Dakota Fanning to star in New Moon?

dakota_fanningRumours from E-Online suggest Dakota Fanning is in talks to play Jane in the next Twilight-series movie, New Moon.

I’ve not read NEW MOON, but I learned Jane is “a member of Italy’s Volturi, the most deadly group of bloodsucking killers”.

E-Online says “In the casting notice we got our hands on earlier this month, Jane is described as a petite blonde with a “Botticelli angel-like face…[and] crimson irises.” While fellow Volturi guards Demetri & Felix “are three times the size of her, they are terrified of her,” the casting notice reads.”

Which, as characters go, sounded kind of familiar.

Remember Laurell K. Hamilton’s first novel in the Anita Blake series, GUILTY PLEASURES? Before Jean Claude became Master of the City, there was another. Her name was Nikolaos:

She had been about twelve or thirteen when she died. Small, half-formed breasts showed under a long flimsy dress. It was pale blue and looked warm against the total whiteness of her skin. She had been pale when alive; as a vampire she was ghostly. Her hair was that shining white-blonde that some children have before their hair darkens to brown. This hair would never grow dark.

And then I was reminded of Claudia, the six year old turned vampire in Anne Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE.

Interesting, yes? Coincidental sucking from the creative collective, or not, I don’t care. I just don’t want to see any more little girl vampires. Please.

Thank Goodness I Wasn’t on the Naughty List

Be sure to check out yesterday’s review of TWILIGHT and your chance to win a copy of the book!

My case of Wii shoulder is nicely recovering after spending several days reading the books I got under the tree and in the mail. But have I learned? Hell no. I’m *this close* to being a Pro in tennis. At least my Fitness Age is younger than my real age. *g*

Here’s a look at the books you’ll be hearing more about.

Look what came in the mail!

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Look what was under the tree!

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[review] TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer

We’re trying something different with our reviews. We’ve broken it down into categories so you can quickly scan for the specific information you want to know. Tell us what you think of this new format in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of TWILIGHT (mass market paperback edition). If you don’t want to win but still want to talk about the review format, you can use the handy poll at the end of the review. Contest closes 15 January 2009 at midnight EST.

meyer_twilight_mmpbTwilight
The Twilight Saga, Book 1
Stephenie Meyer
Copyright 2005, Little Brown & Company

Plot Summary: Bella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear. [Amazon]

Creature Feature: vampires, werewolves

Worldbuilding: Since Meyer’s vampires twinkle like they’re wearing neon glitter when in sunlight, I like that the story is set in Forks, WA, the rainiest place in continental USA. It makes sense. As does the reasoning behind some of the vamps having “super-powers”. The world-building was well thought out.

Originality/Believability:  I didn’t find the characters to be “true” teenagers. They didn’t quite behave the way teens do. There were a few times when I thought the story just might get to the truth, but it remained nothing more than a fairy tale– a fairy tale with blatant allegory for saving sex for marriage.

Storytelling: You know the kind of books that are hard to put down? The kind that are never far from your fingers? The kind that make you burn water on the stove? TWILIGHT was one of those books for me. I was glued to the pages for two days. I admit it– I have a weakness for characters who knowingly do stupid things.

However, there are problems in this book that a good editor or better first reader should have picked up on. 1) Why doesn’t Bella faint when she’s at the hospital and sees Tyler all cut and bleeding? She doesn’t even feel woozy or anything. 2) For the entire novel, we’re lead to believe that Edward wouldn’t be able to stop himself if he gets a taste of Bella’s blood, but when it happens, he stops himself and the only explanation we get is that it wasn’t easy. I needed to see more of this. It was built-up to be a crucial moment in the book. I needed more than “it wasn’t easy”. I would have loved it if Bella had to witness Carlisle physically removing Edward from her. She should have seen his monster. I feel the story fell short of its potential. 3) A lot of the names were really close, and I think that could have been better planned: Bella/Billy, Edward/Emmett/Esme, Jacob/Jasper/James/Jessica, Carlisle/Charlie, Alice/Angela, Lauren/Laurent.

Badass Factor: In a romance, there’s usually a bad guy/girl who opposes the relationship or represents opposition to the relationship, but TWILIGHT lacked such a villian. Although Rosalie and Billy oppose Bella’s relationship with Edward, they don’t *do* anything about it. Billy confronts Bella, but doesn’t take it any further. Rosalie avoids Bella altogether. I would have liked more opposition from these characters. I wanted a confrontation between Rosalie & Bella. I wanted Billy to confront Bella’s dad, Charlie. I feel TWILIGHT could have benefited from a clear bad guy. Bringing in a bad guy for the climax didn’t heighten the stakes for me the way it could if the bad guy had been a character who was close to either Bella or Edward.

TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) Moments: There are two that stand out: Bella falls in love with Edward for no good reason than he’s there, and then later Bella goes off to meet the dangerous bad guy by herself. (But like I said, I’m a sucker for heroines who knowingly do stupid things.)

Notable Quotes: “I can’t always be Lois Lane,” I insisted. “I want to be Superman, too.”

Buy/Borrow/By-pass: If I was a teen, I’d put these books on my Buy list, but as an adult, I’m afraid they’re Borrow.

Despite all the problems with the book, I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series, New Moon. TWILIGHT was a light, easy read, a nice distraction from the everyday.

Holiday Gifts for the UF fan

There’s always the books, movies, or TV shows on DVD, but if you’re looking for a last-minute, something-special stocking stuffer, then have a look at these ideas:

From Kim Harrison: t-shirts, Burning Bunny pin, charms for a charm bracelet, seed packets.

For the Melissa Marr fan: t-shirts, buttons, and lots more.

For the Charlaine Harris or True Blood fan: t-shirts, beer glass and more.

For the Kelley Armstrong fan: t-shirts, mugs, pillows and more.

For Stephenie Meyer fans: t-shirts, jewelry, and more.

For the Jim Butcher fan: charm bracelet, Bob the skull, and moret-shirts & more.

For Jeaniene Frost fans: t-shirts and more.

For the Lori Devoti fan: t-shirts, dog shirts and more.

Art by author Maggie Steifvater: paintings and t-shirts and more.

If you’re lucky enough to be in the Kamloops, B.C. area, get some jewelry by author Chandra Rooney: bracelets.

Twilight Sequel is a go!

From Stephenie Meyer’s website:

SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES TWILIGHT SEQUEL – NEW MOON

Los Angeles, CA November 22, 2008 — Summit Entertainment announced today that the studio is officially moving forward with the production of NEW MOON, the second installment of its filmed franchise TWILIGHT, the action-packed, modern day vampire love story. The movie will be based on the second novel in author Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series titled, New Moon. The first movie in the TWILIGHT franchise, the self-titled TWILIGHT, arrived in theaters this weekend to sold-out showings.

Stephenie Meyer stated, “I don’t think any other author has had a more positive experience with the makers of her movie adaptation than I have had with Summit Entertainment. I’m thrilled to have the chance to work with them again on NEW MOON.”

Starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, TWILIGHT tells the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, and becomes drawn to Edward Cullen, a pale, mysterious classmate who seems determined to push her away. But neither can deny the attraction that pulls them together…even when Edward confides that he and his family are vampires. Their unorthodox romance puts her in physical danger when Edward’s nemesis comes to town and sets his sights on Bella.

New Releases for August

2 – STEPHENIE MEYER – Breaking Dawn (hardcover) (YA)
Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away. [Amazon link]

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5 – RACHEL CAINE – Gale Force (Weather Warden, book 7) (pb)
Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin is on vacation when her Djinn lover, David, asks Joanne to marry him. She’s thrilled to say yes, even if some others may be less than happy about it.

Unfortunately, Joanne’s pre-marital bliss is ended by a devastating earthquake in Florida. And she can’t ask David and his kind for assistance. Because the cause of the quake is unlike anything Joanne has ever encountered—and a power even the Djinn cannot perceive. [Amazon link]

5 – JACKIE KESSLER – Hotter Than Hell (Hell on Earth series, book 3)
The incubus Daunuan loves his job: seduce a lot of mortals, bring their souls to Hell, party at the best interdimensional pub this side of the Astral Plane. But when the King of Lust makes him an offer he can’t refuse, Daun has to give up all the tricks of his trade to properly befriend—and bed—Virginia Reed, a woman who’s meant for Heaven.

If he can get her to love him for the incubus he really is, and if he can avoid the rogue demons that are hell-bent on destroying him for reasons unknown, Daun will become the First Principal of Lust, second in line to the King. But Daun learns that love is more than a four-letter word, and that maybe, just maybe, demons really do have feelings after all… [Amazon link]

5 – RICHELLE MEAD – Storm Born (Dark Swan, book 1) (pb)
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl’s got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy–one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie’s first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.

Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne’er-do-well, and the ones who don’t want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her… [Amazon link]

5 – KAT RICHARDSON – Underground (Greywalker, book 3) (hardcover)
Harper Blaine was your average small-time P.I. until she died—for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker—walking the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she’s discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of “strange” cases.

Pioneer Square’s homeless are turning up dead and mutilated, and zombies have been seen roaming the underground—the city buried beneath modern Seattle. When Harper’s friend Quinton believes he may be implicated in the deaths, he persuades her to investigate. But the killer is no mere murderer—it is a creature of ancient legend. And Harper must deal with both the living and the dead to stop the monster and its master…unless they stop her first. [Amazon link]

5 – Anthology – SUSAN SIZEMORE, ERIN McCARTHY, CHRIS MARIE GREEN, MELJEAN BROOK – First Blood (pb) (PR)
You never forget your first blood…Susan Sizemore returns to the universe of her Laws of the Blood novels with a sizzling story of the relationship between a vampire enforcer and a werewolf.

Erin McCarthy’s Sasha Checkikov flees the bright lights and dangerous slayers of Vegas for New Orleans, where she is saved by a vampire haunted by his past—and hungry for passion.

Set in the Vampire Babylon world, Chris Marie Green’s story puts the bond between twin female vampires to the test when one of them falls for her prey.

Meljean Brook’s vampire Annie Gallagher needs help to save a young human girl, but she doesn’t expect the help to come from the FBI agent she loved—and had to give up— when she was transformed.
[Amazon link]

12 – JENNIFER RARDIN – Bitten to Death (Jaz Parks, book 4) (pb)
Jaz Parks here. My latest mission has taken me to the ancient Greek city of Patras; but instead of soaking up its splendor, I’m here to infiltrate a Vampere Trust. Only two vamps have ever escaped the tightly bound communities and lived to tell the tale: Edward “The Raptor”Samos, the most reviled criminal mastermind in recent memory, and Vayl, the CIA’s number one assassin who also happens to be my boss.

The Raptor is trying to take over Vayl’s former Trust. Unfortunately the Trust’s new leader has her own plans.

This job is going to be the death of me. [Amazon link]

26 – ROSEMARY CLEMENT-MOORE – Hell Week (Maggie Quinn: Good vs Evil) (hardcover) (YA)
MAGGIE QUINN IS determined to make her mark as a journalist. The only problem? The Ranger Report does not take freshmen on staff.

Rules are rules. But when has that ever stopped Maggie?

After facing hellfire, infiltrating sorority rush should be easy. It’s no Woodward and Bernstein, but going undercover as the Phantom Pledge will allow her to write her exposé. Then she can make a stealth exit before initiation. But when she finds a group of girls who are after way more than “sisterhood,” all her instincts say there’s something rotten on Greek Row. And when Hell Week rolls around, there may be no turning back.

If there is such a thing as a sorority from hell, you can bet that Maggie Quinn will be the one to stumble into it. [Amazon link]

26 – CAITLIN KITTREDGE – Pure Blood (Nocturne City series, book 2) (mmpb)
In the shadows of Nocturne City, witches lurk and demons prowl, and homicide detective Luna Wilder must keep the peace—while living life as a werewolf. Now bodies are turning up all over town, the brutal murders linked by a cryptic message: We see with empty eyes…

To make matters worse for Luna, she can’t get wolfishly handsome Dmitri Sandovsky out of her mind. The last time he helped her with a case, Dmitri suffered a demon bite that infected him with a mysterious illness…and now his pack elders have forbidden him from associating with Luna. But she’ll need his help when high-level witches start turning up slaughtered. Because a war is brewing between rival clans of blood witches and caster witches—a magical gang war with the power to burn Nocturne City to the ground. [Amazon link]

26 – LILITH SAINTCROW – Hunter’s Prayer (Jill Kismet, book 2) (mmpb)
Another night on the Nightside…An ancient evil looms over Santa Luz. Prostitutes are showing up dead and eviscerated. And Jill Kismet just might be able to get her revenge against an old enemy.

There’s just one problem. Someone wants Jill dead–again. And if they have to open up Hell itself to kill her, they will.

Sometimes, even when you’re Jill Kismet, you don’t have a prayer… [Amazon link]