The final Sookie Stackhouse story. At long last the very much anticipated final chapter in the story of our favorite telepathic bar maid is out. It was released on May 7th and you can bet I have arranged to have Dead Ever After downloaded to my Kindle pronto.
I just rearranged all my review schedules so I can start on it this week, so watch this site for the lowdown along with my insights and comments on what Charlaine decided was the best way to approach the final catwalk for Sookie.
There has been so much talk about what she is going to include or not, that I am just about on my tippy toes in anticipation. I cannot wait to read it, though it will be sad to know it is the very last Sookie Stackhouse novel!
More Sookie Stackhouse to Come
Of course, it is not the last we are going to be hearing of Sookie Stackhouse. Nope – there is more yet to come even if it is not in novel form. As you may recall, we talked earlier here about Charlaine’s decision to do another book about all the characters, much like she did with the two companion books she put out back in 2011.
Her new addition to this type of information book will be called After Dead and will feature what happens to each of the characters after the end of the series. You can even pre-order it in either the Kindle After Dead or After Dead in Hardcover right here at our links.
So stay tuned folks. Man, I tell you the life of a fantasy and science fiction book reviewer is a hard one! No sooner do I get one fantastic fantasy book completed then BOOM there are three more lined up on my Kindle demanding attention.
Even with a great book like the final Sookie Stackhouse adventure awaiting me I know it will be rush! rush! to get to the next one. Not that I intend to rush this reading, I intend to savor it to the final word. See you with the latest Sookie Stackhouse fun soon.
For anyone fascinated with both Hollywood and paranormal creatures, Adrienne Barbeau has them both nailed like an undertaker on a coffin. That may just be because she has a more than passing familiarity with both, being a very gifted actress before she decided to try her hand at writing. The satiric quality to the Vampyres of Hollywood series will have you wondering if perhaps some of this could be true.
In Love Bites we once again get to visit with Ovsanna Moore, a very old and very smart vampire that also happens to own, run and star in her own Hollywood productions. The commentary that runs through these books on the wolves of Hollywood (she names names, by the way) is hilarious in a dry wit manner that is perfect for this smarmy insider story of the paranormal underside of tinsel town.
The Scream Queen and owner of Anticipation Studios may be 450 years old, but you would never know looking at her. This time she teams up with a very seductive Hollywood detective named Peter to find who is attacking and killing the elite of the town. Someone has developed a taste for killing movie stars with long histories, and she wants to know who and why.
Wit and Sly Humor Abound
I admit to being unsure when I read who was writing these books, but Barbeau not only can give a great inside story, she can give it in style. I am a sucker for well-written dry wit and she does it here in spades. Not overdone, mind you, but create any character who has played on the Hollywood backlots since they began and they are bound to have attitude. Add in comments like learning to use attack geese from Louis XIV and you get a femme fatale with dangerous charm.
While this is the second book in the series, you really don’t need to read Vampyres of Hollywood to enjoy this one. However if you enjoy Love Bites you just may want to grab it too. So go ahead and grab either the Kindle or hardcover versions of Love Bites if you are looking for a witty biting paranormal look at the world of making movies. It will change how you see Lon Chaney forever after, I promise!
If you have been following the Black Swan series you will know that everything that has happened in the first two books, My Familiar Stranger and The Witches Dream leads to the events in The Vampire’s Confessor. This sizzling story of loves won and lost weaves a tale of magic, mystery and intrigue with each individual book telling its own love story.
The Vampire’s Confessor Takes the Characters Deeper
But to get the true insight of each character, I really recommend starting at the beginning. This is especially true when looking at the gestalt of the whole group and how they interact. The relationships among them are vital and frankly what makes this series so enjoyable. The first book sets the tale with our introduction of our main characters (right down to the dog) and the next book brings in secondary characters to add flavor to the plot. This third book mixes them to just the right amount for a wonderful series filled with intelligent, caring and often humorous beings.
Baka Gets His Turn
For those of us who have been following the series, you will be pleased to find out that in this book we follow Baka’s story. A bit darker than the previous two books in the series, it lends just the right sense of gravity and yet brings us more intimately into Baka and his life story. For many of us, this is the story we have been waiting for, and are more than amply rewarded here.
For this is one vampire who has a story to tell of the man he once was and how he came to be the character we met in My Familiar Stranger. As usual with all of Danann’s stories, the sensual is nicely balanced with the human touches to make us all feel like these are characters we know and care deeply about.
While she may not be the next Indiana Jones, Moira Jameson is a dedicated archeologist who happens to know vampires and werewolves. That is, she knows them in the personal sense. For some, this includes in the very personal sense. And the fact she has inherited this love of archeology from her grandfather doesn’t hurt, since the family can easily afford to support this kind of crazy habit. Oh- and did I mention that crazy is another word that aptly applies to Moira? In any sense you care to use?
If you have not read the first book in the Broken Heart Vampires series, Must Love Lycans, it might be a good idea to check it out first. Just to get the lay of the land, so to speak. It is even mentioned in the prologue. But even if you decide to dive into this sometimes awkward and often funny tale of mysteries, werewolves and vampires without that bit of foreplay, I think you will enjoy this adventure in mayhem and arch ironic humor.
Looking for Vamps
Moira has returned to the dig that started her fascination with all things ancient. It is the place her grandfather dragged her to when she was bouncing in the loony bin and looking for answers in all the wrong places. He swore that somewhere beneath all that sand was an ancient temple. He never found it, but Moira has. The only problem is there is more in that temple than just old bones and sand.
After being kidnapped, her memory wiped and told she is the key to the awakening of ancient vampires, is it any wonder Moira decides that a good old fashion werewolf is more her speed for romance? But good vampires need help, bad vampires need vanquishing and Broken Heart is waiting for her to act. She knows that some kind of sacrifice will need to be made, the question in her mind is – does it need to be me?
Beach Time Reading
If you like snarky dialogue, smart women and sexy werewolves, this may be just your book. Did I mention there were some really cool vampires too? Well, there are. Not exactly the deepest story in the world, but then we aren’t looking for that from vampire adventure and werewolf romance, are we?
This would be the perfect take-along for those holidays when you just want to relax and get away from it all. Better yet, grab Must Love Lycans while you are at it (neither are that long) and really dig into Moira, her assistant Dove (with more attitude than a Hip-Hop Queen) and the entire werewolf clan.
Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to laugh as we take another one of our lightning-fast looks at some fun vampire books. This time around we look at MaryJanice Davidson’s latest foray into humor and the paranormal with Undead and Underwater. I love – love-love this gal’s ironic sense of humor. If you have been following her adventures of Queen Betsy, then you know just what I mean. These are stories with a wicked sense of adventure and just enough dead-pan delivery to make you grin as you read. So be warned – reading on the subway on the way to work may elicit giggling that will get you a bunch of stares.
This book is actually an anthology with three great little stories, and only one of them with our dead Betsy in them. But- since the other two are kinda “guest appearances” of other characters with some equally fun attitudes it is all for the good.
A is for Anthology
Okay, I see at Amazon plenty of gripes about this book and I wanted to set the record straight. This is not a full length Queen Betsy novel and never claims to be one. So enough complaining about it having three short stories, that is what an anthology does. Now – back to our stories.
We start off with a bang when It Girl, the Minnesota super gal who gets her powers from eating (you so completely know this is a woman writing this!) and so deals with local crime from her lofty perch in a human resources department. Then there is the way too cute guy that just started…well you know that from there we are going to have some interesting trouble.
The next story is an interesting question. What happens when vamps and mermaids collide? Why not find out in the title story about when Queen Betsy and Fred the mermaid meet. You know this is an historic meeting and one well worth checking out.
Finally- some fur around the collar with a werewolf story. The Wyndham Werewolves are in full gear here when Laura meets the woof of her dreams in Jack Gardner. Sometimes the logical approach just doesn’t work, and needs can overwhelm common sense. Especially when it comes to sexy pack members with such a great ass. (woops- did I say that?)
Undead and Underwater by MaryJanice Davidson is Easy Reading
So grab this one gals and prepare to laugh. Not that I am saying that guys can’t laugh too, I am sure you do. But I must admit that the old dry ironic wit of Davidson’s books tends to attract the female side of the audience pool. Personally, I love it when series writers do these anthology books. The short runs are perfect for that sit next to the pool moment I am hotly anticipating. But why wait- you can grab you own copy of Undead and Underwater by MaryJanice Davidson in either Kindle or paperback versions and enjoy anytime at all.
Christopher Pike is the pseudonym for young adult fantasy author Kevin Christopher McFadden. The name itself is a bow to the influence of Star Trek for young fantasy fans, as it is the name of the original captain of the Enterprise before Kirk took it over. It is also how McFadden chooses to stay out of the limelight and so very little is actually known about him. But for all his need for privacy McFadden has, through his Pike identity amassed a fair amount of titles for a writer who could not initially get published in the science fiction field.
Christopher Pike and The Last Vampire
Perhaps the work he is most well known for is his The Last Vampire Series, which he began in 1994. The books were huge hits for him, selling half a million copies. They came out well before the Twilight/True Blood teen vampire hits and in fact were written to give mature readers an interesting story. Although he has written well over thirty young adult horror and thriller titles, the vampire series continues to be his legacy.
The story centers on Alisa, a vampire who is five thousand years old and was made by the very first vampire. Much of the mythology is East Indian, centering on Krishna and this gives the whole series a very interesting and exotic flavor. When her maker begins to hunt her down, she must find help and does in a human named Ray. In time their relationship becomes more than a friendship and she realizes she must do more to ensure both of them are protected.
The Last Vampire and The Thirst Series
The series went on for nine books and the early books were out of print and unavailable for a while. Recently they were repackaged, three to a volume and rereleased under the name Thirst. This actually makes it easier to get into the series, since the first two volumes of the Thirst series compile the first six books of the original The Last Vampire series.
This book compiles the first three stories from the original series: The Last Vampire, Black Blood and Red Dice. We meet Alisa, find how she came to become a vampire named Sita and see her life in today’s world. Her maker, who she thought dead, is now very much alive. Unfortunately, he also wants to kill her. She meets Ray, a human that she befriends with the intention of using his computer to get information she needs. Instead, she makes a friend and even soon falls in love with him. Together they must find a way to stop Yaksha, her original maker, from killing. But the trouble with this is – now Sita has a new reason for stopping Yaksha and far more at stake if she can’t. Available in Kindle or paperback .
This book reprints the next three books in The Last Vampire: Phantom, Evil Thirst and Creatures of Forever. For five thousand years Sita has roamed the earth as a vampire. What she has always wanted more than anything is to be human. Finally, she has gotten her wish. As Alisa she is vulnerable, emotional and more defenseless than she has ever been. With her past haunting her and the future unknown, she must find a way to strike a balance between what she was and who she has become. Can she overcome five thousand years of suffering to become truly human? Available in Kindle or paperback editions.
This book is actually the seventh book in the series: The Eternal Dawn. Five thousand years is a long time to spend alone and Alisa has been lonely. When she finds a descendant of her own family, Teri, she cannot resist the lure of companionship. She knows it is dangerous, to both of them, but still she reaches out. It turns out that it may have been more dangerous than she knew when a top-secret agency reveals they know Alisa’s secret. Will Teri become a pawn in an ancient game that forces Alisa to help their cause? Available in Kindle or paperback editions.
A repackaging of the eighth book in the series: The Shadow of Death. Thrust into the body of a newly-born vampire, Alisa faces unbearable thirst. But she must set that aside for now, as she discovers that the immortal Telar have plans that could spell the end for humanity. It begins to look like the only ones who could stop them are the mysterious and top-secret IIC. Alisa is all too aware that their agenda and hers probably don’t coincide. She could trust her dark side to triumph over all of these threats, but at what cost? Available in Kindle or paperback editions.
The Last Vampire Series, book number nine is called The Sacred Veil. Alisa remembers all of the fifty lifetimes she has gone through as a vampire. Or she thought she did. But when dreams reveal lost memories, she begins to wonder. While searching for an artifact called The Veil that could save humanity she begins to question what she remembers – and has forgotten. And yet there was a time when her torture, by a madman, may have yielded unknown secrets. Secrets that caused the death of millions; or did they? Available in Kindle or paperback editions.
Meanwhile, rumors continue about the possible movie adaptation of this series. It’s been optioned, but so far no word from the studio. In the meantime, this doesn’t stop the rest of us from “dream casting”. Here is one person’s take – what do you think?
If you have been following the Black Dagger Brotherhood, of which this is the 11th book, you are in for a treat. For many, the hot couple that everyone has been waiting to get their HEA is Qhuinn and Blay. The two men have slowly gone from friends to close friends to something more. What that something more is on an emotional level, they have not always been ready to disclose or explore. Until now.
Meanwhile, the battle for the throne continues. The Brotherhood has become endangered from the outside by a couple of new players. Qhuinn thought he was ready to settle into a real family with his Chosen female, but sometimes surprises come from the strangest of places. We see plenty of back story on Qhuinn and come to understand better the machinations behind the scenes. This is indeed the one we have all been waiting for. All I can say is, it has been well worth the wait.
Vampires Gone Wild is a fun collection of short stories from well known fantasy authors Kerryln Sparks (Vampire Mine and Wild About You) and Pamela Palmer (The Feral Warriors Series). For fun, they decided to ask along two newcomers to the paranormal field. So we have two additional vampire romances from Amanda Arista (Nine Lives of an Urban Panther) and Kim Falconer (The Quantum Encryption Series). It all adds up to four great paranormal romances pulled from the minds of some of the best fantasy romance writers of the genre.
Big Stories in Short Bites
In V for Vampwoman Sparks tells the tale of the confirmed bachelor who meets his match. If you know Sparks books, you know to be ready for some great humour amongst the paranormal romance. Great fun and of course a great HEA ending that suits it perfectly.
Palmer’s A Forever Love is a very different story. It was bittersweet and yet somehow still with a happy ending of a sort. When the Lady Elizabeth finds out her one and only true love is not what he seems, it feels as if her world is shattered. It is how she comes to navigate the reality of just what and who he is that make this an outstanding, but fast-paced paranormal romance.
First Dates Are Hell is a short page ripped from Amanda’s The Wanderers series. Here we meet up with Valiance on a very decidedly domestic day. Even the most dedicated swordsman needs to take care of basic needs sometimes. And sometimes, the most ordinary of errands leads to the most romantic of discoveries.
In Kim’s story Blood and Water, the depths a love will take when two very different species fall in love was fascinating. Can an ordinary human learn to adapt to a mer-person’s world? A really well thought out mythology in a short amount of space.
A Short but Sweet Visit
Obviously, these are short stories telling romance tales from longer on-going series. But the little venture into these worlds are a great way to introduce yourself to new authors, visit familiar ones and even get a chance to spend some time with favorite characters from authors we have come to enjoy.