Dec 8, 2006

Blindsight - Vampires in Space

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.

On Feb. 13, 2082, a shower of lights fills Earth’s sky. The media dubs them Fireflies. They prove to be a signal from an alien source. An exploratory ship is prepared and sent to search for its origin. A crew assembles and includes the story’s narrator the synthesist Siri, a scientist decked out with extensions so grand he hardly looks human, Communications expert Susan James whose brain carries 4 personae, Major Bates the only military member, and the vampire Sarasti, commander of the mission. No one dares challenge his authority! Except for one at a crucial moment.

Their ship Theseus takes them past the edge of our solar system to meet up with a species both belligerent and smart. The crew is on their own. There is no contact with earth from this distance, But their is contact with the nightmarish alien ship which Siri, describes thusly,
Imagine a crown of thorns, twisted, dark and unreflective, grown too thickly tangled to ever rest on any Human head. Put it in orbit around a failed star whose own reflected half-light does little more than throw its satellites into silhouette. Occasional bloody highlights glinted like dim embers from its twist and crannies; they only emphasized the darkness everywhere else.
It is huge, and it is growing fueled by particles from the giant, dying sun it orbits.

Susan James uses her communication skills to ping the other ship. It quickly answers and dubs itself Rorschach. A friendly exchange turns ugly as Theseus approaches. Rorschach warns - stay away! Sarasti ignores the warnings, and as soon as it is feasible he has the crew takes a shuttle down to Rorschach. The nightmare escalates.

Watts's descriptions of the most technical subjects is sheer poetry. Each character is fully formed and reacts believably to the most bizarre situations. Siri makes difficult but important changes within himself in order to survive ever changing scenarios. The author has crafted an imaginative first contact, space adventure all the while educating the reader with a fascinating blend of philosophy, psychology, evolution, quantum mechanics, astronomy, and so much more. Quite a feat, Mr. Watts!

James Schellenberg & David M. Switzer have an in depth interview with Peter Watts on their Challenging Destiny site. At the time of this interview Watts was working on Blindsight.

Nov 29, 2006

Dracula the Opera

The following link will take you to an article about Paul Ziemba who has written an operatic version of Dracula.

Dracula the Opera

Nov 27, 2006

The Historian

Date: November 27, 2006 2:45 PM
Topic: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian. Elizabeth Kostova. Little Brown, 2005. ISBN: 0316011770

Below is my review as published in Library Journal:

Did Bram Stoker base his character Count Dracula on the historical Vlad Dracul, the cruel 15th-century prince of Wallachia? Some believe this despite scanty evidence, but in Kostova's first novel there is no doubt. In the early 20th century, Paul, a young graduate student, learns from his advisor, Professor Rossi, that Prince Dracula is still alive as one of the undead. When the professor disappears one terrifying night, Paul goes in search of his mentor, whom he knows to be in Dracula's clutches. His search takes him to secret archives and libraries of ancient monasteries throughout Eastern Europe; he is joined by his daughter, his wife, and friends, all historians and scholars themselves. (There's even an evil, undead librarian!) The writing is excellent, and the pace is brisk, although it sagsxa bit in the middle. There is plenty of suspense so that readers will want to find out what happens next. Ten years in the writing, this debut is recommended for readers who enjoy arcane literary puzzles la Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Ian Caldwell's The Rule of Four. This review is reprinted by permission of Library Journal. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information

The Historian, last year's bestselling novel, was a first time novel for Kostova. Little Brown announced this book with great fanfare. The author was sent on a whirl-wind tour with book signings and interviews all across the country. I was fortunate to hear her interviewed by Diane Rehm on NPR. She did an impressive amount of research for her book.

Mark Flanagan has an interview with Kostova on

Nov 25, 2006

MaryJanice Davidson blogger

MaryJanice Davidson, author of the Undead series featuring Betsy the Vampire Queen, recently appeared as a guest blogger on Magical Musings. Ms Davidson has plenty of amusing anecdotes to share as well as lots of encouraging words for writers.

Nov 17, 2006

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

Vampire Readings: The Online Vampire Bibliography

Newman, Kim. Anno Dracula. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1993.
Abstract: From Vampire Readings: In this twist on Bram Stoker's Dracula, the Count easily survives Van Helsing's pitiful attempt to destroy him. He quickly goes on to win the hand of the widowed Queen Victoria. Vampires now hold sway in England, but not all are evil. In fact, one of the most enchanting characters in the story is Genevieve, a vampire older than Dracula who works to help the poor in the East End of London. It is Genevieve and her mortal lover Charles Beauregard who are Dracula's eventual undoing.

This oldie but goodie is one of my favorites!

Nov 11, 2006

Charnas - My Father's Ghost

My Father’s Ghost by Suzy McKee Charnas
Tarcher, 2002

When Suzy McKee Charnas was eight years-old her father, Robin McKee, left her, her mother and sister to dedicate his life to being an artist. He was spectacularly unsuccessful. Contact with his children was intermittent but never broken. Several years later realizing that Robin was living a meager existence in Manhattan and had problems caring for himself as he entered old age, Charnas invites him to live with her and her husband in New Mexico. Surprisingly he accepts.

Charnas writes eloquently and honestly of life with a father that in many ways was a stranger to her. Robin was taciturn, difficult and not prone to sentimentality, but there were moments when he and Suzy connected in ways she had never imagined possible.

The second section of this memoir covers the last 3 years of Robin's life. His health has declined to such a degree that Charnas must find a nursing home for him. After a long search she finds an affordable place with a caring staff. The transition for both father and daughter is difficult, but even here, in the unlikeliest of places, there is a ray of light and hope no one could have imagined. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

I have long been an admirer of Charnas's science fiction and fantasy work. Here her novelist's eye paints a mesmerizing portrait of herself, her father and other fascinating characters in her life. I sat down one afternoon to read a few chapters and found myself so absorbed in this true and complex story that I literally could not put it down. It is truly a remarkable work.
And yes, there is a romance at the most unexpected place in the most unexpected way.

Note: Ms Charnas is the author of two critically acclaimed vampire novels: The Vampire Tapestry, and The Ruby Tear (writing as Rebecca Brand), as well as Stagestruck Vampires and Other Phantasms - a collection of short stories and essays.

Oct 11, 2006

Davidson - Undead and Unwed

Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson
Berkley (March 2, 2004)

The Undead series by Davidson is one of my favorites. Here is a review of book one - Undead and Unwed.

Betsy Taylor’s day went from bad to worse. First she lost her job, then her birthday party was canceled because of a freak April snowstorm, then she trekked out of her house to rescue her ingrate cat only to be hit by an SUV. If that wasn’t bad enough, she woke up dead, inside a morgue, wearing a tacky suit and grungy Payless shoes. Once over the shock of being a vampire, Betsy sets out to get even with the evil stepmother who picked out the ugly burial clothes and stole her prized collection of designer shoes - just because she thought Betsy was dead!

Eventually Betsy connects with other vampires, not because she wants to but because they insist on it. The first undead character she encounters is Nostro, a short, potbellied evil-doer who demands that Betsy join his clan. Nuts to that says Betsy as she blows him off. Next to appear is Eric Sinclair, a self assured, sexy, virile hunk that alternately enrages and engages our undead heroine. Eric and his sidekick Tina tell Betsy that she is the prophesied Vampire Queen, but before she can take the throne they need her help in getting rid of Nostro.

Despite being a bit on the shallow side – style and designer labels are everything – Betsy is an engaging, sexy, likable gal who will win every readers heart. Not many vampire stories will make you laugh out loud, but his novel is the exception. Unwed and Undead is thoroughly intelligent and exceedingly funny.

Oct 7, 2006

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Vampire aficiodados are familiar with Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series featuring mind reader Sookie Stackhouse and her adventures with vampires and other paranormal characters.

Now Ms Harris has begun another series with a heroine whose strange talent allows her to identify corpses and tell how they died. Below is my review of the second book in the series, Grave Surprise (Berkely Prime Crime, 2006).

The past has not always been kind to Harper Connelly. Both parents had drug addiction problems, and her mother eventually died of AIDS. But one disaster, a direct lightning strike, uncovered an unusual, long hidden talent. As Harper explains to a doubtful police detective, "I find corpses. People call me in, and I find the bodies of those who've passed on. If the location of the corpse is already known, I can tell you the cause of death." Traveling with her stepbrother and business partner, Tolliver Lang, she arrives in Nashville, Tennessee at the invitation of anthropologist, Clyde Nunely, who would like her to demonstrate her particular talent to his class. He is skeptical of course, and Harper realizes this, but she is used to such an attitude. The students, Harper, Tolliver and Nunely meet at the old St Margaret's churchyard where Nunely has Harper stand on various graves, tell who is buried there and how each person died. Harper has no problem with this until reaching the grave of Josiah Poundstone. She is startled when she senses two bodies, one of which has been recently buried. Then Harper realizes that the second body belongs to a young girl, Tabitha Morgenstern only 11 years-old when she disappeared a year ago.

From here the story takes bizarre twists and turns. A month after Tabitha disappearance the Morgensterns had asked Harper to help locate their daughter. She was never able to do so until now. The police are called and Harper is immediately under suspicion. She and Tolliver know that the discovery of Tabitha's body by Harper cannot be a coincidence. They have no idea who could be behind this, but they need to find out ASAP.

The vividly drawn characters are as interesting as the mystery that surrounds them. At the heart of Grave Surprise is a neat puzzle with a Perry Mason finale.

First book in the series is Grave Sight.

Oct 2, 2006

Kitty and the Midnight Hour

Date: October 2, 2006 5:31 PM
Topic: Kitty and the Midnight Hour

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Norville has a late-night radio show in Denver. One evening, she takes a call from someone who asks, "Do you believe in vampires?" As it turns out, she does. She even knows a few undead, plus an even larger number of werewolves (in fact, she herself is one). Thus is born Kitty's new hit program, The Midnight Hour, where those who believe in or belong to the paranormal community call in to discuss their problems. It's not long before Kitty faces threats from vampires and werewolves who would rather not have their existence aired publicly. Kitty is a lively, engaging heroine with a strong independent streak and, usually but not always, enough sense to know when to cut her losses. This fast-paced debut novel is the first in what should prove a very popular series.

This review is reprinted by permission of Library Journal. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

The 2nd book in the series is Kitty Goes to Washington, (Warner, 2006). Book 3 is Kitty Takes a Holiday (Warner, 2007).

Aug 25, 2006

Beyond the Pale

Beyond the Pale by Savannah Russe

The Darkwing Chronicles Book 1

Signet Eclipse, 2005

Raw notes - but no spoilers!

This is great beach reading. The kind of story to take in one gulp and don’t do any deep thinking about the plot. Just enjoy it.

the following comes from my memory of what happened in the book. I have notes - somewhere - which I can’t find. I’m still hoping and hopeful that they will show up. I used a letter size writing pad and kept very careful notes at least up to page 100.

Daphne Urban is a centuries old Vampire who must change her profile every 20 years or so because as a vampire she never ages. She was around 18 when she was changed. She lives in NYC. Her mother, Mar-Mar, also has an apartment in the Big Apple. Mar-Mar loved the hippie era and dresses like a hippie. So do her off the wall peacenick friends. Daphne loves her mom but sometimes gets a bit irritated when she becomes a bit smothering, and nosey, and tries to get her hooked up with someone in the family -meaning the family of vampires.

One evening - vamps only go out in the evening - Daph is captured and brought to the office of a man called J. He works for a super secret U. S. government intelligence agency and has had Daphne and 2 other vamps - Benny Polycarp (female) - a well endowed southern belle charmer and Cormac O’Reilly (guy) - a gay actor and dancer.

Before - when Daphne was abducted her “recruiter” showed how much he knew about her personally - like how she had been living a very shallow, uninvolved with others life and that her mother had long been involved in international diplomacy.

Before meeting Bonaventure she goes to the neighborhood at cases his building. There she is followed and when she actually meets her stalker they find an intense attraction, and they consummate that attraction passionately. His name is Darius. He also is after Bonaventure. Darius works for a different intelligence agency. He knows who J is (and vice versa) For whatever reason they don’t trust each other. Darius will not or cannot tell her much about why he wants Bonaventure, but they decide to work together, although she has reservations about it.

Then she discovers that Darius knows about vampires and will kill any that he knows. Of course he doesn’t know that Daphne is one. This does not deter Daphne’s strong attraction to him.

Russe is a good writer and makes her characters believable. She really must work on her plot lines so that things don’t get so confusing that they seem ridiculous.
I have a few quibbles but basically enjoyed the book.

Aug 24, 2006

Review of The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld

Westerfeld, Scott. The Last Days. Razorbill, 2006 (Sept. 9)

Aimed at the YA crowd but can be enjoyed by everyone.

Strange things are happening in New York City. Stranger than usual, that is. In fact it is down right scary in a paranormal kind of way. Black liquid spurts out of fire hydrants; rats, more numerous than ever, are roving the streets; and people suddenly go crazy, like the woman who throws all of her belongings out her sixth floor apartment window all the while screaming about who knows what. One about-to-be-discarded object catches the attention of two teen onlookers. The crazy lady waves a mid-seventies Fender Stratocaster with gold pickups and whammy bar. Pearl and Moz, strangers until this moment, work together to catch this valuable guitar before it crashes to the pavement. A quick glance above and both glimpse human figures moving swiftly towards the crazy woman's window. Neither comments aloud on this phenomenon. Instead they excitedly talk about their passion for music and the possibility of forming a band.

Pearl is a super smart multi-talented gal who thinks Moz is really cute. She and Moz and his friend Zahler meet for practice sessions, and quickly realize they need a drummer and a singer to make their band complete. Street wise Alana Ray agrees to play percussion. She has the ability to see music with color and movement and is especially sensitive to these visions when Pearl brings in her friend Minerva to sing. A few months earlier Minerva suffered a mysterious breakdown. She now stays most of the time in her room, fights to contain the beast she feels inside her, and writes pages full of weird symbols that only she understands. At the first rehearsal, when all five gather to play, Minerva singing blends with the music and evokes wonder and fear.

As the story progresses the musical talent of these teens and the vampire powers of Minerva become paramount in fighting monsters that live far below ground and only surface every seven hundred years. The Last Days is a sequel to Peeps (pub, year) where the story of the vampires aka Peeps begins. Westerfeld's powers of description brings characters to life and immerse the reader into the world his vivid imagination has created.

Sequel to Peeps. Razorbill, 2005

Jul 28, 2006

Happy Hour At Castle Dracula

Recently, when haunting the aisles of the local Barnes & Noble searching for new vampire titles, I discovered Happy Hour At Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta. What a neat title! It’s near the top of must read pile.

Here is some info from the author’s site: HAPPY HOUR AT CASA DRACULA (Pocket, 2006) is a comic novel about a young woman who desperately yearns to be taken seriously as a writer, a human being, and a girlfriend. Latina Ivy League grad Milagro de Los Santos can't find her place in the world or a man to go with it. All the men she meets are like beach reads -- fun, but superficial -- and she worries that she is only a beach read, too. Then one night, at a book party for her pretentious ex-boyfriend, she meets an oddly attractive man. After she is bitten while kissing him, she falls ill and is squirreled away to his family's estate to recover. Vampires don't exist in this day and age, or do they? As Milagro falls in love with a fabulously inappropriate man, she finds herself caught between a family who has accepted her as one of their own and a shady organization that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.

In 2007 Midnight Brunch at Casa Dracula will be published.

Marta Acosta shares a blog with fellow vampire novelists Jeanne Stien and Mario Acevedo. It’s called Biting Edge.

Jul 15, 2006

Undead Update

Undead Update (UU) is also a blog site, but in this case I use iBlog for posting. I like Blogger, but if I want to do anything remotely “fancy” iBlog works better for me. Whenever possible I want to add images of the book I’m noting.

Yesterday I added new items to UU and transfered many of those that had been on the site for a while to The Online Vampire Bibliography. Eventually all of those on UU will make it to the online bibliography.

Jun 21, 2006

The Last Days

Date: June 19, 2006 3:09 PM

Topic: The Last Days

I recently received an advance review copy of The Last Days (by Scott Westerfeld) which is a sequel to Peeps. Both books are aimed at YA because of the late teen protagonists but from what I’ve read and heard the stories also appeal to adults. Peeps was on my list of T0-BE-READ. Unfortunately I haven’t done that yet. However, I won’t let it stop me from reading and, I hope, enjoying The Last Days.

Peeps (Razorbill, 2006) by the way are parasite-positives. This name is preferred to the V word. Not sure why yet. Perhaps there will be sufficient back story to help me catch up with what happened in book 1

Jun 18, 2006

Nora Roberts

This is a writer whose novels most often make every bestseller list. Mostly she’s known as a romance or mystery author and she writes books as J D Robb in the science fiction/mystery realm. Recently I discovered that she will publish a trilogy with a vampire theme.

Morrigan's Cross. Jove, Aug. 29, 2006

Dance of the Gods. Jove, Oct. 3, 2006

Valley of Silence. Jove, Oct. 31, 2006

Years ago I was asked to write essays on romance writers and one of the authors I was assigned was Nora Roberts. This was rather early in her career, but she definitely had already gained a following. I admit I was a bit of a snob when it came to romances thinking, like so many, that the authors were all Barbara Cartland clones. Not true, especially in the case of Roberts. Her characters were intelligent and believable as were the plots. Because there are “so many books, so little time” I have only read a few of her stories in recent years. She is still an excellent writer although some of the plots seem a bit tired. Anyway I look forward to reading her take on vampires.

May 12, 2006

Charlaine Harris

Date: May 11, 2006 6:04 PM
Topic: Charlaine Harris

I love the Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries which features mind-reader Sookie Stackhouse as narrator. The first book, Dead Until Dark, came out in 2001, and I came across it quite by accident while browsing the paperback mystery section in the library. I read it and was hooked. I have made sure to read everyone as they have been published. It's not necessary to read the books in order, but it's probable best to do so. Although Harris, like most series authors tries to bring readers up to speed with each book, a lot of nuance concerning plot and characters are lost.

Some have likened this series to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake novels because of the intrepid heroine and the variety of paranormal creatures that abound. There are vampires, of course, and, as in Hamilton’s world, these undead now have made themselves known to the human world and have legal status. Others connected to the nether
world include - werewolves, fairies, witches, were-tigers, were-foxes, and demons. It seems that the list gets longer with every book. Unlike Anita Blake, Sookie stories have a less sex and more plot. Some refer to the series as Anita Blake light.

The settings are usually southern Louisiana. Sookie lives in Bon Temp and often must travel to New Orleans. In the most recent novel -
Definitely Dead (Ace, May 2006) much of the story does take place in the Big Easy. Harris explains in an author’s note that this book had gone to press before Hurricane Katrina, but the reader should keep in mind that the story takes place before the devastation of last summer.

Here are some of the notes I made while reading Definitely Dead: Quite a bit of the first part of the story is about things currently going on is Sookie’s life. Like Eric - the handsome Viking Vampire and the boss of her former lover Bill. Sookie fills in the gaps for anyone new to her musings. She’s had sexual relations with both vamps although not at the same time. Bill was her very first love. But things have been strained between them recently and he is dating someone else although it is obvious to the reader if not Sookie that he still has strong feelings for her.

Eric owns a bar - Fangtasia - in New Orleans? Not sure but somewhere in the state of LA. He also has a thing for Sookie but has pretty much been hands off with her until the novel where he lost his memory and she found him walking naked along a road near where he lived. So they made a great twosome while his memory was blank. Sookie eventually found out that some witches had put a curse on him. She took care of that. Eric was back to normal but without remembering their “close encounter”. Sookie decides it’s best to keep it that way.

In this novel the tall, muscled, gorgeous Quinn comes calling. First he must tell Sookie that the Queen of Louisiana wants her to come to New Orleans. Then he lets Sookie know that he finds her most attractive and of course the feeling is mutual. There are plenty of kisses between them but not much else until close to the end.

Southern Vampire Mysteries in order of publication

Dead Until Dark (Ace, 2001)
Living Dead in Dallas (Ace, 2002)
Club Dead (Ace, 2003)
Dead to the World(Ace, 2004)
Dead as a Doornail (Ace, 2005)
Definitely Dead (Ace, 2006)

May 7, 2006

Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton

Date: May 7, 2006 5:52 PM
Topic: Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton

I just received an advance review copy of the new Anita Blake novel -Danse Macabre. Here is how Anita’s narration begins. “It was the middle of November. I was suppose to be out jogging, but instead I was sitting at my breakfast table talking about men, sex, werewolves, vampires, and that thing that most unmarried but sexually active women fear most - a missed period.”

Yes, Anita thinks she might be pregnant! And that’s just the first page, first paragraph! She is talking about this with her best friend, Veronica (Ronnie). So the big question is, assuming Anitareally is preggers - who could be the daddy? She starts ticking off the names of the various lovers - 6 at last count. Then it turns out that Ronnie has reluctantly decided to have a monogamous relationship with her current beau, Louis, a wererat. Now, as she listens to Anita list thevarious, possible dads-to-be, she admits that she is terribly jealous, and that life isn’t fair. Ronnie is stuck with one guy while Anita has so many!

I’m not giving anything away. All of this happens in chapter one.

As for a pregnant Anita, in my opinion, it can’t happen. What’s she going to do with the kid when the ardeur hits?? Doesn’t work!

Bite - An Anthology

Date: May 7, 2006 2:39 PM
Topic: Bite - An Anthology

Bite (Jove, 2004) is a collection of vampire tale by female authors all of whom add a touch of romance to their stories.

Probably the best known is Laurall K Hamilton, author of the very popular Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. In "The Girls Who Was Infatuated With Death", a desperate mother begs Anita to find her teenage daughter before the girl allows herself to be turned into a vampire. Anita takes the case but needs the help of the gorgeous, seductive vampire Jean-Claude to find the teen. First, however, they must slake their lust before turning to the problems of a runaway.

Sookie Stackhouse, heroine of "One Word Answer" as well as Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series, finds herself in a jam when ordered by the vampire queen of Louisiana to stake a rogue vamp. Fortunately Sookie's undead, former lover Bill steps in to help.

MaryJanice Davidson's "Biting in Plain Sight" is easily the most charming story in the collection. This sweet, amusing tale has a more languid pace than the raucously funny Undead Series (beginning with Undead and Unwed) which brought the author much critical acclaim. Sophie is a vampire who finds true love with Liam, an unpretentious good ol' boy from northern Minnesota. Together they, aided by Betsy (Queen of the Vampires and Eric Sinclair (her sexy consort) track down and eliminate a rather, dumb, bad-guy vampire.

Angela Knight's imaginative romance, "Galahad" is set in the same universe as her novel Master of the Night (Berkley, 2004). Caroline has recently acquired the magical powers of a witch which she uses in combination with those of the vampire warrior Galahad as they fight the forces of evil bent on the destruction of mankind. There is a good deal of action nicely intertwined with erotic play.

May 2, 2006

Fear Me by Stephen Laws

Date: April 30, 2006 4:25 PM
Topic: Fear Me by Stephen Laws

I’m reading Fear Me by Stephen Laws (Leisure, 2005). Very powerful and scary from the first sentence.


Three women, Yvonne, Bernice, and Jacqueline meet in an underground parking garage with plans to kill a certain man who has literally made their lives a living hell. Yvonne seems the most fragile and frightend of them, but when the man they know as Gideon makes his hidious appearance they each, in turn, fire the gun that finally leaves him unmoving and dead. PERHAPS! I’m still uncertain about this, and may not know until I get to the end.

Part 1 Lust

Paul visits his mother in an asylum. The doctors had said she suffered from Alzheimer, but she had been in exactly the same state for 12 years. She was always verbally abusive to her son on his visits. Even so Paul felt a duty to see her as often as possible.Later, after Paul has left, his mother wakes up hearing the mesmerizing voices of the trees singing to her. This often happened, and she was the only one who could hear. Sometimes their song was a comfort other times not. The singing today seemed a mixture. Still she unhesitatingly followed their command to leave her bed and walk outside the hospital. When she arrived at a forested area a stranger appeared with a shotgun, aimed it at her and fired.

Soon after, while at the house, Paul and his father are confronted by a young man who storms into their house and tries to murder both of them. With great difficulty Paul overtakes the man. The father, badly injured, tells Paul that he must run and hide because it is Paul that they seek. Before he can explain what this means, he falls unconscious. Now Paul is left to his own devices which turn out to be more horrifying than he could ever imagine.

Laws knows how to build suspense and keep the spook factor high. This is not a book to read on a dark and stormy night although even as I say this I must admit that yesterday evening I was so engrossed in the story that I kept reading even with a terrifically loud thunder storm overhead. Fortunately the lights stayed on.

I’m almost halfway finished and probably won’t post anymore information about the plot. I do not want to spoil it for anyone. Suffice it to say that chapter by chapter more menacing events occur. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Apr 29, 2006

Sosnowski - Vamped

Date: September 28, 2005 12:16 PM

Title: Vamped by David Sosnowski

According to Locus (August, 2004) Film rights to David Sosnowski's Vamped : A Novel were optioned to Mindy Marin at Bulewater Ranch Entertainment via Dystel and Goderich.

I loved this book. It's well written and laugh-out-loud funny throughout.

The following is my brief take on the novel: Marty is Average Joe Vampire wondering what to do with eternity. He is so bored with his unlife that he’s thinking about ending it all. In his world almost everyone is a vampire. The thrill of the chase has vanished. They sip blood made from stem cells. A living, breathing human is a rarity, a delicacy to savor should one cross your path. Then one night a suicidally depressed Marty stumbles upon little human girl, Isuzu Trooper Cassidy. This gives him a whole new lease on his unlife. He wins her trust planning to keep her for a later meal. What he doesn’t foresee is this feisty child turning him from a predator into a protector. Eventually Marty comes to think of himself as a single parent who must shield his daughter from the evil clutches of his undead brethren