Category Archives: Toni L. P. Kelner

October 2008 Releases

Patricia Briggs
Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Book 2 – Paperback)
Hachette Livre Orbit (AU: October 2008)
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Mechanic Mercy Thompson is woken at 3am by a vampire calling in a favour. He has to deliver a message to a fellow undead and needs a witness that won’t be noticed – and Mercy’s shapeshifting abilities make her the perfect candidate. But the assignment turns into a bloodbath and Mercy attracts the attention of not just a powerful vampire, but the even more powerful demon possessing him. She can count on the supernatural community for protection – and alpha werewolf Adam would like her to rely on him in other ways too – but when it comes to being proactive, she’s on her own.

Anya Bast
The Chosen Sin (Trade Paperback)
Penguin Berkley (US: 7th October 2008)
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The Chosen are vampires fighting for their very existence. It is Daria Morris’s destiny to become one of them…Daria is a special forces agent with one obsession: to wreak vengeance on the vampire who nearly destroyed her. But to succeed, she must become something she detests: a vampire. Her fate rests upon Alejandro Martinez, a sexy vampire with whom she once shared an unforgettable night of scorching passion. Now, while Daria struggles against her newfound bloodlust, the two must slip into the shadows to bring a monster to justice – even as their desire threatens to consume them…

Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner (eds.)
Wolfsbane and Mistletoe (Hardcover)
Penguin Ace (US: 7th October 2008)
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The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest and saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand.

Kevin Anderson (ed.)
Blood Lite: An Anthology of Humorous Horror Stories Presented by the Horror Writers Association (Trade Paperback)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 21st October 2008)
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Charlaine Harris reveals the dark side of going green, when a quartet of die-hard environmentalists hosts a fundraiser with a gory twist in “An Evening with Al Gore”…In an all-new Dresden Files story from Jim Butcher, when it comes to tracking deadly paranormal doings, there’s no such thing as a “Day Off” for the Chicago PD’s wizard detective, Harry Dresden…Sherrilyn Kenyon turns a cubicle-dwelling MBA with no life into a demon-fighting seraph with one hell of an afterlife in “Where Angels Fear to Tread”…Celebrity necromancer Jaime Vegas is headlining a sold-out séance tour, but behind the scenes, a disgruntled ghost has a bone to pick, in Kelley Armstrong’s “The Ungrateful Dead.” Plus tales guaranteed to get under your skin – in a good way – from Janet Berliner, Don D’Ammassa, Nancy Holder, Nancy Kilpatrick, J. A. Konrath and F. Paul Wilson, Joe R. Lansdale, Will Ludwigsen, Sharyn McCrumb, Mark Onspaugh, Mike Resnick, Steven Savile, D. L. Snell, Eric James Stone, Jeff Strand, Lucien Soulban, Matt Venne, Christopher Welch.

Kelley Armstrong
Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, Book 9 – Hardcover)
Random House Spectra (US: 21st October 2008)
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Robyn Peltier moved to Los Angeles after her young husband’s sudden death, trying to put some distance between herself and her memories. Though she’s still grieving, the challenges of her new life as the PR consultant to Portia Kane – the world’s most famous celebutante wannabe – can sometimes be amusing, even distracting. But when her client is gunned down in the back room of a nightclub, Robyn is suddenly on the run as the prime suspect in the murder. And as more bodies pile up around her, it seems like only Hope Adams, Robyn’s best friend, and Hope’s somewhat spooky boyfriend Karl are on Robyn’s side. Hope Adams follows the kinds of stories whose headlines scream from supermarket checkout lines. But the difference is that Hope’s stories are even weirder – and they’re all true. Though determined to help Robyn, Hope knows it’s only a matter of time before her friend is caught. But it’s not the police Hope is worried about. For Robyn has gotten herself in the middle of a turf war between two powerful Otherworld cabals who’ll spill any amount of blood – human and inhuman – to protect what they consider theirs for all eternity. And the only way Hope can keep her friend alive is by letting her enter a world she’s safer knowing nothing about.

Mario Acevedo
The Undead Kama Sutra (Felix Gomez, Book 3 – Mass Market Paperback)
HarperCollins Eos (US: 28th October 2008)
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Felix Gomez returned from the war in Iraq a changed man – once a soldier, now forever a vampire. So the undead underworld put his skills to work as a private detective, specialising in the sordid, the sexy, and the supernatural. After surviving aliens, nymphomaniacs, and x-rated bloodsuckers, it’s high time for a vacation. Now the aliens are back in a fiendish conspiracy with the U.S. government, and only Felix stands between them and the Earth women they covet. But when an army hit man attacks Felix and the bodacious vampire sexpert, Carmen, not even the astonishing erotic powers of the Kama Sutra for the Undead may be able to save them.

Keri Arthur
Destiny Kills (Myth & Magic, Book 1 – Mass Market Paperback)
Random House Dell (US: 28th October 2008)
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When Destiny McCree wakes up beside a dead man on an Oregon beach, she knows only this: she has to keep moving, keep searching, and keep one step ahead of the forces that have been pursuing her from the heart of Scotland to this isolated spot. Why? The death of her lover has left her alone, with little memory of her past. A glimmering serpent-shaped ring is the one clue she has – and a bargaining chip in a most dangerous game. Enter Trae Wilson, a master thief with a sexy, knowing grin and a secret agenda of his own. Destiny and Trae both have powers far beyond the human – and both are running for their lives. Together they’re riding a tide of danger, magic, and lust…but with killers stalking their every move, they must use any means necessary, even each other, to survive – until the shocking secret of one woman’s destiny finally unravels…

Kim Harrison
A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows, Book 4 – Hardcover)
HarperCollins Eos (US: 28th October 2008)
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The evil night things that prowl Cincinnati despise witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan. Her new reputation for the dark arts is turning human and undead heads alike with the intent to possess, bed, and kill her – not necessarily in that order. Now a mortal lover who abandoned Rachel has returned, haunted by his secret past. And there are those who covet what Nick possesses – savage beasts willing to destroy the Hollows and everyone in it if necessary. Forced to keep a low profile or eternally suffer the wrath of a vengeful demon, Rachel must nevertheless act quickly. For the pack is gathering for the first time in millennia to ravage and to rule. And suddenly more than Rachel’s soul is at stake.

A. J. Menden
Phenomenal Girl 5 (Elite Hands of Justice, Book 1 – Mass Market Paperback)
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 28th October 2008)
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Lainey Livingston has just been made a member of the Elite Hands of Justice, the world’s premiere cadre of superheroes. Her work with the Red Knights and the Power Squad was impressive; all her senses are extraordinary, and her great strength and ability to fly are equally remarkable. But no one gets a free pass to active duty, and Lainey’s next test is going to be her hardest. She’s to train with the Reincarnist. Robert Elliot, the Reincarnist. A magician who has lived multiple lifetimes, he’s the smartest man in the world – and Lainey’s last obstacle. He was personally responsible for seeing Pushstar wash out. But his eyes are the softest, kindest that Lainey has ever seen, and he’s just the sort to knock her for a loop. Lesson #1: Romantic entanglements among crime fighters are super exploitable, and falling in love with a man who “can’t die” is like waving a red flag at a bull. Especially when the most fiendish plot ever is about to break over Megolopolis like a wave of fire.

[REVIEW] Many Bloody Returns – Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (eds.)

Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (eds.)
Many Bloody Returns
Penguin Books (4th September 2007)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780441015221
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The problem I have with anthologies is that the quality of the stories varies greatly, as far as I’ve read. Thus, I am not a big fan. Indeed, the authors in this collection are varied: some of them you know well from various paranormal novels, while others are dipping into the supernatural for the first time (they’re primarily mystery writers, on the cosy side, I think). Instead of judging the collection as a whole, let’s look at the stories individually:

Charlaine Harris, Dracula Night: The problem I’ve found with the Sookie Stackhouse novels is that some great ideas are buried within a fluffy package. The same goes for this story: there’s mention in the narrative of vampires immigrating to places (like the US) where they’re more welcome in society. This is interesting stuff, but the author doesn’t focus enough on it. This is a great opportunity for social commentary and writing something that will really make readers think, but alas, Ms Harris just didn’t shed enough light on it. Then there’s the quote on p4: “It was just like Anne Rice meeting Louis.” Okay, so now characters in novels are real people, and not just figments of the authors’ imaginations? Maybe that theory works for other people, but not for me. And then there was this on p18: “She had a heavy accent, I thought Russian. I was about tired of the new wave of vamps.” I’m not sure if that’s racism or bigotry, but either way I don’t like it. I’ve never really connected with Sookie Stackhouse, and her xenophobia is an example why. Put simply, the story itself isn’t bad, but I can’t stand xenophobia in characters. And Sookie’s meant to be a protag? Not in my eyes: she’s a bitch.

Christopher Golden, The Mournful Cry of Owls: So who were the vampires: the owls?

Bill Crider, I Was a Teenage Vampire: Was good until the author revealed his vampires to be vampire bats.

Kelley Armstrong, Twilight: Cassandra DuCharme isn’t emo, but she is clearly depressed. Interesting that she doesn’t recycle newspapers, but by making her annual kill renews her life for another year. Contradictory or hypocritical?

Jim Butcher, It’s My Birthday, Too: In the words of Lurr, Ruler of the Planet Omicron Persei VIII: “Okay; not great.”

P. N. Elrod, Grave-Robbed: Meh.

Rachel Caine, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life: Pretty good story. And I liked Eve. Except for her fashion and makeup. And she was vain about her boobs. Seriously, girl: get over yourself.

Jeanne C. Stein, The Witch and the Wicked: What if you could do more than just stop aging – what if you could reverse it? Witch, caterer and wannabe-cosmetologist Sophie is eighty years old, but she looks like forty…until she comes across the ashes of a vampire and gets an idea for a night cream. I’m not usually one for cosies, but I liked this one.

Tanya Huff, Blood Wrapped: I really wish Henry wasn’t so emo. Tony, you deserve better than that mopey vampire.

Carolyn Haines, The Wish: Emo.

Tate Hallaway, Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two: Finally, someone who’s less intelligent than I: Garnet. I dress appropriate for the weather – she doesn’t. It’s freaking snowing, and she doesn’t dress for warmth. I may not have ever experienced snow, but I do have basic smarts.

Elaine Viets, Vampire Hours: You can so tell she writes chick-lit for the forty-something generation.

Toni L. P. Kelner, How Stella Got Her Grave Back: Puns are lame in titles – this one no exception.

Of course everyone’s opinion varies, but I’d suggest waiting until a paperback is released before purchasing; I don’t think this is worth a hardcover price. If there was a way to purchase the stories individually, that would be brilliant: so you’d only buy what you want to read. I hope the eBook department at Penguin makes use of that idea. The best stories were written by Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Jeanne C. Stein, and I hope you can read them someday.