SMF OLS discussion

11 views
BOOK SIX: (June 2011) "Death's Excellent Vacation" Edited by Charlaine Harris/Toni L.P. Kelner

Comments Showing 1-42 of 42 (42 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Vickie (last edited Feb 18, 2011 10:07AM) (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Okay - So June is several months away, but I've been giving it a great deal of thought and trying to decide how to convert y'all to fang bangers :-)

I couldn't decide on a single novel or author, so I thought an anthology would be the way to go to introduce us to several new paranormal authors and a few old favorites. Since June is officially the start of summer vacation season, I've picked....(drum roll please)..."Death's Excellent Vacation" an anthology of paranormal rest and relaxation tales edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner.

I figure this way, we can discuss the short stories as we read them, so we don't have to wait for everyone to finish the entire book. We can also skip the stories that aren't working for us, and if we really like a story, perhaps we can read an entire novel by the author at a later date.

Best of all, for our "True Blood" fans...the first story by Charlaine Harris features Sookie Stackhouse and Pam the vampire on vacation!

Bloody Happy Reading Y'all!


message 2: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Jarvis (ariyana9501) | 31 comments Awesome! Can't wait for this one! I love Charlaine Harris!


message 3: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Jarvis (ariyana9501) | 31 comments Picked this one up at the library today......I know it's still a few months away, but I needed books to read, so I put it on hold, and got it today!


message 4: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 31 comments Oooh! So excited for this! Great pic!


message 5: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Found this summary/review of the individual stories in Death's Excellent Vacation on Amazon and thought I'd cut and paste it here in case some of you only want to read certain stories. There seems to be a mix of paranormal romance, sci fi and light horror, so hopefully we can all find something to enjoy.

1. Two Blondes - Charlaine Harris
A Sookie short. Sookie and Pam head off to the riverboat casinos to mix business with some fun. For fans of the books the way that the pair manages to hide in plain sight when the business part of the vacation goes bad is something completely different for Sookie (for fans of the show probably not so much).

2. The Boys Go Fishing - Sarah Smith
A crotchety old superhero's lonely exile is invaded - he longs for death, but may yet discover how to truly live. It had some powerful and poignant moments.

3. One for the Money - Jeaniene Frost
Night Huntress short - Cat and Bones pull guard duty for a human heiress targeted by supernatural hit men - This is a nice little Night Huntress fix for fans (there's even a few steamy bits)

4. Meanwhile, Far Across the Caspian Sea... - Daniel Stashower - An author takes his job as researcher to a new level.

5. The Innsmouth Nook - A. Lee Martinez
Owners of a bed and breakfast rewrite their business plan to accommodate an unexpected demographic in their clientile.

6. Safe and Sound - Jeff Abbott
An ambitious and less than scrupulous TV reporter milks the investigation into a young man's disappearance for ratings - given the reporter's nature, I thought that the resolution was fitting.

7. Seeing is Believing - L A Banks
After 'seeing' that the cause of several local deaths is a supernatural predator, a young woman heads off to New Orleans to gather what she needs to fight the beasts and there she gains an ally in an unusual young man - a nice little story with appealing leads and a promise of romance.

8. The Perils of Eferjim - Katie MacAlister
A short starring Aisling Grey's demon newfie sidekick Jim - With Aisling on vacation, Jim's off to grab some R&R as well when he gets forced into human form and banished to Abaddon - If you love Jim there's lots of him here and some funny moments, I particularly liked how he dealt with the guards of the hellish demon dimension.

9. Thin Walls - Christopher Golden
A man is on a memorial tour honoring his dead wife, but an eye opening encounter with a seductive woman is what it takes to help him move on.

10. The Heart is Always Right - Lilith Saintcrow
A gargoyle's vacation in the sun is preempted when he discovers that the young woman he's been drawn to is the key to gaining his ultimate dreams if he's willing to pay the price.

11. The Demon in the Dunes - Chris Grabenstein
A man remembers a long ago summer vacation from his youth and a ghostly encounter . The ending to this one surprised me.

12. Home from America - Sharan Newman
A man of Irish descent, has a chance to visit the old country when his family gets invited to a family reunion - I didn't particularly like the ending of this one.

13. Pirate Dave's Haunted Amusement Park - Toni L P Kelner
A recently turned werewolf returns to a childhood vacation spot to ponder her future. A visit to a favorite amusement park offers her the chance to pursue the pirate of her teenage fantasies and a chance to make use of her new abilities - Sexy pirates and supernatural creatures? What's not to like.


message 6: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Two Blondes - Charlaine Harris

Hmmmm...I've always wondered why Pam, who doesn't care for humans, is such a good friend to Sookie. I've also known since the early books that Pam is bisexual, but I never really wondered until this short story, if Pam has loving feelings toward Sookie. Hmmmm....what do y'all think?


message 7: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments The Boys Go Fishing - Sarah Smith

I didn't care for this story. It made me sad. I always feel badly when I think of the "greats" in any field who end up lonely, broke, or overlooked by younger generations. Reminded me of the way we sometimes worship child actors and teen pop stars...and then turn away in disgust when we they end up being normal, flawed, lonely people.


message 8: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Jarvis (ariyana9501) | 31 comments So, I'm about halfway through this book already(I know, it's early), but as to the Pam and Sookie question.....I think it has more to do with the fact that Eric loves her, so it turn she loves her? I wouldn't say that it was a sexual way, although I don't think Pam would turn down that opportunity if it were presented to her! :) I liked the story, and wished there was more!!!!!


message 9: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 3. One for the Money - Jeaniene Frost
I think I might like this series. I'll have to see what the full books are for this one. It's probably a shame that this short is after the series and we know that Bones & Cat are a couple, but still worth reading I think.


message 10: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Veronica wrote: "So, I'm about halfway through this book already(I know, it's early), but as to the Pam and Sookie question.....I think it has more to do with the fact that Eric loves her, so it turn she loves her?..."

I'm reading it now as well. When I get on the waitlist for a book, I can't always predict when it will come in and I don't want to keep renewing it and hogging it.

I think you are right about Pam. I wish it was longer, too. Would have been fun to read more of the girls vacation.


message 11: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 4. Meanwhile, Far Across the Caspian Sea... - Daniel Stashower

Oh, I thought this one was quite clever. It reminded me of an episode of The Twilight Zone. I will most surely read more from this author!


message 12: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 5. The Innsmouth Nook - A. Lee Martinez

Just...weird...kinda funny, but since I'm fish phobic, kinda icky.


message 13: by Vickie (last edited Mar 18, 2011 04:19PM) (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 6. Safe and Sound - Jeff Abbott

Natalie Hollaway anyone?


message 14: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 7. Seeing is Believing - L A Banks

Oh I really liked this one. It took place in the New Orleans area, so it it was extra fun for me. Plus, it says that L.A. Banks is from Philadelphia, which is probably why I often see endcaps of her books at the Chester County Book & Music Store. I'll have to try some others this summer.


message 15: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 8. The Perils of Eferjim - Katie MacAlister

Okay, so this short is clearly part of a larger series and I was kinda lost in the "who's who" for a while, but I think the premise is appealing and I might try to track down the series. Poor Jim!


message 16: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 9. Thin Walls - Christopher Golden

Ewwwww! So beyond creepy. I could have lived without this one. But, if you need some literature to convince young folks about the evils of a one night stand...this should do the trick!


message 17: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 10. The Heart is Always Right - Lilith Saintcrow

Okay, I wasn't digging this one at all, but now that I'm finished, I guess it was kinds sweet. I love that she never thought he was ugly. *sigh*


message 18: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 11. The Demon in the Dunes - Chris Grabenstein

Ah memories of the Jersey Shore in the 70's. This one was tough for me because my entire family chain smokes. I grew up with itchy watery eyes and chronic respiratory problems from second hand smoke. This is a story I won't forget anytime soon. So glad I never picked up the habit.


message 19: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 12. Home from America - Sharan Newman

I was particularly enjoying the whimsy of this one and contemplating our upcoming trip to Ireland...then it went very wrong!


message 20: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments 13. Pirate Dave's Haunted Amusement Park - Toni L P Kelner

Now this is my kind of little story. Werewolf, vampire pirate and forbidden kisses - perfect way to end the anthology!


message 21: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Well, I have to return this copy to the library, but I'm looking forward to discussing these with y'all in June...or sooner with Veronica.

I'll never look at vacations the same way again! :-)


message 22: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I need to put this one on hold at the library, I've been trying not to read too far ahead, LOL!


message 23: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments Vickie, I'm pretty sure I picked up one of LA Banks' books at the last library sale (I have so many unread books at this point it's kind of scary!), I'll have to go digging for it.


message 24: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Dawn wrote: "Vickie, I'm pretty sure I picked up one of LA Banks' books at the last library sale (I have so many unread books at this point it's kind of scary!), I'll have to go digging for it."

Cool! Let me know what you think of it.


message 25: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments So...it's almost June! I'm looking forward to hearing which stories in this anthology y'all like best.


message 26: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 31 comments I placed this book on hold at the library a while back and I'm next in line to get it! Hopefully, sometime this next week it will be available!


message 27: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I've got it on hold as well, just waiting for it to come in!


message 28: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 31 comments Guess what I picked up yesterday? I got the book! I'm going to start reading it today. Can't wait! I'm excited for the 1st story - a Sookie Stackhouse story...it'll give me a litte True Blood fix! :)


message 29: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 31 comments Vickie wrote: "Two Blondes - Charlaine Harris

Hmmmm...I've always wondered why Pam, who doesn't care for humans, is such a good friend to Sookie. I've also known since the early books that Pam is bisexual, bu..."


I finished this story last night. I liked it. Maybe she's a good friend to Sookie because of her loyalty to Eric. I haven't read any of the other books so I'm not sure of Pam's history (except for the TB shows). But, I do wonder if Pam has more feelings for Sookie than she lets on. Hmmm.


message 30: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I finally got this yesterday, I'm going to start it once I finish up 'Pack of Lies', my current book.


message 31: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I started this today. I enjoyed the first story, Two Blondes, the Sookie one. I haven't read any of this series yet, are you both big fans?

I have the first book, I started it once but couldn't get into it. Maybe I should give it another try?

I didn't care for the second story, The Boys Go Fishing, it just didn't click with me.


message 32: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Dawn wrote: "I started this today. I enjoyed the first story, Two Blondes, the Sookie one. I haven't read any of this series yet, are you both big fans?

I have the first book, I started it once but couldn't ..."


I think the first book wasn't all that...read sort of like a Harlequin Romance with a vampire, but as the series progresses, Harris really finds herself and the layers of meaning pile on...relationships get more complicated and backstories get more mysterious. But, just a warning, as the series progresses, it gets more bloody, violent and sexual as well. I love it and can't wait to read the latest out this month. My favorite of all is the one where Eric loses his memory (around book 4ish, I think.)


message 33: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I am enjoying this, I don't often read short story collections!

I liked 'One For The Money', I assume that these are characters from an existing series? I may give it a try if they are.

'Meanwhile, Far Across the Caspian Sea...' was pretty good, too, you're right Vickie, it kind of reminded me of a 'Twilight Zone' episode.

My favorite story by far (so far, anyway) was 'Innsmouth Nook' -- loved it, and I thought it was quite clever! I've got to look for more by A. Lee Martinez, I think I would enjoy his stuff.


message 34: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I thought 'Safe and Sound' was okay, it reminded me so much of that lady on CNN who's always covering those sensational trials. Nancy Grace?

I also really liked 'Seeing is Believing', Vickie. Let me know if you end up reading any of her books and like them.


message 35: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments Vickie, I just saw this posted on Facebook by an author friend of mine. Apparently L.A. Banks is battling cancer and is not doing well. Very sad to hear.


message 36: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Oh, that is really sad. There is something about reading that makes us feel bonded to the authors. I'm not one to feel a fake closeness to stars, even when I'm a fan, but authors are another story. Thanks for telling me.


message 37: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments Vickie, how do the Sookie books compare to the 'True Blood' TV series? I've seen a couple episodes, they didn't really grab me either.

I'm starting to think that I gave up on both the books and the series too early.


message 38: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Dawn wrote: "Vickie, how do the Sookie books compare to the 'True Blood' TV series? I've seen a couple episodes, they didn't really grab me either.

I'm starting to think that I gave up on both the books and t..."


LOL...there is just enough overlap to be confusing, but the books take the characters down different paths than the television show. While I enjoy both, it's really no contest - the books are really good. I had some trouble in the beginning when it was just human girl likes vampre boy, but as the realm expanded and secrets unfolded, I got really into it. If you can make it through book one, I think it will grow on you. I have a softspot for a few secondary characters like Terri the troubled vet, Claudine the fairy godmother (literally), and Sam bar owner. Even horny little Jason Stackhouse will grow on you after a few books. I'm team Erik Northman all the way (except for a brief jump over to team Quinn in a later book, for which I'm truly sorry!)


message 39: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I've read a couple more stories:

'The Perils of Eferjim' also lost me some, I think that I might have enjoyed it more had I known more about the characters earlier adventures.

'Thin Walls' was REALLY creepy, but I liked it.

'The Heart Is Always Right' was interesting, and romantic at its heart, and I thought it was a neat twist on gargoyles.

I also really liked 'The Demon in the Dunes', I did not see the ending coming.


message 40: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I finished this one over the weekend. It ended on a strong note, I really enjoyed the last two stories, Home from America and Pirate Dave's Haunted Amusement Park.

Do we have a pick for July yet? Who's going to pick? Who's left of us?


message 41: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (tangee43) | 93 comments Dawn - I've had fun reading your comments. We seemed to react in a similar way to many of the stories. I like your taste.

It seems to be just you and me and Jennifer. I'd be happy to continue if you both want to, or we can just move it back to the SMF thread with everything we discuss there. Whatever works for y'all as long as we keep sharing the good book finds!


message 42: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Swingle | 69 comments I'd like to keep going if you're willing, I'm finding that I'm discovering books that I wouldn't necessarily have read otherwise.


back to top