Werewolves, vampires, witches, voodoo, Elvis---and weddings
An "ordinary" wedding can get crazy enough, so can you imagine what happens when otherworldly creatures are involved? Nine of the hottest authors of paranormal fiction answer that question in this delightful collection of supernatural wedding stories. What's the seating plan when rival clans of werewolves and vampires meet under the same roof? How can a couple in the throes of love overcome traps set by feuding relatives---who are experts at voodoo? Will you have a good marriage if your high-seas wedding is held on a cursed ship? How do you deal with a wedding singer who's just a little too good at impersonating Elvis?
· L. A. Banks
· Jim Butcher
· Rachel Caine
· P. N. Elrod
· Esther M. Friesner
· Lori Handeland
· Charlaine Harris
· Sherrilyn Kenyon
· Susan Krinard
Shape-shifters, wizards, and magic, oh my!
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||291 KB|
About the Author
Sherrilyn Kenyon is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than sixteen million copies of her books in print, in over thirty countries. She is the author of the Dark-Hunter novels, which have an international cult following and always appear at the top of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today lists. Writing both as Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kinley MacGregor, she is also the author of several other series, including: The League, Brotherhood of the Sword, Lords of Avalon, The Dream-Hunters and BAD.
Near Nashville, Tennessee, Sherrilyn Kenyon lives a life of extraordinary danger . . . as does any woman with three sons, a husband, and a collection of swords on which all of the above have a major fixation.
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.
New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular in the #1 spot. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre in which she writes, including manga and graphic novels. More than 70 million copies of her books are in print in more than one hundred countries. Her current series include The Dark-Hunters, The League, Deadman's Cross, Chronicles of Nick, Hellchasers, Mikrochasers, and The Lords of Avalon. Her Chronicles of Nick and Dark-Hunter series are soon to be major motion pictures.
CHARLAINE HARRIS is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over thirty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. She is the author of the Aurora Teagarden mysteries, the Shakespeare mysteries, the Harper Connelly mysteries, the Cemetery Girl mysteries, and the Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series, which is the basis for the HBO show True Blood. Harris now lives in Texas with her husband.
L. A. BANKS was the author of the Vampire Huntress Legend series and the Crimson Moon Novels, including Left for Undead and Never Cry Werewolf. She had a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and a master's in fine arts from Temple University. Banks considered herself a shape-shifter, writing romance, women's fiction, crime and suspense, and of course, dark vampire huntress lore. She lived with her daughter in Philadelphia until her death in 2011.
Jim Butcher contributed to My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding from St. Martin's Press.
RACHEL CAINE is the internationally bestselling author of thirty novels, including the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Morganville Vampires young adult series, and the bestselling Weather Warden series. She contributed to My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding from St. Martin's Press and Chicks Kick Butt from Tor.
Esther Friesner contributed to My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding from St. Martin's Press.
Lori Handeland is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Nightcreature Novels, including Moon Cursed and Crave the Moon, as well as The Phoenix Chronicles and Shakespeare Undead. She is the recipient of many industry awards, including two RITA awards, a Romantic Times Award for Best Harlequin Superromance, and the Prism Award from Romance Writers of America. She lives in Wisconsin with her family and a yellow lab named Ellwood.
SUSAN KRINARD is the author of twenty-seven fantasy and paranormal romance novels, including Mist, and eleven novellas. Krinard grew up in the San Francisco bay area. She currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband Serge Mailloux, two cats, and three dogs.
Read an Excerpt
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
By P. N. Elrod
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2006 L. A. Banks
All rights reserved.
L. A. BANKS
SOUTH CAROLINA, IN THE GLEN
Hattie McCoy smoothed the front of her flowing white dress and sat down by an adjacent tree. Her gaze fondly drifted over to the pair of young lovers, and she sighed with contentment.
"Now, Hattie," a warm, familiar voice said before the apparition that came with it appeared. "We ain't supposed to be spying on kin like that, specially when they in delicate situations. Just because we spirits, and can, don't mean that we should."
"I know," Hattie said. She watched her friend of many years fully materialize to sit beside her. "But just look at 'em. So young, and so in love."
Ethel Hatfield smiled. "If them two don't watch out, they gonna make a baby this afternoon, if you ask me."
"I know," Hattie crooned, clasping her hands in joy. "Wouldn't that just be divine?"
Ethel nodded and then frowned. "But that danged celibacy spell both our families cast is gonna get in the way." She glanced up. "Gonna storm, too. Them Hatfields and McCoys is at it again! Don't make sense — always thirteen women aunts conjurin' on one side against them thirteen uncles on the other ... chile, you know how it goes through the genes on each side, but why can't folks just stop and let sleepin' dogs lie?"
"That's why I came here," Hattie whispered, standing and putting both hands on her disappearing hips. "All these years and our families are still feudin'? Don't make no kinda sense. Working roots on each other, casting evil spells, dabblin' in hoodoo — humph!"
Ethel floated toward the tree near the two lovers. "Girl, you block that tree limb and try to shoo them off the blanket 'fore it falls. I'll try to whisper some sense into these two lovebirds to try make 'em hold off until we can get this all straightened out."
Hattie covered her mouth and giggled, loving that they'd both been allowed to take on their old girlish forms once they'd crossed over to the other side as ancestors. "Chile, I don't think they'd mind right now if lightning did hit 'em. Gonna be mighty hard to get in between them two."
Ethel laughed. "Not sure that I want to, given how they's rubbing and bumping and grinding all up on each other. Have mercy!"
"Aw, girl, don't act like you don't remember those days. Love is a mighty powerful thing, magic all by itself," Hattie said with a mischievous wink.
Both ghosts laughed and danced about in the shards of sunlight, becoming shining pollen motes.
"Oooh, honey!" Ethel exclaimed. "What you think they'll make first — a boy or a girl?"
SOUTH CAROLINA, PRESENT DAY
He pulled out of their kiss like a man drowning. Odelia's sweet breath washed his lips in warm temptation, her mouth so close to his that he could still taste the mint iced tea she'd had only minutes ago. His hands slid down her shoulders, his eyes coveting every inch of her dark, satiny skin, wanting to lower the thin straps of her yellow tank top.
"I know it's hard to wait, but we can't," she whispered. "We shouldn't."
He searched her face, rendered mute for a moment by the plea within her beautiful brown eyes. But the conflict he saw in them, the passion they belied, while her body against his created a hot seal that rivaled the muggy afternoon, it was more than a man could bear.
"But we're gonna be married soon," he said quietly, his thumbs lazily stroking her upper arms. "We're engaged." He swept up her hand and kissed the back of it, then the center of her palm, as his other hand stroked her long, velvety braids.
She hesitated, glanced at the two-karat stone that picked up sunlight and splashed prism-sent color against his cheek while she gently brushed it, and then stared into his eyes. What could she say to this man?
A yearlong whirlwind college romance in their senior year had turned into an engagement. A whole year of trying to abstain, like Minister had said, had been the toughest thing she'd had to endure in her life. A year of them both mysteriously neglecting to inform their families of this new development was torture. She knew why she'd omitted Jeff's existence from her family's purview, and also knew why he'd never taken her home to meet his people.
She could only pray that Jeff's folks weren't still carrying the generational grudge that was legendary between their families, and that they didn't conjure, too. According to her family's crazy view, his folks were wicked spell-casters and so was everyone in his extended family. No. Couldn't be. Jeff seemed so logical, so levelheaded, and so removed from the old superstitious ways, it was impossible that his people were like hers.
As she stared up into Jefferson McCoy's intense brown eyes, she knew there was no way to explain the insanity she'd grown up with. Once married, they'd be his kin, too. Maybe she'd break it to him gently after the wedding. Yet, how did one explain that her daddy was as close to a Dr. Buzzard-root-master as one could get, or that her aunties all worked roots, with serious, inexplicable consequences befalling the unfortunate individuals who'd dared to cross them? She'd escaped to college to get away from all of that backwoods stuff. Intellectual pursuits and the campus church had been a cloak and a shield against the kitchen conjuring her folks could do. If her family spooked this man, she'd die a natural death.
"Jeff," she said quietly, unable to draw her body away from his, "I don't want anything to mess up what we have. I don't want to tempt fate, or draw down The Wrath. If we just get married quickly, privately, me and you ... I —"
"You want to elope?" he asked in a ragged murmur, bringing his lips to her neck and breathing out the words. The more he thought about it while caressing her, the more her idea had merit. It was stupid to think that two weeks before graduation they could just drop this announcement on their families and turn what were initially supposed to be individual graduation parties into a combined, surprise wedding. At the time, it had seemed like a reasonable concept; there would already be a cake, food, people gathered, and a minister present — all that would be needed was a license, a few flowers, and a dress. He already had a good suit.
"Okay," Jeff finally choked out, unable to stop kissing her. "I can't stand a long engagement and all the drama of a wedding, anyway."
His ardent attention to her earlobe under the private canopy of trees, where they were just supposed to be having a picnic lunch, was making her forget everything Minister had said, and about the family dangers of going too far. The way Jeff's hot breath scored her ear sent tiny shivers along her spine. He smelled so good ... deep, rich, male, and earthy ... and felt divine; his tall, six-foot frame was like solid oak. Lawd. She couldn't help but allow her lips to taste his Hershey-toned skin, and before she knew it, her fingertips began to tingle as they grazed his short-cropped, thick hair.
"You'd do that for me?" she whispered, as he made her breath hitch with a slow kiss on her shoulder.
"I'd do anything for you," he said into her ear hotly. "Anything. I love you, girl."
It was almost too good to be true. She'd escaped. They might be able to have a life together. He'd be fresh out of law school and practicing at his first big job with his new degree in Seattle. She'd have her master's, could go there as his wife, and could pursue social work, far, far away from home. They could make love day and night, without fear of reprisal, because the union would be under the protective cloak of the Almighty; even her folks couldn't mess with that — or could they? she wondered. Maybe her children with Jeff might even be born "normal," and not have the conjurer gene or the proclivity.
When his kiss became more aggressive, she returned it in kind, knowing full well this was foolhardy. All the nights that they'd come close to breaking their vow to wait began to come crashing down on her. The ache he'd produced within her was a fire that hadn't burned out since the day they'd met.
Each near miss had only made it worse. Each chaperoned get-together, dating in a church group from campus, now made her ready to shriek. Each time they'd gone to either his or her apartment, supposedly to watch movies, they had ended up in a passionate tussle of way-too-heavy petting on the sofa, the movie neglected. The past two months, they'd both agreed not to tempt fate by doing that, citing church tenets as the reason — but there was more to it than that. Then he'd messed up and given her a ring during a quiet, unplanned dinner for two. That had almost broken them down. But today ... she couldn't take it. Her willpower was gone.
"Jefferson, we can't," she gasped, stopping the next kiss and leaning her forehead on his chest. She could feel his heart thudding against her skull and connecting to the thud of desire between her legs. His USC T-shirt clung to his hard torso, dampened.
"Baby, I don't know how much more of this I can take...."
The fact that Odelia had used his full given name made him nervous. That was a no, for sure. Right now, he couldn't hear that word. He didn't care what his momma and her brothers promised would happen if he ever, in his life, hooked up with a Hatfield woman.
"You know there's no sense in us getting ourselves all worked up," she said breathlessly. "That's why I stood up and got off the darned blanket."
"I can't help it," he said, kissing the crown of Odelia's head, panting. "Ain't nobody gonna see us. Won't nobody know. We could fly to Vegas and get married tonight."
"The woods have eyes," she said, resting both hands on his shoulders.
"Then let's go back to your place," he said, hugging her to him hard, still unable to stop touching her. He had to make love to Odelia or heart failure was probable. It was already nearly impossible to breathe, he wanted her so badly. His family could conjure all they wanted, but this woman was the one. He refused to let them throw bones and chase her away like all the others before her.
"We can't fly to Vegas ... I know you spent everything you had on this ring."
"Don't worry about it," he murmured as his hands slid down her back and began to caress her bottom.
Just feeling the rise of her firm behind beneath his palms made him shudder and close his eyes when her tight butt muscles clenched to the rhythm of his touch. Who cared if he was two months late in his rent and had used the last of his book money, food money, and student loan living expenses to put a rock on her hand — she was worth it. It didn't matter that he was currently flat busted. The condition was temporary, any ole way. She didn't need to worry. When he turned twenty-five in a couple of months, he'd come into a little inheritance money that had been put in trust for him by his dearly departed father. He'd use that to start their lives, buy their first home. Never in a million years would he take that home to plow it into a conjuring business with his uncles. Odelia Hatfield was worth every penny he had to his name.
His better judgment in shreds, his body continued to move against her softness, stoking the ache that swept through his groin and radiated sheer agony through his abdomen. They were not gonna force him to come back home and join the family conjuring business, in exchange for them lifting the celibacy spell.
Try as he might to forget the threat, the more Odelia moaned and yielded to his affection, the more his mother's words rang in his ears: You're young, baby, and sooner or later you gonna need to get that spell lifted or lose yo' natchel mind. It was your uncles' idea, not mine. Don't shoot the messenger. Your uncles was jus' angling for a compromise, suga'. So, meet 'em halfway; go on to school, and then why don't you jus' stop fighting your birthright and come on back to us after college and work with the family, like family should. Marry a nice girl from down home who understands our ways.
It was extortion, pure and simple.
Jefferson tried to push it all out of his mind as he deepened the tender kisses that Odelia's lush mouth demanded. So what if the clan claimed he was the strongest conjurer that had been born into their family in generations? How in the world could he bring a soft, gentle creature like her home to his insane kin? She'd bolt for the hills, and he couldn't live without her. Odelia promised a normal, ordinary life, with normal, happy children. He'd be a big attorney one day and would figure out how to get a restraining order on his entire family. He'd sue them for criminal trespass! Paranormal home invasion.
His hands soon found Odelia's face, and he cradled it as he stared into her eyes, speaking in a low, urgent tone and lobbying hard for his cause. "You and me are meant to be, 'Delia. What are the chances that we're both only children? You lost your momma on the same day and year I lost my daddy, we're even born on the same day, July twenty-first, and just so happened to be at the same university at the same time from the same part of the world, graduating the same year, and both feeling things the way we do? We practically breathe the same breath ... can finish each other's sentences. Girl, we have the same favorite color, sky blue, and like the same music, believe the same things, and both want to be together like nobody's business; what are the odds? Tell me this ain't meant to be."
* * *
His argument was hard to deny as she stared into his eyes. They had a hypnotic quality to them that she'd seen before but just couldn't place. And the things his touch did to her body just didn't make any kinda sense. She opened her mouth to speak, but only a rush of breath exited where words failed. He pulled that same air into his mouth through his barely parted lips. Just seeing him do that made her nipples sting so sharply that she crushed her breasts against him, forcing him to wince and close his eyes.
"I know," she finally said, swallowing thickly as the ache sent slingshot spasms of desire between her thighs. "We're a perfect match."
He nodded. "That's what I've been trying to tell you. Can't nothing break us up."
"My people got funny ways," she said, practically swooning as his palms slid up her arms until his fingers were able to tease the edge of her tank top. She could barely catch her breath while his fingertips danced beneath the straps and across the swell of breasts, but not daring to go beyond the fabric border.
"Mine do, too," he admitted in a rough whisper. "You wanna go to my place? It's gonna rain."
She could only nod and gently stroke his cheek. He had no idea how serious funny ways could be. Her folks took the meaning to a whole new level. Yet he'd made the statement about the weather without even looking at the sky, just like her daddy always did. Heavy-laden clouds had indeed formed, now pregnant with pending doom. Yes, it was gonna thunder and lightning and rain cats and dogs, and all hell was gonna break loose, once her family found out she was dating a McCoy. But marry one?
Odelia almost cringed at the thought but kept her expression serene as she stared at him with love. They'd put the hoodoo on her Jefferson, would throw every conjure in the mojo book at him, just to get back at his family for possessing the wrong gene pool and because of an old Hatfield versus McCoy land score unsettled. If she slept with him, they'd know.
"We can't go back to your place. ... You know what's likely to happen if we do." It was all a conjangled web of spell versus counterspell. Her aunties had cast a conjure that only a legit marriage could shield. They'd promised her that they had from the moment she'd begun to bud with puberty ... and the insidious roots that had been worked promised that if any boy went too far, he'd fall dead away. It was their insurance policy that she'd return to the fold, bring her dead momma's inheritance with her to add to the Hatfield larder, and work alongside them one day. She believed them; her aunties didn't play. She'd never tested the theory, until Jefferson McCoy made it hard not to. The way he was looking at her now made it next to impossible to hold the line, even for his own safety.
He kissed her again and didn't answer the charge. What could she do but kiss him back? There was no way to explain this nightmare. Determined to get away from all of that family drama, she'd up and gone to college, hoping that root conjures had distance limits. But her daddy told her he'd redoubled his efforts and gone in with his sisters on that front — to supposedly protect her virtue. She couldn't chance it, not the way she loved her Jeff.
"We're gonna get wet if we stay out here." Jefferson's voice was a quiet rumble, his gaze penetrating.
Excerpted from My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding by P. N. Elrod. Copyright © 2006 L. A. Banks. 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.
Table of Contents
ContentsSpellbound L. A. BANKS,
Something Borrowed JIM BUTCHER,
Dead Man's Chest RACHEL CAINE,
"All Shook Up" P. N. ELROD,
The Wedding of Wylda Serene ESTHER M. FRIESNER,
Charmed by the Moon LORI HANDELAND,
Tacky CHARLAINE HARRIS,
A Hard Day's Night-Searcher SHERRILYN KENYON,
"... Or Forever Hold Your Peace" SUSAN KRINARD,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I picked this up to read in between releases by some of my favorite authors I liked the variety of stories and it was cool to get some little side stories about characters from these author's main series. A good group of short, fun(funny) stories.I'd recommend to anyone who has either dealt with a wedding/bride/groom and needs a laugh.
I picked up this book mostly because a few of the authors listed--Jim Butcher, Lori Handeland, Charlaine Harris and Sherrilyn Kenyon--are well-known. I was a little reluctant, only because with a title including the word "weddings" I was expecting a lot of romantic fluff. Nothing wrong with that, but not my thing. Instead, I was surprised to find a light, funny, and very creative collection ruminating on all the problems, mishaps and outright disasters associated with weddings even before the supernatural gets involved. Only a few of the stories feature brides and grooms as the main characters; most revolve around the antics of the bridesmaids, best men, caterers, guests and random interlopers, all of whom get into plenty of trouble and most of whom find romance at the end, if rarely with the person you would expect. The best stories in the group are LA Banks' Spellbound, about a couple desperate to marry despite their voodoo-practicings, feuding families; Rachel Caine's Dead Man's Chest, a Pirates of the Carribean-style high-seas adventure; and Esther M Friesner's The Wedding of Wylda Serene, an upper-class comedy of manners that only gets its supernatural twist in the ends. More so than any other paranormal/urban fantasy collection out there, this book features a huge range of styles, plots and mythical and supernatural creatures.
I stumbled upon this while looking for more from my favorite author Charlaine Harris - what I stumbled upon was a great book that made me laugh. The different scenarios are funny and the different takes on supernatural weddings is nice. I especially liked "Dead Man's Chest" by Rachel Cane, "Tacky" by Charlaine Harris an "The Wedding of Wylda Serene" by Esther M. Friesner. You get pirates, magicians, vampires, werewolves + the craziness that goes along with a lot of weddings even without supernatural forces. Hope others find it as funny as I did it was definately worth reading.
When you don't like one story in an anthology, you can just skip to the next. However, in this one, you won't want to miss a word anywhere! There's vampires, werewolves, Elvis, pirates, Greek gods and so much more. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of each and every story. P.N. Elrod has pulled together a 'spook-tacular' variety of stories from some of the top paranormal authors (including herself). It's very hard to pick a favorite, but I think I have to go with Rachel Caine's 'Dead Man's Chest' - ARRRRGH, that's some fine story-tellin', matey! Elrod's own 'All Shook Up' isn't far behind (and I'm not an Elvis fan). But how can I forget the unique and funny 'The Wedding of Wylda Serene' by Esther M. Friesner? There's also well done tales by L.A. Banks, Jim Butcher, Lori Handeland, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Susan Krinard. Although some of the stories are based in the writer's popular 'universes,' I had no trouble following any of the stories even when I wasn't familiar with the settings. In fact, I was so intrigued, I'll be placing their books on my 'must read' list. I'm really missing out on some good ones... Bravo! I wish all anthologies were this well done.
i loved all the stories in this book!!!!! it was an easy read and other peaple can relate to some of the stories as well...... all in all great book to read.
I loved this book. It was an easy read, humerous and so much fun. I bought it because I'm a huge Charlaine Harris fan but the other authors in the book have now piqued my interest. I truly recommend this book.
These nine short stories are amusing romantic fantasies that lampoons the sub-genre with chaotic weddings from hell. Star crossed lovers, wizards and enchantresses, vampires, ghosts, shapeshifters are either part of the wedding party or friends of the bride or groom. There is no telling who might show up as this anthology takes a lighthearted approach to nuptials amidst the paranormal. Sub-genre fans will appreciate this fun collection in which nothing is sacred. Accept the invitation to the weddings of the millennium, but don¿t complain about the seating as there is no telling what species from beyond will be at your table. This is a humorous compilation written by top authors worth reading by sub-genre fans.---------- Harriet Klausner
Nine bestselling authors come together and blend their talents to create a magical brew just for you, the reader. This novel is a collection of nine short stories. They are perfect for October reading, of course. The titles and authors are as follows: ........... 1)Spellbound by L.A. Banks == 2)Something Borrowed by Jim Butcher == 3)Dead Man's Chest by Rachel Cain == 4)All Shook Up by P. N. Elrod == 5)The Wedding of Wylda Serene by Esther M. Friesner == 6)Cursed by the Moon by Lori Handeland == 7)Tacky by Charlaine Harris == 8)A Hard Day's Night Searcher by Sherrilyn Kenyon == 9)...Or Forever Hold Your Peace by Susan Krinard == ................ **** This book has something for everyone, be it voodoo, shapeshifters, curses, magic, vampires, or even Greek mythology. And that is only a sample of the things found within these pages. I found myself laughing at parts, as well as, sitting on the edge of my seat during some very suspense filled moments. Wonderful Autumn reading! ****
A Hard Days Night-Searcher by Sherrilyn KenyonI thought this story was forget-able. It was forced and trite. There was no real build up. For a Squire and Dark Hunter to fall in love when they don't even know each other, it was... sorely lacking. I just did not like this story at all.
I picked up this anthology for the Charlaine Harris short story Tacky to find an assortment of supernatural tales all with a nuptial theme. Some stories fared far better than others with some authors able to handle the wedding theme with ease and others clearly trying to shoehorn their assignment into things they were far more comfortable writing.Spellbound by L.A. Banks is a twist on the Hatfield/McCoy feud where a potential wedding might end the feud - if the magic on both sides doesn't curse the couple (or worse) first. It's a fairly straightforward story with few opportunity for twists and turns, but it does make the most of a couple wanting to get married under difficult circumstances.Something Borrowed by Jim Butcher is our first werewolf entry in a world where several other kinds of magic and supernatural beings exist. We're hours away from the wedding when the best man discovers that the fairy tell wedding is taking a turn for the worse when the bride present at the church is the result of magic while the real bride has been kidnapped by faeries. The best man, Harry Dresden, comes from an established series, but it isn't necessary to have read the books to enjoy the story. The story has a bit of a slow start, but once the action starts it really is a great blend of humor and action.Dead Man's Chest by Rachel Caine is supposed to be the quick wedding at sea on a pirate ship between our romance novel cover model and Cess - Cecilia! - after what has been an all-to-quick courtship. Of course, one should wonder where an incredibly authentic pirate ship with no modern amenities comes from at such an opportune time...and whether or not it needs to add to the alarms already going off in Cecilia's head. Celia is the ultimate in the rom-com stereotype - the not-so-ugly-duckling female character that will finally find her voice - but Caine does a great job of acknowledging this throughout the tale. It's as if she's saying, "I know, but let's have fun with this, shall we?" And you know what? It's a good time.All Shook Up by P.N. Elrod isn't so much about the wedding, but about those behind the wedding and their powers to get "vibes" from people - and a man who wears leather pants, sings about hound dogs and swivels his hips in a way that can make women swoon. The story has a lot of great imagery and lovely details, but there were parts where I was wondering, "so?" The point made in the end was fine and all, but it was a rather long and complicated way to go and just about too much time for me to wonder why I was supposed to be invested at all in the characters.The Wedding of Wylda Serene by Esther M. Friesner. I'd love to describe the story of a daughter born under sad circumstances (told after another story I'm still not entirely sure we needed to know outside of, "this is why I know all these people and was there") needing to get married at a club that we're suddenly told is cursed...but it gets so convoluted and so much of it is just dumped on the reader at later points, I'm not sure how much of it really matters. Wylda isn't even a main character - she's relegated to barely supporting cast in her own tale. At one point, it is noted that the person responsible for the original curse had long-since taken his leave of the club and I'm thinking I would have lost nothing if I'd done the same.Charmed by the Moon by Lori Handeland brings the idea of pre-wedding doubts to a whole new level. Imagine finding out that you might be under a love spell the night before you're supposed to be married. Do you risk finding out how to break the curse just to find out if you'll still feel the same way after as you do now? This was one of my favorite entries in the book as Jessie and Will were a great couple (what 3rd most-feared werewolf hunter and Native-American professor wouldn't be perfect together?) and very vivid. I keep waiting to see a fall preview for their TV show whe
Some good and some bad
Kind of disappointing. Most of the stories were kind of tedious. I liked Spellbound by Banks, an author I'm not familiar with. Very much liked the Jim Butcher story -- some humor, etc. Probably helped that I was familiar with the author and his chief protagonist. The Rachel Caine story -- a total bust. Hard to understand what she saw in the 'hero.' Nothing much made any sense. P.N. Elrod story was OK as was Friesner's story. Actually , the latter was one of the better fits for the short story format. Handeland story was boring. The Charlaine Harris story was the best -- most humor, interesting characters, but again familiarity with the author and her Sooky series milieu may have helped. The Kenyon and Krinard stories were the worse. Particularly the Krinard where the whole end part of the story was cliche, i.e., the villain spends time explaining his motives and why he did the things he did. Clearly not successful as a short story. Perhaps the characters would have been interesting in a novel formal.
some funny, some ok, some blah; all in all ok
This book was like a gift from the fiction gods for me, containing stories from almost every one of my current favorite paranormal and dark fantasy writers. All the stories were degrees of good or great, but the best surprise was from my old fandom friend Rachel Caine (Roxanne Conrad), a twisty-fun pirate romp called "Dead Man's Chest", an awesome homage to the Pirates of the Caribbean and how much we all want to jump Captain Jack Sparrow no matter what we say in public. *G*Well worth the cost of admission!
Only read the short story "Something Borrowed" by Jim Butcher as it was part of his Dresden Files Series. I really enjoyed this little trip into the world of Harry Dresden and his friends. It was less serious then the full novels and just let me enjoy the events without having to think too much about the history of all the characters or a big mystery. I recommend this to all fans of the main Dresden Files series.
A selection of paranormal stories set around weddings. Some quite good and some just ho-hum.Spellbound by L A Banks is a story about the Hatfields and McCoys and two members of the clan who fall in love but the family magic gets in the way. Not too bad but L A Banks isn't an author that I really enjoy, this nearly made it for me but not quite.Something Borrowed by Jim Butcher fits in somewhere after Summer Knight and features the marriage of two werewolves and some suspicious behaviour that Dresden has to investigate with some help from Murphy. Quite a lot of fun actually.Dead Man's Chest by Rachel Caine is a story of a woman getting married on a pirate ship who finds out that there's more about the men on the ship than meets the eye. There were some moments that didn't quite work with this one but most of it was quite good.All Shook Up - P N Elrod - A wedding caterer who can see futures meets an Elvis impersonator. Quite a fun read and the characters were quite fun.The Wedding of Wylda Serene by Esther M Friesner is a story and exclusive golf course and random legendary greek types. Fun and interesting.Charmed by the Moon by Lori Handeland is a story of a woman dealing with wedding jitters and wondering if her feelings for her partner are real or induced by magic. Would probably make more sense if you're familiar with the series.Tacky by Charlaine Harris is a story of a wedding between a vampire and a werewolf and the variety of opponents to the union.A Hard Day's Night-Searcher - Sherrilyn Kenyon is a story in the Dark-Hunter series. A squire writes a story that reflects the stories of the Dark Hunters has to go into hiding, his Dark Hunter gets another squire who is obsessed by the safety of their Dark Hunter....or forever hold your peace by Susan Krinard - is a story of an interrupted marriage and an alternative victorian England where people have magic that they inherit. Referred to as a Kit & Olivia story I'd like to read more. This is the second story in this sequence that I've read and I would like more.It's supernatural romance and if that isn't your thing neither will this set of stories, however I enjoyed them and there were a few that made me want to search out more by the author. Some weren't so strong but then again I'm not always a fan of the author themselves.My favourite stand-alone stories were Or Forever Hold your Peace and All Shook Up.
I read the Dark Hunter Story named "A Hard Day's Night". For a short story not so bad but then again I am not a huge fan of the short stories.
A very fun anthology! I¿m usually not a big fan of paranormal romance, but I got this for the Jim Butcher story and was pleasantly surprised to find that it¿s one of the best anthologies I¿ve come across in a while. Not limited to sappy love stories, the works in this collection are humorous, mysterious, exciting, and romantic (in a cheesy, but fun way) and I enjoyed every one of them. Usually an anthology contains at least one or two stories that are simply terrible and a pain to get through, but not so with this collection. Some were better than others, of course, but all of them were fun and entertaining. I especially liked the stories by Jim Butcher, P.N. Elrod, and Susan Krinard. Overall, I highly recommend it.
I picked this book up for the short story by Jim Butcher of the Dresden Files. As usual, his story was brillant and carried the plot of the Files forward beautifully. Even better, he referenced the events of the story in his next novel! I wasn't planning on reading the remaining stories, but I was on vacation and ran out of other books to read, so turned back to this one. The majority of the stories are well-written and able to be approached by a reader who knows nothing about the other works of the author. However, a few (and notably, the most interesting!), were completly beyond my grasp, since I had no familiarity with the world of the author's making. They were interesting, well-written, etc., but weren't able to stand alone. I give this book 4 stars for all you Dresden fans, but for the other stories, a 2.5.
Some interesting entries from authors that I already enjoy and some from new faces (at least to me). Enjoyable, as long as you can stomach the romance.
One sentence summary: Nine short stories of the supernatural with one thing in come - somebody's getting married.I picked up because it featured a couple of authors I like - unfortunately, the stories I was anticipating weren't really their best work. Overall, it's a decent read if you like the genre, but not much really stands out. Two I did like?Jim Butcher's "Something Borrowed" finds wizard/detective Dresden roped into being the best man at a werewolf's wedding. But when something kidnaps the bride he's hot on the trail. In Rachel Caine's "Dead Man's Chest" the bride-to-be has everything you'd find on the cover of a romance novel including a groom who's set up the perfect romantic elopement/marriage aboard a cruise ship. Only one problem - she's about to be too dead to enjoy any of it.
Bit hit and miss. Some stories were good, I particularly liked Dead Man's Chest, but most were not. Too geard to devoted fans who would already know some of the characters and situations, not as original as I would have liked. Not a keeper
An interesting anthology with a lot, lot, lot of short paranormal short stories all based on or around (obviously) weddings. Most of the stories were okay, some were pretty good and one I couldn't bring myself to continue reading after the first couple pages. My favorites were Rachel Caine's Pirates of the Carribeanish tale of illfated nuptuals, Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden short, Sherrilyn Kenyon's tale of forbidden love between a Dark Hunter and a Squire and Susan Krinard's supernatural tale which left me wondering if there is a full length novel about her characters Kit and Olivia (I plan to check on this).I do have to say I was very surprised to enjoy the Harry Dresden short as much as I did since I haven't read any of the Dresden novels. One line was funny enough to surprise me in to laughing out loud and I think I'll have to check out maybe a few of the series to see if they are as witty as this short story was.
Well, I'm glad I didn't spend money on this, since I only wanted to read one story in it anyway. The Kenyon story is an okay little thing I suppose, but it's mostly fluff and not something I need to own for myself. It certainly feels like this was tossed out for the anthology rather than out of any need to write about the characters.