Tag Archives: Heather Graham

Home Improvement: Undead Edition edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

Overview
Image result for home improvement undead edition book cover

Title: Home Improvement: Undead Edition
Author: Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner, Victor Gischler, Patricia Briggs, Rochelle Krich, Heather Graham, James Grady, Melissa Marr, E. E. Knight, Seanan McGuire, S. J. Rozan, Stacia Kane, Suzanne McLeod & Simon R. Green
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 7th June – 24th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Two weeks after their first post they met in the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Larchmont.

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Synopsis

There’s nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or otherworldly portals in the parlour… And when you add in a hefty dose of the supernatural, the normal, everyday challenges of home D-I-Y become even more hazardous!

International number 1 bestseller Charlaine Harris has joined forces once again with award-winning mystery writer Toni L.P. Kelner to construct a brilliant anthology of fourteen forays into the frightening world of home improvement.

Thoughts

This is a great and fun collection. It’s amusing and light. Filled with lots of gorgeous paranormal stories and just seriously fun. What I love most about it though is that each and everyone of these stories features the process of home renovations in some way, shape or form. And, as a home owner myself… I can attest to the fact that sometimes home improvements are literally hell…

I love that this collection brings the supernatural and paranormal into our everyday experiences. Everyone has a home and, in the case of these somewhat more magical lives… after all, even vampires and witches and the fae still need a home… but their complications are a lot worse than the ones that I have had to face…

This collection had some authors and series that I’m familiar with. And some that are new to me. As with many of the good anthologies that I read, my wish list has grown yet again. Which is really what I want when I read a good anthology.

<- In Brightest DayIf I Had a Hammer ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Blood on the Wall by Heather Graham

Overview
Image result for home improvement undead edition book cover

Title: Blood on the Wall
Author: Heather Graham
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Vampires, Werewolves
Dates read: 23rd July 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: And, of course, because DeFeo’s ancestor, Antoine Montville, had been suspected of Satanism, but something like it.

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Synopsis

A young man just wants to build up his own cult and reputation. But when a werewolf comes to town, things are turned on their head and he finally realises that maybe he’s not been making the best decisions…

Thoughts

I really didn’t expect all of the twists and turns that reared their ugly heads throughout this short story. Every time I thought that I could predict what was going on, something else reared its head and surprised me. It was incredibly fun and welcome. I love when a story like this completely takes me by surprise.

One of the things that I love about this story is that the cultist in this story isn’t paranormal. And the one that you think is kind of normal? Not so much. It literally turns everything on its head throughout this story. In the best way possible.

This is a fantastic short story – it involves vampires, werewolves, crimes and cults. It kind of has everything that I love in a short story. Even if it is slightly, unexpectedly off-kilter to what I am used to. And all of those surprises… I’ll definitely be reading this one again!

<- Squatter’s RightsThe Mansion of Imperatives ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

A Fantastic Holiday Season edited by Kevin J. Anderson and Keith J. Olexa

Overview
A Fantastic Holiday Season

Title: A Fantastic Holiday Season
Author: Kevin J. Anderson, Keith J. Olexa, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Brad R. Torgersen, Mercedes Lackey, Quincy J. Allen, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jonathan Maberry, Ken Scholes, Heather Graham, Sam Knight, Mike Resnick, David Boop, Eric James Stone & Patricia Briggs
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: ChristmasShort story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 16th November 2018 – 29th January 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: World Fire Press
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Of course it wasn’t possible that Jimmy had actually ridden in a hyperspace sleigh back to Ceres, when the journey from Ceres to Mars, and vice versa, ordinarily took weeks.

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Synopsis

‘Tis the Season-for 14 more magical, macabre and merry tales to make your Holidays … Fantastic! Gingerbread houses, caroling carolers, brightly trimmed trees, big family dinners, pristine snowfalls … the familiar pleasures of the season. But what better pleasure is there than a good holiday story? So open this winter solstice sampler and indulge in funny festive fantasies, nightmares before Christmas, and stunning space-age celebrations … these stories will warms hearts and minds like a blazing Yule log. Fantastic Holiday Stories by Kevin J. Anderson, Mercedes Lackey, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jonathan Maberry, Eric James Stone, Nina Kiriki Hoffman., Quincy J Allen, Ken Scholes, Sam Knight, David Boop, Heather Graham, Brad R. Torgersen, Patricia Briggs

Thoughts

I bought this collection because the very last story is a short story in the Mercedes Thompson series that I don’t yet have. And I started reading this last year to try and get me into the Christmas spirit. And it worked. Beautifully. Fantastically. I’m actually sad that it’s over, even if I finished it after the Holiday Season…

The stories in this collection run the gambit from cutsie little fantasy tales to convoluted and entertaining science fiction tales. They fit into series and stand by themselves. And it’s this range that I truly love. After all, the reason why I tend to read so many short story collections at once is that they get a bit same-same with their tales. The fact that these are far more varied made this collection a little more difficult to put down, and a lot more fun to read than usual.

 <- Unappreciated Gifts ReviewNaughty & Nice Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Santa’s Mortuary by Heather Graham

Overview
A Fantastic Holiday Season

Title: Santa’s Mortuary
Author: Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #14.2
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: ChristmasParanormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: World Fire Press
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: It was amazing that their room – in the right wing of the building – could be so quiet and charming while all manner of activity went on in other parts of the house.

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Synopsis

It was amazing that their room – in the right wing of the building – could be so quiet and charming while all manner of activity went on in other parts of the house.

Thoughts

Christmas time is a time for love, family and laughter. Unless you are a slightly amorous ghost who is separated from the love of his life. Then it’s just a time of frustration and loss of love. And a potential way to ruin everyone else’s Christmas with your sense of loneliness.

Although Christmas is always toted to be a story of happiness, love and family, it is often a time of loneliness for some. I love that in a holiday story collection, there is a number of stories which feature this loneliness, including this Krewe of Hunters short story. And, I also love the fact that, like every good story, this one ends with a happy ending for all.

 <- A World Done In by Great Granny’s Grateful Pie ReviewYes, Virginia2097c, There is a Santa Claus Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Mannequin by Heather Graham

Overview

Blood Lite IIITitle: Mannequin
Author: Heather Graham
In: Blood Lite III (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Horror
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gallery Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Natasha pulled one of the little doily-covered occasional tables into the middle of the room, and, as they followed her, she instructed them to bring chairs around the table.

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Synopsis

Two young couples travel to a haunted bed and breakfast to have a scary night. They get exactly what they expect… and more.

Thoughts

I read this short story before going to bed. Mistake! I hate dolls, mannequins and anything generally humanoid that doesn’t quite make it. Mannequins are kind of at the top of this list. So a horror story about mannequins coming to life… yeah, it was not a good idea to read before turning off the lights.

Two young couples decide to go to a B and B to scare themselves silly. It’s a joke that quickly turns serious. And although it’s about the couples getting scared silly, Graham managed to take me along for the ride too. After all, there’s something slightly creepy about mannequins, and serial killers, and really bed and breakfasts in general…

This isn’t a short story for people who don’t like to get a slight goosebump when they’re reading…you’ve been warned.

 <- Acknowledgements Review Short Term Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste edited by Kevin J. Anderson

Overview

Blood Lite IIITitle: Blood Lite III: Aftertaste
Author: Kevin J. Anderson, Jim Butcher, Joel Sutherland, Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, E.S. Magill, Eric James Stone, Jeff Strand, Mark Onspaugh, Mike Baron, JG Faherty, Stephen Dorato, Jeff Ryan, Mike Resnick, Lezli Robyn, Will Ludwigsen, Heather Graham, Daniel Pyle, Nina Kiriki  Hoffman, L.A. Banks, John Alfred Taylor, David Sakmyster, Norman Prentiss, Don D’Amassa, Adrien Ludens, Chris Abbey, D.L. Snell, Ken Lillie-Paetz, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lisa Morton, Brad C. Hodson, Lucien Soulban
In: Blood Lite III (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fantasy, HorrorShort story collections
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Gallery Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: As he sped thankfully along the country highway, Randall was so consumed with the desire to get to Golden Links Golf and Country Club as quickly as possible that he didn’t take note of the birds and the bees, he didn’t smell the intoxicating aroma of roses floating on the summer breeze and he didn’t see the bloodied man at the scene of the accident with a six-foot length of steel pipe protruding from his chest and a vacant look in his eyes, chewing on the neck of a panicked paramedic.

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Synopsis

The third book in the hilarious and horrifying national bestselling anthology series from the Horror Writers Association–a frightfest of sidesplitting stories from such “New York Times” bestselling authors as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham, L.A. Banks, Kelley Armstrong, and many more! Horror fiction explores the dark side of human nature, often pushing the limits of violence, graphic gore, and extreme emotions. But with the popularity of shows and movies, such as “The Walking Dead,” “True Blood,” “Twilight,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” audiences have demonstrated their love for the genre–especially accompanied with a dose of humor to tone down the terror.

“Blood Lite III: Aftertaste” continues to put the fun back into dark fiction, featuring a wide range of humorous and highly entertaining horror-filled tales. Edited by Horror Writers Association founding member and award-winning author Kevin J. Anderson, the stories vary in tone from wry to downright laugh-out-loud funny. Featuring such well-known horror writers as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christopher Golden, and many others, this collection of tales is perfect for anyone who enjoys being entertained as much as they love a good scare.

Thoughts

I bought this book because it had two short stories from series that I’m reading. And then I figured that since it was an ebook, it was a good one to read before bed, instead of keeping my partner awake with the bedside lamp on. I’m still not sure of how I feel about this collection. It was certainly an easy read, but maybe not one that I will pick up again in a heart beat.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the variety of tones and feelings that you can find throughout. Some stories are downright funny. And some completely terrifying. There are ads, tales and scripts. Every different style and story takes you on a completely different and unexpected journey. And it has certainly given me a lot of new authors to find out more about… if I had enough time to chase down every single one that is.

Although I won’t be rereading Blood Lite III anytime soon, I will certainly be getting the other two Blood Lite collections to expand my knowledge and enjoyment of the authors who like to write about things that go bump in the night.

 <- The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour Review Lucifer’s Daughter Review ->
Image source: Goodreads