Jul 31, 2008

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris is a prolific writer. The following is a review of book 2 of the Harper Connelly series.

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
Berkley 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 very 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 the mystery that surrounds them. At the heart of Grave Surprise is a neat puzzle with a Perry Mason finale.

Private consultant Harper Connelly has an unusual talent. As she explains, "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."

Winner - July Contest !

The winner of this months prize, Small Favor by Jim Butcher, is DRANDORF!


DRANDORF please send me your snailmail address so that I can send your book.

Contact me at paltner@verizon.net

Jul 29, 2008

Internet Sites of Paranormal Interest -Twilight edition

Breaking Dawn Quote of the Day:

Carlisle: "I've seen vampire venom work miracles, but there are conditions that even venom cannot overcome."

(from Stephenie Meyer.com )

Close to midnight on August 1, 2008 bookstores, libraries, even private homes will celebrate the August 2nd release of Breaking Dawn the fourth and final book in Stephenie Meyer's over-the-top popular Twilight series.

Here are the books in order of publication Twilight ; New Moon ; Eclipse ; Breaking Dawn
In order to best enjoy Meyer's story it is best to read the books as published.

If you are wondering what to serve at your own Breaking Dawn party consider making Vampire Cupcakes. They look absolutely delicious!

Stephenie Meyer: Inside the 'Twilight' Saga (EW.com)
Five years ago, she was a 29-year-old
 Mormon housewife. Now, she's about to publish
 the breathlessly awaited finale to her best-selling
 series. An intimate chat with the woman
 who just might be the next J.K. Rowling
... Read more

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - Book 1 of a Vampire Series

Read my review of Twilight posted April 26, 2008:
I have heard so much about the vampire series Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, but like too many adults I turned my nose up at this because after all it is for the YA crowd and I'm far beyond this age group. But finally I caved and picked up book 1, also named Twilight (Little, Brown 2006), and was mesmerized from the first word. Below is my review.

Touched by a vampire

Preteen girls -- and their grown-up moms -- are sinking their teeth into Stephenie Meyer's gothic "Twilight" books by the millions. Move over, J.K. Rowling.

By Laura Miller in Salon.com July 30, 2008

A minute past midnight on Aug. 2, bookstores across the country will for the first time repeat a ritual once reserved for a single author: J.K. Rowling. Read more...

Twilight Guy

Kaleb Nation - 2008 My name is Kaleb Nation, and I am a 19 year old college student from the United States. I am a radio show host and author of a series of books for teens, my first due in bookstores late 2009. I am trying to find why nearly every girl in the world is obsessed with the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer. This website documents my research.

On the set of Twilight the movie.

Jul 28, 2008

Internet Sites of Paranormal Interest

Readers, if you know of any Internet Sites of Paranormal Interest please leave a comment or send an email to paltner@verizon.net

Good news! Vampire Genre, Vicky London's news and review site about the undead, is back after a brief hiatus. "Vampire Genre reviews vampire novels from contemporary paranormal authors. We focus primarily on romance but also love vampire stories that could be categorized as dark fantasy, urban fantasy, and sci-fi."


The following, hilarious article, Mob Not Angry At Monster, Just Disappointed, is from The Onion - America's Finest News Source.

"CEAMURLIA, ROMANIA—Clearly frustrated by the third disheartening rampage on their town this week, a band of perturbed, torch-wielding villagers gathered at the gates of Dr. Benedikte Cojocaru's castle Monday to confront the monster that had left a trail of inappropriate destruction and chaos, in hopes of communicating how let down they all felt by his murderous actions, sources said.... Read more
Thanks to alert reader Derek T. for finding this!

Writer David Chen's article - Comic Con: True Blood, and Alan Ball’s Unique Take on Vampires appeared on /Film, July 25,2008. Chen based his account on a True Blood panel discussion featuring producer Ball. For anyone not paying attention to upcoming TV events, the HBO True Blood series is based on Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries.

More News about the Twilight Film:
The Seattle Times reports that "Forks has been dealing with a rise in tourists, mainly young girls, as a result of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series. The Olympic Peninsula city, desperately seeking something to replace its fallen timber industry, expects things to only get better with the imminent release of Meyer's fourth book and a film version of "Twilight" later this year." Read more...

Read an interview with author Lynda Hilburn on Literary Escapism
"For the first time at Literary Escapism, I’m really excited to announce our very first interview and contest. We begin with Lynda Hilburn, author of the Kismet Knight series - The Vampire Shrink and Dark Harvest, which is due out in October.

First off, I would like to thank Lynda for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with Literary Escapism. Make sure you stick around for the end of the interview as there is a contest for a signed copy of The Vampire Shrink and Dark Harvest. So make sure you stay tuned. Read more...

View the steamy trailer for Lynda Nightingale's forthcoming vampire romance Black Swan (Wild Rose Press).

Watch the trailer for Marta Acosta's The Bride of Castle Dracula (September, 2008).

The Society of S

The Society of S by Susan Hubbard
Simon & Schuster, 2007

"My mother disappeared after my birth and had not been seen by us since." Haunting words from a thirteen year-old girl who will soon come to a very transforming time in her life. Mariella Montero lives with her father Raphael in a large Victorian house in Saratoga Springs, NY. The morning hours are spent alone or with the housekeeper, the sweet natured Ms McGarritt. The afternoons are devoted to lessons taught by Raphael that entail wide ranging subjects of literature (Poe is a favorite), mathematics, physics, philosophy. Ari, as her father calls her, receives strong intellectual stimulation from her scholar/ scientist father. Most mornings he spends with his assistants in a basement laboratory. Nothing terribly sinister going on here, but it is mysterious. Ari knows instinctively not to invade that space.

After so many years of deep curiosity Ari finally finds out some answers about her mother and the nature of her father. Ari is aware that she is the daughter of a vampire father and a mortal mother. Such a disturbing revelation raises other questions many of which her father cannot answer. What caused her mother's disappearance? Will Ari be human or vampire? In this regard Raphael believes she is more like him than her mother, but it is not yet clear. At some future time Ari herself must choose. And while trying to absorb this new found knowledge Ari suffers the loss of her only friend. Kathleen, the daughter of Mrs McGarritt, is murdered. There is severe blood loss and mutilation. The police and FBI investigate thoroughly but identify no suspects. Ari cannot help wondering if her father or either of his assistants might be involved. The thought horrifies her. Still it persists.

Eventually she decides she must leave Raphael's house to find out things for herself. Her first task is to find out what happened to her mother. Ari sets out alone and without telling anyone.

This is a brilliant novel, so poetically written. I hung on every word.

In May, 2008 a sequel, The Year of Disappearances, was published. I haven't read it yet, but I will.

Jul 25, 2008

The Anna Strong Chronicles

The Anna Strong Strong Chronicles by Jeanne C. Stein

The Becoming (Ace, 2006)

"Blood pounds in my ears. Adrenaline-laced fear propels me forward. It's the most exhilarating thing I've ever experienced. I've Never been much of a runner, but I feel like a gazelle, sure-footed and nimble and headed in the direction of the highway with nothing but instinct to guide me. Suddenly I'm not winded or afraid..."

These are the thoughts of Anna Strong bounty hunter recently turned vampire. The brutal attack that transformed her left few physical scars - vampires heal quickly. Psychological scars stay around longer. To help her in the various ways her life has changed is the handsome medical doctor Grant Avery. He treated her while she was in the hospital and followed up with home visits. Her boyfriend and DEA agent Max wasn't too happy when he noticed the good doctor hanging around. Besides being a vampire himself Avery is also a Watcher, one of several whose duty is to look out for new vampires and to go after rogue killers like Donaldson the man responsible for Anna's rape and her Becoming. Anna is a tough, smart, reluctant vampire-gal who, for the sake of survival, needs to quickly learn how to use her new found powers. On one thing she will not compromise - others of her kind tell she must not concern herself with the affairs of mortals. For Anna this would mean turning her back on Max, her parents, and her partner David something Anna's basic sense of decency will not allow her to do. The Becoming begins with a heart pounding build up and the adventure doesn't stop until the last page. Okay, there is some time taken for steamy love scenes but these are also heart-pounding.

The Anna Strong story continues in Blood Drive, (Ace, 2007) and it is here that Anna's devotion to family has such importance. The teenage daughter of her dead brother, one until recently unknown to the family, is missing. Worse, she may be involved in the murder of a classmate. Anna's strengths as a bounty hunter and vampire prove crucial in finding the unexpected truth. She also becomes aware that vampires are not the only paranormals who live hidden lives.

The Watcher (Ace, 2007) is the third book in the series. Anna now works closely with the San Diego chief of police who is himself a vampire. She is one of his Watchers. Her assignments often involve hunting down rogue vampires and dispatching them before they can do any more damage to the supernatural or human community. She is surprised to learn that her new job and old contacts will draw her into the hunt for her mortal boyfriend Max, a DEA undercover agent gone missing. Anna and Max have strong feelings for each other, but he does not know of her transformation and she wants to keep it that way. But by going to his aid she may need to show her true colors.

The next Anna Strong story will be found in Legacy (Ace, August 26, 2008).

Jeanne C. Stein has created a heady mixture or adventure, mystery, and the paranormal. Her characters and their stories are completely believable even in the extraordinary world of urban fantasy. Anna shows strong moral courage. She thinks about how her actions will affect those around her. Anna is an honorable person who wants to do the right thing although it's not always easy to figure out what that might be.

Far Side Contest for Unpublished Writers

2008 On the Far Side Contest - Sponsored by the Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal chapter of Romance Writers of America

"Got fantasy, futuristic, or paranormal? Then the On the Far Side Contest is for you!!

Welcome dragons, witches, ghosties, vampires, shape shifters, unicorns, and any creature your imagination can conjure up in a galaxy far far away, in a time long past, or in your very own backyard.

2007 Contest: 3 manuscripts requested! Two sold so far!

The FF&P On the Far Side Contest is not to be missed. Not only did the judges provide detailed and actionable feedback that I used to make my manuscript better, but I sold as a result of my 2007 contest win! I highly recommend this contest to anyone seriously pursuing a career writing paranormal romance."

Elissa Wilds
Author of Between Light and Dark, a November 2008 release from Dorchester Love Spell

Contest Requirements:

* Must be unpublished in full length fiction (40,000+) for the genre entering/or not published in genre entering for past 5 years.
* First 20 pages of manuscript
* OPTIONAL synopsis (New)
* Entry received by DEADLINE: August 8, 2008

Final round judges are acquiring editors and agents of all genres of paranormal romance. Take this opportunity to get your best work in front of:

* Erotic: Caren Johnson, Caren Johnson Literary Agency
* Romantic Elements: Lois Winston, Ashley Grayson
* Futuristic: Stacy Boyd, Harlequin
* General Paranormal: Erika Tsang, Avon
* Time Travel: Margo Lipschultz Harlequin, Luna
* Fantasy: Deborah Werksman, Sourcebooks
* (New) Young Adult: Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency


All finalists receive a certificate and an OTFS finalist website banner (New).
* Winners of each category receive a check for $20, a pin, an OTFS winner website banner (New), and a certificate.
* 2nd Place receives a check for $15 and a certificate
* 3rd place receives a check for $10 and a certificate

For details and entry forms, go to http://www.romance-ffp.com/OTFS.htm


Blog Carnival

Next week the blog site Bitten by Books is hosting a Carnival with lots of prizes!

"Carnival runs from Monday July 28th through August 1st. You have all week to try for these prizes and HUNDREDS of others that other sites will be offering."

Go Here for more details.

Jul 21, 2008

Internet Sites of Paranormal Interests

Reading the Gothic: During the years 2006-2007 this site added podcasts of interest to vampire lovers. The latest update (August 4, 2007) concerns interesting observations on Varney the Vampire, or the Feast of Blood published in 1847. I wish whoever is behind this wonderful site would start it up again.

Be sure to read FEARnet's Vampire Survival Guide by Eric Walsingham and Eddie Nickerson. "We’ve got a little piece of literature that’ll turn you from a chew toy to a Vamp-slaying bad ass of Blade status...."

Says Katie MacAlister (author of Zen and the Art of Vampires, NAL December, 2008)
on her website: We have freebies, both virtual and real. Pick a freebie and have at it!

Harlequin's Paranormal Romance Writers are now blogging about their books. On July 19 Karen Whiddon wrote about her popular series The Pack. The latest story Mate of the Wolf has, for the first time, a vampire character.

On June 16 NPR's All Things Considered June 16, 2007 had an interesting story on the undead. Here is the intro. "Vampires have come a long way since Bram Stoker's Dracula. Many writers are embracing the bloodsuckers, with titles such as You Suck: A Love Story, Fangland and All Together Dead". Listen now.

Rick Kleffel reports for member station KUSP in California.

Chris Marie Green author of the noir-mystery Vampire Babylon series is offering a contest on her site.

"It’s time to gear up the Vampire Babylon (VB) machine again since there are two releases waiting in the wings: the anthology First Blood (with my VB novella “Double the Bite”) as well as Break of Dawn, VB Book three, (Ace Trade September 2, 2008). But First Blood is up next in August, and unlike the urban fantasy vibe of the regular VB series, this story is a “hot” romance. (Guaranteed happily ever after for the main characters!). In keeping with the “hot” tone, this month’s prize package will include Cherie Feather’s scorching Art of Desire (signed bookplate copy) along with an autographed copy of Night Rising Vampire Babylon, Book One, plus the signed first chapter of “Double the Bite.” Contest ends July 31st.

At blog site Shaunie's Happy Place you can enter to win a copy of Real Vampires Have Curves, Book 1 in the Glory St. Claire series (Berkley, 2007) by Gerry Bartlett. The winner will be announced August 2nd.

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The hype surrounding Acheron, Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest Dark Hunter novel, continues. The release date is August 5. I'm not sure that it's as anxiously anticipated as Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn (book 4 of the Twilight Saga) but St Martin's has certainly cranked up the publicity machine. Go here for all things Acheron or simply take a look at the video Acheron For anyone who doesn't know who he is the video gives a pretty good clue.

Love Vampires has a review of Kenyon's Devil May Cry, a Dark Hunter novel published in 2007.

Jul 18, 2008


One of my favorite websites MonsterLibrarian.com has declared July as Werewolf month. Check it out!

Nixing Moonlight

Saw this on BuzzSugar.com where CBS executive Nina Tassler was quoted.
  • As for Moonlight, Tassler reminded reporters that she's not anti-vampire. "Everybody knows I love vampires," she said. "Vampires, witches, werewolves, warlocks — I love them all." But she said that while there was a lot of outcry over the show's cancellation, most of it was passion for star Alex O'Loughlin rather than the show as a whole. She said she'd love to find a place for O'Loughlin on another show in the future.

Upcoming Vampire Books

The following is a brief sampling of books in the vampire or paranormal genre that will be published in 2008. Since I haven't had a chance to read any of these titles I'll let the author or publisher supply the information.

The Sweet Scent of Blood by Suzanne McLeod
Gollancz (25 Sep 2008)

"Genevieve Taylor is a Sidhe, one of the noble fae, and she's unusual even in present-day London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins and scheming lesser fae mix freely with the human population. Genny is a rising star at Spellcrackers.com, a witch company, where she finds the 'M' in magic . . . and mayhem and murder.

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities . . . and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals."

The Vampire in... My Dreams, a young adult book by Terry Wilde will be available in a print edition August 26, 2008.

Description: "Proving a guy is a vampire for the glory it will bring seemed like a good idea. At the time. Until he needs Marissa Lakeland's help to fight the vampire who made him the way he is. No problem. She's a witch. Witches can handle it. But vampires don't exist, and there's nothing in a witch's training that deals with a creature that doesn't exist. So using her wits, she'll manage, right? If the creature of the night doesn't get her first. As a centuries-old vamp, Lynetta doesn't lose ever, and she doesn't intend to now."

Bond of Darkness: A Novel of Texas Vampires by Diane Whiteside. Berkley, October 2008.
"Texas Ranger Stephanie “Steve” Reynolds is on the hunt for a serial killer who is stalking innocent women in the Lone Star State. The beautiful Ranger comes to suspect the unbelievable – that the killer is a vampire."

Blood Bargain by Maria Lima. Juno Books (November 29, 2008)

"Keira Kelly is coming into her unexpected and unexpectedly awesome powers... and Rio Seco, Texas ain't ever gonna be the same! Keira just wants to be left alone without many responsibilities to her supernatural clan and, lately, spend some time with sexy Adam Walker - a vampire trying to get his brethren to give up human blood - on his luxurious Wild Moon ranch. But trouble and her paranormal family keep intruding - Gigi, Keira's great-great-grandmother and the chief of the clan has sent Tucker, Keira's 1,200-year-old shapeshifter brother to keep an eye on her! "

Sequel to Matters of the Blood which will be reissued by Juno, September 29, 2008

Jul 17, 2008

New Look for Vampire Notes

As you can see I have changed the template. Since this one has a sttrrrrrrechable screen and can therefore be sized in any way a reader prefers, I thought it might be easier on the eyes. I like it, but I'd like to know your thoughts. It's easy enough to go back to the old style. For now I'm stuck with the templates offered by Blogger because I'm a non-techy person and can't figure out how to import one from the outside.

Jul 16, 2008

July Contest - Reminder

Remember this month's contest offers a copy of Small Favor by Jim Butcher.

All e-mail subscribers to this blog are eligible to win. If you have not yet signed up it's very easy to do. In the left column look for Subscribe to Patricia's Vampire Notes. Click and you're on your way.

Internet Sites of Paranormal Interest

While pretending to do research on the internet by following the career of Charlotte Rampling, a favorite actress of mine, I came across a small news item for a TV series called Fringe on the internet site ToxicShock TV. This show about the paranormal begins Sept. 9 and Ms Rampling plays one of the principal roles. Unfortunately she doesn't show up in the series trailer, but from what I've seen I will definitely want to watch it. This link will take you to a brief article and the trailer.

Read EW.com's Cover Story, 'Twilight': Inside the First Stephenie Meyer Movie. "Can the author's vampire novels do for moviegoers 
what they've done for readers? The first book in the series comes to 
theaters in December. EW was on the set."

Also read EW's profile of the popular author
Stephenie Meyer: Inside the 'Twilight' Saga. "During one mad summer, while her husband and three young boys slept, Stephenie Meyer wrote a mountain of pages about a heady romance between a smart 17-year-old girl and a handsome god of a vampire...."

To while away the hours during the recent writers' strike, Buffy creator Joss Whedon decided to show the world there was another way. This is how he puts it, "Once upon a time, all the writers in the forest got very mad with the Forest Kings and declared a work-stoppage. The forest creatures were all sad; the mushrooms did not dance, the elderberries gave no juice for the festival wines, and the Teamsters were kinda pissed. (They were very polite about it, though.) During this work-stoppage, many writers tried to form partnerships for outside funding to create new work that circumvented the Forest King system.... Read more
The result was Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog a musical miniseries. Episode one is now available.

BloodCopy the blog dedicated to the HBO series True Blood shows a video for a new kind of dating service - here

Discovery Channel's How Stuff Works actually has an article entitled How Vampires Work by Tom Harris. Most of the information concerns myths, legends, and of course Dracula.

Jul 15, 2008

Excerpts of Recent Books

It often helps to read a bit of the book you think might be of interest. Here are five sites that allow you to do just that.

The Last Vampire by Patricia Rosemoor and Marc Paoletti Del Rey (June 24, 2008).
Click here to read an excerpt.
Blurb: "Deep in a Texas cave, the military unearths a five-hundred year-old corpse, its desiccated flesh teeming with mysterious DNA that can transform mortals into beings of unimaginable power. Captain Scott Boulder, leader of a Black Ops unit that has been endowed with these superhuman abilities, is among the first to benefit from the find. But when, with the help of a voodoo priestess, the creature is conjured to life, unleashing an ancient evil bent on reinstating its poisonous kind on earth, Scott knows he must return the monster to the grave. But this is no ordinary vampire. Once a brutal torturer in the Spanish Inquisition, it can bend the laws of science and magic in horrifying new ways."

Scions: Insurrection by Patrice Michelle Unedited Excerpt from Scions:Insurrection (book 2)Silhouette (May 1, 2008)
Blurb: "When Detective Kaitlyn McKinney responded to a call about a strange, burned body, she discovers something far more complicated - and dangerous. Landon Rourke is a werewolf, exiled from his pack and dedicated to keeping a protective watch over Kaitlyn. A prophecy has said that his kind and vampires would one day come to a truce. But that day has yet to come. Landon has his own past to deal with, too, involving Kaitie herself. A dark truth that has kept them apart for years. When Kaitlyn gets caught up in the battle between vampires and werewolves, their long-simmering attraction ignites. And in that attraction, they find the secret that will bring them together..."

Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampire Book 4) Signet, June 2008.
Blurb: "Think Amelie is scary? Meet her dad, the terrifying vampire Mr. Bishop. What does he want -- and what will Amelie do about it? Claire's caught in the middle, along with her friends and even her parents, as Morganville's fragile alliance between humans and vampires starts to fracture. Soon, everyone will have to choose a companion for the Feast of Fools ... and a side."
Read an excerpt

Chapter one of Michelle Hauf's His Forgotten Forever, a romantic vampire novel for Silhouette Nocturne (July 2008) is available here

Blurb: "After waking in an alley without memory of his life, Truvin Stone then stumbles into a cathedral--where he is forcibly baptized. If that's not strange enough, a kind soul brings him home and tries to convince him he's a vampire (Which may be true. Who can argue fangs?). Lucy Morgan has always enjoyed helping others, but it's time she started taking care of herself, fulfilling goals and dreams. The moment they met, she connected to Truvin, and even when things get weird--vampires and witches have started pursuing them both--she won't deny herself this opportunity for love. A war between the vampires and witches has been brewing for centuries, and Truvin may possibly have stirred it to a boil. He must get back his memory before the witches and priest chasing him with a cross get to him first. For a holy wound will never heal; no vampire can survive. But now that he's had a taste of a new life unhampered by his past indiscretions can he truly go back to being the same man he once was? "

Read an excerpt from The Darkness (2008), Book eleven in the Vampire Huntress Legend series by L. A. Banks.
Blurb: "After the battle at Masada, the Neteru team returns to San Diego believing forty-thousand demons had been eradicated and that Lilith's spawn has been killed. But somehow the treacherous little creature got away. Just as had been prophesized at the dawn of the Armageddon, the anti-Christ has been born and will soon rise to power. Rewarded for her creation, Lilith is given the daylight bite and power to make Councilmen day-walkers. Having Fallon Nuit and Sebastian able to withstand sunlight is a huge problem, especially when they are adding new master vampires at recordbreaking levels. Meanwhile the dark realms are healing and adding to what had previously been wiped out—feeding off the dark energy of the newly created anti-Christ who is only waiting to emerge."

Jul 14, 2008

Guest Blogger J. F. Lewis

I am very excited to introduce today's guest blogger J. F. Lewis author of Staked (Pocket, 2008). Jeremy gives us insights into his main character - the zany, forgetful Eric.



Could one of you call my cell phone? I can’t remember where I put it. My number? Um… wait a minute.

Oh c’mon. I know what it is… Oh, this is silly. It has a four in it… I’ll think of it in a minute or two. Now… what was I saying?

Memory. It affects everything from our ability to find the way home at the end of the day to the way we experience the world around us... which is exactly why memory is such a fun little tool for a writer to play with. In Staked, Eric is the obvious example: a vampire who doesn’t typically remember how he became a vampire, whose blood he ate for breakfast, or what day (month? year?) it is. He’s been embalmed, he has rage blackouts, and he also participates in the same sort of selective memory of which we are all guilty. We all edit our recollection of events to some degree (guys in particular). Eric simply takes things one step further, choosing when possible to forget as much of the bad stuff as he can.

Being embalmed really messed with his memory, though, so one can’t put all the blame on Eric. I had to be careful throughout the novel to make Eric’s memory issues a fun quirk more than a get-out-of-plot-hole-fast card… though he does forget a clue here and there (rarely), he mainly forgets little things like his home phone number, how to check his voice mail, and what he was just talking about, along with other scarier things, like his father’s real name. (You mean it wasn’t just Dad?) And my personal favorite: forgetting when the sun will come up.

Staked begins just as Eric comes out of one of his rage blackouts. “Somewhere in the middle of my rant it occurred to me that I'd killed whoever it was I'd been yelling at, so arguing was no longer important.” He never recalls what happened in those minutes and must piece together who he killed and why over the next couple of chapters.

Like any character trait, Eric’s memory issues serve a purpose. He’s a powerful vampire and in order keep to him believable, he needed his kryptonite, but that’s not all there is to it either. Giving Eric the ability to forget the things that bother him the most also accentuates the things he can’t forget. Marilyn, his fiancĂ©e in life, is still alive and near him every day. Though she’s in her eighties now and more like his nanny than his lover, he’s glad to have her around. It’s bittersweet, though, because she serves as a constant reminder of the life he lost when he died. She keeps his memory of her alive by her constant presence. Marilyn runs Eric’s strip club, cleans up his messes, works out rotations for whose turn it is to give blood, and generally helps keep him on track. She also gave him a watch that shows military time along with the day, month, and year. True love? Not if you ask Eric’s current girlfriend, Tabitha.

Marilyn’s not the only relic of Eric’s former life. He’s also very attached to his car, a 1964 ½ Mustang that he bought new. Funny how he can remember all the details about that car and not which alley, exactly, he was in when he killed that werewolf. Then again, it’s not funny at all… it’s natural. Often the things that Eric forgets are symptoms of the same kind of everyday forgetfulness we all experience. How do you take a powerful supernatural being and make him someone we can all identify with? Easy. You… you… Oh, now wait a minute. What was this blog about again?

J.F. Lewis lives in Birmingham, Alabama and is older than is necessary. He decided that he wanted to be a writer when a supposed creative writing teacher questioned his sanity and suggested therapy. He abides with his patient wife, two adorable sons, and an ornery Akita. An avid reader, J also enjoys sushi, popcorn, lukewarm sodas, and old black and white movies. His two favorite activities are singing lullabies to his kids at bedtime and typing into the wee hours of the morning. Fortunately, like the protagonist of his first novel STAKED, the author takes very little sleep.

, the sequel to Staked is scheduled to be released in March, 2009.

Jul 13, 2008

Guest Blogger on Monday July 14

On Monday July 14 J. F. Lewis author of Staked (Pocket, 2008) will be guest blogging here at Patricia's Vampire Notes. He is currently working on the sequel ReVamped due out in March, 2009.

Vampire Huntress Legend

Click here to watch a trailer for the popular Vampire Huntress Legend series by L.A. Banks. I found this "music" video to be quite captivating.

Book 11 The Shadows was published this month by St. Martin's Griffin.
From the publisher: "The Dark Realms are taking cover after an angel onslaught from On High. The Anti-Christ has been injured and the fourth Biblical seal has been broken. Yonnie and Val, a strange combination of a daywalker and an angel hybrid, have joined Damali and Carlos’s team. And the two new Council Level vamps, Elizabeth Bathory and Lucrezia Borgia, are still in recovery from their last mission. Seething in the underworld is the Unnamed One, so furious that he's bringing the battle topside, unleashing a full-frontal assault on mankind for the offenses committed by the Vampire Huntress team. This time, Damali and Carlos must address serious human casualties and collateral damage...all while the vampire councilman, Nuit rebuilds Blood Music to become more than a record label, but a media brainwashing empire for the dark lord."

Read an excerpt of The Shadows.

Jul 9, 2008

Internet Sites of Paranormal Interest

The March 2008 issue of Broadsheet had an article by Inanna Arthen entitled "Think Outside the Coffin: Writing the Vampire Novel". Although primarily addressed to writers, readers will also find it of interest because of Arthen's critique of the current state of the vampire genre and a short section on the folklore. Arthen is the author of Mortal Touch (By Light Unseen Media, 2007). If you look at the publisher website you will notice the mission statement says, "By Light Unseen Media will present the best of quality fiction and non-fiction on the theme of vampires and vampirism. We will offer fictional works with original imagination and style, as well as non-fiction of academic caliber."

Broadsheet is a publication of Broad Universe "
an international organization of women and men dedicated to celebrating and promoting the work of women writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror". Excellent organization. Of course I am a member!

Genre of the Month is a blog site worth checking out especially this July. Description follows: "the new blog devoted to YA books. Each month, a new category will be announced. (July is vampire month!), and reviewers will be contributing what they can on that subject throughout the whole month."

Amberkatze's Book Blog has an interview with Dakota Cassidy author of Accidentally Dead, Berkley July, 2008.
"It’s a lousy first day on the job for Nina Blackman when a patient, loopy from the anesthesia, bites her. At least he was cute. But for real drama she can’t beat the next evening. Nina wakes up with a set of razor-sharp fangs, bionic vision, supersonic hearing, and a taste for blood. But there’s a good explanation: It’s her patient, Long Island vampire Greg Statleon. Actually they’re perfect for each other—if Nina’s willing to commit to one man for eternity."

Upcoming Event

On Monday July 14 J. F. Lewis author of Staked (Pocket, 2008) will be guest blogging here at Patricia's Vampire Notes. He is currently working on the sequel ReVamped due out in March, 2009.

Jul 8, 2008

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta

While reading this book I continually had a smile on my face except when I was laughing out loud. Acosta is a witty, clever writer who keeps your attention with lovable characters (even the bad guys) and an entertaining plot. Narrator Milagro de la Cruz has a rye sense of humor especially while describing the crazy situations she finds herself in like being kidnapped by an old boyfriend from college, a fellow with a hyphenated anglo-wasp name, Sebastian Beckett-Witherspoon, and also when she is rescued by someone she suspects of being a vampire.

But lets backup a moment. Both MIlagro and Sebastian together attended a Fancy University which Milagro refers to throughout as F.U. Sebastian has become a well known writer, and a client of Mil's - Katherine - throws a party to celebrate his new book. Also attending is the handsome, very alluring Oswald who invites Milagro to have a drink with him at his hotel's bar. She accepts. Too bad the bar has been taken over by a large group, but the manager offers to serve anything required in Oswald's suite. Quickly the conversation turns to Sebastian. Oswald is quite curious about this guy so Mil figures out that he isn't really interested in her writing. She's miffed. But Oswald has such gorgeous eyes and such a sweet seductive smile.

They begin passionately kissing. Mil cannot resist this guy. They are so lustfully intertwined that they fall, shattering a glass table. Each one suffers a small cut on the lips. This does not hamper the hungry for sex Milagro who reaches for Oswald and plants a big kiss tasting a bit of his blood. She barely noticed when he tried to pull away before they kissed. He had a good reason. His kind must be careful. Just then Sebastian breaks in and begins yelling for this to stop. While the two men argue Mil grabs her bag and runs from the room.

For the next several days she is terribly sick, like the worst flue in the world. She can't eat except when satisfying a cravings for red meat juice. Soon after her recovery she is abducted by Sebastian, who turns out to be a member of Corporate America for the Conservation of America. CACA for short. Their mission is to rid the world of vermin like Oswald AND Milagro - Vampires! Now Mil knows he's crazy. But maybe not! Only after being rescued, and housed at Casa Dracula, does the truth reveal itself.

Marta has a grand sense of humor. The next book in the series is Midnight Brunch at Casa Dracula (Pocket, 2007), and in September, 2008 The Bride of Casa Dracula come out.

Check out Marta's blog at Vampire Wire

Jul 1, 2008

Internet Sites of Paranormal Interest

Here is a place for those, like me, who are intrigued by ghosts and there hunters. "Welcome to The Shadowlands Ghosts and Haunting page, the Internet's original ghost website. We have assisted 1000's of people through this website alone. We have also educated the general public and ghost hunters from the points of view of researchers as well as that of someone who is experiencing things they do not understand. This page is a place where you can get information, comfort and help - Dave Juliano and Tina Carlson."

Amberkatze Book Blog has an excellent review of the vampire comedy Accidentally Dead by Dakota Cassidy.

To win a copy of Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis go IMMEDIATELY to Temple Library Reviews and make a comment to be entered. Entries must be in by July 4th!

Enter to win all 12 books in the Dark-Hunter® Library signed by Sherrilyn Kenyon! This offer from St. Martin's Press is to celebrate the upcoming publication of Acheron on August 5, 2008. Also find information on receiving a free copy of Kenyon's Seize the Night.

The Morganville Vampires is a popular Young Adult series by Rachel Caine. Book one The Glass House was published in 2006. The publisher's blurb read: "Welcome to Morganville, Texas. Just don't stay out after dark. College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero...
Read the Morganville short story Lunch Date.

Go to DragonBytes.com for full texts of classic vampire stories: Vampyre by John Polidori; Feast of Blood/ Varney the Vampyre by James Malcolm Rymer; Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu; Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker: Dracula by Bram Stoker, and from the lunatic fringe comes The Vampire: His Kith and Kin by the eccentric clergyman Montague Summers.

Mippy Carlson has posted a review of Twilight Falls
(The Darkyn: Book 6) by Lynn Viehl on Paranormal Romance. Carlson says, "there are also some revelations that will shock long- time readers of the series."

Davida Mclea, guest blogger on Bitten By Books, wrote an interesting article on ley lines which some believe to be a source of magic in the world.

True Blood - HBO Vampire Series

The website for True Blood, the HBO series based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, can be found here. There is a link to a short video showing brief glimpses of various scenes with narration by producer Alan Ball. If your in the mood for a vampire beverage you can find out about Tru Blood, the Japanese invented blood substitute that has allowed vampires to go public. Best of all is the blog, Blood Copy, described thusly: "This website chronicles the amazing days we live in as vampires attempt to integrate with humans. With the advent of Tru Blood, a synthetic blood substitute, vampires have decided to announce their presence and exist among us openly. This website chronicles the amazing days we live in as vampires attempt to integrate with humans.... read more. Watch the video of how vampires announced themselves to the world. Someone had lots of fun making this spoof of how major events are covered by the media.

Ms Harris who created the world admits,"It won't be my creation any more when it's on television. It'll be Alan's creation, and a completely different animal. I'm looking forward to seeing the books from a completely different point of view." See the Complete interview on Patricia's Vampire Notes.

The first episode is supposed to be inspired by Dead Until Dark book one in the series.

As readers of this blog are aware I am a devoted follower of the written series. Like other fans I have in mind what the characters are like. My hope is that Alan Ball's outlook is similar to mine.

This reminds me that last Sunday (6/29) I saw a rerun of Blood Ties, the TV series base on Tanya Huff's Vicki Nelson stories. In my opinion the producers did a great job with this series. The three main characters - Vicki, Henry (vampire son of Henry VIII), and Mike (cop and ex-lover of Vicki - were written and acted very true to the books. Of course the show wasn't renewed! Whether Lifetime will continue to air older episodes, I'm not certain. I checked their upcoming Sunday schedule (7/5/08). Army Wives was listed but not Blood Ties; however, at least for now, Lifetime shows full episodes online.