Happy Labour Day! What’s in your backpack?

It’s Labour Day and here in most of Canada that means all the kids go back to school tomorrow. (Kicking and screaming optional.)

If I was going back to school, here’s what I might be sneaking into my backpack alongside those brand-new notebooks and shiny new pens.

Books from my To Be Read pile:

anthology – Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy
Kelley Armstrong – The Calling
Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass
John Green – The Fault in Our Stars
Kim Harrison – The Hollows Insider: New fiction, facts, maps, murders, and more in the world of Rachel Morgan
Suzanne McLeod – The Sweet Scent of Blood
Jeanne C. Stein – The Watcher
Amanda Stevens – The Prophet

What’s on the Kobo?

J.C. Daniels – Blade Song (Colbana Files)
Sable Grace – Ascension: A Dark Breed Novel
Suzanne McLeod – The Shifting Price of Prey
Alexandra Sokoloff – Huntress Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers)
Michael P. Spradlin – Blood Riders

By the way, you can get your own Yoda backpack at Think Geek:

Advertisements

Release Day: HAUNTED; DEVIL SAID BANG and more!

DEATH WARMED OVER
Kevin J. Anderson
Cover Copy: Ever since The Big Uneasy unleashed vampires, werewolves, and other undead denizens on the world, it’s been hell being a detective—especially for zombie P.I. Dan Chambeaux. Taking on the creepiest of cases in the Unnatural Quarter with a human lawyer for a partner and a ghost for a girlfriend, Chambeaux redefines “dead on arrival.” But just because he was murdered doesn’t mean he’d leave his clients in the lurch. Besides, zombies are so good at lurching.
Now he’s back from the dead and back in business—with a case load that’s downright unnatural. A resurrected mummy is suing the museum that put him on display. Two witches, victims of a curse gone terribly wrong, seek restitution from a publisher for not using “spell check” on its magical tomes. And he’s got to figure out a very personal question—Who killed him?
For Dan Chambeaux, it’s all in a day’s work. (Still, does ***everybody*** [delete: the media] have to call him “Shamble”?) Funny, fresh, and irresistible, this cadaverous caper puts the P.I. in R.I.P….with a vengeance.
Get it: Amazon CA | Amazon US | Chapters | Goodreads

SEVEN WONDERS
Adam Christopher
Cover Copy: Tony Prosdocimi lives in the bustling Metropolis of San Ventura — a city gripped in fear, a city under siege by the hooded supervillain, The Cowl.

When Tony develops super-powers and acts to take down The Cowl, however, he finds that the local superhero team Seven Wonders aren’t as grateful as he assumed they’d be…
Get itAmazon CAAmazon USChapters | Goodreads

GHOST OF A DREAM
Simon R. Green
Cover Copy: Meet the Carnacki Institute’s operatives—JC Chance: the team leader, brave, charming, and almost unbearably arrogant; Melody Chambers: the science geek who keeps the antisupernatural equipment running; and Happy Jack Palmer: the terminally gloomy telepath. Their mission: Do Something About Ghosts. Lay them to rest, send them packing, or just kick their nasty ectoplasmic arses…

The Ghost Finders are investigating a haunting at the long-abandoned Haybarn Theater, which is being renovated. But work has been thrown off-schedule by the some peculiar and unnatural activities. And after the potentially world-altering recent events of their previous assignment, the team thinks that a haunted theater (aren’t they all?) will be a walk in the park.

Until they encounter the Phantom of the Haybarn—an ancient evil whose ability to alter reality itself will test the skills, science, and blind luck of the Ghost Finders to the limit.
Get itAmazon CAAmazon USChapters | Goodreads

DEVIL SAID BANG
Richard Kadrey
Cover Copy: Getting out of hell is just the beginning

What do you do after you’ve escaped Hell, gone back, uncovered the true nature of God, and then managed to become the new Lucifer?

Well, if you’re James Stark, you have to figure out how to run Hell while also trying to get back out of it . . . again. Plus there’s the small matter of surviving. Because everyone in Heaven, Hell, and in between wants to be the fastest gun in the universe, and the best way to do so is to take down Lucifer, a.k.a. James Stark.

And it’s not like being in L.A. is any better–a serial-killer ghost is running wild and Stark’s angelic alter ego is hiding among the lost days of time with a secret cabal who can rewrite reality. Starting to care for people and life again is a real bitch for a stone-cold killer.
Get itAmazon CAAmazon USChapters | Goodreads

SOUL TRADE
Caitlin Kittridge
Cover CopyThe crow-mage Jack Winter returns —to crash a secret gathering of ghost hunters, soul stealers, and other uninvited guests, both dead and alive… Normally, Pete Caldecott stays far away from magical secret societies. But ever since her partner and boyfriend Jack Winter stopped a primordial demon from ripping into our world, every ghost, demon, and mage in London has been wide awake—and hungry.  And the magical society in question needs their help putting things right.

It all begins with an invitation.  Five pale figures surround Pete in the cemetery to “cordially” invite her to a gathering of the Prometheus Club. Pete’s never heard of them, but Jack has—and he’s not thrilled about it. Especially the part that says, “Attend or die.” The Prometheans wouldn’t come to London unless something big’s about to go down. So Pete and Jack decide to play it safe and make nice with the club—even if that means facing down an army of demons in the process.  But now that they’ve joined the group, they’re about to discover that membership comes at a cost…and has apocalyptic consequences.
Get itAmazon CAAmazon USChapters | Goodreads

HAUNTED
Jeanne Stein
Cover Copy: Anna Strong—kick-ass bounty hunter and vampire—has made some enemies in her time. But it’s not just her old foes she should be worried about… 

Anna’s shape-shifting friend Culebra finally opens up to her about his life before he owned Beso de la Muerte, a bar catering to supernatural clientele. As if summoned by the conversation, Culebra’s past stumbles into his bar in the form of an old buddy cashing in a favor.

Soon Anna, Culebra and her ex, DEA agent Max, find themselves deep in Mexico, dealing with drug cartel infighting, old vendettas and missing girls. Mexico just may prove to be Anna’s best match yet…
Get it: Amazon CAAmazon US | Chapters | Goodreads

Ace/Roc Authors at Comic Con

Are you going to San Diego Comic Con? I wish I was. Look at all the urban fantasy authors that will be there:

Amber Benson, Taylor Anderson, Myke Cole, Jack Campbell, Rachel Caine, Pat Rothfuss, Kat Richardson, Marjorie Liu, Jeanne Stein, Anton Strout, Tom Sniegoski, Michael Cassutt, Kelley Armstrong, Deborah Harkness, and more.

Check out more information from Penguin and find out about catching all the details of SDCC as they happen.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Indigo Books & Music: Save 50% to 75% on Books, Toys, Gifts & More!

HBO’s True Blood Series Casting News and More!

BOOK REVIEWS
Kimberly reviews the Weddings from Hell Anthology with stories by

  • Maggie Shayne
  • Jeaniene Frost
  • Terri Garey
  • Kathryn Smith

Kimberly also reviews Spectre by Phaedra Weldon and Night Child by Jes Battis.
Literary Escapism reviews The Darkest Kiss by Keri Arthur.
Sacred Monsters reviews Magic Bites and Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews, The Anna Strong Vampire Series by Jeanne Stein, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo, Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge, The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson and Dog Days by John Levitt.
Antick Musings reviews Small Favor by Jim Butcher.
The Book Girl reviews Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready.
Dear Author and Thrifty Reader review From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris.
Love Vampires reviews Embrace the Night by Karen Chance.
CheriPie’s Books reviews The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo.

INTERVIEWS
Darque Reviews interviews Jeri Smith-Ready.
Jeri Smith-Ready and Wyrdsmiths interview Tate Hallway.
Jackie Kessler as Jezebel interviews Charlaine Harris as Sookie Stackhouse over at Cat and Muse.

TELEVISION NEWS
From Literary Escapism:

Nothing is officially confirmed, but according to one of my groups, Kristin Bauer has been cast to play Pam in the HBO series True Blood. Bauer has been around for awhile, guest starring in a number of television shows such as: Crossing Jordan, Bones, CSI, and Boston Legal to name a few.

Again, nothing confirmed, but my source is saying True Blood will air on HBO September 6th.

CONTESTS
The League of Reluctant Adults is having a contest to celebrate their new additions! They are giving away lots of books and swag. All you have to do is identify whose picture is missing from their new header! Contest runs through Monday, May 12.

Rachel Vincent is giving away a signed copy of Jeri Smith-Ready’s Wicked Game along with some Godiva Chocolate to one lucky commenter. The giveaway ends on Thursday, May 8th at 11:59 p.m.

Help a Reader Out: Stein & Banks Art

This week in my inbox, I received this question from a reader: Who are the cover artists for Jeanne C. Stein and L.A. Banks? I found the name of Ms Banks’s artist over at Wikipedia, “The cover art for this series was done by Vince Natale. Other illustrations for this series were done by Eric Battle.” I’ve been able to confirm Natale did the cover of MINION, the first book in the Vampire Huntress Legend series. But not the later covers, and so far no luck for finding Ms Stein’s artist.

So, I’m putting the question to the minds of the urban fantasy community. Who did the cover art for Jeanne C. Stein?

And who did the later covers for L.A. Banks– was it Natale, Battle, or someone else?

Cover Art for Jeanne C Stein’s LEGACY

Lookies! Jeanne C Stein has shared the cover art for her fourth Anna Strong novel. Previously known as The Legacy, it is now simply Legacy. Look out for it in September 2008. In the meantime, you can see a photo of Manny with the first three novels in the series (The Becoming, Blood Drive and The Watcher), and read my interview with Ms Jeanne.

Anton Strout has given his website a new look, and I love the photo he uses as a header – it says quite plainly “I’m a wacky fun guy”. You can tell a lot about an author from their photo – if they’re smiling, what body parts you can see… My only problem with the new look site is that the header is so big that I have to scroll down the page to actually read content. But maybe my monitor is too small. Be sure to check out the Galleria Disturbia so you can drool at the fabulous cake…and see a familiar feline friend 😉 Also, previously Book 2 in the Simon Canderous series (following Dead to Me) was going to be titled Back to Life, but now it’s Deader Still…unless that’s Book 3’s title. Don’t ask me, dude; I’m cold.

Have a lovely day! 🙂

Tez Miller

[REVIEW] Many Bloody Returns – Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (eds.)

Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (eds.)
Many Bloody Returns
Penguin Books (4th September 2007)

The problem I have with anthologies is that the quality of the stories varies greatly, as far as I’ve read. Thus, I am not a big fan. Indeed, the authors in this collection are varied: some of them you know well from various paranormal novels, while others are dipping into the supernatural for the first time (they’re primarily mystery writers, on the cosy side, I think). Instead of judging the collection as a whole, let’s look at the stories individually:

Charlaine Harris, Dracula Night: The problem I’ve found with the Sookie Stackhouse novels is that some great ideas are buried within a fluffy package. The same goes for this story: there’s mention in the narrative of vampires immigrating to places (like the US) where they’re more welcome in society. This is interesting stuff, but the author doesn’t focus enough on it. This is a great opportunity for social commentary and writing something that will really make readers think, but alas, Ms Harris just didn’t shed enough light on it. Then there’s the quote on p4: “It was just like Anne Rice meeting Louis.” Okay, so now characters in novels are real people, and not just figments of the authors’ imaginations? Maybe that theory works for other people, but not for me. And then there was this on p18: “She had a heavy accent, I thought Russian. I was about tired of the new wave of vamps.” I’m not sure if that’s racism or bigotry, but either way I don’t like it. I’ve never really connected with Sookie Stackhouse, and her xenophobia is an example why. Put simply, the story itself isn’t bad, but I can’t stand xenophobia in characters. And Sookie’s meant to be a protag? Not in my eyes: she’s a bitch.

Christopher Golden, The Mournful Cry of Owls: So who were the vampires: the owls?

Bill Crider, I Was a Teenage Vampire: Was good until the author revealed his vampires to be vampire bats.

Kelley Armstrong, Twilight: Cassandra DuCharme isn’t emo, but she is clearly depressed. Interesting that she doesn’t recycle newspapers, but by making her annual kill renews her life for another year. Contradictory or hypocritical?

Jim Butcher, It’s My Birthday, Too: In the words of Lurr, Ruler of the Planet Omicron Persei VIII: “Okay; not great.”

P. N. Elrod, Grave-Robbed: Meh.

Rachel Caine, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life: Pretty good story. And I liked Eve. Except for her fashion and makeup. And she was vain about her boobs. Seriously, girl: get over yourself.

Jeanne C. Stein, The Witch and the Wicked: What if you could do more than just stop aging – what if you could reverse it? Witch, caterer and wannabe-cosmetologist Sophie is eighty years old, but she looks like forty…until she comes across the ashes of a vampire and gets an idea for a night cream. I’m not usually one for cosies, but I liked this one.

Tanya Huff, Blood Wrapped: I really wish Henry wasn’t so emo. Tony, you deserve better than that mopey vampire.

Carolyn Haines, The Wish: Emo.

Tate Hallaway, Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two: Finally, someone who’s less intelligent than I: Garnet. I dress appropriate for the weather – she doesn’t. It’s freaking snowing, and she doesn’t dress for warmth. I may not have ever experienced snow, but I do have basic smarts.

Elaine Viets, Vampire Hours: You can so tell she writes chick-lit for the forty-something generation.

Toni L. P. Kelner, How Stella Got Her Grave Back: Puns are lame in titles – this one no exception.

C+ Of course everyone’s opinion varies, but I’d suggest waiting until a paperback is released before purchasing; I don’t think this is worth a hardcover price. If there was a way to purchase the stories individually, that would be brilliant: so you’d only buy what you want to read. I hope the eBook department at Penguin makes use of that idea. The best stories were written by Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Jeanne C. Stein, and I hope you can read them someday.

Have a lovely day! 🙂

Tez Miller