Strange Brew

Strange Brew

4.0 75
by P. N. Elrod, Jennifer Van Dyck, Christian Rummel

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Today's hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic!

In Charlaine Harris' "Bacon," a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband. In "Seeing Eye" by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps


Today's hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic!

In Charlaine Harris' "Bacon," a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband. In "Seeing Eye" by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother—and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected. And in Jim Butcher's "Last Call," wizard Harry Dresden takes on the darkest of dark powers—the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer.

For anyone who's ever wondered what lies beyond the limits of reality, who's imagined the secret spaces where witches wield fearsome magic, come and drink deep. Let yourself fall under the spell of this bewitching collection of short stories!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Anthologist Elrod (My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding) taps into the urban fantasy craze with a mixed bag of wizardry, mystery and glamour. The best include Patricia Briggs's wistful "Seeing Eye," wherein blind witch Wendy Moira Keller helps werewolf Tom Franklin search for his missing brother, and Jim Butcher's funny "Last Call," which finds wizard Harry Dresden hot on the tail of Meditrina Bassarid, a wicked wine-loving maenad who wreaks havoc in a Chicago bar. In Rachel Caine's romantic "Death Warmed Over," Holly Anne Caldwell, a resurrection witch, falls in love with Andrew Toland, a corpse from 1875, while Elrod's "Hecate's Golden Eye" tells of a 1937 hunt for a curious family gem. Though not particularly groundbreaking, these tales will easily keep paranormal mystery fans entertained. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal

Elrod ("The Vampire Files") curates another urban fantasy anthology featuring a mix of marquee names and newcomers. Unlike in his previous collections (My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding; My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon), the theme—witches—is looser, allowing the contributors freedom to expand upon their current popular series. Best-selling authors Patricia Briggs (Bone Crossed) and Jim Butcher (Turn Coat) open the anthology with stories set in familiar worlds. While Briggs's "Seeing Eye" is not tied to either of her current series, the themes are similar, and her weres make an appearance. Butcher's "Last Call," the highlight of the collection, finds wizard detective Harry Dresden tracing a batch of tainted beer to a Chicago Bulls game. Faith Hunter's promising new series featuring skinwalker Jane Yellowrock is launched in the surprisingly touching "Signatures of the Dead." The only misstep here is Karen Chance's (Curse the Dawn) contribution, "Vegas Odds," which focuses on a drawn-out fight scene at the expense of character development. VERDICT Readers will pick this one up for the popular authors and be pleasantly surprised by the tyros. Highly recommended.—Nanette Wargo Donohue, Champaign P.L., IL

—Nanette Wargo Donohue
From the Publisher

“These tales will easily keep paranormal mystery fans entertained.” —Publishers Weekly

“This uniformly excellent anthology starts off strong and proceeds to weave in plenty of action and dark magic.... There's something here for every supernatural taste.” —Romantic Times

“Readers will pick this one up for the popular authors and be pleasantly surprised by the tyros. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal

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Brilliance Audio
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Library Edition
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Strange Brew

By P. N. Elrod

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2009 Patricia Briggs
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-8285-6


Seeing Eye Patricia Briggs

The doorbell rang.

That was the problem with her business. Too many people thought they could approach her at any time. Even oh-dark thirty, even though her hours were posted clearly on her door and on her Web site.

Of course, answering the door would be something to do other than sit in her study shivering in the dark. Not that her world was ever anything but dark. It was one of the reasons she hated bad dreams — she had no way of turning on the light. Bad dreams that held warnings of things to come were the worst.

The doorbell rang again.

She slept — or tried to sleep — the same hours as most people. Kept steady business hours, too. Something she had no trouble making clear to those morons who woke her up in the middle of the night. They came to see Glinda the Good Witch, but after midnight, they found the Wicked Witch of the West and left quaking in fear of flying monkeys.

Whoever waited at the door would have no reason to suspect how grateful she was for the interruption of her thoughts.

The doorbell began a steady throbbing beat, ring-long, ring-short, ring-short, ring-long, and she grew a lot less grateful. To heck with flying monkeys, she was going to turn whoever it was into a frog. She shoved her concealing glasses on her face and stomped out the hall to her front door. No matter that most of the good transmutation spells had been lost with the Coranda family in the seventeenth century — rude people needed to be turned into frogs. Or pigs.

She jerked open the door and slapped the offending hand on her doorbell. She even got out a "Stop that!" before the force of his spirit hit her like a physical blow. Her nose told her, belatedly, that he was sweaty as if he'd been jogging. Her other senses told her that he was something other.

Not that she'd expected him to be human. Unlike other witches, she didn't advertise, and thus seldom had mundane customers unless their needs disturbed her sleep and she set out one of her "find me" spells to speak to them — she knew when they were coming.

"Ms. Keller," he growled. "I need to speak to you." At least he'd quit ringing the bell.

She let her left eyebrow slide up her forehead until it would be visible above her glasses. "Polite people come between the hours of eight in the morning and seven at night," she informed him. Werewolf, she decided. If he really lost his temper, she might have trouble, but she thought he was desperate, not angry — though with a wolf, the two states could be interchanged with remarkable speed. "Rude people get sent on their way."

"Tomorrow morning might be too late," he said — and then added the bit that kept her from slamming the door in his face: "Alan Choo gave me your address, said you were the only one he knew with enough moxie to defy them."

She should shut the door in his face — not even a werewolf could get through her portal if she didn't want him to. But ... them. Her dream tonight and for the past weeks had been about them, about him again. Portents, her instincts had told her, not just nightmares. The time had come at last. No. She wasn't grateful to him at all.

"Did Alan tell you to say it in those words?"

"Yes, ma'am." His temper was still there, but restrained and under control. It hadn't been aimed at her anyway, she thought, only fury born of frustration and fear. She knew how that felt.

She centered herself and asked the questions he'd expect. "Who am I supposed to be defying?"

And he gave her the answer she expected in return. "Something called Samhain's Coven."

Moira took a tighter hold on the door. "I see."

It wasn't really a coven. No matter what the popular literature said, it had been a long time since a real coven had been possible. Covens had thirteen members, no member related to any other to the sixth generation. Each family amassed its own specialty spells, and a coven of thirteen benefited from all those differing magics. But after most of the witchblood families had been wiped out by fighting amongst themselves, covens became a thing of the past. What few families remained (and there weren't thirteen, not if you didn't count the Russians or the Chinese, who kept to their own ways) had a bone-deep antipathy for the other survivors.

Kouros changed the rules to suit the new times. His coven had between ten and thirteen members. ... He had a distressing tendency to burn out his followers. The current bunch descended from only three families that she knew of, and most of them weren't properly trained — children following their leader.

Samhain wasn't up to the tricks of the old covens, but they were scary enough even the local vampires walked softly around them, and Seattle, with its overcast skies, had a relatively large seethe of vampires. Samhain's master had approached Moira about joining them when she was thirteen. She'd refused and made her refusal stick at some cost to all the parties involved.

"What does Samhain have to do with a werewolf?" she asked.

"I think they have my brother."

"Another werewolf?" It wasn't unheard of for brothers to be werewolves, especially since the Marrok, He-Who-Ruled-the-Wolves, began Changing people with more care than had been the usual custom. But it wasn't at all common either. Surviving the Change — even with the safeguards the Marrok could manage — was still, she understood, nowhere near a certainty.

"No." He took a deep breath. "Not a werewolf. Human. He has the sight. Choo says he thinks that's why they took him."

"Your brother is a witch?"

The fabric of his shirt rustled with his shrug, telling her that he wasn't as tall as he felt to her. Only a little above average instead of a seven-foot giant. Good to know.

"I don't know enough about witches to know," he said. "Jon gets hunches. Takes a walk just at the right time to find five dollars someone dropped, picks the right lottery number to win ten bucks. That kind of thing. Nothing big, nothing anyone would have noticed if my grandma hadn't had it stronger."

The sight was one of those general terms that told Moira precisely nothing. It could mean anything from a little fae blood in the family tree or full-blown witchblood. His brother's lack of power wouldn't mean he wasn't a witch — the magic sang weaker in the men. But fae or witchblood, Alan Choo had been right about it being something that would attract Samhain's attention. She rubbed her cheekbone even though she knew the ache was a phantom pain touch wouldn't alter.

Samhain. Did she have a choice? In her dreams, she died.

She could feel the intensity of the wolf's regard, strengthening as her silence continued. Then he told her the final straw that broke her resistance. "Jon's a cop — undercover — so I doubt your coven knows it. If his body turns up, though, there will be an investigation. I'll see to it that the witchcraft angle gets explored thoroughly. They might listen to a werewolf who tells them that witches might be a little more than turbaned fortune-tellers."

Blackmail galled him, she could tell — but he wasn't bluffing. He must love his brother.

She had only a touch of empathy, and it came and went. It seemed to be pretty focused on this werewolf tonight, though.

If she didn't help him, his brother would die at Samhain's hands, and his blood would be on her as well. If it cost her death, as her dreams warned her, perhaps that was justice served.

"Come in," Moira said, hearing the grudge in her voice. He'd think it was her reaction to the threat — and the police poking about the coven would end badly for all concerned.

But it wasn't his threat that moved her. She took care of the people in her neighborhood; that was her job. The police she saw as brothers-in-arms. If she could help one, it was her duty to do so. Even if it meant her life for his.

"You'll have to wait until I get my coffee," she told him, and her mother's ghost forced the next bit of politeness out of her. "Would you like a cup?"

"No. There's no time."

He said that as if he had some idea about it — maybe the sight hadn't passed him by either.

"We have until tomorrow night if Samhain has him." She turned on her heel and left him to follow her or not, saying over her shoulder, "Unless they took him because he saw something. In which case, he probably is already dead. Either way, there's time for coffee."

He closed the door with deliberate softness and followed her. "Tomorrow's Halloween. Samhain."

"Kouros isn't Wiccan, any more than he is Greek, but he apes both for his followers," she told him as she continued deeper into her apartment. She remembered to turn on the hall light — not that he'd need it, being a wolf. It just seemed courteous: allies should show each other courtesy. "Like a magician playing sleight of hand, he pulls upon myth, religion, and anything else he can to keep them in thrall. Samhain — the time, not the coven — has power for the fae, for Wicca, for witches. Kouros uses it to cement his own, and killing someone with a bit of power generates more strength than killing a stray dog — and bothers him about as much."

"Kouros?" He said it as if it solved some puzzle, but it must not have been important, because he continued with no more than a breath of pause. "I thought witches were all women." He followed her into the kitchen and stood too close behind her. If he were to attack, she wouldn't have time to ready a spell.

But he wouldn't attack; her death wouldn't come at his hands tonight.

The kitchen lights were where she remembered them, and she had to take it on faith that she was turning them on and not off. She could never remember which way the switch worked. He didn't say anything, so she must have been right.

She always left her coffeepot primed for mornings, so all she had to do was push the button and it began gurgling in promise of coffee soon.

"Um," she said, remembering he'd asked her a question. His closeness distracted her — and not for the reasons it should. "Women tend to be more powerful witches, but you can make up for lack of talent with enough death and pain. Someone else's, of course, if you're a black practitioner like Kouros."

"What are you?" he asked, sniffing at her. His breath tickled the back of her neck — wolves, she'd noticed before, had a somewhat different idea of personal space than she did.

Her machine began dribbling coffee out into the carafe at last, giving her an excuse to step away. "Didn't Alan tell you? I'm a witch."

He followed; his nose touched her where his breath had sensitized her flesh, and she probably had goose bumps on her toes from the zing he sent through her. "My pack has a witch we pay to clean up messes. You don't smell like a witch."

He probably didn't mean anything by it; he was just being a wolf. She stepped out of his reach in the pretense of getting a coffee cup, or rather he allowed her to escape.

Alan was right: She needed to get out more. She hadn't so much as dated in ... well, a long time. The last man's reaction to seeing what she'd done to herself was something she didn't want to repeat.

This man smelled good, even with the scent of his sweat teasing her nose. He felt strong and warm, promising to be the strength and safety she'd never had outside of her own two hands. Dominant wolves took care of their pack — doubtless something she'd picked up on. And then there was the possibility of death hovering over her.

Whatever the ultimate cause, his nearness and the light touch of breath on her skin sparked her interest in a way she knew he'd have picked up on. You can't hide sexual interest from something that can trail a hummingbird on the wing. Neither of them needed the complication of sex interfering in urgent business, even assuming he'd be willing.

"Witchcraft gains power from death and pain. From sacrifice and sacrificing," she told him coolly, pouring coffee in two mugs with steady hands. She was an expert in sacrifice. Not sleeping with a strange werewolf who showed up on her doorstep didn't even register in her scale.

She drank coffee black, so that was how she fixed it, holding the second cup out to him. "Evil leaves a psychic stench behind. Maybe a wolf nose can pick up on it. I don't know, not being a werewolf, myself. There's milk in the fridge and sugar in the cupboard in front of you if you'd like."

She wasn't at all what Tom had expected. Their pack's hired witch was a motherly woman of indeterminate years who wore swami robes in bright hues and smelled strongly of patchouli and old blood that didn't quite mask something bitter and dark. When he'd played Jon's message for her, she'd hung up the phone and refused to answer it again.

By the time he'd driven to her house, it was shut up and locked with no one inside. That was his first clue that this Samhain's Coven might be even more of a problem than he'd thought, and his worry had risen to fever pitch. He'd gone down to the underpass where his brother had been living and used his nose through the parks and other places his brother drifted through. But wherever they were holding Jon (and he refused to believe Jon was dead), it wasn't anywhere near where they kidnaped him.

His Alpha didn't like pack members concerning themselves with matters outside of the pack ("Your only family is your pack, son"). Tom didn't even bother contacting him. He'd gone to Choo instead. The Emerald City Pack's only submissive wolf, Alan worked as an herbalist and knew almost everyone in the supernatural world of Seattle. When he told Alan about the message Jon had left on his phone, Alan had written this woman's name and address and handed it to him. He'd have thought it was a joke, but Alan had better taste than that. So Tom had gone looking for a witch named Wendy — Wendy Moira Keller.

At his first look, he'd been disappointed. Wendy the witch was five foot nothing with rich curves in all the right places and feathery black hair that must have been dyed, because only black Labs and cats are that black. The stupid wraparound mirrored glasses kept him from guessing her age exactly, but he'd bet she wasn't yet thirty. No woman over thirty would be caught dead in those glasses. The cop in him wondered if she was covering up bruises — but he didn't smell a male in the living-scents in the house.

She wore a gray T-shirt without a bra, and black pajama pants with white skull-and-crossbones wearing red bows. But despite all that, he saw no piercings or tattoos — like she'd approached mall Goth culture, but only so far. She smelled of fresh flowers and mint. Her apartment was decorated with a minimum of furniture and a mishmash of colors that didn't quite fit together.

He didn't scare her.

Tom scared everyone — and he had even before their pack had a run-in with a bunch of fae a few years ago. His face had gotten cut up pretty badly with some sort of magical knife and hadn't healed right afterwards. The scars made him look almost as dangerous as he was. People walked warily around him.

Not only wasn't she scared, but she didn't even bother to hide her irritation at being woken up. He stalked her, and all she'd felt was a flash of sexual awareness that came and went so swiftly, he might have missed it if he'd been younger.

Either she was stupid or she was powerful. Since Alan had sent him here, Tom was betting on powerful. He hoped she was powerful.

He didn't want the coffee, but he took it when she handed to him. It was black and stronger that he usually drank it, but it tasted good. "So why don't you smell like other witches?"

"Like Kouros, I'm not Wiccan," she told him, "but 'and it harm none' seems like a good way to live to me."

White witch.

He knew that Wiccans consider themselves witches — and some of them had enough witchblood to make it so. But witches, the real thing, weren't witches because of what they believed, but because of genetic heritage. A witch was born a witch and studied to become a better one. But for witches, real power came from blood and death — mostly other people's blood and death.

White witches, especially those outside of Wicca (where numbers meant safety), were weak and valuable sacrifices for black witches, who didn't have their scruples. As Wendy the Witch had noted — witches seemed to have a real preference for killing their own.

He sipped at his coffee and asked, "So how have you managed without ending up as bits and pieces in someone else's cauldron?"

The witch snorted a laugh and set her coffee down abruptly. She grabbed a paper towel off its holder and held it to her face as she gasped and choked coffee, looking suddenly a lot less than thirty. When she was finished, she said, "That's awesome. Bits and pieces. I'll have to remember that."

Still grinning, she picked up the coffee again. He wished he could see her eyes, because he was pretty sure that whatever humor she'd felt was only surface deep.

"I tell you what," she said, "why don't you tell me who you are and what you know? That way I can tell you if I can help you or not."


Excerpted from Strange Brew by P. N. Elrod. Copyright © 2009 Patricia Briggs. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

P.N. Elrod is the editor of Dark and Stormy Knights, Strange Brew, My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon and My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, which won the 2006 Pearl Award for best anthology. She is the author of many novels, including the Vampire Files Series, as well as numerous short stories. In 2010, she was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy, and she is the winner of the Pioneer Achievement Award. Elrod loves meeting readers at science-fiction conventions all over the country. She has two dogs—Sasha and Megan—and an incurable addiction to chocolate. She lives somewhere on another planet, but maintains a convenient citizenship in the state of Texas for tax purposes.

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Strange Brew 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Melhay More than 1 year ago
~Seeing Eye After reading this story of Moira Keller, a good witch in Seattle who gets a late night visit from a man - or werewolf - in need of help against Them -- I cannot believe I have not read any stories by Patricia. Tom is looking for his kidnapped "gifted" brother, Jon. Everything Tom told Moira rang true with her as it matched her dreams. Moira believes Jon was kidnapped as a sacrifice on Halloween for Kouro Samhain and his coven. I really enjoyed the unexpected turns and events of the story. This story has made purchasing the anthology worth it. And this was only the first story. ~Death Warmed Over Holly Anne Caldwell, a witch who's the best at what she does - resurrection, hates doing ressurections on a work night, as they take all night and no sleep doesn't help the day job. But Sam asks her to do one on Thursday, it's Monday. A long-term resurrection for the Police Department can't be a good thing, and on such short notice. Will she take it? The person she is to resurrect has a long strong history himself, and a short history with Holly too. I really enjoyed this short story. I loved the way the characters where developed in this short story and connected with each other and find I want to read more of the short time Holly and Andrew spent together before. I am definitely going to have to get a few more of her books after reading this short story. Great read! ~Signatures of the Dead A whole family is butchered and Brax wants to get the killers. Brax needs to know for sure if its vampires, if they are okay, and where they sleep to get justice. Molly is a unique Earth Witch and could help. But could it hurt her? Being a short of thirty-three pages, I felt the suspense and couldn't wait to get to the end to see where they story went. As the story went the plot thickened for me. I really felt pulled in to this world with these characters. The characters abilities and limits amazed me. I really liked the way witches were broke down and made a bigger type of character with new rules (for me) along with limits. This short story introduced me to a character I really liked the idea of, Jane Yellow rock - from Skinwalker. ~Dark Sins Cin a witch turned vampire three years ago by Michael, unusually retained her witch powers - yet she doesn't have control of them and has premonitions. Cin and Michael are on a holiday in Venice with their friends Devlin and Justine when they are attacked by a dark Wizard and his witches. When Cin wakes up she is on a stone floor surrounded by a ward and her friends are laying on alters. Why are they wanted in this town? This story starts off with action of both sexual and physical battle. I enjoyed how the action kept moving through this story. This short story also had a start, climax, and an end to the story. There was a creation of a god and plans for the future with these characters. I look forward to other stories here in this world, whether in anthologies or full books. I am going to have to find this series of Cin Craven now.
kitkat3ny More than 1 year ago
All in all I really enjoyed this urban fantasy anthology; it was a lot of fun. I gave this a 4-star rating because there were only a couple duds out of all the nine authors who contributed; and that in itself is really surprising to have so many good novellas in one anthology. Faith Hunter "Signatures of the Dead" Now this novella was spectacular! This was definitely my favorite out of all nine authors. We are introduced to Jane Yellowrock, the heroine in Faith Hunter's new series. This novella however, focuses on Molly Trueblood, an earth witch. Molly assist her friends, Jane and a detective in locating rogue vampires who are currently on a vicious killing spree. The story was exciting, mysterious and smoothly done. The whole story felt complete even though it was only 31 pages long. 5+/5 Caitlin Kittredge "Ginger" This one comes in at a close second. This novella takes place in Caitlin's Nocturne City world. The story focuses on Sunny who helps Luna in infiltrating a blood magic coven. The story was interesting, moved fluidly and was full of action and intrigue. 5/5 Rachel Caine "Death Warmed Over" I stop reading Rachel's Weather Warden series last year because it started to seem completely unbelievable and coincidental. This story however, was flawless! Holly, a Necromancer, is asked by the police to resurrect a tenacious Zombie War hero to assist them in a current case. This story really surprised me. It was dark, interesting, humorous and smooth. 5/5 Karen Chance "Vegas Odds" Lia a mage teacher and her werewolf boyfriend Cyrus are attached in her home by a few of her rogue students, hellbent on killing her. This story was invigorating, exciting and fast paced. 5/5 Patricia Briggs "Seeing Eye" Moira, a powerful witch aids a werewolf in the search for his brother. The story was interesting but the transitions weren't smooth and flowing; instead it felt choppy and hurried. Regardless of the rushed impression, I liked Moira. She's a blind witch with a lot of courage and a steel spine. She chose to walk into a lion's den in complete darkness, for a complete stranger. 4/5 Jim Butcher "Last Call" Harry Dresden gets more than he bargained for when he goes on a beer run. This was my least favorite. Now I loved the show The Dresden files from the Scifi network and was pissed off when it got canceled. Surprisingly though, this story just didn't hook me. I found it boring and tedious. 1/5 This anthology was a surprisingly fast read and I highly recommend it. Most of the stories had a nice spooky and comfy feel to them. Like when you snuggle up and crack open a good book on a cold and snowy night, and more importantly, with a day off from work the next
randime More than 1 year ago
I always find this collaboration of writers keep me interested. The stories are offbeat, sometimes commical, usually thrilling and definitely original.
Shallan More than 1 year ago
If you haven't read anything of each of the authors who provide a short story, "Strange Brew" will help you by giving you a taste of how they write and of the characters of their books. I have all the books of the series for Butcher (Harry Dresdan), Harris (Sookie Stackhouse), and Briggs (Mercy Thompson and the Omega Series). Read this then take the time to find out more of what these authors write. They are worth the time.
katydidit More than 1 year ago
I am a Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris fan already and I enjoyed the chance to read some other current SF/F writers without committing to a whole novel. I enjoyed the stories in this book and will probably end up checking out some of the authors' novels, which was, I am sure, the intent of this compilation. This is also good if you enjoy some reading before bedtime, but you're too busy to get engrossed in a long novel. I picked this up during my busy season and it was great to have something entertaining to read before bed and I didn't have to worry about staying up too late because I "just couldn't put it down".
AGDee More than 1 year ago
the book is done by several diffrent authors. thus you will have a nice variety to stories. there is a little of everything for everyone. the action, romance,humour,suspenes,saddness, and horror. i fully enjoyed the book personally. Introduced me to new authours and stories to look into futher for future reading. however, this is not a book i would recommend for younger teens or children. over all i gave it high marks.
Jonathan_Mowbray More than 1 year ago
I have read several of the short story collections edited by P.N. Elrod, and as with the others I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. The variety of stories from a number of different authors exposed me to writers that I haven't read before and resulted in my starting to read several other series.
I_grok More than 1 year ago
A fun quick read. A few of the stories are even touching.
Soberguy More than 1 year ago
For fans of the wizard, werewolf and night beastie gang, this is a great read. Butcher's Dresden stories are always a great mix of humor, magic and Sam Spade type detective story. All of these writers are at the top of their game for the genre. No eternal classics here but a lot of great fun reading. Highly recommended.
tigerlilly_liz More than 1 year ago
~ 4 Strange Brew Stars ~ These short stories have mix of magic, vampires, werewolves, witches and more. I picked this book up just to read Patria Briggs story Seeing Eye, but found myself reading the rest of these quick interesting short story's. I am now going to be checking out several of these authors and who knows I might find my next great read! My Review On Each Short Story  Seeing Eye by Patria Briggs - 5 Stars - Magic - Werewolves - Witches A very nice quick read in Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson & Alpha and Omega series world. Wendy a witch & Tom a werewolf. Wendy does not let her disability affect her, strong women. Tom is very dedicated to protecting his family and what is his. I enjoyed both characters. I like how strong Wendy is and how Tom did not coddle her. I hope we get to see these two again.  Last Call by Jim Butcher - 4 Stars - Magic - Wizard - Crime A nice enjoyable quick read in Jim Butcher The Dresden Files series. Harry is a wizard investigator. He goes out for a drink, ends up investigating what happened at the bar, and learning that the mythical gods want to come back and remind humans who is in charge. This picked my interest and I plan to check out this series. I enjoyed the crime/investigation aspect along with magic added into the world.  Death Warmed Over by Rachel Caine - 5 Stars - Witches - Raising the Dead I’m not big on resurrection or zombie type books, but this short story was interesting. Holly, licensed seventh-generation witch, with a specialty for raising the dead. Resection witches are ending up dead & Holly has to bring back someone whom she clearly cares about to figure out what is happening. This was an emotional read, I felt for Holly and her situation. The ending I did not see coming, so it was a surprise and I’m curious to know if this is a series or might become one.  Vegas Odds by Karen Chance - 5 Stars - Magic - Werewolves - Half-breeds I liked how this one started off with lots of action and it does not stop. Loa is half-were/half-magic user. I felt connected to Loa and could feel her dilemma. She feels like she is not good enough for the Corps and not Were enough for her Were lover. Lia's students for some reason are trying to kill her. Why? You will have to read to find out.  Hecate's Golden Eye by P.N. Elrod - 4 Stars - Vampires - History - Curses We are taking into the 1937 where Charles and Jack are detectives/retrieval of items. A neckless has been stollen and they have been hired to get it back. This neckless has a curse on it, which is quit interesting to read about. Jack and Charles work well together and the story is fun to read.  Bacon by Charlaine Harris - 3 Stars - Vampires - Werewolves - Witches This was an ok read. We have an interesting concept of vampires who marry werewolves. Dahlia, a vampire and widower was married to a werewolf who was murdered. She wants revenge and has enlisted her vampire friend and one of the pack werwolves to help find those involved in taking out her husband. She concocts a very interesting pay back.  Signature Of The Dead By Faith Hunter - 4 Stars - Witches - Magic - Sorcerers - Skin walkers This short story is a prequel in the Jane Yellowrock series. Jane Yellowrock is a skin-walker and only Molly her friend, an earth witch knows about Jane and her special abilities. It was nice seeing what Molly can do. They end up taking out a nest of rouge vampires in this story. We get magic, action and an in-site into the series. I’m curious to check out the series even more now then I was before.  Ginger: A Nocturne City Story by Caitlin Kittredge - 3.5 Stars - Witch - Magic - Werewolves This was interesting with its Magical conspiracy storyline. Lina is Rhoda’s sister and somehow she became a werewolf plus she’s a detective. Rhoda Swann, is sister to Lina, a witch who is not very competent in her ablates, ends up going undercover to stop some black magic users. I enjoyed this story and I believe it is part of the Nocturne City series.  Dark Sins by Jenna MacLaine  - 5 Stars - Vampires - Witches - History I really enjoyed this story. It’s part of the Cin Craven series and I am most decently going to be checking this out. I enjoyed the aspect of the world, war goddess Morgan, vampires, witches, and dark forces all at work. One witch turned vampire must learn how to harness her powers too one day save millions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent collection of stories by the best of modern fantasy novelists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From beginning to end, each story was filled with well-crafted characters, dialogue that carried the plot along and situations familiar yet still entertaining. Good editors can take good writers and make them wonderful, as is very evident here. There are lots of twists and excitement. Also, over 250 pages of delightfully written stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So-so... Only Patricia Briggs is worth of reading...
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BuchDragon More than 1 year ago
The only reason this is getting a 4 instead of a 5 is the fact that I felt cheated. The only reason I bought this book was to read Patricia Briggs' "Seeing Eye" and it was worth it but I just felt she could have included a little more of how Tom and Moira's relationship advanced to where we know it ends up and I wouldv'e loved to see The Emerald City Pack's reaction when Tom introduces Moira. She could've at least in my opinion not ended it were she did. I know this is just a short story to go along with the main story of Alpha and Omega series but I still felt cheated, just a little. As for the rest of the book the other stories in the anthology were pretty good.
LOVESTOREADDM More than 1 year ago
All great writers. I was wishing each story was longer!
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TibetTaylor More than 1 year ago
I have started picking up Anthologies containing works from my favorite authors to learn about the side stories to their major novels and series. In Patricia Briggs "Seeing Eye" we learn how a Witch and a Werewolf are introduced and just how a White Witch has the power of a without the evil taint of a black wicked witch, both characters introduced to us in "Hunting Grounds" as already married. In "Signatures of the Dead", Faith Hunter, I am introduced to a "new" character Jane Yellowstone. A character I discover has novels written around; cool a new author. I have not read any of Charlane Harris Sookie Stackhouse novels but I have seen them around, after reading some of Ms. Haris short stories featuring Sookie, I may add them to my list. In short, I look at Anthologies as pieces of the story the author writes that are sides to the full story or background information for characters used in the novels giving us insight to the author; and as a way to learn of new authors or introduction to someone I have not considered before.
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