Tag Archives: L.A. Banks

Death’s Excellent Vacation edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: Death’s Excellent Vacation
Author: Charlaine Harris, Sarah Smith, Jeaniene Frost, Daniel Stashower, A. Lee Martinez, Jeff Abott, L.A. Banks, Katie MacAlister, Christopher Golden, Lilith Saintcrow, Chris Grabenstein, Sharan Newman & Toni L.P. Kelner
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (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: 4th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Still, appearances were deceiving.

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Synopsis

An all-new anthology of vampire stories edited and with an introduction by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner.

Thoughts

I absolutely loved this collection. I normally love anything to do with paranormal fantasy anyway. But this is a particularly good one. After all, it’s all paranormal fantasy and urban fantasy stories that feature vacations.

It’s coming to that kind of year that I wish I got vacation time in y job. That I wish I could just take some time off and do whatever it is that people do on vacation. Which meant that it was really lovely to read a collection of short stories that feature vacations. All of which made me a little more thankful that I haven’t been going on vacation.

This is a collection that has a little bit of romance, a lot of humour, and generally anything that could possibly go wrong when you have vacation time does. It had me smiling and laughing throughout. I will most definitely be reading this one again.

<- Pirate Dave’s Haunted Amusement ParkTwo Blondes ->

Image source: Amazon

Seeing is Believing by L.A. Banks

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: Seeing is Believing
Author: L.A. Banks
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Psychics, Werewolves
Dates read: 10th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: She really liked you, and you all trusted each other.

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Synopsis

She has the Gift, but it’s causing her to live a bit like a spinster. Then her brother encourages her to go on vacation, and things take a far more enjoyable and lustful turn…

Thoughts

I really loved the New Orleans feel to this story. Which makes sense, because part of it is based in the city itself, and the rest is based elsewhere. It’s certainly fun and it’s one of the few cities in the USA that actually interests me…

A lot of the stories that I read about psychics and people who have the gift focus on the whole idea of how much the horrors of the future can damage a person. This story instead focused on the ways in which the gift can destroy relationships and spell the end before the beginning. Luckily, it’s not all bad, and there is a happy ending in there as well.

I love that this story has it all – werewolves and psychics, cops and witches, revenge and the beginning of new loves. There’s also a fun pole dancer thrown in there to make it all that much more fun and giggle-worthy.

<- Safe and SoundThe Perils of Effrijim ->

Image source: Amazon

Stroke of Midnight by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amanda Ashley, L.A. Banks & Lori Handeland

Overview
Image result for book cover stroke of midnight

Title: Stroke of Midnight
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amanda Ashley, L.A. Banks & Lori Handeland
In: Stroke of Midnight (Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amanda Ashley, L.A. Banks & Lori Handeland)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Vampires, Werewolves
Dates read: 12th January – 12th February 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: The fact that she was warm and welcoming.

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Synopsis

In an unseen world that lurks in the sahdows, they roam the night – feral, passioante, and dangerous. And when their world touches ours, a primitive desire takes hold, leaving mere mortals powerless in its wake…

Four of romance’s most intriguing authors have come together to create a mesmerizing anthology – unforgettable tales of vampires, shapeshifters, and werewolves. At the heart of these deeply sensual tales are everyday people facing extraordinary events – men and women thrown together by fate and an irresistible desire. In this world, your eyes can betray you as myth becomes reality, curses are vanquished, and love is the only weapon that can stand in the face of evil. In this world, there is a moment when passion and forbidden desire collide at the… STROKE OF MIDNIGHT

Thoughts

I absolutely adored this sensual, shapeshifting paranormal romance collection. There was just something about it that was completely impossible to put down. That got my heart pumping. That made me want to run to the nearest book shop and buy all the books. And spend days on end just reading. There was just something that made me fall head over heels with this collection.

The stroke of midnight is an eerie point, a tweening time when you’re kind of between times. The four novellas in this collection perfectly reflected that eerie feeling you get when you happen to be conscious at midnight. Not that the things that begin at midnight in this collection are necessarily good… they’re actually kind of concerning and dark. A little worrying. But still… they’re kind of mystical and great.

This entire collection is fantastic. If you like paranormal romance and things that go bump in the night… it’s the collection that you’re going to want to add to your shelves. It’s definitely one that I’m going to want to read again and again.

 <- Red Moon Rising ReviewWinter Born Review ->

Image source: Amazon

Make It Last Forever by L.A. Banks

Overview
Image result for book cover stroke of midnight

Title: Make It Last Forever
Author: L.A. Banks
Series: Vampire Huntress #3.5
In: Stroke of Midnight (Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amanda Ashley, L.A. Banks & Lori Handeland)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 7th February 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novella
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: If she wants the steak still mooing when you put the plate down, give it to her, so please take this one back.

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Synopsis

An innocent mistake forces the beautiful Tara onto a mission to save herself from the dark fate that awaits her. Salvation comes in the form of a seductive biker with a heart of gold. But will surrendering to their ripe attraction unleash a danger even she cannot control?

Thoughts

To start with, it concerns me a little that this review was dedicated to the author’s husband. Alright, it’s a romance, and it’s about a forever love. But it also has death in it, and not really the happily ever after that I would want to dedicate to my own partner… not to say that this isn’t a fantastic story!

I do love the idea of soul mates. It’s something that I believe in, deeply. The fact that the soul mate dies within days of meeting… that’s not something I ever want to think about. Or believe in. It’s just WAY too tragic. Especially if the couple has not had the easiest of runs with life. I hate when happily ever after gets snatched away just when it’s within one’s grasp.

Although this is annoyingly tragic, and didn’t have the happy ending I was hoping for, it’s also kind of sweet. There is still a reunion of sorts every year. It’s not much, but it was enough for me to still think of this favourably. Even if I wanted a much, much happier ending!

 <- Born of the Night ReviewRed Moon Rising Review ->

Image source: Amazon

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Image result for my big fat supernatural wedding book cover

Title: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
Author: P.N. Elrod, L.A. Banks, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Esther M. Friesner, Lori Handeland, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon & Susan Krinard
In: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 30th September – 30th November 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “You and your” – his eyes flicked toward Ian, who was clambering over the railing – “your intended can wait up on the quarterdeck.”

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Synopsis

Werewolves, vampires, witches, voodoo, Elvis—and weddings

An “ordinary” wedding can get crazy enough, so can you imagine what happens when otherworldly creatures are involved? Nine of the hottest authors of paranormal fiction answer that question in this delightful collection of supernatural wedding stories. What’s the seating plan when rival clans of werewolves and vampires meet under the same roof? How can a couple in the throes of love overcome traps set by feuding relatives—who are experts at voodoo? Will you have a good marriage if your high-seas wedding is held on a cursed ship? How do you deal with a wedding singer who’s just a little too good at impersonating Elvis? Shape-shifters, wizards, and magic, oh my!

Thoughts

I started reading this collection just before my best friend got married. I kind of figured that it was just a suitable kind of anthology to be reading when I too, was experiencing much of the wedding insanity that tends to surround such a fun day. And, it was nice to know that no matter what happened… nothing could go as badly wrong as many of the weddings in this collection.

There is something about weddings that seems to bring out the best and worst in people. So much pressure and stress for just one day which always blows my mind… but most people don’t have to deal with the supernatural. The characters in these stories do. And some of the battles they face are just… well, ridiculous. And difficult. And so much fun to read about.

Most of the authors in this collection I have on my shelves. Which made this a really good collection to read. Not only did I not then add a hundred different books to my wish list, but I often had the pleasure of revisiting worlds that I already have on my shelves. And the few I didn’t recognise? Well, they’ve quickly found their way on my to buy next list…

 <- “…Or Forever Hold Your Peace” ReviewSpellbound Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Spellbound by L.A. Banks

Overview
Image result for my big fat supernatural wedding book cover

Title: Spellbound
Author: L.A. Banks
In: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Family, Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 30th September 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Ethel floated toward the tree near the two lovers.

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Synopsis

Odelia and Jeffereson just want to escape their horrifying families. They want to get married and live happily ever after. But they’re insane, dueling families have a lot to say about it… put in a call to the Grandmothers, and things might just start to work out the way they want them to.

Thoughts

This story is such a gorgeous little Romeo and Juliet themed tale. Two young people from warring families have fallen deeply in love. And all they want to do is get married. Unlike the Shakespearean classic though, they have grandmothers. Who help. Actually they more than help… they step in and take charge. Big time. I love the strong grandmother trope…

Odelia and Jefferson are a rare and cute couple. And an interesting wedding to start a collection about supernatural weddings off with. The hoodoo casting, Deep South dwelling families were completely unexpected. Totally loved. And impossible to stop thinking about. The fact that the lead are virgins at their wedding just makes it all the more sweet… especially since BOTH the man and woman have abstained.

This short story made me think about those moments when you’re falling madly in love. Those heady moments of excitement and anticipation as you begin to truly start a new life with each other. It’s sweet and romantic. And, just downright hilarious to counter all the mushy feelings… definitely a short story that I would recommend again and again.

 <- My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding ReviewSomething Borrowed Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Bayou Brawl by L.A. Banks

Overview

Blood Lite IIITitle: Bayou Brawl
Author: L.A. Banks
In: Blood Lite III: Aftertaste (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Easy readingScience fiction
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gallery Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: The size of it could only be made out because the edges of it sparked in the water.

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Synopsis

What happens when the aliens invade supernatural territory? Be thrown in the bayou and a love triangle to find out.

Thoughts

I really liked the idea behind this story – extraterrestrials have visited New Orleans and the Bayou. There is one lady that has the contacts to find out what is happening. It turns out that said contacts are supernatural and totally onto it. Biff at the bayou.

Like I said, I liked the idea. Mostly I liked the execution, but I felt like the main character was kind of just sleeping with everyone. She has two lovers, they are almost two sides of a coin. Awesome. But then towards the end she seems to be adding another few to her repertoire… I just want to know how one has that much libido and energy!

But seriously… aliens vs. supernaturals… this idea needs to be run with a little bit further!

 <- Distressed Travelers Review The Steeple People 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 ->
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