Strange Candy

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Overview

The #1 New York Times bestselling author's short story collection-including an all-new Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter story-now in paperback.

From a woman who marries into a family of volatile wizards to a couple fleeing a gang of love-hungry cupids, from a girl who seeks sanctuary in the form of a graceful goose to the disgruntled superhero Captain Housework, readers will revel in the many twists and turns of fortune in these fantastical fairy tales and lush parables. Even ...

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Overview

The #1 New York Times bestselling author's short story collection-including an all-new Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter story-now in paperback.

From a woman who marries into a family of volatile wizards to a couple fleeing a gang of love-hungry cupids, from a girl who seeks sanctuary in the form of a graceful goose to the disgruntled superhero Captain Housework, readers will revel in the many twists and turns of fortune in these fantastical fairy tales and lush parables. Even hardened vampire hunter and zombie animator Anita Blake gets blindsided by the disturbing motives of her clients in the new "Those Who Seek Forgiveness" and in "The Girl Who Was Infatuated with Death."

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
A perviously unpublished Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter story is just one of the many treats in Laurell K. Hamilton's box of sweet and spicy fantasies, fairy tales, and parables. The 14 stories -- six new, three from the '80s, four from the '90s, and one written last year -- represent what Hamilton calls "vacations of the mind," and all show her great delight and skill in " taking the fantastic and dropping it in the middle of the real." Some stories are from Hamilton's sword-and-sorcery days, set in the same world as her first book, Nightseer. Then there's a comical story about a posse of love-hungry cupids who pursue a commitment-phobic man and woman, and a haunting story about a woman who is the only witness to the rape and murder of her roommate by a handsome merman. We find out Anita Blake's original occupation" (zombie animator), in "Those Who Seek Forgiveness," Anita's first appearance on paper. The collection concludes with "The Girl Who Was Infatuated with Death," an Anita story set before the novel Narcissus in Chains. Here she is trying to fight her attraction to Jean-Claude with -- you guessed it -- no luck at all, just a lot of hot, chocolate-covered sex. Longtime Hamilton fans will especially enjoy the introductions to each story that give the author's perspective. Ginger Curwen

From Barnes & Noble's Explorations
The legions of hard-core Laurell K. Hamilton fans (many of whom have devotedly followed her Anita Blake saga since 1993's Guilty Pleasures) will be categorically blown away by her very first short story collection. Featuring a surprisingly diverse selection of bite-sized literary treats, the anthology spotlights Hamilton's considerable storytelling talents with tales that range from sensual to sardonic and mercurial to melancholy.

Noteworthy selections include "The Edge of the Sea," a haunting and darkly erotic story about a woman who comes face-to-face with the supernatural on the California seashore; and "Here Be Dragons," a blend of science fiction and horror that pits a therapist against a young girl whose dreams can kill. The never-before-published "Those Who Seek Forgiveness" -- the very first story ever to include Anita Blake! -- chronicles what happens when a zombie-raising goes terribly wrong. "Clean Sweep" introduces readers to Captain Housework, a three-foot superhero whose enemies include the infamous Dust Bunny Gang; and "A Lust of Cupids" is a decidedly lighthearted look at love -- with a little divine intervention.

Readers who regard Hamilton as just another overrated romantic fantasy novelist will be duly chastened after reading Strange Candy. No matter what the genre (dark fantasy, sci fi, horror, speculative fiction, etc.), Hamilton showcases her bitingly satirical wit and genre-transcendent storytelling mastery with 14 tales of love, lust, lunacy, and liberation. Delectably dark and irresistibly rich, Strange Candy is like a box of gourmet literary bonbons: Betcha can't eat only one. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Fans will best appreciate the 14 often darkly humorous fictions in bestseller Hamilton's first story collection, which includes several unpublished tales. Stories like "Selling Houses," in which a determined real estate agent faces up to the difficulties of selling a house where a gruesome mass murder has taken place, and "Here Be Dragons," a horrific account of a psychic child whose dreams can kill, show talent but need polish. Anita Blake aficionados, though, will relish the opener, "Those Who Seek Forgiveness," with its early version of a somewhat na ve vampire hunter. Stories set in the sword-and-sorcery world of Hamilton's first novel, Nightseer-"A Token for Celandine," "Winterkill," "The Curse-maker" and "Stealing Souls"-reveal that she has always had a talent for portraying strong female characters. Brief author introductions to each selection provide context. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425215210
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/5/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 307,521
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell K. Hamilton is the New York Times bestselling author of the Meredith Gentry novels: A Kiss of Shadows, A Caress of Twilight, Seduced by Moonlight, A Stroke of Midnight, Mistral’s Kiss, as well as fifteen acclaimed Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, novels. She is a full-time writer; she lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family.

Biography

The vampire genre has enthralled readers ever since Bram Stoker introduced a certain Transylvanian count over a century ago. Since then vampires have been used as vehicles for everything from romantic novels to erotica to humor to the expected tales of terror. However, very few writers have combined all of these facets of the never-say-die vampire quite the way that Laurell K. Hamilton has.

Hamilton has not always been under the spell of undead things that go bump-and-grind in the night. When she was a young girl, her literary tastes were a bit more on the traditional side. "I wanted to be Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, because I had never read any science fiction, fantasy, or horror," she confessed in a podcast on Mayor Slay.com. "Then at 13 or 14 I found Robert E. Howard's short story collection [Pigeons From Hell]. It was the first horror, the first heroic fantasy, the first science fiction I'd ever read, and the moment I read that I knew that not only did I want to be a writer, but this is what I wanted to write."

Furthering Hamilton's burgeoning fascination with the fantastic, she discovered Anthony Masters's The Natural History of the Vampire at her high school library. Coupled with the ghost stories her grandmother had told her when she was a child and heavy doses of Hammer Horror movies from Great Britain, Hamilton was well on her way to creating a character that would only be rivaled by Buffy in the field of vampire slaying.

Hamilton first introduced vampire huntress Anita Blake in her third novel Guilty Pleasures. Blake is an unlikely combination of action hero, federal marshal, "necromancer," and lusty dame. Her exploits between the sheets and in the graveyard won Hamilton a rabid following hungry for something new in the well-traveled vampire genre.

Along with the kinds of scares normally associated with vampire stories, Hamilton's books are notable for their unflinching eroticism. Vampires have had a sexual lure since Stoker, but Hamilton particularly draws that aspect to the surface of her work as one of her creatures might draw blood from a victim. "I [want] a kiss to be so believable it gives the reader shivers," she says on her website. "Two things I do well are sex and violence, but I don't want gratuitous sex or violence. The sex and violence is only as graphic as need be. And never included unless it furthers the plot or character development."

Another unlikely trait of her books is humor, vampire tales classically being of the more solemn sort. However, a writer weaned on a book titled Pigeons From Hell is not likely going to shy away from wit. Consequently, her books have been consistently entertaining and fun, as well as creepy and sexy.

Hamilton has also brought her delicious combination of sex, humor, and frights to another series, this one more ingrained in dark fantasy than horror. Her faerie princess/P.I. Meredith Gentry made her debut in Kiss of Shadows in 2001 and has since sparked her own crowd-pleasing sword and sorcery meets pulp series.

Increasingly, the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books have added more sexual content to their story lines, classifying both series in a new hybrid genre that blends romance, erotica, and paranormal fantasy. To judge from Hamilton's consistent appearance on the bestseller charts, readers find the mix spellbinding.

Good To Know

One thing you will never find in a Hamilton novel is a cliffhanger. She believes that cliffhangers unfairly tease readers who would then have to wait six months to a year to have some sense of resolution. As she said during an interview with Bill Thompson of Eye On Books, "Every book is a full meal. All the way from the appetizer to the dessert, so that you come away feeling that you've had an experience... and at the end you have that satisfied, full feeling."

Before Laurell K. Hamilton made a full-time career of blood, guts, murder, and mayhem, she had more humane pursuits -- she volunteered at an animal shelter where she played with unwanted pets.

In our interview, Hamilton shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself with us:

"I am incredibly stubborn. Telling me I cannot do something, especially if you cite the fact that I am a girl, will make me want to do it more and do it better."

"I am not my characters. We have some of the same traits in common, but we are very different people."

"Everything inspires me. Getting up in the morning, walking the dogs, watching a music video. Inspiration comes from everywhere."

"I love animals. I own four dogs, two of whom are rescues. In fact, Jimmy is with us because they were going to gas him if we didn't take him with us. As an older dog his chances of finding a home were fairly slim. But he has been a wonderful addition to our home."

"I like spending time with my family and friends. Something I often feel I do not do enough of. But there are only so many hours in a day."

"I like to read other people's works. I love reading cozy or historical mysteries when I can."

"I enjoy interacting with fans at planned public events. I enjoy talking to them and have met many wonderful people."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laurell Kaye Klein (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 19, 1963
    2. Place of Birth:
      Heber Springs, Arkansas
    1. Education:
      B.A., Marion College
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 148 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(66)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(22)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    Overpriced for 192 pages

    My fault I should have review the book before purchasing, if I had I would have skipped this book and went on to the next one. The short stories were good but I think they should not have been added as one of the books to the Anita Blake Vampire Series.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Not what I expected

    For those who are Anita Blake fans, you'll find a couple of stories in this, but the rest are different short stories and I found very few interesting or intriguing enough to recommend this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Heavy on the Ish.

    I love* Laurell K. Hamilton's series (Anita Blake, Meredith Gentry) so I grabbed just for the heck of it. Three or four cought my eye, but the rest were okay. Ish. -- Heavy on the ish. Not bad, but not very memorable either. It was stuck in passive tense which really annoyed me. (It had been a.. She had gone to..) I cought myself constantley changing it in my mind. I just read this book a few days ago and there are onlly a handful I even remember; a triton, vampire real estate, one about geese, magicians, and one mentioning Jean - Claude. But that's all I really remember. I was a little disappointed, but not entirely. It's one of those that you have to read, just 'cause, but it's nothing to get excited about. I guess I could recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    This fourteen short story fantasy collection showcases Laurell K. Hamilton¿s dark humor and strong female characters. Six are brand new three were published in 1989 four in 1990s and one in 2005. The first tale, ¿Those by Themselves¿ is an Anita Blake story back in her early days when she was an unconfident inexperienced rookie and the Hamilton-Blake mythos had not quite developed for followers of the executioner this will be fun culture shock as she has come a long way baby. Three of the contributions are set in the sword-and-sorcery realm of NIGHTSEER (the author¿s first novel from the earl 1999s). The compilation is solid with most of the stories great fun. Fans of Ms. Hamilton and anyone who appreciate her dark droll fantasies will want to read this delightful anthology.------------------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    I was skeptical at first about this purchase. Anita Blake is my

    I was skeptical at first about this purchase. Anita Blake is my favorite character and I was concerned that I wouldn't enjoy Hamilton's works outside of Blake's world. I'm please to say my fears were unfounded, her dark sense of humor translates and transforms in each story. I found myself wanting all of the shorts to carry on, these characters captivated me right away. I hope she will publish another compilation of short stories soon!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Liv post post post post post

    What true

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Lauren to Liv post post post post post post post post

    Kayden wanta u to go to next res

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Kayden post post post poat post post post

    Is it true liv?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    I &hearts it

    Its amazig.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    A Strangely Twisting Story<^>♛Chapter One♛ "Harvest"

    &#9813Okay this is my first thriller story so dont judge. If you like the Hunger Games & Kingdom Hearts this is your kind of story. If not, read at your own risk. Enjoy!!!!!&#9813<p>I walk through SectorThree, scrunching up my nose at the smell of dead bodies, stepping over people who died who knows how long ago. There are three sectors between Sector Five, where I live & Sector One, where I work. So, every day, I trudge unhappily through Sectors Two, Three & Four, my nose almost always pinched shut. It's bad enough going through once, but twice is enough to gag a burrfly.<p>I dont't have much time so I'll be short in my explantions. Four hundred years ago, World War III, the nuclear war everyone had been dreading, hit. The radiation from the numerous nuclear bombs wiped out almost all life. The few survivors were all North America inhabitants. The intense radiation forced them to seek shelter deep undeground. Two hundred years later, the surface was suitable for sustaning life. However, a side effet of the massive radiation waves was that the atmosphere was now messed up so that when a plant, animal or person died, they didn't decay. They just laid there. People began work to clear away enough bodies for everyone to return to the surface. Soon, enough bodies were cleared away by burning & burying. The Privimel Council, our government, created a shining center city of luxury surrouded by shining walls. No filth entered there. The five Sectors were then set up around Privimel City. To honor our ancestors who cleared away bodies to make the surface liveable, every year five boys & five girls were chosen from each Sector in an annual selection ceremony called "The Harvest." These fifty young people, called "The Harvested," were to go out past our protected nation of Kerredan(car–uh–dun) & clean out bodies through burning & burial for two years. At the end of those two years, the ones still alive would return home & live richly forever in Privimel City. Neither my father nor my step-mother were chosen. Now, it is time for The 200th Annual Harvest. And this time, I am eligble, along with all my siblings.<p>I have five anoying older step-brothers: twins Karrden & Christweln, both 19; Jaedeng, 17; Brandray, 16 & Mexiel, 15. I also have four equally annoying older step-sisters; Chefren, 25; twins Amerianga & Xeminala, 20; & Aslenj, 18. Ny name is Zexia & I'm fourteen.<p>Anyways, I get to our house about fifteen minutes before The Harvest. "Hurry & get dressed Zexia." My step-mother snaps irritably. Ugh. She's in one of those "i will have nothing to do with Zexia" moods. Means i get to curl my hip length hair all by myself. I riffle through the few desses in my closet & settle on a shimmery rose-colored one with matching low heeled shoes. I quckly curl my long blonde hair. A dash of lipstick. At The Harvest, the annoucer, Jenessa, tiptoes to the mirophone like she's excited. As if. "Ladies first." She bubbles. She reads four names I don't know. But the fifth sends everything spinning. "Zexia Jengast."<p>&#9813 Hope you liked it. Chapter Two will be out soon at 'twisting' first res.&#9813<p>Yours truly,&#9825KHfan4ever&#9825

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    These short, dark stories reminded me of why I love Hamilton's w

    These short, dark stories reminded me of why I love Hamilton's writing. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    GOOD READ!!

    SOME OF LAURELL HAMILTONS SHORT STORIES IN ONE! LETS YOU KNOW WHAT OTHER IDEAS SHE HAD RUNNING THROUGH HER HEAD!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Ty to miranda

    Hi

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    Jane

    Is leaving

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    Ruby

    Im sick.. i have the flu

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    Gillian

    Helo?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

    Logan

    Yd u cough?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    To gilian

    Hey go to liger games and ask if u could join its a book

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    CANDYSTAR!!!!!!!

    Its me, twix!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Skittlepaw

    Goes.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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