Monday, December 15, 2014

Children of the Night (Dan Simmons)

Dan Simmons' CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT (1992), not to be confused with Mercedes Lackey's very different novel with the same title, uses a genetic mutation model of vampirism. Simmons' story, a blend of thriller, science fiction, and horror, begins in Romania during the chaos following the downfall of the Ceausescu regime. The book's portrayal of this era and location is vividly convincing. An American doctor, Kate Neuman, adopts Joshua, an orphaned infant suffering from a bizarre blood disease. At home in the United States, she discovers the unique powers of regeneration that accompany his damaged immune system. The phenomenal healing capacity of Joshua's blood, however, depends on constant nourishment by the blood of others. Although Kate supplies this need through transfusion, most sufferers from this syndrome drain blood directly from human victims. Agents of Joshua's extended family kidnap him and return him to Romania. With the help of a heroic priest, Kate undertakes a quest to rescue the baby, not only for his own sake, but also for his blood, which holds the promise of a cure for AIDS and many other lethal maladies. A "cellular or physiological mutation in that family" gives their bodies the power to "cannibalize genetic material from donor blood so that their own immunodeficiency was overcome." A "blood-rich shadow organ" in the alimentary canal enables Joshua's kin to gain nourishment from drinking blood. Their bloodline has been perpetuated through the centuries, a dynasty that includes Vlad the Impaler, so CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT offers a fresh variation on the "Vlad was Dracula" trope.

Because the principal representative of the vampire clan in this novel is a seven-month-old baby, the condition does not brand its carriers as "evil." Set against the horrors of the Ceausescu era, graphically depicted in the filthy, overcrowded orphanages of Romania, the need to consume human blood appears less terrible. The narrative illustrates the "banality of evil" with the statement that "Dracula would be a story. The plight of hundreds of thousands of victims of political madness, bureaucracy, stupidity" is merely an "inconvenience." Even Vlad Tepes, patriarch of the "Family of Night," the late dictator's "Dark Advisor," doesn't seem utterly villainous, since we see him mainly as a sick, tired old man. Despite Joshua's destiny as the prince of the dark bloodline, as an innocent child he invites sympathy rather than horror.

Kate explores the possibility of a cure and offers Vlad an escape from his clan's centuries-old existence of secrecy and predation. The hemoglobin substitute she creates could mean the carriers of the mutation may not have to behave like monsters. Perhaps, through baby Joshua, an ancient evil can be converted to beneficial purposes. Even the notoriously terrible Vlad accepts the possibility of salvation for his people. Simmons crafts a tale of horror and suspense featuring ruthless, bloodthirsty vampires who surprisingly turn out to be more complex than the reader would have expected.

I discuss this book and many other novels and stories, including Simmons' gruesome and very unusual vampire novella "Dying in Bangkok," in my DIFFERENT BLOOD: THE VAMPIRE AS ALIEN:

Different Blood

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Nina Mason's Duke in Devil's Clothing

I should have had this posted over the weekend, but plague and illness struck, making the computer the very last thing on the planet that I wanted to deal with. So here it is, the cover and blurb for Devil in Duke's Clothing:

Devil in Duke's Clothing is a highly erotic historical romance set in Scotland during the Restoration Period (1680). The book features voyeurism, bondage, flagellation, and a voyeur menage. It will be released in mid-January (I'm aiming for Saturday the 17th) and will be the first in a trilogy titled Royal Pains, which will feature the Duke and Duchess of Dunwoody.


Here's the blurb:Maggie York, a convent-raised foundling, knows the Duke of Dunwoody’s sexual tastes are a shade or two darker than normal, but marries him anyway—partly because she has no other prospects and partly because, try as she might, she can’t seem to exorcize her desire for the dashing devil. Five years ago, he lured her from the garden of innocence into the orchard of forbidden fruit and she's been hungry for more ever since.
Robert Armstrong, the duke, is a Roman Catholic whose extreme devotions as a child warped his desires as a man. He’s also a slave to the times in which he lives--and to his king. Everything he is, everything he holds dear, depends on staying in Charles II’s good graces. Unfortunately, Maggie isn't the bride the king selected for him. Now, to make amends, the duke must choose between the lesser of two evils: whore his wife or be reduced to a penniless commoner.
Whose interests will Robert choose to serve, his own, the king’s, or the woman he loves?

Here's the tagline: Forbidden fruit is always the most delicious...

And here's the link to the trailer on ages 18+ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js6w5vPC0NE

Nina Mason's other books and where to find them:
The Queen of Swords (http://smarturl.it/queenofswords)
The Tin Man (coming August 30, 2014 from CHBB)
The Knights of Avalon, a four-part erotic PNR/UF series (under contract with Lyrical/Kensington)
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Google+
Watch my book trailers on YouTube!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

12 Days of Christmas- VampChix Style

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

True Blood on DVD!


On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...






A pair of TARDIS earrings.


On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...





Harley Quinn pajamas from ThinkGeek.


On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...






A beautiful bat filigree necklace.
I have a couple of pieces from Fable and Fury- love them!


On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...


A wicked ring from Art Masters Jewelery!
Wow! These are all awesome, but expensive! If you get one of these someone really loves you. ;)

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...





A box set of paranormal romance.
This one is Larissa Ione's Demonica series, but there are others we would gratefully accept as well. ;)


On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...


 A Walking Dead, Daryl tank shirt.


Lots of other cool things at Her Universe too.


On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...



Hand-painted Converse shoes.
Oh my gosh- there's so many cool styles on Etsy. Everything from Doctor Who to Marvel and DC comics, to Star Wars to Studio Ghibli...

 On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...





A beautiful edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula.


 On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...


Art prints from Qmx.
Yes. I'll take the men of Firefly set, please.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...


A Guardians of the Galaxy shirt from TeeFury.
Check out Bamboota's other stuff while you're there. She's one of my favorite artists.


On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

A shirtless Sam and Dean!


Oh wait, Santa won't bring the real ones? Damn.

Ok. Maybe these cute friendship bracelets, instead-



Merry Christmas, VampChix!

What's on YOUR list?
















 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A visit (and guest post) from Naomi Bellina


I've invited author Naomi Bellina to stop by our little corner of the web to talk about her new book, Ruled by the Moon, and her guest post may or may not involve wine. Did you know that Missouri has a storied reputation in the wine industry? I sure didn't and I'm originally from the Midwest! I'm gonna have to find me some wine from the region pretty quick. 

She has also generously shared the link for a contest, and I don't know about you, but an Amazon GC looks pretty good, especially during the holiday! So don't forget to stop by for a chance to win! ~Anna



Wine me  

In Nocturne, my fictitious location in Ruled by the Moon, vineyards and wineries are part of what draws Morgan to the area. I based this town partly on Augusta, Missouri, a community that really does have many fabulous wineries. Augusta was designated "First United States Wine District" in 1980 and believe it or not, Missouri was the number one wine producing state in the United States prior to the Civil War. Not something you would expect from a Midwest town.

I had the good fortune to live nearby Augusta for many years and some of my favorite memories involve sitting at a picnic table, looking out over rolling hills dotted with trees showing off colors of gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows. I would visit with friends and we'd bring snacks to nibble while we drank wine. Lots of wine. One of us had to stay sober because the roads to get to the top of the hills are steep and curvy. Once, I visited Augusta in the winter, sat outside and let the sun warm my face, with my bottle of wine chilling in the snow while I drank. Heaven! 

Many of my stories feature wine drinking. Not like I'm a wine snob but I do like to sample different types. For home, I usually buy organic but when I'm out, I'm more adventurous. Red, white, as long as it's not too sweet, I'll try it. I'm having fun with Vincent in book two of Nocturne because he doesn't like wine. He's a whiskey man. Right now, I'm looking at bottle of Newcastle Werewolf beer. The label says it's a blood ale. What a perfect drink to celebrate the release of Ruled by the Moon! How about you. Do you have a favorite wine or other drink? Thanks for reading!

PS  I'm running a Rafflecopter for a $25 Amazon gift card here, so drop by and enter. http://bit.ly/1yPrI24




Blurb
A psychic vet, a secretive werewolf, a menace stalking the shifters. Welcome to Nocturne.

Dylan is a werewolf with a problem. He shifts at the new moon as well as at the full moon. He was born a werewolf, not made like most shape-changers and due to these unique traits he's avoided joining a pack and has given up hope of having a normal life. Morgan is a veterinarian, ready to be on her own for a good long time after leaving a cheating, spineless husband. She has a plan for her life that doesn't include a bossy, furry man.

Both are drawn to Nocturne, a town filled with magic due to a strong convergence of ley lines in the area. Morgan and Dylan recognize a connection when they meet, but neither one is looking for romance. After a harrowing encounter with a panther shape-shifter, they must combine forces and work together to uncover a menace that threatens the town. If they can learn to trust each other and let their guard down, they have a chance to solve the mystery and open the door to love.

Buy Links:
Liquid Silver Books:  http://bit.ly/1FjkVls
Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/1uRHgn1
Google Play:  http://bit.ly/1v3ptb6


Metadata tags:  Paranormal, Shifters, Wolves, Suspense, Magic
Where to find me (I play around at Pinterest, Goodreads, and other places too)
Naomi Bellina 
Provocative tales of love, lust, passion and magic 



Bio:

Naomi lives in sunny Florida with the love of her life and a magical calico cat. She writes for various fiction and non-fiction markets but is drawn to romance because her characters insist on canoodling and falling in love. So she lets them. Her interests include dancing, motorcycle riding, drumming and creating healthy meals. She takes the opportunity to play whenever possible. Her motto:  Never pass up the opportunity to have an adventure!   

Excerpt 1 rated PG13  572 words

“Hello! What a great shop you have. I’ve put a vase on your front counter, hope you don’t mind. It will be perfect for my new home. My name is Morgan,” she said, offering her hand.

A shiver ran along his spine at her touch. Her grip was firm and her skin, while not overly rough, belonged to someone who used her hands for work. She apparently felt something at the contact also. Her eyes widened, and her sunny smile faded. She dropped his hand abruptly.

“I’m Dylan,” he said. “Please, feel free to look around as much as you like.”

Morgan took a step back, frowning. “I, I need to get going. I’ll just take that vase and be on my way.”

She turned and walked to the front counter then pulled cash from her wallet. As he wrapped the vase, she paced, darting a glance at him now and then.

“Did you buy a house in this area?” he asked. Though he didn’t want to add to her nervous state, he desperately wanted to know more about her.

“Yes, just in, just in another town, nearby, a town, not here … you don’t have to put it in a bag, I have several in the car. I really need to get going.”

Not wanting to prolong her obvious agony, Dylan put the wrapped package on the counter. Morgan grabbed it and with a tight smile in his direction, bolted out the door.

Well shit. What just happened? The full moon was tomorrow, but though he found Morgan sexy as hell, his libido did not run rampant, not enough for non-weres to pick up his lust. What had she sensed during their brief contact?

The day dragged on after that, and Dylan closed the shop late that afternoon with relief. Usually he waited and only hunted on the night of the true full moon. After his encounter with Morgan, however, he needed to blow off some steam. He’d thought about her all day, becoming more and more agitated with each passing hour.

A normal man could have talked to her, found out more about her. Was she married? In a serious relationship? In his quick assessment he’d seen she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, but that didn’t mean much these days. The way she’d claimed ownership of “her” new home, however, she was single, he just knew it.

A normal man would have shown her several more items in his store, so he could have an excuse to stand closer and smell her delicious scent. He would have persuaded her to make another purchase, something large so he could deliver it to her new home. He’d find some way to get her to touch him again and to bring that dazzling smile back to her face.

But he wasn’t a normal man.

So now, shortly after moonrise, Dylan stood naked in the woods. Looking to the sky, he howled his rage.

He’d done nothing to deserve this damn curse. There was no reason he should suffer this hell, yet month after month, the change took over him.

Tonight, he almost welcomed the pain. Anything was better than sitting home feeling sorry for himself and remembering the look of fear in Morgan’s eyes as she practically ran out the door of his shop. Or how hot her ass looked in those tight jeans she had on, an ass he would never touch.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Win a signed copy of Prince Lestat!!

I've been fairly quiet on the blogging front the past few weeks, with time for personal reading becoming a rare commodity as I prepare to re-enter the workforce while juggling family, friends, and holidays, but I want to celebrate one of the books that I am extremely excited about with a rare international contest. Thanks to the folks over at Chatto and Windus, the UK subsidiary of the Random House publishing group, I am able to giveaway 1 signed copy of the highly anticipated and newly released Prince Lestat by Anne Rice! 

This contest will remain open until December 12 and I will draw the winner from the comments so please leave a way to contact you should your name be chosen from the magic hat. As mentioned, this contest is open to international shipping and all you need to do is leave a comment. I'd love to chat about your experiences with The Vampire Chronicles, how you started reading Anne Rice, favorite characters, thoughts on the upcoming movie options...you can't win if you don't comment. Good Luck!! ~Anna




The Queen of the Undead is back, with her first Vampire Chronicle in over a decade – marking the return of one of the most popular vampires of all time: Lestat de Lioncourt 

Anne Rice transformed the vampire genre, paving the way for the current vampire craze that has swept both the entertainment and publishing industries. Rice’s first book in The Vampire Chronicles series, Interview with the Vampire, was published almost 40 years ago and made into the Oscar-nominated film of the same name, starring Tom Cruise and Brat Pitt, with a screenplay by Rice. 

Universal and Imagine Entertainment have just acquired the movie rights to all of Anne Rice's bestselling Vampire Chronicles series following the ‘amoral, seductive 18th century nobleman turned vampire, Lestat de Lioncourt’, including the latest novel PRINCE LESTAT. 

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci - who worked on the Transformers and Star Trek movies together - will produce the films. 




The vampire world is in crisis – their kind has been proliferating out of control and, thanks to technologies undreamed of in previous centuries, they can communicate as never before. Roused from their earth-bound slumber, ancient ones are in thrall to the Voice: which commands that they burn fledgling vampires in cities from Paris to Mumbai, Hong Kong to Kyoto and San Francisco. Immolations, huge massacres, have commenced all over the world. Who – or what – is the Voice? What does it desire, and why?

There is only one vampire, only one blood drinker, truly known to the entire world of the Undead. Will the dazzling hero-wanderer, the dangerous rebel-outlaw Lestat heed the call to unite the Children of Darkness as they face this new twilight? 

Anne Rice’s epic, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious new novel brings together all the worlds and beings of the legendary Vampire Chronicles, from present-day New York and Ancient Egypt to fourth-century Carthage and Renaissance Venice; from Louis de Pointe du Lac; Armand the eternally young; Mekare and Maharet; to Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the Secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true child of the Millennia. It also introduces many other seductive supernatural creatures, and heralds significant new blood. 





Monday, December 1, 2014

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2014

A second trailer is out for the Christmas special! The first one we got focused on the action and monsters we'd be seeing this holiday, and this new one focuses on the emotional questions we all have- all of the Doctor and Clara conflict.

You can view the new trailer here:


And the first one we saw:


So what do you think? Are we going to see Clara depart in this episode? Will Santa bring Danny back somehow? Or Gallifrey?

So many questions!

We'll find out on December 25th on BBC America!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Babadook is here!

The Babadook is finally playing in the U.S., so check out your local listings and see if you are getting it near you!


I just saw it, and I thought it was really cool. However, I could not find it playing ANYWHERE in Arizona! What the heck, guys! Fortunately, I searched around and found that you could rent the movie on ITunes.  So that's what I did. It looks like it is also available to stream on YouTube, Sundance Now, Google Play, XBox Video, and Sony Entertainment Network. They each will cost you $6.99. So, fine...that's less than the cost of going out to the theater, and I really wanted to see this.

And it was worth it! The movie is pretty intense. It doesn't use a lot of gore or special effects to accomplish the scares, but the sense of dread slowly builds throughout this movie, to the end.



The film focuses on a young boy named Samuel, and his mother, Amelia. He is a troubled child- he is terrified of monsters, and frequently sleeps with his mother. She is a grieving widow, who is struggling to  manage her job and her son, and her loneliness. When Samuel finds a new bedtime book for his mother to read him, it starts off a cycle of terror in their home.


The book is called Mister Babadook and it is a dark story about a family haunted by a being that you "can't get rid of." Fear of the Babadook becomes an obsession for Samuel, and it triggers a psychotic break in his mother. The situation spirals out of control for the family, until they confront their demon head on.


The ending is perhaps a bit unsatisfactory for some, but if you look at the film as more of a metaphor for mental illness- it makes a lot of sense. I personally, really liked it, but I've read that some people didn't care for it at all. I'll let you be the judge, but I still say watch it. Essie Davis and little Noah Wiseman were brilliant in this movie as the mother-son duo, and it is a horror movie that makes you think, while it scares the pants off of you.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great day and enjoy some cuteness before you enjoy your turkey. :)


 








Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wytches


If you are looking for a great new paranormal, horror comic, check out Wytches. I just discovered this series at my local store and it is really scary and intense! It starts out with a young girl named Sailor, who has had to move to a new school because she was involved in an "incident" with another student that left her dead. "Sail" has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but her reputation has followed her to this new town, and something more sinister has come along too.  
Within the first couple pages, issue #1 had already given me chills, so you know it is going to be good. Besides, Snyder is behind another of my favorite comics- American Vampire, so I expect great things from this one too.
The first two issues are out now, and the 3rd is due next month!



Wytches #1, by Scott Snyder and Jock
Comic Description:
 "Across the globe, century after century, men and women were burned, drowned, hanged, tortured, imprisoned, persecuted, and murdered for witchcraft. None of them were witches. They died protecting a terrible and hidden truth: witches, real witches, are out there. They are ancient, elusive, and deadly creatures that are rarely seen and even more rarely survived."



Wytches #2
Comic Description:
 "A busload of children disappears in the woods. A strange bite grows on a girl's neck. And the wytches are getting closer, creeping from the woods. Be there for the terrifying second chapter of the new smash hit, Wytches."



Wytches #3- Release date- December 3rd, 2014
Comic Description:
 "A parent's worst nightmare: a beloved child lost in the woods. Behind the trees lurk horrors, and the brush conceals atrocity. No matter how desperate the search, understand that your prayers will fall on deaf ears. There is no escape from the Wytches."

Here's a peek at some of the pages-

 



Yep. This is definitely going on my pull-list!


 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Wicked + The Divine


The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 1: The Faust Act, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Release Date: November 25th, 2014

 Book Description:

"Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans.

They are loved.

They are hated.

In two years, they are dead.

The team behind critically thermonuclear floor-fillers Young Avengers and Phonogram reunite to start a new, ongoing, superhero fantasy with a beautiful, oversized issue. Welcome to The Wicked + The Divine, where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods.

But remember: just because you're immortal, doesn't mean you're going to live forever.

Collects The Wicked + The Divine #1-5."




Angie's Review:

 Love. This. Comic.

The gods have returned and for two years, they will amass followers, touch souls, and leave their marks on human hearts. Then they will physically die and return to Valhalla to await their resurrection in another 90 years.

This has happened over and over. We don't remember afterwards that actual gods were traipsing around the world, but we retain all of the inspiration, chaos, madness and creativity that they seeded into our consciousness.

But while they are here, it is a crazy ride. While they are here, they are seeking adoration...followers...true believers. And so what better way, in the modern world, to accomplish this than becoming a pop star. Some are singers at clubs, some are underground cult leaders, but all of them are gathering around them, those humans that hear their call and flock to their voice. Gods like Baal, are encouraging the darker elements of humanity, while others like Ameratsu, are bringing creative inspiration.


But there are rules. The gods may influence but not directly affect the humans. So, when Lucifer kills a man in public, she must be reprimanded. She is allowed to be arrested and tried for her crimes. And when the judge at her trial also dies, it sure looks like "Luci" was the one who killed him. But she swears that she didn't. Another god may have framed her. Only Luci's true believer, Laura is interested in uncovering the truth. The rest of the pantheon seems content to let her spend her two years in time-out. Ever the rebel, Lucifer decided not to be content to take her punishment for the greater good of all, and her rebellion against the natural order of the gods has created quite a bit of chaos.


The trade paperback gathers together the first five issues, and they are gorgeous. Every page is colorful and wild and over-the-top. I would expect nothing less from a comic where the main characters are none other than the ancient gods of all cultures. Combine that with an intriguing murder-mystery storyline and you have a brilliant comic that is exciting and funny, and suspenseful, all while dazzling you with beautiful illustrations at every moment.

Five stars from me, and I can't wait to read more!

Check out this comic on:
Goodreads
Amazon
Image Comics