Monday, May 31, 2010

Werewolf Bootlegger for the WIN!

I’m on Team Werewolf. Find out more.

Where to even begin? So, Moira Rogers has not one, but two new books coming out very shortly. One features a vampire lumberjack, the other a werewolf bootlegger. And Moira (or rather the two wonderful women who are Moira, Bree & Donna) want to know which of the two has the most potential for awesome. Is it the vampire lumberjack or the werewolf bootlegger?

The answer is easy, of course. It's the Werewolf Bootlegger.

Now I love vamps, it's kind of a prerequisite to work on this blog. And lumberjacks are just hot, really. The combination of vampire and lumberjack is a formidable one, but if there is one combination that can blow the vampire lumberjack straight out of the treetops, it's a werewolf bootlegger.

I mean come on! Vamps are sexy, but they're also whiter than chalk, cold and undead. Bring on the werewolves! They're the whole package wrapped in a beyond-mortal body that still has a beating heart. Every now and then a girl wants something warm blooded, ya know? And I can handle a little extra hair when the trade off is a pulse and an erotic animalistic streak.

Now, let's look at the chosen professions. Lumberjacks are cool and all, I mean you have to respect the hardworking blue collar professions. But where's the excitement? Where's the danger? No, losing a finger in a tragic ax accident doesn't count. That's not the sexy kind of danger I find appealing and, to my knowledge, vamps aren't part earthworm. What's cut off does not regenerate. Ew.

Now bootlegging, that's far more interesting. I've got a thing for anti-hero bad boys, and here we have a werewolf flaunting governmental regulations to get the people what they want. He's a rebel, a freedom fighter, an underground activist. It's like the alcoholic version of Robin Hood with tommy guns instead of bows and arrows. Besides, one of the hottest things about lumberjacks is the thought of them coming home hot and sweaty and ready to go after a day hard at work. Vampires don't sweat, which is a bonus on the olfactory front, but defeats the purpose of the fantasy. Really, you're just going to have a tired, cold guy in flannel coming home from a hard day of labor. Would the strenuous work even add muscle mass? Do vamps have muscle mass? And are they really going to be keyed up for other activities after a day of playing in the treetops? If so, there may be other, more disturbing issues at work (Cough dendrophilia cough). Yeah, the fantasy's dead. When the Were gets home from delivering bootleg booze to speakeasys and gentlemen's clubs, however, you know what's going to be on his mind. Rawr.

Speaking of flannel, this isn't the early '90s grunge scene. Would you rather have your man in a nasty flannel shirt and worn out jeans smelling of wood chips and possibly carrying the remnants of poison oak, or a sharp, gangster-style pinstripe suit with a hip flask?

Finally, I leave you with two words as my closing argument, take them as you will:

Doggy style


I'd be a werewolf bootlegger's moll any day!

This post is a part of Moira Rogers’ Creature Feature Kindle Throwdown Contest. By leaving a (meaningful) comment, you will be entered to win a Kindle from Amazon.com, or an alternate grand prize of $275 to spend at an online book retailer. For a full list of rules and more ways to win, visit the
contest page.


~**EDIT**~

If you need any help making up your mind, check out these awesome posts. Seriously, they had me laughing out loud.

Werewolf Bootlegger: click here
Vampire Lumberjack: click here


~Lily

Even Amazon Knows...

You know how, after a while, Amazon will send you email notification of products they think you will like based on trends in your spending habits. Well, this is the email I got from Amazon this morning.

Oh yes, my love of the brotherhood runs so deep, even Amazon knows it.

~Lily

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cats love vampires, but they fear zombies

There are hundreds of pictures online of cats as vampires, we've posted a few of them ourselves. But this is the first time I've seen a cat involved with a zombies...

...even if the cat is just finding a way to hide from the undead.

I can has cheezburger, the group behind the captioning if not the picture, never disappoints.

~Lily

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recommendsday Review - Dead in the Family

Today's recommendsday review is a bit different than the other reviews we've done here at Vamps R Us. Instead of Helena or I taking the lead to review a book one of us has read, we're both going to talk about Charlaine Harris's latest, Dead in the Family. And the format of this review is different, it's a conversation Helena and I had via text message that pretty much summarized our opinions, so we decided to post it here. Because of the candid nature of that convo, there's one other major change in this review:

***SPOILER ALERTS***

If you don't want to know what happens in Dead in the Family, do not read any further. You have been warned.

Synopsis:

Sookie Stackhouse has finally settled into a relationship with the Viking vampire Eric, and her errant brother Jason seems to have his life in order, too. But all the other people in Sookie’s life – Eric himself, her former lover Bill, her friend and boss Sam – are having family problems.

Eric’s maker shows up with Eric’s ‘brother’ in tow, the ailing Bill can only be healed by a blood sibling, and Sam’s brother’s marriage is about to take place . . . or will it? The furor raised by the coming out of the two-natured has yet to settle; some people are just not ready to sit down to dinner with a man who turns into a dog. And Sookie herself is still recovering from her last ordeal. She’s definitely improving, physically and mentally, but she’s always going to have some dark moments now. The werewolves tell her that there have been strange and ominous passers-by in the Stackhouse woods; now Sookie is about to come face-to-face with one of her more distant relatives...

Prelude to convo - I finished Dead in the Family before Helena (thanks to my not having vet school finals), and expressed to her my overall disappointment with the novel. This is where the conversation picks up:

Helena Sparrow: (May 18 – 10:10am) I didn’t think Sookie was horrible. I don’t like how bitter and dark she is tho, like u said. And though there was action and the typical dead bodies to ID kind of thing, I felt like there was no real point to the bigger picture for all of it. I miss light bubbly Sookie.

HS: (10:11) Definitely was not Harris’ quality work I loved.

HS: (10:12) Oh well. I guess all good things must end. Hope JR Ward doesn’t downspiral too, that would really suck.

Lily Ghates: (10:26) I’m hoping Harris can bring it back around. Time will tell.

HS: (10:28) Yeah the series def can’t be ended on that book. Too many open unanswered things. The ease of lifting the spell at the end was utter BS tho.

HS: (10:29) I mean seriously

LG: (10:29) Oh, I know. And nothing resolved with Victor! I truly thought this book was pointless. You want to review it for the blog?

HS: (10:32) Sure. I can write up some stuff tonight and add to the cover reviews. I think with Harris we pretty much have the same opinion lol. Waited a year for nothing really sadly. At least we have True Blood.

LG: (10:34) Yeah, my opinion is the same as yours. I don’t mind spending the time on this one if it's leading to something spectacular, but otherwise it wasn’t worth the effort.

HS: (10:35) True. Hope that something comes out soon lol. Before I forget who Dermot is again.

LG: (10:36) Lol, my first thought was “who?”, but I remember now

HS: (10:40) They all kiss and then go to bed together. It's weird. And I'm glad Pam isn’t dead dead. I was worried for a bit

LG: (10:41) I know! That would have killed it for me, really. She’s the comic relief. And now that Eric has become a pussy, she’s the last real-but-likeable vampire.

HS: (10:46) Seriously, but he should be less pansy now that his maker is gone. Maybe he can have a rebirthing so to speak lol

LG: (10:50) I hope so, cause that was getting irritating. As was the Romanov kid. And where the hell did Claudine’s baby daddy come from? Not enough build up, too little resolution.

HS: (10:52) I know. I was hoping the fairy was some crazy relation to Jason or Dermot with the way that Russian kid was so drawn to Jason. But whatever. Pointless.

HS: (10:53) I don’t think we even met that crazy guy before. And putting Sookie in a human jail is a weird form of revenge for killing family. I mean, I would have just shanked a bitch myself.

LG: (10:54) Any of the other fairies would have too. Out of character & bad. Unimpressed.

HS: (10:58) Or why didn’t he kill Hunter when he saw Hunter at the park. Honestly that would have been most appropriate. Guess Harris got sick of killing kids.

LG: (11:02) I know. Fae aren’t paternal, he could have killed Sookie & Hunter for being half bloods. Ridiculous. An excuse to have Sookie play with Hunter.

HS: (11:04) Harris isn’t playing by her own rules, that’s what really has me upset. Like, stupid Weres didn’t even get mad enough for my liking

LG: (11:05) I feel you. And them trusting Sookie, a onesy, with a sacred pack duty? Not going to happen. She would have been in far more danger than she was

LG: (11:06) lol, maybe we can just make our text convo the review :-p


And so we did, because hey, we'd already vented our frustration about wasting time with a book we both felt went nowhere, so why throw more time after it for a review. I love Harris, I think she's remarkably talented, and I adore the first 6 books in the Sookie series. The last few Sookie books, however, have been disappointing. I'm still hoping Harris can bring it back around. Time will tell.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book By Its Cover - The Darkest Passion


Today's book by its cover is the new release The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter.

Synopsis:

For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel—demon-assassin—has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn't bear to harm him. But trusting—and falling for—Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this "mortal" with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron's darkest passion?
Now, with an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn't…

Lily' Thoughts:

My review is going to be short and sweet.

Love it. Love the blue tones, love the sexy, masculine back, love the tribal-esque tattoo, love the cover.

Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series always has great covers. The Darkest Passion is no exception, in my mind.

Helena's Thoughts:

I ADORE this cover!  Every part of my being is drawn to it lol.  The blue green tones almost makes it seem like the freaking gorgeous yummy man is under water.  The sparkling night sky is alluring.  And that sculpted back and tattoo....swoon.  I just want to trace it for hours, maybe with my tongue...bwahaha.

Seriously though, this cover is a homerun!  Not only will women naturally gravitate towards it (I mean come on!) but it will happily make it home with anyone interested in this genre on the cover principle alone.  Husbands will shake their heads and question getting their own man stamp...or so I hope ;p.

Gena Showalter has just landed at the top of my TBR pile. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brains: A Zombie Memoir

Fantastically funny author Robin Becker is talking about her upcoming novel Brains: A Zombie Memoir at Reading with Tequila.

In addition to debuting her new novel, releasing May 25, she's handing out helpful hints for separating smart zombies from the run of the mill brain-eater. You do not want to miss this. Did I mention you can also enter to win a copy of Brains: A Zombie Memoir? What more persuasion do you need?

Synopsis:

Forget contemporary American literature--former college professor Jack Barnes has a new passion: Brains. It’s in his nature…he’s a zombie. But he’s not your normal, vacant-eyed, undead idiot. No, Jack Barnes has something most other victims of the zombie apocalypse don’t have: sentience. In fact, he can even write. And the story he has to tell is a truly disturbing--yet strangely heartwarming--one.

Convinced he'll bring about a peaceful coexistence between zombies and humans if he can demonstrate his unique condition to Howard Stein, the man responsible for the zombie virus, Barnes sets off on a grueling cross-country journey to meet his maker. Along the way he recruits a small army of "super" zombies that will stop at nothing to reach their goal. There's Guts, the dreadlocked boy who can run like the wind; Joan, the matronly nurse adept at reattaching decaying appendages; Annie, the young girl with a fierce quick-draw; and Ros, who can actually speak. United they embark on an epic quest to attain what all men, women—and, apparently, zombies—yearn for: equality.

If that doesn't warm your heart, than you may need to rethink what brought you to the blog you're reading right now ;)

~Lily

Friday, May 21, 2010

Young Adult Friday

This Friday, we're going to introduce a random feature we're calling Young Adult Friday. In it, we're going to introduce a few young adult (YA) paranormal novels that are every bit as satisfying for adults as they are teens.


The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

~*~*~*~~*~*~*~

Fallen by Lauren Kate

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.


~Lily

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Recommendsday Review - The Story of Son


Today's Recommendsday Reading is a short story from the Dead After Dark anthology, JR Ward's The Story of Son.

First of all, I'm an idiot. I don't know why, when I saw Ward's name on the cover, I didn't realize it was likely a Black Dagger Brotherhood story inside. Had I realized, I would have torn through this short LONG ago. But, it didn't even cross my mind. Head, meet desk. Repeat.

Synopsis from the back cover:

Claire Stroughton is a beautiful lawyer who would rather spend the night with a legal brief than the man of her dreams. Then a routine client meeting turns dangerous—and deeply sensual—when she is held captive by a gorgeous man with an unworldly hunger…

This synopsis isn't exactly accurate, though I see why it was used. It cuts to the quick of things, even if the details are a bit skewed.

Claire Stroughton is indeed a beautiful, career-driven woman who has no interest in family or relationships. She's at the top of the legal field and intends to stay there. When she goes to the home of a wealthy elderly client, however, her life changes. The client is actually an aging woman, Ms. Leeds. Upon Claire's arrival, where she's supposed to update Leeds' will from the thousandth time, Leeds has Claire drugged and imprisoned in a basement holding cell. And Claire isn't alone. Leeds has kept her son imprisoned in this same cell for over 50 years. The "why's" quickly become obvious. Leeds' son is an ethereally handsome vampire. Once a year, every year since his imprisonment, Leeds has a woman kidnapped and placed into the cell for him to feed upon for 3 days. This time, his victim is Claire.

What makes this story wonderful, however, is what makes it different. The vampire in the basement isn't the monster, he's every bit as much a victim as Claire. The true monsters are Leeds and her butler. While Ward doesn't typically write gentle men, that's exactly what this vampire is. He blames himself for his captivity, which occurred at age 12. He sees himself as a danger and resents himself for the blood he must take to survive. He is kind and gentle with Claire to the point where she willingly takes on the role of protector, wanting to rescue him from the prison in which his mother has kept him. When Claire meets him, he doesn't even have a name. When he responds that his mother only ever called him son, Claire names him Michael because he has the face of an archangel.

Michael is the embodiment of innocence abused. His mother broke contact with him the day he was locked away. The women who are kidnapped for him understandably resent him and he is forced to erase their memories before they are taken away. This leaves Michael with no human contact and only 2 people in the world who realize he exists. All he has are his books and his loneliness.

While Michael is physically abused and starved, his mental abuse is far worse. Even so, he remains gentle, kind, and caring. He has never violated, or even approached, any of the women he's encountered for anything more than feeding. When Claire tells him that she finds him beautiful and kisses him - his first kiss - he is so grateful just to be seen as something other than a monster, it is truly heartbreaking.

Long term readers of this blog know that I love Ward's Lover Awakened because Zsadist, a vampire who is nearly soulless following years of torture and abuse, is my favorite of all her characters. I see Michael as the inverse of Zsadist. While Zsadist internalized all the rage and hate left as a byproduct of the abuse, striking out to hurt others, Michael went in the opposite direction. Yes, his abuse was less severe, but even so I see him as the yin to Zsadist's yang. They are at the opposite ends of the spectrum for how prolonged abuse can affect a person, and how love may redeem.

I won't give away the ending, because although it is a short story it packs quite a punch. And while it isn't technically a Brotherhood story, it is set in the same location with some of the same universal rules in place. I wouldn't be surprised if Ward eventually brings Michael and Claire into the Brotherhood books. I asked her about that possibility at her May 8th booksigning in Kentucky. She responded that she would like to see more of Michael and Claire in the future.

I hope she does just that.

Rating: 5/5

~Lily

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Bound By Sin

Today we'll be judging Jenna MacLaine's Bound By Sin by its cover.


Synopsis:

As the Civil War rages among mortal men, Cin Craven is locked in an epic battle of her own—fighting the renegade vampires whose unquenchable appetites she knows all too well. At her side are the immortal warriors of The Righteous—among them her husband, her lover, her soul-mate Michael. With a passion bordering on possession, Cin’s love for Michael knows no bounds. But when a ruthless plantation owner kidnaps Cin’s cousin, the most terrifying battle of all awaits. Cin is drawn to the irresistible lure of dark magic to stop their enemies, while Michael staunchly opposes it—putting their love and loyalty to the ultimate test.

Helena's Thoughts:

I am finally back from my hiatus!  Figured I would catch up on a couple posts around here, actually earn my keep so to speak ;p.  

Honestly, I find this cover cliche and a bit dull.  The red hair and corset ribbon serve as a pop of color to an otherwise fairly monochromatic scene.  The statue angel is quite neat.  Almost like it is a guardian angel peering over her shoulder, I started looking for a demon on the other side and sadly my amusement did not come to fruition.  As for her weapons...where does she put them when she is not skillfully wielding them?  On the other hand, why would a vamp-witch hybrid even need old fashioned swords?  Can't she just zap them or bite them into submission?  Would a stake seem more appropriate?

Maybe I am just being overly critical; I might pick this up.  Do I feel drawn to the cover?...not really.

Lily's Thoughts:

It's quickly becoming a paranormal book cover cliche to have a fierce woman wielding a weapon (or two) while dressed in all black (bonus points if the black is leather and/or a corset). This one gets bonus points.

Even so, if I were walking though a bookstore, I'd pick up this book based on the cover. What can I say, there are some cliches I enjoy and there are some practices that become cliche because they are effective. There's nothing too unique about the covermodel (red hair, determined expression, wide stance and multiple weapons) alone, but when combined with the setting the overall affect is appealing. She appears to be in a graveyard with mist or fog rising to surround her. The gothic-styled angel statue looking over her is underminded by the bright font proclaiming her "Bound by Sin". The juxtaposition of these images makes what could be just another stereotypical paranormal cover something more. It's provocative and makes Bound by Sin stand out in a flooded genre.

I like it, and I'm enticed to read the book. The cover drew me in and the blurb sealed the deal. Civil War era vampire battles with a strong heroine? Sign me up!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Very Funny...

A steampunk flowchart:


Yes, yes, teh tumblr is being clever.

Ok, I hate to admit that I do find this funny. I love steampunk - a lot - but still.

I find great amusement in this.

~Lily

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You think the new posters are hot?

The True Blood promotional team is awesome, that's a fact. And while I'm thoroughly enjoying the season 3 ad campaign for promotional posters like this,

(bwahaha...vamp stamp)

let's not forget the ads from season 2.

This first one is a combination of all the cast promo posters. All were black and white with bright red blood and stylistically poses and lighting. The affect was gorgeous.


And this one, the optical illusion. Is it spilled blood, or something far more sinister sexy?

Just one more month until the new season starts. Are you sufficiently excited?

~Lily

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recommendsday Reading - Avalon Revisited


Today's Recommendsday title is Avalon Revisited by O. M. Grey. Brass goggles have much the same effect on me as a pair of fangs in terms of literary attraction, and fortunately for me Avalon Revisited has both.

From Amazon:

Arthur has made his existence as a vampire bearable for over three hundred years by immersing himself in blood and debauchery. Aboard an airship gala, he meets Avalon, an aspiring vampire slayer who sparks fire into Arthur's shriveled heart. Together they try to solve the mystery of several horrendous murders. Cultures clash and pressures rise in this sexy Steampunk Romance.

Released April 22 through Blue Moose Press, Avalon Revisited has already gained praise through positive reviews on such sites as Bitten By Books and 25 Hour Books. What's better than vampires? Steampunk vampires in airships, of course! This is definitely one story to check out.

~Lily

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Infinity: Chronicles of Nick


Today's book we'll be judging solely on its cover is Infinity: The Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon.


Synopsis:

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.
Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

Lily's Thoughts:

Infinity: The Chronicles of Nick is a YA prequel, or sorts, to Kenyon's wildly popular Dark-Hunter series. While the Dark-Hunter series is very much for adults (and features an older Nick), Infinity tells the story of Nick's early life and is suitable for teens.

As for the cover, I think it is fantastic. I love the blue tones, blazing out of the golden symbol, like light emanating from within it. The use of color in this way underlines the paranormal, mystic qualities of the story. Symbols are used in some of Kenyon's other works, and I'm glad that theme is continued here, although it isn't clear what the symbol is. I also like that the figure on the cover (likely meant to be the teenage Nick), is in shadow, facing away and down. His stance indicates solitude and sorrow, elements that will undoubtedly play a role in his overall story. He seems apart from the symbol (a symbol of a group of which he wants to be a part, perhaps?), eclipsed by the light it shines. It makes him seem like an outsider. Or maybe it's foreshadowing the journey that will awaits him, shining a light on the path he will take, drawing him into it. Either way, it's intriguing.

I have read some of Kenyon's Dark-Hunter novels, so I know a bit about Nick as a man, shaped by events both within and beyond his control. Even without that knowledge, however, this cover would catch my eye. The cover is well rendered and beautiful, and has a distinct paranormal vibe to it. I look forward to the story itself.

Helena's Thoughts:

[Helena is currently consumed by the paranormal monster that is vet school finals. She will return to add her opinion of the cover just as soon as she is able.]

edit: I am back...but my brain is still pretty fried. :)


I have not read any of Kenyon's novels but I am no stranger to her pretty covers, typically depicting a dark brooding male figure (yums!). This cover though seems to have a manga vibe almost and on a completely different note, reminds me of this:
...which is not a bad thing, just a funny little aside I had to share. Dark and brooding male is definitely included: check. These characters appeal to women and girls of all ages. I think one look at this picture and many teens will pick it up...the light rays just seem to call out to you. The poor boy looks like he needs a hug or a huge burden lifted off his shoulders. :( (And this review is becoming more candid and less professional...oh well lol remember brain is fried, more complicated sentences don't exist in my world right now) When I get addicted to a series, I always wonder what the character's earlier years were like, so the concept is definitely an appealing one. Kenyon also serves to hook younger girls onto a series that they can "grow into" so to speak. Nicely done, pretty, sparkling, glowy (is that even a word?). . . "high five" Kenyon.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Disney Goes Steampunk

In a new product line they're calling The Mechanical Kingdom, those crazy Disney Imagineers have taken the most iconic Disney cartoons and added a bit of steampunk flair.


While some steampunk purists are heralding this as the end of steampunk and beginning of the apocalypse, I see Disney Steampunking as nothing more than a cute addition to the genre, one that may even bring more light to it. I'm of the firm opinion that only cockroaches should scurry in face of light and attention, so I don't see added attention as a bad thing, necessarily.

To read more on Disney's turn to steampunk, check out the Steampunk Scholar's take on the issue.

~Lily

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do the Write Thing

I'm going to hijack the blog for a moment (sorry Helena) to talk about something that is not paranormal in nature, even if it is horrific.

Starting May 1, 2010, Nashville was hit with a series of storms that dropped a record breaking amount of rain (over 13 inches) on the city. Within days, many parts of the city were underwater. This includes the Grand Ole Opry, Opryland, the Nashville Symphony Hall, the downtown area, and many private homes. At least 28 people have been confirmed dead due to the storms and subsequent flooding.

Aerial view of the flooding, covering roadways

Multiple areas were evacuated, many people being
removed from their flooded homes by boat or jetski

This is the view inside the Opryland hotel. The damage is so extensive the RWA National Convention scheduled there for the end of July has already been relocated.


Downtown, some roads are still closed.

While Nashville is not my hometown, I have lived here for several years. I work here. I own a home here. Many of my friends, if not my family, live in Nashville and the surrounding areas. I can tell you first hand, the devastation to the area is immense. I was lucky, my house was untouched. Many others were not so fortunate.

If you are able to donate in anyway to the disaster recovery efforts, I urge you to do so. If you're wondering where to donate, I have a suggestion for readers and writers.

A few local authors have created an auction site called Do The Write Thing For Nashville. This auction is offering up all kinds of goodies to readers and writers alike. There are autographed books, critique services, editors, agents, and authors (oh my!). All proceeds are going to help those devastated by the floods.

Whether you donate or bid on the items donated, you are helping people who truly need it.

Thank you.

I now return you to your normally scheduled and snark-filled paranormal blog.

~Lily

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of a Book Becoming a Play

Leanna Renee Hieber's Victorian Gothic novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker has wowed critics and readers. And that's not all. In April, Mt. Claire Entertainment purchased the novel rights for musical adaptation. Which means The Strangely Beautiful Tale may be coming to a theatre near you.

This is exciting news for book lovers, theatre lovers, and undoubtedly the lovely Ms. Hieber, pictured here in full Victorian costume at her release party.

Seriously, how awesome is she?

If you're interested in the novel that caught the attention of Mt. Claire Entertainment, check out The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker:

From Leanna Renee Hieber's website:

What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death…



~Lily

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Waiting Sucks: True Blood(HBO): Minisode #2

Like the European Cover?

In the previous post, Helena presented the newly released European cover for the second installment of JR Ward's Fallen Angels series, Crave.

Well, if you thought the European cover was hot, get a look at the US cover:

Now that is simply gorgeous.

~Lily

Fallen Angels Take Two

Synopsis Interlude:

"The battle between good and evil has left the future of humanity in the hands of a reluctant saviour and his band of fallen angels. Seven deadly sins that must be righted. Seven souls that must be saved. While his first task was success, Jim Heron is battling a demon that can take any form for the soul of someone he must identify on his own. If that weren’t enough, his old boss Matthias wants Jim to assassinate an AWOL member of The Firm – Isaac, the man Jim is pretty sure he is supposed to save. Jim knows first hand that once you’re in The Firm, there’s no getting out. But when Jim finds Isaac to warn him, he has been picked up by the police for illegal street fighting, and it is clear that Isaac is falling for his gorgeous public defender. Is their love the redemption that will save Isaac’s soul? Or has the demon Devina set an elaborate trap?"

Fallen Angels is a series done by the well known JR Ward. On October 5th of this year, the second installment, Crave, will be within my grubby lil paws. :) Although, I must say that the BDB holds a much larger part of my heart than this series, I am still eagerly awaiting its presence. Ward has placed small references to the brothers throughout the first novel Covet, due to the fact that this series takes place within Caldwell territory as well. Finding these little tidbits is like a great treasure hunt. Yes I do feel accomplished when I find one, yes it gives me warm fuzzies, and no I don't care if you are judging me right now.

The UK cover artwork was just released and holy hannah it is pretty!

Yummers!!!!

~Helena

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recommendsday Review - Wicked Lovely


Wicked Lovely is the first novel in Melissa Marr's young adult urban fantasy series that mixes faeries and humans. As both Barnes & Noble and Sony have recently offered free ebook copies of Wicked Lovely for download to digital device, we here at Vamps R Us decided it was high time we give Wicked Lovely the review it deserves.

Aislinn lives her life by a clear set of rules. She must not, under any circumstance, let faeries know she can see them. Too bad for her Keenan, the faery Summer King, has chosen Aislinn as his future queen. Suddenly, it doesn't matter what Aislinn wants and all her rules are tossed. Her humanity quickly disappearing, Aislinn has a difficult decision to make. If she consents to be the Summer Queen and can pass the test, she'll be joining the faery world she's hidden from her whole life and sacrificing her mortal love, Seth. If she fails or refuses, the evil Winter Queen will rule unchecked, leaving all Summer Fae and humans alike to suffer. And time, like Aislinn's humanity, is running out.

Wicked Lovely is an addition to the paranormal landscape that twists what have become cliched plot elements to create a story both engaging and unique. Instead of a mortal girl falling in love with a beautiful paranormal creature and choosing to abandon her humanity for a paranormal life, Aislinn is a tough but world weary young woman who is aware of the paranormal - and wants to remain human. Aislinn longs for the normal life so many other paranormal heroines long to leave behind. It's refreshing to read about a human content in her own humanity.

Just as Wicked Lovely doesn't have a typical heroine, the love story at its core is likewise atypical. Keenan is a handsome faery king who's charmed dozens of women into giving up everything for him. Aislinn, however, wants nothing to do with Keenan. And I don't mean in the cliched "I want you but can't admit it so instead I'll pretend to hate you" way of so many stories, YA and adult alike. Aislinn has seen what faeries are capable of and refuses to be charmed by someone who may want her only for what she can offer him. She prefers the mortal Seth over the fantasy Keenan presents her, and she stands by her choice.

Aislinn is a YA heroine adults could learn from. Yes, she's still a teen. She makes some impulsive, foolish decisions, but instead of collapsing in on herself and crying for a savior, she owns those decisions. She accepts the consequences of her actions and the reality of events beyond her control. There is no divine intervention to save Aislinn from a future she doesn't want, but she never becomes a victim. When she is unable to create an ideal situation, she accepts her circumstances and finds a solution that is livable, if not perfect. Aislinn acts with a strength and grace some adult fiction heroines lack.

Wicked Lovely is not only an enjoyable read, it contains a strong YA heroine readers can actually look up to. Not because she's perfect, but because she's strong and - despite the paranormal elements of the story - real.

Rating: 5/5

~Lily

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Dead in the Family


We're trying something new here at Vamps R Us, a weekly feature we're calling "Book By Its Cover Tuesdays", where we'll discuss a new paranormal release based solely on it's cover and what, if anything, we know about the series or author. We're interested in your opinion as well, so feel free to chime in.

The first book we'll be judging by its cover is new release Dead in the Family, the 10th installment of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampires series by Charlaine Harris.


Synopsis:

After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she's angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he's under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry...

Lily's Thoughts:

I've read the other books in the Sookie Stackhouse series, so I really have to work to distance myself from what I know of the series to judge fully on the cover alone. I like the series and I'm excited for this latest installment. That said, I love this cover. Since True Blood hit the airwaves, many of the original Sookie covers have been changed to tie the books in more closely with the show. While I'm a big fan of the show, I prefer the original book covers (featured to the right) over the True Blood promo tie-ins and the covers that bare stylized versions of Anna Paquin's face.

I like the cartoon quality of the covers, the depiction of Sookie in all her blond, innocent beauty, and the pale exteriors of the vampires. By using cartoon drawings, I think the original covers emphasize a specific piece of the story, a scene of importance, rather than simply conjuring an image of the actors playing the roles in the series. In so doing, I think these original covers are more likely to stroke the imagination and tempt readers into visualizing the scenes for themselves, rather than just forcing subconscious images of the True Blood cast through the hoops created by the narrative.

As for the Dead in the Family cover, I like the bold use of colors, the blues, greens and reds. I also like the symbolism of the rose, complete with thorns, and how it's separating Sookie and Eric even as they reach for each other. These two are going to have issues in the upcoming book, and this cover depicts that well. Overall, I give the cover a 5 out of 5. Excellent cover for what I'm hoping is an excellent book.

Helena's Thoughts:

Wow, pretty is my first thought lol. As I have already posted earlier, I am way excited for this release and I am along with Lily no stranger to this series by any means. I did realize earlier today that they are all running together though. Not in a bad way, I just can no longer separate individual novels out of the bigger picture anymore. At least Harris does a great job keeping the story flowing haha.

Team Eric is wonderfully represented on the cover. I agree with Lily, I do adore the cartoon covers. I think it lends a level of playfulness and lightheartedness to the content contained within. The rose looks like it will be sparkly! Hopefully the only part of the cover that will be, I prefer my blood suckers non glitterized. I find it interesting that two stems intertwine and culminate in the rose...maybe symbolic of the joining of two characters despite the "fang-ups" so to speak in their individual histories. I do hope so!

Gorgeous, simple, symbolic, perfect representation of the series...the designer of the cover makes another homerun. Can't wait to brave the thorns and delve into this one. 5/5 rating!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

True Blood Promo Posters

HBO is releasing a new promo poster every week until the season 3 premiere (6 weeks away!!!). Six are already up for download or purchase here. Below are my two faves so far. There will be 6 more, one posted each week. Make sure to keep checking them out and watching the weekly mini episodes as well :)





~Helena

I wanna dance real bad for you

True Blood season 3 premiere is June 13th as I previously mentioned.  In order to buildup more anticipation, HBO is releasing a mini episode with Eric and Pam each week.  The vampy duo will be auditioning new dancers for Fangtasia.  The first video is already up and beyond hilarious with Eric just as yummy as ever.




~Helena

Sookie is comin' round the mountain

Lily and I have been so caught up in BDB anticipation that other great releases have yet to get the proper attention they deserve.





PC Cast released another installment in her House of Night series: Burned on April 27th.  The last book was very disappointing to me but it ended with an amazing last 20ish pages that left me jonesin to see what happens next.





And Finally!!!!! The much awaited Sookie Stackhouse update from Charlaine Harris, Dead in the Family, will grace shelves on May 4th.  I really can't wait to see what develops further between Eric and Sookie.  Team Eric for the win!




In DVD land, season 2 of True Blood comes out May 25th...meaning season 3 will soon appear on a boob tube near you!  June 13th to be exact :)

On other news, I have finished Lover Mine and OMG it was amazing.  One of my favorites from the series for sure, I still can't bring myself to cheat on Rhage yet every novel she writes seems to get better and better.  Also thank you Ward for finally including more of Rhage in this book, he seemed to fade into the background for a while in previous novels.  I was hoping for more Godzilla action though :(  Anyways, in the next few days, Lily and I will be cooking up a kick butt review of Lover Mine...spoilers will abound, but there will be bolded "attention if you read this its not our fault if you haven't finished the novel yet".  I hate when a book is ruined for me, but thats why I have been diligently avoiding any mention of Ward for the past week.  My head is still spinning with realizations and questions.  Oh how I will cry when this series is finally put to bed.

~Helena

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Precious!

J.R. Ward is fabulous, that goes without saying.  Here is just one more thing to add to the reasons I love her dearly: virtual signings!  If you check out her message boards, she has been signing books preordered thru her online site for the last couple of releases.  This time, I was smart enough to actually go through the motions of snagging one.  :)  
Oh I lurv it!!!! :D

~Helena
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