Mar 24, 2007

X-Rated Bloodsuckers by Mario Acevedo

In 2006 Mario Acevedo published humorous novel The Nymphos of Rocky Flats about an Iraqi vet, Felix Gomez, who gets turned into a vampire shortly after a nasty fire fight. Now he's back in the US and is working as a private investigator. An old college chum asks him to investigate an outbreak of nymphomania at Colorado's Rocky Flats nuclear facility. What could be more interesting?

The sequel is X-Rated Bloodsucker. Rayo, 2007 (February). Felix faces his toughest task ever—navigating the corrupt world of Los Angeles politics to solve the murder of a distinguished young surgeon turned porn star. But both human and vampire alike have reasons to want the secret to stay buried. . .

Below is a brief Q & A with Acevedo

A Conversation with… Mario Acevedo author of
X-Rated Bloodsuckers

Q. Your book takes place in and around the porn industry in Los Angeles—what’s the connection, in your mind, between vampires and porn?
A. Both porn and vampires tap into the lurid, forbidden recesses of our psyche. Plus, writing this book gave me the chance to look at porn and legitimately claim it as research.

Q. You were once a soldier, and can even fly an attack helicopter. How much of your own personal experience fueled the premise of this, your second, novel?
A. This second novel had little to do with military action. In the first draft I did have some helicopter stuff but the story worked better without it. Plus, people would rather read about porn than helicopters.

Q. Felix, X-Rated Bloodsucker’s protagonist, goes into combat in Iraq and comes back a vampire. Are you making a stronger statement, using an admittedly hilarious vehicle, about how your own combat experience changed you?
A. I was lucky. I didn’t come back with any disorders I didn’t already have. In X-Rated Bloodsuckers I had to remind the readers how Felix became a vampire and that could be an allegory to the lingering affects of war on people.

Q. The Vampire genre continues to fascinate readers—why do you think this is?
A. Vampires tap into our primal fears about death and monsters. While we deny it, death is always nearby and vampires represent the monsters who live among us. That, and vampires wear great clothes and throw fabulous parties.

Mar 23, 2007

Claimed by Shadow and Season of the Witch

I have 2 recent additions to my To Be Read List.

The first is Claimed By Shadow by Karen Chance. Roc, 2007 (April, 3, 2007)

From the publisher: Clairvoyant Cassie Plamer has inherited new magical powers-including the ability to travel through time. But it's a whole lot of responsibility she'd rather not have. Now she's the most popular girl in town, as an assortment of vamps, fey, and mages try to convince, force, or seduce her-and her magic-over to their side. But one particular master vampire didn't ask what Cassie wanted before putting a claim on her. He had a spell cast that binds her to him, and now she doesn't know if what she feels for him is real or imagined...

The second - Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert. Dutton, 2007 (April 19, 2007)

From the publisher: Season of the Witch tells the story of Gabriel Blackstone: hacker, information thief, and skilled “remote viewer.” Asked by a former lover to investigate the disappearance of her stepson, Gabriel’s suspicions fall on Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk, two beautiful sisters who live in a rambling Victorian house in London. Independently wealthy, the sisters spend their time dabbling in alchemy and the ancient Art of Memory — invented by the Greeks and used by alchemists and magi such as Giordano Bruno and Leonardo Da Vinci. The sisters are white, or “solar,” witches, who aim to use alchemy not to turn lead into gold but to attain ultimate knowledge and therefore ultimate power. Gabriel soon becomes convinced that his client’s son had been murdered and that one of the women is the killer. But which one? As Gabriel infiltrates the world of the sisters, he finds himself drawn inexorably deeper becoming entranced even as he realizes that he is in mortal danger. When he is caught snooping, Gabriel must race to unlock their secrets before they can retaliate. To save himself — and the one he loves, presuming she is not guilty — Gabriel will have to fight one of the sisters within the landscape of her own mind.

I will post reviews when I finish reading each intriguing title.

Mar 2, 2007

Fangland by John Marks

Marks, John. Fangland. Penguin Press, January 15, 2007

This is a book not to be missed by any vampire aficionado. I started this book and really had a hard time putting it down. It is one scary thriller.

Below is a copy of the review I recently wrote for Library Journal.

New York TV producer, Evangeline Harker, travels to Transylvania to interview reputed Eastern European crime boss, Ion Torgu, for a segment on The Hour. They meet one evening in the small town of Brasov where Torgu strongly suggests that they will be more comfortable at his own hotel only a short distance away. Although wary of this sinister man Evangeline reluctantly agrees. The building is in a desolate area. There are no other guests and no staff visible, and that night he locks her in her room. Her attempt to escape takes her down an unlit, fetid stairwell where she encounters Torgu at his most monstrous, chanting words of death and feasting on blood. Back at the New York studio, Evangeline’s family and coworkers realize that she has disappeared and no one can locate her. John Marks has written an electrifying, 21st century tale of horror which pays homage Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Marks, however, goes much further and creates a hideous vampire more frightening and horrifying than anything that ever came from Stoker’s imagination. This review is reprinted by permission of Library Journal. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Mar 1, 2007

Books I Have Read Recently

Date: February 27, 2007 9:43 PM

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason. Signet (Paranormal Romance), January, 2007

According to the author this Regency romance is very much based on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The heroine, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is the next in a long line of Gardella vampire slayers, and she is quite an engaging character as are others in this book (Number one in a trilogy).

Blindsight by Peter Watts. Tor 2006

Along side the human race live vampires. Humanoids who became extinct during the Pleistocene era and have been resurrected by modern science. Their predatory habits are kept in check, but their special DNA and vast intelligence aids humanity as it ventures into space. A brilliant SF novel!

See Full Review

Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez. Tor, 2005.

A hilarious book featuring two good old boy characters - Duke, a werewolf and Earl, a vampire. They are driving through the desert with their beat-up truck when Duke decides he's hungry and pulls up to Gil's All Night Diner. They are the only customers because, according to the owner, zombies have been scaring people away. Whacky characters and great dialog make a dynamite combination.

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich. St. Martin's 2002

A novella by crime writer Evanovich. This part of her Stephanie Plum series. OK, this isn't about vampires but it does have a supernatural element in the form of a handsome stranger who suddenly appears one morning in her kitchen. One minute she's alone and the next she's not. A good mystery with a happy resolution.

13 Bullets by David Wellington. Three Rivers Press, May 2007.

Special Deputy Jameson Arkeley of the US Marshall service has the permanent assignment of tracking down vampires. In a time when most humans believe vampires to be extinct Arkeley knows the truth. Twenty years earlier he had led a SWAT team against Piter Byron Lares a vampire creature responsible for a string of vicious murders. Lots of action and gory scenes in this novel. Not for the squeamish!

Click here for a serialized version of the novel