May 31, 2008

And The Winner Is!!

jkukawa is May's winner of Jeri Smith-Ready's novel Wicked Game. Look for an interview with the author in mid-June.

jkukawa please email me at with your snail mail address so that I can send you your copy of Wicked Game.

Go here to read a review of the novel.

May 21, 2008

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

This is not a new book, but it is one of my absolute favorites, and I'm not alone in that opinion. Despite being published five years ago I had no problem finding a copy on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble.

Sunshine (Berkley, 2003 ISBN: 0425191788 pap. $7.79) by Robin McKinley is a standout novel with an intelligent, down to earth protagonist whose name reflects the title of the book. One night Sunshine makes a spur of the moment visit to a nearby lake where the ravages of the Voodoo Wars cause most humans to avoid it. As she notes there has been no activity by Others in the area for many years. This night, however, would prove the exception. Moving more swiftly than any human senses could follow, vampires surround her and take her prisoner. Although most Others (weres, demons, fairies, sprites, etc) move more or less openly in society, not so the vampires which are loathed by all. Sunshine, now captive, is shackled to a wall very close to another prisoner, a vampire being deliberately starved of blood, and driven almost mad. A terrified Sunshine is certain this undead will kill her. But what eventually becomes clear to her is that this vampire, Constantine, has a conscience and scruples, traits which enrage the malevolent creature who holds them both prisoner. Now a mortal and a vampire form a bond, something unheard of in Sunshine’s world. Together they work to outmaneuver and outwit the nosferatu who is their common foe. As the story progresses their reliance on each other and their feelings for one another increase as they are forced to confront the evil that neither can destroy alone.

Reading Vampires

It's not unusual for authors to put excerpts of their work online. It gives the writers an opportunity to attract new readers and gives their established fans a taste of what's to come. Below are a few such sites. I'll post more as I come across them.Writers and Readers, if you know of others please let me know.

From Caridad Piniero: "This Wicked Wednesday brings something totally new — a work in progress. I’ve been developing an urban fantasy involving a twist to the werewolf mythology, battles with vampires and a struggle for control in a werewolf pack. The tentative title is Undead Uprising. " Eight chapters are available for your reading pleasure.

Read an excerpt of Vampire Interrupted by Lynsay Sands. (Avon, March 2008).

Chapter one of Laurell K. Hamilton's new Anita Blake adventure, Blood Noir (Berkley May 27, 2008) is available.

Rachel Caine offers a sample chapter of Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, Book 4) Signet, 2008

On Joey W. Hill's site find an excerpt of her erotic romance Mark of the Vampire Queen (Berkley February, 2008).

May 15, 2008

Vampire TV series Moonlight Is Canceled

On October 30, 2007 I wrote an unflattering opinion of Moonlight; however, as a die-hard vampire/romance fan I kept watching and hoping it would get better. My main problem with the show was the character of Beth - too much damsel in distress. I have to admit; however, that recently I started to actually like her and the show in general. Now I am feeling a bit guilty for being so negative about a series that has been canceled. My hope is that CBS will give some thought to their decision (but probably not). A groundswell of fans have inundated the network with their opinions.

Barbara Vey, in her online column for Publishers Weekly, posted the article Total Eclipse for Moonlight. She wonders why CBS didn't give the program more time to build an audience. Go here to read the full story.

May 11, 2008

Vampire Staging of Die Fledermaus

From the May 7, 2008

GENEVA - Acclaimed conductor Franz Welser-Moest will not take the rostrum for two scheduled billings of a vampire-inspired staging of "Die Fledermaus" at the Zurich Opera, the Swiss opera house said Wednesday. Last month, the daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported that the 47-year-old Austrian was "unhappy" with the staging by his compatriot Michael Sturminger, who infused vampires and Dracula's castle into the 19th-century Viennese operetta...

Read the entire article.

I for one would like to see this version!

Interview with Vampire Apocalypse Author Derek Gunn

Derek Gunn is the author of Vampire Apocalypse a horror novel which has recently been optioned for a film.

Where does your interest in vampires come from?

I suppose it stems back to watching Hammer Horror films on BBC Television, that's a UK based station. Every saturday night during the summer they showed two films late at night that kept me captivated. From there I started to read, first Bram Stoker, then Stephen King etc. There's something about vampires that seems to have been lost in recent years. They are not like any other monster. They look like us, can hide among us and yet are so fundamentally powerful that they are terrifying. Something clicked in me and I wanted to create my own interpretation.

What attracts you to the horror genre?

I love being scared. Not by gross-out but, by atmosphere. There are also some really good stories being told in horror fiction but it remains a relatively small market. The current trends in Crime fiction are probably more terrifying if the truth be told with. Horror allows us to let our imaginations run a little further and play a little more, creating extreame situations that test our characters and make us wonder how we would react.

Explain the setting of the Vampire Apocalypse series and the vampire assassins lead by Peter Harris.

The story is set in the near future in a world grown insular after a brief war has left the world depleted of resources. Fuel is rationed, States close their borders, communities die and technology stagnates. It's not too improbable anymore either. As the world struggles to cope with such problems the vampires come from the shadows and quietly begin to take over community after community. They offer power to those who will join them and death to those who don't. It doesn't take long and, after a brutal but brief war, they take control. They use a serum to control the population, wall the cities off and breed humans as stock.

Peter Harris and his colleagues are not vampire assassins really, they are a small group of people who, after certain events, are forced to take the fight to the vampires and their guards, the thralls, or see hundreds die. The thralls are humans who have been bitten but have not fully become vampires. They have enhanced speed and strength and guard the vampires during the day.

What has it been like watching the process of Vampire Apocalpyse becoming a film?

It's been very exciting and nerve racking. There's a lot of maybe's and could be's when a book is optioned. Lots of books are optioned and only a small number are actually made but it is great to see each hurdle disappear. All the right noises are being made and the script is finished so it's all very positive.
How many books will be in the series? What story lines will each cover?

There are currently three planned and commissioned. The second book, Descent into Chaos, is due out around September this year. This one is much bigger. The characters have more time to develope in the story lines, new characters are introduced and, of course, there is loads of action. There's a few twists that I don't think anyone will be expecting. The third book, Fallout, is nearing completion and is scheduled to come out next year. After that I have a few more ideas that, if these three are well received, might be worth exploring, but I have a few other ideas boiling over that I want to get to first. Of course if the movie is made and there's enough interest I could easily be convinced to write another one. I love this world and its characters and there is so much potential.
What books do you like to read?

I read Horror, Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, Thrillers, Historical Fiction, Westerns. In fact anything except 'chic lit' really. I read a lot as well. When I am not writing I am reading. Oh, and in between all that I have to go to work, unfortunately.

When and where do you write?

I write in what was once a small dressing room. My dog sits at my feet and pushes me when he wants a walk. My wife locks me up there and lets me out when I've written something worthwhile. I'm hoping this qualifies because I'm starving.

Where can readers find more information about your projects?

I have two websites. Firstly has all the information on my writing, some free chaptes and free short stories that people can have a look at and see if they like what I do. is a site dedicated to, strangely enough, the Vampire Apocalypse series. You can also keep up to date on myspace and those nice folks over at Permuted Press allow me to use their Forum pages to host my own Forum as well. SO there's loads of ways of keeping up to date. You can also send me an e-mail, and I promise to answer all questions and listen to any comments anyone wants to send.

Read an excerpt of Vampire Apocalypse


May 6, 2008

Stephenie Meyer Interview

I recently had the pleasure of doing an interview with writer Stephenie Meyer for Library Journal. Her adult novel The Host is available as of today (May 6, 2008). In this story an alien species has invaded Earth and taken over the bodies of humans. This is not the first time these aliens have taken over a planet. Until now no other race has objected, but humans are different. Those who are able, resist. Go here to read the interview.

Many of you may know her as the author of Twilight the wildly popular Young Adult series. Breaking Dawn, book 4 of that series, will be published August 2, 2008.

My post of April 6, 2008 has a review of book 1 also called Twilight.

Maria Zannini

My thanks to for mentioning Patricia's Vampire Notes on her site. Maria's novel Touch of Fire is due out May 20, 2008 from Samhain Publishing.

Synopsis: Earth is a fusion of culture, language and religion, and the world is divided between plainfolk and the fae, Elemental mages who are born with the ability to manipulate one of the four great elements, earth, air, fire and water. The technology of the old world has been extinct for centuries. One man dares to resurrect it. And only one woman can stop him.

May 5, 2008

Laws of the Blood series by Susan Sizemore

On the blog Sacred Monsters Derek Tatum pays tribute to Sizemore's fascinating Laws of the Blood series while focusing on book 2 Laws of the Blood: Partners, Ace, 2000; Reprint: Ace, 2006.

From Sacred Monsters:
"Susan Sizemore Laws of the Blood series was originally published in the late '90's/early '00's, but have recently been reissued with excellent new cover art. While it is the second book in the series, Partners can be read first...though it will likely make readers want to check out Sizemore's other books.

"Sizemore has hit the big time with her vampire/paranormal romance novels, which was probably a factor in getting these books reissued. But while there is an element of romance, Partners is first and foremost a dark adventure tale that in a lot of ways was ahead of the curve. Read more..."

Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready

This month e-mail subscribers have a chance to win a copy of Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready (Pocket, May 2008).

Below is my review as it appeared in Library Journal, Feb. 15, 2008.

Ciara Griffin, desperate for a job, becomes marketing director at a local money-losing radio station facing a possible sale to a large corporation. Her task is problematic because the DJs, who only work at night, want to keep their true vampiric nature a secret; however, Ciara, who grew up in a family of con artists and has sworn to stay honest, comes up with a plan—change the station call letters, create a new slogan, "WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock n' Roll," and tell the public the truth. It would be great publicity, and no one would believe it, anyway. Her tactics work but lead to unforeseen problems. On the plus side for Ciara is the attention of Shane, the good-looking, undead DJ specializing in Nineties grunge music. A colorful premise and engaging characters make the author's latest a fun read.
This review is reprinted by permission of Library Journal. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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