Tag Archives: The Bride of Casa Dracula

My Top 10 Books Published in 2008

Weekly Geeks is doing a thing where everyone compiles their own list of the best books they’ve read that were published in 2008. Admittedly, my list kind of skews to the ones I’ve read more recently, because I remember them better. So hard to pick just 10. But here there are:

Michelle Maddox
Countdown
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 29th July 2008)
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Review

THREE. Kira Jordan wakes up in a pitch-black room handcuffed to a metal wall. She has 60 seconds to escape. Thus begins a vicious game where to lose is to die. TWO. The man she’s been partnered with – her only ally in this nightmare – is a convicted mass murderer. But if he’s so violent, why does he protect her? And stranger still, what is it behind those haunted sea-green eyes that makes her want to protect him? ONE. No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat the COUNTDOWN.

Mary E. Pearson
The Adoration of Jenna Fox
US: Henry Holt & Co. BYR (29th April 2008); AU: Allen & Unwin Children’s (February 2009)
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Review

Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

Stephenie Meyer
The Host
Hachette (US, UK, AU: 6th May 2008)
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Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Rachel Cohn
You Know Where to Find Me
Simon & Schuster (US: 4th March 2008)
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Review

First cousins Laura and Miles grew up like sisters. Miles thought of Laura as the golden one – smart, beautiful, rich, and popular – while Miles considered herself the unwanted one – an unattractive, underachieving outcast. Laura’s suicide shatters Miles and leaves her feeling completely alone, and sets Miles on a dangerous downward spiral. But in the strength Miles finds in herself and in those she didn’t believe cared about her, she is able to rebuild her life in unexpected ways.

Jes Battis
Night Child (OSI, Book 1)
Penguin Ace (US: 27th May 2008)
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Review

Tess Corday soon realises that there is not going to be anything ordinary about this case. Not the lab results on the cause of death. Not Mia Polanski, the teenage girl living at the address found in the vamp’s pocket, who may well be in thrall to a demon. And certainly not Lucian Agrado, the necromancer who is liaison to the vampire community. Agrado is supposed to be part of the solution, but Tess suspects he might be part of the problem. Under pressure from her boss, Tess is trying to go by the book on this one. But when Mia reaches out to her, she risks her career to help the girl. And finds herself in the middle of a paranormal conspiracy that will change her life forever. Or possibly end it…

Kristopher Reisz
Unleashed
Simon & Schuster Pulse (US: 19th February 2008; AU: 17th April 2008)
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Daniel Morning seems perfect – handsome, charismatic, intelligent. But living up to everyone’s expectations has cost him the right to make his own decisions. The urge to shatter those expectations is beginning to gnaw at his insides. Then Daniel meets Misty. She’s smoky, rebellious, tender…and much more. She decides to let him into her pack of outcasts – and in on their little secret: She and her friends have learned to shape-shift, and have been prowling the night as wolves. Daniel soon falls in love with the primal sensation of shifting, just as he’s falling in love with Misty. The freedom to follow his most basic instincts is like nothing he’s ever felt. But Daniel will slowly come to realise that such freedom comes at a price…

Jeri Smith-Ready
Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 13th May 2008)
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Review

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, ’60s psychedelia, ’80s Goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers just how the DJs maintain their cred: they’re vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned. Ciara’s first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WVMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station – and the link it provides to their original Life Times – the vampires would “fade,” becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover is a matter of life and un-death. To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara re-brands the station as “WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs’ vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around – next to Ciara’s complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the “gimmick” enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren’t so eager to be brought into the light. Soon the stakes are higher – and the perils graver – than any con game Ciara’s ever played…

Eve Kenin
Hidden (Northern Waste, Book 2)
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 1st July 2008)
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Tatiana has honed her genetic gifts to perfection. She can withstand the subzero temperatures of the Northern Waste, read somebody’s mind with the briefest touch, and slice through bone with her bare hands. Which makes her one bad-ass chick, all right. Nothing gets to her. Until she meets Tristan. Villain or ally, she can’t be sure. But one thing she does know: he has gifts too – including the ability to ramp up her heart rate to dangerous levels. But before they can start some chemistry of their own, they have to survive being trapped in an underground lab, hunted by a madman, and exposed to a plague that could destroy mankind.

Michele Lang
Netherwood
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 26th February 2008)
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THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN…And her name is Talia Fortune. Her mission: capture the cyber outlaw, Kovner, a man who knows she is more than just a sheriff – Talia is also a woman, with a woman’s desires. Scion of the Fortune family and primary shareholder of the mega-conglomerate FortuneCorp, she is the Hand of Fate…or at least of the Home Office. With the power to punish, she’s been sent to Fresh Havens – a corporate off-world colony run by her uncle. But the colony is full of hidden danger. Sabotage, deception, destruction…it will take every ounce of Talia’s strength and courage, fighting skills honed in the Amphitheatre and knowledge learned at the Academy, just to survive. Her ability to love and trust will be sorely tested, especially in the clutches of her quarry, the Outlaw of Fresh Havens, her cyber-lover and now her enemy. He and the answers lie in the Gray Forest, in a reality beyond the bubbledome, the Grid, and everything she’s ever known. Her future lies in…NETHERWOOD.

Marta Acosta
The Bride of Casa Dracula
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 16th September 2008; AU: 1st October 2008)
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Review

Milagro De Los Santos is having serious problems planning her wedding to fabulous Oswald Grant, M.D. Her future in-laws loathe her, her dog just died, and Oswald’s family has a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Then her extravagant best friend hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, and the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals. To top it all off, Milagro’s career is on the skids. She’s reduced to ghost-writing the memoirs of a loony little man who claims to be a shape-shifter. And why does Cornelia’s decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, always show up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn’t wed the un-dead?

Random Stats
Books published by Dorchester SHOMI:
3
Books published by Simon & Schuster: 4
YA fiction: 3
Futuristic: 5

September 2008 Reads

Reminder: September 2008 Releases & October 2008 Releases.

Blood Bound – Patricia Briggs “…a decent read.” Buy

Night Child – Jes BattisNight Child stands above most…Definitely one of my favourite books of the year…” Buy

Netherwood – Michele Lang “…outstanding, a true example of fabulous world-building…if you’re looking for an ace setting with vivid detail, you’ve come to the right book.” Buy

The Bride of Casa Dracula – Marta Acosta “Highly quotable, this third book is the best in the series…” Buy

Blood Lite – Kevin J. Anderson (ed.) Pre-order

Night Shift – Lilith Saintcrow “…enjoy the ride…a good, different read.” Buy

Awaken Me Darkly – Gena Showalter “Fascinating world-building and a unique serial killer make Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly an engrossing read.” Buy

[REVIEW] The Bride of Casa Dracula – Marta Acosta

Marta Acosta
The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 3)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 16th September 2008; AU: 1st October 2008)
Buy

A cosy mystery spliced with blood-play and back-handed compliments makes for a strange but good read in Marta Acosta’s third novel, The Bride of Casa Dracula.

Affable Milagro De Los Santos is engaged to Dr Oswald Grant, and is well acquainted with his family. But Milagro doesn’t agree to abide by the rituals of Oz’s extended family – the Vampire Council. Self-appointed wedding planner Nancy can placate the family, but Milagro’s nemesis Cornelia Ducharme will be planning the vampiric ceremony, and believes Milagro is marrying the wrong man. But is she the one sabotaging Milagro’s car, hotel reservations and whatnot?

A comedy of manners, there are of course bitchy rich girls, none so more than dear friend Nancy. She’s a real piece of work, who says unintentionally hilarious things such as “Luckily, I saw Gigi Barton at a gala for needy hermaphrodites or something, so naturally your name came up…” Burn! And I love the way Ilena speaks…

Milagro has a literary agent, even though Jason’s not convinced he can sell her work: “There’s no market for political horror novels. There will never, ever be a market for them.” You’re wrong, Jason – I’d love to read political horror! Of course, one person doesn’t make a market, but still…

At least Milagro has work to throw herself into as a distraction from her personal life. She’s writing a “fauxoir” (faux memoir) of the extravagant Don Pedro Nascimento, a self-proclaimed shape-shifter and chronic hallucinogen abuser. Though it’s all made up, Milagro’s actually having quite fun with it. (The joys of fiction…)

And make sure to remember Grant matriarch Edna’s pearl of wisdom: “Who can we trust if we can’t trust eccentrics who seek ghost-writers for their shape-shifting memoirs?”

Highly quotable, this third book is the best in the series, and a suitable prelude to Nancy’s Theory of Style, to be released in 2009. My word, Nancy’s annoying, but she does make for interesting reading…

Cat with Books & a Cover Flat

What particularly stands out here is that Manny was actually interested in the cover flat of Marta Acosta’s The Bride of Casa Dracula – he actually sniffed it. I hadn’t seen him that interested in my book stuff since Laurell K. Hamilton’s Blood Noir.

Anyway, he’s staying inside today because it’s rainy. May be hail later.

September 2008 Releases

Have you already bought or pre-ordered August 2008 Releases? Onto September then…

Kim Harrison
Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, Book 3)
HarperCollins Eos (US: 2nd September 2008)
Pre-order

There’s no witch in Cincinnati tougher, sexier, or more screwed up than bounty hunter Rachel Morgan, who’s already put her love life and soul in dire jeopardy through her determined efforts to bring criminal night creatures to justice. Between “runs”, she has her hands full fending off the attentions of her blood-drinking partner, keeping a deadly secret from her backup, and resisting a hot new vamp suitor. Rachel must also take a stand in the war that’s raging in the city’s underworld, since she helped put away its former vampire kingpin – and made a deal with a powerful demon to do so that could cost her an eternity of pain, torment, and degradation. And now her dark “master” is coming to collect his due.

Jackie Kessler
Hell’s Belles (Hell on Earth, Book 1)
Kensington Zebra (2nd September 2008)
Pre-order

Once upon a time, Jezebel was a powerful succubus, capable of seducing men and sucking out their souls. But that was before Hell put a bounty on her head. Now her only chance to escape a fate far worse than death is to live as a mortal, losing herself in a sea of unfamiliar humanity, in a place where sinners walk hand-in-hand with saints – a place like New York City. Working as an exotic dancer is a piece of cake for a former demon who once specialized in sex. But she hadn’t counted on meeting sexy Paul Hamilton, a man haunted by his past. Good-bye, succubus; hello, lovestruck. But Hell hasn’t stopped looking for her. The secrets Jezebel holds are the most dangerous of all, the kind every demon in the Underworld would do their worst to protect. Demons are closing in, which is enough to make Jezebel shiver in her G-string. But it’s her love for Paul that’s going to have deadly consequences…

John Ajvide Lindqvist
Handling the Undead
Quercus (UK: 4th September 2008)
Something very peculiar is happening in Stockholm. There’s a heatwave on and people cannot turn their lights out or switch their appliances off. Then the terrible news breaks. In the city morgue, the dead are waking up…What do they want? What everybody wants: to come home.

Suzanne McLeod
The Sweet Scent of Blood (Spellcrackers.com)
Hachette Gollancz (UK: 4th September 2008)
Pre-order

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers – and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities…and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals.

Lilith Saintcrow
Hunter’s Prayer (Jill Kismet, Book 2)
Hachette Orbit (UK: 4th September 2008)
Pre-order

Jill Kismet, Dealer in Dark Things. Spiritual Exterminator. Demon Slayer – it’s not the type of work you can put on a business card. But every city has people like me. Usually the police have us on payroll as consultants, because what ordinary cop can face down a Were or an ordinary shapechanger, or an Assyrian demon? Not to mention the silvers or the Black Mist, the adepts of Sorrow House or of the Middle Way? What ordinary cop stands a chance against a Trader, even? People disappear all the time, it’s an epidemic; some of the disappearances are murder, some are fugitives, some are kidnapped by other human beings. Some of them are even found again. But a good proportion of them are taken by the things that go bump in the night. And then it becomes a hunter’s job to bump back. Hard.

Rachel Caine
Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3)
Allison & Busby (UK: 5th September 2008)
Pre-order

Claire Danvers’s college town may be run by vampires but a truce between the living and the dead made things relatively safe. For a while. Now people are turning up dead, a psycho is stalking her, and an ancient bloodsucker has proposed private mentoring. To what end, Claire will find out. And it’s giving night school a whole new meaning…

Marta Acosta
The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 3)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 16th September 2008)
Pre-order

Milagro De Los Santos is having serious problems planning her wedding to fabulous Oswald Grant, M.D. Her future in-laws loathe her, her dog just died, and Oswald’s family has a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Then her extravagant best friend hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, and the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals. To top it all off, Milagro’s career is on the skids. She’s reduced to ghost-writing the memoirs of a loony little man who claims to be a shapeshifter. And why does Cornelia’s decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, always show up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn’t wed the undead?

Liz Maverick
Irreversible
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 30th September 2008)
Pre-order

Katherine Gibbs is engaged. Engaged, popular, gorgeous, and living a life of sheer perfection. This is her best week ever. The trouble is, it’s manufactured. She’s lived this week over and over and doesn’t know it. L. Roxanne Zaborovsky, Katherine’s best friend, is outside looking in. Once again, Kitty’s life is being stolen away by a man as twisted as he is brilliant. This time, there’s something Roxy can do. The barriers of time are like the walls of an apartment – or the bars of a prison – and they can be demolished. She just has to start the jailbreak. Walter “Q” Sheffield is hot, smart, and just the man to free Kitty. A time-anomaly specialist, he can split seconds, erase hours and make the most of a minute. The one thing he can’t do? Relationships. But hate and revenge have Kitty trapped in the vagaries of time, and only love will get her out. And that love must be…IRREVERSIBLE.

Richelle Mead
Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid, Book 3)
Kensington (US: 30th September 2008)
Pre-order

Some days, a girl just can’t catch a break…especially when the girl in question is Georgina Kincaid, a shape-shifting succubus who gets her energy from seducing men. First there’s her relationship with gorgeous bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, which is unsatisfying on a number of levels. It’s not just that they can’t have sex in case Georgina inadvertently kills him (generally a turn-off for most guys). Lately, even spending time together is a challenge. Seth’s obsessed with finishing his latest novel, and Georgina’s under demonic orders to mentor the new (and surprisingly inept) succubus on the block. Then there are the dreams. Someone, or something, is preying on Georgina at night, draining her energy, and supplying eerie visions of her future. Georgina seeks answers from Dante, a dream interpreter with ties to the underworld, but his flirtatious charm only leaves her more confused – especially as the situation with Seth reaches crisis point. Now Georgina faces a double challenge – rein in her out-of-control love life, and go toe-to-toe with an enemy capable of wreaking serious havoc among mankind. Otherwise, Georgina, and the entire mortal world, may never sleep easy again…

Happy Birthday, Marta Acosta; Cat with Books & New Vlog

It’s August 1st – Marta Acosta’s birthday. Give the gift of royalties by buying Happy Hour at Casa Dracula and Midnight Brunch, and pre-ordering The Bride of Casa Dracula. Miz Marta is doing RWA in San Francisco right now…

Received new books today by authors such as Keri Arthur, Colby Hodge, Marianne Mancusi and Richelle Mead. See them all here.

And here’s me yapping about the books. It’s over 7 minutes long because I wouldn’t shut up 😉 Big file, so I couldn’t be bothered uploading it to Vimeo and Blip as well.