Tag Archives: Wolfsbane and Mistletoe

In Praise of ARRC09

As I’ve told you often enough, or in case you’ve forgotten, the Australian Romance Readers Convention (aka ARRC09) will run from February 20-22 here in my own Melbourne. Thanks to all attendees, sponsors, attendees-at-a-distance, organisation committee, and everyone who’s pitched in to make this event happen, and who’ve helped publicise it.

I’m looking forward to this more than I can tell you. I do get rather jealous when my North American and European peeps talk of attending cons, meeting authors, hanging out with writer/reader pals in facetime… Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy that you have all this. I just wish I had it, too πŸ˜‰

Maybe it’s the whole location thing, but even though I follow book news on the Internet as closely as I can (without forking out for a Publisher’s Marketplace membership), I still feel so separated from the book world and the various writing cliques.

So to have a special gathering such as this, in my own country, in my own state…it’s really brilliant. I don’t even have to pay for accommodation, though I will have to use public transport for better or worse πŸ˜‰ And since the con’s on a weekend (I won’t be there for Friday’s events), the train will only cost me $2.50 for each day. Weekend Saver tickets, y’all.

MaryJanice Davidson, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Stephanie Laurens may pull the crowds, and I’ll be the embarrassed one in the crowd because I haven’t read their work, and aren’t sure that their books will suit my tastes. Nevertheless, it’s wonderful they all will be attending, and MJD will even be bringing her kids. You’re never too young to start learning about the world at large, and not just your little corner. Here’s hoping you enjoy your time here and take home some nice memories, kids πŸ™‚

But really the other major headliners are why I’ll be attending: Liz Maverick and Susan Grant. I’ve been keeping an eye on Liz since the launch of Dorchester’s SHOMI imprint. And though I’ve only read three of the books so far (Michele Lang’s Netherwood, Eve Kenin’s Hidden and Michelle Maddox’s Countdown), I’ve bought the others, and they’re all waiting patiently on my shelf to be read.

Last year I looked up Liz’s backlist, to see what other books of hers I might like to try. And I found that perfect one: The Shadow Runners. It’s a futuristic – SET IN AUSTRALIA. This was at the time I was realising how awesome futuristic fiction is, and I’ll admit it: when I learned of this book’s existence, I started thinking about writing my own futuristic Australia novel. I’ve never had a muse, or whatnot, but in this case Liz unintentionally provided inspiration. So even though I haven’t read the book yet (though I own it), it’s very special to me. Now I just need Liz to sign it (and personalise it, let’s not forget) to cement its awesomeness. I WILL TRACK HER DOWN! πŸ˜‰

The Shadow Runners is actually the third novel in a 5-book miniseries…created by Susan Grant. She also wrote the first and last stories: The Legend of Banzai Maguire and The Scarlet Empress. The series is set in the year 2176, and since it’s Susan’s brainchild…it makes her awesome. If she wasn’t already awesome, but she already was πŸ˜‰

I own signed and personalised copies of these two books, but since she created the whole series, Susan will hopefully deign to sign the other three as well. Such is the responsibility of the author – if you’re in my city, you may as well be useful πŸ˜‰

Then there’s Keri Arthur, of course. It’s no secret that not every urban fantasy series is to my liking. But I’ve stuck with the Riley Jenson series because it works for me. It’s set in my Melbourne. The investigations often deal with things I haven’t come across in fiction before, so Keri has fab originality. I have a scene each from Embraced by Darkness and The Darkest Kiss still in my mind, even though I read them last year – and believe me, my memory’s terribly shoddy, so this is a marvellous achievement.

And then there’s the matter of the Wolfsbane and Mistletoe anthology I’m currently reading. So far Keri’s contribution has been the only story to properly hold my attention. I quickly gave up on the preceding stories after a few pages each, because they just didn’t work for me. This one is. So this proves that not only can Keri write a cracking novel, but she’s far and above other short story writers, too. Well, in this anthology at least. Much applause. Anthologies on a whole are often disappointing, but stories like Keri’s are the reason I at least try to give anthologies a chance.

And Tracey O’hara will be there πŸ™‚ I only learned of her recently – she’s a Canberra-based urban fantasy author whose first novel, Night’s Cold Kiss, will be released in September 2009 by Harper Eos. So she’s sharing a publisher with the likes of Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson and Jocelynn Drake – and she shares an agent with Jocelynn, too. Tracey clearly has great credentials, and she’s a nifty person too – she’s replied to my emails and blog comments πŸ˜‰ Seriously. Often I’m too intimidated or whatever to comment or email an author, so when I do, that’s when I’m comfortable.

I’ll be travelling to the con alone, and won’t know anyone (in person) there, so to anyone who’s attending: say hi πŸ™‚ I think we’ll all be wearing name tags, so I’ll be the Tez with frizzy brown hair and no make-up. And a deer-in-headlights facial expression. And if it’s skirt weather, bruised knees πŸ˜‰ (Keep banging them on the table I work at. Dude, I so need an ergonomic desk-and-chair combo. And a hard drive and working monitor in the same machine, as opposed to the laptop system and computer monitor I currently use.)

Respect, admiration and love to ARRC09, and have a lovely day! πŸ™‚

October 2008 Releases

Patricia Briggs
Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Book 2 – Paperback)
Hachette Livre Orbit (AU: October 2008)
Buy

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)
Buy

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)
Buy

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 sΓ©ance 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)
Buy

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)
Buy

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)
Buy

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)
Buy

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.