The Vampire List, Part 1: Love Bites

cover of blood moonSo you want to read a vampire story. Your interest is understandable — they are compelling. But before you begin this journey, I warn you, once you start on this path, there’s no turning back. There are legends of a cure of course, but really, once a vampire groupie, always a vampire groupie. What’s worse is you can still maintain a fairly normal life even when half your mind is always thinking, “You know what would make this moment truly awesome? Vampires.” So before you pick up that first tale, remember this warning: Vampires are forever.

Over the next few weeks I will be presenting a series of lists containing authors and the vampire stories they write. For your convenience, these lists will be broken down into four main categories: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Traditional/Classic and Nontraditional/Modern.  As there has been a recent boom in the world of vampire romance, we’ll start the lists with stories about love.

THE ROMANCE LIST

Historical
Vampires generally have one thing in common: history. Look for these titles and others by these authors who write about the vampires of the past and the women Continue reading “The Vampire List, Part 1: Love Bites”

A Chicago-based wizard turns hard-boiled detective in The Dresden Files

The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher chronicles the adventures of Harry Dresden, the world’s only wizard-for-hire, as he investigates crimes with a magical twist and saves the city of Chicago from assorted minions of evil, including vampires, demons and fiendish goats.

While some of the basics mechanics of this series aren’t new — magical man investigates mabook cover Small Favorgical crimes in a big city — there are a few key details that set the Dresden Files apart from the rest of the “urban fantasy” books out there. Most of those details can be found in minor characters like Bob the Talking Skull, perhaps the best magical assistant ever devised. Keep an eye out for Ivy the Archive, Mab the Winter Queen, and a dewdrop faerie known as Toot-toot. In the Dresden Files, it is often the little guys who make the biggest difference, or at least add the greatest moments of comic relief.

The Dresden Files was made into a short-lived television show on cable’s Continue reading “A Chicago-based wizard turns hard-boiled detective in The Dresden Files”

Fairy tales for grown ups

cover of prince of dreamsSome stories we love hearing over and over again. Folktales told worldwide over the centuries have amazing similarities of theme, style and even in presentation. Some of the most dramatic fairy tales capture our hearts and imaginations even today. Sometimes authors re-imagine than old story from another perspective. At times authors prefer to write new stories using riffs from established tales or using an old-fashioned storyteller’s style that encourages us to settle back and enjoy the telling.

Here are four new spins on fairy tales many of us recognize from our childhood days: