THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
FIRST TIME IN PAPERBACK!
TALES OF PARANORMAL R & R BY
JEFF ABBOTT L. A. BANKS JEANIENE FROST
CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN CHRIS GRABENSTEIN CHARLAINE HARRIS
TONI L. P. KELNER KATIE MacALISTER A. LEE MARTINEZ
SHARAN NEWMAN LILITH SAINTCROW SARAH SMITH
Because everyone—and everything—needs a break from the routine, Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner offer postcards from the edge of the paranormal world
It really can be an endless summer—if you’re immortal. Though a vampire would be ill-advised to take a cruise to Bermuda, the possibilities for getting away from it all—and maybe snacking on some unsuspecting tourist—are many
With thirteen tales—including a weekend getaway in Mississippi for Sookie Stackhouse and her vampire friend Pam—Harris and Kelner bring together a stellar collection of tour guides who offer vacations frightening, funny, and touching for the fanged, the furry, the demonic, and the grotesque.
In past years, Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner presided over Wolfsbane and Mistletoe and Many Bloody Returns; now they are back with another arresting anthology of equally eerie tales. This new collection features a never-before-published Sookie Stackhouse story, but lots of other late vacation goodies, including fiction by Jeaniene Frost, Katie MacAlister, I.A. Banks, Jeff Abbott, and Lilith Saintcrow. (Hand-selling tip: Harris' Sookie Stackhouse keeps winning fans, thanks partly to HBO's popular True Blood.)
Harris and Kelner's third short-story anthology sends paranormals on vacation. Some of the 13 journeys are romps: Harris dispatches Sookie Stackhouse on a weekend getaway with an errand to a strip club that involves more than Sookie bargained for, in "Two Blondes." Katie MacAlister gives Guardian Aisling Grey's demon servant a trip to remember in "The Perils of Effrijim." And A. Lee Martinez's "The Innsmouth Nook" B&B caters to an unusual crowd, to say the least. Other tales are chilling: Jeff Abbott's tabloid journalist pursues the "Safe and Sound" return of a missing tourist; Christopher Golden observes the a hotel's "Thin Walls" for connections between a mourning man and a succubus; and Chris Grabenstein's "The Demon in the Dunes" stresses the perils of smoking. Sarah Smith, Daniel Stashower, L.A. Banks, Lilith Saintcrow, and Sharan Newman also contribute quality work, and readers will find this collection a great sampler for discovering authors they'll want to follow.
- Sherrie Williams
This thirteen-story anthology presents supernatural tales with the unifying theme of vacation. Vampires, shape shifters, demons, werewolves, and other paranormal creatures make appearances in tropical and more domestic locales. Of particular interest are two entries that feature popular series fiction characters in new stories. "Two Blondes" by Charlaine Harris is a Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampires Mysteries story, the basis for the popular True Blood television series. "One for the Money" by Jeaniene Frost features characters from the Night Huntress series, showcasing events occurring between the fourth and fifth books in the series. "Safe and Sound" by Jeff Abbott is a memorable story about a college student missing in an island paradise who may not want to be found. "Thin Walls" by Christopher Golden is a chilling picture of an insatiable succubus stalking a young widower. The theme of paranormal beings on holiday results in an interesting collection that is a quick read. The stories are uneven in quality, with some being quite predictable while a handful (noted above) excel. A few stories are sexually explicit, thus this collection is recommended for adults and more mature young adult readers. This anthology is recommended for public library collections, particularly those with a number of fans of supernaturally themed short stories. There is also significant interest in this book online among fans of the two fiction series that are featured in new stories here. Rabid True Blood and Night Huntress fans will likely drive circulation of this new title. Reviewer: Sherrie Williams
Charlaine Harris is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling paranormal fantasy series featuring Sookie Stackhouse (the basis for the HBO series True Blood®), the New York Times bestselling mystery series featuring lightning-struck corpse locator Harper Connelly, and other acclaimed novels.
Toni L. P. Kelner is the author of the “Where Are They Now?” mysteries and the Laura Fleming mystery series. She has won an Agatha Award and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and has been nominated for the Anthony and Macavity awards.
A native of the Mississippi Delta, Charlaine Harris grew up in a family of avid readers (her father was a teacher; her mother a librarian). She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, graduating in 1973 with a degree in English and Communication Arts. Although she penned poetry and plays in school, her first serious foray into fiction was with two standalone novels, Sweet and Deadly and A Secret Rage, published (effortlessly!) in the early 1980s.
After her early success, Harris released the first installment in a series of lighthearted mysteries starring spunky, small-town Georgia librarian, true crime enthusiast, and amateur sleuth Aurora Teagarden. When Aurora debuted in Real Murders (1990), Publishers Weekly welcomed "a heroine as capable and potentially complex as P. D. James's Cordelia Gray." The book went on to receive an Agatha Award nomination.
Anxious for another challenge, Harris began a second series in 1996. Darker and edgier than the Teagarden novels, these mysteries featured taciturn, 30-something housecleaner Lily Bard, a woman with a complicated past who has moved to the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, to find peace and solitude. The first novel, Shakespeare's Landlord, was well-received. BookList raved: "Harris has created an intriguing new character in this solidly plotted story." [Much to the disappointment of her fans, Harris concluded the Lilly Bard sequence in 2001 with Shakespeare's Counselor.]
Although Harris achieved moderate success with these two series (which she laughingly describes as "cozies with teeth"), she would hit the jackpot in 2001 with Dead Until Dark, a sly, spoofy paranormal mystery starring a telepathic Louisiana cocktail waitress named Sookie Stackhouse, who falls in love with a vampire named Bill. The novel, a delightful hybrid of mystery, science fiction, and romance, was an instant hit with critics. ("Harris' Sookie has the potential to attract more readers than Hamilton's Anita Blake," raved the dark fantasy magazine Cemetery Dance.) Readers, too, adored the Southern Vampire Series and have rewarded the author with bestseller after bestseller. (In 2008, the Sookie saga came to HBO in a top-rated television adaptation, True Blood, starring Anna Paquin.)
With 2006's Grave Sight, Harris added yet another fascinating character to her stable -- a young woman named Harper Connelly whose youthful encounter with a lightning bolt has left her with the ability to find corpses and determine how they died. In addition to juggling characters and plots for her popular series, Harris has also contributed short stories and novellas to several anthologies of paranormal fantasy fiction.
Good To Know
In our interview, Harris confesses:
"I'm really a boring person. My family (my husband and three children) is the most important thing in my life. I go to bed early, I get up early. I love to go to the movies with my husband. My favorite things about finally making some money as a writer are (a) I can buy as many books as I want, and (b) I can hire a maid. The first job I had was working in an offset darkroom at a very small newspaper. I stood on a concrete floor all day and made minimum wage -- which then was $1.60 an hour. I hated it, and I learned a lot, though not necessarily about working in a darkroom. So being a writer is much better."