Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beware the Wereguineas!

The folks from Take 180 Entertainment (hello Juice Box!) are back with another spoof of the Twilight films, this time New Moon.

video

I adore Devon Kelly! That's all there is to it.

~Lily


Rise of the Man Wolf

I would like to preface the following clip by saying...

I'm only posting this because Helena made me.


video

The preceding spoof was created by the folks at Movieclips. You can find it on youtube here, and you can find their youtube channel here. Watch it, comment it, favorite it, understand that no copyright infringement is intended with it. Basically, I don't care what you do. As for me, I'm off to rock back and forth in a corner while attempting to get the image of that chest hair out of my head.

~Lily

Free Preview of "Soul Screamers" Series

Rachel Vincent is known for both her Shifters series and her Soul Screamers series, the second installment of which (My Soul to Save) released just a few weeks ago. If you would like a sneak peak into the background of the Soul Screamers world, Rachel has generously posted a free download of the prequel novella, My Soul to Lose, on her Web site.


~Lily

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review - The Vampire Affair by Livia Reasoner

From Silhouette Nocturne:

"The world knew Michael Brandt as a playboy tycoon. The underworld knew him as a fierce vampire hunter. Armed with a wooden stake and superior strength, Michael targeted the most powerful overlords in a clandestine do-or-die operation…and then tabloid reporter Jessie Morgan uncovered his secret.

Only once before had Michael allowed a woman into his secret lair. Now he'd fight heaven and hell to keep Jessie from the same fate. But he couldn't fight the attraction that drew him to her like a bloodlust. An attraction that might prove deadly…or worse. For Michael was going up against the most powerful of the undead—and that vampire had his fangs bared for Jessie."

The Vampire Affair by Livia Reasoner is a quick read that hearkens back to the classic days of paranormal romance, when vamps were evil minions of darkness and slayers were the called upon dispensers of holy justice. Enter Michael Brandt, the alpha-male hero who's a flamboyant playboy by day and a superhuman crime fighter by night. He's kinda like batman without the latex. And, unfortunately, without the dark, brooding sex appeal.

While Jessie Morgan is a feisty heroine who all but leaps off the page, Brandt didn't became anything other than a romantic archetype. Emotions and motivations were hung on him like clothing, but he never really donned them. Because of this, the romance between Brandt and Jessie just seems a little...flat. The love story is best described as the difference between watching a play in person and hearing a recap of a play from a friend who saw it. The story may be the same, but the level of engagement doesn't even compare. And the subplot dealing with Brandt's previous lover and her tragic fate feels forced. The secondary characters, Brandt's sidekicks and Jessie's grandmother, are scene stealers. Partly because they are very well written, and partly because the action between the main characters simply isn't engrossing enough to keep readers focused solely on the main storyline.

The Vampire Affair is by no means a bad or boring story, it simply doesn't live up to the potential you can feel on the page. If this were a single title (with a large word count) I think it could be a more engaging and intricate story. As a category story, however, the word count limits seemed to restrain what could be a truly fantastic paranormal romance.

Rating: 2.5/5

~Lily

What's in a Nhame?

JR Ward has a penchant for throwing random h's into words that wouldn't usually have them, including her character's odd names. Rhage. Dhestroyer. Phury. Rehvenge.

You see my point.

This h fetish has been mocked by many (I find it delightfully quirky, but then I'm delightfuhlly obsessedh). Well, the mocking has been taken to a new level. One of the contributors to the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog actually created a JR Ward vampire name generator.

Cohme on, yhou knowh yhou whant to try iht.


~Lilhy Ghhates

Review - Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione

"It had been at least two decades since Shade had awakened on a strange floor, hung over and without a clue to his whereabouts.  The heavy weight of a manacle around his wrist and the sound of a rattling chain made him smile.  It had been even longer since he'd been in this situation and chained up.
Cool.
Sure, he preferred the females to be the ones in chains instead of him, but he'd roll with it."

Ahh the glorious beginning to Ione's second installment to her Demonica series perfectly introduces us to a closer look at Shade.  Always the adrenaline junkie, Shade works as a paramedic at the demon hospital with his brothers Eidolon and Wraith.  His personal life is chock full of the same high, case in point see above lol.  Add a healthy dose of sarcasm, predatory instinct, and a bone deep loyalty to those he selectively allows into his inner circle and you have the perfect recipe for my favorite of the brothers! :)  Now on to a review of the actual novel and away from my obsession...



While out on an ambulance run, Shade and his half sister Skulk are captured and held captive by the demon body part traffickers we met in Pleasure Unbound.  Now we find out the mastermind behind the whole operation, a deranged mad"man" whose actions go above and beyond to make the brothers' lives complete sucktown (yes that is my word and no you can't use it ;p).

Now for some background on Shade, he is a victim of Maluncoeur, a curse that states he will slowly turn noncorporeal if he ever falls in love.  This entails a never ending hunger, thirst, and sexual appetite without the means to satisfy any of those problems or have any contact with any corporeal being.  Basically he gets entrapped in the "inbetween" where he can watch, observe, and go mad (nasty lil bugger eh?).  The maniac is well aware of this curse, and uses it as part of his ultimate plan.  He captures one of Shade's ex-lovers, Runa, and puts temptation right under Shade's nose.  Of course, Shade starts falling for Runa and his brothers scramble to find an anti-curse before he disappears completely. In the midst of all this, Mr. Looney Tunes hell raiser rages and pulls a couple more strings ultimately making the three brothers think Sheoul is a vacation spot comparatively.

The action rolls off the pages thicker than the first installment in the series.  There is always some new plot point just around the corner to take you off guard once again.  I found myself laughing out loud, boiling with rage, screaming at Shade, and literally even shedding a few tears as the pages flew by.  The last couple pages are kinda lame, ok I found them really lame, but the fact that Wraith's book is next helped me get over that part pretty fast. :)

Definitely check this novel out, but make sure to read the series in order!

Rating: 5/5

~Helena

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Finished!

Good news for Black Dagger Brotherhood fans. The 8th novel in the series, Lover Mine, is officially finished!


According to JR Ward herself (via her message boards):
"Well it's official, John is finished- just fed exd the last third of the galleys back to NY. Couple of stats: he's 512 pages long typeset (although that might varying a couple of pages as a result of my changes to the galleys) and he came in at 192,828 words and 74 chapters."

And because you can never get too much JR Ward, here's another quote from her message boards. Now, anyone who's read an interview with JR in which she's talked about Vishous know that she and he just don't mesh. She struggled to write his book just because she couldn't get into his head the way she could the other brothers. To that end, she and Vishous don't really get along too well. Recently, someone on the message boards asked her if she was attracted to V despite their history. This is her response:

"ARE YOU INSANE????

This is a joke question right?

*shakes head to clear*

Okay, for real? Short of Z, I think Vishous is the most attractive Brother. I mean, I like that edge of cruelty he has going, and even though I'm totally health conscious, that Turkish tobacco smells AMAZING, and those diamond eyes with the dark blue rims and the tats on the face and the body and the fact that he's been with both males and females and the smarts, God the smarts, and he likes the same music as I do and for f***'s sake, don't get me started on the fact that he's into the whole Dom/sub thing and then there's the veins that run down his forearms and those THIGHS with the warnings on them (even though I don't approve of what they say) and the way he walks- so smooth and deadly. Plus I mean for real, he's a straight up killer, but he got birds for his mother????

Did I meant the black candle and pain thing? Oh, yeah.

No, I mean, honestly V's like my number two- which considering Wrath and Butch and Rehv are in the running (even though Rehv's not a Brother) is really saying something. I love that tats and I think the black glove is sexy (even though the hand is scurry) and he drives like a sonofabitch- and frankly, and I think this is sick, the fact that he's a cranky bastard all the time is just really appealing. I guess because it makes those rare moments when he laughs or smiles magical.

Sh**. I'm pathetic."


I truly love that woman.


~Lily

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review - Lover Revealed by JR Ward

Lately, I've been rereading JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood novels and it occurred to me that if a review of the fourth book in the series, Lover Revealed, is to be posted, I'd have to be the one to do it. Why do you ask? Because Helena hates it with a passion. That's not to say that her opinion isn't valid, or that it would keep her from an unbiased review. No, I simply thinks she hates the book too much to waste her time on a review, and I'm hesitant to skip it entirely as I know we're going to be caught up in Lover Mine fever at any moment.

From wikipedia:

"Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world- to engage in the bolster war with the Lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...
Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, found by a miracle, the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love might not be enough to save him..."

Brian O'Neal, most often called Butch, is a human police officer who gets caught up in the war between the Brotherhood and the Lessers in the very first book of the series. One of Beth's human acquaintances, Butch attempted to help her when her transition hit and was unknowingly thrust into the vampire world. Then Vishous had a vision of Butch, and the former homicide detective's fate was sealed.

After spending his life feeling as though he's on the outside looking in, Butch learns that his destiny has plans that will place him right in the thick of things as far as the brotherhood is concerned. Soon he's caught between the Omega and the Brotherhood, fighting for his life in a war that becomes his own. In his personal life, his relationship with the aristocratic vampire Marissa continues through a series of hurdles, as does his relationship with Vishous and the brotherhood.

Honestly, this book isn't JR's best. On the plus side, this story does much to push the plotline concerning the Omega's son and the prophecy foretelling the Omega's downfall forward. Butch gets to leave the sidelines and join the action as a participant instead of an observer. Butch's traumatic personal history, before only hinted at, is brought into full view. Moreover, the interaction between Butch and Vishous is nothing short of engrossing.

That's also one of the problems. Marissa is such a weak, simpering, whining character, that I spent the entire novel wishing Butch would ditch her and hook up with Vishous. The sexual tension between Butch and Vishous is so hot in this story it's a wonder the book doesn't burst into flames. And I'm not just imagining emotions between 2 heterosexual characters where there are none (I admit I'm sometimes guilty of this, although I maintain that Remus and Sirius had a lil something something going on while Harry was off at Hogwarts). Vishous fully admits to the tension between the two. He loves Butch, although I believe his great affection for the man sparks a sexual attraction in Vishous that wouldn't necessarily be present otherwise. The back and forth, will-they-wont-they between Butch and Vishous is far more interesting than that bland, white bread relationship between Butch and Marissa.

Another plus (and minus) are the subplots. This book concentrates heavily on John Matthew and his peers as he gets deeper into the vampire world and closer to his transition. While this is very interesting, it often steals the show completely from the main characters. Marissa just isn't a strong enough heroine or character to keep the focus on the main love story. Because of that, and the constant wishy-washyness of the love story between Marissa and Butch, this book is best read for the subplots and the relationship between Butch and Vishous, which continues to play a strong role into the next book, Lover Unbound.

Lover Revealed isn't exactly Lover Awakened, but thank the Scribe Virgin it isn't Lover Enshrined.

Rating: 3/5

~Lily

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review - Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione

"Had Eidolon been anywhere but the hospital, he would have killed the guy pleading for his life before him.  As it was, he'd have to save the bastard.  "Sometimes, being a doctor blows," he muttered..."

So starts the first installment in Larissa Ione's Demonica Series, Pleasure Unbound.  The series is now three books deep, the fourth is set to be released on Jan 26th, and a fifth already set for September of this year as well!  This novel covers the few days before Eidolon's descent into s'genesis, a change that will convert the demon from a functioning 'demon' of society into a crazed reproduction machine.  All Seminus demons will complete this change at 100 years of age.  As a doctor at the only demon appropriate hospital, built from Eidolon's own design, he prays that he will find a mate and effectively thwart the loss of his morality and vocation.

Enter Tayla, an Aegis slayer, 'hell bent' (haha couldn't resist) on destroying all demon kind for the protection of humanity.  Tayla's band of hit-demons are brainwashed to believe all demons completely lack any sense of decency and devour humans at will.  She became involved in the organization shortly after a traumatic experience involving a demon attack on her own mother.  Killing is her business and business is "a-booming", until she begins to have bouts of temporary paralysis.  One particular episode earns her a nasty cut and a trip to the demon hospital that Eidolon runs.

Eidolon's brothers, Wraith and Shade, try to convince Eidolon to kill the slayer.  However, as all romances tend to go, he feels an inexplicable pull towards Tayla.  So starts the rocky romance and nail biting action of the novel.  I am afraid to say much more, the plot turns are something I would hate to ruin, just know they are really good!

Character development is fantastic.  Alpha males that walk the fine line of a sexual predator match well with hard edged intelligent females; add a rocking twisting turning battlefield entrenched in years of conflict (genocide in this case), and it makes this story almost impossible to put down.  The sex scenes are HOT, though I could have done with the removal of a few, I found them a little too numerous and slightly detracting from the plot.  Overall I am well on my way to falling in love with this series.  I started the second a couple days ago, and it started off even better!  Shade is my second Rhage!  The sarcastic humor bleeds off the pages, a particular quality of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series that hooked me.

If you loved the BDB, you will love this series as well.  Yes, they are not the beloved vampires we all adore, but they come in as a very close second!  If you do not enjoy this book, I will personally take the backlash, how is that for a recommendation? ;p

Disclaimer:  Be aware that this novel is more urban fantasy than traditional romance, so be prepared for fictional violence and hospital worthy wounds/scenes.

Rating: 5/5

~Helena

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Now THAT'S Devotion

Here at Vamps R Us, it's no secret that we love us some JR Ward. And, whether you're a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the Fallen Angels, or both, you are not alone. Ms Ward has many devoted followers, message boards, Web sites, and even a facebook fan page. There's no shortage of JR on the World Wide Web.

The JR Ward facebook fan page is actually the reason for this entry. On the fan page, fans can upload photos that they feel our appropriately tied to JR in some way. Of all those photos, these 2 are my favorites:

This first one is just hilarious. Fan Jennifer Kunkel uploaded a picture of cookies she decorated to look like the brothers!


While Jennifer doesn't specify, I'm guessing (L to R) they are Rhage, Phury, Wrath, Zsadist, Butch, and Vishous. Very creative!

This next picture takes creative to a whole other level. Fan Michelle Unger Hoffman uploaded this picture of her son Philip's BDB tribute tattoo.


Beautiful work and a well executed idea. That's devotion.

~Lily

I've Finally Done Away with Bill Compton


This picture was taken outside my house yesterday (notice my lovely shadow in the lower left corner). The reason I took it? It may be hard to tell in picture form, but it currently looks like two poor vampires had an unfortunate meeting with the sun in my driveway.

In reality, the "ash" is leftover kitty litter from my boyfriend trying to get his car out of the iced over driveway during the cold snap we experienced last week, but I far prefer my version of events. RIP Bill Compton (and nameless companion). You will bore me no more.

~Lily

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Series of Awesome!

Well new series to me anyways :)

I started reading Pleasure Unbound (Demonica Series book 1) by Larissa Ione a couple days ago, since then I have completely neglected my small semblance of a social life filling every open moment with this novel.  I am in love with it!

My quest to find a book that almost makes me as happy as the BDB (fear not JR Ward, my heart still belongs to Rhage) has finally fallen before my eyes.  A complete review will be done when I get back from my weekend conference.  Until then, grab a copy of this book and you will not be disappointed.

~Helena

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dimlight

The Juice Box has made yet another Twilight parody. In The Twilight Before Christmas, Devon Kelly found her Edward. Well, kinda.

In Dimlight, things don't work out quite so smoothly for Devon. At least Tedward doesn't turn into Santa Claus in the sunlight...

video

If you like what you see here, check out The Juice Box Web site. These are some talented people.

~Lily

Cody Devereaux vs Wolfboy

I'm a fan of Conan O'Brien. I apparently have a thing for tall, sarcastic guys. Over the last several months, Conan has featured a sketch that any vamp fan can enjoy. Yes, I'm talking about Cody Devereaux, Conan's "sexy vampire personal assistant."


What are Cody's qualifications? He's a "brooding, handsome, misunderstood vampire who drives teenage girls crazy." He's also jealous, petty, and prone to suicide. If that's not enough, he has his own sappy theme song that cracks me up every time I hear it.

The best sketch involves Cody emo-ing out because Conan hires a passionate wolfboy assistant...and a mostly naked mummy assistant, and Cody doesn't like the competition.


Too bad I couldn't find video of that sketch online. I did find this sketch, though, which is also amusing.

~Lily


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Review - Haunted Love

"Haunted Love" by Cynthia Leitich Smith is the first short story in the Immortal: Love Stories with Bite anthology edited by P. C. Cast.


I haven't yet finished the entire anthology, but so far this story is my favorite. The tale of an accidental vampire torn between a fiery teenage girl with something to hide and the beautiful ghost haunting his theater is, for lack of a better word, haunting. For this story alone, Immortal: Love Stories with Bite is worth the price of purchase.

Rating: 4/5

~Lily
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