, SEPT. 11 “And When I Die” (Season Finale)
It’s Samhain, Wicca’s greatest holy day, and spirits of the dead surface in Bon Temps, giving Sookie valuable allies to combat Marnie’s newest incarnation. Lafayette’s latest medium encounter imperils his relationship with Jesus; Jason finds confession good for the soul, but not the body; Alcide makes a heartfelt appeal to the woman he loves; Terry receives an unexpected visitor at Merlotte’s; Sam and Luna  envision a storybook ending, for once; Nan wears out her welcome with Bill and Eric. Debbie confronts Sookie and Tara with deadly consequences, and the denizens of Bon Temps brace for a new crisis with a familiar face.

If you don’t want to read any spoilers, stop now!

Photo from HBO

Michael Ausiello, editor of TVLine.com, says “By the end of the hour, the show will be down at least one series regular.”

TV Guide Magazine, in its Aug 29-Sept. 11 edition says Sookie “finally chooses between her vamp lovers when the war against Marnie the witch gets bloody deadly.”

TV Guide also says not everyone survives Halloween clash between vampires and witches in the fourth-season finale:

“There is a body count by the end,” says creator Alan Ball. “It’s more than one death – people we know and love – and it’s pretty shocking.” Alan also says that Antonia is the toughest foe that Bill, Eric, Pam and Jessica have ever fought; that Sookie’s decision choosing between Eric and Bill is her toughest decision she’s ever had to make and two major past characters return. (Says Alan, “One is beloved, the other despised. One reveal is terrifying, and one is emotional and powerful.”) And finally, Alan says, “A lot of things that seemed like they were happening outside of the witch story find their way into it. You’re going to think things are finished when they are not.”

So, who does Sookie choose? Who dies? Who are the two past major characters who return?

Is Russell Edgington — the King — coming back? That would seem a logical answer. But The Hollywood Reporter says an HBO spokesperson says actor Denis O’Hare doesn’t appear this season.

Do we lose Lafayette, who in the Charlaine Harris series dies in the first book? What about Tara?

Several websites, including WetPaint.com, have reported that in the last show of season 4 we’ll meet Patrick Devins, 35 to 45, tough, and ruggedly attractive, he served in the military with Terry, and they share a serious history: Terry saved Patrick’s life twice. Does he return the life-saving favor(s)? Do we get a reprise of Rene?

Photo from HBO

Book pick: ‘Rajmund’ a must read for Vampires in America fans August 26, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries, Vampires.
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Here’s another good one from Dot on the latest book in the VAMPIRES IN AMERICA series.   “I love this author (D.B. Reynolds)! ” says Dot — PR’s vampire expert.  “She keeps me riveted to the books. Only problem, I have to wait a year for the next ones.” And we all can relate to that when it comes to reading a good series. Dot’s book pick follows. CLICK HERE to read her previous reviews on this series.

***

D.B. Reynolds weaves together a mystery along with sizzling romance in RAJMUND, book No. 3 in the VAMPIRES IN AMERICA series.   A young human woman has been kidnapped and vampires are suspected of not only this crime but of the kidnapping of several other women.  Rajmund (pronounced Rye-mund or Raj like in Rodger) is called from New York City to Buffalo, NY, by his vampire lord, Krystof, who has a tenuous grasp on his territory.  Raj is poised to take over the territory but first he must clear up the mystery of these missing women.  A distraction comes in the person of human Sarah Stratton, a professor at a Buffalo university.  Sarah has information about the missing women but has secrets of her own to keep hidden.  She has been previously introduced to Raj while on a weekend in NYC.  Sparks flew then and they continue to fly when they meet again in Buffalo.

RAJMUND, the third installment in D.B.Reynolds Vampires In America,  series does not disappoint one little bit.  It has all the action and romance of the first two books (RAPHAEL[1] and JABRIL[2]). There are tantalizing surprises as the story unfolds. Raj is a totally hot, sexy, dangerous, alpha vampire.  His only discernible fault is calling the heroine “little one.”  For those who want their heroines to be of the kick-ass variety, Sarah is not that. Sarah is sometimes annoying in her disregard for her own safety.  But Reynolds compensates by having Raj’s second in command, a vampire named Emelie, do more than an adequate job of butt kicking. Once again, this was  a Reynolds’ book, I could not put down.   I personally enjoy how dangerous Reynolds’ vampires are because they are not to be trifled with one bit. Yum! I do suggest that the series be read in order, if only so you can enjoy the series as it unfolds.

Books  No. 4 SOPHIA and No. 5 DUNCAN will be published in 2011.  Reynolds has just announced that her contract has been extended to include eight books in her series.

Miss our other book picks? Click on the red links to check ’em out!

Geek Speak’s indepth look at 20 vampire romance series! July 11, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Fun stuff, Reviews/summaries, Vampires.
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Image courtesy of Geek Speak.

So you can’t find anything to read in the vamp genre? Geek Speak Magazine, a free online magazine devoted to science fiction and fantasy, recently devoted an entire edition to bloodsuckers titled: “Dead and Doing It,” where authors Rachael Hyland and Kate Nagy examine the question “Why vampires?” and offer a super fun and detailed look at 20 vampire romance series novels.

Here’s a snippet from the article:

Over the past few decades, vampires have become the heroes of our fondest imaginings and darkest fantasies, and have most recently blossomed into the ultimate romantic lover, most of their novels falling under the banner of “Paranormal Romance”. Whether it be Lestat, Sinclair, Eric Northman or Edward Cullen, there’s a vampire for every temperament, level of squeamishness and interest in S&M. Their stories can make you cringe or make you laugh or make you blush; some can make you weep for the feminist generation who came before, liberating women from their sexual servitude, only to have so-called “heroines” succumb to a whole lot of “’No’ means ‘yes’” seduction.

But check out their list of 20 vamp romance novels (CLICK HERE to get to the article and list). Hyland and Nagy give a ton of information about the books, including background on the hero/heroines, love rivals, sex, sidekicks, vamp society for each novel, other legends the books touch on. They also include an analysis of each book, and I thought a lot of it was dead on — no pun intended.

The edition also includes:

  • An interview with Molly Harper (NICE GIRLS DON’T HAVE FANGS)

I asked Hyland , editor-in-chief at Geek Speak, what else they gleaned from writing the article. She said she is now “utterly addicted to the steamy IMMORTALS AFTER DARK.” And Nagy, whose  “romance tastes have always run more to the Kurland-ish, is suddenly come over all Paranormal Detective and is seriously in denial over her attraction to Rhage, Zsadist, and the rest of the BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD. So now we’re a couple of hardcore Sci-Fi and Fantasy aficionados who have crossed over to the Dark Ones side, and … y’know what? We kinda like it here,” Hyland said.

You can follow Geek Speak on Twitter at @geekspeakmag and also on their Facebook page called Geek Speak Magazine. Hyland says Geek Speak accepts  submissions “from geeks of every creed: Trekkies, Whovians, Warsies, Twilighters, Xenites, Browncoats, what have you. (Though we do take exception to Michael Bay.)”

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