Tag Archives: Stacia Kane

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

Rick the Brave by Stacia Kane

Overview
Image result for home improvement undead edition book cover

Title: Rick the Brave
Author: Stacia Kane
Series: Downside Ghosts #3.5
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 29th September 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Pushing it right toward Chess.

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Synopsis

Rick just wanted to make some extra cash. But then a ghost comes out of the floor and his day goes from bad to worse. But maybe he can be brave.

Thoughts

I absolutely loved the fact that this short story ultimately lead to Rick finding his confidence and sense of self. In a way, it was a bit of a Coming of Age story. Alright, he’s kind of already an adult. But sometimes adults do need that extra little shove to be well… adult-like.

I absolutely loved the backstory that was in this tale. I can’t wait to find out more – after all, a world in which Mistletoe is somehow a portal for evil, soul consuming ghosts… definitely sign me up for that one! It just intrigued me so much and pulled me right in from the very beginning.

I love that although most stories I read with ghosts in them portray ghosts as kind of misunderstood, and / or just kind of sad… this one didn’t. The ghosts are dangerous, kind of evil and most definitely scary. It was a great change from the whiney, will-o-the-wisp style ghosts I’ve been reading about a lot lately. Always good fun when a spectral phantom can somehow annihilate you and destroy everything you are…

<- The PathFull-Scale Demolition ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 edited by Trisha Telep

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of vampire romance 2 book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2: Love Bites
Author: Trisha Telep, Jordan Summers, Deborah Cooke, Karen MacInerney, Caitlin Kittredge, Dina James, Camille Bacon-Smith, Rosemary Laurey, Patti O’Shea, Angie Fox, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Jamie Leigh Hansen, Carole Nelson Douglas, Diane Whiteside, Jaye Wells, Stacia Kane, Jennifer Ashley, Justine Musk, Jennifer St Giles, Dawn Cook, Nancy Holder, Larissa Ione, Jeanne C. Stein, Tiffany Trent, Ann Aguirre & Devon Monk
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Vampires
Dates read: 22nd March – 9th November 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Le Cirque de la Nuit.

Synopsis

From the biggest names in vampire romance, 25 tales of a hunger like no other.

Bloodthirsty new vampire romance, including thrilling new stories from bestselling and award-winning authors aush as Jordan Summers, Jaye Wells, Larissa Ione, Jeanne C. Stein and Deborah Cooke. You’ll encounter gothic romance and gritty contemporary tales of urban vampire love, from stand-alone short stories to well-loved (and feared) characters from established series.

Ruthless but tortured, gifted with paranormal sensitivity and sexually mesmerizing, vampires show they can be gentle and caring, too.

Forget the everyday world. Forget the rules. Succumb to a different kind of love.

Thoughts

I really think that Twilight kind of ruined the idea of vampires for me. And vampires with romance… it’s something that I’ve taken forever to truly get into. And even now, with this collection, I thoroughly enjoyed it in short bursts. Some of these stories were absolutely amazing. Many others weren’t. And some sat nicely in the middle. Which mostly just made this collection, fun, easy and a great break from reality late at night when I was no longer able to concentrate.

Having said that, the introduction sounds kind of pessimistic. That’s not the case with this book. It’s definitely an anthology that I would suggest to others. And one that I think people would thoroughly enjoy. I’ll probably even read it again in the future – just take my sweet time about it to space out the vampire overload.

As with all of the other Mammoth Books that I’ve read so far, I found this a great introduction to authors. Both new ones, and a reminder that I need to add some previously read authors to my wishlist too. I just need to magically find more money to actually purchase everything that has been added into my list.

<- Untitled 12Paris After Dark ->

Image source: Bookdepository

Trust Me by Stacia Kane

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of vampire romance 2 book cover

Title: Trust Me
Author: Stacia Kane
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 13th July 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Another brick shattered a windowpane and clattered on the wood floor.

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Synopsis

She’s supposed to be spying on a man she believes could be Jack the Ripper. But fate has other ideas, and she quickly finds herself falling in love. Has she fallen in love with a monster? Or will she get her happily ever after after all?

Thoughts

While I’ve been reading The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2, I’ve also been reading The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories. And I never expected any kind of overlap between the two. At all. After all, they’re two entirely different genres with no overlap whatsoever in authors. Which meant that it was incredibly surprising, although a little fun to read a story which is a vampire paranormal romance, featuring Jack the Ripper and the times in Whitechapel surrounding these killings.

Sometimes I think that paranormal fantasy stories (be they romance or just run of the mill fantasy) take a few too many things from our history and twist them into really weird storylines. And if you had have told me that there was a vampire romance featuring Jack the Ripper, I would have put this in the “I don’t think so” basket. Luckily, I didn’t know that this was such a story, and for that I am exceedingly glad. This was just such a great spin on an old mystery, and almost felt entirely plausible.

Although this romance short was set in the 1800s, I wouldn’t classify it as a historical fiction. The lead female was a little too strong willed and independent. Which, I have read similar stories, but that very independence and strength of will is what continuously gets them into trouble. It got her into absolutely no spot of strife throughout the story… which isn’t to say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it. but this read a little bit like a modern story, just moving the location in which it was set…

 <- Vampsploitation ReviewThe Scotsman and the Vamp Review ->
Image source: Bookdepository