Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking back on the year... and new things to come

Highlights of my year include:

Interview with Jennifer Rardin
Twilight vs True Blood Debate: Here and Here
The premier of True Blood
Reviewing Bride of Casa Dracula before it was released

Plus.... reading a lot of great books. My tops include:
Charlaine Harris Sookie books
Kim Harrison Rachel Morgan Books
Marta Acosta's Casa Dracula Books
Jennifer Rardin Jaz Parks Series
Jennifer Armintrout Blood Ties

I would also like to mention that I should be doing a work presentation that I am giving on my vacation instead of blogging, but I felt I needed to update. I will be gone for a week or two because I am getting married Saturday! I've been super busy making sure we had everything ready for the ceremony and the reception, packing my apt and moving, and all sorts of fun stuff that goes along with the whole nuptial traditions. I am looking forward for it to be done with!

So on that note, I wish everyone a Happy New Year! Thanks to all my readers! See you next year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I may not be able to write for a few days so I just want to wish everyone a happy holiday!
Make sure to check out my blogroll, there are a lot of great blogs out there!
Also, I still need your address Lori T!

Friday, December 19, 2008


with the help of a random number picker. And number 3 happens to be LORI!

Thanks for everyone who participated and congrats to Lori!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Interview with Jennifer Rardin!

Jennifer Rardin, author of the Jaz Parks Books Series has taken the time for a little Q&A with us before book 5 – One More Bite, hits shelves January 5th!

For those who have not yet read the Jaz Parks series, could you summarize what these books are all about?

Jaz Parks is the daughter of a Marine and a department store checker who’s grown up to become one of America’s best assassins. Her boss, the vampire Vayl, is a combination mentor/partner who sees her potential even when she’s handing out smartass remarks like a Vegas-trained blackjack dealer. Together they work to rid the world of its most terrifying inhabitants—creatures so far removed from conscience that people have become less than insects to them.

One of the unique things in the Jaz books is all the different names for vampire relationships and politics. How in the world did you come up with all of them?

Like most of the words I invent, they either popped into my head (which is what I prefer) or I began with a root word from some archaic language like Latin and developed it from there.

Book 5 – One More Bite is coming out this upcoming January and I know so many of us are curious about the Jaz-Vayl relationship. Anything you can give away about what goes on between the two in OMB?

Let me just say that there’s a lot of heavy breathing going on during One More Bite—and not all of it takes place after foot chases!

Sounds exciting! I can’t wait! On your website you mention you are a lover of vampire stories, what are some of your favorite vampire books or authors?

I like the early Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake) books as well as Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series. And, of course, no list like this one would be complete without mentioning Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot or Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. I’m also a huge fan of vampire movies. I loved the Blade trilogy and Underworld, as well as Van Helsing, Queen of the Damned, and 30 Days of Night. Of those, Blade is still one of my favorites, because the vampire characters bring some oomph and originality to roles that are too often distant and emotionless. And I think even the undead should make you go, “Huh.” Or better yet, “Ha, ha, ha!”

We definitely have a lot of the same favorites! What do you think of the recent vampire craze?

I think it’s terrific that more people are introducing themselves to books like mine. My prediction is that they’ll find so much in urban fantasy to satisfy themselves that it will become as well established a genre as romance or mystery!

Vampire fiction has definitely gained a lot of popularity, along with all those sexy vampires. Vayl has entered into the category of “hunky vampire guys that women lust over,” do you have a favorite vamp?

When I first began this series Vayl wasn’t my favorite vamp. I secretly preferred Angel from the Buffy (and his own) series. Probably because Vayl was so hard to get my mind around, such a mystery to me every time I came to the keyboard. Which made writing about him really tough. Now, well into the first rewrite of my sixth book, I can say Vayl wins the prize. I guess he’s just the type that grows on you.

I think Angel from Buffy was my first big crush (I was quite obsessed), but moving on… Jaz is a kick-butt type girl. Are there any songs that you think would be on her mp3 player?

Absolutely! Here’s a sample (in no particular order):
Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down
Bodies by Drowning Pool
When You Were Young by The Killers
C’m On Feel the Noize by Quiet Riot
Good Riddance by Green Day

I think those songs are a perfect fit! I am looking forward to reading One More Bite. I heard that we get to see more of Jaz in the future, is this true?

Yes, I’ve signed with Orbit to do three more books in the series. The sixth book, Bite Marks, takes place in Australia and will be a key turning point in the story, moving them on to Morocco, and then…well, we’ll see from there, shall we?

I can’t wait! Thanks so much Jennifer! Do you have any last words of advice to those who are thinking about writing vampire fiction?

It’s tough to do something different in a field that’s nearly overflowing, but that’s my suggestion. Find a new twist, turn it another five degrees and make it your own.
Thanks Jennifer!

To those who haven’t had the opportunity – check out the Jaz Parks books 1-4 and don’t forget to preorder your copy of One More Bite!

And, if you haven't already done so, enter to win free jewelry and vampire goodies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Interview on Wednesday with Jaz Parks Auther Jennifer Rardin and Enter to Win!

Wednesday we will be having a special interview with Jennifer Rardin, author of the kick-butt Jaz Parks series!

So make sure to check back in Wednesday! Also... if you are someone you know is a fan of vampire fiction the Jaz Parks books are great, plus number 5 is coming out January 5th!

Plus.... don't forget to Enter to win free jewelry and vampire goodies from Lulu McCleary!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Contest to Celebrate 100th Post (and because it's almost Christmas)

So in the spirit of Christmas and my 100th blog post... Free Stuff!

Enter to win unique jewelry and other special goodies from Lulu McCleary

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Maybe something from the online store, or maybe something specially made, plus extra vampire treats!

Perfect for a gift for yourself or a friend!

To enter:
Leave a note or email me what's something you like about this blog or something you would like to see on here.
Deadline December 19th at 8:00am
Winners will be choosen at random


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New and Coming Soon

If you haven't already read it, Charlaine Harris' first chapter to Dead and Gone is up on her site. Read it here.

One More Bite - Book 5 of Jaz Parks comes out January 5th

White Witch Black Curse - Book 7 of the Rachel Morgan books comes out February 2009

As Shadows Fade - Book 5 of the Gardella Vampire Chronicals comes out March 2009

Dead and Gone - Book 9 of the Sookie Series comes out in May 2009

Skin Trade - Book 17 of Anita Blake Books June 2009

Royal Kisses - Vampire Kisses Book 6 comes out Summer 2009

While on Laurell K. Hamilton's site I saw this Penny Arcade comic posted on her news and updates. At least she has a sense of humor about it.


'Salem's Lot

I have finally finished ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.

Several years ago I attempted to read another work of King’s and I couldn’t get into it, so I never tried to read another book by him until now. I really had no desire to read the ‘Salem’s Lot but I figured I should give it a try because I have not read in months and I had nothing else to read.

SL is about a town of people who experience evil by way of a cursed house and a savage vampire. The story focuses mostly on Ben Mears – a writer going back to the town he spent his childhood at, to write about the old house that watches over the town. This old house has been abandoned ever since a man killed his wife and hung himself. Ben and the other residents, however, are caught off guard when an odd man comes to town to open an antique shop. Of course, it only goes downhill from there.

SL starts out by mysteriously describing a man and a boy in present time that use to live in Jerusalem’s Lot (‘Salem’s Lot). You aren’t quite sure what has happened, but you know that the town has been deserted and they seem to be on the run from something. The book then changes to several years past when the town was still alive and nothing bad had happened. The end of the book takes you all the way back to the beginning of the town’s founding.

The vampires in this book are not sympathetic; they aren’t sexy and mysterious and they don’t become adoring lovers. The vampires in ‘Salem’s Lot are evil. As you read, you also find out that maybe there is more evil in the town then just the vampires.

Overall I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the writing and the suspense, even though it took me forever to read. The characters are diverse but similar in the way all small town residents are similar. Ben Mears, Callahan the Catholic priest, a young brave boy, and an old teacher make a great team and offer insight into the evil of the world.

The book ends with letters from the beginning so you don’t quite feel it is the end. I didn’t feel mad, sad, or happy with the ending because it didn’t seem like it had ended. I was left with more understanding, which left me content.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Twilight and True Blood or Twilight and Sookie Books

I thought I would take a little more time to blog about Twilight and Sookie because probably close to 80% of people who visit my blog through a search engine type a version of what I posted as the title of the entry, as you can see: (and this was just the top keywords, not each search. There are even hundres of more keyword searches that ask the same thing)

I had previously written a post about Twilight vs True Blood back in September, prompted by a letter written to TV guide. You can view the entry and the comments Here.

First, let me start by saying that True Blood the TV series can no way compare to the Charlaine Harris Sookie books. The books are way better and the show has quite a bit of differences. So when we do compare, lets stick with books not visual representations.

Second, everyone is free to their opinion, but you can't really make an informed descision either way about which one is better or claim that one copied the other, etc. if you haven't read both book series.

The first thing I want to compare, to clear things up, is that Harris did not copy Meyer:
Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer was published in 2005
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris was published in 2001.

Harris' books are about a mid-20 year old who has the intersting ability to read minds. She lives in a small town in Luisianna where nothing much happens, until she meets her first vampire. Vampires came out into the public several years ago with the invention of a synthetic blood called "Trublood" (hint the show name). Vampires are fighting for human rights, there are churches who are against them, Sookie can read minds, and she finds some other interesting beings along the way as well. She becomes romantically linked with Bill the vamp, bad things happen, and she ends up agreeing to work for a higher up vampire (Eric, who I love) to help solve different mysteries.

Not sure if it is even worth writing about Twilight, since the people searching for the similarities and differences are probably Twilight fans. I know there are a lot of Twilight fans who have been vampire fiction fans, but there are also a lot of Twilight (or Sookie) fans who are not familiar with vampire fiction or folklore and think that the similarities between the two means one has copied the other.

Here are some common vampire characteristics:
Reading minds
Mind control
"Tricking" people into believing things
Super-human (or inhuman) strength
Super speed
Hyper senses
Sexy and dangerous
and so on.

I have never read a modern-day vampire book that didn't have some similarity to another, which is okay because they are writing about the same subject. Each author adds in their own version of a vampire, but it's still a vampire. Many vamp books have werewolves in them too, that does not mean one copied the other. They say that there are no original stories anymore, this is one of those cases that illustrates the point. Vampire authors may change how blood is taken, vampire abilities, reactions to humans, and other characteristics but it can never be wholly unique or else it wouldn't be a vampire, it would be some other creature.

There are some similarities between Trueblood and Twilight, or Twilight and Vampire Kisses (lots of similarites between those two) but that does not mean they copied each other. They all write about a main female character who falls for a vampire. Of course there are going to be similiarities.

For those of you who are curious about something more specific, feel free to email me or comment me. Since it seems like some many people are curious, I will be starting to reread the Harris books so I can do more in depth reviews of them on my blog.

And I will say it again, Harris did not copy Meyer - look at the facts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

From "'Salem's Lot"

I thought this was a great excerpt:

Before drifting away entirely, he found himself reflecting--not for the first time--on the peculiarity of adults. They took laxatives, liquor, or sleeping pills to drive away their terrors so that sleep would come, and their terrors were so tame and domestic: the job, the money, what the teacher will think if I can't get Jennie nicer clothes, does my wife still love me, who are my friends. They were pallid compared to the fears every child lies cheek and jowl with in his dark bed, with no one to confess to in hope of perfect understanding but another child. There is no group therapy or psychiatry or community social services for the child who must cope with the thing under the bed or in the cellar every thing, the thing which leers and capers and threatens just beyond the point where vision will reach. The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and this is called adulthood. (pg 276)

I also love the pictures that are in this version of the book

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Haunting Songs and Vampire Books

I am looking at a lot of lists and checking them twice for work, so naturally I have my right earphone glued to my head. It’s been a while since I had listened to some of my old playlists and it was quite pleasant to reacquaint myself with some of my all time favorite songs of a moment or a book. These songs I fell in love with because of a book I was reading, or it was just a perfect song for a book. Do you have any favorite book songs?

I love Jeff Buckley. His songs are beautiful and these two are absolutely haunting. These two songs I can actually listen to over and over again. I found them through Kim Harrison’s website under the playlist section (genius!). I loved Kisten from those books! Everytime I listen to Jeff Buckley I think about these books (and fantasize a little bit about Kisten – shhh don’t tell). When I listen to the music I get that happy dreamy feeling; yeah that sounds weird, but that’s how much I love his music; It moves me. Harrison’s next book comes out in February! I can’t wait to see what will happen next. These books were some of the ones that got me back into reading 1-2 books a day. I loved them!

And another one for good measure just because I love him so.

I was going to add more, but let's just leave this entry about Kim Harrison and Jeff Buckley.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Charlaine Harris' new Sookie book is coming out this May 2009, and on December 12th she will post the first chapter! I can't wait! To see the new cover of "Dead and Gone" click here.

I've also finally found the time to read again, and I am half-way through 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King.

I also want to thank my readers who have nominated and voted for this blog over at Suburban Vampire. We are currently second to VampireWire (which is absolutely no suprise, it's a great blog!). There are 2 days left to vote if you haven't done so already!

Hope everyone had a happy turkey day!