Thursday, September 23, 2010

You will be missed Jennifer Rardin

I received a message yesterday that one of our favorite authors; Jennifer Rardin, (author of the Jaz Parks books)passed away on Monday.

My heart goes out to all of her family and friends.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I did it again. I read another Anita Blake book. Intervention anyone? They are so bad, yet they are such a guilty pleasure. And Bullet, released June 2010, is a lot better than Flirt, which was released just a few months prior. Flirt just seems like a little novella to accent the rest of the books (although I'm not sure how much accenting was actually done).

Bullet has all of the recent Anita drama - orgies, Marmee Noir, bad guys, new guys, etc., but LKH added a little plot twist about the were lions. Honestly, it seemed like most of this book was just orgies, all the sex scenes had at least 3-4 people, or maybe not "people."

The storyline still centers around Anita being all powerful, or at least the progression of her getting to be so. But, I hate to admit it, but I ALMOST, NEARLY got teary eyed (note: there was no watering of the eyes, just almost), during a part... and oddly maybe a second scene as well.

Still, I do not care for the fashions or styling of the books. A see through dress is NOT a must have for this season, ankle-length hair is not sex, and regular black jeans? The only black jeans I ever see are skinny jeans on teenagers. I think authors should start paying more attention to what's in style (Pam - this is a nod for your character as well). It's really minor, but for whatever reason, it bugs me.
Speaking of things that bug me, there was a side plot to this story that was kind of annoying. SPOILER - She gets a call for cop business, there is some bad vampire stuff in another state, she tells them how to deal with it, they deal with it, the end. It was almost an after thought, and didn't quite fit.
I am a bit disapointed that there isn't a show or movie coming out. The first Anita books would be great to see on TV. Here's LKH talking about... old news, but forgive me, I'm behind!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bitter Things

If you remember, some time ago I listened to a radio interview with Andrew Valentine, author of Bitter Things a novel of love, sex, memory, and blood. I was intrigued by Valentine's theories on vampires so I was interested in reading his new vampire book.

Michelle and Scott are a married couple, very much in love, despite Scott's baggage from his childhood. One night they decide to take things to the next level: they invite a beautifully seductive woman to share their bed. Mysteriously, Scott and the woman are no where to be found when Michelle wakes up.

Michelle will stop at nothing to find Scott, but is Scott strong enough to survive the evil that has taken him?

Bitter Things is not your typical frilly vampire romance. It's not just a sappy love story with fangs. Bitter Things explores the deepest and darkest corners of dark desires and control. Torture, sex, control and sacrafice; what would you do for the one you love?

Bitter Things also differs from various romance novels in the fact that it has substance, gritty, dark substance. The plot does not take you on a crash course in "love at first sight, sex, fight, sex, happy ending" there is much more involved in the story line.

I honestly had trouble reading through it quickly, or even getting through some parts of it at all. I was angry and frustrated at characters and events and some parts I thought were even a little frightening and disturbing. This book was a nice break from the usual sugary-sweet books I have been reading.

I thought the book was a quality dark erotic thriller. The storyline and characters were all well thought out and well executed. You won't find puppy dogs and prince charming vampires in this story.

Michelle must work hard to find Scott, and Scott has to work even harder to keep himself. Will they find a miracle to be together once again? Will their love concur evil? You must read Bitter Things yourself to find out!

Don't forget to check out Valentine's awesome Bitter Things Website as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How the Vampire Boom Really Began

How the Vampire Boom Really Began - Copy and Pasted From NPR'S Monkey See

[As our story opens, the year is 2003.]

To: VampsPRFr: FritzRe: PR issues

PR Team,
As we talked about last week at the annual retreat, it seems like we haven't made a significant PR push in quite some time. Buffy THE TRAMP LIAR-SAYER has finally gone off the air, but we are at a cultural crossroads. Vampires need to be the "next big thing." Ideas? Thx.

To: Fritz, VampsPRFr: SteveRe: Re: PR issues

I've heard that an up and coming novelist is planning a romance series (set in the Pacific Northwest, I believe) in which a girl is caught between a werewolf and a clown. I'm wondering whether, with proper outreach, she could be persuaded to replace the werewolf with a vampire. I think a battle for the heart of a young woman between a vampire and a clown could be very compelling and could help change our image with young women. Thoughts?

To: Steve, VampsPRFr: FritzRe: Re: Re: PR issues

Do it. Please report back. Thx.

To: Fritz, VampsPRFr: SteveRe: Discussion w/SM

Talks went well. Very promising. She's receptive. Interesting twist. She suggests using the vampire in place of the clown instead. Werewolf/vampire face-off. What say you?

To: SteveFr: FritzRe: Re: Discussion w/SM

That's fine if that's what she wants. Vampire/werewolf seems like an unfair fight, as readers cannot be expected to believe a werewolf could compete with the innate sex appeal of a vampire. Clown might seem like more worthy romantic opponent, based on perception (false, in my experience) that clowns have a great sense of humor, but again, if that's what she thinks, it's certainly worth a try. Thx.

To: FritzFr: SteveRe: Small edit

As you know, the manuscript we saw last week has been returned to SM with edits. I'm having difficulty selling her on your idea, even though I like it. She seems to think that having the vampire (currently named Booger, but that's not final) sparkle in the sunlight might come across as, as she put it, "over the top." She's also having some trouble shifting entirely away from some of the aesthetics she originally had planned for Booger as far as his look; we are working on it. Still negotiating re: this point.

To: SteveFr: FritzRe: Re: Small edit

In retrn 4 sparkles, will accept red lipstick orig. 4 clown. Plz change Booger. Thx.
[From my Blackberry]

To: FritzFr: SteveRe: Book performance

As you know, the book is now a runaway success. There will be more. Also tentative upcoming HBO show TRUE BLOOD based on those Snookie (?) books your wife likes, and a deal with the CW (it's the "fifth network") for a show called VAMPIRE DIARIES. Sounds super sexy. All looks good.

To: SteveFr: FritzRe: VERY VERY UPSET

Now seeing ads for Vampires Suck. "Suck"? What's going on in PR? Lead of this movie appears to be takeoff of Edward/Booger character, seems to be making vampires into jokes. VAMPIRES ARE NOT IRONIC, STEVE. Parody/irony are bad for our sense of menace. Also hearing MTV plans new Teen Wolf. Where is our marketing plan? Where is our response? I expect to meet with you and the team in the conference room at 10:30. BRING NEW IDEAS. THX.

Friday, August 6, 2010


So, I gave in and checked out Laurell K Hamilton’s one of the newer Anita Blake books – Flirt. Honestly, until I looked up the book to include the hyperlink, I didn't realize there was Bullet - a book that is much longer, released about a month later. Where does that one fit in? I've been out of the loop.

I was a big fan of her early work – and then joined the “WTF happened?!” club. Now it’s just bad. It’s really just orgies, and Anita being all badass and emasculating men and being undefeatable. Yet I still read them. It’s a guilty pleasure. I’m a little infatuated with some of the male characters, after I imagine they don’t have really long hair that Hamilton has portrayed them with (a man with ankle length hair? Not sexy).

Last year's book, Skin Trade, I thought things were getting better. There was only like, 2 sex scenes in the whole book! And it’s not even really about the sex. If the story line is good and the sex emphasized the story, and added a little flair, fine. But it is just over the top. And remember Micah?, that was bad. It was a little novella. A mere side story. Flirt was the same way! It was less than 160 pages. I read it over my lunch hour! It was practically a short story. And not a good one at that.

Here’s the story line (spoiler alert!)

Anita turns down a rich guy – she won’t raise his wife, can’t raise her to be real.
Anita goes out and flirts and Hamilton makes things really awkward between her 3 guy friends.
Anita turns down a rich lady – she won’t raise her husband so she can ax murder him.
Anita goes to lunch at the same place, has awkward flirting with the waiter.
Anita is taken by two lions.
Her lion wants to mate with them.
They manage to make it over to the rich guys’ house – he hired them to threaten Anita and all that.
Her lion wants to mate with them again.
Anita gets hurt.
Anita must get power to heal – Anita must have sex
Anita takes power over lion #2 by having sex with him.
Things get a little violent
Anita raises the wife – but there is a ton of power
Anita raises lots more zombies.
Anita has zombies kill the rich guy.
Anita’s guys come to the rescue
Anita takes lion home with her.

The End.

They barely talk about Jean Claude, and only mention Asher in passing. None of the other characters barely even have roles in the book. It’s just all-powerful Anita. Like always. But Hamilton did work in Anita crying in there… you know, to show you that she is more than just a tough gal.

Hamilton also included an intro and an ending “how I come up with ideas” portion… probably to make the book longer because it’s pretty obvious she is running out of material and had to meet a deadline.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Twilight Drinking Games

This is long over-due. Below or some drinking game rules if ever you are forced to watch Twilight or just want to get drunk with a bad movie you can easily make fun of. Lists are compiled through conversation and various other sites.

Remember - never drink and drive and don't drink if you are under the age of when you can legally drink. Be safe folks :)

Twilight Drinking Game: Will need a sober driver or to stay at home

Take a drink every time Bella touches her hair
Take a drink every time Edward looks constipated
Take a drink every time Bella looks constipated
Take a drink every time Edward says he is dangerous
Take a drink every time Bella bites or licks her lips
Take a drink every time Edward and Bella stare into each others eyes for more than 3 seconds
Take a drink every time Bella whines about something
Take a drink every time Bella trips - Take 2 if Edward saves her
Take a drink whenever Alice has a vision
Take a drink whenever Edward treats Bella like a child
Chug your drink when a vampire sparkles - don't stop until the sparkling does/you finish your drink
Take a drink every time Bella quotes a book/person
Take a drink every time Bella says/acts like she can't live without Edward
Take a drink every time Edward says something rude to Bella
Take a drink every time Jacob tries to get Bella's attention

Now, these are obviously just a few things you can drink to. So if you have to watch Twilight, at least be intoxicated and have fun doing so.

Click HERE for another funny drinking game for the Twilight book.
HERE is another Twilight drinking game.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just got back from San Francisco

Got back this evening from working in San Francisco, so I thought I would include a few San Francisco Vampire links;

The most important vampire link, by far, is to the site of THE vampire tour of San Francisco.

From their site:
Are you a San Francisco history buff? Are you a vampire buff? Did you ever think those 2 subjects would be combined? About 85% of the tour's script is documented San Francisco history. The other 15% - you'll just have to take my word for it. See if you can figure out what the 15% is! PLEASE FEEL FREE TO JOIN IN THE "SPIRIT" OF THE TOUR, AND COME IN COSTUME!!

Want to try something a little sexier and a little darker? Have a night out at one of SF's gothic clubs - maybe the night will have a vampire theme, or maybe you just might find someone who bites...

and if you want to stay in for the night, how about reading up on the famous case of the opium vampire?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Waiting for True Blood?

So if you don't already know, True Blood Season 3 premiers Sunday, June 13th.

If you haven't already watched the Pam and Eric minisode, here it is:

For me it was almost too embarrassing to watch. Some parts were funny though.

The newest Sookie Book - Dead in the Family comes out May 5th. Amazon has it on sale for 10 bucks.

You can read the first chapter here.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Interview with Arlene Russo Author of The Real Twilight: True Stories of Modern Vampires

I had the pleasure of interviewing Arlene Russo author of The Real Twilight and the founder of Bite Me magazine. Her new book includes a look into UK's vampire underground and the real vampires that can't be found on the big silver screen.

What is The Real Twilight about?
Basically The Real Twilight is about true vampires and every aspect of their culture. This includes the many different types of vampires, including lifestylers, sanguine (blood-drinking) vampires and psi (psychic) vampires- and everything in between! The book highlights global trends in vampirism, tracing American and UK connections, the heritage of the vampire legend, as well as modern factors which have shaped the nature of the vampire community such as HIV and the impact of the internet. Readers are also given a glimpse of the reality of the vampire covens and societies that exist today, and this covert information is perhaps not so widely known. I was privileged to be given an insight into these 'secret' worlds.

What was your goal in writing Real Twilight?
My goal was to present an overview of modern vampire culture and its various historical and global influences. I wanted to highlight modern day vampires in all their forms by speaking directly to real vampires themselves. I also wanted to celebrate the rich folkloristic history of vampirism that goes back thousands of years as well as focusing on the contemporary vampire scene. I also felt it was important to pay heed to the darker facts of vampirism such as blood drinking safety and vampire crime. I have included as many vampire specialists as I could, in addition to the vampires themselves and these included the resident vampire agony aunt of Bite me magazine, academics specialising in Gothic literature, and vampire ‘fangsmiths.’

How do you feel about the current vampire craze?
It is always good to see vampires in the media- in a positive light- but I am not sure how much the Twilight craze has to do with vampires per se, or the movie stars themselves. Time will tell, when these teens grow older, and we can see how many of them still profess a fascination with vampires...

When did you first become interested in vampires?
As a child, I was fascinated by horror movies and the paranormal (the film star Christopher Lee was my main inspiration). I have to thank my mother for letting me stay up late to watch the Hammer horror double bills when I was 10. I was also a member of a school book club and the books I ordered were suitably horror film titles and such like!

Do you have any favorite vampires movies, books, or music?
Well, I am a traditionalist and it has to be Christopher Lee in any Hammer horror that featured him as Dracula. I also like other Hammer Horror without him- like Twins Of Evil. I am a twin so that's another reason to like it! I have also been enjoying True Blood.

With your time at Bite Me magazine, what have you learned about today's vampire culture?
I have learned about all the different types of vampire fans - from vampire lifestylers to real vampires, to vampire haters! I have also learned that vampire fans have always been prevalent- but every so often they come out in droves- like with the Twilight craze. I can remember for example, the previous one- following Bram Stokers Dracula in 1992. Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1999 also brought vampire fans to the fore. Every so often they need to come out of the shadows!

Is there anything you wish people would know about the vampire culture?
I hope The Real Twilight celebrates vampire culture in all its forms and thus appeals to vampire fans in all THEIR forms, from the newest to the most established vampire aficionado. It is a book as much for people who wish to peep into a new lifestyle as it is for practising vampires looking for a point of reference. Or perhaps for those whose interest in vampires has been piqued by the Twilight and True Blood phenomenon.

Big thanks to Arlene for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit! The books seems super interesting and offers a unique insight into the world of real vampires.

To purchase Arlene Russo's The Real Twilight, True Stories of Modern Vampires, click HERE.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Best of the Best?

Happy Wednesday to everyone. I recently came across an article titled
Now, I'm not entirely sure I agree with all of the list. What say you? (click the link for list details)
Sookie Stackhouse
Anne Rice
Anita Blake
30 Days of Night
Salem's Lot
Vampire Academy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Let the Right One In
The Lost Boys
I am Legend (I think this belongs in the books and not the movies)

This list reminds me that I should create a "best" list of my own. So what do you guys think? What do you think are the best vampire movies and books? Anything on these lists that should not be on here?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bitter Things

Andrew Valentine has an erotic vampire novel out - Bitter Things.

I listened to his radio interview today, and I thought it was interesting. The actual interview can be viewed here.

The interview was pretty interesting - a little bit scattered, but I think that's quite normal with radio interviews.

Early vampire myth and culture was talked about, religion, psychology, and Western though was discussed.

It was interesting to hear the theory that vampires are vessels for our fears and concerns; Dracula was for xenophobia, True Blood for minority groups, etc. Vampires often become what the culture is concerned with.

Being a Jung fan, I was delighted when he was mentioned as well. Referencing Jung's Modern Man in Search of a Soul, what people can't find in religion, they turn to fiction - which may be why vampires are so popular right now. It was mentioned that in times of turmoil, confusion, and conflict, and interest in the paranormal peaks.

Towards the end of the interview, the feminization of the vampire myth also came into discussion. According to Valentine, 22% of household have women bread-makers, 1/3 of married households include women who are better educated and only 40% of college grads are men. It was theorized that vampire novels are somewhat of a rejection of what choices of men women have.

The interview touches on some old vampire tales and myths, talks a bit about certain vampire fiction and cultural implications, and discusses a bit about why our culture is so interested in vampires.

I would recommend listening to it. The commercials are pretty horrible though. I believe one ad for a flower shop used the description "very great" or something odd. The ads were oddly description. And the hardware store jingle sounded like it belonged on some of my old cassette tape radio recordings. It seemed like the radio host also kept calling Valentine's book "Bitter Rites" (or rights?).

I hope to get my hands on the book soon. Apparently Valentine has a Masters in Psychology from the New School of Social Research. That right there makes me a bit intrigued.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coming soon

Coming Soon:

Guest post from Alrene Russo, author of The Real Twilight and founder of Bite Me magazine.

Book reviews

and probably some funny mockery about a certain "vampire" trend...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Back from the Grave?

I've been completely ashamed and I haven't even checked my email in the past 5 months. Yikes!

Things have been quite crazy with work, family, and being married and all.

I have neglected this blog and all of you wonderful people.

I'm thinking I need to start getting back in the swing of things!

I hope not to disappoint and be up and about soon enough.

I hope you all haven't abandoned me!